Six Colors
Six Colors

by Jason Snell & Dan Moren

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By Jason Snell

An analysis of Scottish sweets

What puts both W’s in WWDC? Worldwide, that’s what! At one point during WWDC week I had people from Scotland, England, Italy, Australia, and Tennessee (gasp!) in my living room.

Our guests James Thomson (author of PCalc and DragThing) and Saskia Koehler came from Glasgow with sweets for us all, products either brought by request or because they felt they were particularly Scottish. In the interest of worldwide developer relations, I present to you my review of sweets brought to my house from Scotland.

Tunnock's Mallow
Tunnock’s Mallow

Tunnock’s Milk Chocolate Mallow: It reminded me of a Ding Dong, but that’s not it. This is a thin cookie topped with a giant dollop of marshmallow, covered in chocolate. It looks big, but because there’s so much air in marshmallow fluff, it seemed surprisingly light. The cookie on the bottom gives you someplace to put your thumb so that the whole thing doesn’t just collapse. I liked this one a lot.

Tunnock's Snowball
Tunnock’s Snowball

Tunnock’s Coconut Covered Marshmallow Snowball: Wow. This is just a patty of marshmallow covered in coconut flakes. It’s mushy and hard to hold—perhaps it’s more stable in its native climate, rather than in California?—and tastes like a Mounds bar without the chocolate. Also, it’s horrendously messy. I am never getting all the coconut flakes off of my desk.

Tunnock's Caramel Log
Tunnock’s Caramel Log

Tunnock’s Caramel Log: “Crunchie Biscuit – Munchie Caramel – Roasted Coconut” reads the gold foil package. (I don’t think that’s how you spell “crunchy” and “munchy”, Scotland.) I suppose it’s truth in packaging, though: There’s a wafery feel to the biscuit. I detected little to no caramel (there’s certainly no sign of the oozing caramel you’d see in an American sweet) but a whole lot of toasted coconut flakes. With a name like “Caramel Log,” I had high hopes for this one—but whatever I imagined, this wasn’t it. Also, my desk is now covered in coconut flakes.

Lee's Macaroon
Lee’s Macaroon

The Original Lee’s Macaroon: Is it a macaroon or a macaron? This is a macaroon. More toasted coconut! I may need to pull out and nuke my garage from orbit. It’s the only way to be sure. When I bite in I discover that there’s no cookie or chocolate or cake inside, but fondant—pure plain sugar! It’s all covered in some chocolate and a bunch of coconut and breadcrumbs. I like sweet things, but this is overkill even for me.

Tunnock's Mallow
Tunnock’s Mallow

Crunchie Bar: Imported from Scotland by request. My friend Kerri turned me on to the Crunchie Bar a while ago while we were on a cruise to Bermuda, a place where British sweets are available. The first one was tried for novelty purposes, but every one since then has been done out of love. The Crunchie Bar is covered in chocolate, but inside is a light, toffee-like filling in a honeycomb shape that gives the bar its name (again, that’s not how you spell “crunchy”). I have never been a candy bar person, but my favorite candy bar as a kid was always a Butterfinger. Part of that was my obsession with peanut butter (which continues to the present day) and the other part was the interesting, crunchy texture of the bar’s filling. Crunchie isn’t quite the same, but it’s close. Try one sometime if you see one. They’re a lot of fun.

So what have we learned? We’ve learned that Scots, perhaps due to their utter lack of proximity to tropical climates, really like coconut. Who knew? Not me, certainly. I thought they fried everything.

Thus ends my review of sweets brought from Scotland. James and Saskia also brought us some lovely tea, which I have brewed in my robotic tea-making apparatus and enjoyed very much.

Now if you excuse me, I’m on a sugar high, so I’ve got to go run around for a while and then take a very long nap.

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