Thursday, December 31, 2015

The Most Memorable Reviews of 2015

I was going to post a list of the highest and lowest rated treats that we've posted on this year, but then I realized something.  Just because a treat gets a high or low review, doesn't really make it "better" or "worse".  Sure it may taste great, or horrible, or it maybe super lame, or an amazing new idea, but that doesn't really make it better or worse.  When people ask me what my favorite candy is, I often say it's something new, something memorable, even if I don't like eating it.  So below are the top 5 reviews that I posted this year.  These didn't necessarily get the highest review scores, but I can tell you that I won't soon forget them.

The first snack on my most memorable list is Dutch licorice.  I actually reviewed several Dutch licorices this year, as well as managed to eat a piece of Dutch licorice every day for more than a month.  My goal was to try and gain a taste for this very polarizing candy.  As you know people either love licorice or hate it.  I fell under the hate it category, but I started to see the appeal of the flavour.  I never grew to "love" it, but I understand it a little bit better.  The fact that I spent so much time thinking about Dutch licorice made it one of the most memorable treats that I sampled all year.

Three of the snack son this list made it to this list because of the package.  This was one of them.  I loved the way that the whole package was themed.  It was super cheesy, but really fascinating at the same time.  Most interestingly, the treat itself turned into a bit of a surprise, a tasty surprise.  I would actually consider buying these again in the future.  It's not common for a fun gimmick to turn into a good snack, but this one works.  Sure the snack has nothing to do with the gimmick, but the two of them together made Space Raiders fairly memorable for me.

This is another snack that made it on the list because of the package.  Not so much the theme, but most about the description of the treat.  The word "Chocoblobs" is a good indication that the people writing the text on this package aren't familiar with English words used to describe food you might want to eat. The word "Extruded" doesn't help either.  There are certain processes in the candy making world that make you hungry, popped, melted, or baked are just a few of the good ones.  Extruded falls into the category of words that don't make you hungry.  The snack itself was just OK, pretty tasteless and forgettable, but who can forget the words "Extruded Chocoblobs".

I don't think I'll ever forget these durian cream chocolates.  Even though I just reviewed them a few weeks ago, years from now when I look back I don't think I'll have forgotten them.  They are easily the worst smelling candy I've ever reviewed in the history of this site, or any time in my candy eating career.  Strangely I found something appealing about them, but it took a great deal to get over the smell.  As far as candy eating experiences go, this will likely be the most memorable, yet it still isn't the most memorable snack I've reviewed all year.

When I first spotted this bag of chips, I thought it was too good to be true.  I also thought that I would see them again, and at the time we were driving across Southern Africa, and in a bit of a rush.  I spent the rest of our time on this trip trying to find them again.  Then, by a stroke of luck I came across them at one of the last stores we stopped at before heading home.  Monkey Gland Sauce Potato Chips are truly one of those snacks you'll never forget... Sort of.  The problem with these chips is that the flavour itself is somewhat forgettable.  

The true wow factor of these chips is the name.  That is unless you were born in South Africa.  As it turns out Monkey Gland Sauce has no monkeys in it at all, and as far as I can tell at no point was it used on monkeys.  It's simply a chutney often used today on hamburgers and other barbecued items.  I will say that when I first posted a picture of these chips online, people thought I was crazy for trying them.  As it turns out the durian candy was much more risky.  But I'll never forget the day I saw them at a gas station on the Botswana/South Africa border.

This year I noticed something interesting, more than half of the memorable reviews are salty snacks... sort of.  Two of the five snacks were also some of the more disgusting snacks I've ever eaten.  There also isn't one snack on this list from North America.  I guess that comes from all of the traveling I did this year.


Wednesday, December 30, 2015

A Work Out Fashion Candy Thing

All this month we're featuring some of the cool jewelry from our friends at KanDi Jewelry.  Any of these would make the perfect Christmas gift for any candy lover in your family! I'll tell you why I need this headband. The holidays are over and I've eaten a lot of dessert.  I need to work out, but I need something to catch all the sweat at the gym.  Thing is, I want everybody at the gym to know that I love candy.

Check out their whole store right here!


Monday, December 28, 2015

This Week In Candy

With the holidays behind us, I can safely tell you that I managed to eat more cookies in one week than I have in my entire life.  I'm not sure why, but cookies were truly the theme for the holidays this year.  I can't complain about that though.  Cookies allow you to have a lot more variety than cake or pies.  You can pile many varieties of cookies on one plate and no one looks at you as if you were some kind of dessert hording glutton. You can also go back for seconds on cookies on the grounds that you didn't get to taste a particular type of cookie.  For some reason if you do that with cake people seem to frown upon it.

This week at Candy Critic we're preparing for the new year, and what a year it's going to be.  We're already gearing up for some new adventures this year, travel wise.  We're preparing for a trip to Thailand in the near future, and have other trips planned later in the year.  The new year is also going to bring the return of Junk Fud, the official Candy Critic podcast.  With a new format the show will go live in January, and we hope to have 3 or 4 episodes going online every month. We'll also be continuing some of our other new segments in the new year, including the monthly Candy Critic Dessert Club, that's posted on this blog each month.  We're also going to see an increase in candy review-a-thons since we have a huge backlog of reviews to post.  This is were we post 5 or 7 new candy reviews in a week instead of just one.  All this and we'll still be continuing our regular weekly segments like our Candy Thing, Candy in the Media, and in January Snack Facts (our Instagram feed) returns.

This year we're also going to be focusing on more writing projects outside of the website.  We've got three projects waiting to go out, and we hope to have several of them out by the end of the year.  So it's going to be a busy year, and we hope you'll be along for the ride.

Speaking of busy years, 2015 was a pretty crazy year for us as well.  Later this week we'll be posting our top 5 most memorable candy reviews, and today we're posting a new candy review from our most memorable trip.  Our trip to Southern Africa was pretty intense, and a whole lot of fun.  We tried all kinds of amazing foods from wild game to not so wild candy bars.  Today's new review is a snack we found in South Africa that really made us excited, that was until we ate it.  Click here to check out the new review.


Friday, December 25, 2015

Candy in the Media

All this month we're posting videos about my favorite Christmas candies. While this certainly isn't my favorite Christmas candy (I hated a few of the chocolates in this box), the commercial brings back fond memories for me.


Thursday, December 24, 2015

Christmas Themed Gummy Ideas

Merry Christmas Everyone!

During this holiday season I've been snacking on all kinds of amazing holiday treats.  From fruit cakes, cookies, and a huge variety of chocolates, I've been stuffing my tummy full of all kinds of sweets.  There is one sweet however that's been noticeably absent from my holiday munching menu, gummies.  It seems like gummies, the most versatile of all candies, has been left out of the holiday selection.  There are a few out there, but not that much.  I believe that there's plenty of room for gummies during the holidays, and so I've decided to design a few fun gummy holiday treats myself.  These gummies aren't just guimmies shaped like elves, Santa, or any other Christmas themed tchotchke.  These treats use the gummy texture to their benefit.

As always, I invite any candy maker out there to use my ideas for free. All I ask is that if you make any of these, please be kind enough to send me some to try.
The first gummy treat on this list I'm surprised no one has thought of yet, gummy Christmas ornaments. Hanging candy on a Christmas tree is already a thing with candy canes, so why not go further.  With gummy ornaments you also don't have to worry about broken glass.  If one of these hits the floor you'll just get a subtle splat sound.  Sure you might not eat any of the ornaments that have hit the ground, but you don't eat most of your candy canes either, so it's no big deal.
The next gummy idea for the holidays is gummy ribbons.  Tearing open a gift on Christmas morning is one of the best feelings ever.  The only thing that really gets in the way is the ribbon.  You can't gracefully remove a ribbon from a Christmas gift.  In fact I'd say that the ribbon is more of a frustrating challenge, and who wants that on this day that should be full of happiness.  Gummy ribbons would be much easier to break through, and it would give you some sugar energy as you're opening all of your other gifts.
The last holiday gummy ideas is not gummy gingerbread men, it's gummy gingerbread men icing.  Recently I tried to bake some gingerbread cookies, and it all went pretty well, until I had to ice the cookies.  As it turns out, icing things with any kind of accuracy is not an easy task.  Gummy gingerbread decorations would simplify this task greatly.  You simply bake your cookies, and lay on the decorations.  If the cookies are a little bit warm the gummy should melt just a bit and stick to the cookie.  You could use all kinds of flavours and colours of gummy to make so many different designs.

So there you have it, gummies for Christmas.  Maybe you'll see it in a store near you next holiday season. If you do see any of these, let me know.


Wednesday, December 23, 2015

A Sentiment Candy Jewelry Thing

All this month we're featuring some of the cool jewelry from our friends at KanDi Jewelry.  Any of these would make the perfect Christmas gift for any candy lover in your family! I like this bracelet because not only does it have a gummy bear on it, but it tells people how I feel about it.

Check out their whole store right here!


Monday, December 21, 2015

This Week In Candy

Merry Christmas all you candy loving people out there.  I sure hope that Santa drops all kinds of sweet treats into your stockings and under your tree.  I hope at least one of you gets a Toblerone bar so big that it takes two people just to unwrap it.

Later this week we're going to be posting an blog post all about Christmas gummies.  What's that you say, you don't really know any "Christmas gummies"?  That's exactly the problem, a problem that we hope to fix with a couple of cool Christmas gummy ideas.  None of these ideas exist yet, but hopefully they'll be something you see on the shelves next year.

Here at the Candy Critic offices, we're watching a lot of the television show "Flash", that has nothing to do with the work we should be doing, I just thought the series deserves a plug.  What we are working on is the new and improved Junk Fud podcast, set to debut in January.  The first episode is ready to go, and the second will be ready by the end of the week.  We hope to have at least three episodes going up each month.

The only thing we're not doing over the holidays this year is Snack Facts.  We have to give up some time to bake all of the delights we're taking to the parties we've been invited to, and this just cuts out the time we use to update Snack Facts every day.  But don't worry, Snack Facts will be returning to our Instagram feed, Twitter feed and Facebook page in the new year with all kinds of fun facts about the snacks we love.

Today's new review is a Christmas classic, although I'm not convinced it was designed that way.  After all the first version of this treat was a chocolate apple, not a chocolate orange, and that's not very festive at all.  I've been in front of the building where these were invented, and the famous "Terry's" logo is still etched into the facade, event though it's now a jewelry store.  Make sure to check out the latest review perfect for the holiday season, the Terry's Chocolate Orange.


Friday, December 18, 2015

Candy in the Media

All this month Today we're posting videos about my Allison's favorite Christmas candies. When I asked her what her favorite Christmas treat was, she said her Grannies Rocky Roads.  Apparently she put fewer marshmallows in, because Allison doesn't really like marshmallows.  I guess I should learn to make them for her.


Wednesday, December 16, 2015

A Kind of Realistic Candy Thing

All this month we're featuring some of the cool jewelry from our friends at KanDi Jewelry.  Any of these would make the perfect Christmas gift for any candy lover in your family! Of all of the jewelry available at KanDi Jewelry, this is the one I most want to eat, although I'm told by the folks at KanDi Jewelry that eating it is a bad idea.

Check out their whole store right here!


Monday, December 14, 2015

This Week In Candy

This week Allison and I taped our first episode of the Junk Fud podcast segment known as "Junk Fud on the Road".  Each month we're going to talk about a place we've visited (or maybe are visiting right then) and we're going to look at some of the food we tried.  Our first episode, coming out in January, will be all about Canadian snacks and junk food.  We thought we would start with a look at the food from our own country, although I have a feeling there will be followup episodes about Canada in the future.  We'll be posting our episodes on this blog, as well as our various social media sites.

This week on Snack Facts, our Instagram feed, we're going to be looking at candy canes.  Probably the candy most associated with the holiday season, it's a pretty fascinating subject.  Check our Instagram feed every day this week for a new fact about this striped candy.  If you don't use Instagram, don't worry, you can also follow Snack Facts on our Twitter feed and Facebook page as well.  Next week will also be the last Snack Facts installments until the New Year, we're taking a bit of a break over the holidays.

This week's new review comes to us from our good friend Candice.  She picked up these little golden packages of fun on a recent trip to Kuala Lumpur.  After eating them I'm not sure if she's really our friend, or just trying to torture us.  Click here to find out why this treat is so insane.


Friday, December 11, 2015

Candy in the Media

All this month we're posting videos about my favorite Christmas candies. As an adult, M&Ms became a regular staple of my Christmas collection.


Thursday, December 10, 2015

Candy Critic Dessert Club – Something For The Holidays - Gingerbread Snowmen

What says happy holidays better than a plate full of gingerbread cookies?  These might be the only cookies that are exclusive to this holiday.  Shortbread cookies, the other holiday cookie, are also fairly popular at other times of the year, but you don't really see gingerbread in the summer, spring, or fall.  When I first thought about making these cookies, I figured that I would have a simple batter cookie recipe, with a few extra spices added in, I was wrong.

The ingredients:

1 Cup of brown sugar (Granulated worked for me)
1/3 Cup vegetable shortening
1 and 1/2 cups of molasses (dark for a richer cookie, light for a lighter tasting cookie)
2/3 cups of cold water
7 cups of Flour
2 teaspoons of baking soda
2 teaspoons of ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt

4 cups powdered sugar
1 and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
4 tablespoons half-and-half
1 drop blue food colouring
The first things you have to do is blend the brown sugar, shortening, molasses and water together.  I thought it would be "faster" to use a beater to do this. I thought that the shortening would blend better with the other ingredients using electric beaters, I made a horrible mistake.  The water and molasses blend gives you watery molasses, and the minute my beaters were turned on in this mix, I coated everything within a 5 foot radius with small brown spots of molasses. Even after I tried to continue to blend this mixture, I found that the shortening didn't really "blend" at all, but it kind of turned into very small clumps of vegetable fat floating in brown liquid.  So I would just suggest using a spoon and a little patience.

After these ingredients are fairly well blended, add one cup of flour and the baking soda, and mix until incorporated (using a spoon is fine).  Then add the ginger and one cup of flour, and mix until incorporated.  Then add the allspice and one cup of flour and mix until incorporated. Then add the cinnamon and one cup of flour and mix until incorporated. Add the ground cloves and one cup of flour and mix until incorporated. And you guessed it, add the salt and one cup of flour and mix until incorporated.  Finally gradually add the rest of the flour.  This system allow each ingredient to be mixed in fairly well.  The last bit of flour might be easier to mix in with your fingers instead of a spoon.
Take your very large lump of gingerbread cookie dough and put it in the refrigerator for a few hours.  After it's rested in the refrigerator, take it out and decide how many cookies you want.  For me, this makes at least two batches of cookies, so you can return half of the cookie dough to the refrigerator or freezer for future use.  On a flowered surface knead the dough you have out a little, then roll it flat, about 1/4 of an inch.

To cut out the snowmen shape, Allison came up with the brilliant idea of using a glass, and several drink measuring tools.  We cut out each shape using these glass and drink measures, and smooshed the circles together.  It made for slightly squashed snowmen, but that made them more realistic.  Put your snowmen on a greased cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for about 12 minutes.
Let the cookies cool for at least 30 minutes, and while they're cooling you can make the icing.  This icing is very simple to make.  Take the powdered sugar, vanilla, and half and half, and mix in a bowl.  You can add a little extra cream if you find the icing to be a little too thick.  Add the one drop of blue food colouring to give the white a slightly frosty feel, and stir it all up.
When the cookies are cool, use a piping bag and decorate your cookies.

This recipe worked really well for us until one point, the icing stage.  I've studied art for many years, I've worked on award winning projects, shown my work in galleries all over the world, but I can't for the life of me control a piping bag.  Our snowmen looked pretty sad.  I think many of the people who ate our cookies found the slightly lame snowmen to be childish and cute, I was just frustrated.  If anybody has tips on how to use a piping bag, I'm all ears.
The other thing to note is that this is not an easy recipe.  Most cookie recipes I've done take less than an hour to prepare, these took about 5 with all of the cooling stages.  The dough is also pretty hard to work with, so weak arms don't work in your favour.  The results however were worth the work, and Allison and I bonded a little more going through the process, that's what the holidays are all about.


Wednesday, December 09, 2015

A Classic Candy Fashion Thing

All this month we're featuring some of the cool jewelry from our friends at KanDi Jewelry.  Any of these would make the perfect Christmas gift for any candy lover in your family! Do you have hair (if you don't then you can stop reading)? Do you like your hair to stay in place (if you're an 80s rock star you can stop reading)? Then this is the perfect gift for you for the holidays.

Check out their whole store right here!


Monday, December 07, 2015

This Week In Candy

Christmas is certainly approaching.  We've got all of our decorations up, and we're now just trying to figure out what kind of candy we'll have around the house for this holiday season.  While I'm always a sucker for a candy cane (no pun intended), I do like chocolates too, in fact I like almost every holiday treat.  The two exceptions are figgy pudding and some fruit cakes.  We have lots of fun things planned for Candy Critic over the holidays, so stay tuned.

Not only is this month going to be full of holiday cheer, but every Wednesday we're also featuring some really cool jewelry from our friends at KanDi Jewelery.  They take the great shapes, colours, and designs of the candy world, and turn it into funky cool wearables.

We're also going to be posting a new entry of our dessert club.  For the holidays we've decided to make gingerbread cookies.  Later this week we'll post our recipe, as well as our experiences making this classic Christmas cookie.

This week on Snack Facts, our Instagram feed, we're looking at the history of cocoa.  It's one of the most prevalent ingredients in the candy world, second only to vanilla and sugar.  So check our Instagram feed every day for a new fact, if you don't use Instagram, you can also follow Snack Facts on our Facebook page and Twitter feed as well.

This week's new review was decided by you, the followers.  I asked you guys all week on our social media sites (including Periscope) which flavour of Fla-Vers you wanted me to review.  It was close, but lime chipotle won. So click here to find out what I thought.


Friday, December 04, 2015

Candy in the Media

All this month we're posting videos about my favorite Christmas candies.  I wanted to start with the one candy that truly makes Christmas for me, Toffifee.


Thursday, December 03, 2015

Star Wars Candy Ideas

With all of the hype over the Star Wars the Force Awakens opening later this month, it got me thinking.  There are a million cool toys, games, and even clothing tie-ins with this movie, but I haven't really seen that much when it comes to candy.  Sure there are a few brands that are putting characters on their packages, but no one seems to be making special candies that relate directly to the movies.

I've decided that I'm going to solve this problem myself.  My only problem is that I haven't seen the new movie, only 5 or 6 trailers.  So I've decided to stick to what I know and design some candy treats themed to the older movies (original 3 in fact).  Maybe when I see the new movies I'll be inspired to design even more treats, I'm guessing that BB-8 will probably work as some kind of gumball, but we'll see.

Before I start I just want to say that I'm giving these ideas away for free.  If you're a candy maker, feel free to use any of these ideas.  I have one stipulation though, send me some.  Don't just go off making millions of dollars without letting me sample one of my own creations, that's just mean.
My first idea is simple, and is based on one of the most popular character in the entire franchise.  Best of all, we know for a fact that Chewbacca will be in the new movies, so you'll be fine selling these now.  The key is to make this treat look like a square cube of fur, yet also make it chewy.  The recipe is simple, take a caramel cube and cover it with spun sugar. You can make it a dark caramel with a nice burnt flavour, as I'd imagine that a Wookie would have a slightly toasted nutty taste.  This would work best for all those high quality chocolatiers out there wanting to take part in this movie franchise.  Why not fill your case with something fun for this movie, I bet the kids will go "nuts" for them... Come to think of it, some nuts mixed in would really ad to the "Wookieness" of this.
This is the one candy that I'm surprised no one has made yet, gummy Jabba the Hutts. In fact, why stop there, with so many gelatinous looking characters in the franchise, I'm really surprised there aren't a bunch of jelly/gummy Star Wars tie-ins.  Jabba would work best though because you could pretend that you're a spiteful frog getting his revenge on the evil Hutt for eating his brothers. This would take a little bit of effort to make at first, but once you have the mould it would be easy to make millions more.
This was not my idea, my friend Raph came up with the name.  I just came up with how one would deliver a candy called "Light Savers".  I think having them break off a hilt would be the best idea.  You could also have an LED light at the base of the hilt so the Light Savers would glow.  What could be more fun than having sword fights with your friends, then eating your sword.

There you go JJ Abrams/Disney Corp, while I'm sure you'll be making more money on action figures and other toys, I think these candies could earn you enough money for a new summer home at the very least.  Check back after I see the movies (which I imagine will be soon after it comes out) to see if anything from The Force Awakens inspires anything else.


Wednesday, December 02, 2015

A Giant Blue Gummy Bear Thing

All this month we're featuring some of the cool jewelry from our friends at KanDi Jewelry.  Any of these would make the perfect Christmas gift for any candy lover in your family! Nothing would be greater than getting two of these bracelets, they'd make the sweetest (see what I did there) gift for a couple of BFFs.

Check out their whole store right here!


Monday, November 30, 2015

This Week In Candy

Our friends at Fla-Ver sent us a whole bunch of candies, but I can't decide which ones I want to review.  Today I posted the first review (popcorn flavoured), but I think I'm going to do at least one more. Instead of me choosing which "Fla-Ver" to review, I'm going to leave it up to you guys. At least you guys on Periscope.  Over the next few days I'm going to go onto Periscope (at random times) and ask you guys which candy I should review.  You can vote by leaving me a comment on Periscope, and the "Fla-Ver" with the most comments will be the one I review.  This is going to be technically our first installments of our new Periscope series called "VS".

With the new Star Wars movie coming out later in December, it got me thinking about Star Wars candy.  With the inspiration of a few friends, I've come up with a few Star Wars treats that I'd like to see.  We'll be posting more about that later this week, along with a couple of doodles.  Candy makers take note.

This week I'm also going to record a few episodes of our new podcast Junk Fud, coming out in January.  I've learned that having a few under your belt is a good idea. I'm still trying to work out all of the details, so if you have any suggestions for a podcast topic, let me know.  I'm also looking for guests for the podcast as well, if you think you'd make a good guest, send me an e-mail.

This week on Snack Facts, our Instagram feed, we're looking at a classic holiday treat, the Terry's Chocolate Orange.  Every day this week we'll post a fun fact about this spherical chocolate treat.  As a bonus fact for you, Terry's Chocolate Orange is going to be our official Christmas candy review this year on  Make sure to check our Instagram feed every day, if you don't use Instagram, that's OK too, you can follow Snack Facts on our Twitter feed and Facebook page as well.

As you've read above, we picked one of the 5 flavours of Fla-Ver candies to review.  Today we're posting the popcorn flavoured candy review.  It was pretty fascinating, and it made me think a bit about other popcorn flavoured treats I've tried in the past as well.  Click here to read this first Fla-Ver candy review.


Friday, November 27, 2015

Candy In The Media

Can you say "red lorry, yellow lorry" several times with a lollipop in your mouth.  The folks at Harry Bow decided to find out if anybody could pull it off.


Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Monday, November 23, 2015

This Week In Candy

This week's, This Week In Candy, is a little late.  I got caught up working on a few projects and suddenly it was much later in the day and I realized that I had yet to update Candy Critic. So I am here to tell you all of the reasons I was so busy.  First of all I'm still working on that menu for a restaurant that I started a few weeks back.  It's been really fun, and I've learned so much about how restaurant kitchens work.  Hopefully the folks running this place see my vision and everything works out.  I've also been researching the first new solo show for our podcast, Junk Fud.  I hope to have a few different types of shows on the podcast, which I hope to have going at full steam in the new year.

I'm also working on a few blog articles that will be going online over the next few weeks.  If you've been keeping up with us on Twitter and Facebook, you'll see that I recently posted some photos from our next dessert club recipe, Apple Pie Pizza.  That post will be going up in December.  I'm also working on a post that looks at Star Wars themed candy that I'd like to see, which will be going online next week.

This week on Snack Facts, our Instagram feed, we're looking at Fanta.  Probably one of the most popular fizzy fruit drinks in the world, Fanta is truly a global beverage.  Make sure to check out our Instagram feed every day this week to learn a little something.  If you don't use Instagram, don't worry, you can also follow Snack Facts on our Twitter feed and Facebook page as well.

Our new review this week is one of the best cone shaped treats that I've ever reviewed. Sometimes the shape of a treat can really make a difference, it can be for the better or the worse.  So click here to check out our latest review.


Friday, November 20, 2015

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Tips for Food and Travel

A few weeks ago I did a talk about the food and travel writing I’ve done all over the world. During this speech I presented a list of travel and food writing tips. Unfortunately the talk wasn't recorded, but I thought I would share the written version here. I also think that this is something I'll probably ad to on a regular basis.

Tips for travel and food

It's very difficult to find a true local restaurant, local food is often something served at home, and when locals go out they often want something exotic.
The best local restaurants don't advertise authenticity, they just are.

Street food is the biggest food gamble, you either get the greatest meal ever or food poisoning.

Always visit food markets and grocery stores where you travel, this is truly where the locals eat.

With that in mind, try and cook for yourself when you travel, take the ingredients you find at the markets and make something.
Talk to people that sell food, waiters, cooks, and store owners.

Looking at other people's plates is a great way to decide what to eat at a restaurant, don't be afraid to ask questions. With that in mind, make sure to help others if they ask you about what you're eating.

Don't always go for the most expensive food items on a menu, it's a trap. Onions and potatoes fried together in oil are extremely cheap and it tastes fantastic.

Don't ignore subtle differences. Kit Kat bars taste remarkably different all over the world.

Just because it's pre-packaged doesn't mean it's not worth trying.
Salty and sweet work very well together

Don't judge foods till you’ve tasted them, but it's still OK not to like it.

Don't mess with oils. Leave them alone.

Keep a food journal.
Common foods for some are brand new for others. Just ask any British person about peanut butter, or anyone from the UAE about Almond Joy.

Culture and food are tied together and are guided by the environment. Look around you when you travel, you'll often find food everywhere, and look on your plate when you're eating, you'll often find clues about the environment you're in.

Art and food are the same thing.


Wednesday, November 18, 2015

A Potter Candy Thing

I'm re-reading the Harry Potter series right now, and this would this would be the perfect accompanying snack.


Monday, November 16, 2015

This Week In Candy

Well the first of the three big holidays have past, and the second (at least for Americans) is on it's way, Thanksgiving.  I'm actually a big fan of Thanksgiving, and I'm glad that Americans and Canadians celebrate it at different times.  Mostly because this gives me the opportunity to celebrate it twice, my excuse being that my father lives in the US.  I really love turkey, and I also love the many desserts that come with Thanksgiving, pies, cakes, and such.  So this week, and next, we're going to be celebrating this most festive of holidays whose sole purpose is to lead up to a meal that will likely just make you regret having eaten it in the first place.

We're also continuing to work on the new projects here at  Last week we released the first installment of our dessert club, featuring my world famous banana bread.  Next we're looking at some holiday treats including gingerbread, and a turduckin version of a cake.  We're also looking at various was to make ice cream without an ice cream maker.  Make sure to keep up with our social media sites to see what we're making next, and play along if you'd like.

On a side note, but food related, I've been asked to do some graphic design/consulting work on a menu for a restaurant.  They want me to re-think the format as well as some of the food on a menu, something I've never done before, but always had an opinion.  I'll be posting about my progress on our social media sites (Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr), and I'll probably write a blog about the process when it's done.  So far it hasn't been an easy task, but it has been really fun.  Unfortunately the restaurant wants to remain anonymous, so the name will be blanked out.

This week on Snack Facts, our Instagram feed, we're going to post some early Thanksgiving facts for all of our American friends.  We're going to look at the history of this great holiday, and more particularly why we eat what we do on this day.  Make sure to check our Instagram feed daily this week, but if you don't use Instagram don't worry, we'll also post Snack facts on our Twitter feed and Facebook page as well.

This week's new review is a pretty interesting bar.  In the candy world this bar is fairly politically charged, as it's taking aim at what some consider unhealthy candy.  My opinions on the matter are simple, I love all candy, so I love the idea of stirring the pot a bit when it comes to new ideas.  Click here to read about this "trend" in candy bars.


Friday, November 13, 2015

Candy In The Media

Can you say that you love Nutella so much that you've written and produced and hip hop song with video all about it?


Thursday, November 12, 2015

Candy Critic Dessert Club – The First Recipe - Banana Bread

Welcome to the first of what we hope to be many installments of the Candy Critic Dessert Club. We hope to regularly post our experiences making various desserts from around the world. In some cases we may be making something we're familiar with, other times we'll make something brand new to us. Often we'll get creative with our desserts either out of necessity or because we're being "creative".  The rules for us are simple; we won't edit out our mistakes. Sometimes desserts won't work, and you'll hear all about it.
For our first recipe we’re going to be making banana bread.  I chose this banana bread recipe because it’s the one I’m known for right now.  When I get invite to a party, people often ask me to make this banana bread.  I’ve made it a million times before, so I’m pretty sure I’ll get it right.  I know that I’m going to mess up a lot of recipes in the future, so I figured that I should try and make Dessert Club entry right.

Here’s the ingredient list:

2-3 very ripe bananas, peeled
76 grams cup melted butter
1 cup of maple syrup, honey, or brown sugar
1 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking soda
Pinch of salt
1 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour
1 cup of walnuts
½ cup of chocolate chips
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  Melt the butter, and mash the bananas. Once the butter is melted, ad it to the mashed bananas.  Then ad the maple syrup/honey/brown sugar, if you want to be creative you can ad a mix of any one, two, or three of these three sugars.  After everything is all mixed up, ad the egg, vanilla and baking soda. Ad the pinch of salt I always have a problem when a recipe says pinch of salt, how much is that exactly?), and gradually mix in the flour.  Once it’s all mixed together, stir in the chocolate chips and the walnuts.
Put everything into a greased and floured baking pan, and bake for about an hour.  Check on it after about 45 minutes by sticking a toothpick in, if the toothpick comes out clean it’s ready.  If it’s not yet baked, return to the oven for 10 minutes and check again.  Once the toothpick comes out clean, let it cool for about 15 minutes, remove from pan slice and slather it with butter.

This is a seriously tasty and simple recipe.  The biggest difficulty is judging when it’s done.  I’ve often under and over cooked my banana bread but fortunately you have some wiggle room both directions. Slightly under-cooked bread is OK, and slightly over cooked banana bread has a slightly nutty flavour. This time I over cooked the bread a little, but it still worked out pretty well.
I have to admit; this was a pretty boring first attempt at a dessert club.  I’m sure my friends are going to love it because they now have my famous banana bread recipe, but risk wise I didn’t really do much at all.  I think next time I’m going to try something a little more daring.  I’ve never made ice cream before, and I don’t own an ice cream maker, that sounds like an idea.

Do you have a family recipe you'd like to share? Maybe an Internet dessert creation you've discovered. Even if you've heard of some kind of exotic dessert you think we should attempt. Send us a note, link, or scan, because we'd love to try it.

Whenever we try a new dessert recipe we'll post about it on our social media (Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr), just in case you want to try it with us.


Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Monday, November 09, 2015

This Week In Candy

This past weekend our sister site had an art show opening.  The show had two themes, food and travel.  When it comes to food you had to know that candy was well represented.  An entire wall of the show was dedicated to gummy bears.  The show ends tonight, the reviews of the show have been very positive, and everybody is happy with the turn out.

This week we're starting off one of our many new projects, it's a dessert club.  Every so often we're going to post a blog with a recipe of one of our favorite desserts that we love to cook.  This week we're baking our famous banana bread.  We'll document the day of baking, even if it doesn't work out (as baking can sometimes).  We're hoping that you might have some recipe ideas we can try as well.  We're looking for fairly simple, but very tasty ideas.

This week on Snack Facts, our Instagram feed, we're going to have a bit of a mix of facts. No theme this week, just some random snack facts about all kinds of treats.  So check our Instagram feed every day this week and learn something new about the food you snack on. Don't use Instagram, don't worry, we'll also post Snack Facts on our Facebook page and Twitter feed as well.

Last week we posted a review-a-thon all about the snacks we found on our African adventure. This week's new review is a treat we picked up on our way home from the adventure, at the airport.  One of the interesting facts about this Toblerone bar is that you can only get it at the airport (and I mean it's available at almost every airport I've ever stepped foot into).  So next time you fly, you might want to pick one up. Click here to read the review.