Archive for the 'OMG' Category

Hi Chew Fanta – Orange and Grape

February 22nd, 2013 by Rosa

These Hi Chew Fantas were purchased at an Asian grocery store in my hometown. I think this is the first time that Hi Chew has partnered with another brand for their chews.

From the outside, the Hi Chew Fantas looked like standard Hi Chew fare – rectangular prisms of a colored center enveloped in an off-white shell. The Hi Chews carried a surprise, however, as the stiffly sproingy chews were embedded with bits of crunchy, compressed sugar candy that added a subtle fizzy effervescence.

Orange was tart with an undertone of zesty orange flavor that mellowed as the chew progressed and the crunchy candy bits disappeared. It did a pretty good job of capturing the flavor of orange soda, though it tasted less artificial than its soda counterpart.

Grape, too, started out sour and then mellowed out as I chewed it. It didn’t taste like real grapes, but it also didn’t taste quite like grape soda, as it was more floral and rotund.

These Hi Chews were a fun twist on the original. I enjoyed the added fizziness of the candy bits, and the flavors, as usual, were bright and intense. I hope they add more Fanta flavors to the line. An OMG.

Category: Asian (China, Japan, and Korea), chewy, Morinaga, OMG, review | 1 Comment »

JinJu Chocolates – Akoya Collection

February 15th, 2013 by Rosa

Today’s JinJu Chocolates’ Akoya Collection came in the same dual-layer swivel box as the Fleur de Sel caramels that I reviewed on Wednesday. The collection consisted of 5 gorgeously painted/airbrushed molded dome truffles in mostly fruity flavors.

Berry Mascarpone was a magenta truffle decorated with red speckles and a brown X. It was a “summer berry jelly layered with mascarpone crème ganache in Swiss milk chocolate.” The prettily layered truffle had a bottom half of white mascarpone crème that made the berry pink of the jam really stand out.

The milk chocolate shell was sweet with caramel notes. The mascarpone crème was rich and slightly tangy, like a cream cheese, while the berry jelly added a brightly sweet top note of jammy fruitiness that was just lovely.

Tropical Fruit was airbrushed with a reddish-orange sparkle and was comprised of “passion fruit and mango with a hint of vanilla, in milk chocolate.” Its ganache was smooth and with a thinly fatty melt.

It started off with the milk chocolate shell’s dusky caramel sweetness, then took on the bright lemony citrus notes and an intense flavor of passionfruit.

Key Lime was an emerald green, a truffle of “fresh key lime juice and zest blended with white chocolate, in dark chocolate.” Its ganache was thicker than that of the Tropical Fruit and had a snappy dark chocolate shell.

It had a great intensity of key lime flavor – really bright soaring high notes of tart, fresh key limes with an undertone of slightly bitter lime zest – and a great finish of bittersweet dark chocolate. My favorite of the bunch for its complexity and balance.

Lemon White Chocolate was a white chocolate shell, airbrushed with yellow, and was described as “lemon infused white chocolate ganache in creamy white chocolate.”

Its ganache had the sweet flavor of a really nice vanilla frosting, then took on a flare of lemon sweet and sourness, before finishing with a creamy vanilla white chocolate finish.

Finally, Vanilla Dream was the only non-fruity one: “Tahitian vanilla bean infused caramel blended with Swiss milk chocolate, in dark chocolate.” It was speckled with white and gold, which looked great against the chocolate brown shell.

That shell hid a smooth and thinly limpid sweet caramel. The flavor was great, slightly sweet with a nutty caramel flavor that reminded me of cooked condensed milk. My second favorite of the mix.

This collection was top notch. Its flavor assortment was both delicious and creative, and the chocolates and packaging had a luxe, classy feel. An OMG for the mix, and a hearty ZOMG! for the Key Lime and Vanilla Dream.

Category: caramel, chocolate, OMG, review, white chocolate, ZOMG! | Comments Off

JinJu Chocolates – Fleur de Sel caramels

February 13th, 2013 by Rosa

JinJu Chocolates makes hand-crafted chocolates in small batches and, apparently, sells them online and via some classy Las Vegas joints. They sent me free samples of their Fleur de Sel caramels and their Akoya Collection, which I’ll cover on Friday.

The caramels and chocolate arrived in an ingeniously designed two-layer box that swiveled open so that you could access both layers at once. I’d never seen anything like it and was super impressed.

While the top layer of the Akoya Collection was assorted, I’m fairly sure that my bottom layer of caramels were all Fleur de Sel, though JinJu makes several different kinds.

JinJu describes the Fleur de Sel caramels as, “vanilla bean infused buttery caramel, covered in dark chocolate with “flower of salt” from Brittany France.”

I could bite easily through the caramels, but the caramel was stiffy chewy and sticky as I chewed it. When I held it on my tongue, it melted away with a golden amber butteriness that was lightly sweet.

The dark chocolate coating on the caramels was awesome. It was dark and dusky with a nice depth of cocoa flavor and just a hint of sweetness.

The sprinkle of salt that topped the caramels added a nice hit to set off the sweet caramels. I do wish, though, that the saltiness would’ve been more present in the caramel itself.

Still, a super tasty treat, and probably graded on a curve because I love chocolate-covered caramels. An OMG.

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

Puré Gummies – Grape, Lemon, and Peach

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 | 1 Comment »

Kit Kat Gran Wafer

January 23rd, 2013 by Rosa

I’ve often benefitted from friends who travel abroad and bring me back international candy. My friends Emma and Jason recently went to Japan, and Nana and Justin just sent me yet another package, so I’ve got some new Asian goodies in the pipeline.

These Kit Kat Gran Wafers from Emma and Jason came in a box of 10 individually wrapped fingers. The box was way bigger than it needed to be, as it was only half full.

Sad because these Kit Kats were delicious! I would’ve loved to have twice as many in the box.

Unlike regular Kit Kats, the Gran Wafers were totally nekkid. As in missing an outer coating of chocolate, wafers exposed to the world. They were much thicker than regular Kit Kats as well, with five layers of wafer cookie sandwiching four thin layers of deeply dark chocolate.

The crunch of the thick stack of wafers was quite substantial. The layers in between the wafers were made of actual chocolate rather than chocolate cream, giving the whole treat a substantial depth of cocoa flavor.

I loved this extra intense twist on the usual Kit Kat formula of wafer cookies and chocolate. An OMG.

Category: Asian (China, Japan, and Korea), chocolate, cookie, Nestle, OMG, received as gift, review | 2 Comments »

Truffles by Coquette – Classic

January 14th, 2013 by Rosa

Truffles by Coquette is a new online chocolate boutique/small business. They sent me a free box of their classic truffles for review.

The truffles came in a classy looking box with a gilded Coquette logo in the center. Inside were 12 spherical truffles, 4 each of the Colette, Annie, and Katherine.

Colette was described as “traditional French caramels with a touch of Fleur de sel de Guerande, enrobed in dark 55% cacao.” It was a snappy dark chocolate shell surrounding a limpid, liquid caramel.

The caramel was not sticky or chewy, but it also didn’t flow. Instead, it held its shape until it hit my tongue, after which it melted away in a sweetly golden pool of buttery deliciousness.

Each Colette was topped with a sprinkle of sea salt, which provided a nice flash of saltiness against the sweetness of the truffles. The dark chocolate was dusky with awesome cocoa depth and a lightly bittersweet finish that allowed the chocolate to linger.

Annie was “inspired by… the s’more. A gooey marshmallow filling is dipped in milk chocolate and topped with a miniature marshmallow.” I thought it was fun departure from the usual “classic” truffle mix.

The milk chocolate had a thick and creamy melt and tasted of sweet caramel with a dusky finish. While the mini marshmallow topper was textured, the marshmallow filling reminded me of marshmallow fluff: puffy and sweet with no chew.

Instead, it dissolved into the spot-on flavor of jet-puffed marshmallows. Overall, Annie was close to being too sweet for my taste, but I forgave it because it was so unique.

Katherine was “filled with creamy dark chocolate ganache and then dipped in E. Guittard couverture.” Its ganache was thick with no flow, a smooth and cool, almost fatty melt with just a bit of heaviness on my tongue.

The chocolate base that made this chocolate was great. It carried a bright, cocoa fruitiness with a lingering finish of bittersweet cocoa depth.

The Colette was my favorite of the bunch. I’m a sucker for salted caramel, so it gets an OMG. Annie gets an OM for taste and inventiveness, and Katherine gets an OM as well for being a well-executed classic.

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

Mamba Sour

January 7th, 2013 by Rosa

Some people get extremely worked up about how buying Mambas can mean playing a lottery for which 3 out of the 4 flavors you get. Fortunately, when they gave out samples at Sweets and Snacks, they gave them out in single-flavor packs, so I was easily able to get one each of these Mamba Sours.

Like regular Mambas, they came in raspberry, strawberry, lemon, and orange. Each flavor pack contained 6 rectangles of the individually wrapped candies, which looked identical to the regular Mambas.

The candies were softly chewy and quite sticky. They melted away if I just held them in my mouth.

Orange yielded a juicy burst of orange flavor that was brightly sweet and quite tart. The bite of tartness lingered in the finish with just a hint of tongue-numbing.

Lemon was even brighter and even more sour than the orange. It really captured the puckery flavor of a real lemon. Here, too, the sourness made me salivate.

Strawberry had lovely floral undertones that I greatly enjoyed. It carried a slight tartness but wasn’t nearly as sour as the citrus flavors.

Finally, raspberry had the seediness of artificial raspberry candies that I usually find off-putting. In this case, however, that seediness was buried in enough generally fruity flavor and that I didn’t mind it. Here, like the in the strawberry, the sourness was noticeable but mild.

I really enjoyed the intensely bright, fruity flavors and tangy tartness of these chews. The citrus fruits were my favorite, but the other two were nice as well. OMG.

Category: chewy, OMG, review, sour, Storck | Comments Off

Valrhona Chocolate Covered Pearls

October 26th, 2012 by Rosa

I bought these Valrhona Chocolate Covered Pearls from Whole Foods, where they were sold by weight in a little tub (yes, I know the sell by date says 01/24/2012; this review is based on notes I took about a year ago. Yes, I know that means they’ve been kicking around in my backlog for a while. No, you cannot give me grief about it, unless you always finish everything exactly when you mean to).

The pearls had a crunchy center covered in Valrhona chocolate that was panned and polished to a glossy sheen. They were slightly variable in size but all were around the size of a dried split pea.

Valrhona has a stellar reputation for its high quality chocolate, and these pearls lived up to that reputation. The dark chocolate had a velvety melt with a slightly smoky, deeply earthy cocoa flavor.

The center added a toasty crunch and just a hint of carb-y sweetness. The ingredients list called it “biscuit cereals”, and it was mostly made of wheat.

These guys were addictively poppable, with their delicious mix of crunchy biscuit center and smooth chocolate complexity. At $16.99/lb, they are far from cheap, but a little goes a long way if you can patiently eat them one by one. I think they’d make a great keep-you-awake-on-a-long-drive snack.

They’d also make a great ice cream topper – my mouth is watering thinking about them mixed with my favorite salted caramel ice cream from the Parlour in Durham. Mmm… An OMG.

Category: chocolate, OMG, review | Comments Off

Guest post: Ovomaltine

October 24th, 2012 by Neil

As I try to recover from a week in New Orleans, ex-pat friend Knile has a couple of guest posts on deck. ~Rosa

I can’t believe I’m still eating what I bought in Switzerland nearly six months ago! I’ve been dying to tuck into this one in particular, but have held off for a rainy day. Here we are: it’s raining.

The Ovomaltine bar is produced by Wander, a subsidiary of the Associated British Foods company, which also does, yes, make the classic chocolate malt powder Ovaltine. I loved Ovaltine as a kid, and that’s meant that ever since then, I’m pleased to try new forms of malt.

The bar broke on its own when I was unwrapping it, showing that the twelve brick-like pieces were positively riddled with malt powder.

Eating it was pure joy. The milk chocolate worked very well as a vehicle for the malt, as any fan of Whoppers or Maltesers could tell you. The powder was evenly distributed and so every bite effervesced.

If you told me I had to eat six of these bars a day, I’d be a happy camper. OMG, this bar was wonderful.

Category: chocolate, European, guest post, OMG, review | Comments Off

Guest Post: Meiji Fruit Gummies Part II

October 19th, 2012 by CamNMere

I was at the Society for Neuroscience conference in New Orleans earlier this week, so I’m turning things over to some globe-trotting friends. Cameron and Meredith are former roommates of mine (we did lots of chocolate truffle tastings together), and they’re writing about some treats they bought on a recent trip through Japan. ~Rosa

Here’s the rest of the Meiji Gummies first covered on Wednesday.

Strawberry!

Cameron: A bit firmer than the rest, but unfortunately the bog-standard strawberry flavor that you get from any mass-produced strawberry gummy – it tastes like cheap jam. I’m not totally opposed to it, and perhaps it’s better for a mass market product like this to go with the de facto standard, but it certainly isn’t an innovative or unique take on the flavor. O

Meredith: I have a problem with a lot of strawberry-flavored candy: I can’t stand peanut butter, and apparently over the years I’ve picked up an PBJ-mediated distaste for certain mass-produced strawberry jam flavors too.

I like fresh strawberries and some strawberry-flavored products (again, Hi-Chew comes to mind), but this sort of mass-produced strawberry jam flavor is seriously offputting to me.  This strawberry gum actually had a peanut butter aftertaste for me that is almost certainly illusory, so I have to give it a highly subjective .

And finally, the odd one out – the white grape flavor, from the Pupurun line. (Which has a particularly adorable mascot.)

Cameron: No question, this is a superior gummy to the other product line. It’s super soft, with a center that’s just barely not liquid, and the flavor is very nice and authentic to the fruit. It’s got a bit of complexity that’s similar to the difference between seedless and seeded grapes, and some wineyness in the aftertaste. OMG

Meredith: First off, I loved the texture of the dome gummy! It has a sproingy outside layer and an oozy melty inside, much like an actual grape. And its flavor is spot on in the “real grape flavor” category. Makes me want to go to the market and buy some Finger Lakes grapes! A solid OMG.

We ended up rating the Pupurun a bit higher than Rosa did – I think this is the closest you’ll get to a direct comparison, so you can maybe say that we’re a hair less discerning than your usual host!

Category: --, guest post, gummi/gummy, Meiji, O, OMG, review | Comments Off