Archive for September, 2008

Boston Fruit Slices

September 17th, 2008 by Rosa

I stole an assortment of Boston Fruit Slices from my friend John, who got them in a giant food gift basket from some I-banking or consulting firm that was trying to recruit him. I wish being a psych major came with perks like that. The best I’ve gotten is Dunkin Donuts at our neuroscience lab meetings.

Boston Fruit Slices are pretty easy to find on, yet I don’t recall ever seeing them in stores. They’re a soft, sugar coated fruit pate/jelly type candy. I think they fall in that category of candy that people are inured to (Boston Fruit Slices have been around for a while) and will eat if they happen upon it but won’t go out of their way to buy. They’re okay but not exceptional.

I managed to find five flavors in John’s gift basket. Lemon was bright, sweet, and tangy. Orange tasted like a less tangy version of lemon, so much so that it didn’t really taste like orange anymore. What I thought was grape (the purplish red) may actually be raspberry because it carried a slight bitterness, though I could be wrong. Red was cherry, with a strong candied cherry finish. And last and least was watermelon (pink with a green rind), which was so artificially sweetly watermelon flavored that I couldn’t finish it.

I’d eat the lemon and the raspberry again, so they get OMs. The others get Os. If you’re looking for a cheap fruit jelly/pate fix, I suggest Sunkist Fruit Gems (now made by Jelly Belly) instead.

Category: jelly candy, O, OM, review | 2 Comments »

Chocolate Cocktails

September 16th, 2008 by Rosa

I (finally) turn 21 on Saturday. Being born in September has meant that I’m a bit young for my grade, so I’ve grown up watching my friends get to things (drive, vote, buy booze) before I can. But on Saturday, I’ll be all caught up, and all the age landmarks after 21 are the less-looked forward to ones, right? So after Saturday, I get to sit back and revel in being on the young side.

Anyway, I thought I’d countdown the week, newswise, by posting a few chocolate cocktail recipes from my mini page a day chocolate calendar:

Mississippi Mud

  • 1 1/2 oz Southern Comfort
  • 1 1/2 oz coffee liqueur
  • 2 scoops vanilla ice cream
  • Blend until smooth; top with chocolate shavings

Strawberry Alexander

  • 5 oz frozen sliced strawberries in syrup
  • 1 scoop vanilla ice cream
  • 1 oz white creme de cacao
  • 1 oz brandy
  • Blend until smooth. Top with whipped cream and shaved chocolate swirls.

Death by Chocolate

  • 1 oz Irish cream liqueur
  • 1/2 oz brown creme de cacao
  • 1/2 oz vodka
  • 1 scoop chocolate ice cream
  • 1 cup ice
  • Blend until smooth. Top with whipped cream and chocolate curls.

Chocolate Coffee Kiss

  • 3/4 oz coffee liqueur
  • 3/4 oz Irish cream
  • 1 splash brown creme de cacao
  • 1 splash Grand Marnier
  • 1 1/2 oz chocolate syrup
  • Hot coffee
  • Top with whipped cream, shaved chocolate, and a cherry.

Category: news | 3 Comments »

Nestle Munchies and After Eight

September 15th, 2008 by Rosa

Nestle Munchies and After 8’s are UK treats that are similar to more well-known and more widely available candies. The ones I bought are unique because they’re cube shaped and come in a roll/log, making them more portable and convenient. They’re great for sharing, for portion control, for stretching out your snacking by forcing you to slow down, and for saving for later.

Munchies are pretty much just like Twix; they’re cookie (biscuit) and caramel all covered in milk chocolate, though in the Munchies the division between the two is vertical rather than horizontal. I thought the Munchies actually surpassed Twix because the Munchies are easily poppable. There’s nothing exceptionally special about any of the ingredients in the Munchies, but then again, there’s nothing that special about the quality of what goes in a Twix either. It’s the perfect combination of salty/sweet/textures that makes Twix so great. I give Munchies an OM. They’re cheap, inelegant, and tasty, and I wish they were available in the U.S.

After Eight mints come in many sizes; the cubes, on the outside, are extremely similar in appearance to the Munchies. See for yourself:

Basically identical on the surface (same ridges, same grain/bloom showing the poor quality of the chocolate), except that After Eights are dark chocolate instead of milk. They’re filled with a creamy, minty fondant thing. Basically, they’re like conveniently sized York Peppermint Patties, only not as refreshingly minty, so I only give them an O. Also like the Munchies, nothing special, but still pretty good.

Category: caramel, chocolate, cookie, European, mint, Nestle, O, OM, review | 1 Comment »

I have awesome timing

September 12th, 2008 by Rosa

Of course my traffic would triple the day I announce I’m taking a week off because my computer died. Forget time off; I’m capitalizing on my good StumpleUpon fortune. I’ll be posting as usual (my roommate doesn’t know it yet, but she’s going to be very understanding and sharing), so all you new readers, stick around!

Category: news, not candy | Comments Off on I have awesome timing

Computer issues

September 12th, 2008 by Rosa

Dear readers,

My computer, after three and a half years of plodding along, finally died on Tuesday. I stuck into my roommate’s room to use her computer to write this (Hi, Catherine!).

I’m in the process of choosing/getting a new one. In the meantime, will be taking a mini-break, hopefully of no longer than one week. If all goes well, I’ll see y’all on the 22nd, at the latest.

Have a great week!

Category: news, not candy | Comments Off on Computer issues

Chocolate calendar backlog

September 11th, 2008 by Rosa

I unpacked my mini chocolate page-a-day calendar from summer storage and am now full of chocolate tidbits. Here are a few good ones:

“In 2006, Chocolate Russian Roulette candy featured twelve chocolate bullets you can bite into. Eleven bullets contain praline centers, but one had a hot chili filling.”

I think that’s so creative. And I love chili chocolate, which makes me wonder just how hot that filling was.

“To make chocolate shavings, warm the smooth back surface of a chocolate bar by stroking it with your palm, then scrape the blade of a paring knife across it at a 45 degree angle.”

Good cooking/garnishing tidbit there.

“Place a Hershey’s Kiss at the bottom of an ice-cream cone to stop leaks and add an extra surprise.”

Genius! If only Hershey’s Kisses tasted better.

Category: news | Comments Off on Chocolate calendar backlog

Café Tasse Bars

September 10th, 2008 by Rosa

When I was Cambridge over the summer, I walked past this tea shop nearly every time I went to the city centre marketplace. On my last day, I finally went in and bought this small selection of chocolates by Cafe Tasse (I think it means coffee cup in French. Man, I haven’t taken French in a long time).

The “chocolat fin artisinal” were available in three flavors at the shop: noir the Earl Grey (black/dark Earl Grey tea), lait noisettes (milk hazelnuts), and noir (black/dark).

Under the wrapper, all three of these looked pretty plain, so I didn’t bother photographing them. The noir was a 60% dark chocolate. It had a dry snap with a grainy, not creamy melt. It was pretty sweet for a dark bar and had a bland, unexceptional, 1-dimensional flavor. An O.

The lait noisettes didn’t fare much better. It also had a dry snap, which is unusual for milk chocolate. I swear, for some reason, this had a minty finish, even though, as far I can remember, I never stored it near other minty things. And I didn’t taste any hazelnut, though it’s possible that tiny, ground up hazelnuts were what made it so dry. Another O.

The noir Earl Grey was slightly more exciting. Also a 60% dark, it tasted perfumey and floral, as Earl Grey tea does. The tea bits were added in the form of a dry grit, which gave it a nice fine crunch and textural grit. An OM, possibly thanks to the grading curve set by its less than stellar compatriots.

Category: chocolate, European, O, OM, review | Comments Off on Café Tasse Bars

Curious George and Chocolate

September 9th, 2008 by Rosa

I shopped a class on Children’s Picture Books last week, so it’s fitting that Candy Yum Yum!’s post on Curious George Goes to the Chocolate Factory caught my eye. Must hunt this book down!

Category: news | Comments Off on Curious George and Chocolate

Swiss Petite Fruits

September 8th, 2008 by Rosa

In addition to the malted milk balls I reviewed last week, I also got free samples of Swiss Petite Fruits from Oh Nuts!, per my request. The tiny fruit candies looked so cute and tasty on the website that I just had to see them in person.

Honestly, I found myself disappointed at how they looked at first glance. I had imagine adorable little Runts-sized fruit candies. Instead, the Swiss Petite Fruits were more grape to gumball-sized, making them less cute and more normal. And while I was impressed at how the lemon, orange, and pear were pretty true to the form and texture of their larger, real fruit counterparts, I found that the bananas (neglected in my photo, the long yellow tube in the Amazon photo) and apples (light yellow-green spheres) to be insufficiently cute.

As best as I could tell from taste and shape, the fruits were banana, orange, lemon, cherry, raspberry, grape, apple, and blueberry. They all consisted of the same white innards covered by a varying colored shell. That meant they all tasted of a sweet, vaguely citrus-y sugar bomb with a bright, rotund, Jolly Rancher-y finish of whatever the fruit was supposed to be. The lemon and orange were my favorites, as their citrus tangs went nicely with the sugar bomb innards. Banana wasn’t great, but at least it didn’t taste that banana-y (I hate banana Runts).

I hated the Swiss Petite Fruits. I also couldn’t stop popping them. I would eat one and blanch at the intense, cloying sweetness while simultaneously enjoying the fruity finish. And then, about thirty-seconds or so later when my palate recovered, I’d be overcome with the urge to pop a second. And a third. Then I’d have to go drink some water and maybe brush my teeth.

If you really like super sweet things, I suggest you give them a try if you ever find them in a candy store bulk bin or something. I give them an O. Even though I found them sort of addictive, I also couldn’t eat more than three or four at a sitting.

Category: chewy, O, review | Comments Off on Swiss Petite Fruits

Wham – Original Raspberry Flavor

September 5th, 2008 by Rosa

In the US, Wham is probably best known for “Wake Me Up (Before You Go Go).” In the UK, Wham is also the name of a fairly ubiquitous “tongue tingling chew bar.” It’s super cheap (about 10-15 pence, or 20-30 cents) and seems to be similar to an Air Head. But what is this Super Fizz! they promise?

Out of the wrapper, the Wham turns out to be far softer, stickier, and greasier than Air Heads are. The Super Fizz! are this little white crystals, like the fizzy innards of a Zotz rather than like the popping crackle of Pop Rocks. They do tingle a bit, but I would’ve liked even more tingle. And they were unevenly distributed; my tingles all seemed to cluster on one side of the chew bar. The citrus flavor of the crystals was nice, though.

The bar itself is raspberry flavored, which surprised me. Yes, I know it says raspberry flavour on the wrapper, but the print was tiny, so I didn’t notice it. Raspberry strikes me as a funny flavor to be standard enough for an “original.” I probably would’ve chosen a different flavor had I known it was raspberry, as I have mixed feelings about the flavor. I dislike it when it tastes super seedy in candy, and the Wham did a pretty good job of capturing that seediness.

Consequently, I am not a Wham fan and give it an O. I may eat it again if it came in a variety pack, and it was the only flavor left, but then again, maybe not. I had access to a mix of candies (Nerds, SweeTarts, Shockers, and Laffy Taffy) the other day, and when only banana Laffy Taffys were left, I was tempted but ended up passing instead.

Category: chewy, European, O, review | Comments Off on Wham – Original Raspberry Flavor