Wednesday, October 31, 2018

A Happy and Sugar-Filled Halloween!

Wishing all sugar devotees a happy and sweets-filled Halloween holiday! 
Enjoy the one day a year it's acceptable to ask strangers for free candy!

Monday, October 29, 2018

Candy Corn in Many Forms: White Candy Corn m&m's

This review was originally published on obsessivesweets September 12, 2012. The opinions still stand, but now represented with far better accompanying photos. 

I'm so excited to have found these limited edition White Chocolate Candy Corn m&m's at my local Target. They were released last year at the same time, but I was never able to track them down (click to read my wishlist preview from last year). I approached them with a mix of excitement and wariness as I can eat pounds of candy corn in one sitting, but white chocolate products do not tend to be favorites. These are basically larger-than-regular m&m's in a candy corn white, yellow, and orange color profile, filled with white chocolate. The bad surprise: I really didn't taste that unique candy corn flavor in there. In the first few I ate, there was an underlying candy corn moment. By the 4th m&m, all I could taste was the white chocolate. That said, the nice surprise is that this is really appealing white chocolate, very soft and melty and not at all waxy, as white chocolate can be. It's a little like eating a ball of sweet white frosting encased in a crunchy shell. Good! Super sweet! Perhaps a little too intensely sweet. Perfect for consuming a handful but I would be hard-pressed to finish a whole box (unlike with regular or peanut butter m&m's).

Score: 3

Friday, October 26, 2018

Swooning: The New York Times Devoted This Week's Magazine to Candy

image courtesy of the new york times

A life-long devotee of The New York Times, my favorite portion each week is the weekend Magazine. The photos are printed beautifully on glossy paper; the subjects are explored in-depth and along a theme. (I even had the once-in-a-lifetime thrill of being part of a NY Times Magazine special insert earlier this year, having to do with historic photos and not candy, though). This week's NY Times Magazine is entirely devoted to candy. You should go read every single page and enjoy every single photo. It's beautiful from beginning to end. There's a fantastic article on the Kit Kat craze in Japan. There's another one on the Colombina Sweets Factory. It's all a great read. 

The coolest article of all names 33 unique sweets from across the world. The list left me tantalized. There are so many yet to find. And yet I was also proud, because at this point I have been able to taste-test an enviable number of those sweets due to Check out the array!!

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Lotte Pikachu Grape Gummies

I'll check out any Pokemon candy tie-in, especially one featuring Pikachu. This Lotte Pikachu Grape Gummies, however, are a disappointment. Yes, the wrapper is fun and flashy. The gummies, though, are bland. It is kind of funny how some Pikachus are frowning and some are smiling, but the shapes aren't very innovative and the flavor is not appealing at all. There are plenty of other great Lotte products to opt for instead.

Score: 2

Monday, October 22, 2018

Sour Dusted Candy Corn: Sour Patch Kids Candy Corn

I never would have guessed--grape and orange flavored candy corns are tasty! And pleasingly pretty! As a candy corn traditionalist, it's a surprising treat to enjoy such an exotic candy corn flavor. The sour dusting of sugar, though, just doesn't cohere to candy corn surface. Unlike the gummies of original Sour Patch Kids, that provide a malleable surface for which the sour sugar to cling, you end up with a big mess of loose sugar with these. Why not just have some sour orange and grape candy corns and lose the sour sugar entirely?

Score (surprisingly good candy corn flavors): 4
Score (messy dusting of sour sugar): 2
Score (overall): 3 

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Pan Dulce to Jello Art: Tulcingo Bakery, Corona, Queens

A couple weeks back the living room ceiling collapsed and everyday life went down the drain while we transfer to new and safer housing. I'll admit, it's grim and I'm grumpy. Even suffered as the built-up stockpile of candy had to be dumped. Things will get better, and quickly, but for now a special sweet can really improve the quality of each day--add a little sugar-spun cheer to the situation. 

In the heart of Corona, Queens--at the 103rd Street 7 train stop--Tulcingo Bakery, a Mexican Panaderia, presents the perfect venue to indulge in some sugar cheer. I go straight for the Pan Dulce. There are so many varieties and they are so fresh from the oven. With a cup of hot tea it's bliss for less than $3.

The rest of the bakery is a visual feast--technicolor cakes with elaborate frosting, molded jello that looks like a stained glass masterpiece, fruit suspended as if by magic within transparent jello--it all forms a glorious blend of the dessert styles in a rainbow of color.

I might have to pay another visit this evening....

Monday, October 15, 2018

New Hershey's Dulce de Leche Waffle Layer Crunch Bar

The new Hershey's Dulce de Leche Waffle Layer Crunch Bar is a surprise hit. The layer of dulce de leche cream just makes the bite more creamy--the flavor isn't all that strong. The waffle bits are the great stroke of the new bar. They're super crispy but a bit more substantive than the traditional rice krispie. I thought these were pretty good but probably wouldn't opt for one over a traditional Hershey bar. The true test, though, is that I put them out at work and they disappeared in less than two hours. Everyone's feedback was enthusiastic. Everyone asked when more might arrive. Now I'm psyched to try the strawberry flavor.

Score (personal): 3
Score (mass appeal): 4

Friday, October 12, 2018

They're Back! Sunkist Fruit Gems

Truth be told I prefer a fruit jelly or fruit gem any day to a gummy candy. To my subjective and somewhat erratic taste-buds, the consistency is so much more pleasing. This love of a good fruit jelly was born decades ago as a child with Sunkist Fruit Gem--I cut my sweet tooth on these babies. All five flavors are delicious although I'd usually leave some of the Lemons and Raspberries for other people while hoarding the Grapefruit, Lime, and Orange. 

Apparently Sunkist Fruit Gems have remained on the market but I had not encountered them on the East Coast in recent years. They just weren't present in the candy aisle. Suddenly I'm seeing them everywhere, now under the Jelly Belly brand. Which is terrific, because Jelly Belly has pervasive distribution. I hadn't realized how much I missed these round fruit jewels, especially the grapefruit. 

One complaint, though. My bag of Fruit Gems contained nine candies--four lemon, three lime, and two grapefruit. Where are my Raspberry? Where are my Orange? We should be guaranteed at least one of each flavor per bag. 

Score (Fruit Gems memory vs reality): 5
Score (now available at my corner store): 5
Score (where is my Orange? where is my Raspberry?): 2

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Elegant Japanese Chocolate: Lotte Sasha Chestnuts

Sasha Chestnut Chocolate is a beautiful line by Japanese candy company, Lotte. Ribbons of golden chestnut layer weightlessly upon ribbons of milk chocolate, and the cross-hatching creates such a delicate and elegant structure. You can't beat the visuals. The taste is good, too. I probably wouldn't have been able to place the extra flavor as chestnut but its rich earthy flavor blends really nicely with the milk chocolate. I asked a few people to sample these individually wrapped chocolates and the consensus was that these are lovely and well worth a try.

Score (visuals): 5
Score (flavor): 4

Monday, October 8, 2018

Project 7 Sugar Free Cotton Candy Gourmet Gum

It's unnerving how much this sugar free Project 7 perfectly imitates the flavor of Cotton Candy. Perhaps because it is mimicking an artificial flavor it's an easy match. The first few bites hit the flavor hard--it's almost too much. But the flavor disappears just as quickly, leaving a mellow memory of cotton candy air. That's the part I really liked--the aftermath.

Score (sugar free? could it be?): 4
Score (flavor fluctuations): 3

Friday, October 5, 2018

Halloween Tricks and Treats: Reese's Peanut Butter Bats

Same Reese's peanut butter perfection, now in bat form for the Halloween holiday. These are great! My only complaint, the bat shape seems a little sloppy. I wish there was a little more clarity to the form, but this is only a minor issue.

Score (Reese's): 4
Score (messy bat): 3

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Green Apple Sour Jacks: Soft & Chewy Mouth-Puckering Candy

These Green Apple Sour Jacks Soft & Chewy Mouth-Puckering Candy are pretty tasty. They're a nice combination of sweet and sour with the flavor of a green apple Jolly Rancher. I'm not sure why the packaging makes such a hoopla over the mouth-puckering achievements of sourness. I wasn't all-that aware that the sour factor was so strident. I'm also a little put-off by meaningless mottos like "Respect the Wedge!" What? Ignore it. These are a basic tasty sour gummy candy that would be entirely pleasant to eat at the movies or something along those lines.

Score (expectations from packaging vs actual candy): 2
Score (gummy flavor): 3

Monday, October 1, 2018

Candy Corn in Sporting Form: Brach's Football Candy Corn

I'm not the biggest football fan (understatement), but I am a huge fan of Brach's candy corn. I am, additionally, an enormous fan of any substantive candy corn shape. For instance, candy corn pumpkins are fantastic. Well, now there's something even better (read bigger). Brach's Football Candy Corn. I couldn't care less about the sporty shape, but am pleased for those who will enjoy it. More important is that these are the biggest chunks of candy corn that Brach's has ever offered. They're a mouthful. It's fantastic.

Score (larger sizes of candy corn in any shape): 4