Archive for October, 2007

Happy Halloween!

The YPMB attack-banding Times Square after we marched in the Greenwich Village Halloween Parade last year.

Wednesday’s usual review to come tomorrow (on Thursday!). Go eat lots of candy!


October 31, 2007 at 8:00 am Leave a comment

Candy choices

According to a series in the Chicago Tribune, Smarties are better than Skittles, and candy corn is better than chocolate. Healthwise, that is.

Her reasoning makes sense. Smarties are pretty much pure sugar, so they’re fat free. Skittles, on the other hand, contain fat, including saturated fat (surprising, as most fruit flavored candies are fat free).  Sadly, like with many other foods, that added fat makes Skittles taste goooood. But Smarties are a tasty sugar treat as well.

I liked the reasoning behind the candy corn versus chocolate debate. You’ll get sick of candy corn faster than you’ll get sick of chocolate, which I find to be true. Whenever I eat candy corn, I am reminded that it really doesn’t taste that good. Still, I enjoy candy corn, if only because I associate it with Halloween.

Speaking of which, happy Halloween tomorrow! I wish I was still young enough to go trick-or-treating. Or that I had younger siblings to steal candy from. Are you going trick-or-treating? Do you raid your kids’/siblings’ candy buckets? Do you dress up?

In two days, I will hit up Walgreen’s and buys lots of on sale candy, and it will be glorious!

October 30, 2007 at 8:00 am Leave a comment

Ferrera Nougat

I haven’t had much nougat experience in my life. It’s not a candy you usually come across as a kid, and neither my parents nor my friends are nougat eaters, so no one introduced me to it later in life. I bought a couple of pieces at Economy Candy and found them to be quite enjoyable.

The Ferrera Nougat bars were more money than I was willing to pay for an unknown and possibly detestable candy. Fortunately, Economy Candy also sold smaller individual pieces, perfectly sized for the roaming candy reviewer. I picked up one each of the available flavors, lemon and orange (they come in many more flavors, but the mini versions were more limited).

The lemon nougat had a bright, lightly lemony flavor, like a squirt of lemon juice was added to the nougat right before serving. It’s a more natural lemon flavor, as opposed to the artificial lemon flavor (which I also love) of Starbursts and Skittles and such. The orange taste was more subtly citrusy, like a little bit of orange zest was added to the mix. Like the lemon, it was a natural fruit flavor.

The texture was excellent, soft and chewy without sticking in my teeth, and the large almond pieces brought some nice variety to the chew. The finish was slightly too sweet in the lemon, but definitely still bearable, and the candy was quite enjoyable. My only beef was with the extremely thin wafer that sandwiched the nougat. It was completely bland and tasteless (though barely noticeable because it was so thin) and reminded me of a Chinese dessert that I hate (I think it’s called a Fu Long Bing). An OM in my book, only because I don’t find nougat particularly inspiring.

October 29, 2007 at 8:00 am Leave a comment

Sweet Sweet Confections S’mores Bars

Is there anyone who doesn’t like s’mores? To me, there are few things better than this simple treat of gooey marshmallow, crunchy graham cracker, and sweet, melted chocolate. It’s oozy, it’s sticky, it’s messy, and it’s delicious.

Because I love s’mores, I was super excited to try Sweet Sweet Confectionss’mores bars that the company sent. Handmade graham crackers and marshmallows dipped in chocolate? What’s not to love?

While the idea is great, I’m afraid I found fault with Sweet Sweet Confections’ execution of their concept.

For starters, the packaging does not hold up well. While the bars look gorgeous on their website, they arrived all smushed together, even in their padded mailer. I should note that these bars were first mailed to a Well Fed editor, who then mailed them to me. However, Dom on Chocablog had the same issue, and Michelle on Candy Addict’s photo also looks nothing like the advertised version. I think these bars need something a little sturdier than a cellophane bag. When I tried to open it at the top, the whole bag split apart, like cellophane is wont to do, which was super annoying, as it meant I no longer had a bag to keep the bars in.

The bars themselves are slightly smaller than credit card-sized. Taste-wise, they were good but not great. I expected the graham cracker to be crunchy like, well, a graham cracker. Instead it was soft and crumbly, like a cookie or a really dense cake. While I prefer a more cinnamon/honey tinge to my graham crackers, I enjoyed the graham “cracker” layer. The chocolate coating was good and smelled incredibly chocolatey. It wasn’t high end chocolate or anything like that, but it was real chocolate, and it did it’s job. My biggest beef was with the marshmallow. Marshmallows should be either fluffy and soft or oozy and sticky, not dense and chewy. While eating this bar was far cleaner than eating a real s’more, the marshmallow’s texture just left something lacking.

I was impressed by the ingredients of the s’mores bar. With the exception of invertase as the final chocolate ingredient, I can pronounce and identify everything that went into these bars. I definitely believe that they’re handmade since the ingredient list is so preservative and additive free.

I found these bars to be good, but I wouldn’t pay $4 for the pouch of three. The different flavors and textures balanced well, but the bars were a little too sweet (though my tastes skew towards the dark chocolate end). A couple of my friends tried the bars and really liked them, but they also agreed that $4 for three bars was too much. If the bars were a little more high end – nicer packaging, nicer presentation, and better chocolate – they would be worth shelling out even more than $4 for because they could then be billed as a gourmet treat. In the state that the s’mores bars currently are in, I’d rather spend my $4 on a bag of marshmallows, a box of graham crackers, and a nice bar of dark chocolate and make my own s’mores. Only an O, I’m afraid.

October 26, 2007 at 8:00 am Leave a comment

Healthy Halloween

This year, NYC is running a Healthy Halloween campaign. “Working with schools and community groups, Healthy Halloween stresses the creative aspects of the holiday, expanding the vision of Trick or Treat beyond candy.”

I’m not sure what I think of this campaign, though I’m certain that their Healthy Halloween song really bites. I mean really, “We’re gonna focus less on candy… Doing things things that are creative/ and eating healthy/ to fight disease.”

I like the idea of incorporating fun, creative things into Halloween activities, sort of like turning Halloween into a big autumn festival type celebration. But all the fun and appeal of Trick-or-Treating is specifically getting to dress up and get free candy, and no amount of kitschy Healthy Halloween song will make kids want to Trick-or-Treat for fruits and vegetables.

I guess my issue with the campaign is that they seem to be trying too hard, with the song (I just can’t get over how bad it is!) as exhibit A. You can teach kids that candy is a treat to be eaten in moderation while still leaving the concept of Trick-or-Treating alone. Little kids will always think the house that hands out granola bars instead of Snickers bars is lame. And for heaven’s sake, if you’re going to try to trick them into eating less candy, don’t tell them that you’re going to do so. Then they’ll never fall for it.

October 25, 2007 at 8:00 am 1 comment

Mentos Sours

They’re not sour! If you’re going to call your product Mentos Sours (BUY!), they should actually be, you know, sour. That being said, they were still pretty tasty, and I’m ashamed to admit that I polished off the entire roll in one sitting. For some reason, that always happens when I buy Mentos. Maybe because the roll packaging makes saving some for later harder? Or because when candy comes in rolls, the next candy is always right there, just begging to be eaten? Or it is because the Mentos texture of hard shell, chewy innards, and unique finish is addictively yummy? Hmm…

I was kind of annoyed at how wasteful the packaging was, especially since I ate these while I wrote the Blog Action Day post about environmentally friendly candy. The outer, completely unnecessary wrapper is printed entirely in English, while the inner wrapper has English and French on it. I guess Mentos made all the inner rolls in one place and changed the outer roll wrappings based on where they’d be sold.

The three Mentos Sours flavors are watermelon, green apple, and lemon. Or melon d’eau, pomme verte, et citron. The lemon (yellow) is nice and tangy, though I wish it were more tart and sour. The light green ones are green apple, which has a nice, slightly tart Granny Smith apple finish. The watermelon (dark green) has a sort of tart initial bite that quickly mellows out. I personally don’t think watermelon is a very good flavor to make sour and include in a sour mix that only has three flavors. I would have preferred another citrus fruit in this mix instead.

Overall, I’ll give the Mentos Sours an OM, mostly because I find Mentos to be frighteningly addictive. If they were actually bitingly sour, they may have been able to earn that extra G.

October 24, 2007 at 8:00 am Leave a comment

Halloween colored M&Ms!

I adore peanut butter M&Ms. Imagine my surprise when I opened this bag

To find these!

They’re black and orange, and some of the Ms have been turned into little Jack-o-lantern faces. Thanks for going the extra holiday mile, M&Ms!

If you’re wondering, they’re deliciously addictive, as usual. An OM treat.

October 23, 2007 at 6:00 pm Leave a comment

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