Monday, December 31, 2007
I had similar expectations for the mints, and they were fine, but really, they weren't that much different than a plain old normal Junior Mint.
Thursday, December 27, 2007
Once upon a time I had to edit an article about dairy. You know, cheese, milk, yogurt, kefir, all that kind of stuff. That week I must've consumed a cow's worth of dairy products. I find that whenever I'm working on an article, I start to crave whatever it is I'm working on. So when I was doing the recent organic chocolates article, I did some serious, ahem, "research."
In figure 1, we have an assortment of Newman's Own Organics cups. They come in: caramel with milk chocolate, caramel with dark chocolate, peanut butter with milk chocolate, peanut butter with dark chocolate and peppermint with dark. I fully expected that the peppermint would be my favorite, but I was shocked to find that I quickly fell in love with the dark peanut butter! I've said before that dark chocolate just doesn't go with peanut butter, but for some reason, this was a great match. Mmmm, mmmm! The fun thing about Newman's Own cups is that there are THREE in a package! You totally expect there's going to be two, like a Reese's, but then voila! Three! Two for now, one for later.
In figure 2, we have an assortment of bars: Milk Chocolate, Sweet Dark, Crispy Rice, Sweet Dark Orange and Sweet Dark Espresso. I totally dig anything with chocolate and orange, so I'd say that was my favorite. The only one I had qualms about was the Crispy Rice. On the label it says, "Now with crispier rice!" which is a little frightening, because this rice seemed more stale than crispy. That made me sad, because I love crispy rice.
My goal for 2008 is to be more "green," so I'll be focusing more on organic confections. That's easy to do, now, because there's so much variety out there.
(Editor's note: after reading some previous posts, I realized that I guess I DO like peanut butter and dark chocolate, as evidenced here. Go figure.)
Tuesday, December 25, 2007
Monday, December 24, 2007
Sunday, December 23, 2007
1) Juno buys a giant rope of red licorice, which, in a fit of sarcastic desperation tries to hang herself with, only to chew through it.
2) The boy has only one vice: Orange tic tacs.
They're a special breed, indeed, those orange tic tacs. Remember back in the '70s when they used to come with two flavors in a pack with a divider down the middle?! It was the orange and grape that were teamed up together. That's not really a great combination, as evidenced by the fact that they're no longer around. I don't think orange tic tacs do much to freshen your breath, but they are mighty tasty.
Saturday, December 22, 2007
Friday, December 21, 2007
Wow. This all seemed so interesting as I was researching it, but now I know I've bored you to tears.
How about this? This is kind of interesting: Nestle skews disproportionately toward blue-collar adults, as in non-high school graduates, those with incomes less than $20,000 and owners/renters of mobile homes.
And this: Young adults (18 to 24) are more likely to select Hershey Cookies 'n Cream, Mars M-Azing, Nestle Goobers and Hershey Sno-Caps, while Baby Boomers pick out Mounds, Hershey Kisses and Pay Days. Lastly, the senior crowd likes Brachs, Werther's Originals and Chunky.
Thursday, December 20, 2007
Monday, December 17, 2007
Sunday, December 16, 2007
Then the whole time you're chewing your mind is going wild, thinking of pig snouts and monkey brains.
This weekend my friend P.L. came over toting a big bucket of homemade goodies. There was a chocolate fruit and nut bark, a white chocolate praline confection, some toffee and, at the bottom, a whole bunch of fudge made with a mystery ingredient.
"It's a Paula Deen recipe," she said, so immediately I knew that there was at least four sticks of butter, a cup of lard and three pounds of sugar in it.
I tried it. The texture was very nice, very smooth. The taste was very sweet (like almost all fudge) and it reminded me of penuche. I liked it. Until she told me the "secret": Velveeta.
Now, on the scale of gross things to eat, Velveeta hardly ranks up there with say, a scorpion (which I've eaten) or foie gras (which, as a food writer I should love but just find repulsive), but still ... there's just something about cheese "product" in candy that stimulates my gag reflex. Here's the link to the recipe if you're feeling brave.
Friday, December 14, 2007
I'm in love with the sour balls and the rock candy.
Thursday, December 13, 2007
Here we have evidence of the Baron's unusual candy find: Butter Toffee Popcorn Candy Corn. Personally, I just don't get the whole popcorn-flavored candy trend. I know that there's a secret society of people who go nuts over Buttered Popcorn Jelly Bellies, and I just don't get it. But then again, I'm not much of a popcorn lover. Kudos to the Baron for finding these, though, even if he ended up spilling them all in the car.
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
First off, Mr. Goodbar is addicted to the Sweetriot Cacao Nibs. "These are so good, I want to just dump the whole package in my mouth," he said. These must definitely be a "male" candy, because Brian at Candy Addict also loves them.
The Baronness just called to say she tried the Reese's Whipp. I haven't tried one yet because they've gotten such mediocre reviews from other candy lovers, but she said it was pretty good. She likened the texture to a Milky Way.
And finally, the Baron found buttered popcorn-flavored candy corn, which I was mightily impressed by. I haven't seen these. Apparently he was enjoying them in the car when the Baronness took a sharp turn and ended up dumping the candy all over the car. He was not happy.
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
I wanted to let you know that Candymaker Mars, Inc—creator of M&M’s, Snickers, Twix, Dove, Three Musketeers, Starburst and other candies—funds deadly animal tests, even though there are more reliable human studies and not one of these tests is required by law.
You can learn about the current deadly experiment that Mars is funding to determine the effects of chocolate ingredients of the blood vessels of rats on the website http://www.marscandykills.com/index.asp?c=mkccdyptc, where experimenters force-feed the rats by shoving plastic tubes down their throats and then cut open the rats' legs to expose an artery, which is clamped shut to block blood flow. After the experiment, the animals are killed.
There are so many alternative candies that are delicious and not sold with blood. Please help us spread the word so that we can get Mars, Inc to stop unnecessary animal testing.
As you might imagine, this was sent by someone at PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals). When I worked at the newspaper, we'd often get letters from them, and they'd get filed in the "whack-job" pile, although we sometimes used them to spice things up a bit.
So what do I think of the above information? As an omnivore, I can't really say much. Do I like the idea of animal testing? No, of course not. Would I prefer to eat all-natural, not-animal-tested food? Yes. Do I? No. So I can't really comment one way or the other. But I thought I'd put it out there for you to make your own decision.
In the meantime, if Mars would like to respond, I'd be happy to accomodate them. Even better if they send along the info with some M&Ms and Twix. (Oh come on, it's a joke!)
Monday, December 10, 2007
Top Row, L to R: McVittie's Christmas Irish Cream Bars ("Delicious Cakes with Irish Cream Liqueur, smothered in Milk Chocolate"), Tunnock's Milk Chocolate Tea Cakes ("A delicious biscuit base topped with marshmallow and covered with real milk chocolate.")
Second Row, L to R: Mars Delight ("Surprisingly crispy, deliciously smooth; crispy rippled wafer surrounded by caramel cream ad chocolate cream, covered in milk chocolate"), Walnut Whip Vanilla ("Milk Chocolate whirl with a vanilla flavour fondant cream centre") (I particularly love that the nutritional facts are "per whip"), Revels ("Orange? Coffee? Maltesers? Raisin? Caramel? Chocolate?"), Chewits Blackcurrant ("Flavoured Chewy Sweets")Tregroes Chocolate Waffles ("Toffee Waffle covered with Chocolate") (Damn! I grabbed the milk instead of dark!)
Bottom Row, L to R: Milky Way (because I've never had a British one before), the Granddaddy of all candy bars, the Kit Kat Fine Dark (52% Cocoa Solids; package says, "Have you tried the dunk?" and shows someone dipping a Kit Kat finger into a cup of Nescafe), Jacob's Digestive Creams ("Traditional Sweetmeal Biscuits with a butterscotch flavour cream filling") (Note to all moms: digestive biscuits are great for the little ones because the crumb is very loose, making them easy to chew); Cadbury Dairy Milk Mint Crisp (I actually ate this one and it was very odd. The mint consisted of tiny pieces of very green crunchy stuff, almost like a mint toffee. This wasn't my favorite, but it was okay.)
Missing from photo: Smarties (the British version of M&Ms, but without crappy artificial colors)
So, I bought all this stuff thinking it would make cool gifts for some of my candy-loving friends and family, but I realize now that there's no way this stuff is going to last untouched until Christmas. I mean, I'll try, but seriously, consider this candy gone!
Friday, December 07, 2007
This is the type of store I have total ADD in. It's small, but there's so much on the shelves and it's all stuff I've never seen before, so it's just plain exciting! While I was hyperventilating over British chocolate ornaments, Sue MKAFFGGF managed to sniff out the store's last three dark chocolate Kit Kats.
I just need to say, these really, truly are the ultimate candy for me. This is my desert island candy bar. The chocolate is thick, but not too sweet and of course the layers are all crunchy yummy. Usually when I eat a regular Kit Kat, I dissect the poor thing, eating the chocolate off the sides, then eating each layer one at a time. But with these, forget it. That takes too much time. I Heart Dark Kit Kats. I'll be posting a photo soon of my glorious bounty. (Here's an official warning: if you're a friend, you might not want to look, because chances are pretty good your Christmas present is there.)
And in other news, I implore you all to visit this blog: http://www.nates-wife.blogspot.com/. (UNLESS YOU'RE BETSY-- don't go there! Again, the Christmas deal.) It has nothing to do with candy, but in my personal challenge to buy hand-crafted, non-Made-in-China things for Christmas, I stumbled upon this very cool site.
Thursday, December 06, 2007
In other news, I've been getting some responses to my call for organic chocolatiers. Thanks everyone! I'll get in touch with you soon. One guy told me I was "cheeky" for trolling for sources here. Hey, what can I say? I've been in the writing business a long time. I've earned my cheekiness!
Wednesday, December 05, 2007
Here's a cutiepie gift that would be great for your babysitter, mailman, hair dresser or BFF, or just a really cute stocking stuffer: it's three tins of Sweetriot Cacao Nibs in a little Santa bag. Cacao nibs are, of course, all the rage. I'd say they're similar to espresso beans, but not as crunchy or dry. In any case, these are YUM! But what I like best is that, because they come in tins, you can carry chocolate with you at all times-- a very important thing!
Monday, December 03, 2007
Saturday, December 01, 2007
We set up our laptops at Starbucks and worked like dogs trying to get down our last 2000 words. There was a gaggle of middle schoolers sitting next to us, so I had one of them take a picture of us at the final word count so we'll have evidence. (Thanks to all those kids who helped us celebrate!)
Woohoo! I can get my life back now! Actually, it was great fun and I'll miss it (sort of). One of my secrets to success was only allowing myself a daily chocolate treat AFTER I had written my 1667 words for the day. Those Emily's Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies came in real handy for the last week.