Archive for February, 2009

Frey Hot Chilli Pepper

February 27th, 2009 by Rosa

Hot on the heels of Wednesday’s chili chocolate post (har har) is today’s review of more chili chocolate: Frey’s Hot Chilli Pepper bar. When I reviewed Frey’s Tiramisu bar, I mentioned that I’d also picked up their chili chocolate. Deb was kind enough to warn me that it packs a lot of heat, and boy was she right.

The bar is billed as “extra fine dark chocolate with chilli.” Why two l’s in chili I don’t know. Maybe the extra L for extra spiciness? I like my chili chocolate subtle – the chocolate should be all you can taste at first, and then the heat slowly emerges as a warm tingle. Lindt and Vosges do it particularly well. Frey’s take, on the other hand, is like a kick in the mouth. The chocolate is barely noticeable against the painful heat of the chili.

The bits of chili pepper are noticeable in the bar and add a bit of crunchiness to it. If you have the misfortune of squarely chomping on one, ouch. It kind of reminded me of Dagoba’s take on chili chocolate with their Xocolatl bar, which I also didn’t like. My parents love spicy food, and while I don’t particularly enjoy it (extreme sweatiness and a runny nose do little for meal ambiance, I think), I can handle some heat thanks to their training, so I managed this bar okay.

My poor friend Brede, on the other hand, took the following notes when she tried it at a chocolate tasting party I hosted: “Smells like dust; ew – tastes like dust and pepper, why is it crunchy?! Where is the humanity??” I love her notes because they’re hilarious, but also because they make it easy to follow her tasting experience. Like a good taster, she smelled the bar first. Then she tasted it. Then she had the misfortune of crunching down on a pepper. And then she was in pain.

A from me. If you love spicy foods, by all means, give it a try, but I see no need to ever eat this again.

Category: --, chocolate, review | 1 Comment »

Kit Kat Advertising

February 26th, 2009 by Rosa

Kit Kat advertising gets a shout-out by the Copyranter for their Kit Kat Bench and their website about nothing. Nothing is nice, it seems.

Category: news | 2 Comments »

Lindt Cherry and Chili and Lindt Hot Papaya

February 25th, 2009 by Rosa

I absolutely love Lindt’s Chili Chocolate bar, so when I saw their Cherry and Chili and their Hot Papaya (a papaya and chili) bar at the Lindt 5th Avenue store in NYC, I was super excited to try them.

The Cherry and Chili bar is part of their Creation line. It’s a 70% dark chocolate with chocolate mousse and cherry and chili fillings. The packaging makes it look super luxurious, as it should, for this is more expensive than most Lindt bars (around $5 each, I believe). The chocolate bar itself is also fancier looking than other Lindt bars. Instead of just bearing an etching of the word Lindt, the Creation bar is also stamped with a complex rendering of their medallion logo.

The cherry and chili filling comes in the form of an oozy, gooey, red-tinted gel. It initially tastes like sweet cherries before giving way to a spicy heat that makes your tongue tingle just a tad. The chocolate shell is Lindt’s usual quality chocolate – creamy with a dusky finish. I didn’t realize the bar was supposed to contain chocolate mousse until I saw it on the wrapper as I’m typing up this review. I guess it got swallowed up in the chocolate or something. I never noticed it when I was tasting it.

The Lindt Hot Papaya is basically identical to the Cherry and Chili, just with Papaya as the resident fruit goo. The packaging on this was a bit unusual, as it was a paper wrapper over the usual cardboard box. The writing on the outer wrapper was in English, while the cardboard was detailed in German (I believe; lots of umlauts), suggesting that the bar is imported rather than made in Lindt’s U.S. factories.

The fruit ooze in the Hot Papaya was a beautiful hue of translucent gold. Like the Cherry and Chili, it initially tasted of sweet fruit before the chili heat comes in, though I found the spiciness to be more prominent in this bar. I thought it tasted like pear, but, like most Americans, my pear experience far outweighs my papaya experience. The only time I’ve ever had fresh papaya was in the summer of 2007, when I was on tour in Brazil with the Yale Concert Band, so my memory of how papaya’s taste is shaky to non-existent, making me a poor judge of how true this is to papaya’s real flavors.

All in all, I really enjoyed these two bars. Their higher price makes them a splurge, and I’d still rather eat Lindt’s straight Chili chocolate bar, but the Cherry and Chili and the Hot Papaya are unique and tasty enough to merit an OMG.

Category: chocolate, Lindt, OMG, review | No Comments »

David Lebovitz at Fouquet

February 24th, 2009 by Rosa

If you’ve never been to David Lebovitz’s blog (it’s been in my blogroll since I started this site), you’re really missing out. Check out his post about his visit to Fouquet, a Parisienne confectioner. The photos are luscious and totally drool-worthy.

Category: news | 1 Comment »

Q.bel All-natural Chocolates – Wafer Bars

February 23rd, 2009 by Rosa

Last Friday, I reviewed and greatly enjoyed Q.bel‘s wafer rolls. Today, I tackle the wafer bars, the wafer roll’s squatter, squarer cousin. Like the wafer rolls, the wafer bars come in three versions: milk chocolate crispy rice, dark chocolate crispy rice, and milk chocolate peanut butter.

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The two crispy rice wafer bars were wafer cookies sandwiching chocolate cream, topped with rice crisps, and enrobed in milk or dark (pictured below) chocolate. The wafer cookies were mostly bland and provided more texture than taste, while the crispy rice provided both, adding an airy crunch and a heavy, toasted flavor. The milk and dark chocolate were the same as that of the wafer rolls. If you need a flavor profile review, the milk was dusky and creamy while the dark chocolate was earthy with a fruity sweet finish. Overall, I found these to be a bit overly dry from their starchy components but still quite yummy. An OM.

The peanut butter wafer bars lacked the crispy rice that topped the other two, so it had a less bumpy appearance and instead was all gorgeous, sumptuous ripples. The peanut butter was between the layers of wafer cookie and had a salty, creamy finish. It was not as nutty or as roasty as the peanut butter of the wafer rolls, which was a bit disappointing. On the plus side, it did nicely mitigate the dryness of the wafers, so much so that the bar feels overly rich. I give it an O, but I think peanut butter lovers would enjoy this more than I did.

The Q.bel line-up, as a whole, did great, with the wafer rolls coming out on top in my book. On the one hand, I’m glad that Q.bel mailed me so many samples, as I’ve definitely been enjoying them and enjoying giving them away and hearing about how much others like them. On the other hand, I’ve been eating at least two packs a day, which is wreaking havoc on my waistline. I recommend trying them, but trust me, you don’t want to have a case of each lying around. The temptation is terrible.

Category: chocolate, cookie, O, OM, peanut butter, review | No Comments »

Q.bel All-Natural Chocolates – Wafer Rolls

February 20th, 2009 by Rosa

When reviews of Q.bel chocolates started hitting the candy blogosphere, I was intrigued. It’s not often that Cybele bestows a candy with a 10 out of 10 rating, and Q.bel managed to nab the honor.So when Q.bel asked me if I wanted free samples to review, I eagerly said yes. I’m so glad that I did.

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Q.bel (the Q is for quality; the bel is for Isabel, the wife of the creator. When will I get a delicious candy named after me?) chocolates come in two types, wafer rolls and wafer bars, with three iterations of each: milk, dark, and peanut butter. Today, I’ll cover the wafer rolls. The wafer bars will be reviewed on Monday.

The wafer rolls were crispy, crunchy, fresh, and flaky wafer cookie rolls filled with chocolate or peanut butter and enrobed in more chocolate. The milk chocolate of the milk chocolate wafer roll (center) is wonderful – rich and creamy, but not too sweet, and with a dusky finish, earning it an OMG.

The peanut butter wafer roll (right) is covered with the same milk chocolate, but it’s filled with salty, thick peanut butter that tastes fresh roasted. The overarching finish of the peanut butter lingers a bit, and I found it a bit overpowering for the chocolate. An OM from me, but peanut butter lovers would absolutely adore this.

My favorite of the wafer rolls was the dark chocolate wafer roll (left). The dark chocolate and wafer were an amazing match. The dark chocolate had an earthiness to it, but its finish was sweet and fruity, which needed the cookie wafer to cut it. It gets a bit cloying in the finish, but if you have enough self control to stop after one roll (I don’t), it’s perfect. A ZOMG!

I highly recommend you check these all-natural chocolates out. Q.bel is doing a huge rollout in Whole Foods, so look for them there. They’re probably a bit pricier than your average candy bar, but these are not your average candy bar. And check back on Monday for my review of their wafer bars!

Category: chocolate, cookie, OM, OMG, peanut butter, review, ZOMG! | 1 Comment »

Ancient Chocolate in the Americas

February 19th, 2009 by Rosa

Back at the beginning of the month, Live Science reported that excavators in Chaco Canyon, New Mexico found chocolate residue on shards of pottery, suggesting that ancient peoples had been drinking chocolate in the present-day U.S. as far back as ~1,000 years ago. Mmm…

Category: news | 1 Comment »

GudFud Stuffed Marshmallows – Review + Giveaway!

February 18th, 2009 by Rosa

A couple of weeks ago, the folks at Gud Fud emailed me asking me if I’d like some free samples of their stuffed marshmallows to review. Having already read about their marshmallows on CandyBlog and CandyAddict, I eagerly said yes to my chance to give them a shot, expecting a dozen or so marshmallows to show up in the mail. Instead, I ended up with 1600 marshmallows, 800 of their chocolate stuffed and 800 of their fruit jelly stuffed.

Clearly Gud Fud and I have differing definitions on what constitutes a “sample.” 800 of them were left in my residential college master’s office, and the rest I am slowly parceling out to friends. More on that later. But for now, I’m sure you’re all wondering how they taste. The answer is, it depends. If you like marshmallows, you’ll like these. If you don’t, you won’t.

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No matter where you stand on marshmallows, you have to admit that the packaging on these guys is adorable, if a bit confusing: English letters, German umlauts, and Japanese characters make them a worldly looking product. If you think too hard about the cartoons, they get a little zombie creepy (why are there holes in their heads that allow their innards to seep out?), but overall, cute.

The marshmallows are pretty standard. The immediate outside is a bit dry and dusty, like what would happen to a regular jet-puffed marshmallow if you left it outside the bag for a while, but the insides are soft and squishy. They just taste like your average store-bought marshmallows. The chocolate insides aren’t strongly chocolatey – the flavor is more Tootsie Roll than chocolate bar – and it has a frosting-like taste and texture.

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The fruit jelly stuffed marshmallows have similarly cute zombie-fied characters on their packaging and come in three flavors: grape, strawberry, and orange. Unlike the icing of the chocolate stuffed Gud Fud marshmallows, the fruit fillings in these are sweet, gooey, translucent gels.

The fruit jellies alone were great – bright, sweet, and true to their monikers. I just don’t know about the combination of the fruit and the marshmallow. There’s a reason why we eat peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, not marshmallow fluff and jelly sandwiches. I didn’t actively dislike them (though some people who I shared these with did), but I didn’t especially enjoy them either.

Overall, the Gud Fud guys get an O from me. I like marshmallows – whenever I have the chance to make s’mores over an actual flame, I’ll eat marshmallow after marshmallow, both toasted and untoasted, until I feel sick to my stomach – so I liked these too, but I didn’t love them. I wish I liked them more, as I have so many of them, but at least I don’t dislike them. They’re pretty nice in hot cocoa, and I’d love to try them toasted someday.

If you want to check these out for yourself, Gud Fud offers “free” samples on their website that’ll cost ya $2.95 in shipping and handling for 10. Or, reader-friends, I can parcel some out to you as well. Leave a comment here with your email address. I’ll give you a mailing address for me, and if you send me a self-addressed and stamped envelope, I’ll mail you one of each flavor and hope that they don’t count as bulky objects that require additional postage. And I’ll do a proper giveaway at some point too, so stay tuned!

Edit: All marshmallows have been given away, mailed off, or eaten by myself and friends, so my mailing offer is now closed. Hope those who got them enjoyed them!

Category: chocolate, giveaway, marshmallow, O, review | 8 Comments »

Smuggling Immigrants in Cocoa Powder

February 17th, 2009 by Rosa

Via Serious Eats, 15 illegal immigrants tried to stow away in a tanker truck full of cocoa powder. While it’s funny joke about being immersed in chocolate or to refer to desserts claiming “death by chocolate,” the cocoa powder was pretty dangerous and could have suffocated those men. A headline about 15 dead immigrants being found in a tanker truck of cocoa, not so funny.

Category: news | No Comments »

Giant Gummy Bear on a Stick

February 16th, 2009 by Rosa

Like Gummy Bears? Then check out what Vat19 sent me as a free sample:

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That, dear readers, is a Giant Gummy Bear on a Stick that’s 88 times the size of a regular gummy bear (by the way, if you can’t tell, that’s Vat19′s photo, so those aren’t my man hands. I don’t have man hands). If you like regular gummy bears, would you like the Giant Gummy 88 times as much? Maybe not, but it’s still pretty neat.

The Giant Gummy Bears on Sticks come in three flavors, blue raspberry, green apple, and cherry. I requested the green apple, as it’s the only flavor out of the three that I normally like, so I can only comment on that one. Basically, it tasted just like your standard green apple gummy bear, nicely sweet and mellow. It’s a soft gummy, more Trolli than Haribo, but it still has a bite to it. And it’s ginormous. I’ve polished off most of the head, and I feel a bit ill/sugar overloaded. Now I have a headless Giant Gummy Bear on a Stick.

I’m a little uncertain how to rate this. It tastes just fine, but not exceptional, so it gets an O. But clearly, the attraction is the size. I definitely appreciate that the Giant Gummy Bear didn’t compromise taste or texture in blowing up the bear. I wouldn’t buy it for myself just to eat, but it’s a great gag gift. I also see centerpiece potential for candy themed parties or weddings or something. At $9.99 a bear, I think it’s worth it. After all, a bag of regular gummy bears will run you about $2-3, the Giant Gummy is equivalent to at least two or three bags, and the extra mark-up is for the novelty factor, yeah?

Category: gummi/gummy, novelty, O, review | 5 Comments »