World’s Finest Chocolates

These World’s Finest Chocolate bars came courtesy of my dad, who was apparently too kind-hearted to turn down the kid selling them as a fundraiser. According to Wikipedia, the World’s Finest Chocolate company makes their chocolate “from bean to bar”.

My dad bought a milk chocolate and a W.F. crisp (I assume that’s World’s Finest crisp) bar. Both had Pizza Hut coupons on the back of the wrapper – $2.00 off any large pizza!

The milk chocolate had a fairly sharp snap and a slight grain. It was sweet – a tad too sweet – with a mild milkiness.

W.F. Crisp was “milk chocolate with crisped rice”. The milk chocolate based was the same, while the bottom layer was chock full of airy rice crisps that added a nice crunch.

The bars weren’t bad, but the chocolate was pretty meh. I like my milk chocolate tongue-coatingly thick and with more depth, like caramel or vanilla flavors. And it was too sweet for my taste.

So, if a kid comes knocking on your door selling these to raise money, know not to get your hopes up too much. World’s Finest is just a brand name rather than an adequate descriptor. An O.

Streit’s Sour Bears

This bag of Streit’s Sour Bears caught my eye in a display of Passover foods at Wegmans. They’re imported from Israel and “Kosher for Passover and year round.”

They’re billed as “soft & chewy” and “sour jelly candy”. I expected them to be gummi bears. Instead, their texture was similar to Haribo TropiFrutti, only way better!

The jelly candy was soft with an instant give. It was similar to fruit pate, only smooth rather than lightly grainy. The outer layer had a light stiffness and was softly wrinkly.

Yellow was a bright and sunny lemon. It was sweet with just a little tang and sour all over.

Orange was slightly more bitter at the start. It was tart with a zesty edge – surprisingly complex!

Green was lime, maybe? I didn’t get any lime-specific notes, but it was still nice and bright and tart.

Pink was strawberry, I think. It had the sour overtones of all the Sour Bears but also had nice floral undertones.

Pinkish purple was the least sour of the lot (and hard to visually distinguish from the pink and the purple). It just tasted sweet and fruity to me. I’d guess cherry, but it was pretty mild if it was cherry.

Last, but definitely not least, was purple. I’m pretty sure it was blackcurrant, which is a great flavor that’s not really used in American candy. It had a touch of edgy bite to it.

I had low expectations for these candies because the packaging looked so simple and old-fashioned. They totally blew me away with their bright, concentrated flavors and pleasantly soft and buoyant texture.

I couldn’t handle more than ~a dozen in a sitting – the sweetness got overpowering, and I hit sugar overload – but the flavors were so powerful that they were satisfying in small amounts. An OMG.

Mozart Piano Bar

My friend Steve bought me this German Mozart Piano Bar at least a year ago. I’m sorry it took me so long to write about it, Steve!

The under-flap blurb describes it as “finest pistachio marzipan and hazelnut nougat in a crispy milk chocolate.” As you can see from the bumpy photo below, the milk chocolate was chock full of crunchy rice crisps.

The bar on the wrapper has neat rows of chocolate drizzles that don’t look very compelling. The real bar’s squiggles were far more interesting, with an abstract arty design.

The milk chocolate coating was sweet and one-dimensional. It surrounded a circle of green marzipan around a chocolate cream center.

The marzipan was soft and dryly grainy. It tasted lightly of actual almonds (as opposed to almond extract) with notes of pistachio – hence the green coloring.

The chocolate cream center was blandly sweet. I think it’s supposed to be hazelnut nougat, but I got no nuttiness whatsoever, though I won’t hold that against it – I did have it stashed for a while before I ate it.

The marzipan was nice, and I enjoyed the texture of the “crispy milk chocolate”, but I wished the chocolate were better quality. And I know Mozart is capable of doing better. An O.

Haribo Fruity Pasta

Haribo Fruity Pasta claims that it’s “extra sour” on the bag, but it’s not. It also claims that it’s “gummi candy”, but it’s not quite what I would consider to be gummi. And for good measure, they didn’t really look like pasta either.

There’s plenty of sour sugar in the bag, on the gummis, and in the gummis’ nooks and crannies, but it was more sweet than sour. As for the gummi part – the texture was neither soft nor squishy. Instead, it was like chewing on stiff plastic, and the little bits that resulted were sticky, dissolved slowly, and got stuck in the nooks and crannies of my teeth.

To me, the “gummis” didn’t look much like pasta. The plate on the bag already looked weird with its super short strands. The actual pieces looked even weirder, like tiny, truncated lasagna noodles.

Red was strawberry – a little floral and a little plasticky, like Twizzlers but fruitier. Yellow was pear, with a mild fruit flavor and a slightly pear-y bite.

Green was apple, but it didn’t taste like green granny smiths. Instead, it really nailed the flavor of a golden delicious apple, especially on the finish.

In summary, I found these to be neither sour nor gummi nor pasta, but they were fruity, and the weird texture was strangely compelling in an off-putting way. I wouldn’t buy them again, but I did slowly work my way through the whole bag over the course of a few months An O.

Wonka’s Golden Ticket Contest

I love that Nestle/Wonka has been diving back into Roald Dahl’s original books for marketing inspiration. My friend Steve alerted me to the fact that they’re currently running a real-life Golden Ticket contest to promote their new Exceptionals line. Prizes include trips around the world, movie tickets, and “a gazillion pieces of chocolate.”

I’ve yet to try the new Wonka chocolates, or even come across them in stores, but Cybele’s reviewed three from the new line-up.

Chocolove Holiday Fruits and Nuts in Dark Chocolate

I bought this Chocolove Holiday bar on sale in January. Thus I think that it’s safe to assume that “holiday” is PC for Christmas. It’s described on the back as follows: “Sweet currants, tart cherries, zesty orange and spicy ginger compliment a mix of crunchy pecans, walnuts and hazelnuts enrobed in dark chocolate… This classic combination is inspired by a popular holiday chocolate in France known as mendiant.”

The chocolate itself was very mild. At 55%, it was nicely shiny and snappy and had a smooth texture and taste. It wasn’t very distinctive, but it served as a great foil for the bar’s mix-ins.

The pecans and walnut bits add a light nuttiness and textural contrast. The hazelnuts are wonderful – the best nuts of the bunch. Their distinctive nuttiness floats above the chocolate flavors.

The currants and cherries were also great – little chewy bits of sweet and tartness that brightened the bar. I think I only got a few errant pieces of ginger, and I only think I did because they were quite candied and had lost their ginger flavor.

The orange zest was my favorite add-in. It was bright and tart and citrusy and paired amazingly with the chocolate.

The fruits and nuts really made this bar. I wish the chocolate had a bit more depth and complexity instead of taking a backseat to all the additions, but it still made for a tasty combination that kept me popping more squares. An OM.

Breaking news! Free Macarons in NYC!

SERIOUS EATS!! I love your site, but why, why, WHY wait until the day before Free Macaron Day to post about Free Macaron Day? Why not post it earlier, say, yesterday when I was planning a spontaneous trip to see my boyfriend in New Haven, which just happens to be on the commuter rail line to NYC?

Had I known about Free Macaron Day, I would’ve definitely hopped the Mega Bus that goes from Rochester to NYC ($38 each way; cheaper than the tolls + gas money I’d spending driving, and there’s wifi on the bus!), met my boyfriend there, and gorged myself on free macarons. I have been obsessed with the delicious little buggers since my trip to France last summer.

I even baked up a macaron storm when I was home for the winter holidays because my mother just got a stand mixer and my boyfriend just got me a book devoted to the art of macaron making.

Instead, I shall be spending my weekend in Saratoga Springs, a city that was chosen solely because it’s ~halfway between Rochester and New Haven and thus allows us to split long-distance relationship travel duties. I think we’ll have a lovely time there, but we won’t have free macarons.

In conclusion, if you’re in/can get to NYC for Free Macaron Day, macaron your heart out for me! I’ll be visiting every bakery in Saratoga Springs to see if they make macarons.

Post trip update: I had the most amazing macaron at Mrs. London’s: passion fruit. It started out tasting like a regular macaron, only slightly sweeter, but then the passion fruit came through, and it was this transcendent overtone of bright fruitiness that was simply divine. Highly recommended and totally worth the $1.50. I tried a chocolate macaron as well, and it was quite capable, but it’s the passion fruit one that will haunt my tastebud dreams.

Blog upgrade!

Inspired by Cybele’s recent biting of the bullet and moving Candy Blog to, I finally upgraded my super outdated (+2 years old) WordPress blogging software – so outdated that I had to upgrade manually!

It was scary. First I did all my uploading and overwriting, but nothing changed. Then I tried uploading and overwriting elsewhere, and the website went down. Eek! But finally, success!

Sadly, the upgrade only changes what I see when I write and manage the blog, so y’all won’t get to see the improvements. But maybe the upgraded interface will make me a more efficient candy blogger! gives me more control over blog settings! I’m playing with the sidebars and using strikethrough text!

And the best part – this fancy-schmancy new WordPress comes with an upgrade button for any new versions, so any future changes should be much less stressful.