Archive for the 'brand' Category

Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate Covered Coconut Mango Bites

April 19th, 2013 by Rosa

To be honest, these Dark Chocolate Covered Coconut Mango Bites didn’t sound that tasty to me, but my local Trader Joe’s was promoting them all over the store, so I picked up a bag.

Why not? I like chocolate-covered coconut, and I like mangos. Mangos and chocolate and coconut all together could be good?

The resealable stand-up bag described them as “soft, chewy coconut candy bites with a tangy mango addition, covered in rich, dark chocolate.” The bag smelled incredibly fruity and sweet, almost cloyingly so.

The candy bites were 1.5 inches by 1 inch rectangles that were just over half an inch high. The center was a yellow-hued smoosh of moist, shredded coconut.

The dark chocolate shell was mild with a hint of sweetness and a dryly fruity, bittersweet finish. While it tasted great by itself, it was totally overwhelmed by the coconut mango center. Also, it melted into my fingers as I held it, which was a little annoyingly messy.

The center had the squeaky texture of shredded coconut and the piquant tartness of dried mango. The mango flavor was bright and sweet and dominated the treat; I didn’t get any coconut flavor notes, just texture.

While I liked the chocolate in isolation, and I liked the flavor of the mango, the whole thing just didn’t come together for me. I think it was the texture of coconut without any coconut flavor that threw me off. I have no desire to finish the rest of the bag, so an O.

Category: chocolate, coconut, O, review, Trader Joe's | 1 Comment »

Trader Joe’s Laceys Cookies – Dark Chocolate Almond

April 17th, 2013 by Rosa

Cookies? Why am I reviewing cookies on my candy blog? Because these Laceys Cookies are more or less made out of almond brittle and chocolate, so they’re basically candy. Plus they’re freakin’ delicious.

The Laceys were two rounds of thin almond brittle cookies, about 2.5 inches in diameter, sandwiching a generous layer of bittersweet chocolate. Flour was near the end of the ingredients list, and I really couldn’t tell that there was any flour in these at all in terms of texture or flavor.

The cookie portions were sweet and crisp with a solid crunch. I’d guess that they were about 50% chopped almonds and 50% butter toffee/brittle.

The generous proportion of almonds brought a wonderfully roasted nuttiness, and the cookies finished with a toasted butteriness from the toffee. That toffee cleaved and crumbled without any hint of doughy cookieness.

The bittersweet chocolate center had a great duskiness to it and a light sweetness that didn’t overwhelm the cookies. Instead, it complimented the nutty butteriness of the toffee cookies.

A delicious, quickly disappearing treat – OMG.

Category: chocolate, cookie, nuts, OMG, review, toffee, Trader Joe's | Comments Off

Sunkist Lemon Gummies

April 5th, 2013 by Rosa

I bought these Sunkist Lemon Gummies at the dollar store. There were also Sunkist strawberry gummies there, but I just bought the lemon since I like citrus flavors.

The yellow gummies were shaped like little lemon slices. They were firm with a bouncy bite that was too solid for me to tear cleanly through the gummi in just one bite.

They gummies had a light waxy coating on the outside, I think to keep them from sticking to each other. It left a slight residue on my fingers and was slightly noticeable in the flavor of the gummi as a suggestion of waxy aftertaste.

The flavor of the gummy was great – solid and intense. It was sweet with a slightly bright fruity flavor. There was no sourness to the gummy, just a great mellow lemon drop flavor.

I really enjoyed these gummies. They had an awesome intensity of flavor, and a fruity citrus flavor that I really liked. If only they didn’t have that waxy finish!

Still, an OM, as I found myself chasing away that slight aftertaste by popping additional gummies.

 

Category: gummi/gummy, Jelly Belly, OM, review | Comments Off

After Eight Mint Chocolate Thins

April 3rd, 2013 by Rosa

My friends Emma and Jason recently took a vacation to London and brought me back a box of After Eight Mint Chocolate Thins. If you’ve been following this blog for a while, you’d recall that I spent the summer of 2008 in the UK, during which I reviewed the regular After Eights.

The Mint Chocolate Thin version of the After Eights were much classier than the boxy cubes I’d had before. My 300 g box of thins had ~35 thins, each encased in their own delicate sleeves. The sleeves themselves were prettily decorated with the After Eight clock logo in gold.

The Thins were 4cm square and about 1/4 cm thick. Their bottoms were flat and lightly imprinted with “After Eight” in script, while the tops were wavy and rippled.

The thin dark chocolate shell broke easily to reveal the grainy squishy fondant within. The chocolate’s mild cocoa flavor was barely noticeable and was mostly overwhelmed by the strong mintiness of the fondant.

That mint was refreshing but not mentholated/cooling. It was just a hair too sweet – enough that it felt cloying when I ate two thins in a row.

I thought these were a lovely treat. They look elegant enough to put out for guests, which is pretty good for a mass-market chocolate item. You couldn’t say that about York Peppermint Patties, which is the closest thing to these we’ve got on the American market. An OM.

Category: chocolate, European, mint, Nestle, OM, received as gift, review | 2 Comments »

Skittles Darkside

April 1st, 2013 by Rosa

Skittles Darkside are a new addition to the Skittles line. They’ve apparently been around since January, when Cybele reviewed them on Candy Blog, though I only caught them recently at a gas station pit stop.

The tagline for the Darksides is “the other side of the rainbow”. The flavors were Dark Berry (purple), Pomegranate (red), Forbidden Fruit (blue), Midnight Lime (green), and Blood Orange (orange).

Dark Berry tasted like generic berry candies with a slight seedy undertone. They reminded me more of the UK’s purple Skittles, which are supposed to be blackcurrant flavored.

Pomegranate was seedy to start with a tinge of pomegranate/cranberry juice flavor. It lacked any bitterness or tannic flavors that I’d associate with true pomegranates.

I have no idea what Forbidden Fruit was trying to be. It had a strong perfumey floral flavor, with a start that was almost bubblegummy.

Midnight Lime was zesty to start. It tasted like a darker version of the lime that used to be part of the regular Skittles line-up but lacked the regular lime’s brightly acidic tartness.

Finally, Blood Orange had a great zesty orange depth but was far darker than the regular Skittles’s bright orange. Instead, it had a darker, juicier finish with just a flash of tartness at the end.

I felt pretty meh about these. I think the Blood Orange was the only that I really enjoyed. The others were okay but not outstanding. An O.

Category: chewy, O, review, Wrigley's | 3 Comments »

Hedonist Artisan Chocolates – Corned Beef and Cabbage Truffle

March 25th, 2013 by CamNMere

Hedonist Artisan Chocolates whipped up a special batch of Corned Beef and Cabbage truffles that they gave out as a free St. Patrick’s Day treat. My friend and former Rochester roommate Meredith got one to try and review. ~Rosa

I wasn’t planning to do anything (or really leave the house at all) for St Patrick’s Day, but I woke up to find my social media informing me that beloved local establishment Hedonist Chocolate was offering free corned beef and cabbage truffles all day. Uh, what?

Hedonist is only a couple of blocks from home, and I’m not one to turn down a one-off gustatory challenge. Nor to turn down the opportunity to stock up on their phenomenal salted caramels, which are perfect for bribing myself to finish writing projects at work. I picked up an extra caramel in case I needed a chaser for the corned beef and cabbage truffle.

(Cameron did the photography, but lacked the intestinal fortitude to participate in the tasting experience. His loss?)

I’m happy to say that the caramel chaser lives on in my chocolate drawer for another day when its services are more urgently needed. The corned beef and cabbage truffle had a thin milk chocolate coating, with an even thinner layer of dark chocolate lining the bottom of the truffle.

The coating easily gave way to the creamy ganache filling, which had a sweet frosting texture with a hit of savory-salty flavor. Much of that savoriness came from little nubs of meat embedded in the filling:

Though the corned beef I’ve had in the past was texturally closer to pulled pork, these nubs were firm and chewy, like bacon. This seems like probably a wise textural choice (though now I am envisioning delicious pulled-pork-truffle collaborations between Hedonist and Sticky Lips BBQ, and ok now I really want that to happen).

The corned beef did have more of a briny flavor that came through mostly in the aftertaste, but otherwise if I hadn’t been paying close attention I might have just assumed it was a bacon truffle. The cute little blob on top of the truffle was candied corned beef, hitting the same delightful sorts of salty-sweet-candy-chewy notes as candied bacon. I would happily have eaten a whole tray of these.

I couldn’t detect any textural evidence of cabbage (again, a wise choice!) but it did contribute a vegetal, garlicky funk to the filling that was more pronounced in the aftertaste than in the initial flavor. It wasn’t actually bad by any means — it was fairly subtle, and I just finished off an embarrassingly large supply of generic milk-chocolate discount truffles from the post-Valentine’s sales so the complexity of cabbage-chocolate was surprisingly welcome.

But I think the truffle would have been better overall if it had just focused on the corned beef, which had plenty of complex savory flavors to offer. As it was, I think some of the smoky meatiness might’ve gotten lost in the sour cabbage aftertaste.

I can’t imagine a more competent execution of this concept, and I consider making a corned beef and cabbage truffle that is not only edible but actually sort of good a pretty remarkable feat. That said, it was still pretty weird. Grading on a bit of a novelty-chocolate curve, and taking into account that delicious candied beef topper, I’d give this truffle an O.

Category: chocolate, guest post, Hedonist Artisan Chocolates, limited edition, novelty, O, review | 2 Comments »

Jelly Belly Pea & Carrots

March 15th, 2013 by Rosa

I’m not sure if these Peas & Carrots mellocreme candies from Jelly Belly are a seasonal Easter treat or not. My little bag was bought at the dollar store, where it was shelved with other Jelly Belly treats. Still, peas and carrots nicely fit in with springtime and bunnies, so it would make a good Easter candy.

Most people probably know mellocreme from candy corn. The peas and carrots had the same grainy, chewy-squishy texture of candy corn, but the flavors were very different.

The orange sherbet flavored carrot cylinders were shaped like Mike & Ikes. They started off tasting like orange sherbet or an orange creamsicle, with a slight orange flavor and a strong dairy component. The finish was a little plasticky/waxy.

The peas were supposed to be green apple flavored and did a pretty spot on job of looking like real peas. They carried just the faintest whiff of artificial green apple flavor – I thought they tasted mostly really off-puttingly medicinal.

While these were a cute idea and fun to play around with, I was not a fan of how they tasted. The fruity flavors were a little off, and the downsides of mellocreme (its weird waxiness and finish) were harder to hide behind such mild flavors. A .

Cybele from Candy Blog reviewed them a year ago, if you want a second opinion.

 

Category: --, Easter, Jelly Belly, review | 1 Comment »

Russell Stover Iddy Biddy Bunnies

March 13th, 2013 by Rosa

These Iddy Biddy Bunnies were a seasonal Easter treat from Russell Stover. My 1.7 oz bag advertised 60 pieces and noted that the bunnies on the wrapper were “Actual Size!”

The bag of chocolate smelled sweetly chocolatey, like Hershey’s chocolate syrup. The molded bunnies were, as promised, Iddy Biddy indeed – just under an inch from ear tip to bunny bottom.

Each bunny was solid milk chocolate with a thick, tongue-coating melt that felt creamy and rich. It tasted sweet with notes of dusky caramel and vanilla with a bright finish.

These were a tad sweeter than I usually like my milk chocolate, but I was willing to overlook that because their great texture made up for that. 60 pieces per bag felt like a lot, making these great for snacking. A little lasts for a long time!

These were a fun and tasty Easter treat. You could probably get the same snacking idea with chocolate chips, but something about the little bunny shapes kept me from popping more than one at a time, which is not generally how I snack on chocolate chips. An OM.

Category: chocolate, Easter, OM, review, Russell Stover | 2 Comments »

Trader Joe’s Chocolate Covered Sea Salt Butterscotch Caramels

March 1st, 2013 by Rosa

These chocolate covered sea salt butterscotch caramels are the last of my weekend Trader Joe’s candy finds. They came in a stand-up bag with a resealable zipper top.

The description on the back was loquacious: “intense and creamy, deeply flavored butterscotch caramels are tinged with sea salt and enrobed in dark, slightly bitter chocolate to offset the sweetness. That about says it all.”

The caramels were of the shiny, panned spherical variety, similar to Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate Tahitian Vanilla Caramels. The dark chocolate component was divine – fruitily sweet with a dusky bittersweet finish.

The caramel centers definitely tasted of butterscotch, with butterscotch’s distinctive sour tinge to the caramel sweetness. The caramel’s sweetness finished with a salty hit.

I thought the caramel centers were too sweet on their own, but when chewed together with the dusky chocolate shells, they became perfectly balanced to create an addictively chewy sweet and slightly sour and salty treat. An OM.

Category: caramel, chocolate, OM, review, Trader Joe's | Comments Off

Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate Covered Marshmallows

February 27th, 2013 by Rosa

I had been eyeing these trapezoid-shaped boxed of chocolate-covered marshmallows at Whole Foods, but I’d never pulled the trigger. When I spotted a similarly shaped box of dark chocolate covered marshmallows at Trader Joe’s but for a dollar less than Whole Foods’s version, it was enough for me to add the box to my cart.

The box promised “light and fluffy marshmallows drenched in smooth, dark chocolate.” The marshmallows were boulder-shaped domes (not the flat squares depicted on the Whole Foods box).

They smelled sweet and a bit earthy from the chocolate. There was just a thin layer of that dark chocolate, and it cracked when I bit into it.

It tasted sweet for a dark chocolate, with a flavor that I found reminiscent of Hershey’s chocolate syrup. There was also a light graininess to its melt.

The marshmallow centers were foamy with an intense squishiness and a decent chewiness. Their sweetness was bright and had a hint of golden syrup‘s amber sweetness to it.

The dark chocolate covered marshmallows were a tad too sweet for my taste. Other than that, they were decent but on the boring side, and I have no desire to buy more or even finish the rest of my box. An O.

Category: chocolate, marshmallow, O, Trader Joe's | 2 Comments »