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Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Sconza Jordanettes

JordanettesSome of the earliest candies recorded are sugar coated nuts and fruits. So the Jordan Almond goes back perhaps thousands of years, though not quite in its current format.

There are literally hundreds of makers of candied almonds, also known as confetti or dragees, around the world. But the candy is pretty much the same everywhere, a single almond coated with a hard sugar shell. Some are colored and tumbled to a bright sheen, still others have a soft and smooth matte surface.

The process is rather simple though time consuming. Nuts are tumbled in a large rotating drum as sugar syrup is slowly added and allowed to dry, then added again until a thick shell is built up.

Sconza started in 1939 in the Bay Area and has been making distinctive panned candies since 1948. The company is expanding rapidly now, poised to take over the former Hershey’s Chocolate facility in Oakdale California later this year.

JordanettesI was eyeing some of their Jordanettes a while back, but figured they were just Jordan Almonds and everyone pretty much knows what they are. Well, they just came out with their fall version and I simply couldn’t resist. Even though they came in a two pound bag.

The colors and matte shell was just so festive - it says harvest but it wasn’t all dark colors. Instead they’re pretty muted pastels in peach, yellow, green and terra cotta.

They looked pretty big too, but as is often the case with candy coated almonds, I didn’t know if it was that the almonds were big or that the candy shell was thick.


As is often the case with Jordan Almonds, I never know how thick the shell will be and sometimes I secretly suspect that there won’t even be a nut at the center - that it might be a rock.

Happily every single one I’ve eaten so far has had a fresh almond in the middle.

The bag smelled like vanilla pudding. Soft and sweet with just a hint of vanilla (fake vanilla actually).

The dragees are soft and smooth and after in the mouth for a moment they’re pleasantly slippery and fun to chase around with my tongue.

There’s not much flavor, just sugar-sweetness.

After a while I usually crunch. I find the best way to crush the shell is to put the candy between my rear molars and gently bite down on one of flatter sides. If it doesn’t yield, I try do dissolve a bit more and try again.

Jordan Almonds aren’t like M&Ms, unless you have some sort of super-strong teeth and fearless disposition, there’s no popping them in your mouth and chewing. Of course I never see them served that way and I honestly never see people simply eating them. (I know they’re a popular wedding favor, but I never recall getting any at a wedding either.)

The almond on the inside is soft and not as sweet as the sugar-shell, but still pretty sweet (not a crisp toasted almond either, they appear to be raw or merely blanched). These had only a hint of almond flavor. Mostly the whole thing was fresh-tasting.

I can’t say that I’d just buy Jordanettes again for munching, but I do foresee finishing the bag ... and when I say finishing, I mean I’ve already eaten a half a pound. These are certainly a good deal, high quality and beautiful to look at.

Related Candies

  1. Boston Baked Beans
  2. Sconza 70% Dark Chocolate Toffee Almonds
  3. Romanego Dragees, Cordials & Fondants
  4. Confetti & Agrumetti
  5. Anis de Flavigny
Name: Fall Jordanettes
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 4 BENIGN
Brand: Sconza
Place Purchased: Cost Plus World Market (3rd & Fairfax)
Price: $9.99
Size: 32 ounces
Calories per ounce: 120
Categories: Nuts, Sconza, United States, Kosher

POSTED BY Cybele AT 1:26 pm     Comments (5)

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Revisit: Take 5, Sunkist Fruit Gems & Snickers Almond

I realized when I started Candy Blog that there was no way I’d ever sample every single candy out there, let alone review them. What’s making it even harder now is that candies that I’ve already reviewed have changed and it hardly seems fair that the reviews here still stand against the present day products.

So, every once in a while I’ll revisit major products that have changed since my original review at least enough to warrant a new taste.

Take 5Hershey’s introduced the Take 5 in 2004 and it quickly became one of my favorite new candies. It combined all the great textures of crunchy pretzels and chewy caramel and creamy chocolate. But that was then, and this is now.

Sometime when I wasn’t looking (I photographed it last summer again) the Hershey’s Take 5 left the list of chocolate candy bars and joined the growing list of Hershey’s Real Mockolate

The package now says: made with chocolate & pretzels & caramel & peanuts & peanut butter. That “made with chocolate” part means that the coating may contain chocolate, but it has other additives such as vegetable oils that mean that it’s not pure chocolate. The actual chocolate as an ingredient comes far down on the list as the number 6 item, after vegetable oils and high fructose corn sweetener and before nonfat milk (you can imagine there’s not that much milk in there).

Take 5

The bars actually still look quite fetching. Little rather rectangular lumps with a pleasant sweet & peanutty scent.

Mine were exceptionally fresh, the pretzel was good and crunchy, a nice salty complement to the sweet coating. The coating didn’t have much flavor but did add a creamy texture.

This one was passably good, but I’ve had others in the past few months (I picked them out of a mix of snack size in a bowl at the office a couple of times) and I didn’t realize why they were kind of empty tasting for what I remembered. I just thought they were stale ... turns out that they’re just not designed to be good any longer.

Hershey’s still has an opportunity to reverse this and make it real chocolate again.

Product: Hershey’s Take 5
Previous Review: 7/13/2005
Change: milk chocolate coating is replaced with a fake chocolate coating (which contains chocolate but also other vegetable oils).
Result: For now they’re off my list but still get a passing rating of 5 out of 10.

Sunkist Fruit GemsSunkist Fruit Gems are made by Jelly Belly these days. An alert reader let me know that the little “single serve” trays are back on store shelves, but instead of holding six fruit jellies, they now only have four.

Worst part of this news? The grapefruit one was missing. (What is it about grapefruit disappearing lately? Is it because of the news that grapefruit juice interacts with some prescription drugs?) This is not to say that the Sunkist Fruit Gems don’t come in grapefruit any longer, just not in this particular package.

Sunkist Fruit GemsThe flavors included now are: Orange, Lemon, Lime and Raspberry. The old package was 2.4 ounces, the new one is only 1.35 ounces.

Seeing how Sunkist is known as a citrus company, the fact that they made an assortment the neglects one of the citrus fruits and includes a berry is beyond me. The package is also similar to the old one and actually includes images of grapefruit (though the text clearly says which flavors are in the package).

The change in manufacturing location and ownership, as far as I’ve been able to tell, has made no difference at all for the actual candy. It’s still a nice, soft and flavorful fruit jelly without too much of a granulated sugar coating.

The only real difference here is that you get only 2/3 as much as you used to. I was hoping when Jelly Belly took over that they’d sell the jellies in individual flavors like they do with their famous jelly beans. No such luck yet. (For now whenever I see the Jelly Belly booth at a trade show I pick a half a dozen grapefruit jellies out of their sample bin and move along.)

Product: Sunkist Fruit Gems
Previous Review: November 15, 2006
Change: New owners (Jelly Belly) and smaller package
Result: I didn’t care much for raspberry or lime, so with such a small package and only two pieces I do like it’s not worth it. 4 out of 10

Mars used to make a bar that was called, appropriately enough, the Mars Bar. That bar was discontinued and reintroduced under the much more famous Snickers umbrella of products as the Snickers Almond.

Snickers Almond

Then something happened, Mars mucked around with it and created the “More Satisfying Snickers Almond” which was really just the Snickers Almond with peanuts thrown in to make up for a lack of, well, almonds. It wasn’t a bad bar, but it wasn’t really distinctive.

Well, the old new Snickers Almond is back. It’s a white lightly sweet & salty nougat with a caramel stripe and whole almonds covered in milk chocolate.

I like the bar (though I prefer the dark chocolate version) and I’m glad they brought it back.

Product: Mars Snickers Almond
Previous Reviews: 12/28/2005 & 8/14/2006
Change: reverting to old recipe (eliminating peanut ingredients from previous version)
Result: A great bar with a long history and I’m glad that it’s back to a more classic formulation so it bumps up a notch. 6 out of 10

Related Candies

  1. Grapefruit Mentos (Japan)
  2. Snickers Rockin’ Nut Road Bar
  3. Head to Head: Twisted vs Take 5
  4. Snickers Almond Dark
  5. Take 5 Peanut Butter

POSTED BY Cybele AT 8:09 am     CandyReviewSnickersHershey'sJelly BellyMarsCaramelChocolateCookieKosherMockolateNougatNutsPeanuts4-Benign5-Pleasant6-TemptingUnited StatesRite AidComments (16)

Friday, August 29, 2008

Darrell Lea Licorice & Ginger

Darrell Lea Soft Eating LiquoriceBack in May I got a fabulous box of goodies from All Candy Expo that included this package of Darrell Lea Soft Eating Liquorice. I dutifully took photos of it.

And then ate it all. And promptly forgot what it was like so I couldn’t review it.

So today I went out and bought a new bag, just so I could finish up this review. (My office is dangerously close to a Cost Plus World Market now.)

When I opened it up I remember why I didn’t review it.

Darrell Lea Soft Eating LiquoriceI cut the bag open and stuck my nose in there to get a good lung-full of the scent and there it was ... it smells like curry. Not in a bad way, by any means, but that’s why I didn’t review the first bag ... I wasn’t sure if that’s the way it was supposed to be.

So here I am with a second bag and I’m gonna have to say, “hey folks, this stuff really smells like and Indian spice shop!” It makes my mouth water, it’s a mix of curry, coriander, anise and black tea.

The pieces are kind of awkward - they’re long fingers. Thick and soft, they’re about three inches long and a matte black.

The flavor is dark and smoky. The molasses is pronounced but has a great mellow licorice mixed with a little hint of those spices I mentioned earlier. The chew is soft without being too sticky like Dots can be. Not too sweet and really munchable but satisfying.

Pretty good overall and certainly distinctive enough that I think I could tell this apart from most of the other Aussie style licorices I’ve had over the years. And I plan on finishing this package pretty soon as well.

Rating: 8 out of 10

Darrell Lea Ginger LicoriceThere are a lot of different licorice twist flavors out there, but most of them are fruity. So I was pretty excited to find this Soft Eating Ginger Liquorice at Cost Plus World Market (I bought these a couple of days ago and then realized I should review the black stuff, too, and went back.) If there’s one thing I’ve learned about Australia through candy, it’s that Australians make good licorice and ginger products.

Like the rest of their line, it comes in a kraft paper looking package, mellow and muted and boldly stating that it’s flavored naturally. The ingredients bear that out: Raw sugar, wheat glucose syrup, wheat flour, cane sugar, ginger puree (4%), water, modified food starch, palm oil, natural flavor, mono & di-glycerides, salt, citric acid, malic acid, spinach extract (color), liquorice extract, sodium bicarbonate, beta carotene (color) and sulphur dioxide (preservative).

Darrell Lea Ginger LicoriceThis one didn’t smell quite as appealing. Like the Buderim Ginger Gummi Bears, I found that this bag smelled a bit like Elmer’s Glue.

But I got over it.

The little fingers in this version are a little shorter at about 2 1/2 inches each but a little bigger around. The texture is different as well, though still soft they’re not as pliable and just a bit drier on the outside. But singly they smell less like wood glue and more like ginger tea.

The bite is a smidge less smooth, but boy howdy is it spicy. Right away there’s the woodsy peppery taste of ginger and then a throat warming burn. It’s not very sweet at all, much less than the other ginger chews that I like so much from Chimes and the Ginger People.

The wheat base of the chew makes it a little starchy in a way, but it also makes them rather filling and I think cuts through what might be a very spicy affair. It would be cool if they actually used molasses in these, they’d be like gingerbread (without the extra spices). But for ginger fans, this is a great new way to enjoy it. It’s a good munching food for movies, especially mixed with something salty like popcorn (I tried it with pretzels and it went well).

Rating: 7 out of 10

Darrell Lea has a pretty big range, I saw the Green Apple and Strawberry versions at Cost Plus as well. There is another version that are chocolate covered smaller nibs but their Australian website shows a much larger range of products (most of which sound fabulous). They’re Kosher and have no artificial colors or flavors.

Related Candies

  1. Young & Smylie Traditional Licorice
  2. Kookaburra Licorice
  3. Organic Finnska Soft Licorice
  4. Kenny’s Licorice Pastels & Root Beer Twists
  5. Altoids Chocolate Dipped Ginger Mints
  6. Dutch Licorice
  7. Chimes Ginger Chews
Name: Soft Eating Original Liquorice & Ginger Liquorice
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 4 BENIGN
Brand: Darrell Lea
Place Purchased: Cost Plus World Market (Farmers Market)
Price: $2.99
Size: 7 ounces
Calories per ounce: 93
Categories: Licorice, Ginger, Darrell Lea, Australia, Kosher

POSTED BY Cybele AT 11:29 am     Comments (13)

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Mint Cremes from the Makers of Jelly Belly

Jelly Belly Confections Mint CremesLong before Jelly Belly made jelly beans, they made all sorts of other kinds of candy including dozens of different fondant-type confections. The Goelitz Bros. Candy Company made buttercream candies which took many different shapes and flavors - the best known is candy corn.

One lesser-known version of those buttercreams were little treats like these Mint Cremes (there is no butter in there).

Last year while in Pennsylvania Jelly Belly Confections Mint Cremes

Looking at the through the cellophane wrapper they were exceptionally regular. About the size of a quarter they came in four colors: yellow, pink, white and green.

They’re smooth and firm to the touch (the hand crafted variety break easily).

Jelly Belly Confections Mint CremesThey don’t smell like much, so I worried at first that I’d bought something completely different.

But after biting into the first one it was clear, these are a very stiff fondant, flavored strongly with peppermint.

They’re all the same flavor.

The outer shell is glossy and seals in the flavor and scent and keeps them a bit softer than I think they’d be otherwise. It’s a combination of carnauba wax, beeswax and confectioners glaze.

Inside the center is dense, like a mello creme or candy corn but with a strong and heavy mint. Not as strong as an Altoid, but a bit more than a peppermint starlight. It’s pretty much the inside of a York Peppermint Pattie.

I was hoping they’d have a more “melt in my mouth” quality than I got. They’re a bit stiff and lacking some personality. But they’re very pretty and would make a different offering in a wedding favor mix or at the end of a meal at a restaurant with the check. I was hoping for a bit more creamy consistency, especially since they’re called cremes like the Romanego Fondants I had last year as well, but considering the price of these, I really shouldn’t have been expecting something that delicate. But it’s not as though these were cheap either. At $12 a pound I’m entitled to expect something.

In the end, I think I prefer good old fashioned pillow mints (after dinner style).

These have a confectioners glaze so may not be appropriate for vegetarians who don’t wish to consume shellac.

Related Candies

  1. Smooth n Melty
  2. Junior Mints Deluxe
  3. York Mints
  4. Junior Mints - Heart Shaped
  5. Jelly Belly - Full Line
Name: Mint Cremes
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 4 BENIGN
Brand: From the Makers of Jelly Belly
Place Purchased: Bay Cities Deli (Santa Monica)
Price: $2.29
Size: 3 ounces
Calories per ounce: 99
Categories: Mint, Fondant, United States, Jelly Belly, Kosher

POSTED BY Cybele AT 10:28 am     Comments (8)

Monday, August 25, 2008

Hershey’s Special Dark Miniatures

Hershey's Special Dark MiniaturesHershey’s makes several varieties of their Miniatures line. I picked up Hershey’s Special Dark Miniatures as I’d never seen them before and they seemed to promise dark chocolate versions of the old favorites Krackel and Mr. Goodbar (though not by name).

The bag was a bit larger than the other Hershey’s Miniatures that I bought at the same time and has only three varieties instead of four.

But the most notable part is the appearance of the little seal that Hershey’s puts on some of their dark chocolate confections, it says that this is a “natural source of flavinol antioxidants.” At only about 45% cacao content, yes, I guess it qualifies as a source, though not a terribly dense one. Hershey’s has some wonderfully convincing documentation about this on their website, though they’re probably purposefully vague about how much of these beneficial compounds are in any given serving.

Hershey's Special Dark Minatures

The assortment here is rather balanced between the three varieties: 13 Special Dark, 11 Special Dark with Crisp Rice and 12 Special Dark with Peanuts.

imageI just reviewed the Special Dark on Friday, but for those who don’t feel like clicking over, here are the relevant parts of that again:

It smells sweet, a little woodsy.

The texture is rather chalky and doesn’t melt into a creamy puddle in my mouth. Instead it just tastes sweet and more like hot cocoa made with water than real rich chocolate ... there’s a thin-ness to it all, probably because Hershey’s now uses milk fat.

There’s a dry finish with a slight metallic bite to it.

Rating: 4 out of 10

imageThe Special Dark with Peanuts comes in a mustard yellow wrapper, which I figured is to remind us of the Mr. Goodbar. Why they don’t just call it Mr. Goodbar Dark or Mr. Darkbar or something, I have no clue.

Though the ingredients on the wrapper are not broken out for each of the individually wrapped varieties, the list is clear, these are all real chocolate. There are no additional oils present except for those native to the chocolate or dairy ones (permissable in present definitions).

The little bars are cute and look really just like you’d expect a dark Mr. Goodbar - dark sheen and little nuts poking through.

It smells like dark roasted peanuts and cocoa.

The bite has a good snap and an immediate mix of bitter notes from both the peanuts (which look like they’re roasted very dark) and the chocolate. The texture isn’t super creamy, but is consistent with an okay melt.

Rating: 5 out of 10.

imageI brought a lot of my own baggage to the Special Dark with Crisp Rice as I was hoping Hershey’s could be redeemed. Perhaps with the one hand they’d taken away a beloved favorite but with the other they’d snuck a glorious replacement into this mix.

It looks much like the Peanut version, but smells much sweeter with only the lightest whiff of malt.

The crunch isn’t as pronounced as the old Milk Chocolate or present Mockolate version, but has a nice texture. The malty flavor of the rice is completely lost in the thin cocoa flavor and sweetness. The texture doesn’t seem as creamy or melt as easily for some reason, but I can’t call it waxy.

It’s less bitter than the others though, so provides a nice counterpoint.

Is the Krackel and Hershey’s redeemed? No. But it’s a passable effort.

Rating: 5 out of 10.

I didn’t even try asking Hershey’s what the ingredients for the individual pieces are, because I’m not entitled to know should I decide to pick only one of the variety to eat.

If I needed to buy a chocolate miniature assortment from Hershey’s again, I’d have to pick this one up instead of the old favorites. But even with the higher ratings than that one, I don’t see myself picking this up again.

Related Candies

  1. Hershey’s Special Dark with Almonds
  2. M&Ms Premiums: Dark Chocolate
  3. Hershey’s Nuggets Double Chocolate
  4. Hershey’s Special Dark Pieces
  5. Kissables Dark
Name: Hershey's Special Dark Miniatures
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 4 BENIGN
Brand: Hershey's
Place Purchased: Rite Aid (Echo Park)
Price: $4.29
Size: 11 ounces
Calories per ounce: 131
Categories: Chocolate, Peanuts, Crisp, United States, Hershey's, Kosher

POSTED BY Cybele AT 9:36 am     Comments (9)

Friday, August 22, 2008

Hershey’s Miniatures

Hershey's MiniaturesHershey’s Miniatures were introduced in 1929. At that time the assortment was pretty much the same: Hershey’s Milk Chocolate, Krackel and Mr. Goodbar. (Though Hershey’s made a bar called Semi Sweet, the present iteration, a dark version didn’t find its way into the mix until the Special Dark came along.)

Hershey’s bills the mix as A little something for everyone (r).

I remember as a kid getting these in both my trick-or-treat haul and my Christmas stocking. They’re a great mix of candy because even though everyone has their favorites (and my rankings for them have changed over the years), even if you don’t like all of them it’s pretty easy to find someone to trade with.

Each piece is a nice size, two bites for those who prefer to savor or one big bite for those looking for a quick fix.

Hershey's Miniatures

I wasn’t sure when I picked up the bag if they have a consistent mix, so I documented mine. It actually feels like a good proportion: 11 Hershey’s Milk Chocolate and 6 each of the Krackel, Mr. Goodbar and Special Dark.

This particular bag was 9.2 ounces, they’re available in a wide variety of sizes though and often in bulk bins at large grocery stores.

imageIt’s hard to approach a Hershey’s Milk Chocolate bar without some sort of personal history. Those of us who have grown up on them know the flavor pretty well, though I don’t think most of us think much about it. Those who taste Hershey’s for the first time as adults though have expressed strong dislike for the taste and/or texture. All I can say is that it’s distinctive and they wouldn’t keep making it if someone didn’t like it well enough to keep buying it.

It has a sweet smell, a bit milky and dare I say, cheesy (feta) and milky. There are also notes of black pepper and caramel.

One of the nice things about the Miniatures is that the bar is thicker, so a bite (half the bar), is a nice mouthful that give more opportunity to revel in the flavors and textures. The milk chocolate is rather fudgy, not quite firm even a room temperature. It dents instead of chipping or flaking and is more likely to bend than snap. It’s a little grainy like a fudge, but the particle size is small. The flavors are strong, it’s sweet without burning the throat and has some mellow cocoa notes mixed with that inimitable tangy yogurt flavor of Hershey’s along with some toffee and maybe a touch of hazelnut.

I hate to sound like an old fart, but I think it was better before. I think something happened that it became grainier.

It sounds like I hate the stuff, but I don’t. I feel the same way about it as I do for things like Fritos, American cheese, grape soda and Fudgesicles. They’re really not that good, but I love them anyway.

All I can do is hope they don’t make it worse and give them a 6 out of 10.

imageThe Special Dark bar was introduced in 1971. I always liked the packaging, but not the bar itself. It looked rich and sophisticated, which appealed to the part of me that yearned for status that could be bought for 20 cents at the corner shop. But to actually eat one as a child was akin to eating raw fish, I just didn’t have it in me. Yet.

Similar to the milk bar, this one also has a slightly soft snap.

It smells sweet, a little woodsy.

The texture is rather chalky and doesn’t melt into a creamy puddle in my mouth. Instead it just tastes sweet and more like hot cocoa made with water than real rich chocolate ... there’s a thin-ness to it all, probably because Hershey’s now uses milk fat.

There’s a dry finish with a slight metallic bite to it.

So while I’ve come to love and prefer dark chocolate, this is like eating cheap chocolate chips to me. A diversion while I wait for the better choice ... like those freshly baked chocolate chip cookies or a wonderful single origin Ocumare bar.

Rating: 4 out of 10

imageMr. Goodbar was introduced in 1925. Later, during the depression, the bar was sold as “a tasty lunch” back when meal replacement bars were simply candy bars. (And it’s still not a bad idea if you get a really nutty bar.)

Even though the bars are smaller these days and don’t cost a nickel, it’s tempting to think that this bar is unchanged since Milton Hershey started producing it.

Sadly it’s not a war or a depression that’s change Mr. Goodbar. I can’t say what The Hershey Company is thinking these days but they’ve changed it. Mr. Goodbar is no longer a chocolate bar.

Instead he’s a silly oiled up shadow of what he used to be. The description of the bar was more recently peanuts in milk chocolate but is now just made with chocolate and peanuts.

The bar looks the same as ever. A milky, chocolatey sheen with little peanuts peeking through. It smells like deep roasted peanuts and sugar. (More like peanut brittle than a chocolate product.)

The flavor is overwhelmingly peanut. The peanuts are roasted dark too, so there’s a slight burnt taste to it that I think is meant to mask the nonexistent chocolate.

Yes, this mockolate is shallow and unimpressive. The texture isn’t all that different from the Milk Chocolate bar, but it has a different melt. It’s cool on the tongue. It’s actually salty (looking over the ingredients in the old recipe and the new, salt now appears).

For a mockolate bar, it’s quite passable. For a time tested icon it’s a travesty. I don’t care how depressed I am or the country might be, this is not a tasty lunch.

Rating: 4 out of 10.

imageKrackel, I’m told, is the last candy bar that Milton Hershey developed that still exists today.

It went through a few changes over the years, when introduced in 1938 it had nuts and crisped rice but by the late 40s it was a simple crisped rice and milk chocolate bar. (The packaging was also similar to the Mr. Goodbar, sporting a yellow stripe and brown instead of its present red.)

Today the bar is all but gone. The full size has been discontinued (2006), only the miniature remains. To add insult to injury, the bar isn’t crisped rice in milk chocolate, no, now it’s made with chocolate and crisped rice.

One of the things the Krackel bar has had going for it over the years, especially in the miniature size is the crisped rice. They’re big crisped rice pieces. Nestle Crunch has moved to some sort of BB-sized rice product that just doesn’t deliver the depth of crunch or the malty & salty taste.

The crisp is definitely there, the malty flavor peeks through. But the


mockolate, oh this isn’t even worthy of being wrapped up and called R.M. Palmer.

I’ve given away four of these little bars and asked people what they think to people who profess that the Krackel is their favorite in the miniatures assortment. I didn’t preface it with anything, yet they all recognized that this was terrible. Empty, vapid, lacking all chocolate flavor, no creamy component and no puddle of chocolate ooze melting so that all that’s left is the rice crisps.

I was curious how mock this mockolate was but I am simply unable to get the information out of Hershey’s. (Read more about that experience here.) It’s just disgusting that Hershey’s, the Great American Chocolate Bar company, is making this ... they should have just let this bar die a natural death than let it be zombified into this mess.

Rating: 1 out of 10

There is nothing to do but simply stop buying this deplorable product. 12 out of the 29 bars (41%) here are not even chocolate and yet I’m paying chocolate prices!

If you like the Hershey’s Milk Chocolate, I’d suggest getting just the snack sized bars, they’re a little bigger, but at least you don’t end up with any Krackels or Mr. Goodbars and you get more value for your money. (Unless you were looking for some individually wrapped & solidified cooking oils.)

Related Candies

  1. Kissables (Reformulated)
  2. American Value Chocolate Bars
  3. The Shame of Some “Healthy” Candy
  4. Whoppers Twosomes
Name: Hershey's Miniatures
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 4 BENIGN
Brand: Hershey's
Place Purchased: Rite Aid (Echo Park)
Price: $3.29
Size: 9.2 ounces
Calories per ounce: 138
Categories: Chocolate, Mockolate, Peanuts, Crisp, United States, Hershey's, Kosher

POSTED BY Cybele AT 8:47 am     Comments (44)

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Nips: Caramel & Dulce de Leche

NipsI was surprised at readers’ passion for Nips, so I thought I’d try a few more varieties.

I found Nips Caramel and Nips Dulce de Leche at the Rite Aid for only 99 cents (same price as the 99 Cent Only Store, see you don’t have to look far for a bargain).

Though the candy is described as rich & creamy hard candy on the front of the box, I don’t think it quite qualifies as hard since it’s not crunchable. It’s also not a caramel, because it’s not chewable. It’s just a Nip, I guess.

Caramel Nips

Caramel Nips look pretty similar to Coffee Nips, but just a smidge lighter in color. They have the same ultra smooth texture, light burnt sugar flavors and slow dissolve.

They’re creamy and milky without being cloying or sticky. They fit well in the mouth, too.

It’s taken me a while to retrain myself when eating Nips that they’re not like Werther’s Originals, I can’t crunch them, instead I’d end up cementing my teeth together.

Overall, not quite as good as the Coffee ones, but that’s a personal preference thing, these are still quite tasty and an excellent candy that belongs in everyone’s candy dish. (Except in really humid climates.)

Dulce de Leche Nips

Readers were lamenting that they thought that the Dulce de Leche Nips were possibly discontinued. I was quite happy to see a large inventory of them at Rite Aid, so I’m just guessing that they focus on regions where dulce de leche is a more recognizable. (Large Latino populations - I’m guessing because the packages for both of these are in both English and Spanish.)

I was a little nervous about these, I do remember having the chocolate parfait ones years ago and not caring much for the grainy and flavorless filling (but that could have been a bad or old batch). There’s no real description on the box either, just the banner that says dulce de leche (which means milk candy and is usually made from sweetened condensed milk boiled slowly to caramelize both the sugar and the milk sugars and served either as a sauce or fudge).

In this case it’s a shell like the Caramel Nip but inside is a layer of a sort of creme like the filling of an Oreo, a little grainy, sweet and chalky.

The overall flavor here is not really caramelized milk to me, instead it’s maple or pecan. It’s woodsy and sweet and nice, but doesn’t really enter into the dulce de leche zone for me. So if they’re looking for a way to make these appealing to other regions, maybe in New England they’d call it Country Maple and in the South they’d call it Toasted Pecan.

The cream made the candy disappear much faster, which wasn’t as fun either. They weren’t as consistent, some had a little cream sticking out of the sides. I’ll stick with the solid ones.

The other flavors still out there: Butter Rum, Chocolate Parfait, Peanut Butter Parfait and Mocha.

Related Candies

  1. Crown Nuggets Borrachitos
  2. Caramilk Maple
  3. Milk Maid Caramel Candy Corn
  4. Nestle Turtles
Name: Nips: Caramel & Dulce de Leche
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 4 BENIGN
Brand: Nestle
Place Purchased: Rite Aid (Echo Park)
Price: $.99
Size: 4 ounces
Calories per ounce: 121
Categories: Caramel, United States, Nestle, Kosher

POSTED BY Cybele AT 9:31 am     Comments (13)

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Coffee Nips

Coffee NipsWhen I was a teenager I discovered Pearson Coffee Nips. Like my other favorite at the time, Andes Mints, they represented a sophisticated taste in an easy to share individually wrapped portion. I’d buy them by the box, usually for about a dollar and they’d last forever.

I wasn’t quite developed enough at the time to drink coffee straight, about all I could stand was coffee floats (hot coffee with vanilla ice cream in it) but I loved the taste of the stuff.

That’s what attracted me to Coffee Nips. They combine the rich coffee taste with a creamy texture and a long lasting hard candy experience. And they were pretty inexpensive.

Pearson Coffee Nips were known simply as Pearson Nips when they were introduced over 70 years ago. But now they’re made in a wide variety of flavors (and some even have flavored goo centers). The Pearson line of Nips was sold to Nestle back in 1989 and looking closely on the package, they’re not even called Pearson any longer.

Coffee Nips

Even though they’ve changed hands, they’re the same as they ever were. A lump of hard caramel, made from a combination of sugar, corn syrups and milk products and a few tropical oils ... boiled down with some real coffee to become a slow dissolving bit of concentrated coffee. It’s almost a toffee, but more of a hard caramel.

They’re smooth and creamy and not too sweet (though far sweeter than I like my liquid coffee). They’re impossible to chew, which makes them last a long time (though I caution you to not try to chew them as they will cement your teeth together).

They’re an excellent summer candy because they travel well but provide a rich creamy experience and mimic a hot drink that many of us eschew on hot days. (Okay, I only eschew hot coffee in the middle of the day, I pretty much always drink hot coffee in the morning.)

Refreshing. Classic. I’ve never tried the other flavors which include Butter Rum, Caramel, Chocolate Parfait, Dulce de Leche, Mocha and Peanut Butter Parfait. The coffee suits me just fine.

Related Candies

  1. Caffe Acapella - Coffee Confections
  2. Cafe Select Chocolate Coffee Trios
  3. Walkers Nonsuch Toffee
  4. Storck Chocolate Riesen
  5. Pocket Coffee
  6. Bali’s Best Coffee & United Coffee Candy
Name: Coffee Nips
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 4 BENIGN
Brand: Nestle
Place Purchased: 99 Cent Only Store (Miracle Mile)
Price: $.99
Size: 4 ounces
Calories per ounce: 121
Categories: Coffee, Caramel, United States, Nestle, Kosher

POSTED BY Cybele AT 10:43 am     Comments (28)

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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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