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Coconut

Monday, March 18, 2013

Short and Sweet: Easter Bites

Here are a few Easter candies I bought but I’m not going to get around to doing a full review.

Ghirardelli Milk & Coconut Chocolate EggsGhirardelli Milk & Coconut Chocolate Eggs come in a little 3.5 ounce bag and like the other two versions available for Easter, they’re a bit on the pricey side. I paid $3.99 for this little bag.

I was actually out at CVS looking for the Cadbury Hollow Bunny that I noted in my roundup of products for 2013. (I was hoping it was on sale, because the first time I saw them, they were $4.79 for a 3.5 ounce bunny and I didn’t really want to fork that over for Cadbury chocolate.) While looking though I spotted this bag, which reader Kate mentioned was available last year.

Ghirardelli Milk & Coconut Chocolate Eggs

They’re pretty and feature good quality milk chocolate. These were a little softer in texture and had a silky melt. The coconut mixed into the chocolate is crispy, though it does become chewy after a while. It’s a nice combination of textures and flavors. I found the coconut a little too, I don’t know, difficult to get out of my teeth. Still, I manged to finish the bag within 24 hours, so I must have liked them. I’ll still go for the Milk Crisp version over this.

Rating: 7 out of 10

Tic Tac Bunny Burst

I found Ferrero Tic Tac Bunny Burst at Target with all the other little Easter Basket stuffers. I didn’t see a press release on this, so I didn’t know it was coming out. Further, there’s no listing on the package or anywhere I can find on the internet that says what flavors are actually in the Bunny Burst.

The green is pretty easy to figure out. It was green apple. They’re sweet and tangy, with a very sweet, odd aftertaste. I didn’t care much for it and was hoping for better in the lilac colored ones.

The soft purple is a bit of a mystery flavor. The ingredients list dried apple, dried grape, dried acerola (West Indian Cherry) and dried lychee. So I’m going to call this one tropical. It has a light green grape note, I also tasted violets along with a floral melon and vague medicinal cherry note. At one point did think about lychees, as well. It’s interesting and unique. Not really what I’d call good or refreshing, but I didn’t notice the weird sweet and metallic aftertaste with this one.

They’re made in Canada and contain carmine, so they’re not suitable for vegetarians.

Rating: 6 out of 10

Cemoi Classic Creamy Egg (Milk Chocolate)

I bought this pair of Cemoi Classic Creamy Egg (Milk Chocolate) at Cost Plus World Market. I was actually hoping to find a dark chocolate version, perhaps more upscale, of the classic Cadbury Creme Egg.

This is not that. I can’t give it a full review because I didn’t actually eat it. Both were sticky and oozy under the foil wrap, though I made my choices from the box at the store very carefully. I opened both and found overly sweet, grainy fondant. The chocolate was marginal, it was all just very sweet and unappealing. So into the trash they went.

Rating: 3 out of 10

Snickers Peanut Butter Egg

I reviewed the Snickers Peanut Butter Squared before when they came out. The Snickers Peanut Butter Egg is the same construction, only in hemispherical ovoid shape. It’s a little different because it’s molded instead of being enrobed. Of course the domed shape also means different bites have different ratios. But overall I noticed more caramel in it. The chocolate and caramel and peanut with peanut butter is a nice combination. The salty peanut butter keeps it from being too sweet. I enjoyed it more than the Square thing. I also reviewed the Santa version of this which also has different proportions because of the shape of the mold.

Rating: 7 out of 10

Related Candies

  1. Ghirardelli Milk & Crisp Chocolate Eggs
  2. Snickers Pumpkin
  3. 3 Musketeers Coconut
  4. Zitrone Honig Tic Tac
  5. Tic Tac Pink Grapefruit
  6. House Brand Creme Eggs
  7. Dove Truffle and Snickers Eggs

POSTED BY Cybele AT 1:19 pm     CandyReviewEasterFerreroGhirardelliMarsChocolateCoconutCompressed DextroseFondantKosher6-Tempting7-Worth ItCanadaGermanyUnited StatesCost PlusSav-On/CVSTargetComments (3)

Monday, March 11, 2013

Zitners: Butter Krak, Peanut Butter, Double Cocoanut & Butter Cream Eggs

Zitners Easter EggsZitner’s Butter Krak Eggs are a local favorite in Philadelphia. Their Easter egg selections have been made since 1922. Like many candy companies, it started with a family recipe, sold to friends and neighbors at the holidays and expanded from there.

I don’t remember eating them when I lived in Pennsylvania, and I’ve never seen them in stores anywhere else. One of my fellow candy bloggers did send me a couple about five years ago (but it was after Easter, so I didn’t post a review) so I have had them recently.

I was looking forward to trying them again, so I put in an order from a webstore called PA General Store that sells Philadelphia favorites. I ordered a mixed box of 24, which included a selection of their four single serving sized eggs: Butter Krak, Peanut Butter, Double Cocoanut & Butter Cream Eggs.

Zitners Butter Krak EggZitners Butter Krak Egg is one of those names that sticks with you. The odd thing is that the actual description of the egg was a mystery to me.

They’re a coconut butter cream covered in dark chocolate, but the chocolate also has toasted coconut in it. (Well, they call it cocoanut. More on that later.)

All of the eggs are about the same size, about 2.5 inches long, about 1 inch in diameter and weigh 1 and 1/8 of an ounce. So they’re nice portions, about double the size of a boxed chocolate.

Zitners Butter Krak Egg

The dark chocolate has a lot of the crispy toasted coconut in it, it gives it a nice texture and is actually toasted and crispy (which is hard to balance without them becoming too hard and difficult to chew). The center is soft and creamy, like a buttercream frosting. It’s sugary but has an overall smooth texture. There’s a lot of coconut in there, though it’s shorter minced bits, so not too chewy.

The dark chocolate isn’t bitter but still balances the sweetness of the center well. This is one of those candies that I would like once or twice a year and I can see why it’s a local favorite. I’m not sure if I’ve had another version quite like it.

Zitners Double Cocoanut Egg
Zitners Double Cocoanut Egg is interesting for two reasons. First, the spelling of cocoanut. It’s the less used spelling of coconut, but it always makes me think of the Cocoanut Grove, the nightclub once located here in Los Angeles at the Ambassador Hotel.

Now, if no one told me the names of these eggs, I would have thought the Butter Krak was double the coconut, because it has coconut in the center and the chocolate. But the reality is that the cream center of the Double Cocoanut Egg actually has twice the coconut than, well, I guess the Butter Krak center.

It is dense. It’s not as buttery, sweet or moist as the Butter Krak. But it is coconutty. The center barely holds together. I liked how it was so much less sweet than all the other eggs I’d tried, it was far more satisfying. Still, it was just a chocolate covered coconut egg, though it was fresh and I generally like them, this one didn’t blow me away.

Zitners Milk Chocolate Peanut Butter Egg

Zitners Milk Chocolate Peanut Butter Egg was my favorite. It’s not really that hard to make a good peanut butter egg and they’ve done a great job. The peanut butter center isn’t too dry and not too sticky smooth either. The texture is very similar to a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup with a noticeable grain and fair amount of peanut butter oils. The tops of my eggs were a little soft, a hazard when coating peanut butter with chocolate. But they held together well. The peanut butter has just the right hint of salt and has a peanut butter cookie dough texture.

They don’t quite top the Reese’s Peanut Butter Eggs but if you want to go for something locally made (if you are on the Eastern Seaboard) this is a nice option. (Though I don’t know where their milk chocolate comes from.)

DSC_1803rb

Zitners Butter Cream Egg was my least favorite of the bunch. It’s extremely sweet. The center is pure mushy sweetness. I was hoping it was going to have a defined butter flavor, or perhaps a brown sugar note. Instead it’s like a log of frosting covered in dark chocolate. The dark chocolate, though thin, does moderate the overt sweetness (as does a little bit of salt) but it’s still too insanely sweet with no other flavors or textures to provide a respite.

On the other hand, Easter is always the most insanely sweet season, the time of year when I yearn for white chocolate, so I know there must be plenty of people out there who must have these.

If I lived in an area where I had a choice between these and Russell Stover, I’d probably go for these in Peanut Butter or the Butter Krak over any of the Russell Stover varieties. (Except for the Pecan Delight.) But I live in a See’s area, and though they don’t offer them at the drug store in individually wrapped pieces, I would make the trip to get their Scotchmallow Eggs or mix of Egg Quartet (though they cost about 25% more).

Related Candies

  1. See’s Orange Cream Lollypops, Mayfair Egg & Pecan Butterscotch Bar
  2. Russell Stover Eggs (2009 edition)
  3. Russell Stover Eggs
  4. Russell Stover Eggs (2007 edition)
  5. See’s Egg Quartet
  6. See’s Scotchmallow Eggs
  7. Reese’s Eggs


Name: Butter Krak
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Zitners Candy
Place Purchased: PA General Store (Online)
Price: $22.99 for 24
Size: 1.125
Calories per ounce: 150
Categories: Candy, Easter, Zitners Candy, Chocolate, Coconut, Fondant, 7-Worth It, United States


Name: Milk Chocolate Peanut Butter Egg
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Zitners Candy
Place Purchased: PA General Store (Online)
Price: $22.99 for 24
Size: 1.125 ounces
Calories per ounce: 157
Categories: Candy, Easter, Zitners Candy, Chocolate, Peanuts, 7-Worth It, United States


Name: Double Cocoanut Eggs
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Zitners Candy
Place Purchased: PA General Store (Online)
Price: $22.99 for 24
Size: 1.125
Calories per ounce: 151
Categories: Candy, Easter, Zitners Candy, Chocolate, Coconut, Fondant, 6-Tempting, United States


Name: Butter Cream Eggs
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Zitners Candy
Place Purchased: PA General Store (Online)
Price: $22.99 for 24
Size: 1.125 ounces
Calories per ounce: 150
Categories: Candy, Easter, Zitners Candy, Chocolate, Fondant, 6-Tempting, United States

POSTED BY Cybele AT 3:16 pm     CandyReviewEasterZitners CandyChocolateCoconutFondantPeanuts6-Tempting7-Worth ItUnited StatesComments (2)

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

The Grown Up Chocolate Company Crunchy Praline Wonder Bar & Glorious Coconut Hocus Pocus

The Grown Up Chocolate Company Crunchy Praline Wonder Bar & Glorious Coconut Hocus PocusThe world of gourmet candy bars is not limited to North America. The United Kingdom has The Grown Up Chocolate Company which currently makes four upscale and unique candy bars. I was able to procure two of them on my trip to New York City late last year.

They’re packaged well in boldly graphic boxes with fun typography. Inside the box is a rather large candy bar, made with all natural ingredients. The bars are 65 grams, which is about 2.29 ounces. Inside the box the bars are held within clear trays and then sealed in cellophane. Each had expiry dates of late January 2013.

The Grown Up Chocolate Company Crunchy Praline Wonder Bar

The bar that I found most intriguing was the Crunchy Praline Wonder Bar. The package said: Caramelised wafer enticingly slathered in sumptuous praline encased in real milk chocolate, a true wonder bar!

The package had two of these little bars, which is great for me, because a little over an ounce is a perfect portion especially for something that seemed so decadent.

The Grown Up Chocolate Company Crunchy Praline Wonder Bar

The little bar has an interesting center. It’s a milk chocolate ganache filled with crunchy, flaky and malty bits of wafer. There’s a little hint of hazelnut paste in the filling, but there’s not much to it. It’s the kind of wafer that would make up an ice cream cone. The cereal taste to the bar and the milkiness of the chocolate makes the whole thing taste an awful lot like a chocolate ice cream cone.

One little bar is extremely filling. I liked this quite a bit and would likely buy it again if I ever saw it, even though it’s about $6.

The Grown Up Chocolate Company Glorious Coconut Hocus Pocus

The Glorious Coconut Hocus Pocus is a rather interesting bar. It’s not merely a retread of an Almond Joy, instead they’ve done quite a bit of work to create something a bit more uncommon. The description is: Creamy coconut ganache luxuriantly topped with an indulgent fruit and nut jumble enrobed in decadent milk chocolate.

The milk chocolate then has a little zig-zag drizzle of dark chocolate as well.

The Grown Up Chocolate Company Glorious Coconut Hocus Pocus

The first thing I noticed after biting into it, aside from the coconut flavors, was the lemon zest. It’s quite a different profile, it’s sophisticated and cuts the sweetness of everything else. The ganache center is dry, it’s not a chewy coconut but has a good balance of milky and coconut luxury. The jumble of nuts and fruits is truly that. I got a lot of almonds and a few pieces of zest as well as a piece of apricot at one point.

It’s odd and inconsistent. I wanted more of the fruit and for the nuts to be chopped up just a little more. Biting into a big almond just made a mess. The milk chocolate is sweet, but doesn’t have enough counterpoint for all the other sweet things. I would have preferred a little dark chocolate contrast and actual chocolate flavor. Still ... it’s a really promising bar. I had to pick the right time to eat it, late in the day the sweetness was overwhelming and made me sleepy. Mid morning seemed to work better for the second half of it.

According to their website they have mini bars, which are probably more my speed. I don’t know much about the sourcing of their cocoa or other ingredients, as they don’t say on their website or the packaging. The bars contain wheat, soy, dairy and nuts and may contain traces of peanuts.

Related Candies

  1. Liddabit Sweets - Candy Bars
  2. Snow Angell Organic Candy Bar
  3. Eat with your Eyes: The Most Awesome Chocolate Bar Ever
  4. Zingerman’s Zzang! Candy Bars
  5. Zotter Candy Bars
  6. Ritter Schokowurfel
  7. Lake Champlain Five Star Bar


Name: Crunchy Praline Wonder Bar
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: The Grown Up Chocolate Company
Place Purchased: Zabar's (New York City)
Price: $5.95
Size: 2.29 ounces
Calories per ounce: 150
Categories: All Natural, Candy, Chocolate, Cookie, 8-Tasty, United Kingdom


Name: Glorious Coconut Hocus Pocus
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: The Grown Up Chocolate Company
Place Purchased: Zabar's (New York City)
Price: $5.95
Size: 2.29 ounces
Calories per ounce: 142
Categories: Candy, Chocolate, Coconut, Nuts, 7-Worth It, United Kingdom

POSTED BY Cybele AT 2:28 pm     CandyReviewChocolateCoconutCookieNuts7-Worth It8-TastyUnited KingdomComments (2)

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Nestle Crunch Girl Scout Cookie Candy Bars: Peanut Butter & Caramel and Coconut

Nestle Crunch Girl Scout Cookie Candy BarsYesterday I reviewed the new, limited edition Nestle bars made in conjunction with the Girls Scouts. They’re based on popular flavors of the seasonal Girl Scout Cookies.

The trio of bars represent some pretty popular cookies and great candy bar combinations. The bars are pretty small, they consist of two small wafer based bars that clock in at a mere 1.3 ounces for the whole package. At regular price they were $1.19 each at CVS, though you may be able to find them on sale at some point. Nestle and the Girl Scouts have been trying to whip up a fervor over these bars, so be prepared that they’ll never come on sale or be hard to find. (Or not. They were just sitting on the candy shelf at CVS, probably a week before they were supposed to be out for regular folks to buy them, I’d heard that they were internet pre-order only plus a week of exclusive purchase at Dylan’s Candy Bar in New York City.)

Nestle Crunch Girl Scount Cookie Candy Bars

The bars are attractive and though the packaging is spare and kind of generic looking, it does a good job of protecting the bars themselves without out a lot of extras. The wrappers looked a bit like nutrition bars to me from a distance, and I almost didn’t notice them, but the line at the drug store was long, so I had plenty of time to stare at everything.

Nestle Crunch Girl Scout Cookie Caramel and CoconutThe Limited Edition Girl Scout Cookie Flavors: Crunch Caramel & Coconut is supposed to be, I believe, like the Samoas.

Samoas are a vanilla cookie base with coconut and caramel then a little series of mockolate stripes. I’ve had them a few times and found them to be a little too sweet and sticky for me, but definitely more on the side of candy than cookie.

DSC_9331rb

The description of the candy bar on the wrapper was: cookie wafers, coconut caramel creme and chewy caramel topped with toasted coconut. Notice in that description there’s no mention of chocolate, because there isn’t any here, just a mockolate coating, and then some other orange striped stuff on top of that.

The smell is disappointingly artificial. There’s a note of fake butter that overpowers the coconut scent almost entirely. The wafers are definitely crisp, but the creme filling is grainy and has more of the fake butter notes to it. I couldn’t finish the second bar. I had to sequester it in the trash in another room because the smell was driving me crazy.

I know that some folks are going to be obsessed with these, but I found them completely disappointing. The fake flavor, the lack of real chocolate, the use of useless artificial colors and simply missing an opportunity to satisfy.

Nestle Crunch Girl Scout Cookie Peanut Butter CremeThe Limited Edition Girl Scout Cookie Flavors: Peanut Butter Creme is based on the Tagalongs cookies. (For years I called them Tagalogs, some sort of a misreading where I thought they were inspired by a traditional Filipino peanut cookie, you know, because there were Samoas, I thought there was a series that was all themed for Pacific Islands.)

The package describes the candy bar as Cookie wafers and peanut butter creme topped with airy cripsies. Again, no mention of chocolate, that greasy coating on it because it’s not actually chocolate.

DSC_9324rb

This bar was particularly messy, unlike the others. It was simply soft and sticky, even though the ambient temperature was 70 degrees or so. The bar is very peanutty smelling, roasted and really appetizing. The wafers are thick and airy with a good crunch. The peanut butter creme is salty and the mockolate coating is thin enough and just barely sweet enough to make this a candy. Though the coating made this a little on the greasy side, they’re good. Much better than the Butterfinger Crunch Crisp bars, which also have that fake butter flavor.

Again, Q.Bel makes a much better quality Peanut Butter Wafer Bar, though it actually doesn’t have quite the same proportions or salty peanut butter oomph that this does. Trader Joe’s also has a peanut butter wafer crisp bar that’s a fraction of the cost of this (only $1.99 for 7 ounces instead of $1.19 for 1.3 ounces) and has none of the crazy additives and lackluster ingredients.

On the whole, I’m underwhelmed. I’m sure Nestle and the Girl Scouts are going to make out well with their social outreach programs and strong brand identities. Maybe I’m just too old for this, jaded or suspicious of these sorts of stunts.

Related Candies

  1. Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate Covered Peanut Butter Wafer Cookies
  2. Oreo Bitter Bar (Japan)
  3. Christopher’s Good News
  4. Baby Ruth Crisp & Nestle Crisp Bars
  5. Q.Bel Crispy Wafer Bars
  6. ReeseSticks (Revisit)
  7. Take 5 Peanut Butter


Name: Crunch Caramel & Coconut
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Nestle
Place Purchased: CVS (Silver Lake)
Price: $1.19
Size: 1.3 ounces
Calories per ounce: 146
Categories: Candy, Nestle, Caramel, Coconut, Kosher, Limited Edition, Mockolate, 4-Benign, United States, Sav-On/CVS


Name: Crunch Peanut Butter Creme
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Nestle
Place Purchased: CVS (Silver Lake)
Price: $1.19
Size: 1.3 ounces
Calories per ounce: 146
Categories: Candy, Nestle, Cookie, Kosher, Limited Edition, Mockolate, Peanuts, 7-Worth It, United States, Sav-On/CVS

POSTED BY Cybele AT 4:22 pm     CandyReviewNestleCaramelCoconutCookieKosherLimited EditionMockolatePeanuts4-Benign7-Worth ItUnited StatesSav-On/CVSComments (2)

Monday, May 14, 2012

Route 1 Romeo Bar

Aldi Route 1 RomeoAldi is a German chain of stores that are very popular in parts of the United States. They carry low priced merchandise, usually Aldi’s house brands and most of the packaged products made in Germany.

They have a great selection of low-priced, good quality candy. Much of it is under the brands Moser Roth, Choceur or Grandessa. But two years ago I noticed that they launched a line more traditional candy bars under a more North American-oriented brand called Route 1. This assortment features knock-offs of common candy bars. The Route 1 Romeo Bar is like the Mounds Bar but is made with milk chocolate instead of dark. Or you can call it an Almond Joy without the almonds. In reality this is most similar to the Bounty Bar, which is made by Mars, but rarely seen in the United States.

Aldi Route 1 Romeo

The bar is listed as delicious sweet coconut bars covered with milk chocolate. Some of the Route 1 bars are sold as single serving sizes, but the Romeo I could only find in the fun size bag. The bag is really well priced at $1.79 for 9.7 ounces. It’s a far better deal than the Hershey’s Mounds, which are usually about $3.00 for a similarly sized bag. The little bars are a little shy of an ounce (.88 ounces) and come in at about 125 calories each. The packaging is simple, but easy to spot and tell apart from the other candies in the brand line.

Aldi Route 1 Romeo

The little bars are 2.25 inches long and 1 inch wide. The milk chocolate coating is swirly and looks appealing. It has a nice snap to it and a very milky scent, like heavily sweetened powdered milk.

The whole thing is very milky, the chocolate is more milky than cocoa, the coconut center has just as many cream and dairy notes as coconut. The coconut is soft and has a moist and easy chew without being to dry and fibery.

While I enjoyed them while eating them, I didn’t find the chocolate notes satisfying enough. The combination of the chocolate outside and the coconut inside never quite felt integrated. If you’re not really picky or are looking for a really good value for something like Halloween or a Pinata, this is a good option. If you’ve always thought that Almond Joy wasn’t sweet enough, this is also a good choice.

There is no indication of the source of the chocolate. There are allergens present, made with soy and dairy and may contain traces of peanuts, tree nuts, gluten and eggs.

Related Candies

  1. Choceur Chocolate Crisp Bars
  2. Blue Ribbon Neapolitan Coconut Bar
  3. Choceur Nougat Bites & Marzipan Bites
  4. King Leo Dark Chocolate Crunchy Patties
  5. Sunspire Coconut Bars
  6. Moser Roth Chocolate
  7. Choceur Luxury Mini Chocolate Bars
  8. Ritter Sport Capuccino and Rum Trauben Nuss

POSTED BY Cybele AT 9:40 am     CandyReviewAldiChocolateCoconut7-Worth ItGermanyComments (7)

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

David’s Signature Beans Jelly Bean Sampler

David's Signature Beans Jelly Bean SamplerIn 1976 David Klein began selling a new kind of jelly bean he commissioned at a small ice cream parlor, Fosselman’s, in Alhambra, California. It was different in a lot of ways than the jelly beans folks usually sold. They were sold as individual flavors and included new flavors like Root Beer and Cream Soda along with the traditional fruity flavors like Very Cherry and Green Apple plus the required Black Licorice. This was the start of Jelly Belly and a revolution in the way that Americans viewed their sugar candy. Notably, it got people interested in intense and more unusual flavors as well as moving the bar on how much someone would pay for a pound of jelly beans.

The collaboration of David Klein with the Herman Goelitz Candy Co. came to an end when Klein was bought out. His settlement meant that he was paid a royalty for every bean sold (with a yearly cap) but couldn’t compete in the jelly bean category until that contract came to an end. Since its recent expiration, Klein has been collaborating with Marich Confectionery with family members of those that developed the original Jelly Belly in the 70s. The new line of David’s Signature Beyond Gourmet Jelly Beans are now available.

David's Signature Beans Jelly Bean Sampler

The beans are made with real fruit, flavorings and all natural colors. It’s a little frustrating to find out definitive information about the product line, the Leaf website has a couple of press releases, but no standard product information. The Facebook page for the product has a picture of their flavor offerings, which include wasabi, habanero, Thai chili and chipotle, but those weren’t in my sampler.

I found this sampler box on Amazon (sold by Oregon Trail Foods) for $16.95 for a half pound assortment of 16 flavors (plus shipping). I ordered it on Thursday and it arrived the following Monday. The box is a bit problematic, the little sections of the tray allow the beans to hop from one bin to another when the box is tipped, so when I opened mine I had to re-sort my beans. This was difficult for several of the colors which were extremely similar.

While the beans inside look great, I was disappointed at the flimsy and generic package that really didn’t entice me or create any excitement about what was inside. For something over $32 a pound, I expect a little of it to go into packaging.

David's Signature Bean & Jelly Belly Bean

David’s Signature Beans are unbranded and look like little pieces of polished glass. Each one was nearly perfect and consistently shaped. They’re a little larger than the Jelly Belly, which is on the right above. (The flavor on the left is cranberry, the one on the right is the Jelly Belly Snapple Cranberry-Raspberry, which is also all natural.)

David's Signature Beans - Black CherryBlack Cherry is the flavor I heard that was really startling in this mix. The color is quite dark, a milky maroon color. The shell is firm and crunchy with a light and consistent graininess right beneath that.

The flavor is a little bit tart and a little bit sweet. But it’s nothing like real fresh cherries or fake cherries to me. It reminds me of cherry juice, in that it’s a deep and has a sort of boiled berry jam note to it, but nothing distinct.

David's Signature Beans - Black Cherry

The construction of the beans is very consistent. The centers were mostly colored, though not with some sort of imposed artificiality, it’s just whatever the combination of real fruits made them.

In some cases the centers matched the shell like the Black Cherry. In other cases they were colorless.

David's Signature Beans - BlueberryBlueberry is really blue. The combination of coconut, blueberry and pomegranate is very patriotic looking.

The flavor is floral, at first it’s like a raspberry flavor, but then it gets that little kick that I associate with blueberry. It’s a tannin note, kind of like tea. It’s a rather confused tasting bean though, because it ends with a little creamy note, almost a vanilla. So think of it more like a blueberry smoothie.

David's Signature Beans - CoconutCoconut is like a perfect little white bead.

The shell is crisp, but not thick. The flavor is a very strong coconut milk, sweet and with that aromatic nuttiness. There’s no actual shredded coconut in the center, but the flavor is really authentic. It didn’t have that oily note that brings to mind hot and humid days by the pool with suntan oil, it was a bit cleaner than that.

David's Signature Beans - BaconThe bean varieties are interesting. A mix of standard, tried and true flavors as well as a few exotics and novelties.

Bacon is something I consider a novelty.

Bacon is also not a food I eat. I’d say it’s because I don’t eat pork, which is true (though I do eat candies with gelatin) but to go further, even as an omnivorous kid I didn’t like bacon. I don’t want a jelly bean that tastes like bacon. I’m not eating it.

David's Signature Beans - Sampler

Cranberry is very tart and bracing. There’s a light vanilla note to it as well and maybe a little hint of concord grape. I really like a good puckery cranberry, and I think if I were designing them, I’d make it even more sour.

That said, it’s still pretty well rounded and tastes more like dried cranberries than some sort of cranberry fruit juice cocktail.

Ginger is fascinating. It’s a bit of a tougher bean, the shell seems a little crisper. The flavor is immediately rooty, with lots of woodsy notes and less of that lemony tang that fresh ginger juice can have and more of the deep honey notes of ginger ale.

I would buy a bag of these, they also went well with the lemon, which is good, because they look nearly the same.

Grape was a good flavor, it was like grape juice, but missing that concord note that the Japanese seem to have pegged really well in many of their candies.

Green Apple was also very authentic, it was like unsweetened apple sauce, a cooked apple flavor without as much sour zing as a fresh apple.

David's Signature Beans - Himalayan Sea SaltHimalayan Sea Salt was one of the weirdest and least successful in the bunch. Other folks at the office who tried them ended up spitting this one out 100% of the time.

I don’t know quite why I’d want to eat salted sugar, but there it is. I can understand a salted caramel jelly bean, but just a salted jelly bean is mystifying. It was a cross between eating cake batter and licking my own sweat off my arms. It was kind of like a sports drink, but without the actual flavor of fruit juice.

David's Signature Beans - LemonLemon is exactly what I’d expect from a lemonade flavored jelly bean. It’s all tartness and a sort of pasteurized juice flavor.

I didn’t catch much in the way of zest, which is too bad, because I think that would have sent this one over the top.

Though I wasn’t as keen on this one as I’d hoped, it paired very well with other beans such as strawberry and ginger.

David's Signature Beans - OrangeOrange Punch is quite a deep tangerine color. This one describes the flavor better than the lemon, as this did taste more like an orange beverage than an actual orange.

Again the zest notes were missing, so it was more like a really good glass of Tang with an extra spoonful of the concentrate added to it.

Of course if this was called Fanta Orange, I’d want to add it to my soda pop mix and call it fabulous. 

David's Signature Beans - MangoPeach was mind-blowingly good. In most instances I do not care for peach candies, though I love fresh peaches. Here the flavor was well rounded without some sort of artificial note on top.

It’s a combination of apricot and peach, with a lot of tartness, quite a bit of “fuzz” flavor and a clean finish. It reminded me of baby food, really good peach puree.

DSC_8527rbPomegranate was nearly impossible to tell apart from cranberry on sight and for a while I wasn’t even sure I was tasting the right flavor since they all got mixed up in the box.

I think what distinguishes pomegranate from cranberry is the floral notes for pomegranate. It was quite reminiscent of raspberry with a sort of dry finish like Key limes have when compared to Persian limes.

David's Signature Beans - Root BeerRoot Beer is fantastic. All root beer candies should take a hint from this one. It certainly puts the other root beer jelly beans to shame, it’s far more intense and vibrant. There’s a lot of flavor without that artificial red aftertaste that I can get from Root Beer Barrel hard candies.

Of course this makes me wish for a whole set of soda flavored beans in exotics like tonic water, birch beer and guarana.

David's Signature Beans - StrawberryStrawberry is easy to tell apart from the other beans, as it’s speckled. Of course just being pink would have been sufficient to distinguish it.

It’s sweet and tangy, but missing a bit of the floral note that I get with many other strawberry flavors. Instead this was more like jam than fresh strawberry. But these also varied, some were larger than others and some were tarter than others.

It’s best in combination and actually went well with coconut.

David's Signature Beans - Vanilla BeanVanilla Bean was also great. The vanilla flavor was creamy and rich with a lot of dimension. There’s the sweet and soft note of the vanilla extract and then the deeper bourbon notes of the vanilla beans.

There were real little bits of vanilla seeds from the pod which stuck with me for a while. That’s fine because vanilla went well with most of the other flavors, including ginger, root beer and strawberry.

Overall, they’re wonderfully vibrant even if I’m not fond of the direction of each of the beans. However, the price is prohibitive and not quite justified by the product. While I like the use of real, whole ingredients, the packaging was not worthy of a product that’s so expensive. My guess is that if they do catch on they economies of scale might bring things more into line with my expectations ($10 a pound is still steep in my world). The thing that would set them apart though would be the quirkier flavors such as ginger and perhaps other spices. I am curious to try the other more exotic flavors, but I’ll wait to find them in stores when I’m not paying shipping on top.

Other bean flavors I am interested in, if someone wants to make them: cola, lemon cola, rum, gin, molasses, peppermint, cucumber, celery, spearmint, cardamom, lavender honey and an intense all natural black licorice.

You can read more about the history of David Klein and Jelly Belly on MSNBC.

Related Candies

  1. Gimbal’s Sour Gourmet Jelly Beans
  2. Bertie Bott’s Every Flavour Beans by Jelly Belly
  3. Trader Joe’s Jelly Beans & Citrus Gum Drops
  4. Lemonhead & Friends Jelly Beans
  5. Sandy Candy
  6. Starburst and Jelly Belly Jelly Beans


Name: 16 Jelly Bean Sampler
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Leaf
Place Purchased: Amazon (Oregon Trail Foods)
Price: $16.99 + $6.95 shipping
Size: 8 ounces
Calories per ounce: 106
Categories: All Natural, Candy, Leaf Brand Candy, Coconut, Ginger, Jelly Candy, 7-Worth It, United States

POSTED BY Cybele AT 2:51 pm     All NaturalCandyReviewLeaf Brand CandyCoconutGingerJelly Candy7-Worth ItUnited StatesComments (14)

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Ritter Sport 100th Anniversary Edel-Nuss Mix + Bonus Previews

Ritter Sport 100 Jahre RitterThe Ritter Sport chocolate company celebrates their 100th year with the introduction of their limited edition 100 Jahre bar. It’s the same 100 gram square we’ve come to know and love.

Though the company is celebrating their 100th year, the Ritter Sport square bar, as we’ve come to know it, is not quite as old as that. The Sport bars were introduced in 1932 ... so in 20 years you can look forward to another centennial.

The bar is a simple one, just milk chocolate with a blend of crushed nuts: almonds, cashews & macadamia nuts.

Ritter Sport 100th Anniversary

I picked up my bar in Germany at Kaufhof in December, but they may be available at import shops in North America and airports during the year.

The bar is lovely and really quite tasty. It’s odd, the milk chocolate is sweet and smooth, as usual. The nuts are crunch and plentiful. But the flavor is quite interesting. For a while after munching on the bar I was convinced there was honey in it, it has that same sort of toasted almond and honey flavor that Toblerone has. But there was none in the ingredients, so I can only credit the toasting of the nuts that give it that soft, sweet and nutty flavor.

I would buy this bar regularly. It doesn’t quite dethrone my favorite, the Knusperflakes (Corn Flakes) bar, but it’s terrific in its own right.

Ritter Sport Dunkle PfefferminzWhen I was at the Ritter Sport factory store I was excited to pick up some of their “not quite ready” test bars. Some of these are out on the market now, or will be later this year. But when I was in the store, they were offering the 100 gram bars in their generic white wrappers for half a Euro.

Ritter Sport Dunkle Pfefferminz is a dark chocolate bar with a peppermint flavored dark chocolate cream center. It also features a dash of alcohol, giving it a creme de menthe sort of blast.

Ritter Sport Dunkel Pfefferminz

The bar looked great.

Ritter Sport Dunkel Pfefferminz

The cream center was smooth and had a strong peppermint flavor, but not so strong as to overpower the dark chocolate notes, which were slightly acidic and woodsy. It’s pretty decadent and silky, I didn’t feel the need to eat more than two or three sections at a sitting.

I hope this comes to the United States at some point, it’s a keeper and unlike anything else we have on the market.

Ritter Sport Pfefferminz

One other item I picked up in the back room was a bag of these little bon bons. They were simply called Pfefferminz and in a clear plastic bag. Each individual piece was wrapped in an unmarked aqua wrapper. I have no idea what their purpose was, but the center was not quite the same as the Dunkle bar. They were good, but milk chocolate and a little more fudgy and firm.

Ritter Sport KakaosplitterThe test version of Ritter Sport Kakaosplitter must have gone well, because I saw this one on World in Chocolate as a spring limited edition.

I believe kakaosplitter (kakaokernstuckchen) is the German word for cacao nib. The bar is milk chocolate and features a firm chocolate cream filling studded with crispy cacao nibs.

Ritter Sport Kakaosplitter

The bar is quite milky and has a good nutty flavor overall. The nibs are toasted in a way that seems to have caramelized them. So instead of being chewy or dense, they’re quite light and crispy, but with a sort of uneven chocolate flavor, depending on the bite.

I liked the treatment of the nibs, but I didn’t care for the overall sweetness of the bar. It makes me wish I’d found this hazelnut and nib solid bar.

Ritter Sport

The last bar I picked up looked just like the others on the outside, a generic white with the simple name of Ritter Sport Kokosmakrone. Honestly, I didn’t know what I was picking up because I didn’t know what Kokosmakrone was, I thought it was another cocoa nib confection.

Instead it’s a coconut cream. How fun! Aside from the Mounds and Almond Joy bars, there’s not much in the real coconut realm in candy bars in the United States.

Ritter Sport

The bar is milk chocolate again with a white cream filling with both toasted coconut and rice flakes for crunch.

It smells an awful lot like coconut, the chocolate is infused with it to the point that the chocolate flavors are lost. I had to sequester the bar in its own ziploc bag before I finished it because I was afraid it was going to make my 100 Jahre bar taste weird. The filling is sweet and milky with a little salty hint. The coconut is more of a flavor than a texture, the crispies add a new dimension of texture that you don’t really get in American coconut candies.

Mostly I like this because it’s not like anything else you can get for less than $2. But, if I want coconut, I’m probably going to go for a Mounds bar.

In all, I love Ritter Sport’s sense of adventure.

The bars are made in a factory that processes a lot of different nuts, soy, dairy and products that may contain gluten. The Ritter Sport company sources much of their cacao from South and Central American and says it’s committed to ethical sourcing.

Related Candies

  1. Limited Edition Ritter Sport Winter Kreation + Factory Store
  2. Ritter Sport Espresso
  3. Ritter Sport Sommer-Genuss 2010 Limited Editions
  4. Ritter Sport Olympia
  5. Ritter Sport Fruhlingsspezialitaten 2010
  6. Ritter Sport Peppermint
  7. Toblerone Single Peaks
  8. Kisses Coconut Creme


Name: 100 Jahre Ritter Edel-Nuss Mix
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Ritter Sport
Place Purchased: Kaufhof (Berlin, Germany)
Price: .89 Euro ($1.25)
Size: 3.5 ounces
Calories per ounce: 160
Categories: All Natural, Candy, Ritter Sport, Chocolate, Limited Edition, Nuts, 8-Tasty, Germany

POSTED BY Cybele AT 1:00 pm     All NaturalCandyReviewRitter SportChocolateCoconutLimited EditionMintsNibsNuts8-TastyGermanyComments (4)

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Russell Stover Big Bunny Coconut Cream

Russell Stover Big Bunny Coconut CreamEaster is the time of cream eggs. There are so many different versions and Russell Stover makes about half of them. From caramel and peanut butter to raspberry whip and strawberry cream, they go for variety. This year their newest introduction is not another egg, but a reshaping of one of their classic eggs into a different format. Behold the Russell Stover Big Bunny Dark Chocolate & Coconut Cream.

The package design is nice, I liked it quite a bit, with its bold illustration style. Though the wrapper is a bit flimsy, it seems to do a good job of protecting the contents. It says that it’s made with 100% real chocolate, which is great news and that it’s made proudly in America. They were on sale for $1.00, which is a pretty good deal for a 2.25 ounce candy bar these days.

Russell Stover Coconut Cream Rabbit

The bunny is large, just as the package promised. It’s a little over 5 inches tall (though one of my ears was a bit broken off because I fumbled with it when I took it out of the wrapper).

The shape is only vaguely rabbit. I’m not even sure if it’s just a giant rabbit head or supposed to be a whole rabbit body. It’s enrobed though, which is my favorite kind of chocolate coating. If you’ve ever seen a chocolate enrober, you’ll understand part of my fascination with the technique. A center is pushed through a curtain of melted chocolate, which coats it and hardens as it moves along a conveyer that cools it. (Watch it here, it’s kind of mesmerizing.)

Russell Stover Coconut Cream Rabbit

The chocolate is thick enough to create a bit of crunchy break when I bit into it. Because of the irregular shape of the rabbit, it also meant that the ratio of chocolate to coconut would change. The center was thick and had a large density of coconut cream. The cream is light and airy with a smooth sugary grain to it and not too much coconut. The coconut is in very small pieces, less like a Mounds or Almond Joy. There’s even a light hint of salt in there.

It’s a nice product, easier to eat, oddly enough, than the egg version that’s a classic. However, it’s quite large. The package says that it’s one portion, which is 280 calories. I’d prefer to consume it in two or three sittings, as I did. The package was pretty easy to open and fold over and tape closed between those portions.

It’s a good addition to the Russell Stover line of Easter goodies. It’s not overwhelming as a huge chocolate rabbit, but a little more precious than the chocolate covered coconut cream egg.

Though it’s made with dark chocolate, there’s plenty of dairy in there and may contain traces of nuts.

Related Candies

  1. Russell Stover “Day of the Dead” Skeletons
  2. Mounds
  3. Russell Stover Giant S’mores Bar & Mint Dream
  4. Ferrero Prestige (Ferrero Garden)
  5. Russell Stover Eggs
  6. Russell Stover Eggs (2007 edition)
  7. See’s Egg Quartet
  8. Russell Stover Cream Eggs


Name: Big Bunny Dark Chocolate & Coconut Cream
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Russell Stover
Place Purchased: Walgreen's (Echo Park)
Price: $1.00
Size: 2.25 ounces
Calories per ounce: 124
Categories: Candy, Easter, Russell Stover, Chocolate, Coconut, 7-Worth It, United States, Walgreen's

POSTED BY Cybele AT 2:55 pm     CandyReviewEasterRussell StoverChocolateCoconut7-Worth ItUnited StatesVon'sWalgreen'sComments (2)

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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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