Archive for October, 2009

29 Oct

“Just One Kiss” 0

hersheykisses

Hershey’s Kisses are one of the most beloved candies in the history of the biz and it doesn’t take a John Hammond to see why. Everything from the name, the shape, the taste and the marketing screams “cute and delicious,” a combo whose potential for a disastrous conflict of pathos and ethos must inevitably be mastered by the logic that “as a chocolate, the kiss has no feelings, and therefore will not object to being consumed. In fact, to not do so would be to deny its raison d’etre, therefore foiling the benificent intentions of whatever kind spirit endowed the kiss with form, which is the greatest insult the inanimate can suffer.” So eat one already!

kiss

First rolling out of the Hershey compound in 1907, Kisses allegedly got their name from the sound or the motion of the chocolate being deposited in the manufacturing process.  They were hand wrapped in the distinctive silver foil until 1921, when advances in automation meant this process was taken over by machines, which also began adding the flag-like Hershey’s ribbon as proof of authenticity.  Since that time, production has only halted once from 1942 to 1949, due to aluminum rationing, and today over 80 million (!) Kisses are produced daily, with modern machines able to pump out approximately 1,300 a minute.

cheesekiss

The original Kiss is a smooth, mellow and very creamy bite-sized milk chocolate. While those with highly refined palettes might consider the original variety a bit “barnyard” (and while I think they’re delicious, I do notice a kind of film in my mouth or aftertaste that suggests very high dairy content) there are literally dozens of variations. Among these, HUGS (a blend of milk and white chocolate) are pretty ubiquitous while  specialties like Green Tea, New York Cheesecake, Coconut Crème, Mint Truffle, Special Dark Strawberry, Neapolitan, Pumpkin Spice and Champagne Truffle are often only regionally or seasonally available.

Still, it’s hard to beat the original for sweet, morally imperative, delicious adorability.

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Questions from Candy.com (CC) will appear in plain script and Mr. Owl’s (MO) responses will be in bold.

mrowl

CC: Mr. Owl, your reputation precedes you, it’s an honor to speak with you.

MO: Thank You-HOO for having me.

CC: Tell us a little bit about the Tootsie Pop.

MO: Tens of millions are produced everyday by Too-HOO-tsie Roll Industries. They’ve been one of the company’s most successful products since they were invented by Mr. Luke Weisgram in 1931. Too-HOO-tsie Pops shall soon line the walls of every home in these United States. HOO-HOO.

CC: We look forward to the day. Now, we all know that Tootsie pops already come in a variety of great flavors including chocolate, cherry, grape, orange, raspberry, blue raspberry, strawberry, watermelon, pomegranate and banana. That’s a lot of ground already covered, but what about new developments? Can we expect any new flavors or innovations within the next 5 years?

MO: As we speak, Too-HOO-tsie Roll scientists are working tirelessly to realize bread-fruit, cashew apple, spicy chili relenos and mouse flavored pops.

CC: Mouse?

MO: HOO-HOO! My apologies, I meant muskrat-HOO, pardon, Mousse, er vanilla- Mousse flavored pops.

CC: Sounds delightful.

MO: Doesn’t it?

CC: Moving on—I just had a banana pop, and while I’m usually leery of banana flavored candy, I found this pretty authentic.  What’s the secret to your success?

MO: If I told you-HOO that, you-HOO might wake up to-HOO-morrow as a pellet.

CC: Trade secret eh? We can respect that.  It’s no use asking how many licks it takes to get to the center of one of these suckers then?

MO:  I could tell you-HOO, two-HOO thousand… But I’d be lying.

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19 Oct

WarHeads – Love the Bomb 0

cloud

Named after everyone’s favorite means of explosive payload deliverance, Warheads were, like many things, invented in Taiwain in 1975.  Despite non-proliferation efforts, Warheads found their way to the United States in 1993 and have been laying waste to mouths ever since.

warhead

One look at “Wally Warhead” (the distressed man depicted on every piece of candy) should provide plenty of disincentive.  His puckered lips, his crossed, bulging eyes, his plainly overheated brow and– perhaps most ominously– the mushroom cloud billowing suggestively above his head, amply illustrate the pain awaiting anyone foolish enough to escalate his relationship with the warhead beyond platonic browsing of the candy shelf.

If you decide to take things to DEFCON1, be prepared to suffer fairly intensely for 20-30 seconds before the coating of malic acid burns itself out and you’re left, broken and disoriented, with a pleasantly sweet bon-bon.  Though the effect of the sourness tends to diminish after repeated trysts with the warhead, this could partly be because you’ve been exterminating your taste-buds with extreme prejudice. Highly recommended, but to be enjoyed one at a time, and sparingly.

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12 Oct

Funny Business 0

“What did the wind say to the screen?”

Give up?

“Just passing through.”

tumble

A knee slapper? While Roald Dahl’s Willy Wonka would have probably just mixed nitrous oxide into his Laffy Taffy to make sudden euphoria a sure thing, there’s plenty to smile about with regards to the real-world equivalent.  Laffy Taffy, so named because every wrapper is printed with a cringe inducing joke as per above, is better candy than it is comedian, and that’s a good thing.

Laffy Taffy Sparkle Cherry

Laffy Taffy Sparkle Cherry

Available most commonly in long, stretchy strips, it’s everything good taffy ought to be; chewy, sweet, slightly creamy and very flavorful.  I sampled “sparkle cherry,” which was fruity enough to remind me that I was supposed to be tasting cherry, but not enough to make me forget that I was eating candy.  The “sparkle” arrived in the form of tiny, confetti-like flakes of hard candy, which gave the taffy a nice blend of smooth and crunchy textures.  The Taffy dissolves quickly in the mouth and although chewy, it doesn’t take long for even a big bite to disappear entirely. Still, one stick is satisfying as a snack and even if the jokes won’t make you laugh out loud, the taffy should keep you from groaning.

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