Best New Chocolates at the 2015 Summer Fancy Food Show

For the sixth year of covering the Fancy Food Show, I’ll be sending a correspondent in my absence and salivating enough to create a need for more bridges in Pittsburgh. This year, I scoped the scene for the best chocolatiers and their wares and compiled the most unique products to look out for. Consider it a walking chocolate tour of the Fancy Food Show!

1. Theo Salted Licorice Caramels
One of the best chocolates this year, Theo’s bitter and savory caramels perfectly exemplify umami, with smoked sea salt, fennel powder, and a creamy licorice caramel center.
wpid-img_20150515_112627673_hdr.jpg2. Ticket Grasshopper Pie
This nostalgic bar, inspired by fan family recipes and classic childhood treats, is embedded with chunks of chocolate cookies and swirls of creamy mint chocolate. It tastes like ice cream and eats like a candy bar. Continue reading “Best New Chocolates at the 2015 Summer Fancy Food Show”

Cadbury’s Marvellous Creations Jelly Popping Candy Chocolate

I’m putting off a difficult task and it’s getting in the way of the generally hilarious tomfoolery on this sinking ship of a semi-never-famous empire that I created back in high school when love was merely a hilarious anagram for evol and all my shirts were from woot.com. It isn’t the blog- that’s collateral damage in the larger scheme of pulling the trigger on the Rube Goldbergian stage of bureaucratic events that enable me to not go to France next year to study and cavort and live minimalistically while still maintaining a sense of style, escapism, happiness, and jeunesse that I struggle to find in Hartford. That would have made such a great novel. That novel would have pushed Eat, Pray, Love to the curb.

I would have had the best author photo. Or at least the best byline on my article at The Toast.

Yes, quite the problem to have, it’s funny in a stupid, hyperspecific way, like being catfished by a stock photo, but I still haven’t quite reached the point where I’m comfortable typing those words or pressing the button that pushes me another turn around the carousel before I have to hop off and enter the real world and get a job. In this world, the carousel is also not limited to children, keep that in mind, so I’m definitely not imaginary trespassing in this imaginary theme park allegory that I have created.wpid-wp-1426178357617.jpeg Continue reading “Cadbury’s Marvellous Creations Jelly Popping Candy Chocolate”

Chuao Pretzel Toffee Twirl

I’m taking back my own damned blog.

I’ve spent the last month anxiously yapping about it at ten-minute table talk sessions, I’ve fervently advocated for it and laughed too loudly at dinners with endless cocktails and enough steak to fell a Texan. But it hasn’t really felt like mine. Do not blame me, readers, for falling prey to the allure of capitalism, networking: the potential to work alongside esteemed writers with eponymes like eggboy and Dex, grinding out ouevres like ‘Ten Ways to Garbage Up Chinese Takeout,’ and, ‘Why My Ovaries Hate Gluten: A Primer’ on fly-by-night Millenial publications. Do not fault me for double-fisting gimlets at that one reception. DSC_9992-2Do not hate me for not hating.

 

Continue reading “Chuao Pretzel Toffee Twirl”

Vosges Super Dark Parmesan Peppercorn Bar

Yes, I missed Whole Foods. Even though they have a monopoly on the bourgeois central Connecticut area. Even though they cajole me into paying $30 for a pound of raw fish. Even though they have products with stupid names like ‘Paleonola’. I missed them. The Fresh Market in Arkansas just didn’t quite cut it for me. So today, after joining the gym, missing hot yoga, and cleaning my house, I decided to break my streak of responsible adultability and bought a $10 chocolate bar, #noregrets. Vosges has been on my radar and palate for a long time, since the booming success of their bacon chocolate bar. While perusing the cheese section, I found a cheese-infused chocolate bar- a Whole Foods exclusive, with aged parmesan cheese and tellicherry peppercorn.DSC_9602 Continue reading “Vosges Super Dark Parmesan Peppercorn Bar”

The Seven Best Desserts in Las Vegas

True story, I love dessert. I don’t like sweet things, but I love dessert. And I went batshit in Las Vegas, going on an epic dessert tour before my actual dinners, culminating in a humiliating bout of tears into my Chilean seabass and gin and tearing up all the sugar on and off the Strip. Still, totally worth it. Note that some of these were comped, thanks to the magic and goodwill of Twitter, and some of these were paid for. Each is designated below.DSC_9238-2 Continue reading “The Seven Best Desserts in Las Vegas”

Chocolatier Chocolate Covered Cherry Premium Wine Specialty

Ugh, this flavored wine specialty reads like the hate child of a poorly translated overseas food product and a Pinterest board doubling as a cry for help. This thing should come with a sticker that says, “I’m like an alcoholic, but for chocolate, and also, booze.” I found this in a Walgreens, which explains a lot. At first blush, you might think this is okay to ingest because of the sparse ingredient list, until you realize that it reads like the end of a Beckett novel. “Other than standard orange wine with cream, natural flavor, caramel color, and certified colors, in an instant all will vanish and we’ll be alone more, in the midst of nothingness.” The website claims wholesome usage of American ingredients. That must be the certified colors. Also worth mentioning is that the distributor also markets and makes ‘Squizzante’, which I’ve already taken the liberty to add to Urban Dictionary. I think I had a squizzante this morning. DSC_8946 Continue reading “Chocolatier Chocolate Covered Cherry Premium Wine Specialty”

Bixby Bar Whippersnapper

One last hurrah before I start my long and lonely drive with little more than Supertramp and protein shakes for company. I picked this up at Whole Foods a few days ago- it’s rare that I miss the Fancy Food Show; this would have been my fifth consecutive year, and with work obligations and the weekday timing of the show, I just can’t make it. I’m sadder than I expected, so I’ve been combing the shelves in a sort of halfhearted miniature attempt to mimic the real thing. And lo and behold, I found some new chocolate! From what I’ve read, Bixby Bars have been around since 2013 and have some magnificent flavors and sweet, minimal packaging with a vintage flair. This is- was, the Whippersnapper, with 72% dark chocolate, walnuts, Maine blueberries, and Tellicherry black pepper.wpid-wp-1399752937274.jpeg Continue reading “Bixby Bar Whippersnapper”

Nutffles Red Velvet Truffles

Oh, gas stations. Sometimes I forget how novel and wonderful they are. I’ll admit, having a car and paying my own bills and buying toilet paper, the harbingers of adulthood, has made me a little jaded. Gone are the days when I could waltz into a convenience store on the hunt for nary more than barbecue chicken-flavored Cheetos and leave with that and a Slurpee. Now there’s gas to buy, or I’ll slump in for an Aspirin after a long night of studying. The novelties go overlooked in favor of deodorant and ice scrapers. Perhaps I sensed something magical in the damp, inexplicably snowy air today, because I paused by the candy aisle, scanning the Hershey bars, Starburst, and weird, sticky Twizzlers knockoffs to find something delightfully creepy, and terribly named.DSC_8507 Continue reading “Nutffles Red Velvet Truffles”

#shop Dessert Trail Mix

I am a member of the Collective Bias®  Social Fabric® Community.  This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias and its client. My parents make me pay my own bills now! Kind of. #CollectiveBias

Not too long ago, I was in New York City, and needed some snacks for my train ride home. I picked up a few odds and ends at Duane Reade, but didn’t finish them on the ride. I thought they’d make a fun dessert trail mix for your next event, or just to snack on. It has a little sweet, a little heat, and plenty of fruit and chocolate. I used pieces of a chocolate bar with nuts, but you could also make it nut-free if anyone in your family or friend group has a nut allergy.DSC_7575 Continue reading “#shop Dessert Trail Mix”

Red Velvet M&M’s

What’s the next holiday? Houseplant Appreciation Day? Fuck that. I’m bad at holidays. The holiday that I am the worst at is Valentine’s Day. This is because I am not a twee blogger. I am not the type of person to create a clever, heart-themed meal for my DGNP (dear gender-neutral partner) or frost a perfectly color-coordinated cake in my footprint-sized kitchen. For the last three Valentine’s Days celebrated, I have, in reverse chronological order, sent a Gucci scarf overseas that never arrived, gone to a convention, and dated a guy. Woof, man. This year, I expect to do fairly well. I’m going to a job fair. But it won’t be so terrible, because there is no way I can do as poorly as these Red Velvet M&M’s. DSC_7340 Continue reading “Red Velvet M&M’s”