Archive for the 'O' Category

Moonstruck Chocolate Bar – Dark Chocolate Chile Variado

February 20th, 2013 by Rosa

On Monday, I reviewed Moonstruck‘s Milk Chocolate Sea Salt Toffee bar. Today, I’m covering the Dark Chocolate Chile Variado, which is the other bar that I nabbed at the movie theater.

According to the Moonstruck website, the Chile Variado is a dark chocolate that’s infused with ancho and chipotle chiles. In this case, the dark chocolate was a 68% cacao base.

This bar was decorated quite differently from the milk chocolate one. By comparison, the Dark Chocolate Chile Variado was rather plain. It was scored into 8 rows, most of them glossy and smooth, and was stamped in the center with, “Share if you dare”.

The dark chocolate had a brisk, sharp snap and a dry break. It had just a hint of sweetness with a cocoa flavor that was deep and earthy.

The chiles made themselves known by adding a dry, acrid spiciness. The heat started off as an undertone of spiciness, then swelled into a firey blaze that burned in the back of my throat and made my tongue tingle.

This bar was tasty in small doses but quickly became painful in larger, more continuous bites. While this was tasty, I prefer Lindt’s take on chili chocolate. An O.

 

 

Category: chocolate, O, review | No Comments »

Kabosu Caramels

February 6th, 2013 by Rosa

This week’s review items come courtesy of Nana and Justin, a couple of college friends of mine who are living, teaching, and blogging in Japan and who are kind enough to mail me Japanese goodies from time to time.

According to Nana, limes are a Kyushu specialty, so it makes sense that they’d have a candy to highlight it. My box of these Kabosu Caramels was generously stuffed with little parchment paper-wrapped squares of caramel.

It was great that there were so many caramels, but when they all spilled out of my box, it was impossible to get them back in.

The pale green caramels felt rock hard to the touch and were initially quite hard to bite into. With a little determination and trust that they wouldn’t break my teeth, I eventually got them to break off with a slight grain.

Once I got to chewing, the stiff chew softened as it melted. The caramel had a sort of grainy texture. It reminded me of a Tootsie Roll, except that it melted more readily.

The candies started off with a creamy undertone, then became brightly sweet with a yogurty lime flavor and a hint of zest to the finish. They reminded me of key lime pie or lime flavored yogurt because of the added dairy feel to the flavor.

I would’ve preferred a more fully fruity candy, as I felt the dairy creaminess diluted the great lime flavor. Still, they were enjoyable and definitely a unique treat. An O.

Category: Asian (China, Japan, and Korea), chewy, O, received as gift, review | No Comments »

Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate Honey Mints

January 30th, 2013 by Rosa

Every time I go to Trader Joe’s, I end up spending more money than I mean to. They’re just so good at suckering me into making impulse buys, like this bag of their Dark Chocolate Honey Mints.

The bag was cutely decorated with drawings of bees and beehives. It also boasted that the Honey Mints had just three ingredients: honey, chocolate liquor, and oil of peppermint (and the potential for traces of milk as an allergen warning).

My 7 oz bag had 20 Honey Mints disks inside, each individually wrapped in shiny turquoise foil. They all smelled strongly minty with a sweet undertone.

Each disk was about an inch and a half in diameter. They had a lightly golden peppermint fondant center covered in a thin layer of dark chocolate.

The smooth fondant was effervescent and minty throughout. It started off with a bright burst of initial sweetness and finished with a slightly bitter astringency from the chocolate.

I think this treat could have benefitted from a little tweaking to that chocolate. It was slightly gritty, and the astringency was off-putting when I ate the Honey Mints slowly enough to notice it. A little cocoa butter in addition to the cocoa liquor would have helped with the texture.

Still, Trader Joe’s should be commended for a minimalist, fairly tasty treat that provides a less processed alternative to York Peppermint Patties (in which corn syrup is a big player). An OM.

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

Perugina’s Baci White

January 28th, 2013 by Rosa

Baci’s big push at Sweets and Snacks 2012 was to promote their new Bacis Whites, which is how I got these free samples. They were basically a white chocolate-covered version of their regular Bacis, which I’ve previously reviewed.

Regular Baci come wrapped in thick white foil with blue stars, while the Baci White were wrapped in thick blue foil with white stars. A bit counterintuitive that the Baci White came in blue, but oh well.

The Baci White was a dome of gianduja paste, which was made of a dry chocolate ganache and chopped hazelnuts. The whole thing was topped with a whole roasted hazelnut and then covered in a creamy white chocolate.

That white chocolate made for a sweeter Baci experience, as it tasted of frosting with vanilla undertones. It was definitely a high quality white chocolate, with a nicely round flavor, but I found it to be too sweet.

The treat was sweet and crunchy and nutty. I loved the roasted nutty experience, but I found that I preferred the regular Baci, which were less sweet and more chocolatey than the White version. An O.

Category: chocolate, European, nuts, O, Perugina, review, white chocolate | No Comments »

Galaxy Cookie Crumble and Galaxy Orange & Shortcake

January 21st, 2013 by Rosa

Galaxy chocolate is the UK equivalent of Dove chocolates. I picked up a couple of imported cookie-themed Galaxy bars at my last trip to Cost Plus World Market, the Cookie Crumble and the Orange and Shortcake.

Both bars were wavily segmented into 6 imprinted rectangles that broke easily around their bounds. They had a thickly creamy milk chocolate base that was sweet with just a bit of a throat-burning sour tinge at the finish.

Cookie Crumble had gritty nuggets of chocolate cookie that added a slight gritty crunch. The cookie bits were basically black in color, like Oreos, and they basically tasted like the cookie parts of Oreos.

It reminded me of a slightly nicer version of Hershey’s Cookies ‘n Milk Chocolate bar, as the Galaxy chocolate base had a much more luxurious mouthfeel and was just higher quality in general. Still, it also gets an O because I found it to be a tad too sweet in the finish.

Orange and Shortcake had larger cookie bits of pale shortbread that visually stood out against the milky brown chocolate. They added a bit of crunch and grit, but not much flavor, as I mostly tasted the orange flavor in the chocolate.

There were bits of candied orange rind in the bar, which brought a nicely sweet, brightly fruit burst of flavor to the chocolate. They were my favorite part of the bar – an unusual and tasty twist that elevated it to an OM.

Category: chocolate, cookie, Dove, European, Mars, O, OM, review | No Comments »

Marich Premium Chocolates – Double Chocolate Bacon Pretzels and Milk Chocolate Bacon Toffee

January 18th, 2013 by Rosa

Just when I thought the “just add bacon” trend was running its course, I got these free samples of Marich Premium Chocolates‘ newest bacon treats: Double Chocolate Bacon Pretzels and Milk Chocolate Bacon Toffee.

The Double Chocolate Bacon Pretzels were little balls about a half inch in diameter that smelled strongly of smoky meat. Each candy’s center was a crunchy pretzel ball, covered with a thin layer of dark chocolate and a thicker layer of white chocolate.

The chocolate coatings were sweet and creamy with a smoky, meaty undertone. The pretzel center added a great salty, starchy crunch that balanced out the melting sweet chocolate.

I’m torn on how much I liked these. On the one hand, sweet and salty and melting and crunchy always makes for a great taste experience.

On the other hand, the bacon aspect added a meaty aftertaste that was sort of odd. I think I may have liked this better without the bacon aspect. An O.

The Milk Chocolate Bacon Toffee pieces were rounded, flattened cubes that were slightly larger than the Bacon Pretzels. The toffee centers were crunchy and cleaved cleanly

Tiny bits of bacon were distributed throughout the toffee and gave it a bacon-bitty flavor. Those bacon bits could be seen and tasted but didn’t change the texture of the toffee.

The milk chocolate layer was quite thick with a sweet flavor and a creamy melt. It contrasted nicely with the crunchy and salty toffee center.

In this case, I think the bacon gave the chocolate and toffee an extra dimension that elevated the overall experience. An OM.

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

Hershey’s Cookies ‘n’ Creme and Cookies ‘n’ Milk Chocolate

January 11th, 2013 by Rosa

I remember Hershey’s Cookies ‘n’ Creme from my childhood. I think the Cookies ‘n’ Milk Chocolate are a newer addition, within the last few years.

By the way, this whole ‘n’ thing is crazy annoying. An ampersand takes up the same amount of space but is grammatically correct.

Both bars were crammed full of crunchy bits of chocolate cookie which tasted like Oreo cookies. Cookies ‘n’ Creme had a base of “creme” that was supposed to emulate white chocolate but, as Cybele pointed out, wasn’t really white chocolate, as it was mostly made of vegetable oils.

The “creme” was sweet with a slightly sour fake vanilla flavor, like canned frosting. Though it’s not a high quality base by any means, it is a classic. To me, it just goes well with the bittersweet cookie bits, but that’s probably my nostalgia getting in the way.

Cookies ‘n’ Milk Chocolate had a milk chocolate base that had Hershey’s characteristic slightly sour tang to the finish. The milk chocolate seemed to make the cookies taste even more chocolatey.

I loved the Cookies ‘n’ Creme as a kid. These days, I won’t turn down a free miniature version of it or the Cookies ‘n’ Milk Chocolate (I got these from work), as the cookie bits are a nice departure from the norm, but I wouldn’t go out an actually buy them myself. An O.

Category: chocolate, cookie, Hershey's, O, review | 3 Comments »

Sanders Favorites

January 2nd, 2013 by Rosa

I’ve reviewed a few Sanders treats on this blog already, including some of their individually wrapped Favorites that Duke’s hospital sells in its gift shop. I snagged what I believe is the rest of the line at Sweets and Snacks back in May and tasted them last November (hence the slight bloom on the dark chocolates).

Maple Pecan Butter Cream was the only milk chocolate of the five. That milk chocolate covered a maple-flavored buttercream that was full of chopped pecans.

I found it to be absurdly overly sweet. The sweetness tasted of maple syrup and brown sugar, and holy cow was it overpowering.

A few notes of caramel and cocoa from the chocolate and nuttiness from the pecan bits valiantly struggled to be noticed. If you like pecan (pronounced pee-can, of course, not puh-kahn) pie, you’d like this.

For me, way too sweet. It made my teeth itch.

Dark Chocolate Coconut Supreme was Sanders’ version of a Mounds. It had a thick dark chocolate shell around a dry coconut center.

I appreciated the greater amount of dark chocolate here (oodles more compared to Mounds), as that chocolate had a nicely mild cocoa finish, but I thought the coconut center could’ve used more oomph. It lacked nuttiness and had only a light coconut flavor.

Caramel Butterscotch was a chewy, sticky caramel inside a snappy dark chocolate shell. The caramel was sweet and buttery, and though I didn’t get the candied flavor of butterscotch, exactly, it was a still a nice mix of chocolate and caramel.

Cookies and Cream Cruncher was a disk of “ivory confectioners coating” full of little beads of chocolate cookie. It was certainly crunchy, thanks to the high density of the Oreo-flavored cookies.

The fake white chocolate was throat-burningly sweet. It tasted super artificial, like canned vanilla frosting, and was made of palm kernel oil. Thumbs down.

Finally, Mint Royale was the most strikingly colored of the bunch: a bright pastel green with a dark chocolate cocoa center. It snapped when I bit into it but also had a smooth and creamy melt.

The whole thing reminded me of mint nonpareils but with more chocolate flavor. The mintiness was mild with cocoa undertones – too mild, I thought. For something called a Mint Royale, it really needed to go for broke on the mintiness.

The Caramel Butterscotch is the only one of these that I’d want to buy and eat again, so it gets an OM. The rest were generally too sweet and/or not flavorful enough, so they get Os.

Category: caramel, chocolate, cookie, mint, nuts, O, OM, review | No Comments »

Mini Chewy SweeTarts

December 19th, 2012 by Rosa

I used to love SweeTarts when I was a kid. My parents used to buy me a big roll of them to keep me quiet on long car rides and such, so I think about them with fondness.

Nestle was handing out free samples of these Mini Chewy SweeTarts at Sweets and Snacks. I don’t think they’re a new product, so I’m not sure why they were being given away, but I was happy to nab a bag.

The Mini Chewies were psychedelically colored pellets, each about the size of my pinky nail. They’re the same flavors as regular SweeTarts, just a different shape and size and texture.

They had a crunchy shell with a center chew that was grainy and bouncy. Its texture reminded of gumballs, only the Mini Chewies dissolved as I chewed them.

Red/pink was malty and sour. Artificial red fruit flavors all taste the same to me, so I’m just taking a stab and guessing that this was supposed to be artificial cherry.

Orange tasted of citrus zest with a mellow orange fruit flavor and a sour finish. Yellow was similarly zesty but tarter and lemony.

Green was an uber-sweet candied apple, and purple was a medicinal-tasting fake grape. If you can’t tell, I’m not a fan of fake grape candy.

These weren’t bad, but I’ve definitely outgrown the super sweet and artificial nature of these guys. An O.

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

Kraft Jet-Puffed Mallow Bites

December 14th, 2012 by Rosa

I bought this bag of Kraft Jet-Puffed Mallow Bites at the dollar store because they had a big “New” banner. I don’t think there are other mass-market “milk chocolate covered miniature marshmallows” out there.

Opening the stand-up, resealable bag unleashed a strong and sweet milk chocolate scent that reminded me of a milk chocolate Hershey’s bar. The chocolate that covered the miniature marshmallows was similarly sweet and Hershey’s milk chocolate-like.

The chocolate cracked around the marshmallows when I squished them or bit into them. Its melt was grainy and carried a slight sour tinge.

The marshmallows were soft and pillowy with a neutral sweetness. I love jet-puffed marshmallows when they’re warm and toasted to bring out their caramel notes, but just plain puffy sugar doesn’t do anything for me, so I didn’t find these to be terribly exciting.

I’m not sure what these Mallow Bites are supposed to be for. They’re too sweet for just plain snacking, and I think they’d melt into a gooey mess as baking mix-ins. Maybe they’d be good in snack mixes?

I think my favorite part about the Mallow Bites was the big CHOKING WARNING on the back instructing us to Eat one at a time. Don’t be gluttonous!

An O because they’re reasonably tasty, but they’re too sweet, and I don’t really get what they’re going for.

Category: chocolate, marshmallow, O, review | 4 Comments »