Would you rather not give out boring old Snickers and M&M's this year? You want to be the special house on the block that has stuff that no one else dares give away? Here are some unusual candies and treats we dug out from our blog's long-dead Wacky Snacks featurette, most of which can be found locally, from Cost Plus World Market, to IKEA, to your Asian grocery store.
Though, don't blame us if you get egged or TP'd.
On second thought, maybe you oughta just buy and eat these for yourselves. Some are too good for those brats.
10. Super Cucharazo
This one is like a spicy fruit roll up. Bold, salty, sour, with a chili kick lacing every lick. Tamarind is a woefully under-appreciated ingredient anywhere north of the equator, especially in candy form, but these are delicious. Though like a Tootsie Pop, the candy will test your patience. You will go through a few licks until you give up and just scrape the whole pasty thing off the plastic spoon it comes on and chew it up whole.
9. Kinder Happy Hippo
Imagine an ice cream cake cone that's been filled with Nutella and coated in chocolate cookie crumbs and made into the shape of a hippo complete with googly eyes. What you won't expect is how much of that filling there is. There seems to be almost enough to spread on toast. It will also be one of the messiest things you'll ever eat. Consume over the sink or risk permanent damage to your upholstery, your carpet, your clothes, or anything else nice you'd rather keep chocolate off of.
8. Nestlé Aero
Origin: South Africa
No surprise: they tastes like plain old milk chocolate. Only they crumble like nobody's business. Best to also eat this over the sink because the bubbled layer--which exist sandwiched between an upper and lower deck of solid milk chocolate like a honeycomb--breaks off into tiny bits of chocolate debris. Because of the porous texture, it melts differently, though not necessarily faster, because essentially, your warm saliva has to power through each and every hole to melt it. Claims that assert that aeration makes these chocolates melt faster is illogical. As anyone who knows the basics of heat transfer might tell you, air is an insulator, not a good conductor of heat. Still, it's a nice sensation. Sort of a more solid version of chocolate mousse.
The slogan printed on the back says: "Makes People Talk." Did its Swedish makers know this would conjure images of interrogations and water boarding? Surely, something was lost in the translation. This particular flavor of the candy is cactus. Are there cacti in Sweden? Nevertheless, it will freshen your breath. The gummy-like texture will start to dissolve the instant you put it in your mouth and a menthol-like vapor will travel up your throat and into your nostrils like a strong mint. A coolness follows, but also a strong licorice-like aftertaste. You'll like it if you like black licorice and menthol. If you don't, this might be just the thing they force you to eat to make you talk.
6. Kasugai Konpeito Candy
They look like moth balls don't they? But Konpeito is just rock sugar candy. The name is derived from the Portuguese word, confeito, which means, whaddayaknow, candy. This, along with tempura, are thought to have been introduced to Japan by Portuguese traders. Those that remember Miyazaki's Spirited Away might recognize them. It was to the film like Reese's Pieces was to E.T.
Milky tastes like solidified forms of sweetened condensed milk. That's all they are really, but therein lies their greatness. It somehow makes you think of childhood innocence. A simpler time when all you had to worry about was homework. The texture is not unlike Starburst--sticky and tacky. They could have, in fact, done better in calling these "Starbursty"... but then, lawyers don't have a sense of humor.
4. Philippine Brand Mango Balls
If you're enamored of Fruit Roll-Ups, Fruit Leathers or any of their facsimiles, you will love this. It's naturally chewy, almost as sticky as taffy, and has a tart finish similar to those American snacks. These, however, start off with a sugar-crystal crunch. You will see it immediately. Its sugar crust of practically glimmers. And it's this added sweetness that keeps you going. Just like tater tots, you will find it difficult to eat just one, or even just a few.
The texture is like freeze dried ice cream foam -- porous and melts as soon as it hits your tongue. The flavor approximates that freezer burned stuff that sticks on the side of the ice cream carton. Yeah, it's like that, but better. What really sells it is that the cone is a real cake cone. You won't see this ever going up on the space shuttle, though. Everything is a bit too crumbly for the weightless environment of space. Plus with the budget cutbacks at NASA, astronauts would have to fight over who gets the last one.
2. Meiji Meltyblend
These are the closest thing to little truffles shaped into cubes. And in your mouth, it does exactly what the name says it does: it melts. And it does it cleanly. After a minute, there's no trace of the candy, making you reach for another immediately. The strawberry in particular tastes like strawberry milkshake distilled in a cubic centimeter. Silken, not-too-sweet, and dusted lightly in cocoa powder so as to emulate a chocolate-dipped strawberry. The chocolate flavor is just as good, with a malty finish.
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These dice-sized milk chocolates have crunchy rice krispie-like bits inside each ball. Imagine nuggets of Nestle Crunch Bars. That's what they approximate (although the ingredients do not list any rice). Since they're buffed shiny with carnauba wax, they melt in your mouth, not in your hand. Yes, Crunky is also like an M&M--an M&M and Nestle Crunch Bar hybrid that you eat out of a flip top lid.