One Last Hurrah...
Well, i bought one more box of Exoticas. People have been saying good things, so I had to look into it myself.
I received the "new batch", with the UPC code printed on the side.
The first thing I noticed is how light they are. Compared to the CocoNara's, it's like a Hummer to a Tank.
Second thing I noticed is that they are weaker. The first thing i used to try to cut them was the serrated edge on my pocket knife. It has always worked with past Exoticas; but it failed with these new ones. I could not get a piece that had not cracked or chipped. Second for of cutting was a Razor-Tooth Saw. They are garden tools, serrated, and cut through branches with ease. Well, they were even worse, breaking the coals into tiny chips and pieces. Third thing i could think of using for a clean cut, Hack-Saw. I put in a new blade and went at it. Clean cuts were what i received, thankfully.
Third and Fourth things i noticed were the powder that was created while cutting and a crystal-like substance. It was a crap-load. When i proceeded to blow this powder off of my side-stairs (where i was cutting them), there was shimmering pieces in the plume of powder. That kind of scares me.
The clean cut made me feel good about how they would perform.
I was wrong.
After sitting on the burner and becoming completely lit, they looked like the charred ground of a barren desert, only instead of small cracks in the mud, there were fault lines. The cracks went through the coal all the way down to the other side, where, of course, the coal split into pieces. If that wasn't enough, the coals couldn't give enough heat off to smoke an Egyptian bowl of Layalina Coconut. They would glow red when i blew on them, then they would die down to a black/grey color (not the ash) and just look like they were dead coals. They were never in fact burning red unless I aided them.
I have never had a coal fail so miserably for such a simple task as lighting.
****There was no smell or taste though. Congratulations Exotica.