Sunday, February 28, 2010
You can consider this a mini-review of the Klik Double Crunch bar from Israel. It’s a milk chocolate coated cereal bar with nougat and almonds. (Package photo here.)
What it felt like to me was a mass of loosely packed crunchy cereal spheres lightly coated with a nougatine/cream and then covered with milk chocolate.
The effect is that the crunch has powerful grain taste to it, but it’s not overly sweet. It’s a little nutty, more on the hazelnut side of things than almond. It’s quite light ... the bar looks huge but is really only 1.42 ounces and 210 calories. I’d definitely buy it again. I picked mine up at Munchies, a Kosher candy shop on Pico Blvd.
Saturday, February 27, 2010
Drug stores are clever, they put huge bins of tasty candy on sale and right next to the line at the registers. I couldn’t resist picking up a bag of Cadbury Mini Eggs.
You can check out the review from the archives.
Friday, February 26, 2010
I have three varieties, which are all small foil-wrapped milk chocolate balls in a fruit flavor. Key Lime, Raspberry and Orange. The flavors are familiar to those who have had the Florida Tropic Oranges (which come in far more flavors).
The little stand up bags are nicely formatted, cleanly designed and compact. Of course they’re color coded - raspberry is hot pink, orange is orange and lime is green. (They’re also bilingual, half is in French.) There’s 5.3 ounces in there, so it’s enough to share, but not quite enough to fill up an ample candy dish like a bag of Hershey’s Kisses might.
Each 3/4” ball of milk chocolate is wrapped in matte foil keyed to the flavor. While they’re not quite Easter eggs, they colors, the fact that they’re individually wrapped & ready to nestle in some basket grass makes them an ideal choice. Especially since there really isn’t much out there like this.
The first is Florida Tropic Milk Chocolate Key Lime. Key lime is an interesting flavor. While it’s tempting to call all lime flavors the same, there is a perceptible difference between key limes (sometimes called Mexican limes) and the larger Persian limes that are found in most grocery stores. Key lime juice isn’t clear, it’s rather milky and has a more zesty and chalky flavor to it.
The flavor profile is softer than the Persian lime notes, which are a dichotomy of bitter zest and sour juice but little in between. In this case the slightly floral notes and powerful zest goes well with the milk chocolate. It doesn’t immediately call to mind cleaning products like Persian limes do. The aftertaste is strong though, strong enough to make me want to either eat more or something else.
The milk chocolate itself isn’t particularly notable - it’s smooth enough, better than the Terry’s Chocolate Orange I was once accustomed to. The milk and dairy notes are good, and give this a bit of a yogurty note.
The Florida Milk Chocolate Raspberry smells strongly of floral berry notes right away. Raspberry is a tough flavor to do, it’s strong and can be cloying and put off some folks who actually like the fresh berries. This one is pretty close - there are strong flowery odors along with some good deep woodsy components. There’s a slight aftertaste again, the lingering flavoring. The chocolate combines well and the natural tang of the milk in there gives it a bit of a chocolate cheesecake vibe.
The Florida Tropic Milk Chocolate Orange is probably the crowd pleaser in the set. The chocolate is sweet but has a passably creamy melt, milky texture and well rounded orange zest flavors. I liked the texture better than the orange shaped one, and oddly it didn’t seem as orangy (maybe it’s just that they’re smaller morsels). There’s a little salt in the milk chocolate, which keeps it all from tasting too sickly sweet. It’s far better than any of the novelty-flavored Hershey’s Kisses I’ve tried recently.
I don’t have a price on these, but judging by the prices of the Oranges they make, I’d expect a bag to be tagged at less than $4 for the 5.3 ounce bag. A little more than Dove or Hershey’s but offering something they don’t ... a little fruity note.
When I’m in San Francisco I like to stop at Christopher Elbow Chocolates for a few pieces and some hot chocolate. (It’s always cold enough for hot chocolate in San Francisco.)
Thursday, February 25, 2010
Whitman’s is now owned by Russell Stover’s, so it isn’t surprising that they might move into the single serving items and it makes more sense that if they did, it wouldn’t be with an item identical to a Russell Stover product. The new line seems to be all “Easter Pastelle” covered marshmallows.
The eggs were priced as I expected, regular price was 59 cents but on sale at two for a dollar at Walgreen’s where I found them (also spotted at RiteAid).
I found them in three colors: Green, Yellow and Magenta.
I also found that they were not flavored, which might have been fun. A raspberry flavored Easter Pastelle coating with a plain marshmallow would be an innovative piece of candy. A white confection on a marshmallow is, well, ordinary.
Each egg is one ounce. They’re approximately 2.5” long and 1” high. The Easter Pastelle is thin and not quite crisp. It smells like, well, an Easter basket. A fake vanilla and sugar scent.
The Pastelle coating is made of sugar, hydrogenated palm kernel oil and milk products plus some food coloring.
The marshmallow is very soft and foamy, moist and sticky, not chewy and latexy like some. It’s all very, very sweet. In the case of the pink one shown above, I got a bitter metallic aftertaste from the pink Pastelle. The green was tastier in that it had fewer aftertastes to mess with the tastes.
The large orange carrot shaped marshmallow is covered in two different colors of Easter Pastelle, the orange body and a green carrot top. The whole thing weighs 1.75 ounces.It’s a little over 4” long, so it’s a hefty piece of fluffed sugar. This package has a little waxed card in it, I’m guessing this candy needed a little more support than the eggs. (It also helped to show off the product well in the package.
The flavor profile is similar to the Egg, except that the carrot is a little flatter, so there’s not quite as much marshmallow to Pastelle.
The marshmallow didn’t seem quite as moist either. But still, this is some intense sugar. I couldn’t eat more than two bites before I had to slip it back into its package.
These aren’t stellar, but they are different enough from what you can get in the drug store aisle from Russell Stover, RM Palmer, Hershey’s or Dove, so they have that going for them. Folks who like really high glycemic load (28 g total weight: 21g of carbs, 3g of fat) fluffed confectionery will probably go crazy for these. The carrot would make an amazing decoration on top of a carrot cake or a plate of Easter desserts.
I still think a bit of flavor thrown in would be interesting. Orange-flavored, Mint-flavored, Lemon-flavored coatings would really set this apart from the ordinary.
A building kit made from compressed dextrose. The little jar was kind of like a Play-Doh tub but held actual non-toxic toys you can eat.
They were very dense, crunchy and kind of hard to bite. But left sitting out they did really well. Yellow was banana, like the old Wacky Packs. The top of the little package was a roof that can go on top of the little house.
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
The new Lemonhead & Friends Jelly Beans stand out on the shelves among all the other Easter candies. The bright primary colors - mostly yellow and red are definitely spring-ish but not the usual pastels.
The small bag is jam packed with candy. It’s 14 ounces of little jelly beans made with real fruit juice. Most other bags on the same shelf were about 9 ounces.
This new version of the popular Lemonhead candy is rather similar to the new Chewy Lemonheads. They’re a jelly center covered with the tart and grainy shell that Lemonhead fans have come to know and love. (My mouth just waters at the thought of it.)
The beans are small, not quite as small as Jelly Belly, but pretty close. If you can’t tell already, they’re also vivid - strikingly, saturatedly vivid. They’re probably the most deeply colored jelly beans I’ve seen. I’m not that fond of too much food coloring for two reasons. The first is that it often leaves an aftertaste. The second is that it often colors my tongue and I don’t like people to know how much candy I’ve been eating. Other folks are not fond of artificial colors as they’ve been linked to hyperactivity in children.
The ingredients list an array of acids that I’m accustomed to seeing in candies: fumaric acid (fermented apples & grains), malic acid (found in grapes and green apples) and citric acid (found in citrus) but another that I hadn’t noticed before called adipic which Wikipedia tells me is used mainly as a precursor for the production of nylon. (That sounds alarming but doesn’t mean that it also isn’t food.)
The five flavors are: Lemon, Orange, Grape, Green Apple and Cherry.
The bag definitely smells fruity, mostly citrusy.
Lemon is intense and sour. There are both tangy juice notes and a good dose of almost-bitter zest. It’s convincing. Kind of mind blowing.
The levels of acid in these is quite high, so I wouldn’t recommend eating more than a small handful at a time. I found after more than a dozen of them it gave me a literal sour stomach. But for a little pick me up while driving or mixed with some other candies they’re definitely not your grandmother’s jelly beans.
I found them a little pricey for sugar candy compared to the cheap jelly beans usually around this time of year, but then again, they’re quite concentrated so it only takes a little. I liked that the bag was actually full. So many candies these days come in half empty bags, these feel sumptuous and indulgent.
There are no statements about the gluten free status on the package, they’re not vegan (confectioners glaze). Made in a facility where peanuts, tree nuts, milk, and soy is used. There was also a choking hazard warning (on all the Ferrara Pan products as far as I can tell). This was an extremely fresh package - the expiration date is 12/22/2011.
I don’t remember what flavors these Richart Petits were, but they were cute as buttons.
Meticulously photographed and documented reviews of candy from around the world. And the occasional other sweet adventures. Open your mouth, expand your mind.