Kelly Sinoski (Patrick Davies, 100 Mile Free Press photo)

Almond Roca has its own fan base

Got a favourite Christmas recipe or story to share?

I may be nuts to wade into this topic but let’s talk Almond Roca.

The other day I was selling honey at the 108 outdoor market and decided to add some Almond Roca to my wares. It was my first time making it. I think it turned out OK. I can vouch for it – I did eat a couple of bags myself.

Turns out, when it comes to Almond Roca, people have strong opinions. I sold some bags but a few people stepped cautiously away, claiming they couldn’t stop at one bite. I couldn’t argue with that.

Almond Roca, also known as Almond Bark, is usually sold as a hard, log-shaped confectionary and is a popular holiday treat. But it can come in many forms. Chewy or crunchy? There are a lot of ideas on what’s best.

Little did I know when I went out Saturday morning that I would face some of the reigning champions of the Almond Roca world.

One fellow – who certainly knows his stuff when it comes to the popular candy – was excited to see my basket of homemade bark. “I want to compare recipes,” he said. He rushed away, returning minutes later with his own version of Almond Roca.

It was nicely packaged and looked hard and crunchy with a caramel sheen and smooth chocolate. It was picture perfect, which I attributed to the corn syrup – the main difference in our two recipes – and his experience as a candyman. My version was soft with chunky chocolate pieces, sticky toffee and haphazard nuts, and my own personal preference – salted almonds.

It came down to a taste test. His was definitely crunchier and stickier. Mine was saltier and more buttery. “Too salty,” according to another seasoned seller of the popular bark (my mother).

The fellow offered me his bag of perfect candy. I declined. I was already three-quarters of the way to a sugar high. Plus I felt a weird allegiance to my first-ever Almond Roca. It may not have been the sweetest or the prettiest but it’s definitely the one I choose.

Got a favourite Christmas recipe or story to share? The Free Press is accepting submissions of Christmas recipes, tales, poems and memories for our annual Christmas edition. Email me: kelly.sinoski@100milefreepress.net



kelly.sinoski@100milefreepress.net

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