Archive for the 'OM' Category

Escazú Chipotle Chile & Vanilla

August 9th, 2013 by Rosa

Escazú Chocolates is another chocolatier that’s practically in my backyard. How did I not know that there were so many local chocolate makers right here in the triangle?

I’d seen them before at Whole Foods and the coffee shop by my gym, but I’d never picked them up because I already have a sizeable chocolate backlog. Fortunately, a friend decided to thank me for some pet-sitting by giving me this Chipotle Chile & Vanilla bar.

The 74% cacao bar was segmented into 24 rectangles. The chocolate broke easily but without a true snap. Its melt was thick for a dark chocolate, velvety in texture but not tongue-coatingly thick like milk chocolate.

The dark chocolate had a fruity flavor with strong, plummy raisin and fig notes that lingered in the finish. The chipotle sting melted into a tingling burn that also lingered on the tongue and in the back of my throat.

I loved the complex intensity of this bar and am now eager to try the rest of their line. An OM.

Category: chocolate, OM, review | No Comments »

Lovely Caramels

June 19th, 2013 by Rosa

The Lovely Candy Company was a new (founded this year!) candy company that made its debut at Sweets and Snacks last month. They make gluten-free licorice, caramels, and fruit chews (gluten-free was a continuing trend from 2012 to 2013), and I grabbed a couple of free samples of their caramels for review.

LC_Caramels_7oz_Bag_OL

I got one Original Chewy Caramel and one Chocolate Swirl Caramel. The samples that I got were loose, so the photos of the packaging shown here were from Lovely.

Both caramels were wrapped in wax paper. They were soft and sticky, and a few bits of caramel got left behind on the wax paper upon unwrapping.

The Original Chewy was a pretty golden brown, and it was indeed chewy, with a small amount of teeth sticking. They tasted sweet with a slightly fruity sour tinge to it.

The flavor was quite similar to that of Brach’s Milk Maid Caramels, more on the sweet and buttery side rather than the scorched and bittersweet. I prefer the latter type of caramel, but if you like the former, these make a nice alternative to Brach’s that’s with better ingredients.

The Chocolate Swirl was a pretty swirl of the Original golden brown and a darker cocoa brown. Its texture was similarly soft and chewy.

The Chocolate Swirl had a great cocoa depth of flavor. It didn’t taste of chocolate; it tasted of intense dark cocoa powder. I appreciated the deep cocoa complexity here.

The Original was nice, but I prefer my caramels with a darker complexity, so an O. The Chocolate Swirl, on the other, brought plenty of cocoa complexity, and they get an OM.

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

Russell Stover Caramel Apple with Peanuts

June 16th, 2013 by Rosa

I got this Russell Stover Caramel Apple with Peanuts as a free sample at the Russell Stover booth at Sweets and Snacks. There was also a version without nuts; this is just the one that was handed to me by the nice booth representatives.

The wrapper described this as “naturally apple flavored caramel, peanuts, and milk chocolate”. It was an apple shaped chocolate shell filled with caramel and coated with chopped peanuts.

The caramel was soft and sticky, with a substantially chewy pull. It tasted sweet with a subtle hint of green apple tartness, a flavor that was reminiscent of Tootsie’s Caramel Apple Pops.

The milk chocolate was on the sweet side, while the crunchy peanut bits brought a strong nuttiness. When all the ingredients were together, the apple undertones got a bit lost, though the mix of chocolate, caramel, and peanuts was pretty good in and of itself.

Overall, I found this to be a creative treat that was tasty and made me nostalgic for fall. To be fair, I have an inordinate love for caramel apples, so this especially suited my tastes.

My one nitpick is that not all of the chopped peanut bits were anchored to the chocolate, which made this a messy treat if you weren’t careful. An OM.

Category: caramel, chocolate, nuts, OM, review, Russell Stover | 1 Comment »

Ritter Sport – Coconut

June 7th, 2013 by Rosa

Today is the 4th of 4 new Ritter Sports that I got as free samples from Euro-American Brands at Sweets and Snacks. The Coconut was described on the wrapper as “with tropical coconut flakes in a coconut and milk filling.”

This was a standard 16-squared filled Ritter – a milk chocolate shell with a textured white coconut filling. The milk chocolate was the usual Ritter fare, sweet with dusky caramel notes, softly pliable, and thickly melting.

The coconut flakes were tiny and lightly crunchy. They added a great grit and a sweetly nutty coconut flavor with a floral undertone. The rest of the filling was sweet with the dairy notes of a fresh buttercream.

I found this Ritter to be delicious. It was, however, quite rich, so that a square or two was enough to satisfy. An OM.

I really enjoyed the Ritter Sports that I nabbed at the Expo, and I can’t wait to see them on the shelves here in the U.S. Especially the Cocoa Mousse one!

Category: chocolate, coconut, European, OM, review, Ritter Sport | 2 Comments »

Ritter Sport – Fine Extra Dark Chocolate 73%

June 5th, 2013 by Rosa

Here’s the 3rd of 4 new Ritter Sport samples from Euro-American Brands that I got at Sweets and Snacks. Monday’s Cocoa Mousse broke the mold by featuring 9 squares instead of 16. This Fine Extra Dark Chocolate 73% does the same…

but in the opposite direction. It features a whopping 36 itty-bitty squares, each stamped with a miniaturized version of the Ritter Sport logo on its teeny top. The square mountains were solid chocolate of the 73% cacao variety.

The cubes were dense and thick to bite into. The dark chocolate tasted dense as well. I found it earthy and even a bit muddy with a deep Dutched cocoa flavor.

I found this to be a fun departure from the usual Ritter Sports, but to be honest, I mostly love Ritter Sports for their delicious fillings. Ritter’s dark chocolate was nice enough, but it wasn’t as special as other brands of dark chocolate that have more flavor complexity. An OM.

Category: chocolate, European, OM, review, Ritter Sport | 1 Comment »

Guest post: Ritter Sport à la Crema Catalana

May 8th, 2013 by Neil

Here’s another guest post from ex-pat friend Neil! ~Rosa

Late on a Friday night at a German supermarket, I discovered a new Ritter Sport flavor I hadn’t even seen advertised yet: the Ritter Sport à la Crema Catalana.

I spied something like a crème brûlée on the package and my heart skipped a beat. I bought two, knowing I’d devour the first and have to review it properly later.

It is the standard Ritter Sport size and shape. The bar breaks pretty much as expected between the squares.

What an intense flavor experience this is! This is one of the sweetest candies I’ve had. The chocolate tastes almost like an afterthought to the bold filling.

While both are creamy and blend together, the filling at first has a little more heft to it. The sweetness is almost too much to handle, and you can taste the intensity of the filling’s contribution to this if you even just briefly hold a square in your mouth before chewing it.

This filling flavor was not what I expected, not a standard crème brûlée. It’s almost more like the filling of a Cadbury Creme Egg, though certainly more refined.

It turns out that a crema catalana is a different dish than the usual “cb”, as I call it, so the discrepancy between my expectation and experience makes more sense.

I recommend Ritter Sport fans seek this out for its novelty value and any super-sweet-tooth types as well. I wanted to love love love it, but the nearly overwhelming flavors drop it back a bit, so this is an OM for me.

Category: chocolate, European, guest post, OM, Ritter Sport | 1 Comment »

See’s Assorted Chocolates Week 2 – Day 3

May 3rd, 2013 by Rosa

Back in 2009, I devoted a whole week to See’s Chocolates as I reviewed an assorted box that they sent me. This week will be another week of See’s Chocolates reviews, only this time, I’ll be reviewing a box that I bought and picked out myself in Seattle.

On Monday, I covered four of their truffles. Wednesday, I reviewed four Dark Chocolate without Nuts pieces. Today, I’ll wrap up the week with reviews of two Dark Chocolate with Nuts and two Milk Chocolate without Nuts pieces.

Dark Cocoanut (sic) was “buttercream with angel flake coconut”. I’ve reviewed the milk version of this before, but the fresh version of the cocoanut was world’s better. It also turns out that my coconut tastes have changed over the years!

The fresh Cocoanut blew my mind, as its coconut center was so fresh that it was shiny and moist. It tasted strongly nutty with great fresh coconut flavors.

The chewy shreds squeaked between my teeth and left behind a sweet finish that was tempered by the dark chocolate shell. An OMG.

Marzipan was dark chocolate around “honey almond paste”, and it was another truffle that I’d previously reviewed. This, too, was greatly elevated while fresh, as the flavors were far stronger and more delicious.

My fresh Marzipan had a softly grainy center with just enough moisture to hold it together. It had lovely floral overtones of almond and a nutty finish that lingered after the treat was gone. An OM.

Milk Butterchew was the milk chocolate version of the Dark Butterchew from Wednesday. The caramel was buttery sweet and chewy, and here it was paired with a sweet milk chocolate with a great caramel finish.

I preferred the Dark to the Milk Butterchew, as I felt the dark chocolate better balanced the sweetness of the caramel, but I still wouldn’t turn down a Milk Butterchew. OM.

Finally, the Butterscotch Square was “firm brown sugar buttercream”, which I’d also reviewed before. In my maximally fresh version, the ganache was soft and slightly moist with a pleasant graininess.

I took a bite to take photos, let it sit for a day or two, and when I came back, it had dried and stiffened. It tasted of honey sweet brown sugar, which was complimented by the dusky cocoa finish of the milk chocolate coating.

It was so sweet that I couldn’t eat more than a bite at a time, but I enjoyed all of those measured bites. An OM.

I was pretty happy with all of my See’s selections. At $17.50/lb, See’s is pretty hard to beat in bang for your buck. Highly recommended all around!

Category: caramel, chocolate, coconut, OM, OMG, review, See's | No Comments »

See’s Assorted Chocolates Week 2 – Day 2

May 1st, 2013 by Rosa

Back in 2009, I devoted a whole week to See’s Chocolates as I reviewed an assorted box that they sent me. This week will be another week of See’s Chocolates reviews, only this time, I’ll be reviewing a box that I bought and picked out myself in Seattle.

On Monday, I covered four of their truffles. Today, I’ll review four Dark Chocolate without Nuts pieces (categories per See’s flavor guide).

Dark Bordeaux (TM) was simply described as “brown sugar buttercream”. It was a round truffle that was covered in dark chocolate and chocolate sprinkles.

The center was soft and sweet with an almost whipped texture. It reminded me of the first stages of cookie making when you whip sugar and butter together into a fluffy mixture of delicious fat and sugar.

The brown sugar and butter center was deliciously sweet, but also so sweet that it burned my throat a bit. The dark chocolate coating was mild with a cocoa-flavored finish.

Though I found it too sweet to have more than a little bite or two at a time, it was deliciously addictive enough to warrant an OM.

Dark Molasses Chip was “molasses honeycomb crisp”. One paper flute of these contained four 2-inch long fingers.

The honeycomb was sweet, crunchy, brittle foam candy. It was golden colored and golden honey flavored with a touch of amber sweetness and just a hint of sour fruitiness.

It crunched up easily, but it also got a bit stuck in my molars. The dark chocolate complimented the center well and a brought a bit of dusky cocoa finish to the end. A tasty enough OM.

Dark Butterchew was a “vanilla brown sugar caramel” coated in dark chocolate. That caramel was chewy with a smooth texture. It tasted sweet and buttery with no scorched notes.

The dark chocolate coating was a great foil to the sweet caramel. It could have been elevated with a hint of salt or scorch to the caramel, but it was still pretty darn good. OM.

Finally for today, Dark Patties were two disks of chocolate covered “chocolate vanilla caramel” per paper flute. This was one of my favorite treats of the box, thanks to its intense chocolate flavors.

The chewy caramel center was lightly sweet with strong cocoa notes and a bit of plumminess, while the dark chocolate coating was intense and bittersweet. An OMG.

One more set of See’s reviews to come!

Category: caramel, chocolate, OM, OMG, review, See's, toffee | 1 Comment »

See’s Assorted Chocolates Week 2 – Day 1

April 29th, 2013 by Rosa

Back in 2009, I devoted a whole week to See’s Chocolates as I reviewed an assorted box that they sent me. This week will be another week of See’s Chocolates reviews, only this time, I’ll be reviewing a box that I bought and picked out myself in Seattle.

Today, I’ll go through the four Truffles that I bought. First up, the trademarked See’s Apple Pie Truffle, which they describe as rich buttercream with Granny Smith apples and cinnamon. This was a vaguely heart-shaped white chocolate truffle with a light brown center filling.

The white chocolate coating was sweet and took a backseat to the filling, which was quite the standout. It was extremely bright and fruity with a spot-on apple pie-filling flavor.

It tasted intensely of sweet cooked apples with just a smidge of cinnamon. I swear there was also some notes of toasted crust as well, or at least the crust of McDonald’s apple pie. It was basically a slice of apple pie distilled into a truffle. OM.

Almond Truffle was “rich dark chocolate buttercream with ground almonds”. It was a soft square of chocolate ganache covered in little bits of almond that were bound together with some white chocolate-looking butter thing.

The ganache center was sweet with a mild cocoa flavor, while the almonds in the coating were roasted and nutty. While the almonds were nice, I found them to be too tannic. They sapped all the moisture out of my mouth, so just an O.

Cafe au Lait Truffle was simply described as “rich coffee buttercream”. It had a milk chocolate coating with dark chocolate stripes for contrast.

The texture of the golden brown buttercream center was lovely – solid yet lightly fluffy. Its flavor started off strong with mocha coffee notes, lightly bitter but overall sweet, and the milk chocolate added a great caramel finish. OM.

And last for today, the Dark Chocolate Chip Truffle, “rich chocolate buttercream with chocolate chips”. This buttercream held its shape as I bit into the treat but then melted away on the tongue.

I didn’t notice any extra chocolate chips in that ganache; the texture was perfectly smooth.

It had an incredibly intense semisweet chocolate flavor which was redoubled by the dark chocolate shell. The chocolate didn’t have a terribly nuanced flavor profile, but it was deep and it was good. An OM.

Back on Wednesday and Friday with more See’s!

Category: chocolate, coffee, nuts, O, OM, review, See's, white chocolate | No Comments »

Walker’s Assorted Toffee

April 15th, 2013 by Rosa

I love Walker’s toffees, so when my friends Emma and Jason asked me if I wanted any candies from England, I asked for some Walker’s. They brought me this box of Assorted Toffees (and also a box of After Eight thins).

The Assorted Toffees were English cream toffee, plain chocolate, milk chocolate, banana, and eclair. Eclair was in the last set of Walker’s Toffees that I reviewed four years ago, but the rest was new.

English cream toffee had a smooth and creamy melt and a super sticky chew. The flavor was incredibly buttery and sweet with rich, fresh dairy notes.

Plain chocolate had a thin dark chocolate shell. That chocolate’s flavor was on the bitter side of bittersweet, but as I chewed and chewed and chewed the caramel, the buttery golden sweet flavor of the toffee took over.

Milk chocolate was just like the plain chocolate, only with a thin milk chocolate shell rather than dark chocolate. It had just a slight, mild chocolate flavor.

I was dubious about eating the banana toffee since I hate artificial banana flavor. Fortunately, the banana flavor of this toffee, which came from a flavored cream center, was a pretty accurate representation of a real banana, so I could tolerate these (though they weren’t my favorite).

Finally, the eclair toffee was hiding a bit of (probably fake) chocolate in the center. The chocolate was dusky and sweet, with a bittersweet chocolatesque Tootsie Roll finish that toned down the buttery flavor of the toffee.

I think these still pale in comparison to the darker burnt flavors of Walker’s treacle toffee that I love so much. Still, I enjoyed chewing through their sweet buttery flavors. An O for the banana, and an OM for the rest.

Category: caramel, chocolate, European, O, OM, review | 1 Comment »