24 December 2009
another delicious wafer from the fine folks at Manner. generally i don't care for apricot flavoring, i find it usually tastes like a watered down peach or tangerine flavor; but the flavor of this creme is pretty good. it contains apricot powder as well as artificial apricot flavoring, i think the powder helps lend a more subtle flavor, unfortunately it also adds a bit of a powdery flavor when eaten solo. when coupled with the tasty little wafers, however, the powdery aspect isn't as noticeable.
23 December 2009
oh baby, these are good. the perfect blend of chocolate (the dark variety), hazelnut and wafer. these wafers are great - they're delicate and flaky, sandwiched between layers of hazelnut creme. i also like the creme here, although it's a little pastier than some, it has a pretty good hazelnut flavor without being too sugary sweet or milky (there are real hazelnuts in here too, that's nice). even better than the regular wafers, these are smothered in dark chocolate which is quite good; it's slick and smooth. i love these wafers mostly because they are fun to pull apart and eat in layers.
this is so cute. not only is it shaped like a little hippo, it's delicious to boot. this is pretty similar to the Bueno, sans the chocolate. the same flaky wafer is used on the outside while inside there's a layer of hazelnut creme, but here there's also a layer of white creme, which i guess is the "milk" part of the "hazelnut and milk." both cremes are very smooth and not at all pasty or chunky. the other difference here is the little white sugar balls on the outside - i like the little crunch they add. i will buy these every day, i just wish they came in other animals.
the melon-flavored Hi-Chew is one of my favorites, second only to the mango ones. again, this is one juicy candy, the melon flavor is very strong here - you can smell it while it's still in the wrapper. the perfect chewiness, the perfect melon-y flavor. there is nothing not to love about this particular candy. if you have a taste bud alive in your mouth, do it a favor and go get some of these right now. (if the7-11 doesn't have them check your local Asian food grocer).
19 December 2009
this is a strange little guy: think of the chocolate covered orange slices (that type of gummi/jelly), but with a very floral taste. kind of rose-flavored. not a bad treat, but it's definitely not something i could eat all the time. the chocolate was a bit crumbly, not very smooth, and it kind of seemed like the ratio of jelly to chocolate was a little off (maybe could've used a tad more chocolate).
18 December 2009
i love, love, love these gummy tummies. they are the perfect gummi, and the juicy filling in the tummies is delicious, they have a delicious burst when you bite into them. kind of like gushers, only not gross. they come in three flavors: cherry, lime and strawberry; all three flavors taste pretty much like their fruits (i could tell the difference between the cherry and strawberry, at least). i'm generally not a fan of cherry flavoring, but here it isn't too phony or overwhelming, very subtle. i also like it that these don't have any artificial coloring in them, only natural fruit and vegetable colors. around halloween they have a creep-crawly version of these which is not as good. i don't know why they don't just use these ones and package them as ghosts. i think that would work. maybe i'll write a letter...
these were a very nice surprise, i think they're available all year, but i just noticed them in the winco bulk christmas candy section. the chocolate mint reminds me exactly of a mint meltaway; the core is a firm chocolate with a hint of mint, not crumbly but not creamy. the outer chocolate is very smooth. the raspberry chocolate is a bit strange, it has the same texture as the mint, but it also has a minty flavor to it. i can taste the raspberry, but it really is almost overpowered by the mint. very strange. overall, not bad for around 16 cents apiece, but i will probably only get the mint next time.
16 December 2009
probably my least favorite of the Necco chews. i think they are just a peanut butter-flavored taffy. the same consistency as the Mary Janes, but without the delicious gush from the inside. rather boring, not very much peanut flavor. aside from the chewiness, there really isn't much here.
my hopes for this candy were, perhaps, too high. chocolate, peanut butter and raspberry?! delicious. also, there are potato chips in there. yes, potato chips. i love this concept because anytime i make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, i have to put chips on it. potato chips are a favorite, but corn chips also work nicely. now here is my dilemma: what i expected was a bar of peanut butter filled with delicious swirls of raspberry jam, smothered in chocolate (both milk and dark), then rolled in crunchy potato chips. sounds delectable, does it not? too bad that what i got was a bar of peanut butter with a smidgen of raspberry jam layered on the bottom, not to mention the chips are most certainly not on the outside, they are inside. it still makes for a nice texture, i love having little crunchies in my chocolate. i think that the milk chocolate here is in the center part, with the peanut butter; the whole bar is covered in dark chocolate. the flavor of the bar as a whole is quite good, the dark chocolate is smooth and the inside peanut butter portion isn't too crumbly or chalky. it doesn't have as much of a creaminess to is as i had expected, but then again, i suppose i wasn't sure what to expect. overall i really do like this, i just have a hard time dismissing my preconceived notions of it.
15 December 2009
as much as i am a fan of haribo and gummis in general, these mini frogs did not elate me. there are four different colored frogs and i was hoping for four different flavors. alas, all of the little frogs taste the same, regardless of color. the taste itself isn't bad, it's kind of yogurty or milky, probably from the white gummi layer underneath the translucent colored part. i do like the texture of these gummis, very chewy and not spongy or crumbly. i'll probably stick to the regular gummi bears, but these aren't bad.
12 December 2009
this has to be one of my favorite types of candy: chocolate, hazelnut and wafer. delicious! i'm especially fond of the cream used here. it's very smooth and has a nice milky taste intermingling with the hazelnut flavor. i love that the cream is in little compartments in the wafers, it's very nice to bite into. the wafer itself isn't very thick, and it's rather flaky and delicate. put all together this creates a very satisfying candy.
i don't even know what i was thinking when i bought these. perhaps it was "i hope these will taste like Hi-Chews." or maybe "these probably won't taste like salt water taffy mixed with Starbursts." it could even have been, "if this is like a Now and Later, i'm ok with that." whatever it was, i was wrong.
Strawberry Shortcake - this is the one that makes me think of a Starburst the most. the initial scent is very sweet and fruity, but as soon as it hits the tongue it's much more bland. kind of a diluted fruit chew with generic red fruit flavor. it does have a good chewiness, softer than a Now & Later, much like salt water taffy.
Mint Julep - this was weird because it really doesn't have a minty smell or taste at all. maybe a very slight hint of mint near the middle, but really it's more like a sweet fruity taste. not really lime, but there does seem to be a bit of citrus in there. not at all what i was expecting. same chewiness as the Strawberry Shortcake.
Banana Split - a little disappointing in the flavor department - artificial banana in play here, so i didn't have high hopes, but this was pretty blah. it had a slight walnut taste, but that quickly turned into more of a cardboard taste. again, the texture was nice but i'd much rather have a Hi-Chew.
overall rating: 3
i wasn't sure what to expect from this bar, the wrapper just said milk chocolate with caramel centre. is it gooey caramel? chewy caramel? the bar is pretty thin, so i figured there wasn't much caramel in it, but i wasn't prepared for what i found:
that's only about half of the bar, but look at it! that is crazy. i like it. the caramel is chewy rather than gooey, and the milk chocolate coating is very thin, which is good. too much chocolate would have drowned out the already mild caramel. i generally prefer a more buttery caramel, but this is good. my only beef is that it's really not much for the size of the bar, what with the holes and all. very neat looking though, and fun to bite at weird angles.
for some reason i never had a Mary Jane until earlier this year. i guess i just always thought they would be gross. i was finally suckered in by the cute wrapper and tried one. lo and behold, it was not gross. in fact, it was downright tasty. it's a molasses-flavored taffy with a little pocket of peanut butter inside. these are the best when they're room temperature or warmer, when it's cold you don't get the nice little gush of peanut butter when you bite into it. the chewiness here is great, similar to Bit-O-Honey. alas, this is another one of those "feel bad about it" candies, again with the hydrogenated oils and whatnot.
i'm not really sure why this bar is not for girls, but it's a pretty straightforward bar. i had thought that there might be some crispies in it or something, since the wrapper makes reference to the bar as being "chunky," but apparently that just means that it comes in big, chunky segments. again, not being a huge fan of plain milk chocolate this wouldn't be my first choice in candy bar, but when compared to a Hershey's milk chocolate bar i would say this is a bit better. the chocolate is smooth, not greasy, but with a slightly milky aftertaste. another tidbit of info: the name yorkie is a reference to the original producer of the bar, Rowntree's of York. interesting.
i suppose the appeal of this bar is that you get four candies in one: vanilla, fudge, peanut butter and caramel. i like the sound of that. the taste of it is not as exciting. first of all, the chocolate here tastes sort of...chalky. or powdery, like powdered milk. that's kind of gross. then there's the filling. the caramel wasn't bad, it was gooey which i like and the flavor wasn't too sweet. i'm not a huge fan of vanilla creams in general, but this tastes almost like frosting. very, very sweet. the peanut butter was the biggest surprise, it was gooey like the caramel, but with a hint of peanut butter. and i loved it. then the fudge came along and crapped in my mouth. it was stiff and way too sugary sweet. strange how they made two out of four so good. ah well, i guess i'll just have to keep buying all of my candy bars separately. what a pity.
apparently tj's used to carry a chocolate drizzle caramel corn, and a cranberry variety, but this is all that they have at the store by my house. not a problem, this is great caramel corn. it's buttery, light and delicious. the caramel isn't too much, it's just the right amount of sweetness. the macadamias are great here too, they're so fatty and delicious but not too crunchy. fyi: macadamias contain the highest amount of monounsaturated fat (that's the good kind) of any nut. i like that.
11 December 2009
recently i have become much more open to the idea of ginger in candies and baked goods. i was planning to review reed's ginger chews, but i saw these and figured i would give them a try as well. there were three flavors available when i bought them: original, spicy apple and peanut; but it looks like they also have a hot coffee flavor.
original - this is pretty spicy. very gingery. there's a good chewiness to it, more taffy than fruit chew. it leaves a lingering burn on the mouth, which is pretty nice. it's covered in white powder (all of them are), which i think is confectioners' sugar but i'm not positive.
spicy apple - this is my favorite of all, i would even buy this just because. i might even buy it again, just because. i can taste the apple here, kind of like candied apple. the ginger is still spicy. the combination of apple and ginger gives it a cider taste. the texture and chew are the same as the original.
peanut - shocking, absolutely shocking. i expected something like a Squirrel Nut Zipper with a gingery taste. what i got was a weird conglomeration of crumbly peanut butter and hard ginger gelatin. the flavor itself isn't so bad, it's nutty and there is some ginger flavor, but it isn't spicy at all. even with the nice flavor i can't get past the texture. where the others pulled apart in strings when you bit into them, this one breaks apart into chunks. if this were supposed to be a nougat or peanut bite maybe i would be ok with it (probably not, i'm just trying to stay objective), but i really can't get behind a ginger chew that isn't chewy.
Bit-O-Honey is a childhood favorite of mine, although i can't help feeling guilty eating them much anymore. they have hydrogenated oils in them, you know. but candy isn't supposed to be good for you, and so i don't care that much and still enjoy the occasional chewy delight. sadly it is cold here, and so it is cold in my house, and thus all of my taffy-like candy has turned hard. under normal conditions these little taffies have such a good chew, a bit resistant at first but then melting into stretchy, chewy goodness. they're much tougher than a fruit chew. i also really enjoy the flavor, it does have a bit of honey (aptly named candy is good) taste to it and it actually contains honey. less than 2% but hey, it's real honey. the overall taste i get is just kind of buttery, not quite toffee, but somewhere in between honey and toffee.
right now i have to admit something that is slightly embarrassing, which is that i did not realize these were hard candies until i opened one. i guess i thought they would be a hard taffy, maybe like a Bit-O-Honey or Now & Later. but they are a hard candy, kind of coffee and chocolate flavored, a little more coffee than chocolate. they're actually not bad, as far as hard candies go. then again, i'm not much for hard candy as i am under the age of 65. alright i'm just kidding (yes, old people love hard candy). the flavor is pretty nice although it may be a bit much for a candy that's going to be sitting in your mouth for awhile. that is assuming you don't go crunching into it (that's bad for your teeth, don't do it).
oh man, this was just a disaster. everything about this was unappealing to me. cherry and coconut? no thank you. but b.paul got it, so i had to try it. to begin with, this was clearly an old bar. the chocolate had bloomed. it had bloomed so much it was the most bloomed chocolate i have ever seen in my bloomin' life. bloom! yes, this chocolate had that. to make matters worse the texture inside was similar to what i imagine that of gummed particle board to be. whether this was from age or just simply the way it always is, i do not know. sigh. it's kind of painful to think about this.
for those of you who haven't tried the Aero bar, i am sorry. but let me explain what exactly it is: wonderful. it is just wonderful. but really, the original Aero bar is just a milk chocolate bar puffed full of air so that it has a delightful texture, kind of crumbly, kind of puffy. in this version there's a puffed mint inside with a milk chocolate coating.
there, you can see the airy mint insides for yourself. it's really great, it kind of falls apart in your mouth. also, it's good for sucking on. aside from the texture this aero also has a great flavor. it's minty, but more in a creme de menthe fashion than a strong peppermint (think Andes mint not starlight mint). i appreciate this kind of mint, because i can actually eat as much of it as i want, sometimes the stronger mint (Junior Mints, peppermint patties) is too much for me. coupled with the smooth chocolate, it really is kind of like a giant Andes mint. very tasty.
10 December 2009
since seeing this on some foreign candy website i've been obsessed with trying to find it here, without having to order it online. luckily, there is a candy shop in town that i finally got to visit, and lo and behold - they had the Crunchie! while it's touted as a milk chocolate bar with a "honeycombed" center. the extra -ed on the end of honeycomb there leads me to believe that this is not true honeycomb, which the ingredients verify. it is simply a mixture of sugar, glucose and flavoring. but really, who cares right? after one bite i was totally hooked. not only is the texture awesome (kind of spongy or puffed, but crunchy, obviously), but the flavor is really very interesting. it's pretty sweet, but it also has a bit of a sour taste to it. not sour, as in it's gone bad or it's too tart, just kind of sour. and it's not a lingering sour, just a small hit of sourness, then sweet again. the milk chocolate is pretty good too, i'm usually not a fan of milk chocolates, but cadbury does make a nice, creamy chocolate, and generally not cloying or chalky. now i just have to try the Violet Crumble!
07 December 2009
alright, more Dagoba bars. as i believe i've mentioned before, these organic chocolate bars are made here in oregon (ashland, to be exact). this time around i only sprang for two: roseberry and mint.
roseberry (pink) - this is a combination of raspberry and rosehips in dark chocolate, and what a nice combination it is. i'm a big fan of the actual dried raspberries in the bar, it adds a lovely texture and i like having something stick around after i've sucked all the chocolate away (yes, i do that. but only sometimes.). the rosehips are pretty mild here, they add just a hint of a floral accent. the Dagoba chocolate itself is pretty good as well. my only issue so far is that at times i feel like it coats my throat a little too much. which might just be a result of me sucking at it for too long, but whatever.
mint (green) - ok, this one i was really excited for, as the packaging claims it also has rosemary essence in it. say what? rosemary in my chocolate, say what? yeah, it's there. and it's pretty good. really, after tasting the bar on several different occasions, i've come to the conclusion that i actually taste the rosemary more than the mint, which is not an entirely bad thing. in fact i kind of like it. too often i feel that mint flavoring is too strong and overpowering, here it is more of an accent note. smooth.
these dark chocolate roasted hazelnuts are from a local farm here in oregon (more precisely, sweet home, OR), and while the cost might be a bit steep, they really are delicious. each hazelnut is perfectly toasted, never burnt or bitter. the dark chocolate is quite tasty and complements the hazelnuts wonderfully. the hazelnuts are organic, but the chocolate doesn't appear to be. it's a pretty standard chocolate: chocolate liquor, sugar, cocoa butter and butter oil (with lecithin and pure vanilla). i'm sure this is something i could recreate in my own kitchen, but i don't mind supporting my local economy (and saving time and energy). i don't know whether these are available outside of oregon, but if you ever have the opportunity, you should definitely pick up a bag or two (also available in milk chocolate, i just prefer dark).
again, one of my favorites since childhood. probably due to the fact that my mom was a huge toffee fan, so we had these around quite often. it's pretty basic, crunchy english toffee coated in smooth chocolate. the toffee has a nice texture and the chocolate-to-toffee ratio is appropriate.
just for clarification, i had never had the Reese's Whipps before, but have had the Nutrageous on several occasions. while it has never been a favorite of mine, i do enjoy the Nutrageous bar quite a bit. it has a great combination of flavors: peanuts, caramel, peanut butter and chocolate. very nice. unfortunately, the Reese's Whipps did not impress me as much. it is simply a bar of peanut butter nougat, topped with a thin layer of peanut butter surrounded by chocolate. the problem for me here is that it is a fluffy nougat. i prefer a more dense nougat such as a Charleston Chew. this reminds me of 3 Musketeers, which i am not extremely fond of (notice, i did not say i dislike it, i'm just not extremely fond of it). although the flavor is pretty good, i probably won't buy it again.
henceforth tidbits will refer to short, sweet reviews about candy that i eat on a semi-regular basis (i.e., i didn't buy this for the first time just to review it), also some more common candy. nothing too fancy, you know, old favorites, classic stand-bys. that sort of thing. first in this long line of quickies is the Payday.
my favorite candy bar since i was little, even with the lack of chocolate. yes, generally i am a big chocolate fan, but when it comes to candy that is mass produced and designed for long, convenience store shelf life, sometimes the chocolate isn't all that great. in such cases one can always rely on the delicious peanut-y, caramel-y goodness of the Payday to withstand the test of time.
rating: 10 (for old time's sake)
Mr. Goodbar is one of those candy bars i always took for granted. as a kid i thought that the more stuff there was in the candy, the better it was. therefore Mr. Goodbar didn't appeal to me as much as, say, a Snickers. chocolate with only peanuts? say what? but then i tried one and realized that in some cases simplicity is the way to go. granted, Hershey's chocolate can be a bit much at times, but the peanuts help diminish the sweetness and add a good crunch. also, i'm always pleased with the amount of peanuts, not too much or too little.
02 December 2009
thank god for these little bits of hazelnut heaven. after the disappointing hazelnut Dagoba bar, this is just what i needed. these are really similar to Ferrero Rocher. there's a hazelnut in the middle, surrounded by some kind of hazelnut-chocolate paste, and then on top of that is a wafery coating (i guess that is the praline) dipped in chocolate and then more chopped hazelnuts. it is delicious. the only real difference here is that the outer shell on these seems to be a bit less fragile than the shell of the Ferrero Rocher, and also i think that the cream/paste inside is pastier than the Ferrero. theirs is more creamy like nutella. but these are so good, i've been waiting for them for awhile; it was worth it.
01 December 2009
i think that the only thing that keeps me eating Snickers is the great combination of the chocolate, nougat, peanuts, and caramel. sadly, this bar has no caramel. it is strictly the fudge, peanuts and a peanut butter nougat. the fudge is rather hard, a bit crumbly, almost chalky. i would prefer it if it were creamy i think, but that's how i feel every time i eat a Reese's cup, too. i know that with mass production and the stabilizers they include for longer shelf-life there is bound to be some loss in quality, but this fudge is gross. not only that, but the peanut butter nougat isn't very flavorful, i don't taste much peanut flavor in here period, just a few semi-crunchy peanuts. ever since they discontinued the Snickers Peanut Butter i just haven't found another variation on the original that i liked (maybe the snickers dark, but how can you go wrong with dark chocolate?). so i guess what i'm saying here is that if you need a Snickers fix, and if the fudge bar is the only one around then i would say just get a Payday and eat it with some chocolate chips. or something.
yes, this is a lot of candy to be reviewing in such a short time, but i have four days off and what else would i do but eat a lot of candy? Hi-Chews are probably my favorite taffy-like candy. they are similar to Mambas but come in lots of interesting flavors, a few of which are available in the states, but many more over in asia. luckily the 7-11 here carries the mango and melon flavors, which are two of the best. i have nothing but love for this candy, it has the perfect chewy texture: not too hard, like saltwater taffy or Laffy Taffy, but not too chewy (i can't think of an example of a too-chewy candy [oh, i just did: caramels. the too-chewy kind]). perhaps the best part of it all is the flavor. this candy tastes like a juicy, juicy mango. not citrus, or tropical, or orange, but mango. if i were to smell this candy i would know it was mango-flavored, that's how great the flavor is (and it's juicy. it makes my mouth water it's so juicy). they are consistently good, too. all of the Hi-Chews i've tasted are very accurate with their flavors, much like the japanese KitKats. those asians have a higher bar for their candy then we do. i suppose they have better taste buds. or maybe they already have taste bud rejuvenation there?