Archive for the 'Mars' Category

Almond M&M’s

March 12th, 2008 by Rosa

For some reason or another, I see Almond M&M’s as the forgotten M&M. Well, after Crispy, I guess, but those are no longer being made. For some reason or another, Almond M&M’s just don’t get that much attention, and I only recently got to try them. That was a shame, as I found them to be pretty good.

I was disappointed to find that there were only 12 M&M’s in my single serving bag. They were larger than milk chocolate or peanut M&M’s, but still, only 12? I easily polished off the entire bag, which then led to a good case of candy overindulgence guilt.

I liked the Almond M&M’s better than the peanut ones (which isn’t saying much, as I find peanut M&M’s boring) because they’re darker and crunchier. The almonds had a stronger, nuttier taste than the bland, unroasted peanuts found in peanut M&M’s.

Though the almonds were great, Almond M&M’s are not a candy you want to dissect into its separate components to eat. Instead it’s best when all crunched together so that the almond’s nuttiness can mitigate the sweetness of the sugar shell and milk chocolate. An OM.

Category: chocolate, M&M's, Mars, nuts, OM, review | 1 Comment »

Ethel’s Chocolates Truffles

February 25th, 2008 by Rosa

Ethel’s Chocolate Lounge is a chain of chocolate cafes owned by Mars. Think Starbuck’s but with truffles and hot cocoa and mocha lattes. For now, they’re only in Illinois and Las Vegas; I made it a point to track one down in the Fashion Show Mall on the Strip. I picked up four truffles at $1.50 each: a PB&J, a honey truffle, a cinnamon truffle, and a gingerbread tile. The stores are full of comfy couches, armchairs, and beautiful molded truffles in a huge variety of flavors.

I chose the PB&J (top right in below photo) because the girl behind the counter informed me that it was their best seller. Number two in popularity, if you’re curious, is cheesecake, which I tried on site (you get a free truffle for going into the store; the cheesecake was white chocolate, overly sweet, and could have been more cream-cheesy). The PB&J truffle was filled with grape jelly and peanut butter.

I like my peanut butter and jelly sandwiches made with strawberry preserves on 12-grain bread, which skews heartier and darker than the peanut butter and grape jelly on Wonderbread classic that I felt this truffle was trying to emulate. Its grape jelly filling was way too sweet for my taste, and I wish the peanut butter were saltier and nuttier. An O.

Moving clockwise to the bottom right, next is the Gingerbread tile from Ethel’s holiday collection. There were actually two gingerbread truffles to choose from; the other was called a gingerbread gem. I went with the tile because I was told it would be more heartily spiced and more heavily ginger-flavored.

The tile was prettily decorated, as you can see. The thin chocolate shell surrounded a rather thin but still creamy ganache with a wonderful gingerbread flavor. The ginger flavor was present without being overwhelming, earning an OM for this truffle.

The bottom left truffle with the visible grains of sugar is a Cinnamon truffle. Like the gingerbread tile, the ganache was creamy but thin and encased within a thin chocolate coating that carried a nice snap. I found the ganache flavoring to be spot on, with the perfect amount of nice, spiced cinnamon. Overall, however, I found the truffle to have a too sweet finish. Another OM.

Finally, there is the Honey truffle (top left). The ganache on this one was smooth with mild honey notes and a buttery toffee finish, which I found to be quite nice. It, too, was on the sweet side, just shy of cloying, and yet another OM.

Overall, Ethel’s truffles are nice and accessible. I wish their ganache fillings were richer and thicker, which would make them more indulgent. As they are right now, there’s nothing spectacular about the Ethel’s line, and you could get better truffles for the same price.

Category: candy resource, chocolate, Mars, O, OM, review | No Comments »

Galaxy Smooth Dark

February 8th, 2008 by Rosa

When I was told that a sample Galaxy dark bar was on its way to me in the mail, I never expected the 125 g (4.4 oz) behemoth that finally arrived. It was ginormous!

The bar’s wrapper reminded me of Dove chocolates. A quick Googling revealed that Galaxy and Dove are actually the same company. It’s Dove in the US and Galaxy in the UK. I felt like a sham of a candy reviewer for not knowing that already, but at least I noticed the packaging similarities.

Though it’s supposed to be the same product as a Dove chocolate bar, I found the Galaxy Dark to be inferior to my memory of the Dove Dark. The Galaxy was smooth and creamy with a slightly brittle snap, but I think Dove bars are even creamier than the Galaxy, have a firmer snap, and have a nicer, smoother melt. So I’d say the bars aren’t identical, even if they’re by the same brand.

I liked the presentation of the Galaxy bar. Instead of boring straight-edged segments, the rectangular segments of the Galaxy have wavy edges with a small stylistic G on each one. The back of the wrapper promises that the Galaxy dark is “not at all bitter,” and they live up to that promise. Unfortunately, I found the bar to be not at all interesting as well. It was serviceable chocolate, but bland and boring. I ate four rectangles before I gave up on tasting anything of note.

Overall, the Galaxy bar is serviceable for snacking but not for savoring. If I’m going to indulge in chocolate, I want something that I can savor and really enjoy, not a piece of chocolate that I eat just for the sake of eating chocolate, so this bar deserves an O in my book. Those who are used to milk chocolate and are trying to train themselves to like dark may enjoy this bar. I’m giving the rest of mine away.

Category: chocolate, European, Mars, O, review | 1 Comment »

Razzberry M&M’s, limited edition

November 16th, 2007 by Rosa

With their limited edition Razzberry M&M’s (BUY!), Mars has further added to an already fairly expansive line of M&M (BUY!) varieties. Not that there’s anything wrong with that! These guys were tasty. I brought them to a party, and they disappeared in about ten minutes.

If Mars had made the packaging and the M&M’s a pale pink instead of this red color, they could’ve seriously capitalized on October being breast cancer awareness month. Then again, this purplish-reddish pink does a better job of capturing the color of raspberries. Sort of.

The M&M’s are the same shade of razzberry. I think it’s a pretty shade, if a bit jarring because it’s not what we’re used to. The Razzberry M&M’s are bigger than milk chocolate M&M’s – close to the size of peanut M&M’s but not oblong due to the lack of needing to accommodate peanut shapes – and unevenly sized, as you can see from the photo. My favorite one is the dented one, I think. Perhaps it was dropped on its head as a child.

These are sweet with a lightly fruity raspberry flavor. The flavor is quite artificial but still enjoyable. The candy sugar shell feels thicker, making these M&M’s a tad more tiring to chew. As far as I can tell, the shell isn’t Razzberry flavored. I think it’s too thick, which makes the M&M’s too sweet. I found them more enjoyable when I let the sugar shell dissolve for a bit and then crunched through the remaining thin shell. An OM. Tasty; could be tastier.

Category: chocolate, limited edition, M&M's, Mars, OM, review | No Comments »

Halloween colored M&Ms!

October 23rd, 2007 by Rosa

I adore peanut butter M&Ms. Imagine my surprise when I opened this bag

To find these!

They’re black and orange, and some of the Ms have been turned into little Jack-o-lantern faces. Thanks for going the extra holiday mile, M&Ms!

If you’re wondering, they’re deliciously addictive, as usual. An OM treat.

Category: chocolate, Halloween, M&M's, Mars, news, OM, peanut butter | No Comments »

Twix PB

October 19th, 2007 by Rosa

From my personal experience, Twix (BUY!) is not a polarizing candy bar. Few can find fault with its blend of creamy chocolate, crunchy cookie, and oozy caramel. Consequently, few can resist polishing off both bars in a pack of Twix.

With Twix PB, the balance of tastes and textures is off, and I had no problem stopping my Twix PB consumption after a bite or two. According to the Wikipedia article on Twix, Twix PB is a relatively new development. I’d thought it was the same as the Peanut Butter Twix, just with a different wrapper and supposedly trendier name (the packaging looks like it was designed to appeal to a teenaged candy consumer), but they’re actually different. The Twix PB has a chocolate cookie, while the Peanut Butter Twix had the butter cookie of the original.

The butter cookie is my favorite part of the original Twix. I find that it has just the right touch of sweetness and a wonderfully sandy texture. The chocolate cookie in the Twix PB was disappointing all around. The texture was off, somehow, and it didn’t taste like chocolate. In fact, it didn’t taste like much of anything. Cookies aren’t supposed to be bland!

The rest of the bar was okay. The chocolate was your standard Mars coating; not bad, but nothing to crow about. The peanut butter was good, and it’s saltiness paired nicely with the sweet chocolate. But that tasteless, mal-textured cookie just ruined the whole bar from me. That bite you see missing in the picture is the only bite I took. I shared the rest with my friends, and none of them liked it enough to want to finish the bar either. When people don’t want you even when you’re free, you deserve no more than an O.

After reading that Twix article on Wikipedia, I really want to try some of those other Twix flavors, especially the fudge and the dark chocolate. Cybele on Candy Blog got to try the soon-to-be released Java Twix. I can’t wait to get my hands on one of those when they finally come out.

Category: chocolate, cookie, Mars, O, peanut butter, review | 5 Comments »

Mars Delight

October 10th, 2007 by Rosa

My Mars Delight came from Economy Candy, I think by way of Germany or France? The wrapper read, “Überraschend knusprig, lecker cremig. Étonnamment croustillant, délicieusement fondant.” I haven’t taken French since first semester freshman year, but I believe that the French sentence roughly translates into “Surprisingly crunchy, deliciously made.” And the Mars Delight is indeed delicious and crunchy. And delightful (yeah, I went there).

This bar comes in two pieces, like a Twix. I think the scalloped design is quite pretty. The chocolate is super sweet, but isn’t cloying. It’s European, so it’s Cadbury’s style chocolate – milky and creamy.

The inside crunchy portion is gorgeously folded on itself. Look how pretty that is! Its texture reminds of that of an egg roll – the flaky sweet kind, not the savory deep fried, often served with Chinese food lunch specials kind. However, unlike an egg roll, which has its own taste, the Mars Delight crunchies didn’t taste of anything themselves. However, they did serve to mitigate the sweetness of the chocolate coating and ganache/truffle layers inside.

Speaking of that truffle/ganache layers, yum! According to the website, it looks like the top one is caramel, while the bottom one is milk chocolate. I couldn’t really make a taste distinction there, but it was all rich and good! I give the Mars Delight a OMG. If only they were as widely available here as they are overseas!

Category: chocolate, European, Mars, OMG, review | No Comments »

M&M’s Pirate Pearls

September 6th, 2007 by Rosa

I’m super late to the game on this one, but oh well. I picked up these M&M’s Pirate Pearls (BUY) at a local dollar store. They were released to promote the Pirates of the Caribbean movie that came out back in May, so they’ve of course been relegated to dollar stores and the like.

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I enjoy white chocolate even less than I do milk chocolate. I just don’t understand why it can be called chocolate if it’s flavored with vanilla and has no cocoa solids (thanks, Wikipedia). And, of course, it’s on the cloying side of sweet.

The packaging on the Pirate Pearls was uninspiring, but I can’t be too critical because Johnny Depp/Captain Jack Sparrow is the main attraction, and ARRR! he be attractin’ alright! I also like the cute little pirate insipred designs on the M&M’s themselves. Way to go, Mars, for doing more than just changing the wrapper and the M&Ms’ colors. I appreciate that extra mile. Finally, the bag is slightly smaller than your standard bag of M&M’s, I guess because it’s a novelty tie-in product, so Mars figured they could get away with selling smaller portions.

As far as taste goes, the M&M’s Pirate Pearls were okay. They’re just like milk chocolate M&M’s size-wise and shell-to-chocolate ratio-wise, only they’re made of a sweet white chocolate instead. I managed about a half dozen or so before I’d reached my white chocolate limit. These would be good in trail mix or something along those lines, where there’s something salty to mitigate the cloying. If you’re a white chocolate fan (do those exist?), you’ll like these a lot.

If I see these again, I might consider buying another package to stash away as a collector’s item, but probably not. If they stuck Orlando Bloom on the wrapper, however, I could be persuaded to reconsider.

Category: M&M's, Mars, novelty, O, review, white chocolate | No Comments »

3 Musketeers Mint with dark chocolate

August 27th, 2007 by Rosa

I remember buying regular 3 Musketeers bars (BUY) out of the vending machines in high school. I’d lift off the bottom layer of chocolate, eat that flat piece, and then scoop out the nougat center, leaving me with a nice chocolate trough. 3 Musketeers were never my favorite bar, as the milk chocolate and sweet chocolate nougat gets cloying quickly, but I enjoyed them from time to time.

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The 3 Musketeers Mint with dark chocolate is a new bar from Mars. I assume it’s intended to compete with the York Peppermint Pattie. Well, York, you’ve got nothing to worry about. The 3 Musketeers Mint is nice and inoffensive, but it’s also uninspiring and unsensational.

I like the way the bar is portion controlled. It’s narrower than the normal 3 Musketeers, and it comes in two pieces for some reason. Perhaps it made for a better chocolate/mint ratio. Either way, it’s nice to easily be able to eat a single bar and save or share the second. I also like that the bar is dark chocolate because I like dark chocolate.

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The bar smells sweetly of chocolate and lightly of mint. It’s a gorgeous bar, and the shiny and artfully swirled dark chocolate coating contrasts well with the fluffy and pristinely white mint nougat. The chocolate coating is fairly sweet, but not as stick-in-your-throat sweet as that of the regular 3 Musketeers. The mint nougat has the same texture as the chocolate nougat of the regular bar. The mint taste , like the smell, is not very strong, though it does have staying power. A few minutes after I finished the bar, I could still feel a light mintiness in the back of my throat. Like the bar itself, the lingering mint taste was neither pleasant nor unpleasant.

I prefer the strong peppermint kick of the York Peppermint Pattie. The 3 Musketeers Mint is subtle and therefore a little boring. I don’t think it’ll be able to hone in on the Peppermint Pattie’s domination of the chocolate-mint market. After all, the 3 Musketeers big marketing grab is that it’s lower in fat than most chocolate bars, but the York Peppermint Pattie is similarly “healthier”. The taste of the 3 Musketeers Mint alone is simply not enough of a draw for me. An O.

Category: chocolate, Mars, mint, nougat, O, review | 1 Comment »

Limited Edition Starburst Retro

August 7th, 2007 by Rosa

I found these in a display case along with the Limited Edition Carnival Skittles (BUY) at the Dollar Tree. They were tucked away in a corner, so I nearly walked out without seeing them. The cashier probably wondered why I got went through the line twice, both times to buy just candy.

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The packaging on the Retro Starbursts (BUY) is a nice tie-dye motif, and the individual wrappers are white with colored print instead of the other way around. The flavor names are cute and clever, if rather corny:

Hey Mango-rena! – The exclamation mark is key, of course. These didn’t taste like mango at all. I got more of a sweet cantaloupe/punch taste or something.

Optimus Lime – This was my favorite flavor. Unsurprising, since I love citrus flavored candies, and the Green Slushy was my favorite Carnival Skittle flavor. Not quite as complex as the Green Slushy Carnival Skittle, but still quite enjoyable. With a bright and tart lime taste, it reminded me of a lime Skittle, but better, maybe because it’s a bigger candy. And while we’re on the subject, check out this cool Optimus Prime cake.

Psychideli-melon - Quite faithful artificial watermelon candy flavor, like a watermelon Jolly Rancher.

Disco Berry : I guess they ran out of clever names when it came to this one. It tastes like a super intense version of a red berry candy, which makes sense, as this chew is a deep red that’s nearly maroon. I think the berry is cherry, since I think that’s what’s pictured on the wrapper.

Overall, I enjoyed these flavors, though I felt cheated by the Hey Mango-rena! Hey Mars, just making it mango-colored isn’t enough. You’re supposed to make it taste like mango too.

Category: chewy, limited edition, Mars, OMG, review, Starburst | 1 Comment »