Archive for August, 2013

e. fruitti gummis from Candy Crate

August 30th, 2013 by Rosa

I recently received a free Kooky Kid Crazy Candy Gift Box from the folks at Candy Crate. They repackage candy into themed boxes (or crates?) or care packages. The box I got had lots of sugary treats, including some e. frutti gummies.

The Gummi Pizza contained 5 “slices”. At first glance, the blobs of toppings looked weird – unnaturally bright, and what pizza toppings are purple anyway?

When I looked more closely, however, it turned out that the green blobs were little peppers, purple was olives, yellow was a teeny mushroom, and white was garlic, maybe? Surprising level of detail here!

The gummis had a foamy bottom with a slightly soft foamy chew, but the rest of the gummi had a fairly stiff chew. The flavor was mildly sweet and fruity, with citrusy floral notes.

The Sea Critters gummis were SweeTart colored sea turtles, though it looks like they also come in other creature shapes and colors. They were soft and uber squishy with the same foamy texture of the pizza bottoms.

Their flavor made me think of SweeTarts, though I’m not sure if it was just the suggestive power of the coloring. They were sweet and slightly tart, and I swear the gummi had fizzy notes, though that could have been just how the foamy gummi melted in my mouth.

These gummis were pretty fun and tasty. I think kids would get a kick out of the fun shapes, and the flavors, while safe and unsurprising, are decent enough. An O.

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YumEarth Giveaway Reminder

August 29th, 2013 by Rosa

The entry period for my giveaway of YumEarth Fruit Snacks ends tomorrow. Don’t forget to enter if you haven’t already! I’m getting a kick out of reading about people’s lunchbox snacks.

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Chocablog covers Paul Young chocolate making class

August 29th, 2013 by Rosa

Chocablog’s Dom recently wrote up his experience taking a salted caramel making class with Paul A. Young. Alas, he doesn’t share the secret recipe – a shame since I just got a candy thermometer – but he did post some gorgeous photos.

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Splendid Chocolates – Milk Chocolate with Ginger and Pink Himalayan Salt

August 28th, 2013 by Rosa

On Monday, I covered Splendid Chocolates‘ milk chocolate with toffee and sea salt. Today, I’m reviewing their milk chocolate with ginger and pink himalayan salt. Both were free samples handed to me at Sweets and Snacks.

Like its toffee breathren, the ginger and pink himalayan salt bar was segmented into rose stamped rectangles on one side and prettily swirled and sprinkled with stuff on the other.

In this case, the stuff was candied ginger. If the pink salt was there, it was no longer visible, unless it was what had dyed the white chocolate swirl pink (I’m pretty sure food coloring did that, not pink salt).

The milk chocolate was on the sweet side for my taste, again. This time, however, the sharp bite of the candied ginger served to temper that sweetness a bit – or at least distracted from it.

The ginger was sweet yet powerfully punchy. It wasn’t spicy in a hot chile pepper way, but it was incredibly spicy in that it tasted like the essence of ginger spice.

The bite of the ginger was the dominant flavor here, and it lingered in the back of my throat. If the Pink Himalayan Salt added anything, I didn’t notice it after the wallop of ginger.

I’ve never really much cared for ginger candy, which is sort of odd because I love pickled ginger and gingerbread. The combination of chocolate and ginger was fun for a bite or two but ultimately not a taste experience I’d repeatedly seek out.

Friends of mine who love ginger, had high praise for this bar. It gets an O from me but also an urging to check it out if you’re a ginger lover.

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How many licks? Maybe 850

August 27th, 2013 by Rosa

Via AdFreak, some dude reported taking exactly 850 licks to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop. And called it science.

Take it from this struggling grad student – it ain’t science until you replicate it and 2-3 reviewers believe you.

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Splendid Chocolates – Milk Chocolate with Toffee and Sea Salt

August 26th, 2013 by Rosa

Last May at Sweets and Snacks, I snagged a couple of beautiful chocolate bars from Splendid Chocolates. One was Milk Chocolate with Toffee and Sea Salt, and the other was Milk Chocolate with Ginger and Pink Himalayan Salt. I’ve got the first one on deck today, and I’ll save the second the review for Wednesday.

The Splendid chocolate bars immediately stood out because they were visually striking. The Milk Chocolate was prettily swirled with a white chocolate, and the whole thing was sprinkled with toffee bits and salt crystals.

While the underside of the bar was all swirly and pretty and allowed to peek through the packaging, taking the bar out of the cardboard box revealed that the other side of the bar was segmented into 24 rose-stamped rectangles.

The white chocolate swirl turned out to be superficial. It was just a drizzle on the underside of the bar rather than swirled throughout.

The milk chocolate’s melt was thick with a slight graininess. To me, it tasted uber sweet and on the edge of cloying, but I don’t like super sweet chocolate.

There were great caramel/toffee notes to the milk chocolate, even in the bites without toffee bits. I’m not sure if they were from the milk chocolate base itself, or if maybe the presence of the toffee managed to infuse the chocolate with its flavor.

Giant sea salt crystals were relatively sparsely sprinkled on the underside of the bar. You can see how the majority of the sprinkled ingredients was toffee bits. I didn’t get any in the bites that I took, and I gave away the rest of the bar before I realized that I’d missed out on a key ingredient.

At any rate, I’d already made up my mind that this bar was nice to look at but too sweet for my palate. An O from me, though I should note that no one with whom I shared the bar complained about its sweetness.

Category: chocolate, O, review, toffee | Comments Off

YumEarth Organics Fruit Snacks + Giveaway

August 23rd, 2013 by Rosa

Is there a different between gummis and fruit snacks? The former is definitely a candy and is usually viewed as an occasional treat for kids, whereas the latter is often found in school lunch boxes.

To me, they’re basically the same, though fruit snacks get a health washing. I think it’s because they can usually brag about being made with real fruit juice.

Case in point, YumEarth Organics’ (formerly Yummy Earth) fruit snacks. In addition to containing real fruit juice, they brag about being 100% natural, organic, and without artificial dyes.

I got some free samples to review, and permission to do a giveaway as well. More on that later…

The fruit snacks came in banana, cherry, peach, and strawberry. They were firm and dry on the outside, so that they almost had a shell, like what you get when candy gets dried out.

The fruit jelly immediately and cleanly yielded to my bite. The texture was firm with zero bounce, like a grainless fruit pate.

Banana (yellow) was mild and brightly sweet, almost tart in flavor. It had just a hint of banana flavor, enough so that I could tell it was the banana fruit snack (though the shape clued me in as well), but not so much that it was artificially off-putting.

This was the best banana-flavored candy or gummy that I’ve ever had. Usually I hate banana candies, but I loved this.

Cherry (pink circle) was also sweet, fruity, and lightly tart. It had a deep red fruit finish to the end and managed to avoid any cough syrup notes.

Peach (orangey circle) was sweet with a spot-on peach flavor. It was sweet and floral, and so close to the real thing that I could practically taste the peach fuzz.

Finally, strawberry (pink triangle) had the same fruity sweetness of the other gummis, plus a mild and floral strawberry undertone.

By avoiding the use of artificial ingredients, these fruit snacks from YumEarth managed to pack a ton of intense and delicious flavors into tiny packages. I give them an OM.

If you’d like to give these a try, YumEarth is letting me give away two bags of their back to school snack packs to one lucky reader. To enter, please leave a comment about your favorite lunchbox snack to pack for your kids or from when you were a kid.

I will randomly select one reader from the comments. Continental U.S. readers only, and contest closes a week from today, at 11:59 PM Eastern, Friday, August 30th, 2013. Good luck!

EDIT: This contest is now closed. Congrats to Caley on being my randomly selected winner!

Category: giveaway, gummi/gummy, jelly candy, OM, organic, review | 12 Comments »

Absurdly adorable marshmallows

August 22nd, 2013 by Rosa

Via CuteOverload, check out this RocketNews24 piece about flavored marshmallows shaped like kitties and paw prints. You’re supposed to melt them into your coffee and create instant latte art.

Unfortunately for me, they’re made by a Japanese company, Yawahada, and only sold in Japan, so I can’t get my paws on those cute little paws.

kitty

Photo from Marshmallow Shop Yawahada’s Facebook

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Oishi Hard Candies

August 21st, 2013 by Rosa

I bought these Oishi Hard Candies while I was in China (I did more than just hug pandas there!). I don’t know the package says – I’m functionally illiterate in Chinese, so only recognize the character for fruit in the description – but I did manage to find them listed on the Oishi website, where they were just called Hard Candy .

The individually wrapped hard candies came in five flavors: cool lychee, orange, lemon mint, mint, and grape. From the Oishi website, it seems like they sell those flavors individually as well.

Cool Lychee (red wrapper; white candy) was a strange flavor. It was sweet to start, then took on a very genuine lychee flavor. I could even taste the slight edge of bitterness that lychees get near the pit.

Unfortunately, the wonderful lychee flavor was soon marred by a methol minty finish. I guess that was the cool part. For me, the coolness ruined the candy.

Orange (orange wrapper and candy) was brightly sweet with a zesty citrus flavor. It was a good, if standard, orange candy flavor, and thankfully no mintiness.

Lemon Mint (yellow and yellow) started off sugar sweet. The slight lemon flavor was mild and slow to appear. Instead, it mostly tasted of menthol and made me think of cough drops. Blech.

Mint (blue wrapper and white candy) was a mentholy peppermint. Not my thing.

Finally grape (purple and purple) was sweet and slightly tart with a tannic, red grape edge and no mintiness. It was quite unlike American grape candies, which taste super artificial. Oishi’s take tasted like an actual grape.

I liked the grape, and the orange was fine, if standard. They get Os. The minty fruity hard candies, on the other hand, were too medicinal and/or weird for me and get a .

Category: --, Asian (China, Japan, and Korea), hard candy, O, review | Comments Off

Chocolate consumption and rampaging killers

August 20th, 2013 by Rosa

I’ve posted a couple of times now about how a country’s chocolate consumption is correlated with the number of Nobel Prize winners it has produced. Now a new study in the open access journal PLoS One uses massive amounts of data to show how easy it is to find such accidental correlations. They also note that the chocolate consumption to Nobel Prize winner link disappears once you control for a country’s GDP.

This is Figure 10 from the paper:

Figure 10

Turns out that per capita chocolate consumption also correlates with per capital number of serial and rampage killers in a country. Remember, correlation doesn’t equal causation! I hope especially so in this case.

If you want to find out more about the study, I wrote it in more detail on my science blog.

 

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