Archive for June, 2008

Idaho Spud

June 4th, 2008 by Rosa

If I remember correctly, Steve Almond wrote about tracking down the Idaho Spud in Candy Freak and watches them as they are made. He then eats one and hates it. You’d think that would have been enough to stop me from paying way too much for one at an overpriced candy boutique that charges a ridiculous sum for retro candy, wouldn’t you? If you did, you probably haven’t been reading this blog for too long, as I seem to be overly willing to waste perfectly good money on candy that I know will turn out to be perfectly unappetizing.

The Idaho Spud is made by the Idaho Candy Company. They have a link to the Idaho Spud Fan Club on the site; I find it difficult to believe that people actually like this stuff, but I suppose someone is buying them and keeping them in business. I think quite a bit of their business must come from people succumbing to Candy Nostalgia Syndrome, in which they associate terrible-tasting candies of their youth with the joyousness of youth and therefore actually want to eat said terrible-tasting candies. The Idaho Spud has been around since 1918, so it’s high in the nostalgia factor. According to the website, “the popular Idaho Spud Bar is a wonderful combination of a light cocoa flavored marshmallow center drenched with a dark chocolate coating and then sprinkled with coconut (Sorry, no potato!). The potato shape and unique blend of ingredients appeals to both young and old, making the ‘Idaho Spud’ one of the top hundred selling candy bars in the Northwest.”

Don’t you love that “top hundred selling candy bars in the Northwest” bit? Not exactly a jaw-dropping statistic there. Basically, the Idaho Spud is this weird sugar/coconut goop with a chocolate coating, which is then covered in bits of coconut. The inside goop is strange in texture and flavor. It’s sort of foamy, like a marshmallow, but also dense and gooey, making it unlike any marshmallow I’d want to eat. The whole things tastes like bad chocolate and waxy, fake coconut and has the most unappetizing mouthfeel. I’m not a big fan of coconut, but I can tolerate and even enjoy it when it tastes fresh. The Idaho Spud definitely did not taste fresh.

Points off for texture, points off for flavor, and points off for appearance (I’m not even going to go there), leaving the Idaho Spud with a . Sometimes a confection can be so bad that you just have to try it to believe it. Trust me, it’s bad, and you’re better off having never tried this.

Category: --, chocolate, coconut, marshmallow, review | 14 Comments »

Candy shopping in Cambridge

June 3rd, 2008 by Rosa

I’ve been in Cambridge for less than a week now, and I’ve already been to a Thornton’s and a Hotel Chocolat and a place that sells bulk candy (the British seem to really like their gummis).

At Thornton’s, I bought a bag of their chocolate-smothered toffees that came recommended by Melanie Dunea for about $4.50 (rather pricey, but a big bag and too raved about for me to pass up) and four little truffles (sold by weight for $2.50 total, which was quite reasonable). Their toffees were all buy two get one free, but I decided to wait and see how I liked the chocolate-smothered version. The shop is within walking distance (well, within walking distance for Cambridge, which means about half an hour away), so I can easily return.

At Hotel Chocolat, I spent half an hour spinning around the store trying to decide what to buy. I ended up tasting a bit of their chilli and orange dark chocolate bar – smooth, creamy dark chocolate that’s quite sweet for a 72%; the orange is bright and a nice addition; the chilli I couldn’t taste at all – and a baton of their dark and orange chocolate – darker, with a sharper, drier snap; really delicious – but ended up leaving empty handed.

Their whole slabs were expensive and too much chocolate for me to eat myself. As for their boxed chocolates, they came in either a box of six identical ones (over $5) or in too big boxes of a variety of chocolates that were more than I like to buy at once and more than I was willing to pay. There was a small box of four available, but at around $7 for the box, it was too expensive. I may go back at some point after reading through Chocablog‘s Hotel Chocolat reviews, but I think I can stretch my poor dollars (so weak abroad!) further by buying UK candy bars (around $1 to $1.50 each, from what I’ve seen so far).

Category: review | Comments Off on Candy shopping in Cambridge

Emily’s Chocolates Contest

June 2nd, 2008 by Rosa

The folks at Emily’s Chocolates wanted me to remind you that June is National Candy Month. As if I needed such an excuse to eat candy. They also wanted to mail me samples of their chocolates to review, but since I’m abroad, I won’t be able to receive any of them. Fortunately for you, dear readers, they’ve agreed to mail the free chocolates to one of you instead. Hooray!

I got to try their berry and nut holiday mixes and their decadent chocolate-covered sandwich cookies back in December and greatly enjoyed them. Leave a comment with a real email address (just for me to contact you if you win; I have no spam lists to add you to) by 5pm EST next Monday, June 9 for a chance to win their chocolate covered blueberries, strawberries, and cherries (products can be seen on this page; the cherries were my personal favorite). I’ll randomly select one commenter For The Win.

Good luck! And we’ll be back to your regularly scheduled reviews on Wednesday.

Category: giveaway, news | 28 Comments »