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March 2012

Friday, March 16, 2012

Russell Stover Big Bite Pecan Delight Egg

Russell Stover Big Bite Pecan Delight EggI found the Russell Stover Big Bite Pecan Delight Egg at Walgreen’s along with the other super-sized Easter classic, the Coconut Cream in the shape of a Big Bunny.

Pecans and Caramel covered in Milk Chocolate

Ah, a pecan turtle. What a fabulous candy. The roasted, maple flavors of pecans with their oily crunch go so well with the burnt sugar, sweet chewiness of caramel with it all encapsulated in creamy milk chocolate.

I’ve reviewed a few different versions of these in the past. The first one I tried was the Organic Pecan Delight, which were sold individually wrapped and bagged. They were good, but lacked a lot of pecans. The second one I tried was the traditional Easter favorite, the Pecan Delight Egg ... well, that one was even more parsimonious with the pecans. Then most recently I tried the non-organic version of the Pecan Delight and was similarly underwhelmed.

So, would scaling up make a difference?

Russell Stover Giant Pecan Delight

They weren’t kidding about it being a big bite. It’s two ounces, so of course it’s big, but that’s the same size as a Snickers bar. It’s packed with 290 calories as well. What it’s not packed with is pecans. Those little lumps on the outside ... those are the pecan pieces. That’s it. No hidden nuts inside the caramel center.

Russell Stover Giant Pecan Delight

I can sit around being disappointed that there aren’t more pecans in this. (I can also call it false advertising.) But the reality is that it’s still a good piece of candy if you adjust expectations. The milk chocolate is passable - it’s sweet and milky and though a bit fudgy and grainy, it still has a pleasant melt and mouthfeel. The caramel center is salty and though sweet, not overly cloying or syrupy. The caramel is smooth, without the slightest bit of grain. It’s pretty gooey, but not chewy. The small bits of pecans gave it a roasted nutty flavor, but not much texture overall.

Would this have been better with more pecans? Absolutely. Would it have cost a dollar? No, not possible. It was a bad year for pecans, the price went way up. The solution to this is for Russell Stover to not offer this candy at this price point, or to adjust our expectations by not saying that it’s the Pecan Delight.

Related Candies

  1. Trader Joe’s A Very Merry Mingle
  2. Russell Stover Assorted Wrapped Chocolates
  3. DeMet’s Turtles: Pecan & Cashew
  4. Fannie May Pixie
  5. Sweet Earth Chocolates
  6. Russell Stover Eggs (2009 edition)
  7. Russell Stover Organic Pecan Delight


Name: Big Bite Pecan Delight Egg
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Russell Stover
Place Purchased: Walgreen's (Echo Park)
Price: $1.00 (on sale)
Size: 2 ounces
Calories per ounce: 145
Categories: Candy, Easter, Russell Stover, Caramel, Chocolate, Nuts, 6-Tempting, United States, Walgreen's

POSTED BY Cybele AT 2:28 pm     CandyReviewEasterRussell StoverCaramelChocolateNuts6-TemptingUnited StatesWalgreen'sComments (3)

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Russell Stover Big Bunny Coconut Cream

Russell Stover Big Bunny Coconut CreamEaster is the time of cream eggs. There are so many different versions and Russell Stover makes about half of them. From caramel and peanut butter to raspberry whip and strawberry cream, they go for variety. This year their newest introduction is not another egg, but a reshaping of one of their classic eggs into a different format. Behold the Russell Stover Big Bunny Dark Chocolate & Coconut Cream.

The package design is nice, I liked it quite a bit, with its bold illustration style. Though the wrapper is a bit flimsy, it seems to do a good job of protecting the contents. It says that it’s made with 100% real chocolate, which is great news and that it’s made proudly in America. They were on sale for $1.00, which is a pretty good deal for a 2.25 ounce candy bar these days.

Russell Stover Coconut Cream Rabbit

The bunny is large, just as the package promised. It’s a little over 5 inches tall (though one of my ears was a bit broken off because I fumbled with it when I took it out of the wrapper).

The shape is only vaguely rabbit. I’m not even sure if it’s just a giant rabbit head or supposed to be a whole rabbit body. It’s enrobed though, which is my favorite kind of chocolate coating. If you’ve ever seen a chocolate enrober, you’ll understand part of my fascination with the technique. A center is pushed through a curtain of melted chocolate, which coats it and hardens as it moves along a conveyer that cools it. (Watch it here, it’s kind of mesmerizing.)

Russell Stover Coconut Cream Rabbit

The chocolate is thick enough to create a bit of crunchy break when I bit into it. Because of the irregular shape of the rabbit, it also meant that the ratio of chocolate to coconut would change. The center was thick and had a large density of coconut cream. The cream is light and airy with a smooth sugary grain to it and not too much coconut. The coconut is in very small pieces, less like a Mounds or Almond Joy. There’s even a light hint of salt in there.

It’s a nice product, easier to eat, oddly enough, than the egg version that’s a classic. However, it’s quite large. The package says that it’s one portion, which is 280 calories. I’d prefer to consume it in two or three sittings, as I did. The package was pretty easy to open and fold over and tape closed between those portions.

It’s a good addition to the Russell Stover line of Easter goodies. It’s not overwhelming as a huge chocolate rabbit, but a little more precious than the chocolate covered coconut cream egg.

Though it’s made with dark chocolate, there’s plenty of dairy in there and may contain traces of nuts.

Related Candies

  1. Russell Stover “Day of the Dead” Skeletons
  2. Mounds
  3. Russell Stover Giant S’mores Bar & Mint Dream
  4. Ferrero Prestige (Ferrero Garden)
  5. Russell Stover Eggs
  6. Russell Stover Eggs (2007 edition)
  7. See’s Egg Quartet
  8. Russell Stover Cream Eggs


Name: Big Bunny Dark Chocolate & Coconut Cream
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Russell Stover
Place Purchased: Walgreen's (Echo Park)
Price: $1.00
Size: 2.25 ounces
Calories per ounce: 124
Categories: Candy, Easter, Russell Stover, Chocolate, Coconut, 7-Worth It, United States, Walgreen's

POSTED BY Cybele AT 2:55 pm     CandyReviewEasterRussell StoverChocolateCoconut7-Worth ItUnited StatesVon'sWalgreen'sComments (2)

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Schluckwerder Fancy Marzipan Eggs

Schluckwerder Fancy Eggs - Fine MarzipanSchluckwerder Fancy Eggs - Fine Marzipan are featured at Cost Plus World Market every year around Easter. It’s a very simple, almost mousy looking package. A gold plastic tray with ten sections holds pastel candy coated marzipan eggs.

I’ve been stalking these eggs for years. I’ve even taken photos of them in the store, hoping to go back after Easter when they’re on sale. The only problem with that plan is that there’s never any left after the holiday for discounting. They’re a little on the pricey side, $3.99 for a package weighing only 5.29 ounces from a German brand I’ve never heard of. On the other hand, I have a lot of confidence in German marzipan, now that I’ve visited a few factories in Germany and tasted quite a variety over the years. Germany knows what it’s doing when they combine sugar and almonds.

Schluckwerder Fancy Eggs - Fine Marzipan

Each egg is about a half an ounce, so two is a good and filling portion. The center is pure marzipan with a thin chocolate coating then a sugared candy shell. They use all natural colorings, however, they do also use carmine, so the product is off the table for vegetarians who draw the line there. (There’s also milk in there, so it’s a no for vegans.)

Schluckwerder Fancy Eggs - Fine Marzipan

The eggs vary a bit in size and shape. Some were spherical and about 1.25 inches in diameter and the more ovoid ones were about 1.5 inches long.

Schluckwerder Fancy Eggs - Fine Marzipan

Even though they’re kind of big, they’re easier to bite than something like a Malted Milk Egg or Marshmallow Hiding Egg. They have a slightly floral scent, nothing really overt, just a clean sort of orange blossom or fig perfume. The chocolate is thick enough to provide quite a bit of flavor. It’s not very dark but has a well rounded woodsy cocoa flavor and a smooth, silky melt. The center is soft and quite moist, which is nice because I don’t care for the chalky and tough marzipan.

The marzipan is a little doughy but not overly sweet. There’s a faint bit of amaretto flavor, but mostly it’s a clean rosewater and nutty almond flavor. They’re hearty without being sticky sweet. They’re easy to eat, though I usually ate mine in two bites instead of popping the whole thing in my mouth at once.

I’m glad I took the plunge and tried these. They’re definitely worth full price, especially if it’s something you had as a kid or in your travels. When you come down to it, the price works out to about 1.33 per ounce, which is far more reasonable than Caffarel. And I think I prefer this marzipan to the Caffarel version. I’ll still keep an eye out for them on after-Easter clearance.

Related Candies

  1. Lindt Holiday Almonds
  2. Choceur Nougat Bites & Marzipan Bites
  3. Laica & Caffarel Chocolate Eggs
  4. Niederegger Ginger Marzipan
  5. Voisin Papillotes
  6. Soubeyran Array


Name: Fancy Eggs - Fine Marzipan
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Schluckwerder
Place Purchased: Cost Plus World Market (Glendale)
Price: $3.99
Size: 5.29 ounces
Calories per ounce: 132
Categories: All Natural, Candy, Easter, Chocolate, Nuts, 7-Worth It, Germany, Cost Plus

POSTED BY Cybele AT 4:03 pm     All NaturalCandyReviewEasterChocolateNuts7-Worth ItGermanyCost PlusComments (0)

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Sugar Daddy

Sugar Daddy was introduced in 1925 but originally called “Papa Sucker”, it took on the name Sugar Daddy in 1932. The pop is a simple, but large caramel slab on a stick.

Sugar Daddy

Like many candies over 50 years old, this one has a long history of changing hands. It was created by the James O. Welch Company, which also made fudge and later invented Pom Poms, Sugar Babies and Junior Mints. Later in 1963 Welch was sold to Nabisco. Nabisco continued making the line of Sugar Daddies, Sugar Mamas and Sugar Babies. Nabisco sold their candy lines to Warner-Lambert (known mostly for drugs) in 1988 and then Tootsie acquired them in 1992. The package design changed little over the years. Here’s a wrapper from the 50s and a later one from the 70s when it was made by Nabisco. The only functional difference is that the top end is sealed now, instead of folded.

Sugar Daddy

The caramel pop is very simple. Perhaps my memory is hazy or idealizes the candy of my youth, I remember Sugar Daddy as a very dark, glossy and smooth caramel bar on a stick. While the pair that I bought were in good condition (no sign that they’d melted & reformed or were sticky and crystallized around the edges), they just weren’t as awesome as I recall.

The ingredients look functionally the same as ever: Corn syrup, sugar, partially hydrogenated soybean oil, dry whole milk, whey, natural and artificial flavors, salt, soya lecithin.

Sugar Daddy

The slab is sturdy and thick. It’s pliable but not exactly chewy. I found it possible to bite some off, but not without a lot of bending and wiggling to cause some sort of equivalent of metal fatigue.

The dissolve is smooth and the flavor is creamy with a distinct caramelized sugar flavor with a pleasant buttery note. I prefer the Sugar Babies, I feel like the centers have a little bit more pronounced burnt sugar flavor that’s balanced with the sugary shell. The Sugar Daddy is just difficult to eat without making a mess, though I think the slightly smaller pop would be better for those who aren’t tempted to chew on it, because it fits better in the mouth.

I’m glad this around for a newer generation. I credit Tootsie taking over this line with the very popular invention of the Tootsie Caramel Apple Pop.

Related Candies

  1. Slo Poke Caramel
  2. Walkers Nonsuch Roasted Hazelnut Toffee
  3. Necco Slap Stix Caramel
  4. Nips: Caramel & Dulce de Leche
  5. Caramel Apple Sugar Babies
  6. Sugar Babies
  7. Sugar Mama
  8. Chocolate Covered Sugar Babies


Name: Sugar Daddy
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Tootsie
Place Purchased: Rite Aid (Echo Park)
Price: $.50 (on sale)
Size: 1.7 ounces
Calories per ounce: 118
Categories: Candy, Tootsie, Caramel, Hard Candy & Lollipops, 7-Worth It, United States, Rite Aid

POSTED BY Cybele AT 4:32 pm     CandyReviewTootsieCaramel7-Worth ItUnited StatesRite AidComments (2)

Monday, March 12, 2012

Candy Tease Spring 2012

It’s a little early for Sweets and Snacks Expo announcements for new products, but there are a few new items of note in the candy world.

Justin's Nut Butter BarsName: Justin’s Candy Bars
Brand: Justin’s Nut Butter
Description: Available in three gourmet flavors, Milk Chocolate Peanut, Dark Chocolate Peanut and Milk Chocolate Almond, Justin’s Candy Bars contain organic chocolate, nuts, caramel and nougat. Justin’s All-Natural Candy Bars contain 25 percent less sugar, 50 percent more protein and 100 percent more fiber than the leading conventional candy bar, Snickers, the company said.
Introduction Date: Exclusive at Whole Foods through June 2012, available wider after that.
Notes: I tried these at ExpoWest and have to say that these don’t taste like healthy candy. There’s no compromise on the flavor and texture. I’ll have a full review soon.

Jelly Belly CockroachName: Gummi Pet Cockroach
Brand: Jelly Belly
Description: Gummi Pet Cockroach will join Pet Rat, Pet Gator, Pet Dinosaur and Pet Tarantula this June. The candy is created with two different flavors: one for the “legs” and the other for the “body.” The Gummi Pet Cockroach candies will be available in blackberry and cherry, grape and lime, and orange and blackberry.
Introduction Date: June 2012
Notes: I really don’t have a problem with novelty shapes as a rule. But this one isn’t quite the right coloring, it looks more like a flattened spider and certainly the size is out of scale. Also, what’s intimidating about Cockroaches is their crunchy shell. Jelly Belly was so accurate with their flavors for the Bertie Bott’s Every Flavor Beans (well, I hear that they were, I didn’t try all of them) it’s just a little disappointing that they didn’t go for the scary accuracy of big bugs instead.

Ovation - Dulce de LecheName: Dulce de Leche Ovation Sticks
Brand: SweetWorks, Inc.
Description: Ovation Sticks feature caramel truffle centers covered in all-natural dark chocolate.
Introduction Date: Available Now
Notes: The Ovation sticks are usually individually wrapped, which makes them ideal for serving in situations where you don’t want a big pile of opened chocolate. But for snacking for yourself, it’s a little daunting to either unwrap or observe all the wrappers you’ve created after a binge.

Juicy Drop TaffyName: Juicy Drop Taffy
Brand: Bazooka (Topps)
Description: The taffy packs in 2.36-ounce pouches containing eight pieces and a sour gel applicator, which lets consumers increase the sour flavor on the candy, the company says. The new items will debut in Blue Rebel and Knock Out Punch flavors.
Introduction Date: Available Now
Notes:

Sanders Pecan-dyName: Milk Chocolate Covered Gretzels, Twisted Toffee & Pretzel and Pecan-dy
Brand: Sanders Candy
Description: Milk Chocolate Covered Gretzels are cinnamon graham crackers shaped to resemble pretzels. Cashew Almond Pecan-dy is a mix of popcorn and caramel coated nuts. Chocolate Drizzled Cashew Almond Pecan-dy is the company’s popcorn and caramel-coated nut mix with dark and milk chocolate
Introduction Date: Available Now
Notes: The sweet and savory trend meets the comfort candy trend with Sanders. They redid all their packaging design recently, I think it suits them well and stands out.

Nifty Gummi CupcakesName: Gummy Cupcakes
Brand: Can You Imagine That!
Description: The fun-size gummy cupcakes with sprinkles come in a gift box and make a fantastic treat or sweet present.  And, if you’re looking for something a little more dramatic, there’s the Giant Gummy Cupcake, weighing in at 1 lb. Both are available in a variety of bright colors and flavors of gummy.
Introduction Date: Available Now
Notes: It’s far more appealing to eat food shaped like food than like vermin (though I’m not really a big consumer of cupcakes). These are deliriously cute and I’m probably going to buy them just to take their picture.

Here’s a couple of really early teases as well from Mars:

Milky Way Caramel AppleSeptember: MilkyWay Caramel Apple Minis are bite-size bars featurirng apple flavor caramel covered in milk chocolate. Packing in 11.5-ounce lay down bags.

September: The return of Candy Corn White Chocolate M&Ms.

November: Twix Sugar Cookie Minis combines Twix with sugar cookies. The 10.5-oz. packages will carry a suggested retail price of $3.99;

November: 3 Musketeers Hot Cocoa with Marshmallow Minis is a new limited-edition holiday flavor that will be available in a 10-oz. bag for a suggested retail price of $3.99.

POSTED BY Cybele AT 4:34 pm     CandyNew Product AnnouncementHighlightNewsComments (3)

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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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COUNTDOWN

Sweets & Snacks Expo Starts

-101 days

Read previous coverage

 

 

Which seasonal candy selection do you prefer?

Choose one or more:

  •   Halloween
  •   Christmas
  •   Valentine's Day
  •   Easter

 

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ON DECK

These candies will be reviewed shortly:

• Eat with your Eyes: Nougat

• 10 Candies that Shouldn’t Be So Disappointing

• Orgran Molasses Licorice

• Rogue Chocolatier

• Hachez Braune Blatter (Chocolate Leaves)

 

 

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