Wednesday, January 5, 2011
Hammond's Vanilla Mitchell Sweets
I have been thinking long and hard here (heh, I said long and hard...yeah, I truly am the world's oldest, snickering 12-year-old boy). The immediate issue is that I am writing this on an extended trip to Georgia, far away from the fabled Gigi HQ-cum-Batcave in Southern California. (Nyuck, nyuck...I said cum! Heh, snorts 'n' giggles again!) Thus all the items that I have waiting for me at home -- items that, ideally, I should be writing about right now -- will simply have to wait a bit longer.
Aah, but don't despair! What do friends and relatives give to someone who reviews food that mostly revolves around candy? Well, DUH! The answer is, of course, more candy! (I also squeaked a Nook Color out of the deal, so there's no whining here. I may be emotionally stunted and dwarfed, but the epithet "ingrate" shall never adorn me!) Needless to say, therefore, I am in no short supply of things to write about. The question was where to start.
Well...two of my very favorite things are caramel and marshmallow. And as luck would have it, I am fortunate enough to have an individual Hammond's Candies Vanilla Sweets Marshmallow on hand. Oh, happy day!
You may have seen Hammond's Candies on Food Network programs such as Unwrapped -- and deservedly so. Hammond's, which has been around since 1920, still hand-makes their candies and their Art Candies -- and while I have never tasted them, I can tell you they are beautiful looking (again). Handmade candies require a level of skill and craftsmanship that the candy world is sadly no longer brimming over with. With all that in mind, you can probably understand why I was so excited about trying this marshmallow.
Each marshmallow is about the size of your normal Mega Mart brand -- only, imagine it more squared off than round. I love the minimalist packaging; the confection comes wrapped in a simple waxed paper wrapper with a paper label that seals it closed.
The exterior of the marshmallow is covered in a layer of caramel. Interestingly enough, it leaves both ends exposed (think of how the nori encloses a sushi roll), so that the soft airy center is visible and practically begs you to smoosh it. Yeah, I admit it...I never have to be asked twice when it comes to marshmallow.
The marshmallow has a subtle sugary scent. The caramel wrapper has a soft crackle as you break through the "crust" that is formed by the caramel being exposed to air for however long. And I kind of like that texture -- it reminds me of biting into a maple glazed doughnut. From the company's website photos, it appears that on "fresh" marshmallows, the caramel is softer, slightly more liquid -- but remember that mine was a gift, and has sat here for two weeks now. I thus am unsure which version of the texture is the "true" version.
The flavor is sweet and milky. It's not really a deep burnt sugar-type of caramel, but I think it's perfect. The proportion of caramel to marshmallow is also good. I think that had it been a thicker layer, or if the marshmallow had been completely enrobed it, it would have been overkill.
The marshmallow is the classic thick and sticky kind. The vanilla comes through, but it does so with subtlety. I like this type of marshmallow because it is a such welcome change it from the Mega Mart type. It has an actual texture to it. The sugar doesn't merely melt in your mouth on contact; it dissolves slowly, letting you savor it (should you like to). Simply delicious
And I am sorry to disappoint here, but sadly, there will not any flaming pictures. As we all know, one of the things I love to do with marshmallow anything is to apply the "flame test" to see how good it tastes toasted. Well, my mother -- probably wisely -- decided that letting me play with open flames in her house was not the greatest idea. You can send her email on this at Pret... NO! NO! I am kidding, do not send her hate mail! Then she won't buy me more candy! (Just pimping the system, y'all, candy does not always buy itself!)
No calorie info given.
May contain trace amounts of eggs, soy, peanuts & tree nuts. Gluten free. Kosher.