March 20th, 2013 by Rosa
I bought these two packs of Creamy Coconut Patties at the dollar store for – you guessed it – $1 per pack. One was regular/original (“dipped in real dark chocolate”), while the other was key lime (but also “dipped in real dark chocolate”).
Each Coconut Patty was heartily sized, 1.75 inches square, and there were 2 per pack in a cardboard tray. They were like topless Mounds: squares of moist coconut patties with the bottom and sides coated in a thin layer of dark chocolate.
The original had a plain, sweetened coconut patty that was pure white. The coconut was confettied and smooshed together, which gave the whole thing a sushi-like look.
The coconut had a nice texture: lightly moist, soft, squishy, and a bit squeaky between my teeth. It tasted sweet and floral with a strong nutty and fresh flavor.
The dark chocolate component was minimal and mostly got lost in the coconut patty. When I ate it by myself, it was sweet and fruity.
While the patty was great for the first bite or two, the sweetness of the coconut quickly became overwhelming. More chocolate to temper that sugary sweetness would’ve helped, I think.
Still, I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of this Dollar Store treat. The original gets an OM, as long as you eat the patties in multiple sittings.
Key Lime was just like the original, only the coconut was a fluorescent lime green. The patties had the same sweetly nutty coconut of the original but finished with a fruity lime zestiness.
The lime flavor paired with the coconut and hint of chocolate was a set of flavors that I found more weird than pleasant. I ate most of the original patties on my own, but I haven’t taken more than a bite of the Key Lime ones. An O for the Key Lime version.
Category: chocolate, coconut, O, OM, review |
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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 |
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February 25th, 2013 by Rosa
I made a Trader Joe’s run over the weekend, so this week will be all about some new candies I spotted there. We’ll start with the PB&J Milk Chocolate Bar, which Trader Joe’s has smartly positioned as a $1 impulse buy at the cash register.
After Hammond’s PB&J Sandwich bar took a top prize at last year’s Sweets and Snacks, it seemed logical that the trend would eventually trickle down to Trader Joe’s. I’m fairly sure the Trader Joe’s was not an unbranded version of Hammond’s take, as the two bars looked and tasted quite different.
The 1.75oz bar was subdivided into 6 segments that readily broke to reveal a thin sliver of peanut butter that ran through the segment divisions. The jelly component was a red/purple translucent gel that sat on top of the peanut butter layer in the segments themselves.
That goo tasted brightly fruity with a slightly seedy finish. I noticed that seediness because the wrapper promised raspberry jelly, but I’m not sure if I would have noticed that it wasn’t a standard grape jelly.
The peanut butter was perfectly smooth on the tongue and tasted nicely roasty and nutty with a salty hit to the finish. I would guess that it was the same peanut butter from the Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Salted Caramel Truffles, though who can be sure since Trader Joe’s sources their wares from all over the place.
The chocolate was fine but unexceptional. I didn’t really notice its contribution much, as the peanut butter was the dominant flavor here.
This bar was okay, but I wasn’t super wowed by any aspect of it, and I wouldn’t bother to buy it again. If you’re a peanut butter and chocolate fan, your mileage may vary, and Cybele gave it an 8/10. I give it an O.
Category: chocolate, O, review, Trader Joe's |
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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 |
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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 |
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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 |
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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 |
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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 |
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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 |
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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 |
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