There's nothing quite like walking into a candy shop where they make their own sweets — I can't help but think about Gene Wilder's Willy Wonka
singing about a world of pure imagination
. Stepping into the new Kilwins
candy and ice cream location in the River Market was just such an experience, with the rich, heavenly smell of chocolate and caramel filling the air while a group of enthusiastic employees called out greetings and began offering us samples of fudge. Let me tell you, there aren't many better ways to welcome a fat food writer into your place of business than to shove a wad of chocolate and peanut butter deliciousness his way, only to then offer samples of ice cream.
The store is full of all sorts of treats, most of them having something to do with chocolate: chocolate fudge, chocolate covered Rice Krispie treats, and an assortment of "tuttles," which I guess is their way of spelling "turtles" but really just makes anyone ordering them sound like they have a speech impediment. After eating a couple, I got over having to say "tuttle" and just went with it. The wife ordered a caramel apple and the result was a massive concoction of crisp, ripe apple, luscious caramel, nuts, and a chocolate swirl. Best part about the apple? They give you the choice of eating it county fair-style off the stick or slicing it into quarters, which makes the sticky delight a little easier to handle — because these apples are BIG.
We took a couple of samples of ice cream, but didn't eat much of it — it's tasty, and the house-made waffle cones are huge (and, like everything else, can be fudge-dipped) — but at that point we were passing our limit of sugar consumption. I predict heavy traffic to the sweets shop, though, since it sits on some pretty pedestrian-heavy real estate and has the dinner-and-a-show aspect of seeing the candy made right on the spot. Kilwins has been around for decades, but this is the first time I've ever been to one, although it certainly won't be the last — those "tuttles" are quite addictive, and the staff was so friendly that it was a pleasure just bantering with them.