Archive for the 'Ferrero' Category

Ferrero Raffaello

December 10th, 2012 by Rosa

I’ve written before how, when I was a kid, Ferrero Rochers were the pinnacle of fine chocolate. These Ferrero Raffaellos are in the same vein as the Rochers, but without those golden wrappers and tiny stickers, it just isn’t the same!

Like Rochers, Raffaellos are spherical wafers filled with ganache and coated with chocolate. The wafer shell was lightly crispy and served as a great foil for the creamy white chocolate center.

The center ganache was sweet and rich with vanilla notes – very frosting-like. There was a blanched whole almond hidden in the center that added a great crunch and nuttiness.

The whole treat was covered with a thin layer of white chocolate and rolled in dried shredded coconut that made a mess. I found the coconut to be disappointing – it was too dry and didn’t add any flavor.

I don’t recommend deconstructing the Raffaellos during the eating process, as the inferior dried coconut really needed the creaminess of the ganache center to balance out its dried out flavorless-ness.

Popping one whole, however, yielded a reasonably tasty mix of flavors and textures, so an O.

Category: coconut, Ferrero, nuts, O, review, white chocolate | No Comments »

Yan Yan Creamy Choco-Hazelnut vs Nutella & Go

July 6th, 2012 by Rosa

Nutella & Go won the Most Innovative New Product Award in the sweet snacks category at this year’s Sweets and Snacks Expo. It was a plastic tub with biscuit sticks and a little dipping well of Nutella.

Sounds/looks familiar? That’s because Meiji‘s Yan Yan has been making basically the same product for at least a decade. I remember eating them while growing up.

While Meiji was handing out Yan Yan’s at the Expo, no one handed them any awards. I’d say this is an instance of Europeans taking credit (or at least acclaim) for something Asian people invented years ago.

Clearly this calls for a head-to-head comparison. While Yan Yan comes in an assortment of flavors in both dipping cream and biscuit stick, I’m using their creamy choco-hazelnut dip for maximum similarity to Nutella & Go.

Both the Yan Yan and Nutella & Go were free samples from Sweets and Snacks. The former was given to me by Meiji’s US distributor for the purposes of this head-to-head review, while the latter was freely left out for all takers by Ferrero.

Both products were quite similar in packaging design with a little well separating the dipping medium from the dipping sticks. Yan Yan came in a trapezoidal tube (the top circle was slightly bigger than the bottom; is there a fancy math term for this shape?) while Nutella & Go was in a half circle tube with a trompe l’oeil Nutella jar look.

Let’s start with the dipping sticks. The Yan Yan biscuits were longer and a lightly toasty golden brown. They tasted slightly sweet with a tinge of butteriness to the finish.

The Nutella & Go sticks, on the other hand, were shorter, with the pale, alabaster hue of Dita Von Teese‘s skin. They were airier, like a crunchy restaurant breadstick. The flavor reminded me of the wheaty blandness of a saltless saltine.

Yan Yan definitely came out ahead on the dipping stick front. Let’s move on to the dips!

Yan Yan’s “smooth creme” had the texture of whipped frosting. When I dipped and then pulled out the stick, little holes were left in the cream. The flavor was that of malty chocolate with a light tinge of nuttiness.

The Nutella portion of the Nutella & Go was, as far as I could tell, the same as standard Nutella. It was much more flowy. When I pulled the sticks out of the Nutella, it clung to the sticks with a long pull, and the Nutella left in the well settled to fill in the holes.

Though it had a viscous flow in the well and on the stick, the Nutella felt thick, sticky, and pasty in my mouth. The hazelnuttiness was much stronger here, with a great nutty intensity that matched its chocolatey-ness.

I’m going to call it a draw on the dips. Though they’re supposed to be similar, they’re actually quite different in flavor and texture. I liked the Yan Yan version for its malty notes, but I also enjoyed Nutella for the nuttiness. And because its Nutella!

In the end, Yan Yan wins out for its tasty biscuit sticks. Nutella & Go’s sticks were not very good and didn’t add anything to the product. I’d stick with just getting Nutella in a jar. An OM for the Yan Yan and an O for Nutella & Go.

 

 

Category: Asian (China, Japan, and Korea), chocolate, cookie, European, Ferrero, Meiji, nuts, O, OM, review | 1 Comment »

Kinder Surprise

March 18th, 2011 by Rosa

After writing about the illegality of Kinder Surprises, I realized that I should review them. If customs asks, all Kinder Surprise consumption for the sake of this review was conducted outside of U.S. borders.

The Kinder Surprise was a thin-shelled hollow egg. Inside the egg was a sealed yellow cylinder containing a toy. That combination of toy and food is what makes them illegal in the U.S.

The chocolate managed to squeeze two layers into its thinness. The outside was milk while the inside was white.

The chocolate had a thick melt with a dusky, sweet finish that had a bit of fruitiness. It was a bit too sweet for my taste, but the chocolate was so thin that there wasn’t enough of it to be overwhelming.

The chocolate was unexceptional and gets an O. But really, no one buys Kinder Surprise for the actual candy. It’s all about the toy – check out surfing Daffy Duck up there! And remember, don’t eat that toy!

Category: chocolate, Ferrero, novelty, O, review | 3 Comments »

Kinder Cioccolato

September 15th, 2010 by Rosa

I bought these Kinder Cioccolato bars in Italy, but I’ve seen them at random grocery/convenience stores in the U.S. before. They came 8 mini-bars to a pack, making them ideal for souvenir gift-giving.

It seems like Kinder is trying to play up the pseudo-healthiness of these bars. See that blue square touting more milk, less chocolate?

Each of the eight bars were individually wrapped in paper. They were nicely sized – slightly bigger than a Kit Kat finger – for snacking with portion control.

Each bar was pseudo-divided into 5 segments, and each segment’s top was stamped with a little crown-like decoration.

The bars were milk chocolate on the outside with an off-white, nearly yellow cream filling.

The milk chocolate was thick and creamy. It tasted sweet and slightly nutty, with that classic Kinder chocolate and praline taste.

The center filling brings lovely vanilla dairy notes that float above the rest of the bar.

My friends who got to try this and I all really enjoyed it. It’s a nice simple, sweet, and scrumptious snack – a great little creamy pick-me-up. An OM.

Category: chocolate, European, Ferrero, OM, review | 1 Comment »

Kinder Bueno White

April 16th, 2010 by Rosa

My friend Neil just got back from a trip to the Netherlands and was kind and awesome enough to bring me back a bunch of Dutch chocolates. When he handed me this Kinder Bueno White bar, he noted that I’d reviewed the regular version but not the white one, a blog fact that I didn’t know at the time. November 2007 was a long time ago!

Everything on the wrapper was written in both Dutch and French. My French isn’t that great, but I got that these were made with milk and hazelnuts, and I’d loosely translate the description as “two individually wrapped bars of white chocolate and cocoa meringue bits”.

The underside of the bars were coated with these little crunchy cocoa beads, and each of the four segments wore a stripe of the beads as well. While I think they were called meringues, they tasted like cocoa powder cookies.

The outer shells were airy, crisp wafers that provided structural stability and a pleasant crunch. Each segment pod was filled with an amazingly thick and creamy white chocolate filling.

The tasted strongly of milk and vanilla and was reminiscent of really high quality frosting. I didn’t get any hazelnut flavors, but I didn’t really care.

The filling was quite sweet, but it was nicely tempered by that wafer shell. It’s basically a non-cute version of the biscuit Kinder Happy Hippo, but with chocolate sprinkle/cookie bits.

The Kinder Bueno White was tasty and delicious (thanks, Neil!). I rated it an OM before I reread my old Happy Hippo review and saw that the Hippo version earned my highest rating. Looks like presentation does count for a lot!

Category: cookie, European, Ferrero, OM, received as gift, review, white chocolate | No Comments »

Kinder Joy

June 19th, 2009 by Rosa

Most people are pretty familiar with Ferrero‘s Kinder Surprise eggs. They’re banned in the U.S. and some other countries because they mix edibles and toys with tiny parts, which is a no-no. Kinder Joy, which I came across for the first time in Europe, is a newer addition to the Kinder egg line. It too, mixes edibles and toys, so it’s also not allowed in the U.S.

The two halves of Joy egg are split. One half contains a toy (in my case, a lame Ice Age 3 – yes, they apparently made an Ice Age 3 – badge), while the other half is a creamy spread studded with two chocolate cookie balls. Each half is individually sealed so that the spread doesn’t get on the toy (and vice-versa, I suppose). Finally, a flat plastic “spoon” is included to scoop up the spread.

The spread is a layer of white chocolate on hazelnut chocolate. It has the viscosity of Nutella – smooth and thick and glossy, but just short of the runniness of honey. Inside the spread are two chocolate balls comprised of chocolate ganache surrounded by a thin wafer shell covered in chocolate and crunchy chocolate sprinkles. They’re similar to Rocher balls, but smaller and without hazelnuts.

If you try to pry the balls out of the spread, a half shell of chocolate and sprinkles gets left behind, which imparts a nice crunch to the spread. Overall, I found this treat too sweet to eat on its own. The balls are managable, as their wafer shells help cut the cloy, but eating the spread is akin to eating straight frosting: okay for a lick or two, but too much beyond that. It did go nicely on bread, however.

All in all, a nice treat, but I’d rather buy a normal Kinder chocolate treat, like a Happy Hippo, Bueno, Rocher, or Duplo, and just put Nutella on my bread. The Joy gets an O, with the caveat that it would be great for gift-giving as soon as they stop coming with lame-O Ice Age 3 toys.

Category: chocolate, cookie, European, Ferrero, novelty, O, review | 22 Comments »

Kinder Happy Hippos

July 25th, 2008 by Rosa

Sometimes, candy can come awfully close to being too cute to eat. Fortunately for you lot, dear readers, I am willing to sacrifice my cuteness sensibilities and chomp down on adorable candy, even if it happens to endearingly resemble frightened hippos.

Kinder’s Happy Hippos, like nearly everything made by Kinder/Ferrero, is tinged with hazelnut deliciousness. The Hippos come in two varieties, cacao cream (left) and biscuit (right). Both varieties consist of hippo shaped wafers (complete with eyes, nostrils, and eyebrows) filled with flavored cream and half dipped in chocolate and sprinkles. They differ in that the cacao cream has, well, a cacao (cocoa) flavored cream, and while the Cacao Hippo can be found submerged in a lake of chocolate, the Biscuit Hippo’s prefers a lake of white chocolate.

The wrapper of the Biscuit Happy Hippo shows milk and hazelnuts, and that’s what you get in lovely combination in this chap. The light wafer crunch of the Hippo stands in sharp contrast to the thick hazelnut and milk cream that fills its three pods – bum, head, and nose. The fillings are so thick and creamy that they’re moisture-suckingly good, even if the finish is rather cloying.

The wrapper of the Cacao Hippo calls the filling fat-reduced. Clearly I should take that to mean that I can eat a bloat of Happy Hippos (yes, a group of hippos is called a bloat) and not have to worry about personally bloating from Hippo-related weight gain, right? There are two layers of cream inside, one brown that tasted of cocoa and one white that tasted of milk and vanilla. Online ingredients lists for the cacao cream Hippo lists hazelnuts in the ingredients, so the milk layer may have been the same as the filling of the Biscuit Hippo, but I didn’t taste any hazelnut in the filling of the one I got. The filling of the Cacao Hippo was thinner, which meant that it didn’t coat the mouth or cloy.

An ZOMG! for both because I am a sucker for chocolate and hazelnut things and cute things.

Category: chocolate, cookie, European, Ferrero, novelty, review, ZOMG! | 8 Comments »

Kinder Cereali

June 13th, 2008 by Rosa

I once wrote that I’ve yet to meet a Ferrero product I didn’t like. As my Lily O’Briens experience showed, I’m not above eating my words. The Kinder Cereali bar was not for me.

The packaging on my Kinder Cereali is all in Italian because I got it from my friend Andrew, who was lucky enough to spend his spring break in Italy. All expenses paid, I believe, as he is a geology major. There are few geology majors at Yale, so even undergrads get special treatment and get to do cool things and go on cool trips.

Unlike most Ferrero/Kinder products, the Kinder Cereali contains no hazelnut. Instead, it is chocolate-covered puffed wheat and a frosting-like confection. I guess if the wheat is supposed to be like cereal, the frosting is meant to approximate milk? If so, then this bar is reminiscent of those horribly processed Milk ‘N Cereal bars that General Mills makes.

I love how the Cereali looked outside of the wrapper. It’s already tiny as it, more fun-sized than full-sized, and even still it’s neatly pre-segmented. And the little imprints of heads of wheat are a lovely touch that make the whole thing quite darling (can you tell I’ve been in England for a couple of weeks now?).

The puffed wheat was, for me, an unexpected taste sensation because it was different from the usual candy bar go-to of crisped rice. The wheat was similar to puffed rice, but with more texture and flavor. Think Smacks instead of Rice Krispies. The milky white frosting that surrounded the wheat puffs tasted blandly of blah vanilla frosting. Finally, the layer of chocolate that coats the whole thing is quite thin but creamy.

The Kinder Cereali wasn’t bad, exactly, but it wasn’t good either. It just kind of… was. And though the use of wheat instead of rice made it different, it didn’t really make it better. Just a non-negative, tepid O.

Category: chocolate, European, Ferrero, O, received as gift, review | 5 Comments »

Kinder Duplo

April 4th, 2008 by Rosa

I’ve still yet to meet a Ferrero product I didn’t like (though to be fair, I should note that I’ve never had a Rafaello, and coconut candies tend to be hit or miss with me), and the Ferrero Duplo was no exception. If you look closely at the wrapper, you can see that my Duplo is special – yes, that’s Hebrew on the wrapper. My friend Monica brought this back for me from Israel along with this thing and a Nestle Lion that I made her keep because she’d never tried one before. If she can be a great friend and bring me foreign candy, I can be a good friend and not deny her the deliciousness that is the Nestle Lion.

The Duplo is composed of two crisp, crunchy wafers: a flat one to serve as the base and one with three spherical humps to serve as the top. I’m going to guess that the wafers are the duo that the name insinuates. Each hump is filled with a smooth and creamy chocolate paste with a whole hazelnut inside. I found the whole hazelnut to be surprisingly bland, and the filling itself didn’t have much of a hazelnut flavor. Overall, the Duplo was super sweet, but the sweetness didn’t linger or burn the throat.

The Duplo is extremely similar to the Rocher, minus the chopped hazelnuts on the Rocher and with a less hazelnutty paste. The wafers, as far as I can tell without having a Rocher handy for comparative purposes, are the same in both. It also reminded me of the Kinder Bueno, but not as good, as the Bueno had a thicker paste and more hazelnuttiness.

Despite the fact that I wished for more hazelnut flavor, the Duplo was still a wonderful treat. OM for its indulgent, creamy richness.

Category: chocolate, Ferrero, nuts, OM, received as gift, review | 2 Comments »

Ferrero Rocher

November 9th, 2007 by Rosa

Ferrero Rocher (BUY!) are a pretty classic treat, and they’re probably Ferrero’s (BUY!) most famous product in the U.S. Whenever my parents go back to China, they buy a bunch to give our relatives to give as gifts (they’re cheaper in the U.S. than they are in China). As a kid, I thought Rochers were the pinnacle of fine chocolate. They were so pretty in their gold foil wrapping and so fancy with their individual stickers (that I used to collect, by the way).

I used to eat these very methodically when I was younger. First I would carefully nibble away the outer chocolate and crushed nut layer, exposing the sphere of chocolate wafer. Then I’d eat half of the chocolate wafer, leaving me with a little wafer bowl filled with the smooth chocolate/hazelnut creme and the whole hazelnut. Next was the whole hazelnut, followed by careful, slow licking away of the chocolate/hazelnut filling, and finished by crunching up the second half of the wafer shell.

Now that I’m older, I know that these aren’t as fancy or as high-end as I thought they were. But they’re still delicious, and there’s a reason they’re so popular. The strong hazelnut flavors keeps the sweetness of the chocolate and Nutella-like filling from being overwhelming.

An OM. No G because I probably overdosed on these as a kid, and they’re quite ubiquitous, so they’re not as special as they should be.

Category: chocolate, Ferrero, nuts, OM, review | 1 Comment »