Archive for the 'OMG' Category

Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate Tahitian Vanilla Caramels

November 18th, 2011 by Rosa

Cybele reviewed Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate Tahitian Vanilla Caramels about a year ago, which first put them on my radar. The little bag nearly escaped my notice in the store. It was near the checkout counters in impulse buy territory.

The caramels were beautiful round balls with a captivatingly glossy sheen. That outer coating quickly melted away when I held the caramel in my mouth, but I much preferred to bite into them.

When I bit into it, the outer shell yielded easily with a soft crunch as it splintered, then melted smoothly. The inner caramel was initially soft and then quickly became chewy.

The caramel and chocolate were amazing. The chocolate had a great cocoa depth with a lovely, dusky finish, and the caramel had a smooth butteriness with some light rum notes and a butterscotch finish.

The combination of the two was absolutely stellar, a whole that was greater than the sum of its parts. The sticky caramel mixed well with the smooth chocolate, and the dusky cocoa flavors played off the buttery caramel.

I loved the complexity of this treat – far better than Milk Duds – and can’t wait to pick up another bag. An OMG.

Category: caramel, chocolate, OMG, review, Trader Joe's | 3 Comments »

Javaz Dark

November 11th, 2011 by Rosa

Here’s the second of the two bags of Javaz that I found at Cost Plus World Market. I reviewed the milk ones on Wednesday, and today’s review is of the dark version.

As I noted on Wednesday, Javaz are chocolate covered coffee beans that are then covered with a shiny sugar shell. The milk ones were lovely, and the dark ones even more so.

With their deep obsidian shells lightly flecked with bits of white, they could be little marble pebbles. Just check out that lovely sheen!

Thankfully, they’re much more edible than actual pebbles. The dark chocolate was a bit stiffer than the softer milk chocolate. Otherwise, the textural combination of sugar shell crunch and coffee grit was similar to that of the milk Javaz.

The chocolate had a lightly sweet fruitiness in its body and a slightly smokiness to the finish. I think the deepness of the chocolate made for a better foil for the bitterness of the beans.

Each complimented the other, so that the bitter astringency of the coffee was reduced and the fruitiness of the chocolate was amped up. For me, this was an addictive combination. An OMG.

Category: chocolate, coffee, fair trade, OMG, review | No Comments »

Sanders Milk Chocolate Sea Salt Caramel

October 12th, 2011 by Rosa

Sanders Fine Chocolates was not a brand that I was previously familiar with. I was in the Duke Hospital getting a prescription filled and saw several displays of Sanders chocolates in the hospital gift shop. Even better, I saw that they were being sold in single servings, perfect for a candy blogger!

I picked up a Milk Chocolate Sea Salt Caramel, a Peanut Butter Crispies, and a Milk Chocolate Pecan Titan. I’ll review the former today, and the latter two on Friday.

The Milk Chocolate Sea Salt Caramel (bottom left corner of below photo) was quite pretty out of the wrapper, with the bright sea salt crystals contrasting against the well-tempered milk chocolate.

The caramel, however, wasn’t quite as photogenic as it was on the wrapper. I didn’t get the enviably gorgeous pull that was depicted.

The caramel tasted great, though. It was creamy and sweet, cool and buttery. It didn’t ooze when I bit into the chocolate, but it got stickier as I chewed it and it warmed in my mouth.

The chocolate was standard but added a nice contrast to the caramel. Its flavor was really punched up by the thick salt crystals.

All in all, this was a great treat in a small, unassuming package and tasted just as good as sea salt caramels that cost twice as much (or more). An OMG.

Category: caramel, chocolate, OMG, review | 1 Comment »

Enstrom’s Milk Chocolate Almond Toffee

September 23rd, 2011 by Rosa

I received this box of Enstrom’s Milk Chocolate Almond Toffee as a free sample from the manufacturer. Apparently they’ve been making their toffee by hand for over 50 years!

The box’s description called it “the perfect blend of sweet cream butter, pure cane sugar, and California almonds, drenched in creamy milk chocolate and sprinkled with crushed almonds.” The box itself was quite pretty, a cream-colored lid with a deep chocolate-colored bottom.

The toffee came in giant slabs that were a bit unwieldy. It was covered in chocolate that was, in turn, covered in crushed almonds. The almonds were so thoroughly pulverized that they were practically almond dust, so breaking apart the thick slabs was a messy affair.

The toffee was thick – thick enough to have whole almonds fully embedded in it. It cleaved and crumbled cleanly with a pleasant crunch. And, importantly for toffee, it had a minimal “getting-stuck-in-your-molars” aspect.

The toffee was the star here, and it definitely shone. It was buttery and sweet with lovely caramel notes and tasted scorchy, just shy of burnt.

The almonds within the toffee added a wonderful nuttiness; I believe they were toasted to bring out their flavor. The chocolate was mild with a sweet sugar finish and minimal cocoa flavors, while the crushed almonds on top were so finely ground that they didn’t contribute much more nuttiness.

I love a good toffee, especially one that doesn’t leave me trying to discretely pick bits of candy out of my teeth. The flavors and texture were perfect here; my only complaint was that it was a bit messy to parcel out.

I brought this into work to share, and it quickly disappeared. A clear OMG winner.

Category: chocolate, nuts, OMG, review, toffee | 2 Comments »

Eiffel Bon Bons

September 16th, 2011 by Rosa

When I was in middle school and high school, we used to sell these little bags of Eiffel Bon Bons to raise money for French Club and the National French Honor Society. I think I ate as many bags as I sold – they were so addictive!

I found larger bags of strawberry and apple Bon Bons at Cost Plus World Market and had to immediately snatch them up for reviewing (and eating).

For the record, it was my first foray into the wondrous global grocery that is CPWM, and holy cow did I come home with loads of candy! Those will be making appearances in the coming weeks.

The Bon Bons were little nuggets, slightly larger than thumbnail-sized. Strawberry was pink and apple was a pale lime green. Both had white centers.

They were all coated with a light dusting of fine powdered sugar. They could be held in the mouth and dissolved, but I never had – and still don’t have – the patience for that.

Instead, I like to chew mine up. The chew starts off almost stiff and works the jaw for a chomp or two, but it softens quickly. The texture then becomes almost Starburst-like, but with a coarser grain.

Strawberry was sweet with a bright, floral fruitiness. It tasted like strawberry candy concentrate: a strawberry gummi bear with the flavor turned up to 11.

Apple had the flavor of a Granny Smith apple, only it slightly sweeter and not as sharp. There was still a mild sourness, but it never approached levels of puckeriness.

Like the strawberry, the apple flavor was intense and super concentrated. And somehow, the flavor never dissipated as my chewing continued.

The best part of these is the chew. The texture slowly morphs as the bright, intense flavors explode and fill the mouth.

They’re just as addictive as I remember them being, though I have less tolerance for the compounding effect of their sweetness these days. Still, an OMG.

Category: chewy, European, OMG, review | 4 Comments »

Haribo Fruity-Bussi

August 24th, 2011 by Rosa

Haribo Fruity-Bussi are the fruity corollary to the Jogi-Bussi that I reviewed on Monday. They were the same mix of gummi, foam, and goo as the Jogi-Bussi, but not yogurt-based. I far preferred these.

The three fruits on this wrapper were orange, raspberry, and pear, though all the gummies were shaped like little round, knobby raspberries/blackberries.

Orange tasted sweetly acidic with an orange tinge. The goo was nice and thick and beautifully oozy. It had a wonderfully zesty sharpness that was quite enjoyable.

Green was pear. It combined the mellowness of Fuji apples with a light peariness.

Red was raspberry. Raspberry is a tricky fruit flavor to nail, but Haribo did a pretty good job. These tasted darkly red with a great berry seediness.

The bland foam bottoms of these contrasted with the fruity, flavorful sweetness of the gummies. Still, the foam wasn’t as objectionable as that of the Jogi-Bussi since the Fruity-Bussis were much more flavorful.

The goos were the best part of these gummies. They tasted of concentrated fruitiness with a great viscosity that let their ooze coat and linger on the tongue. An OMG.

Category: European, gummi/gummy, Haribo, OMG, review | 1 Comment »

Hi-Chew Mango (Review)

July 8th, 2011 by Rosa

I received this pack of Hi-Chew Mango as a free sample from Morinaga USA, along with my packs of Hi-Chew Peach and Banana. I thought I’d already reviewed them, but it turns out I had just written a news post about them.

The Hi-Chews had an orange-yellow center surrounded by an off-white shell that didn’t photograph well. Just imagine this, but slightly more orangey. The flavor, however, was flawless!

It tasted just like a fresh, juicy, perfectly ripe mango. I have no words to describe it other than as a perfect distillation of real mango into a candy chew.

As the sticky chewiness developed, the unique mango seediness became stronger and lingered a bit in the finish. I found it intoxicatingly delightful and almost better than the real thing. An OMG.

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

Gimbal’s Sour Lovers

June 17th, 2011 by Rosa

I received these Gimbal’s Sour Lovers as free samples for review. They’re a new set of sour gummis that come in 12 flavors.

The gummis were brightly colored and sweetly heart-shaped. All were covered in sour sugar. Their texture was quite soft and sticky, with a tendency to work its way into the nooks and crannies of my teeth.

Pomegranate was a dark red. It tasted deeply red and seedy and was reminiscent of a mild raspberry, except that it had a lovely, naturally fruity finish.

Bing Cherry was a slightly lighter red. It and the Pomegranate were nearly impossible to distinguish by sight, but they definitely tasted different. Cherry was sweeter and tasted like a mild, generic red candy.

Watermelon was an opaque pink. It tasted just like a watermelon Jolly Rancher, sweet and floral and not exactly like the actual fruit.

Strawberry Daiquiri was a translucent pink. I usually find strawberry candies unremarkable, but this surprised me. It had a nice zestiness to it to represent the lime juice component of the daiquiri, making this a fruity bite with notes of lime rind.

Meyer Lemon was yellow and tasted noticeably distinguishable from your usual lemon gummi. It had more acidity to its flavor and more zestiness than the usual sweet mellowness of other lemon candies, like lemon drops.

Grapefruit was a translucent off-white. It started with a solid, near bitter bite that was quickly tempered by the sweet and sour sugar. It had much more pithiness than grapefruit gummi bears. I liked the grown-up take.

Fuji Apple had the round mellow apple juice sweetness of Fuji apples. It tasted positively juicy!

Sour Blueberry didn’t quite do it for me, but blueberry-flavored candies generally don’t. I thought this was more raspberry-like. It started off sweet and then developed a seedy bite.

Mango was a light, translucent orange. The flavor was spot-on, with a sharp tinge of genuine mango seediness.

Tangerine was a slightly darker translucent orange. Like the Bing Cherry and Pomegranante, Mango and Tangerine looked alike but tasted totally different. Tangerine was extremely sweet and mellow for a sour citrus gummi, but it had a great tanginess and a zesty finish.

Georgia Peach was an opaque orange. It had a mild floralness that soon became a sharply bright and extremely genuine fresh peach flavor. It did a great job of evoking the flavor of biting into a ripe peach, skin and all.

Finally, Baja Margarita was a light lime-green. It started off puckery, then became slightly sweet with a limey zestiness. This was my favorite of the bunch.

This was a great assortment from Gimbal’s! My only issue is that the gummi was a tad too sticky for my taste, as it left me picking my teeth afterwards.

The flavors, however, were excellent – bright, sweet, fruity, and sour. An OM for the set as a whole, with Baja Margarita, Strawberry Daiquiri, Grapefruit, Georgia Peach, and Meyer Lemon getting extra OMG kudos.

If you want a second opinion, check out Cybele’s take.

Category: gummi/gummy, OM, OMG, review, sour | 1 Comment »

Beacon Hill Chocolates – Part I

June 8th, 2011 by Rosa

My boyfriend recently treated me to a lovely box of truffles from Beacon Hill Chocolates (hereafter referred to as BHC). I will review 2 of them today and 3 more on Friday.

BHC doesn’t make their own truffles. Instead, they sell truffles made by other chocolatiers.

Alas, they don’t credit the chocolatiers in their shop or online store. I recognized some by Moonstruck and Michel Cluizel. If y’all know the original makers of the truffles that I’m about to review, please do leave a comment!

First up is the big rectangular dark chocolate truffle with its sprinkle of coarse salt. It was an Olive Oil and Sea Salt truffle, described by BHC as, “Dark chocolate ganache infused with a touch of olive oil and topped with sea salt. A sweet and savory favorite.

Its ganache was smooth and creamy, with an incredibly satisfying velvety texture. It was deep and dark and dusky, while the salt added flashes of bright sour/salty flavor.

This truffle was simultaneously simple and complex. I could disappear into its depth for days. An OMG.

Gingerbread Caramel was a cute little milk chocolate windmill. BHC describes it as, “Soft caramel flavored with a blend of spices and roasted almonds, inside a milk chocolate windmill shell.”

The milk chocolate shell looked rather grainy but had a surprisingly smooth melt. The caramel filling was thickly runny.

It first tasted of gingerbread spices, mostly clove with a hint of ginger. The initial spice notes then gave way to the lovely complexity of burnt sugar.

There was a slight grit to the caramel, which I thought was tiny bits of spices. Now that I’ve read the BHC description, I bet those were actually tiny bits of almond.

This was a fine and tasty treat but just a skotch on the overly sweet side. An OM.

Come back on Friday for the rest!

Category: caramel, chocolate, OM, OMG, received as gift, review | 4 Comments »

Chuao ChocoPods – Honeycomb and Firecracker

June 6th, 2011 by Rosa

I love the idea of Chuao Choco Pods. They’re the same chocolate as full-sized Chuao bars, just scaled down to just 11 grams apiece. Chuao’s chosen to market the scaling down as smart portion control. I say it’s great for candy bloggers who want just small samples!

I picked out 3 Choco Pods at Beacon Hill Chocolates for $1 each. My boyfriend treated and also let me pick out several truffles, which I’ll review later in the week.

The Honeycomb was “dark chocolate, caramelized honeycomb”. It smelled dark and woodsy. The flavor was absolutely lovely with deep raisin notes and a sweetness from the bits of honeycomb.

The honeycomb bits added a light crunch and grit, along with a slight toffee toastiness. It was a welcome foil to the intensity of the dark chocolate flavors.

Firecracker was “dark chocolate, chipotle, salt, and popping candy”. It smelled slightly sweet and smoky with a hint of allspice to the scent.

It initially tasted of cinnamon before giving way to a firey, smoky chile burn that lingered and singed. The afterburn was quite powerful.

The heat of that burn was accentuated by the presence of popping candy, which added the sound and feel of snapping in my mouth. Firecracker really was an apt name!

I really enjoyed both these bars, though Firecracker got a skotch too fiery in the finish. An OMG for the Honeycomb and an OM for the Firecracker.

Where’s the third ChocoPod that I tried? I’m saving that for next week so that I can properly wax rhapsodic about it. Stay tuned!

Category: chocolate, OM, OMG, received as gift, review | 1 Comment »