All posts tagged: taste test

candy.

I might too old for Trick or Treating, but I’m never too old for candy. Chef Tova Sterling in partnership with Yelp Central Jersey hosted a candy tasting event: Candy Around the World! We had the option to purchase a candy sampler pack and have it shipped in time for the hang out. I thought it would just be a candy tasting but it was much more! Chef Tova had a fun candy history presentation prepared for us, and hosted candy trivia. I learned so much! Taste test time! Aldama Cajeta from Mexico — Sugar was introduced to the Philippines from Indonesia; then Spain learned about it from the Philippines and brought it over to Mexico. Cajeta was born! White Rabbit Milk Candy from China — This candy has a cult following. It’s wrapped in rice paper; I used to eat it as a kid and would tell my classmates that I was eating paper. They thought I was strange. Roshen Milky Splash from Ukraine — So creamy. So glad Chef Tova gave us two …

coffee and toast.

Featuring San Diego trip inspo seems appropriate this week because my nephew and I scored Comic Con SD 2019 tickets this weekend! We’ve got to get some touristing in there, too, so we’ll be planning some stops. In the meantime, here’s a coffee shop and avocado toast round up from my last visit. How many avocado toasts can I eat in one weekend? The answer is “at least three”! Our first stop after landing in San Diego was Achilles Coffee Roasters. Though I wasn’t crazy for their avocado toast, Achilles has one of the best chai lattes I’ve ever had. They make their own masala chai blend and top it with cinnamon. Also, they serve oat milk! This is definite ‘must come back again’ spot. Later that day whilst Hubby was reporting for groomsman duties, I headed to Better Buzz Coffee for a snack and some caffeine. I tried the 3 Seed Avocado toast which was packed with flavor, and tons of chia seeds. It was super filling; I saved half for a midnight snack. …

chai this; chai that.

When in Portland, try all the chai! First up: Seastar Bakery‘s Golden Chai with hazelnut milk, an herbal tisane made with turmeric, ginger, chamomile, citrus, and honey. This was unlike any beverage I’ve ever had. The citrus surprisingly worked really well in the tisane and the turmeric was not overpowering. It was by far my favorite beverage on this trip, and quite possibly from any bakery/cafe I’ve visited. Next up, Prasad‘s dirty chai with coconut mylk, a housemade masala chai blend with a shot of cold-press coffee, sweetened with honey. It was a little sour and a little sweet, but mostly had warm notes from the spices. To wrap up the day, we stopped at Tea Chai Te for…even more tea! Hers and his: Velvet milk oolong with hemp milk and almond milk tea with soy milk and mango popping boba. A lovely afternoon tea break. The next day, we started our morning with Pip’s Original Doughnuts. They serve their chai by the glass and by the flight. Whaaaat? I’m not a fan of beer flights, and …

stumptown.

For our first Portland stop we headed to Stumptown HQ for a coffee tasting which I then learned was actually a “cupping” session. Not a fan, but exciting, nonetheless. We learned how the pro coffee bean buyers smell, taste, and experience coffee beans in a blind test. I learned the difference between fragrance and aroma. Fancy. We also had a lesson in direct trade and fair market prices. After smelling the freshly ground beans and the brewing coffee, we each got a spoon and a spittoon and slurped our way down the tasting line, rinsing our used spoons in warm water between each taste. The whole thing was a germaphobe’s nightmare (and I won’t go into detail), but I participated still since I wanted the full experience. (Totally monitoring myself for potential contagious diseases now.) But back to the coffee. We tried five kinds of beans which are roasted in house at HQ. Honestly, it was really hard to focus on the fragrance, aroma, and taste when I was trying mostly to get the cupping technique …

pocky vs. pocky.

I love me some Pocky. Don’t believe me? Well, here I am with a giant balloon Pocky that I got for free with Pocky purchase. Do you believe me now? My favorite flavor: PANDA. Well, actually they are cookies & cream flavored with a panda on the box. And while at the market to pick up some Panda Pocky, I discovered the non-Panda-on-the-box cookies & cream Pocky and wondered what the difference could be. I had to do a taste test! First off, the price was the same. The Panda Pocky is made in Japan; the other made in Thailand. Packaging-wise, Panda Pocky wins. The plastic tears much easier…and there are happy pandas on the wrapper. And inside, non-Panda Pocky had ten more sticks. Side by side, you can see that the Thai version (left) is thinner and longer than the Japanese version (right). The Thai Pocky biscuit is lighter in color and the cream has a tan hue. The cookie bits were similarly sized and distributed. Let’s eat them! The Thai cookies & cream was definitely sweeter, more …