Archive for October, 2010

American Heritage Chocolate

October 29th, 2010 by Rosa

American Heritage Chocolate is a new line from the folks at Mars that “allows us to take a sweet bite out of history.” They claim “historic and modern recipe interpretations” that are made using colonial methods.

Above photo courtesy of Mars

I got sent an old-timey looking wooden crate full of free samples: some chocolate sticks and a giant chocolate block. The chocolate sticks came packaged in a rustic-looking muslin drawstring bag.

The ingredients list is refreshingly basic: chocolate, sugar, cocoa butter, spices, natural flavors, annatto, salt. The label notes that it’s all natural, with no preservatives, and my press pack names the spices as cinnamon, nutmeg, chili pepper, orange, and vanilla.

The bag contained four cocoa powder-covered sticks, each about the size of a stick of classroom chalk (is that even a valid reference point these days?). The press pack suggested eating it as-is or stirring it into a hot drink. I went with the former.

The sticks had a sharp break with a smooth melt that lacked creaminess. They also smelled just like bubblegum. I wasn’t okay with that… Fortunately, they didn’t taste like it!

Instead, they had a nice, deep richness with a slight spice burn and an innocuous astringency. The chocolate tasted sweetly fruity. Then, the flavor of cinnamon spices came through and lingered to the finish.

The chocolate block was a solid 5.13 oz bar that was too daunting to bite into. Since the ingredients list was the same as that of the sticks, I’m going to assume that it’s the same as the sticks and not review the block today. Instead, I’m going to save it for grating into hot cocoa once the weather gets colder.

I appreciate that Mars has been thinking out of the box – taking the retro trend to the extreme, if you will. And I appreciate the unique flavor of the chocolate. An OM.

Category: chocolate, Mars, OM, review | 1 Comment »

Blog Action Day Winner and a Fun Event for Bostonites

October 28th, 2010 by Rosa

I hereby declare Knile winner of my Blog Action Day Contest. NOT because his comment was the longest, but because

a) it was a fact I didn’t already know

b) I loved the crazy juxtoposition/trade-off. You can have clean water to drink and all its associated benefits, but we’re also going to market sugary, potentially obesity-causing sugary sodas to you. Is that ironic? I’m afraid to declare it so…

Here’s his fact, reproduced below:

“I was going to leave this comment before I saw the bit about the Sour Patch Kids… My mind was blown a little, if that’s possible, recently when I learned how important PepsiCo and other corporations that seem Evil & Dangerous are to providing clean water around the world. I wish I could find a source for my first reading this (let’s be honest, it was probably MetaFilter), but the gist is that to make Pepsi anywhere, you need clean water. PepsiCo wants to sell its products, and it’ll do what it can to get the necessary materials. Helping out people in developing nations is a nice side effect of that. A little googling provides this from PepsiCo:”

In other news, the Taza Chocolate Factory is offering a special Trick or Treat tour this Saturday! I can’t find mention of it online, but details were in their email newsletter, reproduced below:

“We’re celebrating our first Halloween at the Taza Factory Store. Come down to 561 Windsor Street on Saturday [October 30] from 11am – 5pm for Taza Trick or Treat Day!”

They’ll have free deep, dark espresso-style hot chocolate and some limited-edition Halloween treats for sale. And adults and kids who come in costume get a free treat. Sounds like a fun Saturday outing!

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Lammes Habanero Praline

October 27th, 2010 by Rosa

As Rodzilla reminded me via the ZOMG, Candy! Facebook page, I owe y’all a review of this Lammes Candies Habanero Praline.

Lammes Candies is a hometown favorite of mine. Their Texas Chewie Pecan Pralines are my go-to “Thanks for dropping me off/picking me up at the airport” gift whenever I go home, as they’re delicious and nicely regionally specific.

I picked up the Habanero Pralines because I have trouble resisting intriguing-sounding candy. The checkout girls warned me that they packed a spicy punch, and whoo boy did it deliver!

The praline smells rather acrid upon unwrapping. There’s definitely some real habanero pepper in there!

It first tastes nicely nutty from the pecans and has a caramel-tinged sweetness. A second or two later, the wallop of the pepper comes through as a painfully fiery tingle.

The spicy burn builds and stings. This sweet and spicy treat certainly packs a kick. It’s too much for my weak heat tolerance, but those with adventurous palates would enjoy it.

An O from me. I wish I could handle the spiciness better because the nutty sweetness is delicious. I guess I’ll just have to content myself with regular pralines.

Category: caramel, nuts, O, review | 1 Comment »

Crazy Moose Candy Commercial

October 26th, 2010 by Rosa

Via AdFreak, here’s a pair of bizarre commercials for Maynards Wine Gums. Mounted animal heads already creep me out enough as it is without the added craziness of these commercials.

Category: news | 1 Comment »

The Kitchn Chocolate Round-Up

October 25th, 2010 by Rosa

The Kitchn has a nice round-up of their chocolate-related posts. There’s a lot of links to click though – enough to last you all week!

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BonBon Jovi Truffles from Cakespy

October 22nd, 2010 by Rosa

Thanks to my stint in the Yale Precision Marching Band, I have a special fondness for Bon Jovi. “You Give Love a Bad Name” was even my audition song! And everyone loves “Living on a Prayer”, the perfect dance party close-out.

Thus I was quite charmed by these BonBon Jovi Truffles from Cakespy, for Serious Eats. I’m not sure if there’s anything Bon Jovi-specific about the fillings of these truffles, but who cares? They look cute and delicious!

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Serious Eats’s Favorite Candy Bars

October 21st, 2010 by Rosa

The Serious Eats Staff recently posted about their favorite candy bars. I’m in Robyn’s camp – I think it’s easier to talk about which bars aren’t my favorite.

What are your favorite bars? Do you hand them out for Halloween? Or, better yet, do you buy them to hand out for Halloween but eat them all yourself first?

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Edible Bloody Science

October 20th, 2010 by Rosa

Via a med student friend and Wisconsin Candy Dish, a neat and Halloween-appropriate candy craft: bloody microscope slides made from boiled sugar, inspired by Dexter.

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Zombie Starburst Ad

October 19th, 2010 by Rosa

Via AdFreak, here’s a zombie-fied Starburst ad that feels quite appropriate as Halloween approaches.

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Off to China!

October 18th, 2010 by Rosa

I’m in China for the week to visit family and to check out the World Expo. That means two things:

1) Expect reviews of Chinese sweets when I get back.

2) No reviews this week, and possibly into next, depending on how jet-lagged I am when I get back. Instead, y’all will get my usual hiatus mode of daily news posts.

See y’all in a week or so!

Category: news | 1 Comment »