Saturday, November 28, 2009

December and the peppermint assault

As the air gets colder and the malls get fuller, supermarkets and candy shops are stocking up their shelves with Christmas themed candies. A sure sign of the Holiday season drawing near is when shops begin putting out peppermint flavored candy. My youth, as I'm sure most of others' youth, was filled with candy canes at this time of year. The candy cane is not just something pleasing to eat, but it is very appropriate for decoration as well. However, now that I'm older, I feel that around this time of year there is a peppermint overload if you will. Every time I go to buy candy, I hope to see something unique and different, more "Egg nog" candy, "Kwanzaa Candy", something, just something new. Unfortunately, I just see mint and more mint candy.

Now by all means, I do not hate mint candy. In fact, I think chocolate and mint are a great combination; Mint Chocolate Chip is one of my favorite ice cream flavors. However, it isn't because I hate peppermint that I'm writing this, it is because I want more variation in my holiday candy. One of the flavors that I think major candy companies such as Hershey's and Ghiradelli miss an opportunity of capitalizing on is Thanksgiving candy. Pumpkin spice is a flavor that rarely shows it head outside of November and December. Why not take a chance? Maybe they have, I don't know, what I do know is that I haven't seen Lindt Pumpkin Milk Chocolate on my store shelves. I recall a delightful "Egg Nog" flavored Ghiradelli bar one year. I suppose they just don't sell as well as Peppermint and Candy Cane flavored candy bars.

As Winter officially approaches, I'll be sure to check my store shelves and try to sample all the holiday flavors that are available. I'll make sure to evaluate them and give my input. So far I have concluded that, much like all season candy, some flavors and brands are better than others. On a completely unrelated note, fund-raiser candy pales in comparison to other candy. It's a wonder that they cost that much more than regular candy.

Is much better than:

Monday, November 23, 2009

Mike and Ike: I hate Strawberry

Take note of the upper left hand corner of that box. Notice how it introduces Strawberry as a new flavor to Mike and Ike. When I purchased a box of Mike and Ike from Wal-Mart to sneak into "2012", I was very confused. It had been ages since I last had a box of Mike and Ike and when I took a second look at the box I was mortified. The last time I had a box, I was probably in elementary school. Mike and Ike was a candy that I enjoyed very much, and to be specific I thoroughly enjoyed the cherry and lime varieties. I'm not sure if Strawberry flavored Mike and Ike was in the Original box, but I sure as hell don't remember it. Maybe I blocked it out of my memory.

Why do I hate Strawberry so much? Because it's "just okay". I mean it's a plain jane flavor that doesn't offend the senses, but does nothing to stimulate them. Eating a Strawberry Mike and Ike is like drinking a bottle of lightly flavored or scented water. You don't mind it, but you could go with or without it. Let me establish that I don't hate all Strawberry flavored candies, I just prefer Cherry or Lime when available. I find that the Strawberry candies are an extra obstacle to the already annoying Orange flavored candies. Lemon is acceptable, even if it is just the less attractive version of Lime. However, what truly offends me is that the colors for Strawberry and Cherry or so close to each other, and even moreso when in a dark theater, that when I think that I have a Cherry piece I am EXTREMELY disappointed.

As terrible as it may seem, here is another candy in which I sift through all the flavors to find my favorite:
Like I've stated before, all other flavors are obstacles to finding Cherry. I detest Orange Starburst. I'm impartial to Lemon Starburst. I'm fine with Strawberry Starburst. I love Cherry Starburst. It's as simple as that. I wouldn't mind if they made Starburst only in Cherry, Strawberry, and Lemon flavors. In-fact, Starburst has recognized this and you can find Starburst bags that have only Cherry and Strawberry flavors. Why can't every stick of Starburst be just Cherry?

Also to conclude, I spent a good time of "2012" sifting through the Mike and Ike when no one else seemed want to any anymore. How was I able to differentiate between Strawberry and Lime you ask? If I saw that it was a tinge of red, I would bite into it and then spit it out if it was Strawberry. Now you know my dark secret.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Reese's Pieces, a superior candy, unless you're allergic

If I were to be asked what my favorite candy was, I'm not sure I could answer that question and be totally sure with my answer. However, I can say with that one of my favorite candies are Reese's Pieces. When I go watch a movie at the theaters, all I need is a large popcorn, large soda, and a big ol' bag of Reese's Pieces. However, if it's going to be a lot of Reese's Pieces I'd much prefer a box. A box is much better because it doesn't tear like a bag.

Much like an M&M, a Reese's Piece has a candy shell. However, the similarities pretty much end there. Unlike M&M's which come in a myriad of colors, Reese's Pieces come in the colors of orange, yellow, and brown. Also, unlike M&M's which are filled with chocolate, Reese's Pieces are filled with what they call peanut butter. I have my doubts about the peanut butter because it is unlike the peanut butter most people are accustomed to. Regular peanut butter often has a salty taste that accompanies the sweet taste. In other candies the peanut butter also has a slightly salty taste. In fact the peanut butter in Peanut Butter M&M's has an overly salty taste in my estimation. The peanut butter found in Reese's Pieces is just all sweet. Regardless of whether they really use real peanut butter or some delicious peanut paste, all I know is it's delicious.

There are also Reese's Pieces with Peanuts for those who really love peanuts. Unfortunately, I haven't seen them in stores lately and I think they've been discontinued. They weren't my favorite candy anyway, but Reese's Pieces have been the same for so long that it's nice to see variety, even if what entails isn't the best. Also blah blah blah something about ET loving Reese's Pieces.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Hershey Cookies n Mint, and the candy graveyard

As the varieties of Hershey's Kisses expands, the Hershey's chocolate bar has stayed pretty much the same. At the average candy section of a store you'll find Hershey's Milk Chocolate Bars, Hershey's with Almonds, and Hershey's Cookies n Cream. The fun-size extras include Hershey's Dark Chocolate, Hershey's Caramel, and Hershey's Cookies n Milk Chocolate. However, an often overlooked and forgotten Hershey's candy bar is the Hershey's Cookies n Mint. Admittedly I was never a fan of this candy bar, and it's probably people like me that made it unsuccessful. If I recall I didn't like the cookies part too much because they were like the cookie part of an Oreo, not very flavorful. With the original Milk Chocolate having much more flavor, it's no wonder that I would prefer them over Cookies n Mint.

I don't think I've ever had a "fresh" Cookies n Mint bar. I always recall the wrappers and the candy being "dusty". I don't mean dusty as in truly dusty, but I mean that they seemed old and seemed as if they sat around and carried dust. I'd like to go back in time and remember this candy bar, but unfortunately it was never really a favorite of mine so I don't have a strong recollection of it.

Bonus extinct candy:

Now THIS is a candy I remember well, Crispy M&M's defined my middle school and high school life. These were M&M's with a crispy rice center. After a while they went away and I never really noticed, even though I did enjoy them. I'm not sure where it ranks on my list of favorite M&M's, but Peanut Butter is still king. M&M's began dabbling in things like Dark Chocolate M&M's and such, which I say was a step in the right direction.Instead of experimenting with M&M Premiums, I say that M&M's should be filled with crazier things. Well not necessarily crazy things, but I'd like to see Caramel M&M's. Maybe one day they'll have the balls to try more coconut chocolate candies. Whatever the case, I wish I could re-try these extinct candies again.