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.

Unreal Candy – Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups

The first time I heard of Unreal Candy, I was immediately intrigued.

The story of the company went viral after Tom Brady posted about the candy (and its message). For those who haven’t heard it before, Unreal Candy was impressively started by a 15-year old who was fed up with the way conventional candy was being made. Sick and tired of all the garbage ingredients (including corn syrup) in his sweets, he decided to make his own candy with only organic, non-GMO ingredients.

The results are fantastic and the hype is well-deserved. Unreal Candy tapped into something that is now true across the nation. People don’t want crap anymore – they want products with ingredients that they can get behind! Tom Brady certainly did – and now I am on board too.

As a candy addict, I admit that most of the stuff that I’m putting in my body is bad for me. While it makes me feel good in the short term, I know that long-term the effects can be hazardous. I’m trying to cut it out – but it’s certainly not easy.

Enough! How are the Unreal Peanut Butter Cups?

Getting off my podium for a bit, I find Unreal Candy to be delicious regardless of what’s actually in it. I tried the Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups because the Coconut Peanut Butter Cups were not in stock. They have other flavors too that I will eventually get around to:

  • Candy Coated Milk Chocolate Peanuts
  • Candy Coated Milk Chocolates
  • Milk Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups
  • Milk Chocolate Crispy Quinoa Peanut Butter Cups
  • Dark Chocolate Crispy Quinoa Peanut Butter Cups
  • Dark Chocolate Coconut Peanut Butter Cups
  • Dark Chocolate Almond Butter Cups

For the peanut butter cups in particular, I was expecting something like a Reese’s ripoff; I was pleasantly surprised to find out that was not the case. Each bag of Unreal Candy contains 8 pieces of half-dollar sized peanut butter cups. Each of them are individually packaged too!

The chocolate and peanut butter both are of great quality. You can eat them guilt-free as the ingredients are fair trade. For dark chocolate fans, I highly recommend you go out and find these. They are at Whole Foods, but you can order a pack online direct from Unreal Candy or you can find them at about just any health food store!

So you’re saying Unreal Candy is unreal…

Overall, if you have a sweet tooth, but are looking for a more sustainable substitute, give these a try. These are by no means “healthy” and they still have a lot of sugar, but they are better than just about anything produced by Big Candy (taste included)!

BeastMode Chocolate – Marshawn Lynch’s New Candy Brand

BeastMode Chocolate bars
BeastMode Chocolate

BeastMode Chocolate

As you know, I’m a huge fan of athlete and candy crossovers – just see my review of James Harden’s Trolli Weird Beards.

And luckily for me, my favorite athletes keep getting their own candy. This time it’s Marshawn Lynch beloved running back of the Seattle Seahawks (which happens to be my favorite team). What makes Marshawn’s crossover better is that he didn’t just get his own candy; he started  his own brand of candy.

BeastMode Chocolate gets it name from one of Marshawn’s many famous nicknames – Beastmode. But anyone who has followed his career also knows his other one – ‘Skittles’.

That’s because the man was a Skittles maniac. He ate them on the sidelines, fans would throw them onto the field when he scored, and Skittles even made him an official spokesman back in the day. Marshawn Lynch loves sweets, and he isn’t shy about showing it.

BeastMode Chocolate bars
In order: P-Nut Butter Pretzel, Smores Bar N Milk, Mint Kookie N Milk

So the branding here is absolutely perfect. I kind of wish it had been a sweeter candy, but I was just as excited for his chocolate. He has joined with It’Sugar to distribute his line of candy bars online and I assume in their stores across the US. They’re a little on the pricier side, but I just had to have them. I’m happy to support Beastmode in his post-football endeavors – plus I trust the man when it comes to sweets. There’s 3 flavors so far:

  • Mint Kookie N Milk
    • What I would describe as a better version of an Andes Mint. It has some cookie crunch, but mostly tastes like an average milk chocolate bar with a little hint of mint (3/5)
BeastMode Mint Kookie N Milk
Mint Kookie N Milk
  • Smores Bar N Milk
    • Again, the flavor just isn’t there. It’s a milk chocolate bar with sparse marshmallow chunks throughout. It even looks the same as the mint one (2/5)
Beastmode Smores Bar N Milk
Smores Bar N Milk
  • P-Nut Butter Pretzel
    • By far the best one. It’s unique, delicious, and the only one I would go out of my way to find again. For one it is dark chocolate. Then, the inside has the appearance of a peanut butter fill, but it’s solid instead of creamy. The pretzel in scattered throughout packs a good salty taste that goes with the rest of the bar (4/5)
BeastMode P-Nut Butter Pretzel
P-Nut Butter Pretzel

Overall, the brand needs some improvement, but that will come with time. It doesn’t have the mass appeal it needs yet to make the candy anything more than niche, but it’s worth a try for any football and chocolate fans. All Hawks must give it a try too, as the bars are produced by the Seattle Chocolate Company!

3/5

Chips Ahoy S’Mores

Chips Ahoy Smores
S’mores Chips Ahoy

Chips Ahoy! S’mores

Chips Ahoy! becomes the little brother of Oreo with an underwhelming attempt at the s’mores flavor

“Anything you can do, I can do better.” It’s a sentiment that has fueled rivalries since the dawn of time. However, in the cookie world at the moment, there’s an arms race: Chips Ahoy vs Oreo. Oreo was the first to start experimenting with new and exciting flavors. For the most part they have perfected it.

In the other corner you now have Chips Ahoy, a worthy opponent who has earned the right to be here. They’ve been providing cheap, but quality cookies to the public for years, and I have no complaints with their product. However, I don’t want to say they are knocking off what Oreo has been doing. But it’s hard not to see their experiments as a money-grab. It’s likely that the rest of the market sees it that way, too, as they don’t get nearly as much fame as the Oreo ones. In fact, I reviewed S’mores Oreo long before I even knew about these–just a tad late there, Chips Ahoy!

Now much of my opinion of the S’mores Chips Ahoy would change if they were actually delicious. Unfortunately, my first box of their “flavored” cookies left me largely disappointed.

Smores Chip Ahoy
Just a cookie. Not a S’more.

This ends up tasting like a chocolate cookie with some chocolate filling. You can barely taste the marshmallow, which makes the whole S’mores label very misleading. There’s indeed some white chocolate chips in there, but unless you are really looking for the marshmallow flavor, it goes unnoticed.

Smores Chips Ahoy
A look inside.

They would have been much better off having the filling be the marshmallow flavor. A combination of both even would have been more ideal. Maybe then the cookie would have also looked like an actual S’more instead of just coming off as a cookie with black and white chocolate chips.

I can attest that Chips Ahoy brings their consistency to the table here, but this experiment doesn’t do it for me. I have faith that other flavors will be better. I certainly hope so, otherwise Oreo will soon wipe all competition from the cookie world.

2/5

S’mores Oreo

Smores Oreo
S’mores Oreo

S’mores Oreo

A rather bland take on a summer, campfire classic.

My second Oreo review. With a new wild flavor popping up seemingly every week, it really is hard to keep up. And if I really wanted to review them all, I would be buying a new pack of Oreos every week. That can’t be good for my health.

Smores Oreo
S’mores Oreo

But when I saw this pack, I knew I had to get them. S’mores are a summertime classic for me (as I’m sure they are for a lot of you). When I eat a S’more I think of a bonfire on the beach. You may think of a family camping trip you took when you were a kid. S’mores are a very nostalgic treat. The beauty is in their simplicity. Graham cracker, chocolate and a marshmallow–that’s it.

So for this pack, I only thought it was right to share them with my office and see what the coworkers had to say. Here’s some of the feedback I got:

  • “Okay, these Oreos remind me of the graham cracker snacked that you dipped in frosting from the late 90s [Dunkaroos]. Good with coffee though
  • “I want to eat all the Oreos. I wish I hadn’t had the first one. It’s ruined me”
  • “Do you remember Ritz Bits S’mores? These taste exactly like them!”
Smores Oreos
S’mores Oreos

Some brilliant observations here. I agree with what everyone at my office had to say. However, the second statement is always true of Oreos: you always want to eat them all regardless if they are any good.

My honest opinion is that S’mores Oreo tasted too much like an Uh-Oh Oreo (chocolate on the inside, white cookie on the outside). There’s a hint of marshmallow, but the chocolate is a little overpowering.  It ends up tasting very little like an actual S’more, which seems odd since the original recipe is so simple. I reviewed the Red Velvet Oreos a few months back and what blew me away about them was how much they tasted like a red velvet cake. And that one was probably much more complicated to recreate.

The outside definitely tastes like a graham cracker; they certainly captured that well. But the rest of the Oreo can’t help but feel disappointing. Let’s put it this way: when I ate these Oreos, I wasn’t suddenly transported to a campfire or to a bonfire on the beach. Oreo didn’t capture the magic and taste of what makes a S’more so great, and that is why, unfortunately, it just didn’t work for me.

2/5

Also, a definite missed opportunity here by Oreo: how can these not be called S’mOreos?

Queen Anne Cordial Cherries

queen anne cordial cherries
A cordial cherry in all its glory.

Queen Anne Cordial Cherries

A holiday classic from Queen Anne.

Conclusion: Recommend only if you ate one from ages 5-13
Flavors: Here, I’ve reviewed the MILK CHOCOLATE only. I’ve never had the dark chocolate, but it is out there. I’ve even seen new cordial blueberries in stores lately. I haven’t had those either, but if you have some extra boxes of anything laying around the house after the holidays, be sure to contact me. I’d be happy to take them off your hands!

Continue reading “Queen Anne Cordial Cherries”

Lindt Hello Special Editions: Chocolate Sundae and Pink Explosion

Today’s Lindt reviews are the rest of the free samples that I received from their PR peeps. Other new Lindt bars were covered on Monday.

These Lindt “Hello” bars are new limited editions that are exclusive to Target. Unlike the Excellence bars, which are solid chocolate, the Hello bars are softer pods of filled chocolate. Mine arrived a hair squished in the summer heat.

Chocolate Sundae describes itself as “milk chocolate with vanilla and chocolate fillings and almond pieces.” The milk chocolate shell was soft, with a thick and creamy melt.

The black and white filling was soft and oozy. The chocolate syrup had a deeply fudgy flavor that reminded me of chocolate pudding.

Though the vanilla cream was visible, its flavors got lost in the chocolate, as did the almond. My boyfriend enjoyed this, but it was too sweet for my taste.

The interestingly-named Pink Explosion looked to be trying a bit too hard with its packaging. “I’ll Pop. You Lock!” What does that even mean?

It was “milk chocolate with popping raspberry and cream filling”. So the moniker of Pink comes from the raspberry, and Explosion comes from pop rocks-esque candy bits. Quite unlike other pink things that, um, explode.

The pink filling was extremely sweet and brightly fruity, with a hint of raspberry seediness (and some actual raspberry seeds!). It tasted of raspberry jam, while the popping candy sparkled in my mouth.

These were fun to eat, but too sweet for me, so I wouldn’t buy them myself. An O.

Lindt Excellence – Blackberry with Acai, Lychee, and Pomegranate

Believe it or not, getting a PhD takes up a lot of time. I haven’t updated in a while, but I’ve been, at least temporarily, broken out of my hiatus by two things: 1) I was in Berlin for a conference/workshop and came back with some German candy; and 2) I just received some free samples of U.S. Lindt products.

Today, I’ll cover some new fruity Lindt Excellence bars that are part of their new Exotic Fruits collection: Blackberry with Acai, Lychee, and Pomegranate. All bars were free samples from their PR peeps.

Blackberry with acai was “dark chocolate with blackberry pieces and acai”. It had a soft break and a smooth melt that was broken up by tiny gummi bits.

Those gummi bits were chewy, yielding a fruity, sugary sweetness with plummy jam notes and a slightly tannic finish. The overall flavor profile reminded me of Brookside Chococolates.

Pomegranate was similar to blackberry, a soft dark chocolate with gummi bits. Here, the sweet fruitiness was much brighter, with strawberry notes.

Finally the Lychee had the same soft dark chocolate, but it didn’t have gummis. Instead, the fruit was incorporated as dried bits that added a slight grit to the bar.

These bars were nice, but I’m not a big fan of fruit in my chocolate, and I found them a tad too sweet. They get an O from me, but I bet my labmates will quickly devour the leftovers.

If you want to try them on your own, Lindt is giving some away this week via their Facebook and Twitter pages.

Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate Pumpkin Spice Salted Caramels

It’s fall, and here in the U.S., that means pumpkin-flavored EVERYTHING. Seriously, Trader Joe’s October Fearless Flyer is about 90% pumpkin stuff. One of their seasonal pumpkin products includes these Dark Chocolate Pumpkin Spice Salted Caramels.

The box described the caramels as “dark chocolate with a smooth pumpkin spiced caramel filling sprinkled with real Hawaiian sea salt.” Each shiny dark chocolate square was covered with a little squiggle of milk chocolate, then topped with a generous sprinkle of rust-colored sea salt.

That dark chocolate shell shattered as soon as I bit into the caramel, revealing a limpid viscous caramel center. The chocolate had a thick melt and lots of caramel notes.

The smooth caramel looked liquid but didn’t quite flow. It had a slight grain to the texture and a strong pumpkin spice flavor that was nutmeg dominant. Though the caramel was sweet, it was nicely countered by the saltiness of the crystals it was topped with.

These were tasty, but I don’t think they needed the extra pumpkin spice hit. If you’re a pumpkin spice fiend, however, you’ll love these. An OM.