Ritter Sport Cornflakes

This Ritter Sport bar came from Target. At $1.99, Target’s Ritter Sport bars are the best deal I’ve ever seen.

I was a bit surprised to see that Target carried the Cornflakes bar, “with crispy-crunchy cornflakes”. It’s an unusual combination to find in the States, but a tasty one!

The cornflakes were more or less horizontally layered within the milk chocolate bar. They endowed it with a lovely crunch, creating an all around lovely texture when added to the thick and creamy milk chocolate.

It’s similar to the more familiar chocolate and rice crisps combination but with a much sturdier bite and a stronger grit that doesn’t melt away and disappear as quickly as rice crisps do.

The milk chocolate was dusky with a lovely complexity and edge to it, and the cornflakes added an almost nutty depth of flavor that made this bar a great treat. It’s pretty addictive, mostly thanks to the extra-special crunch. An OM.

Ritter Sport Dark Whole Hazelnut

This is the second of the Ritter Sport bars that I bought in Spain. Those two made me want to try more, so I did. I picked up a couple more at Target (they were only $1.99!), which gave me enough bars to make this a Ritter Sport review week.

The Dark Whole Hazelnuts (or Negro con Avellanas Enteras) was a dark chocolate Ritter base “with hand selected whole hazelnuts”.

You know how some things promise whole hazelnuts, or almonds, or peanuts, or whatever, and there are always a few broken ones mixed in? Admirably enough, every hazelnut in this bar remained intact. Well, until I chomped into them, that is.

And there were lots of them too! The bar was generously studded with whole roasted hazelnuts. Their dry roasted nuttiness contrasted well with the smooth dark chocolate.

This bar was a deconstructed Nutella/gianduja. It made it easy to appreciate how well chocolate and hazelnuts go together.

The chocolate itself was fairly simple, a dark chocolate that lacked complexity. It had a lightly sweet finish, but that was about all I got in terms of its flavor profile. Still, it was tasty enough to do what was required of it – balancing out but not overpowering the hazelnut. An OM for the decently executed combo.

Ti Dui – Candy-coated Chocolate Covered Peanuts

More from my stash of Korean candy, courtesy of Nana and Justin (past hits included Crunky Nude Balls). Nana phonetically translated the title to be “Ti Dui” but doesn’t know what the words actually mean. She also informs me that somewhere on there is a character for flavor, I think under the fruit pictures on the bottom seam.

Thank goodness for pictures. I guessed that these would be like peanut M&Ms, only with lemon, apple, and orange flavored shells, and I guessed right!

Unlike peanut M&Ms, the peanuts in the Ti Dui tasted unroasted and young (is that the right word for it? They felt like they needed more time to develop their flavors). I did catch one in the package that had some depth and tasted nicely roasty, though I now wonder if it was an anomaly, and I actually just ate a half rancid nut or something.

They come in four colors and flavors. All have a crunchy candy shell (slightly thicker and thus crunchier than M&M shells) around a layer of generic milk chocolate encasing a peanut. I appreciated the earthy color scheme, especially the lovely shade of green.

Yellow is lemon. It starts off with a light sweetness, which then becomes a bit tart before the chalky chocolate and peanut flavor come through. The shell alone tastes vaguely sweet but not fruity. For all of these, the fruit flavor is melded into the chocolate, I think.

Orange is orange. It tastes like just plain chocolate up until the finish, which is mellow and round with floral orange notes.

Green is apple. It has an immediate Fuji apple sweetness that reminds of apple Jell-o. It’s too weird for me. As past experience has shown, I do not appreciate the combination of apple and chocolate.

And finally, brown is just chocolate, meaning that it tastes like meh chocolate around a meh peanut for an all around meh-ness.

I give these an O. I’m not sure how much I appreciate the fruit and candy shell and chocolate combination, but I did manage to finish the package over the course of a few weeks, popping a few at a time. I really only found the apple one repelling, and I even ate those eventually. Then again, I did mostly finish them because I’d left the package at my desk, thus keeping them always in sight and in mind. Had I kept them elsewhere, I would’ve forgotten about them, probably.

I knew the blue ones were better!

Because I write my news stories far in advance, this guy is really late breaking, and it got a lot of press when it first came out. But I’m writing about it anyway because…

Blue M&Ms have always been my favorite. If I have a bag of M&Ms all to myself, I pick them out and save them for last. If I’m sharing with others, I pick them out and eat them first before others can nab them. My friends often tease me about, as they all taste the same.

Well, ha! It turns out that the dye used in blue M&Ms has been found to reduce spine injuries in rats, with the rather adorable side-effect of turning rats blue. I feel so vindicated – I always knew the blue ones were better!

Haribo TropiFrutti

I bought these Haribo TropiFrutti somewhere in Spain. I saw them in lots of shops in Europe, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen them in the U.S.

The texture of these really sets them apart. They have this weird shell that’s hard to the touch and sort of tough to chew. It reminds me of the crust that forms on chewy candy that’s been left out to dry up. The gummi inside is soft, and when they TropiFrutti are eaten, they textures mix together.

They come in six colors and a variety of shapes – fruit shapes plus toucans and palm trees. We’ll start at the top of the photo and work our way down.

Banana is yellow. I don’t particularly like banana flavored candy. The distillation of fresh banana flavor into artificiality just doesn’t appeal to me. This one tasted of sweetness, plus the scent of bananas. It did not appeal to me.

The dark red toucan also came in the shape of a bunch of grapes, so I thought it was grape. But when I tasted it, it carried a raspberry-like seedy bite. I’d guess that it was raspberry, but there’s a picture of a passionfruit on the wrapper, so maybe it’s passionfruit?

The orange wedge tasted mildly orange with a bitter bite. It was weird and soapy/grassy rather than zesty. Yuck.

The white pineapple tasted just like pineapple, with an authentic core-y bite.

The pink strawberry carries a mild berry flavor. I don’t associate strawberries with tropical-ness, but at least it’s not weird tasting.

Last but not least, the palm tree. I think it was kiwi? It had mild grassy notes and a sweet flavor that I identified as kiwi (though maybe only because there was a kiwi on the bag).

All in all, I’m a little conflicted about what rating to assign this. On the one hand, I didn’t enjoy most of the flavors and disliked the texture. On the other hand, I managed to eat most of the bag, though just a few at a time per sitting over the course of a couple of months.

In the end, they get a . I decided it was telling that I couldn’t manage to stomach eating more than a few at a time.

Mango Hi-Chews

I’ve never had the pleasure of eating a fresh mango in tropical Asia, but I can imagine just how scrumptious they could be. According to this article in Gourmet magazine, I don’t have to imagine. I just need to track down some mango Hi-Chews, which are better than the real thing.

I admit that I’ve seen mango Hi-Chews in stores before but never bought them because I don’t really like mango flavored candies. Next time, I won’t pass them up.

Happy Labor Day!

We never got Labor Day off at Yale. Now that I’m graduated and working, I do get the day off! Except I chose to trade working Labor Day for taking a later Monday off, thus making my birthday weekend a 3-day weekend and giving me enough time to drive down to New Haven to see my boyfriend (long distance relationships ain’t easy, folks. I highly recommend This American Life to make super long drives bearable).

Anywho, I’m not taking the day off of work, but I am taking the day off on my blog. Happy Labor Day! And please, summer, stick around a little longer?

Ritter Sport Butter Biscuit

This Ritter Sport Butter Biscuit was one of the more… inane purchases that I picked up in Spain. Ritter Sport bars are pretty easy to find in the States, but they usually run $2.50 and up, and this guy was only a Euro, so I bought it (and another one that I’ll review later) to save a buck.

I carted it around Spain and flew it to Boston. Then I realized that bringing it home to Austin, Texas in the summer was a terrible idea, so I left it in Boston in the capable care of my boyfriend (he doesn’t eat candy. I know, it’s weird that we still manage to get along) and made him bring it to me in Rochester.

A couple months and multiple states and countries later, I finally broke it out. It was worth the wait.

Believe it or not, this was the first Ritter Sport bar that I’ve ever tried. Somehow I just never picked them up in the course of my candy blogging duties. I think it’s because they look smaller, even though they’re really not (100g is pretty standard for a chocolate bar). They look smaller and squatter because they’re thick.

The Butter Biscuit is a “butter biscuit with fine cocoa cream”. It smells wonderfully sweet and fruity, with just a hint of cocoa undertone. The mix is so intoxicating that I’m smelling my last 1/4 of the bar as I’m writing this, and I want to chomp into it again (but I won’t because I’ve already brushed my teeth and it’s past my bedtime).

The square bar is subdivided into 16 smaller squares, each with the Ritter Sport logo imprinted on it. It’s a milk chocolate bar, and it got a bit soft in the summer heat, which is why it looks a little wonky and warped.

The bar is actually comprised of three layers. The base is a thick layer of milk chocolate. Within the square of the base is a smaller square of buttery biscuit (cookie) that doesn’t quite reach the edges of the chocolate, and atop it all, making up the bulk of the subdivided blocks, is the cocoa cream.

The cocoa cream is a paler shade of brown – almost greyish – than the milk chocolate base and shell. I can’t distinguish its flavors from those of the chocolate, which has lovely caramel notes and a tinge of fruity sweetness to the finish. I think it’s mostly a mouthfeel thing, as the chocolate as a whole feels more buttery than expected.

The biscuit (cookie) layer is a substantial 1/2 cm-ish. It packs a big crunch and tempers the sweetness of the chocolate. I don’t notice that it adds much in terms of flavor, though it does have a weird grassy finish when eaten in isolation. I do not recommend eating the biscuit in isolation.

Despite the slight cookie weirdness, this guy was goood. If you eat more than a few squares at a time, it does gets too sweet. I ate it a manageable 2 squares at a time and give it a hearty OMG. I would most definitely buy it again, except that I now have to eat my way through the rest of the Ritter Sport oeuvre. From the looks of it, that’ll take a while.