Archive for September, 2011

Eiffel Bon Bons

September 16th, 2011 by Rosa

When I was in middle school and high school, we used to sell these little bags of Eiffel Bon Bons to raise money for French Club and the National French Honor Society. I think I ate as many bags as I sold – they were so addictive!

I found larger bags of strawberry and apple Bon Bons at Cost Plus World Market and had to immediately snatch them up for reviewing (and eating).

For the record, it was my first foray into the wondrous global grocery that is CPWM, and holy cow did I come home with loads of candy! Those will be making appearances in the coming weeks.

The Bon Bons were little nuggets, slightly larger than thumbnail-sized. Strawberry was pink and apple was a pale lime green. Both had white centers.

They were all coated with a light dusting of fine powdered sugar. They could be held in the mouth and dissolved, but I never had – and still don’t have – the patience for that.

Instead, I like to chew mine up. The chew starts off almost stiff and works the jaw for a chomp or two, but it softens quickly. The texture then becomes almost Starburst-like, but with a coarser grain.

Strawberry was sweet with a bright, floral fruitiness. It tasted like strawberry candy concentrate: a strawberry gummi bear with the flavor turned up to 11.

Apple had the flavor of a Granny Smith apple, only it slightly sweeter and not as sharp. There was still a mild sourness, but it never approached levels of puckeriness.

Like the strawberry, the apple flavor was intense and super concentrated. And somehow, the flavor never dissipated as my chewing continued.

The best part of these is the chew. The texture slowly morphs as the bright, intense flavors explode and fill the mouth.

They’re just as addictive as I remember them being, though I have less tolerance for the compounding effect of their sweetness these days. Still, an OMG.

Category: chewy, European, OMG, review | 4 Comments »

Chocolate-Covered Bug Dystopia

September 15th, 2011 by Rosa

Via Chow.com, a Telegraph story about how the European Union has spent/is spending millions of Euros to investigate the nutritional qualities of bugs as food. For humans. For when we’ve destroyed the Earth and must turn to bugs for sustenance.

Their taste test reviewed chocolate-covered scorpions and honeybee creme brulee. I’ll have to admit, the latter doesn’t sound too bad, though it’s probably because my brain is skipping over the “bee” part and parsing it as “honey creme brulee”.

I recently finished the Hunger Games Trilogy (highly recommended page turners; especially the first in the series), so I’ve had dystopias on my mind. I guess any dystopia that still has chocolate isn’t so bad.

Category: news | No Comments »

Dark Angell

September 14th, 2011 by Rosa

On Monday, I covered the Angell Crisp bar. Today, I’ll review its darker (but still fair trade and organic) counterpart, the Dark Angell. It was comprised of “dark chocolate, rich cocoa, and [an] almond center.”

I’ll give it style points for the name, which conjures up an expectation of sinful deliciousness. Unfortunately, the bar fell short of my expectations.

My bar showed a hint of bloom, but it wasn’t enough to have a noticeable impact on the taste or texture. The thin dark chocolate shell was brighter and fruitier than the milk chocolate of the Angell Crisp, which actually made the dark chocolate seem sweeter. The dark also had diminished cocoa flavors compared the milk.

The filling was a mix of crushed almonds and a chocolate ganache that tasted like the same chocolate of the shell. The almonds were mostly smashed to gritty smithereens, though I did come across at least one slightly larger chunk (visible in the below photo) that managed to retain some toothiness.

The almonds lacked crunch. Instead, they were almost chewy, like they’d gone stale or simply taken on moisture. Perhaps the small bits had too high a surface area to volume ratio? They brought minimal nuttiness and instead served to dry out the bar and its mouthfeel.

I liked the chocolate component to this bar, but it went all wrong with the almonds. Those nuts were broken into too small pieces and lost everything that’s great about nuts in chocolate: the added flavor and crunch factor were gone. A missed opportunity and an O.

Category: chocolate, fair trade, nuts, O, organic, review | No Comments »

Chocablog at the Chocolate Fair

September 13th, 2011 by Rosa

The folks at Chocablog had the privilege of attending the Speciality Chocolate Fair, which was part of the Speciality and Fine Food Fair in London. They have a great write-up here, complete with drool-worthy photos. JEALOUS!

Category: news | No Comments »

Angell Crisp

September 12th, 2011 by Rosa

I found this Angell Crisp bar in a food co-op in NYC. On Wednesday, I’ll review the Dark Angel version. The Angell Crisp wrapper promised, “milk chocolate; crispy creamy chocolate center”, all wrapped up in an organic and fair trade candy bar.

My first impression upon biting into this bar was, “Hmm… It tastes good for you.” It had this strange, almost vegetal edge to the flavor of the chocolate and a wholesome heaviness to the crisps. Neither was bad; just different.

It was impossible to tell where the chocolate shell ended and the creamy chocolate center began. The bar melted in my fingers, making for an annoying photo shoot.

The chocolate tasted almost throat-burningly sweet, despite its dark appearance. As I said before, it had a strange edge to it that reminded me of vegetables – beets maybe? – and a chocolate syrup finish.

The rice crisps had a stale mouthfeel and reminded me of puffed wheat cereal. They didn’t have a dry crisp that dissolved into airiness. Instead, they chewed up with a bit of texture to it, perhaps because they were made of brown rice.

It was an okay, if rather wholesome feeling treat. I finished off the whole bar, but I don’t think I’d buy it again, especially since the bars were $2 each. An O.

Category: chocolate, fair trade, O, organic, review | No Comments »

Torku Nugamel

September 9th, 2011 by Rosa

I believe I received this Torku Nugamel as a free sample from the NCA (my post-move pared down candy stash is still ridiculously large. I have not done my best in tracking its origins). I have a few other random Torku bars in my stash, one of which I’ve already reviewed.

It looked absolutely luscious on the wrapper, with its ooze of caramel seeping out. I don’t read Turkish, but I assume the wrapper promised chocolate, caramel, and nougat.

Alas, the caramel was too much like that of the wrapper – mine had completely seeped (or been squished) out in transit and somehow nearly disappeared from the actual candy bar, though some remained stuck to the wrapper. Perhaps the caramel had become absorbed by the nougat?

That nougat was dense, much more so than that of a 3 Musketeers or even a Milky Way. It was soft but had a large grain to it as it melted.

The nougat had a nice maltiness to it, but it was overwhelmingly sweet. I wonder if the disappearing caramel played a part in the sugar bomb-ness.

The chocolate coating was mild and added a slight chocolate finish. I could detect a hint of sweet caramel scorchiness, but it was overwhelmed by the overall sweetness of the bar. On its own (licked off the wrapper), the caramel had a nicely light burnt taste, though it was a little grainy.

While I enjoyed the malt flavor of the nougat and the edge on the caramel, it was just too sweet for me. An O.

Category: caramel, chocolate, European, nougat, O, review | 2 Comments »

Literary Candy Snobs

September 8th, 2011 by Rosa

Via my friend Neil comes this fun list from McSweeney’s called, “The Candy Encyclopedia of American Literature”. It reimagines classic candy names as classic American novels or poetry.

Just to give you a taste:

“Sugar Babies: 19th c. children’s book. Largely considered out of date for its racist themes.”

Intriguing… This exercise would make for a fun/snobby party game. Here’s my addition:

Almond Joy: Amy Tan tugs at your heartstrings with a story that spans generations. A beautiful Chinese peasant girl is torn from her true love and sold into sexual slavery as a merchant’s concubine. Her great-granddaughter, abandoned as an infant by her impoverished parents and adopted by Angelina Jolie, grows up and seeks out her Asian identity after discovering her great-grandmother’s diary.

Category: news | 1 Comment »

Whisper

September 7th, 2011 by Rosa

I found this Whisper bonbon at the local Dollar store. I was in there on a failed expedition for clothes hangers (still working on setting up the new place!).

It was labeled “Milk Chocolate Bonbon” at the top. The whole thing was about the size and shape of a golf ball with the bottom third cut off.

The outer coating was a creamy, soft, and sort of greasy milk chocolate. That greasiness must be due to the preponderance of soybean oil in the ingredients list. Yum!

The chocolate had a light cocoa duskiness and over the top sweetness to it. It reminded me of hot cocoa – the kind that’s made from mix out of a paper envelope.

Immediately below the chocolate was a light wafer shell. It added a stale crunch that didn’t do enough to offset the sweetness of the chocolate coating.

That center filling was comprised of thick and creamy peanut butter. It was lightly salty and rather nice.

For a cheap dollar store find, this turned out to be surprisingly tasty, mostly thanks to the nice salty-sweet balance to the center. Unfortunately, the wafer shell was a tad too stale, and the chocolate coating was a tad too sweet for it to make it past an O.

Category: chocolate, cookie, O, peanut butter, review | 2 Comments »

Caramel apple noms

September 6th, 2011 by Rosa

Yesterday was Labor Day, marking the unofficial end of summer. Now that it’s fall, can we make caramel apples?

Serious Eats is ready with an easy recipe. I think I need to start planning a caramel apple making party – just put out caramel in a crock pot, lots of apples, and lots of toppings!

Category: news | No Comments »

Phew

September 5th, 2011 by Rosa

If you tried to access my home page over the weekend, you may have noticed that my website was compromised. I believe they cracked my login password.

Thankfully it was a fairly simple hack that I was able to fix on my own. And, further thankfully, I use different passwords for different websites, so the damage should be contained.

Thanks for your patience!

Category: news | No Comments »