Pumpkins, pumpkins. I've tried to acquire a taste for them, but I'm just not there yet. Once, I did have a pretty good pumpkin soup - served in a pumpkin! - on a Rochester dinner cruise along the lovely Genesee River. (I'm using the term "lovely" loosely here. When I rowed on the crew team at the University of Rochester, rumor had it that if you dipped any limbs in the water, they'd come out infected or mutated. A giant mutant fish did jump in the boat once, right behind my seat, flopping against my back. I had to stop rowing to toss it overboard.)
Anyway, back to pumpkins. I wanted to give them another chance this year, so I gladly accepted an offer of a sample* of Pumpkin Pie Fudge from Phillips Candy House, "Boston's Oldest Chocolatier." Phillips also sent me some chocolate-dipped jack-o'-lantern-shaped Peeps. YES! I'm a big fan of Peeps in moderation, but if you eat too many in a row, they start tasting pretty gross. I had never tried chocolate-dipped Peeps, so this was an exciting sample to receive!
First, the fudge:
Look, it's in the shape of a pie slice! Cute :) And I liked it! Made of pumpkin puree, it actually tasted like real pumpkin, and it was very nicely spiced. The chocolate crumb crust balances out the pumpkin nicely. Pumpkin alone probably would have been too much for my taste, but I'm still on the fence about pumpkin flavor in general. I'm sure all you pumpkin lovers out there will really enjoy this fudge.
Next, the Peeps!
I shared these with my bandmates before a rehearsal a few nights ago. "Peeps suck, but these don't suck so bad," said Andy. So there you have it! The chocolate is an improvement over regular Peeps. It was a very mild milk chocolate, so it seemed to tone down the obnoxious sugary Peep flavor that so many people dislike.
According to the Phillips Candy House website, they "continue to make artisan chocolates and other confections by hand and in small batches, using only the finest and freshest ingredients," which is pretty awesome, so I'm happy to report that I really enjoyed these samples. If you buy anything from Phillips, I'd encourage you to consider a Yoouukk! Bar as part of your order. Phillips is donating 100% of the net proceeds from this chocolate bar to Kevin Youkilis' "Hits for Kids" charitable organization, which supports charities and organizations focused on kids' health and well-being.
In other pumpkin-y news, I just picked up some bottles of Dogfish Head Punkin Ale, "a full-bodied brown ale with smooth hints of pumpkin and brown sugar," to bring to a Halloween party. I've never had it, so I'll update this post once I've actually tasted it, but I'm a big fan of several other Dogfish Head beers (60 Minute IPA, 90 Minute IPA, and Raison d'Etre) so I have high hopes for this one.
Some other local pumpkin finds (Except for the last one, I have not tasted these; I've just heard about them or found them online):
-Cinna Punk vegan cupcake at Kickass Cupcakes (Davis Square, Somerville) - "sassy pumpkin spice cupcake with cinnamon frosting"
-Pumpkin Spice Frappuccino at all Starbucks locations (Sorry, I know Starbucks hardly counts as local.) - "a delicious blend of pumpkin and traditional fall spice flavors combined with the finest coffees, blended with ice and topped with whipped crème and pumpkin spice spices."
-Pumpkin and pumpkin pie cupcakes at Sweet (Harvard Square and Back Bay) - Pumpkin: "Sweet's fall classic, fresh moist pumpkin cake topped with traditional cream cheese frosting and topped with a cinnamon sugared pumpkin seed" and pumpkin pie: "Graham cracker crust, rich pumpkin cake and a dollop of homemade whipped cream topping sprinkled with nutmeg complete the Sweet cupcake version of this favorite autumn pie."
-Kaddo at The Helmand near Kendall Square - "Pan-fried then baked baby pumpkin seasoned with sugar and served on yogurt garlic sauce, topped with ground beef sauce." I've had great food at The Helmand before, but I've never tried this dish.
*I accepted a free sample from Phillips: a slice of fudge and some Peeps. On occasion, I do receive free stuff, and I will always disclose when I'm writing about something I received for free. I am in no way obligated to write about free stuff I receive, and if I do write about it, I'm not obligated to write a positive review. This review, along with everything else in my blog, is my completely honest opinion.