Archive for the 'received as gift' Category

World’s Finest Chocolates

March 31st, 2010 by Rosa

These World’s Finest Chocolate bars came courtesy of my dad, who was apparently too kind-hearted to turn down the kid selling them as a fundraiser. According to Wikipedia, the World’s Finest Chocolate company makes their chocolate “from bean to bar”.

My dad bought a milk chocolate and a W.F. crisp (I assume that’s World’s Finest crisp) bar. Both had Pizza Hut coupons on the back of the wrapper – $2.00 off any large pizza!

The milk chocolate had a fairly sharp snap and a slight grain. It was sweet – a tad too sweet – with a mild milkiness.

W.F. Crisp was “milk chocolate with crisped rice”. The milk chocolate based was the same, while the bottom layer was chock full of airy rice crisps that added a nice crunch.

The bars weren’t bad, but the chocolate was pretty meh. I like my milk chocolate tongue-coatingly thick and with more depth, like caramel or vanilla flavors. And it was too sweet for my taste.

So, if a kid comes knocking on your door selling these to raise money, know not to get your hopes up too much. World’s Finest is just a brand name rather than an adequate descriptor. An O.

Category: chocolate, O, received as gift, review | 5 Comments »

Mozart Piano Bar

March 26th, 2010 by Rosa

My friend Steve bought me this German Mozart Piano Bar at least a year ago. I’m sorry it took me so long to write about it, Steve!

The under-flap blurb describes it as “finest pistachio marzipan and hazelnut nougat in a crispy milk chocolate.” As you can see from the bumpy photo below, the milk chocolate was chock full of crunchy rice crisps.

The bar on the wrapper has neat rows of chocolate drizzles that don’t look very compelling. The real bar’s squiggles were far more interesting, with an abstract arty design.

The milk chocolate coating was sweet and one-dimensional. It surrounded a circle of green marzipan around a chocolate cream center.

The marzipan was soft and dryly grainy. It tasted lightly of actual almonds (as opposed to almond extract) with notes of pistachio – hence the green coloring.

The chocolate cream center was blandly sweet. I think it’s supposed to be hazelnut nougat, but I got no nuttiness whatsoever, though I won’t hold that against it – I did have it stashed for a while before I ate it.

The marzipan was nice, and I enjoyed the texture of the “crispy milk chocolate”, but I wished the chocolate were better quality. And I know Mozart is capable of doing better. An O.

Category: chocolate, European, nuts, O, received as gift, review | 1 Comment »

Schoc Lime Chili

February 12th, 2010 by Rosa

Today wraps up New Zealand review week (here’s day one and two), brought to you by ZOMG, Candy! reader Saskia. And Schoc Chocolates, I suppose, as I’m reviewing a second item from their line: Lime Chili (they spelled it Chilli) in rich dark chocolate.

I’m a chili chocolate addict and love trying different takes on the mix, but this was my first time trying lime and chili and chocolate all together (lime and chocolate I’ve had before, but it was never memorable and/or poorly executed; I thought I’d never had it until I searched my archives). Schoc calls this bar a way to “push flavour with a balanced interactive taste sensation”.

The first thing I noticed about the bar was the scent. It smells just like Rose’s lime juice! In other words, bright, sweet, citrusy, and concentrated.

The lovely dark chocolate was speckled with bits of lime crystals – actually minuscule shreds of zest, I believe – that left flashes of intense lime flavor and sweetness on the tongue. The chili factor brought an underlying burn to the whole experience.

I found this bar zingy and delicious! The lime kept my taste buds alert while the chili burn smoldered in the background, and the dark chocolate tied everything together. I hope I can find a more easily accessible version in America! An OMG.

A final thanks to Saskia for putting together a much appreciated and enjoyed package of New Zealand goodies, and a final plug for Cybele’s Candy Swap forum, where candy lovers the world over can share their favorite candies and find new ones!

Category: Australian/New Zealand, chocolate, OMG, received as gift, review | 1 Comment »

Kiwifruit Bliss Bar

February 10th, 2010 by Rosa

Review number two from my box of New Zealand chocolates, courtesy of Saskia (review one was on Monday), is a Kiwifruit Bliss Bar hand made by Bliss Chocolates (note: video plays upon loading Bliss Chocolates’ main page).

I’m pretty sure Saskia purposefully picked a kiwi-filled bar to be representative of New Zealand candy. Sadly, I was not a fan of this bar – though I did enjoy the cheerful green of the wrapper and the translucent green of the inside goop.

The first three ingredients in the “dark compound choc” were sugar, vegetable oil, and cocoa powder. Not a good thing when vegetable oil shows up so high (or at all) in an ingredients list for chocolate. Also not a good thing when cocoa butter never makes an appearance.

It reminded me of Palmer‘s chocolate – poor quality, overly sweet with unpleasant tastes and aftertastes, and just not what I consider to be real chocolate. The green kiwi goop was super sweet and fruity, but I couldn’t get a clear read on it because the chocolate was just so overpoweringly blech.

My apologies go out to Saskia. It’s weird to publicly post negative opinions of gifts people give you. I feel like I sound horribly ungrateful. In fact, I value all tasting experiences as learning experiences, even when I don’t like what I’m tasting.

And I did not like this. The Kiwifruit Bliss Bar gets a sound for its mockolate foul.

Reminder: check out Cybele’s Candy Swap forum if you want to set up your own candy swap!

Category: --, Australian/New Zealand, chocolate, received as gift, review | 3 Comments »

Schoc Peanut Chili Cluster

February 8th, 2010 by Rosa

Around Thanksgiving-ish, I did a candy exchange with Saskia, a ZOMG, Candy! reader from New Zealand. Quick tip – if you ship internationally via USPS, hang onto the customs form that they give you. That way, if the package you shipped in November still hasn’t arrived by late January, USPS can try to look it up for you. If you threw out the customs form thinking you’d never need it again (like I did), you’re out of luck, even if you have a sales receipt.

Luckily, the package finally turned up at the end of January, right as I was planning to pack and mail another box. Candy exchanges are fun, but international shipping ain’t cheap!

Anywho, Saskia sent me a lovely assortment of locally made Kiwi goodies. Enough goodies, in fact, to make this week all New Zealand reviews! First up is a Peanut Chili (they spell it Chilli) Cluster from Schoc. Check out the firecrackery tag!

They’re straightforwardly described on the website as “peanuts gathered in a dark chili chocolate”. I love the use of the verb “gathered” there. That’s basically what they are, but the simple description belies the complexity of the treat.

The dark chocolate was high quality, with a thick-ish melt and pleasant cocoa flavors. There was a nice initial crunch and strong peanuttiness from, you guessed it, the peanuts. But where was the chili?

Wait for it… There! After the chocolate melted away, the chili punched through with a tingly back of the throat burn. As I took more bites, the burn built up and melded with the chocolate and peanut flavors, as I couldn’t wait for the heat to fully dissipate before chomping up more peanut chili cluster.

A fun twist on my favorite combination of chili and chocolate. An OM.

Quick tip number two: if any of you readers would like to do a candy swap of our own, I suggest y’all check out Cybele’s forum on candy swaps to find a buddy. As much as I’d love to trade candy with you all, it’s too expensive for me to do often.

Category: Australian/New Zealand, chocolate, nuts, OM, received as gift, review | 3 Comments »

TCHO Chocolates

January 4th, 2010 by Rosa

TCHO chocolates have long been on my radar. I finally got to try them when my roommates were kind enough to bring me a variety pack from California. The variety pack contained 2 each of their fruity, chocolatey, nutty, and citrus flavors.

All of the squares were about 5 centimeters across the diagonal and quite thin, just half a centimeter. All were comprised of 70% cacao.

“Fruity” was made with organic and fair trade beans from Peru. It had a sharp snap with a very dry mouthfeel. There was a definite red fruit fruitiness to it, but the overall flavor was dominated by the stale taste of paper/cardboard.

At first I thought I just had an off square – I had unwrapped it to take photos and then rewrapped it for later -  but that cardboard taste pervaded the other, not-unwrapped-until-tasting-time squares.

“Chocolatey” (beans from Ghana) smelled duskier and featured strong cocoa notes and an almost savory tinge. Its mouthfeel is also dry, but it’s a bit smoother/creamier once it starts melting. The paper/cardboard taste is present in the finish.

“Nutty”, made from organic and fair trade beans from Peru, was the softest and creamiest of the bunch, and it did carry a distinctly nutty favor. But that paper tinge is still there.

Finally, “Citrus” (organic beans from Madagascar) smells sweet and has a very dry and crumbly melt. It tastes a bit chalky with a sweet bright finish, and again that infuriating, ruinous tinge of paper/cardboard taste.

I think TCHO needs to rethink their packaging on these bars, as they all took on an unpleasant, papery overtone that ruined the taste experience. I’ve had them sitting around for a few months, but bars should keep for at least that long, especially when you’re selling them in 90-day supplies.

I’m torn on how to rate these. The paper taste warrants a , but that doesn’t seem quite fair, as TCHO didn’t mean for them to taste of paper. Then again, they did choose the packaging and neglected to put a “best by” date on the package or any storage guidelines (that I could find) on their website. So the stands, with the caveat that my supply was off.

Category: --, chocolate, fair trade, organic, received as gift, review, single origin | 4 Comments »

Milka Joghurt

November 19th, 2009 by Rosa

Today’s review comes courtesy of my roommate, Celeste, who was kind enough to bring me a German chocolate bar that she bought in Boston. I’ve seen the Milka brand in stores, but I’d never tried them before, and I’d definitely never tried their Joghurt flavor.

As best I can tell, the Joghurt bar is not manufactured for U.S. markets (this bar was an import. Note the German on the wrapper), and that’s a huge shame, as it’s ridiculously good. It’s “I’m almost glad it’s hard to find because otherwise I’d eat it all the time, but gosh, I wish I could eat it all the time” good.

Basically, it’s Milka’s “Alpine milk chocolate” surrounding a yogurt-flavored filling. The milk chocolate is sweet and creamy, with strong caramel notes. It’s tongue-coatingly thick.

Then POW, the yogurt flavor comes through. It’s bright and sour, like good quality plain yogurt turned up to 11. That sour tinge wipes the palate clean and readies you for more. Texturewise, it’s soft and creamy and pliable, though it doesn’t coat the tongue as well as the chocolate does.

The milk chocolate is a little too sweet for my liking, but in this bar, that actually makes it better. It provides a stronger foil for the sour yogurt taste, and it makes the yogurt effect that much more enjoyable. The two flavors don’t mesh; instead, they play off each other and, to borrow a corporate buzzword, synergize to make something that’s even better than the sum of its parts.

This bar is incredible. And Celeste is incredible to be generous enough to give me a whole bar. If I ever have the good fortune to come across it myself, I’m stocking up. A ZOMG!

Category: chocolate, European, received as gift, review, yogurt, ZOMG! | No Comments »

Nestle Yorkie

September 25th, 2009 by Rosa

I often came across Nestle’s Yorkie bars during my summer in England, but I never bought them because they’re “NOT FOR GIRLS!” It wasn’t that I was intimidated by the tagline or the red-slashed purse-toting icon; it was that I believed any candy company misogynistic enough to have such a slogan, even if only tongue-in-cheek, didn’t deserve my business.

I’m just as anti-marketing solely to women (when such marketing is also done stupidly) by the way.

So how did I end up with this bar anyway? My friend Steve visited Economy Candy and was thoughtful and sweet enough to bring me back a goodie bag generously stuffed full of candy deliciousness. This bar was included in the mix.

The bar is pretty basic, just five thick segments (~3/4 inch high) of pure milk chocolate, each stamped with YORKIE in block sans-serif caps. You’d think that a no-girls-allowed bar would have some manly bits, like nuts, mixed in (I’m talking about peanuts and almonds; get your mind out of the gutter). Maybe the manliness lies in the thickness of each chunk. Girls’ jaws must be too delicate to take on that task (keep staying out of that gutter).

The milk chocolate is smooth and creamy, though it’s not as luxuriously thick on the tongue as other slightly more premium bars (such as Ghirardelli or Lindt). But that’s to be expected, as this is really more of a vending machine/checkout aisle grade candy bar.

The chocolate is sweet, with strong caramel notes, and it melts to a lingering sweet finish. I wasn’t surprised by the sugar-bomb nature of the bar, as it smelled powerfully of generic sweetness. It was too sweet for my taste. Still, it wasn’t appalling or anything, so an O.

Just to prove how sweet it was – we had a bit of a mouse problem in my house. Being smart little mice, they found their way into my candy drawer. First, my giant slab of treacle toffee (made of boiled sugar) got gnawed on and had to be trashed (I had been saving it for ages! I so love Walkers’ treacle toffee…). Next they got to a piece of taffy (made of boiled sugar).

And finally, they got into my chocolate stash. Thankfully, they bypassed my hoard of finer chocolates, included a prized Valrhona bar, and instead went straight for the Yorkie, probably due to its high sugar content (don’t worry; I photographed and tasted mouse-free chocolate).

On the plus side, I was able to use the gnawed on Yorkie bits to set a humane mouse trap and managed to catch this adorable little bugger. We had put out a store-bought humane trap – and spent weeks watching the mice dance around it. The Yorkie bar, a piece of cardboard, and a bucket did the trick in about 30 seconds.

Unfortunately, his buddy didn’t fare so well; when the store-bought nice trap didn’t work, I set out a snappy one, also baited with a bit of Yorkie. The above mouse survived because I was too racked with rodent-murdering guilt to put out anymore snap traps.

But if they get into the rest of my Walkers’ toffee stash, I might not be so nice again…

Category: chocolate, European, Nestle, O, received as gift, review | 1 Comment »

Ti Dui – Candy-coated Chocolate Covered Peanuts

September 11th, 2009 by Rosa

More from my stash of Korean candy, courtesy of Nana and Justin (past hits included Crunky Nude Balls). Nana phonetically translated the title to be “Ti Dui” but doesn’t know what the words actually mean. She also informs me that somewhere on there is a character for flavor, I think under the fruit pictures on the bottom seam.

Thank goodness for pictures. I guessed that these would be like peanut M&Ms, only with lemon, apple, and orange flavored shells, and I guessed right!

Unlike peanut M&Ms, the peanuts in the Ti Dui tasted unroasted and young (is that the right word for it? They felt like they needed more time to develop their flavors). I did catch one in the package that had some depth and tasted nicely roasty, though I now wonder if it was an anomaly, and I actually just ate a half rancid nut or something.

They come in four colors and flavors. All have a crunchy candy shell (slightly thicker and thus crunchier than M&M shells) around a layer of generic milk chocolate encasing a peanut. I appreciated the earthy color scheme, especially the lovely shade of green.

Yellow is lemon. It starts off with a light sweetness, which then becomes a bit tart before the chalky chocolate and peanut flavor come through. The shell alone tastes vaguely sweet but not fruity. For all of these, the fruit flavor is melded into the chocolate, I think.

Orange is orange. It tastes like just plain chocolate up until the finish, which is mellow and round with floral orange notes.

Green is apple. It has an immediate Fuji apple sweetness that reminds of apple Jell-o. It’s too weird for me. As past experience has shown, I do not appreciate the combination of apple and chocolate.

And finally, brown is just chocolate, meaning that it tastes like meh chocolate around a meh peanut for an all around meh-ness.

I give these an O. I’m not sure how much I appreciate the fruit and candy shell and chocolate combination, but I did manage to finish the package over the course of a few weeks, popping a few at a time. I really only found the apple one repelling, and I even ate those eventually. Then again, I did mostly finish them because I’d left the package at my desk, thus keeping them always in sight and in mind. Had I kept them elsewhere, I would’ve forgotten about them, probably.

Category: Asian (China, Japan, and Korea), chocolate, nuts, O, received as gift, review | 2 Comments »

Crunky Nude Ball

August 21st, 2009 by Rosa

Lotte‘s Crunky Nude Balls were the most hilariously named of the Korean candies that Nana and Justin sent me. Here’s Nana’s description: “Bought just for the name…Crunky is a Korean Nestle Crunch rice chocolate; here the puffed rice is on the outside.” Like the Pepero, it’s “nude”, meaning inside out.

They came packaged in a plastic barrel with a flip-top, which was quite fun. Each ball was about the size of a grape and covered in tiny rice crisps. When I say covered, I do mean covered. There’s very little chocolate that showed through on the surface area of the ball.

The rice crisps were nuttier than I expected. I wonder if they were brown rice crisps?  They tasted almost like cornflakes or sesame seeds. The rice crisps were also found within each ball.

The chocolate was thick with dusky hints of malt. The texture paired well with the airy puffs of rice. The sesame/cornflake notes were a different taste experience. I’m not sure exactly how much I appreciated the flavor pairing, but the texture and delivery of the chocolate treats was quite fun.

I give these an OM. I bet they’d be even better with cookie bits or more normal-tasting rice puffs.

Category: Asian (China, Japan, and Korea), chocolate, Lotte, OM, received as gift, review | 6 Comments »