Posts Tagged ‘Made in the U.S.A.’

LemonPoundCakeCandle2In choosing candles, I am most often drawn to food scents. There are several reasons for this. One, it fills the house with a wonderful aroma, as if there were something tempting baking in the oven right now. Two, I have yet to be allergic to a food scent, whereas florals and some other scents can give me migraines or worse. Delicious food scented candles are nothing but pleasurable.

But I wonder …. do they make us look fat? That’s become an old joke by now*, but you have to wonder … considering all the research that has been done on things that inspire or drive us to do one thing or another,  do food-scented candles make us fat? In other words, when that lemon pound cake candle is burning, does it make us want to get up and go eat something sweet or does it perhaps fulfill the urge to nibble on a sweetie?

MapleButterCandle2I bet someone in the wide world of research has a grant on that but only you know for sure when you light that wick. The two candles pictured here, Lemon Pound Cake and Maple Butter, are both delicious and  by Village Candle, one of the best candle makers I know. Village Candle is located in Maine, and all their candles are made at that location. So if you’re looking for a candle made in the USA, here’s one for you!

*One of the funnier examples of this was when a friend who rides had tacked up her horse – who she described as rather vain –  and “overheard” him say to another horse, “Does this saddle make me look fat?”

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One of the items on my Christmas shopping list was something my girlfriend’s son can enjoy – traditional peppermint candy canes. He has many allergies, but this is one treat that is worry free. Even so, I wanted to check the package label to hopefully find that they were not made in a facility that also processes dairy and tree nuts, (two of his allergies.)

I was at Target and picked up a nice jumbo-size box of candy canes and looked at the label. Product of Mexico. What? I picked up a different kind, to find that they were by the same manufacturer. And … Product of Mexico. I was floored. Really? Then I looked at an obviously different brand that had a real old-fashioned look and feel to the packaging. On the label … Product of Mexico. WHAT? (If I were the kind of person who said OMG, you could now imagine some strange woman maniacally grabbing every kind of candy cane in the aisles — regardless of ridiculous flavor — and yelling OMG, OMG, OMG.)

But I didn’t. And I didn’t buy any candy canes. I went to my local Shop-Rite. And there, the same old-fashioned packaging again and … Product of Mexico. Since when did the quintessentially traditional Christmas candy start getting made in another country? In truth, I’d rather they be made in Mexico than China, but still … does no one make candy canes in America? I bought a small package of these – the brand is Bobs – in the event I never found anything else.

Then I went to a local shop, (This `N That on the Corner), and checked out some larger individual candy canes. Yes! Made in Ohio! And the manufacturer, Spangler, (see candy cane below right,) had right there on the display box, the simple ingredients and that the candy canes are made on a dedicated machine, (which means no cross-contaminants of potential allergens.) So I grabbed a big handful and was happy to pay a wee bit more, knowing that I’d gotten a safe gift and helped support an American worker and company.

Now here’s the kind of sad thing. I read online the long and detailed history of Bobs Candies. They were established in 1919 in Georgia. They survived the Great Depression, a devastating tornado in 1940 that destroyed their factory, and World War II shortages. Bobs actually introduced the crook in the candy cane. And at the end of this proud history is one line: In 2005, Farley’s & Sathers Candy Company, Inc. acquired Bobs Candies and nothing more. I’m guessing after that is when they started outsourcing the manufacture of their candy canes. Sad, eh?

But there still is Spangler’s, and I suspect there are more American companies making traditional Christmas candy canes. It only seems right.

Update: Christmas 2012 had me looking for Spangler’s again because they’d been made in the USA. On their label this year was “Made in Mexico.” In looking at their web site, I see they “operate a co-manufacturing facility in Juarez, Mexico for the production of commodity candy canes.”  Other items are still made in Ohio such as Jelly Belly jelly beans, Skittles and more. The American made candy cane search is on again.

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