Friday, June 28, 2019

Canadian Candy That I Love - Part 5 - Cherry Blossom

I once wrote a piece for a newspaper claiming that this is the most Canadian snack ever made. While it's not my favourite Canadian candy, I still stand by that piece I wrote. This candy is weird, and it combines some classic ingredients to make a better whole. That's pretty much the best way to describe the country that I call home.

Click here to read my review.


Candy In The Media - Mickey and Minnie Mouse In Thailand

I can't say enough about this amazing cartoon. First of all, I'm a huge fan of the new direction Disney has taken with Mickey Mouse cartoons, I love the look and I really enjoy the stories. Secondly, I love the fact that this entire cartoon is in Thai, no English at all, and you can still follow the story.  Finally, the fact that the subject is near to my heart, street food, really makes this one of the best cartoons I've seen in a while.


Thursday, June 27, 2019

Canadian Candy That I Love - Part 4 - Oh Henry

This is another bar that was my go to bar for a few years. It's also the bar that I used to rip apart the most when I ate it. I used to munch off the chocolate and peanuts exposing a log of chewy fudge to eat at the end. The commercial below tells me that I wasn't the only person doing this either.

Click here to read my review.


Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Canadian Candy That I Love - Part 3 - Wunderbar

For a few years, the Wunderbar was my bar of choice. It wasn't found around town as easily as other bars, but once I had a source I would buy them out. It's a really unique bar that doesn't have anything inherently Canadian about it, but for some reason it still reminds me of home.

Click here to read my review.


It's Time For Another Episode Of Junk Fud On The Road - The Netherlands

Holland, is one of the nicest places you can visit. It's full of nature, cool people, and cool people walking through nature. It's also a great place to eat some really fine food. The Netherlands is a country where almost everything you eat feels safe from a North American perspective. It's likely because much of the food from that area is part of the culture in North America as well.

Click here to check out old episodes of Junk Fud On The Road.

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Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Canadian Candy That I Love - Part 2 - Crispy Crunch

This classic Canadian candy bar can best be described as similar to a Butterfinger, only much, much better. It's also the candy bar that my dad would pick up every time we'd go out to get some treats (which was often). This is a candy bar that brings me back to my childhood every time I taste it.

Click here to check out my review.


Monday, June 24, 2019

Canadian Candy That I Love - Part 1 - Caramilk

To help celebrate Canada Day (July 1st), all this week I'm going to look at some of my favourite Canadian candies.  There's no better Canadian candy to start with than the Caramilk bar. There are a few Canadian things that I think everyone in the world should try, Tim Horton's, Swiss Chalet Chicken, and a Caramilk bar.

Click here to read my Caramilk bar review.


Candy Packaging Is Kind Of Important - Pop It! Chocoballs

One of the debates I have with myself when it comes to reviewing candy is weather or not I should consider the candy's package. In some cases it seems vitally important to mention it because it's part of the candy, but most of the time it's not really that important, but it might be the reason I bought the candy in the first place. The two reasons I buy a candy is either because I had heard of it somewhere else (either a friend or the internet may have mentioned it), or because the package has attracted me.

It could be as simple as the correct words on a package, "lasagna potato chips" for example, or it could be some kind of creepy cartoon on the package. Sometimes it's the little  window on the package that shows me what the candy looks like. I think I'm just going to have to start dropping this whole idea of not reviewing a candy based on its package. It will likely never be the focus of the review, but I think it's an important part of any candy.

Click here to read about a candy package that  confused me enough to buy the candy.

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Friday, June 21, 2019

Candy In The Media - Reese The Movie

I'm not sure if I'm missing something, or I'm just too old, but I managed to sit through this movie for about 15 minutes. Let me know if you make it further, and what I missed.


Wednesday, June 19, 2019

It's Time For A New Episode Of In Hindsight, Today We Look At The Coffee Crisp

In this episode of In Hindsight I eat the classic Canadian candy bar, the Coffee Crisp. It's been a really long time since I wrote the Coffee Crisp review on Candy Critic, and it's even been a while since I've eaten a Coffee Crisp just for fun. This is just a bar that I rarely ever crave unless it's sitting in front of me.

Click here to read the original Coffee Crisp review.

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Monday, June 17, 2019

It's A New Chip Review, And It's Not Great - Lay’s Cooling Sensation "Melon Bingsu Flavor"

Today's new review is one that you'd think would be obvious. It's obvious that it shouldn't work, I mean it's melon flavoured, menthol potato chips. Sometimes I get snacks like this and I'm surprised that it does actually work, this was not one of those times. I ate these chips, and they were pretty gross. They're so gross that I couldn't finish the entire bag (it was a small bag as well). I didn't throw them out though, I have some friends coming over this weekend for a round of Pandemic, and they're going to get to sample the worst chips ever made.

As an added bonus, this Thursday I'll be posting another review of another "cooling sensation" flavour of Lay's potato chips. I have a little more hope that these won't be nearly as gross, but I'm not totally confident.

Click here to read about the worst chips I've ever eaten.

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Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Tom's Look At The Visual Side Of Snacks And Candy - Green Tea Melty Kiss

Hello again!

It’s time for another look at candy and snack packaging! This time, I want to show an example of a stunning example of the kind of elaborate and beautiful packaging at which the Japanese excel. The product is called ‘Melty Kiss’ and I initially got it thinking it was a chocolate green tea. It’s actually chocolate square with green tea filling. They were a delicious surprise. Once the box was emptied, the box deserved thorough examination for the attention to detail and production values involved. First up is a photo looking inside the empty cavity that held the wrapped treats. The designers coloured the inside a deep brown, likely to evoke the chocolate of the treat itself. As well, graphic symbols of hearts and snowflakes float in the rich void.
The second picture shows the text of the inside flap that covers the chamber for the chocolates. Again, the graphic snowflake motif repeats to accent the text and the name of the product. I’m sure the text describes the chocolates in poetic terms though that’s my guess alone.
The third photo is not as sharp as I’d hoped but hopefully it still conveys the beautifully photographed green tea texture.
The green tea texture photo and the large snowflake on the pale green background are from panels of the box as is the photo that shows two images of the ‘Melty Kiss’, one with a cross-section to show the green tea centre. 
The snowflake theme carries into this panel.
Next is a visual feast with a tastefully composed overhead view of a foamy cup of green tea (more visual texture) and a carefree scattering of ‘Melty Kiss’ chocolates overlaid with a single green tea leaf. The upper portion of the image is actually the back of the box which flows over a fold and carries onto the top and lid of the box.
Finally, here’s a look at the wonderful green metallic ink that was added to the embossed ‘Melty Kiss’ logo and the snowflakes on the top panel. It’s just the right amount of ‘bling’ to add an extra touch of visual appeal.
Though it’s not part of the mandate of this column, I will report that the chocolates were every bit as luxurious as the package. If you see these and like green tea and chocolate, I highly recommend ‘Melty Kiss’.


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Friday, June 07, 2019

Thursday, June 06, 2019

Doing Disney and Shanghai

Our trip to Shanghai consisted of two parts... sort of. The first part of the trip was a brief morning and afternoon in Shanghai proper. Our flight landed at 5am and our hotel at Disneyland wasn't going to let us check in until 3pm. We could have headed straight to the Disneyland park if we wanted to, but we had two more full days planned for them, and we knew that we would be getting off of our flight exhausted. We decided instead to focus the first part of our trip on exploring the city of Shanghai a little. We started in the Bund, because it was the only thing open that early in the morning.
On our way to the Bund from the train station we stopped at McDonald's, Allison got a coffee, and I sampled one of the pies (as I usually do on trips abroad). The specialty pie in China appears to be a taro pie. Taro is basically purple sweet potato. This was a great pie to start your day because the taro filling isn't overly sweet. It was also nice that it was deep fried, since most McDonald's in other parts of the world bake their pies now. This was the perfect start up for our day of wandering around Shanghai.
For the most part our adventure that day was just wandering around various neighbourhoods. If you're in Shanghai and you're looking for a place to pick up traditional treats and snacks, one neighbourhood we discovered is Yuyuan Market. It's a traditional looking market with many traditional and modern Chinese desserts and snacks. It's not only a great place to find snacks, but it's also a great place to just wander around since the building are all traditional and exactly what you would expect from a classic Chinese market.
One interesting find was at a local Chinese grocery store. As you know I love to check out local grocery stores in every place I visit, and I was not disappointed in Shanghai. There were a few Chinese treats to choose from, but most interesting was how they kept their western candy. The chocolate bars were each found in protective security boxes. I imagine that there was a theft problem in the past, and it must have been such a problem that drastic measures had to be taken. While the bars were pricey, they weren't much more expensive than what I find in most Asian countries, and I've never seen this kind of security for chocolate bars before.

After a bleary eyed day of walking around, we stopped at Tim Horton's (you can read the full review of that exspirience here) and headed to Shanghai Disneyland for two days and three nights of fun.

The park itself is very nice. I'd heard rumors on the internet about how poorly this Disney park was maintained and abused, and saw none of that at all. It may not have been as clean as some of the other Disney parks, but it was pretty close. It also has two of the greatest rides in all Disney parks (we've been to all except the two in California) Tron Lightcycles and their version of Pirates of the Caribbean. I won't say much more about the parks in general, but if you're a Disney parks fan it's well worth a day or two.
Meal wise, Shanghai Disneyland is not really as full as the other Disney parks. Florida and Tokyo have become food destinations, but this Disney parks doesn't really go for that at all. There is only one sit down restaurant in the whole park, it's expensive but the food was okay. The best place to get a meal in this park is actually outside the gates in Disneytown. There you'll find a nice range of restaurants that including a Cheesecake Factory and a Wolfgang Puck's restaurant. The park had a few less formal places to eat, and they were okay, but nothing that spectacular.
Snack wise this park has a few interesting treats. We found ourselves eating at the bakery a few times and generally found the baked goods to be pretty good. The white chocolate doughnut and cheesecake were surprisingly good. I would think that just about every baked good would probably taste fine, at least we didn't find one that we hated.
It seemed that waffles and flower flavoured ice cream were also fairly popular. We had a few waffles and they were fine, although most of the time they were served cold. We also saw a lot of Mickey ice cream bars around the park. They come with both vanilla and chocolate ice cream inside. They also have Minnie ice cream bars with white chocolate on the outside. While I was tempted to pick up an ice cream bar, I couldn't find myself paying the 8 dollars it cost.
Shanghai Disneyland is a fun place to visit, but it really isn't a foodie destination. You will find plenty of Chinese food options, and plenty of western options, but I don't think you'll  find anything exceptional. What they lack in food however they do make up for in fun. We had a great time, and I'm glad we got to check out this Disney park.


Wednesday, June 05, 2019

Tom's Look At The Visual Side Of Snacks And Candy - Nature's Path Chewy Strawberry Granola Bars

Hey all!
Time for another look at snack and candy packaging! This time, I want to show you how a company maxed out the box in which their granola bars for kids are sold. The outside of the box is attractively designed with colourful imagery to appeal to kids (and the parents doing the buying). Nature’s Path is a company that sells “Organic” goods like cereals as well as these granola bars. You’ll notice the “Envirokidz” logo as part of the Nature’s Path logo. Also, in the right side of the first photograph, under some bullet points extolling the benefits of the snack itself, it says “SAVE MACAWS”. This might explain the somewhat odd choice of the large image of the macaw on the left side of the package. I say ‘unusual’ since strawberries and macaws really don’t relate, apart from the colour association. One might expect a macaw to be used to promote a tropical fruit mix granola bar. That’s where the next batch of photos come in!
Almost the entire INSIDE of the box is used to present information about the companies efforts to help preserve the Amazon rainforest, home to the macaw.
Also, facts about the macaw are presented.
Finally, kids are given pointers on things to do and habits to pick up close to home to help the planet.

Not only is this a fun way of making kids and parents aware of and perhaps involved with an aspect of preserving the environment but the company actually utilized the inside of the box to present this information! Rather than a website link, which might be ignored (life is busy...) the designers put to use packaging real estate that would be blank and unnoticed. Bravo to the designers for a smart and informative package design!


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Tuesday, June 04, 2019

We Always Start The Month Off With Some Thoughts.

On this months episode of Chris's Monthly Morning Breakfast Thoughts I talk about our trip to Shanghai, fake meat, and other Disney fun times, live from downtown Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

Click here to read the article about Shanghai Tim Horton's.

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Monday, June 03, 2019

It's Getting Warmer, And We're Thinking About Ice Cream - Icecream Cake "With Cookie & Cream"

Technically the weather isn't getting warmer where I am, it's always warm where I am right now. However, around the Northern Hemisphere it's getting warmer, and that means that ice cream season is upon many of us. I remember the joy of getting the first ice cream cone of the season, and knowing that many more were to follow. I also remember the first time it dawned on me that I could actually get ice cream in the winter too, but that's a different story.

I figured that it would be a good idea to post an ice cream review to kick off the ice cream season. Fortunately it turns out that this ice cream treat is one of the most unique ice cream treats that I've had in a while.

Click here to read about this unique ice cream creation.

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