Ohio’s Own: Giannios Candy Co.
Eventually, there’s going to be a point in this discussion where Giannios Candy Company gets accolades and raves. But at first blush, it’s excellence feels like a cruel reminder of all that is wrong in the mass-market chocolate candy world.
If you’ve been around here very long, you know that things don’t have to be fancy to be appreciated. There’s room for Doritos on this plate.
You also know that fake chocolate is a huge source of irritation. For a long time, the FDA had a grip on that scene. Manufacturers couldn’t call a product “chocolate” if it didn’t have cocoa butter in its ingredients. They could call it “chocolatey” or “fudgey,” but not “chocolate.” Somehow, in 2018, the fake stuff took over the scene. Mockalate (or Chalk-olate) is everywhere, and it’s labeled as “chocolate.” You have to get out the reading glasses and squint at the teeny tiny print to find out that a candy manufacturer mixed cocoa with canola and decided that was good enough for America’s clean-plate community. It’s vile.
Giannios makes chocolates in little plastic wrappers. You buy them by the pound. Among those chocolates is something called a White Chocolate Pretzel Cloud. White chocolate, especially, is almost always fake. Just for giggles, take a look at the ingredient label . . .
Holy moly. Cocoa butter. And not just in the pretzel clouds, it’s in the the milk chocolate cashew clusters, in the raisin clusters, and the chocolate covered grahams. It’s everywhere.
So, heck yeah, it’s good. It melts in the mouth with a smooth chocolatey abyss; that’s what cocoa butter does. It adds depth and heft. The cashew clusters are dense with cashews. The raisin clusters are probably an acquired taste, but if you liked Chunky bars in their heyday, this one’s for you.
Giannios is based in Struthers, Ohio. You can buy its wares online at for around $15 per pound at giannioscandy.com. Alternately, for bargain shoppers who crave instant gratification, Marc’s is there for you as a nearby outlet with discounted price.