June 28th, 2010 by Rosa
Leave it to the Japanese to decide that Ginger Ale would make a good Kit Kat flavor. I’d read reviews of Ginger Ale Kit Kats on other sites, but it sounded so weird that I still really wanted to try one for myself. Lucky for me, there was one in my free sample box from Tsunami.hk.
The Kit Kat was a yellow-ish white chocolate. It smelled exactly like soda, though I thought the scent was more citrusy than gingery. I’d say more like Sprite or Fresca than ginger ale.
The bars’ outer white chocolate coating was super soft and melted in my fingers. It tasted of overly sweet white chocolate with a hint of citrus.
Most of the “ginger ale” flavor lay in the cream filling sandwiched between the crisp wafers. It tasted weirdly sour and effervescent. Every once in a while, there was a sharply piquant crystal of sour lime flavor.
I wasn’t a fan of the combination of white chocolate and citrus and effervescence. The whole thing had an awful finish that I found off-putting.
Flavor-wise, I thought it merits a –. But I am glad I got to try it. It’s definitely a taste experience!
Category: --, Asian (China, Japan, and Korea), chocolate, cookie, Nestle, review |
1 Comment »
June 9th, 2010 by Rosa
I bought these Haribo gummi clown fish at the dollar store. I’d never seen them before on usual store shelves, and after tasting them, I figured out why.
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Category: --, gummi/gummy, Haribo, review |
1 Comment »
May 5th, 2010 by Rosa
I got really excited when I saw this bag of Haribo Pico-Balla at the dollar store. They looked like my beloved European licorice pencils that have yet to catch on in the U.S. Could it be that they were hiding in the dollar store of the mall all along?
They certainly looked the part – colored fruit licorice wrapped around fondant fillings. The fillings were even extra fancy, with two colors!
Alas, while they were similar to my licorice pencils, they weren’t quite right.
For starters, the texture of the Pico-Balla was a bit too stiff and plasticy. Licorice pencils should have some bite to them, but these guys involved too much gnawing.
As for the flavors, they were weird and just didn’t mesh for me. Turquoise stuck out because its fondant filling was yellow and purple, while the other three had blue and orange.
The turquoise fruit licorice portion tasted like fruit punch, while the sweet fondant had a light anise and minty finish. It was simultaneously sweet and creamy and herbal.
The yellow coating tasted sweet with a light citrus tinge. Green tasted like the yellow, sans the citrus tinge, and maybe had a light apple finish, but maybe I was imagining it? And red just tasted like generic artificial red candy.
The orange and blue fondant fillings tasted of sherbet. I couldn’t pick out a particular flavor; they were just sweet and creamy and fruity.
I’m not sure why, but to me, the fruit licorice texture and flavors were just completely incompatible with the sherbet-y fondant fillings.
In the end, I found the Pico-Balla flavors and textures to be off-putting. They’re not awful, but they are rather blech, so a –.
Category: --, chewy, European, Haribo, licorice, review |
4 Comments »
April 9th, 2010 by Rosa
I bought a trio of booze-filled Lindt bars two summers ago in Cambridge, England. Whisky is pictured below; the other two were Irish Coffee and Cointreau. While I tasted the chocolates soon after I bought them, it took me until now to get around to writing about them.
Why the wait? Because every single one of the three bars that I had just shelled out quite a bit of dough for turned out to be all dried up when I opened them! I sent Lindt an email to complain, and while I waited for the response that never came, I forgot about them.
When I opened them, the chocolates appeared to be pristine. They looked like a pill-pack of chocolate, and each Lindt-stamped capsule looked unblemished and, I imagined, full of the promised “liquid filling.”
This was the summer of 2008, and the bars were marked as being good until April and May 2009. But when I chomped into the capsules, the insides were all dried up and crystallized. Boo.
I’m not sure if they were supposed to be like that, or if the posh (and pricey!) shop that I bought them from stored them incorrectly, or if Lindt was overly optimistic with their sell-by dates, but I was sorely disappointed. They promised liquid fillings. Of booze!
Maybe now’s a good time to add the aside that I was 20 this summer and earnestly learning about the cultural differences between the U.S. and the U.K. No open container laws; cheap and plentiful beers, ales, and ciders; and I never once got carded.
Anyway, the decidedly non-liquid fillings had lost their flavor along with their moisture. Cointreau was maybe tinged with orange, and Whisky had a nearly imperceptible alcoholic finish, but they otherwise just tasted like milk chocolate that was maybe a tad sweeter than usual.
In the state that I got these, they deserve a –. And Lindt gets the same for their (lack of) customer service. As far as I know, they’re not available in the U.S., but they seem to still be sold in the U.K., and with a few more flavors on offer.
Category: --, chocolate, European, Lindt, review |
2 Comments »
February 15th, 2010 by Rosa
I’ve been off caffeine for several years. Nowadays, if I have a glass of caffeinated soda in the afternoon, it’ll keep me up all night! Thus, I’m probably not Foosh Energy Mints’s target consumer. But when their maker, Vroom Foods, offered to send me free samples, I decided to try them for your sakes, readers.
Each mint contains 100 mg of caffeine, the equivalent of a cup of coffee. They wanted me to keep in mind that such a high caffeine content gives them a unique texture.
The texture definitely stood out as being different. The mints melted with little bumpy grains all over them. It was unusual but not off-putting. What was off-putting, however, was the taste. Or rather, the aftertaste.
They tasted strongly of strong peppermint, which was great and breath-freshening. But they also had a horrid under/aftertaste of artificial sweetener.
Such an aftertaste is bearable when it lasts just a few seconds after you swallow your Diet Coke. In the mints, unfortunately, it lasted the entire time the mint was melting in my mouth. About halfway through, I just couldn’t stand that undertone of fake saccharine-ness and had to spit the thing out.
I didn’t like the taste of these, and I have no need for its caffeine content, so they weren’t for me and get a – solely based on taste. But my caffeine addict friend loved them. To each his or her own, I suppose.
Category: --, mint, review |
2 Comments »
February 10th, 2010 by Rosa
Review number two from my box of New Zealand chocolates, courtesy of Saskia (review one was on Monday), is a Kiwifruit Bliss Bar hand made by Bliss Chocolates (note: video plays upon loading Bliss Chocolates’ main page).
I’m pretty sure Saskia purposefully picked a kiwi-filled bar to be representative of New Zealand candy. Sadly, I was not a fan of this bar – though I did enjoy the cheerful green of the wrapper and the translucent green of the inside goop.
The first three ingredients in the “dark compound choc” were sugar, vegetable oil, and cocoa powder. Not a good thing when vegetable oil shows up so high (or at all) in an ingredients list for chocolate. Also not a good thing when cocoa butter never makes an appearance.
It reminded me of Palmer‘s chocolate – poor quality, overly sweet with unpleasant tastes and aftertastes, and just not what I consider to be real chocolate. The green kiwi goop was super sweet and fruity, but I couldn’t get a clear read on it because the chocolate was just so overpoweringly blech.
My apologies go out to Saskia. It’s weird to publicly post negative opinions of gifts people give you. I feel like I sound horribly ungrateful. In fact, I value all tasting experiences as learning experiences, even when I don’t like what I’m tasting.
And I did not like this. The Kiwifruit Bliss Bar gets a sound – for its mockolate foul.
Reminder: check out Cybele’s Candy Swap forum if you want to set up your own candy swap!
Category: --, Australian/New Zealand, chocolate, received as gift, review |
3 Comments »
January 27th, 2010 by Rosa
I love bulk bins because they let you buy exactly how much you want. I especially love them for candy because they let me buy just enough to taste for a review. The last time I was at a Wegman’s with bulk bins (my neighborhood one is too small to have a bulk bin section, but that’s a good thing, as it prevents me from gorging on malted milk balls and Albanese 12-flavor gummi bears on a too-regular basis), I picked out four Jelly Nougats by Brach’s.
Thank goodness I only spent about 50 cents on them.
I was naive enough to think that, because they had nougat in the name and because they were white in color, they would taste like actual nougat. And they were so colorful and artsy looking to boot!
Alas, they just tasted like blech. The jelly bits look like they should be fruity, and they kind of are, but not really. They mostly tasted of sproingy sweetness.
The nougat had a persistent chew that was soft and not at all sticky. It tasted a bit floral and fruity, but mostly it was just sugar overload like whoa. I don’t think it was the sweetness factor alone that made this a spit-out candy for me – rather, I think it was that the sugar lacked any other substantial flavor to back it. Sweet and fruity is okay. Sweet and more sweet is not. One of my roommates called it old people candy.
My roommates enjoyed it, though they agreed with me that it was cloying. I could smell the candies as they were eating them from several feet away, and the smell was lovely, bright, and fruity. Why couldn’t they taste like that too?
For me, it’s a –. Save your pennies for something else!
Category: --, Brach's, chewy, nougat, review |
6 Comments »
January 4th, 2010 by Rosa
TCHO chocolates have long been on my radar. I finally got to try them when my roommates were kind enough to bring me a variety pack from California. The variety pack contained 2 each of their fruity, chocolatey, nutty, and citrus flavors.
All of the squares were about 5 centimeters across the diagonal and quite thin, just half a centimeter. All were comprised of 70% cacao.
“Fruity” was made with organic and fair trade beans from Peru. It had a sharp snap with a very dry mouthfeel. There was a definite red fruit fruitiness to it, but the overall flavor was dominated by the stale taste of paper/cardboard.
At first I thought I just had an off square – I had unwrapped it to take photos and then rewrapped it for later - but that cardboard taste pervaded the other, not-unwrapped-until-tasting-time squares.
“Chocolatey” (beans from Ghana) smelled duskier and featured strong cocoa notes and an almost savory tinge. Its mouthfeel is also dry, but it’s a bit smoother/creamier once it starts melting. The paper/cardboard taste is present in the finish.
“Nutty”, made from organic and fair trade beans from Peru, was the softest and creamiest of the bunch, and it did carry a distinctly nutty favor. But that paper tinge is still there.
Finally, “Citrus” (organic beans from Madagascar) smells sweet and has a very dry and crumbly melt. It tastes a bit chalky with a sweet bright finish, and again that infuriating, ruinous tinge of paper/cardboard taste.
I think TCHO needs to rethink their packaging on these bars, as they all took on an unpleasant, papery overtone that ruined the taste experience. I’ve had them sitting around for a few months, but bars should keep for at least that long, especially when you’re selling them in 90-day supplies.
I’m torn on how to rate these. The paper taste warrants a –, but that doesn’t seem quite fair, as TCHO didn’t mean for them to taste of paper. Then again, they did choose the packaging and neglected to put a “best by” date on the package or any storage guidelines (that I could find) on their website. So the – stands, with the caveat that my supply was off.
Category: --, chocolate, fair trade, organic, received as gift, review, single origin |
4 Comments »
October 19th, 2009 by Rosa
I found these Choceur Milk Chocolate Almond Clusters at Aldi. I almost didn’t buy them because they didn’t sound that exciting. That is, until I took a closer look and saw the fine print: “almond and gingerbread pieces with milk chocolate.”
Now that sounds exciting! Oh yeah; they’re also supposed to be “deliciously crunchy.”
I love baking with ginger – gingerbread, ginger snaps, ginger in pumpkin desserts, etc. – so the inclusion of gingerbread pieces in this really attracted me.
Each piece was a bumpy, thumb-sized log. They have a crumbly cookie center, sweet milk chocolate coating, and lots of tiny chopped almond bumpies.
It smelled and tasted strongly of nutmeg, cloves, and cinnamon. Surprisingly enough, I didn’t get too much ginger flavor. The milk chocolate coating was pretty sweet – too sweet, in fact – and it may have covered up some of the more subtle spices.
The gingerbread added a nice, crumbly cookie crunch to it, and there was a bit of nuttiness from the added almonds. I love the textural contrast between the cookie bits that disintegrated in my mouth and the tiny chopped almond pieces that needed a bit of chomping.
I adore the idea of the spices with the cookie crunch and the chocolate coating, but the execution was just waaaay too sweet. Even though the pieces were pretty small, the cloying sweetness made it difficult to finish even one.
It should be telling that I put these out at work a week ago, and they’re still there. An –. Maybe a dark version could be better?
Category: --, chocolate, cookie, nuts, review |
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October 14th, 2009 by Rosa
The U-NO was another chocolate bar in my free sample box from Munchies Sweets and Treats. I had been excited about tasting it because I’d never had one before, and I had no idea what would be inside. The shiny silver wrapper touted “rich creamy chocolate,” but it didn’t have the heft of a solid chocolate bar. What could be inside?
I wish I had let that remain a mystery. For starters, my bar looked like an unappetizing wreck when I opened it. Instead of a shiny, glossy, chocolate-covered something, it was cracked and flaking, and much of it stuck to the inside of the wrapper.
I don’t think that was Munchies’ fault; Annabelle’s, which made this, also makes the Rocky Road, which is known to suffer from lack of adequate packaging.
I snuck a piece of this while I was photographing it. I remember it being AWFUL. Greasy and strangely overly fruity. I had to really psych myself up just to take another nibble for the purposes of this review – I made sure it was miniscule – and yup, still greasy and strangely fruity. Somewhere in there is a nice malty chocolate note, but the U-No is beyond redemption.
It does have a fascinating texture. It’s like someone stuck chocolate in a food processor, added a ton of hydrogenated vegetable oils, pulsed it into a super-fine-grained paste, and formed it into a log. You can almost feel the little fat globules suspended in the bar.
One tiny 1.5 oz bar has 11 grams of saturated fat. To put that in perspective, that’s 57% of the recommended daily allowance for someone on a 2000 calorie diet. The remainder of the bar went straight in the trash, still in the Ziploc bag that I had been keeping it in since I’d first unwrapped it for photographing. I think that’s the candy equivalent of chucking a full Tupperware container because whatever’s gone bad inside is so horrible that you can’t bring yourself to open it and wash it out.
It’s too – worthy to inflict on another human being. Pardon the obvious pun, but the U-No is a huge no-no – if anyone ever offers you one, you should scream “No! No!” and run away. Even thinking about eating it makes me nauseated.
Category: --, Annabelle's, chocolate |
2 Comments »