Archive for November, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

November 27th, 2008 by Rosa

I hope you’re enjoying your Thanksgivings! And if you find yourself with chocolate cravings even after you’ve stuffed yourself full of deliciousness and really shouldn’t take in any more calories, just go for a walk!

Category: news | Comments Off on Happy Thanksgiving!

No school on Monday! Tuesday! Wednesday!

November 23rd, 2008 by Rosa

Dear readers,

I’m lucky enough to go to a school that gives us a full week off for Thanksgiving. So I’m taking the week off to catch up on sleep and homework and life.

Have a great week, and I’ll see y’all back in December!


Category: news, not candy | 3 Comments »

Limited Edition Reese’s Crunchy Peanut Butter Cups

November 21st, 2008 by Rosa

Reese’s is awesome at churning out limited edition stuff. The newest iteration is their Limited Edition Crunchy Peanut Butter Cups, which I picked up as an impulse buy at the counter of my local Walgreen’s. Hooray marketing!

My friend Steve just asked what makes it crunchy. Just like peanut butter, the peanut butter cups are crunchified by the presence of peanuts. The peanut butter cup doesn’t look any different on the outside, but the peanut bits are visible in the pb cup cross section.

The peanut bits add a nice textural component to the cup and contributes a strong peanut scent, though I don’t have a regular pb cup to compare it to. Even without a regular pb cup handy, I can tell that the peanut butter filling in the crunchy cup is sweeter and less salty than its non-limited edition counterpart.

I think the crunchy is an improvement on peanut butter cups. The peanuts aren’t too intrusive and don’t get stuck in your teeth, and the peanut butter cup texture is more exciting. I do wish the nuts were roastier but still give this limited edition a solid OMG.

Category: chocolate, Hershey's, limited edition, nuts, OMG, peanut butter, Reese's, review | 8 Comments »

Eat your chocolate – with your vegetables?

November 20th, 2008 by Rosa

According to Chow’s Food Media, chocolate/vegetable flavor combinations are the next big thing in chocolate tasting adventures.

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British Boiled Sweets – Part 2

November 19th, 2008 by Rosa

Today we continue Monday’s review of British hard candies with a lemon sherbet drop and the rosy apple.

Lemon Sherbet Drop

My lemon sherbet drop wasn’t exactly a hard candy anymore. I think mine had just been sitting in the bulk bin for a bit too long and suffered by softening. It tasted pretty much just like a standard lemon drop, but it also had a light fizziness to it, which was quite nice. I wish lemon drops came with that nice fizziness. An OM.

Rosy Apple

I loved the rosy apple mostly because it looks like a mini bouncy ball, the kind that comes out of those little vending machines for a quarter. The candy was super dense and hard with a slow melt and a mellow red apple flavor rather than a sour granny smith taste. Another OM, though I probably would’ve given it just an O had they not been so pretty.

Category: hard candy, OM, review | Comments Off on British Boiled Sweets – Part 2

Is chocolate good for you?

November 18th, 2008 by Rosa

As I’ve written before, I don’t buy into the “chocolate is good for you because it has flavonoids/antioxidants” hype. I eat chocolate because it tastes good and makes me happy, and I don’t try to delude myself into thinking that it’s healthy.

Now I have some substance to back me up with this TimesOnline article that shares my views – to get any benefit from chocolate’s antioxidants, you would need to eat so much of it that you’d be getting negative effects from the calories and fat.

Category: news | 1 Comment »

British Boiled Sweets – Part I

November 17th, 2008 by Rosa

British boiled sweets have interested me since I first read a Harry Potter book. Clearly the Fizzing Whizbees and acid pops imagined by J.K. Rowling had some root in muggle candy. Specifically British muggle candy. Today, I present part I of a two part series on British boiled sweets (aka hard candies).

Acid Drops

I had no idea what to expect from the acid drops I bought. Do they taste like battery acid? Citric acid? Not really like acid at all? In fact, the opaque butterscotch-sized disks tasted lightly of a ctirus sweetness. The best word I can come up with to describe these is clean. They’re cleansing and refreshing, like a light sorbet. If you’ve ever had a Chinese popsicle called a xue bing, they taste just like that. An OM.

Lime and chocolate

Lime and chocolate? It sounds like a strange flavor combination, but these guys were pretty ubiquitous in the British bulk candy places that I visited, and they’re made by several generic brands. I thought they tasted like the hard candy version of a lime and chocolate Tootsie Roll mash-up. The lime was brightly sweet and citrusy while the chocolate was more of a light cocoa. My lime and chocolate may have been lingering in the bulk bin for too long, for when I crunched it, it turned chewy, in the way that old hard candies can get. Overall, not a bad candy, but not something I missed or would ever crave. An O.

Category: European, hard candy, O, OM, review | 1 Comment »

Starbucks Chai Truffle

November 14th, 2008 by Rosa

Starbucks came out with its own line of chocolates (made by Hershey’s) to be sold in grocery stores a year or so ago. They’d actually been selling chocolates in their coffee shops for years – my first chocolate covered espresso bean was from Starbucks – so the chocolate line is less of a departure than you’d think. My mother somehow ended up with a coupon for either 2 free truffles or $1 off a bag of truffles. I stole her coupon and decided to try the chai truffles because I loved Theo’s 3400 Phinney Chai Tea Milk Chocolate bar.

The two truffles come in a neat little box. Sorry for the blurriness. The description reads, “creamy milk chocolate invitations to linger with sweetly spiced Tazo Chai black tea.”  Sounds lovely! And the truffles themselves are cute little cup shaped deals, in fine imitation of more high-end truffles that do the same thing. But how is the execution?

Meh. The chocolate and its filling was thick and creamy, but scentwise and flavorwise, it was all clove and nothing else. I know clove is an important component to chai spice, but it would have been nice to taste other things, like tea and cinnamon and chocolate. Theo did it better, with more nuance and less whomping you over the head with SPICE! Just an O.

Category: chocolate, Hershey's, O, review | 1 Comment »

Vosges – new bars and 10% off

November 13th, 2008 by Rosa

Via Chocolate Blog, Vosges, a wonderful if pricey chocolatier that I’ve reviewed several times in the past, has new bars and chocolates out. I’ve actually seen the organic bars at my local frommagierie (yes, New Haven has one now) but didn’t buy them because they were so pricey.

But if you make more money than I do (i.e. more than nothing/costing your parents tuition), you should check them out, as they’re probably wonderful. And until November 30, you can get 10% off your online order with the coupon code 2810WB1.

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November 12th, 2008 by Rosa

I think the Dubble bar I bought at an OxFam (secondhand charity shop) in Cambridge was the cheapest fair trade chocolate I’ve ever come across. At 49 pence (about $1.00 when I was in England, now $0.77), it’s comparably priced with mass produced bars that aren’t so kind to their cacao growers.

Dubble was billed as “smooth milk chocolate crispy crunch” on its wrapper. Clearly Dubble is better at being socially conscious than it is at using correct grammar. The wrapper also promised that it would be “dubbly good,” possibly because the Dubble comes presegmented so that it’s easy to break in half, with each half stamped with the dubble facing B logo.

As you can see, my bar wasn’t in pristine shape when I unwrapped it, but it tasted wonderful. The crisped rice makes up a thin layer on the bottom, and it’s super crisp and crunchy. The ingredients say that the rice is caramelised. I didn’t notice any taste difference from that caramelization, but I think it was a crucial textural component.

The thick layer of chocolate is really what made this bar stand out. It was wonderfully creamy and thickly coated the inside of my mouth. And it tasted like really high quality cocoa, definitely better than the chocolate from comparably priced, mass produced chocolate bars. I would definitely buy this again (and wish I could). After all, how often do you find a bar that’s affordable, delicious, and fair trade? An OMG.

Category: chocolate, European, fair trade, OMG, review | Comments Off on Dubble