Monday, July 15, 2019

10 Second Kitchen - Street Cart On Suramarit Blvd

Not all restaurants are in buildings, some are sitting next to traffic.

Find out where this cart normally is on our Candy Critic map.


Classic Candies I Haven’t Reviewed And Why

Mounds - Mounds is a classic American candy bar. It’s often associated with another classic American candy bar, the Almond Joy. The difference between these two bars is very simple, almonds. The mounds bar is a coconut bar covered in chocolate; the Almond Joy is exactly the same bar only with a couple of whole almonds on top. The reason I’ve only reviewed the Almond Joy, and not the mounds, is that I really don’t like coconut that much, but I’m pretty fond of almonds. Every time I’m in the USA and I see a Mounds bar, I always see something else better that I’d rather eat, something that isn’t just two lumps of sickly-sweet coconut with a thin layer of chocolate.

Jolly Ranchers - Jolly Ranchers are a fairly well known American hard candy that comes in several flavours. The flavours are very powerful, and the candy is a little sticky. There are several flavours of Jolly Rancher, but two of them stick to my mind, watermelon and cherry. Cherry sticks to my mind because I really like it, I’d go so far as to say that cherry Jolly Ranchers are my favourite cherry candy that I can think of. Watermelon comes to mind because I can hold it up as an example of why watermelon candies are the worst.  The reason I’ve never reviewed them is a geographical problem. Jolly Ranchers are fairly rare outside of the USA, they’re even hard to find in Canada. When I go to America, I often can’t find Jolly Ranchers in one particular flavour either, most notably I never find just cherry. I don’t want to review watermelon Jolly Ranchers before I review the cherry ones, that would seem just wrong. So, I’m waiting for the day when the stars align and I can get a bag of cherry only Jolly Ranchers.

Classic Juicy Fruit - Juicy Fruit is a classic gum that’s been around as long as I know. A while back they changed the format of their gum from a long chewy stick to something that resembles a Chicklet. When this new format came out, I decided that I would do a review, and it did okay, but it wasn’t spectacular. It tasted fine, but as was the same with the classic stick format, the flavour didn’t last very long. I mentioned this fact and then got an email from someone at Wrigley’s, they were not happy. In fact, they were downright mean to me. Since then I’ve seen that they’ve brought back the chewy stick format of the gum (a format that I actually prefer), but I still haven’t reviewed it. Every time I see it on the shelf, I think about that person telling me off, and I think that I don’t really want to go through that again. Sure, that person may not even work at Wrigley’s any more, but who knows.

Milka - Of all of the candies on this list, this is the one that's a little harder to explain why I haven’t done the review. Milka is a brand of milk chocolate bars from Europe, I'm not really sure where they originated from, but you can find them in many countries all over Europe. As the name would suggest, the chocolate is generally milk chocolate, and it seems to have a dairy theme. In fact, I've seen many an airport display of Milka chocolate bars displayed on giant purple cows (I can't explain why they're purple). To say that I've never tried any Milka bar is also not true, the thing is I have yet to review their classic milk chocolate, with nothing added. Of all of the other candy mentioned in this article, this is the only one that I can't even say that I've ever tried it. I've tasted it in combination with other ingredients, and used to flavour other things (like cream cheese), but I can't say that I've ever actually eaten a plain milk chocolate Milka bar. I'm not really sure why this is, likely because when the interesting variations present themselves, I become distracted. I guess I might eventually give this bar a try, but it's completely possible that it never happens.


Thursday, July 11, 2019

10 Second Kitchen - Street 244 and Street 19

Drying meat in the sun is a common occurrence in Cambodia. I've been tempted to try eating the results some time, but frankly I'm not sure if my stomach could handle it.

Find out where we shot this video on our Candy Critic map.


Tuesday, July 09, 2019

Monday, July 08, 2019

10 Second Kitchen - Sovanna

This is actually one of the most popular restaurants in Cambodia, every night the streets fill up just to get a table here.

Make sure to check out the candy map to find out where this is.


The Food Trend You’ve Never Heard Of - Salted Egg

Food trends are like all trends today, they appear on social media or television, then suddenly they’re at every restaurant and part of every snack as big name brands try to capitalize on them. These trends don’t often disappear, but they die down a bit. At one point every bakery specialized in cupcakes, now there are still many places that make them, but few specialize in them. Sriracha was once the hot sauce of choice on everything, it’s still popular, but it’s not a Krispy Kreme doughnut flavour. We tend to think of these trends as global phenomenon, where the entire world is discovering, and eventually getting sick of this trendy food all together. This can be the case, but it’s not always.

Salted eggs are a traditional Chinese food that was adapted into the snacking world, and is now taking parts of Asia by storm. A salted egg is an egg that is brined and soft boiled. It gives the egg a salty flavour perfect for a snack or as a side dish. A few years ago, a few industrious companies in Singapore started to discover ways to turn this simple salty egg into a crunchy snack. Their solution was a little un-orthodox from a western standpoint, but it became a hit. The new snack took these salted eggs, turned them into a batter, and used them to coat fish skins. These fish skins would then be deep fried, and turned into a crunchy snack.
Salted egg fish skins gained in popularity, and became a go to snack in Singapore. The main producer of these salted egg fish skins was a company called Irvins. They made this snack something more than just a salty treat, they would have lines out the doors of their stores, and would actually sell out of product before the end of the day. My first encounter with salted egg fish skins came about when I was flying through the airport in Singapore. Irvins had just opened a branch of their store in the airport, and I was perplexed about why it wasn't even open in the middle of the day. I was actually more perplexed about who would want to eat something called "salted egg fish skins".  Apparently, they had run out of stock that day and closed shop. On my way back from my trip, I again stopped in the Singapore airport and Irvins was open, and the lineup was huge. People were buying giant bags of these fish skins, and I had no idea what the deal was.

After this stop through I decided to learn a little more about this snack, and I discovered that this was one of the great hidden gems of Singapore, and people would seek out Irvins and get their salted egg fish skin fix. At first, I discounted this as just a weird trend in a particular country. Sometimes foods in a particular country will become trendy, but only locally, and to the occasional foodie that might be passing through. About a year later I happen to be visiting Singapore, and I decided to indulge in this trend. By this time there were a few companies making these fish skins, and I also discovered a few places (Irvins included) were selling salted egg potatoes (these are basically potato chips instead of fish skins). While I was in Singapore, I sampled some of this fish skins (and even wrote a review). I wasn't blown away at how great they tasted, but they were kind of unique.
At this point I still figured that this was a niche Singapore thing, and nothing more. It was fun to eat, but I figured I wouldn't hear about them again, unless I went back to Singapore. Then something weird happened. I was walking through a store in Cambodia, and I saw salted egg fish skins. Huh, I thought. I was a little surprised to see them, but not convinced that it was a full on trend. I say this because Cambodia generally doesn't have much of a snack (or candy) creating scene. Most of the snacks in Cambodia are just imports or copies of imports from other parts of Asia, with a few Australian and North American treats thrown in. Don't get me wrong, there are some great foods in Cambodia, they're just not into making original snacks right now. While seeing these salted egg fish skins in Cambodia tweaked my interest, I wasn't convinced.
Then last week (about 6 months after discovering them in Cambodia) I went to Bangkok, and my mind was blown. Bangkok is a place that is loaded with trendy stores, cafes, and restaurants. I would say that it's one of those cities that seems to really be into trendy things, and last week Bangkok was really into salted egg. The stores were packed to the gills with salted egg fish skins and potatoes, but there was more. I started to notice international brands jumping on this trend. Most notably I saw a bag of salted egg Lay's potato chips. This is when you know something is more than a niche local trend, when a large brand jumps into the game.
But this wasn't the only example. In Thailand (and I imagine in other parts of South East Asia (and maybe further) salted egg is becoming a flavour that every food company wants to be a part of. I found salted egg ice cream, salted egg meals, and even salted egg doughnuts at Krispy Kreme. It was as if everyone wanted to be a part of this new food trend. I couldn't resist trying out a salted egg doughnut, it was surprisingly good. Having said that I was expecting it to be horrible, so even partially good would have been an improvement.
Seeing as I'm still living in South East Asia, I'm not sure if this trend is moving outside of this area (although apparently the cheese doughnut I thought I ate at Tim Horton's in China was actually salted egg). I think the salted egg trend would work all over the world. I think North America and Europe could get on the salted egg train too. I think Krispy Kreme and ice cream companies may have a hard sell for this, beyond it being a novelty, but I think chip companies would do really well. Maybe the fish skins might not be very popular, but the salted egg potatoes would be a big hit.

This trend could spread, and it could be something we see all over the globe, or it might just be an "Asian thing". I hope not, because it's not often that you get something that's just a little weird, but actually works, and I'd really like my friends to be able to try this flavour out.


Friday, July 05, 2019

Candy In The Media - Ring Pops Are Useful

I always thought Ring Pops were about looking fancy, this commercial proves they're functional too.