Description. How to pronounce the name of the airy chocolate bar? “Uno,” like the game? “You know,” as if eating the bar confers upon the consumer membership in an elite — albeit boring and fat-logged — secret club?
Our tester has chosen to go with “ooh…no.” The only discernible reason for selecting a chocolate novelty as dull as the U-No is the hope that its stratospherically high fat content will induce a stroke.
Packaging/Branding. A sleek silver wrapper and mid-century lettering belie the utter tedium of the product within.
The candy’s cheery attempt to spin its utterly uninteresting stale-pudding center as a delicate truffle is a deluded failure.
Description. A burnt-orange tube, dusted with pollen intended to evoke coconut, the Chick-O-Stick has nothing to do with chicken, although the color is reminiscent of buffalo-wing sauce.
The cross-sectioned Stick, a shiny moon-rock-y affair that resembles a ’70s-sci-fi set-design element, has nothing to do with anything found in nature — except possibly feces (the manner in which the peanut flecks are disported…enough said, we trust).
Packaging/Branding. The font and package shapes recall mid-century diner culture. Meanwhile, the company logo’s star and the product name’s label share the same nuclear-meltdown orange as the Stick, and the transparent cellophane makes no attempt to hide or even lessen the visual impact of the homely snack within — a zen attitude our testers almost admire.
Description. The Chocletto is, in theory, the waking embodiment of every candy-loving child’s wildest dream: a hybrid of the Starburst shape, the Kraft caramel’s smooth chewiness, and chocolate.
The poo-hued reality falls short of “revolting,” but then, it just falls short, period.
Packaging/Branding. The Old Time Candy Company sends an eight-pack of Choclettos in a plastic dime-store sleeve; each candy is folded into a white waxed wrapper with “Choclettos™” printed in purple on the side.
Description. The proportion of chocolate in each individual Neapolitan Sundae candy is apparently a direct response to the Simpsons episode in which Homer finds that Bart has stripped numerous cartons of Neapolitan ice cream of the chocolate segment. An understandable decision, but an unfortunate one as well; that segment’s shade of brown is reminiscent of feces, and showcases the candy’s tendency to perspire. The tester expected a handful of barnyard flies to begin circling the unwrapped candy.
Packaging/Branding. If said flies failed to materialize, we may blame the extremely persistent plastic wrapping, as well as the candy’s propensity to melt into the wrapper’s folds. Prying a Neapolitan blob loose from its crinkly lair is a sticky affair, and traces left on the hands will act like superglue.
Description. Cured fish of any sort is guaranteed to motivate furious debates along any number of axes: how fishy is too fishy vs. “oy: it’s fish”; when to pair sweet with salt; rye-pernickel bread, clever solution or unholy hybrid. Addressing the sliced herring fillet, we will confine ourselves to a mere two of these arguments. The first: whether a snack is the same thing as a nosh.
As scientists, we at the B.A.R.F. must refrain from any final or permanent judgment in the matter; we will merely illustrate the reasoning, to wit: many consider a snack a food item that, while it may augment a meal, is not a meal substitute; a nosh, meanwhile, is understood as composed of meal components, but consumed in smaller quantities and grazing style — often at the same in-between times as a snack, but differing from a meal in degree, rather than as a snack does, in kind.
The herring fillet is widely seen as a noshable, like whitefish salad or lox; it may not represent an entire meal, but merely part of one, or something to nibble during Mother’s Day brunch. A forkful of the leftovers spread on a mini-bagel is clearly, on a figurative basis, a snack…but certain purists insist that a protein is never a snack…or that, if you have to use a utensil to create it, it is not a snack…or that an oversalted and mealy fillet studded with softened bones and topped with a too-sweet slurry of cream and red onions is not fit for human consumption in the first place.
Description. Turkish delight comes in two varieties: the type that may have contact with a card-carrying Turkish national at some point, and consists of a dense nougat studded with nuts and flavored with rosewater or honey; and the mass-produced powdered-sugar-donut-hole-meets-Gummi-cube type. The former is in fact a delight, suggesting luxury, seduction, warm evenings under a canopy of fruit trees.
The latter is baffling at best, and the Turkish consulate should do everything in its power to revoke the credentials of this insufficiently precious ambassador de cuisine. What need does it fill? What market does it serve? Who thought that an artificially colored gelid blob needed sugaring — with confectioner’s sugar, the substance most likely to cause an inadvertent fit of choking?
Needless to say, it is the latter that arrived at the B.A.R.F.’s loading bay, trailing a plume of sugar motes behind it into the lab…
Packaging/Branding. …thanks to the dense coating of powder that blanketed the entire rack of delight, and which the packaging failed entirely to contain. Waxed paper around the candy, nestled in a box, nestled in another box, wrapped in cellophane merely slowed the sugar’s progress throughout our facility; its presence lingered well into the afternoon in the form of ghostly fingerprints and the occasional sneeze of unknown origin.
Description. In theory, fruit-flavored hard candy with a soft chocolate center. In practice, less so. “Hard,” to begin, does not seem like a forceful enough adjective to describe the resistance of the exterior. In the package, the straws looked like differentiated pieces, but thanks to melt/de-melt/re-melt in transit, they presented as an unarticulated boulder of confetti-colored candy, necessitating the slamming of said massif onto the lab floor in the manner prescribed for orange Toblerone.
CFSes fall unfortunate prey to the Jelly Donut Hole Instability Principle, which states that, while certain holes will furnish only a small sad smear of jam, others carry a large reservoir that splurts onto the shirtfront. Similarly, chocolate is unevenly allocated among the straws: many contain none at all, most a mere hint, and others a disconcerting splorch of cake-frosting-esque cocoa paste.
The problem proceeds from the concept. The idea of filling a fruit shell with chocolate is understandable, but the size of each straw cannot allow for sufficient chocolate — and the CFS is, in the end, a neither-fish-nor-fowl combo snack, intended to capture two or more demographics and pleasing none. The chocolate lover will reject the faux-colate filling as insufficient; nor will it satisfy the “depressing past-the-sell-by senior-living-horehound” purist — should such a consumer 1) exist or 2) have enough original dental work remaining to pursue his/her avocation.