by Terrance Mc Arthur
It’s October. I know this is The Great Food Search, but do you really want to hear me tell of delicate dining? Of course not! You want the ooey-gooey, sticky-licky sweets, the sugar-laden and calorie-unconscious! Let’s go satisfy your sweet tooth!
Abigail’s Candy Shop—1260 Shaw Avenue, Ste 113, Clovis—Wander out of the Sierra Vista Mall, amble towards the multiplex cinema, turn at Panera, and there is Abigail’s, a refuge for the candy-holic. Brands you remember from your childhood, brands you love, brands you never heard of, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory playing on an endless loop on a big-screen TV, and GELATO!
Treat yourself to a creamy, flavorful gelato (I love the Salted Caramel, with a Chocolate Straw on the side) while you meander through aisles packed with candy. Bins of Jelly Belly Jelly Beans and M&Ms stand waiting for you. Specialty cookies await you. Sparkling stuffed animals stand ready to be adopted. It makes you feel like a kid in a candy store! (Isn’t that the whole idea?)
I filled a bag of Jelly Belly flavors I love: Buttered Popcorn, Kettle Corn, and A&W Cream Soda. Then I found classic Reed’s rolled candies: Butterscotch. Oh, how happy I was!
Gourmet Goodies by Delilah—626 “O” Street, Sanger—The shop has been around in Sanger for five years, but Delilah Elizondo has been delighting taste buds for fifteen years. Her cakes, candied apples, and cupcakes are legendary, and I call her the Big Dipper because of what she does with pretzel sticks and red licorice. She dips them in chocolate and white chocolate, zigzags them with color, sprinkles them, AND PEOPLE GET TO EAT THEM!
Her cupcakes? I’d put them up against anything I’ve seen in competition on the cooking channels! Death By Chocolate has a hidden fudgy center, and the Pumpkin Spice has its frosting topped with a pumpkin candy. She even makes cupcakes with Bacon!
If apples were the Forbidden Fruit of the Garden of Eden, Delilah’s candy apples would tempt anyone beyond their resistance. Caramel coating topped by multiple layers of chocolate! Cheesecake! Nuts! You’ve got to give in!
See’s Candies—380 W. Shaw Avenue, Clovis—I grew up on See’s Candies, searching for the picture of the little old lady over the shop window, knowing great chocolate candies waited inside. It still exists! Walk into that shiny whiteness, with the black-and-white checkerboard floor and those cases of yummy candies.
Since this is October, there must be some spooky concoctions, Ghost Butterscotch Lollipops in protective metal cases, Chocolate Marshmallow Jack-O’-Lanterns that made this anti-marshmallow food junkie say “That’s good,” and…my favorite…Sour Bats—Eye-opening, wonderfully gooey, and I was very upset when my wife took them away from me because she didn’t want them gumming up my dental bridgework…but I managed to snag a few of them.
The Verdict—As much as childhood memories might linger in my heart, I have to give the crown of Halloween treats to Gourmet Goodies by Delilah. So many home-made goodies keep magnetically drawing my car to “O” Street in Sanger. It doesn’t hurt that it’s less than a mile from my home.
An Apology—I had planned to explore a candy haven in Reedley, but I didn’t get there. Someday, I will.
Keep eating the good stuff, people!