In our last blog post, we discussed the history of saltwater taffy and how it got its name, and its origins as a favorite treat among boardwalk visitors.
We’d wager that part of the charm of buying taffy when you’re at the shore is seeing it made. Machinery at work, pulling large ropes of taffy is quite a sight to see.
At first sight, you may wonder “What’s going on there?”
Throughout our history, as we grew to be an iconic candy maker in the Philadelphia area, stories of taffy making at the shore have traveled far and wide. Having candy locations at the shore and just north of Philadelphia, we still hear them.
In this blog post, we’ll look at the hows and whys of taffy making.
Continue Reading How is Taffy Made?
Last year, Stutz celebrated a milestone not every business gets to enjoy: 80 years in business.
It’s a fascinating history. We started off making chocolate in a garage in Jenkintown, and now operate three stores: two in the Philadelphia area and one at the Jersey Shore.
We’re proud to be a part of local food history, and no discussion of that history is complete without mentioning two things: fudge, saltwater taffy, and their connection to the shore.
Continue Reading The King and Queen of Confection from Long Beach Island to Cape May
Spend enough time reading our thoughts on dark chocolate, Bucks County, and you’ll realize that we love talking about the history of our favorite confection.
Regular readers of the blog know that history stretches back to the pre-Colonial Americas, when the Mayans and Aztec enjoyed an unsweetened chocolate drink that they’d flavor with things like hot peppers and corn meal.
In fact, we get the word chocolate itself from the Mayan word for “bitter water”: xocoatl. The Mayans saw cacao – the chief ingredient in chocolate – as a valuable symbol of life.
So valuable, in fact, that they may have used chocolate as currency.
Continue Reading Paying With Chocolate: A Sweet History Lesson
Charlie lives in a cramped house with his parents and grandparents, dreaming of a better life.
One day, he hears about a reclusive candy maker who will open his factory to five lucky children who find a golden ticket inside one of his chocolate bars.
Charlie happens upon one of the prized tickets and joins four far more privileged children on the tour. The other kids reveal themselves to be greedy, spoiled and otherwise unworthy and are rejected as the tour goes on. Only Charlie makes it to the end, proving himself admirable enough to pass the candy-maker’s test and inheriting the factory.
Continue Reading Chocolate on the Big Screen: Four Movies About this Sweet Confection
It’s hard to compete with Halloween when it comes to candy, but every year, Easter gives October 31 a run for its money.
In 2018, we as a nation bought more than $2 billion worth of marshmallow chicks, jelly beans and chocolate eggs and bunnies. There’s no reason to think Americans won’t repeat that pattern this year. (At least we in the Bucks County chocolate molds world hope they will.)
But how did this happen? How is it that Easter – which began as a religious celebration of new life and rebirth – become a reliable source of revenue for candy makers?
It’s time for one of our candy-related history lessons. Let’s look at the connection between Easter and Easter candy.
Continue Reading Why Do We Give Candy for Easter?
This Valentine’s Day, people will give their sweethearts countless sweet gifts, including milk and
1800s New Orleans
dark chocolate. Montgomery County is filled with people searching for just the right gift.
And maybe during their search, they stop and ask themselves “Why do we celebrate this day? And who was Valentine, anyway?”
Some people have come to deride Valentine’s Day as a “Hallmark holiday,” but it’s actually a tradition that goes back more than 1,500 years.
This is the story of Valentine’s Day.
Continue Reading Who Was St. Valentine?
Mushrooms are a pretty amazing food. People enjoy them on pizza. If you’re a vegetarian, they’re a great – and delicious – source of protein.
And recently, people have become pairing them with…chocolate.
That’s according to a Pinterest study, cited by USA Today earlier this month which reports an uptick in searches for mushroom chocolate bars and mushroom chocolate milk.
Mushrooms are certainly tasty and versatile, but do they really pair well with chocolate?
Honestly, who are we to judge? There was a time when some of our most popular Bucks County milk chocolate offerings such as chocolate-covered pretzels or chocolate with peanut butter might have seemed weird.
Still, the mushroom chocolate story got us thinking about other unusual chocolate pairings. If you’re feeling adventurous, you might want to give a few of them a try.
Continue Reading Would You Eat Mushroom Chocolate?
The holiday season has officially arrived, which means it’s almost time to start putting together your annual list of New Year’s resolutions. If staying healthy or losing weight have been on your mind, “Making fewer visits to the candy store near me” may very well be one of your intended goals for the year ahead.
But believe it or not, you might actually be on the wrong track with that resolution—at least as far as your health is concerned.
Indeed, numerous studies looking at the health benefits of chocolate have been conducted over the past few years, and many of them have shown that a moderate diet of chocolate—dark chocolate in particular—can actually be good for us in a number of different ways. And thankfully, higher-end chocolate isn’t necessarily hard to find.
There’s a candy store near me—a couple of them, actually—that sells the good stuff, and at reasonable prices, too. Of course, shopping online at Stutz Candy or visiting one of their stores is a no-brainer, if only because their selection is so enormous and all-encompassing that you will literally never fail to find what you’re looking for.
Continue Reading Don’t Give Up Chocolate This Year
It’s late afternoon on Thanksgiving Day. Rather than relaxing at home, you and some of your family members have packed into the car and headed to your nearest big box store.
When the doors open at 6 p.m., you and a few hundred other people will file inside in hopes of getting an amazing deal on a new TV or video game system.
And as you trudge through the store on your way to the checkout line, you ask yourself “Why do we do this?”
Why indeed? We tend to advocate giving boxed chocolates at gifts and avoiding the Black Friday rush altogether. But then we started to wonder: “Why do people give gifts around this time of year?” and decided to do some research.
Continue Reading Why Chocolate Makes a Great Holiday Gift
Halloween is a big holiday, one that we’re willing to spend billions of dollars each year to celebrate.
It’s also old holiday, dating back thousands of years to the Celts, people who lived in what is now Ireland and the UK. Many of the things were now associate with Halloween have their roots in Celtic traditions. For example:
- The Celts celebrated their new year and the end of harvest on November 1. They believed that on the night before the new year, ghosts would return to earth. To celebrate the event, they lit large bonfires and dressed in costumes.
- When the Romans conquered the Celts, they merged some of their festivals, including a day to honor the fruit goddess Pomona. Her symbol is an apple, which could be where we get the practice of bobbing for apples.
- The jack-o-lantern comes from another Irish legend, the story of “Stingy Jack,” a man forced to wander the earth, using a piece of coal inside a hollowed out turnip to light his way. (When Irish immigrants came to America, they found that pumpkins made for better jack-o-lanterns.)
You might have noticed that in all of this history, we haven’t mentioned candy or trick-or-treating. That’s because as old as Halloween is, trick-or-treating as we recognize it today is a relatively new phenomenon, and one that didn’t always include candy.
In fact, there was a time when Americans celebrated a candy-related holiday that had nothing to do with Halloween at all.
Continue Reading Why Candy is Such a Big Part of Halloween