Bocandy sample – Ptichye Moloko (“Bird’s Milk”) from Russia

July 2nd, 2014 by Rosa

Ptichye Moloko was another eastern European treat that I received as part of my free sample of Bocandy, a new subscription treat service that specializes in international candy. According to the folks at Bocandy, “Ptichye Moloko” means “Bird’s Milk” in Russian and is so named because “Bird’s Milk” is a Slavic idiom that means an unattainable gift (when was the last time you saw milk coming from a bird?).

The Pitchye Moloko was a squashed cube (so not actually a cube) consisting of a chocolate shell around a snow-white whipped center. Mine had melted a bit before arriving, so they weren’t their most photogenic by the time I got them.

That chocolate shell was incredibly sweet and a little crumbly. In fact, I caught some crunchy graininess to it, I think because some of the filling’s sugar had crystallized onto the chocolate.

At first bite, the shell was way too sweet and just tasted like sugar to me. After my tastebuds were able to adjust from the original sugar shock and awe, however, some nice coconut and cocoa notes came through.

The marshmallow filling at the center of the Pitchye Moloko was great. It was soft and fluffy in texture, and though sweet, also had a lovely dairy whipped cream note to it.

I hated the first sugarbomb bite, then loved the rest after my tastebuds recalibrated. An OM.

As noted on Monday, you can get a free Bocandy sample if you pay $3.50 shipping. Bocandy is also currently running a giveaway of 3 year-long subscriptions.

Category: chocolate, European, marshmallow, O, review, Russian | 3 Comments »

Hot glue gun, but for chocolate

July 1st, 2014 by Rosa

Here’s a fun new Kickstarter that looks pretty cool, especially if you’re big into decorative baking: the ChocoLazer Chocolate Melting Gun.

I’m not sold on the name, but the idea is pretty cool – it’s like a hot glue gun, but instead of glue sticks, it melts chocolate sticks. The controlled melting of the chocolate lets you make pretty chocolate designs. Looks pretty nifty!

You can check them out in the video above, or at their Kickstarter page. $25 gets you a ChocoLazer!

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Bocandy sample – ROM Cel Mare from Romania

June 30th, 2014 by Rosa

Bocandy is a new subscription treat service (those seem to be popping up all over the place!) that specializes in international candy. I love trying international treats, but they can be hard and/or expensive to come by, so I was super excited to get a free Bocandy sample to see what they’d send.

I got a red mailer envelope with a plethora of treats, some of which I’ve reviewed before (tiny Haribo gummis, Walker’s toffees) but also some new things I’d never tried. This week, I’ll review a couple of Eastern European treats, starting with a ROM Cel Mare bar from Romania.

The ROM bar has a fascinating backstory (covered here by Fast Company) – they once used reverse psychology to up sales by replacing its Romanian flag wrapper with an American flag one. Romanians got mad and protested. When they returned the ROM Bar to its original Romanian wrapper just a week later, sales went up!

My ROM arrived melted (darn North Carolina summers!) but reconstituted itself fairly well into a softly solid bar of chocolate. It had a unique flavor profile – a little toasty wafer note to start, then a very strong fruity booziness that was set off quite nicely by the chocolate.

It turns out that the Cel Mare variety of ROM has a rum-flavored middle, hence the booziness. I loved it! It was just the right amount of alcoholic flavor to be noticeable but not overwhelming. An OM.

If you want to try Bocandy for yourself, you can get a free sample if you pay $3.50 shipping. They’re also currently running a giveaway of 3 year-long subscriptions. Check them out! They’re a candy reviewer’s dream because you get a little taste of lots of things, and it’s way cheaper than international shipping or airfare.

Category: chocolate, European, OM, review | Comments Off

Is chocolate the way to stop overpopulation?

June 17th, 2014 by Rosa

If you don’t listen to RadioLab yet, you should! They also have a fun blog where they write about things that don’t fit in the radio show. Robert Krulwich recently mused on how chocolate could save the world from overpopulation – people who eat more chocolate have fewer babies!

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Gummy bear + potassium chlorate = FIRE!

May 29th, 2014 by Rosa

Back in the day, I’ve reviewed a giant gummy bear and a giant gummy worm, both products from the folks at Vat19. Now they’ve released a video of what happens when a giant gummy bear meets a big beaker full of potassium chlorate.

Why does that happen? Potassium chlorate oxidizes the sugar in the gummy bear. The more sugar, the more fuel for that fire.

And of course, don’t try this at home. Duh. Do try to see if your science teacher will do it under safe conditions. FOR SCIENCE!

Category: news | 1 Comment »

Butterfinger and Simpsons synergy

May 28th, 2014 by Rosa

The Simpsons have been shilling Butterfingers for years now. Via Reddit, check out this sly new packaging that takes advantage of the candy bar wrapper’s natural state.

And if you needed a reminder, here’s a compilation of those Simpsons Butterfinger commercials.

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Natasha’s Just Brittle

May 27th, 2014 by Rosa

Natasha’s Just Brittle is a homegrown brittle making operation based out of Baltimore, MD. They sent me samples of their cashew brittle, mixed nut brittle, and Cracker Jack brittle to review.

The brittle was attractively, rustically packaged in a corrugated cardboard bag. Each ~2″ x 1.5″ sample slab that I received was individually wrapped. I noticed that the brittle softened and took on moisture after just one day of being exposed to the air, so that packaging was a good idea.

The brittles were buttery to the touch and snapped easily under my fingertips. When crunched with my teeth, it easily shattered before congealing into a tasty chunk of chewy burnt sugar in my molars.

The cashew brittle was sweetly crunchy and nutty, then took on a too-strong saltiness that lingered in the finish and brought an almost sour tinge to the toffee of the brittle. I like cashews for their softer texture and more mild, clean nutty flavors, so I enjoyed this, aside from the saltiness.

I have no idea what nuts went into the mixed nut brittle, but it tasted noticeably different from the cashew brittle. Its nuts’ flavors were more roasty with a tinge of acridness – much stronger nutty flavors than those of the cashew – underneath the  saltiness of the base brittle.

Cracker Jack brittle was my favorite of the three. It had chunks of caramelized popcorn and peanuts embedded into that sweet and salty brittle.

It tasted like Cracker Jack but with the ratios turned upside down so that caramel/cooked sugar was the dominant note, followed by nutty peanuts and toasted popcorn. Again, however, it was a tad too salty for my taste.

Natasha’s Just Brittle brags about how their basic recipe starts with sugar, butter, sea salt, and nuts. While I enjoyed their products, and the natural flavors of their ingredients do shine through, I felt that the sea salt was a little too heavily used.

Instead of finishing with clean brittle flavors, the brittles ended with a lingering saltiness that had me reaching for a glass of water to wash it away. An O.

Category: nuts, O, review, toffee | Comments Off

Unsweetened cocoa is good for mice – but what about chocolate and humans?

April 30th, 2014 by Rosa

The NY Times just ran an article called “Why Chocolate is Good for Us”. It describes a study finding that mice fed unsweetened cocoa extract didn’t gain weight when put on a high fat diet.

 

Sounds like a neat study! But a bit far-fetched to then say chocolate, with all its added fat and sugar, is good for people, as the headline suggests, no?

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Klondike + Candy

April 29th, 2014 by Rosa

Via AdFreak, a silly commercial about what happens when Klondike ice cream meets a candy bar. I thought it would result in the poor quality Klondike mockolates that I’ve previously reviewed, but instead, it’s a frozen ice cream chocolate bar. That seems much more appetizing!

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Washington Post Peeps diorama contest winners!

April 28th, 2014 by Rosa

I hope you all had a lovely Easter with a fruitful post-Easter candy sale haul! If you stocked up on Peeps, you can get a head start on next year’s Washington Post Peeps diorama contest.

This year’s winners are up online. A black-and-white rendition of MLK’s “I have a dream” speech took the top prize. I found it impressive, but part of the appeal of Peeps is their neon coloring. I felt they lost some of their magic rendering them in black and white.

Selfies: A Retrospeeptive was my personal favorite: cutely creative while still being cheerful!

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