Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Spinkles Cupcake ATM, Manhattan

Look what I stumbled across! Yes, it's a cupcake ATM brought to the hungry public by Sprinkles to service all late-night cupcake emergencies. I didn't try it out, but a lady I watched purchase a cupcake seemed delighted. If you want to try this out, head to 780 Lexington Avenue between 60th and 61st Streets.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Belgian Praline Sea Shells

The sea shells are pure Aruba but the chocolate is straight from Belgium, a terrific combination. Molded casings of swirled milk and white chocolate are filled with a rich praline cream. These Bella Boca Chocolates are tasty and so pretty. Thanks, Bernice and Abe!

Thursday, September 24, 2015

New Snickers Campaign Embraces the Snacker's Inner Curmudgeon

photo courtesy of

How often does an ad campaign really grab your attention and entertainment rather than annoy? I find this to be exceedingly rare. I'm vaguely enthralled however, by the newest Snickers "Hunger Bar" campaign. The brand is releasing the candy bars in a variety of 21 wrappers emblazoned with unappealing symptoms of hunger, such as "Grouchy" or "Cranky." As a lifelong, proud Curmudgeon I would love to stumble upon that particular wrapper. To read more about the new campaign, click over to AdWeek for the full story. Thanks to astute reader Linda for the alert!

"Snickers Swaps Out Its Brand Name for Hunger Symptoms on Painfully Honest Packaging" via AdWeek

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

The Ordeal: Morinaga Matcha Bake Chocolate

Some artificial flavors uncannily resemble the source flavor, constituting miracles of modern chemistry. In the case of Morinaga Matcha Bake Chocolate from Japan, the flavor of matcha is close to the real thing and yet there is something about it that is so wrong. A strong sweet floral aroma and flavor dominate the sharp matcha in a way that turned my stomach. Add the visual of green chunks with brown edges to the mix and add an off-putting aerated crumbly consistency. The entire combination is a fiasco. Baked chocolate is not my bag, and this variety of matcha flavoring sends it over the edge into awful.

Score: 1

Monday, September 21, 2015

The Buffalo Bar from Iceland: Marshmallow Done Right

Although I had no idea of the mysteries contained within a Buffalo Bar wrapper, the shiny bold packaging sold me right off. Unlike any bar on the American market, the Icelandic Buffalo is a marshmallow-based candy bar. The center marshmallow is nice and gooey with a good vanilla flavor. The consistency is closer to marshmallow fluff than a traditional marshmallow and that's the way I prefer it. A dense layer of rice krispies surround the marshmallow center and the whole thing is cohered with rich melty milk chocolate. This is a delicious, unique candy bar and the American market needs something along the same lines.

Score: 4

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Japan's Meiji Yoguruto Caramels

Though called caramels, these Meiji Yoguruto Caramels fall more under the fruit chew category for candies. Once one gets over a complete absence of similarity to caramel in taste or consistency, the candies themselves are delicious. That is, these candies are delicious if you're into yogurt. They host that perfect tart yogurt tang, mixed into the milky mellow chew. The consistency resembles a Starburst and the taste resembles Pinkberry Yogurt- sweet but not overly sugary.

Score: 4

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Halloween Tombstone Peeps!


Labor Day has come and gone and although it's still 90 degrees outside, it is time to embrace Autumn and Halloween Candy Season. What better way to celebrate than with new spooky Peeps marshmallow tombstones? I love a dark twist on candy and tombstones are certainly underutilized in the sweets market. So is gray sugar. These are great.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Do the Hokey Pokey: Nunu Chocolates, Brooklyn

I'm newly obsessed with Hokey Pokey candies, produced at a local Brooklyn chocolate shop, Nunu Chocolates. They begin with a golden syrup base, like toffee, but then aerate the candy as it's cooling so that the final product is extra light and crispy, a texture reminiscent of a traditional honeycomb candy. Cover the aerated toffee with sumptuous dark chocolate, and the addictive Hokey Pokey is born. Thanks, Adam and Virginia!

Monday, September 7, 2015

Iceland's Noi Sirius Nizza Hriskulu: Milk Chocolate Bar with Rice Krispies

Iceland's Noi Sirius brand makes some solid chocolate. I'm guessing it's comparable to Hershey's or Nestle, nothing gourmet but predictably tasty. The Nizza Hriskulu constitutes the equivalent of the Nestle Krackel bar, milk chocolate with embedded rice krispies. By any brand, it's not one of my go-to bars, but I do think that the Nizza betters the Krackel, with perhaps double the rice pops embedded in milk chocolate. Each bite is a bit more crisp and light. Thanks, Evan!

Score: 3

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Ukrainian Treat: Roshen Konaletto

For a small two-bite sweet, the Ukrainian Roshen Konaletto packs a lot of punch. A dark chocolate compound smothers a super crisp wafer cookie that, in turn, encompasses a rich "cream nut" filling (primarily hazelnut). I love the rich flavor of the center, like peanut butter but more delicate. The whole thing, however, is a bit too sweet. I wish the bonbon contained half the sugar and instead relied more on the basic nutty flavor.

Score: 3