The newest incarnation of Doctor Who begins this month starring Peter Capaldi as the new Doctor. In honor of an auspicious new season, let's celebrate by devouring the favorite snack of the Doctors of old (especially Tom Baker, the fourth Doctor), Bassetts Jelly Babies! A classic since 1864(!), the all-natural flavoring makes the Jelly Babies not only delicious but vaguely nutritious (or at least not so very unhealthy). Originally called "Unclaimed Babies" and later "Peace Babies," Jelly Babies remain the classic fruit jelly. Nice to know Dr. Who has such great taste!
The new Dove Cookies & Creme bites are super sweet. The white chocolate is nicely melty and I like the little bit of crunch and mellow flavor that the chocolate cookie bits provide. Cookies and cream, after all, is a terrific combination. However, the ratio is simply off, so that the white chocolate is so stridently sweet that you almost miss the cookie bits. Dove either needs to pack more cookies into each bite to offset the white chocolate base or to dilute the sugar content of the white chocolate a bit. Great idea but not my favorite cookies & creme combo.
This Spanish chocolate bar by Valor consists of a deep dark chocolate, more bitter than sweet, packed with a variety of berries. In this case, "Forest Fruits" appears to mean raspberries and blackberries. This is a grown-up chocolate bar, with none of the cloyingly sweetness of your average drugstore chocolate. The seeds of the berries add a sense of additional substance to each bite as well as a tart note to balance the dark chocolate. It's a beautifully balanced flavor and completely satisfying. The bar feels like an elegant dessert in candy bar form. One would not consume this bar all in one go- instead, it's meant to be broken up and shared or consumed over a number of evenings. It's the perfect addendum to a good meal, providing the ideal finish. I loved it and wish I could find more in my area. Thanks, Abe and Bernice!
There is a fantastic article in today's New York Magazine/ Grubstreet blog detailing 50 candy purveyors of New York City and some of the both classic and incredibly innovative candies that one can procure. I'm entranced and have to track down each one. Especially this incredible Rock Candy Ring by Cynthia Rowley. Wow!!
Imagine bite-sized caramels the consistency of a Sugar Daddy; that's a Carambar Caramel (l'original caramel!). It's a straight-forward, buttery caramel that you have to chew on a bit to soften it up. I like that- it makes the consumption into a process. It also allows you to throw some caramels into your bag without worrying about the melting factor. Delicious caramel flavor without any fancy extras thrown in, self-contained within one's bag, what more could someone ask for? I wish they sold these beauties in the United States! Thanks for bringing them back from Paris, Conor and Ronan!
Potato chips and chocolate constitute a magical combination of flavors and textures- all of the sweet and creamy and crunchy and salty you could ever want in one bite. The Chuao Potato Chip Chocolate Bar blends all of these elements beautifully. I loved tasting that salty crunch in each bite. One issue I had not anticipated: potato chip oil. The additional oil from the potato chip does spread a bit across the bar resulting in vaguely oily chocolate. It wasn't like it tasted bad, but it's a little unnerving to eat chocolate and come away with oil on your hands like you've been eating a tub of lightly buttered popcorn. Overall, the bar is well worth a taste. However, I think that chocolate makers will have to wrestle with the oil element in crafting the perfect potato chip chocolate bar. I know it's possible- the dream remains alive!!
There's a revolution going on in sugarfree gum flavors, and Extra Dessert Delights is at the forefront. I've previously written glowing reviews of their Peach Cobbler and Rainbow Sherbet varieties. They are truly outstanding and innovative flavors, uncannily standing in for the real dessert. The Raspberry Vanilla Cupcake is the most disappointing flavor I've tasted in the line. Unlike the other varieties that taste unnervingly like the real dessert, I don't sense cupcake or cake in this gum, and the raspberry tastes glaringly artificial. I certainly finished the pack and was ok chewing my way through the sticks. They're not bad. They're simply not outstanding like the other flavors. I really hope that Extra keeps innovating new dessert gums. In-keeping with the recent candy trends, perhaps a birthday cake or carrot cake flavored gum would constitute an exciting experiment....