Thursday, November 18, 2010

I can think of witches good and bad

What: Wicked Whoopie (Peanut Butter)
Where: The Highway, Pennsylvania
Cost: $2.09

Cupcakes are passé, you guys.

Everybody who follows the ups and downs of the hand-held cake industry knows that the new queen in the fairy cake kingdom is the whoopie pie. Or maybe there is something even newer and hipper now, I don't know. I let my subscription lapse.

Either way, this was my first sighting of a whoopie pie in the wild. They seemed relatively fresh-looking, despite the unfortunate placement between peeled hardboiled eggs and cans of Redbull in a gas station just off the interstate somewhere.

Anybody who has ever tried to pack a cupcake into a lunchbox or been shown how to properly eat a cupcake will recognise the whoopie pie's obvious selling point. It is extremely portable.

It's basically an icing sandwich.

A lot of the people I cajoled into helping me eat it (it was deceptively huge) compared it to a Jos. Louis. Although they are missing the chocolate coating and are considerably denser, whoopie pies are indeed very similar. Delicious. The addition of peanut butter to the icing was a nice twist.

I definitely see myself making a few whoopie pies in the future, but I still prefer the original. I think a cupcake's inability to be carelessly tossed into a sack somehow adds to its appeal.



Tuesday, September 28, 2010

I Cannot Tell a Lie

What: Raspberry Jelly Graham Cookies
Where: Manhattan, NY
Cost: $2.99/lb.

There was only one thing I really wanted to see in New York this time around. I first heard of Economy Candy through David Lebovitz and I was determined to check it out sometime during our three days in the city.

After we soundchecked at the Mercury Lounge on Thursday we had a few hours to kill, so I thought I would see if I had time to get to the store and back. I couldn't believe it when I realized that it was actually right around the corner from the venue.

I purchased many things.

These cookies jumped out at me as I was checking out and I'm glad I followed my gut.

They traveled around in the van with us for a few days and I was worried they would get too melty so I brought them into the dressing room at DC9 last night. A couple of the Acorns and Gabe tucked in and seemed to really enjoy them. After I bit into one myself I could see why.

The cookie was a layer of semi-firm raspberry jelly on top of a graham cracker, covered in chocolate. It was a perfect mix of crunchy, sweet and fruity. They also made my bag smell delicious.

If you're ever in Manhattan and you are jonesing for some wax lips you should check out Economy Candy. It's small but packed to the roof, and it carries a lot of the classics along with more novel or hard to find candies.



Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Sweetgrass and Feet

What: Boston Baked Beans
Where: Boston, MA
Cost: $0.25

I am so happy to be on the road with Basia Bulat and The Acorn. What a great way to get over my writer's block while exploring the gas stations of the Eastern United States, right?

We were in Boston a few days ago. I wandered into the fanciest 7-11 I have ever seen - where they keep their "Canada" mints in glass jars next to the Swedish Fish. It was comforting to learn that no matter how classy a 7-11 looks it still smells like slurpees and sweaty hot dogs.

Boston is a great town.

While we were there I figured it was as good a time as any to buy a box of Boston Baked Beans. I'm embarrassed to admit that it was only very recently that I realised that they were not the same thing as regular old baked beans.

They are not beans at all. They are basically bright red peanut M&Ms without the chocolate. I liked them, but I only ate a couple before they spilled all over my purse.

Life is as it should be.



Saturday, May 8, 2010

Nästa Avfart

What: Pigall
Where: Malmö, Sweden
Cost: 12.00 SEK

I purchased this chocolate bar because I thought the name was funny and I could not figure out what flavour it was. The package showed the insides as a light pink with what looked like nuts or something. Perhaps it would be strawberry-macadamia nut? I really had no clue.

When I finally tried it I was so glad I followed my impulse at the cash register. It was hands down the best chocolate bar I've had all tour (and I've had plenty.)

There were actually two small chocolate bars inside the package, each filled with a buttery cocoa paste. What appeared to be nuts on the package were actually almost invisible rice crisps.

Yesterday we didn't play a show which means lots of driving and no free food. I bought another Pigall bar to augment my meagre "day off" meal of cheese (cut with a fork) on pitabrød that I found in the van.

Rock and roll.



Thursday, May 6, 2010

Super Troopers

What: Lakrits
Where: Jönköping, Sweden
Cost: 12.00 SEK

I bought this chocolate bar in a gas station in Jönköping but I was hesitant to try it. I don't really like black liquorice and this was a chocolate bar full of it. But, as always, boredom got the best of me during the long drive to Oslo today so I pulled it out of my purse, determined to have a nibble.

The chocolate bar was visibly studded with small, irregular chunks of very dark black liquorice. Kind of cool looking.

It wasn't as bad as I feared. The chocolate tempered the strong taste of the liquorice quite well and the textures were not too dissimilar. The weirdest part was how salty it was. I had forgotten that a lot of liquorice in some European countries is salty, but now that I've tried it I can see why it's so popular. For a non-liquorice lover it was a pleasant surprise.

Of course chocolate makes everything better. And this bar was "chok-o-licious".



Sunday, May 2, 2010

Chips and Dales

What: Romney's Kendal Mint Cake (Brown)
Where: Tan Hill Inn, Yorkshire Dales
Cost: Unknown (purchased by Basia)

The Tan Hill Pub is the highest pub in Great Britain. We were lucky enough to be playing inside a converted barn at a music festival there, full of old friends and motherless lambs.

Basia found this Mint Cake at some point after our set. The package was too special to ignore and I gleefully unwrapped it as soon as she gave it to me.

When Paul (our resident expert on all things British) told me that it was pure sugar I thought he just meant that it was really sweet. But he wasn't exaggerating.

I opened the package to find a sparkly block of what appeared to be tightly compressed brown sugar. A peek at the ingredients list showed that it was indeed just sugar and peppermint oil - two of my favourite things - unsullied by chocolate or other fillers. Excellent.

The smell of mint wafted up to me as I read the package. Apparently this is the exact brand of mint cake that Tenzing Norgay would have eaten while climbing to the summit of Mount Everest. It's a funny claim to fame, but definitely felt appropriate for our remote locale.

I broke off a block and took a bite. It was softer than I had expected and melted immediately in my mouth. Minty and very sweet, it was delicious but one piece was more than enough for me.



Friday, April 30, 2010

I Believe in Ferries

What: Prawn Cocktail Pringles
Where: Between Belfast and Dublin
Cost: £1.99

In North America these chips would not be flying off the shelves. We are not used to a potato chip selection that includes roast chicken and steak. Fortunately "crisps" in the UK are often meat-flavoured and this one was particularly exotic. We were all pretty tired which is usually a bad time to be tasting new, potentially gross foodstuffs but I threw caution into the wind and popped this can open in the van.

The verdict: not actually gross.

It would be more accurate if these chips were labeled Prawn Cocktail Sauce flavoured, since they really just taste of tomato sauce. Maybe a slight prawny smell, but definitely not too fishy tasting.

If you're Canadian and like Ketchup chips than I would suggest these as a nice alternative.