Archive for the 'review' Category

Mast Brothers single origin dark chocolate bar – Madagascar

April 4th, 2014 by Rosa

Today’s the last of the three Mast Brothers single origin chocolate bars, the Madagascar, that I bought at Cocoa Cinnamon, a local coffee shop. I reviewed the Belize last Friday, and the Papua New Guinea on Monday.

Wrapper description: “This organic cacao is sourced from a single farm in Madagascar’s northwest coast. Bold, with notes of blood orange, raspberry, and red wine.”

The Madagascar looked quite shiny and broke with a sharp snap. Its melt was fuzzy and with no tongue-coating properties.

It started with rich caramel notes that quickly gave way to an incredibly punchy, bright fruitiness that shone through. It was sweet and tangy – I placed it as passionfruit, though the wrapper notes went with blood orange and raspberry.

I am totally sold on Mast Brothers chocolates. They are pricey but totally worth it – every bar I had great flavor intensity and complexity. Another ZOMG!

Category: chocolate, organic, review, single origin, ZOMG! | No Comments »

Mast Brothers single origin dark chocolate bar – Papua New Guinea

March 31st, 2014 by Rosa

Here’s the second of the three Mast Brothers single origin chocolate bars, the Papua New Guinea, that I picked up at my local fancy coffee shop, Cocoa Cinnamon. I reviewed the Belize last Friday, and I’ll review the Madagascar this Friday.

Its wrapper description: “After harvest, these beans are uniquely smoked. This post-fermentation process imparts incredible flavor; think hickory smoked bacon and aged scotch.”

This bar also snapped, but it broke more softly than did the Belize. It also had a thicker melt on the tongue.

It started off with a great depth of chocolate intensity and richness. As the bar melted, it got darker and even more complex, taking on a hint of maltiness as well.

Again, an incredible amount of flavor from just cacao and cane sugar, thanks to careful bean sourcing and smoking the beans after fermentation, I guess. Another ZOMG! Seeing a trend here?

Category: chocolate, review, single origin, ZOMG! | No Comments »

Mast Brothers single origin dark chocolate bar – Belize

March 28th, 2014 by Rosa

I’ve written about Mast Brothers Chocolate in several news posts on the blog, but this is my first time reviewing their wares. Mast Brothers is based in NYC, so I hadn’t been able to try them until now – thanks for carrying amazing chocolate bars, Cocoa Cinnamon!

I picked up three of their single origin bars: the Belize, the Madagascar, and the Papua New Guinea. Belize is up first.

The wrapper blurb: “From the Mayan jungles of southern Belize, this ground-breaking cooperative farms world-class, organic cacao. Notes of raisin, plum, and sarsaparilla.

This bar had the dullest surface look of the three bars that I tried. It broke with a sharp snap, and not always along its presegmented lines.

The texture of the bar was on the dry side. When I chewed it up, it felt like it had just lost its grittiness, and there was no tongue-coating melting feel. You can see the fine grit along the break in the image below.

The flavor of this bar was just incredible! A brightly fruity punch of raisin notes dominates the flavor profile and lingers throughout.

I was enthralled by how much flavor this bar brought from having only cacao and cane sugar on its ingredients list. A ZOMG!

Category: chocolate, organic, review, single origin, ZOMG! | No Comments »

Fruit Vines Bites – Strawberry and Cherry

March 24th, 2014 by Rosa

I got these Fruit Vines Bites as free samples the day before I left for Shanghai. Now that I’m back and mostly no longer jet-lagged, I can get around to reviewing them!

Fruit Vines Bites are a new candy from the Red Vines folks that currently come in cherry and strawberry. They were little chunks of chewy fruit candy about 3/4 of a inch long and comprised of three stuck together ropes.

They were quite soft and easy to bite through, with a bit of a tendency to get stuck in the nooks and crannies of my teeth as I chomped them up. The lightly sweet fruity flavors intensely permeated the whole bite, and both had just a hint of a wheaty undertone.

I liked the cherry (maroon) better than the strawberry due to its darker, more rotund red fruit flavor profile. It just seemed a little more intensely flavored in its plummy cherry-ness, which I liked.

Strawberry (red) was lighter and brighter in its candied red fruit flavor, which also made it a little more plastic tasting to my tongue. Not bad, but not as good as the cherry.

An OM for the cherry and O for the strawberry.

Category: chewy, O, OM, review | 2 Comments »

Jelina Chocolate – Earl Grey

February 28th, 2014 by Rosa

Jelina Chocolatier has long been one of my favorite chocolate makers that I discovered at Sweets and Snacks. The Earl Grey in 72% cacao was a free sample and the one that I was most wary of tasting, as tea flavored chocolates have never been my favorite.

The dark, woodsy chocolate had the strong scent of tea leaves – a little floral, with dry, herbal notes. The bar broke sharply into its pre-segmented rectangles but chewed with a dry crunch and a hint of grit.

The chocolate was awesomely intense. It was deep and dark with strong, earthy cocoa notes and a slightly bitter finish from the tea leaves.

The tea definitely made its presence known. It added the aforementioned bitterness, as well as a slight astringency and grit, all of which lingered on the tongue long after the chocolate melted away.

The complexity of the chocolates’ flavor profile made this another standout bar from Jelina, though perhaps not my favorite of their lineup (that’s the Maple Crunch, out of all the one’s I’ve had so far). An OM.

Someone PLEASE make it possible for me to buy these in the U.S. Pretty please? I think right now you can only buy them in 8-packs on Amazon.

Category: chocolate, fair trade, OM, review | No Comments »

Albanese Gummi Fruit Slices

February 24th, 2014 by Rosa

Emma recently visited the Albanese gummi factory and brought back oodles of gummi treats, including this peg bag of Albanese Gummi Fruit Slices. I hope that Albanese is moving towards selling their gummis in peg bags with a wider distribution – I haven’t seen them in NC yet!

The wedge-shaped gummis were lightly striated with Albanese’s characteristic firmly sproingy chew and intense flavors. They were mostly citrus flavors, with a couple of exceptions, that were a subset of Albanese’s 12 flavors.

Pink, my usual favorite grapefruit flavor, was sweet and lightly tart with some grapefruit pithiness. Green was lime, which was lightly zesty and sweetly candied.

Yellow was lemon, with a sweet citrus zesty lemon undertone to the finish. Orange was orange, with a great citrus juiciness.

Now the non-citrus, naturally wedge-shaped fruits: Red was cherry, I think, and tasted like red fruit candy (which all tastes the same to me). White was pineapple and brought an intensely bright and sweet corey flavor.

I wish these were widely available in stores in my area – or maybe not, because I’d buy them all the time for their flavor intensity. An OM.

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

Kallari Sacha Roberto’s Recipe

February 21st, 2014 by Rosa

I buy so much chocolate that it’s sometimes hard to keep track of where I get everything. I’m 80% sure I bought this Kallari Sacha chocolate bar in Roberto’s Recipe at Cocoa Cinnamon, an awesome coffee shop that serves excellent drinking chocolate in Durham.

The 75% cacao bar was described as “extra rich dark chocolate with vanilla.” It was scored into 15 rectangles that broke with a sharp snap, but when I chewed it, it crumbled and thinly melted.

It started off sweet, then became earthy with mild coffee notes. Its flavor profile was a little muddy in a wholesome, natural way. Its slight sweetness developed into a mellow vanilla roundness to the finish.

I thought this was a nice dark chocolate bar, but its flavor profile wasn’t my thing. An O.

Category: chocolate, O, review | No Comments »

Bissinger’s Salt Caramels – Merlot and Chardonnay

February 17th, 2014 by Rosa

I bought these Bissinger’s boozy salted caramels at a post-holiday sale at Southern Season. Merlot Salt Caramel was described as “red wine paired with a vintage merlot sea salt”, while Chardonnay Salt Caramel was, “Bissinger’s 300 year old caramel recipe, topped with barrel smoked chardonnay fleur de sel.”

The chocolate caramels came in sets of five in a stiff plastic sleeve. Merlot had a dark chocolate shell, while chardonnay’s was milk chocolate. Both were generously topped with salt sprinkles.

The caramels were stiffly chewy and sticky. Merlot’s caramel had an amazingly bright fruitiness, while the dark chocolate had the taste of cherries to its finish.

Chardonnay’s milk chocolate was sweeter with dusky caramel notes to it. Its caramel was butterscotch-y, without the great fruitiness of the merlot.

I liked Merlot (OMG) much more than the Chardonnay (OM) because of its fruity complexity. I didn’t really get any actual wine flavors, but these were still solid chocolate-covered salted caramels.

I should note, however, that these were not cheap. At full price, they were $12.25 for the 5. I got them at half price ($6.12), which made them more worth it.

 

Category: caramel, chocolate, OM, OMG, review | No Comments »

Kooky

January 31st, 2014 by Rosa

This Kooky candy bar was an impulse buy at the checkout line of my parents’ neighborhood grocery store, HEB. It’s a knockoff Twix that was shelved with a knockoff Snickers, 3Musketeers, and Milky Way, but I chose to buy the Kooky because it was on sale (3 for $1 instead of 2 for $1).

The Kooky called itself “biscuit and caramel covered with milk chocolate” with the tagline “That’s the way the Kooky crumbles” (groan). Like a Twix, there were two fingers per package.

The caramel with stiff and a little chewy. It tasted sweet with scorchy butter notes. I found it quite enjoyable, especially for a mass-market bar.

I also liked the biscuit layer. The cookie was dry and crumbling with some nice toasted notes that gave it some complexity.

Finally, the sweet milk chocolate coating was fairly standard. I had just the slightest tinge of a sour burn in my throat after I polished off one of the fingers, but I didn’t feel like it was too sweet since it was balanced out by the cookie.

I didn’t have a Twix to do a side-by-side comparison on this treat, but I think I actually would prefer the Kooky – I really enjoyed the darker flavor tinges that the toasted cookie and caramel brought. An OM.

Category: caramel, chocolate, cookie, OM, review | No Comments »

Hello Panda – Strawberry and Double Choco

January 27th, 2014 by Rosa

Hello Panda is Meiji‘s answer to Lotte’s Koala’s March: cream-filled cookies imprinted with cute animal cartoons. I got a couple of boxes to try in my free MunchPak samples, first in Strawberry and the following month in Double Choco.

The Hello Panda biscuits were either round or round with ears, like teddy bear heads. The Strawberry version was vanilla biscuits with strawberry cream, while Double Chocos were chocolate biscuits with “choco” cream.

Compared to the Koala’s March, the Hello Pandas had a more substantial crunch and a greater cookie to filling ratio. Strawberry’s biscuit was lightly sweet, while the center strawberry cream had the texture of a solid frosting and a floral sweetness to its artificial strawberry flavor.

The chocolate cookie of the Double Choco was darker in both appearance and flavor. It had a slight cocoa bittersweetness, like a mild Oreo cookie, and its chocolate filling was creamy with a slightly greasy feel.

I liked the Double Choco better than the Strawberry, which was too artificially floral for my taste. I did wish, however, that the Double Choco had more intensity of chocolate flavor and wasn’t quite so greasy. An O for both.

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