Unreal Candy - Candy Covered Milk Chocolates just like M&Ms

Unreal Candy: Candy Coated Milk Chocolates

The healthy M&M alternative? Unreal Candy strives to be just that

I have reviewed an Unreal Candy before – specifically their peanut butter cups. I connected a lot with their message and the product. They don’t use GMO’s and everything is fair-trade making it both a delicious and conscious decision for the environment.

Naturally, in that case, their price point is a little higher than your standard bag of M&Ms, which likely makes the decision that much harder for the consumers. Why buy the alternative for a higher price, when the classic can be found for so much cheaper? I found Unreal Candy Coated Milk Chocolates (needs a better name too) on sale at Target, making me concerned that their message is not getting across to an average candy-eater The bag was big, but it was also marked down from $5 to about $3.

I still stand by Unreal Candy, however. While M&Ms use dyes and artificials, Unreal’s version does not. They are still colored, but with a more natural look, which turns out to be a good thing. It’s likely that the M&M alternative is better for the environment and also better for your body & health!

Unreal Candy - Candy Covered Milk Chocolates just like M&Ms Unreal Candy - Candy Covered Milk Chocolates Nutrition Facts

How are the Candy Coated Milk Chocolates overall though?

Fans of M&Ms will find the taste to be distinctly different – whether that’s better or worse is up for you to decide.

That being said, it works against Unreal that their candy re-creates essentially everything about an M&M – from the color to the shape and size – but then tastes different.

Ultimately, they seem like they are trying to be the health-conscious version of M&Ms, but also want to distinctly be their own thing.

It’s fair to say that Unreal right now has a branding problem, which is why I might have found these on sale. They need to be more creative if they want to make a name for themselves in the candy world.

Until then, they will be a niche brand, unable to topple Mars and the unassailable M&Ms Empire. An OM.

Gingerbread M&M’s

I love gingerbread and gingerbread cookies. When The Impulsive Buy posted photos of Gingerbread M&M’s and Gingerbread Twix, I went hunting for them both at my local Walmart. Alas, I was only able to find the M&M’s; no Twix.

Though the Gingerbread M&M’s were not explicitly packaged with a “limited edition” tag, Red is wearing a Santa hat, so I’m pretty sure they’re a seasonal thing. They came in classic Christmas colors – red and green – plus brown, for some reason.

The Gingerbread M&M’s were irregularly sized. Most were larger and more rotund than regular M&M’s, so they had a slightly higher chocolate to shell ratio.

I found these to be… interesting… tasting. They tasted of chocolate and spice, but not any identifiable gingerbread spice that I’m used to – no cinnamon or ginger or cloves.

Instead, they tasted kind of muddy and dirty. After I had a few and really let the flavor build, I realized that it tasted like dark molasses. Its muddiness lingered in the finish.

These weren’t horrible, but they fell far from the mark of what I think gingerbread chocolate should taste like. An O.

 

M&M’s Chocolate Bar

Mars was working hard to promote their new M&M‘s Chocolate Bar at Sweets and Snacks this May. They kept a never-ending supply of them in the press room, and I snagged one for review (plus a few more as gifts; free candy is the only payment I get for all this blogging).

The bar is basically a milk chocolate bar embedded with mini M&M’s. M&M’s had tried selling something like it back in 2004 as the M-Azing bar, but it never really caught on then. I guess they think the market is ready now?

The chocolate was scored into 8 pieces and imprinted with the same image of Red being swallowed by melted chocolate that’s on the wrapper. I personally find it a bit morbid and not nearly as cute as M&M’s pretzel effort.

The milk chocolate of the bar tasted just like the milk chocolate center of a plain M&M: dusky and thick with a sour tinge that burned my throat. Plenty of mini M&M’s were distributed throughout the bar and revealed themselves by staying whole when the bar was broken apart.

The mini M&M’s crunchy little shells were a nice addition to break up the texture. I also appreciated the nice splash of color that they brought.

I enjoy milk chocolate M&M’s because you get the fun of melted or crunching away the chocolate shell, but I don’t find it to be high enough quality to prefer to eat it in giant chunks like in this bar. An O.

Galaxy Cookie Crumble and Galaxy Orange & Shortcake

Galaxy chocolate is the UK equivalent of Dove chocolates. I picked up a couple of imported cookie-themed Galaxy bars at my last trip to Cost Plus World Market, the Cookie Crumble and the Orange and Shortcake.

Both bars were wavily segmented into 6 imprinted rectangles that broke easily around their bounds. They had a thickly creamy milk chocolate base that was sweet with just a bit of a throat-burning sour tinge at the finish.

Cookie Crumble had gritty nuggets of chocolate cookie that added a slight gritty crunch. The cookie bits were basically black in color, like Oreos, and they basically tasted like the cookie parts of Oreos.

It reminded me of a slightly nicer version of Hershey’s Cookies ‘n Milk Chocolate bar, as the Galaxy chocolate base had a much more luxurious mouthfeel and was just higher quality in general. Still, it also gets an O because I found it to be a tad too sweet in the finish.

Orange and Shortcake had larger cookie bits of pale shortbread that visually stood out against the milky brown chocolate. They added a bit of crunch and grit, but not much flavor, as I mostly tasted the orange flavor in the chocolate.

There were bits of candied orange rind in the bar, which brought a nicely sweet, brightly fruit burst of flavor to the chocolate. They were my favorite part of the bar – an unusual and tasty twist that elevated it to an OM.

Twix Coconut – Updated with Giveaway!

Twix Coconut is the newest limited edition offering from the folks at Mars. It’s comprised of “creamy milk chocolate, crunchy cookie, [and] coconut flavored caramel.”

Mine came as a free sample in a press pack inside a plastic coconut and with a tiny USB that I first thought was a fun-sized regular Twix bar. Hooray for fun candy swag!

The Twix Coconut didn’t look or smell any different from a regular Twix bar. The chocolate and cookie were the usual Twix fare, mildly sweet for the former and pleasantly dry, crunchy, and buttery for the latter.

The caramel was where the difference lay. It had overtones of artificial coconuttiness. The flavor was nicely floral and nutty, but it tasted rather fake – more sunscreen than actual coconut.

I enjoyed the combination of the biscuit and the chewy, sweet, nutty caramel, but it wasn’t quite genuinely nutty enough to push it to the next level. I’m glad that I got to try this, but Twix Java is still my favorite twist on Twix. An O.

Update: Twix has offered to give one lucky reader a Twix Coconut to try for him or herself. Leave a comment about which Limited Edition Twix is your favorite or about what flavor of Twix you’d like to see by 11:59 PM EST, Sunday, April 24th. U.S. readers only please. One commenter will be randomly selected to win.

Please leave a valid email address in the Mail field, NOT in the body of your comment (unless you’re not afraid of spammers) so that I can contact you if you win.

Edit: This contest is now closed. Congratulations to Barbara!

American Heritage Chocolate

American Heritage Chocolate is a new line from the folks at Mars that “allows us to take a sweet bite out of history.” They claim “historic and modern recipe interpretations” that are made using colonial methods.

Above photo courtesy of Mars

I got sent an old-timey looking wooden crate full of free samples: some chocolate sticks and a giant chocolate block. The chocolate sticks came packaged in a rustic-looking muslin drawstring bag.

The ingredients list is refreshingly basic: chocolate, sugar, cocoa butter, spices, natural flavors, annatto, salt. The label notes that it’s all natural, with no preservatives, and my press pack names the spices as cinnamon, nutmeg, chili pepper, orange, and vanilla.

The bag contained four cocoa powder-covered sticks, each about the size of a stick of classroom chalk (is that even a valid reference point these days?). The press pack suggested eating it as-is or stirring it into a hot drink. I went with the former.

The sticks had a sharp break with a smooth melt that lacked creaminess. They also smelled just like bubblegum. I wasn’t okay with that… Fortunately, they didn’t taste like it!

Instead, they had a nice, deep richness with a slight spice burn and an innocuous astringency. The chocolate tasted sweetly fruity. Then, the flavor of cinnamon spices came through and lingered to the finish.

The chocolate block was a solid 5.13 oz bar that was too daunting to bite into. Since the ingredients list was the same as that of the sticks, I’m going to assume that it’s the same as the sticks and not review the block today. Instead, I’m going to save it for grating into hot cocoa once the weather gets colder.

I appreciate that Mars has been thinking out of the box – taking the retro trend to the extreme, if you will. And I appreciate the unique flavor of the chocolate. An OM.

Twix Java

I got this Twix Java in my Sweets and Snacks Expo press pack. It’s not a new bar; instead, it’s been on and off the market as a limited edition since at least 2007.

I, unfortunately, had never been lucky enough to catch it in the wild in any of its previous incarnations, so this was my first time trying it. My packaging made no mention of limited-edition-ness. Perhaps that means it’s here to stay?

The wrapper describes it as “chocolate cookies bars; coffee caramel; milk chocolate.” The back of the wrapper proudly proclaims it to be made with Mars’s real chocolate.

It’s like a regular Twix bar, only the cookie is chocolate and the caramel is coffee tinged. If you’re not familiar with Twix, they come in “fingers”, with a bottom layer of cookie and a top layer of caramel, with the whole thing covered in milk chocolate.

The caramel was sticky yet smooth with a candied coffee flavor. It had a beautiful pull.

The coffee flavor was dry and roasty, with burnt caramel and cocoa notes. As the flavor progressed, it got darker. I was pleasantly surprised by the depth of the coffee flavor.

The chocolate cookie was soft and dry, and it crumbled rather than crunched. The milk chocolate coating was just so-so, sweet without any distinction.

I give this an OM. I wish the cookie were just a tad crunchier, but otherwise, I thought it was a great mix of flavors and textures. In fact, I like it better than regular Twix, as it’s less sweet and more interesting.

Milky Way Simply Caramel

The new Milky Way Simply Caramel bar was included as a free sample in my Sweets and Snacks press pack delivery. They officially launched in June of this year as “a decadent blend of Milky Way Bar’s pure smooth caramel covered completely in Mars’ real milk chocolate.”

It’s far easier to launch a new confection under a familiar brand than it is to build a new brand from the ground up. Thus, while the Milky Way Simply Caramel is a pretty significant departure from the original (I would argue that a Milky Way’s defining characteristic is its chocolatey, malty nougat), it makes sense from a marketing standpoint.

While the Milky Way Simply Caramel looked fairly standard on the outside, the inside was an oozy, decadent looking caramel mess. This was not a treat you’d want to give to small children, unless you want them getting caramel everywhere.

The outer shell was made of a snappy chocolate that turned sweet and sour in my mouth. Hooray American mass-produced chocolate!

The caramel inside was sticky, thick, and chewy. It was sweet and bright with a buttery creaminess. I prefer my caramel with dark, complex, scorched sugar flavors, so it wasn’t really my style. I have to admit, though, that it was luxuriously sticky-sweet.

My beef with this bar was basically what I have with most mass-produced checkout aisle/vending machine bars: too sweet and too one note. I prefer the extra malty hit of regular Milky Ways.

Still, it wasn’t bad, and it’s totally harmless unless you’re susceptible to sugar shock. I think I’d like these best in fun size form. An O.

If you’d like to try one of these for yourself, stay tuned! More to come tomorrow…

Coconut M&M’s

Coconut M&M’s have been out for a while, but I only just stumbled across them at a local convenience store. They had started out as a limited edition M&M, but I do believe they’ve now morphed into a permanent addition.

They smelled like a mix of generic quality chocolate and coconut sunscreen. The M&M’s were fatter than plain ones and irregularly shaped.

They only came in three colors – green, dark brown, and white. As you can see, some of them had Ms adorned with additional tropical-themed decorations, like beach umbrellas and flowers.

The insides were solid chocolate. The chocolate was reminiscent of that of plain M&M’s, so there was a tad bit of graininess to it. It was on the sweet side, with just a bit of fruitiness.

The center also had a nicely genuine coconut flavor that was pretty spot on. All in all, the whole M&M was a tad too sweet from the milk chocolate and the sugar shell, but I still enjoyed it.

I liked Almond Joy Pieces better. AJP had more nuttiness in the center thanks to their bits of almond, their shell was crunchier, and their chocolate was darker and nuttier.

I found the Pieces better balanced, but I wouldn’t turn down Coconut M&M’s if they were offered to me. They get an O. I’d say they’d be good enough for an OM, but the Almond Joy Pieces got an OM, and the AJP are definitely better.

Skittles Fizzl’d Fruits

These Skittles Fizzl’d Fruits came in my free candy goodie bag from the NCA. They’re a new type of Skittle that “fizzes in your mouth to deliver a tongue-tingling sensation.”

For some reason, Skittles chose to debut these in berry flavors: strawberry, berry punch, melon berry, wild cherry, and raspberry.

Each Fizzl’d Fruits Skittle came with an uneven coating of white fizz that created a bubbly, carbonated sensation on the tongue and in the back of the throat. The severity of the coating varied significantly from Skittle to Skittle, so each Skittle’s fizzy factor varied as well.

Wild cherry (red) had a deep red cherry flavor. Strawberry (pink) started off sour, then mellowed out to sweeter floral fruity flavors.

Raspberry (blue) tasted lightly seedy but was overall rather light on flavor. Berry punch (purple) tasted deeply of dark tanin flavors, and melon berry (green) tasted vaguely of kiwi.

I enjoyed the fun effect of the fizzy coating, but I wasn’t particularly attached to any of the Skittles flavors themselves. I’m not sure why they chose to Fizzl berry flavors rather than their original line-up, but I’d really like to try Fizzl’d citrus Skittles.

An O for this flavor assortment, but the idea definitely holds promise!