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Christmas Eastern European Style?

For Christmas, my lovely wife decided to take me on a tour of (mostly) Eastern Europe via snacks.  Last year it was a selection of British sweets, this year Poland, Ukraine, Russia, etc.  Below is a summary and I’ll post follow ups as these are consumed.

123115-5The first item are these Chio Red Paprika Chips.123115-2

Junk Food Guy reviewed these a few years ago and really liked them.  They’ve got printing in English and, apparently, Hungarian on the bag.  The website for Chio, though…is German.  I popped their cute little history story into my trusty Bing Translator and, oh my, what a fun company!  Let’s check out some historical highlights from Chio…

The potato is inseparable from the Palatinate. The family of Opel managed there, on the estate of Peter pig, for generations many fields. Why you so enough had potatoes do not use for the manufacture of potato chips?

Said and done! On the estate was formed in 1962 first production facility for chio chips
But thus the pleasure of chewing was yet long not breastfed
Now includes potato chips also tacos, tortillas and dips as well as Popcorn and PopCorners to the chio range. Of course with the bite and the wort, for the name chio since over half a century stands.

And there you have it.  Potato chips.  Also tacos.  And the wort.  Long not breastfed pleasure of chewing.  Said and done!

You know, I’m not convinced this translation is completely on point.

(These are tasty. Good paprika flavor. On the thin side.)

Next up is Gingerbread with Fruit Filling in Chocolate – Strawberry artificially flavored from Krakus.  These are a product of Poland manufactured for a NJ company.  Nothing too outlandish here, it seems.  Release the Krakus!  Although they have a lot of cookies in supermarkets, their website hypes their…ham.  Sliced ham, deli ham, dinner ham.  Hmmm…123115-1Now here’s a Prince Polo Dark Chocolate Confection artificially flavored from Olza.  Actually, this is a Mondelez company, so this is probably something fairly standard.  It’s easily tracked down and available on Amazon…a Polish candy bar.  Apparently like a Kit-Kat, but more cookie and less chocolate.  Should be good.123115-8Next is…uhh…Russian.  From Greenadini.  Ok, with Microsoft Translator I’m making progress on their website…this seems to be a novelty with fruit nougat!  Which is exactly what the picture looks like.  OK, this is a candy that is…a prune filled with cherry nougat covered with chocolate icing.  Sure, why not?

Now the next one…uh…ok, not much not in Cyrillic here to work with…aha!  Here’s some English!  “Glazed sweets “Jacqueline” French zephyr with strawberry flavor in chocolate”.  Well, that doesn’t sound bad!  And this Russian direct website seems to confirm it, but throws in ‘creme brulee flavor’.  Hmm…

A small pile of small assorted chocolates follows from Ukraine’s Roshen. Mont Blanc Red: “Unusual mix of the two types of chocolate and praline body bisque filled with crushed hazelnuts. Lack of chocolate shell allows us to emphasize the specificity of praline taste.”  Of course.  Red Poppy is “Candy in chocolate coating, body comes with addition of praline candy crumbs.” Okay then.  And I’ve got a Kara-Kum: “Candy in chocolate coating, body comes with the addition of praline wafer crumbs.” Sounds good.

(Red Poppy was nice.  Just a bit of gritty crunch in a very firm block of decent chocolate.  The chocolate itself has a flavor that is teasing my tongue’s taste memory…I want to say that it tastes like what you’d get with a thick piece of Kit-Kat filling.  Maybe.  I liked it.

Kara-Kum…uh, no.  Very dense, not really much by way of wafer crumbs.  The taste was just sort of weird and unpleasant.  Couldn’t finish this one.

The “Jacqueline” was OK to try.  A strawberry flavored sort of soft jelly with a mallomar consistency blob of marshmallow on top, covered with chocolate.  If the strawberry filling was a bit more of a fondant and less a firm jelly, this would have been much better.)

Then some little hard candies from Poland – Mieszko’s Pikolos, one each of raspberry, lemon, apple, and orange.  These remind me, flavor untasted, of the little candies you get at the City Center in Saratoga.

And a Clumsy Bear from Golden Chocolates in…Brooklyn.  Seems like dark chocolate over wafers filled with hazelnut cream.  Seems fine.

(This is yummy, like a tall, short Kit-Kat, with a hint of hazelnut flavor with the filling.  About 4 bites.  Yum.)

A two-pack of Kinder Bueno Dark Limited Edition.  From Ferrero Poland.  Looks like a straightforward hazelnut filled kinder bar except with dark chocolate.  Nothing wrong with this.123115-7

Next we see a big bag of Wawel Fresh & Fruity. These are little sugar-sanded jellies with a fruity filling.  If I’ve got the same product, these are: “Fresh & Fruity Jellies are ideal for those who prefer lighter flavours. A sweet fruity flavour portion. The new stuffed jellies comprise four  fruity flavours with a soft filling. Pineapple and Orange with a raspberry heart, Lime and Raspberry with a lemon heart.” Sounds pretty great, actually.  The description on the side indeed translates as these flavors.123115-3

123115-4(OK, what’s the deal here? I’ve had two of them so far and they’re a perfectly fine, fruity jelly, sanded with sugar, but there is no filling.  A lime one was just lime.  Yummy, but plain.  Then I had a red one and bit it in half and thought I imagined a slightly different colored jelly inside, but no filling, no obviously different flavor inside.  Tasty, but not as expected.)

(So some of these do seem to have a sort of slightly thinner ‘filling’.  Those are actually less pleasant, but still fairly ok.)

And, last but not least, my wonderful wife also gave me a small bag of the Swedish Fish I love and an assortment of dark chocolate covered goodies from Uncle Sam’s.  Plus some small dark chocolate penguins.123115-6

But wait, as they say, there’s more!  We need something to wash this all down.  Three bottles to check out.123115-10

First we have Cherry Apple drink from Tymbark, a Polish company.  Looks tasty.

Next is a Cream Soda from Russia.  The description on this site is pretty awesome:

Try to recall the most pleasant, warm and unfeigned memories from your childhood. Whatever gets the list of priorities there invariably will be sunny, sparkling and sweet cream-soda! No Coca-cola, Pepsi and other foreign fancy beverages will ever replace this light remembrance of careless, cheerful childhood! Cream-soda is not just a drink, it is a symbol of a whole epoch along with black-and-white films, coin-operated machines and faith in clear future!

We offer you to try genuine Cream-soda The recipe according to which this drink is prepared has been kept invariable since pre-revolutionary times. Spicy and at the same time perfectly smooth and delicate, Cream-soda co-opted long-term experience of the best specialists that have put their soul and priceless knowledge into producing of first-rank beverage! As a result you have an opportunity to try the unfeigned, real cream-soda tasted as it did in Soviet times!

Perfectly combined ingredients along with advanced manufacturing sciences contribute to the unique taste of В«Cream-soda ChernogolovkaВ». However people all over the world appreciate this beverage not only for its superb taste. Everyone who has only once tried В«Cream-soda ChernogolovkaВ» in the heat of summer sultry day knows that nothing on the

Yeah, it just ends there.  If that doesn’t make you want to drink this spicy, perfectly smooth and delicate first-rank beverage and pine away over Soviet times, well, what could?

And finally we track down one chock full of Cyrillic lettering…Narzan’s Limonad.  Lemonade.  I guess.  Not much luck searching here, but apparently it was highly recommended by the guy at the shop.  We’ll see.

(Well, this is interesting.  Lightly bubbly, I took a whiff and tried to place the very familiar smell.  A small sip, and again, try to place it.  I just about finished a small glass before I finally go it – banana runts.  No, really.  This stuff smells like liquid banana runts and tastes lightly of them, too.  Not lemon, although I can sort of convince myself it’s a bit lemony, but mostly – banana runts.

The cream soda is really tasty.  It’s cream soda.  I can’t say I’m longing for the Soviet Union because of it, but it’s good.)