Friday, March 23, 2012

BRICK TO: gift certificates - expiration date scam!!!! gift certificates EXPIRE WITHOUT NOTICE.  I received two gift certificates, used one right away, held the second.  When I went to use, it said "expired".  No email warning to me, no notice on the gift certificate itself.  When I called, I was told "we have no record of older certificates".  After some complaints, I was asked for my certificate number, which I gave, and which they then looked up.  I suppose the record magically appeared just then.  When I asked where was notification that the certificate would expire, I was asked to hold, and then I was told that "there is no notification.  You would call us to ask about the expiration date."  Unbelievable.  I have ordered multiple times from eyebuydirect with mixed but generally more positive results.  This ends it.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Candy Review: Necco Sky Bar ( Skybar )

By way of background:  Introduced in 1938 - almost 65 years ago - Necco's Sky Bar ( Skybar ) was the first candy to mold chocolate around four separate fillings: caramel, vanilla, peanut and fudge.  The candy was a successor entry from Necco brands, whose offerings go all the way back to Necco Wafers in 1847.  The overall complexion of Sky Bar ( Skybar ) flavors and molding really hasn't changed over the decades.

For the word geeks among us, the candy name is schizophrenically poised between "Sky Bar" and "Skybar".  Although Necco seems to have the registered trademark against the "Skybar" version, its own official web page for the product shows both forms.  On the package labeling, there is a clear separation between the "SKY" and the "BAR", so we'll go with that form for the balance of this review.

To geek out even more, "Necco" itself stands for the New England Confectionary Company and is often referred to as "NECCO" by the company itself.  However, again there is inconsistency.  The package labeling shows a definite "Necco" labeling; the company profile web page uses "NECCO"; and yet at the bottom of the profile page is "About Necco".  Go figure.

Enough trivia - let's move to the tasting!

Color:  The four Sky Bar briquettes are of consistent color - light, medium brown, with Fudge being just a bit darker. 

Aromatics:  Soft, almost marshmallowy milk chocolate.

On the palate:  These were tasted at room temperature, with hot black coffee used as a palate cleanser between tastes. 

Caramel:  Almost crisp milk chocolate, with surprisingly soft, almost liquid caramel.  Simple, fun flavors.

Vanilla:  The chocolate coating and filling are one in consistency, with the milky white inside adding an overall sweeter, sugary component to the taste.  Not noticeably vanilla.

Peanut:  A soft, almost soft-caramel-consistency middle brings a distinct peanut essence to the milk chocolate experience.

Fudge: A solid chocolate fudge core brings a noticeable backbone to the experience.  The milk chocolate coating in this case integrates as a background element to an overall chocolate fudge experience.

In summary:  So, all in all, a pleasant, multi-layered experience, quite calling back the variety and joys I experienced with the Sky Bars of a half-century ago!