Ever wondered how they put the little designs in sweets and rock?
Me too! I’m a big fan of sweets, in pretty much all their forms. I have a very sweet tooth and love everything from luxurious handmade caramels right through to those foam shrimp you get in pick ‘n’ mix. Basically, if it’s a sweetie, I’m in.
I lay the blame for this squarely at the feet of Gene Wilder. If his Willy Wonka hadn’t been such an amazing, magical creation with a garden of flowers made of candy, I’m sure I would have been a well-balanced eater. Or one of those people who say things like “Oh I’m not a dessert person”. As it is, I’m the one finding new ways to add sugar to already sweet dishes, and will usually have a packet of Mentos or a red lace upon my person at any one time.
Having read that, it will come as no surprise to you that when I chanced upon an artisan confectioners here in Barcelona, I was first through the door. Even faster than Sally (the other Glutton!), who has a similarly sweet tooth.
Papabubble is a beautiful little sweet/work/shop on a quiet street in the Gotico area of Barcelona. It is gorgeously understated, with simple black window frames and an old-fashioned black & gold sign. They know that there’s no need to go wild with colour, the magic is all inside.
When you walk into this little shop you immediately realise it’s something a little bit special. Firstly, it smells like heaven! Well, my idea of heaven, anyway. It has a lovely light sweet scent which comes from the candy workshop right in front of your eyes. I felt like a kid who got to go to the North Pole and see the elves make toys. The guys in the shop were rolling and stretching and manipulating long strands of candy right in front of us!
We giddily began checking out all the flavours and the big old-fashioned swirly lollipops, ready to go wild with the credit card. There were so many, it was pretty hard to choose. In the end we came away with some apple and cinnamon sweeties for our absent sister (her favourite flavours), a mixed bag as a birthday gift, some butterscotch for our nan and a couple of little free samples for us from the shop!
I’m delighted to say that the sweets lived up to the hype. Basically all hard sweeties should taste like these. Rock has never tasted so good. There were passion fruit, cherries, apple, banana, cinnamon and raspberries. And the strawberries taste like strawberries! The snozzberries taste like snozzberries!
Ahem. Sorry about that. Had a little Willy Wonka moment there.
Anyway, the point is that it’s a small independent franchise, so there could be one near you. It’s fabulous, handmade, tasty, inventive, pretty and sweet. Well worth a visit. Plus they make personalised candies for special occasions… so if you’re looking for a perfect big birthday gift or even a corporate giveaway, then you could have your own special sweets made up!
Now, if you want to know how they put the little pictures in, have a look at this video from when Martha Stewart visited the NYC store… it’s fascinating to watch!
(Definitely watch the video – it’s 6 minutes long and well worth it… Check out how into it Martha gets!)