Thursday, May 28, 2015

Candy-Colored Vanilla Rainbow Bagel: The Bagel Store, Brooklyn


No, this is not candy. Rather, it is a bagel. But what a bagel!
Awash in a kaleidascope of bright candy colors, this vanilla rainbow bagel cannot help but perk up any gloomy day.
Three cheers for The Bagel Store!

To get your own colorful bagel, go here.


Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Chocolate Dream Palace: Tour Jacques Torres' New Brooklyn Army Terminal Factory

Since 2000, Jacques Torres has constituted the go-to fancy chocolate of New York. There's the classic high end chocolate, whimsical holiday treats, innovative bonbon flavors, out-of-this-world hot cocoa, and decadent ice cream sandwiches. I love Jacques Torres because it strikes the perfect balance of honoring the chocolate and chocolate-making tradition while innovating in all kinds of fun ways. I love Jacques' vision of chocolate. And now, right here in my own backyard, Torres has opened a 40,000 square foot chocolate factory in the Brooklyn Army Terminal. I can't wait to visit! In the meantime, here is a slideshow of the new facilities via Gothamist! Click Here To View

Friday, May 22, 2015

Minions Sour Gummies



I love a good movie / candy collaboration and I really love the Minions from Despicable Me, so I was in a state of high anticipation for these Minions Sour Gummies. There was reason for optimism- Minion Peeps were fantastic and Minion Mike & Ikes looked like fun. These gummies were barely sour and I couldn't identify either flavor. What are these shapes supposed to be? I was totally disappointed by the non-delivery on the Minion theme and the sub-standard quality of the gummies.

Score: 2

Thursday, May 21, 2015

X-treme Super Sour Grossout Novelty Candy Snapshot Pt 7: Sour Jawbreakers, Sour Smog Balls and Fire Heads


Norwegian Tucker Fire Heads are extremely strong licorice drops with strong powder filling. I didn't get to the powder filling because these were so incredibly hot. Super salty licorice with hell-fire hot spice on top! I couldn't take it- ouch! Thanks, Evan!

Score (flavor): 1 (ouch!)
Score (x-treme factor): 5 (ouch!)


Sour enough to bring tears to your eyes, these Sour Smog Balls come in 8 painful flavors- lime, strawberry, lemon, cherry, blue raspberry, and grape. Crunchy candy with a sour chew center from the makers of Toxic Waste Candy. 

Score (taste): 2
Score (x-treme factor): 3


Sour Jawbreakers don't even bother listing a flavor on the packaging- their flavor is sour, writhing painful sour. If you can make it through the jawbreaker shell, the central chewing gum acts like balm on one's exhausted tongue. These are intense! Thanks, Ginny!

Score (taste): 2 (ouch!)
Score (x-treme factor): 5


Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Wafer Bar Throwdown Pt 7: Manner's Original Neapolitan Wafers


These Viennese Manner Original Neapolitaner wafer bars (since 1898!) constitute the ideal finale to wrap up the great Wafer Bar Throwdown of 2015- Manner represents the wafer bar in its most classic and elegant form. The hazelnut chocolate filling is thick and rich and tastes like frosting. There's no need for an external layer of chocolate like other wafer bars; the cream filling is rich enough. The wafer cookies are weightless and crispy and buttery, the perfect balance to the hazelnut cream. They're simple- no bells and whistles- and every element is right. Thanks, Jennifer!

Score: 4


Wafer Bars of Past Days:

Bingo Serenata Double (Greece) 
Bocadin Wafer Bar (Mexico)
Kit Kat Caramel (United States)
Kit Kat Chunky Mint (England)
Kit Kat Cookies & Cream (United States)
Kit Kat Milk Coffee (Japan)
Kit Kat Muscat of Alexandria (Grape)(Japan) 
Kit Kat Orange (United States)
Kit Kat Royal Milk Tea (Japan)
Milka GoFree Chocolate Wafer Bar (Turkey)
Nestle Crunch Girl Scout Cookie Wafer Bar (United States)
Nestle Nesquik Wafer Bar (Turkey)
Tiki Gold Wafer Bar (Trinidad/ Tobago)
Tunnock's Caramel Wafer Biscuit (Scotland)
Ulker Chocolate Wafer Bar (Turkey)
Ulker Cokonat (Turkey)

X-treme Super Oogy Grossout Novelty Candy Snapshot Pt 5: Jelly Belly Harry Potter Jelly Slugs




Gummy slugs in pear, sour cherry, tangerine, watermelon, and banana flavors via Hogwarts. I love this Harry Potter line from Jelly Belly!

Score (concept/gross-out factor): 4
Score (taste): 3

Monday, May 18, 2015

X-treme Super Popping Crackly Novelty Candy Snapshot Pt 4: Fizz Wiz and Crack-Ups Popping Candies

Fizz Wiz Strawberry Popping Candy (Super Loud Popping Action)


Crack-Ups! Blue Raspberry Popping Candy (Super Popping Power)

Score (Fizz Wiz): 3
Score (Crack-Ups!): 4 (louder pops!)

Sunday, May 17, 2015

X-treme Super Glowing Berry Novelty Candy Snapshot Pt 3: Flash Pop Mini


The novelty candy parade marches on with bizarre new delights....

Flash Pop Mini in "Beaming" Blue Raspberry....it glows!
I believe that says it all!

Score (taste): 1
Score (it glows!): 4

Saturday, May 16, 2015

X-treme Super Sour Slimy Novelty Candy Snapshot Part 2: Kadunks Chewy Dippers






Kadunks Chewy Dippers in Tropical Ka-Punch by Yolo Candy
(Chewy Candy with Super Sour Candy Dip)


Score (flavor): 2
Score (concept): 4


The candy closet of obsessivesweets runneth over and we have to clear some of this sweet backlog out to make room for more! In the name of spring cleaning comes the series "X-treme Super Sour Slimy Novelty Candy Snapshots," detailing some recent discoveries. You won't believe your eyes. 
My taste buds are still reeling.

Friday, May 15, 2015

X-treme Super Sour Oozy Novelty Candy Snapshot Pt 1: Juicy Drop Taffy and Juicy Drop Pop






A survey of the ongoing chemistry experiment known as the novelty candy industry...

Juicy Drop (from Bazooka Candy Brands) makes candy products incorporated with additional super sour candy goo to squeeze upon the chosen candy. Thus you find the Chew Taffy with Sour Gel Pen in Knock-Out Punch flavor. Or the lollipop with squeezable sour gel in Blue Thunder flavor (I never knew this is what Blue Thunder tastes like...). None of it is tasty but the whole process of squeezing sour goo onto a candy base is pretty fun. It's more of an activity than a snack.

Score (taste): 2
Score (fun): 3

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Wafer Bar Throwdown Pt. 6: Cookies & Cream KitKat and Orange KitKat







Speaking of KitKat bars (click here), I've been taste-testing a bunch of the classic wafer bars in a variety of flavors. The Orange KitKat is delicious, a new favorite. A touch of orange citrus flavor is infused through the chocolate that encases the interior cookie. It tastes fresh and light and Springy, less heavy than a traditional KitKat.

The Cookies & Cream flavor, on the other hand, is decadent. A white chocolate layer covers the top of the cookie whereas the base of the bar remains milk chocolate. Between the cookie and the two types of chocolate it tastes rich and creamy and substantial. I wish the white chocolate was a little less waxy and a little more melty, but it's still a good combination overall. Thanks for these, Amy!

Score (Orange): 4
Score (Cookies & Cream): 3

 Wafer Bar Thoughts (click on individual link to read review):
Bingo Serenata Double (Greece) 
Bocadin Wafer Bar (Mexico)
Kit Kat Caramel (United States)
Kit Kat Chunky Mint (England)
Kit Kat Milk Coffee (Japan)
Kit Kat Royal Milk Tea (Japan)
Kit Kat Muscat of Alexandria (Grape)(Japan)
Milka GoFree Chocolate Wafer Bar (Turkey)
Nestle Crunch Girl Scout Cookie Wafer Bar (United States)
Nestle Nesquik Wafer Bar (Turkey)
Tiki Gold Wafer Bar (Trinidad/ Tobago)
Tunnock's Caramel Wafer Biscuit (Scotland)
Ulker Chocolate Wafer Bar (Turkey)
Ulker Cokonat (Turkey)

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Which State Consumes the Most Candy? The Answer Might Surprise You...

Wafer Bar Throwdown Part 5: Nestle Chunky Mint KitKat




We can't discuss wafer bars without including the stalwart go-to, The KitKat. Not only is it a classic but it also comes in myriad flavors across the world. They get the most wild in Japan (sweet bean flavored Kit Kat, anyone?), but there are fascinating flavors that pop up everywhere. Here, for instance, is a British Chunky Mint KitKat. The mint is subtle, infused throughout the chocolate exterior. The extra large KitKat makes the ratio of cookie to chocolate higher which allows for extra crispiness in each bite. I would probably opt for a Classic over a Mint for the most part, but the Mint is a nice option for the line- refreshing!

Score: 4


Past Wafer Bar Musings (click on each link to read review):

Bingo Serenata Double (Greece) 
Bocadin Wafer Bar (Mexico)
Kit Kat Milk Coffee (Japan)
Kit Kat Royal Milk Tea (Japan)
Kit Kat Caramel (United States)
Kit Kat Muscat of Alexandria (Grape)(Japan)
Milka GoFree Chocolate Wafer Bar (Turkey)
Nestle Crunch Girl Scout Cookie Wafer Bar (United States)
Nestle Nesquik Wafer Bar (Turkey)
Tiki Gold Wafer Bar (Trinidad/ Tobago)
Tunnock's Caramel Wafer Biscuit (Scotland)
Ulker Chocolate Wafer Bar (Turkey)
Ulker Cokonat (Turkey)

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Coco Delice Fine Chocolates, Emeryville, California


I recently get to taste-test a wide array of wildly flavored chocolate truffles at Coco Delice Fine Chocolates in Emeryville, California, and then take a delicious sampling home with me to keep the party going. These are elegant, delicate chocolates that pack a punch when you least expect it. Small bite-sized pieces each host a dark chocolate ganache center infused with really creative and surprising ingredients.

Here's a short-list of some of the flavors I tried:
Citron- dark chocolate ganache with lemon and balsamic vinegar
Framboise- milk chocolate ganache with raspberries and Framboise
Pure Passion- dark chocolate ganache and passion fruit
Orange Cardamon- orange and cardamon in a dark chocolate ganache
Hazelnut- dark chocolate ganache and caramelized hazelnuts
Merlot- dark chocolate ganache and California merlot
...and something really delicious that contained peanut butter essence...

Thanks, Mom, for the factory store visit and all the treats!

Score: 5



Candy as Art: Candybar Carpet at Slokdarm Festival, The Netherlands



                                                        photo courtesy of Ina van den Elsen via We Make Carpets

Art made of candy combines two of my great loves so I'm always happy to share the latest artist innovations. Over at the Slokdarm Festival in Veghel, The Netherlands, a large carpet comprised entirely of chocolate bars is currently on display. We Make Carpets, an arts collective that does not create carpets but rather installations that look like carpets made of incongruous objects is responsible for this amazing feat!

To read more on the We Make Carpets website, click here

Friday, May 8, 2015

Stefan B Chocolatier ("The Surprise From Iceland!"): Chocolate Bar with Icelandic Sea Salt




Shout-out to my bro, Stephen B! It's not everyone who gets an Icelandic candy bar in their name. A really elegant, pretty one at that. The deceptively simple foil wrapper does not belie the beautiful bar inside, notched in alternating bite-sized blocks that are etched with a delicate botanic design. I've rarely met a chocolate bar that's this visually enthralling. The firm rich chocolate is off-set by a strong flavor of salt. I've found a lot of the Icelandic candies to be heavy on salt, which is often pleasing against a sugary sweet base. This bar, however, uses a tad too much salt for my taste. I had to alternate bites with a whole lot of water. I have a feeling I'd love the basic chocolate bar by Stefan B- no additions, just beautiful design made of some serious chocolate. I also wonder if every bar by Stefan B displays a different design or if it's uniform across the bar varieties. Thanks for sending, Tara!

Score (design): 5
Score (flavor): 3

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Wafer Bar Throwdown Part 4: Ulker Cokonat from Turkey








In the previous post, the Nestle Nesquik Wafer Bar proved that Turkish wafer bars can be really disappointing. In addition, the Ulker Chocolate Wafer Bar and Milka GoFree Wafer Bar confirmed that some pretty solid wafer bars are born in Turkey. They're nothing to seek out but they get all the basic elements right. At last, the Ulker Cokonat Wafer Bar proves that Turkish wafer bars can transcend the basic medium. The Cokonat takes the basic Ulker Chocolate Wafer Bar and adds about twice the exterior chocolate loaded with chunky pieces of hazelnut. With the extra chocolate and nut crunch the bar transforms from a cookie to a candy bar. Crunchy with enough hazelnuts and hazelnut cream to balance the chocolate, each bite is delicious. Thanks for lugging this in your suitcase, Mom!

Score: 4

MUSINGS ON PAST WAFER BARS (click each link to read review):

Bingo Serenata Double (Greece) 
Bocadin Wafer Bar (Mexico)
Kit Kat Milk Coffee (Japan)
Kit Kat Royal Milk Tea (Japan)
Kit Kat Caramel (United States)
Kit Kat Muscat of Alexandria (Grape)(Japan)
Milka GoFree Chocolate Wafer Bar (Turkey)
Nestle Crunch Girl Scout Cookie Wafer Bar (United States)
Nestle Nesquik Wafer Bar (Turkey)
Tiki Gold Wafer Bar (Trinidad/ Tobago)
Tunnock's Caramel Wafer Biscuit (Scotland)
Ulker Chocolate Wafer Bar (Turkey)

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Wafer Bar Throwdown Part 3: Nestle Nesquik Wafer Bar from Turkey



I was not sold on this Nestle Nesquik-branded chocolate wafer bar from Turkey. It was a not-so-good generic wafer bar with no tie-in to its Nesquik branding. I mean, I guess there's chocolate involved, but a very thin coating that isn't memorable. The wafers are not crispy- in fact they're rubbery-which is the sure sign of a sub-par wafer bar. Finally, the vanilla cream is pretty tasteless. Meh. Give me a Tunnock's Caramel Biscuit over this muddled bar any day! Thanks for bringing this back from Turkey, Mom!

Score: 2


MUSINGS ON PAST WAFER BARS (click each link to read review):

Bingo Serenata Double (Greece) 
Bocadin Wafer Bar (Mexico)
Kit Kat Milk Coffee (Japan)
Kit Kat Royal Milk Tea (Japan)
Kit Kat Caramel (United States)
Kit Kat Muscat of Alexandria (Grape)(Japan)
Milka GoFree Chocolate Wafer Bar (Turkey)
Nestle Crunch Girl Scout Cookie Wafer Bar (United States)
Tiki Gold Wafer Bar (Trinidad/ Tobago)
Tunnock's Caramel Wafer Biscuit (Scotland)
Ulker Chocolate Wafer Bar (Turkey)

Wafer Bar Throwdown Pt 2: Via Scotland, Tunnock's Caramel Wafer Biscuit Rocks!



Within the vast realm of chocolate coated wafer bars, Tunnock's Caramel Wafer Biscuit via Scotland comes in first place. And for good reason- the company's been at it since 1890. This is the only wafer bar I've tasted that I seriously enjoyed. Oozing buttery layers of caramel alternate with crisp and crumbly wafers. Caramel is the strong base of each bite with a bit of wafer crunch and a waft of rich milk chocolate on top. I must find more of these. Thanks for this, Tara!

Score: 4
 
Musings past on an international array of chocolate wafer bars 
(click on each link below to read more):

Bingo Serenata Double (Greece) 
Bocadin Wafer Bar (Mexico)
Kit Kat Milk Coffee (Japan)
Kit Kat Royal Milk Tea (Japan)
Kit Kat Caramel (United States)
Kit Kat Muscat of Alexandria (Grape)(Japan)
Milka GoFree Chocolate Wafer Bar (Turkey)
Nestle Crunch Girl Scout Cookie Wafer Bar (United States)
Tiki Gold Wafer Bar (Trinidad/ Tobago)
Ulker Chocolate Wafer Bar (Turkey)  

Monday, May 4, 2015

Wafer Bar Throwdown Part 1: Tiki Gold Wafer Bars from Trinidad and Tobago






I recently realized that although I am not the biggest fan of chocolate wafer bars (ie the Kit Kat bar and all wafer-based relatives in the international candy aisle), I've reviewed an awful lot of them in the past and hoarded quite a few new ones to taste-test. Therefor, it is time for The Wafer Bar Throwdown! It seems that every country boasts their own variation of the ageless treat.

I begin this round of the Wafer Bar Throwdown with Tiki Gold Wafer Bars hailing from Trinidad and Tobago in Coconut Craze and Vanilla Thrilla flavors. Despite the colorful names, these bars fail to thrill. They're pleasant and crispy but the chocolate is pretty waxy and lacking flavor and the wafer bars lack that critical resounding crunch upon biting down. There needs to be a better quality of chocolate involved, crispier wafers, and a higher ratio of vanilla or coconut cream to the rest of the bar. I'm not saying these Tiki Golds were bad eating, but I probably wouldn't revisit these Caribbean treats...

Score (Vanilla Thrilla): 2
Score (Coconut Craze): 3


Musings past on an international array of chocolate wafer bars 
(click on each link below to read more):

Bingo Serenata Double (Greece)

Bocadin Wafer Bar (Mexico)
Kit Kat Milk Coffee (Japan)
Kit Kat Royal Milk Tea (Japan)
Kit Kat Caramel (United States)
Kit Kat Muscat of Alexandria (Grape)(Japan)
Milka GoFree Chocolate Wafer Bar (Turkey)
Nestle Crunch Girl Scout Cookie Wafer Bar (United States)
Ulker Chocolate Wafer Bar (Turkey)