If there’s anyone out there who likes homemade candy more than I do, I would like to meet that person. I used to have a dream about opening a shop that sold nothing but confections made by my own two hands: chocolate-covered marshmallows, twisty peppermint sticks, naturally-flavored lollypops, sugary orange slices (god, I love those…), and chewy red licorice whips.
I even went so far as to go to take courses in candymaking, which was a lot of fun. But ultimately I decided that candy was too finicky, and that not only would few people buy it, but with my luck, I’d probably get picketed by the local dentists for making all that chewy stuff.
Plus scrubbing off all that hard caramel stuck on to pots and pans would drive me more than a little crazy.
So I was interested in visiting Papabubble, in New York City. According to culiblog, the concept was started in hip Barcelona and became a cult favorite, then expanding to Tokyo, the Netherlands, and now New York City.
It’s impossible to be unhappy around candy, especially homemade candy in a rainbow of swirling colors, and peeking into all the jars of colorful confections brought a big smile to my face. The intricate designs are whimsical and fun, but show a real talent, and the sour hard candies were puckery-tart—and delicious.
The candy is made throughout the day right in the store, and you can watch the candy makers pulling, twisting, turning, and tugging the warm sugar strains into hard candies and lollypops. It all made me a bit wistful that I’ve never fulfilled my dream (or my mother’s—to become her son, the dentist) but was happy to have tasted some of the wonderful candies, and know that someone is fulfilling my dream for me.
And I don’t have to clean up after it!
380 Broome Street
New York City
Papabubble Video (Serious Eats)
Cult Candy Shop Introduces Itself to Little Italy (Grub Street)