Thursday, June 28, 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!


Blond Duck said...

I wish you'd come to Texas--I would have treated you to pie!

Cakelaw said...

Duckie, next time I should come to Texas - I am up for that pie. And gravy!

Sunshine said...

You have great goodies!

Kari said...

Oh my goodness me. Thank you for this post - I was most definitely interested! I am almost speechless with the giddy excitement of so many novel, wonderful looking products. Salted caramel filled chocolate? Corn nuts? Oh America, I must visit you again.

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

Great haul Cakelaw! And their candy has really strong cinnamon doesn't it? Was it like the hot cinnamon flavour?

Cakelaw said...

Hi Lorraine, yes, hot cinnamon! Which is why I didn't like it.

Elaine said...

What a wonderful array of snacks you were able to sample while you were here. TJs is one of my favorite markets here as well. I always find the most interesting snacks and foods there. I am so glad that you found a treat in Sacramento that you really like! :)

Kathy said...

Looks like you had a “sweet” time!! Red hots are a favorite of mine…getting their name from the strong cinnamon flavor!

Shelley said...

Ha! I do the same thing on vacation- all I buy is food. Who needs kitschy souveniers when you can get munchies! Looks like you hit a lot of great places. Hope you had fun! Thanks for stopping by my blog so that I could discover yours.

Anonymous said...

I love that you had Vosges chocolates! Those are my favorite.

Cindy said...

Looks like you found lots of yummy eats! I do not like chocolate covered cinnamon bears either! Trader Joes is finally coming to Salt Lake City Utah--I'm excited.

Johanna GGG said...

great to see your trip through your food! I see a theme of not enjoying cinnamon emerging (is this because it was just too much or because you don't like cinnamon?) and I am very jealous of you being able to buy all these things - did you know there is an american store in Melbourne - I have never been there but constantly intend to go! They are now selling salted roasted corn kernels in safeway which I love. Love the cheesecakes - would love to try salted taffy - no I would love to try it all!

Kayte said...

This was such a fun post to see all your munchie shopping! You have some very interesting things to hear why you chose them and what you thought of them all. I love your travel posts, I never know what treats I will find reading them...this time treats of treats!

Lucas @ said...

You can get BBQ toasted corn from most greengrocers in the Inner West and as a Canadian kid who loved my CornNuts, they're the next best thing. :)