Archive for the 'nougat' Category

Ferrera Nougat

October 29th, 2007 by Rosa

I haven’t had much nougat experience in my life. It’s not a candy you usually come across as a kid, and neither my parents nor my friends are nougat eaters, so no one introduced me to it later in life. I bought a couple of pieces at Economy Candy and found them to be quite enjoyable.

The Ferrera Nougat bars were more money than I was willing to pay for an unknown and possibly detestable candy. Fortunately, Economy Candy also sold smaller individual pieces, perfectly sized for the roaming candy reviewer. I picked up one each of the available flavors, lemon and orange (they come in many more flavors, but the mini versions were more limited).

The lemon nougat had a bright, lightly lemony flavor, like a squirt of lemon juice was added to the nougat right before serving. It’s a more natural lemon flavor, as opposed to the artificial lemon flavor (which I also love) of Starbursts and Skittles and such. The orange taste was more subtly citrusy, like a little bit of orange zest was added to the mix. Like the lemon, it was a natural fruit flavor.

The texture was excellent, soft and chewy without sticking in my teeth, and the large almond pieces brought some nice variety to the chew. The finish was slightly too sweet in the lemon, but definitely still bearable, and the candy was quite enjoyable. My only beef was with the extremely thin wafer that sandwiched the nougat. It was completely bland and tasteless (though barely noticeable because it was so thin) and reminded me of a Chinese dessert that I hate (I think it’s called a Fu Long Bing). An OM in my book, only because I don’t find nougat particularly inspiring.

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

Charleston Chew Vanilla

August 28th, 2007 by Rosa

I’ve seen Charleston Chews (BUY) around grocery stores before, but only in big bags. I couldn’t figure out exactly what they were from the packaging, so I wasn’t ready to commit to buying a whole bag. Fortunately, I found this lone… bar? rod? roll?… version to try.

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The Charleston Chew is a roll of vanilla nougat (the Tootsie Roll website says that they also come in chocolate and strawberry) covered in food-blog-pictures-148.jpga thin layer of chocolate. The chocolate coating smelled of cheap, mass produced chocolate and tasted like it too. Then again, there’s something to be said for cheap, mass produced chocolate. Sometimes it can be transporting, like Proust’s madeleine. And from the retro look of the packaging, it seems that the Charleston Chew is dependent upon its ability to bring people back to their childhoods.

food-blog-pictures-147.jpgAll in all, it’s not a bad bar. The vanilla nougat is soft and yielding, with a manageable amount of sticks-to-your-teeth-ness. Alas, I left the rest of this at home, so I will not be able to try the frozen version. If I could find the single rolls in chocolate and strawberry, I’d buy them to try them, but I wouldn’t bother buying an entire box or bag of them.

Category: chewy, chocolate, nougat, OM, review, Tootsie Roll | Comments Off

3 Musketeers Mint with dark chocolate

August 27th, 2007 by Rosa

I remember buying regular 3 Musketeers bars (BUY) out of the vending machines in high school. I’d lift off the bottom layer of chocolate, eat that flat piece, and then scoop out the nougat center, leaving me with a nice chocolate trough. 3 Musketeers were never my favorite bar, as the milk chocolate and sweet chocolate nougat gets cloying quickly, but I enjoyed them from time to time.

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The 3 Musketeers Mint with dark chocolate is a new bar from Mars. I assume it’s intended to compete with the York Peppermint Pattie. Well, York, you’ve got nothing to worry about. The 3 Musketeers Mint is nice and inoffensive, but it’s also uninspiring and unsensational.

I like the way the bar is portion controlled. It’s narrower than the normal 3 Musketeers, and it comes in two pieces for some reason. Perhaps it made for a better chocolate/mint ratio. Either way, it’s nice to easily be able to eat a single bar and save or share the second. I also like that the bar is dark chocolate because I like dark chocolate.

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The bar smells sweetly of chocolate and lightly of mint. It’s a gorgeous bar, and the shiny and artfully swirled dark chocolate coating contrasts well with the fluffy and pristinely white mint nougat. The chocolate coating is fairly sweet, but not as stick-in-your-throat sweet as that of the regular 3 Musketeers. The mint nougat has the same texture as the chocolate nougat of the regular bar. The mint taste , like the smell, is not very strong, though it does have staying power. A few minutes after I finished the bar, I could still feel a light mintiness in the back of my throat. Like the bar itself, the lingering mint taste was neither pleasant nor unpleasant.

I prefer the strong peppermint kick of the York Peppermint Pattie. The 3 Musketeers Mint is subtle and therefore a little boring. I don’t think it’ll be able to hone in on the Peppermint Pattie’s domination of the chocolate-mint market. After all, the 3 Musketeers big marketing grab is that it’s lower in fat than most chocolate bars, but the York Peppermint Pattie is similarly “healthier”. The taste of the 3 Musketeers Mint alone is simply not enough of a draw for me. An O.

Category: chocolate, Mars, mint, nougat, O, review | 1 Comment »

Cinnabon Cinnamon Pecan Roll

August 6th, 2007 by Rosa

I’m not a big fan of nuts. Their texture is all weird, and they get stuck in your teeth. I’ll eat them in candy bars or brownies or covered in chocolate or even honey roasted, but I won’t actively enjoy them. I am also not a fan of super sweet things. For example, I like my chocolate dark and my coffee with a little bite to it.

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The Cinnabon Cinnamon Pecan Roll is covered in pecans (duh) and is almost disgustingly sweet. I loved it. I hate that I loved it, but I loved it all the same. These guys are made by the company that makes GooGoo Clusters , which I read about in Candy Freak by Steve Almond (a must-read for any candy lover). Steve Almond called the GooGoos sugar bombs, which would make the cinnamon pecan roll a cinnamon sugar bomb.

The pecan roll is a cinnamon nougat center covered in caramel and heavily studded with seriously sugared-crusted pecans (you could barely taste the pecans underneath their sugar shells). It was hard to distinguish the individual components of the cinnamon sugar bomb, so the caramel and the sugar crust on the pecans may have also been cinnamon flavored. I wouldn’t be surprised, as the cinnamon smell was super strong and mouthwateringly incredible.

food-blog-pictures-030.jpgI took a bite of this and blanched at the super sweetness of it. The texture was pretty nice, if a tad on the stiff side. I don’t know if was supposed to be that stiff or if my pecan roll had been sitting on the store shelf for too long or something.The caramel covering was also hard, and it imparted a nice burnt sugar taste but no stickiness. At most, it made the pecan roll slightly chewy.

I felt a little gross after eating that first sugary bite, but I found myself taking another, and another. Then I hit upon the brilliant idea of popping the rest of the roll in the microwave. If I remember correctly, Steve Almond rhapsodized about eating a GooGoo hot off the line, so perhaps that somehow gave me a subconscious prod.

Here are my notes from my pecan roll tasting: “Microwave – OH MY HEAVENS – released the cinnamon scent, made it soft, nougat fluffy.” I had discovered cinnamon nirvana. The texture of the softened roll was much improved, the nougat almost pillowy. The heat made everything taste and smell even stronger of cinnamon and sugar. The cinnamon sugar bomb went atomic.

Usually, I don’t eat candy bars in one sitting, but I found the pecan roll irresistible and quickly polished it off. I immediately felt ill afterwards; drinking a glass of milk helped, but it still took a while for the cloying effect to wear off. I think it was the cinnamon that got me me. There must something about the smell of cinnamon sugar that triggers something in the taste buds. Hence the overwhelming success of Cinnabon.

As far as candy bars go, these bars aren’t that bad for you, though the 30 grams of sugar is excessive. Each bar has 250 calories and 11 grams of fat, but only 1.5 grams of that is saturated. Most of the fat is probably good for you unsaturated fat from the pecans. I think that’s better than most energy bars.

I would love to buy these again, but I shouldn’t. I’m a little frightened by their effect on me – death by sugar overdose following a cinnamon pecan roll binge would be a bad way to go. I think it’s best that I quit cold turkey lest I become truly addicted. It’s probably safe, however, for me to give the GooGoo clusters a taste. I’ve seen them at the grocery store before, and now I really want to try those too.

Category: caramel, nougat, nuts, OM, review | Comments Off