Archive for July, 2010

Sour Punch Bits – Tangerine Lemonade

July 30th, 2010 by Rosa

These tangerine-lemonade flavored Sour Punch Bits came in my free goodie bag from the National Confectioners’ Association. Looks like the American Licorice Company is expanding from just making Sour Punch Straws.

They turned out to be little sour sugar covered cylinders divided into yellow and orange quadrants. Mine got a little sadly damp in this wonderfully hot and humid summer that Rochester’s been having.

Their texture was similar to that of regular Sour Punch Straws, if Sour Punch Straws were solid. That is, they had the texture of a stiff licorice wheat chew.

Citrus fruits are my favorite candy flavors, and these Bits satisfied my love of bright, sweet and tart. They tasted very orange-y with a decently powerful sour finish.

I loved the Bits’ flavor, but I didn’t like that they got all stuck in the nooks and crannies of my teeth. If the slightly softer Straws came in this Tangerine Lemonade flavor, I’d be a happy candy blogger. An O.

Category: chewy, O, review, sour | 1 Comment »

Onion A.V. Club goes to Sweets and Snacks

July 29th, 2010 by Rosa

When I recapped Serious Eats’s write-ups of this year’s Sweets and Snacks Expo, I didn’t realize that the Onion’s A.V. Club also got to go. Check out their recap here. It features video footage!

Category: news | 1 Comment »

Mini Ritter Sport Round-up – Part II

July 28th, 2010 by Rosa

Here’s the continuation of Monday’s review of Ritter Sport’s Schokowurfel. Monday, I reviewed the Creme Coco, the Mandel Split, and the Caramel Crisp.

Today, I’ll review the rest of the set: Crocant, Cappuccino, and Edelnugat.

I’m not exactly sure what Crocant means in German, but the onomatopoeia made me think of crunchiness. And I was right!

Crocant turned out to be a solid milk chocolate square with toasted rice crisps. It was basically like an uber Nestle Crunch bar, but it distinguished itself with a bit of extra sweetness to the crisps’ finish, like the crisps had been candied or caramelized. So it gets an OM.

Cappuccino was pretty self-explanatory. I appreciated that its outer wrapper was a beautiful cafe au lait color.

It was a milk chocolate bar with a creamy, lighter brown ganache inside. The square was very, very soft and very, very thick when melting in the mouth.

The cappuccino flavor did capture the essence of coffee, but I found it far too sweet, more Starbucks Frappuccino than Italian espresso. It could’ve been a great bite of chocolate had it not been so cloying. An O.

Edelnougat is the last of the set. I know what nougat is, and I know what edelweiss is, but I didn’t know what Edelnougat could mean.

It turned out to be a thick hazelnut ganache inside a milk chocolate shell. Like a good praline, this was mouth-coatingly thick and wonderfully nutty – a classic done well. An OM.

All in all, I was pretty impressed by the quality of this set. When I taste candy for reviews, I often limit my tasting to just a few bites, so this set was perfect for my needs. And I had enough leftover to share with friends, making this a highly recommended souvenir.

Category: chocolate, coffee, European, O, OM, review, Ritter Sport | 1 Comment »

One man’s bid for chocolate domination?

July 27th, 2010 by Rosa

Edit: Oops! Not actually about Trader Joe’s… Embarrassing mis-reading on my part. Thanks to Jay for the catch!

Here’s a NY Times piece about how one man is buying up a huge swath of the world’s chocolate market. I sure hope he doesn’t single-handedly screw up the world’s chocolate economy!

Category: news | 1 Comment »

Mini Ritter Sport Round-up – Part I

July 26th, 2010 by Rosa

My May trip to Italy meant a layover in Frankfurt, which in turn meant that I got to buy lots of Duty Free Ritter Sport. In fact, I managed to leave Europe with not one but two sets of mini Ritter Sport assortments.

The below Schokowurfel set had 6 varieties (Sorten?): Creme Coco, Mandel Split, Caramel Crisp, Crocant, Cappuccino, and Edelnougat. I’ll cover the first three today and hit the next three on Wednesday.

These tiny Ritter Sports were individually wrapped and each just one square big. They’re slightly larger than the square segments of a regular Ritter Sport bar. The size difference is especially noticeable in their height.

It wasn’t until after I’d eaten them all that I realized that I photographed one upside down. Oops.

Creme Coco came in a white wrapper. It was milk chocolate with a white coconut cream filling. The filling contained dried flakes of coconut that were crisp and just shy of crunchy.

The chocolate was soft and sweet and nutty. The two flavors played off each other beautifully, with the dusky sweet balancing out the crispy nutty coconut. I thought it was a lovely mix of flavor and texture. An OM.

It was pretty easy to guess at a translation for Creme Coco. Mandel Split left me lost with no clue what to expect.

It turned out to be milk chocolate on the outside with a white chocolate filling with a few peanut bits mixed in. The peanuts were quite flavorful, but I’ve never been a big fan of peanuts.

I respected the high quality of the ingredients that went into the Mandel Split, but I didn’t find it very exciting or special. To me, it just tasted like nice chocolate and peanuts. An O.

Finally for today, Caramel Crisp was easily comprehensible. It was milk chocolate with golden brown caramel-flavored filling.

At first I thought the filling contained rice crisps, but careful excavation revealed them to be thin flakes of unidentified crispiness. They had a nice complexity that made me think they could be honeycomb, or at least honeycomb flavored.

I really enjoyed the filling to this chocolate. It had nice caramelized/burnt sugar notes that I love in real caramel, but it had the solid texture of a grainy ganache. That plus the intriguingly delicious crisps earned this an OM.

Cybele reviewed this set several years ago on Candy Blog. Looks like the assortment has changed a little since then. Come back on Wednesday for the other half!

Category: caramel, chocolate, coconut, European, nuts, O, OM, review, Ritter Sport | 5 Comments »

Meiji Pupurun Grape Gummis

July 23rd, 2010 by Rosa

These Meiji Pupurun Grape Gummis came in my generous free sample box from Tsunami.hk. They came in a conveniently resealable bag with a cute mascot and an intriguing rendering of the gummi’s cross-section.

Each gummi was the size of a gum drop but with a rounder domed shape. They had a stiff outer shell that was thickest at the top. The center was a softer gummi that was just shy of an oozy goo in texture.

They tasted sweet and juicy with a nice floral flavor that I thought was more strawberry than grape. The finish, however, had a noticeable grape taste that tasted quite genuine and was not at all medicinal.

While there was nothing revolutionary about the flavor of the gummis, I absolutely loved the texture. The solid flavor combined with their unique texture earned these an OM.

Category: Asian (China, Japan, and Korea), gummi/gummy, Meiji, OM, review | 1 Comment »

Kit Kat Wimbledon Ad

July 22nd, 2010 by Rosa

I’m nearly a month late in posting this – maybe I should try to be more like Kit Kat’s marketing team. Via Ad Freak, an ad that Kit Kat displayed within hours of the end of Isner and Mahut’s record-setting, epically long Wimbledon match.

Category: news | Comments Off

Turin Chocolate Bars – Kahlua and Baileys

July 21st, 2010 by Rosa

I picked up these two Turin chocolate bars, a Baileys and a Kahlua, in a Duty Free shop on the U.S./Canada border. I’ve seen them in Walgreen’s before and had always passed on them because they were rather pricey, but at the border they were on sale and Duty Free!

There was also a Grand Marnier bar, but I picked the Baileys and Kahlua bars because I also bought a bottle of Grand Marnier booze, and I decided that I didn’t need Grand Marnier chocolate as well.

Baileys Irish Cream is a liqueur that’s made of Irish whiskey and cream. The chocolate bar had a pale gray ganache sandwiched inside milk chocolate squares.

The sweet chocolate coating was mild, without much distinction. The bar was so soft that my fingerprints were easily left behind, and it tore rather than snapped (though the summer heat may have been a contributing factor).

The ganache filling pretty much overwhelms the chocolate’s flavor. It was sweet and grainy with a light crunch, perhaps from crystallized sugar. It tasted slightly bitter with a strongly boozy, milky hit and the taste of cooked cream.

The Kahlua version had the same chocolate coating and a similarly textured ganache. Its ganache tasted darker and deeper, with pronounced coffee and caramel notes, and it was pale brown in color.

I preferred the Kahlua to the Baileys, as I enjoyed Kahlua’s darker and more complex flavor. Both bars, however, suffered from being overly sweet, so sweet that they burned my throat.

I’m glad that I tried them, and I was happy to share them with friends, but I wouldn’t buy them again unless Turin turns down the sweetness. Os for both of them.

Category: chocolate, O, review | 1 Comment »

Cool Down with Chocolate and Serious Eats

July 20th, 2010 by Rosa

Via Serious Eats, 4 ways to cool down this summer, all of which involve chocolate. Yum! Now I’ve got fudgesicle cravings.

Random aside: The above photo is of a Japanese chocolate from a mixed bag that my friend Michael gave me ages ago. Not exactly summery, but fun!

Category: news | 1 Comment »

Not Just Cereal

July 19th, 2010 by Rosa

Not Just Cereal is “the first chocolate-coated cereal snack…that combines the flavor and crunch of your favorite cereal covered with a smooth, milk chocolate layer.” They’re currently available at Walmart; I got mine as free samples from their PR people.

They come in four flavors: Fruity O’s, Honey Toasted O’s, Toasted Rice, and Cinnamon Crunch.

The Fruity O’s are off-brand Froot Loops covered in a mix of milk chocolate and mockolate (the ingredients list both milk chocolate and milk chocolate flavored coating). I didn’t think I’d like them, as I’m usually pretty picky about my fruit and chocolate combinations.

The coating was shiny and soft and tasted like a mix of cocoa and artificial sweetness. Surprisingly enough, the fake Froot Loops worked well with the chocolate/mockolate combination.

The cereal brought a nice crunch and an artificial fruitiness that conveniently masked the slightly not-quite-right-ness of the chocolate coating.

Since the Fruity O’s were good, I figured the Honey Toasted O’s would be even better. These are off brand Honey Nut Cheerios coated in the same chocolate-ish coating.

I don’t know if I got an off box or what, but mine tasted slightly stale. I didn’t particularly care for the vague corniness of the cereal, or its fake honey tinge.

The Toasted Rice was off brand Rice Chex. The blandly crispy rice worked well with the chocolate/mockolate coating by tempering the chocolate’s over-sweetness.

I really enjoyed flattening the little cereal pillows against the roof of my mouth with my tongue. After a few too many, however, the chocolate got cloying.

I should point out, though, that this is the first of the Not Just Cereals that I enjoyed enough to eat so much that I got that cloying feeling.

Cinnamon Toast Crunch is one of my favorite snacking cereals, so I was excited about the milk chocolate flavored Cinnamon Crunch. It wasn’t as airy as the Toasted Rice, but it still brought a nice crunch.

I loved the combination of the crunchy, chocolatey, cinnamony cereal (how’s that for alliteration?). But for some reason, there was an odd, faint mintiness to the finish. It wasn’t off-putting, exactly, but I could’ve done without it.

Still, the Cinnamon Crunch were my favorite of the bunch, and I managed to eventually eat the whole box, so they get an OM. They’re followed by the Toasted Rice and the Fruity O’s (Os), and finally the Honey Toasted O’s ().

I might buy the Cinnamon Crunch again (hence the OM), but I think I’d prefer to make my own, where I could control the quality of the chocolate. Realistically, though I may just stick with making puppy chow.


Category: --, chocolate, mockolate, O, OM, review | 1 Comment »