Archive for the ‘Reviews’ Category


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

I’ve got a mint kick on. Continuing in that cool blue vein, I’ve come to Junior Mints – one of my favorite candies and the only reason I survived The Mummy Three: Rise of The Contents of My Stomach. Ironically, they were also the chief reason I consented to see the film in the first place. Love stinks, no? Such are the passions inspired by these delicate little rounds of pure joy.

A modest man, James O. Welch founded the James O. Welch Company of Cambridge Massachusetts in 1927, piddling away his days with brother Robert (who would later go on to found the John Birch Society of Notable Nutjobs) making fudge, trifle, treacle and tarts*. In 1949, James and Co. got the bright idea of basing a new mint confection around the then popular film (and book and radio series) “Junior Miss.”  “Junior Mints” would be sold in theaters, taking advantage not only of the homophonic relationship between the name of the film and the confection itself, but also of the closely integrated “vend and watch” sales approach of movie houses. Really, we didn’t have a chance.

Still, a lousy product wouldn’t have survived more than half a century, right? God?

Indubitably, Junior Mints are the Shrimp on the Bar-B. Sure, they’re softer than a frog in a warm plate of water–  a far cry from York Peppermint Patties and a distinction that confection prides itself upon— but I’ve always felt that reaching into a box of Junior Mints and pulling out a giant flotilla, mortared together by the focused gleam of cinema lights on the candy counter, is all part of the charm. Anyway, this phenomenon doesn’t affect the taste. Semi-sweet chocolate (is there any better? We all know what you do with those bags of chocolate chips when you’re not in the mood for cookies) and gooey, thick peppermint crème is one flavor combination that’ll always put a smile on my face no matter how much self-loathing I accrue sitting through your average Hollywood slag-fest, knowing I shelled double digit dollars in it’s honor. I dare say, it might even all be worth it when those lights come down and I’m in the dark with Junior Mints.

*There is no official record of James O. Welch Co. ever having consorted with Trifle, Treacle or Tarts. However, compelling primary sources indicate its involvement here, here and here.

Read more

Taste

Aroma

Appearance

Price


Overall Impression:

in Candy, Chocolate, Reviews, Semi-Sweet Chocolate

15 Jan

Play it Cool. Real Cool. 0

York Peppermint Patties dropped quietly out of Henry C. Kessler’s Cone Factory in York Pennsylvania in 1940 and soon began the often thankless but truly essential work of soberly refreshing breath one frosty bite at a time.

1113906798053437245S425x425Q85

Granted, there were other mint chocolates on the market, but York boasted an attribute that soon saw it snapping the top spot on the peppermint pyramid. Where contenders melted, gooed, and crumbled, York Peppermint Patties hung tough and together, hardly ever succumbing to the soupifying effects of sun, pockets, or pleather automobile interiors. Though I love and respect the likes of Junior Mints, we all know they have a tendency to turn to putty in our hands. Not so with The Patty, whose bite is always clean and whose cleave is always crisp (unless you sit on it. But c’mon, that’s your fault).

peppermintpatty

Though admirable, the Patty’s constitution alone isn’t enough to make it a great confection. Fortunately, it also offers a refreshingly mature and balanced combination of flavors. The chocolate shell is dark, bitter and complex with just enough earthy, coffee hints to provide a perfect foil to the bright, sweet, peppermint crème that fills out the bulk of each patty. With the unique soft, yet snappy texture, York Peppermint Patties are a remarkably refined example of candy construction, available all across the globe and of course, for your convenience at Candy.com.

Read more

Taste

Aroma

Appearance

Price


Overall Impression:

in Candy, Chocolate, Dark Chocolate, Reviews