Archive for March, 2011

The Evolution of Candy

March 17th, 2011 by Rosa

My undergrad advisor loves Darwin Day and goes all out every year to celebrate it. I wish I’d seen this news story (brought to me by my friend Steve) about the evolution of candy while I was still an undergrad – it would’ve been a good excuse to bring delicious candy to our lab’s Darwin Day celebrations!

Category: news | No Comments »

Deemah Juicy

March 16th, 2011 by Rosa

Here’s a second Egyptian candy courtesy of my friend Katie. The wrapper labeled them as, “filled hard candy with cherry juice.”

The candies were lozenge-shaped: smooth, glossy, oval spheres. Though the wrapper depicted them as oozing a liquid goop, the centers of mine were goo-less.

Instead, they were soft and chewy. Perhaps the goo got absorbed into the hard candy?

The candies had a smooth, round melt. They tasted of a deeply artificial red candy with a medicinal tinge and the edge of a near menthol bite.

They are serviceable, but unexciting, making them a classic O.

Category: African, hard candy, O, received as gift, review | No Comments »

DIY Chocolate Easter Eggs

March 15th, 2011 by Rosa

The intrepid Lee of Chocolate Reviews has an impressive post about making chocolate Easter eggs from scratch. I’d like to pretend that I’m inspired by his feat, but honestly, I’m too lazy to go to all the trouble that he did, so I’ll content myself with reading about it.

Category: news | No Comments »

Tofita from Egypt

March 14th, 2011 by Rosa

This pack of Tofita came to me all the way from Egypt, via my friend Katie. She was in the country for archeological work and managed to get out right before the unrest really erupted. Today’s candy is tinged with revolution!

Tiny English print on the side called it, “Chewy Candy with Fruit Juice – Blackberry Flavor.” The square candies were individually wrapped in delightfully retro-looking paper.

Their chew was soft and not sticky. Their texture was that of a non-sticky Starburst.

The flavor was sweet with a light seedy bite that conjured up the essence of blackberries and blackcurrants. I loved the complexity of this treat and wish it was a flavor that was used more in the U.S. candy market. An OM.

Category: African, chewy, OM, received as gift, review | 1 Comment »

Nestle Galak Pop Ri

March 11th, 2011 by Rosa

I thought it would be nice to close off nearly two weeks’ worth of Neil’s guest reviews with a review of some Dutch candy that he gave me. Presenting Nestle’s Galak Pop Ri.

As best as I can tell, Nestle Galak is the white chocolate umbrella brand, while Pop Ri indicates the presence of puffed rice bits. Galak comes in other forms, including a delectable sounding Speculoos.

The bar came segmented, with a little Nestle logo imprinted on each. When I snapped off a chunk, the break was dry.

The white chocolate lacked creaminess. It tasted sweet and fruity and was surprisingly bright for white chocolate. Unlike other white chocolates, this lacked any vanilla flavor.

The puffed rice bits were great: crunchy and crisp. It was basically like a Nestle Crunch White but with a much higher chocolate to crisp ratio.

As you can see in the above photo, there was a pretty hefty layer of chocolate floating above a single layer of rice crisps. If I remember correctly, the American Crunch White features rice crisps evenly distributed throughout the entirety of a thin bar.

I enjoyed the bar, but I’m not a big white chocolate person. When I do eat it, I prefer it to be creamy, which this lacked. An O.

Category: European, Nestle, O, received as gift, review, white chocolate | No Comments »

Serious Eats’s Staff’s Favorite Chocolate Things

March 10th, 2011 by Rosa

The folks at Serious Eats have a slideshow up about their favorite chocolate things. Included in the list are chocolate mushroom cookies (a different brand than the one I reviewed) and something called an Oregon Kiss from Sahagun Chocolates that’s going on my candy bucket list.

Category: news | No Comments »

Guest Post: Chinese Candy Grab Bag – Mystery Peach Gummi

March 9th, 2011 by Neil

Last week and this week, I’m turning the reviewing over to my friend Neil. He’s from upstate New York but is currently living in the Netherlands. Ironically enough, his guest posts are about Chinese candy.

Today is Neil’s last post (for now, at least). Thanks for the funny and thoughtful work Neil!

A labmate went home to China to celebrate the New Year and brought back a lot of candy to share. I asked her to select some for me. Here were my impressions.

(NB: I originally thought the picture on the wrapper was of cherries. It’s definitely of peaches. This knowledge makes the review funny-ha-ha-Neil-can’t-recognize-fruit as opposed to just funny-ha-ha.)

Finally, I consumed the red treat I could not find any English for. The packaging required some dexterity, as it had cute gold twist-ties.

It’s exotic and fun. An image of cherries on the label thankfully gave me a hint of what flavor to expect, one in conflict with the physical appearance of the candy itself: a translucent yellow cylinder, the size of half of my thumb. The exterior was textured in a speckled way.

This was not an extra layer of granulated sugar, or if it was, it was extra fine and fairly well embedded. The texture of the piece felt dense but squished quickly, just the right level of gumminess. (Is it obvious I’m not normally a candy reviewer? I have marginally more experience with beer writing.)

The cherry flavor, though present and natural-seeming, was not what I’m used to with Haribo cherries or Jolly Ranchers. I am again reminded of how I’m “spoiled” by American SUPERDENSEFLAVORPACKING in so many foods. This also merits an OM.

Category: Asian (China, Japan, and Korea), guest post, gummi/gummy, OM, review | No Comments »

La Chocolaterie de Jacques Genin Review

March 8th, 2011 by Rosa

Via the NY Times Travel Section, a delectable review of La Chocolaterie de Jacques Genin in Paris. Thanks for sharing, NY Times. Now I have a caramel itch that would be quite expensive to scratch.

Category: news | No Comments »

Guest Post: Chinese Candy Grab Bag – Xida Corn Flavor Jelly

March 7th, 2011 by Neil

Last week and this week, I’m turning the reviewing over to my friend Neil. He’s from upstate New York but is currently living in the Netherlands. Ironically enough, his guest posts are about Chinese candy.

A labmate went home to China to celebrate the New Year and brought back a lot of candy to share. I asked her to select some for me. Here were my impressions.

This past weekend, I had Surinamese food for the first time. The woman behind the counter, when asked about desserts, offered us cornmeal-based cookies on the house.

I haven’t thought of corn before as a basis for sweet things, but with the addition of the Xida Corn Flavour Jelly (XCFJ) to my belly, I’ve had 2 in 3 days. I hesitate to call it a trend, as it’s probably just that I’m opening my eyes to a worldwide phenomenon.

The XCFJ was sized and shaped like a very fat baby corn. It was sticky to the touch and had a fair amount of give, as is to be expected. The first bite was full of corn flavor and a fun, expected, gummy chewiness.

I wondered if this was just dyed, molded corn syrup? If so, kudos to Xida for figuring out a novel way to plump me up. Sometimes it was almost savory, but other times the sugar came through.

I couldn’t decide on whether it was more like canned corn, popcorn, corn oil, or corn on the cob. Finally it hit me: it’s like the Finger Lakes Distilling corn whiskey I bought from FLD’s first batch (the recipe’s changed for the better), minus the alcohol and plus some gooey fun!

I rationed my final bites to be sure of what I was tasting. Yep. Corn, corn, and nothing but the corn, so help me cob.  I’d call it at least an OM.

If you sat me down in a movie theater with a bucket of these and a 32 oz. Diet Coke, I’d probably eat a lot before the opening credits then feel a good bit overwhelmed, but not disappointed with myself.

Category: Asian (China, Japan, and Korea), guest post, gummi/gummy, OM, review | 1 Comment »

Guest Post: Chinese Candy Grab Bag – Cadbury Hazelnut

March 4th, 2011 by Neil

This week and into next, I’m turning the reviewing over to my friend Neil. He’s from upstate New York but is currently living in the Netherlands. Ironically enough, his guest posts are about Chinese candy.

A labmate went home to China to celebrate the New Year and brought back a lot of candy to share. I asked her to select some for me. Here were my impressions.

(NB: I originally thought the picture on the wrapper was of chestnuts. It’s definitely of hazelnuts. This knowledge makes the review funny-ha-ha-Neil-can’t-recognize-nuts as opposed to just funny-ha-ha.)

The Cadbury Chestnut, as I think of it, was the one most similar to candies I’m familiar with. It presents as a brown nugget that could be mistaken for butterscotch or milk chocolate.

Biting it in half yields a few drops of a sweet sticky liquid in the center of a chewy, but not impossible, bulk. It required a fraction of the chomps that the White Rabbit did.

Here, I have to admit that I’m unsure what chestnuts in their natural state taste like. Come to think of it, I don’t know if I’ve had them roasted over an open fire either. This had “peanut butter” written all over it for my naive taste buds, which have surely been abused by an overconsumption of capsaicin and hops.

I would have liked a bit more liquid than solid, but given that the liquid was a surprise, the manufacturers have probably made the right choice when it comes to making a mess of customers’ chins, hands, and sweaters. This is definitely another OM for me.

Category: Asian (China, Japan, and Korea), Cadbury, caramel, guest post, nuts, OM, review | No Comments »