Archive for the 'European' Category

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 | Comments Off

Guest post: Ovomaltine

October 24th, 2012 by Neil

As I try to recover from a week in New Orleans, ex-pat friend Knile has a couple of guest posts on deck. ~Rosa

I can’t believe I’m still eating what I bought in Switzerland nearly six months ago! I’ve been dying to tuck into this one in particular, but have held off for a rainy day. Here we are: it’s raining.

The Ovomaltine bar is produced by Wander, a subsidiary of the Associated British Foods company, which also does, yes, make the classic chocolate malt powder Ovaltine. I loved Ovaltine as a kid, and that’s meant that ever since then, I’m pleased to try new forms of malt.

The bar broke on its own when I was unwrapping it, showing that the twelve brick-like pieces were positively riddled with malt powder.

Eating it was pure joy. The milk chocolate worked very well as a vehicle for the malt, as any fan of Whoppers or Maltesers could tell you. The powder was evenly distributed and so every bite effervesced.

If you told me I had to eat six of these bars a day, I’d be a happy camper. OMG, this bar was wonderful.

Category: chocolate, European, guest post, OMG, review | Comments Off

Guest post: Cailler Sublim Lait & Caramel Pointe de Sel

September 12th, 2012 by Neil

I spent my weekend trying to win Duke basketball tickets by sleeping outside, so I’m turning things over to my ex-pat friend Neil for a couple of reviews. ~Rosa

This bar that I picked up in Switzerland has been tempting me ever since I bought it. Cailler is a Nestle brand with a long Swiss history, a fact I learned as I wrote this up (though it was probably on the wrapper. I was too excited to open it to read it).

I’m a sucker for caramel. And while I’m new to sea salt, I’m fairly convinced it’s a great addition to caramel. This bar came out as a thank-you treat for some friends, who happily agreed to play along with my photographing and note-taking.

It’d been a warm day here, and I knew we were waiting until after dinner to have the chocolate, so I let it hang out in the fridge for a while. This made the initial bar-breaking a bit challenging, but no more so than many off-the-shelf bars. Indeed, it was crunchy to the bite.

The chocolate was smooth and creamy, but in this instance it was definitely just a vehicle for the caramel. I tasted toffee, then sweet butter. It was like a really classy Heath bar! The caramel was sticky for us–it probably would’ve been more liquid if it had been at room temperature.

Fiona noted that the caramel and salt build, then there’s a chewy finish. I agreed that the salt took a while to emerge, but then it lingered pleasantly. I enjoyed the stickiness the caramel offered.

The pieces of the bar have kind of a high-tech look about them, and the shape makes breaking a bit challenging, but it’s visually appealing all the same.

Overall, a very enjoyable experience. OM for this!

Category: caramel, European, guest post, Nestle, OM, review | 1 Comment »

Guest Post: Sarotti Edel-Marzipan

September 10th, 2012 by Neil

I spent my weekend trying to win Duke basketball tickets by sleeping outside, so I’ved turned things over to my ex-pat friend Neil for a couple of reviews. ~Rosa

This bar came, I think, from a supermarket in Osnabrueck, but I can’t be sure.

Here’s a secret: I’m a sucker for marzipan. I don’t know where this affinity came from. It’s just a fact. So, while shopping, I had to pick up this marzipan-filled chocolate bar, which was certainly reasonably priced.

Curious about the meaning of “Edel”, I inquired with a fluent German speaker who pointed to me to a helpful guide which explains that this has to do with the almond/sugar ratio in the mixture.

The 24-bit bar had a more intricate design than I would’ve normally expected. Flipping it over, I found evidence of possible blooming.

On tasting, the chocolate seemed dried out. The marzipan was okay but not a deep enough flavor to meet my demands – nor my expectations, based on the guide.

Thoroughly unimpressed with this. It’s a .

So sad! It’s a gorgeous looking bar, inside and out. Love the black and white look on the chocolate and the spangled pants and turban on the dude in the moon! Sounds like Neil got a bar that’s past its prime; marzipan has a pretty short shelf life. ~Rosa

Category: --, chocolate, European, guest post, nuts, review | 1 Comment »

Guest Post: Haribo Turtles

August 15th, 2012 by Neil

Hey readers! I’m on my last day of pseudo-vacation up in New Hampshire, so check out this post from ex-pat Neil in the meantime. ~Rosa

I had time to kill in a German train station, and I needed some spare change to use the bathroom, so I bought these Haribo Turtles. They set me back 1.90, which seemed reasonable at the time, but in hindsight seems a bit excessive.

Curious about the variety provided, I dumped out all the turtles and counted. My bag contained 4 green/yellow, 7 red/pink, and 13 orange/orange individuals. While much has been written about the distribution of M&M colors, the statistical analysis of Haribo products will need some more data collection before we can do any turtle-tests Flipping the turtles onto their backs revealed a lighter section that I expected to be creamy or marshmallow. Nope! Just regular Haribo Gummi.

I found the orange guys to be sour in a bad way at first, like something that had gone “off”, rather than something naturally sour, and not much of any orange fruit taste. Each required lots of chewing, without much flavor payoff.

The red/pink sort were sweeter, again with no discernable flavor, but better overall. The green/yellow endangered population became even more threatened when I found out that they were my clear favorite. The combination of sweet and sour was perfect, exactly what I’d hoped for. A number of citrus flavors really shone through.

These are fun to eat. The filling isn’t as fruity & tasty as the bag promises, but the red turtles are satisfactory and the green/yellow ones are a delight. I’ll give this product an O. May the turtle flavor odds be ever in your favor.

Category: European, guest post, gummi/gummy, Haribo, O, review | 1 Comment »

Guest Post: Zotter Mitzi Blue Nussmix (Nut Mix)

August 10th, 2012 by Neil

Here’s another great guest post from my ex-pat friend, Neil. Jealous that Zotter is so easy for him to get! ~Rosa

I didn’t even have to travel out of the country for this one! I found the Zotter Mitzi Blue Nussmix (“Nut mix”) in a new organic gourmet shop in town. I was looking for a cookware store, then discovered that the cookware had disappeared and food had gone in its place. Quite a surprise, but a welcome one.

The packaging made me think it was one of those world music CDs. Perhaps this was intentional. While the bar itself was a disc (is that geometrically possible?), the similarities ended there.

This fair trade, organic combination of hazelnuts, hazelnut nougat, cashew nougat, walnuts, and milk chocolate was a bit broken when I took it out of the packaging. This made the task of figuring out where to start that much easier. I was most intrigued by the center circle.

The milk chocolate of the main disc was very plain and light. While the surprisingly large nut chunks were distributed somewhat unevenly, they were tasty and added an appreciated varied texture.

It turned out that the center disc was cashew nougat! It broke off as though it would be crispy but was very pleasantly creamy. I wished the whole thing had been cashew nougat.

The predominantly boring milk chocolate really underwhelmed though, so I’ll give this whole piece an O. The company has a whole line of Mitzi Blues, so maybe I’ll track down some more. It’d give me an excuse to visit that delicious shop again…

Category: chocolate, European, fair trade, guest post, nuts, O, organic, review | 3 Comments »

Toblerone – Crunchy Salted Almond

July 27th, 2012 by Rosa

Kraft was showing off this Crunchy Salted Almond Toblerone at Sweets and Snacks this year. They were melting it down and giving it out as fondue samples. I managed to charm my way into a free sample for review from the nice ladies at Kraft.

This Toblerone was described as “Swiss milk chocolate with salted caramelized almonds and honey and almond nougat.” For comparative purposes, regular Toblerone is described in the same way, just minus the salted caramelized almonds part.

While regular Toblerones are already pretty crunchy from the nougat bits, this was even crunchier with the added bits of almonds. Those almond bits were variable in size and definitely asserted their presence in both flavor and texture.

They added a strong crunchiness and intense nuttiness. The hit of saltiness that they brought was also quite noticeable.

The honey nougat bits were candied and sweet with an interesting squishy/squeaky texture. Some bits crunched while others got flattened and half embedded in my molars.

The milk chocolate was sweet and thick with a dusky caramel finish that went well with the added salt. If it was the same milk chocolate as that of the regular Toblerone, the extra saltiness helped tone down the chocolate’s sweetness.

It got a bit too sweet in the finish for my taste, though I found it less cloying than regular Toblerone. I think the dark chocolate version is the best balanced Toblerone variety.

Still, I really enjoyed this, and the salted almonds are a great addition. I’ll happily finish my current mountain range of these, but I don’t think I’d buy them again. An OM.

Category: chocolate, European, nougat, nuts, OM, review | Comments Off

Yan Yan Creamy Choco-Hazelnut vs Nutella & Go

July 6th, 2012 by Rosa

Nutella & Go won the Most Innovative New Product Award in the sweet snacks category at this year’s Sweets and Snacks Expo. It was a plastic tub with biscuit sticks and a little dipping well of Nutella.

Sounds/looks familiar? That’s because Meiji‘s Yan Yan has been making basically the same product for at least a decade. I remember eating them while growing up.

While Meiji was handing out Yan Yan’s at the Expo, no one handed them any awards. I’d say this is an instance of Europeans taking credit (or at least acclaim) for something Asian people invented years ago.

Clearly this calls for a head-to-head comparison. While Yan Yan comes in an assortment of flavors in both dipping cream and biscuit stick, I’m using their creamy choco-hazelnut dip for maximum similarity to Nutella & Go.

Both the Yan Yan and Nutella & Go were free samples from Sweets and Snacks. The former was given to me by Meiji’s US distributor for the purposes of this head-to-head review, while the latter was freely left out for all takers by Ferrero.

Both products were quite similar in packaging design with a little well separating the dipping medium from the dipping sticks. Yan Yan came in a trapezoidal tube (the top circle was slightly bigger than the bottom; is there a fancy math term for this shape?) while Nutella & Go was in a half circle tube with a trompe l’oeil Nutella jar look.

Let’s start with the dipping sticks. The Yan Yan biscuits were longer and a lightly toasty golden brown. They tasted slightly sweet with a tinge of butteriness to the finish.

The Nutella & Go sticks, on the other hand, were shorter, with the pale, alabaster hue of Dita Von Teese‘s skin. They were airier, like a crunchy restaurant breadstick. The flavor reminded me of the wheaty blandness of a saltless saltine.

Yan Yan definitely came out ahead on the dipping stick front. Let’s move on to the dips!

Yan Yan’s “smooth creme” had the texture of whipped frosting. When I dipped and then pulled out the stick, little holes were left in the cream. The flavor was that of malty chocolate with a light tinge of nuttiness.

The Nutella portion of the Nutella & Go was, as far as I could tell, the same as standard Nutella. It was much more flowy. When I pulled the sticks out of the Nutella, it clung to the sticks with a long pull, and the Nutella left in the well settled to fill in the holes.

Though it had a viscous flow in the well and on the stick, the Nutella felt thick, sticky, and pasty in my mouth. The hazelnuttiness was much stronger here, with a great nutty intensity that matched its chocolatey-ness.

I’m going to call it a draw on the dips. Though they’re supposed to be similar, they’re actually quite different in flavor and texture. I liked the Yan Yan version for its malty notes, but I also enjoyed Nutella for the nuttiness. And because its Nutella!

In the end, Yan Yan wins out for its tasty biscuit sticks. Nutella & Go’s sticks were not very good and didn’t add anything to the product. I’d stick with just getting Nutella in a jar. An OM for the Yan Yan and an O for Nutella & Go.

 

 

Category: Asian (China, Japan, and Korea), chocolate, cookie, European, Ferrero, Meiji, nuts, O, OM, review | 1 Comment »

Ritter Amarena Kirsch

June 22nd, 2012 by Rosa

This Ritter Sport Amarena Kirsch is a European limited edition summer flavor from last year, apparently. I was lucky enough to get a free sample of one from the Gourmet Grand Dame at Sweets and Snacks.

Kirsch is cherry, and I think Amarena Kirsch is a flavor of ice cream that you can get in Germany.

The filling of this bar was quite pretty, a pale pink cream flecked with deeper red bits of freeze dried cherry. It provided a nice contrast with the chocolate brown.

It’s been hot in NC lately, so my chocolate had gone pretty soft. It melted onto my posterboard during my photoshoot.

Most of the flavor came from the creamy filling. The cherry bits brought a cornflake textured crunch and the finishing flavor of maraschino cherry, while the pink portion tasted of creamy dairy.

This did a great job capturing the flavor of vanilla ice cream with cherries mixed in. I didn’t get much chocolate flavor because the cherries were so powerful, but I think I’m okay with that. After all, cherry’s in the name!

An OM for a flavorful and uniquely flavored treat.

Category: chocolate, European, limited edition, OM, review, Ritter Sport | Comments Off

Guest Post: Barambo Lenten Dark Chocolate with Dried Candied Lemon Peel Cubes

June 13th, 2012 by Neil

I’ve turned reviews this week over to Neil, my globe-trotting expat friend. ~Rosa

Easily the most exotic trip I’ve taken in a while was to the Republic of Georgia, where I visited a childhood friend of mine for a long weekend and saw some absolutely breathtaking scenery. I, of course, was incredibly curious about the local food and demanded several trips to grocery stores in Tbilisi. Today I’ll share with you one of my finds.

All I knew of this chocolate bar when I selected it was that it had lemon in it. Fortunately, once I got it home and flipped it over, I was able to read that it not only had Georgian text, but also Russian and English descriptions of what it was. The Barambo corporation apparently markets to various linguistic groups.

The phrase “Do[sic] not contain product of animal fat” made me think that the “Lenten” in its name means Lent-as-in-the-period-before-Easter, rather than some other mysterious mistranslation. Any readers with experience in this?

The bar came divided into 12 chunks, and I broke half of them off without much difficulty, but some messy breaking patterns resulted. This revealed tiny chunks of what presumably was lemon peel. To call them cubes would require some magnification.

While the chocolate was passable and unfortunately definitely tasted like it contained no animal fat, the lemon was an even more puzzling addition. Some chunks were harder to chew than others, leaving one to wonder if they were even edible.

On the whole, it felt like a bit of a novelty. I could see having one chunk alongside a cup of coffee or tea. More than that seems just not that fun. I had a second chunk after the first, and it grew on me a bit, so I’ll give this an O.

Category: chocolate, European, guest post, O, review | Comments Off