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Friday, October 6, 2006

Endangered Species: Milk Chocolate with Peanut Butter

Around this time last year I barely knew what Fair Trade was and there really weren’t that many chocolate products out there that were Fair Trade Certified. Now you can not only get cocoa and plain dark chocolate, but also some pretty cool flavored chocolate bars. Endangered Species seems to be leading the way with the Fair Trade “candy” bars in their new Premium Organic line.

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Each bar is a single serving and easy to pick up at the checkout of your favorite “wholesome” market like Whole Foods, Wild Oats or Zoo gift shop.

Along with the Fair Trade and organic certifications, this bar boasts high cocoa content of 52% (high for a milk chocolate). This wrapper has a giraffe on the label and everyone knows that the pattern on giraffes is known as the peanut shell. (Okay, I made that part up.)

The chocolate is buttery smooth and very sweet on the tongue. It has very strong smoky qualities with a slight bitterness at the start but a good nutty flavor. Once I start eating the bar, the unpleasant burnt quality goes away, but each time I stop and start I have to go through the process all over again. I’m afraid I can’t give it the highest marks because of that. Now, I’m one of those “supertaster” people, so I tend to be more sensitive to bitter, so your mileage may vary.

Interesting fact about giraffes from the wrapper: A giraffe’s neck contains seven vertebrae, just like ours.

Name: Smooth Organic Milk Chocolate with Peanut Butter
    RATING:
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 6 TEMPTING
  • 5 PLEASANT
  • 4 BENIGN
  • 3 UNAPPEALING
  • 2 APPALLING
  • 1 INEDIBLE
Brand: Endangered Species
Place Purchased: samples from Endangered Species
Price: retail ~$1.49
Size: 1.4 ounces
Calories per ounce: 157
Categories: Chocolate, Peanuts, United States, Endangered Species, Kosher, Organic, Fair Trade

POSTED BY Cybele AT 7:21 am     Comments (4)

Thursday, October 5, 2006

Brain Candy! (gummi brains)

Brains! Brains! Must eat brains!

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I don’t have much to say ... they’re gummis in the shape of brains. The colors vary, some with blue in them, some white and pink or red. But they’re all the same fruity, berry flavor.

They’re lovely, if you like to look at brains. They have nice folds and detail, with a good left-brain/right-brain distinction. They’re soft and very fragrant.

I got mine in a large bag of 6.6 pounds. Yes, that’s as much as two actual human brains weigh! I know that the human brain weighs three pounds because there’s a show coming on CBS mid-season called 3 LBS that’s about brain surgeons! (This is different from the piece of information we gleaned from Jerry Maguire that the human head weighs 8 lbs - which I figure includes the skull and eyeballs and stuff.)

If you’re a zombie fan and are planning a big movie extravaganza for Halloween, you probably need 6.6 pounds of brains. I have the large brains here, they’re about 1 3/4” lengthwise, which is a good size for a three-bite brain. They also come in a little, one bite size. I kind of miss the variety of flavors like you get with gummi bears. But the appearance of a good squishy candy brain is pretty good. They’d be fun cupcake toppers, too.

Name: Gummi Brains (Large)
    RATING:
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 6 TEMPTING
  • 5 PLEASANT
  • 4 BENIGN
  • 3 UNAPPEALING
  • 2 APPALLING
  • 1 INEDIBLE
Brand: Lutti
Place Purchased: samples from CandyWarehouse.com
Price: $27
Size: 6.6 pounds
Calories per ounce: 132
Categories: Gummi, Belgium, Halloween

POSTED BY Cybele AT 6:41 am     Comments (8)

Wednesday, October 4, 2006

Peanut Butter Kisses

These aren’t really called Peanut Butter Kisses ... I believe those are molasses taffy with a bit of peanut butter inside of them and are often wrapped in black or orange waxed paper with twisted ends. The real name of these is Hershey’s Kisses filled with Peanut Butter.

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PB Kisses were introduced as a limited edition item but were quickly deemed popular enough to become part of the regular repertoire and were added in June 2006.

The PB Kiss sports a light gold wrapper with red wiggly stripes and the word Peanut Butter on the foil. The little red flags say Peanut Butter as well. The Kisses look a little different out of the wrapper, the shell is smoother. These Kisses are molded instead of being extruded, so they’re shiny.

Inside the milk chocolate shell is a little dab of peanut butter filling. It’s got a good roasted flavor with a little hit of salt. It’s not super-smoothed like a Reese’s Pieces, but more like the inside of a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup (but not quite as crumbly).

They’re very tasty and quite addictive. The only problem I have with them is they’re a little greasy feeling when you take them out of the foil - I know that’s because of the peanut butter.

I’m not quite sure why these needed to be created though ... how different are then from the Reese’s Miniatures, except that there’s only one wrapper on them instead of a cup and a wrapper? The ratio, which everyone knows is very important with peanut butter items, is different though - there’s less peanut butter to chocolate here. So if you’re a chocolate fan but not so keen on a giganto hit of peanut butter, this may be your new favorite candy.

I picked these up at the 99 Cent Only Store and at 99 cents for an 11 ounce bag, they’re quite a deal. Don’t worry, they’re not three years old or anything, I’ve got the Hershey’s code!

Name: Kisses filled with Peanut Butter
    RATING:
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 6 TEMPTING
  • 5 PLEASANT
  • 4 BENIGN
  • 3 UNAPPEALING
  • 2 APPALLING
  • 1 INEDIBLE
Brand: Hershey's
Place Purchased: 99 Cent Only Store
Price: 99 cents!
Size: 11 ounces
Calories per ounce: 159
Categories: Chocolate, Peanut, United States, Hershey

POSTED BY Cybele AT 8:52 am     Comments (7)

Equal Exchange Halloween Kit

Equal Exchange has a new kit just for Halloween and Fair Trade celebrating and GreenLAGirl has the complete scoop.

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Basically it’s a fun kit that includes Equal Exchange miniatures (perfect for tossing in those trick or treat bags) as well as some decorations and informative cards about fair trade.

Because October is Fair Trade month, you can get a special discount: 10% off on all orders of $20 or more use the coupon code ftm2006. So throw in an additional bag of the miniatures to make the minimum and you’re good to go for your Green Halloween!

Here’s the original review of the chocolates.

POSTED BY Cybele AT 7:30 am     CandyGreen HalloweenReviewHalloweenEqual ExchangeChocolateEthically Sourced8-TastyComments (0)

Tuesday, October 3, 2006

Dalandan & Juicy Ponkan Mentos

You thought Pink Grapefruit and Licorice Mentos were exotic? How about these flavors from the Philippines ... sent to me by Santos of Scent of Green Bananas. They’re both citrus flavors: Dalandan Fresh and Juicy Ponkan.

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Dalandan Fresh comes in green, yellow and blue wrappers, but the candy itself is a lovely sherbet orange. A dalandan is a citrus commonly known in the Philippines as the Sweet Orange. They’re likened to Valencia oranges, but the main difference is in the appearance. A ripe dalandan has a green peel (hence the wrapper is green).

The candy has a nice chew, of course, and a good sweet burst of orange essence with a bit of a tangerine or clementine note and maybe a little pomelo thrown in. It’s more sweet than tangy, but the flavor is pretty intense. I miss the sour notes that are in the Pink Grapefruit but this is much better than the plain orange available in the mixed fruit box.

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The Juicy Ponkan flavor comes in an intense orange wrapper but the candy inside is a soft orange. Like the dalandan, the ponkan is a citrus but this one is in the tangerine/mandarin family and has an orange rind that’s leathery and easy to peel. It’s a bit more tangy than the dalandan and has a more robust flavor with floral notes, tartness and a zesty essence that lingers.

I really liked this one, but they’re both a great change from plain old orange. Every once in a while one would have a slight minty or menthol taste, which made me wonder about the manufacturing process. Both varieties were manufactured in Indonesia for the Philippino market. (More about ponkan here.)

I know that it’s going to be hard for readers to go out and find these (I couldn’t even find a source online), so I’m happy to put together a prize package for Mentos Adventurers that will include an assortment of these and some other hard-to-find Mentos. To enter simply .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) with the subject line “MENTOS” by October 9th, 2006 at 12 noon Pacific. One lucky winner will get an all-expense paid package of Mentos from around the world. (The fine print: North America addresses only. No need to give me your address unless you win. One entry per person. Failure to follow rules will result in disqualification for drawing and general irritation.)

UPDATE (10/9/2006 - 3:02 PM) - No more entries, please… we have a winner! (To be announced shortly.)

Name: Juicy Ponkan & Dalandan Fresh Mentos
    RATING:
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 6 TEMPTING
  • 5 PLEASANT
  • 4 BENIGN
  • 3 UNAPPEALING
  • 2 APPALLING
  • 1 INEDIBLE
Brand: Mentos (Perfetti Van Melle)
Place Purchased: gift from Santos (thanks!)
Price: unknown
Size: 135 gram bags
Calories per ounce: unknown
Categories: Chew, Indonesia, Perfetti Van Melle

POSTED BY Cybele AT 7:00 am     Comments (11)

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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

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• Candyology 101 - Episode 22 - Reese’s

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