Archive for January, 2010

If Chunky were developed today, it’s a fair bet the name wouldn’t pass muster in many focus groups. Yet, for over seven decades it has remained defiantly on the shelves, proudly shouting out its incredibly apropos (and rather insinuating) name in husky red letters. My advice is not to take offense. Even if you live large, the Chunky is hardly your worst enemy.

Why?

It fills you up! That’s right, for a measly 1.4 ounce bar, the Chunky’s power to stave off hunger approaches the uncanny. The combination of milk chocolate, peanuts and raisins– long used to great effect in trail-mixes— works magic here as well. A single Chunky– while undeniably a mouthful– is neither too sweet, nor too insubstantial, which is more than can be said of most chocolate bars. You aren’t going to be gulping down aspirin or rooting in the cupboard for chips after a Chunky, is what I’m trying to say. You’re going to want to run up a mountain without stopping.

Also, its double Trapezoid shape reminds me of Optimus Prime before Michael Bay blew chunks all over him.

His gleaming torso was inspired by the Chunky

Celebrate Chocolate Bars of All Shapes and Sizes at Candy.com!

Read more

Taste

Aroma

Appearance

Price


27 Jan

Rage Against the Dying of the Zagnut 1

If you’ve never seen a Zagnut, you’re not alone. They’ve been on the International Candy Service’s list of critically endangered Sweets since 1979 and even the efforts  of HERSHEY’S, which acquired the brand from D.L. Clark Company in 1996, have not been enough to pull the bars back from the brink that they’ve been teetering on for the past 30 years. And it’s a shame too, because the Zagnut is both unusual and delicious — a unique, but rapidly vanishing part of our American Confectionery heritage. While schools of the rare and beautiful bars — which are composed of crisp, thin layers of a kind of peanut brittle (almost mica like in consistency) coated in toasted coconut– exist in spacious reserves at some of the larger online candy websites, they are essentially impossible to find in their natural habitat on the shelves of local convenience stores.

A rare photo of a Zagnut in the wild

While film and television stars such as Michael Keaton (Beetlejuice), Eddie Murphy and Nick Nolte (48 Hours), Fred Willard (SCTV), Lisa Simpson (The Simpsons) and Jason Lee (My Name is Earl) have used their celebrity status to spread awareness of Zagnut conservation, the plight of the Bars remains desperate.

Zagnuts have been seen to inspire great passion

An anonymous poet has recently sent us a bit of verse in honor of the Zagnut, with the hope that his or her words might inspire Zagnut awareness in today’s youth. Touchingly, the paen is structured as a villanelle, an archaic nineteen line form nearly as rare and irrelevant in modern poetry as is Zagnut in modern confectionery.

Probably the last guy to even care about a villanelle

Let us hope and pray that these words shall not soon serve as an epitaph.

The bar the world sang “Sighs! Wherefore such grace?”

Two nuts joined; pressed in rhomboid reverie

Stem and Root, whose fruits envy the other’s place

***

Glory shrinks from those who give it chase

Abiding on the less than likely tree

Zagnut: Peanut, coconut; this is grace

***

Where others clap for chocolate in the race

D.L. Clark, spitting, shouts, “It shall not be!”

“With this one I shall put them in their place!”

***

But every Saint’s a sinner if you trace

The arc whose course terminates in the sea

And find among the floating wrappers, grace

***

The sun sinks into rivers, swims with Dace

And schools of lesser stars sing out in glee

That they should gleam the brighter in its place

***

Yet still, the learned calling for the ace

Shall not drowned out by shriller voices be

Heed the peal of Zagnut: munch it in grace

Help the lost great reclaim its rightful place

Read more

Taste

Aroma

Appearance

Price


Overall Impression:

in Candy, Candy Tips, Nostalgic/Retro, Reviews


Whether you’re a cap or a stem fellow, you must surely wager that the latest nostrum from eccentric (and some say deranged) confectioner Wilhelm “Willy” Wonka is, at the very least, no flim-flam.

Modeled after popular fungal fruiting bodies, youths especially shall greet the glad trifecta of patent shapes with enthusiasm. One: a handsome button replete with a squat, ribbed torso, the second: pleasant and conically inclined, the third: a sort of ovate affair, gilled as a berth of folios! Called “Puckerooms” and deriving their flavor with extractions from sundry “fruits,” the mind boggles contemplating the demoniac cunning that has birthed these seeming errata, and it is this author’s contention, at least, that the jaundiced hand of that seldom seen but much discussed diaspora of pygmy confectioners, the “Oompa-Loompa,” shall have been at play. Despite much muttering at Rowntree to the contrary, I say, “well played,” for the machinations of these pagan small persons have in “Puckerooms,” produced an assortment rare in that it pleases the palate as much as the eye— which is more than discerning gastromancers must claim of Bostwick’s Molasses Shoe Black or Plympton & Kegel’s Fagged Lymeswold Clots.


And what of the smack of these pretties? Do not come to disregard our tryst if I say that the “Puckeroom” is vibrant and color-full. The exotic taste of a strange and fecund tropic remains foremost on the tongue, and undiminished with each successive bite. The savor of “cherries” from the groves of the Near East is one variety, being dark and sweet as the fancy inducing perfumes of the same. The “Lemon and Orange”—tart as mature Wensleydale– recalls Iberia, and should remind any who have Yule-tided in Lapland of the curious berries so beloved by those who adorn their hearths with stockings in hope of attracting the pity of St. Niklaus. The “Grape,” meanwhile should prove no obstacle for the salt of any person inclined toward the sopping of “Wines,” though this presentation sadly bears little of its salubrious effects.

If you are a grimme and choleric chappe, continue to drive your hearse-carriage and be done with it, however, do not say to me “I denounce Mr. Wonka’s Puckerooms and their apologists!” for there is enough bluster and smog in the London faire without you! And I would point out to you that “Bubble and Squeak” was once considered “exciting” and “Luciferian.” My only complaint to Mr. Wonka is that the confection is not perhaps as sour as the advertisement marquee otherwise indicates. Be assured, it is no Hessian cheese– though I dare it is no madding crowd who shall not object the fact either!

Wonka’s Sour Puckerooms Gummies are made with the finest natural ingredients (including 25% real fruit juice) and contain Gelatin.

Read more

Taste

Aroma

Appearance

Price


Overall Impression:

in Candy, Candy Tips, Reviews

22 Jan

If Thomas Hardy Was a Chocolate Bar 0

What do you get when you take one abandoned ice cream parlor, a healthy measure of Robinson Illinois, a jigger of the nineteen teens, one quart traveling salesman, essence of mysterious Greek confectioner, four parts family intrigue, the phrase “America’s Finest!” and coat it in milk chocolate? The answer is the Heath Bar, an English Style Toffee from the heartland of America that boasts a history as complex and nuanced as the War of the Roses. Read about it all in Bittersweet: The Story of the Heath Candy Co., for I’ve naugh’ the time, nor space here to spin the tale.

If you’ve read my review of SKOR, you may think, “I already know what he’s going to say, since that product is a veritable facsimile of this one.” Not So! At least not entirely… See, if you had in fact read that review, you would know that SKOR suffers from classic Eighties-itis – a sad syndrome in which the affected party’s prevailing assumption becomes “more is better!” Most notably, it resulted in the series of tragic flubs that came to exemplify the eponymous decade, ie: the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, the music of Kenny Loggins, the E-Wok Adventures, the actions of the IMF, etc. So while SKOR undeniably takes its cues from the Heath Bar, it also exaggerates them to louder, more neon-drenched proportions as part of “The Mannheim Steamroller Approach,” indicative of its origins.

A guy who enjoys Heath Bar

“HeatH,” as it used to be known, is more demure. While this may not suit everybody, it does me. Butter Toffee can be a heavenly treat, but should be consumed responsibly. Perhaps the key to Heath’s more balanced flavor are the almonds mixed with the toffee? Whereas SKOR lacks any kind of countervailing force against the dizzying richness of the Milk-Chocolate / Butter Toffee, Heath’s almonds keep your lunch in your stomach where it belongs with a muted and much needed baseline flavor.

A guy who enjoys SKOR

Tragically, if the result of Citizens United V. FEC is any indication, Eighties-itis may be on the rise. Do your part to help keep the swelling down by enjoying Heath Bar, which (on this site, anyway) will never indicate political preference. Though, for the record, it does believe that Man got us into Global Warming and Man is going to have to get us out.

Read more

Taste

Aroma

Appearance

Price


Overall Impression:

in Chocolate, Milk Chocolate, Reviews