Friday, March 14, 2008

i eat too much candy

hello again, all, from Kenya. the past few weeks have brought mid-term exams and research projects, which beget stress, which begets an increased consumption of candy. that being said, let me bring to your attention some chocolatey treats worthy of a good thumbing.

the first, called bueno is manufactured by the Italian company Kinder. as the name may suggest, this was exceptionally bueno. I picked it up at the suggestion of a Swedish friend of mine who has access to all kinds of European delights that I am sadly not privy to in the states. the candy is a bit hard to explain, but let me try… imagine a toblerone bar with its different break-off-able compartments. now, the base of such a bar is a kit-kat-like wafer, and in each compartment (bueno’s are domed where toblerone’s are peaked) is a milky hazlenut cream. the entire thing, of course, is covered in chocolate. you have the crunch and the creaminess, as well as the sweet, sweet chocolate. plus, it’s packaged so that you get two such bars about as wide as your thumb in each serving, much like a twix, making it easy to share and/ or save for later. thumbs up, my friends. thumbs waaaaay up.

my second candy is produced by Kenya’s Cadbury company. in Kenya, you cannot easily (or affordably) find a hershey’s chocolate bar. so, when I was looking for a simple, honest-to-goodness chocolate bar, nothing fancy, what I found was a Cadbury dairy milk bar. unfortunately. the chocolate I found to be crumbly in texture, which was quite suspicious. chocolate should be creamy, yes? especially milk chocolate. in addition, I had a hard time tasting the ‘chocolate.’ the bar was brown, it was called chocolate, it tasted vaguely like chocolate, but I think mostly it was just sweet. bad texture, bad taste—thumbs down.

another thumbs down to Cadbury’s mint-choco bar. this was supposed to be a minty, creamy center covered in chocolate. however, the texture of the filling was again disheartening. I found it a bit waxy and sticky—not cool or refreshing, the best quality of mint and arguably the best compliment to chocolate. the chocolate coating I found waxy and again not tasting of chocolate. the whole thing stuck to my mouth and left my teeth feeling fuzzy. the worst. thumbs down.

in the interest of ending on a good note, I must mention a candy I tried only last night. this one again made by the Cadbury company, but this time based in Egypt. most of the wrapper is in Arabic, so I don’t understand it, but far be it from me to deny a candy just because I don’t know what it is. anyhow, the treat is called half time, and it is wonderful. essentially, it’s a twix, I have to admit. there’s the cookie/ biscuit, the caramel, and the chocolate covering. however, I would split hairs on this one and comment that the half-time’s cookie is softer than the twix, and for me that made it a very nice change. instead of crunching away and getting crumbs everywhere (does anyone else have that problem?) I enjoyed a nice, quiet snack. I should also comment on the size—it was much smaller than standard candies in the states. I prefer this for the times when you want just a taste of something sweet without committing to an entire glob of sugar. it also keeps the bar true to its name: half-time, and that’s something we can all appreciate. thumbs up, tiger.

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