Thursday, September 21, 2017

It's A New Sweet and Savory Review

The problem with sweet and savory foods is that there's a balance. The balance is obvious, sweet and savory, however how to do it right is not so obvious. That's very apparent in today's review, and the saddest thing is it could have worked perfectly.

Click here to read why these potato snacks didn't work.

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Tuesday, September 19, 2017

It's A New Episode Of Chris, Why Would You Eat That?!!

Some people tell me that Chris,Why Would You Eat That?!! is all about finding foods from far off lands and eating them on camera. The thing is, not all of the strange food in the world is found outside of North America. We North Americans also have our fair share of very strange treats, and I'm not going to leave us out.  When I saw these Root Beer Pop Tarts, I knew it was the perfect example.

We've got a whole bunch of new episodes of Chris, Why Would You Eat That?!! lined up, make sure to follow us on Twitter and Facebook to help us choose new crazy treats to try.


Friday, September 15, 2017

Candy In The Media

If you want to see something short, very cute, that involves a Cheeto, than you're in luck.


Wednesday, September 13, 2017

The Soft Serve Trend

Ice cream is probably one of the most versatile specialty treats in the snacking market.  If you think about it, there are more varieties of ice cream, than just about anything else.  The zillions of flavours available go from the strange, like sweet potato, and charcoal, to the classics like vanilla and chocolate.  You can have flavours that are filled with a bunch of ingredients, or some that are only one.  But flavours are just the beginning when it comes to ice cream treats.

From Popsicle like ice cream treats, to classic hard ice cream, gelato, frozen yogurt, the list just goes on and on.  The great thing about these frozen treats is that the industry seems to be constantly looking out for the next big advancement.  Some of these advancements are amazing, and change the way we eat cold treats, while others are just gimmicks that are interesting at first, but don't really last very long.  When new ideas come out, it's hard to say what's going to stick around and what's going to leave us.

One interesting thing about cold treats is that you often find that the new trend/gimmick always seems to be expensive.  After all ice cream was originally a treat fit only for royalty, and took years to make it to the common market. In the last 15 years I seem to have notice that a new ice cream trend is working its way through the market every year.  One year it's making a sundae on a marble slab, the next year it's eating perfectly round spheres of ice cream, then after that it's ice cream sandwiches made with everything from cupcakes to doughuts.  The one trend that I've noticed lately that's interested me is high end soft serve ice cream.

Normally the low quality ice cream that was only available at buffets in restaurants and sold off of a truck, something new has come out lately.  Soft serve ice cream has been around since 1936 when it was invented by the Carvel company, later it became more popular by Dairy Queen. But in both of these cases it never became a gourmet dessert. For the longest time it sat in a bit of a limbo, not changing much at all.  Probably the most revolutionary addition to soft serve ice cream was the creation of the hard shell or chocolate dip. Sure some places got a little creative with flavours, both of the ice cream and the dip, but for the most part it stayed as hard ice creams ugly cousin, and never made it to the high end establishments.  That was until recently.

Over the last few years I've noticed a trend in high end soft serve ice cream places (or some might call them really expensive soft serve places).  It's almost become the cupcake of the ice cream world, with some soft serve ice cream parlors forming huge lines outside just to get a cone.  The thing that I couldn't understand is why. Why were people going nuts, and spending a great deal of money, on a treat you could buy up the street at Dairy Queen for so much less. What was the factor that made  these particular ice cream treats so amazing.

I decided recently to give them a try. I was in Quebec City and a new soft serve place was making waves on the town of Levi, just across the river from Quebec City.  A person at the tourist information office in Quebec City even suggested that this ice cream place was worth the trip across the river alone.  So after a quick ferry ride, and a wonderful dinner (by the way Levi, Quebec has some amazing restaurant choices), I decided to give this new trend a try.

The first thing I noticed is that the real selling point of this trend is not the ice cream as much as it's the toppings.  I felt this way because it appeared that only one flavour of ice cream was available (vanilla), and no one was ordering it plain. I'll be honest, this sent up a red flag for me right off the bat.  One trend I generally don't like in the dessert world is where you take a classic dessert and just fill it up with way too many toppings (I'm looking at you current milkshake trend). There has to be more to it than simply dumping a bunch of stuff on it for me to really get into a new trend.

I'm not sure if the ordering system at this place is the same as at other trendy soft serve places, but for me it was very confusing.  You pretty much go to the cash register and decide the size of cone you want, and how many ingredients you want. Dip is the one thing you don't really get a choice about either. Then there's a million other things you can have attached to your dip, everything from nuts to cotton candy are available. This again was raising some red flags for me. Since this was my first time ordering this kind of treat, I was fairly confused.  I wasn't sure what I wanted as far as ingredients, and more importantly there are about a dozen flavour of dip to choose from, and I wasn't sure what flavour I wanted.

As it turns out at this point in the ordering process, you don't have to know what flavour you want, you just have to know how many ingredients you want.  Honestly I was very overwhelmed, so I decided to take the easy way out.  There were several examples of "perfect combinations" available, one was a salted caramel chocolate dip cone special with caramel corn and nuts stuck to it. This seemed like something I'd like, and would get me out of this hellish ordering process. I imagine that after a few tries at ordering you might get the hang of it, which is a good technique to get return customers for these places.

The two other things that turned me off about this trend, is the crowds and the waiting.  I'm sure that the ice cream places love the crowds, and can't do much about the waiting because of the crowds, but I didn't really like it at all. I think the entire buying process took about 20 minutes, and the waiting wasn't comfortable at all. Who would have thought that kids would be the main customers, and that having them wait for long periods of time for ice cream would make them go crazy.

You may have noticed that I've been pretty negative about this experience so far, and you're likely thinking that I'm going to write a really scathing review of the treat itself. That or maybe I'm going to trick you, and in the end I'll tell you that it was all worth it in the end.  Well prepare to be disappointed.

The cone  itself was OK, not amazing, but not the worst thing ever either. The good thing about this cone was the dip.  The chocolate was so smooth and creamy, I could have just eaten a bar of it on its own.  The salted caramel flavour was perfectly balanced with the smooth chocolate. The toppings (caramel corn and peanuts) although a little silly at first, actually really added to the fun of eating this cone. It was fun to bite them off as I was working my way down the cone. It also added some great texture to an ice cream that's not really known for its texture.

The bad, was the ice cream.  First of all, it melted very fast.  I assume this is because the kind of chocolate dip they used did not contain as much coconut oil as other soft serve dips (thus improving the flavour). The problem is that the dip without so much coconut oil would then have to be kept at a higher temperature to keep it liquid. So when the cone is dipped, the ice cream is melting immediately. It was one of the messiest cones I've eaten in my life.  The other problem with the ice cream was that it wasn't that special at all.  It pretty much tasted exactly like every other soft serve ice cream I've eaten in my life.

Only once in my life have I had soft serve ice cream where the ice cream was actually better than the rest.  That's in a small town called The Mumbles in Whales. There's a place there called Joe's which is legendary for their soft serve.  The thing is, they're legendary because they make their own soft serve ice cream, and it's suggested that you just get the plain vanilla with no dip to experience it.  I would say that if I got the plain vanilla with no dip at this place, I would have been very disappointed for the price.

In the end I'll say that I'm not likely going to try this again.  Unless someone can point to a place that does something more than high quality dip and sticking lots of things to the outside, I just don't think it's worth it. I would rather spend the same amount of money on a sundae, or save my money and go to Dairy Queen.


Monday, September 11, 2017

It's The Last Entry In Our Canada To Cambodia Review-A-Thon!

I think we're ending this review-a-thon on a perfect note.  It's a strange candy, that ranked very low in two categories, but fairly high in a third.  Most of the time the scores for these reviews are fairly balanced all around, and it's not often that a candy can fail at so much, yet excel in one area.

Click here to find out where this candy rocked the scores.

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Sunday, September 10, 2017

Yet Another Entry In Our Latest Review-A-Thon

Some reviews make me nervous.  On many occasions I've either received or purchased snacks that make me really nervous about eating them. This bag of chips was certainly in that category. The main reason I'm afraid of eating most snacks, hot spice.  I don't like burning my mouth off, but for some reason people in the candy world love to make hot and spicy treats.  I've been trying for years to improve my tolerance, but I've still got a long way to go.

Click here to find out if I had anything to be afraid of.

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Saturday, September 09, 2017

Part 4 Of Our Review-A-Thon Is Online!

When I first bought this snack, I wasn't 100% confident that it was a snack. I thought it might have been a meal instead. I was hungry, so i took a chance anyways.  My first guess was right, it was a snack, but then I was stuck  without a lunch.

Click here to read about this snack that looked like lunch.

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