Wasabi mojito

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At a Japanese restaurant in Playa del Carmen, where I was doing a training course, I noticed an intriguing sounding wasabi mojito on the drinks menu. I love mojitos, but I’m not a big fan of wasabi, especially if I have too much of it, which for me is almost always. The drink came in a kind of mustardy yellow that gave the impression there was quite a bit of the sharp stuff in there. First impressions aren’t always what it seems as I could barely notice any wasabi. It was there on the background though, and perhaps that was just enough.

Fear Factor – 3 / Taste Test – 6

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Cinnamon Candy Oreo

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As a kid I sometimes had some cinnamon candy, and was always disappointed as it didn’t taste anything like actual cinnamon. If you’ve ever eaten some yourself you might know what I mean. The Oreo company has recently released a limited edition cinnamon candy cookie, perhaps to tie in with Valentine on account of their packaging. It turned out they delivered exactly what they said they would. The stuffing did actually taste of cinnamon candy. Not that I like that so much, but I have to give them credit for that.

Fear Factor – 0 / Taste Test – 7

Tequila cake

 

imageI do love a piece of cake, so you can imagine I couldn’t resist temptation when I saw these boxes of Jose Cuervo tequila cake while I was in Mexico. I’ve had rum cake before, but never thought of using tequila in a cake. It turned out to be a plain sponge cake that was doused in a syrup that contains tequila, rather like a sticky toffee pudding. The cake was super light and perfectly sweet and sticky, but where was the tequila? I don’t think it came into play at all, which was a bit of a let down.

Fear Factor – 0 / Taste Test – 7

Four year old mole sauce

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Sometimes you have to give yourself what you want, even if it’s a little costly. I had been wanting to dine at restaurant Pujol in Mexico City when I was there. Dish after dish arrived at my table and right after the main course was served came the chef’s signature mole dish.

Mole is a sauce often used to smother chicken in. It has loads of ingredients such as chilies, but may also include chocolate, which is unusual enough in its own right. This one was even more unusual because it was over 4 years old, 1502 days to be exact. The chef doesn’t clean out the pot after a day’s service, but uses the leftovers the next day to make more.

The sauce was served in combination with a fresh mole made on the day to highlight the difference, just the sauce and a tortilla for dipping. The old mole was simply incredible. Like an aged pouilly de fume wine, with all kinds of notes and undertones, especially smoky ones. The new mole in comparison was more like a Beaujolais.

Fear Factor – 0 / Taste Test – 9

Goat milk caramel

 

imageWhen it comes to caramel, nobody does it better than the Mexicans. They have something called ‘dulce de leche’ which is made of evaporated milk. It’s so lush and creamy. They also make it with goat’s milk instead of cow’s milk, in which case they call it ‘cajeta’.

On a recent trip to Mexico city, I stopped by a great little churros place called ‘El Moro’, and ordered some churros with cajeta to dip them in. I was half expecting it to be slightly different or maybe even savory, just like goat’s cheese, but it was a perfectly normal caramel sauce. It was very sticky, and perhaps not as creamy as dulce de leche, but it did the trick for a guy with a sweet tooth.

Fear Factor – 0 / Taste Test – 8

Ant eggs

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Out of all the unusual things things I thought I could ever eat, ant larvae were not on my list. It just never occurred to me you could eat them. Yet that’s what they do here in Mexico, and have been doing since pre-Hispanic times. They’re called ‘escamoles’ in Spanish and are usually translated as ant eggs, but they are in fact the pupae and larvae. Naturally I had to try.

They were served in small parcels wrapped up in leaves that resembled cabbages and tasted more like garlic. Eating the wraps, I could really only taste garlic, so I tried a bite of just the larvae. It didn’t actually taste like anything, which was both a relief and a disappointment. It had an interesting texture though, quite soft like goat’s cheese.

Fear Factor – 5 / Taste Test 6

Lush Corn Milk Chewy Candy

Last week my blogger friend Paul did a guest blog on durian candy. He must have gotten a taste for the unusual, because he’s back today with some corn milk candy. I hope he keeps this up and tries that scorpion lollipop next. If you like his review, do visit his blog, Paul Sees the World.

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I have a sweet tooth.  After eating days of authentic Lao food while in Laos, including more than my share of bamboo, I wanted candy.  Granted I very much enjoyed the sweeter fruit flavored sticky rices, I wanted real packaged candy like M&Ms, sweet tarts, gummy bears, or whatever.

But Laos isn’t the country where you run to the neighborhood 7-11 to get a treat. Candy was hard to find. Continue reading “Lush Corn Milk Chewy Candy”

Tequila chocolates

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As a chocoholic I love my chocolates, and I do like the ones with alcohol in the center. In Europe it’s quite common to see champagne truffles, or liqueur chocolates as well as whisky ands some other stronger drinks. In Mexico I found some with Jose Cuervo tequila, which is a filling I hadn’t seen in Europe before. I was expecting a liquid center, but it was almost the same consistency as the chocolate itself, just a tad creamier. Initially there was a shock of alcohol, but that disappeared straight away and only the chocolate remained. Not enough tequila if you ask me, but then again when is there ever enough?

Fear Factor – 0 / Taste Test – 6

Coriander sorbet

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A lot has been said already on my blog about savory sweets and desserts, especially those including salt or bacon. This trend has extended in the culinary world to using herbs and spices in desserts. This was especially evident in a pineapple and coriander dessert I had recently at Pujol, a restaurant which ranks among the top 20 in the world.

The dish consisted of two main components, a 16 hour roasted chunk of pineapple and a coriander sorbet. There was also some caramel and crystalized coriander for garnish. It was a match made in heaven. The sorbet was sweet from the sugar, and though it definitely tasted of coriander, it wasn’t savory. The pineapple was super tender, yet still maintained a bite. What a wonderful combination the two made. No wonder Pujol is so highly rated.

Fear Factor 2 / Taste Test – 9

Red velvet Oreo

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Traveling to America gave me a whole new array of Oreos to try. Among them was a red velvet Oreo. It mimics a slice a red velvet cake by using red colored cookies and a cream cheese frosting stuffing. Taking the cookie apart, the actual cookie itself was unremarkable in its taste. The filling though was very different from its usual pasty self. It was much smoother, richer and creamier. It really was quite nice on its own, but in combination with the cookies not at all that exciting.

Fear Factor – 0 / Taste Test – 7