August 31st, 2012 by Rosa
Like Wednesday’s chocolate covered gummi bears, these Gummi Bear Dips were free samples given to me by the folks at the Koppers booth at Sweets and Snacks. They came in two flavors, orange and raspberry.
Orange was “real Swedish gummi bears covered in creamy orange coating.” The orange coating was actually yellow in color, while the bear inside was a translucent gold.
I think the center gummi was a slightly larger version of the milk chocolate covered gummi bear (the left to right order in the below photo is naked-fied raspberry, milk chocolate covered, and orange). It was similarly bouncy in texture, with the same light, generically sweet fruitiness.
The thick and stiff orange coating was quite creamsicle-y, with a flavor that was heavy on the cream. The orange contribution was just a light citrus oil tinge. I don’t know if the orange coating actually improved the bear, but it didn’t hurt.
Raspberry looked like it would just be a differently flavored equivalent of the orange dips: the bear was the same size as that of the orange, only red instead of gold and with a strong and sweet fruit flavor. I think cherry?
The raspberry coating, however, was intolerable. It tasted super fakely sweet with medicinal bitter notes and a grainy melt. I couldn’t stand it and really had to fight through the distaste to get that naked gummi photo above.
Candy raspberry and I just don’t get along, I guess. I appreciate that Koppers was trying to do something new with these guys, but I thought the dip factor was innocuous for the orange (an O) and detrimental in the case of the raspberry (a –).
Category: --, gummi/gummy, O, review |
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August 29th, 2012 by Rosa
These chocolate covered gummi bears were a free sample given to me at the Koppers booth at Sweets and Snacks. They call themselves “the original”, so I wonder if they predate the Albanese and other brands’ versions?
The gummi bears (real Swedish, according to the wrapper) had a surprisingly sproingy chew. They positively bounced against my teeth as I chomped them up.
The gummi’s flavor was extremely mild and generically sweet. I guessed that it was strawberry before I saw it written on the wrapper, but the flavor was so subtle that I really just got lucky with my guess.
The gummi’s gold coloring was incongruous with the purported strawberry flavor. Maybe it cuts down on the need for artificial colors?
The chocolate coating’s thickness varied from bear to bear – that variation shows in the photo below, as some bears had distinctive features while others’ were buried under chocolate. It had a creamy feel and thin melt with just a light cocoa flavor.
As with the Albanese bears, I don’t see the need to dunk gummi bears in chocolate. At the end of the day, I prefer my bears bare. An O.
Category: chocolate, gummi/gummy, O, review |
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August 27th, 2012 by Rosa
I got these Blommer Milk Chocolate Covered Grahams and Dark Chocolate Covered Grahams as free samples at Sweets and Snacks. Mine were individually wrapped (unfortunately, I ate them before I realized that I didn’t have photos of the packaging), though it seems like they’re sold by the box on their website.
Both treats were graham cookie squares covered in either milk or dark chocolate and decorated with little squiggles. The graham cookies had a nice crunch with a bit of grittiness from the crumbs. They had a lightly sweet graham cracker flavor, though I wish that graham flavor was stronger and toastier.
The milk chocolate was sweet with a slight fruitiness, and its sweetness intensified at the end. I enjoyed it enough to give it an O, but it was too sweet for my taste.
The dark chocolate was more to my taste. It had a great depth of chocolate flavor, with just a hint of sweetness that came through in the finish.
The more subtle sweetness of the dark chocolate let the graham flavor come through more. It gets an OM for a well-balanced mix of flavor and texture.
I’d buy the dark chocolate version as a nice teatime snack. While I wouldn’t go out of my way to purchase the milk chocolate version, I’d happily eat another if it were offered to me for free again.
Category: chocolate, cookie, O, OM, review |
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August 24th, 2012 by Rosa
Original Warheads hard candies made their splash on the U.S. market when I was a kid. My friends and I used to compete to see how many we could stand to hold in our mouths at once and – more importantly – how long we could keep them there as their sour coating burned holes into our mouths. Oh the joys of childhood!
These Warheads Sour Chewy Cubes were a new-to-me product that were being handed out as free samples at Sweets and Snacks. The sour meter on the back of the wrapper placed these at “sour”, a step above “tart” but below “super sour” and “extreme”.
They turned out to be little centimeter cubes in psychedelic, not-found-in-nature colors. Their texture was a cross between Starbursts and gummi/jelly candies – they had a long-lasting chew that sometimes got stuck in my teeth but had the softer, slightly grainy squish of gummi/jelly candies.
The sour sugar that coated the cube was mild, definitely far below what I’d expect from the Warheads brand. I’d call it tart, maybe, but it was really mostly just sweet. It added a little bit of sandy grit to the chew.
The package that I unwrapped had pink, orange, purple, and blue cubes. It looks like I missed out on green and red, which were depicted on the wrapper.
Pink was maybe watermelon, maybe strawberry? Lightly sweet and generically red-fruity tasting. Purple was grape, I suppose. Really it just tasted like a purple SweeTart.
Orange was orange and packed a surprisingly zesty punch with a spot-on orange soda flavor. And blue was who knows? Some mysterious artificial fruit flavor, maybe fruit punch or something.
Most of the cubes had a slightly bitter finish that was stronger in some colors than others. I’ll chalk that up to the artificial colors and flavors that these contained. Yummy!
These weren’t great, but they weren’t awful. Innocuous and not something that I’d spend money on. An O.
Category: chewy, gummi/gummy, hard candy, O, review, sour |
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August 22nd, 2012 by Rosa
On Monday, I reviewed Skinny Cow‘s Milk Chocolate Dreamy Clusters. Today, I’m covering their Heavenly Crisp bars in Peanut Butter and Milk Chocolate, which were also free samples from their booth at Sweets and Snacks.
Both bars were 110 calories and described as “delicate wafers layered with delicious milk chocolate creme” or “delicious peanut butter creme”.
They were also coated with a thin layer of fake chocolate, as indicated by the label “milk chocolate flavor”. Hooray mockolate! Milk chocolate flavor had a white decorative drizzle; peanut butter’s was golden brown.
Palm oil appears several times in the ingredient list in various forms, and cocoa butter is completely missing; hence the mockolate designation. They were a mess to unwrap, as the mockolate was all melty and messy, even at room temperature.
The wafers, at least, were great. They were the lightest, airiest wafers that I’ve ever encountered in candy. Must help keep the calorie count low! They added a pleasant, if flimsy, crunch and a neutral toastiness.
The milk chocolate flavored version did have a nice malty cocoa flavor, likely due to the cocoa powder on the ingredient list. It had a well-balanced, light sweetness that went well with the toasty wafers.
Peanut butter flavor had actual peanuts and added a roasted nutty flavor. It felt a little pastier in my mouth than the chocolate did and didn’t stand up as nicely against the wafers.
I really like the light crunch of the wafers and how they played off the light sweetness of the other ingredients, but the lack of real chocolate was a bummer that brought these bars down. An O.
You can read Cybele of Candy Blog’s take on these. I agree with her assessment to pass these over in favor of chocolate with you know, actual chocolate.
Category: cookie, mockolate, Nestle, O, peanut butter, review |
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August 17th, 2012 by Rosa
I got this Sanders Potato Chip Chocolate Bar in my free swag bag at Sweets and Snacks. The chocolate and potato chip combo has been dancing around the edges of trendy foodism for a while now, but seeing it in a brand like Sanders that has fairly wide distribution (they’re sold at Duke’s hospital gift shop) was still a bit of a surprise.
The bar was described as “solid milk chocolate covering bits of salty chips.” The chips depicted on the packaging looked like plain Ruffles-type chips: your standard salted, deep-fried, ruffle-cut chips.
I generally don’t care for such plain chips in my snacking, but I was happy to eat them buried in chocolate. The ruffle-cut style should have been a good choice too, as they tend to be more substantial than their regular straight-sliced brethren.
The bar itself was molded so that it was lightly scored into segments. Though the top was smooth, little bits of chips were visible if you turned the bar over.
The milk chocolate was creamy with a dusky finish and a slightly sour tinge. The crunchy bits of chips added some texture to contrast with the creaminess…
but they didn’t contribute enough flavor! I wanted more potato-ness, more starchiness, and definitely more salt. Salt + chocolate is a great combination, and chocolate-covered potato chips are a great sweet and salty snack, but Sanders take was underwhelming.
It needed to push the envelope more on the potato chip side. The potato chips were the selling point here, and that point was far too tentatively executed. An O, and a lost opportunity.
Category: chocolate, O, review |
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August 15th, 2012 by Neil
Hey readers! I’m on my last day of pseudo-vacation up in New Hampshire, so check out this post from ex-pat Neil in the meantime. ~Rosa
I had time to kill in a German train station, and I needed some spare change to use the bathroom, so I bought these Haribo Turtles. They set me back 1.90, which seemed reasonable at the time, but in hindsight seems a bit excessive.
Curious about the variety provided, I dumped out all the turtles and counted. My bag contained 4 green/yellow, 7 red/pink, and 13 orange/orange individuals. While much has been written about the distribution of M&M colors, the statistical analysis of Haribo products will need some more data collection before we can do any turtle-tests. Flipping the turtles onto their backs revealed a lighter section that I expected to be creamy or marshmallow. Nope! Just regular Haribo Gummi.
I found the orange guys to be sour in a bad way at first, like something that had gone “off”, rather than something naturally sour, and not much of any orange fruit taste. Each required lots of chewing, without much flavor payoff.
The red/pink sort were sweeter, again with no discernable flavor, but better overall. The green/yellow endangered population became even more threatened when I found out that they were my clear favorite. The combination of sweet and sour was perfect, exactly what I’d hoped for. A number of citrus flavors really shone through.
These are fun to eat. The filling isn’t as fruity & tasty as the bag promises, but the red turtles are satisfactory and the green/yellow ones are a delight. I’ll give this product an O. May the turtle flavor odds be ever in your favor.
Category: European, guest post, gummi/gummy, Haribo, O, review |
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August 13th, 2012 by Rosa
One of my favorite Halloween candies are Tootsie’s Caramel Apple pops, so I gladly accepted the chance to review free samples of Shurms Caramel Apple Soft Candy Chews. They were definitely unlike anything I’ve ever had before.
The individually wrapped chews were gorgeous to behold, a thick, luscious looking layer of caramel atop a glowing green translucent square of apple chew. The apple chew sort of looked like Jell-o, but the texture was not at all gelatin-like.
Instead, it was like a fruit pate crossed with a Starburst. It was sticky, but it separated easily when I bit into it. The softness and squishiness of fruit pate was there, but fruit pate’s notable graininess was missing (these were slippery smooth).
It tasted of sweet, candied green apple, like an apple Jolly Rancher or the solid apple part of the Tootsie Caramel Apple pops.
The sweet brightness of the apple stood out nicely against the sticky caramel, which was sweet and buttery with a slightly sour tinge to the finish. I could feel a light graininess when I flattened the caramel against my tongue, but it otherwise was smoothly chewy.
The different kinds of chewiness – the caramel stickiness plus the fruit pate/Starburst hybrid apple portion – was a new sensation that I’ve never before experienced.
I’d give these an O – I enjoyed them enough that I’d grab a few out of a bulk bin, if they were sold that way. Alas, they’re currently not available in stores outside of Michigan, but you can order them online at their website.
Category: caramel, chewy, O, review |
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August 10th, 2012 by Neil
Here’s another great guest post from my ex-pat friend, Neil. Jealous that Zotter is so easy for him to get! ~Rosa
I didn’t even have to travel out of the country for this one! I found the Zotter Mitzi Blue Nussmix (“Nut mix”) in a new organic gourmet shop in town. I was looking for a cookware store, then discovered that the cookware had disappeared and food had gone in its place. Quite a surprise, but a welcome one.
The packaging made me think it was one of those world music CDs. Perhaps this was intentional. While the bar itself was a disc (is that geometrically possible?), the similarities ended there.
This fair trade, organic combination of hazelnuts, hazelnut nougat, cashew nougat, walnuts, and milk chocolate was a bit broken when I took it out of the packaging. This made the task of figuring out where to start that much easier. I was most intrigued by the center circle.
The milk chocolate of the main disc was very plain and light. While the surprisingly large nut chunks were distributed somewhat unevenly, they were tasty and added an appreciated varied texture.
It turned out that the center disc was cashew nougat! It broke off as though it would be crispy but was very pleasantly creamy. I wished the whole thing had been cashew nougat.
The predominantly boring milk chocolate really underwhelmed though, so I’ll give this whole piece an O. The company has a whole line of Mitzi Blues, so maybe I’ll track down some more. It’d give me an excuse to visit that delicious shop again…
Category: chocolate, European, fair trade, guest post, nuts, O, organic, review |
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August 8th, 2012 by Rosa
I got these free samples of Boyer’s Milk Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups and their Butterscotch Smoothie Peanut Butter Cups at Sweets and Snacks this year. They’re an old school candy company that was founded during the Great Depression.
My cups got a little squashed and cracked by the time I got to unwrapping them. Each package contained two cups.
The milk chocolate of the milk chocolate peanut butter cup had crumbled a bit around the edges. It was extremely sweet and melted thickly on my tongue with a cocoa finish.
The peanut butter center was quite dry and crumbly and turned into a thick, dry paste on my tongue. It had a strong nuttiness to it, which was great, but I also found it overwhelmingly salty – less great.
The sweet chocolate helped some to temper that saltiness, but I still found it to be too salty. The nutrition facts reports 115mg in 2 cups, which doesn’t sound like much, but it certainly tastes like much.
Smoothie Butterscotch was a lighter golden caramel fudge color. Its coating was sweet and creamy and sort of fake-buttery tasting, with little bits of peanuts in the top layer that added a great fresh roasted nuttiness.
The center, however, had the same dry saltiness. Because the butterscotch coating was sweeter than the chocolate, it stood up to the salty center a little better.
I like the general flavor of these treats, and I like sweet and salty flavor combos, but these were a bit too much on the salty. I can’t handle more than half a cup at a time, though I did enjoy the halves enough to give these an O.
Category: chocolate, nuts, O, peanut butter, review |
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