Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Street Snapshot: Gummy Bear Vandal, Lower East Side

Gummy Bear Vandal @Whisbe

Monday, November 27, 2017

Uha Ninja Cola Hard Gummy

I love the packaging on these Ninja Hard Gummies by Uha in Japan. It won me over at first sight. The taste is pretty good, too. I don't love a cola-flavored gummy but cola flavoring tastes nothing like Coke or Pepsi to me. That said the extra hard chew of the gummy gives a nice substantive and long-lasting chomp, and the outer casing lends a little slow fizz to the mix, which is great. If you can find a package of these Ninja Hard Gummies, definitely give them a try!

Score (packaging): 5
Score (flavor): 3
Score (long-lasting gummy chew): 4

Friday, November 24, 2017

From Mars China: Snickers Oats and Peanuts

Dreams do come true! I read about Snickers Oats & Peanuts (exclusive to Asia) awhile ago and reticently accepted the fact that it was unlikely I would ever encounter this enticing variety of Snickers bar. Recently, however, I was lucky enough to travel to Hong Kong and right there in the 7-11 of the Central Kowloon Business District, the Snickers Oats and Peanuts bars appeared. It was all worth the wait. As predicted, oats are a fantastic addition to any chocolate and peanut and caramel amalgam. Co-taste-tester Mark agrees that more oats would improve the candy bar even more. There is so much sweet caramel that the oats would help the peanuts offset the sugar with more natural flavors. Honestly, these Snickers Oats should start a whole trend of adding oats into chocolate bars--it's a great combination!

Score: 4

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Gummy Snapshot: Gummy Butterflies

Some pretty Gold Emblem gummy butterflies to take a step away from all of the Halloween themes in the candy aisles right now. Sometimes we all just need a flash of Springtime. 

Monday, November 20, 2017

Bring on the Christmas Treats: Sweetarts Merry Mix

It's not yet Thanksgiving and yet the Christmas sweets have been for sale since the day after Halloween. It's a strange time of year. Sweetarts Merry Mix is a nice way to ease into the holiday sweets season. No new flavors or surprises--just the classic tart candies molded into bells, snowmen, and trees. I'm starting to feel a little bit festive!

Friday, November 17, 2017

Licorice Delights from Finland: Fazer Lakritsi (Choco, Lemon and Salmiak Varieties)

Straight from Finland via my Mom's suitcase, I found Fazer's Lakritsi filled black licorice to be such a delicious treat. These are combinations I've never encountered before. Lemon and black licorice are a surprisingly winsome duo. Chocolate goes well with licorice and this creamy chocolate center is a nice balance to the heavy outer licorice. The only one I didn't like is the Salmiak (Salt) variety. I like a little sprinkle of salt but this is far too much for my taste.

Score (lemon): 4
Score (chocolate): 3
Score (salmiak - salt): 2

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Nutella Adds More Sugar to Recipe: Fans Are Outraged

image courtesy of

Nutella is universally beloved sweet that consumers expect to taste exactly the same with each encounter. Watchful German fans recently noticed that Nutella packaging has changed its ingredients, adding more sugar and milk, and decreasing the cocoa. The changes haven't been instituted yet in the American version of Nutella but it's sure to follow soon. Basically, you can expect something sweeter, more creamy, and less chocolatey. 

Stock up while you can on Original Recipe Nutella and read more about the ingredient changes in the Daily Mail: "Nutella fans go nuts after discovering the company has secretly changed the formula" (6 November 2017). 

Monday, November 13, 2017

Hazelnut Heaven: Kinder Bueno and Kinder Bueno White

Kinder Bueno and Kinder Bueno White candy bars are my new go-to favorite if I'm longing for a sweet. What you have here is a brilliant mechanism for innocuously scooping hazelnut frosting into your mouth in a somewhat socially acceptable manner. The wafer cookie is thin and light as air. It doesn't add to the flavor, and that's good. Take a bite, and a large mouthful of rich hazelnut cream frosting instantly melts in your mouth. It's so delicious. It's so compelling because it's all about the filling. Frankly, there's almost no difference between Kinder Bueno and Kinder Bueno White. There's a very thin layer of chocolate covering the Kinder Bueno but that all gets lost in the filling, too. I'd recommend them both. Taste-tester Ben also found them scarily addictive. Find these if possible and stock up!

Score: 5

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Festive Christmas Sweets: Peanut Brrr-ittle m&m's

Once I procured my bag of new limited edition Peanut Brrr-ittle m&m's, I tore them open with heightened anticipation. I just had a good feeling about this new flavor, and these expectations were met with flying colors. Peanut Brrrr-ittle m&m's are so delicious! They rival plain and peanut butter m&m's as my very favorite. Upon first bite, they don't seem awfully different from a traditional peanut m&m, but then you find yourself with extra crunch, added through the candy shell and a toffee coating on the peanut. The warm buttery toffee flavor melds beautifully with the peanut and the chocolate and all together it is a rich and perfectly-balanced mouthful. Despite best intentions I kept running back to the cabinet for fresh handfuls of the addictive sweets, until the entire mega-bag was almost completed. These Peanut Brittle m&m's should be a year-round offering. They're fantastic!

Score: (unexpected) 5

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Travel Snapshot: Classic Portuguese Egg Tarts, Koi Kei Bakery, Macau

The heavy Portuguese influence in Macau is evident throughout the culture, and that includes a traditional favorite, the classic Portuguese Egg Tart. The go-to bakery in Macau that has perfected the recipe is Koi Kei Bakery. The tarts are so simple, so smooth, and not too sweet. The buttery flaky crust coheres the bite and lends substance to the dense custard. Koi Kei is no local secret. Numerous branches across Macau team with tourists seeking to taste the coveted local treat. It feels good to hunker with one's still-warm tart outside the bakery and to be surrounded by other people similarly transported by a warm egg tart. There's nothing like the love of sweets to build comraderie amongst strangers.

Monday, November 6, 2017

Fresh from Norway: Nidar Smash!

Another fantastic Scandinavian treat! The Norwegian Nidar Smash bar uses one of my very favorite (and underutilized) combos--cruchy corn and chocolate. Rather than the more typical rice krispies and chocolate, crisped corn adds more substantive savory flavor and offsets the sweet chocolate beautifully. I wish these were available on the American market--they would definitely constitute a go-to chocolate bar. Thanks for finding this, Mom!

Score: 4

Friday, November 3, 2017

Via Seattle Met: A History of Cinnabon

How did a cinnamon bun grow into such a pervasive cultural icon?
Is it simply the delicious frosting or is there more to it?

To read a fascinating account of the history of Cinnabon, head to the Seattle Met blog:
Scents from a Mall: The Sticky Untold Story of Cinnabon

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Project 7 Champagne Dreams Sugar-Free Gum

Who would have thought it possible to replicate the flavor, and even the sense of effervescence, of champagne in chewing gum? Project 7 has accomplished this feat. In sugar-free form, no less. I can't say that I enjoy the sensation of chewing champagne, and on a personal level I would most likely forgo the taste experience a second time, but champagne fans will get a kick out of the gum. It's definitely worth a taste.

Score (flavor innovation): 5
Score (likelihood to buy again): 2
Score (chewing on champagne): 3