My brother sort of has it made. He works for an unnamed ticket “broker”. Kind of like those dudes who stand outside of ballgames asking if you need a ticket or have a ticket, only “legitimate”. On that note, I always want to grab the dude who’s yelling “I need tickets!” and pull him over to the dude who’s yelling “Anyone need tickets?” and introduce them to one another. Until I realized that they both work for the same “organization”. And they’d probably shiv me. But again, that’s exactly like my brother’s company.
Because his job is so clearly sports related, he gets to do crazy fun crap like go to major sporting events around the world. Recently he was in Ireland, and like a good brother should, was on a mission to pick up Irish sweets for his baby bro.
Apparently his co workers didn’t believe I exist, and instead thought my bro had a candy problem. He doesn’t, and I’m real. So let’s get to his haul. Today we’re gonna look at a conundrum: a container of 5 classic hard candies, as picked by the shop worker.
“Aunty Nellie’s Sweet Shop”. Quaint as hell. Inside, we found 5 different candies, all very different from each other.
From left to right:
The brown/copper looking guy on the left was your basic cinnamon ball. Pretty good, but it got me thinking: Americans actually do a decent job with cinnamon candy. I’ll take an atomic ball any DAY over one of these. Or a Hot Tamale. Anyhow, these are decent, but not special.
The black dusty log is very simply one of the best hard candies I’ve ever had. It’s a very distinct European flavor that I’ve yet to come across this side of the pond. It’s a combination of licorice and black currant. At first, it really just tastes like black, real licorice. Very quickly though, this sweet, tart berry flavor comes in, and it’s cray cray good. When I find somewhere to buy these, I’ll have a jar of them on my desk at all times. Simply amazing. Anyone across the pond who wants to hook me up…..do it! I’ll make sure you’re handsomely rewarded.
Next up is the red candy wrapped in white. sort of reminds me of a hamhock. Or a pork tenderloin. No matter, cause it doesn’t taste like one! Nope, instead, it tastes….absolutely disgusting-for me, at least. The flavor is clove. And I couldn’t keep one in my mouth for more than 20 seconds. Just way too intense and sharp for me.
The black and white beach ball is more of a classic mint. It’s good, and to be honest, I didn’t have too many, so I can’t go deep into the details. But it didn’t strike me as being particularly notable.
Finally, the red and green ball on the right breaks away from the pack and goes the sour route. I believe it’s apple and cherry, but it doesn’t matter- it’s TDF. To. Die. Fo. Really great flavors, and a perfect balance of tart to sweet. I’d be happy to buy these again, no problem.
So the grouping was mixed to say the least, but that’s how it works: you sample, and if you get lucky, you find a classic. Bro found two, the licorice blackcurrant and the sour apple and cherry balls.
I did find it odd that the brochure that came with the jar had zero contact information for the shop: no address, no phone number, no email, no website. When’s the last time you experienced that? In this mass information “like me on Facebook” world, I can’t decide if it’s refreshing or remiss for Nellie not to include contact info, but I’m veering towards charming and quaint.
Big props to m’broham for goin’ all legitimate in Ireland (and England, too. More reviews to come). When in Ireland, get what the Irish recommend, I say. Sometimes it sucks, and sometimes it’s a gem. Click the link I found below to see the shop’s website.