Friday, August 28, 2015

Candy In The Media

The cool kids at Shy Kids sent me a tweet the other day asking me to check out their latest music video for their song ® o c k e t s.  The minute the video started I was hooked, the detail found in this candy themed video are so amazing, and guaranteed to make your mouth water.  Sure it gets a little disturbing near the end, but there's nothing wrong with a little gritty candy sex and violence, right?

Check out the Sky Kids website here for more info.


Wednesday, August 26, 2015

A Cool and Fishy Candy Thing

Here's the thing, I love the idea of popsicle makers that have strange shapes.  When they incorporate the shape of the stick into the theme, I love them even more.  I don't make popsicles at home as much as I'd like, mostly because cleaning these popsicle makers is often a pain.  And while I love the odd shapes, often they're not easy to eat, and the shape can often make them messy.  So for me to really love a novelty popsicle maker it either has to make eating the popsicles easier, or the theme has to be really awesome.  I'm not sure if these popsicles are easy to eat, but they are certainly awesome enough to be worth cleaning up a drippy mess.


Monday, August 24, 2015

This Week In Candy

I'm in a bit of a Disney frame of mind lately.  There are two reasons for this, first of all the D23 expo happened recently in Anaheim California, and I've been reading all about what has happened (and what's to come).  The reason I've been reading about what has happened is because I'm a huge Disney parks fan.  I've been to several of the parks all over the world and never had a bad time.  In fact I even have a blog about my visits, and more importantly the steps that I'm going through towards planning an epic trip to Florida in the future.

Disney also has a lot of amazing snack foods, from their famous cupcakes to their giant turkey legs, the place is a snack (and food) lovers paradise. So when you see any news or posts about Disney, and their snacks, know that it comes from a guy that just loves this stuff.

This week on Snack Facts, our Instragam feed, we're doing something a little different.  This week we're posting "quotes from the television show Seinfeld that feature snacks".  I'm in the middle of watching Seinfeld and I'm loving it, so I thought I would pay tribute to this awesome show by mentioning some of the awesome snack quotes from the show.  Check out Instagram feed every day this week for a new quote, or if you don't use Instagram, you can also follow Snack Facts on our Twitter feed or Facebook page as well.

Last week's review of the Cracker Jack chocolate bar from Sri Lanka made me realize something, I hadn't yet reviewed classic caramel, peanuts, and popcorn Cracker Jacks.  Knowing that I couldn't let something like that happen, I made sure that this week the problem would be fixed.  So this week's new review is a classic, maybe one that hasn't held up, but you can read the review as to why.


Wednesday, August 19, 2015

A Strange Sock Candy Thing

I enjoy fun socks.  One of my favorite things to do is wear silly socks when I have to dress formally.  It's fun to know that although I'm all serious on the outside, inside (and on my feet) I'm still a weirdo.  I can't decide how I feel about these gumball machine socks.  Are they too much?  Could I get away with meeting the Queen of England while wearing these socks, and if I did meet her, would I tell her about my gumball machine socks?


Monday, August 17, 2015

This Week In Candy

This week at the home of we're baking banana bread.  For some reason for the last few weeks we've been overloaded with bananas.  In the warm climate that we live in presently, bananas go bad really quickly, so now we have to make banana bread.  Today I made a batch of banana bread muffins, and later this week I'm hoping to make a banana upside-down cake.  After that I'm not really sure what I'll be doing, suggestions are welcome.

We're also spending some time recuperating from our Sri Lankan adventure.  While it's always fun to travel, the aftermath is hard to deal with. We have lots of photos to go through (for the blog and for our sister site, lots of snacks that we brought back to finish sampling (read more below), and we have to start thinking about our next adventure.  We're still not 100% sure where we're going next, so I'll ask you, where should we go on our next big adventure?

This week on Snack Facts we're going to have our cake... and eat it too?  All this week on our Instagram feed called Snack Facts we're looking at  the birthday staple, cake.  Each day we'll post a new cake fact, mostly on the history of cake this week.  If you don't use Instagram, that's OK, you can still learn about cake by following us on Twitter or Facebook instead.

As mentioned above, we have a whole truck load of Sri Lankan candies that we brought back from our epic adventure.  So what better way to share these treats than a Sri Lankan snack review-a-thon.  That means that each day this week we'll post a new Sri Lankan snack review.  Today's review features some of the strangest descriptions I've ever seen on a candy package.  Follow us on Facebook or Twitter for the rest of our candy reviews this week, or just visit every day.


Friday, August 14, 2015

Candy in the Media

I have never felt so creepy and laughed so hard at a commercial before.  While this commercial is memorable, it makes me wonder where Skittles really come from.  Skittles has been doing many strange commercials over the years, with odd possible origins for their candies.  What if these "stories" are in fact true, and there really is no Skittle factory.  Instead their just harvested in weird places all over the globe.


Thursday, August 13, 2015

Sri Lankan Snacking

When we planned our trip to Sri Lanka, I had no idea what to expect.  This goes for the sites we would see as well as the food we would eat.  For a while I was thinking of taking Allison's advice and just taking a vacation and not thinking about the food.  Being a food writer you find yourself constantly thinking about the food you eat even if you're not "working".  In the end I decided that I would write about the food, but I wouldn't search for things as much as I would let them present themselves.
The first thing you should keep in mind is that we spent almost all of our time in two different type of place, either we were in tourist places, or we were in transportation type places (bus stops and train stations).  I'm sure that this has a pretty strong effect on the kind of foods we saw and ate.  In particular I know it played a huge role in the types of snacks and candies we came across.  There was one kind of snack in particular that comes to mind, and that will be forever engraved in my memory as a Sri Lankan snack.

Travel snacks were a huge part of our trip, and something we came across many times on our adventure.  It could have been a kiosk in front of a train or bus station selling nuts and other salty snacks, or it could be the guy with the huge basked of fried foods walking through our train car at a station.  Travel snacks are all over the place, and there's a huge variety to choose from.
The main thing you find on the outside of train stations is fruit and nuts, I'll talk more about the fruit later on in this post.  The nuts and salty snacks available for you to buy before getting on your train and bus were fantastic.  From simple salted peanuts, to complex mixtures of dried roots and vegetables mixed with nuts and what appears to be hard noodle like crunchy bits.  The variety was huge, and the flavours very diverse.  The only similarity many of these snacks had was spice.  All of them had some kind of hot spicy element, some more than others.  Other than that the flavour came from so many different spices from caraway seeds, to onion, just about anything you might find in a great curry dish.

The deep fried snacks on our travels were similar to donuts, only savoury.  These donut like pastries could be flavoured with hot peppers, dried vegetables, even full sized shrimps on some occasions.  They were very greasy, served hot, and much like the other snack foods, always a little spicy.  I wasn't as big a fan of these myself, but I can certainly see the appeal.
I mention before that fruit stands were all around the bus and train stations as well.  Most people seemed to go with lychee fruit on the trains, probably because of the simplicity of eating them.  However I wanted to go a little further with the fruit in Sri Lanka than just the train and bus stations.  The fruit in this country is the best fruit I've ever eaten in my life.  The pineapples are amazing, the bananas are some of the best I've ever had, and the papaya was perfect.  Every morning I would make sure to load up on fruit for breakfast when I could.  I ate so much fruit that it started to "affect" my stomach, but I just couldn't stop.

The quality of the fruit in Sri Lanka ties into another strange thing I noticed in this country, there aren't many chocolate bars or regular sugar candies available.  I think there are two reasons for this, first of all the heat would melt many candies (however this can be sorted out using refrigeration), but the other reason I suspect is the quality of the fruit.  Why would you want to eat a pineapple candy when the pineapple itself is always available and always tasty.  I believe that the fruit in this country may be the local kids candy, fortunately it's healthier for them, and in some cases it literally grows on trees around them.

The other food in Sri Lanka was actually a little disappointing.  We had a hard time nailing down the Sri Lankan flavour, and found ourselves often surrounded with British, Italian, and Indian food.  The only thing that we ate that we felt really represented the country was the sauces.  At a few small curry shops we got our flat breads or pancakes with our curries, and delivered on the side were various chutneys and coconut milk sauces.  These flavours took these simple curries to the next level.  In some cases I found myself skipping the curries and just dipping my breads into the sauces.
The final, and maybe most important reason any foodie should visit Sri Lanka is the tea.  Head into the mountains near Kandy (seriously the best name ever for a town) or Nuwara Eliya and you'll be surrounded with tea.  Teashops, tea tours, and most importantly tea plantations.  I would suggest at every stop in the mountain regions you make sure you get a cup of tea.  Not only is it sure to be high quality, but they brew their tea with such care and technique that it changes the flavour to something spectacular.  I can't say I had a single bitter cup of tea the entire trip, and the free cup of tea I received at the end of my tour of a tea factory was the best I'd ever had.
If you're thinking about visiting Sri Lanka for a foodie holiday you might want to think about it first.  As a place to visit it's spectacular, it's beautiful and the people are amazing.  As a foodie destination there are two reasons to go, the fresh fruit and the tea.  Everything else is fine, but the tea and the fruit are two things that can't be replicated anywhere else in the world.


Wednesday, August 12, 2015

An Oreo Cooking Candy Thing

I love baking with cookies.  When you bake with cookies it's like making a double dessert.  You have the cookies, which are a dessert unto themselves, then you have the dessert you've made with the cookies, like a nice Oreo cheesecake.  I wonder if it would be possible to make an Oreo cookie cookie. Take the ingredients in an Oreo and make another kind of cookie, or even a similar cookie to the original.  This cookie idea has just blown my mind.


Monday, August 10, 2015

This Week In Candy

We're back from Sri Lanka, and we've got lots of great things to share with you guys.  Later this week I'll be posting a blog with highlights of this trip, I'll talk about what kind of snacking country Sri Lanka is and what you shouldn't miss if you go yourself.  Next week we're going to have a review-a-thon featuring some of the treats we picked up on this adventure, some are salty, and some are sweet.  While I had a great time on this trip, it's good to be home.

Are you on Periscope?  We're working on a new regular show for Periscope that we hope to have ready to go soon.  We're in the early planning fazes of the show right now, but we'll most likely post some preview material on this blog as well as on Twitter and Facebook.  We'll also Periscope a few of the preperations as well. We're also going to Periscope during the recording sessions for some of the new episodes of the Junk Fud podcast.

This week on Snack Facts, our Instagram feed, we're looking at lollipops. Learn all you can about candy on a stick.  All you have to do is follow us here, on Instagram to have a lollipop fact sent to you every day this week, and more Snack facts in the future.  If you don't use Instagram, don't worry, you can follow Snack Facts on our Facebook page and Twitter feed as well.

This week's new review is a classic British treat that tickles your tongue in just the right way.  This is also one of the few British treats that I never really had much contact with as a child.  Living in Canada we got a pretty good mix of American and British treats, but for some reason Sherbet Pips never really made it into my life.  I'm not sure if it was me, or if Sherbet Pips were just not that popular in my neck of the woods.  Click here to learn all about this great British sweet.


Friday, August 07, 2015

Bad Candy Ideas? - Part 5 - Banana Candy... All of it

Everyday this week I'm posting about one of the worst ideas in the candy world that I've ever come across.  Of all of the candy flavours in the world, I would have to say that the one I hate most is fake banana.  Watermelon comes a close second, but I've had a few treats in my time that were watermelon flavoured that kind of worked.  Banana on the other hand is pretty much batting zero.  It's not that I haven't tried to change this, at every oportunity I sample new banana flavoured treats, but inevetiably I'm disapointed.

The biggest problem I have with "banana" flavoured treats is the fact that they never taste like a real banana.  Banana's have a smooth creamy sweet flavour, but for some reason every candy company seems to give banana candies a strong perfumy flavour.  Have you ever eaten a banana candy right after eating a real banana, they're nothing alike at all.  One could argue that many flavours don't match their original fruit counterpart, but for some reason fake banana just doesn't work for me.  I can't ever remember liking this horrible flavour, and I think it may stay that way for ever.  Unless someone can match the true flavour of banana, but I'm not sure it's possible.

Click here to read about one bad banana candy.


Candy In The Media

If you want to get the full effect of this video, I recommend watching it while eating gummy worms.  It's just so much fun to eat a gummy worm while watching them get made.  This is not so true when it comes to watching chickens get made.  If you're watching a film about the life of a chicken, while eating a chicken, you'll just get really sad.


Thursday, August 06, 2015

Bad Candy Ideas? - Part 4 - Fish Flavoured Anything

Everyday this week I'm posting about one of the worst ideas in the candy world that I've ever come across.  When it comes to salty snacks, I consider myself to have a pretty wide pallet as far as what I like.  I'm not a huge fan of spicy things, but generally I enjoy the taste, but not the burning sensation.  The one exception to this is anything that tastes like fish.  From prawn crackers to fish flavoured potato chips, I have never had a fish snack that I've enjoyed.

I think the biggest problem with fish flavoured treats is the fact that fish itself is a very subtle flavour.  Often when you're eating a strong flavoured fish, it's gone bad.  Fish flavoured snacks are always really strongly flavoured in order to compete with the potato, peanut, or cracker that it's flavouring.  So every time I bite into a fish themed snack it feels like I'm eating rotten fish.  I'm not saying that a fish flavoured snack is impossible, it just takes a great deal of care with flavour balance to get it right, and I don't think anyone has accomplished this yet.

Click here to read about one such horrible fish treat.


Wednesday, August 05, 2015

Bad Candy Ideas? - Part 3 - Chocolate and Cheese

Everyday this week I'm posting about one of the worst ideas in the candy world that I've ever come across. Cheese generally works as a flavour with any salty treat, I can't say I've ever seen it fail on chips, pretzels, or nuts.  Cheese with chocolate on the other hand has yet to work even once.  I've tasted two cheese and chocolate treats and in both cases it failed miserably.  I'm not saying I don't want to ever see another cheese and chocolate treat again for the rest of my life.  I'm just going to go into each and every cheese and chocolate snack I try in the future with a little trepidation.

Fortunately until now I've never seen cheese paired with any other candy type, except ice cream.  I didn't have the chance to sample cheddar cheese ice cream, but that might work since they're both milky.  I imagine that cheese flavoured rock candy, or cheese flavoured gum probably wouldn't work that well.  Could cheese in fact be most sweet candies Kryptonite?  Is there any sweet/cheesy combination that would work?

I have two cheese and chocolate reviews, one here, and one here.


An Adventure Time Candy Thing

One of the best things about Adventure Time is their liberal use of candy related characters.  Fortunately for me they've also made a specific collection of toys of just these characters.  The problem I have with these toys is avoiding the temptation to bite into them.  While I'm sure they're made of non-toxic plastic, I can't imagine that they're "good" for me.


Tuesday, August 04, 2015

Bad Candy Ideas? - Part 2 - Edible Styrofoam

Everyday this week I'm posting about one of the worst ideas in the candy world that I've ever come across.  This is one of the rare occasions that I'm going to say that I love the idea of eating styrofoam.  While I really believe the idea of making a candy that has the same texture and flavour as styrofoam is a bad idea, for some reason I was addicted to these disk things for a while.  I'm pretty sure it had something to do with the sour powder inside, as I sampled a different variety of these disks later on with small sweet pellets inside and they were hideous.

So here's my final opinion on candy that taste and looks like styrofoam.  Unless you happen to fill it up with the perfect filling, and chances are you're not, then it's generally a very disturbing food to eat.  Edible styrofoam could also be dangerous. What if you where on an edible styrofoam eating frenzy because for some reason you really like the stuff, then you came across a box filled with packing peanuts (note they're not actually peanuts), you might eat the whole box.  I assume that eating a box of packing peanuts can't be good for you.

I should note that this particular candy like substance has one thing very different than styrofoam, it melts in your mouth.  I assume that styrofoam does not melt in your mouth, and therefore isn't as much fun to eat.

Click here to read the very short review about these Styrofoam disks.


Monday, August 03, 2015

Bad Candy Ideas? - Part 1 - Old Man Pubic Hair

Everyday this week I'm posting about one of the worst ideas in the candy world that I've ever come across.  Today I'm going to talk about facial hair.  More to the point, an old man's facial hair.  In my opinion, old man facial hair is probably not a good theme for any kind of candy whatsoever.  In this case the problem doesn't focus on the actual taste or texture of the candy, this is all about mind games.  The last thing you want to be thinking about when you eat white cotton candy is an old man's beard.  They look similar sure, but you don't have to draw attention to that fact.

In general, with the exception of some novelty joke candies, simulating human hair in candy seems like a bad idea.  You could make brown chocolate cotton candy, break it up into bits, and call it "Barber Shop Floor", and it probably wouldn't sell very well.  Or maybe it would sell really well, much like that chocolate bar sold in a babies diaper a few years back (that's just wrong).  Either way I don't think that this bag cotton candy really represents the holidays very well, I'd recommend just going for a pooping reindeer instead.

Click here to read my "Santa's Cotton Candy" review.


This Week In Candy

Well we're still in Sri Lanka, and barring anything tragic and as long as we're coming across regular WiFi spots, then you're getting a few samples of what we've had to eat, and snack on during our journey (Check our Facebook page or Twitter feed).  Since I'm writing this well in advance, I'm not really sure how things are going, I sure hope everything's OK, and most importantly I hope that we packed enough socks.

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.  I'm not sure how often I'll post, but when I learn something new, I'll post so you can learn it too.  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 still away this week, instead of a new review, we're going to look at some reviews from the past that are really bad ideas.  Sometimes candy companies come up with brilliant concepts for new candies, but on occasion, some companies really miss the mark.  This week we're looking at a few candy ideas that just don't work at all.