Metal Shark Player

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Archive for March 2012

Candy Roundup #2

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More relatively obscure candies:

Caramello

I have seen the Caramello on display many times before, but never have I witnessed anyone purchase or eat one. This Cadbury confection keeps the design simple; the Caramello consists of just milk chocolate and caramel. The bar itself is decisively divided into four┬átruncated square pyramidal (three-dimensional trapezoidal) chunks, each with a semi-spherical indentation rising from the base. This shape, while hard to describe, is rather unique and oddly appealing to both the eye and touch. The segmentation, a candy phenomenon which I have previously expressed curiosity over, actually did help me minimize the noise I made while extracting the bar from its wrapper (I enjoyed it during a production of Euripides’ Trojan Women by my school’s senior acting company).

If the Caramello gets one thing right, it’s the caramel. The caramel is excellent. It’s sweet, with the right balance of brightness and warmth, and a surprising depth for this price point. Unfortunately, you wont be able to enjoy this caramel nearly as much as you should.

The chocolate used in the making of this candy is unacceptable. It should not exist, let alone be used for a food item that functions as a treat. It is waxy, flavorless, and far too plentiful. A thin coating of this outrageously shoddy chocolate might be acceptable if it housed a massive reservoir of the delectable caramel, but the Caramello is not apportioned so generously. Instead, I found myself fighting to savor as much caramel as I could while trying to bypass or ignore as much chocolate as I could. It wasn’t an easy task.

I can’t recommend the Caramello. It is not a horrible eating experience but, when you consider how good it could be if the chocolate were decent, it becomes a very disappointing one.

Oh Henry!

This bar probably had the greatest reputation of any that I have reviewed thus far, being that I had heard of it before I bought it. It’s made by Nestle and the ingredients are pretty standard: peanuts, caramel, and fudge in milk chocolate. Oh Henry! takes the next step from segmentation and just gives you two entirely separate pieces in the same package. Do they sell smaller, individually wrapped Oh Henry!s? (Look at that punctuation!)

I figured that it would be almost impossible for this bar to taste bad given the Nestle name and classic ingredients.I was right. Oh Henry! does not taste bad.

That’s about the highest praise I can give it, though. It is, without a doubt, the most boring candy I have reviewed thus far. Nothing about it is displeasing. Nothing about it stands out at all. The flavors are all so mild and agreeable that they become hard to distinguish. The Oh Henry! manages to just barely get passing marks in every category. When I take a bite, something about it tells me that I am, in fact, eating candy–but I couldn’t tell you what that something is. It’s perplexing.

The Oh Henry! serves, for me, as a kind of benchmark. This is the absolute minimum a candy should do. All decent candies accomplish what the Oh Henry! does, and all candies that do not are failures.Where then, does the Oh Henry! fall? Is zero a positive or negative number?

I cannot recommend the Oh Henry! to anyone but the individual most curious to experience its paradoxes. It goes back to the goals of the candy consumer. You eat candy to experience the exceptional, not the barely acceptable. The fact that it is only just barely acceptable makes it, by that definition, unacceptable. It remains useful only as a measurement for those of us in candy academia.

 

Clark

I have reviewed Butterfinger imitations before, but the Clark takes the cake in multiple regards. Made by Necco, of Wafer fame (I haven’t had those either, expect them along with the intriguing Sky Bar at some point in the future), the Clark is both the best tasting imitator and the one most similar to the Butterfinger.

For some reason, I never know a Butterfinger clone when I see it. The package reads “Chocolately Coated Peanut Butter Crunch”, but only upon my first bite did I know what they meant by it. The Clark is similar to the Butterfinger in almost every way. It’s crunchy, it sticks in your teeth, it’s not greasy (unlike some other peanut butter based candies), and it tastes good. Does it taste as good as a Butterfinger? No. Sorry. It’s not quite there. The Clark is decidedly milder and more reserved, more conservative than the Butterfinger. The flavor doesn’t explode with the same reckless abandon. It’s older-fashioned; it’s your grandpa’s Butterfinger. I was so struck by this notion of age that I did some research and my suspicions were confirmed: the Clark predates the Butterfinger by a few decades. It was popular in World War I. So, maybe it’s your great-grandpa’s Butterfinger. Unfortunately, the toned down intensity does not make room for a perceivable increase in depth of flavor or any previously hidden undertones.

I can’t imagine a scenario where I would prefer a Clark bar to a Butterfinger, but it might exist. The Clark is undoubtedly a successful candy, but it’s not a great one. With such direct and, dare I say, superior competition, it’s no wonder that the Clark is as unheard of as it is. It’s an interesting piece of living candy history but, from a typical candy consumer standpoint, there’s just no room for the Clark.

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Written by metalsharkplayer

March 5, 2012 at 11:52 pm

Posted in Uncategorized