Saturday, August 30, 2008

Seeing the world through my sweet tooth

If you've been paying attention over the last couple years of this blog, you've noticed I like to travel and I like to eat. Some of the most fun I have is eating while traveling. Seeing what delicious or peculiar fare is offered around the globe always fascinates me. And returning to favorite places makes me gooey.

On our way to Boise, we stopped at a gas station outside Twin Falls and perused their candy section. We walked out with an Idaho Spud, which I had tried once before and not liked much, a Cherry Cocktail, a Big Hunk, a Skinny Hunk, and a Rocky Road.

The Idaho Spud: Gross; I still don't like them. The Idaho Spud is a spongy, marshmallowy, gelatinous cocoa mass with more aftertaste than flavor. Coated in chocolate and dessicated coconut, it was like eating frozen Cool Whip with fingernail clippings of newborns tossed in for a little al dente sensation. Spew.

The same company makes the Cherry Cocktail. I can't help but wonder if perhaps the suits at Owyhee, makers of these pathetic confections, aren't a bit sadistic. The Cherry Cocktail is a sticky mound of chocolate and crushed peanuts, and the cherry cream center holds a whole maraschino cherry. It might politely be described as having the appearance of a tremendous gum drop. It would be more accurately described as looking like a horse apple. The flavors are quite strong, and it doesn't taste bad. It doesn't really taste good, either, though. It's definitely edible but too damn big for something so sicky sticky sweet. The texture is fairly off-putting, however, and it's just so awful looking! This is desperation chocolate only.

The Hunks: Strange. The Big Hunk is sort of a chewy nougat or taffy with peanut pieces. It's very chewy, definitely not for the loose tooth crowd. It tastes quite nutty, which I liked. But it was really sweet, which I didn't like. It's also, as they say, big. More than enough to satisfy. You have to chew so much that you start to drool and your jaw gets tired. The Skinny Hunk is a smaller, nutless version of the Big Hunk. Without the nuts, it's like eating condensed marshmallows. This is one girl who likes her Hunks to have nuts.

We were getting pretty full of candy and starting to feel a little puky. Also, I'm not thrilled to eat marshmallows (gelatin), even for cultural understanding. So we decided to put the Rocky Road away for future sampling. Then we forgot about it. I found it in the van several days later. Thank goodness the packaging held in the heat or I would have had liquid Rocky Road absolutely everywhere. It was totally melted. I mean totally. Squeezing the package, it seemed like a warm bag of diluted Hershey's syrup. It went in the trash. Oh, well.

A travel favorite: When I go to Salt Lake City, I always go to Marie Callender's for pie. We don't have Marie Callender's here. I like pie. Marie Callender's has about 20 kinds of pie available daily. It's really hard to choose. Tradition calls for coconut cream, but with so many varieties to try, it's a little narrow-minded to get the same thing every time. Not that I'm in Salt Lake very often.

Once, my mother brought me a Marie Callender's coconut cream pie home on the airplane. Airline regulations wouldn't allow her do that anymore. Ooh, scary pie! It might be an explosive. I was pretty impressed she would lug a whole pie home. That's love.

Anyway, this time, there were 11 of us at Marie Callender's, all eating pie. Someone thought we should share – take a bite and pass it on. I thought not, although I did allow my nephew to try a forkful of my lemon cream cheese slice. We agreed it was good, better than his Key lime. He managed to get a bit (or several) of his mother's, too. I think she got this colossal piece of triple chocolate cheesecake. It looked really good. Really good.

I'll need to go back.


laurie said...

nougat is such a funny word.

i love candy. especially chocolate candy.

aims said...

I have to be so careful about what chocolate confection I eat. I'm a celiac so react really badly to flour or gluten. It's amazing how many chocolate bars have flour in them. Sigh.....

warren said...

mmmmmmm....spongy, marshmallowy, gelatinous cocoa mass.....must. have. idaho. spud......

christian said...

Whenever I/we happen to find ourselves in Kentucky, I always get a glass bottle of Ale-8. As far as I know it is only availabe in Kentucky.

This post may change the way I pick my snacks on roadtrips!

Amy said...

Laurie, chocolate. What else is there to say?

Aims, that's absolutely tragic!

Warren, I'm having doubts about you.

Christian, what is Ale-8? Sounds like tomato root beer.