As we go into the holiday season, we may go a little heavy on reviewing sweet treats. Finding stocking stuffers and thoughtful gifts for neighbors, teachers, friends and co-workers can be a real challenge if you want something a little different. Our challenge is to provide you with some new options, from truly artisan, handmade treats to more traditionally manufactured goodies produced by family businesses. One such family business is Sconza, a candy company established in 1939 in the San Francisco Bay area by Italian immigrants, Vincenzo and Maria Sconza. The couple made and sold peanut brittle from their kitchen, and today a third generation of Sconzas is keeping the family promise to craft only the highest quality candies. The Sconzas sell candy under their own label, but also contract with other companies, so we may have already eaten Sconza candies without being aware of it. The company’s website features several videos about the candy-making process that are very interesting. Watch them with your children! It was also impressive to see the hands-on participation of Sconza family members in the day-to-day business. Vincenzo and Maria Sconza would no doubt be proud of the way their tradition of quality has been upheld through the years.
We chose Sconza Chocolate Caramelized Cashews to try for two reasons. First, Allen and I both really love cashews. Second, I didn’t realize Sconza also offered Lemoncello Almonds: roasted almonds covered in white chocolate and lemon cream! I’ll be trying those soon..very soon. The chocolate caramelized cashews were terrific, though. The nuts are perfectly roasted and crisp. They have a crunchy caramel coating, which seems similar a thin toffee shell. The cashews are finished with a generous drenching in smooth milk chocolate. Somewhere in the process, they receive a sprinkle of sea salt. I don’t see how it could be possible to just eat one!
Sconza has a fantastic assortment of candies. From premium chocolate covered fruits and nuts to their trademarked “Jordanettes” (Jordan almonds), there is something to appeal to every sweet tooth. Their holiday candies include eggnog almonds, candy cane almonds, and spiced chocolate cranberries. Yum! The 5-ounce bags they offer are the perfect size for stocking stuffers.