Monday, February 25, 2008

Haribo Sour S'ghetti

Gummi Food PyramidGummi candy and sour licorice, my true loves. They'll never leave you for someone younger with better teeth. It's not expensive chocolates I crave, but Sour Patch Kids, Sour Punch Straws, and although I've never had them, Uncle Oinker's Gummy Bacon.
Damn the braces boys and girls, put a dentist's kid through Vassar by following this handy candy pyramid.
A new favorite, Haribo Sour S'ghetti, comes in what the German company calls a Hanging Bag. Yes, a hanging. Bag.
Other hanging bags of interest: Clown Fish, Happy Cola, Mini Rainbow Frogs, and Battle-Snakes (okay I know they're really Rattle-snakes, but Battle-Snakes sounds so much cooler and that's what it looks like on smaller bags). Funny Germans. Haribo's tiny-hard Gold-Bears are also among my favorites from this gummi food group.
Sour S'ghettiSour S'ghetti may look like bait, but it tastes like julienned Sour Punch Straws. The green apple is a little too tart, and the blueberry isn't nearly as pleasant as the strawberry, but somehow they all go well together.
If you're pregnant, munched out, or someone who likes sweet, sour, and salty, you may enjoy them with a bag of Synder's Butter Snaps.
Fun Fact: The Trolli candy pictured in the pyramid's bottom left is gummi Road Kill, extinct due to an outbreak of political correctness.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Arnott's Original Tim Tams

Biscuit PackThe first time I read about the "irresistible chocolate biscuit" on the Brit candy site Chocablog, I knew I had to have them. The cookie I mean. Although I've always been fond of the folks at Chocablog. That last link is the Tim Tams review posted by an Aussie who joked:
*"What’s the difference between an Australian and a tub of yoghurt?

Tim Tams
And thanks to my blogger buddy, Brigid (aka Miss Eagle) of The Eagle's Nest and Oz Tucker, I've been tucking into the crunchy, creamy, dreamy, milk chocolate, double wafer cookies for the last few weeks. Making them last you see, but the last of the last is inches away from my greedy front teeth.
I like to scrape, dissect, and crunch.
They're a friendly cookie, good sized, and rich, rich, rich; named after a Kentucky Derby winner. Not quite Kit Kats, they're more like a fancy chocolate wafer. I like how they use the word "engery" instead of calories. Puts it in perspective. To get rid of the 1600 kj of energy from four cookies, I'll have to swim 3600 meters and walk across Lake Mendota twice (once to get back). And I better do it soon because it's a whopping -2.7777777777777777 Celsius today.
The official site proudly displays its Balls, Chewy Caramel, Classic Dark, Double Coat, Love Potions, and so on. I was more than content with an 11 pack of Tim Tam Originals. Did you know they launched their Balls in September of 2005 (and haven't seen them since, ba da dum).
*After three days the yoghurt develops culture. Could we replace "Australian" with "redneck," James? Ponder that over a Newcastle and tell me what you think and why you're drinking Newcastle.

Sunday, February 17, 2008


I washed my car last night and didn't want to subject it to snow, fog, wind, water, ice, freezing rain, sleet, or downed power lines. So I went for a walk instead. That convenience store down the way has interesting candy, thought I. Look, another life form.

JoshThis is Josh from Glass Nickel Pizza. Put your gloves on, Josh! Is that the Atwood Ave. Glass Nickel delivering in this precipitation stew? Impressive. I wanted to give him a tip, but my money had frozen to the inside of my pocket. Cold, hard cash you say? Good one.

Bill and LaceyThe last time I went a-wandering (Val-deri, Val-dera,) I met Bill and Lacey. It was much nicer out, although there had been a blizzard the day before. Of course there had. Lacey's got the same expression my mother gets when dad insists on talking to everyone he meets. Leave it to an old guy to find one of the few toilets on the park's 422 acres.

ice houseThere are Secret Window vibes coming from behind this tangle of ice. Do you think they have candy in there? Bet there's lots of corn. Better yet, candy corn. Think I'll go home and have a Tim Tam.
Next in the dish: Tim Tams, if there are any left.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Heart Chocolate

Heart ChocolateA little worse for the wear, I got some Heart Chocolate in the mail the other day. It might look a little broken hearted, but it's a filling, rich, dark chocolate which comes in handy servings wrapped in hyperbole.
I'm not saying I disbelieve there could be health benefits, but the label gave me nightmares. It did. It literally gave me nightmares that should come with their own warning labels. (If I would have read them I would have gotten the hell out of there and into somebody else's nightmares. Which I can only hope I am already.)
Since the Heart Chocolate Web site has "Worried About Diabetes?" boldly stamped on their home page, let's start there.
Maybe Heart Chocolate with CM-X is a good choice for people with Type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, and related cardiovascular conditions, but let's face it, fruit, vegetables, nuts, seeds, or skipping the occasional snack and going for a walk would be better.
But some of us must have our snacks, and many of us must have our chocolate.
Here's what I know: I like the taste and actually find it satisfying. There's a pleasant grainy crunch, and the cocoa flavor fills the gaps in my freshly flossed teeth.
Nutrition Comparison Facts (Valeur nutritive)
Heart Chocolate 14g, 60 Calories/SD Chocolove 30g, 160 Calories
HC 5g Fat/Chocolove 12g Fat
HC 7g Carbs/Chocolove 15g Carbs
HC 0mg Sodium/Chocolove 23mg Sodium
HC 6% Iron/Chocolove 10% Iron

The Strong Dark Chocolove isn't too far off for the serving size, with Heart Chocolate the clear sodium winner. Chocolove's sonnets contain no calories.
Heart Chocolate is made with CM-X, a compound made with extracts of cinnamon and *bitter melon. I don't know what else is in CM-X, but here's why the label could keep you up at night.
In the first place it's in English and French. I know, it's manufactured for Innovative Life Sciences in Toronto, but still. (Am I the only one who assumes all Canadians speak French?)
More strikingly, there's a Warning listed above the Non-Medical and Medicinal Ingredients which says "KEEP OUT OF REACH OF CHILDREN. DO NOT USE IF YOU ARE PREGNANT OR NURSING..." It also says something about consulting with your physician if you take prescription medications. I've never seen this on a bar of Snickers.
Heart Chocolate contains Peruvian balsam, which sounds like something I had at a party during the summer of '77 in a flat near the Mississippi.
Is it the Peruvian balsam, cinnamon, bitter melon, or the enigmatic connection to the cucumber family which compels you to clear the room of children and pregnant women before unwrapping a 60 calorie square?
Just one more bite. Then a carrot and a nice walk in the snow.

Addendum (
from Cathy Wong of

*Bitter melon may decrease blood sugar and insulin levels, so it shouldn't be combined with diabetes medication or any other medication that affects blood sugar unless under a doctor's supervision.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Soft Ball Stage

Here's something to amuse you while I drop the next few posts in a cup of cold water.
I'm well on my way to becoming obsessed with LOST. According to the quiz below, I'm a British Hobbit with artistic tendencies and an addictive personality. With a bossy sibling. Spot on.
Click on the box below to take the Which LOST Character Are You? quiz. I was hoping to be Vincent.

And this is what I got the second time around. What was that about addictive personalities?

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Chocolove Strong Dark Chocolate

ChocoloveI have a problem with the term zero visibility. Doesn't the zero negate the visibility? Shouldn't it be invisibility? Snow. It's everywhere. Teaming through the patio door, heaped up against the garage door, preventing the car from reaching the top of the driveway to escape a neighbor rapidly declining in mental health.
After spending more time trying to put on an old pair of cross country skis than skiing, I gave up, and had a bite of Chocolove Strong Dark, 70%. This was the bar I was standing my ground with at the co-op. It has a love poem inside, which I pointed out to the Bowie hair clerk to whom I was trying to justifying buying the Chocolove along with the Santander in the orange wrapper. Bowie hair regarded this small talk the way you'd regard a declined credit card. I think she knew I just had a lip wax.

ChocoloveChocolove also makes Chilies & Cherries and Crystallized Ginger chocolate bars. Shudder. I only found three Chocolove milk chocolates. Their highest cocoa content is in the Extra Strong Dark, 77% Cocoa. I guess that's strong enough.
The Strong Dark 70%, a bittersweet Belgian chocolate I purchased under duress, was a bar I planned on getting my mother to review. But she called me to say I shouldn't be on the roads today (after talking to my Aunt Eva, who called her to say she'd just talked to me, and between the two of them concluded I was stopping by to deliver soup).
See how that works? Neither rain, nor snow, nor zero visibility can stop the Blue Hair Network.
The Chocolove Strong Dark is more bitter and less smooth than the 70% Santander. But they spell cocoa the normal way and it's fun to nibble the nutty, heavy, bitter bar while reading Elizabeth Barrett Browning.
"A sense of pleasant ease on such a day'—" indeed.

Monday, February 04, 2008


Giants fanRednecks and football go together like smiles and slobber.
Not even the Super Bowl, James? For shame!
Love to Eli, David, Michael, Plaxico, Osi, and the gang (even Tom Coughlin).
Sssmmacckk, slobber.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Santander Chocolate

Santander chocolateDay 12, Santander: Dark Chocolate in an orange wrapper, 70% Cacao
I got this point of purchase chocolate from the WSA, or Community Pharmacy, where they still have a State Street address even though they've been on West Gorham for years. Haven't they? I never was in step with that place, last I checked they had me living on West Mifflin. And that was a long. Time. Ago. And what's with all the condoms? They come in jars, wrapped in bars, *taste like Mars.
I was there to pay over $48.00 dollars for my first bottle of fish oil because, well, apparently I'm an idiot. The cashier insisted I try the Santander Dark Chocolate in the orange wrapper (which orange wrapper?—I'm old, leave me alone), and because she looked as if she could beat the living snot out of me, or at least name 20 things to do with tofu, I got two bars of chocolate, hoping that one of them would be right one, I mean left one, I mean the correct one.
I think the Bowie haircut intimidated me. Reminded me of squirrels. Or maybe it's because I'm from a family of Madison cops. Yes, I was a cop's daughter in the sixties, in Madison, WI, and all that entails. And it entails a lot. So I always try to look as if I don't shave my arm pits when I go into co-ops. Besides, I already stood my ground in the herbal tea section. Or tried to. Where am I going to put all this lemongrass ginger hibiscuss tea?

Dark Chocolate Santander
Chocolate, yes, the scent fills the air from one quick nibble. I'll have another bite right now. Strong. Tastes like cocoa, 70% cocoa I'd venture. You get that powdery munch of cocoa which lingers on your tongue and keyboard. It's crunchy and melty all at the same time. Exquisite almost. But being Day 12 of something I started the second week of December, I'd be out of adjectives by now even if I had them to begin with. Which I didn't, so feast on this description from Santander.

The bitter taste quickly changes to chocolate taste
that takes up the hues of rich nuts, flowers, and fruits.
It fills up all your taste buds and slowly releases the
lingering flavor of extraordinary chocolate of fine
"Criollo" and "Trinitarian" origin. It is ideally paired
with cognac, single malt Scotch whisky or reserve wines.

Really? Never in a million tofu-filled years would I have come up with that. Maybe I should do a fish oil shooter and ponder rich nut hues.
*That's a joke, son, and no reflection on the fine prophylactic and other products from Mars or the Community Pharmacy.