Wednesday, June 2, 2010
Bubble Chocolate was introduced back in 2006 (original review) as the only American brand aerated chocolate. I reviewed it at that time but never saw it widely distributed.
Fast forward four years and Bubble Chocolate has a new look and a new formula. They went all natural (basically went to real vanilla instead of vanillin) and pared down the flavor offerings to just Milk Chocolate and Dark Chocolate.
The bars are large but not hefty. They come in a box with slanted sides (a severely truncated pyramid) and a nicely texture foil wrapping inside. The bars weigh 2.82 ounces but look far more substantial than that, because, well, there are a lot of bubbles in there.
The Bubble Chocolate Dark Chocolate Bar is 60% cocoa. It’s not terribly dark in color or content. The recommended serving is half of the bar, about 200 calories. I admit, it does feel pretty decadent to eat half of the bar and realize that it’s no more than a regular weight serving of chocolate.
The smell is kind of odd. It’s almost alcoholic, the vanilla notes are that strong. There’s also a hint of coconut.
The bite is easy and just slightly crumbly. It’s chalky in a way and cool on the tongue, but once it melts it doesn’t taste cheap or old. It’s just weird. The deep cocoa flavors never quite develop, it’s like the chocolate intensity of an unfrosted chocolate cake - soft and pillowy and sure, there’s cocoa in there. But the powerful fatty experience of the chocolate is rather lost on me, no rich puddles on the tongue of cocoa butter and cocoa solids.
The Milk Chocolate Bubble Chocolate Bar is much lighter looking but has a lovely gloss and good snap. There are 220 calories per serving in this version, I’m guessing because there’s less fiber in there ... its place is taken by sugar.
The bar doesn’t smell like much at all, a little like Cocoa Krispies. The texture is similarly light on the tongue and cool as it melts. The flavor is quite milky though not in the European or Swiss style, it’s more American. The cocoa flavors are muted and rather bland. There’s a little hint of caramel and malt but not much else from the chocolate.
Overall, I don’t know how different these are from the initial versions that I tried years ago but I’m just can’t get into this stuff. It’s smooth and nicely tempered but just not enough of a flavor punch for me. For the price I’d probably go for something else on the same shelf like Green & Black’s Peanut Bar or if I’m feeling particular decadent and want to pay a little more, an Amano. For pure fun, the bubbles just don’t do anything for me. However, the price on these is comparable to a similar imported Aero or Dairy Milk but with the all natural ingredients it’s just a step above.
They’re made in Belarus.
Root Beer is one of those strange American flavors. Part licorice and sassafras and part wintergreen - it tastes like a muscle rub smells. These bonbons look like little barrels.
Tuesday, June 1, 2010
The first new Choward’s flavor that I can remember in my lifetime is Guava. Introduced earlier this year it joins the current line up of flavors of square compressed sugar mints that come in Peppermint, Spearmint, Lemon and Violet.
This new version is called simply Tropical Candy. It’s not a mint at all, more of a little treat with no breath freshening powers.
The package is the same weird salmon pink of guava flesh and mid-fifties tiled bathrooms.
Chowards are not your ordinary mints. They’re exquisitely made to exacting tolerances. Build a house for your Lego mini-fig out of Altoids? Never! But these little squares are smooth and perfect with straight sides, consistent colors and crisply chiseled logos.
The best thing about them, as far as I’m concerned, is their stack-ability. They’re stable. Dependable. The same on both sides.
I’m not a guava fan. If it’s in a fruit salad, I pick around it. I’m not even keen on the musky flavor it imparts by proximity. So I wasn’t really looking forward to these.
They smell tropical, like pineapple and orange blossoms. Or a Tommy Bahama store.
They’re tangy and fruity, the flavor is a mix of melon and pineapple for those who have never had guava before. For those who have had guava, it’s authentic enough though a bit more tart.
The texture is smooth. Since they’re made with sugar and not dextrose they have a very sweet note to them with a strong honey-fruity finish.
On the whole, they’re better than I expected and they’re certainly different from other candies on the market (as are all of Choward’s offerings). They’re not minty but still leave my mouth feeling fresh (like a tropical green iced tea will); they’re not quite tangy and flavorful enough to compete with SweeTarts.
Dates, covered in dark and milk chocolate from Dubai.
Meticulously photographed and documented reviews of candy from around the world. And the occasional other sweet adventures. Open your mouth, expand your mind.