Friday, October 31, 2008

Candy Bar Freak-Out

I have eaten more candy bars in the past month than I've probably eaten in the last five years. I like candy, and certainly eat sweets every day, but I haven't eaten candy bars, specifically, at this clip since I was a child.

And, since I'm not a child anymore,
this means I had to up my fitness game so as not to become a tub-o-lub. In case you think what follows was at all pleasurable (it was), I would just like you all to know that I did suffer in the name of research. I took up half-ass jogging. That's what a person who has never run as a form of exercise does. It means I run until my heart feels like it's going to explode and my shins are going to crack in two, then I walk until I feel really lame, then run some more. It's been fun this past month (not), but I don't know how you masochistic runners do it.

Below are the never-before-eaten-by-me candy bars that I ordered after reading Candyfreak and being inspired to search out regional candy bars. There are many sites out there to order from, including straight from the source, but some sites make you order by the box, and I certainly wasn't looking for 24-count boxes of each bar.

l of these bars were ordered from Hometown Favorites where you can order bars singly. There is a $20 minimum, though. Their site is a little clunky, and lost my order a couple of times in the middle of filling my shopping basket, but shipping was ultra fast. Of course, not all regional candy bars are on their site (no Goo Goo Cluster!), but they have a heck of a lot.

My assessments of the bars are brief, and meant to show you what you're missing (or not) if you stick to the big guys like Hershey and Nestle. This is not a candy blog, just me binging on a whim. If you want more in depth analysis of candy, hit up Candy Blog, an excellent blog that takes the candy reviews quite seriously.

Hopefully, this will convince you to pick up that unknown candy bar when you're on vacation, or even order a whole bag like I did. It's fun, and certainly sweet. Well, not the jogging.

Many of the smaller candy companies that make these bars have been acquired by other small candy companies, so ownership and places of manufacture often have changed. If you're interested in the full history, be sure to click on the links (and click some more) to take you further down the rabbit hole; this post is too long already.
Haviland Wintergreen Patty - (Massachusetts) Like a Peppermint Patty, but pink inside and with wintergreen flavor. Breath actually fresh afterward.Mountain - (Washington State) Chocolate flavor not so good, and peanut bits so small they might as well have skipped it. Essentially a mound of chocolate flavor over a vanilla cream center. Meh. Also comes in cherry and peanut butter.Idaho Spud - (Idaho) "The Candy Bar that makes Idaho famous." Cocoa flavored marshmallow center covered in chocolate and coconut flakes. The moist marshmallow center's texture is like a cross between marshmallow and bread pudding. Strange, but strangely compelling, as I'm a marshmallow and bread pudding lover.Vanilla Bun - (Minneapolis) Milk chocolate and peanuts covering a vanilla cream center. First thought out of the package was, "It looks like a Goo Goo Cluster." Very good, but caramel center would be better, and guess what?Caramel Bun - (Minneapolis) They make a caramel Bun! And I do like it better with it's caramel center covered in peanuts and milk chocolate. Also comes in maple flavor.Nut Goodie - (Minneapolis) Pearson's, the maker of the Bun Bars, also make the very similar Nut Goodie with a maple cream center covered in peanuts and milk chocolate. Pearson's has been making Nut Goodies since 1912, but only acquired the Bun Bars, which were originally made in Indiana, in 1998. You just can't go wrong with chocolate and peanuts covering sweet goo. Old Faithful - (Idaho) Creme center and peanuts enrobed in thick chocolate. I could use a few more peanuts, but I ate the whole thing when I said I was only going to eat half. Good!
Abba-Zabba - (California) Chewy taffy with a peanut butter center. Not sure if the white taffy has any flavor other than sweet, but the thin smear of peanut butter gives an overall impression of peanut butter. You could definitely loose a filling eating this.Sour Apple Abba Zabba - (California) For those of you who like artificially fruit flavored taffy (raises hand), there's also a sour apple Abba Zabba with a peanut butter center. Peanut butter can go with just about anything, and it does go here, but, still, I was asking why there was peanut butter in my sour apple. I like the sour apple better than the original Abba-Zabba.
Big Hunk - (California) Annabelle, the maker of Abba Zabba, also makes Big Hunk. Big Hunk is a slab of chewy nougat studded with whole peanuts for a more peanuty flavor than Abba Zabba. Still ultra chewy, I find the Big Hunk easier to eat and slightly more mature (whole peanuts are more mature?). Big Hunk trumps the original Abba Zabba in my book.Blue Monday (Kentucky) -Dark chocolate covering a "pulled candy". The center could be almost cookie-like if it were a little crunchier. At first I was not fond of this bar, thinking it sweet and slightly odd with no real draw or interest, but then I sampled some other bars that were definitely odd, and rethought my original view. Still...meh.Smoothie - (Pennsylvania) Chocolate getting in the way in your Reese's Peanut Butter Cups? Grab a Smoothie. Same crumbly peanut center, but covered in butterscotch coating. I originally thought the coating was peanut, so...overall it's peanuty sweet.Cherry Mash - (Missouri) Cherry fondant center covered in chocolate with small pieces of peanuts. You've got to really like cherry flavored candy to eat one of these. I'll eat a small cherry creme chocolate from a mixed box of chocolates no problem, but I could not eat an entire Cherry Mash.Valomilk - (Kansas) "The Original 'flowing center' candy cups."I was so excited to try one of these milk chocolate cups with flowing marshmallow, but, alas, they do not travel well. Any crack in the chocolate shell, and the inside will leak out. The center marshmallow is incredibly sticky and messy, hence the unavoidably ripped package. Gonna give it another go next time I'm in Kansas to, hopefully, avoid the travel issues.Charge Bar - (California) A dark espresso caramel sits at the bottom of this milk chocolate cup with rice puffs. The top of the cup is thick and substantial, making this cup more about the chocolate than the caramel center. Slight coffee flavor.Rocky Road - (California) Milk chocolate coated marshmallow with cashews. I absolutely love chocolate covered marshmallows, and always buy myself a holiday themed chocolate covered marshmallow at every holiday. Rocky Road is the closest thing to those fluffy marshmallows coated in chocolate, except it has the tiniest bits on cashews (virtually indiscernible) in the crumbly chocolate top. Nothing mind blowing, but if you like chocolate covered marshmallows like I do, you'll like Rocky Road.Cup-O-Gold - (California) Milk chocolate studded with tiny bits of almonds and coconut surrounding a "creamy smooth center" that is not as creamy as the picture leads on. There is definitely an Almond Joy-like flavor going on with the almonds and coconut.Sky Bar - (Massachusetts) : Four distinct flavors (caramel, vanilla, peanut, and fudge) in one milk chocolate bar. I love the concept of Sky Bar, but the fillings are not the best. The fudge is grainy, the peanut has the consistency of caramel and barely tastes like peanut, the vanilla tastes exactly like the white in chocolate covered cherry cordials (not a fan), and the caramel, well, it's the best of the bunch. The chocolate is very sweet. (Gosh, I should have used a knife to dissect the bar instead of crushing it with my hands.)

What were my favorites?
Caramel Bun - Reminded me the most of Goo Goo Clusters. Best all around.
Sour Apple Abba Zabba - I used to love chewy fruit candy like Airheads and Mambas.
Rocky Road -I'm a sucker for chocolate covered fluffy marshmallow.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


When my Dad mailed me his softly used copy of Steve Almond's Candyfreak: A Journey Through the Chocolate Underbelly of America, a book about one man's reminiscing of the loss of his favorite candy bar and the resulting pilgrimage to independent candy bar manufacturers in the US, this was the third book about chocolate and candy that other people had given me within the past year. Were people trying to tell me something?

Yes, they were. I am a candyfreak.

I've never denied that I love sugar, dessert, and all things candy-like, but within the first few pages of Candyfreak, I got a sugar rush from reading the casual, candid, candy revealings of Steve Almond -- someone who understands!

Candyfreak is not new. The book was published in 2005 to rave reviews, and resulted in many people searching for the book's featured regional, hard to find candy bars -- thanks to the big guys like Hershey, Mars Nestle, and the ridiculous racking fees required by the big box stores that make it nearly impossible for the small guys to get a piece of the pie. But if you haven't read Candyfreak, do yourself a favor and pick up a copy. It's a fast, witty, and sweet read.

Candyfreak was so sweet, it inspired me to search out and sample some of the regional candy bars Almond wrote about. That's coming in the next post, but, first, I'll preface my candy bar research with proof of candy freakdom. Come along as we look at my the most prominent candy memories.

Candyfreak Family

Granddad - Kept a bowl of candy at arm's reach from his recliner at all times, as well as a drawer in the kitchen filled with Little Debbie's. On every visit, he took us to Kroger to fill up on all the bulk Brach's candy we wanted. Really, this was a guise to keep himself stocked. Brach's Royals, were my favorite. No one ever ate the Circus Peanuts. (In the photo: Granddaddy sits me down at a young age to tell me just how sweet life is.)

Mom - Also had a drawer in the kitchen filled with Little Debbie's. Three cookie jars sat on the counter, as well, and were always full. The drawer and cookie jars were never off limits to us kids, and, hey, I turned out fine. We ate breakfast, a home packed school lunch, and a home cooked meal every night. And cookies whenever we wanted!

Dad - Chocolate connoisseur. A safe in his office kept "the good stuff" locked away from the kids. When feeling generous, he'd let us sample some of his chocolate. Makes a kid feel special...or cheated.

Hubba Bubba Made Me Do It
The following is my first, vivid candy memory. I'm not sure how old I was, but I'm guessing pretty young since a tricycle was my get-away vehicle (yep, that's me on my trike over there), and I had no understanding of money. All I knew is that grape Hubba Bubba bubble gum was the tastiest thing ever, and Mom obliged my addiction and delivered a package of the choice gum every time we went to the grocery store.

Feeling an urge for some Hubba Bubba, I grabbed my younger neighbor and best friend, we hopped on our trikes and started the seven block journey to the nearest Piggly Wiggly to, I guess, steal some grape Hubba Bubba.

We only made it about three blocks (uphill is rough going on trikes) before my best bud's mom found us as she was driving around in her station wagon in search of the two of us runaways.

We were not runaways! I knew exactly what I was doing -- going to the Piggly Wiggly to get myself some Hubba Bubba. I've always been self-sufficient.

Heather F
Bath Oil Beads Make For Crappy Candy
I was naive and painfully shy when I arrived at the bed and bath department of a department store with my Mother. As she was browsing the towels, a large bin of round, smooth bath oil beads caught by eye. Holy Mother of God! A huge, open tub of candy at child level. Too shy to bother my Mom with a request for candy, I filched a ball and popped it in my mouth. The flavorless plastic-like shell burst with my bite, and soapy oil filled my mouth. Worst candy ever.

Now And Laters Will Pull Your Teeth Out
No, really. I've never had a piece of candy accidentally pull my teeth out, but I did employ Now And Laters as teeth-pulling servants on multiple occasions when in my teeth-shedding years. Too much of a weenie to pull them myself, and too fearful of the string-attached-to-tooth-at-one-end-and-attached-to-a-slamming-door-on-the-other-end, I went the sweet route.

1. Place Now And Later in mouth to warm for maximum stickiness.
2. Position Now And Later over loose tooth.
3. Bite down firmly.
4. Yank jaws apart quickly.
5. Remove bloody tooth from Now And Later.
6. Eat Now and Later.

Who Stole My Candy?

At age twelve, I was probably trick or treating for one of the last times that I could get away with going door to door begging for candy without feeling slimy, and this last run was a good one...except I couldn't find my bag of candy the next morning.

We searched my friend's house who I was sleeping over with high and low. No bag. We went down to her cousin's house to see if he jokingly took my bag. No bag. What we had was a serious freak-out on my part, and a not so clever plan to get more candy.

How about we go trick or treating again, telling the people who open their doors that our father (we're, of course, related to each other at this point) was out of town on Halloween, so we couldn't go trick or treating? People always have left over candy the next day. Brilliant!

While I'm sure no one believed us, they surprisingly doled out the goods, except no one had left over candy. They had granola bars, pudding packs, and such every day snacks. Ugh!

Turns out, I put the original bag of Halloween candy on a shelf over my head, forgot where I put it, and I couldn't see it when I was frantically looking for it. Doh! To this day, if anything is over my head (not hard to do), it does not exist.

In Germany, Chocolate Makes Everything Better

During high school, I spent a month in Germany with a family as an exchange student. Before I went over to Germany, a girl from the same family spent a month with my family. She had an eating disorder that bordered on anorexia, and, naturally, she thought I was a little piggy who loved chocolate and sweets. No, and yes!

In some sort of combination of frustration with their daughter who wouldn't eat, and an attempt to make the little piggy, goth-like American girl happy (I swear I was never goth -- just afraid of sun damage, and have a resting face that says, "eat me"), my host parents showered me with huge bars of chocolate...almost daily! I couldn't eat them all, so shoved them in my suitcase. They thought I was eating them since they disappeared, so gave me more. I flew home with so much German chocolate that summer. Score!

I have plenty more tales of candy freakdom, but, really, how much can one take without being drunk? What are things looking like currently? Well, I just got finished eating a butt load of candy bars, which you'll witness in the next post; a bucket of candy lives in my closet (that's it over there); multiple candy bars live in my cheese drawer in the refrigerator (chocolate over cheese any day); and chocolate chips are always in the pantry at the ready (for emergencies, i.e, bedtime snack).

Monday, October 27, 2008

Govatos: Good Chocolate, Cheap

While I'm certainly not the biggest tightwad to roam the earth, I do love a good bargain. And if that bargain is on good, local chocolate, well then, sign me up!

The Govatos family has been making chocolates in Wilmington, DE, for over 100 years. Since the early 1900's, Govatos Chocolates have been at their current location on the 800 block of Market St. right in the heart of downtown Wilmington where they double as a candy counter and a luncheonette straight out of the past. A second candy store front resides at 4105 Concord Pike just outside of Wilmington.My recent visit was to the downtown location where I gazed longingly at the chocolates displayed behind a long glass counter opposite dining booths. Yes, I could have spent a pretty penny picking out truffles and other chocolate confections, but I spied $1 grab bags of rejects -- you know, chocolates that are perfectly tasty, but have a blemish. Who can resist $1 chocolates!
I will warn that the 2-pack of $1 reject chocolate covered pretzels may not be the best deal, since pretzels go stale when they sit for a while. Mine were a little stale, but edible.The $1 grab bags of chocolates are a steal, though. Each bag contains five assorted chocolates, and what you get is a total surprise, but all good. Aesthetics are the only problem with these bargains. I particularly liked the chocolate covered nougat and caramel.Sort of glad I don't work downtown, or else I'd snag a $1 grab bag daily, but for those of you that do haunt the downtown drag, this treat just might make your stay a little sweeter.

Govatos Chocolates
800 Market St., Wilmington, DE 19801

Friday, October 24, 2008


I have a one day grow heirloom and giant pumpkins as a hobby. But seeing as how I have a tee-tiny patch of soil in the shade, that dream is going to have to wait.

In the meantime, I get cheap thrills by ogling all the heirloom orbs at Longwood Garden's annual pumpkin and gourd display. You can't beat the classic orange pumpkin, but my favorites are the warty gourds and the gray gourds.This warty, milky orange French heirloom, 'Galeux d'Eysines', is my all time favorite. I once had seeds of this variety in hopes of a large patch of sunny soil falling from the sky, but who knows where those seeds are now...or that patch of soil.'Marina di Chioggia' makes me doubly happy with gray bumps abound. Don't they look like charred remains pulled from a house fire?I would have pocketed a couple of these fist-sized gray and orange 'Futtsu Early Black' squash, if I weren't such an upstanding citizen. I swear, I never even touched the display!
The display at Longwood has been up since September and runs through November 23, but towards the end things can get a little rotty and you just might miss some of these stunners, so go now.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

I Got Nothing For Ya

But that's because I'm working on some posts for next week, all in time for Halloween and candy gobbling. Here's what's to come: Bargain chocolates in Wilmington; a book plug, along with sweet, sweet stories of my candied past; and, finally, a frightening amount of candy bars consumed. By the end of this week, I'll hit you up with some pumpkins, though. OK, pumpkin?

Monday, October 20, 2008


Mixto. I pass it all the time on Pine St., but can never remember what type of food they serve. I've asked my partner countless times if he's eaten there, always forgetting that he has on multiple occasions. For whatever reason, the place does not stick in my head. Well, Mixto has finally been solidified in my head with a recent visit. They serve Latin American and Cuban cuisine.

The dinner menu is fish and seafood heavy, so vegetarians are limited to one entree, and few appetizers and soups, but considerably more salads.

The two appetizers we tried were guacamole with fried green plantain chips, and sweet plantain filled with cheese (beef omitted). With only a bite of each due to the large party at our table, I can only say that they both were fine.

I went with the veggie plate, a huge plate that included beans and rice (choice black or red beans; and white or yellow rice), sweet plantains, fried green plantains, yucca, assorted sauteed veggies, avocado, and arepa.

The vegetables were bland, and the fried green plantains were extremely dry. There was so much food on the plate that I ignored what interested me least - the vegetables, fried green plantains, and arepa - and ate the beans and rice, yucca, avocado, and sweet plantains. The black beans could have used bolder flavors.

My veggie platter had me wishing Mixto offered a couple more vegetarian entree options with more thought, instead of a plate filled with a little of this and a little of that.

The service at Mixto was only marginal. The appetizers and drinks (both white and red sangrias are great) arrived quickly, but there was an extremely long period between appetizers and entrees. So long we joked that they had to run down the street to kill the chicken.

No pictures, but the boy lurved his fish entree. I also hear people lurve Mixto's brunch.

1141 Pine St, Philadelphia 19107

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Vosges Matcha Bar

Vosges Matcha Bar

I can't remember where I got this, but There are places that sell Vosges chocolate bars for less than $8. Of course, $6 is still expensive, but it feels a little better.

In any case, I love matcha, so I had to try the Vosges Matcha Bar. It's delicious. At 41% cacao, it isn't super dark (and I love dark), but it was very rich. the bar was very easy to savor for this reason, and one square at a time was satisfying. It was really some of the best chocolate I've had, but I don't pretend to be a chocolate expert. The texture was very smooth and glossy (sorry about not having a picture), and it had a nice snap. There are tasting instructions right on the box, in case you wanted the full experience.

The matcha flavor is delicious and not too strong, so it should please more people than something like the Meiji Rich Matcha bar. Although I love matcha more than most people, I didn't wish this bar had a stronger flavor. It's very good as it is.

In the end, I think Vosges makes delicious chocolate, but it's definitely not worth buying often. There's plenty of less expensive chocolate that is right up there as far as taste and flavor originality. I knocked the rating down just a tiny bit because of the price; even matcha chocolate imported from Japan is cheaper, and yet still delicious.


Vosges Haut-Chocolate

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Noted In WC

So, Bam Margera of MTV obnoxiousness opened a music venue, The Note, in WC. I checked out their website and band schedule because, hey, you just never know, and, like, oh wow, they had the Brazilian Girls. Of course I was about 10 hours too late.

They also have a menu. It's typical bar food that includes a long list of burgers. Of note is The Glutton - any of their sandwiches or burgers served on two grilled cheese sandwiches. This heart attack has been getting a lot of attention the past couple of weeks over at Serious Eats. It's scary, and I'd totally try it if I ate meat and the right state.

But the scariest thing...all desserts are home made by April Margera. Having seen about 15 minutes of combined footage of Viva La Bam, I would not eat anything that family made, and I know moms generally make great cakes. Ape's got a cookbook, too!

Eat either, if you dare. Report back.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Rustic Rolls

This recipe for rustic rolls comes from the latest October issue of Cooks Illustrated, an issue featuring foods suitable for the Thanksgiving table.

For me, rolls are just an afterthought at Thanksgiving, what with all those pies and scrumptious sides like dressing, sweet potato souffle, and cranberry sauce. Since so much time and love is concentrated on making the rest of the meal from scratch, Thanksgiving rolls are usually Pillsbury's croissants or the ready-to-bake tray of rolls from the bread aisle of the grocery store, or, at least, that's how it's always been at my house. Rolls, schmolls. Who cares when there's pecan pie. But on another day...

I made these dense, chewy rolls with a crusty crust on a bread whim, not as a trial run for Thanksgiving. Honestly, I think these hearty rolls are better suited for dipping in soup, stew, and chili. Save this recipe for a chilly chili weekend.

Rustic Rolls
Adapted from Cooks Illustrated
makes 16 rolls

1 1/2 cups plus 1 tablespoon water, room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoons instant or rapid rise yeast
2 teaspoons honey
3 cups plus 1 tablespoon bread flour
3 tablespoons whole wheat flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • In a stand mixer bowl, whisk water, yeast, and honey. Add flours, and mix on low spead with a dough hook for about 3 minutes, or until a dough forms. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let stand for 30 minutes at room temperature.
  • Sprinkle salt over dough, and knead on low spead for 5 minutes. Increase spead to medium and knead for about 1 minute more, until smooth and slightly tacky.
  • Transfer dough to an oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let dough rise in a warm place for about 1 hour, or doubled in size.
  • Fold dough over itself, rotate bowl quarter turn, and fold again. Rotate again, and fold once more. (That's 3 folds total.) Cover and let rise 30 minutes.
  • Repeat folding above, cover, and let rise another 30 minutes.
  • Turn dough out on a floured work surface, and sprinkle flour on top of dough. With a bench scraper (chef's knife worked fine for me), cut dough in half, and roll each half into 16-inch long cylinders. Cut each cylinder into 8 equal pieces (16 pieces total), and dust tops of pieces with flour.
  • Spray two 9-inch round cake pans with nonstick cooking spray. With floured hands, pick up each piece, rolling in hands, shaking off excess flour, and place cut side up in cake pan (in each pan, 1 in center and 7 surrounding). Cover cake pans and let rise for 30 minutes.
  • 30 minutes before baking, move rack to center of oven, and heat oven to 500 degrees.
  • Remove plastic wrap from pans and mist tops of rolls lightly with water, and place in oven. Bake 10 minutes, or until tops of rolls are brown, remove from oven and invert pans on a baking sheet. Reduce oven to 400 degrees.
  • Pull rolls apart, and arrange right-side up on a baking sheet. Continue to bake 10-15 minutes, or until deep golden brown and sound hollow when thumped on the bottom; rotating sheet halfway through baking time.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008


We dropped by Stephen Starr's newish French Bistro, Parc, on Rittenhouse Square one late afternoon before the dinner crowd filled the sidewalk tables, and easily snagged a seat front and center under the awnings and heat lamps.

I'm no Francophile, and have never been to Paris, so I can't comment on the oh-my-god-the-French-bistro-details-are-dead-on interior design of the establishment that has impressed so many. It's nice inside, if not a little too large so that the details are lost on non-Francophiles, or those with blurred vision.

Parc's menu is limited in terms of vegetarian options, and even those that seem vegetarian are not (mac and cheese is out). I really wanted a cup of cheesy onion soup, but was told it was not vegetarian. I asked for a run down of what was vegetarian, or could be made vegetarian. Our server pointed out the spinach ravioli, the onion tart, a couple of the salads (but not all salads), and a few vegetable sides (but not all sides) from the lunch and dinner menus that are or could be made vegetarian. Slim pickin's.Complimentary bread and butter.The beet salad comes with a mound of frissee dressed with a blue cheese and walnut vinaigrette corralled by beets. Simple and tasty.The tart was made vegetarian in the kitchen with the omission of anchovies that normally top this onion, goat cheese, and olive puff pastry appetizer. The sweet onions spread across the flaky pastry were caramelized to the point of jam, and was very good, but the olives seemed a bit out of place without their anchovies. Dishes often fall a little short, or have you scratching your head as to why that ingredient was included when altered to accommodate vegetarians. Not Parc's fault, but mine for altering the classic combination.The boy had the bronzino with fingerling potatoes and fennel salad. He enjoyed.For dessert, I had the profiteroles filled with vanilla ice cream and drizzled with chocolate sauce. Mmm!The boy had the chocolate pot de creme instead of the chocolate mousse in an attempt to fill up, but later decided that the pot de creme was too rich and heavy to finish. Should have gotten the lighter mousse. He loved the bitter, chocolate wafer that accompanied the pot de creme.

Like all of Stephen Starr's restaurants, the food is good (at least what I can eat), but nothing earth shattering. Everything I ordered -- beet salad, onion tart, and profiteroles -- are foods that I really enjoy.

Food at Parc is on the small and expensive side, but nothing beyond similar high end restaurants in Philly. And the people watching is exceptional, if you can snag a street side or window table.

Seeing as how there are not a lot of veggie options at Parc for lunch and dinner, if I return it will probably be for dessert and a little peep peepin'. But, really, grabbing a pastry from a bakery and sitting in the park across the street is more my style. Cheaper, too.

Parc also serves breakfast during the week.


227 S. 18th St., Philadelphia, PA, 19103

Monday, October 13, 2008

Chocolate Laffy Taffy

I've been absent for a while, sorry about that! I have a lot of pending candy reviews, but I'm at work on my lunch, and my tasting notes are at home. Instead, I have a new review of something I didn't know existed until today: Chocolate Laffy Taffy. Photos are courtesy of a friend's cell phone.

Normally, this is not my thing. I'm very neutral towards Tootsie Rolls, and I hate chocolate Skittles. I think I have it in my head that chocolate should not be chewy like gum and taffy, it should be like, well, chocolate. But I was surprised!

The taffy smelled like chocolate pudding or a pudding pop. It was dark brown with (unintentional) swirls of lighter brown and glossy, as Laffy Taffy should be. It tasted a little richer and smoother than a Tootsie Roll. The texture seemed to be a little less balloon-y than fruit Laffy Taffy. All in all, it wasn't bad! I don't think I'd buy any for myself (I came across these in a friend's candy jar at work) but it definitely exceeded my (low) expectations. Much better than chocolate Skittles.

I think they might be running out of jokes, though. I don't even get this one:

How did the bones cross the road?
They didn't. The dogs ate them.


Wonka Website