Archive for the 'O' Category

Barrels of Yum hard candies – Dilly Dally (Dill Pickle) and Classic Collection

April 7th, 2014 by Rosa

 Barrels of Yum are barrel-shaped hard candies that extend the trite root beer barrel concept to a wider variety of flavors. They were developed with Candyman David Klein, who worked on the original Jelly Bellies, so I had high hopes for their flavors…

And they certainly delivered! I got free samples of the Dilly Dally pickle-flavored barrels as well as their Classic Collection to review. I’ll start with the Dilly Dallies because Pickle Candy?

The individually wrapped Dilly Dallies were bright green with a smooth melt on my tongue. They tasted eerily like a sweetened dill pickle. I got a little tartness, as well as garlicky notes.

It was weird to have something sweet and savory and so unnervingly accurate. I can’t see myself wanting to snack on these, but they’re a fun and spot-on novelty treat. An O for the fun taste experience.

The Classic Collection had more snackable flavors. Like the Dilly Dallies, they were individually wrapped, which makes them easily shareable.

Orange was Orange Cream. It tasted like orange soda, smooth and sweet. There were some nearly herbal undertones that made me think of that lingering sassafrassiness that you get from root bear.

Peach Cobbler was a red orange that was hard to distinguish from the orange cream. It tasted generically fruit and bright with occasional tart notes. I didn’t get any peach flavors, but still enjoyed its pleasant flavor.

Sour Watermelon was pink. It tasted like artificial watermelon candies with a subtle tartness. Not my favorite, as watermelon candies taste nothing like real watermelons to me.

Light brown was Apple Pie, which started off tasted of canned apple pie filling before it took on brighter, fruitier notes of fresh apple with hints of bright tartness peeking through.

Dark brown was Chai Tea, an unusual hard candy flavor. It had strong floral notes of tea with herbal undertones. Not my favorite, but I’m also generally not a tea person.

Green was Granny Smith Apple. It mostly tart and tangy, like most green apple candies, but with added complexity from apple peel notes.

Hot Cinnamon was red, and it tasted fairly standard for a cinnamon candy, with a flavor reminiscent of Red Hots. It had a nice heat to it that was present without being overwhelming.

Finally Blueberry Crumble was a deep blue that was tart with plummy blueberry notes. It didn’t taste like real blueberries, but it had a nice intensity of flavor.

Overall, I found the Classic Collection from Barrel of Yum to be a tasty assortment with many snackable flavors (though I’d give you all my Chai Teas and save the Hot Cinnamons for after-meal mints). An OM.

Category: hard candy, novelty, O, OM, review | 2 Comments »

Fruit Vines Bites – Strawberry and Cherry

March 24th, 2014 by Rosa

I got these Fruit Vines Bites as free samples the day before I left for Shanghai. Now that I’m back and mostly no longer jet-lagged, I can get around to reviewing them!

Fruit Vines Bites are a new candy from the Red Vines folks that currently come in cherry and strawberry. They were little chunks of chewy fruit candy about 3/4 of a inch long and comprised of three stuck together ropes.

They were quite soft and easy to bite through, with a bit of a tendency to get stuck in the nooks and crannies of my teeth as I chomped them up. The lightly sweet fruity flavors intensely permeated the whole bite, and both had just a hint of a wheaty undertone.

I liked the cherry (maroon) better than the strawberry due to its darker, more rotund red fruit flavor profile. It just seemed a little more intensely flavored in its plummy cherry-ness, which I liked.

Strawberry (red) was lighter and brighter in its candied red fruit flavor, which also made it a little more plastic tasting to my tongue. Not bad, but not as good as the cherry.

An OM for the cherry and O for the strawberry.

Category: chewy, O, OM, review | 2 Comments »

Kallari Sacha Roberto’s Recipe

February 21st, 2014 by Rosa

I buy so much chocolate that it’s sometimes hard to keep track of where I get everything. I’m 80% sure I bought this Kallari Sacha chocolate bar in Roberto’s Recipe at Cocoa Cinnamon, an awesome coffee shop that serves excellent drinking chocolate in Durham.

The 75% cacao bar was described as “extra rich dark chocolate with vanilla.” It was scored into 15 rectangles that broke with a sharp snap, but when I chewed it, it crumbled and thinly melted.

It started off sweet, then became earthy with mild coffee notes. Its flavor profile was a little muddy in a wholesome, natural way. Its slight sweetness developed into a mellow vanilla roundness to the finish.

I thought this was a nice dark chocolate bar, but its flavor profile wasn’t my thing. An O.

Category: chocolate, O, review | No Comments »

Hello Panda – Strawberry and Double Choco

January 27th, 2014 by Rosa

Hello Panda is Meiji‘s answer to Lotte’s Koala’s March: cream-filled cookies imprinted with cute animal cartoons. I got a couple of boxes to try in my free MunchPak samples, first in Strawberry and the following month in Double Choco.

The Hello Panda biscuits were either round or round with ears, like teddy bear heads. The Strawberry version was vanilla biscuits with strawberry cream, while Double Chocos were chocolate biscuits with “choco” cream.

Compared to the Koala’s March, the Hello Pandas had a more substantial crunch and a greater cookie to filling ratio. Strawberry’s biscuit was lightly sweet, while the center strawberry cream had the texture of a solid frosting and a floral sweetness to its artificial strawberry flavor.

The chocolate cookie of the Double Choco was darker in both appearance and flavor. It had a slight cocoa bittersweetness, like a mild Oreo cookie, and its chocolate filling was creamy with a slightly greasy feel.

I liked the Double Choco better than the Strawberry, which was too artificially floral for my taste. I did wish, however, that the Double Choco had more intensity of chocolate flavor and wasn’t quite so greasy. An O for both.

Category: Asian (China, Japan, and Korea), chocolate, cookie, Meiji, O, review | No Comments »

Jelly Belly Draft Beer

January 24th, 2014 by Rosa

I think it’s safe to state that Jelly Belly is tops in their field of creatively flavorful jelly beans. Instead of resting on their laurels, they never stop innovating! Their newest product are Draft Beer flavored jelly beans.

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I was quite excited to be surprised with free samples to review. I was more excited that they came with an adorably tiny beer mug, which made for a fun photoshoot.

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The beans were striking right out of the package in two ways. One, they had Jelly Belly’s new jeweled look in a beautiful gold tone, and two, they had a strong, distinctive scent (regular Jelly Bellies don’t smell).

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These amber nuggets smelled boozy and yeasty, like beer does, but also sweet and floral, which made it smell more like beer that had gone a little funky. Or, I guess, like beer that hadn’t finished fermenting and turning its sugar into alcohol.

The Draft Beer beans tasted like a sweetened blonde beer. It started off sweet and honeyed, and then took on a little fermented yeastiness. There was no bitter bite to the end, which I appreciated since it is candy, after all.

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I’m a cocktail person, not a beer person (surprise, surprise, I have a sweet tooth), so I wouldn’t buy these for myself. They do, however, win points for novelty, and I can think they’d be a fun gift for beer aficionados. An O, just as a matter of personal preference.

Category: Jelly Belly, jelly candy, O, review | No Comments »

Truffles from Southern Season

January 13th, 2014 by Rosa

My boyfriend’s gym is located right next door to A Southern Season, a gourmet food mecca that’s proven to be a great candy source. It’s also quite the temptation whenever I drop-in for a workout, as the gym exit is right by the chocolate truffles.

That’s how I wound up with a couple of impulse buys: a Tosca truffle from 20 Degrees Chocolates (left), and a Pure Passion (passionfruit) truffle from Red Light Chocolates (right). I chose them from A Southern Season’s multitude of chocolates because they sounded tasty and looked pretty.

Yelp told me that 20 Degrees’s Tosca truffle was pomegranate flavored. Before I found that out, I’d assumed I’d misremembered which truffle was which, as the Tosca was so brightly flavored and the Pure Passion so dull that I thought each had to be the other.

The Tosca had a soft, almost fluffy ganache with a cool, fatty melt. It tasted sweet and fruity with tangy citrus notes that brought a bright finish, while the dark chocolate was dusky with its cocoa flavors. An OM for its boldness. 

As previously alluded to, I was disappointed that the Passionfruit from Red Light Chocolate did not have bright, fruity flavors. Instead, its mostly tasted of deep cocoa with just a hint of sweetness.

If I squinted my tastebuds, maybe I could find a barely perceptible fruity note in there, but I can’t be sure that it wasn’t due to the power of suggestion. It may have been that my truffle was no longer fresh and all the original flavor had faded by the time I got it.

The rich, stiff ganache melted smoothly into a nice finish. The chocolate was nice – I just wanted more passionfruit. An O.

Category: chocolate, O, OM, review | No Comments »

Chuao Chocopods: Maple Bacon and Orange-A-Go-Go

January 10th, 2014 by Rosa

I got these two Chuao Chocopods, Maple Bacon and Orange-A-Go-Go at last year’s Sweets and Snacks Expo from Chef Michael himself, along with a Popcorn Pop ChocoPod that I previously reviewed.

Orange-A-Go-Go was described as ”candied orange harmoniz[ing] with the essence of bergamot orange in dark chocolate”. The individually wrapped pod had a dry sharp snap that reviewed a few little bits of candied orange peel.

Those bits of peel added just a bit of texture and chew. The chocolate itself had a strong and bright orange oil flavor, making the chocolate bar a sweet mix of citrus zestiness and dark chocolate. An OM.

Maple Bacon was ”crisp bacon, delicate maple sweetness and bonfire smoked sea salt, bathed in milk chocolate”. It, too, had a sharp snap and little exposed bits of real, meaty bacon.

The chocolate was smoky, salty, and sweet, with brown sugar notes. The bacon bits added crunch and some subtly meaty undertones to the mild cocoa.

I don’t think I would have immediately identified the bacon-ness as meat. Had I not been told there was bacon in this bar, I likely would have just chalked it up to smokiness.

This was a nice mix of salty and sweet, though I think it’s definitely an acquired taste. Not everyone likes their chocolate with a does of smoky meat! An O.

Category: chocolate, O, OM, review | No Comments »

Sour Smog Balls

December 23rd, 2013 by Rosa

I got this bag of Sour Smog Balls in my free MunchPak box of assorted snacks. The bag promised ”crunchy candy with a sour chewy center” in six different flavors.

Each Sour Smog Ball was a marbled sphere with a bracingly sour hard, crunchy sugar shell around a chewy center. It took a little jaw strength to crunch through that shell, but when the stars aligned, a clean cleave through the Sour Smog Ball revealed a pretty cross section.

Yellow was lemon and extremely sour. Its flavor was super bright and tart with zesty lemon overtones.

Blue was blue raspberry and tasted as artificial as a blue raspberry is. It was sugary sweet and mellow with a sour undertone.

Dark pink was cherry. It had medicinal undertones and a cotton candy-esque flavor before finishing with sweetly tart and fruity notes.

Light pink was strawberry. It had a candied floral flavor that struck me as quite artificial. Purple was grape, and it, too, tasted artificial.

Finally, green was lime. It started off mild, then became quite tart and citrusy with an almost fizzy note.

I appreciated that the Sour Smog Balls lived up to their sour moniker and actually were quite tart. I did not appreciate, however, how artificial the majority of their flavors were.

The only ones that really worked for me was the citrus lemon and lime ones. An O.

Category: chewy, O, review, sour | No Comments »

Jer’s Gourmet Milk Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars – Pretzo Change-o

December 20th, 2013 by Rosa

I first tried Jer’s Peanut Butter Bars over a year ago when I bought and reviewed the Cara Mella version. I loved it so much that I kept my eyes peeled for additional flavors every time I visited Cost Plus World Market, but I wasn’t able to find them again until just a few weeks ago.

This time, I bought the Pretzo Change-o, which was described as “all natural premium peanut butter center mixed with sweet and salty pretzel bits covered in milk chocolate.” Each box contained two individually wrapped long, skinny, flat chocolate bars.

The peanut butter filling was dry and crumbling. It tasted quite salty and strongly nutty, like the center of a Reese’s peanut butter cup, only extra amped up and with higher quality ingredients.

Little pretzel bits were mixed into that filling that added some crunch and starch – and maybe even more saltiness? The milk chocolate coating added sweetness and some cocoa flavors that tried to balance out the peanut butter center.

I liked that it was like a flavorful, crunchy peanut butter cup in a different shape, but I found it too salty. I think a little more sweet chocolate to balance out the salty peanut butter would have helped. An O.

Category: chocolate, O, peanut butter, review | No Comments »

Gingerbread M&M’s

December 2nd, 2013 by Rosa

I love gingerbread and gingerbread cookies. When The Impulsive Buy posted photos of Gingerbread M&M’s and Gingerbread Twix, I went hunting for them both at my local Walmart. Alas, I was only able to find the M&M’s; no Twix.

Though the Gingerbread M&M’s were not explicitly packaged with a “limited edition” tag, Red is wearing a Santa hat, so I’m pretty sure they’re a seasonal thing. They came in classic Christmas colors – red and green – plus brown, for some reason.

The Gingerbread M&M’s were irregularly sized. Most were larger and more rotund than regular M&M’s, so they had a slightly higher chocolate to shell ratio.

I found these to be… interesting… tasting. They tasted of chocolate and spice, but not any identifiable gingerbread spice that I’m used to – no cinnamon or ginger or cloves.

Instead, they tasted kind of muddy and dirty. After I had a few and really let the flavor build, I realized that it tasted like dark molasses. Its muddiness lingered in the finish.

These weren’t horrible, but they fell far from the mark of what I think gingerbread chocolate should taste like. An O.

 

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