Archive for the 'OM' Category

Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate Pumpkin Spice Salted Caramels

October 16th, 2014 by Rosa

It’s fall, and here in the U.S., that means pumpkin-flavored EVERYTHING. Seriously, Trader Joe’s October Fearless Flyer is about 90% pumpkin stuff. One of their seasonal pumpkin products includes these Dark Chocolate Pumpkin Spice Salted Caramels.

The box described the caramels as “dark chocolate with a smooth pumpkin spiced caramel filling sprinkled with real Hawaiian sea salt.” Each shiny dark chocolate square was covered with a little squiggle of milk chocolate, then topped with a generous sprinkle of rust-colored sea salt.

That dark chocolate shell shattered as soon as I bit into the caramel, revealing a limpid viscous caramel center. The chocolate had a thick melt and lots of caramel notes.

The smooth caramel looked liquid but didn’t quite flow. It had a slight grain to the texture and a strong pumpkin spice flavor that was nutmeg dominant. Though the caramel was sweet, it was nicely countered by the saltiness of the crystals it was topped with.

These were tasty, but I don’t think they needed the extra pumpkin spice hit. If you’re a pumpkin spice fiend, however, you’ll love these. An OM.

Category: caramel, chocolate, OM, review, Trader Joe's | No Comments »

Shangri La Tea Chocolate – Milk Chocolate Earl Grey and Masala Chai

September 30th, 2014 by Rosa

Shangri La is a tea company that’s now making inroads into tea-flavored chocolate. They sent me free samples of their line-up to review. I’ll cover the Earl Grey and Masala Chai today, and the Black Currant and Chamomile Mint on Thursday.

Both the Early Grey and Masala Chai were made with a 38% cacao milk chocolate base. The 0.85 oz squares were imprinted with the word Organic, even though the packaging doesn’t note organic certification or organic ingredients anywhere. Not sure what’s up with that…

The back of the Earl Grey bar was flecked with black tea leaves. It smelled earthy and woodsy.

The milk chocolate broke easily with a soft snap. It melted in my mouth with a velvety, matte texture. The tea leaves had a dry crunch before they, too, melted away.

The milk chocolate base had lightly sweet caramel cocoa flavors, while the black tea and bergamot added a subtle woodsiness with a lightly floral finish that paired wonderfully with the chocolate. An OM.

The Masala Chai had a warm, spicy scent, thanks to its infusion of cinnamon, ginger, and cardamom in addition to the black tea it contained. Cinnamon came through the strongest and paired well with the chocolate, though it also made it taste sweeter.

While I enjoyed the flavors of the Masala Chai, I had some problems with the texture. The black tea crunched and melted away, but there were also tooth-breaking bits of cinnamon bark that I had to spit out. An O because I don’t like having to pick chocolate bar leftovers out of my mouth.

More Shangri La reviews to come on Thursday, and something fun for you readers on Friday!

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

Churchill’s Confectionery Carousel – Toffee and Vanilla Fudge

September 24th, 2014 by Rosa

Churchill’s Confectionery is family-run, London-based company that is now making inroads in the U.S. via shops like Williams Sonoma and Bloomingdale’s. They recently sent me a free sample of their Carousel tin filled with toffee and vanilla fudge.

The tin itself was beautiful: a round cylinder with a tented top and embossed with colourful (see what I did there) carousel horses. The tin held two bags of individually wrapped candies, one of round dairy toffees and another of rectangles of vanilla fudge.

The vanilla fudge squares were softy grainy and easy to bite through. They chewed up into a pleasant, pliable mush that melted in my mouth.

The fudge had a mellow, round, floral sweetness that finished with a hint of fruitiness. I usually dislike fudge because I find it too sweet, but I enjoyed these. An O.

The dairy toffee was firm, but I was able to bite through it cleanly. It had a sticky chew that left bits of toffee wedged in the nooks and crannies of my teeth.

The flavor was sweet and buttery, with just an edge of burnt sugar deliciousness. I’m a sucker for British toffees, and while I prefer the deeper scorchy notes of Walker’s Treacle Toffee, this lighter toffee was good enough for an OM.

Category: caramel, European, O, OM, review, toffee | Comments Off

Peanut Hottie

August 29th, 2014 by Patty

Howdy! I’m Patty, a professor of Psychological Sciences at a small college in the midwest. Some important background information: I’m absolutely obsessed with peanut butter. It’s gotten to the point where I can’t keep any sort of nut butter in the house, or I’ll enter into a nut-butter-induced-fugue-state…within a few hours, the nut butter will have miraculously disappeared.

So I was particularly excited that Rosa gave me this opportunity to review a free sample of Peanut Hottie, a new hot peanut butter drink. The product is already available in the UK, and it will be hitting the US on September 7th.

Peanut Hottie is a powder that you dissolve into hot water…it’s that simple. When it launches in the US this fall, it will come in two flavors: peanut butter (what I sampled for this review), and peanut butter & chocolate. It’s made with real peanuts and is caffeine free.

Peanut Hottie review for ZOMG Candy!

As soon as I opened the jar, I was hit with a sweet peanut-ish scent, really reminiscent of Nutter Butter cookies. The powder is fine-grained and off-white, and each jar of Peanut Hottie contains about 13 servings. The instructions recommended 4-5 heaping teaspoons of powder per mug of hot water, so I put 4 really heaping teaspoons in about 10 oz of hot water.

Peanut Hottie review for ZOMG Candy!

The powder completely dissolved in a matter of seconds. There was no grittiness, and the texture of the drink was very smooth. It wasn’t heavy or creamy, and ended up having the consistency and color of tea with a little bit of milk in it.

Peanut Hottie review for ZOMG Candy!

The drink definitely smelled and tasted like Nutter Butter cookies: nutty and sweet (no surprise there: sugar is the first ingredient). I imagine that the smell/taste might be a bit too sweet (and not salty enough) for some people, but I found it to be an enjoyable treat as a dessert drink or sweet snack.

Peanut Hottie review for ZOMG Candy!

I saw some bloggers use Peanut Hottie powder in their baking, which made me want to explore some “off-label” uses for it. So I decided to try it in a vanilla-chocolate-peanut butter milkshake. It obviously has a completely different texture from peanut butter, but I thought it made a great flavoring for milkshakes or smoothies. It also worked well sprinkled over plain ice cream to give it a little bit of a nutty punch.

Peanut Hottie is almost definitely a “love it” or “hate it” product. It certainly does not have a natural peanut butter flavor or roasted nutty profile, but do most instant hot cocoa mixes taste exactly like chocolate bars? Heck no, and I’m okay with that.

Overall, I liked that my cup of Peanut Hottie was light and nutty, yet still gave me a satisfying dose of sweetness. It isn’t a liquid version of peanut butter, but it’s super convenient and seems to be pretty flexible as a sweet nut flavoring for other treats. I’d give it an OM for normal folks…but an OMG for my own nut-obsessed needs!

Disclaimer: I received a free sample of Peanut Hottie from the company to review, but all opinions are my own.

Category: guest post, not candy, OM, peanut butter, review | Comments Off

Haribo Bärchen-Pärchen

August 22nd, 2014 by Rosa

This is the second bag of Haribo gummies that I bought while in Switzerland. They caught my eye because I’ve never seen them in the U.S., and they had a giant Neu sticker on it, which made me think that they were, well, New.

Google translate tells me that Bärchen-Pärchen means Bear Couple. Doesn’t have quite the same ring to it in English. The male-looking bear says he’s Sauer, and the female-looking bear says she’s Süss, which I took to mean that these bear couples are Sour and Sweet.

There were there different sets of bear couples: red/blue, orange/green, and yellow/purple. The firmly bouncy gummies were quite cute if you think that they look like bears that are holding hands.

They also looked like conjoined twins. In the case of the yellow/purple pair, the purple visibly leeched into the yellow, which made it look like the yellow bear was stealing the purple bear’s life-force.

Yellow was the Sour of its pair, a piquant lemon that was sweet, yet puckeringly tart. It made me salivate. Purple was Sweetly mellow and artificially grapey (thankfully without any unfortunate fake cough medicine allusions).

Orange was the Sour of orange/green, and it too, was puckeringly tart but with orangey undertones to the citrus. Green was candied green apple, with the flavor of apple juice.

Red (or pink if you held it up to the light) was the Sour of the red/blue pair. I think it was supposed to raspberry, as it had a bitey undertone to it, and it wasn’t as tart as the yellow and orange bears.

The blue half was sweetly fruity with an undertone of fresh blueberry to the flavor that developed as the chew progressed. I was surprised at how well this captured the flavor of real blueberries, as most blueberry-flavored candies just taste like sugar.

These were a fun twist on a classic treat. An OM.

Category: European, gummi/gummy, Haribo, OM, review, sour | 1 Comment »

Alcove Chocolate – Fleur de sel, Red Velvet, and Mimosa

July 21st, 2014 by Rosa

Alcove Chocolate, a So-Cal chocolate brand that has now expanded beyond California, recently released 12 (12!) new chocolate bars. I got sent free samples of the full-sized bars, plus 3 of the flavors in miniature square version (they call them mini tiles), for review. I’ll start with the mini tiles, Fleur de Sel, Red Velvet, and Mimosa.

Fleur de sel dark chocolate was a “64% cacao complimented with natural sea salt.” The thin 1.5 x 1.5-inch square had a sharp snap. It started off slightly sweet, then took on a salty smokiness from the added sea salt. The melt was smooth and only broken up by the crunch of the salt crystals.

Red Velvet milk chocolate was described as “velvety, smooth red milk chocolate layered with flavors of cheesecake frosting and chocolate cake.” It had the same red-brown tinge of a red-velvet cupcake (which, at least in cupcakes, probably comes from food coloring).

The Red Velvet square had a soft break and a thick and creamy melt, as milk chocolates should. It was quite sweet, with cocoa powder notes to start, then took on a slight sour tang. I thought it did an excellent job of capturing the flavor of red velvet cake + cream cheese frosting.

Finally, Mimosa dark chocolate was loquaciously billed as, “the ultimate ‘choctail’… 64% dark chocolate with essences of fresh orange juice and sparkling champagne.” Its melt was creamy but slower to start.

Mimosa tasted sweet for a dark chocolate, with strong citrus flavors from the start. The citrus notes were those of orange oil rather than orange zest – mellow and rotund rather than sharp and zesty.

So far, a tasty assortment of chocolate bars that do a great job capturing exactly what they promise. I can’t wait to try the rest! An OM.

 

Category: chocolate, OM, review | Comments Off

Lindt Lemon

July 9th, 2014 by Rosa

Lindt Lemon is the newest chocolate bar in Lindt’s Excellence line-up, billed as “dark with citrus pieces and almond slivers”. I received a free sample from Lindt for review.

Alas, the overnight shipping, cold pack, and insulated bag couldn’t stand up to the North Carolina heat, so my sample arrived melted and not as photogenic as it could be. Fortunately, it still tasted awesome!

The dark chocolate had a thick, matte melt that was broken up with a slight crunch from the thin almond slivers. I also came across the occasional piece of lemon zest covered in a grainy sugar.

At first, the bar was sweet. Then, a bright, effervescent lemon zestiness came through, tempered by nuttiness from the almond slivers. It finished with a cool, citrus sweetness.

This bar was incredibly well balanced in both flavor and texture. I loved how the bright fruitiness played off the dark chocolate, resulting in a refreshing treat. An OM.

 

Category: chocolate, Lindt, nuts, OM, review | Comments Off

Bocandy sample – ROM Cel Mare from Romania

June 30th, 2014 by Rosa

Bocandy is a new subscription treat service (those seem to be popping up all over the place!) that specializes in international candy. I love trying international treats, but they can be hard and/or expensive to come by, so I was super excited to get a free Bocandy sample to see what they’d send.

I got a red mailer envelope with a plethora of treats, some of which I’ve reviewed before (tiny Haribo gummis, Walker’s toffees) but also some new things I’d never tried. This week, I’ll review a couple of Eastern European treats, starting with a ROM Cel Mare bar from Romania.

The ROM bar has a fascinating backstory (covered here by Fast Company) – they once used reverse psychology to up sales by replacing its Romanian flag wrapper with an American flag one. Romanians got mad and protested. When they returned the ROM Bar to its original Romanian wrapper just a week later, sales went up!

My ROM arrived melted (darn North Carolina summers!) but reconstituted itself fairly well into a softly solid bar of chocolate. It had a unique flavor profile – a little toasty wafer note to start, then a very strong fruity booziness that was set off quite nicely by the chocolate.

It turns out that the Cel Mare variety of ROM has a rum-flavored middle, hence the booziness. I loved it! It was just the right amount of alcoholic flavor to be noticeable but not overwhelming. An OM.

If you want to try Bocandy for yourself, you can get a free sample if you pay $3.50 shipping. They’re also currently running a giveaway of 3 year-long subscriptions. Check them out! They’re a candy reviewer’s dream because you get a little taste of lots of things, and it’s way cheaper than international shipping or airfare.

Category: chocolate, European, OM, review | Comments Off

Nestle FruTips – Chinese Assortment

April 18th, 2014 by Rosa

On Monday, I reviewed the mango, grapefruit, and lychee FruTips that I bought in China. Today, I’ll review their regular flavor assortment.

The regular FruTips were the same size and texture as their specialized flavor counterparts, and they also contained lychee flavored jellies (white). You can refer to Monday’s review for my notes on texture and the lychee FruTips.

Yellow was lemon. It tasted tart and zesty with lots of bitey lemon zest flavors. Orange was orange and tasted of candied citrus. It, too, was quite zesty, but its flavor profile was more rotund and orangey.

Green was apple and tasted like apple juice. Pink was strawberry, which was floral and sweetly tasty.

Finally, purple was blackcurrant, which is not a flavor we usually get in the U.S. It had intense, seedy tannins with almost menthol-y undertones that gave it some bite.

Nearly six years ago, I wrote a review of Rowntree’s Fruit Pastilles that may be the same product as these, except this time around, I really liked them. I’m not sure if the Chinese ones were fresher or a different formulation, or what, but I think they’re worthy of an OM.

Category: Asian (China, Japan, and Korea), chewy, gummi/gummy, jelly candy, Nestle, OM, review | Comments Off

Everyburger

April 11th, 2014 by Rosa

This box of Everyburger was an impulse buy at my local Asian grocery store. I couldn’t read a word on the package besides “Everyburger”, but the box was shelved with other chocolate+cookie treats, so I assumed that these were some sort of chocolates+cookies shaped to look like hamburgers.

Fortunately, my assumption was correct, and I didn’t accidentally buy some weird shelf-stable normal burgers in a tiny box. The Everyburgers were made of two nickel-sized cookies sandwiching a chocolate patty that was topped with a little schmear of frosting cheese.

The cookies had a soft crumble with a mildly sweet, buttery flavor. The top bun had some fake sesame seeds that added a toasty crunch and an edge of burnt flavors.

The chocolate was standard – it was sweet and thickly creamy with a caramel finish. The “cheese” was creamy but didn’t carry any specific flavors.

Altogether, the Everyburger was a nice mix of flavors and textures packaged into a cute bundle. An OM.

Category: Asian (China, Japan, and Korea), chocolate, cookie, OM, review | 1 Comment »