Tuesday, May 31, 2011
The water reservoir at the top of the machine is monochromatic with an incomprehensible detachable piece for determining how much water is in the machine. Being used to clear, easy-to-read dials on the side of the Mr. Coffee, I was thrown back by this accessory. It looked like something I'd have used in the Middle Ages as a rain gauge. And as a result of my blind guesswork and lack of inclination to pull out the measuring cups, I ended up with watery iced tea.
With a machine as specialized and focused on variety as this, the fuzzy detail in water measurement isn't a big deal if you drink coffee every day and have a specific mug that you use. You can easily just measure your water in that and then use it to brew the coffee. With the BOI, it tends to be a different story, as you then have to allocate for the amount of water you want to use, the water you're going to displace when you add the ice, and then the extra water you'll add from the ice, melted when the beverage brews. And the most realistic amount for a cup of iced tea, a 12 oz. glass with 4 ice cubes, is too large to fit underneath the dispenser. All smaller cups, like the one shown above, overflowed when I tried to brew with them. What gives? It seems like this isn't engineered for iced beverages at all. Not only have I still not found the ratio I desire in a cold drink, I'm now relegated to the couch at night because I keep mumbling about BOIs in my sleep.There is a silver lining to every Keurig, though. Keepitcoming Love, who was initially sworn against the Keurig, has found it immensely simple to use and appreciates the varied gear they sell to mix up your morning cup of joe. As for me, I'm going to have to keep tinkering with it to reach my ideal.Special thanks to the folks at Keurig's PR team for hooking me up with this gadget! They didn't pay me to write this, but I might have propositioned one or more of their coffee machines one drunken night. It's okay, the machines aren't on payroll.
Monday, May 30, 2011
I really need to replenish my stash. It's down to just one KitKat (Yakiimo). This weekend, I had wanted to go to Toronto for a little shopping, but various parties and gatherings kept us in town. The weekend was fun, anyhow, but my candy supply is in critical condition.
This flavor of LOOK is Millstone Ground Matcha Anmitsu. I'll just take them for their word on the millstone ground bit, but anmitsu is a Japanese dessert made with jelly cubes, sweet red beans, black sugar syrup, and in this case, matcha. Everything is better with matcha.
The pieces just smelled like milk chocolate. Inside the shell, the matcha filling was creamy with small, grainy, millstone ground bits that melted smoothly. The flavor was a bit bitter and grassy, but it was very mild. Above the matcha filling was a thin layer of anmitsu, which was just slightly bitter with a hint of azuki flavor (only detectable when the syrup is tasted alone).
The milk chocolate was sticky, but the sweetness balanced the mildly bitter flavors nicely. I liked the grainy to smooth texture of the filling, but it would have been interesting to see some of the jelly texture brought in (I suppose that's best left to Tirol). It's hard to recreate the marriage of tastes and textures that is anmitsu. Matcha Anmitsu LOOK was pleasant, but the flavors, especially the matcha, just weren't strong enough to wow me.
Fujiya LOOK website
This is my first year as part of a CSA, because previously I lived alone and there was no way I could eat even a half share's worth of produce. Now I live with another person, and a half share is just about right. There always seems to be a little something leftover at the end of the week that we didn't get to, though.
A little vinegar on some radishes to make refrigerator pickles. I always thought it was just pickled daikon that smelled like holy hell when you opened the container they're stored in. Nope, it's all radishes.
Sunday, May 29, 2011
From the moment I looked at the package, I knew that this strange Japanese pack of candy and I were destined to meet. After gathering and reflecting upon a few random possessions from my room, I had a strange feeling that the well dressed Ninja business man on the cover was an omen of things to come. I felt that I was looking at a future caricature of my future self as depicted by Japanese candy executives. I now think I have a great future goal to work towards. Instead of being a special agent in the FBI working to stop white collar crimes such as tax evasion or corporate embezzling I now am planning to become a ninja accountant, yup a ninja accountant.
I took that strange package to my Japanese roommate for a translation which only resulted in “Ninja Food – Blueberry”. The candies themselves looked like beans made of candy. There was probably only 15 in the package, just enough for a small candy snack break. There is no time is the life of a ninja accountant to stop and have a large amount of candy when there are statement of cash flows to complete in the shadow of darkness.
These candies tasted pretty accurately of blueberry. It didn’t taste too artificial but one could also easily tell it was a good replication. There was a thick layer of candy covering over a hard gummy center. The outer covering was a good hard candy covering, somewhat like a yogurt covered raisin, but with candy. The blueberry taste was rather heavy in the outer candy coating but tapered off when you got to the gummy center. The center was just a very chewy slightly blueberry flavored hard gummy. The gummy center was a lot harder and had semi-leather like texture compared to regular gummies that one would get.
This candy would have been better if the whole thing was just made of candy and did not have a gummy center. The gummy center was a piece of leathery disappointment after a relatively good blueberry candy. The gummy center also did not have enough taste to compensate for the leather texture.
Friday, May 27, 2011
Ah, Orbit gum. It's been a while, old friend. While waiting to check out at my local Target, I spied Fruit Punch during my routine impulse candy scan. I've been off gum for a while, but a new Orbit flavor is always a good excuse to start chewing again.
Fruit Punch is a very nostalgic scent and flavor for me. I used to use Bonne Bell Fruit Punch Lip Smackers lip balm every day in middle school, and that red smell is permanently buried in my nose. Even though it made my mouth feel fuzzy (probably from excess vitamin C), I went through a Hawaiian Punch phase at about the same time. These are my fruit punch memories, and I drew upon them to review Orbit Fruit Punch.
Maybe it was a bad idea to hope this gum would taste like Hawaiian Punch. It wasn't even close. The gum smelled sweet and a bit like strawberries. The flavor was slightly tart and fruity. I picked out banana and peach, but anything else was lost in an indistinguishable blend. It wasn't bad, it just wasn't fruit punch.
It didn't taste punchy (or like red food dye) at all. That's probably a good thing, because Hawaiian Punch is not a flavor that occurs in nature, but I wanted that flavor. Orbit Fruit Punch felt very subdued in comparison, and I was disappointed. Rest assured that there was no mint here, just a slight cooling sensation for that fresh feeling Orbit advertises. I chewed for about 15 minutes before the flavor dulled and I got sick of it.
Thursday, May 26, 2011
Mon Cheri is the lofty standard to which I compare all liquor candies. Nothing came close to that intense shot of filling...until now. Lotte's Wine Chocolat was a last minute addition to my most recent napaJapan order, but it blew me away.
With the pink background, sparkly glass of wine, and cute font, the packaging is clearly appealing to a certain type (myself included), but it came up short of the elegant look I think Lotte was going for. The chocolate contains 3.3% alcohol, and the package also reminds consumers to use discretion about driving.
The format was quite similar to Mon Cheri, only on a smaller scale. The milk chocolate shell had a mildly sweet milky flavor, but it was almost irrelevant; the filling was most definitely the star of the show.
The liquid center tasted strongly of sweet, brandy-like liquor. The filling had a slightly fruity flavor that reminded me most of cherries. It was sharp on the tongue and went well with the smooth chocolate. It was a bit on the sweeter side, but that boozy kick was a fantastic surprise!