Hedonist Chocolate-Covered Orange Peels

I got a lovely box of Hedonist’s Chocolate-Covered Orange Peel as a free sample to review. They describe it as “candied orange peel enrobed in bittersweet chocolate.” It felt very apropos for fall.

The candied orange peel is imported from Italy – very fancy! – and enrobed by Hedonist. There are 20 peels to a box. Each of mine were about 3 inches long, and all but the final half inch was covered in a dark, matte chocolate.

The zest had just a hint of sweetness, but it mostly tasted of pure orange essence, like the way orange oil smells. Its texture varied from piece to piece. Some were dry and a bit chewy, while others were more moist with an almost jelly/fruit pate texture. But all of the exposed ends were pretty dry.

The chocolate coating was thin on the top, thicker on the sides, and flat on the bottom. You could tell that they were dipped and set down to dry and harden.

The chocolate was nice and of obviously high quality, bittersweet with a velvety melt, deep cocoa notes, and a hint of earthiness. It paired quite well with the orange.

The peels tasted great, and they’ve got a delicateness to them that really makes them feel special. To me, they’re too fancy to buy for myself, but they’d be great to serve guests with coffee or to bring as a hostess gift. An OM.

Goody Good Stuff Sour Fruit Salad

Last Friday, I reviewed my free samples of Goody Good Stuff‘s Strawberry Cream gummis. Today, I’m reviewing the free samples that I got of their Sour Fruit Salad.

In my view, Goody Good Stuff’s biggest selling point is that they contain no gelatin, so they’re vegetarian/vegan-safe (they’re also free of artificial flavors and colors). In the case of the Strawberry Cream, their plant-derived gelatin alternative yielded an awesome texture.

Alas, the Sour Fruit Salad has a different texture – instead of a strangely sproingy squishiness, this is like a soft fruit pate or jelly. It’s a perfectly fine texture, but it’s not as unique and unusual as that of the Strawberry Cream.

The ingredients list claims concentrates of orange, elderberry, lemon, aronia (choke berries), black currant, apple, kiwi, spinach, and nettle. Pretty cool! I identified the salad’s five fruits as strawberry, pear (I think?), lemon, orange, and grapefruit.

Strawberry is a reddish pink and has the gist of a strawberry’s shape. It has an edgy bite to it that makes me think more raspberry than strawberry. Other than that, it tastes nicely red (I have trouble distinguishing one artificial red fruit flavor from another).

I think the green is pear, mostly because it’s shaped like one. It tastes more like a mix of pear and apple, with a seedy bite and a slight bitterness to the finish.

Orange is an orange wedge. It tastes partly of sweet citrus but mostly of serious zest, with an extremely zesty finish. It’s got a bite that’s just on the yummy side of bitterness, which I loved.

Lemon is also a wedge. It tastes piquant and tart, though the sugar sprinkle helps take the sour edge off.

Grapefruit, another citrus, another wedge. Its flavor spot on! It was just on the awesome side of slightly bitter with a bit of pithiness to it. I love well done grapefruit-flavored things!

The citrus ones were my favorite, though the other two were enjoyable as well. Well made fruit pate with such concentrated and delicious flavors is hard to come by in the US. These fit the bill quite nicely! An OM.

Goody Good Stuff Strawberry Cream

Goody Good Stuff is a new gummi brand that’s made with all natural ingredients and no gelatin, so it’s truly vegetarian/vegan friendly. They’ve been around in the UK, and as of last month, they’re available in the US at Stop & Shops and Giants.

Check out their cute little Koala mascot! It likes rubbing up against peaches! Oh baby…

I got a couple of bags of free samples to review. Today, I’ll hit Strawberry Cream; Monday’s review will be Sour Fruit Salad.

The Strawberry Cream gummis were really strawberries and cream. Most were either strawberry (translucent orangey red) or cream (opaque white), though a few were a swirly mix.

They were adorably tiny, each about the size of my pinky fingernail, and covered in bumpy knobs like a raspberry candy.

I LOVED their texture, which was unlike anything I’d had before. It was crazy sproingy yet squishy, with a serious bounciness that was so fun to chew. Their “revolutionary, plant-derived bio-gum” is quite an invention!

Strawberry tasted sweet and floral with a mild strawberry flavor. It almost tasted translucent, if that makes any sense. There was an extra little pop of fruitiness in the finish.

Cream tasted sweet and lightly fruity. I got creamy yogurty flavors with just a hint of the strawberry.

These guys are well flavored, and the crazy unique texture elevates them to an OMG. I also loved their tiny size – I can pop lots, one by one!

World’s Largest Truffle

A bunch of Brits broke the record for the world’s largest truffle with a 253.9 kg (that’s 559.75 pounds!), 433,330 calorie beast that has a brandy ganache center. That could feed a lot of starving children!

Instead, it’s going to be broken down into thousands of smaller truffles and sold to raise money for a British children’s hospital. Sounds like a fun and delicious fundraiser!

QQ Gummis – Part II

Here’s Part II of my QQ gummis round-up. See Monday for Part I, where I reviewed Strawberry, Lychee, Peach, and Orange. Today, we’ll wrap things up with Pineapple, Green Apple, Blueberry, and Grape.

Pineapple was cutely shaped like a tiny pineapple. Its flavor was heavily core-y and tastes just like a white American gummi bear. The texture was also much softer than the others.

Green Apple was shaped like a tiny version of its namesake and tasted like sweet green apple Jolly Ranchers. It had hints of granny smith about it, but it mostly tasted mellow and round.

Blueberry looked like little purple buttons (far back). The chew was very stiff and springy. To me, it tasted more like raspberry than blueberry, as there was a bit of seedy bite to it.

Finally, Grape was shaped like a tiny bunch of grapes. Its chew was possibly the stiffest of them all – a real chomper! The flavor was rather mild and lightly grapey to start. It then develops nicely as the chew continues.

I was surprised by the pleasant complexity of the grape, but aside from their cute shapes, I didn’t find any of today’s four flavors to be especially standout. So they all get Os.

The only one of the full set that I find myself craving is lychee. Can that flavor be incorporated into more American treats, please?

I wonder how well the Chinese practice of selling gummi flavors individually would play in the U.S., where we’re used to a jumbled mix. Did you know that a mix of flavors keeps our taste buds from getting bored, so we end up eating more? So single-flavor bags are probably un-American…

QQ Gummis – Part I

I picked up these bags of QQ Gummis in China. Each bag contained just one flavor. I had to visit a few stores to get this assortment – most stores only had a handful of flavors.

I ended up with a rainbow of 8 altogether: Strawberry, Lychee, Peach, Orange, Pineapple, Green Apple, Blueberry, and Grape. I definitely had some fun arranging the bags for photos. I’ll review the first 4 today and the other 4 on Wednesday.

Strawberry was very cutely shaped with the imprint of a little stem and seeds. It had a strong, sweetly strawberry scent and taste. It was a little artificial but mostly enjoyable.

Lychee was my hands-down favorite, though it had the least impressive shape (it’s the golden knobby one in the center). It smells just like canned lychees, and the flavor is spot-on as well – it tastes just like it smells! The chew was nice and sproingy.

Peach is the pink button on the top right. It sort of looks like a round peach on a stem. It’s sweet and floral, lacking all tartness, more like a white peach. This is on the stiffer side of gummi textures.

Finally, orange is shaped like a little citrus wedge. It has a lightly medicinal bite with a mildly sweet citrus flavor. Alas, it smells more like citrus than it tastes.

A nice set of fun flavors. Lychee is the only one that I would crave enough to buy again, so it gets an OM. The rest get Os.