Monday, November 29, 2010


I planned for a leisurely Monday morning this week, getting plenty of sleep last night and waking up in time to shop for the week's school lunch groceries and visit Five Below for stocking stuffer ideas. I didn't find anything worthwhile for the stockings, but these Chocorooms did catch my eye. I had seen them before, and although I was skeptical about the quality of edibles purchased at Five Below, I had confidence in the Chocorooms' Japanese origin. The Japanese know what they're doing when it comes to candy.

My box says it is distributed by D.F. Stauffer Biscuit Co. in York, PA, and manufactured by Meiji Seika Kaisha, Ltd. in Tokyo. Confident that I had purchased an authentic Japanese product, I opened the package.

The Chocorooms are adorable, for one thing. They look exactly like they do in the photo. The cracker stem is slightly sweet, and firm but crispy. The chocolate mushroom cap is smooth and very malty. I was nervous about the quality of the chocolate, but the ingredients list chocolate as the third ingredient after sugar and wheat flour. It is unfortunately followed by partially hydrogenated vegetable oils and artificial flavors, but the rest of the ingredients didn't sound awful: whole milk powder, cocoa butter, lactose, non-fat dried milk, malt syrup, yeast, salt, and leavening. I thought the ratio of chocolate to cracker was just about perfect.

I spent about $2 on a 3.13 oz box, which includes about 33 Chocorooms. I'm a big fan. They're tasty, cute, and relatively cheap for the novelty. Maybe I did find a stocking stuffer after all.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Slate Article on Inaccurate Prep Times in Cookbooks

I apologize for the dearth of new material here lately. Grad school and other demands have required all of my time. I hope to re-energize the blog over Thanksgiving or Christmas break.

Until then, check out this article on why estimated recipe preparation times in cookbooks are always wrong.