January 9th, 2009 by Rosa
Did you know that Skittles are different in the U.K. and the U.S.? When I say Skittles, I mean standard Skittles, not random limited edition/non-standard Skittles that are so varied that I have trouble keeping track of them. In the U.S., standard Skittle flavors are red – strawberry (I think), purple – grape, yellow – lemon, green – lime, and orange – orange. Friends of mine already know that I only eat the three citrus flavors (I usually don’t particularly care for red and purple candies in general) and pawn the red and purple ones off on them.
In the U.K., the purple ones are blackcurrant instead of grape. The other color/flavors remain the same, but they taste and look different. As you can see in the above photo (I apologize for the poor quality; I blame lack of natural sunlight in rainy England), U.K. Skittles are more muted in color. It’s especially noticeable in the green ones.
I bought two tiny 10 pence bags of Skittles. The first bag contained no red ones, and the second contained only two. Maybe it was just coincidence, or maybe they make fewer red Skittles in England. The red ones tasted, well, red, and as best I can remember, they seemed pretty much the same as their U.S. counterparts. Lime was also similar, but I swear the orange was zestier and the lemon sweeter and less sour across the pond.
And the one you’ve all been waiting for (I’m guessing, as it’s the one we don’t get here): blackcurrant. Blackcurrant is a pretty popular fruit flavor in the U.K., and for good reason, I think, as I enjoy it. It tastes similar to grape but has these darker raspberry undertones that make it more interesting. Overall, I give U.K. Skittles an OM. I’d buy them again if I could conveniently do so. Then again, U.S. Skittles are pretty good too, as long as you have friends on hand who’ll eat the flavors you don’t like.
Category: chewy, Mars, review, Skittles |
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January 5th, 2009 by Rosa
Today’s review is of two Dove chocolates with names that are each a mouthful: Dove’s Silky Smooth Dark Chocolate Promises and Dark Chocolate Mint Flavored Caramel Promises. Dove Promises are individually foil-wrapped squares with a “Promise” written on the inside of the foil, sort of a fortune cookie-type gimmick. Mine came from Candy Yum Yum’s Dove Chocolate Giveaway. First up, the Silky Smooth Dark Chocolate Promises.
I used to have fond memories of Dove chocolates being wonderfully creamy and smooth – silky, in fact. Sadly, the package that I received from Dove contained old, bloomed chocolate, and the bloom really adversely affected the texture. My “silky smooth” Promises were dry and brittle. I know I didn’t pay for the chocolate, and beggars can’t be choosers, but you’d think Dove would try a little harder if they’re giving away chocolate as a promotion.
The Promises are at least nicely sized for chocolate tasting. You can pop the whole thing in your mouth and let it melt on your tongue, or you can chomp it up in two bites. Because mine had bloomed, it didn’t melt very well, so I wasn’t really able to get a nice tongue-coating tasting melt. It tasted mostly of cocoa with a slightly sweet finish. An O.
My Dark Chocolate Mint Flavored Caramel Promises were also bloomed. Sigh. In their case, however, the bloom can’t bear all the blame for the negative review. Why make caramel mint flavored? And then why cover all that weirdness in chocolate? That combination just didn’t work for me. The mint wasn’t very strong, and it was just odd when combined with the sweet caramel. To top it all off, the whole thing left an unpleasant aftertaste. Another O. You can read Cybele’s similar take on them here.
My favorite part about the chocolates were the Promises. I happened to get two rather salacious ones in my tasting: “Naughty can be nice” and “Temptation is fun… giving in is even better.” Dove should gather all of their slightly scandalous Promises and market them for Valentine’s Day or something. If there was a way to tell what the Promises were before you unwrapped them, I could’ve used those chocolates to pick up boys. Then again, the chocolates weren’t that great, so maybe not.
Category: caramel, chocolate, Dove, Mars, mint, O, review |
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October 17th, 2008 by Rosa
The Topic is a UK bar comprised of “milk chocolate, hazelnuts, soft nougat, and smooth caramel centre.” Sounds good so far! The bar’s wrapper is rather simple and not at all modern looking, but it’s not quite retro. I like the kind of homey feel it gives.
The soft caramel of the bar strings out when bitten, like the cheese on a gooey slice of pizza. In case you can’t tell, that’s a good thing in my book. The nougat was sweet and soft and chock full of hazelnuts (according to the wrapper, they make up 15% of the bar) that made it marvelously nutty. As for the chocolate coating, it was real chocolate with lovely European milk chocolate dairy notes.
Overall, it was overly sweet – something I think would be unavoidable when combining chocolate and nougat and caramel – but still tasty. An OMG.
Category: caramel, chocolate, European, Mars, nougat, nuts, OMG, review |
1 Comment »
September 29th, 2008 by Rosa
I do my best to be as objective as possible, and when extraneous factors influence that objectivity, I always try to disclose them. That’s why I always tell you when something I’m reviewing was a free sample, or when I’m tasting something from a candy genre that I personally dislike (like white chocolate or licorice).
In today’s review, there’s no way the sheer cuteness of the Milky Way Magic Stars didn’t make me think more highly of them. The Magic Stars are basically just tiny bits of milk chocolate, shaped like stars. No biggie, expect that they’re imprinted with little emoticon expressions, which turns them into ridiculously adorable tiny bits of milk chocolate, shaped like stars. See for yourself:
The top row is my favorite. Pacifier, surprise, and unibrow; what’s not to love? As far as taste goes, they’re your standard British milk chocolate (a fresh dairy finish), which I far prefer to U.S. milk chocolate (sour Hershey’s tinge). The Magic Stars chocolate isn’t especially creamy or indulgent or really noteworthy in any way, but it’s pretty good for mass produced. And the stars are just so darn cute! An OM from me. I wish I’d bought more to share with friends at home.
Category: chocolate, European, Mars, OM, review |
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September 19th, 2008 by Rosa
The other day, I was chatting with a friend about the candy blog, and she made a comment about how it must be hard to keep finding new candy to try. You’d think so, but no. There are bazillions of types of candy out there (various plain chocolate bars alone could take ages to get through), and when you go international, you find even more. The Milky Way Crispy Roll is unavailable in the U.S. (I bought it in England), which I think is a shame, as I rather liked it.
Readers unfamiliar with U.K. and U.S. candy differences should know that in the U.K., Milky Ways are more like 3 Musketeers. What Americans call Milky Ways, the British would call a Mars bar. And what Americans call a Mars bar, well, they don’t make those anymore, right? So it doesn’t matter (I think they’re like Snickers Almonds?).
Anyway, the Milky Way Crispy Roll is a eggroll (of the sweet variety, like a Pepperidge Farm Pirouette, rather than the savoury deep-fried version) filled with a whipped nougat-y filling. According to the wrapper, it’s “milk chocolate (30%) covered wafer biscuit fingers with a lightly whipped filling.”
The eggroll/wafer biscuit thingie is nice and crispy and carries a faint buttery flavor. The whipped filling was overly sweet for me and only partly mitigated by the plain lightness of the eggroll, and the chocolate coating is serviceable, but nothing to write home about. Still, I found it a rather elegant indulgence for a mass produced bar and award it an OM.
Category: chocolate, cookie, European, Mars, OM, review |
1 Comment »
August 6th, 2008 by Rosa
Mars Planets were a UK treat I had high hopes for mostly because they included what looked like malted milk balls, and I loooove malted milk balls. I could (and have) eaten malt powder straight and dry as a snack. I wonder if I should be ashamed of that… it seems rather akin to eating cookie dough straight off the log (haven’t done) or ice cream straight out of the tub (big fan of that one).
There are three types of Planets in the bag, soft, crispy, and chewy. Soft is the biggest, crispy is the middle size, and chewy is the smallest, so you can tell them apart by size before you bite into them. After they’re bitten in half, you can see that soft looks like it’s filled with nougat, crispy with crisp malt, and chewy with caramel. In reality, that’s mostly correct, but just wrong enough enough to disappoint.
Soft is filled with a chocolate nougat that’s pretty generically flavored and way too sweet. Chewy is filled with a nondescript caramel – no interesting burnt sugar or vanilla notes there, just overwhelming sweetness. And crispy, to my great dismay, didn’t taste like malted milk at all. I’d thought it was a Malteaser (Mars’s malted milk ball brand), but it tasted just like bland crispiness. No malt flavor whatsoever.
I commend Planets for their neat idea, but the execution was poor. All of the Planets were too sweet and too boring. An O. You can read Chocablog’s take on them here.
Category: caramel, chocolate, cookie, European, Mars, nougat, O, review |
2 Comments »
July 24th, 2008 by Rosa
Friends of mine know that I have an irrational adoration of llamas. They’re so adorable! And soft! And cute/ugly! Which is why I absolutely loved this Starburst commercial.
Note: Photo below is of an alpaca, which is related to and actually cuter than the llama by dint of being smaller. If llamas were horses, alpacas would be ponies.
Category: news, Starburst |
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May 14th, 2008 by Rosa
For some reason, this post disappeared after I wrote it the first time. It was originally supposed to publish after Russian Candies I and II but instead published as blank nothingness (much to the disappointment of Leslie, who gave me the candy in the first place). Fortunately, I still have my tasting notes, so I can recreate the review.
Dove Bitter Chocolate with Lemon Peel and Coffee
I think Dove really needs to rethink the packaging on this one, as I noticed neither the lemon nor the coffee on the box. The coffee bean blends right into the chocolate, and the lemon looks like it’s just an extension of the yellow satin. What if some poor little Russian child or Russian tourist who can’t read Russian mistakenly bought this? He or she would be in for a flavor surprise.
All that being said, the flavor combination of chocolate, lemon, and coffee worked better than I thought it would. The bar had a crisp snap to it (and a slight bloom, but hey, it flew from Russia to Ohio to Texas to Connecticut. Stuff happens), probably because it’s quite dark, and little bits of grit from the coffee beans and dried lemon bits.
Upon first bite, the lemon flavor really smacks you in the taste buds. It tastes like super sweet candied lemon zest at first, then gives way to a coffee finish with a slight bitterness to it. It’s an interesting flavor combination that some of my friends loved, but it wasn’t quite for me. An OM.
Spartak Elite Dark Bitter Aerated Chocolate (72% cacao).
Leslie calls this one “exotic dictatorship chocolate” because it was made in Belarus. I really like aerated chocolate because it’s such a unique textural experience, and I was excited to try this one, as I’ve never had a dark aerated bar before.
The bar was quite glossy and dark. At first, it tasted quite dry, and unlike milk aerated chocolate, it doesn’t melt in your mouth very well. The chocolate itself was a bit on the sweet side for dark chocolate and had a slightly musty finish. Also an OM.
Category: aerated, chocolate, coffee, Dove, Mars, OM, received as gift, review, Russian |
1 Comment »
April 2nd, 2008 by Rosa
I’m a little late to the game on reviewing the Wildly Cherry M&M’s, as I am on many Limited Edition candies. That’s what happens when you’re a college student on a meal plan who doesn’t go grocery shopping. I found these at one of the many gas stations we stopped at on my spring break roadtrips. The cashier saw me buy two bags (one to eat in the car, as I couldn’t wait to taste them, and the other to photograph and review later) and remarked that she liked the Razzberry ones better (my review of the Razzberry M&M’s). I agree.
I love the cute little bag design that makes Red look like a cherry. As you can see, the Wildly Cherry M&M’s come in two colors, red and a darker maroon. They’re slightly larger than regular M&M’s, like the Razzberry ones, and also like the Razzberry ones, the larger size makes the sugar shell feel a little thicker and a little crunchier. I found the flavor to be reminiscent of artificial black cherry rather than of fresh cherries. It was quite faithful to the slightly medicinal flavor of a cherry cordial. They’re not as intoxicating as the Razzberry M&M’s, possibly because the slightly medicinal cherry flavor is far more common and therefore less interesting than it’s slightly medicinal raspberry counterpart. An OM from me. I passed the first bag around the car, where it was favorably received by my road tripping companions. I popped a couple of the second bag to take tasting notes but have since had no desire to pop more.
Check out Sera on Candy Addict and Heather on Chocolate Bytes for other takes. I wonder if they’re the same as the Cherry Cordial M&Ms from last Christmas the Sugarhog.net reviewed.
Category: chocolate, limited edition, M&M's, OM, review |
1 Comment »
March 17th, 2008 by Rosa
Oh Limited Edition items, how you appeal to my candy blogger impulses! The bright orange wrapper on the Snickers Limited Edition Nut ‘n Butter Crunch (I’m fond of pointing out how Reese’s has driven us to associate orange candy bar wrappers with peanut butter) promises “milk chocolate, peanuts and creamy peanut butter taste.”
Peanut butter taste? That worries me. Why not just creamy peanut butter? It must be some horrid substitute made from oil or something. Yum…
I must admit that I’ve never been a Snickers fan, as I don’t really like peanuts that much. I used to hate nuts in things. Now that I’ve been candy blogging for a while, I’ve learned to tolerate and even enjoy eating nuts. But I’ve still never had the urge to grab a Snickers bar. I don’t even think I’ve ever had a standard-sized Snickers (just the mini versions), so though I felt that the Nut ‘n Butter Crunch was smaller than usual, I couldn’t be sure. It weighed in at 1.71 ounces.
First of all, this bar doesn’t live up to its name, as it’s not that crunchy. The peanuts are the only thing providing texture to the bar. It had a strong peanut smell, probably thanks to whatever provided the peanut butter tate. The milk chocolate coating was slight sweet and covered a thick filling of peanuts in a pasty… thing… that’s definitely not peanut butter, as its texture is not at all creamy. The Nut ‘n Butter Crunch was an extremely salty bar (14- mg of sodium), possibly due to the peanuts and the nuts. The sweet and salty mix of the bar works well, and the texture is pretty good as well.
I give the Nut ‘n Butter Crunch an OM. All the peanuts make it high in protein, and it tastes better than most of those supposedly healthy protein bars that are covered in chocolate and full of sugar. Maybe this is a candy indulgence that you can pretend is good for you!
Category: chocolate, limited edition, Mars, nuts, OM, peanut butter, review, Snickers |
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