Sorry, chocoholics.  Summer is the cruelest season for cocoa products—even the ones that promise to melt in your mouth, not in your hand.  Why not then use May, June, July, August, and (dammit) September to explore the world of non-chocolate sugar confections?

Candylicious
1837 W. Alabama St.
713-529-6500 

While large supermarkets, with their shelves bursting with bags of mainstream gummies, suck candies, and jelly beans, can certainly be a source of supplies for experimentation, I recommend trying out some of the funkier alternative sugary fare found at Candylicious.

The oft overlooked sister store of crowd favorite The Chocolate Bar, Candylicious is liable to overwhelm first-time visitors with its voluminous and diverse stock of retro, artisan, seasonal, and just plain odd candies, beverages, and other sweet treats. In other words, if you don’t have a plan, you’re likely to suffer decision paralysis as you peruse and leave empty-handed and still hungry. So here’s what to indulge in:

First, try the “shimmer” gumballs, available in sparkly pastel colors/flavors such as “pearl lime” and “lavender.”  Throw a bag of these ethereal bubblegum sphere in a glass vase or crystal bowl and you also have a lovely, edible centerpiece for your dining room table.

Less aesthetically pleasing though longer-lasting are all the many, many varieties of “Now & Laters” available at Candylicious.  Flavors include the predictable apple, grape, watermelon, and strawberry plus the less-easy-to-find blue raspberry and tropical lemonade.

As long you’re getting your sugar fix, why not use swap one addiction for another and pick up a few packs of candy cigarettes. They simulate the oral fixation better than a stick of gum, aren’t quite as weird as e-cigarettes, and don’t provoke disapproving glances from other adults at parties. Unless, maybe, you start handing them out to toddlers.

Finally, design and dessert converge at Candylicious’s Pucker Powder bar, where you can fill tubes of various sizes (six inches through two-and-a-half feet!) with strata of sour sugar powder in 12 different flavors, including but not limited to: peach, watermelon, wild cherry, and bubblegum. If in elementary school you loved doing those colored-sand-in-a-jar crafts (and maybe wished you could have eaten your creation at the end of the day), then the Pucker Powder station will awaken your inner child.

Stock up on any of these treats and you’ll avoid the dismal disappointment that comes upon discovering the bag of Hershey kisses you just bought at CVS has liquefied in your overheated car…and perhaps realize there’s more to the sweet life, than just chocolate.

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