Monday, August 23, 2010

Smackdown! Turkish Raisin Sausage vs. Chinese Traditional Food Fruit Candy

On the way home from Tennessee, we realized that our dear friends The Professor and Maryanne The Painter lived just an hour out of our way, so we stopped in to spend the night.
The Professor has always understood me on a very primal level. He gets my passion for all things candy-related, so I was ecstatic when he said he brought me back a little something from his recent trip to Turkey.
I won't keep you in suspense. Here it is, folks. One genuine Raisin Sausage with Walnut.*Now, first off, it looks like a giant turd. There's just no way around it. But I kept an open mind. The ingredients were simple enough: sugar, walnut, wheat starch, grape molasses and citric acid. What's so wrong with that, right?
I'll tell you what's wrong. This stuff was like biting into plastic tubing stuffed with walnuts. The resistance on your teeth made it feel like you were eating something from Home Depot, not the grocery store. It's like you could find it in the aisle between the PVC piping and the bathtub caulk. Truly foul. Had this been from anyone else, I would've thought they were either trying to mock me or challenge my devotion to candy. But I know in The Professor's mind, this was more than just candy; it was an experience. That's why he "gets" me. Fortunately, he made up for his transgressions by allowing me to taste some of the chocolate-covered Seafoam he'd gotten from McDonald's Homemade Candies in Michigan. Now this was some tasty stuff. Little chunks of airy, brown-sugary seafoam with a thick coating of dark chocolate. Mmmmm!It all went to hell, however, once the "Chinese Traditional Food" Fruit Candy was pulled out. I can't even remember what was in it, but it was more disgusting than I thought it would be. Match it up against the Raisin Sausage with Walnut and I don't know who'd win.
He had some other crazy-ass candy from Turkey and it was all right, but the true winner of the visit came from The Professor's daughter, Chocolate E-Clare. She generously gave me one of the Kinder Bueno bars she had hoarded from their trip to England. Isn't that the sweetest thing ever?! She said it was her favorite candy bar, and it's easy to see why. Creamy chocolate, crispy wafers, hazelnut filling ... now that's a candy I can love.
Being a good guest, I brought The Professor my own contribution to this extravaganza of sweetness: half a box of Mint Moon Pie Chocolate Cookie Sandwiches. When I bought them, I thought they were mint-flavored Moon Pies-- the soft cake with marshmallow filling. Only after I opened them did I realize that they were cookies. These were pretty yummy, very similar to Girl Scout Thin Mints, only with a cream filling.We had a lovely visit. We see them far too less than we'd like, but distance and busy lives get in the way. The Raisin Sausage *almost* makes up for the distance. Almost.
*In the upper corner of the sausage package, it says "Aphrodisiac." Believe me, nothing says love like a Raisin Sausage.


Anonymous said...

I recognize the walnut candy as Soujuk, a desert candy made to withstand the rigors of 120F travel across months of desert without refrigeration, and yet has to have enough nourishment to justify it's weight. When it's freshly made, which takes days of redipping the walnuts in molasses and drying them (like candle-making), they're pretty good.

The Chinese candy is salt-preserved plums. Asian cultures do not consider all-sweet as a desirable taste. And the salt is used to preserve without canning or further processing, as well as dietarily contributory in the hot and humid climates where they are most popular. You'll also find many of these in Hawaiian snack shops (as well as Las Vegas where a lot of expat Hawaiians reside).

Candy Yum Yum said...

Thanks for the great info, jhlui1! That totally makes sense about the walnut candy. Still, it was pretty nasty.