Saturday, January 28, 2012

.FOOrD BLOrG. More chocolates.....Seriously?

Ok, I get it. People like chocolate. A lot. It is like the old saying "Variety is the spice of life. . .but after you've had a moderately sized portion of life you are probably going to want dessert and if you are like most people then that will include chocolate."-Aesop or Nestle, I don't recall.

Seriously, I get it. When I go to a market I see a whole end cap of new chocolate concoctions. There has to be an end in sight for this madness. I am convinced that we have exhausted all of the good chocolate pairings and are now just putting anything in chocolate. "Oh, you like chocolate? What else do you like? Do you like boobs? Because this one was made with just boobs. (I know, you are thinking I bet that one is milk chocolate. It wasn't. It was 90% Cacao) Do you like hedgehogs? Because this one tastes like hedgehogs. No that isn't gross. These hedgehogs are very optimistic and their toileting skills are impeccable. How about pizza? I made chocolate pizza and then put pizza in the chocolate. What do you mean is there cheese in it? If you are lactose intolerant what business do you have eating chocolate in the first place? Oh, you like dogs? I made dog chocolates. That is right they are just for dogs and this time have 0% actual dog in them. (Which is real. That last one is real. There are chocolates made just for dogs. That is messed up. Chocolate can kill a dog. That is like making candy household cleaners for kids and then getting mad when they drink the windex. That is your fault. Your kids death is on your hands and your neighbors are scoffing at your sub par window care.) Oh, you like windows? I made chocolate windows and just in case, a chocolate kid sized coffin."-Aesop

I think you get the point. See, I am all about trying new things and giving things a chance but some ideas just shouldn't get out of the idea phase. Somebody should say "I don't think this is a good idea." For instance, any chocolate that is pooped out of a plastic person or animal. That is gross and all I know is that this isn't going to be good chocolate. You never get a Dove chocolate out of a pooping anything situation. If you do, then I am guessing that you are a good samaritan and that person you helped has paid you with one chocolate. Sure it is a weird payment but I don't know the circumstances and I don't need to know. And no, I don't want that chocolate. None the less, my friends and I rallied around some chocolates and braved another session of 'In The Mouth Of Snackness'. Lets see if any of the products are well conceived or just another chocolate regret.

Both this chocolate and the next were found by my wife at a Zupans grocery here in Portland, Or. I am sure you have seen these around if you have any interest in chocolate snacks. You might not have purchased one on the account that they are nine or ten dollars. Yeah, for a chocolate bar. That is the world of "high end" food. One of the ideas behind products like this is that you are paying for premium quality ingredients that have been arranged and balanced by a true talent. These are usually products designed for individual tastes not like an average candy bar that is designed for broad consumption.
Does that make sense? (I wasn't listening to me either.) Basically they are designing an eating experience more than just the experience of stuffing your word chute with foods.

So we can see on the front here: ginger, wasabi, black sesame seeds etc... I must admit that these buzz words peaked my interest and I was glad that she picked it out. (Well done, wife.) I didn't get a photo of the back (I am so lame.) but it had a play by play of how they wanted you to enjoy their product. These steps included warming the piece of chocolate with your thumb and even how to breathe during the eating of said chocolate. First off, keep your laws off my body. Secondly, keep you chocolate off my thumbs. That looks gross.

The wrapper is quite interesting. I always appreciate it when a company adds some design elements to what would otherwise just be boring. While this is nice and all, it will be for nothing if they snack is blech. So lets unwrap this beast and see how it tastes. In addition to my heroic wife, we also have two of our friends C and N to aid in todays experiment.

*Note: Check it out, they even printed something on the chocolate...or stamped it...or molded it...Look, I don't know their process. Geez. Just look at it.

S-Tastes like chocolate. I don't really taste any ginger or wasabi but I can feel the texture of the sesame seeds. (A moment later.) Wait, I get a little wasabi and a little ginger. It isn't bad. I like the sesame seed but would like more wasabi. 3 out of 5.

C- I get a little ginger. A small amount of wasabi which is good. You don't want to f*ck around with wasabi. So subtle. It's base is a very nice chocolate. I could do with more ginger and a touch more wasabi. I could eat this pretty often. Despite the long list of buzz words it isn't a novelty. 3.5 out of 5.

N-It is on the sweet side which I didn't expect. If you suck on the piece of chocolate you do get a little more of the wasabi. For me though it is just a tad too sweet. 2.5 out of 5.

d- This is going to be difficult because all I wrote in my note was "bullsh*t". I think my problem is that I don't care for somebody telling me how to do something or how to enjoy something. However when we did what the back of the packaging said, it really was an interesting experience. Not amazing or mind blowing but I think we could see how this could work. Maybe for a lot of people it does. We thought that perhaps in a restaurant setting or a dessert place this would bode well. Again, I am not a chocolate fan but I can appreciate that we all had similar and yet different experiences and that hasn't really happened before. So nice work but I give it a 2 out of 5.

*Note: This was scribbled in my notes- Not Hobo Biggins Chocolate Company. So do with that what you will.

Here we go again. Another 8-10 dollar chocolate bar. This time including Thyme. Thyme is my favorite herb and if it is paired with lemon I will consume whatever it is on. (That is a lot of time spent saying thyme.) This bar didn't come with its own list of instructions. Thank goodness. Lets see their wrapper under the packaging.

Huh. Well, there is something there but it is so bland that why did they even bother? Yeah, I know the name of the company it is on the outside already. I don't know, just the look of this whole situation reeks of boredom and effort. I usually don't get too gossipy but their website is atrocious. I clicked on shopping and it just told me that my basket was empty. Thanks.

Oh wow. They bothered to put lines on the chocolate. Cool. That must take some time to design. Lines. Interesting choice. Lines. Yea.... I can feel all the design work and everything really inflating the cost here...Or not. I feel like paying this much for something it should feel personal and this doesn't feel personal at all. It continues to feel boxy and boring. I do love thyme though, remember? The flavor will probably turn it around.

S-No. Big f*cking zero.

C-Oh, no. It tastes like the seeds from a birdcage. The seeds from a birdcage with poop on them. Ugh. 1 out of 5 for just trying. It is even worse the second time.

N-Blech. Ugh. Weird. It tastes like carob. This, in no way, tastes like chocolate. 0 out of 5.

d-AHHH. This tastes just how an art teacher smells. The rice texture is highly questionable and there is far too much flax seed or burnt a$$ hair. I can't tell which. 0 out of 5.

Yeah, so to recap this evening's trials: at the end of the evening the first chocolate bar was pretty much gone. All but I kept going back to it and trying to find different elements. That says something right? Almost all of the second bar remained on the plate. Four people with different tastes all found it terrible. So between these two are two very different approaches. If I was spending 10 dollars I know who I would choose. (a ton of Sweetarts) I'd like to thank C & N for participating. I hope they will come back again and as always my lady for her support and all around wifeness.

But wait, there is more!!! A BONUS CHOCOLATE ADDITION!

We found this in a Finish store in Astoria. This is the same store that we found double salt licorice at. Ugh. There is something so fantastically intriguing about this product. I mean everyone has seen those little chocolate liquor candies but this is somehow different. Maybe it is the flavored vodka addition or the suppository shape rather than a bottle. Regardless it was a definite buy even at $7.50 a box. So we waited for an opportune time and busted this finish baby open.

So each chocolate is individually wrapped which is a good move since a few were smooshed.  In the first round S tried the original and I tried the cranberry. The woman at the store told us, even though most people should know this, don't bite it in half or vodka will drool down your chin. So you just pop it in your mouth and chew away.

The first thing that happens is the chocolate gives way under your teeth and vodka fills your mouth. Now the next time your teeth meet, there is a gritty crunch. I figure that shell inside the chocolate acts as some kind of barrier for the vodka. It is not great. So there you are with a mouth full of vodka, weird floating crunchy tidbits, and subpar chocolate chunks. You can't really swallow it all down safelyeven though that is what your mind is telling you to do. Your only option is to buck up and chew as fast as you can as vodka sloshes amongst the melting chocolate saliva in your mouth. Sound good? Want some?
Well, come on over we have more.

Needless to say neither of us particularly enjoyed our experience. The first time. Yes we tried another each because S came up with an awesome game plan. Go against the elderly woman's words and defy her finish wishes. S bit the end off the chocolate and shot the lemon lime vodka. "Oh yea, that is pretty good. Just tastes like lemon lime vodka." she said tossing the hollowed chocolate carcass down the garbage disposal. So I tried it as well. She was right, yet again. Heck, this experience was cheaper than 10 dollars and WAY more fun. We were suddenly excited to have a box of these tiny vodka shots. I kinda feel like this product is like those Wax nips. Which was just a wax bottle with a small amount of vaguely sweet liquid in it. Sure you could chew the crappy wax but then you'd just have a mouth full of crappy wax. No thanks. Just let us bite the heads off and drink their guts, thank you.

S-Before figuring out to bite the top off and not eat the chocolate. 2 out of 5. After changing up the experience-4 out of 5.
d- I agree. 100 %

So not everything is a great idea. Not everyone is right about ow to experience things. They all were experiences though and even the bad ones, when shared with friends, can become laughable fun experiences.

Until next time, something, something, and something.-Aesop


Tuesday, January 17, 2012

.FOOrD BLOrG. My Ding Dong and Cracker Nuts.

What is in a name really? If you ask me-EVERYTHING. You see, being named Dirk, many people in my life have gotten my name wrong. Sure, now there are olympic athletes and ball players named Dirk but for some reason people still get it wrong. Derrick. Yea, people are constantly thinking that I say my name is Derrick. Do me a favor and say my name and then say Derrick. Notice a difference? Yes? Me too. A big one. My name is short and one syllable. I have a one clap name. Derrick sounds like a name created by combining two names. Like naming a kid after both parents. Like Dermot and Rick named their son after themselves. I am not saying there is anything wrong at all with Derrick having two dads. I am saying his name is stupid.

The thing about naming something is you are the person in complete control. That is to say, you are responsible for how this all unfolds. Wether it is naming a kitten or a child or even your own business, there is a chance that you might not make the best decision. Maybe have a consultant or someone help you. Anywho, it is with this idea of names that we approach todays snacks. So open up, this is all true and at times a tad difficult to swallow.

(*Today's rating scale will feature names that I am glad I don't have.)

Yes. That is a sack of Ding Dongs. It is not the first snack called a ding dong but since Hostess just filed for chapter 11, it may be the last. I found this on a recent trip to an Asian grocery store. The cost was around 2 dollars. Let's just take a moment to admire the weird creepy elf that is clearly up to something questionable. He is doing that shifty sideways glance and putting a finger to his lips partly to express craftyness and also to signal that we shouldn't tell anyone about what he was about to do with that bell. I like nothing about being forced into some kind of blood oath with some kind of under dwelling being. Now look at his pinky. That isn't how I ring a bell. That IS how I drink tea but ring a bell? I think not Derrick. I think not.

Ok so we have a snack mix. Lets just look and see what is all, what the f*ck is cornick? Now I know what those other things are but cornick? Also just to be honest, look at how they put "All in one snack." after the list of things in the sack. Like it is a miracle. LOOK! BEHOLD AT THIS AMAZING FEAT! I TOOK THESE SEPARATE THINGS-PUT EM IN A BAG AND NOW THEY ARE ONE. I AM THE GOD OF DING DONG. (Please don't refer to me as that.)  Look buddy, any random crap you put in a bag is the same thing. I mean anything you eat at one point in time becomes a uniform snack. Ok, lets just move on. Lets open the bag.

Well, you may have noticed that everything in the bag is tiny. Like the size of baby teeth. Oh and curls? I think not. None of the chip curls are actually long enough to curl. There are peanuts in there. The tiniest peanuts that I have ever seen. I decided to taste all the parts individually and to be honest they all taste the same. All parts taste like corn. So despite the phenomenon of putting all these different things in a bag, it all tastes like just one thing. Yes, even the peas. I am sure kid's have been wishing for years that peas tasted like corn but I am rather disappointed. The snack isn't salty or strange in flavor it just is corn. Tiny corn snack is what they should call it. I mean I didn't eat a lot of it but I imagine somebody out there really likes Ding Dong and when their friend invites them to lunch they say "I would but I am so full of Ding Dong right now."

I give this snack a 2-Fanny Whiffers, I mean boy or girl this kid is going to get sat on. A ton.-out of 5. 

Ok, so now we have moved on to Cracker Nuts. While the name isn't quite as unfortunate as the first snack, it isn't great either. Not just because I am white either. (You racist.) I am willing to bet that this snack is 50% cracker and 50% nuts. Unlike the first snack which was (hopefully) 0% dong. (This product was procured for me by my awesome wife from Fubon.)

Yep. They are simply peanuts that have been cracker coated and seasoned. This flavor being "Hot and spicy". Once again I have been mislead by packaging for my cracker nuts were neither hot nor spicy. Flavor wise, they taste like peanuts with a stale coating. Much like if you ever got any kind of peanut snack out of a quarter vending machine. They always tasted stale. Like the bowling alley or where ever you were eating them was built around that vending machine. Like you are eating a piece of history. It isn't terrible really. You first taste the seasoning which is sodium and a pinch of pepper and maybe some cayenne. Then the cracker shell busts open and you got nuts in your mouth. The end. Not a bad snack altogether. Heck I might even try the other flavors. Well, maybe not. I still have half my cracker nuts left.

I give this snack a 3-Felanie- like melanie but with an f. And if you think she isn't going to smoke by the age of 12 and be preggers by 15, you gotta another thing coming-out of 5.

This was found in the jewish section of a regular grocery store. It is a Kosher snack. I am not Jewish so I have no idea what that means but I believe it involves a rabbi. Can we just take a second and notice what the hell is happening on the bag. I mean did the kids from Rugrats grow up and start a Kosher chip company? Chuckie has lost some weight and Tommy had to get glasses that is too bad. Looks like he never got a full head of hair either. Huh. Bummer.

Ok It also hails from Israel. Which I have been spelling "isreal" all this time. Like 'yo this place IS REAL!.' Thanks spell check.

Oh. Well that doesn't look like a cheese curl. In fact it looks healthy. Like it is made of wheat. The chips have the texture of concrete. Seriously. I think you could skin a knee on one. They don't have an overwhelming bbq flavor either. Really they have a flavor like you should feel ashamed for trying to eat chips. Like you should not only not eat chips but if you do then you should eat these so that you could wish that you weren't eating chips. If that makes sense. There was nothing sinfully delicious about this snack. Actually it mostly tasted like wheat and sadness. I think you could taste the tears from whomever tilled the wheat in the snack. Bissli- a tear in every bag.

I give this snack a 2-Ivana Mandic. Yep. That is an actual name of a girl from Yugoslavia. You can see here id online. It is a classic terrible name. How she survived high school we may never know. Or if he did-out of 5.

Thanks to my wife for support and awesomness and thank you for reading. Snack on!

Lastly here is a strange picture from the top of the bag-

You are welcome.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

.FOOrD BLOOrG. A new Beginning (in chocolate)

It seems odd to me-how we dissect time by 365 days. Yet we do and once new years happens we act like everything has a chance to renew, be better, and leave the rest in the previous year. That is so weird but many of us feel that way. By changing that one digit on our checks (who writes checks anymore?) we concrete ourselves in a new era- a dawn of things to come. Hope and ambition (aside from hangovers) most often are attributed to the beginning of a  new year. The idea that this is the year. Our year, things will align and great things will happen. Often old hatchets will be buried, bad blood will be forgotten, or at least a second chance will be given.

This is more the case of the seventeenth chance given but it is given nonetheless. In this entry we have two chocolate treats and I am aided by Sarah, Dave and Mark.  In the event that you haven't noticed-I am taking this snack review blog very, very, very, seriously now.

This product was procured at a Foster & Dobbs in Portland, OR. I selected it because it sounded pretty indecent to the digestive system. It was around $6 in cost. I realize that isn't the best selection method but that is the truth. I don't really know anyone who enjoys white chocolate. To be completely honest, I think it is kind of creepy. Like white people. Ok, I don't really think white people are creepy. (Except really white people. Like me but with light grey eyes...and sharp teeth. Oh no, I need to focus and not get off topic. Serious.)

So this chocolate has pink pepper corn and lemon within it. Enticing? I thought it would taste like throw up. Or more precisely like one had thrown up. However, Dave and Mark were over and so the four of us tasted this product. What follows is a sampling of how that event went down:

S-Mmm. It is good. It tastes like lemon bars. I don't taste the peppercorn though. (At this point, Sarah scoured the chunks of chocolate bar for a visible pepper corn.) Wow. It is really good with the pepper corn. 5 out of 5.

Dave- Oh yeah. This is delicious. (Takes second piece) Yep. This is really good! (Takes third piece)
5 out of 5.

Mark-This is very interesting. It is very much chocolate. It is very good. 5 out of 5.

dirk-Hmm. It tastes like bad lemon flavored white chocolate and I don't get any peppercorn. (Encouraged to take second piece.) Ok, I get it. Needs more pink peppercorn. That is what ties it altogether. 3 out of 5.

Our second choice was found at the Woodsman Market also here in Portland, OR. The Woodsman is a cool little market next to the Woodsman tavern and Stumptown. They have high end groceries and local top quality products (like Marshall's Haute Sauce). At the counter we found a selection of Woodblock Chocolates.

After the encouragement of the sales lady we went with the salt and nibs flavor. I mean what isn't better with salt? Answer: eye drops. Eye drops are way better if you don't put salt in them. No joke sister, serious knowledge for you. Serious. Also wet denim swim shorts. Do not put salt in your wet denim swim shorts. You will not be comfortable in salt filled denim swim shorts. (I mean, why did you choose denim swim shorts in the first place? Were they out of pleather and camel hide? Also where do you shop? Their tailor has some serious issues and may have never in fact been swimming. Now if you want to have some real fun just palm some salt. Just enough to lightly dust your hand and then shake somebody's hand. Do not acknowledge that you have a weird crunchy dust on your hand and if they say anything just shrug like your hands are always crispy and weird. Now just sit back while they spend the rest of the day wondering what could be crystalized all over the palm of a persons hand. Oh no, I am doing it again.

Seriously serious guys.

As you can discern from the above photo-this company is a proud PDX product. I don't recollect the price but I'd guess between 3 to 5 dollars. I think it was 4 dollars American. (Like you are going to use Rubles. Remember Yakov Smirnoff? Whatever happened to that guy?) Regardless of that previous fiddle faddle here is the breakdown:

Dave-Whoa. Intense. I like it but it is SO intense. 4 out of 5.

S- I give it a 3 for having never had anything like it. Having said that, I kinda feel sick. 3 out of 5.

Mark-Wow man. This is really intense. It is high quality and really good but not at all my thing. I can't think of a time that I would want it. Ever. So I have to give it a 2 out of 5 for that reason.

dirk-AH! Woo! Bitter. Salty. WHOA! It is really good but SUPER gnarly. This chocolate is not f*cking around. This isn't chocolate that you taste. This chocolate tastes you and it tastes blood and wants to kill your face!!!! OK. Maybe not but it isn't a joke. At all. 3.5 out of 5 for sheer unbridled force.

So there you have it, a serious snack post...Ugh. Ok I tried but I can't do this. POOP, BOOGER, PEE PANTS and ghosts probably toot in your water glass at night. . . . (sigh) There, I mean sure it is a new year but lets not get unrealistic. Lets just agree to be who we are alright? The same weird off kilter but functional people that those around us can tolerate and in some cases love. There isn't anything wrong with that. At all.

Check out this link to something Dave is doing currently with his friend Mark

Check out this band. 2012 is going to give us their second album named after Dave Drusky. I am guessing it will be many peoples album of the year pick.

thanks again for reading. I will be back soon with the usual bad jokes and snacks. It is a joke people. I am not going legit in anyway what so ever. I am and will be a mess. See you soon. Really soon.

p.s. Change the water in your bedside glass. No reason. (Ghost Dad)