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Limited Edition

Friday, October 3, 2008

See’s Pumpkin Spice & Root Beer Lollypops

imageOne of the classic and more distinctive products that See’s makes is their line of Lollypops. They’re made with cream and are more like a hard caramel than a normal boiled sugar hard candy pop.

The regular flavors shift around but right now they sell: Butterscotch, Chocolate, Vanilla and Caf? Latt?. I like all of them except for the chocolate. It tends to be grainier and if I have the option of actual chocolate right there at See’s, well that’s what I’m going to go for. But the one thing the pops have going for them is that they’re so darn durable. Summer-safe, creamy candy is pretty hard to find.

Every once in a while they bring out new flavors. This fall they have a limited edition Pumpkin Spice Lollypops that should be available until Thanksgiving.

The ingredients are pretty simple: corn syrup, cream, sugar, natural and artificial flavors, butter and yellow #5. I don’t know why they have to put artificial colors in there, but I guess I’m guessing that they’d look fine without it, maybe they don’t.

The packages are a little box that holds a bag of eight pops. Not a bad price either at only $4.80 for the set (60 cents each). Each paper stick pop is wrapped in orange mylar

image

See’s pops are big blocks. Kind of chunky and perhaps a little big for easy-to-eat suckers. (Sometimes I pull them off the stick and eat them as hard candies.)

These are rather light in color and don’t smell like much other than maybe caramel.

They’re very smooth and melt slowly. Extremely creamy and not overly sweet they’re also a bit bland.

I had the first one and thought maybe it was that my allergies were acting up and I couldn’t taste any of these pumpkin spices, so I waited a few days and checked my sinuses and had another. They sweet and creamy and taste a bit like creme brulee ... but I’m not getting any actual spices I associate with pumpkin custard like cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice or ginger.

I wouldn’t call them bad, just nothing like the name would imply.

See's Root Beer PopsAs a side note, earlier this summer they had a limited edition Root Beer. I got a hold of this while shopping with Sera of The Candy Enthusiast in July. She bought a whole package (the limited edition flavors are not sold individually like the classic ones are) and graciously shared two with me.

I loved them and went back in August to pick up a whole package for myself and was told they were all gone.

These pops were a wonderful mix of creamy smoothness, light sweetness and the spicy bite of root beer. It was kind of like a root beer float, but warmer. Root beer floats often suffer from tasting watered down when the ice cream mixes with the root beer, instead this had all the creaminess of ice cream and the intense flavor of root beer mixed together.

They’ll have Cinnamon Lollypops for Christmas. Each pop is 70 calories and they’re Kosher.

Related Candies

  1. Nips: Caramel & Dulce de Leche
  2. J Morgan Caramels
  3. Melville Candy Company Honey Spoons
  4. Vertigo Pops
  5. Regennas Clear Toys
Name: Pumpkin Spice Lollypops
    RATING:
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 6 TEMPTING
  • 5 PLEASANT
  • 4 BENIGN
  • 3 UNAPPEALING
  • 2 APPALLING
  • 1 INEDIBLE
Brand: See's Candies
Place Purchased: gift from Russ (thanks!)
Price: $4.80
Size: 5.6 ounces
Calories per ounce: 100
Categories: Hard Candy, United States, See's, Kosher

POSTED BY Cybele AT 8:52 am     Comments (19)

Friday, September 5, 2008

Hershey’s Pumpkin Spice Kisses

Pumpkin Spice KissesEven though the 100th Anniversary of the Hershey’s Kiss has passed, this hasn’t stopped them from coming out with new Limited Edition versions.

This fall marks the return of the Candy Corn Kiss as well as two new harvest-themed versions: Pumpkin Spice Kisses and Caramel Apple Kisses.

I tracked down the Pumpkin Spice ones at Target. (They weren’t in with the regular candy, just at the check out aisle candy display.)

The package is Halloween-themed, with brown and orange webby pattern (which kind of reminds me of cantaloupes) and a taunting Jack-O-Lantern.

Pumpkin Spice Kisses

The package offers no description of the product and neither does the Hershey’s website. All I could figure out from looking at the wrapper was that these were some sort of orange-colored white-chocolate-like-confection (there might be cocoa butter in there, there might not, the ingredients are rather coy about it) filled with a cream that’s probably flavored like pumpkin pie.

The little foil wrappings are bronzy orange with wavy little brown stripes. The flags are brown and say pumpkin spice though many are greasy and look a bit more translucent.

The bag smells appealing, like ginger snaps or snickerdoodles. Sugary and spicy and everything nice-y.

It was warm for a few days so I tucked these away in one of my coolers. When I took the photos they were very soft, but even at temps in the high sixties or low seventies, they’re still mushy.

The orange confection outside has a bit of a greasy sheen to it, but otherwise is a nice pumpkin custard color. I bit a few in half (ended up cutting them for the photo) just to see what was inside, it’s a soft cream not unlike the New York Cheesecake flavored ones back around Valentine’s Day.

The taste, though sweet, has a great harvest spice flavor - it’s mostly nutmeg with a little cinnamon and perhaps ginger or allspice and maybe a hint of clove.

I really thought these were going to be terrible, especially since I didn’t like the fake butter flavor of the Candy Corn Kisses, but they’re pleasant. Not too sweet, a little bit of a custardy tang and though kind of grainy they remind me of a decadent flavored fudge. Or a very sweet cheesecake.

I don’t think they’re something I’d buy again, even if they were seasonal, but I certainly enjoy a little spice in my life now and then. Sera at The Candy Enthusiast found them at the same time as I did and has a review today as well. She’s a bit more fond of them than I am, but I’ll chalk that up to her obsession with all things pumpkin. Other early reviews are also positive: Franklin Avenue, Megan’s Munchies and keep an eye on the Kiss Candy Spotting thread in the Candy Forums.

Related Candies

  1. Rising Cost of Candy - A Brief Study of Hershey Prices
  2. Vanilla Creme Kisses
  3. Hershey’s Mint Truffle Kisses
  4. Limited Edition Hot Cocoa Kisses
  5. Candy Corn Kisses
  6. Kisses Coconut Creme
  7. Kisses Chocolate Truffles
  8. The Mint Kisses: Chocolate Mint & Candy Cane
  9. Peanut Butter Kisses
  10. Cherry Cordial Creme Kisses
  11. Head to Head: Rolo vs Caramel Kisses
Name: Pumpkin Spice 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: Target (Santa Monica & LaBrea)
Price: $2.99
Size: 10 ounces
Calories per ounce: 152
Categories: White Chocolate*, United States, Hershey's, Kosher, Limited Edition

POSTED BY Cybele AT 6:00 am     Comments (21)

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Moonstruck Election Collection

Since we now have officially nominated presidential candidates from both the Republican and Democratic parties, I thought it was time for another election-themed candy review.

These are from Moonstruck Chocolate Co. in Portland, Oregon. They’re called the Election Collection composed of two truffle shapes, in the shape of an Elephant, the mascot of the Republicans and in the shape of a Donkey, the mascot of the Democrats.

Moonstruck Election Truffles

I picked these up at Chocolate Maya in Santa Barbara over the weekend. They weren’t cheap, I paid $3.50 each. On the Moonstruck website they’re going for $15 for a set of four. This is how they describe them:

The Donkey Truffle features Moonstruck Chocolatier’s Mayan Ganache (milk chocolate, cinnamon and crushed almonds), while the Elephant Truffle features a dark chocolate Extra-Bittersweet Ganache.

(Honestly, I didn’t know they were different until after I bit into them ... cuz I didn’t get any literature with them and just assumed that political truffles, like Americans, were all the same on the inside.)

Moonstruck Elephant (Republican) TruffleThe elephant was quite cute and survived the trip home very well. I was afraid an ear or his trunk would break, but he did really well. They’re pretty big pieces, larger than a walnut.

The shell is a white confection, perhaps white chocolate, colored a pale gray. The detail is quite nice (though mine was missing an eye ... or maybe it was closed and winking at me).

I was curious what was inside his ears (LA Burdick does little mice that have almond slices for ears), so I snapped one off. Inside is a piece of chocolate.

The inside of the Republican is pure darkness. The truffle ganache is a frothy but melt-in-your-mouth-good bittersweetness. What surprised me most after that first bite shown was what was inside the elephant’s head. I expected truffle all the way through, instead he has a white chocolate ganache brain. While I think it’s a cute idea and perhaps a wry political comment (I won’t go into all possible interpretations) I found it watered down the chocolate punch of the body.

Moonstruck Donkey (Democract) TruffleMy little donkey looked kind of sad, like Eeyore. I was a little more disturbed by his lack of legs than the elephant’s, but of course that meant more ganache!

This filling is sweeter, it’s a milk chocolate cream with crushed almonds and a little spice of cinnamon. It’s not quite a gianduia type nut and chocolate confections, more like an almond butter mixed with milk chocolate. Smooth, but slightly textured. At first it was a little coconutty to me, but that could have been the gray confection shell or just the way the milky chocolate reacted wtih the almonds. As a sweeter confection overall, I wasn’t as thrilled with it as the elephant’s dark ganache, but the donkey had nothing in his head but the milk ganache, so at least he was consistent.

The pieces are quite nice to look at and good quality and distinctive flavors. I would have preferred that they were both just bittersweet through and through (and perhaps a real dark chocolate shell under the gray coating). It’s nice that they’re more than a novelty item; they have as much substance as style ... how often does that happen in partisan politics?

Related Candies

  1. Kai’s Candy Campaign 2008 Candies
  2. The Politics of the Candy Jar at Work
  3. Regennas Clear Toys
  4. Endangered Species: Peanut Butter Brittle & Rice Crisp
Name: Election Collection
    RATING:
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 6 TEMPTING
  • 5 PLEASANT
  • 4 BENIGN
  • 3 UNAPPEALING
  • 2 APPALLING
  • 1 INEDIBLE
Brand: Moonstruck Chocolates
Place Purchased: Chocolate Maya (Santa Barbara)
Price: $3.50 each
Size: unknown
Calories per ounce: unknown
Categories: Chocolate, Nuts, Novelty, White Chocolate, United States

POSTED BY Cybele AT 8:01 am     Comments (9)

Monday, August 4, 2008

Junior Fruit Cremes

Junior Fruit CremesSometimes I let me curiosity get the better of me. And in the case of Limited Edition Junior Fruit Cremes, it wasn’t that exhilarating sense of discovery that made me do it. It was because I’d already seen a bunch of reviews and was pretty convinced that they were bad.

But sometimes I have to find out how bad they are for myself (call it the curiosity of Schrodinger’s cat). Here are a few highlights of what I knew I was in for:

Joann at Sugar Hi: All I could taste was sweet. The raspberry was also sickeningly sweet and reminded me of those candy coated marshmallow Easter eggs that are always leftover on the store shelves weeks after Easter.

AV Club: A.V. Club testers back at the office were pretty dubious about Junior Fruit Cremes, praising their initial tart burst of juicy fruit taste, but not so much the way the flavor quickly passed, leaving us all with waxy mouthfuls of the outer coating.

Sera at The Candy Enthusiast: I couldn’t finish the recommended serving of these since I they were burning out my esophagus with the sugar hit. I am not kidding, my throat just *burns* for all the sugar in this.

Patti at Candy Yum Yum: On the package, the drawings of the cremes look all bright and shiny and oozy in the center. In reality, they’re grayish, and the centers are dry, like a thin mint patty. I can’t even describe the taste. Gross, like a bad grammar school fruit dessert.

Junior Fruit Cremes

At first glance they look a lot like the Pastel Junior Mints that were out around Easter. It’s some sort of white confection (well, pastel colored in this case) that looks like melted crayons but is probably supposed to remind us of real white chocolate. They’re nicely domed and have little belly buttons on the underside like regular Junor Mints.

The smell, well, even if I wasn’t getting over a bout of food poisoning (and I wasn’t when I took the pictures and had a similar reaction), I found the too sweet and fake fruity scent repulsive. It smells more like cheap air freshener than something to eat. And let’s face it, that’s odd for me because orange blossom is one of my favorite ice cream flavors.

The box has three flavors: Black Cherry (the darkest pink), Orange and Raspberry (light pink). They don’t smell any different from each other.

The candy shell is soft and waxy. It melts slowly and reveals a fondant center with a bit more of a flavor pop and some sort of super sweet center. When I say super sweet, I mean that it exhibits extraordinary characteristics not known in nature. It’s as if Tootsie has taken over a particle accelerator and has somehow found a way to use supercolliders to violate the laws of two objects existing in the same space. There’s twice as much sugar in here as was formerly possible in confectionery to this point.

But of course in order to contain this physical impossibility they’ve contained the super dense fondant in some sort of subspace warp field with an oscillating polarity and improbability drive to power it (that’s housed in the little belly button area). I think the base material was a pile of used crayons found behind on of those restaurants that has the paper on the tables & little cups of generic crayons.

The density of it shocks my teeth, and perhaps creates some sort of electrical field or radiation or something because it makes me woozy and gives the bones in my lower jaw a deep ache.

I fear for the scientists creating these, the texture of the candies was inconsistent. The orange ones had a rather soft center, the cherry ones a sort of crumbly one (apparently the firmness effects the glucose delivery via the wormhole or whatever and it wasn’t as painful). Raspberry was the mildest of the three, which isn’t really a recommendation.

I’m all for investigating the cosmos and believe that many problems can be solved through innovation, but these incredible scientific feats are being used for evil. Pure evil.

They must be destroyed.

And the way to destroy a limited edition candy is to look away. Yes, that’s right, don’t buy it, don’t even pick it up and handle it at the store. Just walk away ... keep going. The fate of the universe depends on you. Don’t try to save me, I’m already infected. Save yourself!

I couldn’t give it a rating of 1 for inedible, as I have to applaud the scientific breakthrough of super-density sweetness.

(Special note, these have no candy category. I have 30 or so “candy type” categories like chocolate or mint or chew and these don’t fit into any of them! They simply cannot exist.)

Related Candies

  1. Junior Mints Peppermint Crunch
  2. Junior Mints Pastels
  3. The Shame of Some “Healthy” Candy
  4. Brachs Bunny Basket Eggs
  5. Inside Out Junior Mints
Name: Limited Edition Junior Fruit Cremes
    RATING:
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 6 TEMPTING
  • 5 PLEASANT
  • 4 BENIGN
  • 3 UNAPPEALING
  • 2 APPALLING
  • 1 INEDIBLE
Brand: Tootsie
Place Purchased: Dollar Tree (Dublin, CA)
Price: $1.00
Size: 4.75 ounces
Calories per ounce: 124
Categories: Fondant, United States, Tootsie, Limited Edition

POSTED BY Cybele AT 8:19 am     Comments (26)

Monday, June 9, 2008

Reese’s Chocolate Peanut Butter Bats (Dark Knight)

Reese's Dark Knight Bats

One of the items teased at the September 2007 All Candy Expo was the series of The Dark Knight (Batman) tie in products. As the Indiana Jones Mars products (Mint Crisp M&Ms & Snickers Adventure Bar) found their way onto the shelves about 6-8 weeks in advance of the movie release, I was keeping a close watch for the new Reese’s & KitKat products in the past weeks.

The Limited Edition line features:

  • Reese’s Pieces - black and dark blue Reese’s Pieces (peanut butter with a crunchy candy shell) - comes in both large bags and single serve size.

  • KitKat Special Edition - a regular Milk Chocolate KitKat with a bat symbol molded onto the fingers. (I’m really sorry they didn’t bring back the dark chocolate KitKat for this tie-in.) Photo here.

  • Reese's Peanut Butter Bats

  • Reese’s Dark Chocolate and Peanut Butter Bats - mini oval medallions of dark chocolate filled with Reese’s peanut butter sold in 10.5 ounce bags.

  • Reese’s Milk Chocolate and Peanut Butter Bats - mini oval medallions of milk chocolate filled with Reese’s peanut butter sold in 10.5 ounce bags.

  • Reese’s Dark Chocolate and Peanut Butter Bat - a single serve (1.2 ounces) dark chocolate with peanut butter version of the Reese’s Peanut Butter egg in the shape of a bat.

  • Reese’s Milk Chocolate and Peanut Butter Bat - a single serve (1.2 ounces) dark chocolate with peanut butter version of the Reese’s Peanut Butter egg in the shape of a bat.

  • Reese's Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter BatI found the bags of the medallions at Target yesterday. They also had the Reese’s Pieces, but frankly, different colored RP just weren’t distinctive enough to get me to buy them. A new proportion of chocolate and peanut butter and the further enticement of dark chocolate is enough to get me to buy them, though.

    The Reese’s Dark Chocolate and Peanut Butter Bats bag is a rich chocolate brown, setting it apart from the regular Reese’s orange offerings (though it has that signature orange on the wrapper as an accent).

    There’s also some sort of a sweepstakes thing going on where you can Find the bat-signal and win instantly but there was no game piece in either bag so I’m left to wonder how this thing works. (If it’s not a regular game piece that you open to find out if you’ve won, then what prevents someone from going through all the bags at the store and peeking through the little “window” in the package to see if there is a winning game piece?)

    Reese's Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Bat

    The dark ones are just shy of 1.75 inches in length and a little over 1 inch across and a half an inch tall. They weigh about 10 grams each (a regular Reese’s Miniature Peanut Butter Cup is about 9 grams).

    I assume that these are absolutely fresh, and have an expiry date of April 2009. However, the sheen of the chocolate was slightly greasy, as Reese’s products usually are. (The exception is pretty much the Fresh from the Factory cups.) The bag smells like dark roasted peanuts.

    The chocolate is very soft, so the whole thing has a mellow fudgy bite to it. It melts quickly, rather slick on the tongue but pretty smooth. The peanut butter filling, on the other hand, is exactly the sort of Reese’s peanut butter center you’d expect. A little sandy in texture, a bit salty and sweet.

    The dark chocolate is actually bitter, so there’s a whole mix of flavors here - sweet, salt and bitter plus the textures of the chocolate and light crunch of the rough peanut butter.

    It’s a great combination and really refreshing. The proportions here are weighted heavily towards the dark chocolate (which isn’t really “dark” as it has milk fat in it), much more than the previous regular-sized Limited Edition Reese’s Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups.

    The foil wrapper is also very appealing; it’s a bronzy brown around the sides and the top has the Reese’s logo and bat logo.

    There’s a strange molding anomaly on them, just about all that I unwrapped had little bubbles on either end of the top. (I opened quite a few, looking for a pristine one for the photo, then finding this to be the norm, photographed it.)

    Rating: 9 out of 10

    Reese's Milk Chocolate Peanut Butter BatThe little oval medallion has the stylized bat-signal symbol molded into the top of each piece. Yes, the logo on these is a little different. As with most continuations of classic franchises, the bat-signal has evolved. The original was not an actual bat, but Batman & his cape ... at some point them omitted his head. Back in the old TV show days and the first few movies it looked like this which was pretty consistent with the TV series emblem.

    But just as superheroes change their costumes, the logo became more angular and lost some of its bat-ness and wing fringes. (To me it looks more like a car logo now.)

    Reese's Milk Chocolate Peanut Butter Bat

    The Reese’s Milk Chocolate and Peanut Butter Bats are simply tasty. They’re everything you’d expect in a flattened Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup Miniature. The chocolate is sweet and pretty mellow but has a slight cool feeling on the tongue. The peanut butter center is immediately salty, squishy and has the dark roasted flavors of peanuts & a sandy texture.

    There’s less peanut butter, so fans of the peanut part and not the chocolate part should probably stick with the original or seek out the single serve size Bats (I haven’t found those yet).

    Rating: 8 out of 10

    Overall, this is a good tie in. I like the use of dark chocolate on a tried-and-true favorite. I also like that they tried a new shape instead of just tossing some different foil on the regular minis. (Of course then it just makes us sadder when they go away.) The proportions on the milk chocolate just didn’t have the same appeal as the regular minis or the larger eggs - but I’m sure some other folks will find them to be their ideal version.

    Anyone found the large sized bats yet?

    Related Candies

    1. Colt’s Bolts
    2. Elvis Reese’s Peanut Butter and Banana Cup
    3. KitKat Mint Dark Chocolate Minis
    4. Darth M&Ms
    5. Bleached Reese’s
    Name: Reese's Dark Knight Chocolate and Peanut Butter Bats
      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: Target (Eagle Rock)
    Price: $3.49
    Size: 10.5 ounces
    Calories per ounce: 142
    Categories: Chocolate, Peanut, United States, Reese's, Hershey's, Kosher, Limited Edition

    POSTED BY Cybele AT 8:15 am     Comments (20)

    Wednesday, June 4, 2008

    The Oh Henry!s

    Oh Henry!The Oh Henry! bar is one of oldest extant candy bars in North America. There are two stories of the origin of the bar. The first is that the bar was invented by Tom Henry in 1919, who ran the Peerless Candy Company (known for their hard candies) where the bar was known as the Tom Henry Bar. He sold the recipe for the bar to Williamson Candy Store in Chicago.

    Oh Henry (American & Canadian)The other story is that it was actually invented by the Williamson Candy Store and named for a helpful customer whom the female clerks would often ask favors of, by saying “Oh, Henry, could you move that heavy box.”

    It was often billed as “the ten cent piece of dollar candy” and became popular in Chicago eventually expanding as a national candy bar through the tenacious efforts of John Glossinger (whom Glosettes are named after). Williamson Candy, at some point, sold out to Ward-Johnson which was swallowed up by Nabisco in 1981 (which was also holding the Curtiss bars - Baby Ruth & Butterfinger included- at that time). Finally in 1990 Nestle bought the Curtiss bars, SnoCaps, Goobers & Raisinets from Nabisco. (Some of this is a bit murky and I traced it mostly through trademark registrations, and probably matters very little in the end.)

    Oh Henry (American & Canadian)The bar is simple enough, a vanilla fudge center with caramel & peanuts then covered in chocolate. It’s gone through some changes over the years besides ownership. This is where things get interesting from an evolutionary standpoint. In 1987 Hershey Canada got the rights to produce the bar (through Nabisco which owned Canadian confectioner Lowney). The Hershey’s Oh Henry! is more than a little different from the American bar, as we’ll see.

    Though the American bar used to be a single, it has now morphed into a double bar (a la Mounds) while the Canadian version remains pretty much the same as it was 30 years ago.

    The package on the Nestle version says: 2 peanutty * caramel * fudge bars in milk chocolate. It weighs 1.8 ounces (51 grams). It comes sealed in a simple yellow plasticized wrapper.

    The package on the Hershey version says: crunchy peanuts, chewy fudge, creamy caramel, covered in a chocolaty coating. It weighs 2.2 ounces (62.5 grams). It comes in a mylar wrapper with a small folded paperboard tray.

    Oh Henry (American & Canadian)

    The innards of the two Oh Henrys! tell more about them. The American Oh Henry! is rather organized and stratified.

    The Nestle one has a caramel base then a fudge mixed with peanuts. It’s all covered in what they call real milk chocolate. It has a nice roasted peanut flavor, but the difference between the caramel and the fudge is minimal. The fudge is a bit saltier, but caramel is short and grainy instead of being chewy and creamy. At first I thought it was just a not-so-fresh bar, so I bought another. And another. This is the third I’ve bought and second I’ve photographed for this review.

    The two pieces are nicely sized and the flavor balance overall is good. I would prefer some really good creamy chocolate to pull it together, but that’s just not Nestle’s style.

    The Hershey one reminds me a bit of a narrow Payday Chocolatey Avalanche. The fudge is at the center here and much lighter in color (reminding me quite a bit of a nougat except there are no eggs in it). On top of the fudge is a thin layer of caramel which holds the peanuts. The whole thing is covered in a chocolatey coating (which actually contains real chocolate with cocoa butter, but it also has modified palm oil in it, which takes it out of the real chocolate column).

    The nuts play a much bigger role here, probably because they mingle with both the (mock)chocolate and the caramel. For fake chocolate, it does a much better job of being creamy and tasty than Nestle’s real stuff. The caramel has a kind of fake butter flavor to it, but this is only noticeable if you take the bar apart and try to eat the elements separately (now why would you wanna do that?).

    Canadian Oh Henry! (Hershey)

    While Nestle just lets the Oh Henry! bar do its thing here in the States, up in the Great White North it’s another story entirely. Hershey goes to down with the bar. First, it’s one of the largest single-serve bars in Canada, so it’s known as a good value. Hershey also does limited editions and other versions of the bar. I got a hold of a few.

    Oh Henry DarkOh Henry! Dark is exactly what you’d think: the same Oh Henry! bar but with real dark chocolate.

    It’s not quite as sweet as the regular Oh Henry! and really quite a nice bar. The dark chocolate gives it a bigger chocolate pop instead of all that dairy-tasting milk chocolate. I could use a dash of salt, but, that’s just me, eh.

    All of the variation bars are slightly smaller, at only 60 grams (2.12 ounces).

    Oh Henry Reese'sThe Peanut Butter Oh Henry! (with Reese (r) Peanut Butter) swaps out the fudge with a peanut butter mass in the center.

    It’s a bit flatter than the other bars. It’s also a bit greasy. This one also has a mockolate coating which isn’t as creamy and just a bit bloomed.

    It’s really peanutty. It’s also pleasantly salty ... or unpleasantly so if you think that 115 mg is a little much for a candy bar (the standard Hershey Oh Henry! has 50 mg).

    The peanut center also made the caramel more noticeable, probably because it isn’t as dense and chewy as the fudge. (This one is not a limited edition but appears to be a permanent variation.)

    Oh Henry Oh CanadaThe final limited edition item is the Oh Henry! Oh Canada. It first appeared last year for Canada Day (July 1st) so mine is a bit past its prime (the expiration says January 2008).

    The bar is described on the wrapper: Crunchy peanuts, red chewy fudge, white creamy caramel, covered in a chocolatey coating. This combo results in red and white in every bite!.

    Yes, that fudge center there is actually red. And maple flavored.

    Even if it is expired, it was still pretty tasty. I liked the intense maple flavor that permeated the bar. It was like toasted, caramelized pecans.

    Overally, I much prefer the Canadian Oh Henry! from Hershey, even if it does have mockolate on it. The Dark Oh Henry! is superior to all the others, but since it was a Limited Edition, the original (which by the way, better reflects the American original anyway) will do in a pinch. But given a choice, I’d probably opt for the whole thing sans (mock)chocolate and get a Payday.

    Related Candies

    1. Caramilk Maple
    2. Payday Fresh from the Factory
    3. Eat-More
    4. Payday Avalanches
    5. Pearson’s Nut Roll
    Name: Oh Henry! (American & Canadian)
      RATING:
    • 10 SUPERB
    • 9 YUMMY
    • 8 TASTY
    • 7 WORTH IT
    • 6 TEMPTING
    • 5 PLEASANT
    • 4 BENIGN
    • 3 UNAPPEALING
    • 2 APPALLING
    • 1 INEDIBLE
    Brand: Nestle & Hershey
    Place Purchased: Walgreen's (Echo Park) & WalMart (Canada) - thanks Amber!
    Price: $.85 each (approx)
    Size: 1.8 ounces & 2.2 ounces
    Calories per ounce: 127 & 136
    Categories: Chocolate, Mockolate, Caramel, Peanuts, United States, Canada, Hershey, Nestle, Kosher

    POSTED BY Cybele AT 11:15 am     Comments (35)

    Wednesday, May 28, 2008

    Candy Bites: The Sweet, Crunchy & Creamy

    Ghirardelli Milk Chocolate & Peanut ButterMilk & Peanut Butter from Ghirardelli

    This was a sample from All Candy Expo that I kind of ate before finishing the photo shoot. (I got the box obviously, but never did the unwrapped version.) I also shared most of it, even though I could have easily eaten it all by myself.

    It’s a handsome light milk chocolate bar that lives up to the illustration on the package. It’s thick, each little section in the bar has a creamy peanut butter meltaway center (with crushed nut chunks).

    I was dubious. But this won me over. Extremely creamy, so much so that it was like the milk chocolate and peanut butter were one. It didn’t feel greasy at all, even though it was thick and rich.

    I have a bunch of other Ghirardelli filled bars (from the last ACE) that I still haven’t tried, this might push me to start opening them (I promise full photography on those though).

    Rating: 8 out of 10

    Red Bean White RabbitRed Bean White Rabbit from Shanghai Guanshengyuan Food, Ltd

    I hadn’t had any White Rabbit in a while, so when I saw that it was on sale at Cost Plus World Market, I figured when it’s $1.50 a bag is the time to give it another go. Instead I spotted this Red Bean (Azuki) version and scooped that up instead.

    The wrapper has little dark red stripes on it. Inside it still has the same delicate rice paper wrapper that melts in the mouth to form a slick, gelatinous good. The milk taffy inside is a slight & natural looking pink. The red bean flavor is light and woodsy and pleasant. It seems to mellow out the sometimes sweet taffy and mixes really well with the milk flavors.

    Rating: 6 out of 10

    Honey MintsHoney Mints from Honey Acres. 

    I picked these up at the Fancy Food Show. They look like just about any other peppermint pattie. The interesting proposition here is that the center is creamed honey with a touch of mint instead of a sugar-based fondant.

    The other interesting bit about this is that the dark chocolate shell is completely unsweetened. The sweetness of the center completely balances out the could-be-bitter coating. I tried a few times to just nibble off the chocolate bits, but these are pretty small (about the size of the York Peppermint Pattie minis) and I wasn’t getting a bit enough chunk to really tell. (And as I’ve found, 100% chocolate doesn’t have to be unpalatable.) The center is smooth and a little cool on the tongue, with that beeswax taste & texture added to the mix.

    It’s a great little mint. Artisan Sweets is the only place I’ve seen them for sale. But if you do come upon them, especially if you can buy only one or two, it’s an interesting combination of the musky honey tones with the mellow mint and the pop of creamy dark chocolate.

    Rating: 6 out of 10

    Jungle ChocolateJungle Chocolate from Yachana Gourmet

    I don’t know if this is considered candy. It’s called Jungle Chocolate and I’d probably put it in the trail mix or snack category. It’s just cacao nibs, lightly glazed with sugar cane juice and then mixed with some other jungle-grown edibles. The four varieties I tried were:

  • Jungle Chocolate with Pineapple - the tangy and sweet pineapple pretty much overpowered the tender and crunchy cacao nibs. But pineapple is good fresh, canned or dried and I ate all of this.

  • Jungle Chocolate with Macadamia Nuts - as nuts go, macadamias are pretty low on my list, but there’s something about how they go with the tropical butter within the cacao nib that worked here. I still might prefer pecans, but I doubt they grow in the Amazon.

  • Jungle Chocolate with Brazil Nuts and Essence of Coffee - right below macadamias are Brazil nuts. I don’t know if I’m sensitive to them or if everyone gets a sort of buzzing feeling on their tongue & gums after eating them. But the crunch of the Brazils is the perfect complement to the cacao nibs. The coffee wasn’t too strong and gave the whole thing a refreshing feeling like a well-brewed cup of coffee.

  • Jungle Chocolate with Raisins and Coconut - this felt like the most traditional trail mix out of the bunch. I love coconut and chocolate, and this coconut was buttery and crunchy at the same time. The raisins, while small, packed a lot of flavor in there.

  • While the mixes themselves didn’t wow me, I think I’d like to just try a plain old box of lightly sweetened nibs. (Or maybe lightly caramelized.)

    The selling point here is that they don’t melt. I’ve put these through the paces. They’ve sat in the car, they’ve been in my house in the 100 degree heat. It doesn’t melt, instead, like a stew, it just makes all the flavors even better. This is chocolate that goes places that chocolate can’t go. It has all that stuff that you crave, even if it doesn’t quite have the texture.

    It’s all fair trade, vegan and all natural. It’s a little expensive, but then again, knowing that the money goes right to a sustainable project in Ecuador may make it taste even sweeter. I wouldn’t call this a replacement for chocolate, but perhaps a replacement for other snack mixes. Retail is about $3.00 to 3.50 for a 2 ounce bag (that’s well packaged - protects the product, but not overpackaged).

    Rating: 7 out of 10

    New York Cheesecake KissesLimited Edition New York Cheesecake Kisses from Hershey’s

    I finally found these at Target, hiding on the backside of a display in the Valentine’s area (well, it was the Valentine’s area, but was then the Easter area). The package looks a heckuva lot like the Vanilla Creme Kisses that I might have seen them already and just passed them by.

    Cheesecake as a “flavor” seems a little odd, but then again, so does Buttered Popcorn, Apple Pie and Chili & Chocolate, so never judge a flavor by its name.

    New York Cheesecake Kisses

    They’re, I dunno, like the Vanilla Creme, a little more tangy. I think they’re more like yogurt. Or yellow birthday cake.

    It doesn’t matter much to me, this Kiss has brought back that limited edition weariness that I experience from time to time. I haven’t been fond of any of the more subtle filled Kisses. While I like subtle and respectful balances in my haut chocolate, I kind of like my mass manufactured stuff loud & proud. I’ve had them sitting in my desk for months and I think that pretty much sums up how I felt about them. I could take them or leave them, but mostly I left them.

    Rating: 5 out of 10

    Related Candies

    1. Ghirardelli Intense Dark
    2. Hershey’s Mint Truffle Kisses
    3. KitKat Tsubu Ichigo and Hershey’s Strawberries ‘n’ Creme
    4. Scharffen Berger - Cacao Nibs
    5. York Pinkermint Patties
    6. White Rabbit

    POSTED BY Cybele AT 11:01 am     All NaturalCandyReviewGhirardelliHershey'sCaffeinatedChocolateCoffeeEthically SourcedLimited EditionNibsNutsPeanuts5-Pleasant6-Tempting7-Worth It8-TastyUnited StatesTargetComments (9)

    Monday, April 21, 2008

    Reese Hazelnut Creme

    Reese Hazelnut CremeThis curious limited edition comes from Canada. In Canada there are fewer possessives in their confections. Hershey’s products are marked only Hershey Canada and Reese’s products have a logo that omits the apostrophe S entirely. (Okay those are the only two instances I could find.)

    The package says it was Imported by Hershey Canada, Inc., but I guess Canadian labeling laws don’t necessitate saying where the product is actually from, just that it’s not from Canada. We certainly didn’t get these in the States ... I find it hard to believe that the American factory would churn these out for Canada and not us, and that only leaves the Mexican factories as a possible source.

    Reese Hazelnut Creme

    I first learned of the existence of the Limited Edition Reese Hazelnut Creme candy on CacaoBug‘s blog. Even though she wasn’t pleased with them, I still wanted to give it a try and asked Canadian reader Amber to see if she could find them when she visited Los Angeles last month. (She’s my Canadian candy mule!)

    Reese Hazelnut CremeThe cups, as viewed here, are naked. They have no paper cups. They’re also smaller than the typical Reese’s Peanut Butter cup, these clock in at a mere 15 grams each. (About the same size as the junior size individually wrapped ones.)

    They smell like Easter. I think you know the smell, sweet and milky. The “chocolate” is marginal. Not chocolatey and though it smells milky, it doesn’t taste like milk chocolate. The melt on the tongue is waxy, which I was willing to chalk up to the hazelnut butter until ... well, read on.

    The hazelnut creme center is less than creamy. It’s stiff, not quite a peanut butter and though it has sweet and smooth melt, I wouldn’t characterize it a creme.

    The whole thing, sadly, doesn’t taste much like hazelnut. Not like the giuandiua I was hoping for. Oh, wouldn’t a Nuttela meets Reese’s be nice? This isn’t it.

    I understand that hazelnuts are far more expensive than peanuts, so I understand why the little cups are 15 grams instead of the full-sized 21 grams. But if you’re gonna go to all the trouble of making a special edition for hazelnut lovers, give them what you promise. Hazelnuts! The ingredients for a RPBC are: milk chocolate then peanuts then all that other stuff. The Hazelnut Creme cup has an unappealing list of ingredients that goes like this: sugar, modified milk ingredients, hydrogenated palm kernel oil, hydrogenated coconut oil, hazelnuts, cocoa powder, dextrose, soy lecithin, artificial flavour, propyl gallate & ascorbyl palmitate.

    So not only are you not getting any actual chocolate in here, you’re getting a scant amount of hazelnuts and that creme is made from modified milk ingredients.

    It may as well be from R.M. Palmer, because that “Easter” taste I mentioned earlier is pretty much the Palmer taste. The taste of disappointment.

    Related Candies

    1. Milka Alpenmilch
    2. Caffarel Gianduias
    3. Lake Champlain Hazelnut Eggs
    4. Caffarel Gianduia 1865
    Name: Limited Edition Hazelnut Creme Candy
      RATING:
    • 10 SUPERB
    • 9 YUMMY
    • 8 TASTY
    • 7 WORTH IT
    • 6 TEMPTING
    • 5 PLEASANT
    • 4 BENIGN
    • 3 UNAPPEALING
    • 2 APPALLING
    • 1 INEDIBLE
    Brand: Hershey Canada Inc.
    Place Purchased: via Amber
    Price: $.75 CDN
    Size: 1.06 ounces
    Calories per ounce: 151
    Categories: Mockolate, Nuts, Hershey's, Limited Edition

    POSTED BY Cybele AT 8:40 am     Comments (25)

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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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    ON DECK

    These candies will be reviewed shortly:

    • Russell Stover Big Bite Pecan Pie

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