Archive for December, 2013

Holiday Hiatus

December 24th, 2013 by Rosa

Hi everyone,

I’m taking my usual holiday hiatus between Christmas and New Year’s. See you in 2014!

Category: news | 1 Comment »

Sour Smog Balls

December 23rd, 2013 by Rosa

I got this bag of Sour Smog Balls in my free MunchPak box of assorted snacks. The bag promised “crunchy candy with a sour chewy center” in six different flavors.

Each Sour Smog Ball was a marbled sphere with a bracingly sour hard, crunchy sugar shell around a chewy center. It took a little jaw strength to crunch through that shell, but when the stars aligned, a clean cleave through the Sour Smog Ball revealed a pretty cross section.

Yellow was lemon and extremely sour. Its flavor was super bright and tart with zesty lemon overtones.

Blue was blue raspberry and tasted as artificial as a blue raspberry is. It was sugary sweet and mellow with a sour undertone.

Dark pink was cherry. It had medicinal undertones and a cotton candy-esque flavor before finishing with sweetly tart and fruity notes.

Light pink was strawberry. It had a candied floral flavor that struck me as quite artificial. Purple was grape, and it, too, tasted artificial.

Finally, green was lime. It started off mild, then became quite tart and citrusy with an almost fizzy note.

I appreciated that the Sour Smog Balls lived up to their sour moniker and actually were quite tart. I did not appreciate, however, how artificial the majority of their flavors were.

The only ones that really worked for me was the citrus lemon and lime ones. An O.

Category: chewy, O, review, sour | Comments Off

Jer’s Gourmet Milk Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars – Pretzo Change-o

December 20th, 2013 by Rosa

I first tried Jer’s Peanut Butter Bars over a year ago when I bought and reviewed the Cara Mella version. I loved it so much that I kept my eyes peeled for additional flavors every time I visited Cost Plus World Market, but I wasn’t able to find them again until just a few weeks ago.

This time, I bought the Pretzo Change-o, which was described as “all natural premium peanut butter center mixed with sweet and salty pretzel bits covered in milk chocolate.” Each box contained two individually wrapped long, skinny, flat chocolate bars.

The peanut butter filling was dry and crumbling. It tasted quite salty and strongly nutty, like the center of a Reese’s peanut butter cup, only extra amped up and with higher quality ingredients.

Little pretzel bits were mixed into that filling that added some crunch and starch – and maybe even more saltiness? The milk chocolate coating added sweetness and some cocoa flavors that tried to balance out the peanut butter center.

I liked that it was like a flavorful, crunchy peanut butter cup in a different shape, but I found it too salty. I think a little more sweet chocolate to balance out the salty peanut butter would have helped. An O.

Category: chocolate, O, peanut butter, review | Comments Off

Serious Eats mixes booze and Christmas candy

December 19th, 2013 by Rosa

Serious Eats likes to mix candy and booze and see what happens. For the winter holidays, they’ve come up with a number of candy-infused booze recipes making use of seasonal treats. Gingerbread Peeps and vodka, anyone?

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History of candy canes

December 17th, 2013 by Rosa

Candy canes are a classic Christmas treat. Just how classic? According to Serious Eats’s candy cane history lesson, they were invented in 1670 but didn’t get stripey until 1844.

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Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate Caramallows

December 16th, 2013 by Rosa

I bought this box of Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate Caramallows last week. I was super excited to think that I’d caught a new product that resembled my beloved See’s Scotchmallows, but it turns out that they were around last year as well.

The long, skinny box described them as “pillowy marshmallow bites with a layer of rich, silky caramel, enrobed in dark chocolate.” There were 10 Caramallows in the box all lined up in a row.

While most were rectangular with a vertical line across them, some were more irregularly shaped. Each had a bottom layer of caramel topped with a square of marshmallow and all covered in a dark chocolate shell.

The Caramallows were far softer than Scotchmallows and squishily yielded to my bite. The dark chocolate shell was quite nice, a high quality chocolate that was lightly sweet with a fruity finish.

The bottom layer of caramel was softy chewy and sticky. It tasted sweetly buttery rather than scorchy or burnt, and it had a mild butterscotchy flavor.

The marshmallow was squishy and foamy in texture. It had a sweetly mild flavor with a light vanilla airiness.

These were tasty enough, but they aren’t a suitable Scotchmallow replacement. The fact that they were so soft throughout made them seem insubstantial compared to Scotchmallows, and Scotchmallows have much more complexity of flavor. An OM.

 

 

Category: caramel, chocolate, marshmallow, OM, review, Trader Joe's | 5 Comments »

Survey on perceived chocolate quality

December 13th, 2013 by Rosa

If you’re looking to procrastinate for a few minutes, please take this survey about US chocolate quality for a friend of mine. He’s a business school student, and your responses will help him make his presentation better!

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Serious Eats on how chocolate makers consider chocolate flavors

December 12th, 2013 by Rosa

It’s fun to write about how fine chocolate can have hints of this and aromas of that. Serious Eats recently interviewed Valhrona Chocolate’s sourcing manager about how they consider and put together those flavor profiles.

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MunchPak giveaway

December 10th, 2013 by Rosa

The Sour Skittles that I reviewed  yesterday came from MunchPak, a new snack subscription service. For $19.95, you can get a box full of snacks delivered to your door every week, every other week, or every month. They sent me a free sample of a MunchPak to review, and they’re also letting me give one away.

According to MunchPak, the boxes will weigh between 2.5-3.5 pounds. Here’s just a subset of all the stuff that came in my MunchPak. There were additional cookies, crackers, chips, and nuts that I didn’t photograph for the blog since they’re not candy.

Though some of the stuff could be easily found at a grocery store checkout counter, there was some additional foreign treats in there as well. The true cost of the contents is less than the twenty bucks they charge, but you pay for the convenience and aggregation of a variety of treats that you normally wouldn’t buy or even see in stores. This would be a great way to send care packages to college students or kids living away from home.

If you’d like the chance to see a MunchPak for yourself, you’re in luck! They’re letting me give one away via the blog. One randomly selected winner will be selected via the RaffleCopter below! You can enter once through Facebook, once for letting me know which treat you’d like to get in a MunchPak, and daily through Twitter.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

EDIT: This contest is now closed. Congratulations to Heidi!

Category: giveaway | 12 Comments »

Sour Skittles

December 9th, 2013 by Rosa

I recently received a free box of treats from MunchPak (more details on that tomorrow), including this bag of Sour Skittles. They’re not a new addition to the Skittles line-up, but they do now feature green apple instead of lime.

The other flavors were cherry, orange, lemon, and grape – the same flavors of regular Skittles but coated in sour sugar sand. That sour coating was sharply tart and quite piquant, but it disappeared once it dissolved, which only took a few seconds.

Orange and lemon (yellow) were both extremely tart to the start, then mellowed out into sweet citrus flavors. Lemon had some zestiness to it, while orange was more subdued.

Green apple was less sour and quickly gave way to the juicy sweetness of candied green apple flavor. It tasted like apple juice, but a bit more tart.

Cherry was tart at first, then tasted like artificial cherry candy. It wasn’t medicinal, but it still didn’t do much for me since I’m not a red fruit candy person.

Finally, grape started off tart, then tasted just like a juicy grape Popsicle. I usually don’t like grape flavored candies, but the grape Sour Skittle was elevated by the sourness.

The Sour Skittles were more exciting than regular Skittles, and I even liked the Green Apple flavor more than I thought I would (I really liked Lime Skittles!). An OM.

 

Category: chewy, OM, review, sour, Wrigley's | Comments Off