Tagged: chocolate

Halloween Kit Kat? Give me a break

It’s the week after Halloween, and that means tons of leftover candy. Especially since it’s the stuff you couldn’t palm off on the young extortionists in costume, I usually don’t pay much attention. But this week, somebody left a bunch of Kit Kats in the office, and some of them had orange labels. And we all know that means peanut butter, right?

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Wrong. These orange-wrapped Kit Kats are in fact “Halloween Kit Kat” and they are orange in color but not in flavor.  They’re not peanut butter, they’re not pumpkin pie, they’re not orange Creamsicle, they’re not even candied yam or cantaloupe flavored, they are white chocolate that’s been dyed orange.  It’s a bit like a wafers wrapped in a crayon.

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This is so disappointing because I know they could have done so much better. In Japan, Kit Kats come in all sorts of seasonal varieties, many of them fruity. Even right here in the USA, there are candies in seasonal flavors like pumpkin spice, so why would Hershey phone in such a weak Halloween Kit Kat?

We gave the world the bacon chocolate bar, can we not put some real pumpkin flavor in a candy bar? Don’t America’s children deserve more squash in their goodie bags?

This chocolate pudding could be A+

I’ve called out food trucks before for obfuscating the name and content of common dishes, but when Mei Mei Street Kitchen put Sanguinaccio Dolce on the board, they helpfully, if bluntly, glossed it with “Taza chocolate, John Crow farm pigs blood.” $2, what could possibly go wrong? If there’s going to be blood in my dessert, I’d rather it be local.

Mei Mei Street Kitchen Menu

Sanguinaccio Dolce (don’t you just love saying that?) is a traditional carnival dish of the Basilicata region of Italy, the arch of the foot of the boot, if you will, or maybe a spat, since it has coastline on both the Tyrrhenian and Ionian seas. It’s more or less chocolate pudding with some fresh pig’s blood in it, sometimes served with biscuits.

Mei Mei provided no biscuits, but did include a nice dollop of cream and some sesame(?) seeds. The characteristic flavor and texture of Taza chocolate was evident in the apparently creamy pudding. There was no obvious or intrusive blood or pork flavor, not even the saltiness that I was expecting. It’s just a subtle twist to the chocolate, a bitterness that I doubt you’d even be able to identify as blood if some evil person gave it to you without disclosure.

Sanguinaccio Dolce

Ingredients aside, $2 for such a small serving of pudding may seem a little steep, but you do get to say that you ate it. Plus, how much chocolate pudding (and blood) belongs in a balanced diet? If you need to load up, go get yourself a venti chocolate cookie frappuccino with two strips of bacon. [N.B., at the time I wrote this I was as yet unaware of the Dunkin Donuts bacon egg and cheese on a donut breakfast “sandwich”.]

I applaud the Mei Mei team for putting something different out there and also for making an effort to use the whole animal. Their menu is ever-changing and seasonal, so get your sanguinaccio dolce while you can. Maybe as summer heats up they’ll add ice cream and call it Sundae Bloody Sundae.

Also, if you haven’t heard, Mei Mei is opening a brick and mortar restaurant, and you can support them on kickstarter.

All candy should come with technical cross-section diagrams

While snagging a fresh Mozart Kugel from the snack table at the office I noticed this informative diagram inside the box. Behold the majesty of two different kinds of marzipan on one chocolate ball.  What really drove the Salieri Kugel to madness was how easy the Mozart Kugel made it look.

Inside the Mozart Kugel

Now that’s my kind of infographic. It’s too bad you typically only get this sort of diagram with German or Japanese candy. To my mind, it should be as required as the nutrition information or the candy guide for the perplexed. Via Steve Almond’s CandyFreak, you can also test your ability to identify candy bars by their cross sections, and there’s a whole load of cross-sectional chocolate fun at Edible Cartography. It should go without saying that I really like that name.

The Legend of the Passover Hamster

You know how every office has somebody that loves to tell stories, often the same ones again and agin?  I’m not gonna lie, it can be annoying, except when you get a really good story out of it.  This is one such story: The Legend of the Passover Hamster.

It should be no surprise to anybody who has grown up a member of a minority that the media and culture is soaked with the images and traditions of the majority group, and that this can give the minority a weird envy for the cultural trappings of the majority.  It is out of this cultural soup that the Passover hamster emerges every year to, well, I’m not really sure what, if anything, the Passover hamster does.  I hope it’s not that creepy breaking & entering you get with Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy.

The Passover Hamster, to be simple and direct about it, is a chocolate Easter bunny with the ears removed.  And by “removed” I mean eaten by the Jewish parent preparing (creating? constructing?) the Passover hamster for a credulous child with a bad case of Christian holiday envy.  No, there are no hamsters in the old testament, except perhaps to note that they are not kosher.  But hey, are there any chocolate-egg-laying bunnies in the new testament?

There’s something about this story that delights me, and that’s odd since I have such scorn for the Hanukkah bush.  To me the Hanukkah bush is just straight up envy of another tradition.  It accepts lesser stature (bush vs tree) as if it’s ashamed of something.   The Passover hamster is satirical, even slightly transgressive, like a golem in drag at a Purim spiel.  Plus, in years where Passover comes after Easter, you can get the bunnies at a good discount.

Here, for the perplexed, is a brief guide to creating not the classic Passover hamster of our youth, but a modern version with a twist.  I illustrate with peanut butter, but of course that’s not kosher for passover so I’ll have to eat this hamster before sundown.  I think I can manage it.

1. Procure hollow chocolate Bunny and filling

Traditional eastern european fillings include prune and poppy seed, but you can also use more middle eastern fillings such as organic almond butter or tahini.   Chill the bunny and let the filling sit at room temperature.

2. Remove the ears

Strictly speaking, this should be done in a single swift stroke with a sharp knife by a man with no stain upon him.  Or you could just chew them off.  If you need more explicit directions, I can send you an e-mohel.

3. Fill your hamster

Depending on the configuration of your particular bunny, you can either just spoon in the filling, or you may have to use a pastry bag.

4. Let set, and serve

This little guy kinda looks like Bart Simpson, doesn’t he?  Happy holidays.

* The observant – and the Observant – will note that it’s pretty unlikely that a chocolate Easter bunny would be kosher for passover, or even kosher at all.  I would instruct such persons to carve their Passover hamsters from solid blocks of passover chocolate, or perhaps build them with laser-cut sheets of chocolate-covered matzo.