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Hershey's

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Big Candy Buyouts - Hershey & Jelly Belly

Today there was news of TWO candy companies swallowing up others:

imageJelly Belly has released word that they’re buying Ben Meyerson Candies based right here in Los Angeles. Ben Meyerson is known for their Big Cherry and line of Sunkist Fruit Gems. The manufacture of the Fruit Gems seems like a natural fit for Jelly Belly and facilities will migrate to Fairfield and/or Illinois. Ben Meyerson is a third generation family company and seems to be selling as Robert Meyerson, the current head, is retiring. Link to full story.

imageHershey also announced today that it’s buying Dagoba, the Ashland, Oregon based chocolate company. This is the third small chocolate company Hershey has bought in the last 18 months (Joseph Schmidt and Scharffen Berger are the other two). No word in the articles I read as to whether Dagoba will fall under the Artisanal Chocolates umbrella that was formed to encompass JS & SB.  Hershey has been making great strides towards more responsible cocoa growing, with their sponsorship of educational and outreach programs, especially in Africa. Hopefully their purchase of Dagoba will enable them to make Hershey the largest ethical chocolate company in the world (a girl can dream). Link to story.

Related Candies

  1. Hershey’s announces closing of Joseph Schmidt & Scharffen Berger Bay Area Facilities
  2. Hershey’s Website Inaccuracies
  3. Rising Cost of Candy - A Brief Study of Hershey Prices
  4. What Made Hershey’s Want to Change Chocolate?
  5. What does that Hershey’s code mean?
  6. Treat Trip: Jelly Belly Factory

POSTED BY Cybele AT 2:28 pm     CandyDagobaHershey'sJelly BellyNewsComments (1)

Friday, October 13, 2006

Hershey’s Cacao Reserve

Hershey is hopping into the upscale chocolate venue with their new Cacao Reserve line.

imageMilk Chocolate with Hazelnuts (35% cacao chocolate) - the description from their website says, “Premium-grade roasted hazelnuts in smooth, rich milk chocolate for an indulgent taste and texture.”

Much creamier and less grainy than regular Hershey’s chocolate. They’re not kidding about the premium hazelnuts, they are fresh and crunchy with a wonderful malty/nutty flavor. It’s sweet but dense and satisfying. A 1.3 ounce portion is rather puny considering my desire to eat more.

imageExtra Dark Chocolate with Cacao Nibs (65% cacao dark chocolate) - the description from the website says, “Deep, rich chocolate profile with cacao nibs ‘the heart of the cacao bean,’ for a lively textural crunch.”

The bar has a deep smoky scent with berries and cherries as added notes. A little bitter on the tongue at first, it has a nice melt (65% is a nice compromise) with some strong charcoal and woodsy elements dominating. The nibs have an excellent crunch without the fibery chew that they sometimes add. This may be the first “consumer” nibby bar, and it’s pretty good at that.

The ingredients are a little odd for a “reserve” dark chocolate bar: Semi-sweet chocolate (chocolate, sugar, cocoa, milk fat, cocoa butter, organic soy lecithin, vanilla beans), cacao nibs, milk.  What’s with putting the dairy in there?

Overall, Hershey has created a high quality product. I prefer these to the Extra Dark line. The portion size is smaller than a normal candy bar, and of course the price is a little high, but the quality of the bar is evident. There other two bars in the introductory line are plain milk chocolate and dark chocolate, which I wasn’t as interested in as these two, so I was glad these were the two that the 7-11 had in stock. I would definitely pick both of these up again as a quick, upscale treat, especially for traveling or to put in a lunch.

Name: Milk Chocolate with Hazelnuts & Extra Dark Chocolate with Cacao Nibs
    RATING:
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 6 TEMPTING
  • 5 PLEASANT
  • 4 BENIGN
  • 3 UNAPPEALING
  • 2 APPALLING
  • 1 INEDIBLE
Brand: Cacao Reserve (Hershey's)
Place Purchased: 7-11 (Hollywood)
Price: $1.29 each
Size: 1.3 ounces
Calories per ounce: 162 & 146
Categories: Chocolate, Nibs, Nuts, United States, Hershey's, Kosher

POSTED BY Cybele AT 6:36 am     Comments (17)

Wednesday, October 4, 2006

Peanut Butter Kisses

These aren’t really called Peanut Butter Kisses ... I believe those are molasses taffy with a bit of peanut butter inside of them and are often wrapped in black or orange waxed paper with twisted ends. The real name of these is Hershey’s Kisses filled with Peanut Butter.

image

PB Kisses were introduced as a limited edition item but were quickly deemed popular enough to become part of the regular repertoire and were added in June 2006.

The PB Kiss sports a light gold wrapper with red wiggly stripes and the word Peanut Butter on the foil. The little red flags say Peanut Butter as well. The Kisses look a little different out of the wrapper, the shell is smoother. These Kisses are molded instead of being extruded, so they’re shiny.

Inside the milk chocolate shell is a little dab of peanut butter filling. It’s got a good roasted flavor with a little hit of salt. It’s not super-smoothed like a Reese’s Pieces, but more like the inside of a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup (but not quite as crumbly).

They’re very tasty and quite addictive. The only problem I have with them is they’re a little greasy feeling when you take them out of the foil - I know that’s because of the peanut butter.

I’m not quite sure why these needed to be created though ... how different are then from the Reese’s Miniatures, except that there’s only one wrapper on them instead of a cup and a wrapper? The ratio, which everyone knows is very important with peanut butter items, is different though - there’s less peanut butter to chocolate here. So if you’re a chocolate fan but not so keen on a giganto hit of peanut butter, this may be your new favorite candy.

I picked these up at the 99 Cent Only Store and at 99 cents for an 11 ounce bag, they’re quite a deal. Don’t worry, they’re not three years old or anything, I’ve got the Hershey’s code!

Name: Kisses filled with Peanut Butter
    RATING:
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 6 TEMPTING
  • 5 PLEASANT
  • 4 BENIGN
  • 3 UNAPPEALING
  • 2 APPALLING
  • 1 INEDIBLE
Brand: Hershey's
Place Purchased: 99 Cent Only Store
Price: 99 cents!
Size: 11 ounces
Calories per ounce: 159
Categories: Chocolate, Peanut, United States, Hershey

POSTED BY Cybele AT 8:52 am     Comments (7)

Monday, October 2, 2006

What does that Hershey’s code mean?

Here’s how to decode the code on a Hershey’s wrapper. Hershey uses a two digit alpha-numeric code to denote the month and year of the expiration date. Here’s what the Hershey’s site says:

There is an ink stamped code on Hershey’s products. Within that code, usually at the end, there is a two character code that represents the year and the month until which the product is expected to be within its peak freshness. The first character is a number, (0-9) that represents the year. The second character is a letter, (A-L) that represents the month. A=Jan., B=Feb., etc. For example, a code of 7D is best before until April 2007.

My Hershey’s Twosomes Almond Joy (Limited Edition) bar has a code that’s on two lines:
1BE
7C K2

I’m guessing the 7C is the one I want, so that means that the bar is considered fresh until March 2007.

My York Peppermint Patties:
13NYU
6K

This would expire in November 2006, so I got in just under the wire.

A Heath bar:
14HR2
D 6L

This one would expire in December 2006. Just remember, L is the LAST month!

Related Candies

  1. What does that Nestle code mean?
  2. What does that Mars code mean?

POSTED BY Cybele AT 10:20 am     CandyExpiration CodesHershey'sNews

Monday, September 25, 2006

Twizzler Sourz

These were introduced almost two years ago, so I was a little confused by the NEW! starburst on the package. But I hadn’t had them anyway, so into the basket they went.

image

I don’t know when citrus flavors stopped being the normal “sour” flavors, but I’ve missed them a bit. It’s not like blue raspberry is any more natural as a “licorice” flavor than orange or lemon.

These are a wheat-based chew, which is what most “licorice” is. The center is flavored and then dusted with a sour sugar coating. They smell really nice as a combo - a little floral, a little fruity and a slight tangy essence. Leave them in a desk drawer and it’s kind of like an edible sachet.

They’re wee morsels, smaller than most licorice bites. They have the same basic star shape in cross section, which is great for holding onto all the sour dust.

Strawberry - mild in the strawberry department and with a decent tart bite.

Cherry - a nice chemical cherry flavor with a solid sour kick, but no complexity. A bit of a bitter aftertaste.

Green Apple - a pretty good sour apple flavor with a combo of the floral notes and that realistic apple juice taste and a sizeable tartness that satisfies. My favorite of all of them.

Blue Raspberry - floral and with an odd sort of yellow mustard note in there that confused the heck out of me. Not as sour tasting as some of the others and of course the mustard thing was kind of unpleasant.

Overall, they’re tasty, but don’t really provide any more candy satisfaction than some other tangy chews that I’ve had lately. I might even prefer the Sour Strings I had this summer or the SweeTarts Shockers - Shockers have the lead because of the variety in a single roll.

Name: Twizzler Sourz
    RATING:
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 6 TEMPTING
  • 5 PLEASANT
  • 4 BENIGN
  • 3 UNAPPEALING
  • 2 APPALLING
  • 1 INEDIBLE
Brand: Hershey's
Place Purchased: 7-11 (Silverlake Blvd.)
Price: $.89
Size: 1.8 ounces
Calories per ounce: 100
Categories: Chew, Sour, United States, Hershey's, Kosher

POSTED BY Cybele AT 6:35 am     Comments (31)

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Cherry Cordial Creme Kisses

They’re back!

imageI know folks were clamoring for them, and now they’re back again. Limited Edition Cherry Cordial Creme Kisses were first offered last year as part of Hershey’s ever-expanding Kisses line. I’m not sure Hershey’s realized how popular they’d be, but folks really wanted them and Brian from Candy Addict even started a petition online which led to a column in the NYTimes magazine this summer.

After all that hullabaloo, Hershey’s has quietly brought them back. Again as a Limited Edition item. It’s a little unclear if they’re going to become a seasonal offering which would be kind of cool ... I’d suggest Valentine’s Day, but no one asked me.

image

After all this, I’d never tried them before. With good reason, they’re cherry flavored.

Here I am with two bags of them, so I’ve got to give it a go.

They’re dreadful. Truly, I find them disgusting. They’re beautifully made. A shiny milk chocolate shell containing a flowing fondant with a strong wild cherry flavor. The center actually isn’t that sweet, but the milk chocolate is, so there’s a little “too sweet throat tingling” going on. The cherry flavor is very strong and lasts a long time. I ate about eight of them last night, brushed my teeth, went to bed, got up, brushed my teeth and I can still taste that cherry flavor ... it must be like garlic and gets into your bloodstream or something.

Granted, one of the reasons I probably don’t like cherry is this medication they used to give kids to sedate them before surgery (I’ve had it twice) - it was bright pink and they’d bring it in a little paper cup and it smelled kind of appealing at first (that’s how they suckered me in, that and I hadn’t eaten in 12 hours) but once in the mouth it washed down my throat with a fire that made me distrust those nurses for the rest of that stay in the hospital and the next. It seriously made me think that I was on fire and of course anytime any of my hospital roommates were faced with drinking a similar cup I warned them of the consequences (much to the dismay of the nurses and orderlies ... it was a good thing I was in traction and couldn’t spread the word further afield).

All that said, you may find it hard to believe that I’m happy Hershey’s is making them and if you’re a fan you should start scouring the stores and pick them up. It’s great to see that perhaps public opinion shaped their decision to bring them back. They’re a little more expensive than the regular solid Kisses (they’re pretty complex to make and they’re dumping way more of that cherry flavor in there than I expected). So if you’re a fan, celebrate! If you don’t find them at stores there’s always eBay and of course, my source, CandyWarehouse.com.

Name: Cherry Cordial Creme Kisses
    RATING:
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 6 TEMPTING
  • 5 PLEASANT
  • 4 BENIGN
  • 3 UNAPPEALING
  • 2 APPALLING
  • 1 INEDIBLE
Brand: Hershey's
Place Purchased: sample from CandyWarehouse.com
Price: varies
Size: 8.5 ounces
Calories per ounce: unknown
Categories: Chocolate, United States, Hershey's, Limited Edition

POSTED BY Cybele AT 6:50 am     Comments (36)

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Jolly Rancher Double Blasts

imageRemember Zotz? Those hard candies with a sour and fizzy center? These aren’t those.

Jolly Rancher Double Blasts are billed as “flavor-infused powder filled candy.” Each little bag contains a mix of two flavor combos, Chorange (Cherry outside and Orange inside) and Raspilime (Blue Raspberry outside and Lime inside).

image

Each little candy rod is about the same diameter as a pencil. The color and shape makes them look more like little pegs that you’d use with Tinkertoys than candy, but that didn’t keep me from putting them in my mouth (or from them marking them as a choking hazard for young children). The hard candy outside is nice, it’s tangy and flavorful but not at all like the traditional Jolly Rancher hard candies that have a pliable stickiness to them. Pretty soon, as the candy dissolves, especially around the seams, you start getting a little jolt of the powdered center. The center is the second flavor and is not that strong, but the texture and effect is pretty stunning.

The powder is made from erythritol, which is a sugar alcohol like xylitol that has an instant cooling effect. It’s also sweet, which is also a plus!

They’re pretty addictive in the sense that each time I ate one, I was trying to either crack them open with my teeth to get to the super-cooled center or suck on the candy so that as much of it as possible had dissolved by the time I got to the powder. In the sense that the flavor combos are tasty, well, I could take them or leave them. I was surprised at how much I liked the Chorange, seeing how the bulk of it is Cherry and the Raspilime was just kind of boring (and my assortment had twice as many Choranges).

I’m hoping they’ll do some other flavor combos, but I’m most interested in the other version of these called Sour Bolt Blasts, which might be more like Zotz and have one flavor through and through.

Of course they still make Zotz, so I could just go find some of those.

These candies were made in Canada.

Name: Jolly Rancher Double Blasts
    RATING:
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 6 TEMPTING
  • 5 PLEASANT
  • 4 BENIGN
  • 3 UNAPPEALING
  • 2 APPALLING
  • 1 INEDIBLE
Brand: Jolly Rancher (Hershey's)
Place Purchased: 7-11 (Hollywood)
Price: $.89
Size: 1.23 ounces
Calories per ounce: 98
Categories: Hard Candy, Sour, Canada, Hershey's

POSTED BY Cybele AT 6:01 am     Comments (46)

Wednesday, August 9, 2006

Hershey’s Really Nuts

imageI’m a complete dufus sometimes. I bought these thinking that they were chocolate/cocoa almonds. I don’t know what led me to believe that, seeing how they’re kinda small but perhaps it’s that I wanted some chocolate/cocoa almonds.

I got them at the 99 Cent Only Store, and though the package says that they’re 99 cents, they were only 50 cents.

Think of them as Peanut M&Ms without the crunchy candy shell.

They have a nice texture, the peanuts were good quality, although a little uneven in size. When you pop them in your mouth, they’re a little bland. The cocoa is only slightly bitter, but keeps the chocolate from melting. The chocolate was sweet but balanced well by the cocoa coating. The nuts inside tasted like dry roasted and salted peanuts, which is a completely different experience from Peanut M&Ms. The hit of salt really balances the chocolate and coconut and of course goes really well with the peanut itself.

They’re not as neat and clean to eat as M&Ms and other “glazed” chocolate nuts. Leaving these sit on a piece of paper on my desk means a bit of cocoa and sometimes a little greasy spot.

As a treat, I think I’d be most likely to eat this at a movie or while watching a video. It’s a large but controlled portion and the balance of salt and sweet would be pretty satisfying and of course little individual pieces makes for easy sharing.

The bag is a generous 2.5 ounces, so if you find these on sale, it’s a good deal. At 99 cents it’s still not bad either.

Name: Really Nuts! Milk Chocolate Cocoa Peanuts
    RATING:
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 6 TEMPTING
  • 5 PLEASANT
  • 4 BENIGN
  • 3 UNAPPEALING
  • 2 APPALLING
  • 1 INEDIBLE
Brand: Hershey's
Place Purchased: 99 Cent Only Store (Silverlake)
Price: $.50
Size: 2.5 ounces
Calories per ounce: 156
Categories: Chocolate, Peanuts, United States, Hershey's

POSTED BY Cybele AT 6:04 am     Comments (5)

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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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Which seasonal candy selection do you prefer?

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ON DECK

These candies will be reviewed shortly:

• Patric Chocolate

• Amano Chocolates

• Candy Rant: Stimulants are not Energy

• Candy Encyclopedia: The Difference Between Gummi and Jelly

• Candy Rant: If your Licorice isn’t black, it isn’t Licorice

 

 

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