October 11th, 2013 by Rosa
I bought this Hammond’s Pigs N’ Taters bar at the amazing Giant Eagle flagship in Pittsburgh. How could I not buy a bar featuring “milk chocolate with crispy bacon bits & potato chips”? Those are all things that I love!
This is the third Hammond’s chocolate bar that I’ve reviewed (previous reviews here and here). While they look like they’re all the same rectangular shape on the outside, they’ve all had a different structure inside. This one was segmented into 6 rectangles, each stamped with an H.
The bar’s break was soft, due to the milk chocolate. That milk chocolate was sweet with a mild chocolate flavor. It was maybe a bit sour and dusky to finish, but it was hard to tell because…
SALT! was mostly what my tastebuds picked up. I like salt in my chocolate, but man, this was salt overload. The potato chips were salty, as were the bacon bits (which were the crunchy artificial kind with no actual meat).
All those salty add-ins did bring a nice crunch to the bar. If I thought really hard about it, I think I could pick up some vaguely meaty and starchy potato notes, but mostly it was just salty.
It turns out that mixing up a whole bunch of things that I enjoy doesn’t necessarily compound that enjoyment. Go figure.
An O because I did enjoy trying it, but I wouldn’t buy it again now that my curiosity is sated/salted.
Category: Hammond's Candies, O, review |
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October 8th, 2012 by Rosa
These Hammond’s Caramels were free samples that arrived in the same box as the Piggy Backs that I previously reviewed. They came in vanilla and chocolate, and both 1.5-inch squares were wrapped in waxed paper for an old-fashioned look.
Vanilla had a soft and super super sticky chew, like an extra sticky Starburst. The wax paper that it came wrapped in was the only thing that it didn’t stick to.
It had a lightly perfumed floral sweetness that was round and mellow, similar to that of powdered sugar. I was a little disappointed – I like my caramels dark and scorchy and complex, while here it was mild and simply sweet.
Chocolate’s chew was a stiffer than that of the vanilla, but it was similarly sticky and softened as I chewed it. Its flavor reminded me of a super intense, less artificially sweet Tootsie Roll.
The chocolate caramel’s cocoa flavor had surprising depth. Imagine a mug of hot cocoa distilled into a chewy caramel – it had the same light fruity undertone that Swiss Miss does.
I liked the deep cocoa flavor of the chocolate caramel, but I felt that both the chocolate and the vanilla lacked the burnt sugar complexity that I look for in caramels. These guys played it too safe, so they get Os.
Category: caramel, chocolate, Hammond's Candies, O, review |
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September 28th, 2012 by Rosa
A little while ago, I was delighted when Hammond’s Candies offered to send me some free samples from their catalog. I was even more delighted to get some caramels and these Piggy Backs in the mail a week or so later.
The Piggy Backs were like giant, generously-sized turtles weighing in at 2.2 oz. Each was about half an inch thick and nearly the size of my palm. They were individually wrapped and sat in fluted paper cups.
My dark chocolate version was almond and caramel, while the milk chocolate version was pecan and caramel, but the dark also comes in pecan and the milk comes in almond.
The dark chocolate almond and caramel Piggy Back was lovely! The almonds brought a great roasted nuttiness that was strong enough to stand up to the sweetness of the caramel and chocolate. They added a great textural crunch and just a slight tinge of bitterness to balance all the sugar.
The generous layer of caramel was sticky and chewy and sweet, while the dark chocolate was on the sweet side for dark chocolate, with a smooth melt and a fruity, dusky finish. An OMG for an awesome mix of flavors and textures.
The milk chocolate pecan and caramel Piggy Back was more mild all around. Pecans are a more mild nut, and here they brought a softer crunch and a fattier nutty feel.
The lighter nut let the sweetness of the caramel come through more, and the milk chocolate had a nice caramel sweetness to it as well. I really liked this, but I liked the dark chocolate almond more, so an OM.
Category: caramel, chocolate, Hammond's Candies, nuts, OM, OMG, review |
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September 24th, 2012 by Rosa
This Hammond’s Crackle Crunch bar was a gift from a friend, along with their PB&J Sandwich bar. It was described as “milk chocolate with raspberry popping candy”.
This bar was segmented into 2 rows of little striped domed rectangles. It broke easily along the segments, and the chocolate had a nice snap when I bit into the domes.
The solid milk chocolate bar was studded with little bits of deep purple-pink popping candy. As the milk chocolate melted smoothly but not thickly, the popping candy bubbled and popped against my tongue.
The popping made for a fun sensation, like a jumping bean party in my mouth. Every once in a while, a pop would hit the back of my throat, which definitely woke me up.
The first time I tasted the bar, I thought the raspberry flavor was overwhelmingly, dominatingly artificial and off-putting. Revisting the bar a couple of days later, however, found a more muted berry sweetness that was much more tolerable and let the chocolate’s caramel cocoa flavors come through.
I’m not sure if I just picked an unusually strongly flavored segment on first taste, or if letting it sit opened (but in a Ziploc bag) for a couple of days let the artificial dissipate, but it was much improved/palatable the second time.
Funny that the wrapper promotes the bar as a “classic confection” – carbonated candy in milk chocolate doesn’t strike me as super classic, but I’m not a candy historian. An O.
Category: chocolate, Hammond's Candies, O, received as gift, review |
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July 13th, 2012 by Rosa
Hammond’s PB&J Sandwich bar was creating quite a stir at Sweet and Snacks. It won the most innovative new product award in the chocolate category, where they were up against some Hershey’s products and some Wild Ophelia (from Vosges) bars.
The bar was segmented into 10 H-embossed rectangles with a solid break between each piece. The milk chocolate shell had a thick and creamy melt with a strong sweetness and a slight tinge of sourness to the finish.
Inside the chocolate was the money-maker: dual layers of peanut butter and jelly! The peanut butter was an extremely thick paste. It had a mild nuttiness and a pleasant duskiness to it.
The jelly was a red gel-like goop with a bit of ooze. It was sweet with a mild red fruitiness to the finish.
Alas, I think the chocolate was too overpowering here and masked much of the peanut butter and jelly flavor. I would’ve especially like more oomph to the jelly. I always use jam or preserves rather than jelly when making real PB&Js, as jelly isn’t fruity enough for me, and I have the same complaint about the jelly in this bar.
Still, lots of points for creativity and visually pleasing execution. An O.
Category: chocolate, Hammond's Candies, nuts, O, review |
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January 4th, 2008 by Rosa
I’d never heard of Hammond’s until I picked up their Caramel Covered Marshmallow (BUY!), which they call Mitchell Sweets, at The Candy Store. I kind of wish I’d spent my money on something else, though to be fair to The Candy Store, I realize now in hindsight that one of the proprietor’s had gently tried to turn me towards a different caramel. But I, of See’s Scotchmallow loving backing, could not be dissuaded from the caramel/marshmallow combination.
The marshmallow turned out to have a terrible texture. It was spongy, it was tough, and it was too chewy in a hard gummy way, not in a nice sticky way. It also tasted of nothing but blandness; no vanilla, no toasted marshmallow tinge.
The caramel was sweet, with a lingering butter flavor. The Mitchell Sweet came wrappe in wax paper, and the caramel was so sticky that it stuck to the wrapper. I wish the caramel were more burnt or had some sort of redeeming flavor qualities, but alas, none were to be found.
I give the Mitchell Sweet an O for it’s terrible texture and blandly sweet taste. Cybele from Candy Blog liked them, though, so to each her own. I much prefer the See’s scotch kiss (#19), with it’s duskier caramel and it’s fluffy marshmallow. The scotch kiss is frighteningly addictive, whereas I’m okay with never eating another Mitchell Sweet again.
Category: caramel, Hammond's Candies, marshmallow, O, review |
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