Freelance writer and poet from London; if you would like to read my poetry, please check out my book, 'Poems on the Page', available from goo.gl/Ta4oAX.
Published February 22nd 2014
The only place you can eat 'Nerds' and get away with it
As an unashamed chocoholic, I have followed Jim's Chocolate Mission blog for some time now. Three times a week he reviews chocolate products on his continuous goal to find the best chocolate in the world. Notice I said 'the world'. Jim does not just review UK chocolate, but chocolate from all over the world.
One of his major sources is Cyber Candy, the UK's largest retailer of American sweets and drinks. It was through Jim's blog that I learnt about Cyber Candy, but until now I thought they were only an online stockist.
The other day I took my first venture into Islington, and while I was walking down Upper Street, I saw an eye-catching blue shop with a red logo that reminded me somewhat of a poster for a 1950s B-Movie.
There was Cyber Candy, blasting off into space in a rocket. Or rather, I should say blasting across the pond to the UK. Here you will will be swapping your Cadbury's Dairy Milk for Hershey's Mr. Good and your ginger ale for root beer.
America's Favourite Breakfast Cereal
From the shop window, you will see how you start your day the American way. Forget your porridge, Weetabix, cornflakes, and muesli; what you want a re some Lucky Charms. These frosted oats don't come with fruits or nuts, but marshmallow pieces.
Jelly Belly Pick-A-Mix
Step inside and you might think you have entered Honeydukes in Hogsmeade. Directly on the left is a pick-a-mix of Jelly Belly every flavour beans. And I mean every flavour - strawberry, lime, peppermint, cotton candy, crushed pineapple, cherry cola pomegranate, chocolate pudding, grape jelly, chilli mango, etc. Okay, unlike Bertie, there are not any earwax or bogey flavoured ones (although some of the colours resemble such), but that can only be a good thing, right?
There are actually Harry Potter products at the counter, including Magic Frogs, but what would otherwise be a 65p chocolate more than triples in price when you slap a Harry Potter label on it.
Another novelty chocolate was a Marmite chocolate bar. I was going to buy it until I saw the price. I might be willing to spend £4.99 for 100g at an artisan chocolatiers', but not at hyperactive sugar mart.
One thing that took me back to childhood were the packets of Nerds on the shelf. These tiny sour balls by Wonka are a mouth puckering explosion.
I also love Pez. The sweets look a bit like tablets you would buy from the pharmacist, but rest assured, they have no nutritional value whatsoever. What I like about Pez are less to do with the sweets, and more to do with the character dispensers, where you stick the sweets up in much the same way you would a stapler.
Put your Jolly Ranchers in the freezer to make ice lollies.
Eating ice cream and lollies are probably far from most people's mind at the moment, so instead, why not stock up for summer by getting some Jolly Ranchers. These come as liquid tubes which you put in the freezer, and voila, on a hot day you have a long lolly pop ready and waiting.
Gummies for Dummies
Although most of Cyber Candy's stock are from American brands, there are a few British classics such as rhubarb& custard boiled sweets, armies & navies, and gummies. These have been given a bit of Pop Art Flair, reminiscent of Andy Warhol's Campbell's Soup.
So if your bored with KitKats, fried eggs, and Cocoa Puffs, take a venture into Cyber Candy for some a taste of America.