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Friday, March 2, 2007

Wonka Golden Creme Egg

In the movie Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, Veruca Salt is lured to her doom by her desire for the Golden Egg (after giving a grand performance with her musical number “I Want it Now!”). In her final flourish she stands on the educated Eggdicator and is judged to be a Bad Egg and sent to the incinerator. This particular scene was not in the book (which instead featured squirrels and their ability to detect bad nuts, which I find far scarier, having been attacked by a squirrel before. Well, I’ve also been attacked by geese, but that’s no really relevant here).

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The Wonka Golden Creme Egg is taking full advantage of that famous scene some thirty-six years later. But instead of the solid chocolate egg the size of the Elephant Man’s head, it’s a chocolate egg filled with a firm chocolate filling studded with graham cookie bits and then a slight reservoir of flowing caramel. I take issue with the caramel filling being called “creme” but this candy has bigger problems.

It’s only slightly smaller (1.1 ounces) than a Cadbury Creme Egg (1.2 ounces). The outside the egg has no Wonka branding on it, instead some squiggly lines and the Nestle logo on both sides. It makes me wonder if this is sold under different names in different places.

The chocolate creme inside isn’t very different than plain old milk chocolate, a little softer, kind of like a ganache only not as buttery smooth. The whole thing is very sweet - throat-burningly sweet. The chocolate itself isn’t particularly smooth or creamy. I have to admit that I’ve been very disappointed with Nestle chocolate lately and this Wonka sub-brand is no different. I’m not getting those CHOCOLATE flavors here. The crumbly crunches of the graham bits are nice (rather like the little Wonka bars) but the caramel is the only thing that saves these eggs - it’s smooth and salty, with just enough of it to cut through the rest of the sweet mess.

If you’re a Cadbury Creme Egg fan and used to very sweet egg-shaped chocolate products, you may do okay with this. But the chocolate is just substandard.

Rebecca at SugarHog.net also reviewed these and gave them a smidge higher rating that I did (but had them before the Cadbury Eggs).

Name: Golden Creme Egg
    RATING:
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 6 TEMPTING
  • 5 PLEASANT
  • 4 BENIGN
  • 3 UNAPPEALING
  • 2 APPALLING
  • 1 INEDIBLE
Brand: Wonka (Nestle)
Place Purchased: CVS (Silverlake)
Price: $.69
Size: 1.1 ounces
Calories per ounce: unknown
Categories: Chocolate, Cookie, Caramel, United States, Nestle, Easter, Kosher

POSTED BY Cybele AT 11:56 am     Comments (6)

Peruvian Candies

My next door neighbors went to Peru for three weeks and brought back a huge cache of Peruvian (and South American) consumer candies. (They also brought some cookies, but I’ll try to keep this focused.) I find it quite fun to sample the consumer candies of all countries and regions and Peru was no different. So here are nine candies from Peru:

LentejasName: Lentejas
Brand: Nestle
Size: 36 grams

These little guys probably look familiar. They’re chocolate lentils ala Nestle Smarties. Only they’re not quite Smartie-like ... they’re the same size as M&Ms (Smarties are just slightly flatter and larger than M&Ms). The shell on these is very thick and crunchy. The colors are unbelievably bright.

The chocolate itself is only so so - grainy, too sweet and completely lacking in chocolate taste.

Rating: 4 out of 10.

Peruvian Milk ChocolateName: Prime Peruvian Milk Chocolate
Brand: Winter’s
Size: 100 grams

This bar had a lovely photo of the cloud-wrapped city of Machu Picchu on the box. Inside the box the large chocolate tablet was inside a plastic wrapper that looked exactly the same.

The bar was attractive: a dark looking milk chocolate.

Peruvian Milk ChocolateThe snap was not as sharp as some dark chocolates can be and it had a rather soft bite as many milk chocolates do. The flavor is rather milky, in a goat-cheese sort of way, with a little tangy note. The flavor of the chocolate was also strongly raisiny. It was very pleasant though completely different than most other milk chocolate bars I’ve had.

Rating: 7 out of 10.

Cua CuaName: Cua Cua
Brand: Lacta (Kraft)
Size: 18 grams

This is one of those bars that looks huge. The package is about the size a set of Twix bars, yet it only weighs 18 grams. This featherweight bar is all wafers with some light mockolate coating. Between the wafers is a little cocoa cream.

The bar, called Cua Cua, I’m guessing is a play on the sound a duck makes.

The bar smells sweet and a bit of chocolate. It’s also a little smoky smelling, though I couldn’t quite figure that out from the ingredients.

Cua CuaThe smoky notes gave it a little bacon flavor that I wasn’t really happy with. The wafers were crunchy and foamy - providing more light texture than taste in this party in my mouth.

The mockolate was of course waxy and unappealing. It often flaked off the bar when I bit into it. I’m a big fan of wafer with cream (I can’t imagine how many pounds of Nabisco Wafers I’ve eaten over the years) but this one just wasn’t quite as ducky as I’d hoped.

Rating: 3 out of 10.

CanonazoName: Ca?onazo
Brand: Costa
Size: 26 grams

This bar calls itself “barrita ba?ada rellena con crema de chocolate” which I’m guessing means chocolate filling with crisp wafers bathed in chocolate.

The crisp log of wafer was interesting, kind of like a sweet Cheeto. The chocolate filling was like a frosting, with a good chocolate taste and slightly grain. Like the Cua Cua, this was a light bar. Though it’s big it only weighs 26 grams (and is the size of a Snickers ... which are 58 grams). Unfortunately the coating on the outside isn’t chocolate and it’s rather waxy and uninteresting.

Rating: 4 out of 10.

Gomas EucaliptoName: Gomas Eucalypto
Brand:  F y D Inversiones, SAC
Size: 125 grams

These are crazy! Crazy, I tell you.

They’re little gummis covered with granulated sugar. About the size and shape of an incense cone. Nice and soft but with a good gelatin bounce. They look like they could be green apple or lime or maybe even spearmint. But they’re not. They’re mentholated eucaplytus flavored. Just like Hall’s Cough Drops.

Gomas EucaliptoThey’re sweet and aromatic and tingly.

It’s rather refreshing to get a cough drop that’s not all crunchy and hard, instead it’s soothing and invigorating all at once.

Definitely a winner in my book.

Rating: 7 out of 10.

NikoloName: Nikolo
Brand: Arcor
Size: 30 grams

The packaging here is pretty, it’s a white thick plastic wrap with a bold brown logo for the name of the bar and pretty little pictures of the nuts in the bar.

The label says, “tableta con sabor a chocolate rellena con mani almendra y cereal crocante” which means “peanut, almond and crispy cereal filled chocolatey bar.”

NikoloThe chunky look of the bar reminded me of Legos and was just about as tasty.

The nuts were fresh and crunchy and gave the bar a promising aroma, but the mockolate in this bar was waxy, chalky and just so bad. Look at it in the photo ... does that look like something you’re supposed to eat or something I molded out of dung?

Rating: 2 out of 10.

GolpeName: Golpe
Brand: Arcor
Size: 27 grams

If it weren’t for the Arcor brand on this, I’d be looking forward to this bar. The label says “Oblea rellena cubierta con caramelo y cereal crocante, con cobertura sabor chocolate” ... which translates to (courtesy of the wrapper, thankyouverymuch) “Filled wafer, toffee, crispies, all covered with chocolate flavor.”

Oh Arcor, again with the chocolate flavor? Is that why your company motto is “Le damos sabor al mundo” (translation: We flavor the world)?

GolpeIt’s a nice looking wrapper and it made me think of soccer.

The bar looks promising as well, with it’s crunchy studded mockolate. Inside are wafers with creme filling and then a scant covering of glistening caramel (I’m guessing that’s the toffee). The wafers are nice, and the toffee adds some nice flavor to the whole thing, but the bar had a rather chemical taste, like licking fresh dry cleaning. I don’t know if that’s the taste of Carbox/Methylcellulose (the last ingredient on the list), but it made my tongue buzz.

After this series of Arcor products they are now on my list as the Worst Candymakers in the World. (Granted, I haven’t tried everything made by everyone yet.)

This candy bar was made in Chile.

Rating: 2 out of 10.

SublimeName: Sublime
Brand: Nestle
Size: 22 grams

This is a cute little bar. The wrapper says, “Chocolate Blanco de leche con Mani” which is “white milk chocolate with peanuts.” Doesn’t sound too bad.

And it is pretty cute to look at.

SublimeThe chocolate is rather sweet, but also has a salty bite to it, which helped the peanut flavors stand out. I’m wondering if this was not de-odorized cocoa butter (most white chocolate is deodorized, so it has no chocolate flavor to it). It just may have been that the milk flavors with the peanuts were strong.

It was actually pretty good white chocolate bar. A little grainy but not the least bit waxy.

This bar was made in Bolivia.

Rating: 5 out of 10.

PrincesaName: Princesa
Brand: Nestle
Size: 38 grams

This is a cute little bar and of course has a upscale appeal of a regal name like Princesa. The ingredients are promising too, real chocolate in there.

The bar says that it’s “chocolate relleno con crema de mani” which means “chocolate stuffed with peanut butter.” Yum!

PrincesaThe chocolate here is dark (though there’s some milk listed in the ingredients, it’s way down the list). It’s a creamy though sweet bar. The peanut butter is very smooth and creamy as well and is completely overshadowed by the chocolate.

There’s a little spicy taste in the background, kind of like cinnamon.

This is a nice bar, not as peanutty as I expected, but as sedate and reserved as you’d expect from royalty.

Rating: 6 out of 10.

POSTED BY Cybele AT 6:14 am     CandyReviewArcorKraftNestleCaramelChocolateCookieGummi CandyMockolateNutsPeanutsWhite Chocolate2-Appalling3-Unappealing4-Benign5-Pleasant6-Tempting7-Worth ItBrazilPeruComments (78)

Thursday, March 1, 2007

February Search Strings

Here’s the list from last month for search strings that brought people to Candy Blog.

1. choxie
2. maya gold
3. oriental trading
4. japanese candy
5. choxie bar
6. cadbury mini eggs
7. kinder bueno
8. oriental trading company
9. twix
10. bonkers candy

This list is just a bit different than that last few. New to the list are Twix and Oriental Trading Company ... basically because those were new reviews. And the Cadbury Mini Eggs is a new one, but it’s obvious that’s what’s on folk’s mind right now. (They’re on mine, too.)

POSTED BY Cybele AT 5:56 pm     CandySearch StringsComments (0)

Terry’s Chocolate Orange Confection

DSC08829rThis is another tale of a super find at the 99 Cent Only Store.

I went in there looking for Pink Grapefruit Mentos. I ran out of my most recent stash (from Munchies) and didn’t feel liked driving all the way over to Beverly Hills or wherever that is and I also didn’t really want to pay a dollar a roll. I’ve seen them before at 99 Cent Only Stores, but I hadn’t in quite a while. So on my third 99 Cent Only Store in two weeks, I quietly gave up that search. This didn’t stop me from scouring the aisles for something else that would be good to report back on.

Enter the Terry’s Chocolate Orange Confection.

DSC08833rJust like the milk chocolate orange (or Peppermint Chocolate Orange), this is a sphere of little wedges stuck together with a stem of white chocolate. The sticker on the wrapper bids you to “Whack and Unwrap”. I’ve never had the confidence to do that, I just unwrap it and pry it apart by pressing my thumb into the top of the orange and prying out a few wedges ... then a little pressure applied to the rest of it in my palm and pretty much falls apart.

These puppies usually sell for about $4.00 ... and here I was picking up one for only 99 cents. Don’t worry, the expiration date says June 28, 2007, so this is fresh.

The package calls this A White Chocolate Confection, so I immediately examined the ingredients: Sugar, Cocoa Butter, Nonfat Milk, Whey, Lactose, Soy Lecithin, Orange Oil, Natural and Artificial Flavor. Hey! That doesn’t sound too bad, no partially hydrogenated oils, no tropical fats! (Not that there isn’t a lot of fat in there ... )

image

The wedges smell sweet and milky with a slight hint of orange to them. They’re definitely sweet, though there’s a decent buttery melt on the tongue before the light orange essence kicks in. It’s not super-orangy, but it definitely cuts through what would otherwise be a too-sweet white chocolate slice.

I can’t say that I’d go buying and eating these all the time, but I liked the price. A lot. And as a treat goes, it’s special and attractive. If you’re putting together an Easter basket, this would be a great, inexpensive featured item.

Note: Terry’s of York is now owned by Kraft. This was made in Poland (as was the peppermint one I had last year).

Name: White Chocolate Orange Confection
    RATING:
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 6 TEMPTING
  • 5 PLEASANT
  • 4 BENIGN
  • 3 UNAPPEALING
  • 2 APPALLING
  • 1 INEDIBLE
Brand: Terry's (Kraft)
Place Purchased: 99 Cent Only Store (Hollywood)
Price: 99 Cents!
Size: 6 ounces
Calories per ounce: 153
Categories: White Chocolate, Poland, Kraft

POSTED BY Cybele AT 7:32 am     Comments (15)

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Theo Confections

Theo Chocolate is a new company that makes fair trade, organic chocolate from bean to bar (and bonbon) right in Seattle. Think about it ... they start with the raw materials and create not only the chocolate but go on to craft the fine ganaches and couveture - all without the use of pesticides, hormones or chemical fertilizers and giving the cacao folks a fair price for their beans. There are very few chocolate makers out there that do that, anywhere in the world, let alone here in the states. The only one that even comes close in the bean to bonbon arena Michel Cluizel in France.

image

I got to try just about everything Theo Chocolates makes at the Fancy Food Show last month including their Confections Collection.

Earl Grey - a beautifully smooth ganache with a rich and dark blend of tea and bergamot flavors in equally rich chocolate.

Ivory Coast - the essential chocolate truffle, dark and smooth with a buttery feel that helps with the woodsy and bitter notes of the chocolate.

Peanut Butter & Jelly - yes, right next to the most upscale of all chocolate expressions is the PB&J except this peanut butter is a praline (kind of crystallized) with a raspberry fruit paste to die for.

Fig Fennel - this has to be the homerun hit of the entire box. Not just because it’s so wonderfully flavorful, but because I’ve never had this combination in quite this way before.

Mint - it’s like it was muddled just for me only moments ago ... the mint tastes that fresh.

Peanut Butter - like the PB&J, this one has a peanut butter praline that’s not sweet at all but has a wonderful woodsy, nutty crunch to it. A little dry.

Scotch - exceptional with its savory smoky notes like tobacco and leather mixed in with the butter and raisin notes of the chocolate.

Burnt Sugar - I’ve had several of these now, the effect is rather like a light creme brulee, with all the flavor of the crusty sugar top and all the creaminess of chocolate and heavy cream in the truffle.

Lemon - the white truffle of the pack, it’s really lemony without being sticky white-chocolate sweet. It has both the tangy notes and the zesty flavors.

Vanilla - very vanilla, with little flecks of it in the ultra-smooth ganache and an overall bourbon note.

(I shared this box with my husband and he ate the Ginger truffle.)

These might be my new favorite chocolates, if only they were easier to get a hold of. I’ve not been to the factory, so I don’t know if you can just go in there and buy singles (or a whole box of one flavor). No compromises ... that’s what it’s all about. It’s still a guilty pleasure, but fewer things to feel guilty about.

I also have a complete assortment of their bars that I’m working my way through, so stay tuned for the reviews of those.

POSTED BY Cybele AT 12:38 pm     CandyChocolatierReviewTheoChocolateCoffeeEthically SourcedMintsOrganicPeanuts9-YummyUnited StatesComments (8)

Cadbury Orange Creme Eggs

Last year I tried the first expansion in the Cadbury Creme Egg line, the Cadbury Caramel Egg. That one made perfect sense, as Cadbury is known far and wide for their Caramello bar. This year they’ve introduced the Cadbury Orange Creme Egg.

image

The egg looks the same on the outside, with its classic egg shape and simple star design on the shell. It smells like a Terry’s Chocolate Orange. Sweet and a little orangy ... but nothing like chocolate.

imageI was pretty pleased how it looked when I opened it. Both of the eggs I bought had some leakage/gap issues. The one pictured here had a small cavity that made a little portion of the fondant more crumbly than smooth and flowing (you can see it on the larger part of the egg to the left of the yolk. The second egg had a leak in it and was pasted to the foil. I was very careful when picking my eggs at the store, I got them out of the still full display box towards the back of the shelf instead of the one at the edge of the shelf and I made sure the package wasn’t at all sticky or bumpy.

The chocolate is ordinary American Cadbury milk chocolate. A little milky tasting (like powdered milk), very sweet and with a slight grain. The interior looked like the Cadbury Creme Egg is supposed to look in the center - a bright white fondant with a yellow yolk. The fondant has a pleasant light orange taste to it, a little like a Creamsicle - all sweetness and no tang but lacking the zestier elements that orange oils can bring.

Overall, this was more to my liking than the regular Cadbury Creme Egg, but I don’t see myself buying and eating these again. I’m curious to hear what the CCE fans have to say about it though.

See SugarHog.net’s take on the egg as well, she’s a bigger fan than I of the CCEs as a whole.

Related Candies

  1. UK vs US Cadbury Dairy Milk
  2. Junior Fruit Cremes
  3. Cadbury Popping Mini Eggs
  4. Cadbury Ornament Creme Egg
  5. Cadbury Canadian Creme Eggs
  6. Cherry Cordial Creme Kisses
  7. Cadbury Eggs: Creme & Caramel
Name: Orange Creme Egg
    RATING:
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 6 TEMPTING
  • 5 PLEASANT
  • 4 BENIGN
  • 3 UNAPPEALING
  • 2 APPALLING
  • 1 INEDIBLE
Brand: Cadbury (mfd by Hershey)
Place Purchased: CVS (Silverlake)
Price: $.69
Size: 1.2 ounces
Calories per ounce: unknown
Categories: Chocolate, United States, Cadbury, Hershey's, Easter

POSTED BY Cybele AT 6:55 am     Comments (37)

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Soubeyran Array

Soubeyran ArrayThis is just an excuse to brag about a great recent gift that I just finished consuming. It was a gift box of Arnaud Soubeyran treats. It featured an assortment of nougats, chocolate covered almonds and marzipan. (I dropped some heavy hints about this in the holiday sales post.)

The large, flat box displayed the candy to great effect. The box itself is pretty nice too, a red linen with the Arnaud Soubeyran logo only lightly embossed on the front.

If you recall, I fell in love with the Soubeyran Nougat de Montelimar last year.

image

There were three different kinds of nougat here. The first was the plain with lavender honey, almonds and pistachios. The second is the same covered in dark chocolate. The third is orange covered in milk chocolate. The classic and dark chocolate were fantastic, as usual. I love the small, individually wrapped pieces. The orange was a bit too sweet for me, the milk chocolate wasn’t really chocolatey enough for me but the idea of orange nougat is pretty compelling. I’m not saying that I didn’t like it well enough to eat them all, I’d just have the others before and after.

DSC08259The other item in the assortment worth mentioning are the chocolate covered almonds (Olivettes). The almonds were crisp, fresh and crunchy. The chocolate was good quality and not too sweet. The olive colored one was a “white” chocolate on the outside and dark chocolate on the inside. I thought they were pretty sassy looking and ended up putting them in a jar just so I could admire them before I ate them.

The last element in the box were two rows of marzipan called Calissons. They were pretty little leaf shaped wedges of firm marzipan with a bit of sugar glaze on them. I found them tasty, if a little dry. They didn’t taste like poison quite as much as most other marzipans do to me, so I might consider that a plus. My husband enjoyed them quite a bit, so I felt a little better that I was sharing.

You can get an assortment of these nougats sans extras from ArtisanSweets.com (scroll down to the Montelimar Nougats Gift Bag) for $11. Yes, it’s expensive stuff. I really shouldn’t have been sharing it.

Name: Assortment by Arnaud Soubeyran
    RATING:
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 6 TEMPTING
  • 5 PLEASANT
  • 4 BENIGN
  • 3 UNAPPEALING
  • 2 APPALLING
  • 1 INEDIBLE
Brand: Arnaud Soubeyran
Place Purchased: gift (thanks Ruth & Emil!)
Price: unknown
Size: unknown
Calories per ounce: unknown
Categories: Chocolate, Nougat, Nuts, France

POSTED BY Cybele AT 10:05 am     Comments (7)

Mentos Ice Pomelo

DSC08511rSantos of Scent of Green Bananas has been a great source of fun Mentos and KitKats. She’s been promising me some Pomelo Mentos, which I imagine are much like Pink Grapefruit Mentos.

But last month she surprised me with these little gems from Guam.

Ice Pomelo Mentos sound rather odd. For those of you who have never seen them, pomelos are large citrus fruit with a very thick skin and grapefruity taste (the common grapefruit is a cross between an orange and a pomelo).  I’m always a little leary when combining mint and citrus but then I have to remember that the mojito seems to combine Lime and Spearmint to great effect, so I’m game.

They look rather like the Pink Grapefruit Mentos, a cool and mellow pink. Upon biting into them, they’re soft and chewy (hooray for fresh freshmakers!) with an immediate hit of mentholated mint ... kind of like a Hall’s cough drop. The citrus pops in with some nice zest to it, but no tangy/juicy component.

I can’t rate these as high as the Pampelmousse, but I still liked them quite a bit, especially since I’ve been getting over the bronchitis and medicinal tasting things are actually a comfort.

Name: Mentos Ice Pomelo
    RATING:
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 6 TEMPTING
  • 5 PLEASANT
  • 4 BENIGN
  • 3 UNAPPEALING
  • 2 APPALLING
  • 1 INEDIBLE
Brand: Perfetti Van Melle
Place Purchased: gift (thanks Santos!)
Price: unknown
Size: unknown
Calories per ounce: unknown
Categories: Chew, Mint, Perfetti Van Melle

POSTED BY Cybele AT 6:06 am     Comments (4)

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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

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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:

• Patric Chocolate

• Amano Chocolates

• Candy Rant: Stimulants are not Energy

• Candy Encyclopedia: The Difference Between Gummi and Jelly

• Candy Rant: If your Licorice isn’t black, it isn’t Licorice

 

 

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