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Chocolate

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Nestle Munchies

Name: Munchies
Brand: Nestle
Place Purchased: Cost Plus World Market
Price: $1.29
Size: 1.83 ounces
Calories per ounce: 137
Type: Chocolate/Caramel

I’d never seen these before, but the package seemed happy so I bought it. Unfortunately the import label that was applied to it covered up half of the original label but I took it off and founds that it says “Share me Munchies.” Okay.

Munchies are a little ball of biscuit (cookie) surrounded by flowing caramel and covered in chocolate, shaped like a little cube (okay, not totally cubular, a little shorter than wide).

They’re completely poppable, about the same size as a Rolo and like a tiny little Twix bar. The ratio of chocolate seems greater than a Twix, so if chocolate is your thing and not the cookie so much, this might be a good alternative candy.

They’re cute and very sweet but a little lacking in flavor for me. The biscuit isn’t really crunchy, just crumbly and the caramel is sweet but lacks the carmelized sugar hit that I enjoy.

Rating - 5 out of 10

POSTED BY Cybele AT 9:08 am     CandyReviewNestleCaramelChocolateCookie5-PleasantUnited KingdomCost PlusComments (9)

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Almond Joy Cookies

Name: Almond Joy Cookies
Brand: Hershey’s
Place Purchased: 7-11
Price: $1.25
Size: 2 ounces
Calories per ounce: 150
Type: Chocolate/Coconut/Cookie

I know they say they’re cookies, but if something is coated in real chocolate and has a creamy filling, it’s probably a candy. I mean, no one calls Twix a cookie.

I tried the York version of these over the summer and absolutely loved them. They fixed everything that’s wrong with the Girl Scout Thin Mints ... York Peppermint Patty cookies have no trans fats and real chocolate. The Almond Joy cookies aren’t quite as revolutionary, but they’re dang tasty.

It starts with a crisp chocolate cookie on the bottom then is slathered in a lighter coconut cream (not as dense as the center of an Almond Joy) that has some crushed almonds mixed in. The whole thing is dipped in real milk chocolate.

It was very coco-nutty tasting, very smooth. Sweet, but with a lot of different textures including a little hit of salt from the cookie.

They’re really pricey for a cookie, but only slightly more expensive than a regular candy bar. The serving size on the package says all four cookies, but I was pretty satisfied with only two of them.

Related - The Implusive Buy loved the Reese’s cookies (which I haven’t found yet) and Cheap Eats loves them if they’re free.

Rating - 8 out of 10

POSTED BY Cybele AT 9:04 am     CandyReviewHershey'sChocolateCoconutCookieDiscontinued8-TastyUnited States7-11Comments (4)

Monday, October 10, 2005

Fry’s Turkish Delight

Name: Turkish Delight
Brand: Fry’s (Cadbury)
Place Purchased: Cost Plus
Price: $1.79
Size: 1.8 ounces
Calories per ounce: 103
Type: Chocolate/Jelly

I’ve included a couple of reviews here for Turkish Delight (or Turkish Paste), which is a rather obscure kind of candy in the States. I found this chocolate covered Turkish delight bar at Cost Plus. It’s a little smaller than a deck of cards.

What intrigued me at first was the quote on it that said that it was “Full of Eastern Promise.” At first I thought it said Easter, so I was confused enough to pick it up and look closer.

The bar is basically a delicately rose flavored jelly center covered with sweet milk chocolate. I happen to like flowery flavors, so it’s a big hit with me. It isn’t heavy and cloying like some fruit, minty or nut flavors can be and it has a pleasant aftertaste that lingers, like I’ve eaten a bouquet.

Being chocolate covered it also solves a common problem I have with Turkish delight, in that it’s usually covered in corn starch, which is just freakishly messy. I just wish it weren’t so danged expensive. Turkish Paste is usually about $8.00 a pound, but this stuff would end up being over $15 a pound. But the cool thing is that most other Turkish Paste is sold in 1/2 pound boxes and I don’t usually want that much, so I guess there is a middle ground in there.

Rating - 8 out of 10

POSTED BY Cybele AT 3:07 pm     CandyReviewCadburyChocolateJelly Candy8-TastyUnited KingdomCost PlusComments (14)

Wednesday, October 5, 2005

Annabelle’s U-No

Name: U-No
Brand: Annabelle’s
Place Purchased: Savon
Price: $.79
Size: 1.5 ounces
Calories per ounce: 167
Type: Chocolate

U-NO

Like many of the other West Coast candy bars (Rocky Road), I think I ignored this one because I didn’t know what it was. After all, if it was good, I would have tried it by now. I’d never seen anyone eating one and certainly never heard it in conversation. Now I’ve heard two different pronunciations of it. One is: You-Know and the other us Ooh! No! I have no idea which is right.

Their website describes the bar like this, “Smooth, Rich Milk Chocolate truffle-like center, covered with Milk Chocolate and ground almonds.  Guaranteed to melt in your mouth!”

The bar is huge but very light for its size. It looks pretty and smells chocolatey and less sugary than many other bars. Honestly, I’m not sure if I’d like to invoke that guarantee or not, but it definitely doesn’t melt in my mouth. I bit into it, and found it soft and yielding, but not mushy. It did melt, in the sense that it spread out on my tongue, but it didn’t give itself up, but kind of rolled around in a strange oiliness. The chocolate on the outside is a different matter, just nice and chocolatey.

The flavor of the center is like a fluffy truffle with a bit of grainy salt to it (which is actually a nice way to balance the sweet). As excited as I was to see that it was a fluffy truffle bar when I was photographing it, I was equally disappointed when I read the third ingredient on the label is Hydrogenated Coconut Oil and the bar packs 11 grams of saturated fat (I have no idea how much of that is trans fat). It’s just not a bar I can recommend to those who aren’t already terminally ill. I know, it’s candy and it’s all unhealthy, but let’s face it, there are other candies out there that can be satisfying and not nearly as laden with hydrogenated oils.

I know, you think it’s odd that the candy blogger is talking about health issues, so I should make a few things clear. I’m a fit person for the most part. I keep my weight within norms and I am pretty active. So I can afford some discretionary calories on candy (usually limited to 500 calories per day). But sometimes it’s not just calories that you have to look at. A lot of candies contain trans fats, but usually in smaller amounts. A candy that contains a large percentage of hydrogenated oils just isn’t a good idea for regular indulgence. If it’s just a once or twice a year thing, I’d say you’re in the clear. (Please do not substitute candy blog advice for that of a qualified physician or dietician.)

If they, however, created a new recipe using butterfat, I am so there!

Rating - 4 out of 10.

POSTED BY Cybele AT 9:19 am     CandyReviewAnnabelle'sChocolate4-BenignUnited StatesComments (10)

Tuesday, October 4, 2005

Head-to-Head: Butterfinger vs. 5th Avenue

I know that the 5th Avenue is a lesser known bar, but it’s quite similar to the Butterfinger. Though they’re both a peanutbutter crunch center with a chocolate(y) coating, they do have some differences. I’m doing this head-to-head in part to introduce Butterfinger fans to what I think is an exceptional bar. But in order to do that, I had to see them side by side again:

Both are massive bars. The 5th Avenue rings in at exactly 2 ounces and the Butterfinger at 2.1 ounces. The main difference, as far as I can tell between the two is that the Butterfinger coating is not chocolate but a chocolate-like substance where the 5th Avenue has a creamy milk chocolate enrobement.

 

The 5th Avenue bar of my childhood was not a Hershey product but made by Ludens (yes, the cough drop people). Also made in Pennsylvania, the 5th Avenue bar may not have had the wide distribution of the more well-known Butterfinger. When I first got to college I was forced to eat Butterfingers and developed a taste for them, but now that I’m back in an area that offers both, I’m a 5th Avenue girl. Of course, I seem to have a vague recollection of there being a couple of almonds on top. Does anyone else remember that?

The center is a crispy, crunchy peanutbutter crisp. Kind of like a flaky toffee. It has some peanutbutter between the layers, as far as I can tell. It also has a distinct molasses flavor to it, which brings out the roasted flavors of the nuts.

 

The Butterfinger bar was also not originally made by its current owner, Nestle. It was invented by the Curtiss Candy Company based in Chicago (a great candy town) that also made the Baby Ruth (also made by Nestle now). It predates the 5th Avenue, and frankly, has a much better name. It’s buttery and resembles a big finger and of course the play on words of being a clumsy person is kind of fun. The Butterfinger was always known as a great candy buy when I was a kid. Because the bar was so huge, you were sure to be satisfied. The center has similar crunch peanutbutter toffee-like layers that seem a bit crumblier (in a good way) than the 5th Avenue. The overwhelming taste in this center is buttery. A good hit of peanuts and a smooth, sweet and salty buttery taste. I’ve always loved the inside of Butterfingers ... it’s the fake chocolate coating that’s always bugged me. It’s waxy, overly sweet and just not milk chocolate.

So, if the fake chocolate doesn’t bother you and you’re looking for flaky, crunch buttery experience, pick up a Butterfinger. If you like your crunchy peanut flakes with real chocolate and a good robust hit of molasses, 5th Avenue is for you.

UPDATE 2/21/2007: I just found out via the comments that 5th Avenue no longer uses real chocolate ... such a shame. It was such a good bar, it’s sad that Hershey’s has now taken away the unique position it had in the market as the only chocolate covered peanut crispy bar. They have, however, introduced the Reese’s Crispy Crunchy bar, which has peanut butter and crushed peanuts in it. Not the same, but at least real chocolate.

POSTED BY Cybele AT 10:37 am     ReviewHershey'sNestleChocolateMockolatePeanutsUnited StatesHead to HeadComments (87)

Monday, October 3, 2005

Short & Sweet: Caramello /  Mega M&Ms / Orange Kisses

Some folks have written or commented that I try other candies and ask why some haven’t been covered here. With only a few exceptions this blog contains candies that are new to me. But I recognize that not only is the world a finite place but that I’m also excluding a lot of fine candies that you may not be familiar with on the blog.

So, I’ll try to catch up with some tried and true candies or just new iterations of old favorites with this new feature: Short & Sweet. Just a brief on the candy and my rating and hopefully a photo.

Name: Caramello
Brand: Cadbury
Place Purchased: 7-11
Price: $.85
Size: 1.6 ounce
Calories per ounce: 131
Type: Chocolate/Caramel

After the recent introduction of the Nestle Crunch with Caramel and the Hershey’s with Caramel, someone suggested this bar. I hadn’t had one in years, so it was back to the store. The bar is a European style milk chocolate with four creamy caramel filled sections. The chocolate is very sweet and milky and the caramel has a good burn sugar/salty taste to it. Not a true chewy caramel, it’s a good balance for the sweet chocolate.

Rating - 6 out of 10

Name: Mega M&Ms
Brand: Mars
Place Purchased: 7-11
Price: $1.25
Size: 2.87 ounce
Calories per ounce: 139
Type: Chocolate

 

Just a larger sized morsel of chocolate, the Mega M&M also sports a different range of colored shells. The oddest part about these candies is that the colors reminded me of 1986. I don’t know why, I’m not sure that they were fashionable colors then or not, but they remind me of college. My college colors (they were Green & Gold) aren’t even among these, so it doesn’t even make sense.

Aside from that they’re just big M&Ms. Imagine a Peanut M&M without the peanut and you’ll have a mega. The thing I miss in these megas is the ability to cleave the shell off with my eye teeth. Maybe I just need more practice.

Rating - 8 out of 10

Name: Orange Cream Kisses
Brand: Hershey’s
Place Purchased: found them on my desk
Price: unknown, but probably the same price as other Kisses
Type: White Chocolate

 

These are quite the little cuties and fill a niche that I’ve not really seen before in mass-consumer candies. You know, flavored white chocolate. The only other flavored white chocolate candy I can think of are those pastel misty mints. They smell a bit like aspergum (I’m sorry, I compare a lot of orange flavored things to aspergum, I blame my mother for giving me the dastardly stuff when I was a kid), but have a good approximation of a creamsicle - creamy white chocolate with a hint of orange essence.

I think they’d be fun to eat with cookies or within a mix of other Kisses, but I can’t imagine eating a whole bag of them.

Rating - 6 out of 10

POSTED BY Cybele AT 9:38 pm     CandyReviewCadburyHershey'sMarsCaramelChocolateLimited EditionM&MsWhite Chocolate6-Tempting8-TastyUnited StatesComments (16)

Friday, September 30, 2005

KitKat Coffee!

Name: KitKat Coffee
Brand: Hershey’s
Place Purchased: 7-11 (Hollywood)
Price: $.85
Size: 1.5 ounces
Calories per ounce: 147
Type: Chocolate/Crisp

I know Marvo already covered KitKat Coffee this week, but if I don’t review it, I don’t get to eat it. I’d been looking for this bar for a few weeks when I finally saw it at the 7-11 I pass on my way home. There are a few 7-11s that I go to, but this one, on the corner of Santa Monica Blvd. and Virgil seems to stock the best candy. The store is clean and the candy fresh. Though a little pricier than a lot of other places I shop, I’m willing to pay an extra 10 cents for something that I haven’t found elsewhere.

I was so excited by this bar that I bought two, one to eat when I got home and one to review, so by the time I took the photos, I knew that this was a good bar.

Upon opening the bar, the coffee scent is quite powerful and mixed with a sugary sweet smell. Where the Nestle Coffee Crisp bar smells like a creamy coffee concoction with toffee, the KitKat Coffee smells like a fresh brewed cup of black coffee. As with the Nestle KitKat Orange, the coffee flavor is actually in the chocolate (and maybe in the creamy filling of the crisps). It makes me wish that Hershey would release Coffee Kisses.

The bar is very simple and benefits from the addition of the coffee flavoring. It’s pretty amazing how the KitKat can be so good with so many other flavor iterations (Orange, Green Tea, Dark Chocolate, Melon, White Chocolate) but I think that shows that it’s a really well-engineered bar. The blank slate of the crisps and the vaguely vanilla cream can stand on its own or get a boost from another flavor.

I have my doubts that this will be added to the permanent KitKat repertoire (but they did add white chocolate, so who knows) but I’ll enjoy it while it’s around.

Rating - 9 out of 10

UPDATE: I neglected a link to the first place I saw this!

POSTED BY Cybele AT 9:15 am     CandyReviewHershey'sChocolateCoffeeCookieKitKatLimited Edition9-YummyUnited States7-11Comments (10)

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Rocky Road

Name: Rocky Road
Brand: Annabelle Candy
Place Purchased: Convenience Store
Price: $.75
Size: 1.82 ounces
Calories per ounce: 132
Type: Chocolate/Marshmallow/Nuts


I know it seems odd that I’ve never had a Rocky Road bar before, but I’ve never been much of a marshmallow fan. To me the best thing about marshmallows is that they’re a dessert you can make on the grill. If marshmallows disappeared from the earth, I’d probably only lament the loss of Rice Krispies treats.

But, I thought it was high time I gave it a try - after all, how did I know I wouldn’t like it? First, the package is just fantabulous. It’s flashy red mylar and the lettering is bold and you can spot it easily from 20 feet. No wonder, it’s a big bar. At 1.8 ounces and the size of a tree limb, it’s a sizeable purchase for 75 cents.

The bar is rather unappealing when pulled out of the package, but really, when you look at most candy analytically it’s unattractive. I first pulled the bar apart for the photo and the sugary smell is just fantastic. It’s like putting your head into a box of Count Chocula.

The marshmallow isn’t overly sweet, but it’s foamy and has a good rubbery pull to it. The chocolate coating though is very sweet and the cashews are rather hard to discern. The mixture of textures is the real treat in this bar, with a real focus on the marshmallow, the light airyness of the bar sets it apart from just about everything out there. I hardly feel like I’ve eaten almost two ounces. It still hasn’t changed my mind about marshmallow in general, but I can see why it’s such an enduring favorite.

Rating - 6 out of 10

POSTED BY Cybele AT 9:00 am     CandyReviewAnnabelle'sChocolateMarshmallow6-TemptingUnited StatesComments (12)

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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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