Thursday, July 29, 2010

Trader Joe's Dark Chocolate with Raisins & Pecans

Surprising as it may seem, I don't always remember every candy bar I've tried. It took me a while before I stopped being surprised by Reese's Dark. For some reason, they always looked new to me, and then after buying them I'd remember that I'd already had them.
So here's the deal: I bought a Trader Joe's Organic Dark Chocolate Raisins & Pecan bar the other day, not remembering if I'd tried it before. I was about to go through the Candy Yum Yum archives, but then I thought, wait, let me write a review first. Then I'll go back and see if I've written another review about it and how they compare. Here goes nothing:
I actually hesitated about this bar because pecans are not my favorite nut. If this was raisins and almonds or peanuts, I would've scooped it up in a minute. But pecans? Eh, not so much. The chocolate is 57% which is low on the dark chocolate snob scale, but I find I really like this percentage. It was a very fruity dark chocolate, which I also like. The raisins were appropriately sticky and chewy and the pecans were a nice balance. I really, really liked this bar.
Now let me go back and look. Nope, I guess I haven't had this one before. Thumbs up!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Utterly Shameless.

I'm embarrassed to admit this, but last week, the House of Yum entered Emergency Mode. There was no chocolate in the house. Well, okay, there were some mockolate Easter bunnies shoved in the back of the closet, but that was it. There wasn't a single chocolate chip, Fun-Size bar, nothing. How, dear Yumsters, did I let the situation get so dire?
I will tell you how.
I have one of those stupid "milestone" birthdays coming up in less than three months. That's right. I have approximately 70 days to lose the Freshman 15, the post-wedding 10 and, of course, the baby weight. Writing a blog about candy doesn't make this situation very easy.
So you'll have to cut me some slack over the next couple of months. But here's the thing: I plan on having one huge-ass, fantastic candy buffet to celebrate my (insert year here) birthday. We're talking Atomic fireballs to Zotz, the whole shebang.
Now this is where I'm going to go all Star Jones on you now. Remember when she got almost her entire wedding for free by having sponsors? I figure, why not offer up the same deal?
Hey Hershey's, Nestle, Godiva, Dove! Calling Haribo, Heide, Mars and Cadbury! Want your product to be highlighted at the coolest event of the year? How about your company name in lights (or chocolate, or gummies) at the buffet table? Or be a part of the swag bag of the century! This honor can be yours! Have your people call my people. We'll talk.
In the meantime, I'm off to Zumba class. It's going to be a long two months.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Starbuck's Jelly Beans

In Starbucks the other day, I almost didn't see the little box of jellybeans on the counter. For $1, I grabbed this little packet of assorted-flavor jellybeans and tucked them into my bag. I totally forgot about them until I picked the Sugarbaby up from camp one day and he was starving. As you can see, he had no problem devouring the whole package before I even had a chance to take a picture. The flavors were strawberry, peach, fruit punch and I think lemon and orange. From the few that I tried, they were good but a little too sweet for my tastes. They made my teeth hurt.
I don't know if Jelly Belly is the maker of these beans, although I suspect they probably are. I've compared the Starbucks package next to a Jelly Belly sample-size package. I still haven't tried the honey jelly beans, but they've been given good reviews across the board. Needless to say, there were more jelly beans in the Starbucks package than in the sample bag, which is a good thing, especially if you're the Sugar Baby.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Solving the Candy Mystery and Other Important Things

Holy heck! Where have I been? Despite the rumors, I am not on a beach in Bermuda enjoying a rum swizzle, nor am I incarcerated in the cell next to Lindsay Lohan. I've just been busy, I guess. And, oh yeah, the Sugar Baby has been gone all week, so I've been catching up on important stuff, like visiting friends, celebrating Happy Hour, hitting the gym (what's with all the hype about Zumba?) and taking the occasional nap. I've also been knee-deep in research for the follow-up article on Mrs. Barske, the candy lady. Check it out here.
In the meantime, I'll be getting back to our regularly-scheduled blog posts.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Candy Yum Yum Book Nook: Read All About It

So check this out. The Baroness gave this to the Sugar Baby for his birthday.
What a tease, huh? It's a cookbook but it looks like one giant block of chocolate. My friend came over the other day and saw it on the coffee table. She was like, "Hell, yeah!" Needless to say, she was disappointed to discover recipes instead of chocolate. I haven't tried any of the recipes yet, but I'll be sure to report back when I do.Look at this gorgeous magnum opus. This book is big enough to be a doorstop, however I'm happy to say that it's being used for reading, not propping. (In fact, I just got chocolate on the cover while I was writing this. Dang!) If you have any interest at all in food styling, get thee to Amazon right now. I find food styling fascinating, although I'd be terrible at it. It takes a special kind of Type-A perfectionist to be a stylist. I worked with one dude once who was supposedly very in-demand, however he took my recipe (which could've been absolutely stunning appearance-wise) and turned it into a wonky-looking lame dessert. I still harbor ill feelings toward him. But I digress...
I skipped forward in the book a bit to the section entitled, "Chocolate: The Problem Child for the Food Stylist." "This is a food that illustrates chemistry in action," writes the author Delores Custer. "It blooms, seizes, and melts at different temperatures."
Chemistry in action. I like that. Needless to say, while I find food styling captivating, I won't be doing it anytime soon. But I do like reading about it.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Swedish Fish Italian Ice! Hell Yeah, My Friends!

What does one do when it's so hot and muggy that you can't even keep your eyes open despite the fact that a four-year-old keeps batting you over the head telling you to wake up? You get in the car and go get Italian ice, that's what you do. Imagine my excitement when we walked into Rita's and saw this:
I tried a sample of it and, yes, it tasted just like a red Swedish Fish. Now I'm going to be obsessing over this all summer. I wonder what other candy flavors would seem as enticing? White Smarties, perhaps? Or green gummi bear? What flavor would you like to see?

Life Savers Lime Punch

During one of the sweltering days last week, I took the Sugar Baby to the Garbage Museum. It's a funky little place where you can see the whole garbage/recycling process and they have all sorts of art made from trash. This tower was made out of soda cans, and I was surprised to see the Life Savers Lime Punch soda. I don't think I remember ever seeing this. I do, however, remember the Tahitian Treat quite fondly. The Baroness and I used to ride our bikes down to Cumberland Farms and buy cans of the carbonated fruit punch. Ah, those were the days.

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Move Over, Octomom

This here is Octopop. He'd shake your hand, but right now he has his hands full.

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Too Hot To Write... Read My Other Stuff

We're experiencing a heat wave here in the Northeast. I believe I am the only person in Connecticut without air-conditioning. This is my gift to future generations; I can only hope that my extreme discomfort will make for a better, greener future for our children. I'm sitting in front of a fan attached to a water sprayer, so needless to say, it's a bit hot for a candy review. But I thought maybe you'd like to read this, an article I wrote about a candy mystery in my hometown. Stay tuned. The mystery is unraveling even as you read this.

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Genuine Belizian Chocolate

No-Nuts was here over the weekend moving all her junk into our house just to visit and she brought along a surprise: a chocolate bar straight from Belize. Her friend had gone there and I asked her to bring me some chocolate back.
"Here you go," said No-Nuts. "I think it's missing an 'R'." (She's getting more clever by the day.)
The bar had seen better days by the time it got to me. I'd say it probably melted and re-hardened about 4 times. You want to see chocolate bloom? This thing had blossomed! But still, we had to try it.
It was kind of difficult to thoroughly taste it, which I'm assuming is because of the abuse it went through. It had a very airy quality to it, similar to an Aero bar. But you could definitely tell this was the real deal. The chocolate had almost a savory quality to it.
We peeled off the sticker that said "Milk" to see what was underneath. It just said "Dark," nothing exciting like "Contraband" or "Monkey" or anything.
Half of it remains in my fridge and I'm sure it'll be there until next Christmas when I decide to clean out the refrigerator.