Archive for July, 2010

Simply Lite Sugar Free/No Sugar Added Chocolates

July 16th, 2010 by Rosa

I got these Simply Lite Sugar Free and No Sugar Added chocolates as free samples. I generally try to eat healthily, but that usually doesn’t extend to my candy selections, so these aren’t something that I’d buy for myself.

The tagline on these bars is “fine chocolates for the health and calorie conscious.” I find the accuracy of that assertion to be debatable.

A quick comparison to some regular chocolate bars shows that they’re no less fattening and save only a few calories per serving. They are, however, lower in carbs and sugar. But is that worth the warning on the back, “Excessive consumption may cause a laxative effect”?

The milk chocolate bar smelled sweet with a hint of caramel. The melt was thick with a slight graininess, but it didn’t manage to coat the mouth the way that some milk chocolates do.

It tasted sweet and fruity, but lacked the dusky, thick caramel notes that I love in my fine milk chocolate. It reminded me of a less sweet and not at all tangy regular Hershey’s bar.

I was surprised at how unartificial it tasted. It was far better than Hershey’s or Nestle’s plain milk chocolates.

The sugar free dark chocolate also smelled sweet. It snapped when broken by my fingers but not when chewed. It’s texture was a bit weird, with a finely grainy melt.

The dark bar tasted fruity with light hints of spice and an impressively lasting finish. It reminded me of Hershey’s Special Dark chocolate or a generic semisweet chocolate chip.

The dark chocolate with almonds bar featured whole almonds that were impressively nutty. The dark chocolate was similar to the plain dark chocolate bar, but it carried a pronounced cinnamon flavor and less fruitiness.

I appreciated the quality of the almonds but was thrown by the stinginess. There were only almonds in half of the bar – half of the pre-segmented squares were plain! I hope I just got a wonkily made aberration.

I was pretty impressed at Simply Lite’s line-up. In a blind testing, I would never guess that these are low carb/low sugar. As a regular chocolate treat, I give them an O. Were I to actually need to restrict my diet, they’d warrant a higher rating.

The Candygurus also reviewed these bars. I concur with Matty – that laxative effect is fo’ real, but not in an unpleasant way (at least after the amount that I sampled). These could be a nicer-tasting twist on the laxative brownie prank.

Category: chocolate, nuts, O, review | 4 Comments »

Taza Chocolate Hit by Flood Damage

July 15th, 2010 by Rosa

Taza Chocolate, one of my favorite artisan chocolate makers, just got badly hit by a flash flood (note: video plays automatically).

From an email they just sent out/their blog:

“Around 3pm, Taza’s Director of Manufacturing (i.e. Head Chocolate Making Guy), Mike Schechter, thought maybe he’d pop by our newly renovated, first floor chocolate factory for a quick look, just to be safe. He arrived to find Windsor St. more river than roadway. And once inside, he found water pouring unchecked into the factory via a breach in our building’s front exterior wall, and bubbling up from the drains in the floor. The new chocolate production facility, where we’d turned out our first batch of Mexicanos just last week, was already sitting in an unwelcome lake several inches deep, and the water was still coming.”

After much hard work, Taza employees cleaned the place up and are now faced with the task of rebuilding their ruined cubicles and destroyed drywall. They also have to shut down production for at least a week.

Note: below photo is from a Taza factory tour I took a year ago, pre-flood damage.

I feel so bad from them! They were incredibly nice to me when I visited, and they’re clearly crazy passionate about what they do, and it shows in the quality of their chocolate and the care that they put into it. For a small, artisanal company, a set-back like this must be tough.

One bright note: their already made chocolate supply is still dry and totally tasty. If you’ve been putting off trying their goods, or if you’ve gotten to taste and know their deliciousness already, now’s a great time to buy their chocolate goodies. They could really use the cash flow help as they’re dealing with the double whammy of losing production time and financing repairs.

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Berkshire Bark – Pretzelogical

July 14th, 2010 by Rosa

I recently had the chance to visit Cornell for big kid science camp. The drive from Rochester to Ithaca is a gorgeous wind through the Finger Lakes region, and I stopped at a cidery along the way. It was there that I picked up this Berkshire Bark bar.

The blurb on the back of the box: “Berkshire Bark is handmade… Premium quality Belgian dark and milk chocolate holds together pretzels, homemade sea salt caramel, and natural peanut butter.”

I appreciated the artisan nature of the bar, which contains only natural ingredients and no preservatives. And it sounded like a delicious combination – pretzels and salted caramel and chocolate? Yes, please!

Unfortunately, I found the execution to be less than stellar. The chocolate was way too sweet, so sweet that it burned my throat. It was also quite soft, almost fudge-like in texture, and it melted in my fingers (you can see some of my fingerprints on the bar in the below photo).

And that sea salt caramel that sounded so delicious? It was not at all caramel-like in texture. Instead, it was grainy and lacked depth to its flavor. It reminded me of my caramel-flavored calcium chews.

I did enjoy the addition of the pretzels. Their crispiness and starchy flavor worked well with the sweet chocolate. The nuttiness from the peanut butter was also quite nice.

The bar was a nice mix of salty, crunchy, and creamy, but it was unreasonably sweet, and the caramel was disappointing. If they could ratchet down the sweetness and up the caramel-flavor of the caramel, this bar would be a show-stopper. As it is, an O.

Category: caramel, chocolate, O, peanut butter, review | Comments Off on Berkshire Bark – Pretzelogical

Weird Cadbury Boost Commercials

July 13th, 2010 by Rosa

Via AdFreak, here are three bizarre Cadbury Boost commercials. Chocolate makes for a bad roommate, dontcha know?

Category: news | 1 Comment »

Meiji Kaijiu Peach Gummi Candy

July 12th, 2010 by Rosa

I got these Japanese peach gummis in my generous free sample box from They’re solid proof that the Japanese are darn good at making gummis (along with creepy robots).

The gummis came in a resealable bag with a luscious white peach and a blue um… condom-like button promising 2600 mg of… something. The gummis themselves were an opaque mustard yellow and shaped like idealized Asian cartoon peaches.

I loved their soft, bouncy texture. It was a pleasure to feel them sproinging against my teeth. For me, that’s the ideal gummi texture.

They tasted sweet and floral, with a hint of citrus flavor. If I hadn’t known that they were supposed to be peach, I would have guessed that they were orange or fruit punch.

Either way, the flavor was refreshing and delicious. I liked that the sweetness wasn’t overpowering or artificial tasting. It was just sweet enough.

A great combination of flavor and texture earns these guys an OMG. My bag disappeared far too quickly.

Category: Asian (China, Japan, and Korea), gummi/gummy, OMG, review | Comments Off on Meiji Kaijiu Peach Gummi Candy

Strawberry Yogurt Chocolate Bars: Ritter Sport versus Milka

July 9th, 2010 by Rosa

I absolutely loved the Milka Joghurt bar when my roommate introduced me to it. Consequently, I snapped up every chocolate and yogurt bar that I could find in Italy, including these two strawberry yogurt bars.

One’s by Ritter Sport, and the other is by Milka, and I thought it would be appropriate to review them together.

The Ritter Sport bar was very soft and pliable. The yogurt was a creamy filling inside the milk chocolate Ritter Bar squares. As with all Ritter Sport bars, each square was stamped with the logo.

I loved the color contrast between the milk chocolate brown and the bright pink strawberry filling, the latter of which was flecked with darker pink bits of freeze-dried strawberry.

The milk chocolate was thick and on the edge of melting in my fingers as I tore the segments apart. And I do mean tore – it was that soft. The milk chocolate was great and tasted of caramel.

The strawberry filling was sweetly floral with an undertone of tanginess from the yogurt and flashes of sweetness every time I came across a bit of the freeze-dried strawberry. Those crunchy bits added bright sparks of flavor.

I enjoyed the flavor combination of strawberry and chocolate, but it was a bit too sweet and not tangy enough for my taste. I preferred the regular yogurt version.

The Milka Strawberry Yogurt bar was also soft and pliable. It, too, was segmented, though each segment was rectangular and stamped with the Milka logo rather than the Ritter Sport logo (of course).

The Milka bar was more muted in its coloring, so it didn’t look nearly as striking as the Ritter Sport version. It’s chocolate was lighter brown, and the strawberry filling was beige with pink bits.

This bar had a far more genuine strawberry yogurt flavor – it tasted just like the store-bought real deal! It had more depth and complexity, more fullness of flavor.

The filling had a light crunchiness, I think from real strawberry seeds. They didn’t add any flavor flashes, though.

The Milka bar’s chocolate was thinner than that of the Ritter Sport’s, and I thought it wasn’t as nice. It lacked the Ritter Sport’s caramel complexity.

Still, I liked the Milka bar better than the Ritter Sport because the filling had more spot-on strawberry yogurt flavor. But I also found it too sweet and preferred the tarter and tangier plain yogurt bar. Both get Os.

Category: chocolate, European, O, review, Ritter Sport, yogurt | 2 Comments »

Ale and Pretzel Caramels

July 8th, 2010 by Rosa

Via The Kitchn blog, here’s a creative and intriguing recipe for Ale and Pretzel Soft Caramels. I’m too afraid of scorching all of my roommate’s pots to attempt homemade caramels, but maybe some of y’all have more chutzpah?

Category: news | 1 Comment »

Albanese Gummi Butterflies

July 7th, 2010 by Rosa

These gummi butterflies from Albanese are a relatively new addition to the bulk bins of my local Wegmans. They’re beautifully translucent and look like those gel window sticker things.

They came in six colors/flavors and were generously sized. Tip to tip, I’d say the wingspan was about the length of my index finger.

The texture was a joy. They were soft with the perfect balance of stiffness and bounce, so they were easy to tear with my teeth. They were also smooth and had a pleasant mouthfeel when I had the patience to let them melt in my mouth.

Dark red was cherry. It tasted deeply dark with nicely complex red fruit notes.

Lime green was supposed to be apple. I found it sweet with a vague tinge of citrus.

Orange was one of my favorites. It was vibrantly sweet and citrusy. A nice orange zestiness develops across the gummi’s flavor profile and shines through.

Based on just taste, I couldn’t figure out what flavor aqua was. Based on the website, I think it’s supposed to be blue raspberry. It was my least favorite because it carried an inexplicable plasticky, petrol note.

I thought pink was strawberry, but the website says that it’s watermelon. I thought it had a nicely floral finish with strawberry highlights.

Finally, purple was grape. It was well-balanced and managed to avoid that medicinal grape nastiness.

With the exception of the aqua, I found these to be a pleasure to play with and eat (I was enjoying biting them in half and making hybrid butterflies). Aqua gets a ; the rest gets OMs.

Category: --, gummi/gummy, OM, review | 1 Comment »

NuNu Chocolates on Food Curated

July 6th, 2010 by Rosa

Via Serious Eats, here’s a short video of NuNu Chocolates on Food Curated.

They’ve been on my list of chocolate shops to visit ever since I read about them in the NY Times Dining section. Watching the video is almost as good?

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Happy Independence Day!

July 3rd, 2010 by Rosa

I hope you’re having a safe and happy Fourth of July holiday! I’m spending the long weekend on a mini-vacation with my family, so there won’t be a review come Monday.

In the meantime, check out my ZOMG, Candy! Facebook page! I’m running a candy giveaway through the discussion tab. I’d love to hear what you have to say, and I’ll bet you’d love to win some free candy!

Back on Tuesday, July 6th. Be safe, and have a great weekend!

Category: giveaway, news | Comments Off on Happy Independence Day!