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America's Best

October 25, 1990|KATHIE JENKINS

Sweet on Milk Chocolate?

Canelake's Candy

414 Chestnut St.

Virginia, Minn. 55792

(218) 741-1557

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Anybody who lives on Minnesota's Iron Range will tell you that the best candies come from Canelake's. Gust Canelake began selling candy in 1905, and current owner Jim Cina hasn't changed a thing. He still makes his candy in small batches, using double AA butter and real whipping cream. Canelake's even roasts their nuts right in the kitchen.

This is such a small business that if Jim doesn't make candy, nobody does. The last time I stopped in, the store was almost out of stock; a bad cold had kept Jim out for a few days. But he said he was better, and that if I wanted to wait, he was just cooking up a fresh batch of my favorite kind.

It's called "Hot Air," and it's Canelake's bestseller: a crisp but airy honeycomb surrounded by milk chocolate. At $5.50 a pound it's a bargain. But Cina also makes wonderful hand-dipped creams, Swiss mints, chocolate almonds, Brazils, cashews, peanuts, toffee, caramels and honeycomb molasses. He also makes soft centers--each fluffy center stamped with an initial so you'll know what flavor is inside without poking little holes in the bottom. First-time buyers may want to try the taster box, which comes in one-, two-, three- and five-pound boxes. A one-pound box is $6.20; the five-pound box is $30.75. There is a $1.50 handling charge on each order per address plus UPS charge, which runs $2.62 on a one-pound box and $3.77 on a five-pound box.

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