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Day Two: Cologne, Germany

Posted on Sunday, January 28th, 2007

Dave!Bullet Point Sunday will have to wait (Bullet Point Monday?) because there's important stuff going on!

Every year Cologne hosts one of the largest candy shows on the face of the planet (called "ISM") which is a fascinating place to spend a day. There's hundreds of candy makers from around the world showing their latest creations and tempting you with handfuls of free samples. Some of the candies are deliciously familiar... others not so much.

My favorite candies are those that are just bizarre... either by concept or creation. There's candy made from insects. There's candy made from vegetables. There's candy made from gold (yes, real gold!). There's even candy that's made from Jack Daniels!

The show is so massive that I could spend an entire week blogging about it. Since my attention span is quite short, I'll just show a few highlights instead...

ISM Cologne

It's not just the candy that's sweet at the show... it's the samples. High-end chocolates that would cost you major bank to buy can be sampled free! Even better, they are often served up by total babes. There's not many things better than having beautiful women give you candy all day long. Sadly, there are people who really take advantage of this. The worst are those that bring a roller-suitcase, and grab handful after handful at every booth, stuffing their suitcase to overflowing without ever intending to buy anything.

ISM Cologne

Some of the major manufacturers have large booths that range from extravagant to clever. Fisherman's Friend (the throat lozenge guys) built a ship in the middle of their space that was way cool (they are also handing out colorful bags to everybody, which is really smart... their name is everywhere here now).

ISM Cologne

First you find candy that says "hello" to you, then you turn a corner and see candy giving you the finger.

ISM Cologne

Chocolate is, of course, everywhere. One booth hired a guy to carve statues out of chocolate. Another booth built a chocolate waterfall. One booth even has a chocolate volcano. Except there's a guy out front telling everybody "no pictures! no pictures!" To which I can only say WTF? I mean, why are you here if you aren't wanting people to get excited about your company? I took a picture anyway because I thought this was pretty stupid but, since they don't seem to want the publicity, I deleted it once I got back to my hotel.

ISM Cologne

Candy for Bad Monkey! Banana candy isn't seen much in the USA, but it seems to be popping up everywhere else. I found some chocolate-covered banana marshmallows that were tasty (even if they do look like little turds).

ISM Cologne

Some candy is just strange. I saw some "Russian Roulette" candy which featured a box filled with a bunch of delicious flavors... and one "bad" flavor. Since the candies aren't marked, you are literally playing Russian Roulette with the candy "bullets"... trying to avoid the piece that tastes like crap. And of course there was ass candy. You can't have a candy show without ass-pops.

ISM Cologne

Familiar faces show up from time to time... Hello Kitty is everywhere. Other characters are not so familiar (and kind of odd)... like Trolli's "Glotzer" gummy eye-ball guy (who I think is pretty nifty).

ISM Cologne

I thought this company had the right attitude. And cool packaging with their little "Munchy" guys.

ISM Cologne

Haribo had a kind of fashion show going on, where mannequins were dressed up in costumes made from their packaging. It's hard to see in this photo, but those are gold Gummi-Worm packages, and she has the candy worms in her hair. Awesome! I was rather shocked when Sexual Harassment Panda showed up... only to learn that it wasn't Sexual Harassment Panda after all... these guys are mascots for Panda licorice, which is a candy company in Finland.

ISM Cologne

EXTERMINATE! EX-TER-MIN-ATE! Apparently the Daleks have their own candy. I'm afraid to eat it though, because it could be just another plan to conquer the universe. And speaking of universal domination, the Haribo kid kind of looks like me. But he hangs out with a friendly giant golden bear instead of a bad-ass Bad Monkey, so I think Lil' Dave could take him in a fight.

And now, if you'll excuse me, some of the Belgian booths are cooking up fresh waffles(!) for sampling, and I mean to get me some. Then it's off to Scotland, because I loves me the Walker's Shortbread.

I sure hope I don't end up with a stomach ache tonight...

Categories: Food 2007, Travel 2007Click To It: Permalink


  1. Mia says:

    I am so jealous. I’ve always wanted to go to Germany, and now, with the ass pop’s…I’ve gotta go.

  2. Laurence says:

    Welcome in Europe !!!

    You know now what I mean when I said that I have got a sweet tooth !!! 😀

  3. Harold says:

    I gained 5 lbs just reading your Blog this morning…thanks alot! The candy show sounds like a very cool place to be.

  4. Eve says:

    Ooh, Dalek candy!!!!! That’s so cool. I find it amusing that you ended up in the middle of all that candy. You are just begging for a stomach ache.

  5. ms. sizzle says:

    sounds like a slice of heaven to me. what do the eyeball candies taste like?

  6. adena says:


    A CANDY convention??

    3000 miles away??

    Life is so unfair.

  7. jenny says:

    OMG – it’s like I died and went to heaven! But where are the Peeps? Please tell me there are some Peeps there! It looks so fun!

  8. Kevin says:

    Okay, you win. I concede.

  9. Kevin says:

    (add this to other comment)

    But at least I can go to mine whenever I want. Bwahahahahahahahahahahaha! Ha.

  10. sandra says:

    Are there Tim Tams? I want Tim Tams…

  11. claire says:

    Dalek candy, eh? My bro gave me a Dalek figure for my bday last year and it looks rather ominous on my shelf. Too bad K-9 isn’t more popular.

    As for (most of) the rest, Yum! Walker’s shortbread rocks. Enjoy the nibbly treats!

  12. Mooselet says:

    You bastard. To be there with all that chocolate and I’m thousands of miles away… life is so unfair. I bet you don’t even gain a pound from all the sampling, whereas I’ve gained 3 pounds just looking at the photos.

  13. diane says:

    All I can think of is that episode of the Simpsons when Homer steals the gummy Venus DeMilo. Hee hee hee.
    Sounds like heaven to me–the stomach ache would be totally worth it!!

  14. james says:

    so did you buy the chocolate banana’s? I’m sure it’s not the first time Bad Monkey’s eaten turd-related objects!

  15. Avitable says:

    Dalek candy, eh? Very cool.

  16. Bre says:

    My word! Jack Daniels candy?! There is really just so much to comment on, but it all boils down to the fact that I’m intensely jealous!

  17. Diana says:

    I love Tim Tams too! I even blogged about ’em. The box for Tim Tam Balls says, “Kiss them, crunch them, seduce them, roll them down the aisle, nibble them, juggle them, suck them, melt them in your mouth, chomp them, devour them, spin them, love them”

  18. yellojkt says:

    There are some weird sweets. The Dalek candy is even geekier than Hello Kitty Pocky.

  19. Dave2 says:

    Mia… I forget what country the ass-pops were from. I don’t think they were German?

    Laurence… A sweet tooth? Then this is the show for you! 🙂

    Harold… Sorry about that. You could always go on the supermodel diet of Vodka and Vicodin for a few weeks to loose those extra pounds!

    Eve… Fortunately, I’ve been able to control myself, and haven’t been eating too much of it. Except those waffles and Walker’s shortbread! Can’t get enough waffles and shortbread. 😛

    Ms. Sizzle… I didn’t try the eyeballs, but I am guessing that they taste like all the other gummi candies? There looks like there is goo in the middle of the eyeball though.

    Adena… If you were to visit Germany, believe me that the candy show would be the last thing on your list to see! There are many, many wonderful things here that are better than even candy.

    Jenny… Oh yes. The Just Born crew is here, and they’ve got mountains of Peeps! No Chocolate Peeps like I found in Chicago though. 🙁


    Sandra… I didn’t see any TimTams when I was in Australia. I will have to look next time, because TimTams totally rule!

    Claire… I find K-9 to be more scary than actual real-live dogs! He’s the type of robot that looks as though he kills people in their sleep or something. Maybe I’ll change my mind when I see his own television show (which debuts in 2008). 🙂

    Mooselet… I don’t eat as much of it as you think. It may come in all different shapes, sizes, and quality… but much of it is just the same stuff over and over again.

    Diane… Mmmmm…. gummy Venus DeMilo…

    James… This is a show for wholesale purchases, so I was unable to buy the bananas in quantities less than 100,000 units. I liked them, but not that much!

    Avitable… The containers were shaped like Daleks, I don’t know about the candy inside. 🙁

    Bre… I didn’t get to taste the Jack Daniels candy, but did try the Bailey’s Irish Creme candy (and it was delicious!).

    Diana… Awwww… now I want TimTams too! 🙂

    Yellojkt… I’m surprised that so many people even know who Daleks are!

  20. Kapha says:

    Wow – amazing looking post – am going to savor it tomorrow (just put in a 16-hour day at the computer…)

    We too have been looking for TimTams after watching how to dunk them in tea properly long ago…

  21. margalit says:

    Whimper. Sob. Whimper….

    You remember that anysoldier thing from last week? How about

    Because I know someone who desperately needs a care package right now from the candy show. Whimper.

    Man, your life is so much more exciting than mine. I’m still trying to recover from the candy store at the airport in Amsterdam. I dream about that place and the huge gigantic candy bars. Sigh.

    Have fun, but stop teasing us!

  22. serap says:

    Chocolate fingers are the best! They’re very popular in the UK, and my favourite kind are the white chocolate ones… I never thought of it in a rude sense until now! Sounds like you’re having a great time.

  23. I owned my own candy store for 3 years and I used to love ordering off the wall candy. This post brings back so many memories. I totally would have bought the eye candy, simply because it looks like a member of The Residents.

  24. that banana candy looks HYSTERICAL!

  25. claire says:

    Aw, K-9’s a sweetheart…as long as he’s your dog. 😉

  26. nancycle says:

    This might be my favourite post of the year.

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