I’ve raved before about how Cost Plus World Market is a fantastic resource for new and unusual candies. I recently visited and found two Winter Edition Ritter Sports by accident – they were shelved far away from the regular Ritter Sports and other chocolates.
In fact, they weren’t really shelved at all; I found them in some sort of remaking displays purgatory.
I got the last Winter Edition Caramelised Almonds (which I’ll cover next week) and one of many Caramel-Orange that were left. Alas, they were out of Coconut Macaroon.
The Caramel-Orange had 16 squares of a milk chocolate sandwiching a golden brown caramel-orange ganache. The filling was thick and grainy and tasted of orange oil with a brown sugary finish. The citrus flavor was intensely fruity and orangey but without any tartness.
I found it a bit too sweet, and its finish took on a bit of a sour tinge. The milk chocolate was sweet as well, which only added to the sweetness of the overall treat.
I’m glad that I tried this, but the orange oil wasn’t enough to bring down the sweetness factor. An O.
The See’s Candies stand has returned to my local mall for the holidays! When I saw it, I had to pick up a few of my favorite Scotchmallows, which are currently available in Christmas tree shapes, and I got this Butterscotch Pecan Bar while I was there.
The bar had a milk chocolate base, a generous layer of butterscotch sugar paste, and a topping of pecan quarters and halves. The butterscotch was the brown sugar and vanilla buttercream from their Butterscotch Square: a little grainy and super brown-sugar sweet.
See’s Butterscotch is the sweetest confection that I still love to eat. I think the brown sugar notes tone down the sweetness and keep it from becoming cloying.
The pecan bits were crunchy and nutty and did a great job balancing out the extreme sweetness of the butterscotch sugar. Finally, the milk chocolate base added a sweet milk chocolate flavor to the finish.
The chocolate was just an afterthought, though. It wasn’t super noticeable in the wake of all the other flavors going on.
The whole treat was like an extra decadent bar of pecan pie, only without crust. And let’s face it, crust just gets in the way of the good stuff. An OM.
I usually buy my Kasugai gummies at Asian grocery stores, but I found this bag of ramune flavored gummies at a Cost Plus World Market. If you’re not familiar with ramune (not to be confused with ramen!), it’s a lemon-lime Asian soda that’s usually kept in a uniquely marble-stoppered bottle.
Like all Kasugai gummies, these guys were individually wrapped and labeled. These were decorated with a little fizzy ramune bottle design. The gummis themselves were round with a striking translucent seafoam coloring.
They had an awesome soft, bouncy chew that yielded to my bite but still had some sproing to it. The flavor was sweetly floral to start, then took on a citrus fizziness.
When I ate them very slowly and carefully, I detected a slightly off undertone that made the gummi remind me a bit of diet Sprite. When chomped more quickly, as normal people would consume gummies, that slight undertone was undetectable.
Overall, these tasted like a cleaner, crisper version of Sprite with some bonus floral notes. An OM. My only complaint is the individual wrappers – so much trash from so few gummies!
I’ve done two Mentos reviews in the past (one of which was for a flavor sold in Asia), so it’s about time I covered them again. This round, I’m reviewing the Mentos Rainbow.
Mentos are oblate spheroid candies with a crunchy candy shell and a chewy center. There were 11 to my roll: 2 each of cherry, orange, pineapple, and watermelon, and 3 of strawberry. Sort of weird to have a prime number of candies per unit, but whatever.
Strawberry, the most plentiful of the pack, was light pink. It tasted sweet with candied berry flavors and reminded me of that syrupy strawberry topping that you get at ice cream parlors.
Cherry was a darker reddish pink. I didn’t think there was much intensity to its deeper red fruit flavor, and it struck me as a little fake/medicinal.
Orange tasted of tangerine citrus flavors. It was mellow, yet zesty, and was probably my favorite of my bunch because I like citrus fruits.
Pineapple was yellow and tasted just like canned pineapple. Mentos did a nice job of capturing the sweet flavor of pineapple core here.
Finally, watermelon was green. It started off tasting like real watermelon, only far too sweet, then developed a candied tart finish. I hated the start of this candy but loved the end, so I guess it balances out to a neutral rating.
There was nothing about these candies that was super stellar or super terrible. I wouldn’t buy them again because there are more intensely flavored chewy fruity candies out there that I like better, but I also wouldn’t turn one down if a friend offered me one. An O.
I once bought Haribo Smurfs waaay back in 2009, when I was on vacation in France. There, they were Haribo Schtroumpfs, which was fun to say. I’m pretty sure I drove my boyfriend crazy going, “Schtroumpfs schtroumpfs schtroumpfs” for a good chunk of that trip.
While they’ve been popular in Europe for a while, Haribo Smurfs are new to U.S. shores. They’ve only been around since February of this year to promote that terrible Smurfs 2 movie. I found them at Cost Plus World Market, along with Wednesday’s Haribo Ginger-Lemon Gummis.
The gummis may have all started out very Smurf-like in shape, but mine got melted a bit in my car, so their features were less than ideally defined. Still, I could make out Smurfette (the blonde) and Papa Smurf with his red hat.
The texture of the gummis was classic Haribo, very bouncy and sproingy without getting stuck in my teeth. The gummis were mostly blue, which tasted sweet with a light berry fruitiness. Maybe they were blueberry flavored, or maybe that was the power of suggestive coloring.
The classic white Smurf’s hat tasted of core-y pineapple, while Papa Smurf’s red hat tasted of berry as well. Smurfette’s blond locks were lemony sweet with light citrus flavors.
I found these to be pleasant enough, if not especially earth-shattering in flavor. I probably wouldn’t buy them again over other gummis, unless I was looking for an excuse to say “Schtroumpfs” a lot. An O.
Cybele on Candy Blog also reviewed these last month, and her photos came out much better than mine.
I first saw Haribo‘s Ginger-Lemon Gummis at the Sweets and Snacks Expo back in 2012. I got to taste a sample then, but they didn’t have any that I could take with me, so I wasn’t able to review them then.
Since then, I’d been keeping an eye out for them in the wild. A few weeks ago, I finally found them at Cost Plus World Market for only $1.89!
The yellow, vaguely egg-shaped gummies were sugar sand covered and had the sproingy, bouncy Haribo chew that I love. On first bite, they were slightly tart, I think because there was sour powder mixed in with that sugar sand.
The gummis began with a tart yet sweet lemon flavor before taking on the bite of ginger root. I liked that the ginger flavor was noticeably sharp but not painful.
Its flavor lingered in the finish, eased by the sweetness of the gummi. I found these gummis to be pleasantly addictive, with their well-balanced flavors and enjoyable texture. An OMG.
If my review isn’t enough for you, Cybele gave these her highest rating over on Candy Blog.
Remember when I posted about how weird the Cadbury Cola Pretzel Honeycomb bar sounded, and how I’d love to try it? Ask and you shall receive, at least when you’re a candy blogger! Sometimes…
The folks at CyberCandy heard my plea and sent me a free sample of my very own Cadbury Cola Pretzel Honeycomb bar. It was an absurdly ginormous bar, weighing in at 200g (just under half a pound).
The bar had traveled to me all the way from England, so it had broken up a bit by the time I got it. You can see from Kev’s review that the bar is pretty crazily/assymmetrically segmented, so that it looks quite cobblestonesque, and its underside was studded with oval chunks of pretzel.
Those pretzel chunks were each about peanut-sized, so pretty big. They delivered a great hit of salty crunch that contrasted nicely with the sweet and lightly grainy melt of the Cadbury milk chocolate.
While the bar had a hearty crunch from the pretzels, some chomps carried a more subtle, even dainty, crunch from the bits of honeycomb in the bar. They also added a lightly golden sweet tinge.
The cola came in the form of small chewy nuggets that were spread out throughout the bar. Those nuggets reminded me of Au’some Nuggets in texture – chewy with a matte graininess – and they added a fruity cola undertone.
I have to give Cadbury major credit for this “marvelous creation”. They really let their creativity run wild while still creating a tasty bar of unusual flavor combinations. It was almost too sweet for me, but those solid pretzel chunks reeled it back. An OM.
This Milka & Oreo came to me via a visiting German student in the lab. It was a gift for the lab to share, so I couldn’t take it home to photograph in my usual set-up.
Instead, I managed to snag some shots with my fancy new iPhone (finally gave up on my dumb phone when the 9 button no longer worked) before my labmates tucked into the bar. I gotta say, I think my new camera phone is at least as good as, if not better than, my now 5 years old digital camera.
The Milka & Oreo was a Milka milk chocolate bar filled with Oreo cookies and cream. That Milka chocolate was wonderful – there was just a thin top and bottom layer of it, but it was substantial in texture (thick and creamy) and flavor (luscious caramel notes).
The offwhite cream center was sweet with notes of dairy and vanilla frosting. It was chock full of hearty bits of Oreo chocolate cookies, which tasted of bittersweet dark cocoa.
Those cookies were incredibly crunchy. I was astounded as to how they maintained their crunchiness while surrounded by all that cream.
I found this bar to be quite addictive. The flavor and texture mix was great, with the melting and sweet caramel milk chocolate contrasting nicely with the robust crunch of the darker chocolate Oreos. An OM.
I bought this Hammond’s Pigs N’ Taters bar at the amazing Giant Eagle flagship in Pittsburgh. How could I not buy a bar featuring “milk chocolate with crispy bacon bits & potato chips”? Those are all things that I love!
This is the third Hammond’s chocolate bar that I’ve reviewed (previous reviews here and here). While they look like they’re all the same rectangular shape on the outside, they’ve all had a different structure inside. This one was segmented into 6 rectangles, each stamped with an H.
The bar’s break was soft, due to the milk chocolate. That milk chocolate was sweet with a mild chocolate flavor. It was maybe a bit sour and dusky to finish, but it was hard to tell because…
SALT! was mostly what my tastebuds picked up. I like salt in my chocolate, but man, this was salt overload. The potato chips were salty, as were the bacon bits (which were the crunchy artificial kind with no actual meat).
All those salty add-ins did bring a nice crunch to the bar. If I thought really hard about it, I think I could pick up some vaguely meaty and starchy potato notes, but mostly it was just salty.
It turns out that mixing up a whole bunch of things that I enjoy doesn’t necessarily compound that enjoyment. Go figure.
An O because I did enjoy trying it, but I wouldn’t buy it again now that my curiosity is sated/salted.
Note from Rosa: Here’s another guest post from expat friend Neil. He wrote this in May 2013 but only just now found the photos.
I try not to subject you to reviews of candy I’ve let expire, but I’m making an exception for this. January 2013 wasn’t that long ago, right…?
This came from a German supermarket in summer 2012. I was intrigued by the notion of passionfruit panna cotta and the all-caps dictation to “ENJOY COLD!”
I thought it’d be a bar. The eighteen individual chocolate squares surprised me. Each had a Lindt logo on top and the chocolate appeared milky, though maybe a bit dried out by the unintentional aging.
My experience with passionfruit is limited to candies and juice, so whether or not these taste of the fruit off the vine is up to a proper produce-eater. The chocolate is quite satisfactory, and the passionfruit aspect is what really shines.
There’s almost a bright, sparkling pop in your mouth a few seconds after you finish a square, which is all fruit. An OM.