Your days of trick or treating may be over, but that doesn’t mean you need to leave the sweet times behind. Squish, a newcomer to candyland, is breaking the mold of traditional gummy treats and serving up savoury confections worthy of a more sophisticated palette. From decadent ‘magic mushrooms’, to irresistible ‘chilli ginger hearts’, Squish introduces us to a whole new world of sweet, salty and even spicy confections. You only have to look at Squish’s “Candy Manifesto” to know they mean business: “You don’t have to be a kid to love candy. Everyone should eat candy. Candy is edible happiness.”
Bona fide gummy addict and creator of Squish Sarah Segal (who also had a hand in developing the delectable David’s Tea) explains that in many European cultures, adults enjoy candy just as much as children, if not more. “The Swedes love their candy, it’s part of their culture,” maintains Segal, “but here in Canada, we’re used to overly-sweet, flat flavours.” When Sarah couldn’t find anyone that catered to her gummy obsession, she decided to create her own candy. “When I started doing the research, tasting candy around the world, I couldn’t believe the flavours you could have if you just use a little imagination,” recounts Segal, channelling a modern day Willy Wonka. With imagination abound, as well as the best candy artisans working with the best possible ingredients from around the globe, Squish offers over one hundred types of candy, each one more exquisite – and original – than the next.
A Sweet New Standard
Conscious of a more educated and health-conscious consumer, Squish let’s you enjoy the sweet life while still adhering to your food restrictions and preferences. One of the first things you will notice about Squish candy is that each and every flavour is labelled with nutritional icons. Gluten-free, nut-free, vegan, and kosher are some of the many options available, and the company plans on making their nutritional guide a large part of their branding. “In Europe, non-GMO is the standard,” explains Sarah. “But in the US and Canada, its rare.” Not only are Squish gummies and candies non-GMO, they avoid artificial colours and flavours, opting for natural dyes like beets, and natural fruit extract for its fruity flavours. “The apple fries, one of the all-time store favourites, are made with actual apple extract,” explains Sarah.
A Flavour Emporium
Squish isn’t just raising the nutritional bar with its sweet treats. Confections with exotic ingredients and unique mixes are breaking traditional candy boundaries. “We’re trying to create a real flavour emporium,” Sarah explains, motioning to Squish’s 12-foot tasting wall boasting dozens of curious, colourful candies that will have you salivating as soon as you walk in the door. While it continues to offer traditional tastes like cherry, strawberry and peach, it also searches to include new and exciting flavours to its candy palette. One such flavour? Sea buckthorn, a remarkable berry-like fruit from Scandinavia chock full of antioxidants and anti-aging properties. (In Finland, the berry is used as a nutritional ingredient in baby food.) Squish’s sea buckthorn bears, a crowd favourite, are deliciously tart, like sour orange with hints of mango. “I got the idea to use sea buckthorn from an incredible dessert I tried at (Montreal restaurant) Les 400 Coups. It was a crispy chiffon cake with sea buckthorn drizzled on top.” Other unique flavours include rose, elderberry, and mango maracuyá, which Sarah describes as being similar to passion fruit.
A Gummy Gallery
When you love candy as much as Sarah, you know that each “sub-gummy” category deserves special attention. “All our candy artists are the best at what they do,” explains Sarah. “We started out really focused on traditional gummy candy, but as we discover new talent around the world, we branch out.” Sure to pique your sweet tooth is the lollipop section, which boasts a series of extraordinary flavours designed by lollipop artisans out of Austin, Texas. You can go for green apple and watermelon, or you can take your taste buds for a ride with cheese, booze and bacon pops in flavours like salty dog, absinthe, and chocolate maple bacon. “I don’t even like to drink bourbon, but these bourbon lollipops are so good,” says Sarah. Another impressive category is the gummy bears, which are as adorable as they are delicious. “I think we must have over a dozen types of bears,” Sarah says, listing choco bears, conga bears, bubbly champagne bears, strawberry shortcake bears and, her personal favourite, agave bears, sweetened with agave nectar instead of sugar. On the candy drawing board is the ‘liquorice launch’, which will include a selection of over 12 varieties that celebrate liquorice-making traditions from around the world.
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