Tuesday, October 11, 2011

*Evansville, IN, USA Fall Festival!* ~Stocky's Largest Review~

My Largest Review ... Evansville Fall Festival, Evansville, INDIANA, USA
Hey there What's Stocky Eating fans!! It's tiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiime! Finally I unveil the beast that I can only describe as AWESOME! For a bit of history and some quick facts about the Fall Festival, here we go! Supposedly started back in 1921 this festival has meant great food and great prices, with a cause. Another lesser, but still known fact about the festival is that it is a fundraiser for most organizations and vendors. You'll have schools, zoos, charities, boy scout troops, churches, colleges, fraternities, fire departments and many others I'm leaving out. Some food carts/trailers you see have contracted out their food to local restaurants, like the local boy scouts usually use a local Asian restaurant.

Now on to the FUN PART !!! You'll see everything from Fried catfish and alligator to a brain sandwich ... Also even things like fried kool-aid to fried Oreos. Anyway, this festival is supposedly the 2nd largest street festival in the USA, second only to Mardi Gras. Making this the third time that I've attended this festival, I can truly appreciate the atmosphere, as there are food trailers as far as the eye can see. If you'd like to see more coverage and or learn more about the festival as a whole, visit http://www.nutclub.org. There you can find a bunch of relevant information as well as a "munchie map" to give you a taste of what I could have tried. There is just so much to see, do, eat, and drink!
Yes, Piggy Toes...
So my first topic I'll get out of the way is the odd, strange, and to most people, unappetizing foods. First up is pictured above, pigs feet... I've never had, and have no intention in eating them. Yes I've seen them many many times on deli counters, but never have actually had a desire to want even a taste. Luckily there are other odd foods I have actually tried. Last year I had a chance to try a deep fried Oreo, not super strange, but probably among the BEST fried concoctions anyone has ever thought up.

Yeah, never going to get me on this one

2 years ago, I had a chance to try a donut sandwich, which was just 'odd.' Mainly due to the sweetness of the donut bun. Again, not that it was bad, it's just that they were all pre-made and wrapped in foil, so they were soggy AND sweet... 2 not so good things, when combined. Also, I still had a nibble of a brain sandwich, pig brain. I will never, ever ever order this again, it's not that it's bad tasting... I'd say it was actually pretty good. However it's more like 'mind over matter'... yes pun intended. Lastly, the brain sandwiches are among the most expensive options, consistently, around $6 per sandwich. Enough about past experiences, let's get down to the foods I ate this year.
Sorry for the dark picture, but these are CHURRO CHIPS
Well, whilst wading through a caravan full of food options, what did I pick first? Yeah dessert first!!! Churro Chips was my first order. I believe I paid around $3 maybe $3.50 for these chips. However, I really think they were a small bit over-priced. As these are just deep fried tortillas coated with cinnamon, sugar, and icing. They were served warm, and cooked up to order. My first bite was good, and admittedly, they tasted a bit 'stale', however, upon further investigation, they weren't. If you've ever deep fried soft tortilla's, they get a sort of 'stale' taste to them, but its crunchy still. Overall, I think they had a bit too much of the icing, and not enough of the dry spices. Again i'd say this is more preference based. As far as a 1-10 point scale, 8 out of 10, i'd recommend these, but not to everyone, since they were really sweet. However I balanced this sweetness with a nice thing of Apple Cider, which was excellent in it's own right.
Menu for My FAVORITE FRIED FOOD ... What is it?? Keep Reading!
For my second item that I tried, I had full intentions of eating another. However, my second item, was subsequently my last of the festival. This isn't such a bad thing, because it's probably one of the, if not THE best confection I've ever had! Ok without further ado, I chose.............. The Fried Klondike Bar! Yep, one of the more infamously sweet, and fattening foods at the whole festival. Let me tell you, on both those points, it did not disappoint. However, I will say in full disclosure my intention was to get the Fried Kool-Aid, but it would have taken 20 minutes to change and heat up the oil, and then cook the balls. Being in the middle of hundreds or thousands of people, I didn't want to wait even that long. So as a second option I went with a much larger, much more fattening food. Well anyway, I waited about 1-2 minutes for this item I paid $4 for... which was a great deal. On to the food, I'll include a picture below, but now many if anybody could tell you what the food was just from the picture. The actual item was served to me in a basket, with a spoon, topped with powdered sugar. Let me tell you, it was not only big looking, it just FELT dense. Hesitant on what is proper protocol in eating one of these, the first 'cut' into the dessert I was sold. Immediately upon sinking my spoon in, the luscious Klondike Ice cream mixed with melted chocolate from the shell poured out. Well let me tell you, it was an explosion of flavor. After the first bite, I was HOOKED, seriously hooked, I found myself eating faster and faster, since you'd get a rush of cool from the melted ice cream, then a warm burst from the crunchy batter. Somewhere around my 6th or 7th bite, I discovered 2 little intricacies about eating something like this. Brace yourself, this is a bit sick, but followed immediately by something yummy. The first thing that happened was I noticed mixed in with all this ice cream and chocolate was a nice ring of oil, at first I just dismissed it, but then I decided to maybe pour some of it out. Turns out, I estimate, there was maybe 4-5 ounces OR more oil I drained into the can. That said, I also noticed near the center, the ice cream was still solid or at least semi-solid. Now the heat was on as I wanted to get to all the little solid pieces before they melted. The semi solid ice cream was a welcome relief to something that was primarily mush, or syrup. Anyway, I would guess I finished this in a matter of minutes, and a few people were spectating even commented, asking if they knew I had eaten it too fast. The caveat to this, or maybe the trade off, is that after I discarded the dish it came in, immediately I felt myself sloooooowwwwwwww down. Literally I immediately became sluggish and I was just ... blah ! Anyway, I knew I was on my way out so I said, that should work I guess, as my last dish of this year. That said, I still give this item a 9.9 out of 10, a near perfect score. So there you have it, my wild card item of the festival. 
Here it is ... the mighty Fried Klondike Bar!
In conclusion, this festival spans over several days, includes music, and a bunch of other little entertainment bits... But you know the real reason why Stocky likes to go? The FOOD! Yeah, I tell you what, I doubt you or anyone could feasibly do or eat everything in one year. Thankfully some of the more popular items come back year over year, but now I think that the 'fried food mold' has been completely broken, if not shattered! If you're anywhere near the Evansville Indiana area, and are a fan of unique and ultimately unhealthy fatty foods, why haven't you been to the festival? Again, you're supporting local charities, schools and the like, so you know it goes to a great place, and you get a bunch of food options! Anyway, my writing hands are a bit sore, and I hope you enjoy all that I put into this one, it's been fun to write! Please COMMENT and let me know how I'm doing. Plus I have a facebook page, search for a group - What's Stocky Eating? -
A typical menu, I liked this one because of the BBQ Pork Parfait ... Next year maybe???

Thanks and happy eats,

Friday, October 7, 2011

Big announcement!

I will be doing my LARGEST review EVER... look for it soon. Here's a hint... its a really large street festival. Supposedly the second largest in USA!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Bounty Bar !! *Dark*

Moun... I mean Bounty DARK!

I know this is one of the shorter reviews I've done... but it's not a super complex food! For this review I've got something that is similar to an American Product... Mounds. Today I review Bounty by MARS. To be honest, I was just assuming it was something completely new, but little did I know, I'd be biting into some memories of other bars I've had before.

As I've noticed with numerous candies made from around the world, the chocolate and sugar quality is just... different? I don't know for sure if it's the shipping/importing, but hey it all adds to the experience. So anyway I unwrapped this guy, and yep, it's definitely dark chocolate. However, it's not really bitter like most 'dark' chocolates are. I wouldn't go so far and say it tastes like milk chocolate... rather a weaker yet satisfying compromise of the two... The filling itself was an incredible combination of sugar and a moist coconut! The filling itself tastes similar to that of a mounds or something like that. I did find that there is no bad aftertaste or a weird funk it leaves in your mouth, like most dark chocolate confections do.
I like the creative swirls of chocolate
All in all, as I said, it's something it appears I've had before... but not completely. Again it's not that it doesn't taste better... that's actually the opposite of what I meant. I could see myself getting this again, 9.5 out of 10.Either way, if you CAN somehow find it, let me know how you like it :)


Monday, October 3, 2011

AERO by Nestle!

Yummy Bubbles!
Well here I am reviewing ANOTHER UK specialty! This one is also from a recognizable brand, Nestle. So yeah, this is incredible how familiar yet different this product is. As I've noted in numerous previous reviews, foreign chocolate to this Westerner, tastes way different than your typical Hershey's Bar.

Regardless of how different this looks and even tastes, I'm always willing to try something new. Again it's not that this bar is the best I've ever had, but it is unique. Let me preface by saying I refrigerated this bar, which... in hindsight probably wasn't the greatest idea. This made the chocolate a bit more bland and 'flat' as chocolate experts would say.
I Like The Bar 'look'
I enjoyed this bar with a nice cup of Dunkin Donuts coffee. This, to me, was an AMAZING pairing! If I would recommend this to a friend, to maybe try with a sweet coffee. Anyway, on to the differentiation that makes this product stand out... the bubbles!! Well, it's certainly a 'gimmick' but still has a certain fun to it, but didn't really warrant the extra $. 

In summation, I'd say that this is a solid snacker I might try again, but ... nothing I'm going to go out of the way for. Maybe I'll come back and  try the mint chocolate variety! Overall I'd give it an 8.5 out of 10.

Thanks for reading~

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Crunchie! by Cadbury

So, as some of my regular readers may have noticed, I've since done a few UK products. Yes, I might do some Jaffa Cakes here soon too... I LOVE em!! Anyway, for today we have the CRUNCHIE biscuit by Cadbury. Yes THAT Cadbury, which makes the awesome creme eggs around Easter!!! Well anyway, this was something that just caught my eye. Forgive me in advance for not having any of my own pictures, but they were mistakenly deleted from my computer.
By this time you've probably noticed I absolutely love chocolate. Well deep down inside don't we all?? This cookie however is no slouch to the cookie game as well. I however got these back home only to notice they had melted together :( :( :(. This in no way hurt the taste, however they were a big surprise on how yummy they tasted. At any rate, I would definitely get these again, however, they are not really that good for you ... I guess that could be said about most snack-foods. I'd say the taste of these guys is a mix between maybe a snickers, a butter cookie, butterfingers bar, and a nice chocolate coating.
At this point, I'd love to see more of these in my local store, but it wont happen. However, this cookie is still worth the premium I paid. Overall, I'd say, that these are a solid BUY again... if you can get them go out and do it.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

*Sorry* Nestle Walnut Whip *UK*

Ok so it's been a REALLY busy time for me... getting married, going on vacation... and hey! I'm back!
Appealing Wrapper, and a familiar Brand
Anyway, this one will be brief, since this is a pretty small, yet extremely satisfying treat! I did see this and was expecting a nutty flavored treat, with MAYBE a touch of chocolate... well needless to say, I was WAY off. Being wrong, probably has NEVER been so right.
Such a Unique Shape

From the first bite, (which mind you, I didn't get because of my crafty wife). She really said it was tasty, so I'll take her word for it. From MY first bite, the chocolate definitely doesn't taste a lot like anything Nestle makes here in the states. However, the filling oh my ... just... wow. I guess I could explain it as a mix between an extremely light and fluffy marshmallow, and cotton candy... no joke :)
All in all I'd consider this an extremely fantastic any day treat... even twice a day LOL! Hey, I cannot recommend this treat more. Personally, as a dessert, I really got to give this one a 10 out of 10! Go pick one or two up... I mean it. I picked mine up locally at Publix Supermarkets.

Sorry this wasn't the greatest or in depth review ever... however ... YUM!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Bawls Energy Drink Review! REGULAR and EXXTRA Flavors!!

So in shopping I come across products that are either interesting and or eye catching. This is one of those products, just not on product name but bottle shape. I have to be honest, I've heard of these from Think Geek, since they specialize in some of the more rare energy drinks. However, the local grocery store had these and I was more than excited to see that so I grabbed one of each. Not really knowing the difference in the two flavors and or caffeine content...I grabbed them both.
Such a cool bottle!
This is the original flavored Bawls drink, and certainly my expectations were high from the moment I picked it up. I didn't really notice what flavor it was supposed to be but suffice to say this is probably tied for the best tasting energy drink I've had, BING energy drink. So when I was trying this for the first time, I'd have to say, my first impression was that there was a ton of carbonation in it. There was definitely a good amount of sweetness and all that, however I believe there wasn't a LOT of caffeine or other energy products in it.
Got to love the warning label!! Read it :)
Last couple thing I'll say is, the label is at least humorous. However, the big appeal for this is the bottle, however they print directly onto the glass, so you can't really re-use it unless you really like the label. My fiancée wanted to keep it for maybe a small flower vase, but yeah, with the name Bawls, not something to keep out in open I suppose, you know with kids and all that...
On to the second part, since this is a 2 part review :-). I'm unaware if they make any other kinds, however I will say that right on the cap (pictured below), the EXXTRA variety has more caffeine in it, and you can certainly taste it. Again, not really a huge complaint, but this drink has less sugar and more caffeine, a certain recipe for disaster. I'd like to say that Bawls may have missed the boat on this one, however, I think with the extra caffeine, it's certainly admissible, because it actually tasted more like a traditional energy drink. It kind of tastes more like club soda and less like a soft drink. So unless you really are only drinking this one for a caffeine buzz, buy the regular flavor (blue bottle).
Woo hoo! More caffeine!!
In closing, the drink has a funny, and certainly catchy name, but both these flavors have their perks. If you want a buzz, get the EXXTRA. However if you're looking for a fair buzz, that has a much more mellow and smooth taste (by energy drink standards), try the regular. Bottom line, if you're looking to try a new energy drink, definitely try these ones... you might like them both!

Thanks again for taking time to read!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Ramune Shirakiku Brand *Lychee Flavor*

Back in the swing of things, during my trip I picked up a few random items, all of which will end up on this blog. If you haven't noticed yet, I really am still in the realm of junk foods. I don't think this is a bad thing, just yet. Anyway for my review today I'm doing another brand of Ramune Soda, Shirakiku, based out of a few Asian countries. I will say I'm on a bit of a lychee kick, which is weird, considering I'm not a huge fan of the flavor, but I like new things.
Another look at Ramune Bottling
So in my previous reviews I wrote the typical appeal on Ramune is the bottle. This certainly was one of the deciding factors on why I buy these soda's. Anyway, I really like the the smell of this, however it tastes just like it smells, like sweet perfume. For most people this can be a problem, as I've found with most lychee drinks, the smell. It smells kind of like drug store potpourri. Again, it's not a "bad" drink, but just not something I would probably recommend as a 'safe' or 'first timer' drink. Stick with Ramune (sangria) melon flavor, or original flavor.
Full bottle shot!
Again not a whole lot of color or real good 'flavor' in this drink. Certainly it tasted cheaper and not as good as the Sangria brand Ramune. I'd still say if you want to try something new, and relatively good, you can try one of these. Although you won't be blown away with the flavor or texture, you can still have the satisfaction from drinking from such a cool bottle and marble. Overall I'd have to say this deserves a 6.8 out of 10, since it's not necessarily BAD, but not GOOD either. There isn't a whole lot about this that I could put my finger on as being memorable. Anyway, this might be worth a try for lychee fans.

Thanks for reading,

Monday, May 23, 2011

Chicago Eats!! 3 Reviews in one!

So I had the opportunity to take a business trip up to the great city of Chicago! What an amazing city, in short... it's a city of great foods, beautiful sights, and amazing shopping. I will get back to doing more regular reviews here shortly. I actually just got back from a nice trip to the local international market! Anyway... on to the first review!
What a Beautiful SKYLINE!
My first meal and possibly my favorite, was at an authentic Chicago Style Pizzeria name Giordano's. Let me just say, growing up in NY, this was about the most different you could get from NY style pizza. To each their own I suppose, however I think I've found a new love. Chicago style pizza for those who weren't aware, is more like a pie, than a pizza... hence the term "pizza pie." Well lets just say, even the smaller sizes of this pizza were intimidating. We had 3 full grown men in our party, including me, and we didn't even make it half-way through it. We did order appetizers, but hey, still incredibly amazing and tasty. We ordered the garbage or everything pizza, can't exactly remember the name... and yeah, it had everything minus the gross ingredients like anchovies and pineapple. Literally, and for all intents and purposes I STRONGLY recommend you stop by and grab a slice or two (if you can make it past once piece).
Just once piece was sufficient

For my second meal we headed to a Brazilian Steakhouse, Fogo de Chao. This place was incredibly moody with low lighting, soft music and amazing service to boot. If you've never been to a place like this, then you don't know what service is... literally. This place is all about making you feel like a guest in their home. You start off with a fully stocked salad bar, from asparagus to prosciutto, this bar had it all. Speaking of bar's I probably had the best alcoholic drink ... ever... caipirinha is what they call it. Allow me to explain it the best I can, think of a mojito, add a lot of sugar (raw large crystal sugar) and remove the mint. There you pretty much have it, however they, at least at this place, didn't go light on the lime pieces, as I suspect a whole lime went into each drink. Onto the steak itself, to signify you're ready for your main course, you flip a card from red to green. Let's just say, let the meat avalanche begin! From sirloin to top round, to bacon wrapped chicken to spare ribs, they had it all. They carve it right for you on your plate, with your assistance of course, you have to use a pair of tongs. Anyway, not only did the service, drinks, AND atmosphere was correct... they also know how to cook the meat very well. Go visit this place as well, oh and in case you're wondering its a flat cost per head, so eat up!
Another great skyline picture
Lastly but not least, for sure, is Portillos restaurant. They are known all over Chicago as the authentic Chicago  hot dog place, and locals love it. I will be honest, from the outside it looks like a mill, and inside it works quite similarly. Everything in this place is built and customized for speed, and efficiency, if you've ever seen an assembly line, that is exactly how they make the hot dogs and other foods. For those who don't know (including me), what was on a Chicago-dog, basically its a hot dog, celery salt, onion, relish, yellow mustard, white onions, a bun length pickle spear, pickled sport peppers, and tomato slices. Yeah, it's loaded... and to top that, its not even on a normal bun, they use a poppy seed bun. Wow let me say, after being walked through the complicated yet archaic ordering, I was in for a treat. I will say I did order an Italian beef sandwich, which i'm not going to blog about since it really wasn't something I enjoyed all that well. Although the hot dog, was a symphony of flavors, tastes, textures to combine for the PERFECT hot dog... sorry other vendors... this place knows what's going on. Again I'll strongly recommend visiting one of their many locations in Chicago.
BEST fountain EVER!
In summary, all three of these places were quite a treat and highly recommended for their own reason. Again I'm not a Chicago expert by any means, however... I hope you enjoyed reading. Take care and happy eats!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Tablemark Oriental Flavor Noodle Soup Review

Here goes nothing, another product I clearly had to rely on the smaller English print. Well hey, it worked out for me, this dish was actually pretty interesting. This came to me via the local strip mall store, Japanese foods and novelties, a MUCH smaller store than the others. Apparently this is made by Tablemark Co. LTD out of Japan.
Bright and Colorful  ;-)
I decided to make this for lunch, and my expectations were that this would be spicy, however I was way off. Again, this dish had a TON of freeze dried vegetables, and a good amount of soup stock. I really loved this again because the cabbage swelled up many times larger than it came in the package. There were two packets and the noodles had a yellow tint to them.
I stirred it up a bit
The taste again was VERY satisfying, and was pretty salty with a nice side taste of the vegetables. I did notice how UNspicy this was, which really doesn't happen much. Again, I did like it because I really wasn't wanting anything too spicy today. However, this can probably be filed under the "try if you like" category because there isn't anything too special about the taste and flavor.
Traditionally high sodium (of course)
All in all, this bowl was a bit overpriced for what it was ($2.49). I will say however, it was completely worth it, since it was a good change from my normal sandwiches and chips for lunch. Then again, this didn't have anything too interesting about it, and I couldn't put my finger on it. Lastly, I'd have to give this a 7 out of 10, since it was good, but not fantastic, and it was a solid change to my week.


Thursday, April 14, 2011

Unif Instant Rice Noodles *Chinese Onion* Review

It looks like it's been a little while since I did some noodles. I tend to eat these at lunch and make a perfect quick lunch that fills and warms you. This product is made by UNIF, a Vietnamese company. These are sold in your normal ramen "chunk" of noodles.
Onion Flavor
I didn't know exactly why I chose this one outside of it being pretty cheap and not spicy. I will say I've recently just picked up another pack of this noodle. Again, this is a SOLID good secondary choice for my second favorite ramen, behind my other shrimp bowl. This is a pretty plain tasting soup as far as the overwhelming flavor. However this doesn't mean its bad, actually it's really good, and tasty. To say it again, this isn't really one of those "spicy" dishes and will soothe almost any pallet. Also I liked the fact these had clear-ish noodles, they tasted and looked different than anything I've ever had.
Fully Cooked
I will have to say, this was a surprise that this soup was so tasty. I was anticipating an overwhelmingly strong onion flavor, (which I hate). They actually were more salty than anything, since there are a few packets of spices. Again the spices tended to be in better shape/greater quantity than those here in the States.

All in all, this noodle is pretty good, given their less spicy taste. I would recommend these noodles to anyone who wants to try something a bit "lower risk". That said, I have to give this an 8.5 out of 10, getting high marks for dynamic tastes, textures, and low spice. However gets a few ticks off because of the less spice, since some people really enjoy spiciness. 


PS- I may be taking a break here pretty soon, as I'm planning my wedding. Also, the local food store had completely empty shelves in their refrigerated section (probably due to the Japan disaster). Anyway, I thought I'd let my users know ahead of time.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Jumex Mango Nectar Review

I think it's about time that I did a review on something from a different part of the world. This "nectar" is from Jumex, in Mexico but is distributed in the USA from San Antonio, TX. I really have to be honest and really just picked this up on a whim that I could possibly mix this with a splash of coconut rum. Again, definitely one of my more random moments, but will this one pay off?
Kind of a "busy" label
I didn't know what to expect from a "nectar" drink having never had one before. I have had my fair share of juices and the like, but nothing labeled specifically nectar. Anyway, I will say this was an afterthought, and I did buy this along with some coconut milk/water; which I may review later sometime. As far as how this product smells, my significant other said it smelled rotten etc. However if you've ever been around fresh mangoes ... they can sometimes smell a bit "off". However, I wasn't bothered by it, just giving a different opinion.
As Mentioned, this is mixed with Sweet Tea, nothing else... strangely good.
As you can probably see above, this isn't exactly what the nectar looks like. The color and texture of the nectar is very thick (for a standalone drink), and almost a fluorescent yellow. Overall, I only took a sip of this without a mix or even water, and it was too sweet, even for my tastes. However, as shown above, this can be mixed with almost anything, even a southern USA staple, sweet tea! I again, did try and mix a bit with some coconut flavored liquor, and it was pretty awesome.
Contains 30% Juice, Not Bad!
Wow, is all I could really say about this. It's extremely versatile, and I bet I could drink this down by itself, if I could handle the sweetness. However this drink comes into its own when mixed. If you're looking for an alternative for mixing some sort of alcohol, this certainly is it. However, don't limit it there, I could see making an awesome Mango reduction sauce, for maybe a mahi or a light pork dish. Overall I'd have to give this one an 8.5, mostly for its versatility, but lower marks because it's not a great standalone beverage.


Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Bing Energy Drink *Black Cherry* Review

I guess this doesn't necessarily count as anything "strange" or different, but this is something I really wanted to tell everyone about. This is one of those drinks that was kind of standing out next to the sweet tea section. Bing energy drink is probably one of those "quirky" gems. They are made and distributed by Bing, and has been featured on the food network.
Nice and Enticing Label
My first thoughts were that this drink would primarily be something I wouldn't be a "big fan" of... however I was extremely surprised. Holy cow this drink knocked my socks off, for an energy drink. Most energy drinks have a medicine like taste that just really never goes away even hours after drinking it. However, this drink was just ... yeah just WOW. I can't rave too much about it since it is only an energy drink, although its about the most fun you can have drinking these. I did get a bit of a small buzz off this drink, but didn't seem too over the top or jittery. I will say that even the taste being good, you'll find you still can't chug it very effectively, due to carbonation.
Label for the Drink
All in all, this will have been one of my shorter reviews, but still, this drink is superb. I can't say too much about a beverage. However, I'm starting to see this in more stores now, so if you can get a hold of these... please go and get one! I will say the buzz isn't the greatest, but it did keep me from nodding off/falling asleep fast at night. Overall I have to give this a 9.7 out of 10.


Monday, April 11, 2011

I-MEI Cream Wafers (Strawberry) Review

Ah the illusive wafer treat, no doubt one of the easiest / least expensive treats on the market. These however are WAY different than what I'm used to. Anyway, these are another treat I picked up at K&S again, and I wasn't really expecting much, as they were pretty cheap. According to the label this is a Taiwanese company, a first for me I believe.
Traditional bright packaging
So opening this foil package was extraordinarily difficult, given they were packed in there to the gills. So when pulling these out be careful, because you might break a few. You'll see in the picture below, how much bigger these are than the traditional ones you see over here in the states. If I had to guess they are maybe 2-3x larger than regular brands. This was actually a good thing, since I don't like having to retrieve many of these due to their fragile state. I know it sounds petty, but I try to keep the packaging intact so I can save some for later.
As far as the taste, I'd have to say this is probably in a league of its own for cheap eats. I was really thinking the filling would have been a nondescript pink tartness. However I was pleasantly surprised on the first bite, it was so light, fluffy and somewhat natural tasting. The wafers were way more lofty, and the filling a lot more smooth. Speaking of the filling, it was closer to a whitish pink than the turbo pink color us Americans see from the majority of wafer makers. This was not only a refreshing change but probably the most flavorful and light snack I've had since I ate Shrimp Chips. That said, I would also say this does suffer from the same brittle and dry nature as other wafers on the market, that's just the nature of the snack. However, these are a bit more balanced and not as powder dry.
Label time!
Again, if you've not noticed, I'm a pretty big fan of these things. I'd again say that these are also in the "low risk" category for an international cuisine purchaser. I'm not a huge fan of wafer cookies or anything, but it's still refreshing to see it done properly in a larger format, with a somewhat normal taste. I think I bought these for a little over $1. These are an excellent snack option and may purchase these again, if I can get a hold of them, I give these a 9 out of 10. They receive high marks for taste, texture, value and overall quality. The only downside is the tricky packaging, their limited availability, and that's about it; again not too much bad I can say about these. These are a staple for people who like to snack on something a bit lighter, and without chocolate.


Friday, April 8, 2011

Asian Taste *Black Tea* Review

Now I will be frank, I was never really a tea drinker until I turned about 20 something. To be honest I didn't really have to high hopes for this since it was $1.99 for a box of 20 bags. Again, that's extremely cheap, even by today's standards. This product and manufacturer I couldn't really find anything too much about it, suffice to say you can find this item online at most retailers.
Rather to the point Tea Box
Again when it comes to Tea there isn't much to say, due to the nature of the actual drink, it's meant to be relaxing. However, I actually prefer to drink this when I need a boost of energy, as black tea has the highest concentration of caffeine in teas. Not really something you'll drink to get you as hyper as what a Red-Bull would do, but I do find this has a good amount of kick (caffeine), to it. I like to enjoy this mostly when the weather is on the chilly side, since I don't really ever add sugar or ice.
For being Black Tea, it shows pretty reddish-brown.
As far as taste goes, this particular brand has a really nice smell and flavor to it. The dry bags smell kind of like a mix between Lipton iced tea brands. The taste starts off as a very warm, broad taste with subtle lows of a 'woody' flavor. However, the aftertaste is quite nice, comparatively, to the overly woody taste that this drink may sometimes have. I'd say, that this is something I could enjoy at pretty much any time of day.
Very nondescript bag
All that said, this is one of 2 flavors of tea from this brand I'll eventually review. Again, there isn't much to say in the way of recommending this since tea is something you like or don't like. Certainly, this is a good replacement or change to your normal coffee routine. I also will say as a coffee drinker, occasionally, I will say the Tea Caffeine buzz is much more subtle, but tends to keep me more focused. Anyway, if you can get your hands on it, from Amazon or something like that, do it. Overall I give this an 8.5 out of 10, with high marks for drink-ability, flavor, caffeine content and overall enjoyment. However, if you're not a "tea person" this probably isn't the best first tea choice. Conversely, if you enjoy tea and want to expand your horizons, this is an excellent choice to get away from large channel brands like Lipton.


Thursday, April 7, 2011

OKF Coco Coconut Drink *Pineapple* Review

I have to be honest, when I picked this up I almost assumed it was another Aloe drink. I can't exactly say I was disappointed, until I had a chance to try it. This again comes from OKF, a Korean beverage company, of which I've done other reviews for. I am starting to think I'm doing reviews on only a couple companies, but hey, I review what I can get my hands on.
The first thing I noticed about this drink was the overwhelming smell. Most of the time, you don't get a good whiff of what you can smell from a beverage. However, this drink is stellar, and has a very sweet; almost nectar type drink with a slice of pineapple and coconut. On the contrary I wish the taste was the same, because it's actually way over the top sweet and not a lot of pineapple flavor. The pineapple flavor that IS present is really fake and only hits you at the end. There's not much to be said about the actual coconut flavor since that's pretty much gone.
Little Floaty Things
I have to say however the tell-tale "chunks" in this drink do NOT correlate to a good overall experience. In contrast the Aloe Vera Drinks, which have the squishy almost jell-o like, pieces. The coco brand has pieces of coconut, which are far more chewier, less tasting, and certainly less enjoyable. This drink is SERIOUSLY curbed by this by also having a horrendous after-taste. I really cannot convey to you in words how much less fun/appealing this drink is now, I will most likely NOT finish it.
Nutrition and Producer Information
All in all, this drink... if you can call it that, is kind of a miss. I will say that the taste isn't all that horrible, just really misses the mark with the texture. I think from here on out, unless I feel adventurous, getting another Coco drink. Overall, I will give this about a 4 out of 10, with disappointing flavor, texture, and aftertaste. Again, I will say you are welcome to try this, just know that it won't be for my recommendations.


Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Nong Shim *Shin Bowl Noodle* **SPICY**

First and foremost, sorry for posting so late Stocky blog readers! I got really caught up with work, and with things around the house. Anyway, thanks for understanding, now we're back! I bring you back to my international blog with an old friend, Nong Shim! I promise you, I really don't plan this, but being one of the more famous and accessible brands, you'll keep seeing it.
Not a whole lot of pics on this one... sorry guys and gals!
Onto the actual food, as I said in my previous reviews, the Nong Shim products tend to be on the spicy side. If you're a fan of spicy foods this one does NOT disappoint me. I opted to add the whole packet (as usual), to the whole mix. If I had to put my finger on it I'd say this is probably the second spiciest noodle soup I've ever had, next to Vinh Long's Beef and Carrot Stew, and that stuff practically made me cry. I've grown a lot with my tastes, including my tolerance to spicy foods. This has a distinct Nissan Ramen Beef Noodle flavor, with a strong spice to it, I had to stop once or twice, and it burned the crap out of my throat. Again, I more or less thought it was because it was so hot, not spicy. Anyway, the smell doesn't really make my nose run, and it doesn't really give out much of an aroma.
Traditional Red-Spice broth, perfectly cooked Noodles!
All in all, this review is kind of brief because this particular soup doesn't really have a lot to it, as far as veggies and all that. However, that's not to say I won't recommend this to anyone, on the contrary. If you DO like spicy foods, particularly soups, this is another definite BUY ME NOW!! Plus, better yet it is cheap (~$1.29), and you can find it almost anywhere, someone alluded to me that you may even be able to find this at a whole-foods store. Overall, I'd have to give this one a 8.7 out of 10, with a definite BUY rating. That said, I'd say, this doesn't really stand out, aside from being a solid spicy noodle broth soup. However, there isn't much in the way of alternative foods like cabbage, onions, and other veggies. All in all, go out and try it, you'll be surprised how much you'll like spicy soup!


Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Aloe Dream Aloe Vera Drink Review

Yeah I know what you're going to say .... "Stocky, why are you doing more beverage reviews?", to that I say, this particular juice is well worth the read. This beverage is from Korea, as a lot of my products that I review come from. Again, there are a TON of companies listed on the back of the bottle, most notably (in bold), Wang Globalnet. However, this is one of those I could actually convince my fiancée to try...
The English Side
To start I will again re-iterate that this is a beverage that has little floating bits of aloe in it. Not a problem for me or my fiancée (sort of). She was the first to taste this, and much to my surprise, she actually liked it! Wow, again that's a shock to even me. If that says anything, mind you. I did manage to get a sip of this and a good amount of it as well, however, I'd say this drink is best served ice cold.

Korean Label
The taste of this drink is not really something you can put your finger on. It tastes kind of like a very low acid citrus drink. Yeah, weird I know, but I think it's because it's so sugary. This is something I'll say is probably the most notable feature, how sweet this is. However it doesn't really taste "fake" sweet, more of a natural cane sugar taste. If you're a fan of aloe type drinks, this is a definite plus.
Label ME!
All that said, this drink doesn't go without its flaws. I will say that there are a couple things working against it, primarily the fact that it's got aloe in it. The aloe in this drink appears to be a bit more "natural" hence the irregular texture, as opposed to the other OKF drinks I've reviewed. Also this drink doesn't hold up well unless it's pretty cold. However all that said this is probably my second favorite aloe vera drink, behind OKF Strawberry. Overall I give this a 8.0 out of 10, giving high marks all around, but getting some dings for texture, and warm weather drink-ability.