Friday, May 27, 2016

Candy In The Media

I'm hoping every well in India has a bucket of Coke at the bottom, although I seriously doubt it.


Thursday, May 26, 2016

Marshmallows Vs Circus Peanuts (Part 1?) The Rice Krispie Challenge

Are Circus Peanuts marshmallows?  This is a question that crossed my mind recently.  I asked a friend of mine who happens to be a marshmallow expert and her opinion was that Circus Peanuts are not.  One person that might disagree with that Circus Peanuts are not marshmallows is John Holahan, the creator of Lucky Charms. The story is that he chopped up Circus Peanuts into a bowl of Cheerios, and Lucky Charms was born (I tried doing this myself, and you can read about it here).  According to the advertising, Lucky Charms contains marshmallows, so therefore some might consider Circus Peanuts to be marshmallows.

It's a difficult thing to really nail down, but recently I was inspired.  I thought the best way to find out if Circus Peanuts are in fact marshmallows is to compare them physically.  Sure I could do some science like stuff and compare the ingredients, but I have a better idea.  Why not try and find out if Circus Peanuts act like marshmallows.  After all if it has feathers and quacks, then it's a duck.

For my first experiment I've decided to see if Circus Peanuts work in a recipe that's tied closely with marshmallows, Rice Krispie Treats.  I'm going to make two batches of Rice Krispie Treats, one with normal fresh marshmallows, and one with an equal amount (in weight) of Circus Peanuts.
The first thing one notices when comparing the two ingredients is the way they melt.  Or more to the point, the way Circus Peanuts don't really melt.  The marshmallows melt very evenly and turn into a creamy liquid.  The Circus Peanuts do melt a bit, but they're much more globby. They also take a bit longer to melt.  In fact when I started melting the Circus Peanuts I was convinced they wouldn't melt at all and the experiment would be a bust fairly soon.

The thing is, the Circus Peanuts did eventually melt, but I'm not certain it's because of a gelatin breaking down in the heat, I'm thinking it has more to do with the sugar melting.  This means that if you're trying this experiment at home yourself, keep an eye on your Circus Peanuts because if it's the sugar melting than it's likely going to burn fairly quickly.
Eventually I managed to get both to a decent enough consistency that I could add the Rice Krispies.  With the marshmallows it only takes a few stirs to get them to blended perfectly with the Rice Krispies.  The Circus Peanuts were a bit more of an effort.  I also didn't end up needing as many Rice Krispies for the amount of Circus Peanuts I was using.

Putting the marshmallow Rice Krispie Treats into a pan is sticky, but fairly easy (particularly if you're liberal with the butter).  The Circus Peanuts were a bit more challenging, but manageable.  I should mention that I was really surprised that the Circus Peanuts worked this well, I thought they wouldn't make it our of the pot.  I eventually managed to flatten both batches of Rice Krispie Treats, however the marshmallow ones looked much more blended.
After letting them cool for about half an hour, it was time to taste.  The marshmallow Rice Krispie Treats were smooth, and each bit of Rice Krispie was coated in a fine coating of melted marshmallow. They were also very chewy, not hard.  The Circus peanuts were certainly not as well coated, and most interesting is that they were kind of hard.  It was as if the Circus Peanuts turned into a slightly chewy hard candy.  The Circus Peanuts stuck together a lot better than I thought they would, with only a few loose Rice Krispies in the bottom of the pan.

Flavour wise I was pretty happy with both treats.  I've always loved Rice Krispie Treats made with marshmallows, in fact they're my favourite way to eat marshmallows. The Circus Peanut Rice Krispie Treats were not bad either.  The cereal gave the normally strange texture of the Circus Peanuts a bit of a crunch, which is good.  It also killed the flavour of the Circus Peanuts a bit, and that's not a bad thing either.
While we  certainly can't say that marshmallows and Circus Peanuts are exactly the same, I wouldn't say that the difference is totally clear either.  At this point I would say that Circus Peanuts might be a marshmallow, but of a different breed.  I may have to try a few other experiments before I say for sure. Fortunately both Circus Peanuts and marshmallows are very abundant.  My only problem is coming up with more experiments.  I'm thinking next I may try and roast them on an open fire.


Tuesday, May 24, 2016

The Latest Episode Of Junk Fud On The Road Is All About Belgium

In this latest episode of Junk Fud On The Road, Chris and Allison take a look at a land that's known for some of the best junk food in the world.  In fact it's the birthplace of a junk food staple.

Click here to listen to past episodes from the Junk Fud podcast.


Monday, May 23, 2016

This Week In Candy

The food poisoning from last week is finally gone.  I can't say that we're 100% healthy, but we're (Allison got sick too) getting stronger every day.  We're also finally eating regular meals, and regular desserts as well. This is perfect timing, because we're just about to head off on our next adventure, India.  I've never been to India before, but it is a foodie destination, and there are lots of sweet treats that I'm very excited to try. I can't say that I'm not a little worried about getting food poisoning again, but I'll just have to be a little bit careful.  Anybody out there have any suggestions on must try treats in India?

This week we're making up for lost time.  First and foremost we're going to post a new episode of Junk Fud On the Road.  It should have been online two week's ago, but talking about food when you have food poisoning is no fun at all.  Because of the food poisoning incident, we won't have a new episode of Junk Fud History this month.  This week however we're going to post a special article, possibly the first in a sporadic series where we compare marshmallows to Circus Peanuts.  For this article we're comparing the two soft treats in how well they work in Rice Krispie Treats.  Check back later this week to see how the Circus Peanuts compared.

This week on Snack Facts, our Instagram feed, we're looking at Tim Horton's.  Every day this week we'll post a new fun fact about my favorite doughnut shop.  You can follow Snack Facts on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook.
This week's review was a gift from some friends of mine who just returned from a trip to Australia.  They picked me up a few treats, but these "Pods" intrigued me.  In the end they turned out to be the most disappointing treat I've ever loved.  Click here to find out why.


Friday, May 20, 2016

Candy in the Media

If you've got yourself some molten copper and a giant jawbreaker, then why wouldn't you forge pennies and eat the jawbreaker?