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Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Ice Chips: Spearmint

DSC_9617rbIce Chips Candy is a line of sweets made almost entirely of xylitol. They come in 20 different varieties. Since this was a new product to me, I figured I’d start with Ice Chips: Spearmint.

The candy comes in a tin that’s pretty much the same as the one Altoids come in. The selling point, I’m guessing, of this mint is the fact that it’s made with xylitol, a natural sugar alcohol that is not only “sugarless” but also has been shown in clinical tests that it does not promote tooth decay. Though it does have some calories (about 1/3 fewer than other mints made with sugar), it’s not quickly digested by the body so has a very low glycemic index. The xylitol comes from birch trees, not corn like some xylitol products, so the makers say that it’s GMO free. It’s also vegan, gluten free, soy free and vegan.

Though I picked one of the most pedestrian flavors they offer, the candies also come in cherry, licorice, margarita, pumpkin spice and root beer float flavors.

DSC_9620rb

The chips are, well, chip-like. Think of it like peanut brittle, it’s a thin sheet of a sort of hard candy-like mint that’s been shattered into variously sized bits. Some are as big as a dime but most are more like a small tablet about 1/3 of an inch across.

They’re hard to photograph, which is why I left them in the tin for this shoot. They’re not colored, not opaque, not quite translucent. Not quite milky, so they don’t qualify as white.

If you’ve had xylitol candies before you know that like most sugar alcohols it’s a little cool on the tongue. This works very well with a flavor like spearmint or peppermint, which already has the cooling effect of the mint oils. The dissolve is interesting, but even more interesting is the fact that it’s crunchy, like a toffee only without the buttery notes.

Overall, the unique texture and excellent flavor profile makes these quite appealing. Personally, I find eating too much xylitol a problem (it can make some people gassy), so it’s not something I would eat as a candy, only reserve it as a breath freshener.

I’m curious about the other flavors, especially Root Beer Float and Cinnamon.

Related Candies

  1. Lily’s Dark Chocolate sweetened with Stevia
  2. Tea Forte Minteas Lemongrass Yuzu
  3. PUR Gum: Xylitol Sweetened
  4. Choward’s Spearmint & Lemon
  5. Spearmint Leaves
  6. SparX
  7. Hershey’s Favorites - Sugar Free


Name: Ice Chips: Spearmint
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Ice Chips Candy
Place Purchased: Sprouts (La Canada-Flintridge)
Price: $1.99
Size: 1.76 ounces
Calories per ounce: 71
Categories: All Natural, Candy, Mints, 7-Worth It, United States

POSTED BY Cybele AT 3:26 pm     All NaturalCandyReviewMints7-Worth ItUnited StatesComments (3)

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Lindt HELLO Pretzel Bites

Lindt Hello Pretzel BitesThe last of the three new Lindt HELLO Bites collection that I picked up for review is the blue-themed HELLO Pretzel Bites.

The concept is truly simple, a small, spherical pretzel is coated in milk chocolate. (The image on the front shows pretzel twists, but they’re not pieces of pretzels, they’re actual full spheres.)They’re very similar to the Toffee Bites, not that innovative, this product is definitely an American take on a standard confection.

The cheeky text on the front of the package reads: HELLO, I’m a handful [of] Pretzel Bites. You be the sweet, I’ll be the salty. (Nice to Sweet You)

Lindt Hello Pretzel Bites

Like the Toffee Bites and the Minty Bites, the chocolate here is excellent. Though it’s very sweet, it’s immediately creamy and smooth with a strong hint of cocoa. The salty pretzel center is crispy and light with enough crunch to offset the sweetness of the coating.

Still ... I wish they were dark chocolate. Or maybe a mix of the two would be fun.

Like Minty Bites and Toffee Bites, these are made in the USA. They’re on the expensive side for chocolate covered pretzels, and I don’t see myself buying them often, but of the three versions, this was my favorite and the one that I finished first.

Related Candies

  1. Lindt Hello Toffee Bites
  2. Lindt Hello Minty Bites
  3. Brach’s Chocolate Caramel Pretzel Bites
  4. Lindt Hello Dark Chocolate Cookie
  5. Revisit Reviews: Pretzel M&Ms, Rally Bar and Snickers Rockin’ Nut Road
  6. Snyder’s Peanut Butter Pretzel Sandwich Dips
  7. Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate Covered Pretzel Bites


Name: HELLO Pretzel Bites
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Lindt
Place Purchased: Target (Glendale)
Price: $4.00 (on sale)
Size: 5.3 ounces
Calories per ounce: 148
Categories: Candy, Morselization, Lindt, Chocolate, Cookie, United States, Target

POSTED BY Cybele AT 2:16 pm     CandyMorselizationLindtChocolateCookie9-YummyUnited StatesTargetComments (2)

Friday, September 11, 2015

Bubblicious Cotton Candy

I’m a big bubble gum fan, though not much of a chewer. I’m a purist, I like my bubble gum to be the traditional bubble gum flavor. I saw this Cotton Candy Bubblicious at the beginning of summer, though, and thought it was a splendid idea for a gum flavor.

DSC_9365rb

The pieces are ridiculously blue, the package design is wonderfully summery, and it all smells like an air freshener designed for a child’s room.

The lightly strawberry sweet scent is strong enough that I new which room I’d left this package in without even looking. It’s not chemically or unappealing, though it doesn’t necessarily smell like food.

The pieces were easy to open from the little paper wrappers and soft. The easy chew was very sweet with less of the strawberry or cotton candy notes and more of just a clean sweeteness.

However, as the sugar in the chew dissipated, I was left with the taste of the gum base, which is rather like some door mats I got at Ikea. It’s just a touch of asphalt with the berry. The longer I chewed, the more that note came out, until I was pretty sure it was a sign that the whole thing had turned into a big tar ball. Nope, when I took it out of my mouth, it was just a piece of blue gum.

So, if you’re looking for some room freshener that looks like blocks of sidewalk chalk that you’re not going to chew, these are great. But even for the type of person who chews the gum until the sugar is gone, the awful aftertaste is too much.

Related Candies

  1. Candyology 101 - Podcast Episode 19 - Summer Flavors
  2. Mike and Ike Cotton Candy
  3. Bubble Gum Flavored Peeps
  4. Elmer Cotton Candy Marshmallow Eggs
  5. Festival HiCHEW: Candied Apple & Cotton Candy
  6. Three Pink Bubble Gums
  7. Dubble Bubble Fluff


Name: Bubblicious Cotton Candy
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Cadbury
Place Purchased: Rocket Fizz (Glendale)
Price: $1.50
Size: 1.2 ounces
Calories per ounce: 113
Categories: Candy, Cadbury, Gum, 4-Benign, Canada

POSTED BY Cybele AT 8:40 am     CandyReviewCadburyGum4-BenignCanadaComments (2)

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Lindt Hello Toffee Bites

Lindt Hello Toffee BitesLindt Hello Toffee Bites is the second review I have for the line of Lindt’s HELLO Bites line. They’re pretty simple, just milk chocolate covered toffee bits.

Now that I’ve purchased the full set, I’ve noticed the packaging for the line. It’s an odd design style. The HELLO line is a very friendly, with that hipster coffee-house style mix of hand printing and script. The embossed Lindt logo, on the other hand, is old-world elegance. The rest of the package is just an image of the product. In this case it’s a bowl of toffee bites and some pieces of toffee (I know, the photo makes it look like they might be pats of butter). Each of the packages for the HELLO Bites has a different metallic color on the top band. For the toffee, it’s bronze, for the mint it was green and for the pretzel line, it’s a light blue (which is consistent with the M&Ms Pretzel which is also blue).

DSC_9653rb

The pieces a little on the small size, mostly the size of a garden pea. The milk chocolate is very light in appearance, like the Minty Bites, there’s no indication of the cacao content. The coating is very creamy, with no detectable waxy glaze to interrupt the immediately melty chocolate.

The chocolate to toffee ratio is very balanced, so there’s enough of both to give full flavor development and texture. The toffee is crispy and has a good crunch. There’s a hint of butter and a touch of salt with some good toasty flavors to balance it. The milk chocolate has a lot of dairy notes, but not so much of the dried milk flavors that I don’t care for in a lot of Swiss-style milk chocolates.

These are easy to munch but also such high quality that it’s fun to savor them as well ... the chocolate has a delightful melt and the consistency of the toffee is great if you’re a cruncher or a dissolver. The key here is that this is a simple item that can be done poorly with cheap ingredients and no attention to detail ... instead Lindt has delivered an excellent product and actually surpassed my expectations.

Related Candies

  1. Lindt Hello Minty Bites
  2. Lindt Hello Dark Chocolate Cookie
  3. Lindt Hello Crunchy Nougat
  4. Hershey’s Heath Pieces
  5. Poco Dolce Popcorn Toffee
  6. Lindt Holiday Almonds
  7. Kraft Daim
  8. Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate Almond Toffee
  9. Lindt Excellence Toffee Crunch
  10. Recchiuti Asphalt Jungle Mix


Name: Lindt HELLO Toffee Bites
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Lindt
Place Purchased: Target (Glendale)
Price: $4.00 (on sale)
Size: 5.3 ounces
Calories per ounce: 156
Categories: Candy, Morselization, Lindt, Chocolate, Toffee, 9-Yummy, United States, Target

POSTED BY Cybele AT 5:31 pm     CandyMorselizationReviewLindtChocolateToffee9-YummyUnited StatesTargetComments (1)

Friday, September 4, 2015

Candyology 101 - Episode 22 - Reese’s

Candyology101-22

Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups are the most successful cup-based candy in North America (I just made up that statistic, but I’m pretty sure it’s right). In this episode Maria and I talk about the essential elements of the Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and their other product extensions.

 


Download the MP3 or subscribe on iTunes. You can also listen online while reading the copious show notes here.

POSTED BY Cybele AT 1:26 pm     CandyHighlightRadio InterviewsComments (1)

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