Archive for the 'mint' Category

Fannie May Chocolates – Part IV of Chicago Week + a day

May 12th, 2008 by Rosa

Last Wednesday, I gave an unenthusiastic review to many Fannie May chocolates but promised that I would review more of their candies today. At the Fannie May store I visited, they had bins of individually wrapped chocolates priced the same as the boxed assortments ($20/lb). I picked out a milk praline, a milk peppermint, a dark French mint, and a butterscotch caramel.

milk praline – Ooh! A thick and creamy milk chocolate coating sweet toffee bits and a praline center (hazelnut praline, I think?). I got lovely dusky notes on this one.

milk peppermint – a great combination of thick and creamy milk chocolate coating a mint center. It was like an Andes mint, but bigger and better.

dark French mint – unlike the milk peppermint, this looked like dark chocolate all the way through. A strong mint smell due to its strong mint flavor. The mintiness lingered in the finish, along with a slighty sugary note at the end. Though the mint was super strong, the chocolate was still noticeable.

butterscotch caramel – this caramel had a strong, buttery scent. It was sticky, creamy and quite butterscotchy, with a slight greasiness to the touch.

I liked these much better than the assorted chocolates I picked out myself. The two milk ones are worth an OMG, while the dark French mint and the butterscotch caramel get an OM.

Category: caramel, chocolate, mint, nuts, OM, OMG, review | 1 Comment »

Fannie May Chocolates – Part II of Chicago Week

May 7th, 2008 by Rosa

The saga of my sweet-toothing my way through Chicago continues with Fannie May chocolates, who I would liken to Chicago’s version of See’s, except See’s is better.

At a Fannie May store, I picked out a selection of their chocolates and a few of their individually wrapped candies (review on those to come next week). Top down in columns, from left to right they are, as best as I can tell/remember: bittermint, some nougat thing, vanilla buttercream dark, no clue, buttercrisp, peanut butter, raspberry cream?, lemon buttercream, and a Trinidad. The salesguy assured me that there would be a comprehensive key online. There isn’t.

bittermint – this was a mint in the York Peppermint Pattie vein. The dark chocolate shell was quite thick, and the gooey mint innards had a strong mintiness tempered by a slight bitterness. The lightly bitter finish went nicely with the dark chocolate.

rectangular nougat thing – I have no idea what this is and couldn’t match it up to anything on their website. It was dark chocolate coating a chewy, nutty nougat log that tasted of maple, I thin.

vanilla buttercream dark – I’m not a big fan of buttercreams but let myself be talked into buying this one by Katie, who loves them. This was sweet and cloying but otherwise had a great vanilla flavor. If you have a higher sugar tolerance than I do, you’d probably like it.

buttercrisp – an almond buttercrisp in milk chocolate. I found it too be too hard to bite into and with a weird, not quite toffee-like texture (it didn’t cleave like toffee does).

peanut butter - a creamy peanut butter filling where the peanut butter was not nearly nutty or salty enough. The milk chocolate shell was slightly too thick for balance.

raspberry cream – I think that’s what this was. The chocolate shell was thicker than I expected, and the filling tasted strongly artificial with a slight cherry cordial winey-ness to it.

lemon buttercream - the center of this tasted like a lemon meringue pie. The lemon-ness was super bright.

Trinidad – I’ve managed to save the best for last: it’s a chocolate cream center with “pastel coating” and toasted coconut. The chocolate filling was smooth and creamy, and the coconut flavor was just right.  The only one I really enjoyed from the ones I picked.

I had wanted to buy some Mint Meltaways in my boxed assortment but the salesguy told me not to because their mintiness would overpower everything else. I managed to buy a little tray of 3 larger meltaways at a Walgreen’s instead. I tasted them after the Frangos that I so loved, and they paled in comparison.

The Mint Meltaways had a pastel green white chocolate coating that tasted too sweet and sugary. It gave the confection an unpleasantly greasy creaminess and a thick finish. The mint flavor was weaker than that of Frangos, and it was more artificial tasting.

Overall, I didn’t really enjoy Fannie May that much. I liked the bittermint and Trinidad, but I wouldn’t go out of my way to seek those out. An O for the chocolates described here. The individually wrapped chocolates I bought fared much better, and my review of those will publish on Monday.

Category: chocolate, coconut, mint, nougat, nuts, O, peanut butter, review, toffee, white chocolate | 1 Comment »

Junior Mint Giveaway!

May 6th, 2008 by Rosa

Joel from Candy Xpress, an online wholesale candy seller, sent me a big package of Junior Mints, Colombina Mint Balls, and Trident Tropical Twist gum. Quite the Xtreme care package for reading/finals period, I must say. I gave away lots and lots of the candy to my studying-addled friends, but several boxes of Junior Mints remain for me to give away to 2 lucky winners!

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Leave a comment with a working email address in the form (only I can see it, and I’ll only use it for the purposes of this giveaway) by 9 pm EST on Friday. I’ll randomly select 2 winners, who will each receive 3 (three!) 1.84 oz. boxes of Junior Mints.

Category: chocolate, giveaway, mint, news | 21 Comments »

Frango Mints – Part I of Chicago Week

May 5th, 2008 by Rosa

Back in March, over my spring break, I road-tripped to Chicago with my dear friends Katie, Chris, Rita, and Steve (who needs to get a blog or something. I’m not going to be creepy and link to his facebook page). Lemme tell ya, you’ve got to really love the people you’re road-tripping with, especially when you’ve decided to make a 17/18-hour drive in one day, and you’re driving a tiny little sedan that doesn’t comfortably fit 5. Chicago was our destination because that’s where Katie is from, and her parents were kind enough to take us in for a week. And they were kind enough to buy me candy, including a delicious box of Frango mints (I repaid the favor by buying them some chocolates at Haven’s… except Katie forgot to bring them with her when she flew home for Cubs opening day, so I still owe them one).

Frango mints have a storied Chicago history and are a sore subject for some Chicago natives who resent that Marshall Field’s was bought out by Macy’s. Chicagoans are quite proud of their city, and they should be if they are the home to these delicious chocolate mints.

I expected the Frangos to be like Andes mints or little peppermint patties or something. Instead, they’re chocolate all the way through. Rich, thick, creamy (like a thick, melt in your mouth ganache), dense, sinfully indulgent chocolate with a light smokiness and a great finish. The mint flavoring is just right; not too overpowering, but strong enough to assert its presence.

My 1/3 pound box had a generous 15 mints in it. I ate about a third of them and shared the rest, which were quickly gobbled up and praised by my friends. As I write this review and reminisce about the Frangos, I wish that I had kept them all to myself so that I could have another right now. Though, according to Cybele’s take on the dark version, they’re high in trans fat, so maybe it’s better that I spread the unhealthy deliciousness around. A solid ZOMG! Many thanks to the Cobb’s for introducing me to such a tastebud delight.

Category: chocolate, mint, received as gift, review, ZOMG! | 5 Comments »

Lee’s Chocolate Mint

March 31st, 2008 by Rosa

I’m always on the prowl for candies I’ve never tried before, and when I saw the Lee’s Chocolate Mint bar on the shelf at Randall’s, I snapped it up, along with a Jaffa Bar, which I haven’t opened yet. I’d never heard of Lee’s, a Scottish based food maker, before, so I was eager to see what they had to offer.

The Chocolate Mint bar is billed as “a delicious mint creme fondant covered in real dark chocolate.” Immediately upon unwrapping the bar, my nose was invaded by a super strong, minty scent that reminded me of a York Peppermint Pattie. Unlike a York, however, the mint filling was hard – so hard that it was nearly impossible to break in half, a fact my friends all commented on when they tried to break apart the remainder of the bar to share it amongst themselves. With enough muscle, the bar does snap and cleanly cleave like a piece of toffee, except that toffee is brittle and much easier to break. Once it gets in your mouth, the fondant softens and becomes chewy in a grainy sort of way.

The mint fondant isn’t nearly as strong as it smells. Instead, it’s super sweet with a minty feel but without much actual mint flavor. The finish is sweet, and the fondant got stuck in my molars. The layer of “real dark chocolate” that coats the bar is thin, bland, and rather grainy. It might as well be fake, as there’s so little of it and it’s of such poor quality.

I’ll stick with York Peppermint Patties for now. Like the York, the Lee’s is quite low in fat (3 g total, 1.5 g saturated) and pretty reasonable calorie-wise (230 for the whole bar, which is so hard that you’ll be forced to eat it slowly), probably because the bar is mostly sugar. It gets just an O, but it was good enough to make me want to try the rest of the Lee’s line, though I do fear for my teeth a bit.

Category: chocolate, European, mint, O, review | 3 Comments »

Newman’s Own Organics – Cinnamon Mint

February 20th, 2008 by Rosa

Disclosure alert: These mints were samples sent by Newman’s Own.

I love the packaging on these Newman’s Own mints. They took the Altoid’s-like tin we’re used to and made it more exciting with the old fashioned circus advert. The top of the tin informs you that they’re made with organic sweeteners.

My first thought on opening the tin was, “Well, they certainly look organic. Instead of the bright pink Altoid’s cinnamon mint color, the Newman’s Own mints were a brownish-yellow that made them look quite wholesome and free of refined sugar.

The mints do, in fact, have a darker sweetness to them, as if they were made with molasses or brown sugar instead of refined white sugar. In other words, they taste as natural as they look. Unfortunately, they also taste rather unpleasant. The cinnamon flavor is present, but it’s too light to have any breath freshening properties. And the aftertaste! Ugh! The mints made me feel like I had just swallowed some nasty cough syrup or ginseng medicine. And while the cinnamon flavor was too light to linger as a mint’s flavor should, that medicinal aftertaste was stuck in the back of my throat and would not go away.

I left these in my common room, hoping that one of my nine suitemates would find them appealing, and they’re no longer where I left them, so someone either slipped them into her purse or threw them out. I’m just glad to be rid of them. An O, coupled with a wish that I had a lower ranking that I could assign it.

Category: mint, Newman's Own, O, organic, review | Comments Off

Mini Froer

February 11th, 2008 by Rosa

My friend Laura spent a semester abroad in Denmark and was kind enough to bring me back a box of Mini Froer by Carletti. Froer is Danish for frog, and Mini Froer are chocolate frog truffles. I love how Harry Potter-ish these guys are. I wonder if J.K. Rowling had visited Denmark before she wrote them into her books.


The mini froer assortment I got had four varieties: cream, mint, orange, and toffee.

The “lys med oragetroffel”, or milk with orange truffle, had a nice orange flavor. It was subtle and zesty (as in orange rind zest, not full of life zest) instead of being sweet and super citrusy or juicy, and I liked that unusual rind taste. The milk chocolate froggy shell was sweet with a slight sourness, and the filling was very soft – just short of flowing. I’d give it an OM.

“Lys med toffee” was milk chocolate with a toffee truffle filling. I think of toffee as the brittle, hard stuff. This toffee was almost like a caramel but without any stickiness. It had a nice, dark complexity, making the toffee flavor my favorite of the bunch. An OM bordering on OMG because the chocolate wasn’t of spectacular quality.

The two dark chocolate truffles were “mork med creme” and “mork med mint”, which the box translated as bitter with cream and bitter with mint. These two contained an opaque white liquid center instead of the ganache-like center of the two milk frogs. The mint flavoring was very mild, while the creme had some sort of weird aftertaste that was almost minty. In fact, I thought the creme was the mint until I tasted the real mint one (which was truly minty) and realized that it was creme after all. I didn’t like these two as much as the milk chocolate versions of the frog because the filling flavor wasn’t exactly pleasant in either case, so they get just an O.

I loved the adorable little frog designs, and the box they came in had a nice flip up lid. You can’t tell from the photo, but the frogs that adorn the lid are actually embossed on there. Still, these appear to be a fairly common candy in Denmark, like something you’d pick up at a drugstore rather than at a boutique, and I think they’re a great little treat for their price range.

Category: caramel, chocolate, European, mint, O, OM, received as gift, review, toffee | Comments Off

Emily’s Chocolates’ Dark Chocolate Sandwich Cookies

November 27th, 2007 by Rosa

An extremely generous box of samples arrived from Emily’s Chocolates (BUY on Amazon!) while I was out of town for Thanksgiving break, so I didn’t get them until yesterday. I haven’t had a chance to taste everything in there, but I did try the cookies, and they were most definitely worth the wait. In fact, they were so good that I’ve bumped today’s news story to share this review.

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The sandwich cookies come in mint cream and peanut butter cream. The peanut butter cream cookies come in a similar container, only it’s orange, and it’s snowman had a top hat instead of earmuffs. Isn’t it funny how we now associate orange with peanut butter, all thanks to Reese’s? The packaging is pretty, cute, and festive, making these cookies a great candidate for a hostess gift or a way to suck up to teachers.

Both flavors of cookies are like dark chocolate-covered Oreos with generously thick layers of peanut butter or mint cream. The dark chocolate covering is thick, rich, and delectable. Here’s a shot taken with a flash that shows off how hefty the layers of chocolate and cream are, though it makes the chocolate look lighter than it really is.

The cookies are a great blend of textures – smooth dark chocolate, crunchy chocolate cookie, and creamy filling. The mint cream cookie smelled strongly of mint and chocolate and packed a wallop of mint flavor. I loved it. The mint flavor was strong, but not too strong, leaving the cookie well balanced. The finish was of just chocolate, which I think works well, as a lingering, sugary mint taste isn’t always pleasant. Flavor-wise, the cookie is reminiscent of a Thin Mint, but better – it’s more texturally interesting, the chocolate is of better quality, and there’s more of everything! An enthusiastic ZOMG! for the Dark Chocolate Covered Mint Cream Sandwich Cookies.

The peanut butter cream cookie smelled slightly of peanut butter, and it’s peanut butter taste was present but mild. The finish was pretty much all chocolate, just like that of the mint version. I would have preferred a stronger and saltier peanut butter flavor, though the overall cookie was still delicious. An OMG for the Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cream Sandwich Cookies.

Emily’s also sent me their limited edition boxes of their dark chocolate covered nuts and fruits, a big box of their milk chocolate covered macadamia nuts (apparently still in stock on Amazon as of 11/26), and an adorable dark chocolate-covered cashew-filled snowman. I’m excited to taste those as well, though I think I may save the macadamia nuts to bring home for my folks for Christmas.

What surprised me the most about the Emily’s Chocolates line was how affordable all the products were. They look like they would cost much more than they actually do. I think they’d make great gifts, especially since all the holiday boxes already look like they’re wrapped. If you order by December 10th, you’ll get free shipping on orders over $40. I’ll try to have the rest of my package (minus the macadamia nuts) tasted and the reviews as soon as possible so y’all can take advantage of that offer.

Category: chocolate, cookie, mint, not candy, OMG, peanut butter, review, ZOMG! | Comments Off

Cookie Week and how to win a truck trunk full of gum

November 20th, 2007 by Rosa

Emily’s Chocolates reminded me that this week is National Cookie Week. I’ve missed Monday (oops; this week has been hectic), but there’s plenty more Cookie Week left! And Emily’s Chocolates’ cookies look goooood. Free shipping on orders over $30 before November 23rd.

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They sent me some samples (review to come later), but I didn’t get them before I left school for Thanksgiving break. Hopefully they’ll be waiting for me when I get back. I can’t wait to try them!

In gum news, Stride gum (BUY!) is giving away a Dodge Caliber with a trunk full of 2,160 packs of gum. With the way Stride gum lasts a long time, that could keep you chewing for a looonng time. To enter, visit www.stridegum.com and play their dodgeball flash game.

Category: chocolate, cookie, gum, mint, news, peanut butter | Comments Off

Nestle Aero Bubbles Mint

November 2nd, 2007 by Rosa

Why is aerated chocolate so popular in Europe but nearly unheard of in the U.S.? Before trying these Nestle Aero Bubbles (BUY!), I didn’t really understand what all the fuss was about. Big deal; bubbles in chocolate. How exciting could that be?

Honestly, not that exciting. I could feel the bubbles with my tongue, but they didn’t feel like anything special. It actually felt like more of a large grain than bubbles. You can kind of see the bubbles in the photo below.

It wasn’t until I found myself looking into my suddenly empty bag of these Aero Bubbles that I realized how the aeration made these guys ridiculously addictive. I think the bubbles increase the surface area of chocolate that’s exposed to your tongue, so you get this incredibly smooth, creamy melt that’s wonderful and keeps you reaching for the next textural experience.

The chocolate itself didn’t taste spectacularly special, but it was good enough. The Nestle chocolate wasn’t too sweet, and there was just a hint of mintiness in the green half of the ball. As far as I could tell, the green mint chocolate was just a shell, the the innards of the chocolate ball didn’t have any extra flavoring.

I bought these at Economy Candy. The bag was $1.25, I believe. If they were cheaper, I’d give them an OMG. For what I paid, the cost/yumminess ratio brings them down to an OM.

Category: aerated, chocolate, European, mint, Nestle, OM, review | 1 Comment »