Tuesday, July 31, 2007
We were talking about candy and the subject of Charleston Chews came up. "They remind me of being a kid," said Neil. He said he would go to the town pool and work up the courage to buy a frozen Charleston Chew from the hottie teenage girl in the bikini who worked at the snack shack. I can just picture him all moony-eyed with a cracking, pre-pubescent voice saying, "One Charleston Chew, please."
And then, like millions of other teenage boys, he'd take the frozen candy bar and thwack! it on the ground so that it broke up into a million pieces.
Good times. Good times.
This then got me thinking about the gender of candy. There are some candy bars that are just boy-oriented; fewer that are girly. Charleston Chews are definitely a boy candy, as are fireballs, jawbreakers and most other round candies. Twix are definitely boy-oriented, although probably just as many girls like them. 3 Musketeers are boy candy, as are Milky Ways. What do girls get? Stupid candy like Mary Janes, Bit o' Honeys and Necco wafers. I'll have to ponder this some more. What do you think?
Saturday, July 28, 2007
"It was the neighbor of Nestle founder, Henri Nestle, who first combined Nestle Canned Milk with cocoa powder to create the world's first milk chocolate in 1875."
Is that cool or what? Now I'm going to tell everyone that he's named after the founder of Nestles and is heir to the candy fortune.
To celebrate this momentous discovery-- well, all right-- because Nestle is launching a new campaign, I'll be giving out two, yes count 'em, TWO coupons for a free Nestle Crunch Crisp. (See my previous review; I loved this candy bar; thought it tasted like a Bar None.) So let's have a little fun with this, shall we? Let's pretend that Henri was going to have a sibling (which he totally is not, so don't even get any ideas) and I want another candy-inspired name. What would it be? The two I like best will get a shiny, gleaming coupon good for One (1) Free Nestle Crunch Crisp Single Bar.
I was talking to my friend June yesterday and, as is the norm with me, our conversation turned to candy and nostalgia, but I was completely unprepared for her tale of woe. Here's the beast she unleashed:
She was little, maybe 10 years old, and she got her first "job" to shovel the walk. The house was on a corner, so there was a lot of sidewalk to shovel. When she finally finished, she was given $10.
"I went right to the store and bought $10 worth of candy," she said.
"What kind of candy?" I asked, licking my chops.
"All kinds of candy. Everything. Pixy Stix. Dubble Bubble. Lots of chocolate." She said she was so happy, so excited to have so much candy. And then ... and then ...
Word of her purchase got to her mother. "She made me return all of it," said June. "Not only was I sad that I didn't have any candy, but I was mortified that she made me go back to the store and return it all."
June didn't have the chance to even sneak one Bit o' Honey or caramel bullseye. Clearly the incident has scarred her forever. And who could blame her? I'm devastated and it didn't even happen to me. What a sad day, indeed.
But so I don't completely depress you, here's another tale of snow shoveling and candy. We had had a big storm and my brother and his friends went out, shovels in hand, with the hopes of making a few bucks. He came back a few hours later with a huge box in his hands. "Look what Mrs. Kissel gave me," he said. It was a giant-- I mean GIANT, probably about five pounds--Oh Henry! Oh, how I coveted that candy bar and I couldn't wait until I was old enough to shovel so that I could get one of those babies for myself. Alas, it wasn't to be and I've never seen one of those mega bars ever again.
Friday, July 27, 2007
Thursday, July 26, 2007
Wednesday, July 25, 2007
In other news, I finally got to the Newtown Chocolatier this weekend. I took a photo of my selections, but I can't seem to access it. The store is a cute little jewelbox in a strip mall. The windows are covered with black curtains to protect the chocolate, but frankly, it feels like you're walking into a less-than-reputable house of business. The selection is small-- just one case of chocolates-- but they're all handmade and delicious looking. I got a dark chocolate covered orange peel cluster that was lovely: fresh and fruity; a dark vanilla cream: again, very fresh and a very distinct vanilla taste; an espresso truffle-- strong and dark; a champagne truffle-- yum!; and an almond caramel cluster which was divine. So good in fact, that I'm about to make a Candy Yum Yum! pronouncement:
Monday, July 23, 2007
I was pretty psyched because the box has drawings of the candies labeled with (what I thought were) the flavors: Chablis, Port, Claret, Hock. (Wait ... what the heck is Hock?) I was surprised when we opened the package and there were even more flavors represented: Gin, Rioja, and a few others. But here's the thing: there was an orange gin and a red gin. A purple port and a yellow port. Huh?
I took one of the purple ones with a gin and gave it a chew. Definitely not gin. More like black currant (which I have to say is quickly becoming one of my favorite candy flavors). I've been trying to figure out what to compare them to. Here's Sue's take on the whole thing:
I couldn't help thinking they were like Swedish fish. The flavors were bright and pleasing but the food snob in me wanted them to really be wine flavored or cocktail flavored, or perhaps at least gooseberry, or kiwi. The texture is really the best part. I love chewy candy, even better if they don't stick to your teeth. Also, "Hock" is short for Hocheimer which is a German varietal wine. This makes me think that I would rather be in Germany, on the Rhine at a small restaurant drinking hock and eating schnitzel. MMMMMMMMM....
She's right about the chew. It's unusual. Not too chewy and I think a little stiffer than a Swedish fish. Not as greasy, either. More of a waxy taste. These remind me of some type of gummy candy, but I just can't place it. Kind of a like a gumdrop without the sugar? Hmm. I'll have to ponder this some more. And I have no idea what the whole booze theme is about, since they don't taste anything like wine or spirits and don't list anything remotely close in the ingredients. Any Brits out there care to shed some light on these things?
STOP THE PRESS! It just came to me: Dots! They're the same texture as Dots. Phew. Now I can get on with my day.
Saturday, July 21, 2007
On the other end of the spectrum, no one voted for the lowly Circus Peanut. I feel like I need to give comfort to this misunderstood candy. I thought about writing a poem, but my creativity has been inhibited by too much wine last night and not enough sleep. Since I'm pretty up on my children's literature, though, I've decided to write a story. Envision this as a board book, with bright pictures.
Who Will Share My Circus Peanuts?
Lucky Henri! He has a bag of Circus Peanuts.
Henri is a good boy, so he wants to share his candy with someone.
"Daddy, do you want a Circus Peanut?"
"No way!" says Daddy. "I hate those things!"
"Mommy, do you want a Circus Peanut?"
"No thank you, Henri. I'm busy eating this Goldenberg's Peanut Chew."
"Who will share my Circus Peanuts?"
"Well," thought Henri. "It is shaped like a peanut. Maybe Mr. Elephant would like one."
"Mr. Elephant, would you like a Circus Peanut?"
"Why sure, little Henri, I'll try one. Yuck! These taste like banana. I don't like banana. Why don't you give one to Mr. Monkey."
"Mr. Monkey, would you like a Circus Peanut?"
"I'll try one, Little Henri. Yuck! These are chewy! I don't like chewy!"
"Who will share my Circus Peanuts?" cried Henri. And then he had an idea.
"Grandma, will you share my Circus Peanuts?"
"Of course, Little Henri. They're my favorite!"
And so Grandma and Henri sat on the porch and shared a bag of Circus Peanuts.
Thursday, July 19, 2007
An early writing by Dogen (from like 1100 A.D. or some such time) lists proscriptions for students studying Buddhism. Here they are, with my comments:
Don't read or chant too much. Reading, I don't do too much. Chanting, not a problem.
Don't overwork. Okay, if you insist.
Don't eat onions. Seriously, I eat onions practically every day. But I suppose I could give them up.
Don't eat meat. I do eat meat, but I've been a vegetarian before and could do it again.
Don't drink too much milk. I never drink milk.
Don't drink alcohol. Oh boy. This is dangerous territory. I could probably do it, but it would suck.
Don't eat too many olives. No prob. I hate olives.
Don't eat fungi. Eh, it won't kill me to give up the occasionally stuffed mushroom.
Don't watch dancing women. My eyes! My eyes!
Don't pay attention to matters of fortune and fame. Probably good advice.
Don't be associated with eunuchs or hermaphrodites. As far as I know, I'm not. But really, we shouldn't discriminate.
Don't have too much candy. WHAT???? WHAT???? Sorry dude, I'm out. Buddhism ain't the way for me.
And so, the path has been chosen for me. Call me a heretic, but candy comes first over the seven-fold path.
(Just so you don't think I'm a complete heathen, I am easily able to follow one of the next rules: Don't stare at the ocean, bad pictures, hunchbacks or puppets.)
Wednesday, July 18, 2007
We will pick up some of the licorice over here. It is like Swedish fish. But rather than just being black licorice it is coated in salt. Really like it but only 3 to 5 fish at a time. Too much salt for my gentle New World taste. As for some chocolate, Michelle picked up some Mozart balls in Austria for you. They were amazing!! Melt in your mouth. We bought one for us to try.
Ah, fantastic! I actually had the pleasure of Mozart chocolates when I was in Austria. The maid put one on my pillow every night. What a glorious trip that was ... my first press trip, a two-level room in a five-star hotel, dinner at the Sacher Hotel, a mind-numbing trip to the silver museum, gastrointestinal distress from the coffee .... hmm, maybe it wasn't so fantastic after all. But the chocolate was fabulous. Can't wait to try the Mozarts again! MMMM!
I've been having major chocolate cravings lately, but I've tried to keep in control. I really need to find something that's rich and super-chocolatey that will satisfy my sweet tooth. I'm open to suggestions.
Tuesday, July 17, 2007
Monday, July 16, 2007
The left, middle row, are blueberry. Ah yes, there's blueberry again, insinuating itself into my life. These were actually really tasty, very unusual. The black licorice taste is very subtle. I don't know if I would've guessed these were blueberry; I probably would've said grape. Next to them are the honey licorice. I know this because they're shaped like honey pots and say "Honey" on them. I was expecting them to taste like Luden's cough drops, but whoa, they were really strong. That's a defining characteristic with these European licorices: they're absolutely not for the faint of heart. They're almost savory in their strength. Definitely not as sweet/sugary as American licorice.
Next I tried the top row, the brown coins and the flat black pieces. Yikes. Suffice it to say, my palate wasn't up to the challenge. These were strongstrongstrong! The little discs in the bottom left were equally as potent. The remaining flavors on the list are bay leaf, light salt and ??? (can't read it) sweet. It's hard to tell which is which because they're so overpowering.
I must admit, I don't think I'm ready to be a licorice snob, but I find the variety fascinating. The store looks really cool, the way a candy store SHOULD be! (Click on the Union Jack for English.)
(P.S. Look at those roses I bought for myself. Aren't they just spectacular?! Gotta love Trader Joe's.)
Thursday, July 12, 2007
Thought you might like to know this. In Europe, you can get your daily fruit intake and still have chocolate. We went into Hussels Candy Store in Bonn and had our daily fruit intake. It just happened to be hand-dipped in milk chocolate. We all tried them. Mixed opinions, but let's just say the group agreeded [sic] that chocolate improved the taste.
Apparently they had mango, banana, orange, apricot and melon. Mmmm. Sounds so yummy.
In other candy news, I had the second half of the Kinder Bueno last night that Betsy brought back from Paris. It was all melty because it's a zillion degrees out. So good. So, so good.
Also, a Candy Yum Yum! reader wrote me with this tidbit:
I just saw your brownie post, and thought I would send you along a concept my mother introduced me to. She takes a boxed brownie mix, prepares it, spoons half the batter in the pan, the covers the top in candy, usually quartered out -- 1 quarter with Andes candies, one with chopped up peanut butter cups, one with Skor/Heath bar bits, and the last with chopped up Mounds minis. Or some other assortment of candies. Then you cover everything with the rest of the batter. These are a big hit at work, especially if they think they are just getting a normal brownie.
Whoa! Does that sound yummy or what?! I love the idea of melted Andes in a fudgey brownie. And I love that the candy is hidden-- so fun! Thanks for sharing. Now I'm going to be craving these until I make them!
This morning I was having a wonderful sleep, dreaming about candy bars. I was envisioning people talking about their favorites, from Big Hunks to Chunkies, plain Hershey bars to fancy Swiss chocolate. And that's when I realized: it wasn't a dream. They were really talking about candy! I shook myself awake and listened as the morning hosts talked about yesterday's New York Times article on British candy. They were asking listeners to call in and talk about their favorite candy bars. What did they say? I can't remember. I was still in a fog, but through the magic of the mighty Internet, I can probably go back and listen again.
Wednesday, July 11, 2007
Monday, July 09, 2007
Daddy had me try a candy bar that I really really loved. They were both chocolate so of course I loved them. One was a Reses crispy crunch bar. It tasted like a resse penut butter cup with a great crunch.
1) Nestle Butterfinger Crisp
- 3 out of 3 family members loved it.
- Everyone liked how the wafer softened the hard Butterfinger crunch and taste. We are not much of a Butterfinger enthusiast.
- Almost tasted like a peanut butter wafer candy than a butter finger. Sort of had a Kit Kat crunch.
- If you don't like Butterfingers, this might be the candy for you.
2) Reese's Crispy Crunchy
- 3 out of 4 family members hated it.
- Our chocolate lover would eat it just because.
- The other 3 more sophisticated taste buds determined that this chocolate bar was nothing but a terrible marketing scam. If you advertise it as a "Crispy" and "Crunchy" then the consumer would expect a crunch. Very Very disappointing!! It was like a Peanut Butter cup with a few crushed peanuts on top. Almost spit it out, but I pushed through it.
Well, I must admit, I'm impressed with his research, especially since he doesn't have a particularly discerning palate. He actually made me want to scarf down a Butterfinger Crisp. But then, at the bottom of the e-mail, was this postscript:
PS - Michelle was wondering if we do these family taste tests and can email you the results why would we bring any candy back from Europe??
Well that's a fine how-do-you-do! Why would you bring back candy? Um, how about these reasons to start:
1) I'm your favorite sister-in-law
2) I love chocolate
3) You're going to Germany and Belgium, two of the world's best chocolate countries
4) If you don't bring me back chocolate, I won't join you for Thanksgiving thereby leaving you to fend for yourself while your wife and mother-in-law join forces and cause you to curl in the fetal position and watch endless episodes of Hannah Montana.
But it's your choice, Mark.
Saturday, July 07, 2007
Friday, July 06, 2007
So, last night I was shopping at my neighborhood Walgreens and saw that the new Reese's PB & Banana cup was there. Hmm.... okay, so I picked it up and added it to my purchases (of course, I forgot the things I truly went for but that's another story) Did you know they put Elvis trivia on the wrappers? Hmm! The top of the cup was, for lack of a better word, wet/moist???? Perhaps it melted against something else? Anyway, on with the "dissection"....I cut the cup into pieces.... tried my first bite....it reminded me of a chocolate covered banana with peanut butter. The banana reminded me of an actual slice of really ripe banana. Your brother is right though - Wow! is that sweet. I ate half the cup and then said there's no good way to save a half of PB cup so I ate the rest! I have one more cup to have later tonight. These would be a good addition to ice cream - another way to have a banana split if bananas aren't available! Yum-O!
Thanks Alex! Just this morning I baked a batch of brownies and threw some cut-up Elvis Reese's into the mix. We'll see how they turn out.
Thursday, July 05, 2007
My sister just got back from Paris and Amsterdam with a bagful of goodies for me: a Kinder Bueno, a lollipop with a lovely Cannibis leaf on it and a big bag o' assorted licorice. Unfortunately, I won't be reviewing any of it tonight because I had my teeth cleaned today and they hurt like heck. No cavities, though!
We were driving along the backroads and saw a sign that said "Bacon Farm." Well, naturally I had to stop and see what kind of bacon was for sale. Turns out there wasn't any (although I could've bought a pig if I wanted). What they did have was lots of maple stuff, like syrup, candy and this big wheel of mapley goodness. Usually maple is too sweet for my tastes, but this was really pretty tasty. It was kind of like eating a big cream-filled pancake. So good.
("But wait," I can hear you say. "I thought you had all sorts of candy when you were in Maine. A Whoopie Pie, too?" Oh yes. And you know what else? Carrot cake, fresh bread, some sort of trick muffins that pretend to be chocolate but are really bran, ice cream cake, chips ... need I go on? And I wonder why none of my pants fit.)
Wednesday, July 04, 2007
I went over and said, "Can I pet your dog?" and the couple said yes. Then the guy offered me a Twizzler. "Chocolate Twizzler?" he asked, holding out the bag. "They're new!" I didn't have the heart to tell them they weren't new, and he seemed to really be enjoying them. "They match your shirt," he said. "They're the 'Beyond' part of the store." They seemed like a really cool couple.
We had a lovely conversation and I got to scratch Vern behind his big floppy ears. Then I was off to the hair-pulling task of finding curtains for the livingroom.