Archive for August, 2012

Koppers Gummi Bear Dips – Natural Orange and Natural Raspberry

August 31st, 2012 by Rosa

Like Wednesday’s chocolate covered gummi bears, these Gummi Bear Dips were free samples given to me by the folks at the Koppers booth at Sweets and Snacks. They came in two flavors, orange and raspberry.

Orange was “real Swedish gummi bears covered in creamy orange coating.” The orange coating was actually yellow in color, while the bear inside was a translucent gold.

I think the center gummi was a slightly larger version of the milk chocolate covered gummi bear (the left to right order in the below photo is naked-fied raspberry, milk chocolate covered, and orange). It was similarly bouncy in texture, with the same light, generically sweet fruitiness.

The thick and stiff orange coating was quite creamsicle-y, with a flavor that was heavy on the cream. The orange contribution was just a light citrus oil tinge. I don’t know if the orange coating actually improved the bear, but it didn’t hurt.

Raspberry looked like it would just be a differently flavored equivalent of the orange dips: the bear was the same size as that of the orange, only red instead of gold and with a strong and sweet fruit flavor. I think cherry?

The raspberry coating, however, was intolerable. It tasted super fakely sweet with medicinal bitter notes and a grainy melt. I couldn’t stand it and really had to fight through the distaste to get that naked gummi photo above.

Candy raspberry and I just don’t get along, I guess. I appreciate that Koppers was trying to do something new with these guys, but I thought the dip factor was innocuous for the orange (an O) and detrimental in the case of the raspberry (a ).

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Ikea sweets review

August 30th, 2012 by Rosa

Serious Eats recently posted a taste-test round-up of an impressive variety of the foods sold at Ikea, including some of their sweets. They managed to make something called “oat balls” sounds like a must-try, and their marzipan glamor shots are lovely.

By the way, on my last Ikea visit about a month ago, I learned that they no longer sell Daim chocolates. Instead, they’ve got a non-branded equivalent called milk chocolate with butterscotch.

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Koppers Chocolate Covered Gummi Bears

August 29th, 2012 by Rosa

These chocolate covered gummi bears were a free sample given to me at the Koppers booth at Sweets and Snacks. They call themselves “the original”, so I wonder if they predate the Albanese and other brands’ versions?

The gummi bears (real Swedish, according to the wrapper) had a surprisingly sproingy chew. They positively bounced against my teeth as I chomped them up.

The gummi’s flavor was extremely mild and generically sweet. I guessed that it was strawberry before I saw it written on the wrapper, but the flavor was so subtle that I really just got lucky with my guess.

The gummi’s gold coloring was incongruous with the purported strawberry flavor. Maybe it cuts down on the need for artificial colors?

The chocolate coating’s thickness varied from bear to bear – that variation shows in the photo below, as some bears had distinctive features while others’ were buried under chocolate. It had a creamy feel and thin melt with just a light cocoa flavor.

As with the Albanese bears, I don’t see the need to dunk gummi bears in chocolate. At the end of the day, I prefer my bears bare. An O.

Category: chocolate, gummi/gummy, O, review | 1 Comment »

Doctors immune to candy bribes

August 28th, 2012 by Rosa

Via Discover Magazine’s Discoblog, news of an academic study that found that doctors are not very susceptible to candy bribes, at least not when it comes to increases responses to mailed questionnaires. No word on if candy bribes can help you get special prescriptions (I’d guess no).

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Blommer Milk and Dark Chocolate Covered Grahams

August 27th, 2012 by Rosa

I got these Blommer Milk Chocolate Covered Grahams and Dark Chocolate Covered Grahams as free samples at Sweets and Snacks. Mine were individually wrapped (unfortunately, I ate them before I realized that I didn’t have photos of the packaging), though it seems like they’re sold by the box on their website.

Both treats were graham cookie squares covered in either milk or dark chocolate and decorated with little squiggles. The graham cookies had a nice crunch with a bit of grittiness from the crumbs. They had a lightly sweet graham cracker flavor, though I wish that graham flavor was stronger and toastier.

The milk chocolate was sweet with a slight fruitiness, and its sweetness intensified at the end. I enjoyed it enough to give it an O, but it was too sweet for my taste.

The dark chocolate was more to my taste. It had a great depth of chocolate flavor, with just a hint of sweetness that came through in the finish.

The more subtle sweetness of the dark chocolate let the graham flavor come through more. It gets an OM for a well-balanced mix of flavor and texture.

I’d buy the dark chocolate version as a nice teatime snack. While I wouldn’t go out of my way to purchase the milk chocolate version, I’d happily eat another if it were offered to me for free again.

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Warheads Sour Chewy Cubes

August 24th, 2012 by Rosa

Original Warheads hard candies made their splash on the U.S. market when I was a kid. My friends and I used to compete to see how many we could stand to hold in our mouths at once and – more importantly – how long we could keep them there as their sour coating burned holes into our mouths. Oh the joys of childhood!

These Warheads Sour Chewy Cubes were a new-to-me product that were being handed out as free samples at Sweets and Snacks. The sour meter on the back of the wrapper placed these at “sour”, a step above “tart” but below “super sour” and “extreme”.

They turned out to be little centimeter cubes in psychedelic, not-found-in-nature colors. Their texture was a cross between Starbursts and gummi/jelly candies – they had a long-lasting chew that sometimes got stuck in my teeth but had the softer, slightly grainy squish of gummi/jelly candies.

The sour sugar that coated the cube was mild, definitely far below what I’d expect from the Warheads brand. I’d call it tart, maybe, but it was really mostly just sweet. It added a little bit of sandy grit to the chew.

The package that I unwrapped had pink, orange, purple, and blue cubes. It looks like I missed out on green and red, which were depicted on the wrapper.

Pink was maybe watermelon, maybe strawberry? Lightly sweet and generically red-fruity tasting. Purple was grape, I suppose. Really it just tasted like a purple SweeTart.

Orange was orange and packed a surprisingly zesty punch with a spot-on orange soda flavor. And blue was who knows? Some mysterious artificial fruit flavor, maybe fruit punch or something.

Most of the cubes had a slightly bitter finish that was stronger in some colors than others. I’ll chalk that up to the artificial colors and flavors that these contained. Yummy!

These weren’t great, but they weren’t awful. Innocuous and not something that I’d spend money on. An O.

Category: chewy, gummi/gummy, hard candy, O, review, sour | Comments Off on Warheads Sour Chewy Cubes

Juice-infused chocolate – a lower fat option?

August 23rd, 2012 by Rosa

Today’s news post is a fitting one to come on the heels of this week’s “dietchocolate reviews. Via Gizmodo, scientists have reported inventing a technique to create chocolate built around tiny droplets of fruit juice rather than fat.

Photo from the article.

The resulting chocolate supposedly has the same mouthfeel as regular chocolate but much less fat, and a slightly fruity tinge from the juice. Pretty cool!

Category: news | 1 Comment »

Skinny Cow Heavenly Crisp – Milk Chocolate flavor and Peanut Butter flavor

August 22nd, 2012 by Rosa

On Monday, I reviewed Skinny Cow‘s Milk Chocolate Dreamy Clusters. Today, I’m covering their Heavenly Crisp bars in Peanut Butter and Milk Chocolate, which were also free samples from their booth at Sweets and Snacks.

Both bars were 110 calories and described as “delicate wafers layered with delicious milk chocolate creme” or “delicious peanut butter creme”.

They were also coated with a thin layer of fake chocolate, as indicated by the label “milk chocolate flavor”. Hooray mockolate! Milk chocolate flavor had a white decorative drizzle; peanut butter’s was golden brown.

Palm oil appears several times in the ingredient list in various forms, and cocoa butter is completely missing; hence the mockolate designation. They were a mess to unwrap, as the mockolate was all melty and messy, even at room temperature.

The wafers, at least, were great. They were the lightest, airiest wafers that I’ve ever encountered in candy. Must help keep the calorie count low! They added a pleasant, if flimsy, crunch and a neutral toastiness.

The milk chocolate flavored version did have a nice malty cocoa flavor, likely due to the cocoa powder on the ingredient list. It had a well-balanced, light sweetness that went well with the toasty wafers.

Peanut butter flavor had actual peanuts and added a roasted nutty flavor. It felt a little pastier in my mouth than the chocolate did and didn’t stand up as nicely against the wafers.

I really like the light crunch of the wafers and how they played off the light sweetness of the other ingredients, but the lack of real chocolate was a bummer that brought these bars down. An O.

You can read Cybele of Candy Blog’s take on these. I agree with her assessment to pass these over in favor of chocolate with you know, actual chocolate.


Category: cookie, mockolate, Nestle, O, peanut butter, review | Comments Off on Skinny Cow Heavenly Crisp – Milk Chocolate flavor and Peanut Butter flavor

Project Runway Candy Couture Challenge

August 21st, 2012 by Rosa

I swore off watching Project Runway after the judging travesty that was Season 9. It used to be a show about true talent but has since devolved into all about the best reality TV storyline.

I made an exception, however, when they recently did an “unconventional materials” challenge to make clothes out of candy! At Dylan’s Candy Bar! Which I also hate because they charge ridiculous prices for basic bulk candy and are only successful because Dylan’s the daughter of Ralph Lauren!

Okay, that’s it for my soapbox. Check out the challenge winner above, a dress made of black licorice and crushed rock candy – how gorgeous is that?! (Photo from Lifetime’s website)

You can see the rest of the candy clothing, complete with hilarious commentary from Tom and Lorenzo here, here, and here.

Category: news | 1 Comment »

Skinny Cow Dreamy Clusters – Milk Chocolate

August 20th, 2012 by Rosa

Ira Glass had a great quote in his recent NY Times interview: “I don’t believe in guilty pleasures, I only believe in pleasures. People who call reading detective fiction or eating dessert a guilty pleasure make me want to puke. Pedophilia is a pleasure a person should have guilt about. Not chocolate.

I agree with Ira (because we’re on a first name basis, of course) 100%. There’s nothing wrong with enjoying sweets – as long as you’re not eating yourself into a diabetic coma.

Skinny Cow isn’t as horrible about inducing chocolate shame as other brands have been, but the whole idea of diet candy is still pretty silly. Also what’s up with the name “Skinny Cow”? Are consumers the Cow that wants to be skinny?

The wrapper of this package of Dreamy Clusters, which I got as free samples at Sweets and Snacks, prominently noted that it has 120 calories. It also shows 5 clusters, which is exactly how many were in my pack.

The clusters were described as “crunchy crisps and creamy caramel drenched in milk chocolate.” Each lumpy cluster was between quarter and half-dollar-sized.

The crisps were indeed crunchy. I think they were rice, as rice flour was in the ingredients list, but they were far stiffer and more substantial than any rice crisps I’ve ever had before.

The caramel was chewy but not sticky. You can see from the photo that it had a little stretch but not much pull. It tasted darkly sweet and, though rather one note, was enjoyable enough.

The milk chocolate coating on the clusters was real milk chocolate with actual cocoa butter. Hooray! It was mild and generic tasting, with no notable caramel or dusky cream notes, but again, pleasant enough.

These presented a tasty mix of flavors and textures, like bite-sized 100 Grand bars (which I love). The extra crunchy crisps really elevated these to an OM rating. I think the marketing is dumb, and 5 per pack ain’t much, but portion control is the point here, I suppose.

Candy Blog’s Cybele reviewed the dark chocolate version of these over a year ago.

Category: caramel, chocolate, Nestle, OM, review | 1 Comment »