Thursday, December 31, 2020

Tiramisu and Strawberry Almonds - Gilim Tom's Farm

Tiramisu and Strawberry Almonds -
 Hung Vuong Food Market 

Nuts are my least favorite part of trail mix. I don't have anything against them, I'm not allergic and I don't mind the flavor, in fact I love things flavored with nuts, I just don't want to eat them as-is, for some reason. The idea of someone just snacking on almonds absolutely blows my mind. Yet, it's a booming industry. Look at the snack aisles. They're covered in different flavors of mixed nuts, everything from sweet to savory, and the Hung Vuong Food Market is no exception. 
There was an end cap absolutely filled with different flavors of Gilim Tom's Almonds. From what I can tell, they're the Bertie Bott's of snacking nuts. They offer all kinds of varieties but the store I was in seemed to focus on almonds. 

Here is a quick run down of the flavors I have seen:

wasabi, yogurt, peach, honey butter, caramel pretzel, hot & spicy chicken, tiramisu, strawberry, cookies and cream, laver (seaweed),  banana, sweet red bean, basil pesto, green tea, honey citron, black sugar milk tea, garlic bread, baked corn, Toffeenut Latte, Injeolmi (rice cake), mint chocolate, mango banana, and starlight pangpang (pretty sure it's ramune with popping candy).  

There are so many more, like honey red ginseng or tteokbokki...I could google these for ages, but you get the point. All the unique flavors were just too much for me to resist, so a non-almond-snacker still bought two flavors of snacking almonds: tiramisu and strawberry. 

The lazy thing to do would be to throw some flavored dust on these and call it a day, and with so many flavors I thought that is what the company had to be doing, but the flavoring method actually depends on the flavor itself.  For flavors like tiramisu, we have a thick confectionary layer, then a dusting of cocoa powder. Strawberry is quite different, it has a coating of what seems to be pulverized freeze dried strawberries mixed with sugar. 

First up, tiramisu.  

Thanks to their coating, these are fairly round, and thick. The initial dusting is bitter, and seems to be unsweetened cocoa powder but it really helps to balance the super sweet confectionary layer underneath. This is definitely not "white chocolate," it's some kind of mascarpone cheese and milk-flavored confection, and then the almond itself has some sugary crystals on it that give you a hint of sugar sweetened coffee, and then you finally get to the slightly salty and savory almond in the center. This was not a case of love at first bite, I found the confectionary layer to be way too sweet for my liking, but after bringing these to work for snacking, I found myself reaching for them more and more. Oddly enough, it's the center portion that I really enjoy.

The sugary coffee crystals outside the salty almond center are downright addicting. I tend to savor these, letting each layer melt away, and I feel like that is a big improvement over someone who rarely ever snacks on almonds. 

Next we have strawberry.  

Compared to the large round tiramisu almonds, these look small and kind of shriveled, like little almond-raisins, or some kind of candied flower petal. 

I wasn't too sure what to expect with this one, the coating is very light, but powerful. It's fruity, sweet, creamy, and almost like eating some kind of strawberry almond breakfast cereal. 

According to the translated ingredients, these are flavored with "strawberry milk tea seasoning," and that sounds pretty spot on. I thought the tiramisu were going to be my favorite, because they're essentially candy, but these completely won me over. 

The sweet creamy milk and strawberry flavor, mixed with the crunchy and slightly salty almond is down right addicting, and I am NOT an almond snacker! When savored slowly, the strawberry notes just don't come through as brightly, so if you want the best overall experience, I suggest grabbing 2-3 at at time and just chowing down. 

Neither flavor was enough to convert me into a full blown almond-person, but the strawberry came far close than I ever expected. If you like strawberry milk, or breakfast cereals, this is the perfect snack for you. 

Should I explore more flavors from this awesome line? If so, let me know which ones!  

Fans of these would also like: Amaretti Cookie Nougat, Pumpkin Pie Almonds, Planter's Pumpkin Spiced Almonds, Hershey's Snack Mix, or Coffee Almond Crush Pocky
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