October 15: National Sweetest Day


I Want Candy, 2007

I had to look this official National Day up, as I hadn’t heard of it before this year. National Sweetest Day — or just The Sweetest Day — is a proclaimed occasion for giving presents such as greeting cards and candy to loved ones. It’s apparently celebrated in the Midwestern United States, which may be why I’ve never heard of it.

Is this day a tradition of yours? Give me some sweet deets in the comments.

Thanks to Matt Sinico of Catherine’s Chocolates for the tip on this one.


Did you know…There’s at least one day of proclamation (also known as ‘National Days of’) for every day in October.

I’ll be mining my own photo collection for images to illustrate a Proclamation Day this month as part of Blogtoberfest.

All of my photos are under the Creative Commons license on Flickr, so feel free to use them with attribution. It’s a great exercise to build your own personal ‘stock photo’ stash, too, so try it yourself – and let me know if you do!


The 2015 Weird Food Round-up: Two Savories, Two Sweets

I never know where my annual ‘October food’ posts are going to take me. Sometimes, I find a lot of spooky party platters. Other times, it’s a trendy ingredient or a bizarre new dish from a restaurant… this year, I found myself gravitating toward some particularly good entrants into the Weird Food Race in the areas of convenience eating.

Photo by Mike Mozart via flickr

The Halloween Whopper
Burger King is bringing a black burger, similar to one of the menu items in its restaurants in Japan, to the United States. I’ve written about the burgers Japanese Burger Kings (and McDonalds) have introduced in the past… Now, their weirdness is coming stateside, with a few Americanizations.

Contrary to the Japanese version, which is made with squid ink, the American version will also have a pitch-black bun —  made with A1 steak sauce baked into the bread. Beyond that, it’s basically a Whopper slathered with even more steak sauce; no complaints here.


The Schnitzel Burger
Hard Rock Cafe has rolled out the Samuel Adams OctoberFest Schnitzel burger, which will be available at all U.S. Hard Rock locations until October 31. It features a lightly-breaded pork schnitzel, beer cheese sauce made with Samuel Adams OctoberFest beer, smoked bacon, sauerkraut, whole grain mustard, and fresh arugula on a pretzel bun. The arugula seems extraneous.

Yoo-hoo Candy Bars

For the nostalgic sweets-lover in all of us, there’s a new offering on the candy racks: the hard-to-describe taste of Yoo-hoo is now a candy bar, available in Trick-or-Treat sizes and, according to the wrapper, ‘milk-chocolate flavored…’ so its origins are just as sketchy as the original drink.

By far the favorite of the newsroom. Coffee and caramel

Caramel Macchiato Candy Corn
In likely the only instance we’ll ever see of the candy corn culinary experience being elevated, Brach’s has concocted a coffee infused bag of yummy that assures me the candy inside is also made with real honey. So, it’s good for you.

Read last year’s post

Days Past of Halloween

cool, halloween, jack o lantern, pumpkin icon

Blogtoberfest Guest Post #1, By Matthew Sinico

I know that I probably live a jaded life compared to others when it comes to Halloween. Since my family owns a candy store, Catherine’s Chocolates in Great Barrington, Mass., you would probably think that Halloween would not mean anything to me.

How wrong you are.

It has been and always will be the one time it was O.K. for me to bring in ‘other types’ of candy into the house…and how I always have loved Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, Heath Bars, Tootsie Roll Pops, and Whoppers Malted Milk Balls…

…Charleston Chews, Starbursts, Now & Later’s, Runts, Fireballs, Lemonheads, M & M’s… all the classics. All the best stuff I never make.

Of course, the occasional popcorn ball along with the obligatory tooth brush not withstanding, Halloween is my favorite holiday. So I will always look forward to Halloween… not just for the past memories, but the future ones I will make when my daughter goes trick or treating.

Matt Sinico is a chocolatier and an avid poker player. He frequently receives hotel room upgrades from people who think he’s Paul Giamatti.