Archive for the 'OMG' Category

See’s Awesome Nut & Chew Bar

January 11th, 2012 by Rosa

This See’s Awesome Nut & Chew Bar was another mall stand buy. The 1.5 oz bar was described as “chewy nougat with almonds and honey covered in dark chocolate.”

The bulk of the rectangular bar was a log of chewy nougat covered with a dark chocolate hsell. The texture was great. It was chock full of crunchy whole almonds surrounded by a lightly sweet and chewy nougat.

The nougat had the amber undertone of honey, which nicely set off the crisp, fresh almonds. The dark chocolate shell was only lightly sweet and brought a great cocoa depth to the bar.

I loved this bar. The honey in the nougat added a delicious complexity while the almonds had a great crunchy nuttiness.

The chewy nougat and the crunchy almonds and the dusky chocolate also made for a great textural mix. It was a near perfect treat.

My only complaint was that the dark chocolate shell shattered and made a bit of a mess when I bit into the bar, but it’s a minor one. An OMG.

Again, here are Cybele and Sera’s takes.

Category: chocolate, nougat, nuts, OMG, review, See's | 1 Comment »

Harbor Sweets Perennial Sweets

December 16th, 2011 by Rosa

On Wednesday, I reviewed my free sample Harbor Sweets‘s Sand Castle Dark Chocolate and Caramel Bar. Today, I’m reviewing their Perennial Sweets, another free sample that I received.

The Perennial Sweets was a box of “dark chocolates inspired by the garden.” My box of 16 contained 4 Nantucket Baskets, 4 Topiary Toffees, and 8 Sweet Irises, each individually wrapped in gold foil.

The chocolates themselves reminded me of cameo jewelry due to their oval shapes and raised (really molded) decorations. As with the Sand Castle bar, I was impressed by the detail captured by the molding, as well as the lack of air bubbles in the chocolate.

The Nantucket Basket was a “rich, dark chocolate with dry roasted almonds” with a pretty basket of plants as its molding. The thick oval of chocolate was snappy with a smooth melt.

The chocolate carried a hint of cherry sweetness and was studded with whole almonds. While the almonds were nutty with a nice roasted flavor, they got bitter at their gritty end. I thought they were a tad too tannic.

Topiary Toffee had a potted tree decoration and was described as “rich, dark chocolate with almond butter crunch.”

It was also thick with a solid snap, and though the dark chocolate looked identical to that of the Nantucket Basket, I thought it tasted just a hair sweeter and had a thicker melt.

I expected the almond butter crunch to be dispersed throughout the treat as little nuggets. Instead, there was a big triangular slab of almond butter toffee hidden inside.

The toffee was simply lovely and paired well with the dusky, thick chocolate. It had the just-shy-of-burnt sugar taste that I love with just a hint of nuttiness. It cleaved cleanly, shattering into shards of deliciousness when bitten into.

Sweet Iris, “rich, dark chocolate with raspberry crunch,” was markedly thinner than the other two. Each Sweet Iris well held two chocolates while the Nantucket Basket and Topiary Toffee were one per well.

The Sweet Iris smelled extremely fruity. There was a light grit to the chocolate that I thought maybe came from raspberry seeds or bits of dehydrated raspberry but actually were bits of “lemon crunch,” according to the ingredients list.

The dark chocolate had a nice cocoa duskiness from the chocolate and a brightly sweet fruitiness. It was nice but a bit too artificially fruity sweet for my taste.

The Topiary Toffee was my favorite of the bunch and gets an OMG, while the other two get Os. They get high marks for prettiness, though. If I owned a bed and breakfast, I’d leave these on the pillows.

Category: chocolate, nuts, O, OMG, review, toffee | No Comments »

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 »