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Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Droga Money on Honey Caramels

DSC_8601rbAt the Fancy Food Show last month I tried an array of the offerings from Droga Chocolates, based her in Southern California.

The most standout among their confections, for me, is their Money on Honey Wildflower Honey Caramels. They’re a square caramel patty covered in Guittard dark chocolate and sprinkled with fleur de sel. But the big thing to note is that the caramel part is made with California wildflower honey and no corn syrup. So the center is just sugar, honey, cream and butter.

They’re made in a gluten free facility with non-gmo ingredients and are Kosher.

I picked up this box of four half-ounce or so caramels at Lolli & Pops. It’s a bit pricey for 2.4 ounces at $8.25.

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There’s a lot of packaging. There’s a tray where the caramels sit in fluted cups, which is then inside a box, which is then covered with a sleeve.

Each little piece, though, is quite perfect looking.

They smell of chocolate, with perhaps a floral note of the heavy beeswax scent.

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The caramel itself has a good chew, a gentle pull but is stiff enough to hold itself together with the chocolate. The chocolate is bittersweet, not terribly dark or bitter, more on the fruity and woodsy side of things. The caramel has a long lasting chew with a sort of oily nature to it towards the end that honey can impart. The honey flavors are strong and deep, with notes of malt and beeswax.

The sea salt on the top is concentrated kind of at the center, it could be a little better distributed across the surface. It does provide a nice counterpoint to the sweetness of the chocolate and caramel. But generally the chocolate caramel is not that sweet at all. Honey is sweet, for sure, but not as sweet as plain old sugar, it just has a longer ring to it, a longer finish that has a sort of malt and jasmine tea aftertaste to it.

I would definitely buy these again, but probably only for a special occasion because of the price. If there were a smaller single serving size of just one or two caramel, I think I’d be more inclined to indulge.

Related Candies

  1. Seely Dark Chocolate Mint Patties
  2. Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate Honey Mints
  3. Bees & Beans Honey Bar
  4. Zitrone Honig Tic Tac
  5. Zeke’s Butterscotch
  6. Honees Honey Filled Drops
  7. Eat with your Eyes: Honey Caramel
  8. Gimbal’s Honey Lovers


Name: Money on Honey Caramels
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Droga Chocolates
Place Purchased: Lolli & Pops (Glendale)
Price: $8.25
Size: 2.4 ounces
Calories per ounce: 117
Categories: All Natural, Candy, Caramel, Chocolate, 8-Tasty, United States

POSTED BY Cybele AT 4:09 pm     All NaturalCandyReviewCaramelChocolate8-TastyUnited StatesComments (0)

Monday, February 16, 2015

Ritter Sport Fine Extra Dark Chocolate

Ritter Sport Fine Extra Dark Chocolate 73% CocoaRitter Sport has an amazingly diverse product line of bars that include solid bars, bars with nuts or cookies, and others with flavored fillings.

One of their new introductions is the Ritter Sport Fine Extra Dark Chocolate 73% Cocoa (also called Amargo Extrafino).

The bar is much darker than their regular bars at 73% and is made from West Africa and Ecuadorian-sourced cocoa beans. Though the format of this bar is new I’m not sure if the concept really is, I’ve had a very dark bar from Ritter Sport before, though my tasting notes reveal it’s a bit different.

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Generally, I love Ritter Sport’s milk chocolate. They make a very creamy product, and actually work with several different recipes for use in different bars. Their dark bars, for the most part, are one of the better at the price point, but I don’t eat the plain dark bars, I go for the bars that have nuts or marzipan. So, the idea of picking up a Ritter Sport over the many other very dark bars out there means that it’s going to need something special to turn my head.

The format for this bar is different from their usual 16 squares. Instead, it’s 36 pieces (a 6 x 6 instead of a 4 x 4 array).

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The deep scoring makes the pieces easy to snap off. They’re nearly pyramidic, so a little awkward in shape in the mouth. There’s a fair amount of cocoa butter, so it has an easy and quick melt. For the most part the particle size is small, so it’s smooth ... but there were the odd gritty bits from time to time.

The cocoa flavors are overwhelmingly earthy. There are not fruit notes, except for perhaps a little green banana. The rest was like coffee, brownies and toasted coconut. It’s woodsy and deep. It’s satisfying and not at all bitter, though there’s a dry bite to it, but the cocoa butter covers up at the very end.

When I ran the numbers for the calories per ounce, I was a little shocked that it came out so high, though cacao content also includes cocoa butter for that percentage. So this bar has a lot of cocoa butter, far more than most dark bars.

This feels very much like the texture that Dove lovers might gravitate towards. I might buy it again, but I really want some nuts in it, maybe even a little salt hint somewhere. But if Ritter Sport starts using this chocolate base for other bars, I’d be very interested in going down that road with them.

Related Candies

  1. Ritter Sport Coffee and Hazelnuts (Winter Edition)
  2. Dove 71% Cacao Silky Smooth Dark Chocolate (Rainforest Alliance)
  3. Ritter Sport 100th Anniversary Edel-Nuss Mix + Bonus Previews
  4. Limited Edition Ritter Sport Winter Kreation + Factory Store
  5. Lindt Excellence Dark with a touch of Sea Salt
  6. Ghirardelli Intense Dark
  7. Ritter Darks


Name: Fine Extra Dark Chocolate 73%
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Ritter Sport
Place Purchased: Cost Plus World Market (Farmers Market)
Price: $2.99
Size: 3.5 ounces
Calories per ounce: 172
Categories: All Natural, Candy, Ritter Sport, Chocolate, 7-Worth It, Germany, Cost Plus

POSTED BY Cybele AT 3:25 pm     All NaturalCandyReviewRitter SportChocolate7-Worth ItGermanyCost PlusComments (1)

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Eat with Your Eyes: Pernigotti

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There’s more to hazelnuts and chocolate than Nutella. There are quite a few makers of gianduia, the paste made from combining chocolate and ground hazelnuts, in Italy. Pernigotti is one of the finest, creating lovely little foil wrapped treats since 1860.

You can read some previous reviews of their product line here.

POSTED BY Cybele AT 1:17 pm     CandyItalyHighlightPhotographyComments (2)

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Theo My Cherry Baby

Theo My Cherry BabyIt’s hard to resist a pretty bit of packaging, especially when, as I mentioned in last week’s review of the Theo’s Love Crunch, a chocolate bar is far better than a greeting card. The bubbly design in reds and pinks is a bit feminine, but the flavors should suit anyone who likes their milk chocolate on the deeper side of the pool.

This Theo bar delivers on the promise of the package, for me. The wrapper for the Theo Chocolate My Cherry Baby bar says, Fall in love with cherries in dreamy 45% milk chocolate - tangy, sweet and yummy.

The bars are made in Seattle with ethically sourced, non GMO, no soy, gluten free, Kosher and in this case, at a darn affordable price. For some reason they weren’t $4 a bar, which Theo is usually priced, but I got mine for $1.50 each.

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The bar is a dark milk, which is a nice place to start for a high end bar. The flavor is quite deep with rich coffee notes, but also quite a bit of malt and even a hint of yeast in there. The cherry pieces are tiny and a bit on the leathery side. They’re tangy and chewy, but not freeze dried crispy bits either. The flavor combines well, though both seem to bring out bitter notes in each other - I got the cherry skin bitterness on one hand and the roasted acrid notes from the chocolate.

It’s a tasty bar, easy to eat, but I felt no need to eat more than a large square at a time, even though a half of a bar is the recommended dose.

I do enjoy Theo Chocolate’s seasonal bars quite a bit, much more than their standard just-chocolate. The gold standard for them will probably always be the Dark Chocolate Salted Almond ... but toss in a few cherries for a holiday version, and I might be inclined to revise my opinion.

Related Candies

  1. Theo Chocolate Nutcracker Brittle
  2. Ghirardelli Dark Chocolate Cranberry
  3. Cacao Prieto 72% Dark Chocolate Pecan & Sour Cherry
  4. Theo Salted Almond Dark Chocolate
  5. Nestle Cherry Raisinets
  6. Theo 3400 Phinney Bars


Name: My Cherry Baby
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Theo Chocolate
Place Purchased: Whole Foods (Park LaBrea)
Price: $1.50 (on sale)
Size: 3 ounces
Calories per ounce: 147
Categories: All Natural, Candy, Valentines, Theo, Chocolate, Ethically Sourced, Kosher, Organic, 7-Worth It, United States, Whole Foods

POSTED BY Cybele AT 2:03 pm     All NaturalCandyReviewValentinesTheoChocolateEthically SourcedKosherOrganic7-Worth ItUnited StatesWhole FoodsComments (0)

Monday, February 9, 2015

Torie & Howard: Meyer Lemon & Raspberry

Torie & Howard makes organic hard candies in a variety of fruit flavors.

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I got this sample from the Fancy Food Show last month in their newest variety: Meyer Lemon & Raspberry Organic Hard Candy

They come in lovely tins, or can be purchased in bulk to refill the tin as well. There are some elegant touches, such as the inside of the tin is turquoise blue, instead of the default tin color.

As hard candies, the ingredients are pretty simple, so they’re organic, contain no corn syrup or gluten and are also free from GMO, soy and dairy products.

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The little wrappers take up a substantial amount of space in the tin, but they do hold 2 ounces of actual candy (more than the discontinued Altoids Sours).

The pieces are small, but fit well in the mouth. There are very few voids and the dissolve yields and intense flavor burst. I can’t quite tell that it’s a Meyer Lemon and not Eureka lemon flavors, but I can say that it’s lemony. The raspberry gives it a little more floral note, kissed with a bit of jam. The zest comes out later, and has a lasting bitter bite to it, so much that I kind of felt burned after eating five in succession (that is the serving size).

These are very refreshing, and I find them most useful in situations where I might want to stay alert, like driving or a long meeting. Since they’re small, they’re quite discreet. I think they’re a lovely gift or special occasion item, something to put in a gift basket for a baby shower or housewarming present. I don’t see buying these for myself except for extraordinary circumstances.

I would be curious to try spice flavors, though. I don’t know if I’ve seen a chai, or cinnamon in organic before.

Related Candies

  1. Simply Gum: Fennel Licorice
  2. Sugarfina Beverly Hills & Trio of Goodies
  3. Raley’s Hand Crafted Rock Hard Candies
  4. Torie & Howard Organic Hard Candies
  5. Newman’s Own Ginger Mints
  6. Gimbal’s Honey Lovers
  7. Organic Zootons
  8. Pure Fun & Yummy Earth Organic Hard Candies
  9. Organic Surf Sweets


Name: Meyer Lemon & Raspberry Organic Hard Candies
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Torie & Howard
Place Purchased: Samples from Torie & Howard
Price: $6.99
Size: 2 ounces
Calories per ounce: 106
Categories: All Natural, Candy, Hard Candy & Lollipops, Organic, 7-Worth It, Mexico

POSTED BY Cybele AT 4:13 pm     All NaturalCandyReviewTorie & HowardGummi CandyOrganic7-Worth ItMexicoComments (0)

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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.

Candy Season Ends

-20 days

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Which seasonal candy selection do you prefer?

Choose one or more:

  •   Halloween
  •   Christmas
  •   Valentine's Day
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ON DECK

These candies will be reviewed shortly:

• Mike and Ike Cotton Candy

• Strawberry Cajillions

• Candy Tease: Sweets & Snacks Part 1

• Hachez Braune Blatter (Chocolate Leaves)

• Rogue Chocolatier

 

 

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