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Arcor

Monday, August 23, 2010

Arcor Whisper

I picked up a handful of these enigmatic peanut butter bonbons in Ohio at the Dollar General Store. I really had no idea what they were, but at 33 cents each it was hardly a gamble.

Whisper Peanut Butter Bonbon

I was concerned they wouldn’t travel well, but they did surprisingly well considering the mileage and temperature/humidity variations.

I had to take the wrapper off completely to find out exactly what they’re called and who makes them. They’re called Milk Chocolate Bonbon Whisper. They’re made by Arcor in Mexico. Now, I’m not a huge fan of Arcor’s chocolate candy. But since I already had these in hand I tried to keep an open mind.

Not only is the package vague, but it also leaves out the most important part about this candy, the peanut butter. The domed chocolate pieces are about 1.5 inches in diameter. Nicely formed, they’re glossy and rather cute. I picked up four of them and three made it back in good shape (and even the smashed one was still edible).

The construction is simple and rather familiar. There’s a large sphere of peanut butter surrounded by a light wafer then covered in milk chocolate. It reminds me of a New World Ferrero Rocher (swapping peanut butter for hazelnuts). There are no crushed nuts on the outside though.

The piece is about .7 ounces, so about the same heft as a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup. It smells lightly like peanut butter, a little hint of a grassy note instead of the dark roasted flavors of Reese’s. The chocolate looks light and milky, and though I was concerned that it wasn’t real chocolate but the ingredients listed cocoa butter and I think the soybean oil is in the peanut butter filling.

The chocolate isn’t fabulous, it holds everything together and is rather soft, but it’s not overly sweet or grainy. It just doesn’t have much of a cocoa punch. So the focus of the bonbon becomes the center. The peanut butter filling is smooth and fresh. It’s not greasy but feels a little empty at moments, like there’s a filler in it (maybe that soybean oil that’s so high up on the ingredients list). It’s sweet and salty and has a good overall peanut flavor. The crispy wafer is overshadowed a bit but still provides a nice crunch.

The wrapping is just a large piece of mylar. It wraps the piece very well though, even though it’s not completely sealed. The ingredients and manufacturing information was nearly impossible to read. The mylar is gold and the printing is blue. I ended up taking photos of the info and then blowing it up on the computer and adjusting the levels in order to read it.

It’s an odd little candy. It’s a great idea, but it lacked a bit of oomph and balance of textures with the flavors. It needs better chocolate and I think it could use little bit more crunch. But the price is certainly decent and the originality of the candy is a plus.

Related Candies

  1. Nestle Butterfinger Snackerz
  2. Trader Joe’s PB & J Bar
  3. ReeseSticks (Revisit)
  4. Lindt Lindor Truffle Eggs
  5. Peruvian Candies
  6. Garfield’s Chocobites


Name: Whisper
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Arcor
Place Purchased: Dollar General (Youngstown, OH)
Price: $.33
Size: .7 ounces
Calories per ounce: unknown
Categories: Candy, Arcor, Chocolate, Cookie, Peanuts, 6-Tempting, Mexico

POSTED BY Cybele AT 1:55 pm     CandyReviewArcorChocolateCookiePeanuts6-TemptingMexicoComments (19)

Friday, March 2, 2007

Peruvian Candies

My next door neighbors went to Peru for three weeks and brought back a huge cache of Peruvian (and South American) consumer candies. (They also brought some cookies, but I’ll try to keep this focused.) I find it quite fun to sample the consumer candies of all countries and regions and Peru was no different. So here are nine candies from Peru:

LentejasName: Lentejas
Brand: Nestle
Size: 36 grams

These little guys probably look familiar. They’re chocolate lentils ala Nestle Smarties. Only they’re not quite Smartie-like ... they’re the same size as M&Ms (Smarties are just slightly flatter and larger than M&Ms). The shell on these is very thick and crunchy. The colors are unbelievably bright.

The chocolate itself is only so so - grainy, too sweet and completely lacking in chocolate taste.

Rating: 4 out of 10.

Peruvian Milk ChocolateName: Prime Peruvian Milk Chocolate
Brand: Winter’s
Size: 100 grams

This bar had a lovely photo of the cloud-wrapped city of Machu Picchu on the box. Inside the box the large chocolate tablet was inside a plastic wrapper that looked exactly the same.

The bar was attractive: a dark looking milk chocolate.

Peruvian Milk ChocolateThe snap was not as sharp as some dark chocolates can be and it had a rather soft bite as many milk chocolates do. The flavor is rather milky, in a goat-cheese sort of way, with a little tangy note. The flavor of the chocolate was also strongly raisiny. It was very pleasant though completely different than most other milk chocolate bars I’ve had.

Rating: 7 out of 10.

Cua CuaName: Cua Cua
Brand: Lacta (Kraft)
Size: 18 grams

This is one of those bars that looks huge. The package is about the size a set of Twix bars, yet it only weighs 18 grams. This featherweight bar is all wafers with some light mockolate coating. Between the wafers is a little cocoa cream.

The bar, called Cua Cua, I’m guessing is a play on the sound a duck makes.

The bar smells sweet and a bit of chocolate. It’s also a little smoky smelling, though I couldn’t quite figure that out from the ingredients.

Cua CuaThe smoky notes gave it a little bacon flavor that I wasn’t really happy with. The wafers were crunchy and foamy - providing more light texture than taste in this party in my mouth.

The mockolate was of course waxy and unappealing. It often flaked off the bar when I bit into it. I’m a big fan of wafer with cream (I can’t imagine how many pounds of Nabisco Wafers I’ve eaten over the years) but this one just wasn’t quite as ducky as I’d hoped.

Rating: 3 out of 10.

CanonazoName: Ca?onazo
Brand: Costa
Size: 26 grams

This bar calls itself “barrita ba?ada rellena con crema de chocolate” which I’m guessing means chocolate filling with crisp wafers bathed in chocolate.

The crisp log of wafer was interesting, kind of like a sweet Cheeto. The chocolate filling was like a frosting, with a good chocolate taste and slightly grain. Like the Cua Cua, this was a light bar. Though it’s big it only weighs 26 grams (and is the size of a Snickers ... which are 58 grams). Unfortunately the coating on the outside isn’t chocolate and it’s rather waxy and uninteresting.

Rating: 4 out of 10.

Gomas EucaliptoName: Gomas Eucalypto
Brand:  F y D Inversiones, SAC
Size: 125 grams

These are crazy! Crazy, I tell you.

They’re little gummis covered with granulated sugar. About the size and shape of an incense cone. Nice and soft but with a good gelatin bounce. They look like they could be green apple or lime or maybe even spearmint. But they’re not. They’re mentholated eucaplytus flavored. Just like Hall’s Cough Drops.

Gomas EucaliptoThey’re sweet and aromatic and tingly.

It’s rather refreshing to get a cough drop that’s not all crunchy and hard, instead it’s soothing and invigorating all at once.

Definitely a winner in my book.

Rating: 7 out of 10.

NikoloName: Nikolo
Brand: Arcor
Size: 30 grams

The packaging here is pretty, it’s a white thick plastic wrap with a bold brown logo for the name of the bar and pretty little pictures of the nuts in the bar.

The label says, “tableta con sabor a chocolate rellena con mani almendra y cereal crocante” which means “peanut, almond and crispy cereal filled chocolatey bar.”

NikoloThe chunky look of the bar reminded me of Legos and was just about as tasty.

The nuts were fresh and crunchy and gave the bar a promising aroma, but the mockolate in this bar was waxy, chalky and just so bad. Look at it in the photo ... does that look like something you’re supposed to eat or something I molded out of dung?

Rating: 2 out of 10.

GolpeName: Golpe
Brand: Arcor
Size: 27 grams

If it weren’t for the Arcor brand on this, I’d be looking forward to this bar. The label says “Oblea rellena cubierta con caramelo y cereal crocante, con cobertura sabor chocolate” ... which translates to (courtesy of the wrapper, thankyouverymuch) “Filled wafer, toffee, crispies, all covered with chocolate flavor.”

Oh Arcor, again with the chocolate flavor? Is that why your company motto is “Le damos sabor al mundo” (translation: We flavor the world)?

GolpeIt’s a nice looking wrapper and it made me think of soccer.

The bar looks promising as well, with it’s crunchy studded mockolate. Inside are wafers with creme filling and then a scant covering of glistening caramel (I’m guessing that’s the toffee). The wafers are nice, and the toffee adds some nice flavor to the whole thing, but the bar had a rather chemical taste, like licking fresh dry cleaning. I don’t know if that’s the taste of Carbox/Methylcellulose (the last ingredient on the list), but it made my tongue buzz.

After this series of Arcor products they are now on my list as the Worst Candymakers in the World. (Granted, I haven’t tried everything made by everyone yet.)

This candy bar was made in Chile.

Rating: 2 out of 10.

SublimeName: Sublime
Brand: Nestle
Size: 22 grams

This is a cute little bar. The wrapper says, “Chocolate Blanco de leche con Mani” which is “white milk chocolate with peanuts.” Doesn’t sound too bad.

And it is pretty cute to look at.

SublimeThe chocolate is rather sweet, but also has a salty bite to it, which helped the peanut flavors stand out. I’m wondering if this was not de-odorized cocoa butter (most white chocolate is deodorized, so it has no chocolate flavor to it). It just may have been that the milk flavors with the peanuts were strong.

It was actually pretty good white chocolate bar. A little grainy but not the least bit waxy.

This bar was made in Bolivia.

Rating: 5 out of 10.

PrincesaName: Princesa
Brand: Nestle
Size: 38 grams

This is a cute little bar and of course has a upscale appeal of a regal name like Princesa. The ingredients are promising too, real chocolate in there.

The bar says that it’s “chocolate relleno con crema de mani” which means “chocolate stuffed with peanut butter.” Yum!

PrincesaThe chocolate here is dark (though there’s some milk listed in the ingredients, it’s way down the list). It’s a creamy though sweet bar. The peanut butter is very smooth and creamy as well and is completely overshadowed by the chocolate.

There’s a little spicy taste in the background, kind of like cinnamon.

This is a nice bar, not as peanutty as I expected, but as sedate and reserved as you’d expect from royalty.

Rating: 6 out of 10.

POSTED BY Cybele AT 6:14 am     CandyReviewArcorKraftNestleCaramelChocolateCookieGummi CandyMockolateNutsPeanutsWhite Chocolate2-Appalling3-Unappealing4-Benign5-Pleasant6-Tempting7-Worth ItBrazilPeruComments (78)

Monday, August 28, 2006

Garfield’s Chocobites

imageWhen I was the All Candy Expo there were lots of candies there that I’d never seen before, and many that I’ll probably never see again. One that seemed to be everywhere in the little freebie bowls were Garfield’s Chocobites by Arcor.

Yeah, they’re knock-offs of Peanut M&Ms. They’ve been sitting in my pile o’ candy I really don’t wanna eat.

I got a little piece of email last week that I had to share. Kendra wanted to make sure that everyone know about the bad candy known as Garfield’s Chocobites.

Here are some of her words:

For awhile now they’ve been offering “Garfield’s Chocobites” in my company’s vending machine, and I’ve wisely avoided them. However today I found the vending machine to have slim pickings, so I decided to give the chocobites a try, how bad could they be?

How bad you ask? Bad. I bought the “Peanut Chocolate Candies” variety, and the first one I pulled out, was covered in a fairly large splatter of lard. You heard me, lard. At first I thought it might be some candy coating glaze, but it was most certainly some sort of fatty lardy, crisco-like substance.

Technically that white greasy substance isn’t lard, it’s probably cocoa butter (though the ingredients also list something called polyricinoleic acid, which is a red flag that whatever is in the package will disappoint you). And usually I say hurray for cocoa butter, but when cocoa butter leaves the chocolate, it’s not a pleasant thing. If the cocoa butter has left the candy, it means that the candy has been stored improperly, in a warm environment long enough for the cocoa butter to melt and vacate the candy ... ew. And what’s left inside the candy shell if the cocoa butter is gone? Sugar and cocoa, dried milk and some other additives. What’s worse is that a vending machine would have this issue - it should be some sort of climate controlled machine! It’s plugged in, can’t they keep the temperature below 80?

Now, I’d say that Kendra should just forgo that vending machine ... but she’s not the only one. Even Candy Addict Victoria has found the similarly dismal results with her experience:

I bit a red one in half, which is what I do to almost everything when I eat, just to make sure there’s nothing unwanted hiding inside. It looked okay, again, much like a peanut M&M, so I chewed up the entire thing, which was a mistake.

A quick websearch did find one person who liked them, giving them 4.5 gummi bears out of 5.

Some anonymous person commenting at Junk Food Blog posits that:

You have to take into account that the Chocobites are made using real milk (the traditional way to make milk chocolate). [snip] So its not that they taste “terrible” one here is just not used to it…

Um, yeah, anonymous should check out the ingredients list and notice the presence of PGPR. It’s not that we’re uneducated dweebs, they’re made with inferior ingredients.

Anyway, my take on them (and mine are fresh) is that the peanuts are substandard. The candy shells are pretty but not tasty looking. They’re a little more textured than M&Ms (which isn’t a bad thing, just different) and the colors are vibrant, but a little uneven. The red and orange ones were a little mottled which made it look like someone had dribbled another color of dye in there. The shell is very crisp and thicker than M&Ms which is kind of fun. It makes them very crunchy. But after that it’s downhill. The peanuts are simply substandard. At least half of them were awful, chewy and bitter or tasted burnt. The chocolate is sweet and uninteresting with no creamy balance to the peanuts or crunchy shell.

I’m really sorry that some vending companies are putting in bad quality products to up their profits. At 1.74 ounces, it’s the exact same size as a bag of Peanut M&Ms, so you’re not the one getting a better value here. I’m all for generics, I buy them all the time, but this is one case where you’re gonna get burned.

Name: Garfield's Chocobites
    RATING:
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 6 TEMPTING
  • 5 PLEASANT
  • 4 BENIGN
  • 3 UNAPPEALING
  • 2 APPALLING
  • 1 INEDIBLE
Brand: Arcor
Place Purchased: All Candy Expo sample
Price: retail $.75
Size: 1.74 ounces
Calories per ounce: 138
Categories: Chocolate, Peanuts

POSTED BY Cybele AT 6:33 am     Comments (6)

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