Sunday, April 17, 2011

Crusader Tip

Hey Crusaders,

I am going to start posting a weekly tip which will help make your pursuit of the ultimate candy and chocolate a bit more interesting. Thanks to my friend and fellow crusader Corbin, the weekly tip is meant to inspire innovation and adventure in your every day candy consumption.

Tip 1: Anything with a different center (Swiss cake rolls, Junior Mints, PopTarts, Rolos, Reeses Peanut Butter Cups etc...) try them frozen. Nuff said. Its great.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Cadbury Crusader

Alright, I am just going to come out and say it. I LOVE Easter candy. I mean I love holidays in general and any excuse for limited edition candy and chocolate to cover the shelves of the candy aisle is fine by me!
Another thing I love is the Mallomar. When you combine a mutated Mallomar cookie draped in smooth Cadbury chocolate for Ltd. Easter production you get the best cookie EVER.....ohh baby. Game over.

Although I have spent the last 4 years of my life in Canada, I am still an American to the core and thats why Mallomars have a special place 
in my heart.
And to make me feel better about my addiction I find out that I am not the only one thats overly obsessed with these sultry little temptresses, the demand for these bad boys is so high, that they have become an American icon of chocolatey proportions. 

People are legit nuts for Mallomars and 70% of them are sold in NY. Insanity. People are so crazy about these little 'smore-esque' crack-cookies that during the production months, people stock up on boxes to store them during the summer months when they are not available.

A Little History Lesson for all you crusaders:
Made since 1913 by Nabisco (then called the National Biscuit Company) in a single Pennsylvania bakery, Mallomars have a thick layer of rounded, smooth marshmallow on a circular Graham cracker base, all covered in pure dark chocolate. Because of the way in which the chocolate is poured over the marshmallow and Graham cracker, there is a nipple atop the Mallomar. Like on top of a soft serve ice cream cone. The best first bite.

Mallomar w/nipple bitten off
Mallomars are re-introduced by Nabisco every fall to salivating consumers in October and then usually disappear in mid-March. Because of the way they are made, Mallomars can't be made in the summer months. The Canadian factory that makes them halts production in March and resumes in September. oddly they are made in Canada but not sold there, they do have a crappier  alternate version called a Viva Puff.

Alright Crusaders, now Cadbury Came out with a limited edition amped up version of a Mallomar for Easter and its delicious. The anatomy of this gorgeous little cookie-of-the-gods is a chocolate biscuit replacing the grahm, then a round mallow with an orange jam in the middle and for the grand finale, its all drenched in sweet Cadbury milk chocolate.
Bigger isnt always better

These sweet little gems are so amazing. There is no nipple on the top, but the sweet, smooth milky chocolate is characteristically Cadbury. The Combination with the chocolate biscuit cookie would be too sweet, but the orange jelly in the middle has a really nice tangy citrus which cuts the sweetness nicely. The proportion between all three components is alright, the orange jam is off center and there should be more. They come in a great package of 10. I ate them all in 1 sitting.

Feed your addiction: Easter Style

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Mmmm..... Mint

One trend that has kinda become a thing of the 80's is aerated chocolate. It was cool when it first came out, but seemed to be more of a novelty to American consumers rather than turning into a staple. Even though these bad boys are not really found in the US you can still find them and the staples are still out there, lucky for me... well, for you too.

Now lets talk Aero Bars. 

6.5 out of 10

Its not widely available in the USA but for a brief period of time in the 1980 they we in the US for mass distribution. Originally by Nestle UK they are now widely distributed in other countries in Europe as well as Australia. They come is a surprising amount of flavors, I didn't even know they had such diverse product lines! Who knew... And apparently you can et them if you're a BRO, so all of the Bros out there: DO NOT PANIC! YOU CAN EAT AERO BARS!

The flavors include the Original Aero (which consists of milk chocolate throughout) , Mint Aero, Caramel Aero, Dark Chocolate Aero, White Chocolate Aero, Latte flavour Aero, and Crispy Aeros (similar to NestlĂ© Crunch bars). Orange Aeros were sold for a while as well (and were my personal favorite). In the 1970s there were also Strawberry flavour bars (which are still sold in Japan). In the UK, and recently Canada, Aero Bubbles are also available which are small, round 'pop-able' morsels of awesome, but these are available in the milk chocolate and mint only. The Mint is the best alternative flavor and is easy for people to get their hands on. However there are 2 problems:
       1. They contain a lot of added crap such as soy lethicin (an emulsifier), and modified palm oil (which is code for: "I contain a ton of saturated fat which clogs your arteries and makes eating chocolate way less awesome")

Now Crusaders listen up:
Now, "over the counter" candy is awesome. Its all the generic stuff that you buy for a buck at gas stations, grocery stores and when you are just needing to get your fix. Trust me, I understand, however there is a price to pay for indulging a cheap, delicious 'self-medication' for your craving. Most of the generic candy has a significant amount of trans and saturated fats which is needed for their mass produced, long shelf lived lives so be careful!
That being said, I love mint aero bars. Its probably because they taste like Shamrock Shakes in chocolate bar form. even posing pictures of them makes me want to lick my computer screen. Yah, I have no shame.

With caramel top.. Like seriously, how effing good does this look?!

Although you can't taste the super milky and sweet milk chocolate coating, whatever, its not trying to be like an After Eight Bar or Junior Mints. Mint chocolate without a fondant center is a nice change of pace.

 Still the most ridiculously LEGIT and funky-fresh thing about Aero Bars is that.....
Japan has produced dozens of unique Aero flavors!!! YES! Just like Kit-Kats!! Among them Vanilla Milkshake, Hot Milk, Green Tea and others. They usually consist a flavoured, coloured chocolate centre and outer milk chocolate layer. Aero Cocoa (plain, Green Tea and Strawberry flavours) is also sold in Japan. In Australia there is also an Aero Temptations bar, which has the bubbly chocolate, but with a caramel topping.
Hot Milk

Ohhhh man, I love it! Now if they would stop putting saturated fat in everything then we would be golden. Try the 70% dark bar as a healthy addition to your EVERYDAY diet! 
Feed your Addiction Crusaders.

Monday, April 4, 2011

So Delicious It Should Be Criminal

Now Crusaders,

I am from Chicago. So recently I have been inspired by one of my idols David Leibovitz to write about Garett's Popcorn. He is in Chicago now and has been lucky enough to get to try some for the first time.

The Holy Grail is no secret. Its Garett's Popcorn. Yes I do realize this blog has not covered 'candy' so much per se, however this sh*t is so beyond delicious that monuments should be built in its honor. Seriously. You have not lived until you have tried the infamous Chicago Mix from the even more famous, Garett's Popcorn.

Garett's popcorn is a Chicago staple. When you come to the CHI you need to try 3 things: deep dish pizza, a chicago style dog and Garett's popcorn. Around the holidays, people stand in the freezing Chicago winter for hours, just to get their hands on some. Yeah, this is the big leagues.

Now if here is one thing that I do not ever do (consciously at least) is judge food and even more so... dessert. The more disgusting/interesting the food sounds, the more I am intrigued. Its cause I am obsessed with sweets. It's a problem.

The Chicago Mix (don't judge) is THE classic combination of Garrett's rich, coma-enducing, crunchy caramel corn and their salty, buttery cheese corn. Yes Crusaders, it is a combination of caramel and cheese corn and yes. It will make you eternally happy, and your fingers eternally yellow.

Garrett's popcorn is a Chicago staple, an icon if you may... its even one of Oprah's favorite things. Part of what makes it so good Is that they use 2 different types of popcorn. The mushroom and the butterfly variety (which is new news to me. thanks David Leibovitz!). The two help to create a texture in which the caramel and cheese can settle into the different depth crevices to create the perfect balance. Harmony has never tasted so good....
See if you can spot the 'mushroom capped' kernals vs. the butterfly kernels

Now the pastry mastermind David Leibovitz got to go legit BEHIND THE SCENES and get a never before sneak peek into the manufacturing of this food of the gods. I am so jealous I am foaming that the mouth. okay not really, but check out his amazing action shots here:

Now luckily for everyone Garrett's ships anywhere in the USA! They do have special holiday flavors, caramel crisp with almonds, cashews or macadamia nuts as well as plain (or as I like to call it: Naked Corn), but the Chicago mix is the best. Duh.  The Chicago pack (ordered on Lou Comes with 2 Lou Malnati's Deep Dish Pizzas...holy amazing.

                        Eat up Crusaders, you will want a large tin and elastic pants. Its good for you.
                                                                           Trust me.