Archive for the 'received as gift' Category

After Eight Mint Chocolate Thins

April 3rd, 2013 by Rosa

My friends Emma and Jason recently took a vacation to London and brought me back a box of After Eight Mint Chocolate Thins. If you’ve been following this blog for a while, you’d recall that I spent the summer of 2008 in the UK, during which I reviewed the regular After Eights.

The Mint Chocolate Thin version of the After Eights were much classier than the boxy cubes I’d had before. My 300 g box of thins had ~35 thins, each encased in their own delicate sleeves. The sleeves themselves were prettily decorated with the After Eight clock logo in gold.

The Thins were 4cm square and about 1/4 cm thick. Their bottoms were flat and lightly imprinted with “After Eight” in script, while the tops were wavy and rippled.

The thin dark chocolate shell broke easily to reveal the grainy squishy fondant within. The chocolate’s mild cocoa flavor was barely noticeable and was mostly overwhelmed by the strong mintiness of the fondant.

That mint was refreshing but not mentholated/cooling. It was just a hair too sweet – enough that it felt cloying when I ate two thins in a row.

I thought these were a lovely treat. They look elegant enough to put out for guests, which is pretty good for a mass-market chocolate item. You couldn’t say that about York Peppermint Patties, which is the closest thing to these we’ve got on the American market. An OM.

Category: chocolate, European, mint, Nestle, OM, received as gift, review | 2 Comments »

Chocolate Limes

March 29th, 2013 by Rosa

These Chocolate Limes were the other candy treat that Ariel and Logan brought me from Bermuda (the other was the excellent Cadbury Time Out that I covered on Wednesday). It turns out that I’ve actually covered a version of this treat in my British Boiled Sweets round-up, only this time I got a fresh bag rather than a few candies that had been sitting in a bulk bin for who knows how long.

The bag of Chocolate Limes (with Milk Chocolate Centres), depicted the candies in their unwrapped state, which made me think that they’d be chewy candies of some sort. Instead, they turned out to be individually wrapped hard candies, each about the size of my first thumb joint.

The candies were a vibrant light green with a smidge of chocolate brown that ran through the center. They were a smooth hard candy with a brightly tart and tangy lime flavor with lots of lime zestiness. I thought they tasted just like a hard candy version of lime Skittles (RIP).

The chocolate stripe down the center was a scant amount, so its flavor wasn’t super noticeable. It tasted a little fake, with the same chocolatesque-flavor that Tootsie Rolls have. I think the closest thing that we have to this in the U.S. is the lemon-lime Tootsie Roll Pop.

Honestly, I could have done without the chocolate component. The lime hard candy was delicious in its own right, and while the chocolate didn’t detract for me, some of my lab mates weren’t a fan of it. I give this an OM because I love citrus candies, and this was a great lime hard candy, but I’ll warn you that your mileage may vary.

Category: chocolate, hard candy, OM, received as gift, review | No Comments »

Cadbury Time Out

March 27th, 2013 by Rosa

As I’ve noted before, one of the many perks of being a candy blogger is that friends who travel to exotic places often bring me back candy presents. My friends Ariel and Logan returned from a mini-vacation in Bermuda with a couple of candy gifts for me, including this Cadbury Time Out.

The wrapper described its contents as 2 milk chocolate covered wafer fingers with milk chocolate centres. The obvious comparison here is with Kit Kats. In fact, I found these to be even better.

Each finger was about five inches long and less than half an inch across. I was happy that they came two to a package, though I sort of wish there were more. Because I already ate them both (in two sittings, at least).

The wafer cookies were crisp and toastier than Kit Kat’s version. Instead of the cream that Kit Kats have, the two wafer cookies sandwiched a layer of folded chocolate, which made the Time Out taste really rich and chocolatey.

The chocolate was the best part. It had a surprisingly complexity for a mass-produced bar, lots of bittersweet coffee notes that kept it from being overly sweet. Instead, it tasted like a well-balanced, grown-up treat. An OM.

Category: chocolate, cookie, OM, received as gift, review | No Comments »

Kabosu Caramels

February 6th, 2013 by Rosa

This week’s review items come courtesy of Nana and Justin, a couple of college friends of mine who are living, teaching, and blogging in Japan and who are kind enough to mail me Japanese goodies from time to time.

According to Nana, limes are a Kyushu specialty, so it makes sense that they’d have a candy to highlight it. My box of these Kabosu Caramels was generously stuffed with little parchment paper-wrapped squares of caramel.

It was great that there were so many caramels, but when they all spilled out of my box, it was impossible to get them back in.

The pale green caramels felt rock hard to the touch and were initially quite hard to bite into. With a little determination and trust that they wouldn’t break my teeth, I eventually got them to break off with a slight grain.

Once I got to chewing, the stiff chew softened as it melted. The caramel had a sort of grainy texture. It reminded me of a Tootsie Roll, except that it melted more readily.

The candies started off with a creamy undertone, then became brightly sweet with a yogurty lime flavor and a hint of zest to the finish. They reminded me of key lime pie or lime flavored yogurt because of the added dairy feel to the flavor.

I would’ve preferred a more fully fruity candy, as I felt the dairy creaminess diluted the great lime flavor. Still, they were enjoyable and definitely a unique treat. An O.

Category: Asian (China, Japan, and Korea), chewy, O, received as gift, review | No Comments »

Japanese Candied Yuzu Peel

February 4th, 2013 by Rosa

This week’s review items come courtesy of Nana and Justin, a couple of college friends of mine who are living, teaching, and blogging in Japan and who are kind enough to mail me Japanese goodies from time to time.

Yuzu is a Japanese citrus fruit that I know about only because I used to be a Top Chef junkie. As Nana explains, it has a “sour lemony/orange flavor, [is] very popular on Kyushu, [and is] used often for a spicy paste to add to soups and noodles.”

This bag of candied Yuzu peel was decorated with a crazy cartoon that reminded me of a WarioWare: Smooth Moves mini-game. The candied peels smelled orangey and zesty with a floral undertone.

The pieces of peel varied in length but were mostly about an inch long and just under a quarter inch wide. They had a stiff bite and required a bit of chewing.

These simple treats tasted delicious. They were lightly sweet with a tangy orange/lemon citrus zestiness and just a hint of pithy bitterness to the end in some pieces.

I’ve tried making my own candied citrus peels before, but they’ve never turned out as tastily as this bag. Mine get sticky and sugar caramelized, while these were just lightly kissed with sugar sweetness, which really let the flavor of the original peel shine through. An OM.

Category: Asian (China, Japan, and Korea), OM, received as gift, review | No Comments »

Lotte Sasha Chocolate – Matcha

February 1st, 2013 by Rosa

This box of Lotte Sasha Chocolate is the last of my Asian goodies from Emma and Jason. No worries if you want to read more Asian candy reviews here – I’ve still got a few more Japanese treats from Nana and Justin to write up.

A quick googling shows that Sasha Chocolate refers to the unique and pretty way Lotte’s chosen to package this chocolate. My box had 16 individually wrapped rectangles made of wavy chocolate stripes of green, brown, and white.

I’m only guessing that these are matcha flavored. I recognized the character for tea on the box, and they’ve got that distinctive pea green color of matcha. Plus they’re from Japan, so matcha seems like a good educated guess.

I could feel the individual threads of chocolate break when I bit into the chocolate, though the rectangle broke as a whole with a sharp solid snap. It had a smooth and creamy melt. The texture was somewhat thick, but it didn’t linger and coat my tongue like some extra thick milk chocolates do.

The chocolate flavor was quite pleasant – lightly sweet with fruity overtones that hit high notes against the milk chocolate undertones. The finish had a hint of lightly bitter herbal grassiness, which was the only clue that it was tea flavored chocolate.

I liked these more than I thought I would. I haven’t liked matcha-flavored chocolates in the past, but these won me over because they went easy on the matcha and were easy on the eyes. An OM.

Category: Asian (China, Japan, and Korea), chocolate, Lotte, OM, received as gift, review | 5 Comments »

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 »

Sirius Rjomasukkulaoi – milk chocolate with orange flavour

October 31st, 2012 by Rosa

Happy Halloween! I hope Sandy hasn’t ruined it for y’all or knocked out your power.

This Sirius chocolate bar was another gift from my friends Nate and Jane, who mailed me some Icelandic candy after they got back from their awesome Icelandic honeymoon.

The wrapper was matte instead of shiny, which made the bar seem classier somehow. The back ingredients flap translated it as “milk chocolate with orange flavour.”

This bar was lightly scored into squares etched with squares with Sirius in the center, giving it a picture frame effect. The milk chocolate was soft but had a solid chew that gave way to a creamy melt.

The orange flavor in the bar was subtle and sort of spicy, more like dried orange peels than orange oil, and it lingered in the finish. It was much less in-your-face and less cloying than Terry’s version of chocolate and orange, which I appreciated.

The bar was well-balanced and quite tasty, but though I enjoyed it, I don’t like the combination of chocolate and orange enough to want it again. An O.

 

Category: chocolate, European, O, received as gift, review | No Comments »

Sirius Karamellu Nizza – Icelandic milk chocolate with toffee

October 29th, 2012 by Rosa

This bar of Sirius Karamellu Nizza (say that last part carefully) came all the way from Iceland! My friends Jane and Nate went there on their honeymoon, and they were thoughtful enough to send me candy that they bought on their trip.

The Sirius Karamellu Nizza was translated on the underside of the wrapper to milk chocolate with toffee. The bar was scored into six segments, and each was imprinted with the Sirius logo.

The milk chocolate was full of little bits of crunchy toffee bits. The chocolate portion had a thick and creamy melt and tasted lightly sweet, with notes of caramel.

The toffee bits shattered cleanly between my teeth. They had a great buttery flavor that was a nice foil to the lightly sweet milk chocolate, and their crunchiness contrasted with the melting chocolate as well.

I wish this bar was available in the U.S. It was so well-balanced and delicious – an OM. There was also a licorice version that I probably won’t review since I don’t like black licorice.

Category: chocolate, European, OM, received as gift, review, toffee | No Comments »