Archive for the 'OM' Category

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 »

Jelina Chocolate – Earl Grey

February 28th, 2014 by Rosa

Jelina Chocolatier has long been one of my favorite chocolate makers that I discovered at Sweets and Snacks. The Earl Grey in 72% cacao was a free sample and the one that I was most wary of tasting, as tea flavored chocolates have never been my favorite.

The dark, woodsy chocolate had the strong scent of tea leaves – a little floral, with dry, herbal notes. The bar broke sharply into its pre-segmented rectangles but chewed with a dry crunch and a hint of grit.

The chocolate was awesomely intense. It was deep and dark with strong, earthy cocoa notes and a slightly bitter finish from the tea leaves.

The tea definitely made its presence known. It added the aforementioned bitterness, as well as a slight astringency and grit, all of which lingered on the tongue long after the chocolate melted away.

The complexity of the chocolates’ flavor profile made this another standout bar from Jelina, though perhaps not my favorite of their lineup (that’s the Maple Crunch, out of all the one’s I’ve had so far). An OM.

Someone PLEASE make it possible for me to buy these in the U.S. Pretty please? I think right now you can only buy them in 8-packs on Amazon.

Category: chocolate, fair trade, OM, review | Comments Off

Albanese Gummi Fruit Slices

February 24th, 2014 by Rosa

Emma recently visited the Albanese gummi factory and brought back oodles of gummi treats, including this peg bag of Albanese Gummi Fruit Slices. I hope that Albanese is moving towards selling their gummis in peg bags with a wider distribution – I haven’t seen them in NC yet!

The wedge-shaped gummis were lightly striated with Albanese’s characteristic firmly sproingy chew and intense flavors. They were mostly citrus flavors, with a couple of exceptions, that were a subset of Albanese’s 12 flavors.

Pink, my usual favorite grapefruit flavor, was sweet and lightly tart with some grapefruit pithiness. Green was lime, which was lightly zesty and sweetly candied.

Yellow was lemon, with a sweet citrus zesty lemon undertone to the finish. Orange was orange, with a great citrus juiciness.

Now the non-citrus, naturally wedge-shaped fruits: Red was cherry, I think, and tasted like red fruit candy (which all tastes the same to me). White was pineapple and brought an intensely bright and sweet corey flavor.

I wish these were widely available in stores in my area – or maybe not, because I’d buy them all the time for their flavor intensity. An OM.

Category: gummi/gummy, OM, review | Comments Off

Bissinger’s Salt Caramels – Merlot and Chardonnay

February 17th, 2014 by Rosa

I bought these Bissinger’s boozy salted caramels at a post-holiday sale at Southern Season. Merlot Salt Caramel was described as “red wine paired with a vintage merlot sea salt”, while Chardonnay Salt Caramel was, “Bissinger’s 300 year old caramel recipe, topped with barrel smoked chardonnay fleur de sel.”

The chocolate caramels came in sets of five in a stiff plastic sleeve. Merlot had a dark chocolate shell, while chardonnay’s was milk chocolate. Both were generously topped with salt sprinkles.

The caramels were stiffly chewy and sticky. Merlot’s caramel had an amazingly bright fruitiness, while the dark chocolate had the taste of cherries to its finish.

Chardonnay’s milk chocolate was sweeter with dusky caramel notes to it. Its caramel was butterscotch-y, without the great fruitiness of the merlot.

I liked Merlot (OMG) much more than the Chardonnay (OM) because of its fruity complexity. I didn’t really get any actual wine flavors, but these were still solid chocolate-covered salted caramels.

I should note, however, that these were not cheap. At full price, they were $12.25 for the 5. I got them at half price ($6.12), which made them more worth it.

 

Category: caramel, chocolate, OM, OMG, review | Comments Off

Kooky

January 31st, 2014 by Rosa

This Kooky candy bar was an impulse buy at the checkout line of my parents’ neighborhood grocery store, HEB. It’s a knockoff Twix that was shelved with a knockoff Snickers, 3Musketeers, and Milky Way, but I chose to buy the Kooky because it was on sale (3 for $1 instead of 2 for $1).

The Kooky called itself “biscuit and caramel covered with milk chocolate” with the tagline “That’s the way the Kooky crumbles” (groan). Like a Twix, there were two fingers per package.

The caramel with stiff and a little chewy. It tasted sweet with scorchy butter notes. I found it quite enjoyable, especially for a mass-market bar.

I also liked the biscuit layer. The cookie was dry and crumbling with some nice toasted notes that gave it some complexity.

Finally, the sweet milk chocolate coating was fairly standard. I had just the slightest tinge of a sour burn in my throat after I polished off one of the fingers, but I didn’t feel like it was too sweet since it was balanced out by the cookie.

I didn’t have a Twix to do a side-by-side comparison on this treat, but I think I actually would prefer the Kooky – I really enjoyed the darker flavor tinges that the toasted cookie and caramel brought. An OM.

Category: caramel, chocolate, cookie, OM, review | Comments Off

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 | Comments Off

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 | Comments Off

Lotte Koala’s March Cookies

January 6th, 2014 by Rosa

Lotte’s Koala March are “chocolate crème filled cookies” that can be found in Asian grocery stores in America. I recently got a free box from the folks at MunchPak, along with Koala March competitors Hello Panda (which I will review later).

The pillow-shaped cookies are imprinted with adorable pictures of koalas in various garbs and doing different activities. The biscuit portion was dry, crunchy, and airy, with just the barest hint of sweetness.

Each hollow cookie had chocolate in its center. Though it was depicted as limpid on the package, the chocolate filling wasn’t quite so fluid in reality. Instead, it was softer than solid chocolate but not quite a ganache, and it tasted of lightly semisweet chocolate.

The mix of crunchy plain biscuit and semisweet soft chocolate was quite tasty, and it was fun to look at the different koalas and try to guess what they were doing. Where is the be-suited koala off to, I wonder? An OM.

Though I could do without the silly “trading cards” that were built into the packaging:

Category: Asian (China, Japan, and Korea), chocolate, cookie, Lotte, OM, review | Comments Off

Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate Caramallows

December 16th, 2013 by Rosa

I bought this box of Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate Caramallows last week. I was super excited to think that I’d caught a new product that resembled my beloved See’s Scotchmallows, but it turns out that they were around last year as well.

The long, skinny box described them as “pillowy marshmallow bites with a layer of rich, silky caramel, enrobed in dark chocolate.” There were 10 Caramallows in the box all lined up in a row.

While most were rectangular with a vertical line across them, some were more irregularly shaped. Each had a bottom layer of caramel topped with a square of marshmallow and all covered in a dark chocolate shell.

The Caramallows were far softer than Scotchmallows and squishily yielded to my bite. The dark chocolate shell was quite nice, a high quality chocolate that was lightly sweet with a fruity finish.

The bottom layer of caramel was softy chewy and sticky. It tasted sweetly buttery rather than scorchy or burnt, and it had a mild butterscotchy flavor.

The marshmallow was squishy and foamy in texture. It had a sweetly mild flavor with a light vanilla airiness.

These were tasty enough, but they aren’t a suitable Scotchmallow replacement. The fact that they were so soft throughout made them seem insubstantial compared to Scotchmallows, and Scotchmallows have much more complexity of flavor. An OM.

 

 

Category: caramel, chocolate, marshmallow, OM, review, Trader Joe's | 5 Comments »

Sour Skittles

December 9th, 2013 by Rosa

I recently received a free box of treats from MunchPak (more details on that tomorrow), including this bag of Sour Skittles. They’re not a new addition to the Skittles line-up, but they do now feature green apple instead of lime.

The other flavors were cherry, orange, lemon, and grape – the same flavors of regular Skittles but coated in sour sugar sand. That sour coating was sharply tart and quite piquant, but it disappeared once it dissolved, which only took a few seconds.

Orange and lemon (yellow) were both extremely tart to the start, then mellowed out into sweet citrus flavors. Lemon had some zestiness to it, while orange was more subdued.

Green apple was less sour and quickly gave way to the juicy sweetness of candied green apple flavor. It tasted like apple juice, but a bit more tart.

Cherry was tart at first, then tasted like artificial cherry candy. It wasn’t medicinal, but it still didn’t do much for me since I’m not a red fruit candy person.

Finally, grape started off tart, then tasted just like a juicy grape Popsicle. I usually don’t like grape flavored candies, but the grape Sour Skittle was elevated by the sourness.

The Sour Skittles were more exciting than regular Skittles, and I even liked the Green Apple flavor more than I thought I would (I really liked Lime Skittles!). An OM.

 

Category: chewy, OM, review, sour, Wrigley's | Comments Off