Friday, November 20, 2009

The Twin Bing

I was really hoping that I would like the Twin Bing.  The Bing has been made since 1923 by the Palmer Candy Co. in Sioux City, Iowa, one of the oldest candy companies in America.  On the outside, the Twin Bing sports an eye-catching, authentically retro red and white package.  But on the inside, I found one of the oddest candy bars I've ever laid my eyes on.  The Twin Bing comes packaged as two chunky looking brown lumps, conjoined at the bottom by a thin bridge of the coating.  The brown coating covering the lumps is a combination of "chocolate compound" mixed up with finely chopped bits of salty peanuts.  This surrounds another lump of sweet and chewy cherry filling.  I'm not sure how to categorize the cherry filling.  It's not fluffy or viscous or creamy, but rather solid almost like a nougat or fondant.

As I alluded to earlier, I can't say I enjoyed the Twin Bing.  The "chocolate compound" coating is waxy and flavorless.  The cherry center does not taste bad, but when taken in a bite with the coating, it's just a weird mix of textures and flavors.  The best feature of this candy bar is the peanuts.  I like how the tiny chopped bits appear in every bite and their saltiness helps to cut the sweetness of the cherry and lend some flavor to the chocolate coating.

I think if real chocolate was used and the cherry lump was just a little more creamy, I would find the Twin Bing much more appealing.  Obviously, this is just my opinion.  The Twin Bing must have its fans, otherwise it would not have survived since 1923.  In 1923, the Twin Bing was actually just the "Bing" and each package only contained one lump of candy.  It was not until 1973 that the second lump was added and the Twin Bing was born.  Because two just wasn't enough, the Palmer Candy Co. introduced the triple lump King Bing in 1986.  Although cherry is the original Bing flavor, the company also makes the Crispy Peanut Butter Caramel Bing.  This Bing has a peanut butter caramel center covered by a coating of chocolate and crispy rice.  This Bing sounds interesting, but I worry that the same fake chocolate coating would ruin it as well.

For additional info on the Twin Bing, check out the book Candy Freak.  In it, author Steve Almond visits the Palmer Candy Co. and witnesses the Bing's creation first hand.  You can also read more about the company's history on their website

Friday, November 06, 2009

Bubu Lubu

My boyfriend recently returned from a work week in Mexico and brought me back some Mexican candy.  One of the treats was the Bubu Lubu candy bar, which apparently is very popular in Mexico.  The candy bar is comprised of a layer of strawberry flavored jelly and a layer of marshmallow all covered in a chocolate-flavored coating.         

I'm usually not a huge fan of thick jelly layers on anything, but it actually works well here.  The jelly, though not very strong in the strawberry flavor department, is more chewy than slimy.  The marshmallow layer is not as fluffy as a Peep and almost matches the consistency of the jelly.  The "chocolate-flavored" coating that holds it all together is quite tasty and probably my favorite component.  I know it's not "real" chocolate, but I figure if I'm eating something called a "Bubu Lubu" in a shiny blue wrapper with a creepy snow creature kid on the package, should I really be picky about artificial flavoring?

The Bubu Lubu reminds me of this chocolate-covered marshmallow cookie I used to get when I was a little kid.  I don't remember the name of the cookies, nor do I know if they are still made, but their chocolate coating was very similar to the stuff on the Bubu Lubu.  I've read some other blog posts about the Bubu Lubu, and generally everyone else hates it!  Could my fondness for this candy be blinded by nostalgia for cookies past? 

UPDATE: I saw the cookies I was thinking about at the grocery store.  They are Nabisco Pinwheels.