Friday, August 3, 2012

Baboon Marzipan Peanut Butter Candy

I think this post should more properly be titled "de la Rosa" marzipan candy, but I couldn't resist using the Baboon distributor name. In fact, I bought a bigger bag of these simply because of that name. There were actually smaller portions available from another distributor, but, you know, "baboon" is too cool a word. Adding monkeys to anything makes them better. Just ask NASA.

This is actually my second purchase of this candy. I first sampled it when I was spending some time in the San Juan Islands just after leaving Japan. It was distributed there with a pretty generic looking name (same de la Rosa candies inside the packet though) in a section with bagged spices and other Mexican foods. Oddly, despite the fact that most things on the island I was on were more expensive due to their having to be flown or ferried in, this was cheaper there than it was here in California. I paid $2.79 (218 yen) for a package of 7 at Chavez Mexican Market. I think I paid about a dollar for 4 of them on Lopez Island. Go figure. That's a difference of 40 cents (31 yen) per candy vs. about 25 cents (20 yen). My guess is that they're paying big royalties for the use of the whole baboon moniker. Those brand names don't come cheap! Just ask NASA.

Incidentally, candy sellers sell these online through many avenues, and I see them all over the west coast, but they may not be so easy to find in other areas. Amazon offers a huge amount of them. Mexgrocer will let you buy far fewer. 

I didn't really photograph it badly. It's not very photogenic candy.

When I sampled this in Lopez, I was in love. It had everything I adored going for it. It's peanut butter. It's got bits of nuts. It's sweet and has a fatty texture. This is like a crumbly version of peanut butter amped up to "11" on the sweetness scale. When I say "crumbly", I mean it. It is virtually impossible to free a disc of this from its plastic prison without it disintegrating all over the place. It's best eaten from a bowl or plate, or with a spoon. Or you could try to up end the whole thing at once into your mouth and put your sweetness taste buds into shock. I wouldn't advise it though as that may send you into some sort of sugar shock. 

The truth is though that I was less thrilled with this on my second purchase than on my first. Perhaps it was the novelty of something so thoroughly un-Japanese so soon after having so many Japanese things. It also could have been the fact that I was denied peanut butter sweets for so long that this was like a dive into sweet, sweet home. Perhaps I was in a head space where super sweet food sounded more appealing at that time. I found this hard to resist the first time I bought it. Now, well, it's lasting a bit longer.

I enjoyed this, but I think that it's for those who want a particular nibble at a particular time rather than as a "any time" sort of treat. It's good, no doubt, but I think that it went over better after long-term deprivation. Some sweets are for "everyday" and some are best enjoyed in a vacuum... say, after spending 23 years in a country which has neither marzipan nor peanut butter candies, or after spending several months in space. Just ask NASA.


Hirayuki said...

It looks a little like halvah, but more peanutty (and, well, almondy, seeing that halvah is pretty much all sesame). I'll have to look for this in a local Mexican mart!

Susie Eichel said...

This is a treat I had often as a child, I really liked them. I would always make a game of trying to unwrap it with out it crumbling or trying to nibble it with out it falling apart. Utter failure every time but it was still fun. Sometimes, as kids like do play with their food, I would roll it up into a ball. It holds its shape when pressed so I would make shapes with it too. My sweet tooth is not what it was so I have not had one in several years. I may have to have one soon just to see if my like for it has changed.

Petite Geek said...

Hi !!! That was one of my favorites when I was a child (I grew up in Mexico) but nowdays they are no so popular as in my days :( .. anyway, they are oishiiii ...

miyazaki said...

we used to eat these as kids when I lived in LA. I agree that they are pretty sweet the last time I had one up here in SF..that and cactus candy!