Sweet Saba Candies Are (Almost) Too Pretty to Eat

Sweet Saba candies laid out like butterflies in a museum. Photo by Larissa Zimberoff.

Sweet Saba candies laid out like butterflies in a museum. Photo by Larissa Zimberoff.

With long, bright red nails and outfits that evoke Bettie Page, 36-year-old Maayan Zilberman doesn’t look like someone who spends hours hunched over a stove. But she does. Before settling on her current role as candymaker, Zilberman was a sculptor, lingerie designer and brand consultant. Her candy line, Sweet Saba, is sold through a roving pop-up—currently in The Standard Hotel and previously in the pop-up Fort Gansevoort. The candies themselves, nestled in felt-lined jewelry boxes, are like precious objects from the future.

Her edible creations—cassette tapes with titles like “Old School,” brightly hued lipsticks, wristwatches, sunglasses and faceted gem-like baubles—would be equally at home in your mouth or on your desk, where a salted watermelon crystal might await your decision: to eat or not to eat. But rest assured, Zilberman expects you to taste her candy.

Last year, while learning the tricks of the trade on YouTube and pondering what to make, Zilberman recalled a dream that she had when she was 12. “I had all of these mixtapes and I dreamt that I buried them in the backyard and they turned into candy. I decided to make things that are ethereal and will go away. They dissolve, literally, into syrup. I like the poetry of it. It starts with something magical and then turns into something more streamlined.”

So the artist posted playful photos on Instagram and started accepting small requests from people who found her. Then the jobs started rolling in. She made sunglasses and lipsticks for W Magazine’s Golden Globes after-party and lined up several commissions for New York Fashion Week. For designers Alice & Olivia, Zilberman made “Crazy Kindness Pills” and for Adam Selman, whose show was influenced by pulp films from the ’70s, she made evidence bags filled with blood-spattered champagne- and rose-flavored candy. Not limited to fashion objects, the artist recently created to-scale railroad spikes for the High Line’s annual gala.


Check out a video of Maayan applying some shine to her candies.

Read the rest of the story, originally published for Edible Manhattan.