ABOUT

FEEDS

CONTACT

  • .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
  • Here are some frequently asked questions emailed to me you might want to read first.

EMAIL DIGEST

    For a daily update of Candy Blog reviews, enter your email address:

    Delivered by FeedBurner

CANDY RATINGS

TYPE

BRAND

COUNTRY

ARCHIVES

All Natural

Monday, November 17, 2014

Simply Gum: Fennel Licorice

Simply Gum FennelI feel like there is a perfect gum out there for me, I just haven’t found it yet. So when I saw Simply Gum at the checkout at Lolli & Pops one afternoon, I bought it on impulse just because of the name of the flavor: Fennel Licorice.

Upon further reading I saw that there was more going on here than just the unusual flavor and enticing package. Simply Gum is made with real chicle instead of synthetic gum base along with organic sugar and glycerine.

DSC_7248rb

The packaging is spare and thoughtful. Inside the flip top, there’s a little sleeve that holds “post chew wraps”, so even thought the pieces don’t come in little papers, there are papers to responsibly dispose of your gum when you’re through.

Though the box is square and the nuggets inside fill the package, after I dumped them out for photographing, I found that there was a spacer bit at the bottom. As if they’d either originally specified more gum in the box but later decided for less but didn’t want to change the package, or it’s just intended to mislead the consumer. The box only says 12 pieces (there were actually 18 in my box but they’re not consistently sized), but never says how big each piece is, the weight I came up with in the stats box is from weighing the pieces.

DSC_7249rb

The nuggets are just that, a rope of the brown-sugar hued gum is snipped into pieces. They’re a little smaller than a regular portion of gum, but not by half. When I chewed it, I wanted maybe 1.5 times as much.

The pieces don’t stick together, they have a little rice powder on them (kind of like a corn starch). They smell like fennel, just like sticking your nose in a bottle of fennel seed. The chew releases the sweetness quickly, and instead of becoming more firm, like most gums do, this became thinner. It was too thin really. It’s like riding a bike in the wrong gear, my jaw is going too fast for this gum. I’m just spinning and the gum is squishing around.

Aside from the texture, I love the flavor. It was earthy and substantial. The licorice flavors weren’t overly sweet or metallic. The mineral notes weren’t rusty. Instead it tasted rather of beets. I felt like it freshened my mouth, yet still went well with coffee or tea. The flavor lasted quite long and though the sugar was gone, fennel and licorice have a natural sweetness that lingers. But the gum base was just too squishy.

So, if you’ve been looking for an all natural gum that chews better with a glass of iced tea than hot tea ... well, this is your gum. I might try another flavor, like Maple, just in case the particular batch I got was anomalous. However, it’s pretty expensive, at $3.50 a box.

Related Candies

  1. PUR Sugarless Gum - Coolmint & Cinnamon
  2. Glee Sugar Free Gum
  3. Fruit Stripe Gum
  4. Hollywood Chewing Gum
  5. Wee Glee Gum
  6. Classic Gums: Black Jack, Clove, Beemans & Teaberry
  7. Sugar Coated Fennel
  8. Short & Sweet: Gums


Name: Fennel Licorice Gum
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Simply Gum
Place Purchased: Lolli & Pops (Glendale)
Price: $3.50
Size: .45 ounces
Calories per ounce: 80
Categories: All Natural, Candy, Gum, Licorice Candy, Organic, 6-Tempting, United States

POSTED BY Cybele AT 9:57 am     All NaturalCandyReviewGumLicorice CandyOrganic6-TemptingUnited StatesComments (1)

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Ghirardelli Milk Chocolate Spiced Almond

Ghirardelli Milk Chocolate Spiced AlmondI’ve reviewed a couple of the new Ghirardelli panned chocolate items, but up until now they’ve been pretty standard items. I was intrigued enough with the description of the new Ghirardelli Milk Chocolate Spiced Almond to pick them up.

The perfect snack to satisfy your craving for crunchy nuts and smooth chocolate ... with a little spice.

I liked the package. It’s very easy to understand, the images on the front and back are appealing, clear and not too fussy. But mostly I appreciated that the nutrition label and ingredients are easy to read. The ingredients list the allergens in bold, as well as noting them at the end of the list and it was all in a typeface that was large enough for me to read without glasses.

Ghirardelli Milk Chocolate Spiced Almond

The ingredients are pretty clean with no artificial flavors or colors. They even helpfully list out what the spices are: cinnamon, allspice and cayenne. Instead of just mixing the spices into the chocolate to create something slightly gritty, Ghirirdelli instead made a spiced toffee glaze for the almonds before panning them in chocolate.

These remind me of the Lindt Holiday Almonds that come out seasonally, but are also coated with powdered sugar.

Ghirardelli Milk Chocolate Spiced Almond

The almonds are big and glossy. They don’t smell of spice, just a light sweet dairy note. They have a great crunch if you bite them. The glaze is crispy and the almond are tougher and have a substantial crunch. The chocolate is soft and combines readily with the elements. It’s all a bit sweet, even with the neutral almonds to balance it out. The glaze has a generous touch of the spices, with quite a bit of cayenne that builds up slowly until there’s a light burn after about five or six.

I didn’t care for the how sweet they were, maybe I just wanted a smidge of salt in them or a darker milk chocolate. But they are less sweet than the Lindt sister confection, so I’ll take that as progress. I have to say that if this trend of mixing the textures of a glazed nut with chocolate takes off, there are a lot of variations that could be quite delectable. The best that I’d tried to date would be the Sconza 70% Toffee Almonds.

Ghirardelli is owned by Lindt & Sprungli. They don’t have a lot on their website about the sourcing of their cacao except for a statement that they’re in compliance with the California transparency act and then point you to the Lindt policies. Now that Lindt owns Russell Stover, they’re the third largest chocolate company in the United States, and will probably have a lot more clout when it comes to insisting on transparency and certification within their supply chain for all ingredients.

Related Candies

  1. Ghirardelli Milk Chocolate Sea Salt Cashew
  2. Ovation Mint Filled & Pumpkin Spice Oranges
  3. Ritter Sport Winter Edition Caramelised Almonds
  4. M&Ms Pumpkin Spice
  5. Eclat Chocolate Caramelized Hazelnuts 65%
  6. Toblerone Crunchy Salted Almond
  7. Trader Joe’s Almondictive Bits
  8. Ghirardelli Holiday Squares
  9. Sconza 70% Dark Chocolate Toffee Almonds


Name: Milk Chocolate Spiced Almond
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Ghiradelli
Place Purchased: Target (Eagle Rock)
Price: $4.00
Size: 5.5 ounces
Calories per ounce: 149
Categories: All Natural, Candy, Ghirardelli, Brittle, Chocolate, Cinnamon, Nuts, 8-Tasty, United States, Target

POSTED BY Cybele AT 2:15 pm     All NaturalCandyReviewGhirardelliBrittleChocolateCinnamonNuts8-TastyUnited StatesTargetComments (0)

Friday, November 7, 2014

Good and DeLISH Sea Salt and Turbinado Sugar Dark Chocolate Almonds

Delish Turbinado AlmondsHouse brands are often cheap knock-offs of well known brands. But every once in a while a house brand has some sort of wizard-visionary behind the scenes ... I think Walgreen’s found one and put them to work on their Good & deLISH line of candies and snacks.

Many of these new candies are on trend with flavors like Red Velvet and Caramel Apple but also do a better job than some of the major brands like Russell Stover and Ghirardelli at creating well-priced candies you’d prefer to not share.

One of the items I found on the shelves kind of hidden in with the nuts were these new snack containers of candy or chocolate covered nuts and fruits. This one is Good and deLISH Sea Salt and Turbinado Sugar Dark Chocolate Almonds, a name so long it’s a wonder they fit it on the little wrapper.

http://www.candyblog.net/blog/item/trader_joes_dark_chocolate_almonds
Delish Turbinado Almonds

Those of you’ve been reading for a while or have a Trader Joe’s in your area may recognize these, they’re similar to the Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate Almonds. They’re an almond, covered in dark chocolate that’s also studded with small sea salt and raw sugar nuggets.

The package is a squat plastic jar that holds 5 ounces. The wide black cap is to be used as a snack cup, perhaps in the car. The jar is wide mouthed, so you can get your fingers in there, if you’re not using the lid as a dish. The overall look of the packaging is utilitarian but not at all appetizing. It looks like something I’d be more likely to find in use to store bolts and fasteners than candy.

Delish Turbinado Almonds

They’re kind of homely little nuggets. It’s a crunchy roasted almond covered in semi-sweet chocolate (I’d guess about 50% cacao) with a little dash of salt or sugar sometimes ... then there’s a slight dusting of cocoa on the outside. The chocolate is sweet, not exceptionally smooth and boosted a little bit by some extra butterfat (not a vegan product, sorry). The nuts are crunchy and well roasted, with skins on. This leads to a lingering fiber to the chew. The chocolate has a light bitter note towards the end as well, but the beginning and middle is quite sweet for a dark chocolate item.

The thing is, I didn’t love these the first time I had them at Trader Joe’s, I don’t love them now, though on paper they seem to have all the right qualities. I want to know more about the chocolate in them and I want a little more consistency with the sugar and salt on top. While I found the Trader Joe’s batch I had too salty, these were merely too sweet ... even before the sugar crystals kicked in. I’ll see what else this line has to offer when they’re on sale ... I do like the concept of the package and would probably find this great for car or plane trips. The Walgreen’s site also shows this in an 11 ounce size, which is likely to be a better value.

Related Candies

  1. Brach’s Royals: Caramel Apple and Sea Salt Caramel
  2. Good and DeLISH Morning Rush Coffee Bites
  3. Walgreen’s Good and Delish Milk Chocolate Cornflake Clusters
  4. Theo Salted Almond Dark Chocolate
  5. Pearson’s Sea Salt Caramel Nut Goodies
  6. Starbucks Salted Almond Chocolate Bites
  7. Gardini Bitter Chocolate and Gianduia with Sea Salt
  8. Trader Joe’s Chocolate Covered Sea Salt Butterscotch Caramels
  9. Equal Exchange Chocolate Caramel Crunch with Sea Salt


Name: Sea Salt and Turbinado Sugar Dark Chocolate Almonds
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Good and Delish
Place Purchased: Walgreen's (Echo Park)
Price: $1.99
Size: 5 ounces
Calories per ounce: 149
Categories: All Natural, Candy, Chocolate, Nuts, 6-Tempting, United States, Walgreen's

POSTED BY Cybele AT 2:43 pm     All NaturalCandyReviewChocolateNuts6-TemptingUnited StatesWalgreen'sComments (0)

Monday, October 27, 2014

Sweet’s Naturally Flavored Candy Corn

Sweet's Naturally Flavored Candy CornI’ve often wondered why these isn’t an organic version of Candy Corn out there. A few years ago I got a mellocreme mix from Marich, but I haven’t seen in at Whole Foods for at least two years. You can get organic, fair trade peanut butter cups ... you can get M&M knock offs made with natural colors and less sugar ... why no Candy Corn?

Well, Sweet’s Candy Company of Utah has come through with an American-made, Kosher, non-GMO and gluten free Candy Corn.

The bag for Sweet’s Naturally Flavored Candy Corn certainly looks festive. But the little window reveals a bit of weirdness, which is fine if weirdness is what you like in your Halloween treats. The candy corn comes in three different colors. Not three layers in a single piece, three different colors. Yellow, white and orange.

The ingredients are as complex as they are simple:

Ingredients: Cane Sugar (non GMO), tapioca syrup (non GMO), corn syrup (non GMO), invert sugar (non GMO), egg whites (cage-free), coconut oil (expeller pressed, extra virgin), colored with fruit and vegetable extracts (pumpkin, carrot and apple), titamium dioxide (for color), honey, natural flavors, salt, carnuba wax, confectioner’s glaze.

Though they’re using all natural colors and flavors and plenty of sourcing information about the ingredients, the Candy Corn is not vegan since it contains egg whites, honey and confectioners glaze.

Sweet's Naturally Flavored Candy Corn

The pieces are normally sized and very well made. I guess when you don’t do the layering, there are fewer weak points on the candy, so there was no pile of the white caps at the bottom of the bag at all.

The Candy Corn smells sweet and pleasant, but more like orange sherbet than honey. I tried a few pieces and noticed right away that they were different from each other. Whether intended or not, the different colors are different.

White is nice, pleasantly mild with a sort of vanilla marshmallow note. It didn’t have the honey flavor that I’d expect from my candy corn, and was also missing that little note of salt I was craving.

Yellow is similarly mild, but has a sort of, well, root flavor to it, like a vague sort of boiled carrot thing going on in the background.

Orange is ever so slightly tangy and has an orange note.

I really missed the layers, I like eating each layer as a separate bite, as I imagine they taste different or sometimes have slightly different textures. The candies had a high gloss on them, the glaze kept them from being sticky but did mean that it took a moment for them to start dissolving unless I chewed them. The yellow one was the only one that seemed like it didn’t belong, the white and orange were perfectly acceptable as a natural alternative to the convention version.

Even though these are all natural and gluten free, they’re made in the same facility with peanuts and tree nuts. There’s no statement about dairy.

Related Candies

  1. Melster Candy Corn Circus Peanuts
  2. Brach’s Caramel Macchiato Candy Corn
  3. Brach’s S’mores Candy Corn
  4. Jelly Belly Peas & Carrots Mellocreme Candy
  5. M&Ms White Chocolate Candy Corn
  6. Marich Halloween Mellocremes
  7. Toffee Flavored Chocolate Covered Candy Corn
  8. Zachary Candy Corn & Jelly Pumpkins


Name: Naturally Flavored Candy Corn
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Sweet Works
Place Purchased: Whole Foods (Park LaBrea)
Price: $4.00 (on sale)
Size: 9 ounces
Calories per ounce: 106
Categories: All Natural, Candy, Halloween, Fondant, Kosher, 5-Pleasant, United States, Whole Foods

POSTED BY Cybele AT 1:38 pm     All NaturalCandyReviewHalloweenFondant5-PleasantUnited StatesWhole FoodsComments (1)

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Theo Peanut Butter Cups (Milk and Dark Chocolate)

Theo Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter CupsWhat the world needs is more versions of the peanut butter cup.

What Theo Chocolate is offering in their new line of peanut butter cup are the following qualities: organic ingredients, ethically sourced chocolate, kosher, no palm oil or soy ingredients and free from genetically modified organisms. The new cups come in two varieties, milk and dark chocolate, and the dark chocolate is vegan. Though they’re Theo Chocolate branded, they’re actually made in Canada.

The Theo Chocolate Milk Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups were $2.25 a package, I picked them up at the factory store in Seattle (I’ll have a write up about the factory tour after Halloween) but they should be available at stores that carry Theo Chocolate soon as well. The packages are 1.3 ounces, so they’re only .2 ounces smaller than the usual Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup packages. Theo uses peanut butter from CB’s Nuts, a small batch nut roaster and butterer.

Theo Milk Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups

They’re not your ordinary round cups, nope, these are little heart shapes. They’re .65 ounces each, a nice size with a more even proportion of chocolate to peanut butter than some cups with thinner chocolate shells. There’s no oily puddle on the top, but my cups were probably extremely fresh since I bought them at the factory store.

They smell very toasty, the chocolate is crisp and has a good snap to it. The peanut butter is not fatty or oily, but also not quite crumbly. The overall roasted notes of both the chocolate and peanut butter are very strong. For a milk chocolate product, this is only very barely sweet. If you’re a fan of the more savory elements of peanut butter and chocolate, this is probably a good match for you.

The texture of the peanut butter is similar in particle size to Reese’s ... it’s not whipped smooth, there are little crunchy bits and a dryness to it that keeps it from feeling to slick on the tongue. The chocolate is lightly bitter as well but has a milky note and smooth melt.

Theo Milk and Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups

There’s no notation as to the percentage of cacao, but this photos shows that the milk chocolate cups are very dark looking compared to the dark ones.

Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups Ingredients: Cocoa Beans, Sugar, Peanut Butter (roasted peanuts), Cocoa Butter, Powdered Sugar (sugar and non-gmo corn starch), Peanut Flour (roasted peanuts), Salt, Rosemary Extract, Ground Vanilla Bean [67% fair trade ingredients | peanut butter sourced in the U.S.]

Theo Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter CupsThe Theo Chocolate Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups are packaged so similarly to the milk chocolate variety, the sales staff at the factory store would let each customer know as they rang up their order that they’d chosen a particular variety ... so I sense that there may be a change in the future to help distinguish them.

Theo Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups

The cups are beautiful, again, a little smaller than the Reese’s Peanut Butter version, but lacking the little fluted paper cups. Instead they just sit on a little paperboard tray. The mold detail includes the Theo logo on the bottom of the cups, if you’re so inclined to actually look at them before you gobble them up.

Theo Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups

These have the same deep roasted scent as the milk chocolate, but without the light dairy note to it. The dark chocolate is immediately bitter and creamy, with a very silky melt but a strong coffee flavor. The peanut butter balanced the intensity of the chocolate with a lightness, a little hint of salt and a comforting peanut flavor.

Just one cup was exceptionally satisfying.

These are much pricier than the traditionally produced peanut butter cups on store shelves, but have none of the additional ingredients that give many folks pause. However, they’re still made in a facility that processes wheat, tree nuts, egg and soy so they’re not for those sensitive folks.

Though Justin’s Peanut Butter Cups were first to market with ethically sourced ingredients, I think I prefer these for the texture and intensity.  (But I’ll probably still hand out Justin’s for Halloween since they’re available in singles.)

Related Candies

  1. Nestle Butterfinger Peanut Butter Cups
  2. Theo Salted Almond Dark Chocolate
  3. Nectar Nugget Peanut Butter and Almond Butter Cups
  4. UNREAL #77 Peanut Butter Cups
  5. Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups
  6. Justin’s Organic Peanut Butter Cups
  7. Dark Chocolate Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups
  8. Factory Fresh Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups
  9. Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup Line


Name: Milk Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Theo Chocolate
Place Purchased: Theo Chocolate Factory (Seattle, WA)
Price: $2.25
Size: 1.3 ounces
Calories per ounce: 154
Categories: All Natural, Candy, Theo, Chocolate, Ethically Sourced, Kosher, Organic, Peanuts, 9-Yummy, Canada


Name: Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Theo Chocolate
Place Purchased: Theo Chocolate Factory (Seattle, WA)
Price: $2.25
Size: 1.3 ounces
Calories per ounce: 146
Categories: All Natural, Candy, Theo, Chocolate, Ethically Sourced, Kosher, Organic, Peanuts, 9-Yummy, Canada

POSTED BY Cybele AT 3:05 pm     All NaturalCandyReviewTheoChocolateEthically SourcedKosherOrganicPeanuts9-YummyCanadaComments (0)

Friday, October 3, 2014

Seattle Chocolates Devil’s Delight Bar

DSC_6584rbIt’s fun to see all the kids candy for Halloween, but sometimes adults want something a little special too. Enter Seattle Chocolates Devil’s Delight Dark Chocolate Truffle Bar with Peanut Butter & Pretzels. It’s described as Salted pretzel pieces and creamy peanut butter in dark chocolate that uses Rainforest Alliance Certified™ cocoa. A devilishly delicious combination!. That definitely sounds right up my alley.

It’s nice to see a seasonal bar using ethically sourced cacao, and in this case, it’s no more expensive than other similar bar on store shelves.

Don’t be disappointed if it’s not your cup of tea, there are two others: Bloody Orange Truffle Bar and Dead Sea Salt Truffle Bar.

DSC_6687rb

The bar is compact and uses the same mold as all the other Seattle Chocolates bars I’ve tried. At 2.5 ounces, it’s a bit too much to eat in one sitting and not quite enough for two portions. Basically, it’s perfect for the stingy sharer ... give one section to another person, eat the rest yourself.

The pieces are thick sections that hold the truffle filling.

DSC_6692rb

The bar smells pleasantly nutty with a woodsy chocolate component. The dark chocolate is bittersweet and has a nice, silky melt. The filling is a little odd. It’s very peanutty, which I enjoyed and had some good salty pops. But the pretzel pieces seemed stale, as can happen when mixing with inclusions. I liked the peanut butter part, very smooth and nutty and offset well by the dark chocolate. I think they mix the peanut butter in with white chocolate, which is genius. Overall, I liked it, though I didn’t finish it in one sitting. One of the things I’ve seen that solves the stale pretzel problem is to give them a quick dip in chocolate before mixing them in.

This bar was sent to me as a sample from Seattle Chocolates, but I did see them for sale at Cost Plus World Market.

Related Candies

  1. Revisit Reviews: Pretzel M&Ms, Rally Bar and Snickers Rockin’ Nut Road
  2. Jer’s Peanut Butter Bars
  3. Russell Stover Kris P. Pretzel Bunny
  4. M&Ms Sweet & Salty Snack Mix
  5. Snyder’s Peanut Butter Pretzel Sandwich Dips
  6. Seattle Chocolates Perfect Peanut Butter


Name: Devil’s Delight Dark Chocolate Truffle Bar
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Seattle Chocolates
Place Purchased: Samples from Seattle Chocolates
Price: $3.49
Size: 2.5 ounces
Calories per ounce: 152
Categories: All Natural, Candy, Halloween, Seattle Chocolates, Chocolate, Cookie, Ethically Sourced, Peanuts, 7-Worth It, United States

POSTED BY Cybele AT 7:29 am     All NaturalCandyReviewHalloweenSeattle ChocolatesChocolateCookieEthically SourcedKosherPeanuts7-Worth ItUnited StatesComments (0)

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate Pumpkin Spice Salted Caramels

Trader Joe's Dark Chocolate Pumpkin Spice Salted CaramelsThere’s a new term for what happens this time of year, it’s called Pumpkinundation: The proliferation of pumpkin and pumpkin spice products. (I discovered the term on Chowhound.)

Salted Caramels were also a trend, but apparently every trend either dies out or simply becomes an everyday item. So, it has happened with Salted Caramel and so now they must be trendalized with the newest flavors of the season. These are Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate Pumpkin Spice Salted Caramels.

Trader Joe's Dark Chocolate Pumpkin Spice Salted Caramels

Trader Joe’s makes a version of these for Christmas with white flake sea salt. They’re sold in the same box with a different design. They’re wildly popular, as they’re returned to shelves for more than six years in a row. Since Trader Joe’s will pretty much make a pumpkin spice version of every product they sell at some point, it was just the salted caramels’ turn. (I could list all of the items, but suffice to say that they’ve done tea, coffee, macaron, granola, ice cream, and actual pumpkin pie spice. Here’s a taste test from Serious Eats from a few years ago.)

They’re described on the box:

Dark Chocolate with a Smooth Pumpkin Spice Caramel Filling Sprinkled with Red Hawaiian Sea Salt

Trader Joe's Dark Chocolate Pumpkin Spice Salted Caramels

The ingredients are all natural, but insanely long. The chocolates are made in Ireland (I suspect by Lily O’Brien). The filling isn’t just caramel, according to their list, but actually Sticky Toffee Caramel. There’s no list of what the spices are for their pumpkin spice.

They’re lovely looking caramels, they do well in their package and emerge very shiny and with most of the salt still attached to the squiggle of milk chocolate on top of the 55% dark chocolate.

Though I often find sea salt to be a bit over-hyped, as it’s used in such small quantities that it’s hard to tell different salts apart. In this instance I could tell it was Hawaiian Sea Salt ...and I did not like it. I can’t quite put my finger on it, a friend called it Spaghetti-Os flavored, I thought it was more like carrot, but there’s definitely an additional note to this salt. It was notable enough that for some of the pieces that I ate, I actually scraped the salt off completely.

Trader Joe's Dark Chocolate Pumpkin Spice Salted Caramels

The spice smell is quite clove-heavy, even before I bit into it. The chocolate is earthy and sweet with a very good bitter note towards the end. It’s smooth and wonderfully tempered. There were no cracks or oozing spots on any of the caramels. The caramel has a light grain to it, which is probably the spice. There’s also a cereal sort of wheaty flavor to it as well. The other spice notes are earthy, with some ginger and black pepper notes and some cinnamon. Not really the best combination for me, if it were a pie, but it goes well with the chocolate.

In the end, this was not a great combination for me, I didn’t like the plain version of these that much and the addition of the spice doesn’t do much for me either. I’ll stick to the individually wrapped Trader Joe’s Fleur de Sel Caramels or the panned Butterscotch Caramels.

Related Candies

  1. Ovation Mint Filled & Pumpkin Spice Oranges
  2. Russell Stover Pumpkin Pie
  3. M&Ms Pumpkin Spice
  4. Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Salted Caramel Truffles
  5. Pumpkin Pie Gourmet Candy Corn
  6. See’s Pumpkin Spice & Root Beer Lollypops
  7. Das French Salted Caramels


Name: Dark Chocolate Pumpkin Spice Salted Caramels
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Trader Joe’s
Place Purchased: Trader Joe's (Park LaBrea)
Price: $6.99
Size: 6.2 ounces
Calories per ounce: 135
Categories: All Natural, Candy, Halloween, Trader Joe's, Caramel, Chocolate, 6-Tempting, Ireland

POSTED BY Cybele AT 12:13 pm     All NaturalCandyReviewHalloweenTrader Joe'sCaramelChocolate6-TemptingIrelandComments (0)

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Ghirardelli Milk Chocolate Sea Salt Cashew

Ghirardelli Milk Chocolate Sea Salt CashewsAs much as I enjoy innovation and originality, the classics remain the classics for a reason. A simple chocolate covered nut is the epitome of satisfaction.

Ghirardelli is one of America’s oldest chocolate companies, founded in 1852, and is known mostly for their chocolate bars and baking products. I was surprised to see they’re now making panned chocolates, but I definitely snapped up this bag of Ghirardelli Milk Chocolate Sea Salt Cashews at Target. It was on sale for $4.00 for the 5.5 ounce bag, which is a bit steep, but quality isn’t cheap and the costs for raw materials like cocoa, sugar and nuts are going up lately.

DSC_6796rb

The package describes them as whole roasted cashews covered in rich Ghirardelli milk chocolate. Simple. The nuts are, as promised, whole, or at least halves (which are the same shape but a little flatter). The ingredients are all natural and include a touch of tapioca syrup (for the glaze, I believe) instead of something that might be corn or wheat derived (and more likely to cause allergic reactions). There’s more than a touch of sea salt, a whole 125mg per 40 gram serving.

Ghirardelli Milk Chocolate Sea Salt Cashews

They look stunning, they smell great. It’s a sweet, nutty smell with a note of dried milk. The nuts are crunchy and fresh, the salt is mixed into the milk chocolate and immediately pops. (It’s a little much for me, but I’m a known salt-sensitive in my circles.) The milk chocolate is creamy and thick and not too sweet. Overall, it’s a great iteration of an iconic confection.

Chocolate covered nuts are a decent enough treat, nutrition-wise. Yes, there’s a lot of fat in there, but most of it is good fat from cocoa butter and the nuts, plus a dash of cholesterol from the milk in the chocolate. But it does have 4 grams of protein to balance out the 14 grams of sugars along with 6% of your RDA of calcium and 8% of your iron.

If you’re craving a dark chocolate version, Marich already makes those and they’re fantastic as well. (In fact, since this is Ghirardelli’s first outing with panned chocolates, I have to wonder if they subcontracted the production out ... and Marich is nearby.)

Related Candies

  1. Ghirardelli Minis - Sweet Dark Chocolate and Cookie Bits
  2. Gardini Bitter Chocolate and Gianduia with Sea Salt
  3. Trader Joe’s Chocolate Covered Sea Salt Butterscotch Caramels
  4. Superior Nut & Candy Chocolate Covered Cashews
  5. Ghirardelli Intense Dark Sea Salt Soiree
  6. Marich All Natural Holland Mints & Chocolate Jordan Almonds
  7. Vosges Bombalinas - Black Pearl Cashews
  8. Marich Chocolate Sea Salt Cashews
  9. Sconza 70% Dark Chocolate Toffee Almonds


Name: Milk Chocolate Sea Salt Cashew
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Ghiradelli
Place Purchased: Target (Eagle Rock)
Price: $4.00
Size: 5.5 ounces
Calories per ounce: 156
Categories: All Natural, Candy, Morselization, Ghirardelli, Chocolate, Nuts, 9-Yummy, United States, Target

POSTED BY Cybele AT 11:06 am     All NaturalCandyMorselizationReviewGhirardelliChocolateNuts9-YummyUnited StatesTargetComments (1)

Page 1 of 47 pages  1 2 3 >  Last ›

Meticulously photographed and documented reviews of candy from around the world. And the occasional other sweet adventures. Open your mouth, expand your mind.

 

 

 

 

Facebook IconTwitter IconTumblr IconRSS Feed IconEmail Icon

COUNTDOWN

Halloween Candy Season Ends

-25 days

Read previous coverage

 

 

Which seasonal candy selection do you prefer?

Choose one or more:

  •   Halloween
  •   Christmas
  •   Valentine's Day
  •   Easter

 

image

ON DECK

These candies will be reviewed shortly:

• Happy Thanksgiving

• Theo Chocolate Nutcracker Brittle

• Orgran Molasses Licorice

• Rogue Chocolatier

• Godiva Chef Inspirations

 

 

image