The Junk Food Tourist

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When I travel, one of my favorite things to do is sample the local junk food.  I’m not talking about fine pastry cafes or bakeries, even though they are worth a visit.  What I’m after is the convenience store, grocery store check-out impulse buy food, i.e. candy bars, chips, snacks, etc.  Pretty much anything in a plastic wrapper!  Granted, this habit does not bode well for my waistline, but my sweet tooth always goes home happy!

During my recent trip to London, I kept with my tradition and sampled everything from candy to teacakes.  Being the dork I am, I saved some of the wrappers as souvenirs to safeguard my fond snacking memories.  Beneath each photograph, I’ll get into the yummy details of each goodie.  Try not to drool.

Mars Bar – A chocolate bar filled with nougat and caramel.  It’s a lot like a Milky Way, but much sweeter.  The caramel is thicker so it doesn’t drip in strings as you eat and the nougat is smooth and creamy.

Galaxy – This chocolate bar is my new favorite.  It’s solid milk chocolate that melts like velvet in your mouth.  It’s thick and creamy, yet strangely light.  Best yet, the sweet factor satisfies the most ardent sweet tooth without causing a sugar rush headache.

Double Decker – This is the ultimate snack bar!  It’s huge at about two inches thick and its packed with all sorts of goodies!  The bottom is lined with biscuit pieces which serve as the anchor for a thick layer of chewy, creamy nougat.  Then a nice layer of chocolate holds it all together.  I won’t admit how many of these I ate . . . let’s just say it was plenty.

Crunchie – The interior texture of this chocolate bar defies my powers description, so I had to research it online to find out just what is inside of this thing.  According to Cadbury, the interior is a “toffee sponge.”  However, don’t let the word “sponge” sway you into thinking its soft.  Crunchie gets its name from the rigid crackle you get every time you take a bite.  Running through the center is a line of honey – not liquid – which gives this candy bar a musty sweetness.  It’s weird, but very tasty.

Dairy Milk – The ultimate solid milk chocolate candy bar.  It’s a lot like a galaxy bar, but not as moist.  The chocolate crumbles as you break it apart, but it melts with sweet decadence once you pop it in your mouth.  I must mention that Dairy Milk in the UK is quite different from what Cadbury produces for the U.S.  While the same brand, the chocolate in the States does not taste the same, nor does it have the same consistency.  So honestly, I have a great excuse for bringing home a stash of these candy bars.

Strawbs – The Haribo brand of gummies is well-known within my family, but I’ve never seen this particular variety.  Each gummie is a little strawberry, but has the flavor of a typical gummie bear.  These were a nice break from all the chocolate I was eating and it was nice that they didn’t melt in my purse.

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A Busy Week in London, Part I

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The earlier lag in new posts was caused as much by struggles to locate a reliable internet connection as it was from being insanely busy.  My husband joined me for the first leg on my journey and he wanted to get around and see the sights of London (it’s only his second time to the city).  More creative and detailed writings inspired by these activities are to follow, but here’s a rundown of my first week in London, (the first of two parts).  For a full-size view of pictures, just give them a click!

June 2, 2011

The day started at Westminster Abbey and for the first time I actually went inside!  On all previous visits I passed it up because it is so expensive.  The church itself is beautiful, but the tombs within the walls had my interest from the beginning.  The history and writer geek in me marveled at the graves of Elizabeth I, Chaucer, and Isaac Newton.

After leaving the Abbey, we decided to stroll along the South Embankment of the Thames and soak up a little visit from the sun.  The river flowed along and so did the throngs of tourists, but it’s almost tradition to walk down this side of the river and take in the sights of the London Eye, the film museum, street performers, the London Aquarium, and cityscape across the Thames.

We then wandered into St. James Park and sat for a while to take in the scenery. Waterfowl, tourists, locals, and a stunning view of Buckingham Palace filled out the rest of the afternoon.

For dinner, we visited The Swan on Bayswater Road.  We loved this place when we came a few years back and its great to see the place is still thriving.

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