Friday, January 29, 2010

Warheads QBZ Sour Fruit Chews: Gummy Roundup Part 5

I think these Warheads QBZ Sour Fruit Chews probably taste really good to those who enjoy "xtreme" flavors. I found their shape and consistency and general flavors pleasing but they were simply too sour for me and made my eyes water. Who needs that?

Score: 2

Haribo Sour Cherries: Gummy Roundup Part 4

These Haribo Sour Cherries are good. I like the combination of the crunchy sugar coating to balance out the predominant gummy consistency. The sour cherry flavor is nice and tart without entering that "xtreme" sour territory that's just unpleasant. Definitely worth trying!

Score: 3

Starburst GummiBursts: Gummy Roundup Part 3

I'm a big fan of Starburst chews and their multitude of fruit flavors. That said, the GummiBursts were a disappointment, especially given their promising liquid-filled center. They simply tasted a little too "healthy" with vaguely natural gummy fruit flavors that clash with the clearly artificial liquid burst. There are better options if you'd like a healthy fruit snack and there are better options for fruity gummy.

Score: 2

Muddy Bears: Gummy Roundup Part 3

Oh my, these Muddy Bears chocolate-covered gummy bears are so bad they make the gummy corn of the recent entry seem delicious. Maybe it was the waxy cheap chocolate or the flavorless gummy bears, but I simply don't think the two flavors or consistencies blend well. Never again!

Score: 1

Extreme Deli Jelly Sour Burst: Gummy Roundup Part 2

These fast food Extreme Deli Jelly Sour Bursts are so much better in form and flavor than the Yupi gummy hot dog in the previous post. Each jelly base is a distinct fruit flavor (I didn't taste sour, just a little fresh and tart) covered in sugar granules which give the candy a little much-needed crunch. The icing is also a bit crunchy and a flavorless sugar shell but they create such whimsical creations, it's worth the bland covering. I couldn't resist throwing in all the photos, the candies are just so pretty!

Score (flavor): 3
Score (beauty): 5

Hot Dogs, Fangs, and Corn: Gummy Roundup Part 1

On my way to the Chinatown Cake Club this past week, I stopped by the wonderful Candy Shop USA store on Mott Street. The small store is filled wall-to-wall with bins of bulk candy. I had a ball.

These Yupi Gummy Hot Dogs are a big disappointment. They're aesthetically unappealing, a tough consistency, and bland in taste. Blech.

Score: 1

Hot on the tail of the recent Twilight frenzy, these gummy fangs are pretty terrific addition to the vampire-saturate market. Quite small and delicate, maybe only the circumference of a quarter, they are a nice soft consistency and taste of a light effervescent strawberry flavor.

Score: 3

Spit it out! I really liked the cute shape of this little corn niblet gummy, and expected maybe a light corn syrupy flavor. But no, this candy tasted vaguely of corn and it just doesn't mix right with lots of sugar and a tough chewy consistency. This just didn't work for me at all.

Score: 1

Gummy Roundup: Boy Am I Behind

Wow, my candy reserves are overflowing and there's nothing worse than candy that isn't fresh. For the sake of making space in my kitchen for a little bit of real food, I'm rounding up all of the recent gummy candies I've tasted for some quick and efficient reviews. One caveat: unlike most of the world I'm not wild about gummy. I'm attracted to the candy for its infinite ability to take awesome shape (just wait, I've got some good ones!), but the taste is usually underwhelming to my taste buds. So the following rather low scores reflect my general ambivalence to the gummy candy medium, not necessarily a failing on the part of the individual candies.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Wish List: Candyland Hotel Suite

Photo courtesy of Sara Jay Weiss

Oh my, a dream come true right uptown! Renaissance Hotels and Dylan's Candy Bar have teamed up to create the all-candy Candyland Suite. How might a guest practice the proper will-power to not become ill after gorging on all that candy!? Check out the cotton candy machine! Where's the chocolate river like in Wonka's factory? How do I get my mitts on even one of those enormous glowing gummy bears? My interest is beyond piqued but as two nights cost approximately $2500, I don't think I'll be answering these burning questions any time soon. If anyone does happen to enjoy a stay in the Candyland Suite, please send photos and full decadent descriptions! Read more on ShelterPop.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Fairtrade KitKats Released Throughout Britain Today

Photo courtesy yam3a

Read on to learn about the wide-spread distribution of KitKat bars throughout Great Britain starting today. Early reports are promising! Fairtrade KitKat goes on sale across Britain

Origin Story: Who Were Mike and Ike?

Today's Bewildered Brit blog brings us the origins of the classic candy's name. Who was Mike? Who was Ike? Why do they get such a great candy named after them? Read on to learn! Mike and Ikes: The Search for a Forgotten Name

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Chinatown Cake Club

I feel so lucky to have attended tonight's Chinatown Cake Club run by the gifted Victoria Howe. Here's a glimpse of one of her special creations, the artist series cake #2 honoring the work of David Wojnarowicz- a devil's food cake filled with homemade citrus curd, chocolate mousse and covered in vanilla bean frosting. Amazing!

Sugar Babies Holiday Edition: Holiday Roundup Part 7

Same taste as the classic, just a new color scheme, and no complaints here! Go Sugar Babies for going festive!

Score: 5

Hammond's Ribbon Candy: Holiday Roundup Part 6 (the end is in sight!)

You know what to expect from traditional well-made ribbon candy and Hammond's (since 1920!) doesn't disappoint. I like the fresh tangy cherry flavor of the old-school Christmas candy.

Score: 4

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Wish-Fulfillment: Al Nassma Camel Milk Chocolate Bars

Macadamia Nut & Orange Zest


bottom photo courtesy of Al Nassma

Sometimes dreams really do come true! Back in July I read about the new line of camel milk-based chocolate bars produced in Dubai and immediately added it onto my wish list. Yesterday I was walking through Union Square towards the subway in a post-work haze, ipod blaring, when my attention was arrested by a lone man with a basket of candy bars handing out free samples (and who can resist checking into that further?). He turned out to be a (very good) representative for the Al Nassma brand and not only provided me with samples of all their exotic flavors but was also selling the candy bars at a fraction of the ordinary price. It was so my day. For $2.50 each I purchased both the Spices Arabia bar and the Macadamia Nut and Orange Zest bar (Ordinarily each bar will retail for a little under $10. However, if you go to the brand's website, the bars retail for 7.50 each and are delivered with free shipping, even if you order only one! Good to know!). Both of these flavors blew me away and were unlike any chocolate confection I've encountered before. First off, camel milk chocolate is delicious! It's really smooth and mellow, a hard almost brittle consistency that melts surprisingly quickly. The Arabia bar is laced with Cardamom and some other spices that leave the most amazing aftertaste behind. It's perfect for pairing with a hot black coffee or tea. The Orange Zest in the Macadamia Bar tastes Fresh and juicy, not like orange "flavor" dropped into the batch. Instead, the citrus sparkles out of this nut-heavy bar. Eating these bars is a little bit like trying Willy Wonka's everlasting gobstopper- the taste of chocolate predominates at first and only after it begins to melt away do the secondary flavors build and build to surpass the chocolate. I highly recommend Al-Nassma chocolate products and believe that camel milk may be the next big ingredient to reckon with!

Score: 5

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The Great Wall of Chocolate: Chocolate Theme-Park Construction in Beijing

Warriors reproduced in chocolate. Photo courtesy Reuters/Grace Liang

Wow, the news concerning chocolate just won't stop pouring in today! Apparently there is a chocolate theme-park under construction in Beijing, slated to open next January. You better believe I'll be booking tickets! Loco for Cocoa!

Beware the Mars Bar: Woman Finds Tooth in Treat!

Speaking of fretting and chocolate bars (see the news below on Kraft's buyout of the Cadbury brand), beware what lies inside your chocolate bar! A Texas woman recently discovered a tooth, complete with silver filling, inside her Mars bar! Disgusting! Woman Finds Tooth in Candy Bar

Done Deal: Kraft Buys Up Cadbury

Well, the deal is now done. Kraft will acquire Cadbury for 19 Billion- that's a lot of chocolate! Only time can tell the consequences this will have upon the classic chocolate brand. Best case scenario? Cadbury distributed in every corner bodega, movie theater, grocery store. I wouldn't mind that one bit. As long as they don't mess with the recipe for perfect mass-produced chocolate! Read more in today's New York Post:
Sweet Revenge: Kraft wins Cadbury for $19B

Monday, January 18, 2010

Lotte Crunky Crunch Chocolate Bar

With a fantastic name like Crunky and such great packaging, I figured the bells and whistles on this chocolate bar might have all gone into the marketing and perhaps not the actual product. Also, I'm not the biggest fan of Nestle or Krackle, of which this seems to be a Japanese equivalent. I was wrong. Instead of big rice krispies like the American versions, small super crunchy (crunky?) bits are suspended throughout this delicate milky chocolate. It's a winning combination. The entire product is a delight beginning to end. Thanks Ben and Will!

Score: 4

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Sour and Sweet Sour Patch Chillerz

Sour and Sweet Sour Patch Chillerz promise a "surge of cooling" on the package and on that promise they deliver. But oh, how wrong it is. Traditional South Patch Kids are such a perfect combination of sweet and sour and gummy and crunchy and they're simply wonderful, especially at the movies. So imagine that classic with a heavy mentholized cough syrup interior. The five flavors- Frosty Grape, Strawberry Shiver, Frozen Lemonade, and Berry Punch Chiller- are all equally off-putting. Blech, I recommend steering clear.

Score: 1

Friday, January 15, 2010

New Yorkers Prefer Hershey's Chocolate

While Kraft (the makers of Toblerone) and Hershey vie to takeover Cadbury, The New York Daily News conducted a non-scientific lunchtime poll of which of the three chocolate giants New Yorker's prefer. Hershey's won out over Toblerone and Cadbury, which comes as a shock to my own Cadbury-honed tastebuds. Read on:
New Yorkers Sweet on Hershey in Fight With Kraft to Own Hershey

Friday, January 8, 2010

Ulker Albeni Chocolate Bar

One might expect Ulker's Albeni bar to taste indistinguishable from a Twix as on paper their composition is the same- cookie base topped with a layer of rich caramel all covered in a thick layer of chocolate to keep the whole thing adhered. But no. This Albeni chocolate bar puts the classic Twix to shame. The cookie in a Twix bar has no real flavor and a super airy crumbly consistency. The cookie base of an Albeni bar, however, actually tastes like a traditional shortbread, something one might actually want to eat by itself without the embellishment of caramel and chocolate. This is a substantial dunking cookie! The caramel is the strongest element of the Albeni bar. Again, this caramel simply tastes more homemade, less pure sugar and more buttery and creamy. I consumed this bar over a week ago and haven't stopped thinking about that caramel since. The chocolate of the Albeni is comparable to the Twix, very milky and melty, not the best chocolate in the world but I'd never say no to it. I have no idea where to procure more of these, but mark my words that I'll be searching!

Score: 4

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Street Sweets Rolling (and Rolicking) Bakery Contest

photo courtesy of BizBash

Apologies for the recent rash of NYC-based bloggings as I try to keep my missives focused on treats that can be obtained by all. The contest to rename Street Sweets, a brilliant bakery on wheels that purveys only the most delicious homemade cookies, cakes, and candies, is worth noting (even non-NYC residents could win...). Not only is it a worthy endeavor for a great company, but you can win a $500 American Express card and a $100 gift certificate for the truck's goodies. You could even cash in the am ex card to fly to New York and eat $100 worth of sweets! A worthy consideration! Dream on and write in! Street Sweets New Name Contest

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Limelight: Purveying a New Type of Treat

Rendering of Limelight Marketplace by Mansour Design courtesy of Racked NY

Michael Alig, Limelight star of an earlier era, courtesy of Jacksonville Confidential

The carefree days of the club, Limelight (commonly referred to as Slimelight), remain but a pleasant hazy memory for many of us rapidly-aging New Yorkers. Remember the weekly Disco 2000 party each Wednesday? No More! And that's fine, I aged out awhile ago and prefer to sit and eat chocolate these days to dancing till dawn. Word has spread around town that the old church will be turned into a central food court filled with the finest foods the city has to offer. As more and more vendors sign on it looks as if sweets will be the central theme of the new space, and I'm excited! Grub Street New York posted an article today that spells out some of sweets we'll be able to procure in the new space! Read on! Candy Bars Replace Glow Sticks at Limelight

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Wonka Everlasting Gobstopper Snowballs: Holiday Roundup Finale

Just the classic candy with an extra white layer around the exterior. I enjoyed eating them at the movies and felt extra festive!

Score: 3

Dove Peppermint Bark: Holiday Roundup Part 5

Almost as good as home-made! These are wonderful! I'm just a sucker for all these varieties of peppermint and chocolate!

Score: 4

Peeps Marshmallow Joy: Holiday Roundup Part 4 (I got really behind...)

I'm just not that into dry marshmallow so Peeps are not a joy to consume, but I have a lot of respect for the brand and liked finding this new variation for the holidays! I could still only get through the J...

Score: 2

Mint Chocolate M&M's: Holiday Roundup Part 3

Oh, I didn't like these at all. The mint tasted vaguely sour, and the chocolate wasn't melty at all. Maybe I got a bad batch.

Score: 1

Hershey's Kisses Limited Edition Mint Truffle: Post-Holiday Roundup Part 2

Also a limited-edition seasonal "blend," the Mint Truffle Kisses manage to be even better than the Candy Cane variety! They're kind of like blown-up Andes Mints- chocolate filled with that odd shade of green associated with mint that is very soft and buttery. Oh these are a new favorite. Again, rename them and distribute these year-round!

Score: 5

Later Note, Jan. 6, 2010: I just realized something big! These Mint Truffle Kisses are potentially around year-round under a different name! I knew these tasted familiar! There may be a difference between these kisses and the Creme de Menthe variety, but I certainly didn't notice! And the Creme de Menthe Kisses are ostensibly around year-round. Or perhaps they were also limited edition. In any case it gives me hope for another name attached to these tasty mint kisses available soon for my consumption! I hope it's soon because we're merely weeks post-holiday candy season and I'm in active withdrawal from mint-chocolate treats.