Friday, July 31, 2015

Wish They Still Made It - Part 5 - Lay's Cinnamon Bun

This was a treat that was pretty much guaranteed to be discontinued.  Last year when I saw the variety of flavours on offer from Lay's annual chip flavour competition, I was pretty sure that Cinnamon Bun wouldn't win.  It's just too strange a flavour for the market, and that's a little sad.  I think these chips deserve a second chance.  I loved them, and I'd easily make them a regular flavour in my chip rotation.  I think if more people actually tried them, they too may have been surprised.

Most of all I like the idea of these chips.  It's about time that chip companies started thinking savory and sweet as well.  Many candy companies use salty flavours to tremendous success, so why can't chip companies use sweet flavours?

Here's my poem on the subject:

Sweet and savory is a great combination,
For a salty snack, a new transition.
Please Lays, oh please, bring these chips back,
I'm really craving, this sort of snack.
Sweet flavoured chips are the future, a hunch,
I want banana bread chips to munch, munch and, munch.

Click here to read the Candy Critic review.


Candy In the Media

Most people see candy packaging as a waste, but Altoids tins often have secondary uses.  I use them as pill boxes and/or will refill them with other mints.  This mini camp stove is a little extreme, but still a really great way to enjoy a warm beverage when you're out in the woods.


Thursday, July 30, 2015

Wish They Still Made It - Part 4 - Chocolairs

The Choclairs bar review that I have posted on is probably the review that gets the most e-mails of any candy I've reviewed.  So many people look up Choclairs on Google, come across my review, and for a brief moment think that it might be possible to still get one.  I've sent back many a sad reply explaining that this bar is no longer with us, and there is no plans to bring it back.  I'm not sure why it was discontinued, but I'm fairly sure that if Neilsons, or any other candy company, wanted to bring this back that sales would be through the roof.

I for one would order a case right off the bat, and I would share it among friends.  Then I'm sure at least half of them would fall in love with this bar, and cycle would start.  In no time I think this bar would turn back into a legendary treat.

Here's my poem:

This chocolate bar known as Choclairs,
Would make you happy, you'll leave all your cares.
Please bring it back, to my local store,
I would by 20, 30, or more.
I know dozens of people that crave this snack,
Please Neilsons please, bring this bar back.

Click here to read the Candy Critic review.


Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Wish They Still Made It - Part 3 - Xploder

This bar is one that keeps coming back every once in a while, that or I keep finding old boxes of these in various candy shops around the world.  Today you would say that this bar isn't really that original, as lots of bars now contain Pop Rock like candy, but when it came out it was cutting edge.  In fact when I first tasted this bar, I was convinced that I wouldn't like it at all.  It seemed really strange to add Pop Rocks to any kind of chocolate bar, but it worked.  Best of all the quality of the chocolate in this bar was pretty good as well.  It was like the candy industry saying that it was OK to mix novelty candy with fine milk chocolate.

Today that's become a bit of the norm, and it's all thanks to this legendary bar.  So this is more about giving this bar a bit of respect, and credit.  Next time you eat a bar that fizzes in your mouth, remember that at one point the folks at Wonka tried it first.

Here's my poem about this fizzy bar:

Of all of the companies in the candy bizz,
Wonka was the first to make chocolate with fizz.
While most chocolates were playing it cool,
Xploder bar came about making a fool.
When chocolate bar companies would make it plain,
The Xploder bar would blow up your brain.

Click here to read the Candy Critic review.


A Dr Who Candy Thing

I don't know that much about Dr Who, but I do know one thing for sure, the Tardis is much larger on the inside than it appears on the outside.  This is probably a good thing as you wouldn't have to refill this cookie jar too often.  Also because it's a time machine, you don't have to worry about your cookies getting stale. Or it could be that you always have stale cookies, or both.  Time travel makes for difficult problems when it comes to food freshness.


Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Wish They Still Made It - Part 2 - Organic Candy Floss "Canadian Maple" by Pure Fun

Of all of the discontinued treats we're featuring this week, this is the one I'm most sad about.  The main reason I'm sad about this treat is that I'm most certain that I will never get to try this again.  Made by the Canadian candy company Pure Fun, this maple syrup cotton candy was perfect.  It was one of the most creative flavours of cotton candy that I'd ever tried.  I thought it was creative since cotton candy is essentially just spun sugar, it was really clever to use a different sugar to flavour it.  This leads me to wonder why we don't have a brown sugar or honey flavoured cotton candy as well.

The reason I'm sure I'll never try this again, Pure Fun the company that made it went out of business.  It's not that another company may not choose to try making this, I'm just not certain they can make it as well.  Having said that, if any candy company in the world wants to take on this challenge, please send me a sample and I'll be glad to take this all back.

Now here's my poem:

Maple cotton candy that's second to none,
Made by Canadians, known as Pure Fun.
Not pink, yellow, blue, but instead brown,
The king of cotton candy, you wear the crown.
I at a whole mouthful, I was in bliss,
Maple cotton candy, I will surely miss.

Click here to read the Candy Critic review.


Monday, July 27, 2015

Wish They Still Made It - Part 1 - Mars Bar With Almonds

Everyday this week I'm going to look at a treat that is no longer with us, and let you know how sad I am that it's gone.  We're going to start with the Mars Bar with Almonds.  This was probably my favorite of all Mars bars, and one of the few instances where the special edition of a bar was actually better than the original.  This is why I don't understand why it's not made anymore.  They have released a Snicker's bar with almonds that's supposed to be similar to the Mars bar, but not exactly the same.  I haven't tried this Snicker's bar, but I can't imagine it being exactly the same as a Snickers bar is very different than a Mars bar.

I'm not sure exactly when this bar was discontinued, but it was a sad day in the candy world.  I hope that one day the folks at Mars will realize the necessity of having nuts in the Mars bar, and that Almonds are not only a creative choice, but a tasty one as well.

I've written a poem about the loss of this great bar:

Mars bar with almonds of which I am fond,
I'm really sad that you are now gone.
You gave a classic a wonderful crunch,
I could eat you for breakfast, or even lunch.
I have a dream on this very night,
That I could have even one more bite.

Click here to read the Candy Critic review.


This Week In Candy

There are two things going on this week at  First of all, as you read this I'm in Sri Lanka wandering around this island nation looking at nature and eating interesting (I hope) foods.  I will post anything I come across as I find it on our Facebook page and Twitter feed.  If you have any ideas about something I shouldn't miss, let me know!

This week we're also finishing up the licorice challenge that's been going on for a month and a half on various social media sites.  I decided that every day for 40 days I would eat a single piece of dutch licorice.  The goal was to try and gain a taste for this polarizing candy treat.  I thought that this would be the best way to get used to the harsh flavor, and that Dutch licorice was the best option for taste and quality.  Well, after 40 days I have to say that I'm still not 100% sure if this worked how I planned.  I will say that eating this licorice has become much easier, and I think I've discovered the flavor that licorice fans love so much.  It's a kind of fruity flavor that's often covered up by the intensity of most licorices.

The reason I'm not too sure if I'm a "fan" of licorice yet is because of the problem of age.  I think my licorice was getting more and more stale as the days went on.  As licorice gets stale the intensity of the flavor dies down.  So I'm not sure if I was gaining an appreciation for licorice, or if the flavor was dying down.  I guess either way I have gained some appreciation for this strong candy, but I'm still not sure if I could say that I truly like it, particularly on its own.

This week on Snack Facts, our Instagram feed, things are going to be a little different.  Since I'm away right now, Snack Facts will be filled with random facts that I discover on my journey through Sri Lanka.  I'm not sure how often I'll post, but when I learn something new, I'll post it ASAP.  Make sure to follow us on Instagram so you can keep up.  If you don't use Instagram, don't worry, you can follow Snack Facts on our Facebook page, and Twitter feed as well.

Since we're away this week, we don't have a new review up either.  While we won't be posting a new review till we're back home, all this week we're featuring reviews from the past that are no longer available.  We're going to lament a little about discontinued treats that we really miss. As a bonus, each post will even include a poem about how much we miss that treat.


Friday, July 24, 2015

Candy in the Media

Watching candy get made is always entertaining, it makes me glad I don't write a blog about hot dogs, because no one wants to watch them get made.  I'm impressed that the Razzles go from powder to solid by sheer pressure alone.  I'm glad this is a video, because if I was in the factory I think I'd want to jump into the boxes of finished Razzels and just swim around like Scrooge McDuck swimming through his money vault.


Wednesday, July 22, 2015

A Candy Thing From a Galaxy Far Far Away.

I can't tell you how excited I am about the new Star Wars movie. I'm hoping that this movie also comes with a whole bunch of cool new Star Wars toys, and more importantly Star Wars themed candy and candy merchandise.  For now I'll just have to pick myself up a little Storm Trooper candy bowl to serve me (his Sith Lord) tiny chocolate bars whenever I ask.


Monday, July 20, 2015

This Week In Candy

This week I came across what I can only describe as the worst gimmick ever for a salty snack.  The snack in question is called Space Raiders, and the gimmick is so over the top and unrelated to sour pickled onion corn puffs that I just had to tell you about it.  I found these among a bunch of other salty snacks, but instantly I was attracted to the giant alien head on the package.  Most salty snacks have photos or illustrations of the ingredients, but these guys decided that an alien theme was the better way to go.  This alone is an interesting gimmick for a salty snack, but it doesn't end there.

On the back of the package there's an illustration of the same alien, but it's a full body shot, and there's some kind of height measurement next to him.  It's as if you'll want to know more about these Space Raiders before you eat their snacks.  The illustration also comes with more details about these creatures, such their species, home planet, habitat, and of course their favorite snack.  Not surprising one of their favorite snacks is Space Raiders Pickled Onion snacks.  All of the other things listed on this package are random words obviously made up to sound "spacey". (You can click on the image next to this text for a better look)

What I don't understand is where did these Space Raiders come from? Is this a TV show, a comic book, anything pre-existing? If not, it seems like a lot of work creating a cheesy fake universe for a salty snack.  I applaud them for going through so much detail, but I'm not really sure how well it melds with a their snacks.  I guess I'll have to try them to be sure...

This week on Snack Facts, our Instagram feed, we're looking at some of our favorite retro treats.  Every day this week we'll give you a new fact about a treat from days gone by.  Fortunately most (if not all) of these treats are still around today.  So why not follow our Instagram feed right now, and learn a little something.  If you don't have Instagram, don't worry, you can also follow Snack Facts on our Facebook page and Twitter feed.

Now it's time to find out if the Pickled Onion Alien snacks are actually worth eating, because they're this week's new review.  You can click here to see what I thought of the snacks themselves. How well does the alien theme work with these, is pickled onion really a tasty flavour, do Space Raiders have good taste in snack foods?


Friday, July 17, 2015

Candy In The Media

So you don't have an ice cream maker, but you really want soft serve ice cream.  All you need is some basic ingredients you can find in just about any stocked kitchen... oh yeah, some dry ice as well.  I personally have never bought dry ice before, but from what I understand it's becoming more and more common.  I think I may have to try and get myself a chunk because there are so many cool things you can make with it.


Wednesday, July 15, 2015

A Super Candy Thing

With all of the hype about the new Batman/Superman movie coming soon, I think it's about time to decorate my living room with all kinds of candy themed Superman and Batman stuff.  I should also probably consider getting some Star Wars stuff as well.  That way when people come into my living room they'll know that not only are they hanging out with a candy fanatic, but they'll also have to contend with my nerd skills.


Monday, July 13, 2015

This Week In Candy

I have an interesting dilemma on my hands.  I'm really craving gummy bears, and I have a bag of gummy bears. The problem is that I'm saving this bag of gummy bears for a particular occasion. Not a special occasion, but a particular occasion.  The occasion is for my next art show, the problem, I don't have an art show planned for the next while (if you want to book me for a show at your gallery you can help me out here).  The gummy bears play a key role in one of the pieces of art that I show, and I don't want to waste them (strangely I don't have access to high quality gummy bears all the time). So here I am with a bag of gummy bears, and my artistic side telling me I can't have them.  What should I do?

I'm also getting ready for my next adventure.  I'm going someplace that isn't really known for candy, but has a fairly famous food background, Sri Lanka.  I'm not sure what to expect other than lots of tea.  Fortunately tea might be my favorite drink, both warm and cold.  I wonder if they incorporate tea into any sweet treats in Sri Lanka?

This week on Snack Facts, our Instagram feed, we're looking at the date to help celebrate our Muslim friend's last few days of Ramadan.  Not the kind of date that takes you to a movie, but the dried fruit with a rock hard pit. Every day this week we'll post a new fact about this sweet dried treat, and all you have to do is follow our Instagram feed to keep up.  If you don't have Instagram you can also follow Snack Facts on our Twitter feed and Facebook page as well.

This week's review is all about eating candies that have an interesting twist.  Sometimes this twist works, and other times it's just an overpriced novelty.  This week's review is an overpriced novelty unfortunately. So click here and find out why my first experience with camel's milk was a bit of a failure.


Friday, July 10, 2015

Candy In The Media

Watching bubble gum get made is much more entertaining when you're actually chewing it.  So stop this video (if you've already started it) and go and get some gum to chew.  This is one of the few food products that you can do this.  You certainly wouldn't want to be eating a hot dog while watching wieners get made.


Thursday, July 09, 2015

M&Ms Candle VS Candy

It seems that candle industry has really taken a liking to the candy industry.  With the trend over the last few years of crazy smelling candles candy is a logical step.  Candy provides a familiar smell, and scientifically it's been proven that a smell can bring back memories. By this logic when you burn a Snickers candle you should remember all the times you've eaten a Snickers bar.  It could be a recent memory, or even a childhood memory.  Many candies are also brightly coloured, and this too works with the candle industry.
While this seems like a logical step, and it's truly something I stand behind, the question is how does that candle really compare to the real thing?  For the health conscious that don't want to eat a sweet treat, will the candle fill the gap?  Will a simple candle fill in the craving?  More importantly, can you even match the taste/smell of candy in a candle?  With the recent discovery of these M&Ms candles, I decided to put this to the test.

My first challenge was to decide which candle I would buy.  These M&Ms candles come in the same range of colours that are available in the candies.  There was one difference however, it seemed that the brightly coloured candles were not scented the same as the candies.  The red was cherry, the green was pear (I think), and so on.  This was pretty disappointing, why wouldn't you theme the smells with the various M&Ms flavours.  There's plenty to choose from, and some might make for a unique candle experience.  How about a chocolate pretzel candle, or a peanut butter and chocolate candle?  That would smell great, and keep the theme going with the M&Ms theme.  At this point it seems all we have is a bunch of scented candles with an M&Ms packaging.

Fortunately the brown candle seemed to be chocolate scented.  I considered this fortunate because the store I bought the candle in, also happened to sell plain M&Ms, so it was one stop shopping.  I gave the candle a preliminary sniff and it certainly had a chocolate smell to it.  So the only thing left to figure out is if while burning, the chocolate smell was the same, and just as satisfying as eating plain M&Ms.

That night after dinner I decided to set the mood, I lit the candle and pored my M&Ms into a bowl.  I have to say that eating candy in candle light is really nice.  It adds a certain calmness and relaxation to the whole candy experience.  It seems that the candle might actually be enhancing my experience, although not in the way I thought it would.
I decided to start by letting the candle burn for a while.  I think it's only fair to let the wax melt enough that it's giving off as much scent as possible.  My official starting point would be once more than 75% of the wax on the top of the candle was liquid.  By that point I think most candles are giving off about as much scent as possible.  It took about 10 minutes to get to a stage where I thought it was fair, so I decided to lean over the candle and take a big sniff.

It was very disappointing.  The smell of this particular candle was weak, very weak.  I had to sit over it and breath for a while just to get an idea of the smell.  While this doesn't reflect the entire candy themed candle industry, it does say something about it.  I think candy companies are more than happy to licence their candy to just about anything, even if it doesn't reflect the quality of their candy properly.  It seems that the candy marketing teams don't understand how much better it would be if the candy really came through.  Just because it's chocolate, doesn't mean it's M&Ms.

After a few minutes of sniffing, I decided that I had an idea of the chocolate scent coming off of the candle.  I decided that it was a good time to take a mouth full of M&Ms and see if the chocolate smell was at the very least comparable.  As with the strength of the smell, the comparison was also way off.  The candle smelled like a much sweeter chocolate, while the M&Ms tasted creamier.  There was also the lack of candy coating in the smell of the candle. This is a strong part of the M&Ms flavour, and the sweetness of the chocolate candy didn't match it one bit.

I think expanding the candy industry into other products is a great idea.  With their bright colours, strong flavours, and fun smells, candy has so much you could work with.  I'm not saying that all candy themed items have to fill out all three criteria, in fact my favorite mug and drinking tumbler are both candy related and neither taste or smell like their candy.  I just think that if it's appropriate to match more than one criteria you should.  Lip balm is a great example of how this often works really well.  I'm disappointed at these M&M themed candles because it's obvious that a candle company just bought the rights to use the theme, but didn't even attempt to give the user a decent experience.

If anybody else has had a positive experience with candy themed candles, let me know.  I'd like to know who's doing this right.


Wednesday, July 08, 2015

A Brownie Baking Candy Thing

I've met several people who are totally obsessed with the edge of the brownie.  They say that it's the tastiest part, and it's gone so far that companies are producing pans that make as many edges as possible for your brownies.  Personally I like the center bit myself, it's chewy, and if your brownie are iced it's often the part with the thickest icing.  It's not that I dislike the edges, I just don't think they're the best part. So where's my baking pan, with more center and less edge?


Monday, July 06, 2015

This Week In Candy

This week I came across an interesting candy related thing, it's an M&Ms candle.  I'm not really sure how M&Ms and candles are related at all, but it interested me enough that I picked one up.  Then I decided that I should buy myself a pack of M&Ms and see how they compare to the candle.  So later this week I'm going to be posting an article where I compare the M&Ms candle to actual M&Ms.  I'll try and do this without getting a mouthful of wax, but I make no promises.

This week it's back to the grind stone... sort of. I'm waiting for word about my latest chapter samples of my book, so I get to take a little time off that project.  Instead of working on the book, I'm going to test out a few baking ideas that people have sent me over the last little while.  In particular I'm interested in trying out upside banana bread cake (recipe here), mostly because I have some bananas I have to use up.   I'll post any results I have good or bad.

This week on Snack Facts we're going to look at one of my favorite flavours, cherry. All this week we'll look at how cherry things have made our world awesome. To follow Snack Facts, all you have to do is follow us on Instagram.  If you don't use Instagram, you can also follow Snack Facts on our Twitter feed and Facebook page as well.

Since I'm working on an M&Ms article this week, I figured I'd might as well post an M&Ms review as well.  This marks the 11th M&Ms review on  Click here to read this latest review, and see how the Almond M&Ms stack up.


Friday, July 03, 2015

Candy In The Media

Warning, if songs get easily stuck in your head, do not watch this video.  Worst of all, if food jingles make you hungry, and songs get easily stuck in your head, really don't watch this video.  I'm going to go eat a Kit Kat and a box of Rice-A-Roni.


Wednesday, July 01, 2015

An Apparently Canadian Candy Thing

While trying to find a fun thing to post on this Wednesday's "Candy Thing", I thought I would search out something with a Canadian theme.  Today is Canada Day, the day we became mostly independent from England.  I thought I would search through the internets and see if there's was anything truly Canadian, and candy related (maybe a moose candy dispenser or something) that I could post today.  While doing my search I kept coming across something called "Canadian Mints".  Now I've been a Canadian all my life, and I've been writing about candy for many years, but I've never heard of Canadian Mints.  Is this an American thing, like calling cheddar cheese "American" even though it's British?  I'm thinking I may have to try and find a bag of these to review.