Archive for the 'guest post' Category

Guest Post: Nestle Kit Kat Chunky Caramel Duo

April 20th, 2012 by Neil

Globe-trotting Neil (it’s so unfair how easy it is to travel between European countries!) has another across the pond review for you. ~Rosa

As promised, I have some posts up my sleeve. While waiting for dinner to cook tonight, I thought I’d simultaneously have a snack and feel productive by writing this. I pulled out a Nestle Kit Kat I picked up on a recent trip to London: Kit Kat Chunky Caramel Duo.

The package promised “Crisp wafer pieces with a caramel creamy topping (20%), covered in milk chocolate (60%).” Well, that’s sort of what I got.

The milk chocolate looked fairly standard - a bit beat up from my travel, for sure. The bars themselves are fairly thick. The two side by side are about the width of my wrist, which, let’s be honest, is not that impressive.

Eating it was sadly also not that impressive. The caramel just didn’t come through at ALL. It’s like the “creamy topping” had at some point just dried up to match the consistency of the wafer. No caramel flavor or contrasting texture.

Though it’s been in my cupboard since January, the label says it’s good through July, so it shouldn’t have gone stale in that time. I’m inclined to think it just wasn’t that caramelly to start with.

I set aside the second chunk for another time. It will probably be after dinner, sure, but I don’t see myself tracking this down in future travel. An O for the Duo.

Category: caramel, chocolate, European, guest post, Nestle, O, review | 2 Comments »

Guest Post: Albert Heijn’s Zachte Frisse Vrunchten

April 4th, 2012 by Neil

Hey candy lovers! Today we’ve got another post on candy from the Netherlands, courtesy of Neil. ~Rosa

Hoi hoi! I’ve been “hamstering” candy over the past few months, so I have a whole lot of posts in the queue. The first is grocery store brand Albert Heijn‘s Zachte Frisse Vruchten, or Soft Fresh/Bright Fruits.

The bag advertises “six.. flavors” but only shows five varieties. There are, indeed, six different types of candy inside: banana, orange, pear, green apple, strawberry, and elderberry. My friend Jana helped me review and provide some global perspective.

Banana’s flavor came through very slowly and when it did, it was much like a circus peanut. That time waiting for flavor was spent chewing, as the body of it was more like plastic than elastic. I also took this time to explain circus peanuts to Jana, because they’re not available in Germany. One must wonder sometimes about globalization. O

The orange slice was the one most visually similar to its real life counterpart. It had a sweetness like an orange soda rather than a real orange, however. Based on its appearance, Jana expected it to specifically taste like a clementine. An unexciting O.

One piece looked look a bicycle seat. For Jana, it looked exactly like a pear, and “if it hadn’t, [she] wouldn’t have been able to tell what it was.” I must confess that I don’t really know what pears taste like. I mostly tasted lemon, neither overly sweet nor sour, just pleasantly inoffensive. The pear pieces had the hardest bite at first, but rapidly became chewy. An O.

The green apple’s classic flavor made me very happy after the pear disappointment. Jana thought it was too sweet to be “sour” apple, but that’s exactly what made it so perfect for me. This one really stuck to my teeth. OM

Strawberry, the pink piece, had the most intense flavor of any and it was like a Starburst, which also haven’t made their way into Germany yet. They’re really missing out! Jana compared the flavor to German Schnüre, which are something like Red Vines. I would happily eat a whole bag of these. Definitely an OM from me.

The final was the most mysterious. A translation of “vlierbessen” led to the conclusion that these grape-bunch-lookalikes were elderberry flavored! So unexpected! The flavor struck me as herbal and liqueur-like, perhaps because I’ve had the elderberry liqueur St. Germain before. Being so confused by what it was supposed to be, I have to give it an O.

Overall, the bag was not a bad thing to nibble through for the evening, but I’m not rushing out to pick up more. Oh, let’s be honest: I only bought it because it was on sale.

Category: European, guest post, gummi/gummy, O, OM, review | No Comments »

Guest Post: Cadbury Dairy Milk Bliss Dreamy Chocolate Truffle

October 24th, 2011 by Neil

Here’s another Euro-chocolate review from Neil! Any readers know if these Cadbury Blisses are related to Hershey’s Bliss in the U.S.? ~Rosa

Hallo! Neil here with another European treat. This one is possibly found in the States, but I can’t recall having seen it there, perhaps because it launched after I moved over here.

It’s the Cadbury Dairy Milk Bliss Dreamy Chocolate Truffle, or CDMBDCT. Cadbury ran into some trouble with its original ads for the Bliss line, which makes you question the judgment of some advertising firms.

So there’s a short story behind this particular candy bar that has been in my cupboard for the past few weeks. The short version of that story: I didn’t even mean to buy it. I meant to buy another that I was forced out of purchasing. The long version can be found after the break.

The CDMBDCT came in very elegant purple packaging with some gold highlights, making it seem like a real treat that shouldn’t have been pushed at me as a last-minute add-on at a clearance price, LADY [Rosa's note: Neil's indignancy will make sense if you read his explanation after the break]. The  elegance continued with the gold fabric-paper wrapper.

Individual blocks broke smoothly and were quite hefty. Half a block was gone in one bite. An al dente feeling to the outer body and the expected softness of the truffle filling worked well together. The milk chocolate was nothing special, while the truffle’s fluffiness belied its sweetness.

That was all it had though: fluffiness and sweetness. Not much flavor to speak of. “These would make good s’mores,” I thought (Somebody please try this and leave a comment about your results!), but overall, it was not an amazing chocolate bar.

Each block went by quickly. Sadly, this was more out of a hope for it to improve or for my dessert stomach to be satisfied than out of sheer ecstasy. Overall, I really wish I could remember what that other candy bar was that I wanted, so I could pine for its loss properly. I’m going to have to give the CDMBDCT an O.

Read the rest of this entry »

Category: Cadbury, chocolate, European, guest post, O, review | No Comments »

Guest post: ChocoTense Saturn

October 10th, 2011 by Neil

Today we’ve got a guest post from my favorite in-the-Netherlands ex-pat, Neil! ~Rosa

Greetings again from the soggy Netherlands, dear ZOMG, Candy! readers. Today’s post is about a 150 gram bar I found at a local discount store, Wibra.

Wibra is good for generic 1 Euro utensils, deeply discounted name brand toiletries, socks, and an odd assortment of other goods. Basically a dollar store but across a variety of low prices.

Each time I’m there I try to find something that’s worthy of throwing at Rosa or trying for myself. Finally, I broke down, for your sake, to try the curiously named “Saturn”.

Saturn comes from ChocoTense, a brand of the Strootman Group. As a recovering prescriptivist, I am amused that they advertise themselves as “moving consumer goods discretely” But enough business-chatter. Let’s get down to chocolate tacks.

The bar was fairly well scored, but individual blocks were perfectly flat and unmarked. This just added to the already overwhelming feel of genericness. The blocks broke easily along the scores, but each time I did this, some shards resulted.

Little visual pips of the candies dotted the surface. Upon further reflection, I suppose they’re supposed to be like flying saucers of alien men from Saturn.

Sadly, the appearance made the bar look not entirely healthy. It’s also of note that the top is a bit scuffed up, likely as a result of it kicking around in my backpack for an afternoon.

Overwhelmingly, the flavor was bland milk chocolate, with hints of sour milk. To add insult to injury, a sticky gummy texture persisted, almost frustrating to get through, bordering on the mouthfeel of a Tootsie Roll. The miniature candies — similar to Nestle Smarties – were crispy and were definitely the highlight.

An unfortunate and inexplicable after-effect of heat and irritation in my throat came on after eating a few pieces. The overall experience wasn’t quite so bad that I chucked the remainder, but I found myself wondering what I would do with the rest of this unsatisfactory bar.

In the morning, I found that it was marginally better with my morning coffee but not worthy of any further consumption. Should you ever find yourself in line at the Wibra, skip the Saturn and reach for the Haribo bags. A .


Category: --, chocolate, European, guest post, review | 1 Comment »

Guest Post: Chinese Candy Grab Bag – Mystery Peach Gummi

March 9th, 2011 by Neil

Last week and this week, I’m turning the reviewing over to my friend Neil. He’s from upstate New York but is currently living in the Netherlands. Ironically enough, his guest posts are about Chinese candy.

Today is Neil’s last post (for now, at least). Thanks for the funny and thoughtful work Neil!

A labmate went home to China to celebrate the New Year and brought back a lot of candy to share. I asked her to select some for me. Here were my impressions.

(NB: I originally thought the picture on the wrapper was of cherries. It’s definitely of peaches. This knowledge makes the review funny-ha-ha-Neil-can’t-recognize-fruit as opposed to just funny-ha-ha.)

Finally, I consumed the red treat I could not find any English for. The packaging required some dexterity, as it had cute gold twist-ties.

It’s exotic and fun. An image of cherries on the label thankfully gave me a hint of what flavor to expect, one in conflict with the physical appearance of the candy itself: a translucent yellow cylinder, the size of half of my thumb. The exterior was textured in a speckled way.

This was not an extra layer of granulated sugar, or if it was, it was extra fine and fairly well embedded. The texture of the piece felt dense but squished quickly, just the right level of gumminess. (Is it obvious I’m not normally a candy reviewer? I have marginally more experience with beer writing.)

The cherry flavor, though present and natural-seeming, was not what I’m used to with Haribo cherries or Jolly Ranchers. I am again reminded of how I’m “spoiled” by American SUPERDENSEFLAVORPACKING in so many foods. This also merits an OM.

Category: Asian (China, Japan, and Korea), guest post, gummi/gummy, OM, review | No Comments »

Guest Post: Chinese Candy Grab Bag – Xida Corn Flavor Jelly

March 7th, 2011 by Neil

Last week and this week, I’m turning the reviewing over to my friend Neil. He’s from upstate New York but is currently living in the Netherlands. Ironically enough, his guest posts are about Chinese candy.

A labmate went home to China to celebrate the New Year and brought back a lot of candy to share. I asked her to select some for me. Here were my impressions.

This past weekend, I had Surinamese food for the first time. The woman behind the counter, when asked about desserts, offered us cornmeal-based cookies on the house.

I haven’t thought of corn before as a basis for sweet things, but with the addition of the Xida Corn Flavour Jelly (XCFJ) to my belly, I’ve had 2 in 3 days. I hesitate to call it a trend, as it’s probably just that I’m opening my eyes to a worldwide phenomenon.

The XCFJ was sized and shaped like a very fat baby corn. It was sticky to the touch and had a fair amount of give, as is to be expected. The first bite was full of corn flavor and a fun, expected, gummy chewiness.

I wondered if this was just dyed, molded corn syrup? If so, kudos to Xida for figuring out a novel way to plump me up. Sometimes it was almost savory, but other times the sugar came through.

I couldn’t decide on whether it was more like canned corn, popcorn, corn oil, or corn on the cob. Finally it hit me: it’s like the Finger Lakes Distilling corn whiskey I bought from FLD’s first batch (the recipe’s changed for the better), minus the alcohol and plus some gooey fun!

I rationed my final bites to be sure of what I was tasting. Yep. Corn, corn, and nothing but the corn, so help me cob.  I’d call it at least an OM.

If you sat me down in a movie theater with a bucket of these and a 32 oz. Diet Coke, I’d probably eat a lot before the opening credits then feel a good bit overwhelmed, but not disappointed with myself.

Category: Asian (China, Japan, and Korea), guest post, gummi/gummy, OM, review | 1 Comment »

Guest Post: Chinese Candy Grab Bag – Cadbury Hazelnut

March 4th, 2011 by Neil

This week and into next, I’m turning the reviewing over to my friend Neil. He’s from upstate New York but is currently living in the Netherlands. Ironically enough, his guest posts are about Chinese candy.

A labmate went home to China to celebrate the New Year and brought back a lot of candy to share. I asked her to select some for me. Here were my impressions.

(NB: I originally thought the picture on the wrapper was of chestnuts. It’s definitely of hazelnuts. This knowledge makes the review funny-ha-ha-Neil-can’t-recognize-nuts as opposed to just funny-ha-ha.)

The Cadbury Chestnut, as I think of it, was the one most similar to candies I’m familiar with. It presents as a brown nugget that could be mistaken for butterscotch or milk chocolate.

Biting it in half yields a few drops of a sweet sticky liquid in the center of a chewy, but not impossible, bulk. It required a fraction of the chomps that the White Rabbit did.

Here, I have to admit that I’m unsure what chestnuts in their natural state taste like. Come to think of it, I don’t know if I’ve had them roasted over an open fire either. This had “peanut butter” written all over it for my naive taste buds, which have surely been abused by an overconsumption of capsaicin and hops.

I would have liked a bit more liquid than solid, but given that the liquid was a surprise, the manufacturers have probably made the right choice when it comes to making a mess of customers’ chins, hands, and sweaters. This is definitely another OM for me.

Category: Asian (China, Japan, and Korea), Cadbury, caramel, guest post, nuts, OM, review | No Comments »

Guest Post: Chinese Candy Grab Bag – Beijing Su

March 2nd, 2011 by Neil

This week and into next, I’m turning the reviewing over to my friend Neil. He’s from upstate New York but is currently living in the Netherlands. Ironically enough, his guest posts are about Chinese candy.

A labmate went home to China to celebrate the New Year and brought back a lot of candy to share. I asked her to select some for me. Here were my impressions.

Beijingsu comes like a little hard satiny pillow. It reminds me of candies I saw as a kid but haven’t thought of in years, the sort your grandmother had, but my mother did sometimes.

It smells of sesame. Like the White Rabbit, I had a hard time judging what its flavor would be like based solely on its pearly-grey-with-unevenly-spaced-brown-stripes appearance.

A quick bite revealed two important facts. The outer appearance was just that, covering an interior of brown grainy filling. Also, the shell shattered quickly, giving way to the crumbly, meringue-like filling.

The sesame flavor was not as present as hoped for, instead being more subtle. I happily finished chomping and wondered how many I could eat in one sitting.

Aspects of it reminded me of my take on cotton candy, which leaves me pleased but somehow not sufficiently sated. OM.

Category: Asian (China, Japan, and Korea), guest post, OM, review | No Comments »

Guest Post: Chinese Candy Grab Bag – White Rabbit

February 28th, 2011 by Neil

This week and into next, I’m turning the reviewing over to my friend Neil. He’s from upstate New York but is currently living in the Netherlands. Ironically enough, his guest posts are about Chinese candy.

A labmate went home to China to celebrate the New Year and brought back a lot of candy to share. I asked her to select some for me. Here were my impressions:

White Rabbit, previously rocked by a variety of contamination scandals, has kept its name in China, thereby sticking Jefferson Airplane in my head for the remainder of the day. Mildly daunted by the possibility of contamination, I remembered that despite various food aversions, I do take some risks when it comes to food safety, particularly when there are sweet rewards to be had.

The White Rabbit candy looked to me like a vanilla Tootsie Roll, a confection I haven’t seen since my move out of the U.S. Its hardness was beyond that of a Tootsie, however, and I’m unsure whether to chalk this up to this instance of the candy or if this is common.

Once upon a time, in my 8th grade Earth Science course, I learned the Mohs hardness scale for minerals. I’d say this rated a 2.5 on the Mohs.

Upon first bite, flakes of the Rabbit came off. I believe they were rice paper, but it’s a little disconcerting [note from Rosa: It is rice paper, and it's totally edible]. That bite took a lot of power.

The flavor struck me as a combination of vanilla (perhaps due to visual priming), sugar, and milk: something akin to a vanilla milkshake or Upstate Farms’ Intense Vanilla Milk. The sweetness wasn’t too intense, so it was a pleasant, even relaxing flavor.

Unfortunately, the required mastication is frustrating, taking away from my enjoyment of the candy itself. I am tempted to try another, giving the Rabbit another chance, but not before I give these other candies a chance. Solid O.

More to come from Neil on Wednesday!

Category: Asian (China, Japan, and Korea), chewy, guest post, O, review | 3 Comments »