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Sunday, March 12, 2006

Independent Food Awards Sweet Recap

As many of you noticed, on Tuesday I awarded my 2006 Independent Food Award (hosted by tasteEverything) to Scharffen Berer’s Chocolate Covered Cacao Nibs.

If you have time, you should take a look at all five days of awards, but if you’re just interested in sweets, here’s the lowdown:

The Food Section awards The Sweetest Way to Travel Back in Time to Jahn’s Old Fashioned Ice Cream Parlour and Restaurant in Richmond Hill, Queens, NY.

Gluten-free Girl awards The Best Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Sugar-Free Food You Will Ever Eat to the Chocolate Cake at Babycakes, New York, New York

Tasting Menu awards The Best Peanut Brittle I’ve Ever Tasted to Olde World Fudge at the Granville Public Market, in Vancouver, British Columbia. I bet they have good fudge, too.

Sydney Food Dairy awards The World’s Most Luxurious Ice Cream to White truffle ice cream with white bean and fig from Tetsuya’s in Sydney, Australia.

Portland Food and Drink awards Chocolate Better Than Morphine to Sahagún Chocolates, Portland, Oregon. Check out the interview post from the day before, too.

The Domestic Goddess awards Ice Cream I Wouldn’t Hesitate to Beg My Husband to Drive 2 1/2 Hours out of the City For to Kawartha Dairy in Bobcaygeon, Ontario, Canada

World on a Plate awards the Best Wicked Indulgence for $4 to Peanut Butter Sandwich Cookie from Della Fattoria, Ferry Plaza Market, San Francisco, California.

My favorite award has to be this one though:

My Madeline awards The Best Possible Nourishment for a Girl with Largely Impaired Olfactory Neurons: A Perfect Combination of Taste, Texture, and to Vosges Haut Chocolate’s ‘Barcelona Bar’.

POSTED BY Cybele AT 4:48 pm     NewsComments (0)

Friday, March 10, 2006

All Easter Week!

April 16th is Easter Sunday. It’s over a month away, but next week I’ve decided to make a theme week devoted entirely to Easter candies.

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I’m planning to cover the following items, but if there’s something else you think I’m missing that’s iconically Easter, I’ll see what I can do to get a hold of it:

Peeps
Cadbury Creme Eggs
(and Caramel Egg)
Jelly Beans (Jelly Belly and Starburst Jelly Beans)
Cadbury Mini Eggs
Reese’s Peanut Butter Eggs
(regular size and the new little foil eggs)
Robin’s Eggs (Pastel Malted Milk Balls)
Hershey’s Eggs (why don’t they make these year round?)
Russell Stover Eggs (white chocolate/peanut butter & coconut cream)
Lake Champlain Hazelnut Eggs

What’s your Easter basket favorite? You can check out what I’ve got so far here in my Flickr Easter photoset.

POSTED BY Cybele AT 12:15 pm     ReviewEasterFun StuffNewsComments (50)

Pearson’s Buns

I’ve ignored these bars for years. Well, they’re not really bars, they’re lumps. Maybe that’s why I avoided them, they’re just plops, like something you’d make at home.

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I can’t say that I see them very often, but after the pleasant Pearson’s Salted Nut Roll experience, I thought I would give these a try. So what is a Bun? It’s a nut and milk chocolate patty filled with a white fudge/fondant (vanilla or maple) or caramel. The Bun bar was originally made by Wayne Bun Candy Company back in the 1920s, which was based, oddly enough in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Later the bar was bought by Clark of Pittsburgh (the Clark bar) but when Clark was ailing they sold the Bun rights off to Pearson’s in 1998, which only makes sense as Pearson’s was already known for their high protein Salted Nut Roll.

imageThe version that appealed to me most was the caramel, so I’ll start with it. The nuts are whole (or halves, actually) so they provide a huge boost of texture to the sweet milk chocolate. The center is a thick and soft caramel. The whole bar doesn’t smell like peanuts or caramelized sugar, instead it smells like coconut. It also has a tangy quality to it that I can’t quite put my finger on that kind of ruined the experience. It’s salty, but not quite in the right balance.

imageThe chocolate on this one was glossier and I have to say, when it’s fresh, it’s a rather handsome looking candy plop. This one has the requisite nut and chocolate smell. The vanilla center is sweet and has a nice vanilla flavor (part artificial and part natural). The peanuts keep the whole thing from being too sweet. It’s not a bar I would buy again, but I appreciate that when it first came out, as a combination bar it’s filling and interesting.

imageWhat kind of confuses me about the whole history of the Bun and Pearson’s is that they already have a candy similar to this, called the Nut Goodie. The Nut Goodie came on the market a good ten years earlier than the Bun Maple, yet Pearson’s still continues to make this regional favorite. (I’ll need to get a hold of one and do a comparison.) Anyway, this is definitely the highlight of the Bun line. The center on this is a maple fudge. It’s smooth and soft and has a microfine crystalline structure that melts quickly in the mouth and mingles well with the nuts and milk chocolate. It’s quite a bit saltier tasting than the Vanilla one, but I think that’s what makes the flavors pop. Of the three, this is the one that was consumed first.  I suspect that these are the hardest to find of the three varieties, so I can’t bump up the whole rating for the line.

If you’re looking for Pearson’s candy, look no further than their affiliate website. You have to buy in whole boxes, but their prices are excellent (less than $.65 a bar) and they offer assortments of Pearson’s and even retro candy boxes that include Rocky Road, GooGoo Clusters and Moon Pies.

(click on any photo for a bigger version)

Name: Bun Vanilla, Caramel & Maple and Roasted Peanuts
    RATING:
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 6 TEMPTING
  • 5 PLEASANT
  • 4 BENIGN
  • 3 UNAPPEALING
  • 2 APPALLING
  • 1 INEDIBLE
Brand: Pearson's
Place Purchased: Baldinger's (Zelienople, PA)
Price: $.65 each
Size: 1.75 ounces
Calories per ounce: 137
Categories: Chocolate, Caramel, Peanuts, United States, Pearson's

POSTED BY Cybele AT 9:39 am     Comments (33)

Thursday, March 9, 2006

Milky Way Crispy Rolls

Our friend Matt (the one who brought back the Olympics candy) also picked up a great assortment of mass-market candy bars and I’m going to try to sprinkle those into the CandyBlog.net repertoire in the next few weeks.

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This Milky Way bar is nothing like any Mars product here in the States. Each little stick is a tube ala Pirouline but instead of being hollow, these have a wonderful buttercream filling. Then the whole thing is dipped in chocolate. They smell sweet and milky, like walking into an ice cream parlor.

The chocolate is very sweet, but smooth, with that European milk taste. The cookie shell is crispy and flaky with lots of micro thin layers. It tastes like a fantastic ice cream cone. The cream center is firm but still soft. It’s buttery smooth without any graininess to the sugar. There was no English ingredients list, but my German and my tongue is good enough to recognize hydrogenated oils.

Again, here’s a tasty little morsel that you just can’t get in the States and sometimes I wonder why. The package is a scant 25 grams, so even though it’s very high in calories per ounce, the package only has 130 total calories for the two fingers (about 150 per ounce, much less than a pure chocolate bar). Even though they look delicate, I got them in perfect condition, unbroken and unsmashed.

Note: Milky Way in Europe is actually what we know of as Three Musketeers in the United States - it’s a fluffy nougat covered in milk chocolate.

Name: Milky Way Crispy Rolls
    RATING:
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 6 TEMPTING
  • 5 PLEASANT
  • 4 BENIGN
  • 3 UNAPPEALING
  • 2 APPALLING
  • 1 INEDIBLE
Brand: Masterfoods
Place Purchased: gift from Europe
Price: .60 Euros
Size: 25 grams
Calories per pkg: 130
Categories: Chocolate, Cookie, Germany, Mars (Masterfoods)

POSTED BY Cybele AT 9:32 am     Comments (14)

Wednesday, March 8, 2006

See’s Peanut Brittle Bar

See’s recently moved into the “candy bar” arena with their Awesome collection. They’re candy bars you can buy singly at their stores or in boxes of eight bars. They’re a buck a piece and prepackaged and a pretty good deal for a premium candy bar (unlike Lake Champlain’s 5 Star line).

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See’s packaged an old favorite, peanut brittle into a compact bar and covered it with chocolate. It’s less of a nut brittle and more of a toffee though, in my opinion, but the recipe is absolutey for brittle (baking soda being the operative ingredient).

The bar is a little tiny, at only one ounce, it’s a little less of a candy bar than I’m used to. But the whole peanuts and salty brittle is a really great combination. It tastes really salty, but when I checked the sodium content, it’s not really any different than any other standard nut candy bar like a Reese’s or Snickers. The milk chocolate coating is sweet and smooth. The bar crunches and flakes easily with a slight foamy texture (that’s brittle for you). I liked the bar, but it’s not going to knock the Awesome Nut & Chew bar from that top spot in my mind.

I’m glad See’s created some more portable versions of their best candies. I’m just waiting for a Scotchmallow version in dark chocolate. I read in Los Angeles Magazine that the candy bars were actually created by the workers at the factory, who had been making them with short ends for themselves and as gifts when the corporate folks decided it was a really good idea. I know it sounds odd, but for dieters, these could be a good option. The bars are smaller than standard candy bars (this one is an ounce, the Nut & Chew and Walnut Brittle are 1.5 ounces) so you can feel indulgent without being tempted by a full box of mixed chocolates. I’m a firm believer in giving yourself what you crave, in moderation. Because there are a lot of nuts in all versions they’re very filling (the protein and all).

Name: Awesome Peanut Brittle Bar
    RATING:
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 6 TEMPTING
  • 5 PLEASANT
  • 4 BENIGN
  • 3 UNAPPEALING
  • 2 APPALLING
  • 1 INEDIBLE
Brand: See's
Place Purchased: See's (Fashion Square - Sherman Oaks)
Price: $1.00
Size: 1 ounce
Calories per ounce: 150
Categories: Chocolate, Peanuts, Toffee/Brittle, United States, See's, Kosher

POSTED BY Cybele AT 9:13 am     Comments (8)

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Meticulously photographed and documented reviews of candy from around the world. And the occasional other sweet adventures. Open your mouth, expand your mind.

 

 

 

 

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COUNTDOWN.

Candy Season Ends

69 days

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Which seasonal candy selection do you prefer?

Choose one or more:

  •   Halloween
  •   Christmas
  •   Valentine's Day
  •   Easter

 

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ON DECK

These candies will be reviewed shortly:

• Dandelion Chocolate

• Seely’s Mint Patties and Ivory Melts

• Honey Acres Patties

• Yum Junkie Pufflettes

• Butterfinger Peanut Butter Cups Mini

 

 

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