Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Coconut, Summer and S'mores!

One of the very cool things about going to Candy Expo as a blogger is that you are considered "press".  And the press get a great big bag full of candy.  This was one of the things in there:

Atkinson's (makers of the Chick-O-Stick) also makes these.  I saw a booth that sold ONLY these in all the colors of the rainbow.

While it looks festive, I thought the taste was pretty lame.  Kind of dry and tasteless.  And no chocolate involved.  Bleech.

This one from Candy Farm http://www.candyfarm.com/  (a division of Dayton Nut Specialties) was actually a lot better:

It was thicker and the coconut was much less dry.  But this is still a boring candy to me.  They come in different flavors - I liked the chocolate flavor here, but much prefer a real chocolate coating over my coconut.  Coconut lovers - what do you think of these?  They must be popular, I saw a few companies making them.  Anybody have some thoughts?

For 320 calories a slice (these are called coconut slices, BTW), they just aren't that good.

Since I've been planning to blog about coconut, I had to snag these in A Southern Season (my favorite, but oh so expensive food store in Chapel Hill, NC):

They are handmade toasted coconut marshmallows:

And they are pretty darn amazing!  You can see the shredded coconut all over the top.  They also contain almond  and vanilla extract - the almond gives them an awesome taste.  And the marshmallow is so soft and fresh - wow!  I'm not the world's biggest coconut or marshmallow fan, so this is really saying something!

When I got them to the register, they told me there was a BOGO (buy one get one free) sale, so I HAD to get another bag.  I opted for Vanilla Bean (lavender marshmallow just sounded too gross):

These were just average to me.  They would probably be AMAZING toasted, but I'm not going to all that trouble.  I'm happy they were free.

Speaking of toasting marshmallows, I was at a conference last week where the dessert was served outside by a big fire pit where we made s'mores.  (How cool is that?  Go Embassy Suites, Concord, NC!) The hotel had a great set-up, but they were using DARK chocolate disks.  Dark chocolate disks don't melt.  Classy, but we really needed milk chocolate.  So, if you're going to make s'mores this summer - use milk chocolate.

One cool thing they did was add a swipe of cream cheese to the graham cracker.  Never had that before - it was really good!  So experiment - have fun!

If you don't want to make your own s'mores, you could get these:

They really are mini - a little bigger than a penny:

And, as usual, they don't really look like the picture on the box.  Verdict?  Please.  How can this even be compared to a s'more?  They taste like little cheap cookies.  Not even very graham crackery. Definitely not marshmallowy.  In fact, I'd say these taste nothing like s'mores.  Either go real or don't go at all. (Goldfish S'mores - covered in another entry - are better.)

I found these at Candy Expo - they are made by the GudFud company (http://www.gud-fud.com/).  And, in concept, they are great:

Little prepackaged chocolate filled marshmallows.  They also some in fruit flavors which I didn't try.

They are horrible.  Think stale, flattened marshmallow filled with some chocolate-like substance.  YUCK!

Their company tagline is "the best thing to ever happen to a marshmallow."  No, it's not. 

But THIS might be!

These are soooo cute!  And at 10 calories a piece, you can't beat them!  Would make great decorations (cakes, cupcakes, etc.) and they taste good too.  Instead of having that weird powdery coating, these have one that's more like granulated sugar, but very fine.  From Harry and David - YUM!

This bar is also from Candy Expo and is billed as a "feel great super food" - which usually means "tastes like crap":

I have it here because it is called an "exotic COCONUT almond bar":

While it looks good, it tastes pretty boring.  I'd rather have a handful of almonds.  I couldn't even taste the coconut.  But it's all organic!  Kumbaya!  You'll live forever eating these, but you won't want to.

While these have been out for a while now, Hershey was pushing them hard at Candy Expo:

And I gotta tell you, these are good!! They taste coconutty and I swear there are little chunks of coconut in there.  I think they blow the coconut M & M's away.  The M & M's taste more chocolately - not very coconutty.  These are like little Almond Joys.  Well done, Hershey!!!

Since I had the coconut M & M's to compare with these, I tried Sarah Silverman's M & M trick. (38 seconds in the microwave)  Holy God!  She is right!!!  Try, it, try it, try it - it's awesome!!!!!!

Try something new - microwave your M & M's, make some s'mores with different ingredients - it's summer!  Celebrate food and fun!


Kris, in New England said...

OK, as a coconut fan I can say, at least for me - the coconut needs the chocolate to make the flavor pop. Plain coconut just doesn't work.

Those coconut covered marshmallows sound like heaven!

And I love S'Mores with dark chocolate. I know it doesn't melt but I like the contrast of the slightly bitter dark chocolate with the sweetness of the marshmallow. Pure magic to me!

OK, so Almond Joy - big whoop. Where is the Mounds for us folks with nut allergies???

Coconut M&M's??? Where have I been and where are they?

jeff said...

In the user's manual for "How to screw up some chocolate" on page one, step one says: MIX WITH COCONUT. If God ever wanted these two in close proximity, wouldn't he have said something to the Reese's company?

Since you asked for comments from the coconut-o-nuts, and nobody raised a hand, I figured I could help things along.

Community service? Check.

Denise Ryan said...

Ha, ha - Kris and Jeff we need to get you two together! : ) Kris - you would seriously LOVE those marshmallows!! Good question out the Mounds Pieces! I forgot about the nut allergies!

You gotta check those coconut M & M's out and let me know what you think. Look for the white bag.

Denise Ryan said...


Thanks for the comment - you are too damn funny! I'm off to the Fancy Food Show in Neew Yawk City!! Who knows what craziness I'll find there!