Here’s one more review of a Ricolino product that I bought at a local Hispanic grocery store: Chocoretas. The bag described them as “chocolate and artificially mint flavored candy”.

I appreciate the honesty of the “artificially mint flavored” designation. I think just about all mass-market mint candies are artificially flavored, but not all are so forthright about it.

The Chocoretas were little pale mint green balls, about a centimeter in diameter. They had a thin and super crunchy sugar shell – much more substantial than that of an M&M – and a pepperminty chocolate center.

The chocolate flavor was light and mostly tasted of peppermint that carried a lightly cooling sensation. There was an overall creamy sensation to the finish.

These were like a candy version of mint chocolate chip ice cream, plus some added textural contrast from the crunchy sugar shells. I found them to be pretty good, and I bet they’d make great ice cream or cupcake toppers. An OM.

Kranky K

After Wednesday’s disaster of a Ricolino product review, I thought it would be nice to close out the week with a Ricolino product that I really liked. This bag of Kranky K was also purchased at a local Hispanic grocery store.

The wrapper described them as “corn flakes with chocolate flavoring coating”. Again, the “chocolate flavoring” was a little worrisome – would this be another mockolate disaster?

While the ingredients list had hydrogenated palm oil instead of cocoa butter, it did at least have cocoa. And the amount of chocolate flavoring was so thin that it masked the lack of true chocolate.

The cornflakes brought a wonderfully firm and crisp crunch and a hearty toastiness in flavor. They were solid, stiff flakes; no Special K-style flimsy wimpiness here.

The coating had a light cocoa flavor with an undertone of maltiness. They were understated in their sweetness and acted as a great foil against the starch of the cornflakes.

My only complaint is that there was a slight hint of chalkiness to the finish. I bet that could’ve been helped by using actual chocolate!

I was surprised at how well this simple, unassuming treat worked. It was a nice mix of textures and flavors. An OM.


Huevitos was another Ricolino’s candy that I picked up at a local Hispanic grocery. They were touted as new, though Cybele said she had them last year.

The packaged described them as “candy coated chocolate flavor eggs.” “Chocolate flavor” is a marketing/packaging red flag. It means that there’s no actual cocoa butter inside.

These looked nice, like prettily speckled eggs. But ooh they smelled gnarly, like anise (I’m an avid licorice detester).

The candies had brown spotted sugar shells that I could easily smoosh between my fingers. The “chocolate flavor” centers were soft, grainy, and chewy.

Those centers tasted worse than they smelled – it was both sour and sweet with chemical flavors and an anise edge. I couldn’t even finish one.

It’s a shame that they were so pretty to behold, yet so gross to eat. Run away! A .

Moritas Sour Gummies

This week I’ll be reviewing some candies that I picked up at a local Hispanic grocery store. First up are Ricolino’s Moritas Sour Gummies, which the bag describes as “pectin gummies with artificial blackberry and strawberry flavors [sic] sugar dots.”

At first glance, they looked like standard raspberry/blackberry gummi candies, though these were strawberry rather than raspberry. In fact, I found them to be better than other versions that I’ve had!

The sugar dots on the outside were what made these stand out. They were little balls of compressed sugar that crumbled into a burst of bright fruity, slightly sour flavor into my mouth. They carried all the flavor punch.

The soft jelly center had the instant give of fruit pate and a perfectly smooth texture. There was no chewy sproing that the gummi descriptor led me to expect.

The dark black/purple ones reminded me of currant flavors but without any tannic bite. The red ones had a lighter, more floral note and was like a sour strawberry.

These were nicely flavorful and tart. I’d buy them again if I needed a sweet pick-me-up. An OM.

Starbucks Milk Chocolate Caramel Brulee

I’m not a regular coffee drinker, so when I got a Starbucks gift card for the holidays, I spent it on smoothies and candy, including this bag that was labeled “milk chocolate caramel brulee.” They were shiny and spherical chocolate-covered caramels.

Their size and composition was exceedingly similar to Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate Tahitian Vanilla Caramels. Fortunately, I had half a bag of the TJ’s version handy for a direct comparison.

The Starbucks version was covered in milk chocolate instead of dark, making for a sweeter treat. The caramel center had a distinct rummy butterscotch note and just a hint of salt to the end.

The Trader Joe’s dark chocolate ones tasted sweeter and fruitier by comparison. The TJ’s also had a stiffer chew; Starbucks’ version was softer, chewier, and stickier.

I enjoyed the butterscotch note in the Starbucks caramels, but I found that the milk chocolate coating made it too sweet altogether. A mashup of the Trader Joe’s chocolate and Starbucks’s caramel center would be great.

As is, it’s not a bad treat; just too sweet. Also the bag was annoying to open and reclose in a way to save the rest for later. An O.

I think Gigi reviewed an earlier incarnation of these, when they were called milk chocolate burnt caramels.

Guest Post: Albert Heijn’s Zachte Frisse Vrunchten

Hey candy lovers! Today we’ve got another post on candy from the Netherlands, courtesy of Neil. ~Rosa

Hoi hoi! I’ve been “hamstering” candy over the past few months, so I have a whole lot of posts in the queue. The first is grocery store brand Albert Heijn‘s Zachte Frisse Vruchten, or Soft Fresh/Bright Fruits.

The bag advertises “six.. flavors” but only shows five varieties. There are, indeed, six different types of candy inside: banana, orange, pear, green apple, strawberry, and elderberry. My friend Jana helped me review and provide some global perspective.

Banana’s flavor came through very slowly and when it did, it was much like a circus peanut. That time waiting for flavor was spent chewing, as the body of it was more like plastic than elastic. I also took this time to explain circus peanuts to Jana, because they’re not available in Germany. One must wonder sometimes about globalization. O

The orange slice was the one most visually similar to its real life counterpart. It had a sweetness like an orange soda rather than a real orange, however. Based on its appearance, Jana expected it to specifically taste like a clementine. An unexciting O.

One piece looked look a bicycle seat. For Jana, it looked exactly like a pear, and “if it hadn’t, [she] wouldn’t have been able to tell what it was.” I must confess that I don’t really know what pears taste like. I mostly tasted lemon, neither overly sweet nor sour, just pleasantly inoffensive. The pear pieces had the hardest bite at first, but rapidly became chewy. An O.

The green apple’s classic flavor made me very happy after the pear disappointment. Jana thought it was too sweet to be “sour” apple, but that’s exactly what made it so perfect for me. This one really stuck to my teeth. OM

Strawberry, the pink piece, had the most intense flavor of any and it was like a Starburst, which also haven’t made their way into Germany yet. They’re really missing out! Jana compared the flavor to German Schnüre, which are something like Red Vines. I would happily eat a whole bag of these. Definitely an OM from me.

The final was the most mysterious. A translation of “vlierbessen” led to the conclusion that these grape-bunch-lookalikes were elderberry flavored! So unexpected! The flavor struck me as herbal and liqueur-like, perhaps because I’ve had the elderberry liqueur St. Germain before. Being so confused by what it was supposed to be, I have to give it an O.

Overall, the bag was not a bad thing to nibble through for the evening, but I’m not rushing out to pick up more. Oh, let’s be honest: I only bought it because it was on sale.

Deviled Cadbury Creme Eggs

Did you know that the folks at Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me have a blog? And that blog has a regular Sandwich Monday features, with a loose definition of what constitutes a sandwich?

In last Monday’s post, their sandwich wasn’t really a sandwich; it was a deviled egg. And their deviled egg wasn’t really a deviled egg. It was a deviled Cadbury Creme Egg, which is basically a Cadbury Creme Egg cut in half with more frosting piped in.

Because those things really need more sugar. At any rate, it made for fun photos of some of my favorite NPR-ers getting their sugar rush on!