Herrell’s Almond Hot Fudge Sauce

Six months and a few days ago, I wandered into Herrell’s to get an ice cream with a girl I’d never met. We hit it off pretty damned well.

And six months ago today, she asked me to be her girlfriend.

I know six months might not seem like a lot of time to most people, but it’s like half a lifetime for most infants, and that’s nothing short of incredible. So tonight, to celebrate dating for half a year, Keepitcoming and I made a wonderful dinner with roasted chicken, mashed red potatoes, and icebox cake for dessert- drizzled with Herrell’s almond hot fudge sauce.It’s no secret as to why people come to Herrell’s. It’s cute and funky and the ice cream is jaw-droppingly, orgasmically, eye-rollingly insane- but the fudge is the cherry on top. It’s made with fresh cream and butter and all the things that diabetes is made of, but it’s good enough to bathe in and is perfectly textured.

I think the hallmark of a really incredible hot fudge sauce is the texture. Pouring this onto the icebox cake after warming it up, it flooded down the sides in thick ribbons but still adhered to the surface. This sauce is smooth, kids, and we’re talking smooth like Smoove B riding a white unneutered stallion to Switzerland to pick up the finest chocolates and jazz CD’s. That kind of smooth.A few slugs on a piece of anything basically creates a dessert, but the most important thing about this is how accurate the flavor is. Almond-flavored anything can be a little dodgy, especially when paired with something as strong as dark chocolate, and I find that with a lot of products, the nut flavor fades into the background while the chocolate takes center stage. Not this. This tastes like fresh marzipan or genuine, untoasted almonds mixed into an incredibly rich chocolate base. It was perfectly sweetened and tasted natural. I know that word is thrown around these days, but something about this sauce just tasted really genuine. It was outstanding.

We’ll probably go back to Herrell’s in six months to celebrate when the weather is warmer and have some ice cream, but for now, it was a really special treat to stay in and cook knowing that was in store for dessert. And it went fabulously with the icebox cake.

Sucré Sicilian Pistachio and Rose Petal Bar

Milk chocolate has received a pretty bad rap lately. When dark chocolate reigned supreme and was touted for being single-origin and free trade, with more nuances and retronasal breathing than a ’98 Mondavi, milk chocolate was seen as unrefined and was set on the shelf alongside wine coolers and Furbies.

I’ve always had a soft spot in my heart for milk chocolate, though, especially when it’s done well and is chock full of interesting mix-ins. This particular chocolate bar, from Sucré, seemed like it would hit all my points and be a thoroughly enjoyable dessert for both Keepitcoming and I, as I love salty-sweet snacks and she loves floral flavors in food.The first thing we noticed about the bar was the beautiful presentation. It was in a simple box with clean cut lines and had all the toppings studded on top, looking luscious and colorful. That might have been the first problem. I’ve had many chocolates that balance gracefully, like dancers, on the line separating presentation and flavor, and what they create is beautiful. Leaning too far in one direction can be good, but always fails to impress in the end.

This bar was trying too hard to be aesthetic, and this was noticeable in the taste. For starters, the toppings were floating on top of the bar instead of being mixed in. I appreciated the view of what was in the bar, but would have liked to see mixed pieces inside as well. When the pieces broke off, they were almost always bereft of the toppings. Out of roughly ten pieces, only one or two had both the toppings on them. It was extremely irregularly scattered.The flavors were decent, but nothing to be enthused about. The milk chocolate was clearly of a high quality, tasting of lip-smacking caramel and cream, and it balanced perfectly with the salty pistachios. I’d have been pleased to have a bar with only those two ingredients. This was an area where the exposure of the nuts enhanced the flavor of the bar. With their salty exteriors, a note that may have been lost upon mixing, they were crisp and very tasty. However, the roses did not fare as well. They were so laden with sugar that the floral note was completely lost and dissolved into a saccharine punch on our tongues.

Having looked forward to this Grecian inspired flavor, I was disappointed by the obvious quality of the ingredients and their failure to collaborate as a bar. I believe this flavor has a lot of potential, but has serious setbacks that really detract from the overall enjoyment.

King Car Yogofresh

Swagger speaking. On yet another routine trip to the Asian grocery, I caught this sketchy bottle in the corner of my eye. The badly drawn picture of what I can only think of as an Asian representation of Andy Roddick called out to my curiosity and pulled my hand to reach for the bottle. Before I knew it, I was out of the store less $1.30 in my pockets and with this drink in hand.

The bottle itself is not very descriptive of when one should drink this strange beverage. Being a yogurt flavored drink; I thought it would be some sort of breakfast supplement. Upon further investigation I was able to find that the drink itself had consistency close to a bottle of water rather than a milk based drink. Not knowing what to think, I went by the picture on the bottle and came to the conclusion that it should be consumed after some sort of strenuous activity, such as tennis. Being too well dressed for any sort of sport at the moment, I decided on the next best thing, some hardcore Halo on Xbox Live against random internet 12 year olds.I feel that the vocabulary of some of these potty mouthed children can also be used to describe my experience with this strange drink so here are a few select phrases.

“Here comes a tea-bagging and I never wash my balls!” – Well, I’ve never had the awful experience of being tea-bagged but I do have a good sense of personal hygiene and I do know that the scrotal sack will get sweaty and if you don’t wash it and it will become quite funky. In fact that’s a word I’d use to describe this drink “FUNKY”. The liquid itself was very watery and tasted very watery too. Imagine someone took a tablespoon full of vanilla yogurt then watered that down then left it in the sun for a few hours. It didn’t taste too good, but still drinkable, kind of funky.

“You camping piece of shit! When I find you I’ll fuck your mother in the ass with a chainsaw!” – What aggressive words for a 12 year old, oh gosh. Well, for those of you who don’t know what a camper is in the world of videogames, it’s someone who hides and gets kills and doesn’t go away unless you take drastic measures. This drink is somewhat the same as a camper. There is an after taste that is of bad tasting vanilla yogurt that really won’t go away no matter how much water you drink. The only real way to get rid of the bad after taste is to drink more of this the strange drink or to have a nice healthy dose of Listerine to burn it away.

This drink didn’t make me feel more refreshed or revitalized as the bottle would have led me to believe. I don’t know what the nutritional value of calcium or vitamins this offers compared to milk but if I was poor and desperate enough, I could see myself getting this versus a nice bottle of blue Gatorade.

White Castle Microwaveable Cheeseburgers

The night has taken an unexpectedly bad turn, so I’m going to make this brief.

I think White Castle is a remarkably preserved staple of Americana. It seems to be completely timeless, its little squishy buns soaking up and holding all the memes, all the slang, and all the 2004 hit film quotes you can handle.

So late last week, Dillinger and I went to the store so we could has cheeseburger. I’ve never been to any of the Jersey chains because it’s a cesspool, and have never had an excuse to get them anywhere else. Luckily, Big Y had frozen burgers, so off we went to see what all the stoner hype was all about.The burgers were easy to prepare- certainly easier than their Urban Dictionary counterpart, a “white castle” that involves a man and a woman having sex while the woman fellates another man, and involved 100% less contraception. The burgers are identical to those served in the restaurant, but lack the quintessential pickles and mustard on top. Personally, I would have preferred mustard, but it just adds an extra step. A minute in the microwave and they’re all set.There’s very little beef in here, similar to a 7th grade freestyle showdown or Fabio’s underpants, but the flavor is recognizable and moist. Surprisingly, the cheese is the dominant flavor here, tasting very much like liquid cheese on nachos. The grilled onions add a nice textural and flavorful touch, and I found the bun to be inoffensive and not like a hockey puck at all. One serving of two sliders is not very filling at all and gives one the chutzpah to try and eat ten. Note: this is not humanly possible.

I’d buy these again only if I was very stoned, but I think even then I’d be more apt to search for a real White Castle in the area or simply give up and attempt to perform a “white castle” with some very good friends.

Ed Hardy Chocolate Rocks

ARE YOU A GIANT PUSSY???

Do you feel like you’re IN A VEGETATIVE STATE LIKE TERRI SCHIAVO???

Do your friends make fun of you for NOT HAVING ENOUGH ENERGY???

Well, FEAR NO MORE. Because Ed Hardy Chocolate Rocks are HIGHLY CAFFEINATED and full of ENERGY ENERGY ENERGY to make you ENERGIZED.Ed Hardy Chocolate Rocks are CRAZY DELICIOUS and SCHIZOPHRENICALLY AWESOME. With 60% Dutch cocoa and a SHITTON OF CAFFEINE, five rocks packs as much of ONE CUP OF COFFEE.

YOU DON’T EVEN HAVE TO GO TO DUNKIN’ DONUTS TO GET THAT SHIT.

While most caffeinated products taste like BATTERY ACID, Ed Hardy Chocolate Rocks taste like they’re only SLIGHTLY ALKALOIDIC AND NOT AT ALL LIKE ROBOT PISS.

Ed Hardy Chocolate Rocks have PANTHERS PANTHERS PANTHERS on the box as well as a BULLDOG that makes you want to get SIX TATTOOS OF BULLDOGS ON YOUR PENIS. HOLY SHIT, THAT’S INCREDIBLE.Douze balles dans la peau…

Ed Hardy Chocolate Rocks will WHIP YOUR PANSY ASS INTO SHAPE LIKE VAL KILMER IN TOP GUN, BITCH. They will inspire you to GO TO GREAT HEIGHTS and become HARDER, BETTER, FASTER, STRONGER.

MORE THAN EVER!!!

If you like HIGH QUALITY MOUNTAIN FARMED SWISS CHOCOLATE, do not purchase Ed Hardy Chocolate Rocks. Son, they will DISAPPOINT! But if you want RAW INFANT SQUALLING HOT NINJA ENERGY, buy them NOW!!!

Nacho Chilichanga Wingers

God, I love wings.

There’s something so deliciously primal about eating them. Generally, I avoid foods that force me to pay to dismantle it, but wings are a serious exception. When Swagger comes for a visit, we almost always hit up the local wing joint and enjoy a ton of them over some terrible B movie or bad reality television.

These snacks intrigued me because they were both low fat and wing flavored, and wing shaped. However, it would not be possible to replace actual wings with these…things. They’re unfortunately not as wing-like as I would have enjoyed.Granted, I haven’t found a buffalo sauce flavored product that has really wowed me, though I did love the blue cheese glaze on Little Wings. These, unfortunately, fall into the category of imitation buffalo snacks. While they do try hard, and I admire the effort put into the little wing shapes, I just wasn’t too impressed. This particular flavor is nacho chilichanga, a flavor I’ve never actually seen translated into wings.I think the seasoning was applied far too gently. There was a slightly cheesy flavor to these, but by no means nachoesque, and a very mild chipotle and black pepper spice at the end of each bite. It was mainly salty and had little else to offer. The texture of these was stranger than I expected, and these were tiny wings! If I was served these in a restaurant, I’d send them back because they look like squab wings. I wanted them to taste like chips or Bugles, but the overall resounding mouthfeel was a lot like stale baked potato chips. It was crisp, but a little too brittle, and crumbled as soon as I crunched in.These rated a 3/5 on the company heat scale, but I didn’t find them spicy at all. Adding a little hot sauce definitely made them palatable, but I wasn’t enthused enough to eat more than one or two.

Kurkure Funjabi Khadai Masala

Local international groceries are the shit. Whenever I’m in a new town or even trolling around my own town, I seek out two things: international groceries for foreign snacks and different fast food restaurants. I’m sure that I have a directory of all these places in the tri-state area. So I dragged Swagger and Dillinger to the Asian grocery (one of three) the other day after a delicious lunch at Mi Tierra and made them buy me Kurkure- the Indian equivalent of Cheetos.

Between this hilariously named “Funjabi” flavor and an old standby, Naughty Tomatoes, I was torn between which to review first. I’ve been saving up some salacious puns for the Naughty Tomatoes, but this one looked more limited edition, so up it went.After kicking it at the gym like Ronnie from the Jersey Shore, I came home to a roomful of roommates- perfect guinea pigs for testing this new and strange snack. The package advertised a flavor of Rajma curry, cinnamon, cloves, and black cardamom. Sounds like my kind of gig. Upon further examination, I found out that rajma, both the curry spice and part of the chip base, is kidney beans. Definitely interesting.

The Kurkure were Cheeto-like, but actually had a much better, smoother consistency, with none of those little cornmeal chunks. This could have been due to the kidney beans, but might have also been the rice meal, the main composition of the dough. The flavor is unique- the perfect representation of the foods I seek! It was much spicier than I thought, with a fresh pepper flavor and a heavy curried garlic scent and aftertaste. I tasted a lot of coriander and cinnamon.

Although I didn’t taste the cardamom, there was a sweet undertone to this that really reminded me of the Spicy Sweet Chili Doritos that I enjoy on my rare Subway treks, but with a lot more heat. Interestingly enough, one of the lower ingredients on the list was cocoa solids, but I’m guessing those were unsweetened. They probably added an extra element of richness to the flavor, though.The strangest aspect of these was the nutrition. In a 120 gram bag, there are roughly 620 calories. This beats out even the worst of American snacks, and for reasons that I genuinely can’t understand. Can anyone shed some light on this?

Overall, I loved these. I love curry and I love chips, so they were a real hit. I’m definitely going to try these again and get some more flavors on my shelf.

Debrand’s Sweet Potato Pie Chocolate Bar

Okay, kids, October is over. I’m focusing on Thanksgiving now. In past years, I celebrated Thanksgiving with my mother’s side of the family, but now that I’m a grown-ass woman, I like to go to as many celebrations as I possibly can in order to ensure that I experience the full girth of Thanksgiving gluttony. I’ve never had a Thanksgiving that hasn’t been full of crazy pie flavors and perfectly roasted turkey, but if there’s one thing I’m dead set on trying before my eventual coronary, it’s a Southern Thanksgiving, complete with sweet potato pie.Even if my Yankee upbringing currently prevents me from doing so, I decided to try this bar so I could gear myself up for the holiday, and was completely satisfied with the overall experience. I consider myself to have a relatively refined palate, so with a bar that attempted to emulate such a familiar and unusual flavor, I expected to be able to separate all nuances and detect any that were not present. I went into this bar with high expectations and I finished extremely satisfied.I found that this bar really emulated the best of the sweet potato, as well as accentuating it with mild yet noticeable additions that really made a difference. The crunch of toffee in this was fantastic- I love toffee. It wasn’t sticky or too chewy at all, and was ground up to a perfect consistency. The potato flavor in this was creamy and mild, but earthy and obviously yam-derived. I would have liked more, but am still happy with the amount. Nicely done. The balance of milk chocolate and white chocolate added a creaminess and rich flavor without dominating the bar at all. With spices, most noticeably, cinnamon, this was a really well crafted confection.

The other thing that really attracted me to this bar was its unique portioning. Where some bars I’ve consumed have had pieces that were too unwieldy or too small to enjoy, this was both artful yet individually centered, with three kinds of pieces in three sizes so that one can designate how much one wishes to eat. I found it to be minimal yet impressive and was really happy with the bar. Bring this to Thanksgiving and be prepared to get all the post-feast, drunk second cousin/family friend ass you can handle. It’s that good.

Hallowings with Howlin’ Hollar Pumpkin Hot Sauce

It’s Swagger season- October time in New England and it’s all about the pumpkins. There’s pumpkin lattes, pumpkin pie, and just about pumpkin everything. As the designated spicy foods reviewer of this blog, I was assigned to have a taste of this hot sauce containing pumpkin. From my experience, the best way to test the taste and integrity of a hot sauce is to put it on one of the most awesome foods ever, WINGS!In an opportunity to incorporate some fancy word play with one of my favourite holidays, I’ve decided to make “Hallow-wings” using this pumpkin hot sauce. When opening the bottle, I could smell that this sauce was not a normal hot sauce. Instead of the regular pungent vinegar smell of a Tabasco sauce, or Frank’s Red Hot, it had a rather strange sweet smell. It would have been rather difficult to pinpoint that the smell was pumpkin if the bottle was not labeled as so.When combined with the heat of the freshly fried wings, the sweet smell of the sauce was even stronger than the smell from the bottle. The taste of the sauce was quite sweet with a slight heat to it. There was not as much as an after burn rather than a nice sweet after taste. The sweet taste was actually very much like the taste of pumpkin, it was nice offset to the heat and acidity of the sauce. The taste of the sauce slightly conflicted with the taste of the flavour of the wings.

The sauce did adhere to the wings very well. It was able to coat every nook and cranny on each one of the wings, but personally I would not recommend it for use with wings, the flavour of the meat would clash with the subtle taste of the pumpkin too much and just cause the sauce to taste like a sticky hot mess.This sauce would be very good with a pumpkin based food such as pumpkin fritters or something similar. Overall it was an interesting sauce; it smells kind of funky but tastes like how it’s advertised on the bottle. It’s not extremely hot and doesn’t leave an after burn. Its uses are rather limited due to the exotic nature of this sauce and it wouldn’t go well with foods that are not pumpkin based. Happy Halloween!