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Thursday, October 9, 2014

Eat with your Eyes: Thornton’s Classics

Thornton's Classics

Ah, the classic box of chocolates. Each little piece is like a gift unto itself, the chocolate wrapping holds a sweet treasure inside.

These are Thornton’s Classics, a mostly milk chocolate assortment from the United Kingdom. They’re tasty, but sadly the high heat of Southern California has not been kind to them, so I’ll need to get a hold of more someday for a proper review.

POSTED BY Cybele AT 1:37 pm     CandyUnited KingdomHighlightPhotographyComments (0)

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Brach’s Triple Fruit Gummies

Brach's Triple Fruity GummiesBrach’s, which calls itself “America’s Candy Maker” has been busy churning out new varieties of their classic candies as well as their original line of goodies. When I saw all the fun new things they were coming out with, I search and searched my local stores. When I couldn’t find them, CandyWarehouse.com was good enough to help me out by providing some samples for me.

The new Brach’s Triple Fruit Gummies are an interesting take on the divisive seasonal icon. They’re traditional gummis in the classic candy corn shape (as the package notes with a picture to remind me how it looks) and come in three layers of flavor: lemon, orange and cherry.

Brach’s did have what they said were gummi candy corn about 5 years ago, they were really little jelly candies in different fruit flavors. That particular bag of Brach’s Gummi Candy Corn I found was available in trick or treat packaging, but I’m not certain if these Triple Fruit Gummies are available that way.

Brach's Triple Fruity Gummies

The size is the same as a standard candy corn kernel. They stand easily, as they don’t have a slight convex base, instead it’s slightly concave and creates a pretty good flat rim. The pieces are layered, just like fondant style candy corn, though these are much more vividly colored. The base is a hot pink (cherry) the middle is orange and the top is yellow (lemon). The layers are pretty diffuse, so it’s a slow mixing of the colors instead of distinct bands. The gummis smell like fruit punch and a little like cherry.

Brach's Triple Fruity Gummies

They’re soft, which is a nice texture for a gummi, but odd for these colors because they’re rather fleshy looking because of the opaque quality. The flavor is overall tart with a light fruity note. The cherry permeates the whole thing, though there is a less cherry note on the top layers, I wasn’t getting the citrus that I thought the description promised.

They’re decent, certainly fun looking, but not the flavor of gummis I actually wanted. It’s a good effort on the edge of the candy corn sphere of confections. Brach’s undeniably makes a nice candy corn, but this isn’t candy corn, except in shape. It’s missing all the other qualities in texture, subtlety and divisiveness.

Related Candies

  1. Albanese Rainforest Gummi Frog
  2. Candy Crush: Mixed Fruit and Sour Gummies
  3. Sugarfina: The Gummis
  4. Life Savers Gummies Spooky Shapes
  5. Trolli Gummi Bear-Rings
  6. Brach’s Gummi Candy Corn
  7. Disney Pixie Perfect Gummies
  8. Brach’s Chocolate Candy Corn & Halloween Mix
  9. Big Bite Gummy Bear


Name: Triple Fruit Gummies
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Brach’s
Place Purchased: Samples from CandyWarehouse.com
Price: $5.00
Size: 11 ounces
Calories per ounce: 103
Categories: Candy, Halloween, Brach's, Ferrara Pan, Gummi Candy, 5-Pleasant, United States

POSTED BY Cybele AT 1:57 pm     CandyReviewHalloweenBrach'sFerrara PanGummi Candy5-PleasantUnited StatesComments (3)

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, October 2, 2014

Eat with your Eyes: Fruity Gumballs

Filled Fruit Gumballs

I’m always attracted to these beautifully crafted gumballs at the mall in the vending machines. I finally broke down and bought some, just because they’re so pretty. I’m not going to review them because, well, they weren’t good enough to even warrant 300 words.

POSTED BY Cybele AT 7:26 am     CandyGumHighlightPhotographyComments (2)

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Necco Skybar Zombie Food

Skybar Zombie FoodNecco is an odd company that makes antiquated candies and buys up old candy brands. While the nostalgia is comforting, it’s a little odd when they try to be hip, like when they update their conversation heart mottoes, or came out with a line of Twilight themed candies.

However, for a couple of years they’ve been trying to do more novelty and seasonal candies, many of which I’ve appreciated. They have quite a few zombie themed items and for the first time I was able to find the Necco Skybar Zombie Food. They’re priced well at Cost Plus World Market at 59 cents each, though they were $1.50 across the parking lot at Dylan’s Candy Bar.

Skybar Zombie FoodI bought two of these, hoping for two different shapes, but ended up with two hearts. The first one I opened was cracked and oozing and sticky. Though that’s probably acceptable to a zombie, I wanted to photograph and eat something a bit more pristine. Luckily #2 was in great shape.

The pieces are exactly one ounce, so it’s a little less than a regular portion and two might be too much.

It’s a striking looking candy. The chocolate mold is well made with an anatomically accurate human heart. My unbroken one looked great, though the packaging does little to protect the candy from getting cracked.

Skybar Zombie Food

It smelled nice, pleasantly milky and sweet. The chocolate is passable, a little on the grainy side and sweet. The caramel filling is grainy but also not terribly sweet, there’s a cereal flavor to it, not quite a toasted sugar caramel. It’s nicely balanced. Of course the red food coloring left a weird, metallic aftertaste for me, but your mileage may vary.

The whole thing lacks anything else though. For 59 cents it’s passable, but only as a novelty item. If you’re looking for a drug store caramel, opt for the Milky Way Simply Caramel for better chocolate and caramel (though I still wasn’t wild about them either). But if you’re a fan of Cadbury Caramel Eggs, these might be a nice Halloween option. I’d like to say that they’d be great for Halloween trick-or-treat, but I fear that being thrown into a bag with a bunch of other candy is just too rigorous for them, if half of mine were cracked just from the store.

Related Candies

  1. Limited Edition Milky Way Caramel Apple Minis
  2. Original Necco Wafers Return
  3. Kraft & Ferrara Pan Caramels
  4. Clark Bar Wicked Mix
  5. Sky Bar Twilight Saga - Eclipse
  6. The Twilight Saga: New Moon Heart’s Desire Sky Bar
  7. Mori Ex Cacao Gift Set
  8. Necco Hot Stinky Feet


Name: Skybar Zombie Food
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Necco
Place Purchased: Cost Plus World Market (Farmers Market)
Price: $.59
Size: 1 ounce
Calories per ounce: 120
Categories: Candy, Halloween, Necco, Caramel, Chocolate, 6-Tempting, United States, Cost Plus

POSTED BY Cybele AT 7:11 am     CandyReviewHalloweenNeccoCaramelChocolate6-TemptingUnited StatesCost PlusComments (1)

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Ghirardelli Dark Chocolate Cranberry

Ghirardelli Dark Chocolate CranberryAt first I wasn’t sure what these were. The back of the package says real dried cranberries! covered in rich Ghirardelli chocolate!. But the front says that it’s infused with raspberry juice and a touch of freeze-dried cherries.. A quick peek at the ingredients doesn’t show anything else, except that the cranberries have some sunflower oil in them (makes them more pliable). At first I thought they were like the Brookside fruit things, a little jelly center with some dried cranberries thrown in, but instead they’re actually dried cranberries with some other fruits thrown in.

The Ghirardelli Dark Chocolate Cranberry are packaged like the Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Cashews I also picked up at the same time, expect this package is pink instead of light blue. The stand up gusset bag reseals after opening with a zip lock, which is common in these morselized treats these days.

Ghirardelli Dark Chocolate Cranberry

The ingredients and other packaging don’t say how dark the chocolate is, they call it semi-sweet and it has dairy fats in it. I’d guess somewhere around 55-60% cacao.

They smell very fruity, like cooking jam or a baking pie. It’s alluring ... and they are darling little morsels. The sizes are irregular, but each is wonderfully panned with a glossy shine.

Ghirardelli Dark Chocolate Cranberry

The bite is soft, softer than I would expect from a piece of dried fruit. The cranberries are plump (I guess plumped with the other fruit additions and a touch of tapioca syrup). It’s immediately tangy and with that light tannic bitterness that cranberries have. The chocolate is smooth, though not quite silky, it offsets the fruit very well and brings its own dry finish.

I found these very satisfying and preferred the texture of the centers to regular raisins or dried cranberries which can be grainy or overly chewy. Though there’s a lot less fat in here than many chocolate treats, with only 120 calories per ounce, that means there’s also more sugars, though some are obviously from the fruit and not as readily available. There’s also 2 grams of fiber, 10% of your vitamin C and 8% of your RDA of iron.



Name: Dark Chocolate Cranberry
    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: 120
Categories: All Natural, Candy, Morselization, Ghirardelli, Chocolate, 8-Tasty, United States, Target

POSTED BY Cybele AT 7:25 am     CandyMorselizationReviewGhirardelliChocolate8-TastyUnited StatesTargetComments (0)

Friday, September 26, 2014

Melster Candy Corn Circus Peanuts

Melster Marshmallow Candy Corn PeanutsAs if Circus Peanuts weren’t enough of an enigma, now they’re branching out into seasonal varieties.

If you’re not familiar with Circus Peanuts, they’re a fluffy, grainy, marshmallow shaped like a peanut, the same color as an orange creamsicle but flavored like bananas. Every once in a while you see other holiday shapes, like bunnies for Easter. Though I’m only a fan of Circus Peanuts by concept, because once I actually eat one I wonder what I was thinking. They have some sort of hypnotic amnesia field around them, and I often forget I don’t like them and eat them. (I think there’s a genetic component to this, there are some people who are immune to this and know they hate them and can avoid them, then there are others who actually like them so there’s no need for the amnesia.)

Melster Marshmallow Candy Corn Circus Peanuts are basically not banana flavored, but candy corn flavored ... and not just orange, but also yellow and white.

Melster Marshmallow Candy Corn Peanuts

Here are the things that recommend them:
- They’re Fat Free
- They’re Free from Major Allergens (peanuts, tree nuts, milk, shellfish, eggs, fish, wheat and gluten)
- They’re Made in the USA

Melster Marshmallow Candy Corn Peanuts

Here’s the top reason to buy them: You’ve always wanted to like Circus Peanuts but you were turned off by the flavor. Don’t worry, Candy Corn Circus Peanuts have no flavor. (I’m just going to call them CCCP now.)

If you’re a fan of marshmallows in your cereal, like Lucky Charms, these are actually a pretty good version of that as a candy. The original Lucky Charms marbits were Circus Peanuts, but I think these match the flavor better.

Melster Marshmallow Candy Corn PeanutsThese were fresh and do smell lightly like vanilla and sugar. It’s comforting. Rather clean and bright. The bite is soft, but the texture is grainy. They’re like a marshmallow, but much denser ... but not quite a nougat. Really, they taste just like a very sugary marshmallow. If you’ve ever wanted Campfire Marshmallows with more sugar in them, this is for you.

These can even muster being divisive like the banana Circus Peanuts, that’s how ineffectual they are. That said, there’s a Peppermint version for Christmas ... Candy Warehouse (who provided these) also sent some of those, I can’t wait!

Related Candies

  1. Brach’s Carrot Cake Candy Corn
  2. Charms Candy Corn Pops
  3. Starburst Original Fruit Flavored Candy Corn
  4. 6 Candy Corn Candies That Aren’t Candy Corn
  5. M&Ms White Chocolate Candy Corn
  6. Melster Peanut Butter Kisses
  7. Circus Peanuts
  8. Brachs Bunny Basket Eggs


Name: Candy Corn flavored Circus Peanuts
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Impact Confections
Place Purchased: samples from Candy Warehouse
Price: $4.00
Size: 8 ounces
Calories per ounce: 112
Categories: Candy, Halloween, Impact Confections, Melster, Marshmallow, 4-Benign, United States

POSTED BY Cybele AT 7:24 am     CandyReviewHalloweenImpact ConfectionsMelsterMarshmallow4-BenignUnited StatesComments (2)

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)

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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

Halloween Candy Season Ends

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Which seasonal candy selection do you prefer?

Choose one or more:

  •   Halloween
  •   Christmas
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ON DECK

These candies will be reviewed shortly:

• 10 Candies that Shouldn’t Be So Disappointing

• Brach’s Royals: Caramel Apple and Sea Salt Caramel

• Dove Dark Chocolate Cranberries

• Russell Stover Big Bite Pecan Pie

• Orgran Molasses Licorice

 

 

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