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M&Ms

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Crispy M&Ms (Returning 2015)

Crispy M&MsMars made an exciting announcement earlier this fall that they’re bringing M&Ms Crispy back to American stores starting January 2015.

Some folks at Mars were good enough to send me some samples (though not in the final packaging, so I included the press release version of the package design for reference).

You can read more on Crispy M&Ms in this write up I did a few years ago when I reviewed the European version. Basically, the American version of Crispy M&Ms came out in 1998 and were discontinued in 2005. They had their fans, and current social media allowed them to speak directly with Mars to voice their enthusiasm for the return of the candy.

M&Ms Crispy

The Crispy M&M, if you’ve never heard of them, are described as feature a unique, crispy center covered in creamy milk chocolate, enclosed in a colorful candy shell. The center is like a little cereal puff.

The new package will hold only 1.35 ounces, which is more than the Pretzel M&Ms which are only 1.14 ounces but less than the standard Milk Chocolate M&Ms which is 1.69 ounces.

M&Ms Crispy

The new version comes in the same color array as regular M&Ms: red, orange, yellow, blue, green and brown.

The pieces are much smaller than I expected, since I’ve had the European versions, which are closer to the size of a Peanut M&M. These are a similar diameter to a Milk Chocolate M&M, but puffy. But they’re also quite irregular. They’re lumpy and sometimes close to spherical, while others are long or pointy in spots.

They’re easy to bite and crunch, and extremely light. The center crunch is kind of like the flavor of a corn flake ... very mild with only a hint of salt and malt. But for the most part they’re neutral. The chocolate is sweet, but otherwise generic. The crunchy shell provides a different sweetness compared to the chocolate and a different more brittle crunchy compared to the centers.

Overall, it’s a pleasant snack that I have no trouble scooping by the handful. But it made me wish for something else ... I wanted a Malted Milk M&M. This is not so hard for Mars to manage, they’d just take the Maltesers they make in the UK and give them a colorful candy shell.

Crispy M&Ms
Canadian Crispy M&Ms circa 2006

The earlier versions of Crispy M&Ms used a blue wrapper, but that has since been usurped by the Pretzel M&Ms, so the 2015 version will be in lime green packages. I can’t say for certain that these are better or similar to the originals, as it’s been a long time since I’ve had them. They definitely fit into a niche that’s not well served in the chocolate market right now, which is the crossover with snacks. Here’s what the Crispy M&Ms announcement said about it:

Consumers’ desire for new textures has resulted in the creation of a new Crispy Crunchy Segment within the Chocolate Category. This segment is growing 1.8x the rate of the Chocolate Category and 1.7x the rate of the Non-Chocolate Snack Category with an average of 9.2 percent per year increase in category sales.3 Approximately 40 percent of the Crispy Crunchy Segment growth has been driven by the bite-sized format, of which M&M’S® Brand is the market leader.

M&Ms briefly had Mint Crispy M&Ms as a limited edition.

Yes, Crispy M&Ms
Crispy M&Ms made in France and purchased in Germany circa 2012

The European Crispy M&Ms featured mostly natural colors for the shells, which meant a slightly muted palette. Natural colors can sometimes bring their own flavors, though, so some folks can tell the difference between the colors (I can usually pick out the yellows and oranges by taste). It would have been interesting, though, for Mars to make this revival of Crispy M&Ms with the European colors, just to see if that would catch in the US.

I’m curious to see how Crispy M&Ms do this time around. The survival rate for revived candies isn’t great, but the success rates for completely new candies aren’t any better. I have no stats for that, just personal experience paging through the blog at home many candies I’ve reviewed over the past 9 years that don’t exist any longer. Maybe read about M&Ms Premiums or compare the early Mega M&Ms that were discontinued, and the new version.

Related Candies

  1. Trader Joe’s Crispy Rice Milk Chocolate
  2. Peanut M&Ms Intense 65% Cacao
  3. Ghirardelli Milk & Crisp Chocolate Eggs
  4. Crispy M&Ms
  5. Pretzel M&Ms
  6. M&Ms Premiums
  7. Mint Crisp M&Ms (Indiana Jones)
  8. M&Ms Line


Name: M&Ms Crispy
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Mars
Place Purchased: samples from Mars
Price: $1.09 retail
Size: 1.35 ounces
Calories per ounce: 130
Categories: Candy, Mars, Chocolate, Cookie, Kosher, M&Ms, 6-Tempting, United States

POSTED BY Cybele AT 11:09 am     CandyReviewMarsChocolateCookieKosherM&Ms6-TemptingUnited StatesComments (2)

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Mega Peanut M&Ms

DSC_5287rbLast week I showed off the new Milk Chocolate Mega M&Ms, this week I have the Mega Peanut M&Ms. I picked both bags up at CVS on sale at two bags for $5.00. Since the bag is 11.4 ounces, that’s a pretty good deal.

The bag makes use of the familiar yellow of the Peanut M&Ms franchise and a blue Mega logo similar to the one on the Milk Chocolate M&Ms bag (which has a brown background).

The Milk Chocolate Mega M&Ms boasted 3 times more chocolate, but the Peanut Mega M&Ms only say that there’s more chocolate and bigger peanuts.

Mega Peanut M&Ms & Regular

While the Mega Milk Chocolate M&Ms were obviously bigger, I didn’t see much of a difference when I dumped a handful of these out. So, that meant that I had to go back out and pick up some regular Peanut M&Ms for comparison. The Mega are on the left and the regular are on the right. Some are identically sized, but many of the Mega are obviously bigger than the standard.

Mega Peanut M&Ms & Regular

Oddly enough I didn’t find the Megas were different for me, they tasted and behaved like the Peanut M&Ms I might want to eat. That said, I feel like Peanut M&Ms have gotten smaller over the years and these may just be what I used to find ordinary. The chocolate ratio is good, there’s plenty of chocolate there’s a good crunch from the shell and a good crunch from the peanuts. I just don’t see that big of a difference to warrant another slot on the store shelves for this when they could make room for Coffee M&Ms or Crispy M&Ms.

Related Candies

  1. Milk Chocolate Mega M&Ms
  2. Peanut M&Ms Intense 65% Cacao
  3. Brach’s Maple Nut Goodies
  4. Snickers Nougabot Bar & Transformer M&Ms
  5. Boston Baked Beans
  6. Dark Chocolate Peanut M&Ms
  7. M&Ms Line
  8. Mega Smarties


Name: Peanut Mega M&Ms
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Mars
Place Purchased: CVS (Park LaBrea)
Price: $2.50
Size: 11.4 ounces
Calories per ounce: 147
Categories: Candy, Mars, Chocolate, M&Ms, Peanuts, 7-Worth It, United States, Sav-On/CVS

POSTED BY Cybele AT 3:58 pm     CandyReviewMarsChocolateKosherM&MsPeanuts7-Worth ItUnited StatesSav-On/CVSComments (2)

Friday, February 21, 2014

Milk Chocolate Mega M&Ms

Milk Chocolate Mega M&MsLate last year Mars announced some new products coming including Mega M&Ms.

At first I thought these were just the return of the Mega M&Ms circa 2005, but instead Mars has instead imported the specs for their Galaxy Minstrels and Americanized them with bright colors.

They’re sold in familiar packaging, the large laydown bags and the individual serving size. I lucked into a sale at CVS and got two bags for $5, which I think is a fair price for fair quality chocolate.

Milk Chocolate Mega M&Ms

I scrounged up all the M&Ms I had, and you can see them here from small to large, from left to right: Milk Chocolate Mini, Milk Chocolate Classic, Birthday Cake, and Milk Chocolate Mega. The individual Megas are about .75 inches across. (About the same diameter as an American nickel.) What I also noticed is that they’re extremely similar to the Mars Galaxy Minstrels. I’ve been trying to find a package of those but have had no luck. However, I’ll be in London next month and will try to pick up a package for later comparison.

The original Mega M&Ms were fat, more rounded. They’re basically the same as the current special flavor M&Ms, such as the Birthday Cake or Coconut. I’m a little unclear why they even used the same name, when it’s been only about 8 years since they were last on the shelves.

Milk Chocolate Mega M&Ms

The Mega M&Ms boast three times the chocolate of a regular M&M. The Mega M&Ms weigh about 2.73 grams each while a regular M&M is about .85 grams. The color assortment is identical to the 21st century Milk Chocolate M&Ms: red, green, yellow, brown, orange and blue. 

Milk Chocolate Mega M&Ms

The flatness makes them easy to pick up and bite. The shell has a very satisfying crunch and there’s a large density of chocolate at the center that’s easy to distinguish. The chocolate itself isn’t extraordinary. It’s sweet and milky, though not entirely smooth in its melt. I found it a bit chalky overall, a bit on the sweet side. That said, they were wonderfully munchable and I did find myself reaching for them while they sat on my desk. I’d like to say that M&Ms would be better with better chocolate, but they tried that with Premium M&Ms and it didn’t spark with the public. Candy companies make the candy we buy. I can wish all I want, but I’m probably not M&Ms ultimate target market.

Mars Galaxy MinstrelsUPDATE: One of the first things I picked up when I went to London earlier this month was a package of Mars Galaxy Minstrels.

Since they’re also made by Mars, it was a natural item to compare to the new Milk Chocolate Mega M&Ms.

Unlike M&Ms, Minstrels come in only one color, dark brown.

Galaxy Minstrels & Mega M&Ms

It’s pretty easy to see why I was interested in comparing them, they’re extremely similar in size and shape.

What I did notice, though, is that the brown is much darker and more consistent. The M&Ms version is a little less deep.

Galaxy Minstrels & Mega M&Ms

In essence, the Brown Mega M&Ms and Galaxy Minstrels look the same, but the similarities end with the shell. The chocolate inside of the Minstrels is smooth, creamy, slightly malty and quite good. There’s a definite European flavor to it, a sort of dairy note that American chocolate rarely has. The M&Ms have a grainy, fudgy quality that is still absolutely tasty, but has more of a candy quality than a chocolate one.

Of the two, I was much more interested in eating the Galaxy Minstrels, and ended up eating my small bag before finishing the handful of Mega M&Ms I saved for this purpose.

Related Candies

  1. Candy Tease: Mars 2014
  2. Milk Chocolate M&Ms Chocolate Bar
  3. Snickers Slice n’ Share (1 Pound)
  4. Crispy M&Ms
  5. Hershey-ets
  6. M&Ms Premiums
  7. Head to Head: M&Ms vs Koppers Milkies
  8. M&Ms Line
  9. Mega Smarties


Name: Milk Chocolate Mega M&Ms
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Mars
Place Purchased: CVS (Park LaBrea)
Price: $2.50 (on sale)
Size: 11.4 ounces
Calories per ounce: 138
Categories: Candy, Mars, Chocolate, Kosher, M&Ms, 7-Worth It, United States, Sav-On/CVS

POSTED BY Cybele AT 2:27 pm     CandyReviewMarsChocolateKosherM&Ms7-Worth ItUnited StatesSav-On/CVSComments (4)

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Birthday Cake M&Ms

Birthday Cake M&MsBirthday Cake Milk Chocolate M&Ms are out on shelves even though Mars announced that they would be released in May 2014. The new cake flavor comes right on the heels of the Walmart-exclusive Red Velvet M&Ms that also came out this year.

The description is rather vague: Delicious milk chocolate infused with birthday cake flavor creates an exciting new treat worth celebrating. Part of my confusion comes from an actual non-standardization of birthday cake as a singular flavor. Is it yellow cake with vanilla icing? Is it devil’s food with chocolate frosting? Is it an ice cream cake with candle wax? I’m going to go with chocolate cake and white (vanilla) icing, since that’s what the red M is holding on the package.

It’s unclear if this is a new permanent addition to the M&Ms varieties, which currently include: Milk Chocolate, Peanut, Dark Chocolate, Dark Peanut, Peanut Butter, Almond, Dark Mint, Raspberry, and Pretzel plus other seasonal varieties. They currently come in two package sizes, the stand up bag holding 8 ounces shown here and the single serve version.

Birthday Cake M&Ms

The candy coated chocolates are quite big and very bright in primary red, yellow and blue. I noticed that they had the same cracking and dusting problem I experienced with my Red Velvet M&Ms earlier this year. I don’t know if it’s because they’re bigger or that the specialty versions just get treated more roughly than regular versions. I polished them individually for their photo shoot. (Really.)

Birthday Cake M&Ms

They do smell sweeter, with a little more of a vanilla note than regular M&Ms. They’re not that different from regular Milk Chocolate M&Ms, except that they’re bigger. They’re not that good though, the novelty of the flavor wears off after about five of them. They just seemed sweeter ... the chocolate certainly isn’t great. I’ve noticed that the quality of the chocolate is one item that Mars has not been focusing on over the years, instead it’s been the added flavors, colors or special printing you can get on the shell.

I did try them compared to the Red Velvet M&Ms, since they’re both based on cakes. What I noticed is that the Red Velvet tasted more like buttered popcorn but also had a bit more of a tangy note. The Birthday Cake, on the other hand, has an Angel Food Cake note of baked sugar and vanilla.

I’ll stick to the Almond M&Ms, just in case anyone was wondering which M&Ms to have at my birthday party.

Related Candies

  1. M&Ms Milk Chocolate Red Velvet
  2. Godiva Cake Truffles
  3. Dove Cookies and Creme + Ghirardelli Cookies Jubilee
  4. M&Ms White Chocolate Candy Corn
  5. Cupcake Bites
  6. Crispy M&Ms
  7. Recipe: Peppermint Stick Layer Cake


Name: Birthday Cake Milk Chocolate M&Ms
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Mars
Place Purchased: CVS (Park LaBrea)
Price: $3.99
Size: 8 ounces
Calories per ounce: 140
Categories: Candy, Mars, Chocolate, Kosher, M&Ms, 5-Pleasant, United States, Sav-On/CVS

POSTED BY Cybele AT 9:50 am     CandyReviewMarsChocolateKosherM&Ms5-PleasantUnited StatesSav-On/CVSComments (7)

Monday, January 6, 2014

Revisit Reviews: Pretzel M&Ms, Rally Bar and Snickers Rockin’ Nut Road

Every once in a while candies get a revamp, so I like to revisit them. Here are a few that caught my eye.

Pretzel M&Ms - Now with More Pretzel Taste

Pretzel M&Ms were introduced in 2010 (original review) and have done well enough for Mars that they have continued as part of their regular repertoire, even getting seasonal color varieties for the holidays. I noticed a new version on shelves that advertised “now more pretzel taste.” Since I was able to find the previous version, I thought I’d taste them side-by-side. They have similar “best before” dates.

Original Pretzel M&Ms (Left) Pretzel M&Ms - Now with More Pretzel Taste (Right)

They look identical. The originals are on the left and the new version are on the right. Same colors, same shape, same size.

Original Pretzel M&Ms (Left) Pretzel M&Ms - Now with More Pretzel Taste (Right)

It is striking how much better the new ones are. The new ones are crunchier, taste lighter and airier yet have more of that malty, pretzel toasted coating. There was no difference I could see in the ingredients or in the new nutrition panel. They’re still a pretty low calorie candy treat, at only 150 calories per package, they’re pretty satisfying without being too fatty. (Of course the portion is only 1.14 ounces, but there’s a lot going on with the textures.)

The original rating stands at 7 out of 10. They’re not perfect and I still don’t think I’ve bought them since the first introduction (though I eat them when given a sample package, which happens once or twice a year). I still go for the Almond M&Ms when given the chance.

Hershey's Rally Bar

Hershey’s Rally Bar is a strange sort of candy bar in that it appears and disappears on store shelves with little notice. It’s a Hershey’s candy bar, first test marketed in the late 1960s, it was in wide distribution by 1970 across the country. The advertising theme was: Reach Me a Rally Bar, the Milk Chocolate Covered Nut Roll for the Man-Sized Appetite as well as the more gender-neutral The Crowded Candy Bar. This was one of the Hershey Corporation’s earliest attempts at advertising, before this they stood with the founder’s position that a quality product would sell itself. More about the Rally Bar on Collecting Candy.

Rally BarThe candy bar has no real package identity to adhere to in this reissue. This is what it looked like back in 2008 and this is what it looked like in 2004. The new one doesn’t even mention the name Hershey on the front. I picked it up at Walgreen’s as an exclusive item.

Though it was probably a chocolate candy bar when it was introduced, by the 2004 wrapper it was evident that this was a mockolate item. (Here’s my original review.)

This is smaller than the 2.2 ounce bar I tried back in 2008. This is 1.66 ounces (which is actually a good size for me). It smells like peanuts. The fudgy center is like a nougat, it’s soft and chewy with little flavor of its own. The peanuts are Payday-like, they’re crunchy, though not quite as salty. The chocolatey coating actually has a hint of salt, keeping it from being sickly sweet. Overall, it’s an okay bar but I don’t see it as that different from a Baby Ruth.

I stand by my previous rating of 6 out of 10.

Snickers Rockin' Nut RoadThere was a time when there were oodles of limited edition candies - not a month went by in the late Aughts that the major candy companies didn’t present a flavor twist on one of their tried and true candies. Snickers alone went through many iterations including: Shrek (green nougat), Indiana Jones (spiced nougat), Charged (caffeinated), 3X (chocolate nougat, chocolate caramel), Fudge (chocolate fudge instead of nougat), Xtreme (no nougat) and Nut n Butter Crunch (peanut buttery nougat).

The Snickers Rockin’ Nut Road changed up a few items in the standard Snickers Bar. First, they replaced the milk chocolate coating with dark chocolate. I approve. Second, they replaced the peanuts with almonds. I find this to be a good substitution. Third, they changed the lightly peanut butter nougat with a smoother marshmallow nougat. Definitively goes with the other two items. The structure is the same - nutty nougat on the bottom, caramel on the top and covered in chocolate. 

Snickers Rockin' Nut Road

I gave these an 8 out of 10 rating last time (full review) and I fully endorse them again this time. The nougat is smoother than the 3 Musketeers style and the crunch of the almonds is great. It’s more of a variation on the classic Mars Bar, but I won’t quibble with Mars if they want to bring this back. (In fact, I prefer it to the standard Snickers Almond, which replaced the Mars bar).

Related Candies

  1. Liddabit Sweets - Candy Bars
  2. Pretzel M&Ms
  3. Short & Sweet: Bites & Bites
  4. Rally Bar
  5. ReeseSticks (Revisit)
  6. Revisit: Take 5, Sunkist Fruit Gems & Snickers Almond
  7. Snickers Rockin’ Nut Road Bar

POSTED BY Cybele AT 2:03 pm     CandyReviewHershey'sMarsCaramelChocolateCookieKosherM&MsNougatNutsPeanuts6-Tempting7-Worth It8-TastyUnited StatesSav-On/CVSWalgreen'sComments (2)

Friday, January 3, 2014

M&Ms Milk Chocolate Red Velvet

M&Ms Milk Chocolate Red VelvetM&Ms Milk Chocolate Red Velvet are a Valentine’s limited edition available only at Walmart this year. (I bought mine on eBay.)

Red Velvet cake is made with buttermilk and vinegar plus some cocoa. It’s not a rich chocolate cake, just a lightly chocolate cake with a tangy note to it. The fact that it’s red is really inconsequential to the flavor. The color can be created naturally or using artificial food coloring. The cake is usually frosted with a cream cheese icing or browned butter icing.

Ingredients:milk chocolate (sugar, chocolate, skim milk, cocoa butter, lactose, milkfat, soy lecithin, salt, artificial flavors) sugar, cornstarch, less than 1% - corn syrup, dextrin, coloring (red 40, blue 2, blue 1, blue2, yellow 6, yellow 5), gum acacia, artificial and natural flavors.

I’m not much of a cake fan in the first place and Red Velvet is so low on my list that I’d probably prefer not to eat anything at all. Just to be really diligent about this, I went to Sprinkles, a cupcake bakery, and picked up a Red Velvet Cupcake to remind myself what the heck this is supposed to taste like. The Sprinkles website says that they’ve added extra cocoa to theirs and chose a cream cheese frosting. 

Sprinkles Red Velvet Cupcake

The cake is moist and bouncy with a good crumb. The cream cheese frosting is what really prevails here. It’s wonderfully smooth and fresh, the only hint of sugary grain is in the crust, but the rest has a pleasant tangy note to the milky sweetness. The cake itself has a sort of corn meal flavor to it, it’s slightly floral, not terribly sweet and overall ... just nice. Not chocolatey, a little on the vanilla side. But nothing I’d get really excited about.

M&Ms Milk Chocolate Red Velvet

Now that I had something to compare it to, I figured I was prepared to complete my review.

The pieces come in three colors: maroon, red and white. They’re the larger, chunky M&Ms, which are inconsistent sizes. Some are the size of regular M&Ms, but most are super-sized.

The centers are milk chocolate with a light tangy note to them. They’re not more chocolatey, and as you can see from the ingredients above, they didn’t alter their milk chocolate recipe to include buttermilk. They seem like they have more of a vanilla note, like poundcake.

M&Ms Milk Chocolate Red Velvet

If someone just gave these to me without any clue about the special flavoring, I wouldn’t have picked Red Velvet. At this point I’m curious about how different this will taste from the upcoming Birthday Cake M&Ms. (I’ll set some aside for comparison when those come out in May 2014.) I think it’s a nice idea for Valentine’s Day, a little less run-of-the-mill, but if Russell Stover has had a Red Velvet seasonal piece on store shelves for two seasons, perhaps they’re not really on trend, just slightly behind it.

Red Velvet M&Ms contain milk and soy and may contain traces of peanuts, almond and wheat (in addition to listed artificial colors and unknown artificial flavors). Though Mars has a plan for certified sourcing of their cacao, M&Ms have not yet been added to that list.

M&Ms Store - Times Square - Wide

Since Mars’ M&Ms team seems to be running out of flavors, let me see if I can make some suggestions: Milk Chocolate Cappuccino, Milk Chocolate Cookies n’ Creme, Milk Chocolate German Chocolate Cake, Milk Chocolate S’mores, Milk Chocolate Banana, Milk Chocolate Chai Latte, Milk Chocolate Creme Brulee, Dark Chocolate Chili Pepper, Dark Chocolate Amaretto, White Chocolate Peanut Butter, White Chocolate Strawberry Cheesecake, White Chocolate Lemon Meringue, White Chocolate Key Lime. All of my previous reviews for M&Ms that actually exist are here.

Related Candies

  1. Peanut M&Ms Intense 65% Cacao
  2. Russell Stover Red Velvet Santa
  3. Godiva Cake Truffles
  4. Limited Edition Strawberried Peanut Butter M&Ms
  5. M&Ms Premiums
  6. 3 Musketeers Cherry & Raspberry
  7. M&Ms Razzberry - Limited Edition
  8. Cherry Almondine M&Ms


Name: M&Ms Milk Chocolate Red Velvet
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Mars
Place Purchased: eBay seller boorbin
Price: $7.99 including shipping
Size: 9.9 ounces
Calories per ounce: 140
Categories: Candy, Valentines, Mars, Chocolate, Kosher, M&Ms, 6-Tempting, United States

POSTED BY Cybele AT 2:24 pm     CandyReviewValentinesMarsChocolateKosherM&Ms6-TemptingUnited StatesComments (10)

Monday, December 2, 2013

M&Ms Milk Chocolate Gingerbread

M&Ms Milk Chocolate GingerbreadThe hot flavor trend this season is gingerbread. Well, not as hot as pumpkin spice, which spans Halloween and Christmas holidays. There’s little difference between the spices in pumpkin pie and gingerbread, though the proportions of the actual spices are often different and gingerbread has a background of molasses or brown sugar.

The M&Ms Milk Chocolate Gingerbread are sold only at Walmart this season, though their companion Twix Gingerbread are sold at most stores stocking seasonal bagged candy.

The design on the front of the package looks like most of the other holiday M&Ms. In this instance the Red M&M is just holding a plate with a gingerbread cookie and pointing at it. Kind of lazy.

M&Ms Milk Chocolate Gingerbread

The Gingerbread M&Ms are a milk chocolate base with some spices added in. They come in three colors, red, green and brown. Not terribly exciting. The milk chocolate is the normal sweet stuff, creamy but on the fudgy and sugary side. The added spices give it a warm flavor but nothing distinct. Maybe there’s ginger, maybe some cinnamon, allspice and nutmeg. They add a light chalky note to the texture but I didn’t specifically get any ginger or black pepper in there.

DSC_4482rb

What would have been extraordinary would have been a real piece of gingerbread, in the format of the Pretzel M&Ms. Or Sugar Cookie, or Snickerdoodle. There are so many exciting seasonal variations on the cookie center that could be accomplished. Even just the Pretzel M&M with this flavored chocolate on the outside would have propelled this to another level of specialness.

Intellectually, I know they’re not the same as the Pumpkin Spice M&Ms from earlier this year, but they don’t feel that different - just swap out the orange ones for red and tone down the cinnamon. No, Mars still hasn’t come out with the Egg Nog White Chocolate M&Ms I’ve been longing for. I guess they’re just not into nutmeg.

Today is the day many blogs decided to review the new M&Ms Milk Chocolate Gingerbread. The Impulsive Buy and ZOMG, Candy! would be the two that I’ve seen so far and previously Junk Food Guy and Serious Sweets. I think most of us are agreed, it’s a nice idea but not really a great M&M.

Related Candies

  1. Twix Gingerbread
  2. M&Ms Pumpkin Spice
  3. Peeps Gingerbread Men
  4. Kraft Jet-Puffed Marshmallows + Vanilla, Cinnamon Bun, Strawberry, Chocolate Royale, Gingerbread
  5. Limited Edition M&Ms Cinnamon Milk Chocolate
  6. Crispy M&Ms
  7. Pretzel M&Ms


Name: M&Ms Milk Chocolate Gingerbread
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Mars
Place Purchased: samples from Mars (but sold only at Walmart this season)
Price: 2.49 retail
Size: 9.9 ounces
Calories per ounce: 140
Categories: Candy, Christmas, Mars, Chocolate, Kosher, M&Ms, 7-Worth It, United States

POSTED BY Cybele AT 12:33 pm     CandyReviewChristmasMarsChocolateKosherM&Ms7-Worth ItUnited StatesComments (4)

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Peanut M&Ms Intense 65% Cacao

M&Ms Intense 65% CacaoMy European candy blogging friends latched onto a new product last year, the Peanut M&Ms Intense 65% Cacao which are made in France but sold in quite a few European countries. When I had the opportunity to do a candy swap with Kristian at CandyBrain.de, this was on my wishlist of items.

I have to admit that the United States has the most diverse selection of M&MS, and we’ve even had Dark Chocolate Peanut M&Ms in stores before. So, I was mightily surprised to see that France got 65% cacao M&Ms before we did.

The bag is pretty big, with 9 ounces in a stand up gusset package. Instead of the zip top that many snack sized packages are getting the US, this on has a little sticker on the back you can peel off to use to hold it closed after you roll the top down.

Peanut M&Ms Intense 65% Cacao

The color variety for these is interesting. I looked at the ingredient panel to check if these were all natural, and it appears that it’s nearly so. I looked up all the colorings and found the following listed:

e100 is Turmeric, a yellow-orange dye (derived from plants)
e120 is Carmine, a red dye (derived from insects)
e132 is Indigo Carmine, a blue dye (derived from plants)
e133 is Brilliant Blue, a blue dye (synthetic)
e160e is Apocarotenal, a red-orange dye (derived from plants)
e162 is Beetroot Red, a purple dye (derived from plants)
e171 is Titanium dioxide, a white pigment (derived from minerals)

Here’s the weird thing about the coloring used on the shells. I could tell what some of the colors were without looking by the taste. The red one had a banana note and the orange one had a hint of curry.

Peanut M&Ms Intense 65% Cacao

The shell is quite the same as in the US version. It’s crunchy and not too thick but doesn’t crack easily. They smell nicely of cocoa and a hint of roasted peanuts. The chocolate inside is quite dark, with an immediate bitter note and a little bit of a dry undertone. It’s creamy and a little chalky but not in a grainy way. The peanuts however, were weird. I found most of mine were over-roasted, too dark, bitter and just plain ... well, not right. Maybe they’re not American peanuts, which I admit I’m quite acclimated to.

I wanted to like these more than I did, though I had no trouble eating them all. Of course the fact that they’re not available in the United States solves any issues I’d have if I did love them a little too much. Now ... maybe if they started putting Marcona almonds or Hazelnuts in there along with the dark chocolate ... then we might have something that would drive me to order from eBay regularly. I would be even better if the M&Ms World Stores would stock these international versions.

Some other reviews in the local territories:
CandyBrain (German)
Frau Shopping (German)
Grocery Gems (UK)
Foodstuff Finds (UK)

Related Candies

  1. Sugarfina: The Chocolates
  2. UNREAL #41 & #54 Candy Coated Chocolates
  3. Crispy M&Ms
  4. William diCarlo Perle di dolcezza
  5. M&Ms Premiums: Dark Chocolate
  6. Boston Baked Beans
  7. Dark Chocolate Peanut M&Ms


Name: Peanut M&Ms Intense 65% Cacao
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Mars
Place Purchased: candy swap with CandyBrain.de!
Price: unknown
Size: 9 ounces
Calories per ounce: 147
Categories: Candy, Mars, Chocolate, M&Ms, Peanuts, 7-Worth It, France

POSTED BY Cybele AT 3:33 pm     CandyReviewMarsChocolateM&MsPeanuts7-Worth ItFranceComments (3)

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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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