Monday, September 26, 2016

This Week In Candy

Can you believe we're still here?.. At Disney World?  The photo above is me in Disney Paris, that's because I'm writing this way in advance and I don't have a picture of me in front of the Florida castle (yet). At this point in our trip I'm sure that I'm either sick of Disney stuff, or planning to move here permanently.

Our trip is winding down right now, and that means it's on to the second part of this adventure, but we'll have more about that next week.  For now we're still posting most of our regular blog posts, and reviews are likely to come back in the next few weeks.  This week we're posting our final installment on candy varieties, and it's a strange one.  We're going to look at Lay's chips and all of the strange flavours you can find of this salty snack.

Hope you're keeping up with everything we're doing at the Magic Kingdom via Twitter and Facebook.


Thursday, September 22, 2016

It's Time For Another Episode of Chris, Why Would You Eat That?!!

Just because we're away doesn't mean you have to miss out on all of the fun of watching Chris eat (or in this case drink) questionable foods.

Click  here to see some past episodes, I assure you most don't go this well for Chris.


Best Variety - M&Ms

All this month we're looking at some different treats that offer interesting variations.  Last week we looked at Reece's Peanut Butter Cups, and before that we looked at Pocky and Kit Kats.  Today we're looking at a fairly unique treat, that's been around so long we might forget how unique it is, M&Ms.  Unfortunately M&Ms are a copycat candy, they likely were inspired by the British Smarties.  Smarties are a candy coated chocolate that was created several years before the M&M.  The real difference in the two candies is the choice of colours (although with custom M&Ms this might not be true), thickness of the shell, and in some cases the flavour.  M&Ms have also branched out a lot more than Smarties.

Smarties have really only come out with one variety, and that's putting their popular candy into a chocolate bar.  M&Ms on the other hand have branched out a great deal.  M&M's might also be considered one of the first candy companies to produce a variation.  M&Ms peanut came out in 1954, just under 15 years after the original "plain" M&Ms came out.  This variety proved to be very popular, and today is considered just as original as the milk chocolate filled variety.  While M&Ms diversified fairly early on, they didn't get extremely experimental till much more recently.

In the last 15 or 20 years there has been a renaissance in the M&Ms variety world.  It started with adding a few different nuts to the center, and has expanded ever since. Similar to the Kit Kat, M&Ms have two different kinds of variations, long term and limited edition.  Since starting out with variations M&Ms have introduced a few varieties that have stuck around.  Peanut butter, Almond, and crispy M&Ms are still around, and are likely not going anywhere soon.  There have also been a few varieties that are limited edition, and many that seem to be tied in with movies.  Some of  these movie tie-ins make sense, like Ogre sized M&Ms that tie in with the movie Shrek.  However a few of the limited edition movie tie-ins are not so clear, like Peanut Butter and Jam M&Ms tied in with Transformers, and mint crisp M&Ms tied in with Indian Jones.

So far I've tasted 11 different variety of M&Ms, and the one thing I can say about almost all of them is that they've never really deviated from their original format.  With some of the other treats I've discussed in this series there have been some variety that are almost so different that you might have a hard time saying they're a variant as opposed to being a completely different treat all together.  M&Ms variants seem to stick to the format, a small candy coated candy, often with chocolate involved.  With this limitation, it's surprising not only the number of variations, but in the diversity of each of these variations.  There are different textures and flavours in most of these treats, and you'd likely have no problem telling them apart in a blind taste test.

In fact that would be really fun.  Take a bag of every variety of M&M ever made and put them in one bowl.  Then spend the night randomly picking out M&Ms and guessing what variety they are.


Wednesday, September 21, 2016

A Disney Candy Thing

When I first saw this jellybean machine I thought it served frozen jellybeans, I thought that it was a unique, but likely stupid idea.  I was wrong, but not about the idea of frozen jellybeans being silly.


Monday, September 19, 2016

This Week In Candy

We're at Disney!  We're here for a while, and I imagine that our Facebook and Twitter feed are a clear indication of this.  I say "imagine" because, as usual I'm writing this well in advance.

As we mentioned last week, some of our regular posts will still be going up this week, and as you would expect, we've added a Disney twist.  Our "Candy Thing" and "Candy In The Media" are going to be full of pixie dust. Once we get home, we'll have a whole bunch of fun stuff to share about this epic trip.  While we're not posting a review this week, we're collecting a whole bunch of treats to review.  To keep you occupied, this week we'll be featuring another candy variety, this time M&Ms.

I think it's time I eat a Turkey Leg.


Friday, September 16, 2016

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Best Variety - Reese's Peanut Butter Cups

Every week this month we're featuring treats that have special varieties.  The last two weeks we've looked at Kit Kat and Pocky.  While Kit Kat is a western candy bar, invented in England, and very popular all over the world, most of its varieties have come out of Asia.  Pocky, is truly an Asian creation and has only come to North America recently, and in limited flavours.  This week's candy on the other hand is truly an a North American treat, Reese's Peanut Butter Cups.  In fact all of the varieties of this treat have been released in North America, and few have ever left.

For those in North America the Peanut Butter Cup is a real classic, but outside of North America it's really a niche treat. In most countries, if you can find Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, you'll find them in airports and candy specialty shops.  The reason they're not so popular all over the world? Peanut butter.  Peanut butter is a very divisive product, some cultures love it, many can't stand it. For those cultures that can't stand it, combining it with chocolate is about the silliest thing in the world. I've been told "why would you put peanut butter with chocolate, it just ruins the chocolate".
Because of this, the variations  in Reese's Peanut Butter Cups are all North American.  In fact, I can't say that I've ever seen a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup variation that isn't strictly American.  The varieties of this bar are a clear indication of that.  For the most part, Reese's Peanut Butter Cup varieties are based in changing up the size or ratio of the chocolate and peanut butter in the cup.  Some have more peanut butter, some have less, some are huge, some are tiny.  There's also the variety of the size of the peanut pieces in these cups.  Some of the peanut butter is smooth, some is chunky, and there's even a few with full peanuts inside. The other common difference is shape of the cup.  In some cases we can't really call them cups, but instead you have chocolate bunnies or bells filled with the same peanut butter you'd find in the classic cups.

I would say that there's only been one slightly "out there" Reese's Peanut Butter Cup ever made, and that's the special edition Elvis commemorative peanut butter and banana cream cup.  Other than that most of the cups have simply been playing around with the same ingredients.  It's not to say that these variations are any less than Kit Kat or Pocky, there's just a different take on change.

Of the approximately 18 Reese's Peanut Butter Cup variations I've tried, I've been really impressed with many of them.  This is because Reese's makes something good, and they stick to it.  Some might say that this is a prime example of American cuisine next to Asian cuisine.  America takes what they know and stick to it because it's what they like.  Asian cuisine likes to challenge itself, and often they go too far.  It's not better or worse, it's just different.