Monday, December 31, 2012
Friday, December 28, 2012
Thursday, December 27, 2012
Wednesday, December 26, 2012
It's every child’s greatest dream and worst nightmare all wrapped into one. You're enjoying Christmas at Grandmas, with all the gifts, and cool stuff associated with Christmas, suddenly fear grips over you. Grandma is approaching, only this time she's not looking for a hug, she's not even looking for her dentures, she's got a bowl of candy and for the love of god who knows what she's got in it.
Well if you're faced with this dilemma, we've got your back. After much searching (following old people to candy stores) we've found some of the treats you might find in Grandma's candy bowl this year. We'll tell you what's worth a taste and what might make you cry in Christmas agony.
The person that came up with these is either a candy genius or an idiot. Tell me that they're not just candy corn re-coloured for Christmas, tell me, I dare you. They taste like them, and they're basically the same shape. I can't really figure out why they're called “Reindeer Feed” because that's not a really that clever.
I don't mind candy corn on Halloween, but many people don't, so you might want to be weary if Grandmas got some of these.
I can never figure out how to eat these, heck I can't even figure out how to take them out of a bowl. Do you bite it, take a whole length of it, break a piece off? For this experiment I'll just break a piece off.
First of all I have to say of all the Christmas treats this one looks the coolest. It doesn't really taste like much, in fact I'd be happy with just a little bit of flavour. It's also not very easy to eat, I broke off a wave and it's not cooperating with my mouth at all. I could sit here and suck it till it disappears but I think crunching it is more appropriate.
If grandma hands you a length of this break a piece off and smile. It may not taste like much but at least it's not disgusting.
Since there are so many flavours in this mix I'll just try a few and describe what's going on in my mouth.
Black with Stripes - I think it's some kind of berry flavour, it's the best looking of all of them so at least I know I look cool.
Turquoise with white stripes - Danger, it's liquorice, yuck!
Yellow with white stripes - It might be lemon, but it taste more like dish cleaning soap.
Green with waffle like markings - Mint, not too bad, although it has a bit of a soapy/apple flavour. Not that great.
Well I could write a whole article about the variety flavours found in Silk Mix, maybe next year, so I'll stop here and just warn you that it's really a gamble when to take one of these. Make sure you “know when to fold'em”.
I have to admit I've never actually had the situation come up where Grandma was handing me a bowl of these, but they look like something she might give out in the future, so they're worth mentioning.
They basically taste like big candy corns (or in the case of this article “Reindeer Feed”). They don't really have a flavour, just kind of sweet. Since they're so big, I might taste a hint of vanilla or something, but I'm not sure.
Not bad for me, but some might not like them, be sure that if Grandma hands some to you, take only a few, they're super sweet and too many might make you sick.
Tuesday, December 25, 2012
Monday, December 24, 2012
A couple of Nestlé Chocolate Turtles
I really had to think about this one. There are so many types of chocolate that people give on the holidays, at least boxes of chocolates, and all of them are great. What I wanted to do was pick the one that I enjoyed the most, as well and the one that gave me the best memories. Many others are great but for me, Turtles mean something special during the holiday season. Nothing is better than chocolate and pecans. Yes, pecans. One of my favourite nuts in the whole world; sweet and always a great mix with caramel and chocolate. Remember a box of chocolates is a great way to say Merry Christmas to any Candy Critic you might know.
Sunday, December 23, 2012
A box of Nestlé After Eight
Well after that little rant its about time I try this treat. Actually I have to be honest and let you know that this to me is one of the greatest memories of Christmas. I remember getting together with family during the holidays, and siting on the kitchen table was a box of After Eight's. We were suppose to wait till after dinner to eat them, but because of the little envelopes it was hard to tell if any were missing. So by the time dinner started half the box would be missing. It was all for good reason too. These things are great for young and old alike. So make sure you keep a box of these handy on the holidays, but make sure you keep an eye on them too.
For years I always thought my love of canned pastas on toast was an oddity. Today I learned that I'm not alone, in fact I have an entire nation behind me. According to the picture on this can of canned spaghetti, the folks in New Zealand are perfectly fine with this wonderful open faced sandwich idea. In fact they even have a recipe for a spaghetti subway sandwich on the back of the can.
Saturday, December 22, 2012
As I mentioned before, Kiwi's have a great love of ginger beer, but that's not the only popular soft drink in town. In every grocery store there is a huge selection of fruit flavored pops. The flavors are pretty unique, from the North American perspective. This afternoon I sampled a glass of passion fruit soda, it was really tasty. They also have several berry flavours as well as pineapple. I get the feeling that straight cola flavoured pop isn't as popular here as it is in other places.
A box of Nestlé Quality Street
I wish I could live on Quality Street, because then I could eat candy everyday. Great chocolates, toffees, and all kinds of awesome treats. Unfortunately I live in the real world , not a candy wonderland, and my streets are not paved in chocolate but with a black asphalt that really doesn't taste that good. That's where this treat comes in. Whenever the holidays come around and I'm sick of eating all of that lousy asphalt, I can turn to Quality Street.
This has got to be one of my favourite holiday traditions. The only problem has to be that these chocolates really don't have anything to do with the holidays. I mean other than the fact that they're each wrapped in colourful wrappers, and they really seem to be well marketed on the holidays.
I love eating produce in the country were it was harvested, particularly when these produce are exotic to Canada (were I was brought up). It's not only environmentally good, but the quality is often fantastic. This is because the produce doesn't have to be picked before it ripens, so it can be shipped. Produce ripening on the plant is always so much better.
I think I'm going to make it a habit to sample local fruits and vegetables from every place I visit. My next goal on this trip, Kiwi.
Well they do, and they have many varieties to choose from as well. The most common brand I've found so far is Bundabergs, and it's pretty tasty. I find the last few sips to be a little strong for my liking, do to the ginger settling on the bottom, but the stuff on top is yummy. I'm not really sure why ginger beer is not more popular all over the world. And don't get this confused with ginger ale, although both have a ginger flavor, ginger beer is often less sweet than ginger beer, and it often has a bit of a kick to it.
Here in New Zealand they don't call them "candy bars" or "chocolate bars", they have much better names for treats. Instead you can get yourself a "slab" or "novelty bar". I think novelty bar sounds like a lot more fun than candy bar. It's more of a description of how much fun it will be, rather than what category food it falls into.
Friday, December 21, 2012
One scoop of Chocolate Covered Almonds
I guess you could say that these really aren't "Christmas" candies, but as a child I remember them being a fundamental part of my festive experience. I also noticed that a lot of stores have started to carry them durring the holidays as well, so I can't be the only, one right.
Do you know why candy canes are associated with Christmas? Answer this question, and find out, even if you answer it wrong.
Thursday, December 20, 2012
I found this ad on Vintage Ad Browser.
One Giant Toblerone
I'm not to sure if this is really a Christmas treat all over the world, but here in Canada, it really means something. I mean it sure would make a great stocking stuffer and they have those giant ones for under the tree. But in Canada they mean something a little more. Several years ago a restaurant in Canada called Swiss Chalet (if your not from Canada and your visiting the Great White North, I suggest you try them) started something called the 'Festive Meal Deal', and each one came with a free Toblerone bar. I remember for years always wanting to visit, just so I could get my free bar. Well recently they changed the promotion, but for me the memory is still there.
All over New Zealand restaurants, cafés, and snack bars are singing the praises of locally made ice cream. It's advertised as something unique to New Zealand, and better than any where else in the world. Since I am an ice cream fanatic I thought I should sample this delight for myself. I figured I should make sure I was getting high quality stuff, so I went to an ice cream parlor, and not just a convenience store.
While the ice cream wasn't bad, it really wasn't anything out of the ordinary. I really was expecting something amazing considering the quality of the butter I've sampled and the number of cows I've seen.
While on our epic journey across New Zealand, Allison and I came across a bakery that sold something called a "Nanimo Stick". It was pretty wonderful variation of the classic Canadian treat, the Nanimo bar. While I'm sure the person who invented this treat knew were the inspiration came from, the girl who sold in to us didn't.
The main difference between this treat and the classic Nanimo bar was the use of cookie bits through out the chocolaty bottom. I was very proud to see a little Canadian inspiration on the other side of the world.
I love coming across special promotions that I don't understand. For example, I bought myself a bottle of Coke today, here in New Zealand, and on the side it suggested that I share it with Zack. I'm not sure whom Zack might be, but if he'd like a sip of my Coke, he's more than welcome.
When I reviewed Tim Tam's a couple of years back, they didn't do very well. In fact since reviewing them I avoid talking to friends about them, and I've never eaten them again. I should point out that the only time I've had them, I bought them in Japan. But now that I'm in the home country of these cookies, I may give them a second chance. The great thing is, I have so many varieties to choose from. Dark chocolate, white chocolate, and several others.
For the first time ever I may even update my review.
I just sampled a meat pie from Harry's Meat Pies in Woolomooloo (sp?). Australians really love their meat pies, and this place is probably the most famous meat pie shop in all of Sydney, and maybe all of Australia. I got something known as the Tiger, a beef pie covered in mashed potatoes, smashed green peas, and gravy.
This was one tasty pie. It had just a little bit of a spicy kick, but not too overpowering. The toppings worked really well flavor wise, but the gravy presented a bit of a challenge towards eating it. It dictated that you had to eat the pie from the centre out. I don't normally do that because I find the centre of pies to be too hot. But I manned up and it wasn't too bad, and well worth the slightly hot first few bites.
Wednesday, December 19, 2012
A Bag of Santa's Coal
Have you been bad this year? If your lucky, you might get a bag of this coal in your stocking. This treat is really just a remake of the coal miners gum from the 80's, only it's black and super fruity. The fun part has to be the idea that you can give it to any jerk you know and get them good. One suggestion is make sure you don't try and use this treat as a fossil fuel. Although it will give you a sugary energy burst, when burnt all it really does is smell bad.
The Big Picture has a great holiday collection of photos, including some photographs of wonderful holiday treats and holiday markets that I'm sure smell really good.
After learning that "nog" is a reference to beer, why not try some beer/Christmas cookie pairings.
Saratoga has a really strange holiday tradition, and it involves smashing peppermint pigs.
Tuesday, December 18, 2012
I found these nails here and they have an instructional video.
One Ooops Reindeer
Monday, December 17, 2012
One Life Savers "Sweet Story Book"
Life Savers are one of those treats that, alone really aren't that Christmas-like, but packaged properly it's all about the holidays. The one thing I truly remember about getting these as a kid, is the fact that it seems to last forever. I mean how many Life Savers can one man eat in a day. I did notice that they cut down on the number of Life Savers you get in each Sweet Story Book, I think that's a good thing. I think the only way you could make this a little more Christmas-like would be to create special flavours for the holidays like candy cane and egg nog.
What do I want for Christmas? How about the worlds largest candy cane.
Ever wonder what the "nog" in eggnog means? Well Alton Brown has an answer for you.
The world's most expensive Christmas meal, has a fairly disappointing dessert in my opinion.
Sunday, December 16, 2012
One handful filled with Christmas Candies
I can't say that these are my favourite candies in the world, in fact the only time I eat them is after Christmas. But no matter what, Christmas would not be the same without them. I'm not to sure but I think I might even like these treats a little more when they're stale, although they do clump up so breaking them off can be a little difficult. The best, or at least most festive part of these treats has to be the colours. No matter what, considering the name of these treats, they have to be a holiday tradition.
The ginger ale they give you on Singapore airlines is spectacular. It's better than anything I've had anywhere else in the world, even better than Canada Dry. Words like that are blasphemy in Canada, so I'm very serious. It has a really nice bite, not too sweet, but also not so spicy that it burns. (Allison wanted me to mention that Canada Dry is not actually made in Canada.)
Saturday, December 15, 2012
After exploring Changi airport, I've made a sad discovery. Airport treats are going down hill. More importantly the selection of treats is really sad. Singapore is an Asian country known for a great diversity of foods, yet this airport is full of European and North American candy and very few Asian treats. While there still are a few airports around the world that carry local treats, more and more are just carrying Toblerone bars, M&M's, and Belgian chocolates. While I love these treats, it's sad that local treats are disappearing from airports. And it makes it really hard to buy last minute gifts for friends.
1 Bag of Solid Chocolate Balls
Round and covered in foil, that would be a good description of these treats. The simplicity is very overwhelming, and that's the way these things have been for years, so help me if they ever change that... Now I'm sure your saying to yourself, "Hey what's the difference between these foil covered treats and others on the market?" The big difference has to be in the quality of the chocolate. I find the chocolates in the ball format tend to be a little smoother than most other chocolate holiday treats. There are some exceptions (Hershey Kisses are one), but for the most part when you unwrap a holiday treat it tends to be very waxy. Not theses.
Now this is the part that I have to make the one complaint, and it's very simple. The foil is so hard to get off, I must have at least 20 lbs of foil in my system from unsuccessfully trying to unwrap these things. If anybody knows a quick and efficient way to unwrap these, please let me know. They taste so good but for the love of mike, I'm guaranteed to ingest some foil every time.
Friday, December 14, 2012
When I get back I'll most likely have lots to tell you guys about, and if I get some time (and internet availability) I'll be sure to let you guys know of any sweet adventures I've had so far.
Till then, have a good holiday season.
A Chocolate Advent Calendar
Every day is like Christmas, at least the 24 days leading up to Christmas, with a cool treat like this. As far as fun Christmas candy goes, these advent calendars are great. Young or old alike love to pick up these things, and munch away till the holiday season. The only problem I really have with these has to be the quality of the chocolate. For some reason it's really hard to find a calendar with high quality treats inside. I might also be interested to have different types of chocolate for each day instead of just plain milk chocolate.
Well, no matter what the treat inside, when it comes to holiday excitement nothing gets you pumped-up like a chocolate advent calendar.
Speaking of M&M's, Mars anounced that they will be releasing some limited edition colours of M&Ms. The colours were selected by fans.
After reading this article about the best sweets in Istanbul, I'm starting to see a lot of similarities between Greece and Turkey.
And if you happen to be visiting Europe, why not make a stop over in Berlin and check out "Main Street Sweets"
12 interesting quotes from Wikipedia, including information on McDonalds, Cookie Puss, and Tater Tots.
Thursday, December 13, 2012
1 Candy Cane
Awesome chocolate themed game called Chocolate Fix, is now an app that I will be playing for the rest of the afternoon.
If you've read this blog in the past, you'll know how much I hate food trend lists, and here's McCormick's food trend forecast. It's supposed to be one of the most influential in the whole world, you decide.
Pepsico invents a new word, "Drinkify" and they want to do it to your favorite snacks.
Wednesday, December 12, 2012
Recently, I was sitting on a park bench with a friend, and it turns out he was sitting on a nice, fresh wad of gum that someone had disposed of on the bench. This has happened to me before, too. When it happened to me, I threw out the ratty old pants I was wearing at the time, because the thought of having to deal with the smell and feel of someone else’s used gum long enough to get rid of it was too much to handle. He, however, did not have the luxury of throwing out his pants, shirt, jacket, and bag, all of which were victims of the invisible gum bandit.
As I see it, there are three main areas of gum etiquette that desperately need work in North America. Actually there are four, in my case, because I actually object to its existence. But the three areas of disgustingness on which I can find several people to agree with me, are location, chewing method, and the worst of all, disposal.
Before I go on any road trips, I make it clear to everyone that gum chewing is the only prohibition in my car. I say that I don’t care what else people do, as long as they do not chew gum (ok, smoking is really a no-no too). I declare that it is because it makes me nauseous (which is true, whereas oddly, smoke does not). One does not need a nauseous driver. However, just about every time (even repeat) riders climb in, they have a piece of gum on the go. One rule. Is that so hard? It’s about respect, really.
One rider did it so often that I just stopped asking them to get rid of it and just drove holding my sleeve over my face. It didn’t really help, but after 10 or so tries over the course of 2 months, do I really have to keep asking?? Driving nauseous with one hand. Great idea, but at some point, one has to just give up demanding the respect that they should just get as a matter of course.
People just assume that people around them are OK with their horrible habits, and don’t even think twice to ask if it’s OK to chew gum in certain places. I remember that chewing gum was not allowed in school. I’m pretty sure this rule had to do with the difficulty in cleaning gum off desks and out of carpets.
Is it OK to just assume it’s all right to chew gum in someone’s home or car?
Even for those who do not become nauseous at the smell of gum, there are some people who prefer not to have it in their homes or cars, just because of the potential mess that might have to be cleaned up, much like schools. Really, does it hurt to ask, “is it OK if I have a chew?” A simple question that could save a friendship.
This is the big one.
Gum is hard to clean. Sticky does not do it justice. When it gets on something, it spreads quickly and stays forever. Just look at any city street, and you’ll see little black circles of gum disposed of in days gone by.
I have watched people walk right past garbage cans and merely 5 feet later, just open their mouths and let the gum drop out.
Have you ever stepped on a fresh piece of gum? Not pleasant, I say. Sitting on one is even worse, and I don’t think my friend and I are the only two people in the world to have done this.
Littering is a problem, yes, but gum littering is out of control! For every piece of “ordinary” garbage I see on the street, I see thousands of black circles of old gum. And gum is the hardest thing to clean. Again, it’s a matter of respect. Nobody seems to care what happens to the person who comes after them. What happened to common courtesy?
Why is it so hard to just approach a garbage can and throw your gum in it? Even better, wrap it in something first! Save the gum wrapper for this – you’ll never have to search for a piece of paper or tissue then.
I would never ask people to stop doing something they enjoy, unless it really did pose a danger to others. But I just ask you to think, next time you’re chewing a piece of gum, about how you could be affecting others around you, and what small thing you could do to make the world a slightly less dirty place.
Thanks for letting me rant.