Archive for the 'OM' Category

Kasugai Ramune Gummi

November 8th, 2013 by Rosa

I usually buy my Kasugai gummies at Asian grocery stores, but I found this bag of ramune flavored gummies at a Cost Plus World Market. If you’re not familiar with ramune (not to be confused with ramen!), it’s a lemon-lime Asian soda that’s usually kept in a uniquely marble-stoppered bottle.

Like all Kasugai gummies, these guys were individually wrapped and labeled. These were decorated with a little fizzy ramune bottle design. The gummis themselves were round with a striking translucent seafoam coloring.

They had an awesome soft, bouncy chew that yielded to my bite but still had some sproing to it. The flavor was sweetly floral to start, then took on a citrus fizziness.

When I ate them very slowly and carefully, I detected a slightly off undertone that made the gummi remind me a bit of diet Sprite. When chomped more quickly, as normal people would consume gummies, that slight undertone was undetectable.

Overall, these tasted like a cleaner, crisper version of Sprite with some bonus floral notes. An OM. My only complaint is the individual wrappers – so much trash from so few gummies!

Category: Asian (China, Japan, and Korea), gummi/gummy, Kasugai, OM, review | No Comments »

Cadbury Cola and Pretzel

October 18th, 2013 by Rosa

Remember when I posted about how weird the Cadbury Cola Pretzel Honeycomb bar sounded, and how I’d love to try it? Ask and you shall receive, at least when you’re a candy blogger! Sometimes…

The folks at CyberCandy heard my plea and sent me a free sample of my very own Cadbury Cola Pretzel Honeycomb bar. It was an absurdly ginormous bar, weighing in at 200g (just under half a pound).

The bar had traveled to me all the way from England, so it had broken up a bit by the time I got it. You can see from Kev’s review that the bar is pretty crazily/assymmetrically segmented, so that it looks quite cobblestonesque, and its underside was studded with oval chunks of pretzel.

Those pretzel chunks were each about peanut-sized, so pretty big. They delivered a great hit of salty crunch that contrasted nicely with the sweet and lightly grainy melt of the Cadbury milk chocolate.

While the bar had a hearty crunch from the pretzels, some chomps carried a more subtle, even dainty, crunch from the bits of honeycomb in the bar. They also added a lightly golden sweet tinge.

The cola came in the form of small chewy nuggets that were spread out throughout the bar. Those nuggets reminded me of Au’some Nuggets in texture – chewy with a matte graininess – and they added a fruity cola undertone.

I have to give Cadbury major credit for this “marvelous creation”. They really let their creativity run wild while still creating a tasty bar of unusual flavor combinations. It was almost too sweet for me, but those solid pretzel chunks reeled it back. An OM.

Category: Cadbury, chocolate, European, OM, review | 1 Comment »

Milka & Oreo

October 16th, 2013 by Rosa

This Milka & Oreo came to me via a visiting German student in the lab. It was a gift for the lab to share, so I couldn’t take it home to photograph in my usual set-up.

Instead, I managed to snag some shots with my fancy new iPhone (finally gave up on my dumb phone when the 9 button no longer worked) before my labmates tucked into the bar. I gotta say, I think my new camera phone is at least as good as, if not better than, my now 5 years old digital camera.

The Milka & Oreo was a Milka milk chocolate bar filled with Oreo cookies and cream. That Milka chocolate was wonderful – there was just a thin top and bottom layer of it, but it was substantial in texture (thick and creamy) and flavor (luscious caramel notes).

The offwhite cream center was sweet with notes of dairy and vanilla frosting. It was chock full of hearty bits of Oreo chocolate cookies, which tasted of bittersweet dark cocoa.

Those cookies were incredibly crunchy. I was astounded as to how they maintained their crunchiness while surrounded by all that cream.

I found this bar to be quite addictive. The flavor and texture mix was great, with the melting and sweet caramel milk chocolate contrasting nicely with the robust crunch of the darker chocolate Oreos. An OM.

Category: chocolate, cookie, European, Milka, OM, review | No Comments »

Sarris Candies S’mores

October 2nd, 2013 by Rosa

While I was in Pittsburgh for a conference, my former labmate and awesome Pittsburgh host took me to one of the best grocery stores ever: the Giant Eagle flagship. It was at least as good, if not better, than the flagship Wegmans in Pittsford, largely due to its incredible candy selection.

I picked up a few local confections from Sarris Candies. First up, this S’mores treat, which was described as ”marshmallow & graham cracker covered in our creamy milk chocolate”.

I was nervous about keeping this bar intact and unmelted throughout my travels. Thankfully, this was a hardy bar, and I unwrapped it at home to find it unscathed, with all its chocolate drizzle ribbons intact.

The outer milk chocolate shell was thick and sweet and creamy. It featured strong caramel undertones to its dairy chocolate flavor.

Inside, the 1.5 oz bar held a bottom layer of graham cracker topped with a white foamy marshmallow. The marshmallow was sweet and softly squishy, adding a nice textural contrast to the cookie and the melting chocolate.

The graham cracker cookie was quite crumbly and slightly crunchy. Its graham flavor was mildly sweet, which did a nice job of cutting the sweetness of the chocolate and keeping the treat from becoming too cloying.

I ate the whole thing in one sitting (rare for me!), partly because it wasn’t that big compared to regular candy bars. It gets an OM, and I wish I’d bought more. The Sarris website recommends microwaving these for a few seconds to make them extra gooey, which I’d like to try.

Category: chocolate, cookie, marshmallow, OM, review | No Comments »

Guest post: Lindt Lindor Panna Cotta Passionfruit

September 30th, 2013 by Neil

Note from Rosa: Here’s another guest post from expat friend Neil. He wrote this in May 2013 but only just now found the photos.

I try not to subject you to reviews of candy I’ve let expire, but I’m making an exception for this. January 2013 wasn’t that long ago, right…?

This came from a German supermarket in summer 2012. I was intrigued by the notion of passionfruit panna cotta and the all-caps dictation to “ENJOY COLD!”

I thought it’d be a bar. The eighteen individual chocolate squares surprised me. Each had a Lindt logo on top and the chocolate appeared milky, though maybe a bit dried out by the unintentional aging.

My experience with passionfruit is limited to candies and juice, so whether or not these taste of the fruit off the vine is up to a proper produce-eater. The chocolate is quite satisfactory, and the passionfruit aspect is what really shines.

There’s almost a bright, sparkling pop in your mouth a few seconds after you finish a square, which is all fruit. An OM.

Category: chocolate, European, guest post, Lindt, OM | No Comments »

Astor Belgian Chocolate – Angel Food Cake and Devil’s Food Cake

September 16th, 2013 by Rosa

I picked up these Astor Belgian Chocolate bars as free samples at Sweets and Snacks. It looks like they sell a variety of their signature bars on their website; I was also told that they repackage these under other brands as well.

Both bars – Angel Food Cake and Devil’s Food Cake – were lightly scored into 6 rectangular blocks that broke easily into different segments. All were striated as well.

Angel Food Cake was a white chocolate shell with a white chocolate ganache inside. The white chocolate was sweet and creamy and thick, with strong dairy notes.

The ganache had a bit of a grit to it, like it was full of dried cake crumbs or cookie crumbs. They added some crunch, along with a birthday cake/vanilla flavor.

This bar was fun but too sweet for my taste. An O for this.

Devil’s Food Cake was a dark chocolate with a bit of chocolate ganache in the center. The dark chocolate had a bit of a snap, while the ganache was softer and creamier.

This was an intensely chocolatey bar. It make me think of fudgey cake batter or rich chocolate pudding. I loved the richness and depth of pure chocolate flavor that it provided, so an OM.

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

Jelina Chocolatier – Fleur de Sel

September 13th, 2013 by Rosa

Wednesday, I reviewed Jelina Chocolatier‘s Espresso bar. Today, I’ve got a review of another of their organic chocolate bars, the Fleur de Sel. Both were free samples that I picked up at the Sweets and Snacks Expo.

Again, this bar was comprised of 15 rectangles, which came sealed in a silver wrapper tucked inside a cardboard box. This one was cutely decorated with a line drawing of a salt shaker.

The chocolate had a dry, smooth, velvet melt that felt comfortably matte on my tongue. Sprinkles of salt could be found throughout the bar, adding a bit of crunch along with a salty hit.

The chocolate had deep, dark earthy notes that occasionally found themselves set off with a hit of salt in a burst of sweet/sour/salty. The finish was intensely chocolatey and lingered pleasantly on the tongue.

I thought this would make for a great snacking bar. Simple but wonderfully chocolatey and kept interesting by the addition of salt – an OM.

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

Zoë’s Chocolate Co – The Chocolate Collection

September 6th, 2013 by Rosa

I recently received free samples of some chocolates from Zoë”s Chocolate Co., a small artisan chocolate shop that’s only 6 years old. I got a pretty brown box, all tied up with a pink ribbon, that featured four truffles from their Chocolate Collection: Black Raspberry, Mediterranean Citrus, Apple Pie, and Pinot Noir Infused Fleur de Sel Milk Chocolate Caramel.

Black Raspberry was “white chocolate ganache blended with locally grown preserved black raspberries and topped in a rich dark chocolate.” The square truffle was visually striking, with its magenta dried fruit topper and violet ganache.

That ganache was incredibly smooth. It tasted sweet and lightly fruity with mild berry notes, and it finished with cocoa flavors from the nice dark chocolate. The dried fruit chip was crystallized and added a flash of sweet and intense fruitiness to this understated truffle.

Mediterranean Citrus was described as “white chocolate ganache infused with a sweet Mediterranean citrus topped in dark chocolate.” Its ganache was also perfectly smooth and was a creamy white in color.

It tasted of orange oil rather than orange juice or zest. It was a great citrus pairing with the dark chocolate that coated it, even though it lacked any juiciness or zestiness.

Apple Pie was a caramel: “Fresh, local apples cooked to perfection with apple pie spices and combined with caramel and roasted pecans.” The beautiful dome held a jammy filling with tiny bits of apple suspended within it.

It tasted like cinnamon and, well, apple pie! I didn’t notice any specific pecan bits or flavor, though there was a bit of tannic bitterness to the finish that may have been due to the added nuts.

Finally, the one with a mouthful of a name, Pinot Noir Infused Fleur de Sel Milk Chocolate Caramel, was “a bit of creamy milk chocolate … mixed with our liquid caramel and amplified to a delicious intensity.” The liquid caramel was smooth and limpid with an intense buttery sweetness.

The generous sprinkle of jagged sea salt was just right to set off the sweetness of the caramel and milk chocolate. I didn’t notice the addition of the pinot noir, but I still loved this caramel.

Zoë’s chocolates were gorgeous to behold and delicious to indulge in. I give the Pinot Noir Caramel an OMG, while the rest get OMs.

Category: caramel, chocolate, OM, OMG, review, white chocolate | No Comments »

YumEarth Organics Fruit Snacks + Giveaway

August 23rd, 2013 by Rosa

Is there a different between gummis and fruit snacks? The former is definitely a candy and is usually viewed as an occasional treat for kids, whereas the latter is often found in school lunch boxes.

To me, they’re basically the same, though fruit snacks get a health washing. I think it’s because they can usually brag about being made with real fruit juice.

Case in point, YumEarth Organics’ (formerly Yummy Earth) fruit snacks. In addition to containing real fruit juice, they brag about being 100% natural, organic, and without artificial dyes.

I got some free samples to review, and permission to do a giveaway as well. More on that later…

The fruit snacks came in banana, cherry, peach, and strawberry. They were firm and dry on the outside, so that they almost had a shell, like what you get when candy gets dried out.

The fruit jelly immediately and cleanly yielded to my bite. The texture was firm with zero bounce, like a grainless fruit pate.

Banana (yellow) was mild and brightly sweet, almost tart in flavor. It had just a hint of banana flavor, enough so that I could tell it was the banana fruit snack (though the shape clued me in as well), but not so much that it was artificially off-putting.

This was the best banana-flavored candy or gummy that I’ve ever had. Usually I hate banana candies, but I loved this.

Cherry (pink circle) was also sweet, fruity, and lightly tart. It had a deep red fruit finish to the end and managed to avoid any cough syrup notes.

Peach (orangey circle) was sweet with a spot-on peach flavor. It was sweet and floral, and so close to the real thing that I could practically taste the peach fuzz.

Finally, strawberry (pink triangle) had the same fruity sweetness of the other gummis, plus a mild and floral strawberry undertone.

By avoiding the use of artificial ingredients, these fruit snacks from YumEarth managed to pack a ton of intense and delicious flavors into tiny packages. I give them an OM.

If you’d like to give these a try, YumEarth is letting me give away two bags of their back to school snack packs to one lucky reader. To enter, please leave a comment about your favorite lunchbox snack to pack for your kids or from when you were a kid.

I will randomly select one reader from the comments. Continental U.S. readers only, and contest closes a week from today, at 11:59 PM Eastern, Friday, August 30th, 2013. Good luck!

EDIT: This contest is now closed. Congrats to Caley on being my randomly selected winner!

Category: giveaway, gummi/gummy, jelly candy, OM, organic, review | 12 Comments »

Sour Punch Punchies

August 16th, 2013 by Rosa

These Sour Punch Punchies were being heartily promoted at Sweets and Snacks, and I snagged a free sample to review for y’all. The wrapper called them “soft, chewy, and sour candy”, and they came in lemon, strawberry, tangerine, blue raspberry, and green apple.

Each Punchie had a fun little face printed on it. They were like spherical jelly beans with an extra thick sugar shell. That grainy shell cracked easily, revealing a chewy jelly center.

Lemon (yellow) was bright and tart with a zesty overtone reminiscent of Lemonheads. It finished with a sour lemon flavor.

Strawberry (red) was extremely floral and surprisingly tasty (I usually don’t like strawberry candies). Unfortunately, it finished with a heavy plasticky note.

Tangerine (orange) had a tartness that intensified as I chewed it, and it developed a great tanginess as well. There was just a hint of plasticky finish, but it was minimal.

Blue raspberry (blue) was about what you’d expect from blue raspberry, a flavor not found in nature. It was extremely sweet and fruity without any seediness, and again, that plasticky finish.

Finally, green apple brought a decent hit of tartness to start and a strongly sweet fake apple flavor. The plasticky notes were pretty apparent here as well, as they are in the green apple Sour Punch Straws.

I found these to be a fun sugar rush, despite the sometimes plasticky notes.  I definitely prefer them to Sour Punch Straws, and they pack more flavor than most Jelly Beans. I’m torn between an O and an OM – I’m feeling generous, so OM.

Cybele also covered them on her blog, and gave them 7/10.

Category: jelly candy, OM, review, sour | No Comments »