Tag Archives: Almond

I refuse to title this post ‘It’s all Greek to me!’

IMG_4433

The word “turmoil” gets thrown around a lot these days when people talk about Greece.

Which is too bad, because it’s got a lot of other, non-turmoily stuff going on that’s pretty cool: Hercules, the Parthenon, lamb roasted on a spit, sweet characters unpronouncable to the lay American speaker, a plus-level flag, Giannis Antetokounmpo, that one typeface that doesn’t have any curves, culture, beautiful islands.

Due on large account to those last couple items, I’ve had a few friends venture thataway, and because they are wonderful, they sent me some Gift Bars. Much love to Katie Bar and Rebecca Bar for the always appreciated gifts! Here’s what I tried:

IMG_4373

Homemade Almond Sweets from Hydra (my best attempt at pronunciation: Yapeka Topeka)

I was scared about the Yapeka sweets, on account of the Lokumi sweets that I’d tried earlier and you’ll read about later. [Ed. note: Yes, this is chronologically out of order. If you are upset then you can go ahead and start your own candy bar blog that is chronologically taut.] My cousin Rebecca Bar went to great lengths to ensure that these bad boys made the voyage from little Greek sweets shop to my tummy, and I’d hate it if I hated them.

My fears were misguided; these were damn tasty. Somewhat-gelatinous almond pastry cubes covered in powdered sugar, the Yapeka itself reminded me of the inside of an almond danish, only if the almond weren’t so finely pressed and instead had a more earthy taste. They were lightly sweet and a very welcome treat on the palate.

That’s a tough description to get through, but it’s a tough treat to describe: I’ve never had an American treat remotely like it. Continue reading

Advertisements
Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

C’mon, give it a Thai: Candy bars from the Far East

IMG_4237One of the perks of this little adventure I’ve gone on is that my friends seem to love sending me candy bars, especially when they encounter them outside of the borders of the United States of America, be it on a vacation or during a longer-term residence.

One of these friends, Kelly Bar, took a journey to Thailand and sent me a care package with all sorts of fun weird candy, along with an accompanying letter explaining the treasure I had just come upon. Kelly, a comrade from a rival team I raced against during my illustrious collegiate rowing career, is currently working her way through her own food-related adventure (a taco-based endeavor she’s dubbed Tacopalooza2015) and is doing a significantly better job than I am, gaining traction by means of actual, legitimate news outlets.

With these bars, as well as two weird Gift Bars from the first couple of BOaP, Alex and Abby Bar, I figured I’d take a culinary trip to the Orient. Here’s what I tried, with Kelly’s descriptions in italics:

United Almond (pictured above)
“I’m guessing Thai people like nuts incorporated in their chocolate because it’s hard to find any plain chocolate bars. This one also looked fancy.

The United Almond is pretty standard: A Thai version of a Hershey’s with Almonds. In terms of mouthfeel, the chocolate is a little waxier than I’m used to, perhaps underscored by its packaged description of “almond coated with chocolate flavour”, flavour being the operative word. Still, though, a pretty tasty bar.

Green Tea Kit Kat

IMG_4223One of the Alex and Abby gift bars, the Green Tea Kit Kat is from Japan. Upon opening the seemingly standard-sized package, I discovered three fun-sized bars inside. I’m not sure whether this is standard-issue packaging for these bars, and I couldn’t get any clues from the packaging because I can’t read Japanese.

Gimme a break ... gimme a break ... break me off a piece and then do it two more times and then wrap them up and package them together as one greater Kit Kat bar.

Gimme a break … gimme a break … break me off a piece and then do it two more times and then wrap them up and package them together as one greater Kit Kat bar.

As far as how it tasted, the Green Tea Kit Kat very much tasted like eating a Kit Kat made out of sweet plants. I wanted to like it. But I didn’t.

Continue reading

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,

Happy Mother’s Day, Mom

947326_10101455422907780_672808151_nThis is my favorite picture of my mom.

She’s holding court in a clearing somewhere in the wilderness, her young audience propped up on camping chairs, stumps and laps eating out of the palm of her hand. The pointy hoodie, ripped jeans and white sneakers she wore would seem a dated reference of 1991 on anybody else — the kind of thing that the “normcore” movement attempts to pillory these days, or at least I think — but Mom has never looked more beautiful.

Because it’s storytime, dammit, and who gives a shit what you’re wearing. Continue reading

Tagged , , , , , , ,

A Passage From a Novel Without Any Context: 3.14.15 Edition

IMG_3730

“Thank you so much. Again, I’m so sorry.”

The cashier squinted her eyes like she was smiling but her mouth never actually moved. She hated me.

They all did.

“C’mon, Toby! Come with mommy!”

His little fingers grasped my largest two and we made toward the automatic door.

“Mother of the year, right there.”

What. “Mother of the year right there”?

You have got to be. fcking. kidding me.

I turned and glared at that little bitch.

“You’ve got some nerve. You know that?”

“Excuse me, what?” Continue reading

Tagged , , , , , , , ,

“Havin’ a movie night?”

IMG_3675It took a five-minute drive from the exit after the Iron Skillet on I-94 in Wisconsin to find, but the gas station convenience mart had a phenomenal candy bar aisle.

After a seven-minute perusal, I carried my bounty with both hands. There were only one and a half people in the checkout line at the mart, a young mother and her little girl. One had a handful of scratch-offs, another sported a baseball cap made of denim.

They paid, then turned to leave. I smiled and nodded as they walked past me to the door. The mom smiled back with eyes squinted in perplexion.

The girl looked a little jealous.

The bell on the door jingled as I dropped my cornucopia of sweets onto the counter. The checkout gal looks at me.

“Havin’ a movie night?”

“Ah … no. Heh, just have a bad … just, uh, work for a candy company. Always am bringin’ stuff in to the boys for inspiration.”

“Ah, that’s a fun job to have!”

“Yeah, it’s uh, a real tough business to break into, but the perks are pretty good.”

“What’s it called?”

“It’s, um, a … It’s called (cough) sorry … um, BlackHawk Candies. … “It’s a startup in Chicago.”

“Oh. Great.”

“That’ll be $27.38.”

Continue reading

Tagged , , , , , , , ,

My feelings on almonds, in a nutshell

IMG_3545

Of all the flavors extracted from things that are used in making sweet things tasty (early favorite for qualifier of the year, I know), almond is by far my favorite.

It probably stems from my youth, when Mother Bar would consistently bake good-ass things flavored with almond, namely cake, cookies and, the best of them all, frosting. (If you have never had a tasty baked good with almond frosting, I encourage you to do so immediately, then if you don’t like it, escort yourself from the room and give your taste buds a talkin’ to because they need to straighten up, buster.) Continue reading

Tagged , , , ,
Advertisements