Thursday, July 31, 2008

Gummy Smackdown: Sour Patch Xploderz vs. Starburst GummiBursts

In the left corner, Sour Patch Exploderz.

  • They satisfy my need for sour
  • They're not too sweet
  • I like all the flavors
  • The sugar-dusted outside provides a nice texture contrast to the gummy part
  • I hate the typeface they use. Makes me think this is candy made in someone's kitchen with their community-college-attending son doing the logo on his iMac.
In the right corner, Starburst GummiBursts.

  • Well-known brand with professional logo
  • Starbursts have their own unique flavor


  • Texture is like rubber instead of that hard/chewy of traditional Starburst
  • Inside is thick and oozy

While it looked like Starburst may have had the upper hand since they're more mass-market, Sour Patch snuck up from behind and put the smackdown on Starburst. No question here. Sour Patch Xploderz wins hands-down!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Guest Editorial: Liesl von Schokolat Sets the Record Straight on M&M's Premiums

(Editor's note: For the month of August, I'll be bringing you guest reviews from some of my favorite Yumsters. Following is the very chocolate-educated opinion of Liesl von Schokolat.)

The Premium M&M's that were bought by the Baroness and the Candy Queen were indeed overpriced at five dollars a bag but were absolutely delicious. I think I was the only one in the Baron's family that truly enjoyed them. The taste was exactly like a peppermint patty but the texture of the m&m was like that brown molding clay you use and put in the kiln to make statues. I know it sounds gross but it isn't. I really liked the M&M's.

Do you have a candy opinion that you'd like to share? Send it to me at: C'mon, join in the fun!

It's Alive!

Take a look at my chocolate vine! Mr. Goodbar keeps insisting that it's really a weed and not the chocolate vine that was growing at Memaw's house, but I know the truth. Oh yeah, baby, soon enough it'll start sprouting mini chocolate bars and I'm not going to share any with him.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

When Chocolate and Meat Collide

Here's something for Hops & Chops to take a gander at: chocolate-covered bacon, courtesy of Yum Sugar.
What's the deal with chocolate and bacon? I just don't get it. I mean, it has all the components of something incredible: chocolate, fat, salt. But somehow, it just doesn't do it for me. What's next? Chocolate-covered sausages? Steak? Pork rinds? (Hmmm, that may be a keeper, actually.)

Monday, July 28, 2008

M&M's Premiums: Thumbs Down from the Baron

This just in from the Baron:

I don't think anyone in our house liked them. They were not as good as a Peppermint Patty and they were chewy like Skittles. They stayed on the counter for a week and finally I threw them out. Yes I threw away candy. For the price you pay, why not buy Peppermint Patties. Definitely did not get a thumbs up from us.

Holy cow! What's going on up there? Has someone taken the Baron's temperature? Is he all right? They weren't that bad! Certainly not as bad as Rainbow Twizzlers!

The Knight of Roca Thins, Reversed*

Oh crap, I posted this picture upside down. Well, you get the drift. This was part of my recent chocolate re-stocking that I did about a week ago. These are Roca Buttercrunch Thins-- a tray of thin, dark chocolate-covered toffee fingers. When I saw these, I thought, "Oh yum! Gotta get these!" and I was all excited to offer them to No-Nuts. When I held the box out to her, she gave me one of her evil death stares. "Nuts," she said. Oops. I forgot. Seriously, I don't think I could live a complete existence if I couldn't eat nuts. Peanuts, almonds, cashews, pistachios-- things of total beauty and happiness. (Of course, there is that slight problem I have with Brazil nuts-- they make my lips puff up and my throat close, so I've never had Ben & Jerry's Rainforest Crunch, but no biggie... ). So you'll only get my opinion for these bad boys. They taste just like regular ol' Almond Roca, except the dark chocolate adds a nice bitter taste, which is good, because the toffee is really sweet. Almost too sweet. I like the size of the fingers, because they're just enough to satisfy an after-dinner craving.
*If this were a candy tarot card, it would mean you crave sweetness in your life, but you're afraid of happiness

Saturday, July 26, 2008

M&M's Premiums

I have to admit: part of the reason I didn't splurge on the new M&Ms Premiums was that I figured there'd be nothing special about them and I didn't want to shell out $4. But the Baronness saw them at Target and decided we needed to try them. She got the Mint Chocolate ones which, as you can see, have a lovely metallic speckled green shell.
Well, maybe shell is the wrong word, because these are not like your typical M&M. Instead of the signature crunchy outside, these are more of a smooth coating.
Everyone had the same reaction to these: "Tastes like a peppermint patty." Yep, the perfect comparison. They were good-- really good-- but I don't know why they changed the shell. It seems like that's the defining characteristic of an M&M. Would I buy these? Yes, if they were, say, $2.50.

Friday, July 25, 2008

O is for Orange Lollipop; N is for (Candy) Necklace

Two of my most recent candy paintings. What should I do next?

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Listen Up, LifeSavers Product Developers!

No-Nuts and I had a bonding experience last night. One we would've rather not had, but the evil hellishness of it all is over and now we can laugh about it. Or not. We went to the airport last night to pick up the Ice Cube Queen who was flying in for a visit. We left the house at 7 p.m. and made a stop at IKEA where, as we were perusing the Ektorp and Popoli and Hammerschobuntubin furniture, we got a call saying the flight was delayed. Fine. So we drove home, watched an episode of Buffy, and then left the house at 10:30, driving through blinding rain and lightning, arriving at the airport at 11:30 p.m. It was then that we found out that the flight was diverted to Rhode Island and would be arriving ... when?? No one had any idea. We had no choice but to park in the Dunkin' Donuts parking lot and wait out the evening. We passed the first hour by playing 20 questions ("Is it a donut?" No. "Is it a new Southwest Chicken Flatbread?" No. Forget it. Stupid game), and then quickly succumbed to watching the rain pour down in waterfalls on the windshield. No-Nuts drifted off to sleep, and I went into some faraway La-La-Land where, as thoughts swirled around in my head, I had the most ingenious revelation: they should make a roll of all-citrus LifeSavers. Check it out: tangerine, pineapple, Key lime and grapefruit. I would totally dig that. So what do you think, LifeSavers people?
Eventually the plane landed and we got home at 4:30 a.m.-- just long enough to take a cat nap before the Sugar Baby's 6 a.m. internal alarm clock went off. But the evening wasn't a total bust. The Ice Cube Queen had plenty of candy leftover from the flight-- gummy worms, a chocolate alligator and yes, a bag of Circus Peanuts.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Do you like Circus Peanuts?

I've decided that one of my summer projects is to take a census of who in the world actually likes Circus Peanuts. I must admit, they really do fascinate me. I mean, come on, a peanut-shaped candy that tastes like banana-flavored insulation. Yum! Here's my list so far:
1) My mom
2) My dad
So, how about you? Can I add you to the list?

Sunday, July 20, 2008

A Love Letter to Ritter Sport

Dear Ritter Sport,
I just wanted to write you a note to tell you how much I enjoyed our time together. I love how you have two sides to your personality: your crunchy biscuit part and your smooth, melty chocolate part.
I know we didn't have much time together (certainly less than I thought!) but every moment was pure bliss. I look forward to seeing you again. Soon.
Lovingly yours,
Ms. Yum Yum

Friday, July 18, 2008

Allow Myself to Introduce ... Myself

Right now, I'm feeling way cool. Like the time I was in the summer teen theater play and I got partnered up with the cutest, most popular boy for the dance scene and all the other girls were like, "Hey, you suck!" Anyhow, City (otherwise known as the New Zealand Cupcake Queen) tagged me for a meme, which is kind of like a bloggy chain letter.

The Rules:

1. Link to the person who tagged you.

2. Post the rules on the blog.

3. Write six random things about yourself.

4. Tag six people at the end of your post.

5. Let each person know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

6. Let the tagger know when your entry is up.

So without further ado, here are six things you probably don't really need to know about me:

1. In an effort to "fit in" with the gossipy popular kids in first grade, I leaned over to one girl at lunch and said the worst possible thing I could think of about sweet little Tammy O'Toole: "Tammy loves the devil." (I'm pretty sure this was completely untrue; she showed no outward signs of being a Satanist. Well, maybe the Josie and the Pussycats lunchbox, but that could've just been a coincidence.) Later, that night, the guilt was eating at me. I went out into the living room where my family was watching TV and I spilled my guts. My sister suggested that I write a note of apology to Tammy. She gave me a notecard shaped like a flower, except the center of the flower said "Thank you." My sister told me to cover it with a piece of paper and draw something on it.

"What should I draw?" I asked.

"How about a devil?" she said.

I didn't find that very funny.

Instead, I wrote "I'm sorry" and inside I wrote, "Dear Tammy, I'm sorry for what I said yesterday."

The next day I gave her the note. She read it and threw it in her locker. "I have no idea what you're talking about," she said. Tammy, if you're out there, e-mail me. We'll talk.

2. My favorite coin is the dime. It's small but it's worth a lot. My least favorite is the nickel. I feel like its pretending to be something its not, because it's big and thick, but not worth much.

3. Pancakes. When I was in college, I used to babysit for the two kids of a lesbian couple. I was reprimanded when I made the kids pancakes for dinner one night. Two nights ago I made blueberry pancakes for the Sugar Baby's dinner. The Baroness has fond memories of my family having pancakes for dinner.

4. I chose Olympia as my Confirmation name so my initials would spell "PLOW."

5. I don't like peppers, olives or cilantro.

6. I only like red Swedish Fish.

There you have it. And now, folks, tag! You're it:

Hops & Chops
Wisconsin Candy Dish
Candy Blog
Jim's Chocolate Mission
Maison de Gumball

Thursday, July 17, 2008

The Situation is Dire

I have officially run out of chocolate. Can you even believe it? My cupboards are bare, except for a few Tootsie Pop Drops that have melted together into a sticky clump. Time to go candy shopping and I'm looking for suggestions. What should I get?

Monday, July 14, 2008

Listen closely as I explain how this:

Came from this:

1. Wake up at 6 a.m. on Saturday morning to a whiny 2-year-old running around the house saying "Chacka Bar! Chacka Bar!" because he wants chocolate for breakfast.
2. Ingest a pot of coffee whilst 2-year-old cries because Elmo is not on television on Saturdays.
3. Grab whiny 2-year-old and tell him as soon as he finishes his chacka bar you're going out to look for tag sales.
4. See a tag sale sign at the end of the road. Follow it to the Mother. of All. Tag Sales.
5. Get accosted by neighborhood urchins selling lemonade and cookies at the tag sale. Smile at the charm of it all until you see that they're charging $1 for lemonade. Opt for the 25 cent cookie instead. Wonder to self when the heck lemonade stopped being 5 cents a cup.
6. Give cookie to whiny 2-year-old who is already hopped on sugar from previous chacka bar.
7. Kick in to serious tag sale mode; begin creating a pile of stuff and tell lemonade hucksters to make sure nobody steals it.
8. Across the yard, spy a Melissa and Doug easel you've been coveting for months. See that it's $10. Tell the lady you'll take it.
9. Start talking to lady while 2-year-old discovers the Little Tikes playhouse that doesn't have a price tag. Ask lady how much the house is, figuring she'll say anywhere from $50 to $150.
10. Nearly pass out when her husband says, "Eh, fifteen bucks."
11. Scream, "I'll take it!" before thinking things through.
12. Gloat when other tag salers express how much of a bargain this truly is.
13. Realize you have no way to get gigantic house home.
(Pause for intermission)
1. Call Sue MKAFFGGF's husband (Mr. Chops) and ask if I might possibly borrow his truck.
2. Recruit Mr. Goodbar in the mission to collect the house and easel from the Mother. of All. Tag Sales.
3. Pick up truck from Mr. Chops. Try and tune out the Sugar Baby as he says, "Big truck! Big truck!" over and over.
4. Arrive at tag sale. Dance a jig when lady says ten other people wanted the play house.
5. Load up the goods and deliver it home.
6. Present the playhouse to the Sugar Baby.
7. Try to remain calm as the Sugar Baby insists on ignoring the play house to instead play in the "big truck."
8. Try to convince Sugar Baby that the house is more fun at the exact time he picks up a penny ("cookie money!") and drops it, ever so gingerly, into the big truck's gear shift.
9. Tell Mr. Goodbar about the disheartening turn of events; feel better when he says it shouldn't be a problem.
10. Follow Mr. Goodbar to return big truck. Feel a knot in stomach as Mr. Goodbar pulls over to the side of the road.
11. Supress the urge to throttle Sugar Baby when Mr. Goodbar says, "I need to go home and pull apart the dashboard."
12. Freak out at the thought that a $15 playhouse will turn into a $2000 big truck repair.
13. Go to grocery store while Mr. Goodbar works on truck.
14. Go to candy aisle to buy Mr. Chops some Charleston Chews to thank him/apologize to him for the use of big truck.
15. Spy something new: Cadbury Irish Creme.
16. Buy Charleston Chews and Cadbury bar. Get phone call from Mr. Goodbar saying everything's okay with big truck. Breathe sigh of relief.
17. Return big truck. Go home. Play in new play house.
The End.
Oh, the Cadbury Irish Creme bar? Utterly terrible. Disgusting. Chocolate is grainy and nasty-- worse than Palmer fake chocolate. Irish Creme is artificial tasting and sticky-icky. But Sue MKAFFGGF says that Mr. Chops is to mini Charleston Chews as Whitney Houston is to crack cocaine, so it's all good.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Where Jelly Beans Come From (Albi the Racist Dragon)

Mr. Chops, Sue MKAFFGGF's husband, casually threw in a reference to the Flight of the Conchords yesterday, as if I should be cool enough to know what that was. Thanks to YouTube, I am now ice cold. Warning: This will make you laugh so hard, you'll cry.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Pop Rocks Cake!

Mrs. Connection sent me this link to a recipe for Heston Blumenthal's Popping-Candy Chocolate Cake. Yes, dear Yumsters, this is a chocolate cake with a layer of Pop Rocks. My goodness. Apparently this was inspired by some Pop Rock-filled truffles the author had while on vacation.

So ... who dares try it?

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

In The Good Old Summertime ...

Here, folks, is why candy companies don't ship during the summer. Please excuse the graphic nature of the photo. Life can be cruel sometimes. Kris sent me this fabulous assortment of truffles: milk chocolate Irish cream, milk chocolate Grand Marnier, white chocolate raspberry and maple walnut from the Bavarian Chocolate Haus in New Hampshire. Imagine the disappointment. I tried to refrigerate them, hoping they might somehow congeal into something edible, but really, they were pretty much Frankencandy by the time they got to me.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

What's Brewing? Chocolate, That's What!

I just stumbled upon this website for brewed chocolate. No, not hot chocolate, brewed chocolate! How cool is that! Apparently this company takes cacao beans and treats them in a similar fashion to coffee beans and voila! Brewed chocolate. This looks like a great alternative for all the unfortunate souls out there that don't know the pleasures of coffee. Has anyone ever tried this stuff?

Sunday, July 06, 2008

The Party's Over (well, it isn't really. It's only 8 o'clock.)

Ah, what a bittersweet evening. Tonight we celebrated the high school graduation of the Sugar Baby's babysitter, the fabulous Miss Lucy. As I write this, the festivities are still going strong next door-- all those lucky teenagers with a clean slate and strong bodies that can withstand the pressures of finals, bad cafeteria food and hangovers to rival e.coli the excitement of impending adulthood.

Since we're still fairly new to the neighborhood, we didn't really know anyone, so I was on my best behavior, talking about all the socially acceptable things like motherhood ("Oh ho, yes, the terrible twos! Hahaha!") and gardening ("The tomatoes are doing exceptionally well this year, but the zucchini seems to be struggling.") But then suddenly, across the yard, I heard someone shout my name. I walked over to this stranger who assaulted me with my favorite question: "You have a candy blog?!"

All sense of decorum went out the window as we launched into a discussion of all things sweet. She's a junior high English teacher and, as one of her assignments, has her students write about the pros and cons, similarities and differences of snack foods. Oh yes, indeedy, this was a kindred spirit.

Her first question to me was, "Do you know BB Bats?"

Now, dear reader, how did you read that? Did you read it as "Bee Bee Bats" or, as she pronounced it, "Buh-Buh-Bats"? Because I was taken aback. I'd never heard them called that before! Naturally I came home and immediately did some research. Turns out the "BB" stands for "Bigger and Better" and they were first released in 1924. In case you're not familiar, these are taffy lollipops, shaped flat to resemble some sort of bat, and come in chocolate, banana, strawberry and peanut butter/molasses. They're wrapped in a waxy paper that, no matter how hard you try, always ends up sticking to the pop and the taffy is so chewy it comes perilously close to ripping out your dental work. We agreed that chocolate was the best flavor, followed by banana. The popular cousin to BB Bats are Kits, which are little squares of the same taffy, stacked up in a small brick.

I swear, I didn't even encourage her to reveal her passion for candy. She wore her sugary love on her sleeve. She asked about Ice Cubes, as many other readers have. What's the deal? she wanted to know. Why do they suck now when they used to be so smooth and melty before? (The cheaper crap oil they use now, I explained.) And what about Mary Janes? What happened to the peanut butter center? (I've never been much for Mary Jane's, but I think I do recall what she was talking about.)

"Life Savers!" she said. "Why don't they offer a roll of all tangerine?" The tropical mix is okay-- the melon is pretty tasty, but the coconut and banana are pretty icky, she said. I completely agree.

Wax Lips! Is there any nutritional value at all to them or are they merely an accessory? And candy buttons! You were either the type that spit out the paper or just chewed it and swallowed it.

It was a fabulous discussion, one that could go on and on. Unfortunately, by this time, the Sugar Baby was standing at the door saying "Bye Bye Lucy!" and so, my few moments of sweet discussion came to an end.

But remember this, dear reader: the next time you go to a party, bring up the topic of candy. It's something everyone has an opinion about and you might just learn something wickedly sassy and gossipy about your neighbors and their friends. (I mean, I didn't. But you might.)

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Sugar Baby, Super Genius

As if it's not cute enough that the Sugar Baby calls Elmo "Melmo," he also calls Cookie Monster "Blue Melmo."
(Okay, not exactly candy related, but it's something extra sweet for your holiday weekend!)

Friday, July 04, 2008

Mamba is to Starburst as Wine Gums are to Gummi Bears

Until this week, I'd never had a Mamba. Sure, I'd seen them, but I just never felt that instant attraction that I felt with, say, a dark Kit Kat or the 100 Grand with peanuts. So I was pretty excited when No-Nuts came home from work the other day at the Mafioso Deli bearing gifts for all of us: a business card from a Japanese caterer for Mr. Goodbar, a business card with a picture of a puppy on it for the Sugar Baby and a pack of Mambas for me. Well, her and me.
The package says something like, "Picked from a selection of raspberry, orange, strawberry and lemon." There was no lemon in this pack; disappointing for me, good for No-Nuts. What can I say? They're similar to Starburst, except they're a little more sophisticated, slightly more subtle. I particularly liked the orange, which tasted like a Creamsicle.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Before I even begin, let me do a full disclosure: Buzz Bites is a Candy Yum Yum patron. This, however, has no bearing on what I'm about to write. My policy is, if you send me something to try and I hate it, I just won't write about it. I'm not out to make or break a company, and I'm certainly not the Roger Ebert of candy reviewing, so my two cents is just that, two cents in an ocean of pennies.

Having said that, on with the post. Buzz Bites are "chocolate energy chews" that look disconcertingly like bouillon cubes. I don't have much experience with caffeinated candy, simply because Mama Yum Yum loves her the java. I drink coffee all day long, so the last thing I need is more caffeine. But in the interest of my coffee-hating readers (oh, how tragic!), I had to try one. Here's the deal: it's pretty fudgey and very sweet. It left a lingering aftertaste in my mouth, but it wasn't a bad aftertaste. I didn't feel the need to immediately brush my teeth as I would after having, say, a diet soda. As for the caffeine effect, well, I'm just not a good judge because, as I said, it runs through my veins. So I had get input from another tester.

Yep, you got it: No-Nuts is earning her keep by being the Candy Yum Yum summer intern guinea pig. She tried one and said it was pretty good and she thought it gave her some energy. (Hmmm, I'd have to agree since she cleaned my stove after eating one.)

Each chew is 25 calories and is the equivalent of one cup of coffee or 1.25 energy drinks. If I was the type of person who 1) didn't like coffee and 2) could satisfy my sweet tooth with just one piece of candy, I'd say these would be a good option. And if I was looking for a business opportunity, I'd start selling these in college dorms during finals week. What a gold mine that would be!

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Fun gum! (And candy too!)

Manager Mom alerted me to an assortment of really funny candy and gum at Blue Q. This was one of the more tame ones that was family-friendly. Check out the descriptions on some of them-- I particularly like the "Narc" one.
(By the way, this is totally not candy-related, but can I just say how sad I am that Bill's turned into a total weirdo court jester?! What happened, Bill? You used to be my fave pres. Now it's back to William Henry Harrison. Go Whigs!)