Hi-Chew Peach

I’ve reviewed Hi-Chew several times on this site. Most of them were gifts from friends or businesses in Asia, so some of them were flavors that aren’t sold in the U.S. The Hi-Chew that I’m reviewing today is U.S.-specific.

The company that makes Hi-Chew, Morinaga, has a U.S. subsidiary that sells Hi-Chew in strawberry, green apple, mango, melon, banana, and grape flavors. And as of last month’s Sweets and Snacks Expo, a peach Hi-Chew flavor is now available in the U.S. I got a free sample pack to review from Morinaga.

The Peach Hi-Chew had a light pink center and a lightly floral scent. It started off with a very mild, not very sweet flavor. As its bouncy chew developed, however, the sweetness grew.

Honestly, it didn’t taste much like peach to me. It just tasted mild and floral and sweet, maybe more like a muted strawberry. I was surprised, as Hi-Chew is usually really spot-on with their fruit flavors.

Though it wasn’t as peachy as I would have liked, it was still quite enjoyable with its pleasantly light flavor. An OM.

Coconut M&M’s Giveaway

I reviewed Coconut M&M’s nearly a year ago. Apparently they’ve been popular enough to now be sold in larger-than-single-serve bags, an 11.8 oz medium bag and an 18.6 oz large bag.

Mars’s kind PR people are giving me the chance to give a couple of lucky readers some Coconut M&M’s of their own. To enter this giveaway, leave a comment about your favorite kind of M&M or what kind of M&M flavor you’d like to see Mars make by 11:59 EST on Monday, June 20th.

I’ll randomly select 2 readers who will each get 1 large bag and 2 single-serve bags of Coconut M&M’s. U.S. readers only, please, and be sure to leave a valid email address in the Mail field so that I have a way to contact you if you win. Good luck!

Chuao ChocoPod – Picante

Last week, I reviewed 2 of 3 Chuao ChocoPods that I’d picked out at Beacon Hill Chocolates. Today, I’ll review the third, the Picante.

The Picante was described as “spicy cabernet caramel”. The other two ChocoPods that I had tried were solid chocolate, so I was surprised when this one oozed liquid caramel when I tried to snap it.

Alas, I did not get a photo of that glorious ooze. I ate it instead. Sometimes candy deliciousness overwhelms my blogging instincts, I guess.

The caramel was lightly sweet and fruity with plummy flavors. A slight, tingly burn was left in its wake. That caramel was intoxicating with its complexity. If only cabernet tasted that good!

The dark chocolate shell was relatively soft and had a velvety matte melt with a deep cocoa flavor. It was a great match for the flowing caramel and pretty delicious on its own. But really, the caramel was the star here.

All in all, a unique and delicious treat. A ZOMG!

Beacon Hill Chocolates – Part II

On Wednesday, I reviewed 2 of the 5 chocolates that my boyfriend bought me from Beacon Hill Chocolates (BHC). Today, I’ll review the other 3. I’ve saved the best for last!

I’ll start with the prettily swirled gold dome. I couldn’t find this one on their website, so no fancy description. It has cacao nibs and honey, hence the beehive-like look with a cute little bumblebee painted on it.

The chocolate shell was thin with a dark, slightly fruity flavor. It was filled with a thin filling that was quite goopy. It was smooth and flowy, a limpid pool of milky deliciousness, and tasted of lightly amber honey sweetness.

The brown bits that you can see in the liquid center were cacao nibs that added a slight astringency along with a dry, chocolate flavor. This was a beautiful and uniquely delicious treat. A ZOMG!

Heart Passion Fruit was described on the BHC website as, “Exotic passion fruit center coated in a layer of dark chocolate.” I’ll admit that it looked rather tacky with its silly pink leopard print, but its taste was astonishing.

The center ganache was a surprising shade of off-white. The chocolate shell was extremely thin with a solid cocoa flavor.

The ganache was thin and smooth and melted cooly on the tongue. Its flavor was a bold delight – it was extremely bright and fruity, with a citrusy sweet passion fruit flavor that was deliciously and refreshingly exotic. Another ZOMG!

Finally, a Zinfandel-Balsamic truffle that was cutely molded into the shape of a little fish. I love the little stripes of milk chocolate lightness that stand out against the dark chocolate bulk of the body.

Its center ganache was thin and smooth with an earthy flavor of genuine cocoa duskiness. I didn’t notice any specific balsamic notes, but the Zinfandel made itself known through the addition of notes of deep red wine booziness.

I loved this ganache for its depth of flavor, but the best part was the finish. The chocolates earthiness lingered extensively on the tongue and was an absolute delight. Another ZOMG!

Beacon Hill Chocolates has curated a fine collection of fine chocolates. All of mine were winners – even my least favorite of the bunch was good! Kudos to BHC, and to the mystery chocolatiers that made these truffles.

Beacon Hill Chocolates – Part I

My boyfriend recently treated me to a lovely box of truffles from Beacon Hill Chocolates (hereafter referred to as BHC). I will review 2 of them today and 3 more on Friday.

BHC doesn’t make their own truffles. Instead, they sell truffles made by other chocolatiers.

Alas, they don’t credit the chocolatiers in their shop or online store. I recognized some by Moonstruck and Michel Cluizel. If y’all know the original makers of the truffles that I’m about to review, please do leave a comment!

First up is the big rectangular dark chocolate truffle with its sprinkle of coarse salt. It was an Olive Oil and Sea Salt truffle, described by BHC as, “Dark chocolate ganache infused with a touch of olive oil and topped with sea salt. A sweet and savory favorite.

Its ganache was smooth and creamy, with an incredibly satisfying velvety texture. It was deep and dark and dusky, while the salt added flashes of bright sour/salty flavor.

This truffle was simultaneously simple and complex. I could disappear into its depth for days. An OMG.

Gingerbread Caramel was a cute little milk chocolate windmill. BHC describes it as, “Soft caramel flavored with a blend of spices and roasted almonds, inside a milk chocolate windmill shell.”

The milk chocolate shell looked rather grainy but had a surprisingly smooth melt. The caramel filling was thickly runny.

It first tasted of gingerbread spices, mostly clove with a hint of ginger. The initial spice notes then gave way to the lovely complexity of burnt sugar.

There was a slight grit to the caramel, which I thought was tiny bits of spices. Now that I’ve read the BHC description, I bet those were actually tiny bits of almond.

This was a fine and tasty treat but just a skotch on the overly sweet side. An OM.

Come back on Friday for the rest!

Chuao ChocoPods – Honeycomb and Firecracker

I love the idea of Chuao Choco Pods. They’re the same chocolate as full-sized Chuao bars, just scaled down to just 11 grams apiece. Chuao’s chosen to market the scaling down as smart portion control. I say it’s great for candy bloggers who want just small samples!

I picked out 3 Choco Pods at Beacon Hill Chocolates for $1 each. My boyfriend treated and also let me pick out several truffles, which I’ll review later in the week.

The Honeycomb was “dark chocolate, caramelized honeycomb”. It smelled dark and woodsy. The flavor was absolutely lovely with deep raisin notes and a sweetness from the bits of honeycomb.

The honeycomb bits added a light crunch and grit, along with a slight toffee toastiness. It was a welcome foil to the intensity of the dark chocolate flavors.

Firecracker was “dark chocolate, chipotle, salt, and popping candy”. It smelled slightly sweet and smoky with a hint of allspice to the scent.

It initially tasted of cinnamon before giving way to a firey, smoky chile burn that lingered and singed. The afterburn was quite powerful.

The heat of that burn was accentuated by the presence of popping candy, which added the sound and feel of snapping in my mouth. Firecracker really was an apt name!

I really enjoyed both these bars, though Firecracker got a skotch too fiery in the finish. An OMG for the Honeycomb and an OM for the Firecracker.

Where’s the third ChocoPod that I tried? I’m saving that for next week so that I can properly wax rhapsodic about it. Stay tuned!

H&S Candies

I received a free sample box of chocolates from H&S Candies when I did a giveaway with them back in February. I took tasting notes and then promptly lost them – until now! Here’s the belated review.

My box contained little present-shaped squares of milk and dark chocolates. The pieces were hefty and solid, though they did have little visible air bubble imperfections.

The milk chocolate was extremely sweet with notes of caramel and a burnt sugar edge. The finish was strange, almost papery in its dry mustiness.

The dark chocolate reminded me of semisweet Nestle Toll House chocolate chips. It was harder and snappier than the milk chocolate square and a sort of thick, yet slightly grainy melt.

It had a slight fruitiness to the flavor. While it wasn’t quite as overly sweet as the milk chocolate, it was still too sweet for my taste. Both versions get an O.