Thursday, February 17, 2011

Valentine's Day Holiday Roundup: Hot Tamales Untamed Love Mix

Same Hot Tamale flavor throughout colored red, white and pink in honor of Valentine's Day. Untamed Love!

Score: 3

Valentine's Day Holiday Roundup: Reese's Peanut Butter Filled Hearts

Same Reese's peanut butter and chocolate perfection in heart form!

Score: 5 (+!)

Valentine's Day Holiday Roundup: 3 Musketeers Cherry Minis

The 3 Muskateers Cherry are such a wonderful surprise. They taste so much like a chocolate cherry cordial but with a whipped light center. I love these!

Score: 5

Valentine's Day Holiday Roundup: York Peppermint Pattie Hearts

Same luscious York Peppermint Pattie, but heart-shaped and with the peppermint filling toned pink. Same taste, but cuter!

Score: 5

Valentine's Day Holiday Roundup: Peeps of Many Flavors

Classic Peeps Marshmallow treats spell out "I Heart You" for Valentine's Day. Pink marshmallow in the traditional non-flavor of Peeps. The Strawberry Creme Heart-Shaped Peeps don't fare as well. The strawberry aroma hits you as soon as you break open the package and it's unpleasant, a lot like the strawberry flouride treatment dentists used to use. Pretty, though.

Score (classic): 4
Score (strawberry): 2

Look To The Cookie!

I want to like Black and White Cookies as they're really the unofficial cookie of NYC and I've got a lot of city pride. After trying many (vast understatement), though, I've never met one that I really enjoyed. They tend to be very dry and crumbly. Or they tend to have that really tough old frosting that acts more as a adhesive than as a flavor element- all sugar and glue and none of the real vanilla and chocolate fun. Yesterday, however, I found the perfect black and white cookie thanks to my friend Dan. He brought me one from the old-school upper east side bakery William Greenberg Desserts, which I pass every day on the way to and from work, and press my nose up against the window gazing at the treats within, but have never actually entered. Well, from now on I'm going in! This black and white cookie was downright cakey, the light dough and butter flavor were sublime. And the frosting, oh that frosting was miraculous in comparison with the others I've sampled. Really rich smooth chocolate that melts instantly in one's mouth. Flavorfull vanilla that almost melts on its way to one's mouth. They blended perfectly and I found myself in love at last with the new york classic. (ps- you can also order the black and white cookie in a large variety of colors and combinations at William Greenberg- pretty!)

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Esteemed Doughnut Plant Lands in Chelsea Hotel

This past September I waxed rhapsodic over my favorite local donut purveyor, Doughnut Plant. It's unbeatable. It's worth a trip to New York. Once you try the donuts you'll realize it's worth myriad trips to New York in order to try every single flavor. Usually twice. So I am very ultra uber pleased to announce that Doughnut Plant has opened a new larger and more accessible shop on 23rd Street in the Chelsea Hotel. Gothamist blog covers the news as it unfolds...

Friday, February 4, 2011

Philippine Brand Mango Balls

These Philippine Brand Mango Balls constitute a wonderful new discovery! It seems that Philippine brand is one of the largest purveyors of dried fruits from the Philippines and the company decided to branch into sweet treats. What makes these mango balls special is that they taste like Real Fruit, really wonderful real fruit. The mango is processed down to a gummy consistency, cohered into a ball and then covered with sugar to add a little crunch. I've reviewed other mango candies here, like Cocoaland Lot 100 Mango or Mike and Ikes Mango flavor or even Fun Dip Tropical Mango and have come to the conclusion that I just don't enjoy artificial mango. These little sweets, however, taste real and carry that beautiful mango tang better than any other mango candy I've previously encountered! Try these, they're great! I found these at the Aji Ichiban store in New York, but have also seen them for sale at smaller markets around town. They don't seem to be too elusive and I plan to stock up on a lot more!

Score: 4

Demeter Tropical Dots Calming Lotion

I don't like Tropical Dots so I was already approaching this "calming lotion" with trepidation. But this doesn't even resemble the aroma of Dots, tropical or otherwise. The Tropical Dots perfume may not smell enticing, but at least it smells like something vaguely recognizable. Demeter makes some wonderful and surprising and adventurous products, but I actually threw this lotion out. It combines the smell of your average lotion (kinda chemical soapy smell) with a little undertone of, uh, sweet? I can't even describe it. Gross.

Score: 1

Ricolino Kranky Corn Flakes with Chocolate Flavored Coating

Have you ever tried the Ritter Sport Milk Cornflakes bar? That truly represents chocolate ingenuity at its finest. Can't get enough. Ricolino Kranky Corn Flakes with Chocolate Flavored Coating work on the same concept. The ratio of cornflake to chocolate is even better than the Ritter, favoring the crunch over the rich chocolate coating. However, the Kranky Corn Flakes fall from grace because of their use of Chocolate Flavored Coating instead of the real thing. It's that waxy flavorless stuff that just doesn't appeal to me. It must appeal to some people because of its pervasive presence in the majority of candy aisles but I just don't get it. And I've noticed that a lot of Mexican candies rely on the stuff, unfortunately. So. Great concept, unimpressive ingredients.

Score: 3

La Corona Huevitos

La Corona Chocolates and Cocoa produces Huevitos, candy coated chocolate flavor eggs. Though I hear they're a popular Mexican sweet, I found the taste to be exceedingly unappealing. The chocolate "flavor" inside the candy shell barely tastes like chocolate and has a strange licorice-y undertone. The consistency of the chocolate flavor filling is something like a whipped caramel. I like the chewy consistency of these little eggs, a lot like aerated Sugar Babies. But the off-putting artificial chocolate flavor along with the flavorless shell equals a thumbs down from me.

Score: 1

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Wonka Exceptionals Fruit Marvels in Clementine Orange

This little tin of Wonka Exceptionals Fruit Marvels in Clementine Orange look vaguely mundane- orange hard candies don't seem all that exciting. Looks are deceiving, though, and these small bonbons pack a surprising punch. The sugar-coated candy shell encompasses a jelly center bursting with fresh sparkling clementine citrus flavor. The sugar coating gives a bit of crunch and substance to the smooth jelly filling. These are wonderful and disappeared all-too quickly. I must track down the White Grape and Pomegranate versions to test- if they're even half as tasty as the Clementine flavor, I'm going to love them.

Score: 4

Cold Stone Creamery Birthday Cake Remix Filled Chocolates

Feh, these Cold Stone Creamery Birthday Cake Remix Truffles are a resounding disappointment. Based on the popular, decadent, and delicious ice cream flavor, these truffles completely miss the basics of what makes the birthday cake flavor so compelling. Instead, waxy chocolate surrounds a filling that tastes more of coconut oil than anything else. I could feel my arteries hardening. Granted, most truffles are not good for one's body, but you could feel the impact of these without any of the flavor reward. Blech. I'll stick with the ice cream.

Score: 1

Hello Kitty Milk Flavored Chewy Candy

You can't resist the packaging of these Hello Kitty Milk Flavored Chew Candy- too cute. The actual candies look like an unformed white lump, but taste pretty good- like chewy condensed milk taffy. The flavor is vaguely milky, vaguely vanilla-y, and definitely bland-ish, but it's also not overly sweet and is pleasant to chew upon. These would make a great gift for a Hello Kitty fan, but otherwise I think there are other gummy chewy candies and other milk-flavored candies with better flavors out there. But the packaging really is appealing.

Score: 3

De la Rosa Peanut Mazapan Candy

Whereas marzipan is made from crushed almonds, mazipan is made from crushed peanuts. De la Rosa Peanut Mazapan Candy constitutes my favorite example of this type of sweet nutty candy, in production since 1950. It tastes vaguely like a peanut butter fudge and, though crumbly, it condenses into a fudge like consistency in one's mouth. De la Rosa is simple and perfect. And I really can't think of any candy like it. Try this Mexican classic!

Score: 5

Mike and Ike Red Rageous

Pretty much all Mike and Ike blends are delicious, as long as one has the time to separate out any awkward flavors. For example, this Red Rageous mix of Cherry, Fruit Punch, Raspberry, Strawberry, and Watermelon would be unstoppably addictive but for the fact that I have a natural loathing of all artificial watermelon flavor variations. Blech. So I had to sort through the whole mix extracting the offending flavor from the mix. Once the task was completed, though, this was a perfect blend of tangy and sweet and fresh fruity red chews.

Score: 4