Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Red Velvet Chips Ahoy!

One thing my husband has yet to adjust to/appreciate in America is our on-shelf cookies. He thinks they're too sweet (he's right) and are not worth the calories (he's wrong). So I know that when I buy a box of Oreos, or Chips Ahoy, or whatever - I know they're all mine. Which is both good and bad, because I also think on-the-shelf American cookies are really sweet, and therefore not something I want to eat an entire box of. That's what is keeping me from buying the Key Lime Pie Oreos - hear me, Nabisco? Maybe it's time to finally release just single rolls of the limited editions, huh? Your missing out on the illustrious Creamy Steaks purchasing market. How I fight against the sweetness, however, is by coupling them with black coffee.

So yes, I absolutely suggest trying these Red Velvet Chips Ahoy! with a hot mug of black coffee because they're very sweet. However, they're also very tasty.

The cookie base itself does have the delicate cocoa tones of a classic red velvet cake, and is slightly bittersweet. It's got the classic chewy Chips Ahoy! texture that's super moist and just the slightest bit mealy - not in an unpleasant way, just in a very 'processed cookie' way.

The cream cheese chips are mostly creamy, with a hint of vanilla - frankly, I think they're just white chips with some sweetness. The cheesiness & tang will ultimately come from the filling, which is a firm cream cheese style frosting. It's a very thin layer, but the taste is strong enough to come through and be identifiable cream cheese frosting.

While they're very nice, as a person facing the idea of having to chomp through the whole package by myself...well, I don't see that as a cause for celebration as I would with plain crunchy Chips Ahoy!, for example. If you have a spouse who can stomach sweets or better yet, kids, then this is a nice pick up. If you're a single person you'll probably enjoy the first serving but then wonder what you're doing with yourself as you stare down another 20 or so cookies.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

HoneyCreme USA

I'm alive! I've just got a new job is all - and as with all my jobs, it saps a lot of my writing energy, since it is based around...writing on a computer. It's cool, exciting work, but it doesn't necessarily leave a lot of desire to write in my leisure time.

Also, while San Francisco is a nice place to live in a lot of ways, you may be surprised to hear they just don't have the limited editions like middle America has. The new Blueberry Pie Oreos taunt me, the Fruity Crisp Oreos are laughing my face...and instead I'm cruising through the snack aisle faced with $8 chocolate bars and more plain Ghirardelli squares than I can shake a stick at.

They also have traditional & regional things that I just don't feel like anyone would be that interested in hearing about, like Mother's brand taffy sandwich cookies. Number one, they sound kind of gross to me. Number two, if you won't be able to find it or even order it online, do you really want to hear about it? ...Then again, today's review won't be easy to find for anyone outside of Singapore, China, or San Francisco...so....well, this one is unique enough to make up for that.

HoneyCreme is a chain from either Korea or Taiwan (really difficult to find specifics on this in English) specializing in 'Korean style' soft serve ice cream & honey based toppings. I've heard a bit about how massive soft serve is in Korea, it's apparently having a real moment throughout the Asia Pacific region. I've always been a fan of soft serve, see my review of Twirl & Dip, one of my first in San Francisco, for proof.

What I wasn't sure about, however, was how Korean style may differ from plain ol' American soft serve. I know that 'milk' as a flavor is utilized way more in Asian countries, so I expected it to perhaps be along those lines.

Well, I wasn't wrong - but it's so much more delicious than just ice milk!

Consider the richness of whole milk or cream, the sort of buttery sweet flavor that accompanies them. Now, top it with clear & warming honey. It's really an awesome sensation. So rich, with very little 'vanilla' to speak of, but you'll be surprised by how flavorful it is just being rich milk.

The toppings include: honey swirl, honeycomb, chocolate beans, salted dark chocolate sauce, cotton candy, affogato, mixed grains, and popcorn. Mixed grains is a powder, can't say what exactly it is, but I think it may be misu, a Korean mix of grains that is used to make a sweet & nutritious drink. Makes me think of malt powder, but I really have no clue as I've never tried it.

As you can see I ordered mine with the honey swirl topping, and I'd definitely recommend it. The dark chocolate sauce also looked good, but unless you're going for a photo opportunity I'd probably pass on the honeycomb (literally a chunk of honeycomb, no sauce accompaniment) and even, sadly, the cotton candy topped version. It's a cool idea, and it looks amazing, but I think it would be hard to actually eat and would contribute little to the soft serve.

There was a bit of seating in the cafe, just a long bench by the window but it could probably sit maybe 6 people max?

I think I paid a little over $4.00 for this, and it's not a bad deal really. It's a fair sized portion and a high quality soft serve, and if you're in San Francisco you've got to be used to these prices by now, right?