Snack Time #37 – Sweet Shoppe Jelly Beans

The Sip Advisor is a jelly bean fan, but I’m also quite particular about which types I enjoy. Among those I prefer are these candies from Sweet Shoppe, which are satisfyingly tasty and the right consistency, in my humble opinion.

With five different colours, flavours include cherry, blue raspberry, lemon, orange and apple, all of the sour variety. In a serving, I typically have two of each colour, unless Mrs. Sip has removed all the blues and reds, her favourites.

Sour Jelly Beans.jpg

The product can be found at Dollarama stores for the low, low price of $1. I can’t seem to find much more information on the product online, but if the Sip Advisor’s word is good for anything, it should be for jelly bean advocating.

A trip to the dollar store doesn’t go by without a jaunt past the candy aisle. Superb deals can still be found on these products. While some dollar store items can be suspect, name brand treats shouldn’t cause any concern.

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Flavour Revolution – Papaya

Slang Bangers

Somehow, the papaya has become slang in Costa Rica for a statement lacking truth, as well as in Cuba for a woman’s downtown lady parts. Here is some other fruit-based slang that will change the way you look at melons, berries, and citrus:

Apples

In this category, you can become a bad apple, be the apple of one’s eye, be an apple that didn’t fall far from the tree, polish one’s apple with a flattering comment, be a Jackson 5 song and spoil the whole bunch, or be compared through the apples and oranges argument. So, how do you like them apples?

apple mcdonalds

Bananas

I’m not a big banana fan and I certainly wouldn’t want to live in a banana republic, which means crazy stuff is going down in an unstable country… and yet a clothing store took the name. On the other hand, I’ve often enjoyed the work of second bananas on TV and in movies. And in all honesty, Mrs. Sip would probably tell you I went bananas many years ago and somehow she still puts up with me… perhaps she drove me there!

Cherry

My life is pretty damn good. One might say that it’s a bowl of cherries. I work hard to maintain my relationships and keep everything in cherry condition. I’m very careful in making choices and tend to cherry-pick. Although, in sports such as hockey, I’ve never been one to cherry pick offensively and have always had a mind for the defensive end and a complete game.

Lemon

Perhaps best applied to cars – some U.S. states even have lemon laws to protect used car buyers – this term is used to describe items that are constantly in need of repair. In a completely different realm, adult-oriented Japanese comics, known as Hentai, are apparently called lemon in the western world.

large lemons

Melon

Running the complete gamut, the noble family of melons can be used to describe everything from someone’s head to a women’s ample bosoms. If you were trying to decide the best melon for either of those body parts, I’m sure the answers would be quite varied.

Grape

I think some of the worst people out in the world are those who have sour grapes because they are envious of what others have, not appreciating what they themselves have been blessed with. Also, if you go to the vine where grapes are grown, you might become a player in the spreading of a rumour and these folks might not be much better than those with sour grapes.

wine-grape-depression

Pear

When something takes the shape of a pear, you know trouble is coming. It means that plans have backfired and some serious improv is needed to get things back on track and save the mission. There are many theories on where the term originated, from human bodies as we age to World War I and II happenings and even ship construction.

Peach

As described above, most of my life can be described as being peachy. Mrs. Sip plays a large role in this, as she’s a peach. I suppose if you hated peaches or were allergic to them, you might be hesitant to use the term to define anything good.

Flavour Revolution: Compadre

It seems like so many of these fruit slangs can be turned sexual. Even the innocent apricot is used to describe a man’s cajonies, while the cherry can be referenced for a number of different adult-oriented ideas.

Finland – Asterix

Metal Militia

Heavy metal music is huge in Scandinavia, particularly in Finland. Apparently there is even a bunch of sub-genres (death, black, folk, power, cello and symphonic)… who knew!? Let’s put on our leather and black make-up (is that even a metal thing?) and take a closer look at some of the country’s biggest metal acts:

Apocalyptica

This band is made up of three classically trained cellists (Eicca Toppinen, Paavo Lötjönen, and Perttu Kivilaakso) and drummer Mikko Sirén. The quartet originally began as a Metallica tribute group – yes, using nothing but cellos – before evolving into other styles of music. Apocalyptica has even worked with Mr. Gwen Stefani (aka Gavin Rossdale of Bush fame). Their 8th studio album should be out sometime this year for Finnish metal fanatics everywhere.

Stratovarius

Around since 1984 (although no original members have been with the band since 1995), Stratovarius is one of power metal’s most influential groups, releasing 18 albums over the last 30 years. Over that time, the ensemble has cycled through 15 different members, but has managed to remain critically and commercially successful. Some of their best singles include: Black Diamond, Speed of Light, and the 10-minute Destiny.

Sonata Arctica

Originally a hard rock band under the names Tricky Beans and later Tricky Means, the group finally settled on Sonata Arctica when moving to the power metal genre, although they prefer to call their style melodic metal. The unit cites Queen as a primary influence, as well as fellow Finnish metal band Stratovarius. A RPG-style (role playing) video game was even supposed to feature the band and their music, but was cancelled for unknown reasons.

Hevisaurus

First of all, great name (providing it means what I think it does: a massive kick-ass, metal wailing dinosaur) and second, they’re a children’s power metal band! Where else do you ever see the term “children’s power metal”!? I looked into it a little more and the band actually dresses up in dinosaur costumes for their performances and has a detailed backstory including being hatched from metal eggs that were dormant for 65 million years before lightning and witches’ spells cracked them open.

Children of Bodom

One of Finland’s best-selling musical acts of all-time, Children of Bodom’s style has been described by fans as melodic death metal, power metal, thrash metal, early symphonic black metal, and neoclassical metal (how can there be so many ways to describe one act!?). These guys aren’t making easy listening tunes, with album titles that include Hatebreeder, Hate Crew Deathroll, Are You Dead Yet?, Blooddrunk, and Halo of Blood. I hope they find peace in what they’re looking for!

Nightwish

The most successful Finnish band outside the country’s borders (and third best-selling within Finland), Nightwish has numerous chart-topping albums and singles around the world. For the group’s debut album, songs were written and performed in both Finnish and English, but the band has largely dropped their native tongue, with lead vocalist and keyboardist Tuomas Holopainen stating that “Finnish [could] quickly sound really cheesy.”

Lordi

This group (known for their concert theatrics, such as wearing masks, costumes, using pyrotechnics, and horror elements) won the 2006 Eurovision song contest with their “Hard Rock Hallelujah”. With the victory, they became the first rock act and Finnish band to place first in the competition. After their big win, Lordi hosted a free concert in Helsinki’s Market Square. The ensemble even have a soft drink named after them. Lordi Cola features artwork of the band and apparently tastes like death.

HIM

With their album Dark Light, HIM (His Infernal Majesty from The Satanic Bible) became the first Finnish group to have an album certified gold in the United States. The band has earned a reputation as a ‘love metal’ group and how could you not come to the same conclusion with album titles like Razorblade Romance and the use of a altered pentagram logo turned into a ‘heartagram.’ HIM has also been described by themselves and critics as ‘Goth N’ Roll’ and ‘Scandinavian Blues.’

Finland: Asterix

Asterix Cocktail

  • 0.75 oz Finlandia Vodka
  • 0.75 oz Pisang Ambon
  • Top with Lemon-Lime Soda
  • Dash of Lemon Juice
  • Garnish with a Cherry

While I lean more towards classic rock in my music preference, I have to say that many of these Finnish groups have great names and that’s a good start in the performance industry. Add in monster masks and dinosaur costumes and I might be sold on the whole genre!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4.5 Sips out of 5):
Wow, Finlandia Vodka is 2-for-2 when it comes to great cocktails. I just love the flavour of banana that comes through in the aftertaste thanks to the Pisang Ambon… and I’m not even a banana fan. Everything works well together here and I urge all you little sippers to give the drink a chance. It also looks so cool!

Italy – Sunday Confession

Goodfellas

The term “mafia” comes from Sicily, Italy, and let’s be honest, the most famous of mobsters all hail from the Italian line of organized crime, also known as Cosa Nostra, which translated means “Our Thing.” And, it certainly is THEIR thing. While the term ‘Omertà’ governs the mafia with a code of silence, the Sip Advisor is breaking all the rules with our own ‘Most Wanted’ list of infamous Italian gangsters:

Vito Cascioferro

Thought of as the ‘Boss of Bosses’ during his reign at the top, Cascioferro was arrested approximately 69 times during his career, but always acquitted. His luck ran out in June 1930, when Cascioferro was tried for numerous offences, including murder, attempted murder, robbery, extortion, and other offences. He was convicted and given a life sentence. He died in prison somewhere between 1943-45, with many inmates considering it an honour to now fill the same jail cell.

Mafia Cats

Calogero Vizzini

Dubbed the ‘King of the Black Market,’ Vizzini was even made mayor of Villalba, Italy (where his crime family was based), following World War II. Vizzini’s death was big news, even reported by the New York Times. Thousands turned out for the leader’s funeral, including other bosses, politicians, and priests. Vizzini predicted that the mafia would die with him and the old-school version did slowly dissolve, but was replaced by a more modern mob that we recognize today.

Michele Navarra

The boss of the famed Corleone family (also used for the Godfather movies) from 1944-58, Navarra was also a trained physician and perhaps this is why he was more likely to delegate murders than commit them himself. Navarra was killed on August 2, 1958 after feuding with former associate Luciano Leggio, whom Navarra tried to have ambushed by 15 gunmen, yet somehow Leggio survived with only minor injuries. I’d question his leadership, too!

Luciano Leggio

Speaking of Leggio, he became the Corleone boss following Navarra’s death and is credited with starting the Second Mafia War. After a string of acquittals on various charges, Leggio finally found himself sentenced to life imprisonment for Navarra’s slaying, but disappeared, running a successful kidnapping ring while on the run. He was finally caught in 1974, but continued to have influence over the syndicate from behind bars. He died in prison, of a heart attack in 1993.

Mafia Comic

Salvatore Riina

After Leggio was arrested in the 1970’s, Riina eventually took over control of the Corleone family, which was ironic because he was one of the suspects in the assassination of Navarra. Riina was considered the ‘Boss of Bosses’ following the Second Mafia War. Nicknamed ‘The Beast,’ by fellow mobsters, this 5’2” leader used a campaign of violence to achieve power, killing rivals, as well as prosecutors and other government officials. Riina was arrested in 1993, after 23 years as a fugitive.

Bernardo Provenzano

One of the most powerful Sicilian bosses of all-time, Provenzano followed Riina as leader of the Corleone family. Once at the helm, Provenzano worked to change the perception of the mafia to being less violent, more diplomatic and willing to work with established institutions. Under the new guidelines, violence was only to be used if absolutely necessary. Despite all that, Provenzano spent more than 40 years evading police capture, before authorities finally arrested him in April 2006.

Italy: Sunday Confession

Sunday Confession Cocktail

  • 1 oz Limoncello
  • 1 oz Tequila
  • Splash of Lemon Juice
  • Top with Ginger Ale
  • Garnish with a Cherry

This all has me wanting to go back and watch some of the best mafia media. Take your pick, but my favourites include The Godfather franchise, Goodfellas, The Sopranos, and Donnie Brasco. Perhaps I’ll have to do a future article on fictional mobsters… so long as they make me an offer I can’t refuse!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4 Sips out of 5):
This cocktail has a perfect name for a mafia-related article, although confession would certainly go against the Omertà code of silence. I used Cranberry Ginger Ale instead of the recommended Ginger Beer because it seemed like a good idea and it worked out really well. Limoncello and Tequila was a decent mix, too.

June 11 – Lolita

Banned Cinema

Movie history is littered with films that, for one reason or another, governments have banned its constituents from viewing or possessing. I’m a staunch supporter of anti-censorship. In my opinion, the discretion falls on the person themselves to decide what they do or don’t want to see, or, in the case of children, it is the responsibility of their parents to make these choices. That said, here are some notable movies that have been deemed forbidden:

Lolita

The name of today’s cocktail comes from the classic novel by Vladimir Nabokov (those crazy Russkies) that was later adapted into two movies. The story centers on an older man’s lust for a young girl, which brings about obvious concerns over subject matter. Lolita is one of the most controversial works of all time, but it’s also one of the most highly regarded, most likely due to the poetic language of its writing. I just hope the drink is decent!

Lolita

Texas Chainsaw Massacre

Leatherface is one badass dude, hacking his way through any unfortunate victim(s) who stumble upon his messed up backwoods family. One of the creepiest parts of this film is right at the start when the viewer is informed that what you’re about to see is based on a true story. Of course, it isn’t, but that thought sticks with you throughout. I don’t understand why this film was banned while other similar entries in the genre flew under the radar. Perhaps, it was just ahead of its time.

Monty Python Films

The movies, Life of Brian and Meaning of Life, from the comedy troupe were banned in a few countries, such as Ireland, because they were considered blasphemous. Of course, the clever team used the bans to their advantage, creating ads that said “So funny it was banned in Norway!”.

Barney’s Great Adventure

Personally I wonder why the entire world couldn’t ban the giant purple dino! Good on Malaysia for realizing that a figment of children’s imagination that tells kids to love and hug each other is sending bad messages to youth. The government found that the film was unacceptable for children and never provided any further details… and why should they?

Barney

Cannibal Holocaust

Where to begin with this film? Most countries banned it due to violence committed on animals, but there were also rumours that actors had legitimately died in the filming and the movie was therefore of the “snuff” variety. While the human deaths were disproven, the animal cruelty was in fact real, which is not cool. The Colombian natives were also treated poorly by director Ruggero Deodato. Credit does have to be given to the makers of this movie for being one of the first “found footage” stories, however.

Last Tango in Paris

Seriously!? A country like Italy banned a movie for strong sexual content??? Didn’t they invent the language of love and all that other junk? Sure there’s a scene that involves the use of butter as lubrication, but come on, who hasn’t reached for the dairy in a pinch?! Italy, I am so disappointed in you.

A Clockwork Orange

Let’s see, why would this movie ever be banned? Could it be the gratuitous violence perpetrated by Alex and company? Could it be the home invasion, crippling and rape of an innocent couple? Not bad enough for you yet? What about the murder of another woman with a giant penis statue? Yeah, that one did it for me, too. Regardless, this cult favourite is actually a intriguing watch. This is yet another adapted screenplay from a novel and perhaps we should just ban all books, so movies don’t have to suffer.

A-Clockwork-Orange

2012

Well, this has got to be one of the craziest bans of a movie I’ve ever seen. Apparently, in North Korea, it was made illegal to show the fictional Apocalypse tale because 2012 marks the 100th birthday of former leader, Kim Il Sung, and North Korean’s had dubbed the year “the year for opening the grand gates to becoming a rising superpower”. Thus, according to the country, a film that says the year 2012 will bring about the “end of days” was too negative a message. Citizens caught with a pirated copy of the film or even viewing the movie are arrested and charged with “grave provocation against the development of the state”.

Saw VI

Saw VI was banned for scenes of gory violence and torture… yeah, because it differs so drastically from movies I through V! I like the Saw series of movies, particularly the first two entries. While I can see why some would hesitate to watch this franchise (and the many that have followed in a similar fashion since), that is their decision to make and not the government’s.

saw

Goldfinger

The James Bond film was banned in Israel after a short run when it was revealed that Gert Fröbe, who played villain Auric Goldfinger, was once a member of Germany’s Nazi Party. The ban was lifted a few months later when a man came forward saying that he and his mother had been hidden and saved from the Nazi Gestapo by Fröbe. This was the planned sequel to Schindler’s List.

Hostel Movies

These horror flicks were banned for depicting the people of Eastern European countries as buyers of human slaves… which is incredibly accurate, but something the Ukrainian government took great offense to. It’s like if Canada took offense to a movie about hockey goons, who love their poutine.

Drink #162: Lolita

Lolita Cocktail

Of all these banned movies, I’ve only seen a handful of them. I’m intrigued to check out the one’s I have yet to view, with Barney’s Great Adventure topping my list. Perhaps I’ll even review it for all my little sippers!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3.5 Sips out of 5):
The simple recipe largely recreates a Sangria taste and that is totally welcome in my little world! I particularly like how this drink is garnished, especially when you think of the Lolita story.

May 13 – Lazy Afternoon

Late Adopters

I like to think that I’m pretty with it when it comes to good TV shows and I usually find series’ before the mass audience tunes in. Broski Sip and I watched Arrested Development from day one, years before most people realized it was the cleverest show on television. I was with Family Guy all the way through its cancellation and resurrection. Here are a few shows that slipped through the cracks of my amazing radar, but have since been picked up by Mrs. Sip and myself.

Archer

On a night staying over at Ma and Pa Sip’s place (they have more channels than I do), Mrs. Sip and I saw Archer for the first time and were immediately hooked. In only a few weeks we’ve gone through the first four seasons of the animated comedy and have loved every minute of it. The wacky ISIS spy agency and their adventures are full of so many goodies and I hope this show continues on for many years to come.

Archer Blimps

Firefly

Unfortunately, Mrs. Sip and I learned of this wonderful show well after it had already been cancelled. A western-space crossover initially just didn’t appeal in the slightest. We did get on board with it shortly after though, and well before its feature film Serenity was released. Ultimately, there’s just something about the sci-fi-western mix that works, the writing is fun, story lines witty, and all of the characters are likeable in their own special ways.

Community

We started watching Community when it had already finished its second season. I had seen brief commercials for the comedy, but for some reason never really felt the need to give it a chance. Finally, after hearing some buzz about it, Mrs. Sip and I checked it out and were far from disappointed. Sadly, the show seems to be coming to an end, as not enough viewers like me caught on to how original and creative it actually was until it was too late.

Parks and Recreation

I actually watched the premiere episode of this series and didn’t really enjoy it the first time around. Years later, I gave it another chance and after working through a decent first season, absolutely fell in love with the characters in its second campaign. You know you have a good show in front of you when you try to pick your favourite character and you keep wanting to change your selection

Parks and Rec Pissed

Rome

Rome was one of the first HBO series that Mrs. Sip and I ever watched and it hooked us to the channel and its programming for life. The show had already rushed its two season run to cram in as much Roman history as possible, but the epic was still masterfully done, with wonderful settings, and complex characters you could really appreciate.

Flight of the Conchords

Mrs. Sip and I started watching Flight of the Conchords after the show had already finished production and we quickly fell in love with the quirky New Zealanders. The songs the guys perform are actually pretty catchy – “Business Time” and “Too Many Dicks on the Dance Floor” being among my favourites – and while the humour is a little dry, it’s an acquired taste worth acquiring.

Oz

The jail house drama is quite the crazy series to undertake. I had watched the odd episode here and there many years before we finally started the show from the beginning. It’s funny to root for some real despicable characters, but you find yourself doing just that. I won’t spoil any plot points, but for the last couple years, Mrs. Sip and I have only had four episodes left to watch but can’t bring ourselves to finish the series, afraid of what might happen to one character in particular.

Drink #133: Lazy Afternoon

Lazy Afternoon Cocktail

  • 1 oz Whiskey
  • 1 oz Peach Schnapps
  • 0.5 oz Cherry Liqueur
  • Top with Pineapple Juice
  •  Garnish with Cherry Blaster Candies

Finding these gems of shows is like coming across found money in a seldom worn jacket. You usually end up with an already built library of great episodes to now go through and enjoy and you don’t have to wait each week for the next adventure.

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3 Sips out of 5):
I changed the Cherry Brandy part of this recipe to Cherry Liqueur. The drink was decent, but not a grand slam hit. For such a great cocktail name, I was hoping for better results.