A Journey Through the Chocolate Underbelly of America

eBook - 2004 | 1st ed.
Average Rating:
Rate this:
A tour of the American candy business which explores the role candy plays in our lives as both source of pleasure and escape from pain.
Publisher: Chapel Hill, N.C. : Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, 2004.
Edition: 1st ed.
ISBN: 9781565127135
Characteristics: 1 online resource (266 p.)
Contents: Prologue: Some things you should know about the author
Author will now rationalize
Chocolate = enabler
In which an unhealthy pattern of dependence is established
Ill-advised discussion of freak economics
Night of the living freak
Mistakes were made
Caravelle: Elegy
I love Manny
Feeding the beast
Top-secret chocolate situation
Politics of the rack
Last man in America with black jack gum
Capo di tutti freak
Love song of Ray Luther Broekel
Welcome to the boom
There are men upon this earth who tread like gods
Feuilletine, revealed
Freak fetish
Official dark horse freak of Philadelphia
Wee Willie and the pop-a-licks rage
Southern-fried freak
Chocolate haiku
Freak retentive
In the belly of the freak
Unstoppable freak energy of Mr. Marty Palmer
Southbound with the hammers down
Candy bar on your chin
Marshmallow parallax
Depressing but necessary digression
Boise: Gateway to ... Boise
Ladies and gentlemen, the Idaho spud
Huckleberry, hounded
American lunch
How will the spud survive?
Past is just ahead
Remember this name: Banana-zaba
Second depressing but necessary digression
Little hidden bomb in my Idaho spud
Few final relevant facts
Freak appendix.
Summary: A tour of the American candy business which explores the role candy plays in our lives as both source of pleasure and escape from pain.


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment

Feb 04, 2016

Best History of Candy Ever.

WVMLStaffPicks Jan 22, 2015

A man with a keen interest in the candy bars of days gone by goes across America looking for the small factories producing chocolate bars known only in their local area. Part social history, part hip kookiness, this book is a warning to seize your chance to enjoy Idaho Spuds in Boise and GooGoo Clusters in Nashville before Wal-Mart’s domination of the marketplace finishes off these independent manufacturers.

Jun 02, 2012

This is a funny book about a guy visiting several chocolate bar factories which make retro candies from his childhood, such as the Idaho Spud, Valomilk, Twin Bing, etc.

I wish the book would have focused more on the bars and less on the guy's personal ramblings, but it did make me curious to try the bars because they are not sold here.

I tried the Idaho Spud and some others when I saw them in Las Vegas... and they weren't super good or anything.

Aug 22, 2011

It didn't suit my taste.

Aug 05, 2011

sioux city history

Aug 03, 2010

This book is a wondefully funny read which will bring back memories of long lost candies and introduce you to new treats. It will keep you laughing out loud. Great for vacations or any other time you need a light read.

Aug 20, 2009

If you like candy, or maybe love candy, then take a bite, lick, or whiff of Candyfreak. It is the story of one confectionary-obsessed individual (the author Steve Almond, with his ideal candy-ready last name) and his journey to discover what happened to the candies that made his childhood so sweet--the Choco-Lite, the Caravelle Bar, Hersey?s Cookies n? Mint, the Valomilk, and the Kit Kat Dark. To discover the fates of these and other forgotten goodies, Almond investigates and tours confection companies. Almond is a self-described candy freak and his book is a rousing declaration of his obsessive sweet tooth, a richly detailed history of the candy bars and other sweets in the United States, and an exploration of the rarely-seen world of candy manufacturing. Almond meets candy makers, experiences their sweet products, and provides the reader with his honest opinion. The descriptions of the candies are so rich that you may very well do more than just taste the goodness?you might just literally devour this book.

Eat-while-you-read: Valomilk Bars, the messiest candy ever invented.

Nov 03, 2006

I recommend this book. Quick read, witty, off-the-cuff style, plus some good information about the candy business and why small businesses struggle against the big guys. Plus, for a 40-something reader, it's a nostalgia trip. I remember fondly a number of the candy bars that Almond also remembers--I have found myself thinking back to my days staring at the local Ben Franklin candy counter, weighing my options. . . .


Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at CML

To Top