Wednesday, July 6, 2011
See’s Candies has been adding limited edition flavors to the regular offerings. Sometimes I time it right when I visit one of their shops. This summer they have their new See’s Candies Double Caramel.
The package describes them as vanilla brown sugar caramel and chocolate butter caramel. So they’re a stacked product inside the milk chocolate shell - the base is the chocolate caramel then a layer of the brown sugar caramel.
They’re available in half pound boxes on the website or at the store in small boxes or in the custom mix. (I don’t think they’ve been added to the classic See’s Nuts & Chews.)
I bought this little box that holds 5 ounces, which is 6 caramels. Yeah, think about that, each caramel weighs over three quarters of an ounce. That’s a pretty dense caramel. The package says that two is a serving, which is just too rich for even me in one sitting (unless I’m sitting for a long time).
As I mentioned before, they’re huge. It’s about an inch and a half in diameter (tall and the base). I couldn’t eat them in one bite, they were definitely two bites. (You can bite them down the center or you can tip them with the bottom perpendicular and bite them so you get either a layer of chocolate caramel or the brown sugar caramel.)
The combination of the flavors is great, the ratios are spot on. The texture of the caramel is soft, smooth and chewy. Neither layer is too sweet. The chocolate one is a light woodsy and deep flavor that has a little touch of coffee to it. The brown butter caramel has a little note of honey and salt along with the light woodsy note of molasses. The milk chocolate has a strong milk flavor, though the melt wasn’t quite as silky as I’d hoped.
If I had one comment to improve these, it’d be less sweet milk chocolate. It’s really sugary, and with all the sugar in the caramel, I’d prefer a darker milk chocolate. But maybe that’d make we want to eat more at once, so I might be better off in the long run with it as is.
Tuesday, July 5, 2011
Trader Joe’s has some great summertime themed candies in their tubbed goodies. The Trader Joe’s Milk Chocolate Smashing S’Mores with graham cracker and marshmallow have been around for at least a year. I looked for them a few times and couldn’t find them and assumed that they were another one of those transient Trader Joe’s products. On my visit over Independence Day weekend though, there were stacks so I grabbed one immediately.
My tub held 12 Smashing S’mores and the label said that it was 7 ounces. (The nutrition panel said that a serving was 2 pieces and there were 8 servings in the package - I can understand there being one or so plus or minus in the average package, but I can’t understand how they could even cram 16 of these little S’mores into the tub at all.)
The ingredients are interesting. It’s real milk chocolate for the coating, the marshmallow uses Kosher gelatin (basically non-pork derived) and the graham cracker part is almost all organic (except for the vanilla and arrow root flour).
The little squares are about an inch to an inch and a half cubed.
The base is a rustic and thick graham cracker coated with a little milk chocolate then a square of marshmallow on top of that. The whole thing is then enrobed in milk chocolate with a decorative drizzle of dark chocolate.
The bite is soft, the marshmallow, which occupies most of the volume is soft, spongy and moist. It’s not that flavorful and not that sweet, so it offsets the other levels of sweetness well. The milk chocolate coating is creamy and better than average though very sweet on its own. The graham cracker was thick and more rough, like a digestive than the sort of grocery store graham cracker I’m accustomed to. The flavor was wheaty with a little touch of honey. The effect of all of it together is great, the pieces are not too big that an adventurous person couldn’t pop it all in their mouth at once, and the marshmallow grabs the chocolate well enough that it doesn’t all crumble apart when bitten in half.
The tub advises popping it into the microwave for 4 to 6 seconds for the traditional S’more treat. The effect of this is to create a completely gooey and soupy interior though the chocolate amazingly doesn’t melt completely. The thing I like best about toasted marshmallows is the toasted part. I could probably just eat the toasted outsides and leave the gooey stuff for someone else, so the microwave option doesn’t really do much for me, but I certainly can see others really digging it.
The big bonus here is that these are Kosher. It’s pretty rare to find Kosher marshmallows, and even harder to find Kosher marshmallow candy products.
Friday, July 1, 2011
Tic Tacs come in more than mint flavors. Those flavors also vary, depending on where you are in the world. I picked up this package of Zitrone Honig Tic Tac in Germany. They’re honey-lemon flavored.
One of the key differences between European Tic Tac and the American ones are the colors. In the US, the Tic Tac candies are different colors. In Europe the package is colored; the Tic Tacs are all white.
The flavor is quite intense, there’s a lot of lemon oil flavor to it, so much that it’s a bit too zesty at time and feels a little medicinal instead of soothing or refreshing. The honey notes are quite subtle and oddly enough, remind me of Murphy’s Oil Soap. It’s a sort of flavor that’s clean but a little nostalgic.
They’re a little tangy and a little tingly because of the bitter citrus oils. I liked them quite a bit and will be sad when I finish them in about five minutes. I’d buy these if they sold them in the States, but they supposedly sell the Pink Grapefruit ones here and I can rarely find those either.
Link: Ferrero press release about the flavor (German).
Meticulously photographed and documented reviews of candy from around the world. And the occasional other sweet adventures. Open your mouth, expand your mind.