Monday, May 23, 2011

Hammond's Candies, Cascal Fermented Soda, And Wondering About Where To Get More Like That

No one roots for Howard County food more than me, but I have to admit that we could use some spots for exciting discoveries.

Usually this happens after Mrs. HowChow returns from Whole Foods.

Hammond's marshmallows and caramels have been favorites since we first found them in Capogiro in Philadelphia.  They thrive on wonderful gelato, but they also curate a handful of candies and cookies on the counter.

The marshmallows are softer than the ones we pop from the bag and toast for s'mores.  They come wrapped in caramel.  They're also in a plastic bag that you cannot open quietly.  Seriously.  She hears even if she is already asleep on the couch.

The new find is Cascal, a soda that pushes towards the world of adult beverages.  The label talks about how they use fermented juice.  There is no alcohol, but the flavor comes like a hard cider, maybe slightly lighter.

Right from the fridge, it's like light and fun.  A perfect toast with people who don't drink liquor.  A refreshing break on a summer patio.  More than the other sodas that I've picked up in ethnic groceries, Cascal truly has an adult taste, which is impressive and makes me want to try more.

Where do I get more surprises nearby?  None of this is a necessity, but it's the kind of fun that I hope we'll get from the Columbia Wegmans.  The local organic markets certainly have some interesting items, but I love new items like stumbling on candied fruit at Estrellita in Elkridge.  I want more.

Any suggestions other than Whole Foods?  Any little shops in Ellicott City?  Anywhere off the beaten path that has something impressive and different?

Okay.  One update.  Cascal says on the back that it's "crafted by independent brewers for Nexstep Beverages LLC" of Houston.  Apparently, you rearrange those letters, and it spells out "Made By The Coca-Cola Company."  I'm fine with drinking a Coca-Cola product.  I'm suspicious about why they don't want me to know.


Anonymous said...

Because there are some people who are so against buying things from Pepsi and Coke they wouldn't buy that even if it's the nectar of the Gods.

(And yes I know people like that)

Kristi said...

I just tried PopCorners from Wegmans. Absolutely amazing, they're like light tortilla chips, but made from popcorn. I wonder if any of the local stores have them.

Anonymous said...

A new store that just opened on Main Street in Ellicott City called Sweet Elizabeth Jane has a little candy bar. It has a variety of candy including Hammond's caramels which I bought one day and keep finding myself "just stopping in" on my way home from work to buy more. My daughters also really liked the old fashioned taffy and candy sticks. Lots of fun and unusual flavors.