Archive for the 'European' Category

Guest Post: Nestle Kit Kat Chunky Caramel Duo

April 20th, 2012 by Neil

Globe-trotting Neil (it’s so unfair how easy it is to travel between European countries!) has another across the pond review for you. ~Rosa

As promised, I have some posts up my sleeve. While waiting for dinner to cook tonight, I thought I’d simultaneously have a snack and feel productive by writing this. I pulled out a Nestle Kit Kat I picked up on a recent trip to London: Kit Kat Chunky Caramel Duo.

The package promised “Crisp wafer pieces with a caramel creamy topping (20%), covered in milk chocolate (60%).” Well, that’s sort of what I got.

The milk chocolate looked fairly standard - a bit beat up from my travel, for sure. The bars themselves are fairly thick. The two side by side are about the width of my wrist, which, let’s be honest, is not that impressive.

Eating it was sadly also not that impressive. The caramel just didn’t come through at ALL. It’s like the “creamy topping” had at some point just dried up to match the consistency of the wafer. No caramel flavor or contrasting texture.

Though it’s been in my cupboard since January, the label says it’s good through July, so it shouldn’t have gone stale in that time. I’m inclined to think it just wasn’t that caramelly to start with.

I set aside the second chunk for another time. It will probably be after dinner, sure, but I don’t see myself tracking this down in future travel. An O for the Duo.

Category: caramel, chocolate, European, guest post, Nestle, O, review | 2 Comments »

Guest Post: Albert Heijn’s Zachte Frisse Vrunchten

April 4th, 2012 by Neil

Hey candy lovers! Today we’ve got another post on candy from the Netherlands, courtesy of Neil. ~Rosa

Hoi hoi! I’ve been “hamstering” candy over the past few months, so I have a whole lot of posts in the queue. The first is grocery store brand Albert Heijn‘s Zachte Frisse Vruchten, or Soft Fresh/Bright Fruits.

The bag advertises “six.. flavors” but only shows five varieties. There are, indeed, six different types of candy inside: banana, orange, pear, green apple, strawberry, and elderberry. My friend Jana helped me review and provide some global perspective.

Banana’s flavor came through very slowly and when it did, it was much like a circus peanut. That time waiting for flavor was spent chewing, as the body of it was more like plastic than elastic. I also took this time to explain circus peanuts to Jana, because they’re not available in Germany. One must wonder sometimes about globalization. O

The orange slice was the one most visually similar to its real life counterpart. It had a sweetness like an orange soda rather than a real orange, however. Based on its appearance, Jana expected it to specifically taste like a clementine. An unexciting O.

One piece looked look a bicycle seat. For Jana, it looked exactly like a pear, and “if it hadn’t, [she] wouldn’t have been able to tell what it was.” I must confess that I don’t really know what pears taste like. I mostly tasted lemon, neither overly sweet nor sour, just pleasantly inoffensive. The pear pieces had the hardest bite at first, but rapidly became chewy. An O.

The green apple’s classic flavor made me very happy after the pear disappointment. Jana thought it was too sweet to be “sour” apple, but that’s exactly what made it so perfect for me. This one really stuck to my teeth. OM

Strawberry, the pink piece, had the most intense flavor of any and it was like a Starburst, which also haven’t made their way into Germany yet. They’re really missing out! Jana compared the flavor to German Schnüre, which are something like Red Vines. I would happily eat a whole bag of these. Definitely an OM from me.

The final was the most mysterious. A translation of “vlierbessen” led to the conclusion that these grape-bunch-lookalikes were elderberry flavored! So unexpected! The flavor struck me as herbal and liqueur-like, perhaps because I’ve had the elderberry liqueur St. Germain before. Being so confused by what it was supposed to be, I have to give it an O.

Overall, the bag was not a bad thing to nibble through for the evening, but I’m not rushing out to pick up more. Oh, let’s be honest: I only bought it because it was on sale.

Category: European, guest post, gummi/gummy, O, OM, review | No Comments »

Duc d’O Pates de Fruits

January 25th, 2012 by Rosa

A Belgian friend of mine in Rochester was kind enough to remember me on his latest trip back to his homeland. He brought me back a box of Belgian Pates de Fruits from Duc d’O (also available online!)

Pates de fruits, also known as fruit jellies and fruit pate, are much better than gummi candies. They’re usually made from no more than pureed fruit, sugar, and gelatin. The real fruit part is what makes them special.

The entirety of this box was made from pureed apricots plus “flavours” and “colouring”. Interestingly enough, none of these were apricot flavored. Instead, they were, from left to right in the below photo, raspberry, pear, orange, strawberry, and grape.

All of the fruit pieces were made of two half jellies stuck together and rolled in granulated sugar. The pates had a soft, immediate give, while the sugar sand added a hearty grit and crunch.

Pear was golden and pear shaped. It had a great seediness and tasted quite genuinely of Bartlett pear flavor with a slightly sweet and sour finish.

Strawberry was a little red triangle. It was mild and sweet with a lightly floral flavor and reminded me of strawberry preserves.

Raspberry was hard to distinguish from the strawberry. It was slightly darker and had a more mottled surface. It lacked any seedy astringency, though it had deeper red fruit notes than the strawberry did.

Grape looked like a golden version of raspberry. It tasted more like raspberry than the raspberry did, as it had a seedy finish. It tasted of raisins with a vibrant, fruity, slightly sour finish.

Finally, orange was a golden, puckered ball. It started with an initial hit of zesty citrus almost sourness but then mellowed out into a milder, muted orange marmalade flavor.

I wish pates de fruits were more prevalent in the U.S. They’re great, concentrated bites of real fruit flavor, a refreshing departure from the usual fare of artificially flavored and sweetened gummi bears and worms. An OM.

Category: European, jelly candy, OM, received as gift, review | No Comments »

Swedish Bulk Candies – Sura Körsbär and Sura Soda Pops

October 28th, 2011 by Rosa

Here are some more bulk candy treats that I received as free samples from Ingrid’s Candy Shop. I reviewed a couple on Wednesday.

The Sura Körsbär were thick cherry-shaped gummis covered in sour sugar. They looked similar to Haribo sour cherries, except that the Swedish cherry pair was smooshed together, which made them look more… anatomical.

The gummi was extremely stiff to bite into. There was no squishiness to the chew, though it did stick to my teeth.

The sour sugar coating packed quite a hit of tangy sourness. Once that initial sourness passed, though, the treat just tasted generically sweet and fruity.

The sour sting was great, but I wished this had more fruitiness. An O.

Sura Soda Pops were sour gummi soda bottles. With two sura data points, I’m now confident in my assumption that sura is Swedish for sour.

The blue soda shaped gummis were covered in a zesty sugar sand. The gummis’ chew was stiff and non-sticky, with an instant give.

The flavor was that of lemon-lime soda and was quite spot-on. Somehow, the chew managed to finish with a little punch of effervescence in the back of my throat.

I loved these for that effervescent fizz. Flavorwise, they were my favorite treat of the 10 that I was sent, but the texture was a bit off. If they had the sproinginess of the Gellehelon, I would’ve been completely sold. As they are, an OM.

Category: European, gummi/gummy, O, OM, review, sour | No Comments »

Swedish Bulk Candies – Swedish Berries and Gelehallon

October 26th, 2011 by Rosa

I recently got an assortment of free samples of Swedish candies courtesy of Ingrid’s Candy Shop. They’re based in the EU, but they’ll ship worldwide, in case you want to try any of these Swedish goodies for yourself.

The Swedish Berries Candies were little dollops of red and purple berry-shaped gummi/jelly candies. Their chew was sticky and stubborn and lodged in the nooks and crannies of my teeth.

Red tasted of bright cherry fruitiness. The concentrated fruit flavor intensified as the candy was chewed.

Purple was some sort of currant flavor, I think. It had a deeper seediness with a hint of bitter edge – just a tinge of tannic complexity.

These had nicely strong fruit flavors that were juicy in their intensity. My only complaint would be that they left me picking at my teeth afterwards. An OM.

The Gelehallon was described as “raspberry gele with sprinkled sugar on top.”  It looked similar to the Berries Candies, in that it was a vaguely gumdrop-shaped jelly, but it was quite different in several ways.

For starters, the texture was completely different. Instead of being sticky and chewy, it was sproingy and slickly smooth. That smoothness was somewhat broken up by the crunchy grittiness of its sugar coating.

The flavor was that of a mellow, floral strawberry and brightened by the slightly sour sweetness of the sugar granules. It was nice but unexciting.

The fun texture really made this treat. An O for the pleasure of squeaking and bouncing it between my teeth.

Category: European, gummi/gummy, jelly candy, O, OM, review | No Comments »

Guest Post: Cadbury Dairy Milk Bliss Dreamy Chocolate Truffle

October 24th, 2011 by Neil

Here’s another Euro-chocolate review from Neil! Any readers know if these Cadbury Blisses are related to Hershey’s Bliss in the U.S.? ~Rosa

Hallo! Neil here with another European treat. This one is possibly found in the States, but I can’t recall having seen it there, perhaps because it launched after I moved over here.

It’s the Cadbury Dairy Milk Bliss Dreamy Chocolate Truffle, or CDMBDCT. Cadbury ran into some trouble with its original ads for the Bliss line, which makes you question the judgment of some advertising firms.

So there’s a short story behind this particular candy bar that has been in my cupboard for the past few weeks. The short version of that story: I didn’t even mean to buy it. I meant to buy another that I was forced out of purchasing. The long version can be found after the break.

The CDMBDCT came in very elegant purple packaging with some gold highlights, making it seem like a real treat that shouldn’t have been pushed at me as a last-minute add-on at a clearance price, LADY [Rosa's note: Neil's indignancy will make sense if you read his explanation after the break]. The  elegance continued with the gold fabric-paper wrapper.

Individual blocks broke smoothly and were quite hefty. Half a block was gone in one bite. An al dente feeling to the outer body and the expected softness of the truffle filling worked well together. The milk chocolate was nothing special, while the truffle’s fluffiness belied its sweetness.

That was all it had though: fluffiness and sweetness. Not much flavor to speak of. “These would make good s’mores,” I thought (Somebody please try this and leave a comment about your results!), but overall, it was not an amazing chocolate bar.

Each block went by quickly. Sadly, this was more out of a hope for it to improve or for my dessert stomach to be satisfied than out of sheer ecstasy. Overall, I really wish I could remember what that other candy bar was that I wanted, so I could pine for its loss properly. I’m going to have to give the CDMBDCT an O.

Read the rest of this entry »

Category: Cadbury, chocolate, European, guest post, O, review | No Comments »

Jelly Bean Factory – 12 Flavor Gift Box

October 21st, 2011 by Rosa

I received a generous assortment of free samples from the Jelly Bean Factory, sent all the way from Ireland. In the U.S., they’re sold under the name Jelly Bean Planet.

I’m under the impression that they’re the Jelly Belly of the U.K. I actually gave the Jelly Bean Factory a brief review when I bought a tube of their candies the summer I was in England.

They come in 36 flavors, which is a lot to cram into one review. For now, I’ll start with the 12 flavors of their gift box: strawberry smoothie, blueberry pie, wild cherry, raspberry jam, English blackberry, pink grapefruit, coconut, sour lemon, banana split, mango, granny smith apple, and tangerine.

The box, as touted on the front, was subdivided into 12 compartments. They were so crammed full of jelly beans that they overflowed into each other.

Compared to Jelly Belly’s near identical beans, these were more irregularly shaped and varied in size. Like Jelly Belly beans, these were flavored in the shell and centers, so they were quite flavorful.

Strawberry smoothie was a pale, spotted pink. It had the mellow flavor of strawberry yogurt that brightened and became floral as I chewed it. The creamy dairy-ness was really a spot-on imitation of actual strawberry smoothies.

Blueberry pie was denim colored. It had deep blueberry notes and a lightly sweet hint of spice. The shell had a pleasant crackle to it.

Wild cherry was the paler of the two maroon beans. It started off bright, then gave way to jammy red fruit notes. I enjoyed it, though I wouldn’t have pegged it as cherry.

Raspberry jam was the lighter maroon. It tasted bright and juicy and had a plummy finish (I double checked against the back of the box; I’m pretty sure I didn’t get it mixed up with the wild cherry).

English blackberry was a deep purple. It had a great bright, juicy sweetness but otherwise was generically fruity to me.

Pink grapefruit had the pale pink-orange coloring of the actual fruit’s rind. It was extremely zesty with a genuine grapefruit flavor. The bitter pith finish was almost too much to bear as it lingered in the finish.

Coconut, a translucent white, was refreshing and tropical. It almost tasted like sunscreen smells – not in a bad way, but that does mean it was more artificial than genuine. It had a nice dairy finish.

Sour lemon was brightly yellow. It had a fresh and zesty initial flavor pop. I wish the brightness carried on further into the chew, but it was still quite nice.

Banana split was a mustard yellow speckled with brown spots. It had a banana flavored overtone that was chased by a bright fruity sweetness that reminded me of the sugar syrup of canned fruit. I usually don’t like banana flavored things, but these were bearable for me.

Mango, orange with red spots, started with a striking seediness that tasted like fresh mangos. It quickly mellowed out, but the zippy seediness lingered.

Granny smith apple was a surprisingly turquoise-tinged shade of forest green. Upon first bite, it had a nice green apple tartness to it. That quickly faded into a mellow apple juice sweetness rather than a real granny smith’s sharp sourness. The finish reminded me of caramel apple pops.

Finally, tangerine was orange colored (surprise!) and had a nice zesty juiciness with a slide bitterness. Overall, though, the flavor was solidly of fresh oranges on the mellower, sweeter side of things.

I thought these were a solid set of intensely flavored beans. An OM.

Category: European, jelly candy, OM, review | No Comments »

Guest post: ChocoTense Saturn

October 10th, 2011 by Neil

Today we’ve got a guest post from my favorite in-the-Netherlands ex-pat, Neil! ~Rosa

Greetings again from the soggy Netherlands, dear ZOMG, Candy! readers. Today’s post is about a 150 gram bar I found at a local discount store, Wibra.

Wibra is good for generic 1 Euro utensils, deeply discounted name brand toiletries, socks, and an odd assortment of other goods. Basically a dollar store but across a variety of low prices.

Each time I’m there I try to find something that’s worthy of throwing at Rosa or trying for myself. Finally, I broke down, for your sake, to try the curiously named “Saturn”.

Saturn comes from ChocoTense, a brand of the Strootman Group. As a recovering prescriptivist, I am amused that they advertise themselves as “moving consumer goods discretely” But enough business-chatter. Let’s get down to chocolate tacks.

The bar was fairly well scored, but individual blocks were perfectly flat and unmarked. This just added to the already overwhelming feel of genericness. The blocks broke easily along the scores, but each time I did this, some shards resulted.

Little visual pips of the candies dotted the surface. Upon further reflection, I suppose they’re supposed to be like flying saucers of alien men from Saturn.

Sadly, the appearance made the bar look not entirely healthy. It’s also of note that the top is a bit scuffed up, likely as a result of it kicking around in my backpack for an afternoon.

Overwhelmingly, the flavor was bland milk chocolate, with hints of sour milk. To add insult to injury, a sticky gummy texture persisted, almost frustrating to get through, bordering on the mouthfeel of a Tootsie Roll. The miniature candies — similar to Nestle Smarties – were crispy and were definitely the highlight.

An unfortunate and inexplicable after-effect of heat and irritation in my throat came on after eating a few pieces. The overall experience wasn’t quite so bad that I chucked the remainder, but I found myself wondering what I would do with the rest of this unsatisfactory bar.

In the morning, I found that it was marginally better with my morning coffee but not worthy of any further consumption. Should you ever find yourself in line at the Wibra, skip the Saturn and reach for the Haribo bags. A .

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

Katjes YoguBerries

September 19th, 2011 by Rosa

These Katjes YoguBerries were a Cost Plus World Market find. They’re a big gummi maker in Germany, and my bag was in its original German packaging.

They came in three shapes and flavors: a deeply purple blueberry, a pale pink strawberry, and a red raspberry. All were half translucent coloring, half solid creamy yogurt gummi.

I didn’t immediately recognize blueberry as such. At first glance, I thought it was grape or cherry. The fruity portion started with a slightly plasticky edge before giving way to deep red notes.

I didn’t recognize it as blueberry when I ate the colored portion by itself. When mixed with the yogurt portion, however, it tasted just like blueberry yogurt!

Raspberry’s fruity side started off sweetly before giving way to a slight fruity seediness. Unlike some artificial raspberry candies, this seediness was subdued and added genuinely raspberry-like finish to the treat.

Strawberry’s pink portion tasted brightly floral and sweet. It became more intense as the gummi chew went on, ending on a wonderfully jammy note.

The yogurt portions of these gummis were all the same. They tasted almost savory with their dairy notes of creaminess and had an overarching sweetness. The texture of the yogurt gummis had a barely perceptible grit against the tongue, while the fruity portions were perfectly smooth.

The gummis had a nice chew. It was similar to that of Haribo gummi bears but just a shade softer, with a great sproinginess.

I enjoyed the flavors and texture and found these to be far better than the Haribo yogurt gummis I reviewed about a month ago. An OM.

Category: European, gummi/gummy, OM, review, yogurt | No 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 »