Archive for November, 2012

Candy-flavored Pringles?

November 15th, 2012 by Rosa

Limited edition treats are a boon for food bloggers, as they give us fresh products to write about. Sometimes, though, I think they’re ill-advised.

Have you ever wished for white chocolate peppermint or cinnamon sugar flavored Pringles? I hope not… but if you have, they exist! The Impulsive Buy has a review. Unsurprisingly enough, candy-flavored Pringles are weird.

 

Category: news | 1 Comment »

Perugina Chocolates – Cappuccino and White Chocolate

November 14th, 2012 by Rosa

Finally! I’ve made it to the last 2 (of 8) Perugina bars that were generously given to me as free samples at Sweets and Snacks. Last Friday, I covered the “plain” chocolate bars, Monday was chocolate with nuts, and today are the last two, Cappuccino and White Chocolate.

Cappuccino was “crunchy grains of coffee enveloped in milk chocolate.” The subtitle called it “milk chocolate with cappuccino crispy,” so I thought maybe it would be full of cappuccino rice crisps.

Visually, it was obvious to tell that the bar was full of stuff, as its bottom was all bumpy. Somehow, though, that didn’t translate to its texture.

I didn’t feel any crunch; just a tiny amount of subtle starchy grit remained on my tongue after the thick and creamy chocolate melted away, and I was really working to try to find it. I guess the crispies just got dissolved in the chocolate?

The cappuccino bar smelled and tasted strongly of coffee. I had high expectations for a coffee-flavored chocolate bar from Italy, but alas, I found it to be too sweet. More Mocha Frappuccino than fine Italian espresso.

The White Chocolate bar boasted that it was “enhanced by the delicacy of natural vanilla flavor.” The ingredients list was just sugar, milk, cocoa butter, whey, and less than 1% soy lecithin and natural vanilla flavor.

That’s impressively sparse – note the lack of palm oil or any other non cocoa-butter fat.

It had a light snap with a thickly creamy melt. It started off sweet, sweet enough to bring a tiny tinge to my throat, then took on a rotund fruitiness before finishing with a vanilla scent.

Both of these bars were enjoyable enough in small doses (half a square or less) but quickly become too sweet for me. I wouldn’t turn to them for regular snacking, but the remainder of these bars are going to make my next batch of cookies taste awesome. An O.

Category: chocolate, coffee, European, O, Perugina, review, white chocolate | No Comments »

Marrying candy

November 13th, 2012 by Rosa

The online cartoon Buttersafe had a fun cartoon the day after Halloween exploring the kiddie taunt, “If you like it so much, why don’t you marry it?”

Image from Buttersafe; click to enlarge

Maybe next year I’ll be a candy-covered bride for Halloween. That should be the next unconventional materials challenge for Project Runway: candy wedding dresses!

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Perugina Chocolates – Milk Chocolate with Almonds, Dark Chocolate with Almonds, & Milk Chocolate with Hazelnuts

November 12th, 2012 by Rosa

Today I’m reviewing three more of the Perugina bars that I got as free samples at Sweets and Snacks. I’d covered the three plain bars last week; today’s theme is chocolate with nuts.

Milk Chocolate with Almonds was described as “a crunchy almond caramel blend with the delicate flavor of milk chocolate.” Its break was soft, and like the plain milk chocolate bar, tasted of caramel and malt.

The bits of almond within the bar were super tiny. They added some crunch and a hint of nuttiness, but the overall effect of the additional almonds was subtle.

Milk Chocolate with Hazelnuts, with the addition of “crunchy caramelized hazelnut pieces”, was similar in flavor and texture to the almond bar, only its nuts added a dryer crunch. I didn’t get the great roasted nuttiness that I expected from the hazelnuts.

Dark Chocolate with Almonds had a strong, sharp snap. The chocolate itself was already crunchy, and the nuts added more crunch and grit.

The dark chocolate base was deliciously complex: strong cocoa flavors with a light fruitiness and notes of coffee. The almonds added a subtle but noticeable roasty nuttiness.

I enjoyed the Dark Chocolate with Almonds enough to give it an OM. As for the milk + nuts bars, they weren’t nutty enough for me, so just an O.

Category: chocolate, European, nuts, O, OM, Perugina, review | No Comments »

Perugina Chocolates – Milk, LUISA Dark, & Bittersweet

November 9th, 2012 by Rosa

My first, “Whoa, I’m at a candy convention” moment at Sweets and Snacks came when the guy at the Perugina booth sent me off with one of each of their chocolate bars. Life is good when an Italian gentleman in a fine suit gives you loads of free chocolate. Can that happen more often? Please?

I walked off with 8 bars in all, plus some Baci and their new Baci White. Today, I’m just covering the three “plain” chocolate bars.

All of the bars were 3.5 oz and came packaged in paperboard envelopes that opened width-wise to reveal (and easily release) the foil wrapped bars. The bars themselves were scored into a 2X5 grid of rectangles, each stamped with a cacao pod.

Milk chocolate had a solid snap, though its chew was soft-ish. It melted with a velvety smooth texture, but it didn’t melt in a way that coated my tongue. The flavor was all caramel and malt, like a Whopper with better chocolate and in chocolate bar form.

LUISA Dark was from the “original and exclusive recipe by Luisa Spagnoli, founder of Perugina” and was 51% cacao. It had a sharper snap than that of the milk chocolate. It didn’t melt well until I chomped it up into little bits – then it melted smoothly.

The flavors were quite intense, sweet with the fruity taste of berries. It thickened at the end of the melt and had a bittersweet finish.

Finally, bittersweet chocolate was 70% cacao. Its snap, as expected, was even sharper than those of the milk or LUISA. As I chomped through it, it cracked and dryly shattered between my teeth.

The flavor here was pure cocoa at its best. Deeply earthy, it tasted like good cocoa powder smells.

Though it wasn’t sweet for much of its flavor profile, it also avoided being bitter, making its name sort of a misnomer. Finally, it finished with just a subtle hint of sweetness.

The Perugina milk chocolate wasn’t my favorite milk chocolate – I like my milk chocolates so thick that it glues my tongue to the roof of my mouth – but I loved the flavor intensity of the LUISA and the bittersweet. A O for the milk and an OM for the other two.

Category: chocolate, European, O, OM, Perugina, review | No Comments »

Want to help a puppy walk?

November 8th, 2012 by Rosa

An impromptu, not candy-related news post addendum today: my friend Amy, on her limited grad student stipend and in her busy grad student life, somehow finds the time and means to volunteer as a foster parent for shelter dogs.

She takes in shelter dogs (some of whom were abused and neglected by their former owners), saves them from being euthanized in the shelters, and gives them a home and love and training until they’re adoptable.

Her latest charge is Buster, a sweet puppy who can’t walk, run, play, or even sit without pain due to a torn ACL that his previous owner didn’t address. Surgery to fix Buster’s injury would let him lead a normal life, but it costs $2,500, beyond Amy or the rescue organization’s budget.

If you have to means to help Give Buster a Leg Up, he’s got his own page on Go Fund Me. Surgery for Buster not only means that he can be a puppy without pain – it also makes him more adoptable, so he has a better chance of finding a family to permanently take him in.

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M&Ms in Science

November 8th, 2012 by Rosa

Via ScienceDaily, a new Current Biology study found that stimulating a reward center of the rat brain, the neostriatum, with opioids caused rats to eat more than twice as many M&Ms as they normally would have.

Though they ate more candies, they didn’t get any additional pleasure from the candies, suggesting that the neostriatum has to do with wanting and eating rather than with liking. This means that the impulse to overeat can be divorced from the pleasure of actual eating. Yikes!

Isn’t it great how M&Ms can teach us about how the reward centers of the brain work? Hooray science!

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Welch’s Fruit ‘N Yogurt Snacks – Strawberry

November 7th, 2012 by Rosa

Yogurt was a big trend at this year’s Sweets and Snacks Expo. There were all kinds of yogurt-covered things, from pretzels to granola bars to candy.

Today’s review is an example of the latter. Welch’s covered their fruit snacks in yogurt to create Fruit ‘N Yogurt Snacks (hereafter FNYS because repeatedly typing ‘N makes me feel stupid). They were handing out oodles of free samples of their strawberry flavor at the Expo.

Each FNYS was a hexagonal prism of a fruit gummi coated in a thin, white layer of yogurt. The yogurt cracked when I squished the snacks. When I held it in my mouth, it melted easily and creamily.

The gummi inside was soft and sticky. I could bite through it cleanly, but when chewed, it got a little sticky in my molars.

The gummi tasted like generic red-fruit berry candy but benefited from a bright tartness, helped along by a hint of tartness from the plain yogurt coating.

The sweet and tart gummi was nicely balanced by the creamy yogurt, making for a tasty treat that carried a nice (but pretty useless) health halo. An OM.

Category: gummi/gummy, OM, review, yogurt | 2 Comments »

Happy Election Day!

November 6th, 2012 by Rosa

Happy Election Day, U.S. readers! If you haven’t voted already, go vote! We’re so lucky to live in a democratic government that let’s us have a say in our government – don’t waste that privilege.

Category: news | No Comments »

Candy “Salad”

November 6th, 2012 by Rosa

Whether your Halloween was last week or last night, chances are you’ve got some candy leftover. Serious Eats thinks you should turn it into a candy “salad”.

Rosa thinks calling that sugar bomb a salad is ridiculous and sort of gets a stomach ache at the thought of eating it (h/t Knile).

 

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