Sugar Heaven

June 23, 2009

….because pictures are worth a thousand (in this case, probably TENS of thousands) of calories!


What you can’t appreciate from the picture is just how big these cakes are.  Size wise, each of them are about 12″ tall and about 20″ wide.  HUGE!!!!  I don’t even want to know how many pounds of butter goes into the icing that’s needed to cover one.  Oh, I’m hitting myself for forgetting to take a picture of the one that is shaped like a yorkshire terrier.  It’s alright, another excuse to go back in the future.  Gee, I use that excuse a lot, don’t I? ;)

If you are the fickle type that can’t seem to choose which cake to try, you are sooooo in trouble when you see this lineup of individual cakes.



Room Candy – always yummy!


Do you love cupcakes? Well, you are not alone! I’m convinced that cupcake mania is getting mainstream now because even my local Howe’s supermarket stocks different flavored cupcakes that they continually change to reflect the season. These ones caught my eye the other day.

Soda inspired cupcakes! Okay, first of all, for a drink that’s been around for such a long time, I’m amused at how many different variations there are of the name 7UP when spelled out. I initially wanted to spell it as 7-Up, but when I did my fact checking, I saw that Wikipedia has it listed as “7 Up”, whereas other sites spelled it as 7Up and 7up. And why is that big red dot never included in the written name?

Oh well, no point fussing over mundane details. Time to open the box. As you know, the main ingredient characteristic of 7UP soda is the distinctive lime/lemony flavor, and I got a strong whiff of lemon right when I opened the box. So refreshing! Size wise, these cupcakes were probably on the small side (around 2 inches in diameter and 3 inches high). I would guesstimate that as far as the bites/cupcake ratio goes, it’s about 3 1/4 mouthfuls per cupcake.

I tip my hat off to the company that developed these cupcakes – they certainly picked a pretty shade of pale green that looks a lot like the honeydew slush I had a while back. And check out those green and yellow sprinkles! Those have got to be custom made for the company. I wonder if they are also flavored with 7UP? I picked off a few sprinkles and sampled them, but couldn’t really come up with a definitive verdict.

But the best part of the cupcake was the swirl. These were obviously piped with a machine, but the strong curves of the frosting tweaked off into a peak were architectural enigmas! I just couldn’t stop staring at them!

If you squint your eyes, it almost looks like the petals of a rose. A minty green rose!

Mmm…swirly vortexes of buttercream perfection!

There has to be a scientific explanation as to why people love the swirly pattern of most cupcake frostings. I’ve read about the Golden spiral based on the Fibonacci numbers, and how this swirl pattern is present in many species of flora and fauna.

Exhibit A: Golden spiral based on the golden ratio (i.e. 1.6180339887)

Exhibit B: Top down view of the 7UP cupcake.

Superimpose the two images, and..Ohmygosh!! The divine proportion does explain the beauty that is the cupcake swirl! Thanks, Mr. Fibonacci!

Extra yummy: Aside from its perfect swirl, this cupcake had another twist – when I bit into it, I was expecting a spongy cupcake texture but instead got a dense, pound cake consistency. A soft drink that’s transformed into a cupcake that tasted like a mini lemon pound cake? A real mind bender! Kind of like our Jelly Donut Bed – it’s a dog bed fashioned out of a donut dog toy that is a plush replica of of a real glazed donut!

It’s got green and yellow sprinkles too!


Room Candy – always yummy!

OMG Pocky!!

September 21, 2008

Quick note from Linny (the blog’s de facto editor): I have done a few posts on our JUMBO toys, but it takes a real writer like Rachel to come up with a JUMBO post on all things Pocky. Seriously, if your mouth doesn’t water for those pretzel-esque snacks after reading her comprehensive review below, you’re missing out on a Room Candy certified yummy snack! Bravo, Rachel! I humbly bow to thy prowess with the written word.


If you are or have ever been a fan of anime or manga — or Japanese pop culture in general — you’ve probably come across Pocky. The little cream-coated cookie sticks were a staple of my teenage life. They fueled me through marathon weekends at OhayoCon, fanfic-related writers’ block…even the sporadic late-night finals week study session.

I was hardly alone in my Pocky addiction. The night of the senior prom, rather than languish at home feeling bitter about the lack of romance in our respective lives, two equally geeky friends and I attended the festivities together. We had a decent amount of fun mocking shallow classmates and making ill-fated attempts at dancing. What I remember most about the night, however, is my friend Ashley’s transformation into a Pocky-fueled windup doll on the dance floor. She’d run out of energy and all but freeze. Jenn (the third party in our merry misfit trio) or I would then run to the dance floor and a pop a Pocky stick into her mouth, and immediately she’d come back to life, a delirious smile gracing her features. We knew people were probably staring and laughing, but we responded in kind. We didn’t care. Ah, good times.

These days my life is far more complicated. Being six years removed from High School, I rarely get to experience the sheer innocent joy of moments like those. There are times when I almost feel like a traitor to my high school identity. I’ve fallen out of the loop as far as anime and manga are concerned. Even If I had a character to dress up as, I lack the time and money which allowed me to toil over convention costumes so many years ago.

Naturally, a part of me is overjoyed when I rediscover something like pocky. It draws me back, at least partially, to a time when there was much less to worry about. A period when, though I may have been an oddball, there was a definate certainty of self, and a sense of belonging in a _group_ of oddballs. When my greatest fear was being on the receiving end of a catty cheerleader’s comment, rather than being unable to pay my bills. While trolling the aisles of my nearby Nijiya Supermarket, I happened upon the Pocky section and found myself immersed in this sort of nostalgia. I found myself momentarily contemplating the value of Pocky — not only as a symbol of my youth and the otaku community, but as a snack. Were Pocky sticks really that yummy? I didn’t truthfully remember. The only logical thing to do was to buy a box of every flavor Nijiya had in stock. That’s 12 flavors (and $23.00)! Was it worth it? I’d soon find out, or go into sugar-shock trying!

After a veritable Pocky Feast, here are my general impressions:

1) Chocolate Crush — The first flavor with which I first reintroduced myself to Pocky was interesting, but by no means my favorite. The “crush” on the outside is comprised of Rice Krispy bits, strewn throughout “choco” cream coating. The underlying cookie is as crunchy, dependable and addictive as I remember it. Not bad, just not spectacular.

Getting a handle on the Pocky box!

2) Chocolate Marble — What first struck me about this variety of Pocky, as well as the other “Marble” varieties, was the incredible beauty of the chocolate on their surfaces. Ultra-smooth, with a pattern that ressembles a zebra’s stripes, these Pockys were sights to behold. But would they measure up in the taste department? I popped one into my mouth and found…they DID! The “chocolate” variety”, the first kind of marble I tasted, was my favorite of the three. Although no other flavorings were listed on the package, I could swear I tasted a hint of coffee. A quick glance over the ingredients list was enough to assure me I wasn’t going crazy – it’s far below “chocolate”, but “coffee powder” is on the list.

3) Rum Raisin Marble — These sticks, polished white chocolate shattered by ebony streaks, were the prettiest Pockys of all. They weren’t bad, at first taste, either; generally “sweet”, but not as good as the Chocolate Marble variety. When the aftertaste kicked in, though, a few “taste points” were knocked off, in my book. Apparently, the good people at Pocky HQ thought it would be a good idea to incorporate a strong “alcoholic” flavor into this variety. Considering the strength of this “rum” flavoring, I find it odd that there wasn’t a trace of “raisin”. Oh, well. Raisin isn’t my favorite flavor to start with, and if “rum” is any indication, it might have been pretty awful in a Pocky stick.

Pocky vs. Pokemon – The Epic Battle

4) Choco Caramel Marble — Very nice cookie — just about on par with Chocolate Marble. The “caramel” flavor tasted a bit fake, but it was chocolatey and sweet — and sweet is good, mmmkay?

5) Men’s Pocky — Super-thin Pocky cookies, surrounded by “Bitter Chocolate”. What makes these “Mens'” is beyond me. I actually know more women who like dark chocolate than men, and the chocolate enrobing these Pockys sports some serious cacao content — this isn’t stated outright on the box, but I’d estimate 65-70%. I’d also guess this is one of only two varieties using _real_ chocolate, rather than “choco” in its coating.

6) Chocolate Cream (also most commonly found flavor) — The second sort of Pocky coated with genuine chocolate, these are thin cookies in the style of “Mens'” Pocky. Dark chocolate is used in these cookies as well, but slightly less “dark” than in the Mens’. Decent, but not that interesting after you eat two or three. Quite feminine I may be, but I preferred the Mens’ variety.

7) Mini Almond Crush — I noticed after already making the purchase that these weren’t genuine Pockys. They’re made by Meiji, but looking at the package, you’d never know. Frankly, these short, chunky beauties are adorable to behold, and delightful to taste and feel on your tongue. They contain at least as much chocolate as cookie per stick, and each cookie contains a high concentration of almonds. As a result, the taste is nutty. I really liked these and would buy them again in an instant.

8) Coconut — This cookie reminds me, in flavor, of another childhood treat — one from earlier in my youth than Pocky. Does anyone remember the Girlscouts “Samoa” cookies? If you liked those tropical delights, you’ll adore these. There’s a lot of coconut flavor to be found here. If you don’t like coconut, though, you might want to skip these. I, personally, enjoyed them.

9) Brazilian Pudding — I’ll tell you a secret — shhh! — I have no clue what “Brazilian Pudding” is. However, judging by the flavor of this Pocky, I’ll have to order the dish if it ever pops up at a local restaurant. I’m guessing it’s something like Creme Caramel, because that’s what the taste reminds me of — a perfect mixture of vanilla and caramel custard. Magnifico!! My favorite pocky — period.

Got milk?

10) Milky White — Thick Pocky cookies coated with simple, creamy white chocolate. You can really taste the dairy in this coating, and I really like this kind of flavor. One of my favorites.

11) Strawberry — Similar to the Milky White in terms of thickness of the cookies and coating. Unfortunately, the strawberry coating wasn’t nearly as yummy as the deliciously simple “milky white”, and the little specks of “strawberry” throughout made the taste more “bizarre” and “unnatural” than “authentic”.

12) Blueberry — The last flavor sampled. This flavor was better than the strawberry variety. It had a definate scent of blueberry, if only a vague taste. Creamy and slightly fruity, I can imagine this would go well with my morning coffee.

Survey Says? Pocky are pretty great as snacks. You have to be in a certain mood to enjoy them to the fullest extent. Without a doubt, Pocky Sticks will works better to satisfy a cookie or general “sweet snack” craving than a specific “chocolate” craving. Truth be told, they’re best enjoyed while curled up witha good manga, editing an anime music video, or otherwise nurturing your inner otaku. But they’re overall _far_ above average on the yumminess spectrum, and a snack I’m glad I took time out to revisit.

I leave you with a poetic dedication to my long-standing Pocky love affair. Here’s

The Twelve Days of OhayoCon

On the first day of OhayoCon, my true love gave to me a Crunchy Pocky stirring my coffee!

On the second day of OhayoCon, my true love gave to me…a “V” of marble Pockys and a Crunchy Pocky stirring my coffee!

On the third day of OhayoCon, my true love gave to me…three Pockys in a hole, a “V” of marble Pockys, and a Crunchy Pocky stirring my coffee!

On the fourth day of OhayoCon, my true love gave to me…four Pockys in the path of a bear, three Pockys in a hole, a “V” of marble Pockys, and a Crunchy Pocky stirring my coffee!

On the fifth day of OhayoCon, my true love gave to me…a Men’s Pooooocky “Ni”! Four Pockys in the path of a bear, three Pockys in a hole, a “V” of marble Pockys”…and a Crunchy Pocky stirring my coffee!

On the sixth day of OhayoCon, my true love gave to me…a PockyMan with a cane, a Men’s…Poooocky “Ni”! Four Pockys in the path of a bear, three Pockys in a hole, a “V” of marble Pockys…and a Crunchy Pocky stirring my coffee!

On the seventh day of OhayoCon, my true love gave to me…a Cococat-of-Seven-Tails, a PockyMan with a cane, a Men’s…Pooooocky “Ni”! Four Pockys in the path of a bear, three Pockys in a hole, a “V” of marble Pockys…and a Crunchy Pocky stirring my coffee!

On the eighth day of OhayoCon, my true love gave to me…Eight PuddingPockys in my keyboard, a Cococat-of-Seven-Tails, a PockyMan with a cane, a Men’s…Pooooocky “Ni”! Four Pockys in the path of a bear, three Pockys in a hole, a “V” of marble Pockys…and a Crunchy Pocky stirring my coffee!

On the ninth day of OhayoCon, my true love gave to me…a Nine-branched Milky tree, Eight PuddingPockys in my keyboard, a Cococat-of-Seven-Tails, a PockyMan with a cane, a Men’s…Poooooocky “Ni”! Four Pockys in the path of a bear, three Pockys in a hole, a “V” of marble Pockys…and a Crunchy Pocky stirring my coffee!

On the tenth day of OhayoCon, my true love gave to me…Ten Top-of-TV Pockys, a Nine-branched Milky tree, Eight PuddingPockys in my keyboard, a Cococat-of-Seven-Tails, a PockyMan with a cane, a Men’s…Poooooocky “Ni”! Four Pockys in the path of a bear, three Pockys in a hole, a “V” of marble Pockys…and a Crunchy Pocky stirring my coffee!

On the eleventh day of OhayoCon, my true love gave to me a Very Blueberry Bookshelf, Ten Top-of-TV Pockys, a Nine-branched Milky tree, Eight PuddingPockys in my keyboard, a Cococat-of-Seven-Tails, a PockyMan with a cane, a Men’s…Pooooocky “Ni”! Four Pockys in the path of a bear, three Pockys in a hole, a “V” of marble pockys…and a Crunchy Pocky stirring my coffee!

On the twelth day of OhayoCon, my true love gave to me…Tons of Mini-Almond sticks, a Very Blueberry Bookshelf, Ten Top-of-TV Pockys, a Nine-branched Milky tree, Eight PuddingPockys in my keyboard, a Cococat-of-Seven-Tails, a PockyMan with a cane, a Men’s….Pooooooocky “Ni”! Four Pockys in the path of a bear, three Pockys in a hole, a “V” of marble Pockys…and a Crunchy Pocky stirring my coffee!!

Thank you. Thank you very much.

~~By Rachel~~

Room Candy – always yummy!

I’m baaaaaack! Did you miss me? I know, I missed you too!

Already; enough with the silliness. Let’s get back to the yummy at hand. My trip back to Indonesia was, as expected, highlighted by meal after meal of all the well known Indonesian dishes I loved growing up there. Now, for those of you who haven’t visited Indonesia yet, the country is smack in the middle of the equator, which means that the weather is for the most part unbearably hot and humid. To compensate for this, Indonesians pile on extra spices and rich ingredients to each dish to intensify the flavor. If it’s not extra sugar, it’s bathed in coconut milk (I just checked the caloric content, and it’s about 500 calories per cup – yikes!), more coconut milk, deep fried, soaked in butter, and just for variety’s sake, covered in crunchy coconut bits which I’m sure is deep fried in pure butter! And I’m just talking about the bite-sized dessert snacks!

Anyway, news of my arrival spread amongst my Mom’s female friends, most of whom can cook up a storm, so new dishes were being sent to our house daily. Oh, the torture! :) Here’s one from Auntie Bobo that I particularly loved – a dessert called Kolak.

Pop quiz: Class, what’s that milky liquid you see? Why yes, it’s coconut milk sweetened with palm sugar! The orange balls are sweet potato dumplings, the gray ones are tapioca dumplings, pieces of jackfruit, and two varieties of attap seeds (oval jelly like fruits from mangroove palm trees) – all swimming happily together in tropical harmony. Well, you can’t just photograph a tropical dessert without some suggestion of water and palm trees in the background, right? So I went into amateur shutterbug mode and decided to do a Bali-style shoot. I know, I’m totally obsessed with photography right now, and felt the need to bring along my trip not just my Canon DSRL, but also an additional macro lens, a tripod, my point- and-shoot Canon Powershot, as well as a new camera I bought my sister. The tripod was stowed along with my luggage, but the rest I carried with me on the plane, so I was getting a lot of odd looks by the security personnel when I put my carry on bag through the xray machine. But now that I’m looking back at the magic of the Kolak forever captured in a picture, it was all well worth it!

Where was I? Oh yes, the Bali-style picture. We’re lucky that our house in Indonesia has a pool with a balcony right above it, so I set the bowl of Kolak gently on the edge of the balcony and started shooting.

That’s not exactly a palm tree in the background, but it’s still foliage nonetheless! Hmmm, something is still missing. I know, I’m missing a flower! So a few minutes of tearing through the garden later, I present to you the final masterpiece.

Tropical enough for you? :)

I love how the hibiscus matched the sweet potato balls, and it’s a version of hibiscus I usually don’t see.

From what I read, hibiscus flowers are also edible.

Thanks, Auntie Bobo! The Kolak was definitely a labor of love, and I ate it up very lovingly!

I’ll post more pictures of my adventures in Indonesia in the coming days.


Room Candy – always yummy!

When people meet me for the first time and hear that my company is called Room Candy, the first question they always ask is, “Oh, so you sell candy?”. I would then have to explain to them sheepishly that it’s actually a dog toy/accessories company, and follow it up with my usual punch line – “Well, I wish I sell candy too!” Brian Pipa, founder of, probably gets the same kind of question every time people hear about his site for the first time, and he has a way cooler answer than mine because even though he doesn’t sell any candy on his site, he and his team of writers get to write about candy on the site every day. Imagine that – a whole site dedicated to the finest food group of all (in my humble opinion!) – candy!

Let’s get to know the Internet version of Willy Wonka, shall we?

Linny (imitating Diane Sawyer’s voice badly): Brian, what was your favorite childhood candy? What is it now?

Brian: Atomic Fireballs. Love them! Now, it’s much harder to say. I have been able to try SOOOO many candies since starting Candy Addict. it’s hard to pick just one. Twix Java, Cinnamon Twizzlers, and Giant Chewy Nerds stand out though.

Image source: Ferrara Pan

Old packaging of Atomic Fireballs. They’ll set your mouth on fire!

Cinnamon Twizzlers.

Twix Java. I used to be uber fanatical about the regular Twix candy – I will have to try this version too!

The easter version of Chewy Nerds. These somehow look like colored dinosaur eggs to me.

Linny: How do people usually respond when they learn that you get to eat candy for a living?

Brian: Well, it’s not really for a living. I have a real 9-5 day job as a software engineer, but when people find out about my “hobby” they usually are very impressed when I tell them about all the free candy I get. :)

Linny: If you can invent your own candy, what would it look and taste like?

Brian: Wow – good question. I’d say something with chocolate, pecans, and caramel. Oh wait, that’s a Turtle isn’t it? I don’t know. I prefer to just try all the candy that other people invent.

Check out this gourmet Belgian chocolate turtle fudge available on! I’m sure Brian would approve of this one!

(Note to self: never write a blog post about candy on an empty stomach because it’s making me very cranky for some candy!)

Linny: Do you think men and women have distinct preferences when it comes to the kinds of candy they eat? (e.g. women liking chocolate type candy, men liking more sweet/sour types)

Brian: I don’t think so. I think tastes vary per person equally regardless of gender. Sweet, sour, chocolate, etc – it doesn’t matter. The cool thing about candy is that EVERYONE likes some type of candy.

Linny: What trends do you see in candy for this year?

Brian: Energy candy is still big and candy that is “healthy” – I don’t see either of those trends slowing down any time soon.

Healthy candy? Hmmm, that sounds like an oxymoron to me, but come to think of it, chocolate is known for its antioxidant properties, nuts are rich in protein, and sugar in general makes me mentally healthy and happy, so I’d have to argue that all kinds of candy is healthy for you if taken in moderation! :)

Extra yummy: Aside from the site, Brian has also recently launched another site called, where (you guessed it) you can read up on reviews of various snacks. I don’t know about you, but I’m planning on visiting those two sites before I go to bed every night – that way, I can always end my day on a sweet note!


Room Candy – always yummy!

I came across this photo today about a special limited Coca Cola Light packaging designed by Roberto Cavalli that will debut in Italy next month. Check out those jungle themes – meowsa! What was somewhat surprising to me was when I read through various blogs that were referencing the unique packaging, the blog comments were really divided between people who love the design and people who loathe the design. You know me – I personally love the jungle theme and would probably have bought a twelve pack of each kind if they were available here, but I can appreciate that the stripes and spots may be too much for some people. With that in mind, may I suggest a compromise?

JUMBO Pepe Toy

Pepe The Tiger

Ty The Tiger

Now you can choose either to go with the fizzy or the fuzzy! :)

P.S. If anybody is traveling to Italy in the next three months, could you please get me a bottle. Pretty please?


Room Candy – always yummy!

Cupcakes Ahoy!

August 13, 2008

I had Boston Market for din-din a few days ago (meatloaf, mashed potatoes, sweet potato casserole topped with oatmeal streusel and toasted marshmallows – yum!), and saw these packaged cupcakes by the counter.

Hello – Boston Market has cupcakes now? Fantastic, I’ll take a week’s worth of them!

If you notice, the folks at Corporate has taken the extra step of packing the cupcakes with an additional cardboard piece that keeps these frosted delights intact even with my erratic driving, which has been known to destroy the structural integrity of pristine looking dessert, especially of the cake variety. Even the single cupcake pack comes in a plastic box that has a special shaped bottom that cradles the cupcake such that it stays put. You get extra brownie points (pun intended) for that, oh Boston Market!

The two flavors available are Death By Chocolate and Neapolitan. Here’s a little heads up – make sure you arm yourself with a very tall glass of milk to go with these cupcakes because when I first bit into the chocolate cupcake, I nearly went into a sugar/chocolate induced shock. If you’ve had Boston Market’s chocolate cake before, that’s what the chocolate cupcake tasted like – minus the additional 260 calories per serving compared to the sliced cake version. A cupcake that is cute and chocolatey? I think I just found a new staple the next time I do my Boston Market night!

I had the Neapolitan cupcake the day after, and spent a few minutes beforehand gazing dreamily into the beautiful layers of pink/mint green frosting on top of the chocolate cupcake base. I wonder if these frosting tops were done by hand or with a machine?

I couldn’t really taste any mint flavoring (or is it pistachio for the green?) in the frosting, but it still complemented the chocolate cupcake on the bottom very nicely. And such a witty take on the Neapolitan ice cream.

Photo credit: wikipedia

Look, we have our versions of the Neapolitan as well!

Neapolitan ice cream charm

Chocolate+Strawberry+Vanilla cupcake toys = the Room Candy Neapolitan cupcake trio!


Room Candy – always yummy!

Answer: They eat whatever bugs them!

Yes, I still chuckle at jokes written for fifth graders!

We just got our new JUMBO frog dog toy shipment today, and I thought it would be fun to celebrate the green theme by trying out different drinks that are…well, green!

To be honest, I’ve been looking forward to this tasting experiment for a couple of weeks ever since I spotted this particular drink at a Vietnamese bakery.

Drink #1 – Seaweed jelly drink with mystery fruit pieces. After I did some research online, it turns out that these tiny egg like pods are basil seeds. Not quite the same basil that you chop up and sprinkle over your spaghetti – these basil seeds are from an Asian variety whereby the seeds’ outer layer turns into a gelatinous texture when soaked in water.

Okay, this is not exactly green, but I give it a perfect score for a drink that is just plain crazy and cool – doesn’t that remind you of frog eggs swimming in a dark murky pond? Check out this picture of real frog eggs.

Photo credit: wikipedia

While looking for frog egg pictures, I read that frogs can lay up to 4000 eggs at one time. Whoa – how do all those eggs fit in the Mama frog before she lays them? I’ll have to look into that! So what does a drink that looks like murky pond water and frog eggs taste like, you ask? It’s actually quite good! If you’ve never had seaweed jelly before, it basically tastes like jello made out of strong tea with an herb-like aftertaste. The basil seeds, which I never had before, tasted like micro jelly balls with a crunchy pit center. I’m sure there are many folks out there who just slurp the basil seeds up and swallow them whole, but my preferred method was to actually try to chew on them for a bit to experience the crunch of the individual seeds – not that they need to be broken down into tinier pieces, but it’s the same kind of fun that I get when I pop the individual bubbles on bubble wrapping!

Drink #2 – Honeydew slush with tapioca (boba) balls. This one’s pretty tame in taste and color compared to the previous one. I’m going to need something much, much greener!

Drink #3. Be careful what you wish for! I don’t quite know what makes up this green liquid, but man does it taste awfully grassy! I’ve had wheatgrass shots at Jamba Juice, and it’s one thing to down a tiny shot of grass juice, but to have an iced 16 oz worth of it is just a little too much green for me!

All in all, this was an awfully fun way to spend an afternoon. I’ll probably have to repeat this “experiment” with other colored drinks/dessert soon. Let me see, what toys do we have that is chocolate in color…


Room Candy – always yummy!

Mike and Ike – I Like!

August 5, 2008

I love checking out the candy aisle of any supermarket because not only are the packaging of the various sweets usually a happy hue, the names are often equally happy sounding. Even if I don’t end up buying anything, it’s always fun to browse through all the eye candy (obvious pun intended!).

Such was not the case today, as I couldn’t resist these Mike and Ike boxed candy – I’ve never tried them before, but from the pictures on the box, the candy looked like jumbo colored tic tacs, or jumbo donut sprinkles. I’m sold!

Here’s a little exercise in rhyming and alliterations (my high school literature class coming back to haunt me): Mike and Ike – I like, I like!

Tropical Typhoon,

Tangy Twister, Berry Blast?

Cute Colored Candy!

See that – that’s a combo move with alliteration in the form of a haiku. Hah! Double score for dorky me!

Turns out the candy pieces were not as uniformly oblong as they looked on the packaging, although they sure were quite colorful. See if you can guess which flavors these candy are just based on the color.

Group 1

Group 2

Group 3

Group 4 – This one’s pretty obvious!

Group 5

Oki dokie, did you write down your guesses?

Group 1 is Tropical Twister, Group 2 is Tropical Typhoon, Group 3 is Original Fruits, Group 4 is Jolly Joes and Group 5 is Berry Blast. I’m intrigued that with the exception of the all-grape box, each box comes with five flavors, thus five distinct colors. For example, for the Tropical Twister, the flavors were raspberry (dark red), cherry (red), citrus ranch (orange), apple (green) and pineapple (yellow). I wonder if I can do a similar theme with our dog toys?

These are our Joey The Monkey toy, Green Applehead toy, Cherries Ahoy toy, Orangehead toy and Strawberry Shortcake toy. What should I call this grouping? Something that either rhymes or has alliteration? How about The Fabulous Fruity Fivesome? Or Frootie Tootie Soft and Chewy? I got it – it’s the Super Soft Squeaky Sweeties!


Room Candy – always yummy!

I must be coming down with a case of jungle fever because I can’t stop thinking about jungle animals! Granted, we also got another shipment of jungle-themed toys yesterday (photos coming soon!), so that’s probably why I have jungle animals in my mind.

Anyway, I’ve never tried animal crackers before even though I’ve seen the cookies in the cookie aisle, so I thought this is a good time to give it a try because I’m curious as to how food companies shape their cookies into jungle animal shapes. Maybe I’ll get an idea as to what animal to do next for our toy line!

The first type of animal crackers I bought is the Barnum’s Animal Crackers, which I read is the most famous and longest produced (since 1902!).

What great packaging! It’s like a circus-to-go box complete with a string handle on top.

Between the clever packaging and those pictures of animals with their babies, how can you say no?

I don’t know about you, but I can almost hear circus music in the background just by looking at these pictures!

These are the crackers/cookies that I have in the box I bought. I’m actually surprised at the variety of animals in there for such a small box. The details were also surprisingly good – the only cookie that kind of came out a little mushed is the tiger on the very top. Taste wise, it’s like eating into a thin lemon cookie. I could only bring myself to eat the ones that were already broken in the box because I felt somewhat bad biting into a cookie shaped like an animal. Yeah, I tend to over analyze everything!

The second bag of animal crackers I bought is the Stauffer’s brand, which I believe is also a classic.

They also have these packaged in a similar box-with-string a la Barnum’s Animal Crackers that you can view on their site.

There are supposedly 13 different animals, although I could only find 12 styles in my bag. Here are the first 11 displayed together. These crackers are a little more minimalistic in shape with a few edgings on each cracker. Look, there’s even a cat in there too (bottom row, middle cracker). The last shape I found is the elephant, and the two I found in the bag didn’t quite come out so good.

Trunks are hard to bake!

The Stouffer’s animal crackers remind me a lot of cave paintings of animals.

Food imitating art?

The last box I got is Mother’s Cookies.

Side 1: Landscape version of packaging

Side 2: Portrait version of packaging. Two ways to merchandise the same box? Very smart!

The animals on the box look like they are floating up toward the sky, so here’s a shot of the box against real sky.

Look, up in the sky! It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s animal cookies!

Wow, the pink icing is really quite pink! The sugar coating is also quite thick, so the animals are harder to differentiate. I could only find what looked to me like a hippo, a lion, an elephant and a camel.

There were also quite a few odd shaped cookies that are open to interpretation. What do you think these are supposed to be?

I see a fat wombat on the left and an anteater on the right.


Room Candy – always yummy!