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Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Candyology 101 - Podcast Episode 27 - Christmas and Peppermint

Candyology101-27

There’s a lot of candy out there for Christmas, but the seasonal flavor pendulum has swung back from Pumpkin Spice and gingerbread to plain old Peppermint. Listen to this episode of Candyology 101 as Maria and I talk about this year’s crop of Christmas candy.

 

Download the MP3 and of course check out the extensive show notes with product links.

 

POSTED BY Cybele AT 3:08 pm     CandyChristmasHighlightRadio InterviewsComments (0)

Monday, December 7, 2015

M&Ms Cafe Mocha

M&Ms MochaTarget’s newest seasonal edition of M&Ms is a rather nonseasonal but welcome classic: M&Ms Milk Chocolate Cafe Mocha.

They’re far more expensive than regular M&Ms. At Target they were on sale 2 bags for $6, but the regular varieties were larger bags. Milk Chocolate M&Ms come in an 11.4 ounce bags. For Halloween picked up the Pumpkin Spice Latte in a 9.9 ounce bag. The same is true for the returning Peppermint White Chocolate M&Ms, they’re now in an 8 ounce bag.

M&Ms Mocha

They’re larger than standard M&Ms, basically puffier. If you eat them carefully by cleaving them in half you can tell that the milk chocolate center is created in two layers. It’s like they took a regular M&M and then gave it another chocolate coating and then a candy shell. I’m not sure why the Limited Edition flavors are all this shape, but they are. It’s interesting to note that the Walmart exclusive flavor of Hot Chocolate M&Ms does have a different center. I have to wonder if this is because the manufacturing process is re-purposed from the failed M&Ms Premiums line from 2008.

The shells are green or red. My bag contained mostly green, it was tough to find reds to populate the photos, they’re less than a third of the package. There’s no actual coffee listed in the ingredients.

M&Ms Mocha

They don’t smell like much in the bag, a little less like chocolate but not fully like coffee. The bite is not at all soft, the chocolate is a little chalky and fudgy. The melt gives off a lot of sweetness and a little note of bitterness at first as well as a good whiff of coffee. The chocolate is okay, not great but the bitterness of the coffee notes, the roasted and woodsy aspects kind of cover for the milk flavors. It’s not really a latte flavor, its more of a coffee with milk and cocoa. It might have been fun to see them try this with a dark chocolate, but I’m patient. This is their first try at coffee M&Ms since the Premiums line. (And there will be another version of coffee and peanuts next spring.)

Mars does a great job with their coffee flavors, it’s well rounded without too much of a fake flavor note to it (like some other buttery things they’ve done). I’d love to see these come back as a seasonal tradition, but at all stores. I’ll pick up more bags soon, just in case they don’t.

Related Candies

  1. Milk Chocolate M&Ms Pumpkin Spice Latte
  2. Russell Stover Big Bite Coffee
  3. Dove Mocha Latte & Dark Chocolate Swirl Promises
  4. Ritter Sport Coffee and Hazelnuts (Winter Edition)
  5. Lindt Hello Coffee Blast (Limited Edition)
  6. Meiji Corot & CoffeeBeat
  7. Javaz - Milk & Dark Chocolate Covered Coffee Beans
  8. M&Ms Premiums
  9. KitKat Mocha


Name: M&Ms Cafe Mocha
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Mars
Place Purchased: Target (Eagle Rock)
Price: $3.00
Size: 8 ounces
Calories per ounce: 142
Categories: Candy, Christmas, Mars, Chocolate, Coffee, M&Ms, 8-Tasty, United States, Target

POSTED BY Cybele AT 5:13 pm     CandyReviewChristmasMarsChocolateCoffeeM&Ms8-TastyUnited StatesTargetComments (6)

Monday, November 30, 2015

Ritter Sport Nut Crescent Cookie

DSC_0053rbRitter Sport Winter Edition Nut Crescent Cookie comes in a rich red wrapper with a matching snowman in a red hat and scarf.

This Winter Edition of the classic square Ritter Sport is a cream filled chocolate bar with 16 little squares. I found mine at Cost Plus World Market, which has been a pretty reliable source for the winter versions (though less often the summer ones). They’re a smidge more expensive than the regular Ritter bars at $2.99, but they’re also placed with the Christmas candy, not the ordinary candy bars.

The bar is described as milk chocolate filled with hazelnut creme and hazelnut cookie pieces. I love the hazelnut bars that Ritter Sport makes, so this was a really enticing idea.

DSC_0085rb

The bar, once broken, looks an awful lot like the chai one, no real perceptible nuts or nut paste or cookie bits, just off white cream.

The bar smells milky but with an actual hazelnut note to it. The cream center is a bit on the greasy side, but does actually have crunches of cookies and some small hazelnut bits. That roasted hazelnut smell, that Nutella scent, takes over the chocolate though. While the coating is milk chocolate, it definitely tastes more like gianduia.

The bar is decent, but not special enough for me. It’s a little on the bland side, and the greasy cream filling doesn’t have enough of the hazelnut punch I’d hoped for. The cookie bits are too few and of course the cream filling is really high in palm fat.

Related Candies

  1. Lindt Hello Dark Chocolate Cookie
  2. Bourbon Everyburger Black Cocoa & Vanilla Cookies
  3. Ritter Sport Coffee and Hazelnuts (Winter Edition)
  4. Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate Speculoos Cookie Butter Cups
  5. Dove Hazelnut Crisp Dark Chocolate Promises
  6. Lindt Bars: Wafer, Cresta and Dark Hazelnut
  7. KitKat Hazelnut Cream
  8. Ritter Sport White Chocolate with Hazelnuts


Name: Winter Edition Nut Crescent Cookie
    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: 164
Categories: Candy, Christmas, Ritter Sport, Chocolate, Cookie, Limited Edition, Nuts, 6-Tempting, Germany, Cost Plus

POSTED BY Cybele AT 3:27 pm     CandyReviewChristmasRitter SportChocolateCookieLimited EditionNuts6-TemptingGermanyCost PlusComments (0)

Monday, November 23, 2015

Ritter Sport Vanilla Chai Latte

Ritter Sport Vanilla Chai LatteRitter Sport has introduced seasonal varieties for the past five years or so (or at least that I’ve been able to get a hold of). The newest set for Winter include a new version called Ritter Sport Vanilla Chai Latte.

The description on the English label on the back says that it’s milk chocolate filled with vanilla cream, spices and black tea extract.

The ingredients are actually a little less creamy and a bit more oily:

Sugar, palm fat, lactose, cocoa butter, chocolate liquor, skim milk, milk cream, butterfat, soy lecithin, black tea extract, natural flavors, spice extract, natural vanilla flavor with other natural flavors.

Like other Ritter Sport cream filled bars, this one clocks in at 164 calories per ounce, which definitely on the high side, especially when it has 9 grams of saturated fat per a 38 gram serving. 

DSC_0077rb

It smells a bit like a pumpkin cheesecake. There’s a spice note, which is pleasant but not terribly distinct, just some generic nutmeg, clove and cinnamon. I’ve actually had my fair share of spiced chai over the years, so I know that the spices vary quite a bit. But they’re not that dissimilar to Pumpkin Spice or Gingerbread Spices. What sets it apart here is the black tea extract. Or at least it should.

Ritter Sport Vanilla Chai Latte

The milk chocolate bar is very sweet, the chocolate part is milky and creamy but not at all intense, it’s quite overpowered by the spices in the cream. The filling is a little more fudgy and thick, but not at all grainy or oily. The black tea part gives a little tannic note, but mostly the flavors are nutmeg and clove with maybe a little allspice.

It’s an interesting bar because of the warming spices and the cream filling, but I’ve mentioned before that I don’t think that the cream bars that Ritter makes are their strongest item. The flavoring overpowers the chocolate experience, which is usually very good for the price point (much better than Toblerone). I’ll pass on this one if it comes back again next winter.

Related Candies

  1. Ritter Sport Coffee and Hazelnuts (Winter Edition)
  2. Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate Speculoos Cookie Butter Cups
  3. Ritter Sport Winter Edition Coconut Macaroon
  4. Ritter Sport Winter Edition Caramel-Orange
  5. Twix Gingerbread
  6. Ritter Sport Espresso
  7. Ritter Sport Sommer-Genuss 2010 Limited Editions
  8. Theo 3400 Phinney Bars
  9. Dagoba Chai


Name: Vanilla Chai Latte
    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: 164
Categories: Candy, Christmas, Ritter Sport, Chocolate, Cinnamon, 6-Tempting, Germany, Cost Plus

POSTED BY Cybele AT 2:50 pm     CandyReviewChristmasRitter SportChocolateCinnamon6-TemptingGermanyCost PlusComments (0)

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Lakerol Yuzu Citrus

The Lakerol pastille is a simple, soft lozenge made in Sweden. They were first introduced in 1909 as a combination of eucalyptus and menthol in a gum arabic base. The effect is a slightly chewy drop that’s both soothing and takes a long time to dissolve.

Lakerol Yuzu Citrus

Lakerol lozenges are now made by Cloetta, a large Swedish company with a pretty diverse set of confectionery holdings like Kex, Red Band, Malaco (Swedish Fish) and Xilifresh.

I’ve seen the little boxes of Lakerol at import shops, delis and drug stores all my life. They have a very diverse array of flavors, with licorice and black currant as their most popular. I saw this version, which is not sugar free, in Yuzu Citrus at Cost Plus World Market. I’ve had a bit of a hoarse throat since getting over a cold a few weeks ago, so this is exactly the sort of lozenge I like to pick up.

The box holds about 2 dozen little disks, which is only .88 ounces. The pieces are a little larger than shirt buttons with a starburst pattern and the letter A at the center (for Adolf Ahlgren, who started the company). The package says they’re sugar free, they’re made with a combination of maltitol, sorbitol and stevia, but no artificial sweeteners. (The licorice variety contains acesulfame-K, so I’ve avoided Lakerol for many years.)

The texture is firm, but bendable. They have a good citrus flavor with a light note of menthol. The yuzu is a little like a mix of grapefruit and tangerine, and in this case the ingredients list quite a few citruses: grapefruit, orange, sanginello and yuzu. The dissolve is very smooth but it makes a thick, glycerine sort-of-syrupy coating. This is great for a dry throat, and the citrus flavor is fresh without being cloying or too minty (which can burn my sinuses if I’ve taken a decongestant).

They’re pretty nice, the box is small and easy to carry and each little piece lasts for quite a while. I always enjoy these firm gum lozenges, like Grethers Pastilles or Pine Bros around this time of year. I’m glad that Lakerol has some that aren’t artificially sweetened.

Related Candies

  1. Pine Bros Softish Throat Drops - Licorice
  2. Kasugai Yuzu Gummy Candy
  3. Pine Bros Softish Throat Drops
  4. Bissinger’s Lemon Ginger Yuzu Gummi Pandas
  5. Tea Forte Minteas Lemongrass Yuzu
  6. 12 European Licorices
  7. Dr. Doolittle’s Pastilles (Lemon, Grapefruit & Wild Berry)
  8. HiCHEW Yuzu & Valencia


Name: Yuzu Citrus Pastilles
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Cloetta
Place Purchased: Cost Plus World Market (Farmers Market)
Price: $1.49
Size: .88 ounces
Calories per ounce: 74
Categories: Candy, Cloetta, Jelly Candy, 8-Tasty, Cost Plus

POSTED BY Cybele AT 1:55 pm     CandyReviewCloettaJelly Candy8-TastyCost PlusComments (1)

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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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