Review: Liddabit Sweets (The Snack’r, The King, Sea Salt Caramels, Beer & Pretzel Caramels) & WHAT THE EFF, RUSSIA AND EGYPT??

Junk Food Nation, I wanted to keep it light this Monday morning, but I couldn’t.  I woke up and watched the morning news, and all I can say is: WHAT THE EFF, EGYPT AND RUSSIA?

EGYPT: So let me make sure I have this right. In early 2011, Mubarak was in power, and he was a jerk.  Protests and a grassroots uprising occurred, using social media.  Mubarak was overthrown, and there was much rejoicing.  The military took over, until an election could be held in late 2011.

Morsi was elected, and was a leading member of the Muslim Brotherhood.  In 2012, he issued a decree that his decrees couldn’t be challenged (UM, OK, THAT DOESN’T SOUND TYRANNICAL AT ALL), so apparently, he was ALSO a jerk, but an elected jerk.  So then ANOTHER protest and uprising occurred, removing Morsi from power.  The military took over again.

And now, there are violent ANTI-protests, with people pissed off that Morsi was removed, so the military is now just spraying people with bullets and also killing people actually IN CUSTODY?  So apparently, the Egyptian military is full of jerks too??

I’m not sure where this ends, who deserves to be or who will be in power, but I think we can all agree with my sentiment when I say STOP KILLING PEOPLE. I get it, people are violent and in a place with such turmoil it’s hard to figure out what to do or how to respond, but KNOCK IT OFF WITH THE ENDING OF LIFE, PLEASE.  The rest of the world is watching, and our jaws are agape. Not a good look, Egypt.  Not a good look.

RUSSIA: Meanwhile, in a colder part of the world, Russia is in the news because it is holding the 2014 Winter Olympics at Sochi.  Oh yeah, and it has strong anti-gay laws, which prohibit “homosexual propaganda.” What is this propaganda?  Well, apparently it could be anything from displays of affection between two same-sex partners or even holding a banner in support of LGBT.  And Russia has stated that these laws will be enforced against all and all athletes and attendees of the Olympics.

Now look, this isn’t a commentary on gay rights, gay marriage, the same sex movement here in the US, court cases, Prop 8, etc.  Well, maybe it is a little.  But even my most conservative friends, who are HEAVILY opposed to same sex marriage, etc., agree that putting people IN JAIL for wearing a rainbow flag is a BIT EXTREME.  And why? Because if there’s one thing that most people hate, regardless of where you are on the political spectrum, it’s GOVERNMENTAL OPPRESSION.  And that’s why I’m like, what are you DOING, Russia???

You bid for and won the right to hold the Winter Olympics, which is typically a time for the world to unite and rejoice and hang out together, and then you pull this shit?  I mean, even China, whose human rights violations were well documented before they held the Summer Olympics, made a HUGE effort to tone it down in order to prove to world that they weren’t a human rights nightmare (just don’t go looking in those cellphone factories).  But you, Russia, apparently, you’re too cool for school.

Did you hoodwink the IOC?  Did you pretend that you’d be ok with things, knowing that you’d do this all along?  Because there’s really no recourse now…protesting by not attending the Games isn’t fair to the athletes. The IOC deciding impossibly to hold the Games somewhere else would just be an international incident.  The IOC has no REAL power, so there are no actual sanctions it can impose.  And I just think this whole situation is complete bullshit.

So nice work, Russia.  After the Cold War, you were under the radar and everyone stopped using you as the amorphous “enemy” in international shoot-em-up movies.  But you’re back with a vengeance, aren’t you?  Idiots.

*comes off soapbox*…. I dunno, Nation – what do you think? Tell me in comments below.

Today’s junk food is a line of confections from Liddabit Sweets, based in Brooklyn, NY!

Liddabit Sweets

Liddabit Sweets: The Money Shots

I met the fine people from Liddabit Sweets at the Summer Fancy Food Show this year.  The woman I talked to, Liz, was super passionate and looked sort of like Zooey Deschanel. It was the glasses, I think.

Anyways, Liddabit Sweets is a five person candy company based in Brooklyn, NY that makes fresh, seasonal, and homemade confections that will KNOCK YOUR SOCKS OFF.  Seriously.  I had a whole bunch of their stuff at the show, and walked away grinning with chocolate smeared ear to ear, I’m sure.

Also exciting for them – they are going to be opening up a retail brick-and-mortar shop soon!  Pretty bomb, to start out with just selling candy online, and to actually have a full-on store in about four years.  Amazing.  Plus, they were also used in a recent Ben n Jerry’s flavor, Borough Brew – an ice cream made with SixPoint Brewery stout beer, Spoonable Caramel, Liddsabit Sweets caramel corn and Greyston Bakery Brownies.  WHOA.  Brooklyn ice cream IN THE HOUSE.

But back to Liddabit Sweets – I’m hungry, so it’s time to eat.  They gave me four of their samplings to review, and here we go.  First up: Liddabit Sweets Snack’r Candy Bar!

Liddabit Sweets

Liddabit Sweets Snack’r Candy Bar: The Money Shot

In case you can’t read the fine print, the wrapper says: “This chewy delight features crunchy roasted peanuts in a golden caramel atop our creamy chocolate nougat, all covered in dark chocolate.” Yes.

Liddabit Sweets

Liddabit Sweets Snack’r Candy Bar: Ingredients

Liddabit Sweets

Liddabit Sweets Snack’r Candy Bar: The outside

Liddabit Sweets

Liddabit Sweets Snack’r Candy Bar: The inside

Liddabit Sweets Snack’r Candy Bar is basically their version of a Snickers bar – taken to the NEXT LEVEL.  Seriously, as a Snickers’ lover, I found this candy bar to be incredible. When I first opened up the plastic wrap, I could smell a deep smell of dark chocolate.  I took a bite and giggled.  First, different than a traditional Snickers, the chocolate was of good quality – no visible oils that made the chocolate melt on my fingers.  Instead, there was a nice dark chocolate flavor that set the rest of the flavors up nicely.  The nougat was not super sugary like in a Mars bar – it was light and fluffy but had a light cocoa taste.  Add to that a nice solid caramel and crunchy peanuts, and this Snack’r bar was a Snickers lover’s dream.  Good one here.

Next up: Liddabit Sweets King Candy Bar!

Liddabit Sweets

Liddabit Sweets King Candy Bar: The Money Shot

The fine print: “Soft peanut butter nougat, sandwiched between a brown sugar/brown butter cookie and a layer of fresh banana ganache – all dipped in milk chocolate.” WOW.

Liddabit Sweets

Liddabit Sweets King Candy Bar: Ingredients

Liddabit Sweets

Liddabit Sweets King Candy Bar: the outside

Liddabit Sweets

Liddabit Sweets King Candy Bar: The inside

Liddabit Sweets King Candy Bar is their signature candy bar.  When I opened up the package, I could smell a nice sweet milk chocolate.  I took a bite; I could see why this bar is their signature…again, this chocolate was a really good quality, not just full of oils.  The entire bar was generally soft – the cookie was nice and crumbly, not so crunchy, per se.  But a nice buttery cookie.  The peanut butter nougat was subtle in flavor, but definitely tasted of peanut butter and was light and not overbearing.  Finally, the banana ganache was also subtle in flavor – good banana flavor without dominating the bar or tasting artificial.  Altogether, this was a nice light sweet confection – PB, chocolate and banana, wrapped into one.  It was very very good.

Third up: Liddabit Sweets Sea Salt Caramels!

Liddabit Sweets

Liddabit Sweets Sea Salt Caramels: The Money Shot

The fine print: “These soft and chewy treats are made with fresh cream, whole vanilla beans, and just the right amount of crunchy sea salt.” MMM.

Liddabit Sweets

Liddabit Sweets Sea Salt Caramels: Ingredients

Liddabit Sweets

Liddabit Sweets Sea Salt Caramels: Wrapped caramels

Liddabit Sweets

Liddabit Sweets Sea Salt Caramels: Bite marks

Liddabit Sweets Sea Salt Caramels were so cute!  Tiny wrapped caramels in nice slippery wax paper.  When I unwrapped the caramel, I was very glad to see this was not the type of caramel that would stretch apart into an infinite tiny cord of brown goo.  Instead, when i bite into this caramel, I just got pure, buttery burnt brown sugar awesomeness.  I can see why these are sold out on their website – these just had a nice softness, almost like a fudge.  The flavor was nice, deep, burnt sugar flavor, tinted with a slight saltiness that made my tongue water.  Excellent caramels, truly.

Finally: Liddabit Sweets Beer & Pretzel Caramels!

Liddabit Sweets

Liddabit Sweets Beer & Pretzel Caramels: The Money Shot

The fine print: “Brooklyn Brewery beer is stirred into our buttery caramel, along with organic barley malt syrup and crunchy chunks of salt Martin’s pretzels.” MY GOD.

Liddabit Sweets

Liddabit Sweets Beer & Pretzel Caramels: Ingredients

Liddabit Sweets

Liddabit Sweets Beer & Pretzel Caramels: Wrapped caramels

Liddabit Sweets

Liddabit Sweets Beer & Pretzel Caramels: The inside…

Liddabit Sweets Beer & Pretzel Caramels were the cream of the crop, IMO.  Like the Sea Salt Caramels, the actual caramel part of this had a great burnt sugar taste with almost a buttery feel to it.  However, added to the overall flavor was a slight bitter, tart, malty flavor – the beer!  It gave the overall sweetness a slight bittersweetness at times, and a slight yeasty flavor too.  The resulting flavor was complex and kept my tongue and brain guessing.  I REALLY liked the flavor of this caramel.  Add to that the crunchy pretzel bits, and this was more than just a candy, it was a crunchy confection that blew my mind.

Overall, it’s always tough to beat locally made candy, and this Brooklyn company is knocking home runs out of the park with their candies.  I only review four of them here, but they have a WHOLE WEBSITE of treats!

Thank you, Liddabit Sweets, for letting me try your stuff! If I’m ever in Brooklyn, I’m DEFINITELY stopping by!

PURCHASED AT: You can buy it here.  Candy heaven.

Thoughts? Please comment below or hit me up on Twitter @junkfoodguy or LIKE my Facebook Page and message me there. Also, you can always email me at [email protected]. Let’s do this.


Junk Food Guy

Discuss - 11 Comments

  1. Johnny says:

    First, let me make the embarrassing confession that I’ve read through the entire contents of this blog in the past week. I’m not actually a big junk food eater, but (or maybe “thus”) reading about junk food is like porn for me. If and when I do pig out, I invariably opt for higher end, “all natural” brands such as this, because I feel just a little bit better about myself afterward. I mean, I still feel fat, but better.

    Re:the real-life/political/educational part of this post. You can frame the issue in terms of freedom of speech and expression, which is an interesting intellectual exercise, particularly from an American POV vs non-American POV. Or you can frame the issue in terms of civil rights, particularly LGBT rights. Each light is nuanced in its own way, and may betray one’s political leanings, but I digress. Back to the junk food.

    • junkfoodguy says:

      @Johnny – WOW!!! Over two years worth of posts??? Are you serious?

      I like high end junk foods too, btw 🙂 No discrimination here! Cheese puffs to gourmet chocolate – it’s all good!

      And you’re totally right re: how to frame the Russia issue. It’s tough for me to contemplate sometimes, too, since Russia is NOT the US, and while I have a serious problem with it, and while it’s still BAFFLING to me, it apparently IS the norm over there to have these laws. I dunno. Still makes my head hurt.

  2. Elisa says:

    Martin’s? Reminds me of the grocery store chain that was bought out by Giant Eagle some years back.

    Beer & pretzels–not a bad snack combo.

  3. EowynofRohan says:

    Hey, every time I try to get on this site is loads S…..L….O…W..L…Y….. All the other sites work, so maybe it’s a problem with your site? (It’s driving me CRAZY!)

  4. Nick Rovo says:

    Okay, I need these in my life.

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