Wednesday, 11 May 2016

Swee-eet! (Part 1)

Spring is finally out of bed and it's time to shed the winter timber. Well, that was plan A. Then this immense hamper of US candy arrived.

Much as I wanted to show it off right away, it would have been an injustice to its awesomeness if I hadn't - for the sake of objectivity you understand - troughed my way round a few laps of it.

With the greatest of respect to every hamper that has ever come may way before, this beast wears the crown, if only because of its sheer hamperness. The goodies don't just sit on wicker - they're completely ensconced in it! It's a true, dyed in the wool, picnic basket, stuffed to the gunwales with dental peril!

The picture doesn't even do it justice - these hampers are so absurdly full, you can't fit everything in one photo. I'd have been chuffed with a chocolate stocking selection and a fistful of Skittles, so you can imagine how I choked when I opened it.

How long does it take to complete a degustation project of this magnitude? I don't know, but given that some items have a best before date two years hence, time is on my side.

Here's my tasting notes so far...
  • Baby Ruth: Dangerous balance of sweet and salt. Bang on trend.
  • Birthday Cake flavour M&Ms: Just like regular chocolate M&Ms, but bigger.
  • Peanut Butter flavour M&Ms: Just like regular peanut M&Ms, but less crunchy.
  • Dessert flavour Skittles: Remember Tutti Frutti? Same thing. But round.
  • Butter Finger: Brittle peanut butter dipped in chocolate.
  • Peanut Butter Snickers: Snickers for people with dentures.
  • Hubba Bubba: A six-foot reel! Gave it to a teenager to vandalise school property.
  • Wrigley's watermelon flavour gum (four packs): Ditto
  • Nerds: Easily 250,000 pieces in one box. Tangy. Eat with spoon.
  • Swedish Fish: American gummy candy made in Canada. Not remotely Scandinavian.
  • Runts: Hard candy shaped like fruit. None of your five-a-day. Tastes like the bubblegum that used to come in Two-ball Screwballs.
  • Lucky Stars cereal: I’m using this to bribe my eldest child into staying in bed at the weekend. Mixed results.
  • Kool-Aid powder: "Sugar Free!" Just add water ... and sugar.
  • Laffy Taffy: Sample comment on Twitter: "I'm just gonna learn to like Laffy Taffy with the wrapper on because there's no way I'm getting it all off." Stick it in the fridge, people, stick it in the fridge! Never eat two in a single sitting. Just saying.
  • Hot Tamales: Everyone hates these - they’re brilliant! Especially with black coffee. Get the camera handy if you're feeding them to children.
  • Warheads: When I was 16, Nick Flavell filled his mouth with the crystallised citric acid leftover from a box of astro belts. These are less sour.
  • Strawberry Twizzlers: Imagine the underside of a plimsole flavoured with artificial strawberry.
  • Twinkies: I’ve not even opened these. I tried one a few years ago, and it was the nastiest confectionery I’ve ever tasted. And I’ve had Russian chocolate. Made out of air, sugar solution and hairspray.
  • Spree: That bit of the venn diagram where Swizzels Fizzers overlap with vitamin C pills.
  • Sweet Tarts: That bit of the venn diagram where Swizzels Fizzers overlap with suppositories.
On the to-do list: Slush Puppy squeezy candy, Reese's creamy peanut butter, Marshmallow Fluff, candy corn, Razzles (first it's candy ... then it's gum!) and one extraordinary visit to my dentist.

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