Archive for the 'region' Category

Kasugai Ramune Gummi

November 8th, 2013 by Rosa

I usually buy my Kasugai gummies at Asian grocery stores, but I found this bag of ramune flavored gummies at a Cost Plus World Market. If you’re not familiar with ramune (not to be confused with ramen!), it’s a lemon-lime Asian soda that’s usually kept in a uniquely marble-stoppered bottle.

Like all Kasugai gummies, these guys were individually wrapped and labeled. These were decorated with a little fizzy ramune bottle design. The gummis themselves were round with a striking translucent seafoam coloring.

They had an awesome soft, bouncy chew that yielded to my bite but still had some sproing to it. The flavor was sweetly floral to start, then took on a citrus fizziness.

When I ate them very slowly and carefully, I detected a slightly off undertone that made the gummi remind me a bit of diet Sprite. When chomped more quickly, as normal people would consume gummies, that slight undertone was undetectable.

Overall, these tasted like a cleaner, crisper version of Sprite with some bonus floral notes. An OM. My only complaint is the individual wrappers – so much trash from so few gummies!

Category: Asian (China, Japan, and Korea), gummi/gummy, Kasugai, OM, review | No Comments »

Cadbury Cola and Pretzel

October 18th, 2013 by Rosa

Remember when I posted about how weird the Cadbury Cola Pretzel Honeycomb bar sounded, and how I’d love to try it? Ask and you shall receive, at least when you’re a candy blogger! Sometimes…

The folks at CyberCandy heard my plea and sent me a free sample of my very own Cadbury Cola Pretzel Honeycomb bar. It was an absurdly ginormous bar, weighing in at 200g (just under half a pound).

The bar had traveled to me all the way from England, so it had broken up a bit by the time I got it. You can see from Kev’s review that the bar is pretty crazily/assymmetrically segmented, so that it looks quite cobblestonesque, and its underside was studded with oval chunks of pretzel.

Those pretzel chunks were each about peanut-sized, so pretty big. They delivered a great hit of salty crunch that contrasted nicely with the sweet and lightly grainy melt of the Cadbury milk chocolate.

While the bar had a hearty crunch from the pretzels, some chomps carried a more subtle, even dainty, crunch from the bits of honeycomb in the bar. They also added a lightly golden sweet tinge.

The cola came in the form of small chewy nuggets that were spread out throughout the bar. Those nuggets reminded me of Au’some Nuggets in texture – chewy with a matte graininess – and they added a fruity cola undertone.

I have to give Cadbury major credit for this “marvelous creation”. They really let their creativity run wild while still creating a tasty bar of unusual flavor combinations. It was almost too sweet for me, but those solid pretzel chunks reeled it back. An OM.

Category: Cadbury, chocolate, European, OM, review | 1 Comment »

Milka & Oreo

October 16th, 2013 by Rosa

This Milka & Oreo came to me via a visiting German student in the lab. It was a gift for the lab to share, so I couldn’t take it home to photograph in my usual set-up.

Instead, I managed to snag some shots with my fancy new iPhone (finally gave up on my dumb phone when the 9 button no longer worked) before my labmates tucked into the bar. I gotta say, I think my new camera phone is at least as good as, if not better than, my now 5 years old digital camera.

The Milka & Oreo was a Milka milk chocolate bar filled with Oreo cookies and cream. That Milka chocolate was wonderful – there was just a thin top and bottom layer of it, but it was substantial in texture (thick and creamy) and flavor (luscious caramel notes).

The offwhite cream center was sweet with notes of dairy and vanilla frosting. It was chock full of hearty bits of Oreo chocolate cookies, which tasted of bittersweet dark cocoa.

Those cookies were incredibly crunchy. I was astounded as to how they maintained their crunchiness while surrounded by all that cream.

I found this bar to be quite addictive. The flavor and texture mix was great, with the melting and sweet caramel milk chocolate contrasting nicely with the robust crunch of the darker chocolate Oreos. An OM.

Category: chocolate, cookie, European, Milka, OM, review | No Comments »

Guest post: Lindt Lindor Panna Cotta Passionfruit

September 30th, 2013 by Neil

Note from Rosa: Here’s another guest post from expat friend Neil. He wrote this in May 2013 but only just now found the photos.

I try not to subject you to reviews of candy I’ve let expire, but I’m making an exception for this. January 2013 wasn’t that long ago, right…?

This came from a German supermarket in summer 2012. I was intrigued by the notion of passionfruit panna cotta and the all-caps dictation to “ENJOY COLD!”

I thought it’d be a bar. The eighteen individual chocolate squares surprised me. Each had a Lindt logo on top and the chocolate appeared milky, though maybe a bit dried out by the unintentional aging.

My experience with passionfruit is limited to candies and juice, so whether or not these taste of the fruit off the vine is up to a proper produce-eater. The chocolate is quite satisfactory, and the passionfruit aspect is what really shines.

There’s almost a bright, sparkling pop in your mouth a few seconds after you finish a square, which is all fruit. An OM.

Category: chocolate, European, guest post, Lindt, OM | No Comments »

Oishi Hard Candies

August 21st, 2013 by Rosa

I bought these Oishi Hard Candies while I was in China (I did more than just hug pandas there!). I don’t know the package says – I’m functionally illiterate in Chinese, so only recognize the character for fruit in the description – but I did manage to find them listed on the Oishi website, where they were just called Hard Candy .

The individually wrapped hard candies came in five flavors: cool lychee, orange, lemon mint, mint, and grape. From the Oishi website, it seems like they sell those flavors individually as well.

Cool Lychee (red wrapper; white candy) was a strange flavor. It was sweet to start, then took on a very genuine lychee flavor. I could even taste the slight edge of bitterness that lychees get near the pit.

Unfortunately, the wonderful lychee flavor was soon marred by a methol minty finish. I guess that was the cool part. For me, the coolness ruined the candy.

Orange (orange wrapper and candy) was brightly sweet with a zesty citrus flavor. It was a good, if standard, orange candy flavor, and thankfully no mintiness.

Lemon Mint (yellow and yellow) started off sugar sweet. The slight lemon flavor was mild and slow to appear. Instead, it mostly tasted of menthol and made me think of cough drops. Blech.

Mint (blue wrapper and white candy) was a mentholy peppermint. Not my thing.

Finally grape (purple and purple) was sweet and slightly tart with a tannic, red grape edge and no mintiness. It was quite unlike American grape candies, which taste super artificial. Oishi’s take tasted like an actual grape.

I liked the grape, and the orange was fine, if standard. They get Os. The minty fruity hard candies, on the other hand, were too medicinal and/or weird for me and get a .

Category: --, Asian (China, Japan, and Korea), hard candy, O, review | No Comments »

Hokkaido Pumpkin Chocolate

August 12th, 2013 by Rosa

I inherited the remains of this box of Hokkaido Pumpkin Chocolate from Emma, who got them from a friend. I was amused that pumpkin-headed mascot appears to be named Yukky.

The pumpkin chocolates were all individually wrapped with a little window through which you could see the pumpkin shaped candies within. Some were jack-o-lantern shaped, while others were just pumpkins.

The pumpkins were made of orange-hued white chocolate sprinkled with bits of crisp rice-like objects. Those bits gave the chocolate toasted puffed wheat notes that were immediately present from first bite. They eventually gave way to a grittiness when the chocolate was gone, from their husks perhaps.

The white chocolate had faint notes of roasted autumn squash. It was just lightly sweet and mostly vegetal in flavor. I missed the spices that usually come with pumpkin desserts in the U.S.

While I appreciated the beauty of the treat, the flavor wasn’t my thing. While I usually complain that U.S. sweets are too sweet, this Japanese one wasn’t sweet enough. An O.

Category: Asian (China, Japan, and Korea), chocolate, O, review | No Comments »

Ritter Sport – Coconut

June 7th, 2013 by Rosa

Today is the 4th of 4 new Ritter Sports that I got as free samples from Euro-American Brands at Sweets and Snacks. The Coconut was described on the wrapper as “with tropical coconut flakes in a coconut and milk filling.”

This was a standard 16-squared filled Ritter – a milk chocolate shell with a textured white coconut filling. The milk chocolate was the usual Ritter fare, sweet with dusky caramel notes, softly pliable, and thickly melting.

The coconut flakes were tiny and lightly crunchy. They added a great grit and a sweetly nutty coconut flavor with a floral undertone. The rest of the filling was sweet with the dairy notes of a fresh buttercream.

I found this Ritter to be delicious. It was, however, quite rich, so that a square or two was enough to satisfy. An OM.

I really enjoyed the Ritter Sports that I nabbed at the Expo, and I can’t wait to see them on the shelves here in the U.S. Especially the Cocoa Mousse one!

Category: chocolate, coconut, European, OM, review, Ritter Sport | 2 Comments »

Ritter Sport – Fine Extra Dark Chocolate 73%

June 5th, 2013 by Rosa

Here’s the 3rd of 4 new Ritter Sport samples from Euro-American Brands that I got at Sweets and Snacks. Monday’s Cocoa Mousse broke the mold by featuring 9 squares instead of 16. This Fine Extra Dark Chocolate 73% does the same…

but in the opposite direction. It features a whopping 36 itty-bitty squares, each stamped with a miniaturized version of the Ritter Sport logo on its teeny top. The square mountains were solid chocolate of the 73% cacao variety.

The cubes were dense and thick to bite into. The dark chocolate tasted dense as well. I found it earthy and even a bit muddy with a deep Dutched cocoa flavor.

I found this to be a fun departure from the usual Ritter Sports, but to be honest, I mostly love Ritter Sports for their delicious fillings. Ritter’s dark chocolate was nice enough, but it wasn’t as special as other brands of dark chocolate that have more flavor complexity. An OM.

Category: chocolate, European, OM, review, Ritter Sport | 1 Comment »

Ritter Sport – Milk Chocolate with Cocoa Mousse

June 3rd, 2013 by Rosa

Last Friday, I reviewed the Limited Edition Ritter Sport Raspberry and Cranberry Yogurt, one of the 4 Ritter Sport samples that I got from Euro-American Brands at Sweets and Snacks. This week, I’ll cover the other three, for a delicious Ritter Sporty week!

First up, the Milk Chocolate with Cocoa Mousse, a new Ritter bar that I’m hoping will work its way into permanent U.S. distribution. It was revolutionary because, unlike the regular 16 square Ritter, it took the same total area and subdivided it into 9 larger squares.

That change was made to leave the cocoa mousse, or “fine whipped cocoa creme”, more room to be fluffy. As you can see, the inside of each of 9 squares was filled with a dark chocolate filling. It made for a lovely visual contrast against the lighter brown of the milk chocolate shell.

The cocoa mousse filling wasn’t noticeably fluffy in the same way that real mousse is, but it was definitely not solid. Instead, it was something in between the two – more airy than solid chocolate but firmer than real mousse.

The milk chocolate shell was thick and creamy with a caramelly sweetness. The cocoa mousse in the center had an incredibly deep cocoa intensity. It tasted fudgey with a bittersweet edge.

I absolutely adored the incredible chocolate intensity of this bar. It’s a shame that it had 9 squares instead of 16, as mine is now nearly half gone. A ZOMG!

 

Category: chocolate, European, review, Ritter Sport, ZOMG! | 3 Comments »

Ritter Sport – Raspberry and Cranberry Yogurt (Limited Edition)

May 31st, 2013 by Rosa

Today is my first review of a product that I picked up at Sweets and Snacks. I’ve decided to start with the product I was most excited about trying: Ritter Sport‘s Raspberry and Cranberry Yogurt.

Why was I so excited about this particular bar? Let me refer you to my ode to the Ritter Sport Yogurt, which is my favorite Ritter and one of my favorite chocolate bars.

Raspberry and Cranberry in addition to yogurt sounded fun! Plus it was a Limited Edition bar, which dials up the specialness feeling, and it was a bar that I’ve never seen in the wild.

This was yet another visually pleasing bar from Ritter, with a speckled pink filling standing in bright contrast to the milk chocolate shell. My bar was quite pliable and bent quite a ways before it broke along its segments – probably due to a combination of the warm weather and softish-to-start milk chocolate.

The fruity filling was intensely flavored. Those speckles were actually crunchy little bits of freeze-dried berry, and biting into them yielded a flash of bright and tart berry flavor.

The fruit was real! After one square of the bar disappeared down my throat, a couple of raspberry seeds were left behind.

The chocolate here served as a sweet and dusky foil to the filling. It also provided a luxuriously thick melt that surrounded the creamy filling.

This bar was good. Not quite good enough to unseat the plain yogurt Ritter as my favorite, but still pretty darn good with its intense fruity tartness. An OMG.

Category: chocolate, European, limited edition, OMG, review, Ritter Sport, yogurt | No Comments »