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September 2009

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Hershey’s White Chocolate Meltaway Bliss

Hershey's White Chocolate Meltaway BlissEarlier this year Hershey’s provided me with a peek at some new products. I’ve been hanging onto the new Bliss White Chocolate Meltaway until it was closer to arriving on store shelves.

This addition to the Hershey’s line will set it apart from many other chocolate morsels such as the Dove line because instead of going super dark, they went all white.

The good news is that Hershey’s is using real white chocolate made with cocoa butter for their meltaway. Though it’s not a real gourmet product it’s still an excellent option for white chocolate lovers for a less-expensive treat. The ingredients list white chocolate as the first ingredient (sugar, cocoa butter, nonfat milk, milk, lactose, milk fat, soy lecithin, tocopherols, vanillin & salt). The meltaway center is made with a mix of the white chocolate and palm kernel oil. As you can imagine the saturated fat content is through the roof, with 6 pieces completing 45% of your daily recommended allowance of saturated fat but also 10% of your calcium.

Hershey's White Chocolate Meltaway BlissThe pieces are quite elegant. They’re wrapped simply in gold foil (though these were samples and I would expect that they would have the Bliss name on them like the other products in the line do).

The pieces are a creamy pale color with a little squiggle design across the rounded dome of the square. The smell sweet and milky and pretty much taste the same. The salt give them a little pop that makes the vanilla flavors come out more strongly than I would have expected. It’s like a vanilla pudding. A little bland but also a bit unchallenging in comforting way.

The difference between the white chocolate shell and the meltaway filling is rather marginal, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. It felt like a piece of soft and creamy, sweet fat.

I liked the packaging - I thought the light blue, creamy white and gold were elegant and evocative of the product itself. I have a bit of trouble eating too many, so added to a mix of other levels of chocolate would be nicer. My only hesitation with them is that the Bliss line seems a bit expensive (regular price $4.99) for what you get. I’d prefer something without palm oil and with real vanilla. My go to white chocolate is still Green & Black’s.

Related Candies

  1. Chuao Chocolate Blocks from LEGOLAND
  2. Ghirardelli Holiday Squares
  3. Askinosie White Chocolate (Plain, Nibble & Pistachio)
  4. Hershey’s Bliss Creme de Menthe Meltaway Center
  5. Hershey’s Bliss
  6. Ritter Sport White Chocolate with Hazelnuts
Name: Bliss White Chocolate with a Creamy Meltaway Center
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 4 BENIGN
Brand: Hershey's
Place Purchased: samples from Hershey's
Price: retail $4.99
Size: 8.6 ounces
Calories per ounce: 152
Categories: White Chocolate, United States, Hershey's, Kosher

POSTED BY Cybele AT 10:42 am    

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Pumpkin Pie Gourmet Candy Corn

Pumpkin Pie Gourmet Candy CornI went back to Target over the weekend in hopes of finding more new Halloween goodies. Though it was mostly the same items I found there two weeks ago, the seemed to have a bit more in the way of their Gourmet Candy Corn line.

They have a lot of funny flavors that seem incongruous with candy corn like Tangerine, Green Apple (plus Chocolate Covered Green Apple), Toffee (which I already reviewed) and S’Mores. However, Pumpkin Pie sounded pretty good.

It’s in the same style of stand up black shiny bag that the other gourmet treats were in. They’re all terribly overpriced, but the packaging is nice enough that you could probably bring a bag as a hostess gift for the right occasion.

Pumpkin Pie Gourmet Candy Corn

I found the colors off-putting. The tip is soft orange, the center is bright yellow but the base is some unworldly fluorescent orange that just makes me think of faded vinyl tub toys. I really couldn’t capture the color in the photo. 

The bag smells sweet and creamy when opened.

The texture is soft and has very little grain to it. They’re sweet and lack that touch of honey that true candy corn usually puts forward. The pumpkin pie here is just a light blend of spices. Cinnamon is the boldest, but it doesn’t rise to the level of spicy or hot cinnamon. There’s a slight twinge of woodsy nutmeg or allspice ... but that’s pretty much it.

I was disappointed. I hoped for some more nutmeg or even a note of clove but instead it was about as bland as generic canned pumpkin pie mix. I think I’m done tasting novelty candy corn, at least when the price is $2.99 per flavor. So if you’ve tried some of the others, chime in with your experience to help out other readers.

Related Candies

  1. Toffee Flavored Chocolate Covered Candy Corn
  2. Halloween Dots: Bat, Candy Corn & Ghost
  3. See’s Pumpkin Spice & Root Beer Lollypops
  4. Brach’s Chocolate Candy Corn & Halloween Mix
  5. Hershey’s Pumpkin Spice Kisses
  6. Zachary Candy Corn & Jelly Pumpkins
Name: Pumpkin Pie Candy Corn
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 4 BENIGN
Brand: Target
Place Purchased: Target (Eagle Rock)
Price: $2.99
Size: 9.9 ounces
Calories per ounce: 106
Categories: Fondant, United States, Halloween

POSTED BY Cybele AT 11:25 am    

Candy Tease: September 2009

While I usually think of September as the time to introduce new holiday themed candies, there’s a lot new everyday candy coming out. Most of the big news is in advance of NACS which is the National Association for Convenience Stores and Petroleum Retailing trade show. (Yes, they show a lot of candy and snack food at that convention.) The biggest news is that Mars has settled on some new products as a result of their years of limited editions. Some people are going to be very happy.

imageName: M&M’S(r) Coconut Chocolate Candies
Brand: Mars
Description: Last summer, the country indulged in limited edition M&M’S(r) Coconut Chocolate Candies. Now consumers’ taste buds can escape to a tropical paradise any time of the year. In December 2009, M&M’S(r) Coconut Chocolate Candies will join the permanent line-up for the M&M’S(r) Brand. Consumers can’t resist the coconut-flavored M&M’S(r) Brand milk chocolate coated in a white or brown candy shell.
Notes: It’s odd to see these rolled into the regular product line so quickly, they must have flown off store shelves. (I think the fact that it was the suggested item at Walgreen’s for a month might have had something to do with the wide sampling.)

imageName: M&M’S(r) Wildly Cherry Chocolate Candies
Brand: Mars
Description: In February 2008, consumers went wild for M&M’S(r) Wildly Cherry Chocolate Candies. Now fans won’t have to fret their favorite treat will go out of season - it will be a permanent addition to the offerings from Mars Snackfood in December 2009. M&M’S(r) Wildly Cherry Chocolate Candies feature smooth milk chocolate surrounded by a crisp candy shell with rich, delicious cherry flavor.
Notes: I tried these and thought they were okay. Honestly I think they’d be better as part of the M&Ms Premiums line because I wasn’t fond of the raspberry version there.

imageName: Jots (Halloween)
Brand: Brach’s (Farley’s & Sathers)
Description: Jots from Brach’s are colorful candy coated morsels of milk chocolate.
Notes: Jots come and go from Brach’s. I really don’t have any info, except for this photo which was featured in a holiday candy announcement around All Candy Expo. I wish I could find them in stores but other than the Candy Corn and Mellocremes, I’m not seeing much Brach’s in the stores in my area.

imageName: Color Me Candies
Brand: Russell Stover
Description: Delicious Russell Stover chocolate covered in a sweet candy coating. Available in eleven colors & color mixes. These large candy pieces are perfect snacks for parties, team outings or just snacks to keep around the house.
Notes: Another entrant into the single color candy covered lentil, Russell Stover has 11 colors competitively priced at $2.99 per 8 ounce bag, a fraction of the price of M&Ms Colors (which are $6.99 for 7 ounces). Right now they’re available on the Russell Stover website and probably their owned & operated stores. I’m waiting for Los Angeles to cool off before placing an order.

imageName: MILKY WAY(r) Simply Caramel
Brand: Mars
Description: With delicious caramel surrounded by real milk chocolate, the new MILKY WAY(r) Simply Caramel Bar gives consumers more of what they crave about the Milky Way(r) Brand—rich, creamy caramel.
Notes: I believe that these were tested in a seasonal mix of regular Milky Way, Milky Way Dark and then this Simply Caramel in miniatures. I never found them on shelves to try them myself, but I can only imagine what this bar would be like ... very, very sweet. Hopefully it will be chewier to set it apart from the current chocolate/caramel offerings like Caramello.

imageName: 3 MUSKETEERS(r) Truffle Crisp Bars
Brand: Mars
Description: The new 3 MUSKETEERS(r) Truffle Crisp Bars offer a unique twist on the brand consumers love—a lighter, crispier way to enjoy chocolate. At only 170 calories, this delicate treat features a whipped up chocolate truffle on a crisp layer.
Notes: This looks an awful lot like the Fling bar that was a product in Australia and was recently test marketed in California. (Reviews here.) If it is, I certainly appreciate the toned-down packaging & gender-neutral sales approach.  There’s no indication whether it will come in a dark chocolate version.

imageName: ICEE Gummy Candy
Brand: Koko’s Confectionery
Description: ICEE Gummy Candy is a new treat from Koko’s and is based on America’s favorite frozen carbonated beverage, ICEE. These sweet and chewy candies are shaped like iconic ICEE images such as the cup and bear. Flavors include cherry, blue raspberry, green apple, and lemon.
Notes: The flavor array is a little odd, in my mind it should have a cola flavor in there. Possibly even a cherry cola. I’m wondering if there’s anything that will give them that Icee note, like a burst of menthol like Sour Patch did with their Chillerz.

imageName: MEGA Candy Buttons
Brand: Stichler Products, Inc
Description: A gigantic twist on the classic candy. Paper strips are a full 5 inches wide and 14 inches long. Colorful candy dots are flavored orange, lemon, cherry and raspberry. (Kosher)
Notes: They’re supposed to come off the paper easier than the Necco dots, so that’s a plus. And some flavor might be nice, though I’m thinking the appeal of these is still that they’re pretty. I do appreciate candies that play with scale.

Name: ICEE Popping Candy
Brand: Koko’s Confectionery
Description: ICEE Popping Candy is a new treat from Koko’s and is based on America’s favorite frozen carbonated beverage, ICEE. Dip the ICEE cup shaped lollipop into the Popping candy to experience an explosion on crackle in your mouth! Flavors include cherry, blue raspberry, green apple, and lemon.
Notes: I’m quite sure how this came about, but I’m glad they didn’t stick a straw in it and have kids inhale popping candies.

imageName: TWIX(r) Java
Brand: Mars
Description: Coffee lovers can enhance their coffee breaks with a great TWIX(r) Brand twist featuring coffee-flavored caramel paired with irresistible chocolate cookie and covered in delicious TWIX(r) Brand chocolate. Back by popular demand to “bring the flavor back,” TWIX(r) Java Chocolate Cookie Bars are moving from a 2008 limited edition to a permanent offering.
Notes: I loved this when it first came out and have found that it’s really the only Twix bar I do like. I’m actually looking forward to the minis, as I find that’s usually the best balance of chocolate & crunch for my preferences.

All photos courtesy of their respective manufacturers.

Related Candies

  1. Brach’s Indulge Almonds: Coconut & Caramel
  2. Limited Edition M&Ms Coconut
  3. M&Ms Premiums
  4. Java Twix
  5. Head to Head: M&Ms vs Koppers Milkies
  6. Head to Head: Milky Way & Mars (Canada & UK)

POSTED BY Cybele AT 7:40 am     CandyNew Product AnnouncementFeatured News

Monday, September 28, 2009

Trolli Little Green Men

Trolli Little Green MenTrolli Little Green Men are one of the newer novelty gummis from Trolli, which is owned by Farley’s and Sathers. They’re just as inventive as other gummi makers like Haribo, with a variety of shapes & flavor assortments.

The package looks like it’s geared towards kids. There’s a flying saucer behind the logo with a little bulgy-eyed alien at the steering wheel.

The bag comes with just one shape & flavor. In this case it’s a little green alien with a bulbous head and Cosmic Star Fruit flavored.

For the unfruity, Star Fruit is also known as Carmbola. It’s a strange looking creased/segmented fruit that looks like a five pointed star when sliced. The texture and flavor is something like a cross between a crunchy apple and the flavor of cataloupe and pears.

Trolli Little Green Men

The gummis are rather startling looking. They have huge green heads and teensy little potbellied bodies. The heads are about 3/4” around and the whole fella stands only 1.5” high.

They smell fresh, a bit like melon and citrus. They’re soft and pliable, but not sticky or very greasy to the touch. The flavor is immediately lightly tangy but an overall mild berry or pear flavor.

They’re nice in that they’re a big bite of gummi. The flavor is different enough to seem distinct, but not too exotic to seem weird.

Related Candies

  1. Puffy Candy Corn
  2. Trolli Sour Brite Eggs
  3. Trolli Sour Brite Crawlers
  4. Wonka Sluggles
  5. Brach’s Gummi+Plus & Tropical Gummis
  6. Starburst GummiBursts
  7. The Simpsons Fruit Snacks
  8. Haribo Gummi Bears vs Trolli Gummi Bears
Name: Little Green Men Gummi Candy
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 4 BENIGN
Brand: Trolli (Farley's and Sathers)
Place Purchased: sample from CandyWarehouse.com
Price: $1.69
Size: 4.15 ounces
Calories per ounce: 141
Categories: Gummi, United States, Farley's and Sathers

POSTED BY Cybele AT 1:44 pm    

Friday, September 25, 2009

Festival HiCHEW: Candied Apple & Cotton Candy

A Few HiCHEWI’ve been on a HiCHEW spree lately. Partly because Morinaga went on a binge and released about a dozen flavors. Besides their traditional array of 6 or 7 standard flavors they have another half a dozen single flavor packs out.

HiCHEW is one of those rare Japanese candies that’s being distributed around the world. Here in Los Angeles, I can get Lemon, Mango, Strawberry or Green Apple HiCHEWs at just about any 7-11 or Cost Plus World Market. But the limited edition flavors, the seasonal and the specialty assortments are a little harder to come by and require either an order directly from Japan (I’ve been using JBox and Asian Food Grocer) or a visit to Little Tokyo to Marukai Market, Mitsuwa Marketplace or Nijiya Market.

Today I have the two from the Summer Festival (Matsuri) line: Candied Apple & Cotton Candy. (I don’t know if there were more than these two ... maybe a Kettle Corn or Deep Fried Butter version escaped my view.)

Candied Apple HiCHEW

The packages are compact, they have only 7 pieces in them instead of the longer packs that have 10. Even without knowing Japanese the packages are bold and easy to understand. There’s a little picture of a man selling candied apples with some stylized fireworks above him. Then of course the big candied apple (which seems to be dipped upside down to the way I’ve always had them, the stem is a the top, not where the stick enters the apple).

On the side of the package is the little diagram of what the candy looks like. A pink outside and white core with little flecks of what I’m guessing are the candied coating bits.

It smells softly sweet, a little like milk tea. Biting into it there’s an immediate apple juice flavor then a background of sweet sugar.

The little flecks are sparkly crunches of sugar. I couldn’t quite get an actual flavor from them. It becomes quite juicy. The texture is quite smooth except for the crunches.

I don’t think I’ve had a candied apple in over 15 years, so I can’t say for sure that this is an authentic representation contained within a 1 inch by 1/2 inch block. But it was still fun.

Rating: 7 out of 10

Cotton Candy HiCHEW

Cotton Candy HiCHEW smells simply like sweet. Pretty much the same as the Candied Apple.

It’s sweet, but not sticky sweet or cloying. It’s simply fresh. Not quite vanilla, which can be a little boozy and not quite a toasted sugar flavor either. It’s creamy without being milky. It’s clean without being flavorless. It’s a mystery wrapped in foil and stuffed with little crunchy bits.

The combination of the texture of the HiCHEW which is a taffy/gummi product that’s at once bouncy and smooth and the little cotton candy grainy bits is odd. Really nicely done cotton candy always has these little bits of grain where either the sugar didn’t melt & reform properly or moisture has caused it to recombine into a hard candy bit. Yes, it’s grainy, but the grains give way to soft sugar flavors.

It’s like cotton candy in all the right ways. And it leaves out the sticky paper cone.

It’s just so hard to describe that all I can say is that after I took the photos of the first pack I got from JBox, I made sure to pick up two more packs when I saw them in Little Tokyo.

It’s difficult to say but this is the best colorless and flavorless candy I’ve ever had. How do the Japanese do it? (I’m also still obsessed with the Juntsuyu I wrote about several years ago and add it to my order at JBoxevery time.)

Rating: 10 out of 10

Related Candies

  1. HiCHEW Aloe Yogurt
  2. HiCHEW Yuzu & Valencia
  3. Skittles Carnival Flavors
  4. HiCHEW Assortment
  5. Hard Candy: Juntsuyu
Name: HiCHEW Candied Apple & Cotton Candy
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 4 BENIGN
Brand: Morinaga
Place Purchased: JBox & Marukai Market
Price: $1.25
Size: 1.16 ounces
Calories per ounce: 116
Categories: Chew, Japan, Morinaga, Limited Edition

POSTED BY Cybele AT 9:57 am    

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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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