Chocolate antioxidants boost memory

October 28th, 2014 by Rosa

The NY Times has a nice summary of a new neuroscience study finding that drinking a mixture high in chocolate antioxidants improved memory in older adults (aged 50 to 69).

 

It sounds like awesome news for chocolate lovers – our chocolate habits are good for our brains! – except that you’d have to eat 7 full-sized chocolate bars a day to match the antioxidant levels that the people in the study were getting. That’s a lot, even for a candy blogger like me.

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New candy-focused podcast from food blogging stars

October 27th, 2014 by Rosa

Marvo from The Impulsive Buy is producing a new podcast that’s all about candy. Check out the announcement here.

The MP3 of the inaugural issue is available at this link. Check it out for some Halloween tips!

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Halloween Giveaway from Mike & Ike

October 17th, 2014 by Rosa

This Halloween, Mike & Ike have some fun holiday-themed candy mixes: Mummy’s Mix is lemon, orange, grape, lime, and raspberry, and Vampire Variety is cherry, raspberry, grape, watermelon, and fruit punch.

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If you’ve never had Mike & Ikes before, they’re sort of like cylindrical jelly beans. I’ve reviewed (and enjoyed) their Lemonade Blends in the past.

If you want a chance to try out these Halloween Mike & Ikes, you’re in luck! They’re letting me give some away to one lucky U.S. reader. Enter via the Rafflecopter below. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Category: giveaway, news | 18 Comments »

Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate Pumpkin Spice Salted Caramels

October 16th, 2014 by Rosa

It’s fall, and here in the U.S., that means pumpkin-flavored EVERYTHING. Seriously, Trader Joe’s October Fearless Flyer is about 90% pumpkin stuff. One of their seasonal pumpkin products includes these Dark Chocolate Pumpkin Spice Salted Caramels.

The box described the caramels as “dark chocolate with a smooth pumpkin spiced caramel filling sprinkled with real Hawaiian sea salt.” Each shiny dark chocolate square was covered with a little squiggle of milk chocolate, then topped with a generous sprinkle of rust-colored sea salt.

That dark chocolate shell shattered as soon as I bit into the caramel, revealing a limpid viscous caramel center. The chocolate had a thick melt and lots of caramel notes.

The smooth caramel looked liquid but didn’t quite flow. It had a slight grain to the texture and a strong pumpkin spice flavor that was nutmeg dominant. Though the caramel was sweet, it was nicely countered by the saltiness of the crystals it was topped with.

These were tasty, but I don’t think they needed the extra pumpkin spice hit. If you’re a pumpkin spice fiend, however, you’ll love these. An OM.

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Gummi Bear’s in NY Times Sunday Magazine

October 14th, 2014 by Rosa

I love Christoph Niemann’s Abstract Sunday pieces in the NY Times. This weekend, he drew/gif-ified a fun piece about gummi bears. Check it out here.

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Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate Speculoos Cookie Butter Cups

October 13th, 2014 by Rosa

When I saw The Impulsive Buy‘s “Spotted On Shelves” feature on these Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate Speculoos Cookie Butter Cups, I had to zip out to Trader Joe’s and get some to try for myself. I had previously loved the chocolate bar version of these, so I was excited to try them in cup form.

The cookie butter cups came in a plastic tub of about 27 cups (I only have an approximate count because I’m not sure how many cups my boyfriend snuck after I opened the tub). Each was individually wrapped in gold foil, which was good. I needed something to slow me down so I wouldn’t plow through them all at once.

The dark chocolate shell was stiff and of an uneven thickness around the edges. It melted smoothly and fattily in my mouth, with a barely sweet dark chocolate duskiness to the flavor.

The speculoos cookie butter paste in the center was dry and lightly cinnamony. It took, had just a hint of sweetness with a strong oat-y cookie flavor. It tasted more like the imported speculoos cookies I bought once, rather than like Biscoff’s or Trader Joe’s sweeter, more crumbly version.

I loved these. They weren’t too sweet and had lots of flavor complexity, with the cinnamon oatiness playing off the dark chocolate. I’d take them over a traditional peanut butter cup any day. An OMG.

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Crispy M&M’s comeback + giveaway reminder

October 9th, 2014 by Rosa

YOU GUYS! Crispy M&M’s are coming back! Starting in January of 2015!

If you can’t tell, I’m pretty excited. I loved Crispy M&M’s as a kid. They’ve got the tasty crunchiness and mix of sweet/starchy of Pretzel M&M’s, but a superior lighter texture, if my memory serves me correctly.

Is it January yet?

Also, don’t forget to enter the Shangri La Tea Chocolates Giveaway, which closes tomorrow! I have a randomly selected winner of the Churchill’s Carousel, but s/he has not responded to my email, so I can’t announce anything yet.

Category: news | 1 Comment »

Shangri La Tea Chocolates Giveaway

October 3rd, 2014 by Rosa

This past Tuesday and Thursday, I reviewed Shangri Las’ new tea-flavored chocolates. Today, I’m starting a giveaway where one lucky reader will get his/her own Chocolate Sample Gift Box to try.

Enter via the Rafflecopter below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Category: giveaway | 6 Comments »

Shangri La Tea Chocolate – Milk Chocolate Chamomile Mint and Dark Chocolate Black Currant

October 2nd, 2014 by Rosa

Shangri La is a tea company that makes tea-flavored chocolate, of which I got free samples to review. I covered the Earl Grey and Masala Chai on Tuesday, and today, I’m reviewing the remaining two bars: Chamomile Mint and Black Currant.

Chamomile Mint had the same 38% milk chocolate base as the Earl Grey and Masala Chai. Its back was a riot of different tea leaves and flower bits: chamomile, licorice, spearmint, orange peel, and peppermint.

The milk chocolate took on an entirely different flavor profile with this different tea blend, and the base milk chocolate’s caramel notes were lost. Instead, it tasted minty, with some of the sharp bitterness of anise and some floral notes from the chamomile and orange peel.

While I appreciated the flavor complexity, the texture was a bit off for me, as the larger flower bits and other crunchy parts didn’t melt away, and I had to spit them out. Like the Masala Chai, this gets a demotion to an O because of the texture.

Black Currant was the only one of the set that had a dark chocolate base, a 66% cacao. It was flavored with black tea and “natural flavor”, which gave it a brightly fruity scent.

The dark chocolate snapped easily and sharply. It didn’t melt with any noticeable texture so much as just disappeared, leaving behind the crunchy tea leaves.

The “natural flavor’ added a noticeable dark red berry fruitiness, while the tea leaves made the chocolate finish with a noticeable astringency. I liked the flavor but didn’t like the lingering dryness. An O as well.

I imagine these would be great gifts for tea-drinkers. If only tea tasted as good as these chocolate bars!

Stay tuned tomorrow for something fun about these Shangri La bars!

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Chocolate Exhibit at Drexel University

October 1st, 2014 by Rosa

Via my friend Knile, a new exhibit about chocolate is opening at Drexel University, to run from October 11 to January 24th, 2015. If you go opening weekend, there will be chocolate foods and crafts available! I have no idea what a chocolate craft is…

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