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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March 18th, 2013 by Neil
Ex-pat in the Netherlands Knile is back for the day! ~Rosa
It’s been far too long since I’ve been in this space. It’s not for lack of material, believe me. My candy-purchasing has sloped off a bit as I stare at my candy shelf’s growing pile including once-tasty-looking items that are now past their best-by dates. (Sorry, English candy bars!)
So perhaps, while I enter the phase of life known as “spring cleaning“, I will put some reviews on this site as I send some shirts to the thrift shop and a few months’ worth of paper recycling out to the curb.
Today, I found myself staring at my 24-pack of Sier Ijscups Chocolade. I bought these on a goofy evening of impulse purchases at a Coop supermarket here in the Netherlands.
Ijs can mean ice but it can also mean ice cream, so I wasn’t sure what the deal was with these. They looked like miniature Reese’s Mini peanut butter cups with their scalloped brown wrappers.
I cut one open for photographing purchases, before I even ate any, and was a bit surprised to see the lack of anything resembling a peanut butter filling inside. This should not have been surprising, as the chocolate/peanut butter combination is not as popular anywhere as in North America.
The cups are, perhaps unsurprisingly given the source and price, rather fake-seeming. Sure, they’re creamy and a bit nutty (though that might just be priming from the visual similarity to the Reese’s cups!). The ingredients list tells me the first ingredient component is a mass of “partially hydrogenated vegetable fats”, which I’m pretty sure not healthy for me. Because there’s no filling, and thus no shell, the consistency ends up being uniform: it’s tender, becoming a pleasant squishiness very quickly.
I’m even more sure that these fats are the driving force behind the flavor. Overall, it’s a very standard “cheap chocolate” flavor. The texture, though, wins me over into guilty pleasure territory. An OM.
Category: chocolate, European, guest post, OM, review |
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March 13th, 2013 by Rosa
These Iddy Biddy Bunnies were a seasonal Easter treat from Russell Stover. My 1.7 oz bag advertised 60 pieces and noted that the bunnies on the wrapper were “Actual Size!”
The bag of chocolate smelled sweetly chocolatey, like Hershey’s chocolate syrup. The molded bunnies were, as promised, Iddy Biddy indeed – just under an inch from ear tip to bunny bottom.
Each bunny was solid milk chocolate with a thick, tongue-coating melt that felt creamy and rich. It tasted sweet with notes of dusky caramel and vanilla with a bright finish.
These were a tad sweeter than I usually like my milk chocolate, but I was willing to overlook that because their great texture made up for that. 60 pieces per bag felt like a lot, making these great for snacking. A little lasts for a long time!
These were a fun and tasty Easter treat. You could probably get the same snacking idea with chocolate chips, but something about the little bunny shapes kept me from popping more than one at a time, which is not generally how I snack on chocolate chips. An OM.
Category: chocolate, Easter, OM, review, Russell Stover |
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March 11th, 2013 by Rosa
Hi readers! Sorry I was AWOL on reviews last week – I was road-tripping and out of the town the previous weekend and fell behind on life.
I’m back now with some drug store buys from my pre-road trip snack shopping. First up, Black Forest‘s Juicy Oozers Gummy Cracked Eggs.
These were a seasonal Easter product. Mine came in a 1.5 oz single-serving bag. The Easter branding was actually fairly subtle, as the dominant color scheme was magenta rather than pastel.
The egg shaped gummies were about the size of my thumbnail. They were molded with little cracks on the surface, and each was filled with a bright yellow oozy liquid.
While I get that the ooze was supposed to approximate egg yolks, it seemed a little too close to the real thing. Plus its bright coloring looked extra yolky against the muted pastels of the gummi shells.
The gummies had a firm chew with a clean bite and zero stickiness. All had a sweet brightness to their flavors, which was elevated by the bright, sweet tartness of the yellow ooze.
White tasted like a mix of yogurt and pineapple. Green started off yogurty, then became tarter.
Pink tasted of muted berry notes, which were piqued by that tart oozy center, and purple just tasted generically fruity and sweet to me.
These were simple treats, but I thought they were done quite well. Their flavors were strong and not too sweet, and the tart goo kept things interesting. An OM.
Category: Easter, gummi/gummy, OM, review |
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March 1st, 2013 by Rosa
These chocolate covered sea salt butterscotch caramels are the last of my weekend Trader Joe’s candy finds. They came in a stand-up bag with a resealable zipper top.
The description on the back was loquacious: “intense and creamy, deeply flavored butterscotch caramels are tinged with sea salt and enrobed in dark, slightly bitter chocolate to offset the sweetness. That about says it all.”
The caramels were of the shiny, panned spherical variety, similar to Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate Tahitian Vanilla Caramels. The dark chocolate component was divine – fruitily sweet with a dusky bittersweet finish.
The caramel centers definitely tasted of butterscotch, with butterscotch’s distinctive sour tinge to the caramel sweetness. The caramel’s sweetness finished with a salty hit.
I thought the caramel centers were too sweet on their own, but when chewed together with the dusky chocolate shells, they became perfectly balanced to create an addictively chewy sweet and slightly sour and salty treat. An OM.
Category: caramel, chocolate, OM, review, Trader Joe's |
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February 18th, 2013 by Rosa
I first came across Moonstruck Chocolate Co. via their truffles. When I saw a selection of their chocolate bars at my local independent theater going for $3.75 (a bit less than their usual price), I snatched up the Milk Chocolate Sea Salt Toffee and the Dark Chocolate Chile Variado to try. I’ll cover the former today and the latter on Wednesday.
The Milk Chocolate Sea Salt Toffee bar was actually milk chocolate with toffee and almond bits. The bar was gorgeously decorated: lightly scored into segments and stamped with stars and the Moonstruck logo in the center.
The bar was surprisingly snappy for a milk bar and broke easily along the scored lines, exposing bits of dark brown toffee and white almond bits. The milk chocolate was lovely, with a rich, creamy caramel flavor.
The crunchy bits of roasted almonds added a great nuttiness and a hint of salt that played off the sweet milk chocolate base. The toffee bits added a crunchy crumble and extra toasted sugar sweetness.
This was one of the best balanced milk chocolate bars that I’ve ever had. The milk chocolate was sweet but not overly so, without any of the throat searing burn that milk chocolate can have, and the inclusions added a contrast of flavor and texture.
I would keep this bar around for snacking purposes. A solid OM.
Category: chocolate, nuts, OM, review, toffee |
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February 8th, 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. I’m closing out the week with a review of a Japanese Kit Kat that is a Kyoto speciality – it’s Yatsuhashi flavored!
What is Yatsuhashi, you ask? Wikipedia to the rescue! Apparently, it’s a famous regional dessert of Kyoto that’s made of glutinous rice flour, sugar, and cinnamon.
The Yatsuhashi Kit Kat had classic Kit Kat‘s flaky, crisp wafers but was covered with a crumbling white coating. Alas, the coating was falling to pieces by the time the Kit Kats got to me, so I wasn’t able to get a good glamour shot.
Nana and Justin and others have sent me Japanese Kit Kats for review that all arrived in pristine shape, so I think the disintegration was due to the fact that the coating was frosting-like, whereas other coatings have been chocolate-based. Still, though it didn’t look that great, it tasted awesome!
The white coating melted mostly smoothly on my tongue and tasted like vanilla frosting made from fresh cream. Every once in a while, I hit a crunch from a grain of granulated sugar. The whole thing was topped off by a sweet cinnamon kiss that floated above the sweet and crunchy confection.
It sorted of reminded me of Cinnamon Toast Crunch or a crunchy Snickerdoodle, except that the vanilla frosting coating had a dairy freshness to it that made it even better. Yet again, I must lament that the Kit Kat flavors available to us in the U.S. are pretty lamely tame in comparison to what’s available in Japan. An OM.
For alternative takes, check out Eataku’s review (which clued me in on the proper name for this treat) or Jim’s Chocolate Mission (which helped confirm that I had the right name for these guys).
Category: Asian (China, Japan, and Korea), cookie, Nestle, OM, review |
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February 4th, 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.
Yuzu is a Japanese citrus fruit that I know about only because I used to be a Top Chef junkie. As Nana explains, it has a “sour lemony/orange flavor, [is] very popular on Kyushu, [and is] used often for a spicy paste to add to soups and noodles.”
This bag of candied Yuzu peel was decorated with a crazy cartoon that reminded me of a WarioWare: Smooth Moves mini-game. The candied peels smelled orangey and zesty with a floral undertone.
The pieces of peel varied in length but were mostly about an inch long and just under a quarter inch wide. They had a stiff bite and required a bit of chewing.
These simple treats tasted delicious. They were lightly sweet with a tangy orange/lemon citrus zestiness and just a hint of pithy bitterness to the end in some pieces.
I’ve tried making my own candied citrus peels before, but they’ve never turned out as tastily as this bag. Mine get sticky and sugar caramelized, while these were just lightly kissed with sugar sweetness, which really let the flavor of the original peel shine through. An OM.
Category: Asian (China, Japan, and Korea), OM, received as gift, review |
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February 1st, 2013 by Rosa
This box of Lotte Sasha Chocolate is the last of my Asian goodies from Emma and Jason. No worries if you want to read more Asian candy reviews here – I’ve still got a few more Japanese treats from Nana and Justin to write up.
A quick googling shows that Sasha Chocolate refers to the unique and pretty way Lotte’s chosen to package this chocolate. My box had 16 individually wrapped rectangles made of wavy chocolate stripes of green, brown, and white.
I’m only guessing that these are matcha flavored. I recognized the character for tea on the box, and they’ve got that distinctive pea green color of matcha. Plus they’re from Japan, so matcha seems like a good educated guess.
I could feel the individual threads of chocolate break when I bit into the chocolate, though the rectangle broke as a whole with a sharp solid snap. It had a smooth and creamy melt. The texture was somewhat thick, but it didn’t linger and coat my tongue like some extra thick milk chocolates do.
The chocolate flavor was quite pleasant – lightly sweet with fruity overtones that hit high notes against the milk chocolate undertones. The finish had a hint of lightly bitter herbal grassiness, which was the only clue that it was tea flavored chocolate.
I liked these more than I thought I would. I haven’t liked matcha-flavored chocolates in the past, but these won me over because they went easy on the matcha and were easy on the eyes. An OM.
Category: Asian (China, Japan, and Korea), chocolate, Lotte, OM, received as gift, review |
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January 25th, 2013 by Rosa
There Puré gummies were another gift that my friends Emma and Jason brought back from Japan. They brought back three flavors: grape, lemon, and “fresh peach”.
Each stand-up bag of gummies was resealable, which was a touch that I appreciated. The gummies inside were heart-shaped, about an inch across, and covered in tart and lightly fizzy sour sand. They had a firm bite and a bouncy chew, which is my favorite texture of gummi.
Grape was described as “grape juice that is sweet sour tasting with the texture of fruit.” The sour coating on the purple gummies was immediately puckery tart.
After the sour coating melted away, the gummy tasted of concord grape juice. Its flavor was genuine and intense, avoiding any hint of artificial cough syrupness that often dogs grape candies.
Lemon was “lemon juice that is sweet-sour tasting with the texture of fruit.” It started off tart with an edge of lemon zest, then became surprisingly mellow and sweetly lemon citrusy, like lemonade.
Peach didn’t get a full description like the other two. It was just labeled “Fresh Peach”. It was a pale yellow gummi that was virtually indistinguishable from the pale yellow lemon flavor (both seen above).
Fresh Peach, after that fizzy sour coating dissolved, was sweet and floral with a spot on white peach flavor. It was so precise that I could even taste the peach fuzz.
These were a fun set of gummies. The fizzy sour sugar was a nice twist, and the gummies’ flavors were genuine and intense. Fresh Peach was my favorite and gets an OMG. I love citrus candies, so Lemon also gets an OMG, and grape was tasty enough for an OM.
Category: Asian (China, Japan, and Korea), gummi/gummy, OM, OMG, received as gift, review, sour |
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