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April 2007

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Blueberry Hill Spice Jelly Beans

Spiced Jelly EggsI had to go for a classic this year. I haven’t had traditional spice jelly beans for quite a long time. These were pretty looking jelly beans. The Blueberry Hill Foods Spiced Jelly Eggs are the traditional jelly bean size, not the itty ones that Jelly Belly seems to have popularized.

I chose a bag at the store that didn’t look like it had too many purple ones in it, as I assumed that the purples were clove and I’m just not that keen on clove.

Upon opening the bag I found that they ALL smelled like clove. I have to say that these were odd.

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I’m still not quite sure what flavor these are, so I’m going to guess on some:

Black - Licorice. Definitely licorice. Sweet and spicy with even a little hint of sizzle.
White - Nutmeg? Seriously ... a nutmeg jelly bean? Hey, I actually like it, it reminds me of egg nog, but without the custardy taste.
Green - Lime. I could do without this, but it wasn’t bad or anything.
Yellow - Lemon. Nice and mellow with a good zest to it.
Orange - Clove? It tastes like clove. Why is the orange one clove?
Pink - Bitter new shoes? Really, I have no clue what this is. But that’s what it tastes like to me. Or maybe it taste like new carpeting at the dentist’s office. I’m not eating another one to try to narrow it down for you.
Red - Cinnamon! I got one right! Sassy and sizzlingly good. Just don’t confuse the color with pink.
Purple - Peppermint. What the ...? First of all, who makes peppermint jelly beans, and why would you make it the purple one. Anyway, it was tasty.

Now I just need to sort out the bag of jelly beans and get rid of those orange and pink ones and I think it’s a nice mix.

The texture of the beans is a little grainy, but not overly sweet, but has a good chew to it and well rounded flavors that last.

A couple of other notes. This company has one of the worst websites I’ve ever seen. I’m not sure if it’s been updated since 2004 (it’s really not a website for consumers anyway). This product is manufactured in Mexico.

Related Candies

  1. Russell Stover Pectin Jelly Beans
  2. Mike and Ike Italian Ice
  3. Wonka Nerds Jelly Beans
  4. Zachary Candy Corn & Jelly Pumpkins
  5. Gimbal’s Lavaballs
  6. Hot Tamales Ice
  7. Sunkist Fruit Gems
Name: Spiced Jelly Eggs
    RATING:
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 6 TEMPTING
  • 5 PLEASANT
  • 4 BENIGN
  • 3 UNAPPEALING
  • 2 APPALLING
  • 1 INEDIBLE
Brand: Blueberry Hill Foods
Place Purchased: Long's Drug (Laguna Woods)
Price: $.99
Size: 12 ounces
Calories per ounce: 104
Categories: Jelly, Licorice, Mexico, Easter

POSTED BY Cybele AT 7:11 am     Comments (26)

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Godiva Easter Eggs

DSC00022rI’ve been asked a few times what I think of Godiva. To be honest, I don’t think much about it. When I was a kid and the same company who owned Pepperidge Farm (Campbell Soup) also owned Godiva (well, that’s still true today). There was a Pepperidge Farm thrift store not far from our home that we’d shop at once a month. Much of the time they’d have Godiva at ridiculously low prices. Besides chocolates at holidays, this was my only interaction with fine chocolates.

Of course I was in love with the elegant packaging. But I also appreciated the nice flavor and beauty of the chocolates as well. As I got a little older and became less impressed by those things, I realized, I didn’t like the chocolates themselves much. It’s not that they were bad, by any means, they just weren’t within my set of preferred flavors (you know, peanut butter and citrus) and I found the chocolate a little waxy.

So I don’t eat them, I don’t pay much attention to them.

But hey, it’s Easter and it’s about time I had something from Godiva represented here. So I popped into their shop over the weekend to see what was there for Easter. Lo and behold, it seemed they had a product that sounded right up my alley: an assortment of foil-wrapped Easter Eggs.

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The assortment included Solid Dark Chocolate, Solid Milk Chocolate, Dark Chocolate with Coconut and Milk Chocolate with Almond Butter. Seeing that there were 16 eggs in the box and there were four flavors, I naturally assumed that there would be four of each flavor. Unfortunately there were only three of each of the filled eggs and five each of the solid eggs. Grrrr. I don’t want Godiva’s chocolate ... I want Godiva’s chocolates.

The eggs themselves are sizeable. At about .42 ounces each they’re twice the size of the regular foil-wrapped eggs we’re used to in Easter baskets.

The milk chocolate is nice. Creamy with a good caramelly milk flavor, though a little sticky and cloying as it melts on the tongue. The dark chocolate has a sweet but compelling scent, a little on the smoky side. It’s super creamy on the tongue with a slight dry finish. It doesn’t have the berry or fruity notes, just sticks to the woodsy/smoky side of things.

But let’s get to the fun ones! The pink foil holds a Dark Chocolate with Coconut egg. I could smell the nutty coconut as I unwrapped it. The center is a light and creamy fondant with little flecks of coconut. It smelled like coconut but also a little floral, like lilacs. Amazingly good.

The light blue foil holds a Milk Chocolate with Almond Butter egg. This one smelled immediately of dark toasted almonds. It was very soft to bite, I’m guessing from all the oils in the almond butter. Very thick and rich, the almond butter was fabulous, very much like a peanut butter, but with that unmistakeable almond taste. The milk chocolate set off the texture and flavor very well.

I really liked these but at almost a DOLLAR PER EGG they were horrendously expensive. Over $35.00 per pound. That price is fine for high quality boxed chocolates, but not for a product that was mostly solid chocolate. Keep your eye out for their post-Easter sale though if you’ve just gotta have them. (This particular box of foil eggs is already sold out on the site, but they have this more expensive version with only six eggs. (Jeeze, where’s a thrift store when you need it!)

Does anyone have any insider info on who supplies Godiva with their chocolate?

Related Candies

  1. Godiva Chocoiste Pearls
  2. Lindt Lindor Truffle Eggs
  3. Russell Stover Eggs
  4. See’s Egg Quartet
  5. Pure Fun Candy Floss
  6. Kinder Egg
  7. Reese’s Eggs
Name: Godiva 16 Foil Easter Eggs
    RATING:
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 6 TEMPTING
  • 5 PLEASANT
  • 4 BENIGN
  • 3 UNAPPEALING
  • 2 APPALLING
  • 1 INEDIBLE
Brand: Godiva
Place Purchased: Godiva (Glendale Galleria)
Price: $15.00
Size: 6.75 ounces
Calories per ounce: 150
Categories: Chocolate, Nuts, Coconut, United States, Easter

POSTED BY Cybele AT 8:40 am     Comments (10)

Monday, April 2, 2007

Keep It Real Chicklets

So, if you saw my post about mobilizing folks to respond to the FDA about changes in the definition of Chocolate and you want to help, here are some little pretty images you can post on your site or blog or use in your sig line on forums. Link to the www.dontmesswithourchocolate.com site to spread the word.

Please download the images to your computer and place them on your own server. Hotlinking to my site will not work.

Tall Images
image
Cacao Pod: 250 pixels wide - 313 pixels high (right click above)

Cacao Pod: 150 pixels wide - 187 pixels high
Cacao Pod: 150 pixels wide - 49 pixels high
Cacao Pod: 125 pixels wide - 156 pixels high
Cacao Pod: 125 pixels wide - 44 pixels high

image
Keep it Real: 240 pixels wide - 209 pixels high (right click above)
Keep it Real: 500 pixels wide - 436 pixels high
Keep it Real: 150 pixels wide - 130 pixels high

image
Keep it Real (Wide) - 400 pixels wide - 128 pixels high (right click above)

Keep it Real (wide) - 500 pixels wide - 160 pixels wide
Keep it Real (Wide) - 150 pixels wide - 48 pixels high

You’re welcome to link to them from this Photobucket Gallery.

POSTED BY Cybele AT 4:31 pm     CandyFDANewsComments (3)

Don’t Mess with Our Chocolate!

I’m not sure if you’re aware of this, but the FDA controls what fits under the definition of chocolate for sale in the United States. They want to make MOCKOLATE into CHOCOLATE.

As it is, chocolate is not an unhealthy treat. Cocoa Butter, which is composed of stearic acid, has been found to have no effect on blood lipid levels (cholesterol). Cocoa solids have been shown to have a positive effect on our bodies because of the high levels of antioxidants, insulin-like and anti-inflammatory compounds.

The new rules would completely obliterate the current definition, basically making any concoction containing cocoa solids and a fat into Chocolate. Like magic!

The rules currently state (basically) that chocolate must contain cocoa solids and cocoa butter. Other things can be in there, like milk fat and milk solids to make milk chocolate and a small amount of milk fat can be added to dark chocolate as well. The new proposal would allow products that contain NO COCOA BUTTER to be called chocolate.

We all know that these mockolate products are crappy. They don’t taste the same ... they feel oily or greasy on the tongue and don’t have the smooth buttery melt. What’s worse? They usually contain partially hydrogenated oils (trans fats) or tropical oils (saturated fats) ... these fats raise our cholesterol levels.

Why is the Chocolate Manufacturers Association pushing for this? Because it’s more cost efficient.

There’s no reason that consumers want this dilution of the standards for chocolate!

It’s all for the chocolate companies to be able to make a cheaper product, an inferior product. Think about it, have you ever picked up a mockolate product and thought, “Goodness, that’s better than real chocolate!” Have you? I thought not. There will be a few holdouts that will continue with the tried and true traditional formulations of chocolate and they’re going to be the losers. Sure, the high end companies will do okay, because they’ve always had consumers with deeper pocketbooks. But the big chocolate companies that want to make this cheap mockolate will flood the market and confuse consumers ... ultimately just frustrating us with bad experiences and wasted money (and possibly a fatter belly and clogged arteries).

You know what? The FDA doesn’t have to give the CMA what they want. You have the power to reject this ... but you have to tell the FDA!

image

It’s never been easier ... just visit the FDA’s public comment portion of their website and tell them that you don’t want to lose real chocolate in a sea of wax and tropical oils. You can fill out the form, or send them a letter or a fax. Here’s what you’re commenting on:

2007P-0085 - Adopt Regulations of General Applicability to all Food Standards that would Permit, within Stated Boundaries, Deviations from the Requirements of the Individual Food Standards of Identity

Just visit this page for a tutorial and some talking points ... or read through the issues and draft your own letter. The important thing to do is to tell them that this change does NOT PROTECT CONSUMERS. The use of alternate fats not only makes for crappy chocolate, it’s not good for us.

The deadline for public comment on this is

April 25th, 2007

June 25, 2007.

Resources:
The FDA’s current Standards of Identity for Chocolate (not easy to read as a layperson).
The Chocolate Manufacturers Association Glossary (pretty easy to understand definitions)
Don’t Mess with our Chocolate “How To Help”
Current FDA Food Labeling Guide (they don’t have to say “imitation chocolate” any longer!)
Here are some little graphics I made that you can display on your site!

POSTED BY Cybele AT 10:58 am     CandyFDAChocolateNews

Brach’s Fiesta Eggs

Brach's Fiesta Eggs PackageThe full name on these is Brach’s Pastel Fiesta Malted Milk Eggs which of course made me wonder if they have another product that is perhaps primary colors or just black and white. Malted milk eggs at Easter were a particular favorite of mine. They were one of those interactive candies, you can lick the shell and then color your lips with the coral pink or white chalky edible makeup. (That white lipstick was quite the look when I was very little.)

Now of course I’m much more interested in the “real milk chocolate” part of the wrapper. Brach’s has been owned by Barry Callebaut since 2003, so maybe they were teaching Brach’s a thing or two about chocolate. They don’t need to be taught how to make boiled sugar candy, they do that just fine.

imageThe Fiesta Eggs are big and bold. They make a satisfying clacking sound in the bag when you roll them around. They can be eaten whole (or applied liberally over the face) but I prefer to bite them in half and have a look. I don’t know what I expect to find, as it has always been the same ... malt center, chocolate layer and then hard colored shell. But you never know! (Actually, I’ve eaten very old malt balls before and every once in a while I’ve gotten ones with “melted” centers but shells that are intact or just a little dented.)

Fiesta Eggs smell like Easter. They’re sweet and have a slight vanilla hint to them. This bag was very fresh, the shells were super crisp and the centers were light and airy.

Unlike the normal chocolate covered malt balls, the Fiesta Egg is more about the combination of the texture of the hard sugar shell and the light crunch of the malted center. The chocolate layer provides a little bit of a creamy texture, but not much flavor. In the Brach’s chocolate, as far as I can tell, is too too sweet.

These still aren’t my ultimate malted egg. I’m not sure I’ve found it yet. I wasn’t blown away by the Jelly Belly ones either and I picked up some more vibrant colored ones (but I don’t know the brand) a the Sweet Factory a few weeks ago in the bulk bins. They tasted too much like food coloring and not enough like malt. Perhaps such a candy doesn’t exist.
See the previous review on Mighty Malts from Necco (and a photo of the Whopper’s Robin’s Eggs, for reference).

But you can be sure that I’m going to finish these! How do I look with lilac lipstick?

UPDATE: 3/30/2011 - The pastel ones are hard to find, but I did run across a white version. They say they’re made with real milk chocolate, but they’re still not very chocolatey.

UPDATE 3/2/2012: Another newer version has appeared on store shelves. They are much, much larger, but have a more flavorful malt center and perhaps better chocolate. Check out the new review here.

Related Candies

  1. Brach’s Fiesta Malted Milk Eggs (2012)
  2. Whoppers Milkshake Strawberry
  3. Whoppers Sno-Balls
  4. Naked Chocolate Maltballs
  5. Villars Swiss Milk Chocolate
  6. Mighty Malts
  7. Malted Crisped Rice Squares
  8. Mars Maltesers
Name: Pastel Fiesta Malted Milk Eggs
    RATING:
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 6 TEMPTING
  • 5 PLEASANT
  • 4 BENIGN
  • 3 UNAPPEALING
  • 2 APPALLING
  • 1 INEDIBLE
Brand: Brach's
Place Purchased: Long's (Laguna Woods)
Price: $1.50 (on sale!)
Size: 7.5 ounces
Calories per ounce: 132
Categories: Chocolate, Malt, United States, Brach's, Easter

POSTED BY Cybele AT 6:28 am     Comments (111)

Page 10 of 11 pages ‹ First  < 8 9 10 11 > 

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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