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I feel a little bad that I'm posting about games.  (Isn't this supposed to be a candy blog?  one that I let die?  accidentally on purpose?)

But oh well, I support Aeria =).  I've played Stone Age2, Megaten CB and...Dream of Mirror Online (DoMO). 

Stone age 2 is a cutesy game.  I like the fact that you can catch pets and use them to fight; you do start off with one pet.  I felt it was a bit too simplistic though, both in terms of graphics and the lack of storyline.  Also, the lack of an expandable map was a little annoying.  I like to see where I'm going so I don't accidentally run into monsters that are 5 levels above me.  I don't think there were monster markers either...you just...ran into them and had to fight them or run away.  I also did Megaten for a while (I can't remember the full name, but it's on the Aeria website).  It has a pretty good game design.  The tutorial at the beginning really helped.  I didn't get very far unfortunately, because realistic first-person games tend to make me dizzy.  

Finally, DoMO...the game that eats up so much of my time >_>  I've never done PvP in the game, so I can only comment on PvE.  One of the most common complaints I've heard is it's hard to make money and/or it's hard to solo.  But maybe that's part of the game design, it is supposed to be a social MMO.  Personally, I think it's a pretty newbie friendly game.  Navigation is simple, and the introductory quests tell you a lot about how the game works.  I have 2 reasons why I'm still on this game.  1) The people I've met are mostly great and helpful and genuinely interesting people.  and 2) the fact you can train a bunch of different jobs, and sub skills from those different jobs under one job means things are never boring.  There are so many combinations that you can mix things up and find what you like. 

So, if you need an MMO to kill time, play domo =3

-points at link- http://www.aeriagames.com/

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I love UHA.  Of all three brands I commonly see (UHA, Morinaga and Meiji), I'll almost always go with UHA.  It's because I fell in love with their Puccho candy (I'll get around to writing about that someday).  Now I started learning Japanese, I can actually read the hiragana and/or katakana on the packaging.  Anyway.

The package is a bright fucshia color.  I think they changed the packaging though; at least, it's not the same as the one on their website, and I don't remember seeing this packaging before.  When you open it, you get that grape candy smell.
< beside a very tarnished Canadian penny
The candy itself is sour.  Like, really sour.  Like, burn-your-tongue-and-throat-with-acid sour.  The candy is smaller than a penny.  It's covered in this white, rough coating, and I think that's the sour part.  And then you get to the grape part and it becomes much sweeter.  I'm not a big fan of grape flavored candy in general, but this one is okay.  It doesn't taste like cold medicine or whatever synthetic fluid they call grape juice is.  It tastes a bit like Concord grapes. 

The gummy itself is way harder than most gummies I've had.  It's not like gummi bears, which you can decapitate in one bite.  It's tough and you can chew at it for quite a while.  I don't mind the flavor or the texture that much.  I tend to just chew away at them without really paying attention to how many I've eaten, but I wouldn't really make this part of my regular candy stash.

Scores:
Taste: 7/10
Design: 7/10
Aroma: 6/10
Texture: 6.5/10

Links:
www.uha-mikakuto.co.jp/english/pro/gummi/908.html



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Green and Black's

While I'm on the subject of chocolate, especially organic chocolate, I thought of Green & Black's Organic chocolate.  I think it was the first organic chocolate I ever had.  I used to eat a lot of Lindt chocolate bars or LIndor, and before that, I basically just ate cheap, mass-produced chocolate.

I've only tried two of their bars: Mayan Gold and Mint. 

I'm not a big fan of mint chocolate.  They usually tend to go too heavy on the mint or too heavy on the chocolate.  I especially don't like mint chocolate with the sticky liquidy fillings (maybe that's why I'm not a big fan of Twix or Caramilk).  First of all, it's sticky, which means it's messy.  Second of all, the filling is usually slightly gritty for some reason or other, and I don't like the texture of it in my mouth. 

However, Green and Black's is definitely a noteworthy exception.  I was in the car when I opened the bar and the whole car instantly had a really strong smell of mint chocolate.  It was quite a nice smell.  The chocolate bar has a liquid filling but the mint doesn't overpower the chocolate taste or vice versa.  They complement each other; Green and Black's definitely lived up to their claim.  Also, the filling is not gritty!  That makes me happy.  This is one mint chocolate bar I'd recommend people try.

I tried the Mayan Gold quite a while later.  It was a bit of a disappointment after the Mint bar.  I'm a big fan of orange chocolate bars in general, but this one just didn't cut it for me.  It was solid chocolate, but I found it was a little too heavy on the spices.  I would have liked to taste a little more orange.  The texture was fine.  It's alright as a chocolate bar, but I think I'd spend my money on the mint.

Scores:
Mint
Taste - 9/10
Design - N/A
Aroma - 9/10
Texture - 9/10

Mayan Gold
Taste - 7/10
Design - N/A
Aroma - 7.5/10
Texture - 7.5/10

Links:
www.greenandblacks.com/us/categories.php

Chocovic Guaranda Chocolate

I'm a Canadian.  Candy is (in general) expensive in Canada.  Especially the organic stuff.  Or single origin stuff.  Actually, specialty foods in general is expensive.

So, the bar of Chocovic chocolate sitting on my desk is not bought in Canada, it was actually bought at a Trader Joe's just across the border.  The wrapping looked interesting, the description of the chocolate was about as complex as a description that goes with a good bottle of wine.  Floral tones?  Chocoate is chocolate, right?

As it turns out, it isn't.  I broke off a piece and was kind of in shock for a while.  The chocolate was very smooth.  None of it melted in my hands, and it melted quite gradually in my mouth.  Apart from the wonderful texture though, the flavor was very complex.  I did taste the floral tones, but I'm not quite sure what exactly they were; it reminded me a little of Tazo Passion tea.  It had a deep flavor.  It wasn't too bitter or too sweet, but very well balanced.  It also didn't leave behind a sour or bitter aftertaste, which I find some chocolates do.

I think I'm in love.  I think I'll try the other chocolate bars by this company.

Score:
Taste - 10/10
Design - N/A
Aroma - 9/10
Texture - 10/10

Links:
www.chocovic.es/angles/productos/cober/origen/guaranda.htm

Kumi Ame

It seems fit that the first post about candy should be about kumi ame, the candy this community is named after.  I actually didn't know they were called kumi ame until I saw a recent post about some "election candies" with Obama and McCain on them.  If you'd like to know more about how kumi ame are created, check out the link to Kai's Candy.

The candy I received was a gift someone had brought from Taiwan.  This summer, I had the chance to go back myself and get some.  The store is called Sophisca, and it's an Asian version of Sweet Factory.  They sell individually packaged candies in bulk (both hard candy and gummi candy), chocolate, and some rather unusual things.  They carry these translucent hard candy balls that look inocuous but are labelled as "spicy red peppers" (presumably candy to prank your friends).  The chocolate coffee beans of Sophisca is not particularly noteworthy; they have an aftertaste I don't particularly like.  It's also too milky and not enough chocolate.

What I really like about Sophisca though, is their kumi ame and other hard candies.  The design is stunning, and the flavors aren't too bad. 

< lemon slices

Lemon candy has the aroma of lemon but it is not very sour.  There is a slight tangyness to it.  The same goes for orange candy; it has the aroma but mild flavoring (not shown).  Kiwi flavor doesn't really taste like kiwi, but has a vague sweet-sour taste I can't really place. 

< It even looks like an apple!             Three I happened to pull out today >

My favorite is the apple flavor (which says a lot!)  Unlike most candy manufacturers, the apple taste isn't overwhelmingly synthetic.  It actually tastes like green apple.  There is no aftertaste and the candy gets sweeter towards the end.  Interestingly, the different colors in the candy melt at different rates.  It starts off as a smooth disc, but then small holes quickly form and the candy has a very intriguing texture.

In general, kumi ame is not available in stores in North America (at least, I haven't seen any).  They may be sold online though, but Kai's Candy is the first website in North America that I've heard of that sells this type of candy.  I buy them more for the design, but it's still very good candy.

Scores:
Taste - 8.5/10
Design - 10/10
Aroma - 8/10
Texture - 9/10

Links:
www.kaiscandy.com/obama-mccain-candies
www.sophisca.com.tw/ (in Chinese)

Introduction

I was standing in the middle of my local candy store when I suddenly thought that I should write about candy.  Mind you, I've read many many blogs that review and introduce new candies (some by people with synesthaesia), but I thought I'd give it a shot as well.  Each person's taste is different after all.  I probably won't be writing much about Western candy, so don't be too disappointed if you don't see familiar brands like Twix (I never do get why people like it) or Aero unless it's something particularly different.

Kumi ame, the title of this community, refers to an extraordinary method of making candy.  Flavors vary, but complex patterns can be achieved using this method.  Orange pieces that actually look like oranges, kiwi slices that pay attention to the smallest detail down to the pale cream centre and the little black seeds...all of these are possible with kumi ame.  But more about that in a later post.

I love candy.  What other reason do I need to write about it?