Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Munchies from the West Coast

This post is devoted to the many sweet (and otherwise) munchies that I sampled during my recent trip to the West Coast of the US.  My US readers will instantly recognise many of these items, but they are novel to me and my Australian friends, and I think that they will find at least some of these things interesting.

Starting with my loot from Safeway in Scottsdale, Arizona: 

I really liked the corn nuts - they are not sold here, and I liked the crunch of the corn kernels- a nice change from potato chips.  I was also interested to see that Skinny Cow makes chocolates - in Australia, you can only get Skinny Cow icecream.

Next are Reeses Peanut Butter Pieces from Walmart in Kingman, Arizona and a selection of Ghirardelli chocolates from Ghirardelli Square in San Francisco:

My favourite out of these was the salted caramel filled chocolate - absolutely devine!

I bought this Charleston Chew at the LA Farmers Market:

The nougat centre was OK, but the chocolate covering it was compounded and plastic-tasting.

This is rum and raising Haagen-Dazs that I enjoyed for dessert from Safeway in Scottsdale, Arizona:

I would definitely buy this again - so creamy!

In Sonora, the lovely lady who owns Simply Delish Cupcakes allowed me to buy cupcakes after closing time.  I bought a strawberry cheesecake for my roommate:

and a banana-pineapple cupcake with cream cheese frosting for me:

They were really good!

In Sacramento, I discovered a new love - salt water taffy:

This stuff is addictive!  I loved it so much that I bought more of it in Monterey.

Also in Sacramento, I tried a chocolate coated cinnamon bear:

I am glad that I was given this as a sample, as I really didn't fancy the strong cinnamon flavour.

From Gloria Ferrer Winery in Sonoma, CA, I bought these Vosges gourmet chocolates:

The Black Pearl Bar contains ginger, wasabi and black sesame seeds, while the Cherry Rooibos Bar contains African rooibos tea and dried Michigan cherries.  I am yet to try the cherry chocolate, but the Black Pearl Bar was fairly tame - the distinctive flavours didn't really stand out from the chocolate.

In San Francisco, I was lucky enough to stumble on Miette in the Ferry Building, and couldn't resist buying this cute as a button gingerbread cupcake:

As an homage to The Big Bang Theory, I dropped into The Cheesecake Factory in San Francisco, and after making a hard decision from the 20 or so cheesecake flavours on offer, chose this Dutch caramel apple streusel cheesecake:

It was as good as it looks - although I ditched the cream.

Just for fun, I tried these chocolate covered cherries and apple pie fruit logs from the San Francisco Ferry Building Market:

The cherries were great, but again, I wasn't that enamoured of all the cinnamon in the apple pie logs.

I picked up this handful of treats from Trader Joes in Monterey: 

Trader Joes became my favourite US supermarket chain for their range and their prices.  I liked the Fiberful bar so much I picked up a couple more of them in Los Angeles.  The speculoos bar was not really my thing, but was fun to try.

A terrific find was this spreadable membrillo from Happy Girl Kitchen in San Francisco: 


This was a thick paste made from the whole quince.  It was brilliant spread on warm crumpets for breakfast.

There was the most luscious fudge at the Sonoma Cheese Factory:

I bought a piece of each of Tiger Butter (vanilla and chocolate fudge mixed with peanut butter), Red Velvet Cake and Salted Caramel Chocolate.  My favourite was the smooth and creamy Tiger Butter.

In Solvang, I tried this almond cookie - I am not sure if it was particularly Danish (Solvang is a town built to be Danish in character):

Back in LA, I bought this tiny opera slice for $2 at Normandie Bakery at the Farmers Market:

They had a terrific range of sweets there, so it was hard to choose just one. 

Also at the LA Farmers Market, I fulfilled my long-held hankering to try a turtle (in this case, a cashew turtle):

What's not to love about nuts and caramel and chocolate?

Finally, I laughed when I found King's Hawaiian Sweet Bread at Ralphs in downtown LA:

I didn't buy this; rather, I chuckled because this product features in a spoof of Chloe Sevigny on YouTube that my pilates instructor told me about.

There you go  - these are all of my West Coast munchies, many not so nutritious or waistline friendly, but they added to the colour and experience of my trip.  Hope you enjoyed sharing them!