Candy corn having its moment While my esteemed colleague, Mr. Tidbit, has kept you informed of developments in candy corn flavor in Oreo fillings, the flavor is popping up in other foods this Halloween season. Time magazine says to look for candy corn M&Ms, which are larger-than-normal M's with a white chocolate filling, sold exclusively at Wal-Mart. JarBee Coffee in Illinois is selling "Witches Brew," a candy corn-flavored bag of beans. A half-pound bag is $6.95, already reduced from $8.95. Hmmm. Visit www.jarbeecoffee. and search for "candy corn." Act II is offering mini-bags of its microwave popcorn in candy corn flavor, calling it "sweet and salty." The Internet has all sorts of recipes for infusing vodka with candy corn for Halloween martinis. But the worst offender has to be a New York bagel store selling a candy corn bagel with a schmear of marshmallow chocolate chip spread. Scary, indeed.

Watkins brings more flavor More on the flavor front: Minnesota-based J.R. Watkins Naturals is expanding its line of herbs and spices. New seasonings this fall include saffron, garam masala and Chinese five-spice blend. The herbs and spices no longer are packaged in aluminum tins, but now are in bottles of recycled glass with a shaker top, with labels that correspond to the color of the spice, seen as a time-saver. They're sold at and various retail outlets. Watkins also is partnering again with Kemps for limited-edition "Holiday Vanilla" ice creams in two new eggnog flavors: Old Fashioned Vanilla and Pumpkin Spice. They're available in select supermarkets in Minnesota and Wisconsin through the holidays.

Big week for bulk foodsYes, we are more than halfway through National Bulk Foods Week, but couldn't let it pass without a mention. The week is to raise awareness of "the economical and environmental benefits of buying natural and organic foods in bulk" according to the nonprofit Bulk Is Green Council, which says that organic bulk foods on average are 89 percent less expensive than their organic packaged counterpart. For a full list of participating grocery stores in Minnesota, visit

Charlie awards Tickets are on sale and voting is open for the second annual Charlie awards that honor contributions of the Twin Cities metro area restaurant, food and drink industry. Voting is for "Outstanding Food Item," and is open through Oct. 28 at The event begins at 2 p.m. Nov. 11 at the Pantages Theatre, 710 Hennepin Av. S., Mpls., preceded by an 11:30 a.m. brunch and followed by an after-party from 3:30-5 p.m. Tickets for all the events are online at, and at the box offices of the State, Orpheum and Pantages theaters; or at any Ticketmaster outlet. See the website for more details. KIM ODE