Brave New Food: Karums

Karums orange

When I was a kid, we lived in a very suburban town. There weren’t really any small shops to walk to and goddamn if the ice cream truck didn’t know exactly when my family was sitting down to dinner to come through my neighborhood — an event which only happened a couple times each summer anyway — and we were almost never allowed to leave the dinner table to go buy something.

Now, as an adult, on any given day that’s above 70 degrees, I have virtually no ability to pass by an ice cream truck or deli without buying something sweet and frozen. (And this year, I’m even tracking just how many things I buy on Daytum.)

Which brings me to the photo above. I was in Food Palace (the little store selling Russian and Eastern European things like jam and cookies) when I spotted a freezer chest full of little blocks of K?rums for 99¢ each. I picked an orange one and some kind of peanut/hazelnut one.

I was a bit taken aback by the price because they’re quite small blocks — about half the size of a deck of cards. As my husband, kid, and I all walked home, we tried to figure out what they tasted like, exactly. The coating was obviously chocolate, but inside? It was creamier and richer than ice cream. A bit like custard, but not eggy. Eventually, in the mass of other languages on the wrapper, I spotted a description and ingredient list in English:

curd snack

Curd snack with succades.

I had to look up what succades were when I got home (candied citrus peel, in brief) but I puzzled over “curd” for at least 10 minutes before it struck me: cheesecake. It’s basically a chunk of frozen, chocolate covered cheesecake… but an exceptional chunk of dense, rich cheesecake with flecks of candied orange zest in it. And the 99¢ price tag I balked at initially was actually a bargain; we shared two between the three of us and I can’t say I would have easily finished one on my own.

Between these and Mamita’s Ices, Summer 2010 could be the tastiest one yet.

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