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Mockolate

A faux chocolate product that contains some but not all the components necessary to be considered true chocolate. Mockolate is most often missing cocoa butter, which creates a frustrating illusion of chocolate but little of the taste or mouthfeel.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Ice Cubes

Ice CubesAs a kid I loved Ice Cubes. They’re little squares of hazelnut mockolate. Their unique selling proposition included the fact that they were individual pieces that sold for 10 cents a piece and had a wild, cool feeling on the tongue when they melted instantly.

I remember buying them at the student union on the Kent State University campus when I was a kid waiting for my mother to be done with classes or my father to be done with work. (I usually panhandled to get the money to buy them, I was pretty shameless in the lengths I would go to get my fix.) Later when I was in college on my own I would use my meal points at the Jolly Giant Commons to buy these by the tub.

The little candies have been around since the mid-thirties, made in Germany by a small company called Nappo and sold by Albert’s in the States. They’re similar to the Caffarel Gianduia, except for the fact that they’re made with partially hydrogenated coconut oil instead of nut paste and chocolate.

Ice Cubes Stack

I was really excited to find these looking so smart and crisp at The Candy Store in San Francisco on Friday. I see them every once in a while, but they always look sad and melted. The Candy Store had a whole jar of pristine looking Ice Cubes in both wrappers (they’re switching to a gold wrapper from the traditional blue and white so there’s a crossover right now).

They don’t smell like much, a little sweet, a little nutty, but nothing like chocolate. They have a soft bite and an immediate hit of cool on the tongue. They melt quickly (as partially hydrogenated coconut oil has a melting point of 76 degrees F) and have a decent mix of nutty flavors, a little milkiness and a little hit of cocoa. A little grainy, they’re not quite as good as I remember.

Now, for the sobering part. Read the ingredients: partially hydrogenated coconut oil, sugar, low fat cocoa, dried sweet whey, soy flour, hazelnut paste, soy lecithin, artificial vanilla flavor.

There is no nutritional info included with these, but this page tells me that just one of them is 22% of my daily value of saturated fat (65 calories).

So while I enjoyed this little trip back in time to taste those little cubes of obsession and trans fats, now that I’m all grown up and have found good sources of candy, I don’t think I’ll ever eat these again now that I’ve found Caffarel Gianduias. (The traditional ones are perfect, the novelty shaped ones are fun & make a cute stocking stuffer.) In fact, at The Candy Store the price for Caffarel and Ice Cubes was identical ... 75 cents each. I bought a handful of Fig and Chestnut ones ... something I’ll feel a little less guilty about eating.

Related Candies

  1. Milka Alpenmilch
  2. Nutpatch Nougats
  3. Ferrero Mon Cheri
  4. Lake Champlain Hazelnut Eggs
  5. Scharffen Berger Gianduja
Name: Ice Cubes
    RATING:
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 6 TEMPTING
  • 5 PLEASANT
  • 4 BENIGN
  • 3 UNAPPEALING
  • 2 APPALLING
  • 1 INEDIBLE
Brand: Albert's (made by Nappo)
Place Purchased: The Candy Store (San Francisco)
Price: $.75
Size: .39 ounces
Calories per ounce: 168
Categories: Mockolate, Nuts, Germany, Albert's

POSTED BY Cybele AT 8:36 am     Comments (39)

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Andes Mints & Dessert Indulgence

Andes MintsOne of my favorite candies as a teen were Andes Creme De Menthe Thins.

I’d buy them by the tray, which was usually about 99 cents at the IGA that I rode my bike past on my way home from my art class on weekends. They seemed a suitable treat for a budding artist. Wrapped in pretty foil ... named for a mountain range in Peru, but called by the French liquor flavor creme de menthe. At that time in my life I despised alcohol, except for a drizzle of Creme de Menthe on vanilla ice cream.

Over the years those tray package became more expensive and they started putting fewer candies in there. I recently bought a box for $1.00 and it had a scant 2 ounces in it ... but hey, it was back to the original price point! The candy is mockolate with a mint confection in the middle. They make a pretty cross section of dark looking chocolate flavored coating and the light green stuff in the middle. They have a cool feeling on the tongue and of course a pleasant mintiness that doesn’t overwhelm.

Andes Dessert IndulgenceRestaurants that serve them with the bill may even be perceived as classy. (Well, it’s classier than getting nothing at all!) The Tootsie site even claims that Andes Mints are the number one selling after dinner mint. I wonder what the number one before dinner mint is? I give them a solid 6 out of 10 as an adult, but back when I was a kid they were probably an 8 out of 10.

Andes has come out with a few other versions over the years ... none that I’ve tried. But I saw a display of the new Andes Dessert Indulgence at the All Candy Expo and was fixed up with ample samples. The Limited Edition Dessert Indulgence array comes in an 8.5 ounce bag with an assortment of three flavors: Raspberry Cream, Lemon Meringue and Key Lime.

Each piece is individually sealed in a plastic wrapper instead of wrapped in foil. They’re substantially bigger than a standard Andes Mint as well. Why? I have no idea. But the base ingredients are still the same: sugar and partially hydrogenated oils.

Andes Mint & Dessert IndulgenceKey Lime has only two layers, a base of light green and then a top level of a lighter green with little flavor crystals which is kind of like faux zest. The scent is fresh, like limes. However, as most folks who have had both key limes and more commonly used Persian lime there is a difference. Key Limes have a deeper flavor and a strange thick consistency to their juice. Persian limes have a high intensity and clear flavored tartness and a wonderfully bitter zesty flavor. This tastes like Persian lime ... or Lime Blossom candles.

Dessert IndulgenceLemon Meringue flavor should be characterized by a nice tart custard with a balancing toasted meringue that is less that a sweet complement and more of a fluffy cooling bath for the mouth. The Lemon smelled, like the lime, a bit floral and pleasant enough for me to want to stick a wick in it. The texture evoked similar feelings, as it wasn’t nearly as creamy as I’d hoped. It did have a pleasant tartness to it, but not that toasted, almost marshmallow flavor to complement it.

Raspberry Cream was such a disappointment. It smelled really strong ... too strong. The ingredient list does boast “freeze dried raspberry puree” and I have no doubt about that. The waxy texture and overly sweet start is then met by a strong taste of chopsticks ... or dried grass clippings. I know what the taste is, it’s raspberry seeds. It’s that taste you get when you puree unstrained raspberries and the seeds get in there, but in this case they became a really noticeable flavor. Hey, maybe it added some fiber!

Sometimes I like “white confections” but in this case, I felt pretty sick after eating five of them while typing them up (I’ve had about 10 total since I took the photos over the weekend). They just didn’t sit well with me. I really wanted them to be something else, which is always a bad idea. I should just accept them unconditionally for what they are. But they don’t have cocoa butter in them and the flavors are just ... well, not satisfying to me, not enough to get me to eat any more of them. So into the Limited Edition Giveaway they go! They only get a 4 out of 10.

Each piece contains 50 calories (regular Andes Mints have only 25 each).

Related Candies

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  4. Terry’s Chocolate Orange Confection
  5. Mountain - Regular & Raspberry
Name: Andes Mints & Limited Edition Dessert Indulgence
    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 & samples from All Candy Expo
Price: $1.00 & Unknown
Size: 2 ounces & 8.5 ounces
Calories per ounce: 150 & 158
Categories: Mockolate, Mint, United States, Tootsie, Kosher

POSTED BY Cybele AT 11:58 am     Comments (22)

Monday, October 22, 2007

Sixlets & Limited Edition Dark Chocolate Flavored Sixlets

Chocolate Flavored SixletsHere’s one of those candies that I only saw in my Trick-or-Treat haul: Sixlets. Oh sure, they were probably in stores that I frequented. They come in a variety of packets, including the “changemaker” size that holds eight little candy spheres and used to sell for a two cents.

The big reason I shunned Sixlets was I was never quite sure what they were. Are they like M&Ms? Are they candy coated peanuts? Are they a jawbreaker?

Eating them never really answered those questions. They definitely don’t have nuts in them, but taste a little nutty. They’re not like M&Ms, though there is a chocolate-like center. They’re not jawbreakers, in fact the shell is pretty thin.

Chocolate Flavored SixletsSixlets are currently made by Oak Leaf, who makes bubble gum and other confections in Canada that are usually sold in bulk and dispensed in gumball machines that are sold by the handful. Before that they were made by Hershey’s, which purchased the Ovation brand that made Sixlets under management of Leaf (they also made Whoppers, which Hershey’s kept).

Sixlets are certainly cute. They come in vivid colors: Yellow, Green, Red, Orange and Brown. They’re spherical and consistent looking, with a shiny candy shell. The center is a malty-flavored mockolate. Made from partially hydrogenated palm kernel oil, sugar and milk protein, they’re not really that appealing as a confectionery item to eat on their own. Cocoa powder is way down at the fifth position on the list of ingredients. The candy shells are pretty ordinary, except for the orange one, which has a light orange flavor to it (just as Smarties from the UK do). The mockolate barely has a chocolate taste, and the whole thing is a little grainy and a bit greasy.

What they lack in taste they more than make up for with economy and portion control. What other candy comes in little tubes of 8 pieces? Not to mention the fact that each little tube has only 35 calories!

Limited Edition Dark Chocolate Flavored SixletsWhy Oak Leaf came out with the Limited Edition Dark Chocolate Flavored Sixlets is beyond me. The regular ones barely taste like chocolate and any health benefits of “dark chocolate” will be ruined by the use of partially hydrogenated vegetable oil.

The package is attractive, the Sixlets mascot is some sort of an insect ... well, maybe he’s an insect, he only has four legs. And he wears glasses ... and wants us to eat one of his segments.

These little packets were unmarked. Just generic clear cellophane tubes with little unbranded spheres inside.

Dark Chocolate Flavored SixletsThey are similarly attractive to their original counterparts, with a light brown shell in the mix instead of a yellow one. The orange is also orange flavored here as well.

The taste of the “dark chocolate” isn’t really noticeably different from the regular Sixlets. They’re just as disappointing as the regular Sixlets ... except that I paid for this whole bag (I picked the other little guys up at the All Candy Expo).

There are differing stories about why they’re called Sixlets. The current packaging has them in tubes with 8 pieces or 20. Some folks say that they used to come in tubes that had six for a penny. Others say that they came in boxes that had six individual boxes in each package and that’s how they were written up in the wholesale catalogs. It could be that someone just thought it sounded like a good name ... maybe they were into numerology. The number six represents “Reaction/flux. Responsibility” according to Wikipedia. If anyone else has any theories, I’m happy to entertain them.

Caitlin at Candy Addict has a great fondness for them and Bad-Candy.com, well, thinks they’re bad.

Like them if you will ... just don’t call them chocolate. They might be good for decorating ... the rest of these are going in the Trick-or-Treat bowl (don’t worry, I’ll give the kids something good and just slip these in while they’re not looking).

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Name: Sixlets & Dark Chocolate Flavored Sixlets
    RATING:
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 6 TEMPTING
  • 5 PLEASANT
  • 4 BENIGN
  • 3 UNAPPEALING
  • 2 APPALLING
  • 1 INEDIBLE
Brand: Oak Leaf
Place Purchased: samples + RiteAid
Price: $1.19
Size: 5 ounces
Calories per ounce: 142
Categories: Mockolate, Canada, Limited Edition, Halloween, Kosher

POSTED BY Cybele AT 7:06 am     Comments (22)

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Peeps Monster Mash Ups

Peeps & SixletsI’ve been planning another Peeps Mash Up for a while and thought that Halloween was the perfect opportunity for a Monster Mash Up.

I even went out and bought the new Peeps Spooky Friends, thinking it’d be so fun to have the variety of the different shapes. Alas, Peeps Spooky Friends are not terribly mashable. However, the Candy Blog Candy Archives is always prepared, and I was able to pull out my trusty Peeps Yellow Bunnies as a stand in. (They also photograph better than the conjoined Peeps Ghosts.)

If you’ve never done a Peeps Mash Up, the recipe is simple. Pull a Peep apart to reveal the sticky innards. Then press that sticky puff into a dish or package of something ... consume.

image

First up is Oreos & Peeps which was a combo I wanted to try for a while. Cookies and Cream is a nice combo that seems to go so well with ice cream, how could it be bad with Peeps? I tried it two different ways, the first was crumbling Oreos, as shown and mashing them into the crumbs. What I found is that I didn’t care for the cream part in there ... the closeness of the texture and graininess to the Peep itself wasn’t distinctive enough. Instead, the way to do a Peep & Oreo Mash is to open your Oreo, scrape the cream off with your teeth, then place the whole Peep on one side, replace the cookie topper, mash down and consume.

The darkness of the cookie, the little hit of salt and of course the sandy crunch of the Peep makes an excellent combination. (And completely redeems my opinion of Oreos after last month’s tasting of the new Cakesters.)

I give them an 8 out of 10.

Cocoa KrispiesHow about more crunchy cocoa for Peeps? I hit upon the idea of breakfast cereals and Peeps. After all, some breakfast cereals already have marbits (marshmallow+bits) in them.

I picked up a mini-mix pack from Kellogg’s (as they seem to be the only company that still makes them). First up, Cocoa Krispies & Peeps.

Cocoa Krispies are ideal for this snack, as they’re small and adhere easily to the exposed sticky marshmallow. They’re lightly crunchy, though a little sweet without enough cocoa contribution. I give them a 6 out of 10.

Peeps & Apple JacksI was never a big fan of Apple Jacks as a cereal as a kid. I so rarely got to eat sweetened cereals, this was pretty far down on my list. (Cap’n Crunch was my favorite, followed by Froot Loops.) Would Apple Jacks & Peeps change my mind?

The simplicity of the flavors Apple Jacks, a little apple, a little cinnamon, actually sets off the flavorless Peep really well. They larger loops though, don’t hang onto the Peep quite as well, so smashing them a little to break the Os is a big help.

It helps that Apple Jacks had a pretty good jingle. (A is for apple, J is for Jacks, Cinnamon-toasty Apple Jacks! You need a complete breakfast, that’s a fact. Start it off with Apple Jacks. Apple Jacks! Apple Jacks! Ten vitamins and minerals-that’s what it packs. Apple-tasty, crunchy, too! Kellogg’s Apple Jacks! Apple Jacks, Apple Jacks ...)

I give them a 5 out of 10.

Peeps & Frosted FlakesWhile Frosted Flakes & Peeps may sound like a pretty mundane treat, I have to say ... they’re great!

Even though the large flakes don’t stick well, the little bits do cling and still provide a good crunch. The thing I like best about this combo is that Corn Flakes have a wonderful dark, malty taste to them, and that sets off the lightly toasted sugar flavors of the marshmallow.

There’s also a little hit of salt in there, which mellows the more overt sugar. I think I might prefer an unfrosted Corn Flake in this case. But plain Rice Krispies are probably a good bet as well.

I give them a 7 out of 10.

It’s not illustrated here with a photo, but I also tried Corn Pops & Peeps. Once Corn Pops are removed from their packaging, even in a desert they immediately become sticky and tacky, so they’re an ideal item to Mash. Though they’re very sweet, their flavor profile matches Peeps really well. They have that lightly toasted flavor, but none of the malty, salty tones of the Corn Flakes. I give them a 7 out of 10.

They make a nice combo, though they don’t really have much of a visual appeal (but then again, neither to the Corn Flakes).

Peeps & Froot LoopsFroot Loops & Peeps has to be the Mash Up I was most looking forward to. Like the Apple Jacks, these loops are a little too big for good stickage, but a little crunching in the bowl helped.

The one thing that disappointed me though, was that Froot Loops have changed so much since I was a kid. Back then we only had three flavors ... Orange, Lemon and Cherry. They went together really well and looked like food. The modern Froot Loops, well, I just can’t get behind blue food. And I don’t like all my flavors mixed up, I just wanted some light citrus fruit flavors, not a whole jumble of a world-traveled fruit stand.

The fruity flavors, though, stood up very well to the sugary sweetness of the Peep.

In the future I’ll probably go with the generic brand of fruity loops that have more limited flavors ... because I’m a fuddy duddy.

I give them a 5 out of 10.

Peeps & Reese's PiecesI couldn’t ignore the wonderful advice on the last Mash Up post when I went looking for other mashable items.

The idea of wiping peanut butter on my Peeps wasn’t quite in the cards, but Reese’s Pieces & Peeps sounded like the perfect Mash Up. I heard that Reese’s has put out minis, but I can’t seem to find them. The larger Reese’s Pieces didn’t stick well to the Peeps, but the flavor combo of the lightly sweet peanut butter, the crunch of the shell and grainy sugar was a solid combo.

The colors also went really well. You’ve gotta give props when it comes to the appearance.

I give them a 8 out of 10.

The photo there at the top of this page is Sixlets, which are mockolate spheres covered in chocolate. Sixlets and Peeps also had a great deal of visual appeal with the muted fall colors and shiny shells. Sixlets have a natural coolness on the tongue, but not a very strong chocolate flavor. They stuck well to the marshmallow, but the overall effect was too sweet and not flavorful enough. I think I’ll stick to the original idea of M&Ms Minis.

I give them a 4 out of 10.

Peeps & Boston Baked BeansSince the nuttyness of the Reese’s Pieces went well, I thought maybe some Boston Baked Beans & Peeps would be a fun change of pace.

It’s been years since I’ve had BBB, and if you aren’t familiar with them, they’re candy coated peanuts. The candy coating is pretty thick, so some of them at first seem like jawbreakers. So the mixing of two vastly different densities has an odd and scary feeling to it. I’m afraid of chomping down too hard, lest the hardness of the BBB be too unyielding, but I also felt like I was practically gumming away the marshmallow and losing the texture and flavor combo.

I give them a 4 out of 10.

Peeps & Candy Cane Pop RocksFinally, even though this is a Christmas item, I was too tickled to contain myself when Pop Rocks sent me some new flavors to try.

Candy Cane Pop Rocks & Peeps seemed like the perfect Mash Up. Peeps is coming out with Peppermint Star Peeps later this year, but I so loved my Pop Rocks and Peeps earlier this year, I thought, what could be better than peppermint Pop Rocks and a nice mellow Peep.

Well, the main problem with this idea is that the Candy Cane Flavor Pop Rocks aren’t actually peppermint!

Say what? Seriously, what would you think if someone handed you this package? If you opened it and dumped out the contents and saw the above pile of pink and white Pop Rocks ... what flavor would you expect?

imageWould you expect Strawberry?

Yeah ... they’re strawberry. I have nothing against strawberry Pop Rocks and thought they rocked my Peep ... but I wanted Peppermint Pop Rocks and I’m completely annoyed that someone out there not only thinks that any pink flavor can be considered candy cane flavored, but that they wouldn’t actually SAY that on the package if it was so.

I give them a 3 out of 10 ... not because it was bad, but because I’m irritated.

The next Mash Up Round Up will focus on Savory & Spicy!

Related Candies

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POSTED BY Cybele AT 7:46 am     CandyMash UpPeepsRecipesReviewHalloweenCarbonatedChocolateCookieMarshmallowMockolatePeanutsComments (20)

Monday, October 1, 2007

Reese’s Whipps

Reese's WhippsOh, disappointment.

I had high hopes for the Reese’s Whipps bar. The bar goes something like this: light and fluffy peanut butter flavored nougat wrapped in a layer of peanut butter then coated in mockolate. Okay, I’m not completely certain it is mockolate, as the ingredients include chocolate, but it’s so low on the list, I have my doubts. Especially since they don’t list it as part of the description of the bar and say that this element is “Made with Smooth Chocolate.” Whether it is or not is immaterial because it’s flaky and not that good.

The bar is hefty at 1.9 ounces, just a little smaller than a 3 Musketeers (2.12 ounces) and wrapped in that unmistakable Reese’s orange.

A little blue triangle in the corner heralds that this bar has 40% less fat*. That * leads to the disclaimer that it contains 9 grams of fat versus 15 grams of fat for the average leading chocolate candy brands. I really want to know what they consider the leading chocolate candy brands, which I’m guessing are M&Ms, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, Snickers and Hershey Bars. The bar itself has 230 calories. But I’ll rant about that more a bit later.

image

The bar looks just like the wrapper promises. It smells lightly sweet and peanutty. The bite on the bar is soft, not stiff. The nougat inside has an immediate peanut butter flavor to it with a little salt and a kind of molasses darkness.

The peanut butter layer around that gives a little extra peanutty zazz to it. The mockolate adds nothing. It gives no chocolatey contribution to the thing, no creamy component, no milky, buttery texture. It merely contains the other two elements, that are actually pretty good. The only good thing about the glaze is that it’s used sparingly ... it’s ultra thin. You could probably shine a light through it.

Yes, with a good coating of real chocolate (like a 3 Musketeers), this could have been a standout bar.

But I guess my real disappointment is that they’ve grabbed a play from the book of 3 Musketeers and are calling it “lower in fat” without mentioning on the front that it contains pretty much the same number of calories as any other candy bar. I’ve made a little list of the size, calories and caloric density of the leading bars, arranged with the least dense at the top. Pay careful attention to the number of calories though, even if it’s not dense, it’s certainly big:

Candy Bar…..............size in grams….calories/cals per gram
York Peppermint Pattie…....39 grams…................140/3.59
3 Musketeers…..............60.4 grams…..............260/4.30
Reese’s Whipps…............53 grams…................230/4.34
M&Ms Peanut…...............49 grams…................220/4.49
Butterfinger…..............60 grams…................270/4.50
Snickers…..................58.7 grams…..............280/4.77
Reese’s Crispy Crunchy…....48 grams…................230/4.79
KitKat ......................43 grams…................210/4.88
Twix…......................57 grams…................280/4.91
Hersey’s Milk Chocolate…...60 grams…................300/5.00
M&Ms Milk Chocolate .........48 grams…................240/5.00
Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups…51 grams…................260/5.10

It’s pretty clear that the York Peppermint Pattie is the candy to have if you want straight carbs (no fat, no protein). 3 Musketeers does pretty well as does the Whipps, but remember, if there’s no fat and no protein it’s all sugars. While I find sugar to be wonderful, straight sugar doesn’t really provide much long-lasting satisfaction if you’re looking for a snack that’s a treat.

That chart means nothing if you don’t actually like the candy bar though. And this bar proves that Hershey’s does not need the FDA to change the definition of chocolate, they’re free to make a substandard product and try to sell it to us. Yeah, I’m probably been pretty harsh, but this could have been a really good bar.

Shopping Jen found these at WalMart already and has a review posted here. I also saw these this weekend at Walgreen’s (at two for a dollar!), so they’re in the wild now.

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Name: Reese's Whipps
    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: samples from All Candy Expo
Price: $.75 retail
Size: 1.9 ounces
Calories per ounce: 121
Categories: Mockolate, Peanuts, Nougat, United States, Hershey's, Reese's, Kosher

POSTED BY Cybele AT 6:54 am     Comments (32)

Monday, September 10, 2007

Candy Corn Kisses

Candy Corn KissesI browse eBay a lot, just to see what sort of candy is being sold. It’s a good place to “make a friend” in a particular area who can send you a special candy on a regular basis. Of course a good deal of the candy on eBay is also Limited Edition items, which can be devilish to find as inventories wear thin in parts of the country.

It’s also a great way for me to find out about newer Limited Editions. Like the Candy Corn Kisses that showed up there last week. I immediately searched all my best spots (RiteAid, WalMart, Target & CVS) with no results. So I emailed Hershey’s ... they confirmed that they exist at least.

Then yesterday I gave Target another try and there they were!

image

I must admit, they’re lovely. The wrappers are silver, yellow and orange with little flags that say Candy Corn.

Upon opening the bag I can only say that they stink to high heaven, like fake butter flavor (perhaps I should be concerned that there’s diacetyl in there and I’m going to get Pop Corn Workers Lung?).

Unwrapping the foil, they are super-cute layers just like candy corn. Wider on the bottom than normal candy corn, the proportions may be a little squat, the colors are also rearranged, with yellow on the bottom and orange in the middle, instead of the reverse. I can see why they did it though, it is a pleasant combo.

While I enjoy candy corn that has a slight honey or caramelized sugar taste to it, these go for the buttered corn flavor. I know that the Buttered Popcorn Jelly Belly is one of the most popular, but it’s never floated by boat. Same with this one ... a little caramely white chocolate would have made me very happy. This doesn’t. The fake butter just turns my stomach when I smell it. If I don’t smell it, then they’re not bad, not too sweet with a light little hit of salt.

Unlike many of the other white confection offerings from Hershey’s, these are not white chocolate (which has a cocoa butter base). The ingredients go like this:

Sugar, Vegetable Oil (Palm, Shea, Sunflower and/or Safflower Oil), Nonfat Milk, Lactose, Reduced Minerals Whey (from milk), Milkfat. Contains less than 2% or less of Natural and Artificial Color (Yellow 6, Yellow 5 Lake), Soy Lecithin, PGPR, Tocopherols (to maintain freshness).

I think the idea is cute and I could actually see these being a great cookie decoration (as suggested on the package with a peanut butter cookie recipe). Other than that, I’m going to just admire the photos and the idea and keep the package way from me. I couldn’t decide what rating to give this, mostly because my personal revulsion to fake butter flavor (it actually gives me a headache when someone makes microwave popcorn) is, well, a personal thing. The product is well executed ... I just wish they called them Butter Kisses and made them like real candy corn, not that Milk Maid Caramel Candy Corn. My nose said give them a two out of ten. But looking at the photos, I can’t help but bump it up to a four out of ten ... what can I say, I’m a sucker for design!

UPDATE 9/25/2007: I found out from Hershey’s that this is an item that they created exclusively for Target. So don’t bother looking anywhere else but Target & eBay for these.

UPDATE 9/5/2008: The Candy Corn Kisses have returned for 2008. I found them both at Target and Rite Aid, so they are enjoying a wider release this year.

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Name: Candy Corn 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 (Eagle Rock)
Price: $2.59
Size: 11 ounces
Calories per ounce: 152
Categories: Mockolate, United States, Hershey's, Kosher, Limited Edition, Halloween

POSTED BY Cybele AT 6:57 am     Comments (61)

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Nestle Crunch Crisp

Crunch CrispI had really high hopes for the new Nestle Crunch Crisp bar. I found it on Friday while I was filling my gas tank and wandered into the convenience store because it was so freakishly hot. (Okay, maybe it’s not freakishly hot, it was the end of June in Southern California, what should I have been expecting at four in the afternoon?)

The blue metallic wrapper is promising and describes this as “Crispy Wafers, Chocolate Creme.” Sadly, it also doesn’t list chocolate as an ingredient. Which leads me to wonder what the essential element is to be called part of the Nestle Crunch line of products ... apparently it’s not chocolate, it’s crisped rice. I’m sure there are volumes of marketing research that prove this.

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The bar consists of sturdy planks of bland wafers filled with a greasy and grainy chocolate cream, topped with some crisped rice and a slurry of thin mockolate (63% of your daily value of saturated fats!).

Here are the ingredients:

Sugar, Wheat Flour, Hydrogenated Coconut Oil, Hydrogenated Palm Kernel Oil, Alkalized Cocoa, Nonfat Milk, Crisped Rice (rice flour, sugar, barley malt, salt) and 1% or less of High Fructose Corn Syrup, Soy Lecithin, Artificial Vanilla Flavor, Salt, Baking Soda, Lactic Acid Esters, TBHC and Citric Acid, Ground Peanuts.

While this all comes off as rather negative, I think I might find this tasty when the ambient temperature is below 90 degrees. Even at 85 degrees, however, the bar was a slippery mess (this is one of the differences between mockolate and most chocolate). It was certainly creamy and the crispy wafers were distinct and crunchy. But the mockolate and chocolate creme just weren’t up to delivering any flavor to the mix. It wasn’t too sweet though, as the bland wafer and crispies were a good counterbalance to the mockolates. Honestly, the crispy wafers were good.

This would be an awesome bar if it were real. If there were some sort of real chocolate on there, something with character and depth, I could completely get behind it. In the mean time, I’m going to stick to my also-high-in-full-hydrogenated-oils Chocolatiers.

Candy companies are still getting the hang of this internet thing, so you can go to the website listed on the package, ForTheKidInYou.com, but I couldn’t find any mention of this bar there. On a slightly related note on the mockolate front, here’s an article from Reuters ... that Cebele May they mention, that’s me (plus Emily from Chocolate in Context!).

Related Candies

  1. Baby Ruth Crisp & Nestle Crisp Bars
  2. Q.Bel Crispy Wafer Bars
  3. Wonka Tinglerz & Nestle Buncha Crunch
  4. Nestle Milk Chocolate
  5. Nestle Crunch (Now Even Richer Milk Chocolate)
  6. I Miss: Bar None
Name: Crunch Crisp
    RATING:
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 6 TEMPTING
  • 5 PLEASANT
  • 4 BENIGN
  • 3 UNAPPEALING
  • 2 APPALLING
  • 1 INEDIBLE
Brand: Nestle
Place Purchased: Shell station (Hollywood)
Price: $.85
Size: 1.74 ounces
Calories per ounce: 137
Categories: Mockolate, Cookie, United States, Nestle

POSTED BY Cybele AT 7:08 am     Comments (20)

Monday, April 30, 2007

Vertigo Pops

Vertigo PopsI’m not quite sure what’s going on here. I first saw these at the 99 Cent Only Store (but only in Strawberry). They’re billed as “candy and chocolate flavored pops” which I thought sounded kind of fun. Like a chocolate toffee lollipop.

The commercials aren’t really helpful, they call it half-crazy. And they have freaky & disturbing animation. Who are they aiming these at?

So maybe the wrapper will be helpful. There’s a little drawing of the candy on the package. But I don’t know what I’m looking at. Smacking the candy on the corner of the table reveals that one side is hard and the other isn’t. How about a look what they use to make them.

Ingredients: Sugar, Corn Syrup, Hydrogenated Palm Kernel Oil, Cocoa, Dry Whey, Natural and Artificial Flavors, Cocoa Processed with Alkalai, Skim Milk Powder, Buffered Lactic Acid, Soy Lecithin, Salt and Artificial Colors

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Well, after opening up the little packet it’s much more obvious what this is. One third of the pop is a swirl of hard candy with a boat of mockolate stuck to it.

Cookies and Cream - this has nothing to do with cookies and cream. Things can’t be cookie flavored. What makes cookies cookies is the texture, not the flavor. The mockolate boat here is mild and cool on the tongue. Sweet and not very chocolatey, it tastes more tropical, a little like coconut and a little like fudge. The sliver of candy is rather nice. Super smooth and a little tangy like yogurt. It’s sweet and bland but perhaps a little creamy.

Chocolate Caramel - well, this is not caramel flavored. The mockolate is the same on all of them. The candy part is tangy and sweet but missing all the caramel notes I would expect. I’m getting tangy, I’m getting maple or pecan, but definitely not caramel.

Chocolate Strawberry - finally the tangy bite works with the flavor. The strong and fake strawberry flavor completely overshadows the mockolate.

imageThe long narrow shape is pleasant for a pop, it certainly fits in the mouth better. The candy part is actually really good. It’s superdense so it’s great for a pleasant and smooth feeling on the tongue and if you’re a cruncher it’s also really easy to chew.

The quality is apparent here with just about every element. They’re nicely packaged, the metallic plastic wrapper protects and is easy to open. The sassy plastic stick means that the stick doesn’t dissolve while you’re still eating the pop. Even the name is pretty good, the swirly colors support the name Vertigo (which is a fancy way of saying dizzy).

But the candy quality goes astray with the mockolate. It’s just ghastly. I ate it, but I’m certainly not happy about it.

I would certainly buy this if it was just a hard toffee pop, like the See’s Pops (except these are actually smoother). But as a mostly mockolate product, I just can’t get behind it.

Note: Topps is an American company, but these candies were made in China.

Name: Vertigo Pops
    RATING:
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 6 TEMPTING
  • 5 PLEASANT
  • 4 BENIGN
  • 3 UNAPPEALING
  • 2 APPALLING
  • 1 INEDIBLE
Brand: Topps
Place Purchased: samples from Topps
Price: retail $.50 each
Size: .6 ounces
Calories per ounce: 133
Categories: Mockolate, Hard Candy, United States, Topps

POSTED BY Cybele AT 5:46 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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COUNTDOWN

Candy Season Ends (Easter)

2 days

 

 

 

Which seasonal candy selection do you prefer?

Choose one or more:

  •   Halloween
  •   Christmas
  •   Valentine's Day
  •   Easter

 

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ON DECK

These candies will be reviewed shortly:

• Patric Chocolate

• Amano Chocolates

• Candy Rant: Stimulants are not Energy

• Candy Encyclopedia: The Difference Between Gummi and Jelly

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

 

 

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