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.

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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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Nestle FruTips – Chinese Assortment

April 18th, 2014 by Rosa

On Monday, I reviewed the mango, grapefruit, and lychee FruTips that I bought in China. Today, I’ll review their regular flavor assortment.

The regular FruTips were the same size and texture as their specialized flavor counterparts, and they also contained lychee flavored jellies (white). You can refer to Monday’s review for my notes on texture and the lychee FruTips.

Yellow was lemon. It tasted tart and zesty with lots of bitey lemon zest flavors. Orange was orange and tasted of candied citrus. It, too, was quite zesty, but its flavor profile was more rotund and orangey.

Green was apple and tasted like apple juice. Pink was strawberry, which was floral and sweetly tasty.

Finally, purple was blackcurrant, which is not a flavor we usually get in the U.S. It had intense, seedy tannins with almost menthol-y undertones that gave it some bite.

Nearly six years ago, I wrote a review of Rowntree’s Fruit Pastilles that may be the same product as these, except this time around, I really liked them. I’m not sure if the Chinese ones were fresher or a different formulation, or what, but I think they’re worthy of an OM.

Category: Asian (China, Japan, and Korea), chewy, gummi/gummy, jelly candy, Nestle, OM, review | Comments Off

Keep a candy bar handy for relationship bliss

April 17th, 2014 by Rosa

Via my friend Neil, a new study shows that low blood sugar may prompt more aggression towards your significant other. Researchers suggest eating a candy bar before touchy conversations to keep things on a more even keel.

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