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July 2012

Monday, July 16, 2012

Meiji Corot - Strawberry Chocolate Drops

Meiji Corot - Strawberry Chocolate DropsThese Meiji Corot - Strawberry Chocolate Drops (Corotto Maroyaka Ichigo) are part of the Meiji Corot line. I’ve had the standard milk chocolate version (review here) before and enjoyed the Japanese style of milk chocolate.

This version is a solid white chocolate drop flavored with strawberry puree. It’s a little expensive for the style of candy (as are most Japanese candy imports), but it felt like a summery version of M&Ms.

The ingredients are pretty good, it’s a real white chocolate product with cocoa butter, though there is some palm oil and some preservatives.  (Meiji also makes a bar form of this, but from my recollection, it did not have the same ingredients.)

Ingredients: Sugar, Cocoa Butter, Lactose, Skim Milk, Palm Oil, Dried Strawberry, Millet Jelly, Soy Lecithin, Flavor, Citric Acid, Safflower Color, Tocopherol, Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C).

Meiji Corot - Strawberry Chocolate Drops

The candies resemble the size and shape of the new Hershey’s Drops. They’re about 3/4 of an inch across, but pretty thick through the middle. They have a very light glossy glaze on them to keep them from sticking together. The package only has 1.34 ounce in it, in this case it was 11 pieces of candy.

Meiji Corot - Strawberry Chocolate Drops

The strawberry flavor is light and authentic. It’s a mix of the creamy notes of milk, the sweetness of sugar and the berries and then a light tartness, kind of like strawberry ice cream. There’s a little grit to the pieces as they melt, I attribute that to the real dried fruit puree used.

They’re not artificially sweet or sticky tasting, it’s a lot like a room temperature ice cream. Crisp and authentic.

I’d buy these again, though I don’t really want more than one package at a time. I found that dividing it into two portions was plenty for me as a little treat. Meiji does well with their flavored chocolates, though I’d prefer if it didn’t have any palm oil at all in it. As an import I have no idea if it’s made in a facility with wheat, peanuts, tree nuts, eggs or shellfish. It does contain milk and soy and the shellac coating makes it inappropriate for vegetarians.

Related Candies

  1. Ritter Sport Milk Chocolate with Strawberry Creme
  2. Meiji Corot & CoffeeBeat
  3. Eat with your Eyes: Meiji Strawberry Lentils
  4. KitKats: Royal Milk Tea, Ginger Ale, Bubbly Strawberry, Kinako Ohagi & Milk Coffee
  5. Whoppers Milkshake Strawberry
  6. Meiji Gummy Choco
  7. KitKat Tsubu Ichigo and Hershey’s Strawberries ‘n’ Creme


Name: Corot - Strawberry Chocolate Drops
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Meiji
Place Purchased: Marukai Market (Gardena)
Price: $1.89
Size: 1.34 ounces
Calories per ounce: 157
Categories: Candy, Meiji, White Chocolate, 7-Worth It, Japan

POSTED BY Cybele AT 2:48 pm     Candy

Friday, July 13, 2012

Sunkist Fruit Gems

Sunkist Fruit Gems (Jelly Belly)I reviewed the Sunkist Fruit Gems when they were made by a Los Angeles company called Ben Meyerson. Shortly after that, in 2006 Jelly Belly bought the rights to the candy and changed the flavor set. (Review of both versions here) Here it is, 6 years later and Jelly Belly has relaunched the Sunkist line using all natural ingredients (natural flavors including juices and natural colors).

While I like fruit jellies, I pretty much stick to orange slices or spearmint leaves (I know, not a fruit). The original flavor set was orange, lemon, lime, cherry, raspberry and grapefruit. Then the revamped flavor set (at the same price point but fewer candies in a package) was orange, lemon, lime and raspberry.

Neither thrilled me. Neither really lived up to the name of Sunkist, the citrus growers. Still, when visiting trade shows where Jelly Belly had samples, I always picked up a few of the citrus ones. I really wanted to like them more.

Sunkist Fruit Gems (Jelly Belly)

The new flavors are: lemon, orange, grapefruit, raspberry and blueberry. The colors, though natural, are still easy to discern and attractive.

The pieces are the same size as the previous versions, disks of soft jelly covered with large granulated sugar to keep them from sticking together. The sugar coating is just enough to keep them from binding, but not so much that there’s a lot of extra sugar in the bottom of the package. They really look like they should be sticky, but they’re not.

Sunkist Fruit Gems (Jelly Belly)

The pieces are flexible and soft, and made with pectin and starch to thicken them. Basically, it’s a vegan product, all vegetable products in there and nothing animal derived.

Sunkist Fruit Gems (Jelly Belly)The new version is an improvement. The flavors are zesty and fresh without any weird aftertastes from artificial colors.

I particularly enjoyed the citrus flavors, they’re distinct and have a lot of citrus peel notes, even if it does make them slightly bitter. The raspberry is quite floral and has a strong boiled jam flavor to it. The blueberry was probably the most disappointing for me, but I really only like fresh blueberries. It was sweet with a little tannic note like iced tea but not much else going on with it.

Overall, an excellent revamp for a classic line of candies. They’re pricey for fruit jellies, but much cheaper than classic artisan pate de fruit. So think of them as an in-between product.

They’re available in a few packaging formats. This particular box is nearly a pound and just had loose candies inside two separate trays. Just keeping the box closed kept them pretty fresh, even with our higher than normal humidity in Southern California lately. They also come in an individually wrapped version which is better for a candy dish. They’re gluten free and peanut free.

Related Candies

  1. Trader Joe’s Jelly Beans & Citrus Gum Drops
  2. Wonka Exceptionals Fruit Jellies: Grapefruit, Goji Berry & Red Apple
  3. Starbucks Assorted Gum Drops
  4. Gourmet Gumdrops
  5. Jelly Belly Sunkist Citrus Mix
  6. Revisit: Take 5, Sunkist Fruit Gems & Snickers Almond
  7. Sunkist Fruit Gems


Name: Sunkist Fruit Gems
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Jelly Belly
Place Purchased: samples from Jelly Belly
Price: $9.99
Size: 14 ounces
Calories per ounce: 92
Categories: All Natural, Candy, Jelly Belly, Jelly Candy, Kosher, 7-Worth It, United States

POSTED BY Cybele AT 2:45 pm     All NaturalCandyReviewJelly BellyJelly CandyKosher7-Worth ItUnited States

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Rowntrees Tooty Frooties

Rowntrees Tooty FrootiesRowntree’s Tooty Frooties were introduced by the UK confectioner in 1963. They’re little rounded squares of tangy chews covered in a light candy shell. The standard flavor mix includes lemon, apple, orange, blackcurrant and strawberry. They’re made with real fruit juice and no artificial colors.

Rowntree’s was founded in 1862 and introduced some of the most popular confectionery brands in the world, like KitKat, Aero, Smarties and Fruit Pastilles. They were taken over by Nestle in 1988, which has only increased their international reach. But some of the candies they make are still just locally available in the United Kingdom. A coworker picked up this bag in Amsterdam (for 2.50 Euro).

It’s interesting to note that these came out a full decade before Skittles and though they do resemble them in concept, they’re not quite the same.

Rowntrees Tooty Frooties

The pieces are a bit rustic, like artisan chiclets. Most are about a half an inch in diameter, though some are a bit smaller or a bit flatter. They’re softly rounded and have a rather thin shell with a slightly uneven looking colored coating.

They also stick together. The shell isn’t quite as thick or crispy as Skittles or Mentos, so sometimes they get chipped, then the center gets soft and oozes a little. I sense that they don’t travel as well as Skittles either.

Rowntrees Tooty Frooties

The flavors are nice, though not as intense or distinctive as Skittles.

Red is apple, which is all about the sweet apple juice and very little artificial green apple flavor to it.

Purple  is currant. I didn’t seem to get many of these. Again, very sweet at first and later a little bit of tartness, like black raspberry.

Yellow  is lemon. They’re softly lemony, not quite zesty.

Orange is orange. Like the lemon, more about the juice and less about the orange peel.

Pink is strawberry. It’s summery and sweet, less floral than I’d hoped but also a little on the creamy sweet side.

The flavor variety was completely standard and classic. On the whole, a great candy. This particular bag though was messy as pieces were stuck together. I liked that there were no artificial colors, however, carminic acid was listed so strict vegetarians will have to strike these from their lists.



Name: Tooty Frooties
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Nestle
Place Purchased: gift (thanks Tristan!)
Price: $3.00 (2.50 Euro)
Size: 6.53 ounces
Calories per ounce: 113
Categories: Candy, Nestle, Chews, 7-Worth It, United Kingdom

POSTED BY Cybele AT 2:16 pm     CandyNestleChews7-Worth ItUnited Kingdom

Monday, July 9, 2012

See’s Marshmallows

See's MarshmallowsSee’s Candies makes several of my favorite candies. It’s hard to imagine that they could come up with something new that I’d like better, but I’m always willing to give it a try.

During the holidays they do a few just marshmallow pieces, like a large marshmallow heart for Valentine’s. But I’ve found that they’re not the same honey flavor or the same dense texture.

I picked up their new box of See’s Milk and Dark Marshmallow. At the moment they’re sold in the single format, there are six marshmallows in the box, three of the milk chocolate covered variety and three of the dark chocolate covered.

See's Marshmallows

They’re the same size and shape as the Scotchmallow, but instead of a single twirl of chocolate on top, these have three rows of chocolate swirls. Each piece is about 60 calories, so a pair might make a good treat yet still pretty spare on the calorie side.

See's Marshmallows

The first is the Milk Chocolate Marshmallow. The chocolate is a pleasant, rich chocolate color. The Guittard-made chocolate is good, it’s smooth and has a strong dairy and deep roasted cocoa flavor to it.

The marshmallow is bouncy and dense. It’s hard to photograph because it looks like a solid white mass, but it’s actually filled with tiny, tiny bubbles, instead of big ones. The marshmallow is smooth, it has no starchy or chalky flavor like the extruded ones for toasting. The vanilla flavors are subtle and there’s a light note of honey, but it’s very mild.

I’ve usually shied away from the milk chocolate version of the Scotchmallow, but in this case the simple balance of the sweet milk chocolate and the frothy marshmallow is well done.

See's Marshmallows

The Dark Chocolate covered Marshmallow starts off a little, well, underwhelming. It looks great, it’s glossy and because I bought these in a box, they weren’t all scuffed up like the stuff I pick out at the store that they toss in a bag.

But it smells a little, well, sweet and kind of fake.

After cracking the chocolate shell though, that changes. The real vanilla notes come out right away. They’re thick and like dark rum. The honey notes comes to the front, like a floral syrup in my nose. The chocolate is not overwhelmingly dark, but it has enough bitter notes that play against the sweetness of the honey and vanilla. The vanilla is soft and cushy, like the marshmallow texture. The chocolate has a dry finish that’s swept away by the thick honey.

I love the play of this. Mostly I liked eating the sides of chocolate off, and having a more marshmallow and less chocolate. I look forward to seeing these in the candy case so I can just get one or two of them.

See's Marshmallows

One of my favorite of the boxed pieces is the Scotchmallow. It’s a layered piece, a base of chewy caramel then a layer of fluffy yet dense honey marshmallow, all covered in dark chocolate. They’ve even started selling them in “quick to go” packages in the store of half pound bags. I’ve always loved See’s caramel, as it was the first commercial caramel I found that reminded me of my grandmother’s homemade. But for this piece it’s the honey flavors of the marshmallow that really sell it.

See’s chocolate are made on shared equipment that may contain traces of peanuts and tree nuts. It also contains milk, eggs, soy and gelatin.



Name: Milk and Dark Marshmallow
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: See’s
Place Purchased: See's Candy (Glendale)
Price: $3.95
Size: 2.8 ounces
Calories per ounce: 129
Categories: Candy, See's, Chocolate, Marshmallow, 8-Tasty, United States

POSTED BY Cybele AT 5:52 pm     CandyReviewSee'sChocolateMarshmallow8-TastyUnited States

Friday, July 6, 2012

Aldi Grandessa Australian Licorice

Grandessa Orginal Soft LicoriceLike Trader Joe’s, Aldi has been stocking more licorice in their American stores lately. I picked up this package of Grandessa Orginal Soft Licorice made in Australia.

I’ve tried a few items in the Grandessa line from Aldi over the years and found them to be passable, but not their highest quality brand.

It’s a simple package, a matte plastic bag, rather small but dense. At only 7.5 inches by 4.5 inches it holds nearly a half a pound of soft licorice twists.

The licorice fingers are pretty big, they’re about 1.5 to 1.75 inches long (just a little shy of the size of my pinky finger, but I have very small pinkies).

Grandessa Australian Licorice

They’re soft and a bit sticky on the outside. The chewy is doughy and soft and does get stuck on the teeth. The flavor profile is overwhelmingly earthy. There’s a lot of molasses and dark sugars (treacle, brown sugar and molasses are all ingredients). The flavor notes are anise, a light tangy note as some molasses can have, sweet licorice, black pepper, beets, pipe tobacco and coriander. The thick chew is less appealing to me though, because it does have a note of raw wheat flour.

Compared to Panda, it’s has more mineral and earthy flavors. It reminds me a lot of Kookabura Australian Liquorice, and may well be made under contract for Aldi’s Grandessa house brand by Kookabura. The ingredients are similar, though not exactly the same.

They’re made in Australia in a facility that processes peanuts and tree nuts. The ingredients list mono and diglycerides, so I can’t say that these are vegan.

Related Candies

  1. Trader Joe’s Allsorts -a- Licorice
  2. 12 European Licorices
  3. Panda Soft Herb Licorice and Licorice Cremes
  4. Eat with your Eyes: Grandessa Signature Single Origin
  5. Darrell Lea Licorice & Ginger
  6. Kookaburra Licorice
  7. Organic Finnska Soft Licorice
  8. Panda Bars


Name: Australian Soft Licorice
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Aldi
Place Purchased: Aldi (Camp Hill, PA)
Price: $1.99
Size: 7 ounces
Calories per ounce: 92
Categories: Candy, Aldi, Chews, Licorice Candy, 7-Worth It, Australia

POSTED BY Cybele AT 1:45 pm     CandyDesigner ImpostorReviewAldiChewsLicorice Candy7-Worth ItAustralia

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