January 30th, 2013 by Rosa
Every time I go to Trader Joe’s, I end up spending more money than I mean to. They’re just so good at suckering me into making impulse buys, like this bag of their Dark Chocolate Honey Mints.
The bag was cutely decorated with drawings of bees and beehives. It also boasted that the Honey Mints had just three ingredients: honey, chocolate liquor, and oil of peppermint (and the potential for traces of milk as an allergen warning).
My 7 oz bag had 20 Honey Mints disks inside, each individually wrapped in shiny turquoise foil. They all smelled strongly minty with a sweet undertone.
Each disk was about an inch and a half in diameter. They had a lightly golden peppermint fondant center covered in a thin layer of dark chocolate.
The smooth fondant was effervescent and minty throughout. It started off with a bright burst of initial sweetness and finished with a slightly bitter astringency from the chocolate.
I think this treat could have benefitted from a little tweaking to that chocolate. It was slightly gritty, and the astringency was off-putting when I ate the Honey Mints slowly enough to notice it. A little cocoa butter in addition to the cocoa liquor would have helped with the texture.
Still, Trader Joe’s should be commended for a minimalist, fairly tasty treat that provides a less processed alternative to York Peppermint Patties (in which corn syrup is a big player). An OM.
Category: chocolate, mint, O, review, Trader Joe's |
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January 28th, 2013 by Rosa
Baci’s big push at Sweets and Snacks 2012 was to promote their new Bacis Whites, which is how I got these free samples. They were basically a white chocolate-covered version of their regular Bacis, which I’ve previously reviewed.
Regular Baci come wrapped in thick white foil with blue stars, while the Baci White were wrapped in thick blue foil with white stars. A bit counterintuitive that the Baci White came in blue, but oh well.
The Baci White was a dome of gianduja paste, which was made of a dry chocolate ganache and chopped hazelnuts. The whole thing was topped with a whole roasted hazelnut and then covered in a creamy white chocolate.
That white chocolate made for a sweeter Baci experience, as it tasted of frosting with vanilla undertones. It was definitely a high quality white chocolate, with a nicely round flavor, but I found it to be too sweet.
The treat was sweet and crunchy and nutty. I loved the roasted nutty experience, but I found that I preferred the regular Baci, which were less sweet and more chocolatey than the White version. An O.
Category: chocolate, European, nuts, O, Perugina, review, white chocolate |
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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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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 |
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January 21st, 2013 by Rosa
Galaxy chocolate is the UK equivalent of Dove chocolates. I picked up a couple of imported cookie-themed Galaxy bars at my last trip to Cost Plus World Market, the Cookie Crumble and the Orange and Shortcake.
Both bars were wavily segmented into 6 imprinted rectangles that broke easily around their bounds. They had a thickly creamy milk chocolate base that was sweet with just a bit of a throat-burning sour tinge at the finish.
Cookie Crumble had gritty nuggets of chocolate cookie that added a slight gritty crunch. The cookie bits were basically black in color, like Oreos, and they basically tasted like the cookie parts of Oreos.
It reminded me of a slightly nicer version of Hershey’s Cookies ‘n Milk Chocolate bar, as the Galaxy chocolate base had a much more luxurious mouthfeel and was just higher quality in general. Still, it also gets an O because I found it to be a tad too sweet in the finish.
Orange and Shortcake had larger cookie bits of pale shortbread that visually stood out against the milky brown chocolate. They added a bit of crunch and grit, but not much flavor, as I mostly tasted the orange flavor in the chocolate.
There were bits of candied orange rind in the bar, which brought a nicely sweet, brightly fruit burst of flavor to the chocolate. They were my favorite part of the bar – an unusual and tasty twist that elevated it to an OM.
Category: chocolate, cookie, Dove, European, Mars, O, OM, review |
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January 18th, 2013 by Rosa
Just when I thought the “just add bacon” trend was running its course, I got these free samples of Marich Premium Chocolates‘ newest bacon treats: Double Chocolate Bacon Pretzels and Milk Chocolate Bacon Toffee.
The Double Chocolate Bacon Pretzels were little balls about a half inch in diameter that smelled strongly of smoky meat. Each candy’s center was a crunchy pretzel ball, covered with a thin layer of dark chocolate and a thicker layer of white chocolate.
The chocolate coatings were sweet and creamy with a smoky, meaty undertone. The pretzel center added a great salty, starchy crunch that balanced out the melting sweet chocolate.
I’m torn on how much I liked these. On the one hand, sweet and salty and melting and crunchy always makes for a great taste experience.
On the other hand, the bacon aspect added a meaty aftertaste that was sort of odd. I think I may have liked this better without the bacon aspect. An O.
The Milk Chocolate Bacon Toffee pieces were rounded, flattened cubes that were slightly larger than the Bacon Pretzels. The toffee centers were crunchy and cleaved cleanly
Tiny bits of bacon were distributed throughout the toffee and gave it a bacon-bitty flavor. Those bacon bits could be seen and tasted but didn’t change the texture of the toffee.
The milk chocolate layer was quite thick with a sweet flavor and a creamy melt. It contrasted nicely with the crunchy and salty toffee center.
In this case, I think the bacon gave the chocolate and toffee an extra dimension that elevated the overall experience. An OM.
Category: chocolate, O, OM, review, toffee |
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January 16th, 2013 by Rosa
I rarely buy candy just for snacking since I have a ridiculous stockpile. Florida’s Natural Au’some Organic Nuggets (which used to be just Fruit Nuggets; the organic part is a relatively new addition) are one of the few candies that I will buy to snack on, so I happily accepted free samples of them at Sweets and Snacks.
They came in three different mixes: Orchard Sours were apple and lemon; Berrilicious were cherry, blueberry, and strawberry; and Fruit Grove was strawberry, banana, and orange.
The nuggets were all irregularly shaped, though they were generally rectangular and about the size of my pinky nail. They were chewy and lightly grainy and melted with a slight pasty feeling.
All the nuggets within each bag looked the same, though the Berrilicious mix was a little darker than the other two and had a less mottled surface (they’re the ones on the left). They all tasted fruity and sweet with a slightly wheaty finish.
The Berrilicious nuggets were sweet and brightly fruity and tasted like blueberry and strawberry jam. The flavors were deep and mellow.
The Orchard Sours started off tasting like a mild and sweet lemon drop before developing biting notes of pear and finishing with fuji apple sweetness. For some reason pear was the first ingredient in the fruit puree ingredient list – maybe because they’re cheaper?
Fruit Grove nuggets were sweet and had airy overtones of banana and applesauce. They finished by tasting like sweet orange juice.
I like these for snacking because their fruity flavors are so intense and powerful. That intensity makes them overwhelming if you eat too many at once (like I did while trying to figure out if each nugget was one fruit flavor or many), so moderation is cautioned. An OM.
Category: chewy, OM, organic, review |
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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 |
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January 11th, 2013 by Rosa
I remember Hershey’s Cookies ‘n’ Creme from my childhood. I think the Cookies ‘n’ Milk Chocolate are a newer addition, within the last few years.
By the way, this whole ‘n’ thing is crazy annoying. An ampersand takes up the same amount of space but is grammatically correct.
Both bars were crammed full of crunchy bits of chocolate cookie which tasted like Oreo cookies. Cookies ‘n’ Creme had a base of “creme” that was supposed to emulate white chocolate but, as Cybele pointed out, wasn’t really white chocolate, as it was mostly made of vegetable oils.
The “creme” was sweet with a slightly sour fake vanilla flavor, like canned frosting. Though it’s not a high quality base by any means, it is a classic. To me, it just goes well with the bittersweet cookie bits, but that’s probably my nostalgia getting in the way.
Cookies ‘n’ Milk Chocolate had a milk chocolate base that had Hershey’s characteristic slightly sour tang to the finish. The milk chocolate seemed to make the cookies taste even more chocolatey.
I loved the Cookies ‘n’ Creme as a kid. These days, I won’t turn down a free miniature version of it or the Cookies ‘n’ Milk Chocolate (I got these from work), as the cookie bits are a nice departure from the norm, but I wouldn’t go out an actually buy them myself. An O.
Category: chocolate, cookie, Hershey's, O, review |
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January 9th, 2013 by Rosa
These Mamba Duos were free samples that I snagged at Sweets and Snacks along with Monday’s Mamba Sours. From their Amazon listing, it looks like they were a limited edition Mamba flavor.
Fittingly enough, there were two flavors of Duos, and two flavors in each Duo. The wrappers were decorated with funny-looking Frankenstein fruits.
Like the regular Mambas, there were six individually wrapped candies per pack. The candies were softly chews that became quite sticky while being chewed.
Watermelon Apple was pink and yellow striped. It mostly tasted of that especially artificial Jolly Rancher candied watermelon flavor with a bit of apple juiciness to the finish.
Raspberry Peach was pink with a yellow swirl. It started off with a mild red fruit flavor and some raspberry seediness.
The flavor then evolved into the fuzzy sweet juiciness of a ripe peach. That peach flavor was delicious – it would make for a lovely Mamba flavor all on its own!
I enjoyed the texture and flavor intensity of these chews. The peach half of the raspberry-peach Duo was my favorite. An OM for the set.
Category: chewy, limited edition, OM, review, Storck |
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