Haribo Maoam Stripes

As promised, here’s a timely review of Haribo Maoam Stripes. If you missed it, they’re currently under scrutiny having inappropriate wrappers.

I first came across the Maoam Stripes last summer in Cambridge, England, and I was fortunately enough to get a second dose from my residential college’s associate master. She got them via a Swedish friend and was kind enough to think of me and share.

Maoam Stripes are a soft, chewy taffy. They come in five flavors: orange, lemon, cherry, strawberry, and raspberry. The Maoam from England were thin, rectangular sticks, while the Swedish Maoam were blockier rectangles.

All the Maoam were a creamy, pale off-white. They may have vaguely been tinged the color of their fruit flavors, but it’s also highly likely that that was purely the power of suggestion.

They have a smooth chew that’s round and clean, with a pleasantly glossy mouthfeel.

Orange was sweet, with just a bit of citrus flavor. It was bright and fruity without being tart.

Lemon was similar to orange, but it tasted a bit brighter and just a bit more tart. It also carried a slightly bitter zesty note that made the fruit flavor feel more genuine (though its strident sweetness definitely made it clear that it was candy).

Cherry had a deep, dark cherry flavor. It carried a tinge of bitter cherry tannins, in a good way. Again, this helped make it feel more true to the fruit that it was emulating.

Strawberry was bright and florally sweet. I usually find strawberry candy uninspiring, but this was actually enjoyable – if still not quite inspiring.

Finally, raspberry. I was afraid of this one, as I dislike most raspberry candies (and don’t really like fresh raspberries all that much, though they’re great in berry sangria). I needn’t have worried. The raspberry Maoam was surprisingly pleasant. There was no seedy bitter bite to it, so I didn’t really identify it as raspberry flavored. Instead, it occupied a portion of the flavor spectrum between cherry and strawberry.

I really enjoyed the Maoam taffy. The texture is great, the flavors are bright and cheerful, and they’re incredibly addictive. They’re like the European version of Starburst, only oodles better. An OMG.

Haribo Maoam Sour Candies

In light of recent news that’s been pushing a lot of traffic to my site, I thought I’d throw up some pictures of “Haribo Maoam Sour Candies” – really Maoam Stripes, a yummy, brightly flavored taffy treat I picked up last summer in England – to show people what they’re really looking for.

I don’t think the green guy’s doing anything illicit in these wrappers, though I’ll admit that the controversial ones are much more… questionable.

I have a set of the same candies with but with different, tamer wrappers (given to me by my associate master) that I’ve been meaning to get out a review for. Will hop to it to take advantage of this news flash.

Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate Chipotle Hazelnuts

Trader Joe’s has yet to make it to Rochester, but my boyfriend’s Boston home happens to be just next to one. As Cybele from Candy Blog has shown, Trader Joe’s is a great candy source, so I made sure to pop in when I was Boston to visit my boyfriend.

While there, I picked up a tub of their chocolate-covered sunflower seeds (not as good as Sunbursts’s, but still good, and just right for snacking on the long drive home) and these, dark chocolate chipotle hazelnuts.

They’re advertised as “mild, smoky heat with a touch of cinnamon and cocoa”. There’s a lot going on there!

They smell of sweet cocoa. At first taste, it tastes like ground cinnamon – dry and spicy. Next comes the cocoa flavor, which is a tad sweet, along with a bit of nuttiness from the hazelnuts.

Finally, the chili burn emerges after the nut is gone. It emerges slowly, but once it comes, it lingers! It doesn’t hurt exactly; rather, it smolders. It’ll definitely keep you awake!

Texture-wise, the outer chocolate layer is soft, while the whole hazelnut inside is pleasantly crunchy.

I wish the hazelnut flavor had been stronger. More nuttiness and more roasty-ness would have helped. The chocolate and the chili and the hazelnut sort of works together, but the cinnamon throws it off. Somehow, the flavors just don’t quite mesh.

I wouldn’t buy them again, but I did eat a significant portion of the tub. I’d like to try them without the cinnamon. Maybe they’d work better that way? Until then, an O from me.

Staying fit when eating’s your job

Here’s a nice puff piece from the NY Times discussing how professional eaters deal with the health and weight ramifications of their jobs. It basically boils down to eat less, exercise more.

Anywho, there’s also a related audio slide show where chocolatier Robert Untiedt talks about his occupational hazards. Just to put it out there to news media world- I’m happy to talk about how I stay fit when I eat a bazillion times more candy than I probably should. Sadly, unlike Padma Lakshmi or my boyfriend, my metabolism is pokey to unexceptional.

My “secrets”? I eat less by just tasting a bit and sharing the rest (most of the time; sometimes really good stuff doesn’t make it to the sharing stage), and I exercise more via kickboxing classes at the gym.

Haribo Fruit Salad

I was carded when I bought this bag of Haribo Fruit Salad. Why was I carded for gummi candy? Because I bought it in the specialty foods section of a liquor store, and apparently you have to be 21 to buy anything in the store, even if it’s just harmless Haribo.

Before we begin, I must apologize for the lack of photos. My friend Cassie and I indulged in these right after I bought them, so the bag got too beat up to be shot. I managed to save enough for a review and at least one photo!

They come in five flavors of gummi. All are soft, with just enough bite to feel it against the teeth but no bounce, and all are covered in granulated sugar.

From the top left, going clockwise:

The white wedge is grapefruit. There’s a zesty citrus bite to it that’s distinctively grapefruit. It adds a little bitter to the sweet that I found quite intriguing.

The red cherry tasted flat. It starts off sweet, then goes into a deep red cherry flavor with just a hint of medicinal tinge.

The orange wedge had a genuine tangerine flavor. Zesty and sweet and just slightly sour. It was great!

I think the yellow circle was lemon. It was sweet and tart, with a bit of floral acidity. The finish was sugary. All in all, it was pretty mild and sweet, which is why I only think it was lemon.

Finally, the green button was lime. It had a zesty grassiness that had a weird bite. I found it off-putting and blech.

I’ve seen these in the bulk bins at Wegmans, and I’d pick out the grapefruit and orange. They get OMs. The lmeon and cherry get Os, and the lime gets a .

My kind of weight loss program!

Via Chocolate Bytes, a new study finds that facing temptation in the form of chocolate actually helps strengthen one’s resolve to be healthy and lose weight. I guess my giant candy stash is a good thing for my waistline, then?

Abstract in full science-ese below:

“In the Western rich food environment, people are constantly confronted with palatable but unhealthy food products. For those who would like to watch their weight, the appeal of immediate satisfaction is in conflict with their long-term weight watching goal, constituting a classic self-control dilemma. The current studies were designed to test the effect of food temptations on self-regulation mechanisms. Hypotheses were based on counteractive control theory stating that temptations trigger goal-directed behavior, thereby forming an adaptive self-regulation mechanism. Two experimental studies showed that exposure to food temptations, compared to a control condition, yielded enhanced goal importance (Study 1), goal intentions, and goal-directed behavior (i.e., healthy eating; Study 2). It is concluded that confrontation with temptations is not always undermining self-control and may even be beneficial for long-term goal pursuit.”

Dagoba Super Fruit

It was bound to happen. I bought and wrote a review for a candy that I’ve already written about: the Dagoba Super Fruit bar. But I’m publishing it anyway, as it’s far more thorough than my first review of it.

In my defense, the bar’s wrapper has changed, so I um… didn’t recognize it?

The chocolate smells dry and dusky, and it tastes that way too. The melt is dry, and the texture is just shy of chalky. It makes me think of cocoa powder, in a good way.

The bar itself is a 74%, with bits of acai, currants, and goji berries. Every once in a while, you come across a bit of dried fruit, which delivers a powerful hit of sweet red berries.

I came across a currant, which was chewy, and some other slightly crunchy dried fruit that was either the acai or the goji.

I wish there were more fruit bits. They were too few and far between, and I didn’t want to eat the whole bar to get a good feel for it. Still, it was good, and my original OM rating stands. But Dagoba, stop being so stingy with your super fruits!

Crunky Nude Ball

Lotte‘s Crunky Nude Balls were the most hilariously named of the Korean candies that Nana and Justin sent me. Here’s Nana’s description: “Bought just for the name…Crunky is a Korean Nestle Crunch rice chocolate; here the puffed rice is on the outside.” Like the Pepero, it’s “nude”, meaning inside out.

They came packaged in a plastic barrel with a flip-top, which was quite fun. Each ball was about the size of a grape and covered in tiny rice crisps. When I say covered, I do mean covered. There’s very little chocolate that showed through on the surface area of the ball.

The rice crisps were nuttier than I expected. I wonder if they were brown rice crisps?  They tasted almost like cornflakes or sesame seeds. The rice crisps were also found within each ball.

The chocolate was thick with dusky hints of malt. The texture paired well with the airy puffs of rice. The sesame/cornflake notes were a different taste experience. I’m not sure exactly how much I appreciated the flavor pairing, but the texture and delivery of the chocolate treats was quite fun.

I give these an OM. I bet they’d be even better with cookie bits or more normal-tasting rice puffs.

Korean Red Grape Gummies

More candy goodness from Korea! Nana translated the name of these red gummy grapes into “my gummy,” which I’m guessing is the brand.

The gummies inside were soft and gooey, with barely any bite to the texture. Each gummi was shaped like a bunch of grapes, prettily purple with just a tinge of pink when the light shines through it.

The gummies were lightly sweet with a floral flavor that was quite genuinely that of red table grapes. There was a big 50% on the package. Despite my complete lack of ability to read Korean, I’m going out on a limb and guessing that they’re made of 50% real fruit or fruit juice, as they certainly taste like they are.

These were far better than most grape flavored gummies that are available in the states, as it tasted like the actual fruit. An OM.