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July 2011

Friday, July 29, 2011

Cinnamon Bun Bites

Taste of Nature has nugget-ized many favorite sweet snacks with their line of Cookie Dough Bites. One of their new offerings is Cinnamon Bun Bites which promises bite size cinnamon bun pieces in a white chocolatey coating.

Cinnamon Bun Bites

The box for Cinnamon Bun Bites is eye catching, I spotted it quite easily at Cost Plus World Market as a new item that I was seeking. The front of the box says that they’re new and have fresh from the oven taste. It’s been quite a few years since I had a fresh cinnamon bun, but I admit that enjoy the hot ones with the white sugary glaze (though the pecan sticky rolls are still one of my favorites). The essential elements of a cinnamon bun would be the chewy, yeasty dough, the cinnamon and the sticky, sugary glaze that pulls it all together.

Cinnamon Bun Bites

The nuggets vary quite a bit in size but most are disk-like and about a half an inch around. They do actually smell like sweet cinnamony rolls. The waxy and greasy white coating is made of sugar and palm kernel oil with some other stuff thrown in, but basically it’s nothing like real white chocolate or even a vague approximation except for the fact that it’s white. The doughy center has a slight texture of a batter with distinct undissolved sugar and the flavor of cinnamon and raw flour.

I found it much better than I expect. I fully thought they would be disgusting and inedible. I’m not saying that they’re great or something that I’m even interested in eating, but I found the cinnamon flavor and sweetness level (which was rather moderate) to be passable. The white coating is simply terrible though, a real white chocolate might actually make these into a unique candy. Since I reviewed these after the Cupcake Bites, they really couldn’t fare much worse by comparison.

Related Candies

  1. Cupcake Bites
  2. Cinnabon Pecan Clusters
  3. Divine Milk Chocolate with Spiced Cookies
  4. Mint Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Bites
  5. Classic Gums: Black Jack, Clove, Beemans & Teaberry
  6. Cookie Dough Bites


Name: Cinnamon Bun Bites
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Taste of Nature
Place Purchased: Cost Plus World Market (Park LaBrea)
Price: $1.25 (on sale)
Size: 3.1 ounces
Calories per ounce: 128
Categories: Candy, Taste of Nature, Cinnamon, Cookie, Kosher, 5-Pleasant, United States, Cost Plus

POSTED BY Cybele AT 10:47 am     CandyReviewTaste of NatureCinnamonCookieKosher5-PleasantUnited StatesCost PlusComments (9)

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Trolli Soda Poppers

Trolli Soda PoppersA few years ago Brach’s came out with Soda Poppers, which were licensed soda flavors (from the Cadbury Schewppes line) in hard candy form with gooey chewy interiors. Since Trolli and Brach’s are owned by Farley’s and Sathers, it’s no surprise that they’ve come out with a line of gummis called Trolli Soda Poppers.

Each piece is shaped like a little can with the name of the soda embossed on it: Cherry Cola, Root Beer, Lemon Lime, Orange and Cola.

Upon opening the bag I was greeted with a scent that reminded me of a box of cheap soap and aftershave. There are hints of lime and the soft powder smell of wintergreen but mostly it’s a soap and dated smell of the seventies.

Brach's Soda Pop Gummies

One of the novelties I enjoyed as a child was the self serve soda fountain. Naturally, as a tween, I knew that I could design a better flavor than all the soda companies in the world with only their soda as a source material. Even at that time I was a frugal person, so all mistakes were consumed, even though there were free refills and I probably could have dumped that mix of lemon-lime, root beer and grape soda. Not all candy flavors should be mixed and since many candies have strong scents, they probably shouldn’t be in the same bag together.

Cherry Cola is quite subtle and a bit masculine. The cola flavor is pronounced enough that I could tell this wasn’t just straight ahead cherry. The cherry notes are woodsy and black while there’s a light tangy finish to the whole thing. I really didn’t like it at all, it was medicinal and too perfumey.

Root Beer in many cases is mistaken for Cola in candy mixes because of the similar caramel color. In this case they mark each candy with the name, and the fact that Root Beer is two words means that even poorly molded pieces are easy to distinguish. I love Root Beer flavor and one of my favorite all time candies are Root Beer Barrels. The hard candy version provides all the flavor of a whole glass of soda in one little piece of candy. In the case of this gummi, it’s really not that dense. It’s more tangy that rooty, with more cola notes than the soft sassafras and wintergreen.

Lemon Lime is the color of Gatorade instead of the refreshing colorlessness of Sprite or Seven Up. The flavor is a mere hint with less of a citrus tang than the Root Beer. The zest is missing so what’s left is rather like a bland cleaning product.

Orange is actually like orange soda. It’s completely fake and rather like Jell-O or Tang but still pleasant and different enough from a regular Orange Trolli Bear to make me believe that I’ve purchased a different product.

Cola is such an underrepresented product in candy, I was really hoping these would be a good. The flavor was bland and not enough strong enough to be considered watered down. There was a hint of lemon in there, maybe a little snap of cola nut, but mostly it was a let down.

There’s nothing that emulates sodas, such as effervescence or even a foamy texture (but there’s also no tooth dissolving phosphoric acid, so we can celebrate that). Though there was nothing offensive about the flavors, the combination of them in one bag was off-putting (and actually stunk up my candy drawer). So while I might have wanted more intense flavors, I can only imagine what sort of smell that would create. I don’t drink soda, so my only way to get those classic soda flavors is through candy ... this isn’t the candy that does that. I’ll stick to the hard candy version (which lacks a Cola flavor) or just Root Beer Barrels.

Related Candies

  1. Haribo Happy Cola
  2. Fresh Cola Mentos
  3. Brach’s Soda Poppers
  4. Jones Soda Grape Carbonated Candy
  5. Soda Can Fizzy Candy
  6. Jelly Belly Soda Pop Shoppe
  7. Bottlecaps


Name: Soda Poppers Gummi Candy
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Farley’s and Sathers
Place Purchased: samples from Farley's & Sathers
Price: $1.69 retail
Size: 5 ounces
Calories per ounce: 92
Categories: Candy, Farley's & Sathers, Gummi Candy, 5-Pleasant, United States

POSTED BY Cybele AT 2:25 pm     CandyReviewFarley's & SathersGummi Candy5-PleasantUnited StatesComments (2)

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Cupcake Bites

In the world of trends in sweets, one of the biggest has been the rise of cupcakes. There are hundreds of blogs devoted to the various iterations of the small baked goods. Of course the trend is not limited to actual cupcakes, there are all sorts of merchandising opportunities as well as spin-off products like Cupcake Bites from Taste of Nature, the same company that makes Cookie Dough Bites.

Cupcake Bites

The box is actively ugly with a mix of styles and cultural references that make little sense to me. First, the color yellow (background) with the pink “frosting” top with sprinkles is The Simpsons (see the movie poster) and the text style isn’t an exact copy but there are definite similarities. Other than that, the fonts are a mess, at least five different ones from different font families, a mix of serif, san serif and handwriting.

The description on the back (which is even uglier as they introduced green drop shadow text in yet another font) says: Bite sized cupcake morsels coated with sprinkles and white frosting. They’re egg free, kosher and made in the USA.

Cupcake Bites

The concept is the same as the Cookie Dough Bites, a little moist nugget of some wheat based, sweet nodule is then covered in a confectionery coating. Here are the ingredients:

White Birthday Cake (Sugar, Sugar, Wheat Flour, Partially Hydrogenated Palm Kernel Oil, Glycerine, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Palm Oil, Natural Flavors, Salt Soy Lecithin, Xanthan Gum, Sodium Bicarbonate), White Kreemy Coating (Sugar, Partially Hydrogenated Palm Kernel Oil, Nonfat Milk Powder, Soy Lecithin [Added as an Emulsifier], Monoglycerides, Artificial Color [Titanium Dioxide], Artificial Flavor), Rainbow Decorettes (Sugar, Corn Starch, Partially Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil [Cottonseed and/or Soybean], Soy Lecithin, Dextrin, Confectioner’s Glaze, Red 40 Lake, Yellow 5 Lake, Yellow 6 Lake, Natural and Artificial Flavor, Blue 1 Lake, Carnauba Wax, Red 3, Blue 1, Red 40).

I’m just amazed that the White Kreemy Coating product doesn’t have a trademark notice associated with it. And no, that’s not a typo on my part with the listing of the first two ingredients for the white cake nor the lyrics to an Archies song.

Cupcake BitesI should mention that I don’t like cupcakes. I don’t actually like cake much at all either. So a candy that emulates such things is already not as compelling to me as some others might find it.

The nuggets are unappealing. They look like white molding clay that’s been rolled around in other little bits ... it looks like the aftermath of a Mr. Bill clip.

The matte exterior is soft and has a light sweet scent, like inhaling a cake mix. The Kreemy Coating doesn’t even rise to the level of fake white chocolate, it’s just a stiff, sweet and slightly greasy coating. The cake center is a little doughy with a faint raw flour flavor to it. The whole effect is an absolute replication of bad grocery store sheet cake. Very sweet, mushy textures and no actual flavor to speak of.

The timing of the product is a little late for the trend, but I’m sure the company will still get some mileage out of it, as they’re the only product like it on the shelves. But if you get a chance, maybe try the cupcake bites on sticks that started this craze.

Like the other Cookie Dough Bites products, the theater box comes with a clear plastic bag inside that actually holds the candy (so eating it at the movies involves opening it before the show starts unless you want to make a lot of noise). Though the package notes that it’s egg free, it’s actually made in a shared processing environment so they have an allergen notice for soy, wheat, milk, peanuts and tree nuts.

Related Candies

  1. Hershey’s Drops: Milk Chocolate & Cookies n Creme
  2. Mint Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Bites
  3. Topps Blue Razz Wazoo
  4. EveryBurger
  5. Cookie Dough Bites
  6. Candy Source: Chocolates a la Carte


Name: Cupcake Bites
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Taste of Nature
Place Purchased: 99 Cent Only Store (Hollywood)
Price: $1.25 (on sale)
Size: 3.1 ounces
Calories per ounce: 142
Categories: Candy, Taste of Nature, Cookie, Kosher, 4-Benign, United States, Cost Plus

POSTED BY Cybele AT 12:55 pm     CandyReviewTaste of NatureCookieKosher4-BenignUnited StatesCost PlusComments (20)

Monday, July 25, 2011

Bosco Milk Chocolate

Bosco Milk ChocolateBack in the roaring twenties there was a new innovation, it was chocolate syrup. Hershey’s led the way, but there were many other brands, such as Bosco, which not only had chocolate in it but also a touch of malt.

I remember Bosco pretty well, I think it was best known on the Eastern Seaboard. Hershey’s was probably the most popular of all, but I preferred Ovaltine since it had a stronger malt flavor and wasn’t so chalky at the bottom of the glass of milk.

I heard last year that Bosco Milk Chocolate Bars were coming out. This was an exciting development. I love how nostalgic brands are being revived and was looking forward to tasting a malted chocolate bar.

Here’s an old series of commercials for Bosco Syrup. The picture quality isn’t great, but the approach to the product and the unabashed joy still comes through.

I finally spotted the bars at Cost Plus World Market, which usually carries the nostalgic candies. The bar is the standard 3.5 ounce large bar. The package says Special Edition Collector’s Series. I don’t know who wants to collect chocolate bars, unless they’re just talking about the wrapper. The wrapper also says that it’s all natural (and Kosher).

Bosco Bar

The bar doesn’t actually look that good unwrapped. It’s poorly molded, there are lots of bubbles and voids, easily seen when I flipped over the bar when I took it out to photograph.

The ingredients are all natural, it’s true. The list is very short: sugar, whole milk, cocoa butter, chocolate liquor, soy lecithin, vanilla. Remember when I said that Bosco was a malted chocolate syrup? Well, this is not a malted chocolate bar.

Bosco Milk Chocolate

So as a milk chocolate bar it’s quite ordinary. You’ll notice the ingredients listed sugar first, it is most definitely sweet. The milk flavors come next and are strong with a slight powdered milk note to them. The chocolate flavors are faint and evoke cardboard, musty and sawdust flavors for me. Frankly, the chocolate tasted no better than the R.M. Palmer stuff I eschew around Easter.

It’s such a disappointing bar. The price wasn’t bad, at $1.99, I’ve certainly spent more in the past. But if you’re buying this for nostalgia, make sure it’s for the package and not the flavor.

The bar is distributed by Praim Group, not a well known brand but you may recognize their other partner, Bloomsberry & Co, which also make ho-hum chocolate in clever packages.

Related Candies

  1. All Natural Chocolate Necco Wafers
  2. Hershey’s Miniatures
  3. Starbucks Chocolate
  4. Palmer Milk Chocolate Balls
  5. Cocoa Pete’s Maltimus Maximus

POSTED BY Cybele AT 10:14 am     All NaturalCandyReviewChocolateKosher4-BenignUnited StatesCost PlusComments (3)

Friday, July 22, 2011

Eat with your Eyes: Sarotti

Sarotti

Sarotti is a classic German chocolate maker, founded by Hugo Hoffmann in 1868. The company is currently owned by Stollwerck (which started as a cough drop company and expanded into confectionery) which was in turn owned by Bernard Callebaut. Callebaut recently announced that it sold off Stollwerck to Baronie Group, which is based in Belgium.

I picked up this little chocolate gem while in Germany, where the Sarotti brand is quite easy to find and moderately priced.

POSTED BY Cybele AT 9:58 am     CandyHighlightFeatured NewsPhotographyComments (0)

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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:

• Wonka Randoms (and some Rowntree)

• Eat with your Eyes: Nougat

• Orgran Molasses Licorice

• Rogue Chocolatier

• Hachez Braune Blatter (Chocolate Leaves)

 

 

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