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November 2005

Friday, November 11, 2005

Gifts for Candy Lovers

My mother gave me an excellent gift about a year ago. First, she knows my love of anodized aluminum (I should have a blog about that too!) and of course she knows of my love of organizing things:

I’m sure when she bought it she thought it was for eyeglasses or sunglasses. But it’s obvious to me that it’s intended for safely carrying your candy:

 

Yes, this durable metal case not only protects your precious candy bar (or two) from getting crushed at the bottom of your purse, backpack or messenger bag, it also provides welcome insulation against temperature variations.

You can also keep smaller wrapped candies in there, like a bunch of Kisses, Tootsie Rolls or hard candies. It’d even be good for lollies and Sugar Daddies.

Most glasses cases are great for this purpose and would be a welcome gift (filled of course) for any candy lover. Pencil cases also work equally well for this purpose.

Here are a few ideas:
Engraved Silver - $25.00
Sport Glasses Case - $7.99
Small Steel Case - $7.70 (flip top for ease of loading)

POSTED BY Cybele AT 3:54 pm     ReviewFun StuffShoppingComments (2)

Tom’s Coconut Slice

Name: Coconut Slice
Brand: Tom’s
Place Purchased: 99 Cent Only Store
Price: $.99
Size: 6.25 ounces
Calories per ounce: 120
Type: Coconut

I’ve seen this a few times while in the 99 Cent Only store. My neighbor, Robin, won $99 worth of gift certificates to the store, so on our recent shopping trip I was a lot more adventurous with my choices (cuz it was really free).

The first think I have to say about these is that they’re really pretty. Some foods I just like because they’d make a nice sweater, scarf or piece of jewelry.

This candy is basically a coconut slab, kind of like a fruit rollup ... call it coconut leather. The different colored strips might actually be flavored. I detected a little bit of raspberry in the red stripe, but really couldn’t tell the difference between the yellow one and the white one.

The coconut is chewy and not too sweet. If you like coconut and don’t want to bother with all that other stuff like nuts and chocolate, this is the stuff for you. Two grams of fiber in each bar but it does contain about 5 grams of saturated fat (that’s the coconut oil).

Tom’s isn’t really known for their candies, more for their nuts and snacks. They seem like rather a niche company (based in Georgia) and I don’t often see their products here on the West Coast except for the nuts, and those are usually at convenience stores on the highway.

Rating: 6 out of 10

POSTED BY Cybele AT 8:22 am     CandyReviewCoconut6-TemptingUnited States99 Cent Only StoreComments (15)

Thursday, November 10, 2005

The Real Jelly Babies

Name: Bassett’s Jelly Babies
Brand: Bassett’s (Cadbury)
Place Purchased: Sainsbury’s (West Los Angeles)
Price: $4.29
Size: 215 grams
Calories per ounce: 335 calories/100 grams
Type: Jelly

I reviewed a knock-off version of Jelly Babies a few months ago, because that’s all I was able to find here in the States and I was lead to believe that Bassett’s are illegal for import because they contain non-FDA approved food dyes. Of course when I saw them at Sainsbury’s a few weeks ago, no carcinogens were gonna keep me from trying the real thing!

 

What these Jelly Babies offer that the others don’t is personality. Each of the little babies has a name and a different persona. The pink (according to the package) is Baby Bonny who is sitting with a diaper on. Black is Bigheart, who has a little heart shape on his chest. The orange is called Bumper and has some sort of innertube or fanny pack around his middle to keep him from hurting himself. I think I’d like to see a helmet too. Brilliant is the raspberry one with a big B on his middle. Bubbles is yellow and has a little bead necklace on. Boofuls is the light green lime one who is crying.

(You can see a full detail about them and what they supposedly look like here.)

While the Bassett’s is not as grainy as the Norfolk Manner I tried before and the Bassett’s do have a bit more flavor, I still find them a little perfumey, a little bland. The best one to me, suprisingly enough, was the raspberry one (I’m not overly fond of fake raspberry candy). I don’t think I could eat very many of them in a sitting, which is what makes sweets “candy” in my book. It has to be positively difficult for me to NOT keep shoveling them into my mouth if they’re sitting around. For pure addictive jelly-type candy I will always prefer Swedish Fish, Gummi Bears, spearmint leaves/orange slices, gumdrops or plain old Jelly Beans.

Rating - 5 out of 10

POSTED BY Cybele AT 10:08 am     CandyReviewCadburyJelly Candy5-PleasantUnited KingdomComments (10)

Wednesday, November 9, 2005

Divine Chocolate: Fair Trade

Name: Divine Chocolate
Brand: Divine
Place Purchased: sample from Equal Exchange
Price: ?0.65 (online)
Size: 1.5 ounces
Calories per ounce: 162-165
Type: Chocolate

These little 45 gram bars are a wonderful example of how a niche product can break out big in the wide candy world. Made in the UK from fair trade cocoa beans, these bars come not only in the familiar milk and dark varieties, but also an orange flavored bar and they’ve also introduced a smaller bar for kids called Dubble.

The dark chocolate bar is smoky and rich and has a good, complex flavor to it. Very woodsy with a slight dry finish. The chocolate is smooth but a little waxy at first as it warms up on the tongue, but there’s no hint of grain at all. At 70% cocoa solids, this is a very chocolatey bar but doesn’t have that crumbly feel that some have. The snap was good and personally, I prefer a chunky bar to a flat one.

 

The milk chocolate bar is very European, with a strong dried milk component to it. It’s very sweet but has a good chocolate taste and is smooth and rich on the tongue. AT 27% cocoa solids, this is a very milky bar (using both dried milk and dried cream).

Again, you’re probably asking, why pay a bit more for the same quality? Well, in this case more money is going directly to the farmers who produce the cocoa beans. Farmers (by this I mean the folks who actually tend the plants, harvest the beans and prepare them for shipping) not only get a decent wage, they are guaranteed income through long-term contracts and the company supports education for children in the area. Economic stability provides political stability which in turn helps to turn the African economy to a more sustainable one not based on government aid where communities build themselves through their agriculture and small industry.

One note about how Divine and Equal Exchange differ - Divine is NOT organic. If you’re looking for a bottom-to-top socially responsible chocolate, go with Equal Exchange because its cocoa farming is organic and is working with cooperatives in multiple locations as well as using organic, unprocessed sugar. If you’re looking for a move in the right direction (or don’t have access to EE), then go Divine and support the widest possible marketing efforts (hey, buy some from both and help farmers in Peru, Dominican Republic and Ghana!).

Rating - 7 out of 10

POSTED BY Cybele AT 7:57 am     CandyReviewDivine ChocolateChocolateEthically Sourced7-Worth ItUnited KingdomComments (7)

Tuesday, November 8, 2005

Ritter Sport Capuccino and Rum Trauben Nuss

Name: Ritter Sport Bars
Brand: Ritter Sport
Place Purchased: gift from travel writer in Eastern Europe
Price: 1.40 Euros
Size:  100 grams
Calories per ounce: unknown
Type: Chocolate/Nuts

I did a review of the teensy variety pack of Ritter Sport a few weeks ago, and it just so happens that Robin’s been helping me get more international sweets by having her writers traveling abroad pick up some candy for me to review. I have another half a dozen bars from this care package, so you can look forward to some other sweets picked up in Eastern Europe.

When I was taking the photos the first time around (above is my second stab at documenting these), the Rum Trauben Nuts (Rum, Raisins & Hazelnuts) smelled so incredibly good I all but two squares before realizing I had to take another picture.

Unlike other “rum flavored” chocolates, this is really rummy. If my German skills are good enough, I can tell you that this candy bar contains 2% Jamaika-Rum. The milk chocolate isn’t too sweet and the raisins are plump and tart. Combined with the ample crunch of the hazelnuts, I’m in love with this bar. I’m afraid that it’s not imported to the states, as I’ve never seen it before or maybe it is but I doubt it actually has that much rum in it when exported.

The Cappuccino is rather similar to the Jogurt bar. The filling is creamy and has a slight tinge of mocha to it, but also has a slight sour bite to it. Maybe think of it as a cappuccino cheesecake flavor. It’s pleasant, but doesn’t make me yearn for it like the Rum Trauben Nuss.

I like the Ritter Bars, they remind me a lot of Hershey’s. Every one of them has been dependably sweet and smooth, but not as complex as I’d want from a more high-end bar. But then again, this is candy and that’s what I want. Here’s their motto from their website, “Ritter Sport. Square. Handy. Good.”

Rating - Rum Trauben Nuss - 9 out of 10
Capuccino - 7 out of 10

Related Candies

  1. Nips: Butter Rum & Peanut Butter Parfait
  2. Nestle Crunch Cappuccino Stixx
  3. Ritter Sport White Chocolate with Hazelnuts
  4. Ritter Schokowurfel
  5. Chunky
  6. Rum Cordials

POSTED BY Cybele AT 8:10 am     CandyReviewRitter SportChocolateNuts7-Worth It9-YummyGermanyComments (5)

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Meticulously photographed and documented reviews of candy from around the world. And the occasional other sweet adventures. Open your mouth, expand your mind.

 

 

 

 

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ON DECK

These candies will be reviewed shortly:

• Eat with your Eyes: Nougat

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• 10 Candies that Shouldn’t Be So Disappointing

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