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Caramel

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Snickers Almond Dark

DSC09041After the luscious experience of the Snickers Dark, I was pretty determined to find the fabled Snickers Almond Dark.

I couldn’t find it in the regular bar, but did stumbled across this bag of minis called the Snickers Dark Mix which has miniature versions of Snickers, Snickers Dark and Snickers Almond Dark. Frankly, by putting the milk version in there they should have called it a Dark & Milk Mix.

The proportion in the bag, unfortunately, leaned towards the Snickers end of things, but there were enough of Snickers Almond for me to get a good sense of the candy. One of the things I enjoy about the minis, which are much smaller than the snack size, is that you could take them out of their little wrappers and drop them into a fluted candy cup and pretend they’re from a box of chocolates.

DSC09046rThe Snickers Almond Dark mini certainly makes a convincing appearance as a fine chocolate. It has a good chocolatey scent mixed with less peanut than the Snickers. Each little mini that I ate had at least one whole almond in it, which gave it a good convincing almond crunch. The peanuts were not as obvious in this version as they are in the large bar but that may be that the dark chocolate goes so well with this iteration.

Like the Snickers Dark, I would definitely opt for this one over the regular milk chocolate version. While Nestle has been introducing dark versions of their regular bars (Crunch, 100 Grand & Raisinets), their chocolate has a waxy feeling on the tongue and no real chocolate taste. The KitKat Bitter shows that Nestle knows what dark chocolate is supposed to be, they just can’t be bothered with actually delivering it in their bars. Mars, on the other hand, did a good job of putting something that tastes like chocolate on their chocolate bar. Are we going to get a 3 Musketeers with dark chocolate soon? Pretty please!

Name: Snickers Dark Mix (Almond Snickers Dark)
    RATING:
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 6 TEMPTING
  • 5 PLEASANT
  • 4 BENIGN
  • 3 UNAPPEALING
  • 2 APPALLING
  • 1 INEDIBLE
Brand: Mars
Place Purchased: CVS (Torrance)
Price: $3.39
Size: 10 ounces
Calories per ounce: 134
Categories: Chocolate, Nougat, Caramel, Peanuts, Nuts, United States, Mars, , KosherLimited Edition

POSTED BY Cybele AT 9:06 am     Comments (6)

Friday, March 2, 2007

Wonka Golden Creme Egg

In the movie Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, Veruca Salt is lured to her doom by her desire for the Golden Egg (after giving a grand performance with her musical number “I Want it Now!”). In her final flourish she stands on the educated Eggdicator and is judged to be a Bad Egg and sent to the incinerator. This particular scene was not in the book (which instead featured squirrels and their ability to detect bad nuts, which I find far scarier, having been attacked by a squirrel before. Well, I’ve also been attacked by geese, but that’s no really relevant here).

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The Wonka Golden Creme Egg is taking full advantage of that famous scene some thirty-six years later. But instead of the solid chocolate egg the size of the Elephant Man’s head, it’s a chocolate egg filled with a firm chocolate filling studded with graham cookie bits and then a slight reservoir of flowing caramel. I take issue with the caramel filling being called “creme” but this candy has bigger problems.

It’s only slightly smaller (1.1 ounces) than a Cadbury Creme Egg (1.2 ounces). The outside the egg has no Wonka branding on it, instead some squiggly lines and the Nestle logo on both sides. It makes me wonder if this is sold under different names in different places.

The chocolate creme inside isn’t very different than plain old milk chocolate, a little softer, kind of like a ganache only not as buttery smooth. The whole thing is very sweet - throat-burningly sweet. The chocolate itself isn’t particularly smooth or creamy. I have to admit that I’ve been very disappointed with Nestle chocolate lately and this Wonka sub-brand is no different. I’m not getting those CHOCOLATE flavors here. The crumbly crunches of the graham bits are nice (rather like the little Wonka bars) but the caramel is the only thing that saves these eggs - it’s smooth and salty, with just enough of it to cut through the rest of the sweet mess.

If you’re a Cadbury Creme Egg fan and used to very sweet egg-shaped chocolate products, you may do okay with this. But the chocolate is just substandard.

Rebecca at SugarHog.net also reviewed these and gave them a smidge higher rating that I did (but had them before the Cadbury Eggs).

Name: Golden Creme Egg
    RATING:
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 6 TEMPTING
  • 5 PLEASANT
  • 4 BENIGN
  • 3 UNAPPEALING
  • 2 APPALLING
  • 1 INEDIBLE
Brand: Wonka (Nestle)
Place Purchased: CVS (Silverlake)
Price: $.69
Size: 1.1 ounces
Calories per ounce: unknown
Categories: Chocolate, Cookie, Caramel, United States, Nestle, Easter, Kosher

POSTED BY Cybele AT 11:56 am     Comments (6)

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, February 26, 2007

Snickers Dark

Snickers Dark in PackageI’d heard that this Limited Edition Snickers Dark bar was out several months ago, but as usual, it took a while for me to find it. (At the 7-11.) While Hershey’s seems to have a blanket method (“change everything in everything”) for Limited Editions, Mars seems to take a very measured approach to them, sticking to simple little changes. I doubt we’ll see a Wild Cherry Milky Way or Twix Caramel Espresso (though that sound pretty good, come to think of it).

The Limited Edition versions by Mars usually have either changed one ingredient or left one out. The most recent one was the Snickers Xtreme, which had no nougat. This one is just a plain old Snickers with a dark chocolate coating.

image

I’m a big fan of Snickers, though I rarely buy them. When I do, I find them so substantialicious that I can’t finish it in one sitting. It’s a big bar at 2.07 ounces.

The Dark however, is only 1.83 ounces.

It’s a good bar. I found the dark chocolate tasty, it tastes like actual dark chocolate ... it’s creamy, a little dry a little smoky and is able to hold up to the peanutness of the bar. The darkness of the chocolate is less sweet than the regular bar and actually supports the true peanut flavors much better. However, the dark chocolate does overpower the caramel. The caramel texture still comes through, but the salty sugar notes are completely lost. I don’t think that’s such a bad thing.

I think this is an excellent change up of the tried and true Snickers and I think I could see myself buying this far more often than the regular Snickers. I really hope they consider making this a permanent part of their repertoire.

David at CandyAddict reviewed it and found it too chocolatey.

Name: Snickers Dark (Limited Edition)
    RATING:
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 6 TEMPTING
  • 5 PLEASANT
  • 4 BENIGN
  • 3 UNAPPEALING
  • 2 APPALLING
  • 1 INEDIBLE
Brand: Mars
Place Purchased: 7-11 (Hollywood)
Price: $.89
Size: 1.83 ounces
Calories per ounce: 137
Categories: Chocolate, Caramel, Nougat, Peanut, United States, Mars, Kosher, Limited Edition

POSTED BY Cybele AT 6:55 am     Comments (27)

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Nestle Turtles

imageIf you haven’t already guessed, it’s Turtle Tuesday on Candy Blog. (Maybe it’s the candy equivalent of Faschtnacht Day/Shrove Tuesday/Mardis Gras.)

I picked these Nestle Turtles up at the drug store where everything Valentine’s was already 75% off. I haven’t had Nestle Turtles in a long, long time. They weren’t always a Nestle product, they were originally made by Rowntree DeMet’s Inc. which was bought by Nestle in 1988 and eventually in 1996 rolled into the Nestle branding.

Although I’ve always loved the idea of Turtles, no one does them better than See’s (who call them Pecan Buds). But then again, I couldn’t go around thinking that without actually putting it to the test.

image

Nestle Milk Chocolate Turtles are rather uniform looking but have pretty good pieces of pecans in there. They smell very sweet and taste that way, too. Kind of milky, kind of mapley. The nuts are fresh but the chocolate tastes a little chalky and lacks a chocolate punch. They’re just too sweet and hurt my throat. They also taste kind of doughy even though there are no wheat ingredients.

Nope, I’m not keen on the real Nestle Turtles. I’ll stick to my various other versions. At the regular price they’re about $35 pound ... a total rip because you can get See’s for half that price online and even Sanders has an equally good deal (though I haven’t tried the pecan version of their Titans).

Fun Note: The character of Rochelle (Chris Rock’s mom) in Everybody Hates Chris is obsessed with Turtles. In the episode Everybody Hates the Lottery (ep 16) she agrees to give them up ... which of course goes poorly.

Name: Turtles
    RATING:
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 6 TEMPTING
  • 5 PLEASANT
  • 4 BENIGN
  • 3 UNAPPEALING
  • 2 APPALLING
  • 1 INEDIBLE
Brand: Nestle
Place Purchased: Walgreen's (Echo Park)
Price: $1.98 (75% off!)
Size: 3.5 ounces
Calories per ounce: 139
Categories: Chocolate, Caramel, Nuts, Canada, Nestle, Kosher

POSTED BY Cybele AT 11:14 am     Comments (26)

Russell Stover Organic Pecan Delight

I’ve been more pleased with Russell Stover over the years. It could be that my tastes have mellowed or it may be that Russell Stover is making better quality product, but they’re still not a go-to brand for me. What really surprised me is their move into organics. So I picked up their Organic Pecan Delights just before Valentine’s Day. They come in a peg bag that’s all green and matte looking with a little burst of rich gold for the “organic” banner. It’s also heralded as “gluten free” which I would love to hear if I were someone who was hunting in the candy aisle for something I could eat.

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Pecan Delights are a pecan cluster with caramel covered in milk chocolate. All ingredients are organic, except maybe the sea salt and it’s unclear if the soy lecithin is.

These are upside down. The caramel is on the bottom, the nuts (in pieces, not halves) are on the top and the whole thing is covered in chocolate. Don’t worry, it’s not that big of a faux pax as candy constructions go.

They’re a little small but a nice barely two bite piece of candy. The nuts are fresh and the caramel is decent. It’s chewy and not too soft or sweet. The chocolate on the outside is a little odd, it’s not quite the European powdered milk taste, but close, with a slight gamey quality to it. (It reminds me of the Thompson’s Organic Milk Chocolate.)

Overall they’re not my favorite pecan caramel cluster I’ve had, but I did finish the bag (it was only 3 ounces total), which is a testament to their freshness. The ingredients label is much more comforting than some other Russell Stover goodies, so there is that consolation. I wish they came in dark chocolate, but for a first step into organics they’re no-compromise. They also have their rather good coconut bar available in their organic line (also only in milk chocolate). If price is the object and not the organic status, stick with See’s.

On a completely side note, Russell Stover is having a big clearance sale on their Valentine’s candies on their website. So if you’re ga-ga over their Coconut or Strawberry Hearts, this might be the time to stock up.

Name: Organic Pecan Delights
    RATING:
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 6 TEMPTING
  • 5 PLEASANT
  • 4 BENIGN
  • 3 UNAPPEALING
  • 2 APPALLING
  • 1 INEDIBLE
Brand: Russell Stover
Place Purchased: CVS (Third & Fairfax)
Price: $2.99
Size: 3 ounces
Calories per ounce: 132
Categories: Chocolate, Caramel, Nuts, United States, Russell Stover, Organic

POSTED BY Cybele AT 8:40 am     Comments (3)

Sanders Caramels & Titans

imageEverybody has a different name for caramel nut clusters covered with chocolate. Sanders Candy, the Detroit-based candy and fudge sauce company, calls theirs Cashew Titans. Pretty good name, if you ask me.

These are compact candies with a nice layer of cashews on the bottom, a dollop of caramel and milk chocolate enrobing the whole thing.

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The cashews are fresh and crunchy, though I could use a hit of salt on them and perhaps a few more. The chocolate was okay, very sweet but nice and creamy. The caramel has a good chew, soft and not too sticky but lacking a dark caramelized flavor that would match so well with the buttery crunch of the cashews.

Rating: 7 out of 10

imageSanders also sent me some of their Caramels to try as well (and some other goodies that I’ll cover in a few weeks). This box of milk chocolate covered caramels were absolutely lovely. Yes, the plastic tray that anchors them in the box isn’t as classy looking as pretty little fluted cups, but I have admit that they looked glossy and flawless when I opened it.

It’s only your imagination that these look darker than the Cashew Titans, I think it’s the dark chocolate striping that makes it look darker. It certainly tastes like the same chocolate.

image

The caramel is smooth and without the cashews does hold up well on its own. The chocolate is sweet and I find it just a little too much for the caramel, but some careful nibbling around the edges creates a more ideal ratio (I do this with a lot of candies, as far as I’m concerned the coating on a Heath bar is disposable).

I can’t eat many of these at once, so far two has been my limit. But with a few pretzels as a crunchy and salty complement make for a tasty dessert. The price on these, for handcrafted candies is pretty good though and I’d certainly want to try one of their dessert shops if I were in the area.

Rating: 6 out of 10

Name: Sanders Cashew Titans & Milk Chocolate Caramels
    RATING:
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 6 TEMPTING
  • 5 PLEASANT
  • 4 BENIGN
  • 3 UNAPPEALING
  • 2 APPALLING
  • 1 INEDIBLE
Brand: Sanders Candy
Place Purchased: samples
Price: $6.99 per box
Size: 7 ounces & 8 ounces
Calories per ounce: 103 & 106
Categories: Chocolate, Caramel, Nuts, United States, Kosher

POSTED BY Cybele AT 6:49 am     Comments (1)

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Peanut Butter Caramels

imageThis, I think, is the last of the candy I picked up on sale after Christmas. This was from Target during their 75% off phase. While I wouldn’t pay $8.00 for it, I was happy to pay $2, if only because I thought the jar was pretty cool. (Real glass jar, but the lid is clear plastic with a stainless steel rim.)

Peanut Butter Caramels candy, I figured, would be rather like the molasses peanut butter kisses that I like (and so many others loathe) that are sold around Halloween in orange and black waxed wrappers.

imageWhat’s especially pleasing about these is that instead of being wrapped in an opaque colored wrapper, these are in clear cellophane. You can see just what they are, a big O of caramel filled with a little spot of peanut butter.

It smells like peanut butter and tastes like it too, with a good salty, woodsy, nutty, creamy flavor ... and after you chew for a while the peanut butter dissipates and the soft chewy caramel with its buttery and caramelized sugar tones kick in.

I liked them. I like the simplicity of them, I liked the packaging. The ingredients were all natural. I loved the price. I might pay $4 for these, but I truly doubt I’d take the plunge at $8.

ALLERGEN STATEMENT [from the package]: this product may contain or have proteins derived from milk, eggs, fish, crustacean shellfish, tree nuts, wheat, peanuts and/or soybeans.  (emphasis mine) ... wow, talk about covering your bases! (And maybe they need to keep their factory a bit cleaner!)

Name: Peanut Butter Caramels
    RATING:
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 6 TEMPTING
  • 5 PLEASANT
  • 4 BENIGN
  • 3 UNAPPEALING
  • 2 APPALLING
  • 1 INEDIBLE
Brand: Target
Place Purchased: Target (Harbor City)
Price: $2.00
Size: 8 ounces
Calories per ounce: 110
Categories: Caramel, United States, Peanuts

POSTED BY Cybele AT 5:55 am     Comments (6)

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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.

Candy Season Ends

11 days

Read previous coverage

 

 

Which seasonal candy selection do you prefer?

Choose one or more:

  •   Halloween
  •   Christmas
  •   Valentine's Day
  •   Easter

 

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ON DECK

These candies will be reviewed shortly:

• YumJunkie Sassy Straws

• Nature Addicts Fruit & Chocolate

• Short & Sweet: Fancy Chocolate Bites

• The recent history of Brach’s Fiesta Malted Milk Eggs

• Jelly Belly Sour Bunnies

 

 

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