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I was really excited when I saw this feature of the Brooklyn based confectioner The Salty Road taffy company. A woman kicking ass in a male dominated profession, raising the art of something as simple and low-brow as salt water taffy? I knew two things, one – I needed to share this with you guys, and two – I need to try some of that taffy.
After looking around on their website a bit, I decided to buy a few of their “baby boxes” so I could try more flavors and have less to give away just in case I didn’t care for the flavor. After some needlessly complicated decision making, I selected my four flavors and a few days later I got this delightful little package in the mail.
To do an accurate sampling of the offerings, I selected two classic taffy flavors: Vanilla Bean & Strawberries and Cream, and two unusual flavors: Salted S’mores & Roasted Corn with Black Pepper. Andy and I tried all of them the day they came in and we had a mix of reactions. First of all, it wasn’t Andy’s thing, he is a bit salt sensitive and the crystals of sea salt proved to be a bit much for his personal taste. Me on the other hand, it was one of the big selling points on these tiny treats. My two favorites were the Salted S’mores and the Strawberries and Cream. The former was everything you want from the beloved campfire treat and the smoke element really made it something special. The Strawberries and Cream was a grown-up version of one of my all time favorite taffy flavors. There was a tang to the natural strawberry flavor that drove home the fact that this was made with real strawberries instead of flavored extract. The Vanilla Bean and the Roasted Corn with Black Pepper were perfectly fine, but not quite special enough to be repurchased in my next order.
Admittedly, I was a bit skeptical when I placed my order. Sure they were featured by Bon Appetit, but it’s taffy – how special can it be? But The Salty Road absolutely delivered. So much so that I am toying with the idea of buying a bunch of the baby boxes as stocking stuffers for friends and family, and I keeping my fingers crossed that there will be some sort of special holiday flavor that I can try out when I do.
On our recent trip to Savannah, Andy and I discovered Chocolat by Adam Turoni. According to the company website, they boast two locations in the Historic District: one referred to as The Library and the other The Dining Room. We wound up at the flagship shop, The Dining Room, although after contemplating the map, we must have walked right by The Library location at least once, if not twice during the weekend.
After a quick look around to get the lay of the land, we quickly decided that we would absolutely have to try some of the truffles from the huge glass front cabinets against the wall, and I will admit when they handed me the silver tray to place my selected pieces on I felt pretty fancy. Well, as fancy as one can in yoga pants and a tank top, but you get the idea. As if the truffles weren’t enough, they had cleverly placed bell jars all over the shop offering specialty goods and services. And then there was the dining room table. Piled high with books, more bell jars, and delightful stacks and trays of all manner of cocoa infused treats. I forgot to take a picture of it, but I also purchased the most beautiful molded chocolate piece that looked like an ornate key hole. It was dusted with edible gold powder and very Alice in Wonderland-y. As I am sure you have guessed by now, Andy and I now have another “must-see” place to hit on our future Savannah trips. Next time I fully intend to find and visit the second location, you know, just for the sake of finding the absolute best spot of get our candy from.
As I mentioned before, Andy and I don’t do Valentines Day in the most traditional way. Heck, this year he spent most of it gaming while I was at lunch and the movies with my friends. Gift-wise this year, we did end up doing a take on the traditional flowers and chocolates. Andy bought me two floral prints for my office, and he ordered some quirky candy bars that I wanted to try. Okay, actually I did the ordering, but I told him they would cover the “candy” aspect of the holiday. Compartés has so many creative flavors I had a rough time figuring out which of the bars I wanted to try the most. I scrolled through the website adding and deleting things from my cart until I finally decided to be a little more strategic about my approach. Criteria one: I wanted to try one of each of their white, milk, and dark bars. Criteria two: it has to be a flavor I hadn’t tried before. This made things a bit easier, and I quickly narrowed things down to my top three choices: Cereal Bowl, Donuts & Coffee, and Biscuits & Honey.
Donuts & Coffee – As promised, this milk chocolate based bar had both donut pieces and coffee grounds, but I was really pleased with the flavor balance. The first thing I tasted when biting in was the donuts pieces; the coffee, while present, wasn’t over powering and hit your more on the finish. Andy summed it up pretty well by calling it the 9am meeting candy.
Biscuits & Honey – I can’t think of how to say this without sounding prudish, but I was completely shocked by the packaging on this bar. I was looking at it thinking “aww, look and piggy and rooster” which quickly turned into “oh look people, wait…what are those people doing to each other?! No, no, no! Not on the candy bar!!!” It’s funny now, but I honestly wasn’t prepared. As for flavor, this dark chocolate bar felt like the most sophisticated paring of the lot. The biscuits were crisp and crumbly, and the soft honey sweetness was lovely with the bitterness of the dark chocolate.
Cereal Bowl – funnest candy bar I’ve ever had. It was like eating a childhood Saturday morning. The white chocolate with the cereal pieces really was evocative of the way the cereal bowl milk tasted when you’d sneak back into the kitchen in between cartoon episodes to add another round of Lucky Charms to your left over milk. So much win.
Andy and I are slowly working our way through the three bars (yes, I am being magnanimous and sharing), but I am already thinking about how I can order some more to try. Maybe for my birthday?
The product pictures of the actual candy are from the Compartés website.
While my mom was in town, Andy and I decided to check out a local joint called Lofty Pursuits. Lofty Pursuits is a combination old fashion soda fountain and toy store. They also make their own candy: old-fashioned Victorian hand pulled candy to be exact. It was so much fun we ended up going 3 times during her visit.
Our first trip was on a Sunday. We went simply for ice cream. Yes, the toy store was cool, and we did plan on checking it out, but mostly it was crazy hot outside, and we really really wanted some delicious local hand dipped ice cream.
While we were perusing the ice cream selection, we noticed the candy counter and asked if they ever did candy making demonstrations. They do, but they were every Friday night from 4:30-9, so we’d missed the show for that week. My mom quickly put in her bid that we check out the next show. Of course, I agreed.
As promised, we drove back the next Friday, purchased our ice cream, and watched entranced as the owner and his apprentice turned giant pots of boiling sugar into custom wedding candies. Both were natural showmen, explaining the process, answering questions, cracking jokes, and, most importantly, offering samples.
I do need to take a moment and tell you about the ice cream. I went in a little skeptical, but it was really, really good. Since we made three visits, we got to try a few different flavors as well as note that, while a few of the most popular flavors were always there, they kept up a rotation of new flavors to keep things interesting for the customers. Plus, they had vegan ice cream and vegan ganache, which was perfect for someone who tries to keep her dairy intake to a minimum. We will most definitely be going back, and we’ll be taking any visiting family and friends with us.
The Bucior household decided to go a little un-tradtional for our Easter gifts this year. Andy got a special cooling pillow (from me) and a bag of Starwars themed candy (from my mom). My mom got a giant bag of pistachios, Cheetos, Thin Mints and stationary. For me there was cd holder and a cd (from Andy), and from my Mom, a clean kitchen and some wonderful chocolates from French Broad Chocolates, a charming little shop in Asheville, NC.
My mom and my brother’s fiancé Dwight put this truffle box together when they had their pre-Easter lunch date last week. I haven’t tried them yet, there were a lot of holiday baked goods to be consumed this weekend, but I think think a truffle or two might be just right for dessert tonight. And I am thinking a chocolate stop might be in order when Andy and I go to Asheville in August.