The idea behind New York City-based artist and designer Maayan Zilberman’s newest venture, Sweet Saba, is to create “an experience that is edible.”
The imaginative candy line allows her to create sweet treats in all different shapes and forms — from champagne-flavored Rolex watches, to colourful fruity sunglasses, to “party crystals,” and even tiny mixtapes.
In just the past couple of months, Zilberman has been busy filling orders for high-profile clients (whose identities she can’t reveal until they begin Instagramming her products), providing sweet treats at W’s Golden Globes party, and keeping her pop-up shop at Fort Gansevoort in Manhattan running smoothly.
We got to talk to Zilberman about Sweet Saba’s many different flavours, as well as the process behind her beautiful confections.
The idea behind the Sweet Saba pop-up shop at Fort Gansevoort was to create a line of candy that looked like crystals. 'What's special about crystals and rocks is that they are each unique -- and I wanted each of these candies to be one of a kind,' Zilberman told Business Insider.
'I like to think of Sweet Saba as a candy company for adults,' Zilberman said. The candies are nostalgic in both the objects they imitate and in their fun flavours.
Flavours she has created with the help of a food technologist include turmeric, charred mint, olive oil, and bacon.
Her mixtapes have been a massive hit. Certain celebrity rappers -- whom she cannot name -- have special-ordered tapes to send to colleagues and loved ones. 'They're kind of like love letters,' Zilberman said. 'Sending a cassette tape is really private.'
In January, Zilberman provided lipstick-shaped candies to W's Golden Globes party. 'It's been really cool making them directly for the people I've idolized over the years,' she said.
The Rolex watches are also a favourite. Made with 24-karat edible gold glitter, their flavours have shifted through the holidays: whiskey for Christmas, champagne for New Year's, and cinnamon for this upcoming Valentine's Day.
Zilberman learned her candy-making technique via YouTube how-to's. For her, YouTube has been a 'godsend.' A designer first and foremost, she was never interested in attending culinary school.
Her studio in Brooklyn includes a kitchen where all of the candies are made. She uses silicone molds to create shapes, boils the sugars down, adds any special flavoring -- like Hawaiian salts she picked up on a recent trip to the islands -- and hand-paints each of them.
For Valentine's Day she's working double-time -- taking special orders for mixtapes, keys, and other designs.
'Because the candies are more on the avant-garde, it appeals to the creative community,' she said. 'A lot of artists are coming in who are curious about my process and how I'm making things.'
Some of her larger statement pieces include what she calls 'party crystals.' These can be used as a centrepiece that guests can chip at with utensils and share.
To colour these larger pieces, dye is added directly to the melted sugars, rather than hand-painted.
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