Friday, July 15, 2005
Name: Butterfinger Crisp
I’ve always been fond of wafer and creme cookies. They’re a pure blast of sugar in a rather bland styrofoamy cookie. I figured this bar was similar to that, only butterfingery.
Essentially there are bland wafers with a butterfinger creme which is a sweet peanut butter flavored concoction. The whole bar is then enrobed in a chocolatey wax and some more crumbled “crunchety” bits.
What I can say, beyond the fact that this bar is a great mix of textures, is that it’s salty. I know that sounds like a weird thing to mention, but there’re 140 mgs of salt in this bar. Don’t get me wrong, I think that the salt is a great complement to the flavors in this bar, but it’s very noticeable.
That aside, the crisp wafers and smooth and strongly peanutty creme is a great combo and if I could just find that as a cookie, I’d be pretty happy. What makes this a candy bar though, is that they dipped the whole thing in some sort of chocolate flavored wax (similar to what they put on Butterfingers). This waxy coating is the reason I don’t enjoy Butterfingers. In fact, if you gave me a Butterfinger, I’d probably scrape the chocolate off and enjoy the great peanut butter crisp center. I couldn’t even find any mention of the chocolately coating in the description of the bar on the Butterfinger site, so they must not think it’s much of a selling point either.
What I should mention is that the bar I tried was manufactured in Venezuela. I don’t know if this is the norm for all bars sold in the states of if it’s how I was able to purchase a normally 75 cent bar for 33 cents. (And it was fresh.)
In general, if I feel like a nutty crisp bar covered in chocolate, I go for a 5th Avenue.
Rating - 6 out of 10
Friday, June 24, 2005
Name: Nestle’s Original Swiss Chocolate
Nestle is known for their milk chocolate and for good reason, the original Swiss chocolate that made them famous is a great chocolate bar. It’s consistently good with a strong milky flavor, smooth and sweet. It’s not easy to find in the states, and if I’m feeling like a European-style milk chocolate bar I usually pick up a Cadbury.
I found this assortmet at Target. (I actually saw it a few months ago but waited until last weekend to pick it up.) The little box says that it’s the perfect gift to share a perfect expression of authentic Swiss chocolate taste. I’m prone to agree that this is a nice hostess gift for someone that likes milk chocolate. Easy to share, and a good assortment.
Inside are seven different varieties, with what seemed like a majority of them being lavender-wrapped lait-milch. There are also milk with almonds, milk with hazelnuts, extrafine dark chocolate and white chocolate. The other curiosities within were one called Dessert which was milk chocolate with hazelnut creme (kind of like a nutella bar if they made them). I really love the combo of hazelnuts and chocolate (Nestle also owns Baci/Perugina now). The nutty, roasted notes of hazenuts go so well with chocolate. If I had my druthers I’d put more of them in the package than the plain milk bars. The other bar that I loved was the one called Chocmel which had chopped almonds and honey. Well, I don’t think it was just honey, I think it was some sort of honey nougat chips. It was very similar to a Toblerone bar, but the honey notes in the nougat chips was much more pronounced. Very good, in fact much smoother and less waxy than a Toblerone. I might pick up a bigger bar if I see this sometime.
Rating: 8 out of 10
Wednesday, June 15, 2005
I’ve seen these bars before, usually in import stores, and as I recall I picked up one or something similar in London when I was there. It’s basically a milk chocolate Nestle bar that’s been whipped into a froth and then quickly molded into a bar. It creates a bit of a lighter feeling treat than a dense chocolate bar.
What’s amazing about this is when you look at the bar unwrapped, it looks like a king sized bar, but it weighs about the same as a regular bar. It’s overwhelmingly sweet and chocolately smelling. Upon biting into it, it yields easily, more like marshmallow or fudge than chocolate. In fact, that’s what it resembles most to me, fudge. It’s definitely very chocolatey, a little sticky feeling in the mouth, but because of all the air, it melts fast, bursting on the tongue.
Note that because of the bubbles, I suspect that it’s a little more prone to softening in the summer warmth than other bars, so you might want to store this one in the fridge. In fact, I’ve heard that some folks prefer it that way.
On the whole, it was a pleasant bar. The chocolate is very milky, as European chocolate usually is and if you like that, you won’t be disappointed. I find European milk chocolate tastes a little like powdered milk to me which is not an entirely pleasant reminder.
My rating: 6 out of 10.
See also - taquitos.net review.
Wednesday, June 01, 2005
I can’t fault the candy manufacturers trying to tweak their most popular candies instead of reinventing the wheel. Sometimes they arrive at something that’s as good or even better than the original.
In the spirit of my recent review of the White Chocolate Reese’s, I picked up a few other reduxes.
Name: Nestle Crunch Dark
Very fresh, the crisps were crunchy and the bar was glossy and smooth. The chocolate was not waxy, but didn’t really have the melt-in-your mouth feel. The chocolate content was pretty good, but not quite enough to soothe me completely. Maybe it was a little sweet.
On the whole, I think crunch bars are perfect the way they are. Milk chocolate and crisped rice are perfect together. Why mess with it?
Name: White Chocolate Kit Kat
Again, there was nothing wrong with the original Kit Kat. This white Kit Kat seems a bit saltier, which helps to balance the bland sweetness of the white chocolate. It’s not something that I’d be interested in again.
Name: Milky Way Midnight
First, I congratulate them for spelling midnight correctly. This bar was very fresh but reminded me that I never cared much for Milky Ways because they’re too cloyingly sweet. I like Snickers, mostly because they mixing sweet and savory. Also, I don’t like candy bars that are too much sugar and not enough fat (and maybe a little protein thrown in). So, in that respect the dark version is much more successful. The richer taste of the chocolate balances the caramel and bland nougat much better.
I have to say, after having plenty of imported candies and things from the remainders at the 99 cent stores, having fresh candy really makes a difference. Even a middle-of-the-road candy like Hershey’s Kisses are better when they’re fresh. Candy’s a treat - if you are going to use those “discretionary” calories on something with no nutritional value, choose something fresh and satisfying. Life too short for bad dessert.
Tuesday, May 10, 2005
Name: Carlos V
First, I have to say that I appreciate the size of these bars. They’re not miniature sized and not full candy bar sized. They’re the right size. You can eat two and probably not feel bad about it.
The image of Carlos V on the front kind of creeps me out the same way that the Burger King pantomime character in the recent commercials does, but maybe you don’t have a problem with that.
Anyway, what’s inside is a small milk chocolate bar. It’s kind of a cross between a European Cadbury bar, with its sticky milkyness and an American Nestle bar with its strong chocolate flavor. It’s very sweet, but I know that’s most people’s attraction to milk chocolate over dark chocolate. It was not at all grainy and had a pleasant vanilla scent. It melted well on the tongue. Mostly what I got from it though is a taste of powdered milk - which if you don’t think about it too hard tastes kind of like malt. But don’t think too hard if you’re going to enjoy this bar, just eat it.
Rating: 6 out of 10.
Friday, April 29, 2005
Name: Chewy Centered Gobstopper
I guess it’s appropriate to visit the Wonka line of candies since there will be another movie soon. There are very few actual products out there, I reckon, that were created based on a novel. And more than a novelty, some of the Wonka candies are pretty good. The brand itself is an odd one, changing hands from time to time and amassing some other brands in the meantime (did you know that Bottle Caps are now Wonka products?).
Besides the odd history, I thought I’d do a little review of the Everlasting Gobstopper since I found that they’ve created a new version - the Chewy Centered Gobstopper.
First, a Gobstopper is a jawbreaker that has different flavored layers and in the center is a sweet-tart sphere. When I was a kid the Gobstoppers were large, like real jawbreakers. I haven’t seen those in years, but have been able to find the boxes of Gobstoppers that contain little marble sized versions. They come in bright colors and the layers change flavor three or four times before getting to the center. The flavor itself is rather bland, more sweet than tart, but it has a pleasant cooling feel to the smooth surface.
The Chewy Gobstopper has the same flavor except for the center, which is much larger, so the layers are fewer or thinner (I couldn’t figure it out because I kept chewing them up before getting to the center). They’re very much the same as the regular Gobstopper and I think I might buy them again. Especially if I can find them at the 99 cent store.
Rating: 8 out of 10.
Monday, April 25, 2005
Name: Violet Crumble
The package says “It’s the way that it shatters that matters.” Of course the other side calls it “Australia’s Crisp Golden Honeycomb.” I’ve had this bar once before and was not terribly impressed. I was hoping it would be malt, but it’s not.
What is it? Think of that dense chalky styrofoam and then add some flavor and a sweet aroma similar to toasted marshmallows. One of my problems with this bar is the noise the honeycomb makes when you bite into it. Like biting into a piece of balsa wood or stiff styro. The ingredients also do not lend one to be drawn to the bar (there’s no honey), it’s mostly sugar and hydrogenated palm oil (yee! I have a cholesterol test coming up!).
That said, I actually like it. I can get beyond the sqeaky sound on my teeth because the crumble is really satisfying, it crackles and yields in the mouth, melting into a blissful sweet puddle. The chocolate coat is actually chocolate, which helps. The coating, I found, is a tad sweet, but I expect that from Aussie and Brit sweets, I suppose. Also, at only a little over an ounce, it’s a very satisfying bar because it’s so stuffed with air, it looks formidable. It’s the trans fat content that has me worried, so I’m going to stick to monosaturated treats for a while.
Rating: 6 out of 10.
Wednesday, April 20, 2005
Name: Coffee Crisp
Nestle’s known for the Nestle Crunch bar. This one is a bit of a twist. This huge, light block of a bar has layers of crisped cookie alternating with creamy coffee coated crisp. It’s all covered in a light layer of milk chocolate or more likely a waxy chocolate-like product.
It’s very sweet, but though the bar is large, it’s very light and crunchy. The ingredients list such artery-clogging items like palm and shea oils and hydrogenated soy oil. But I’m doing this for the good of science so I tossed aside my usual embargo on trans fats and wolfed this down.
The scent of coffee as you bring the bar to the mouth is quite evident, but the taste really isn’t there. The bar has lots of good textures, the crunch was crunchy without being dangerous like Cap’n Crunch or anything. But the whole thing was just too sweet and oily feeling. It’s a satisfying bar in that you don’t even feel you need to eat the whole, but it’s not one I’d probably buy again.
Rating: 5 out of 10
(Note, since this review the Coffee Crisp is now distributed widely in the United States by Nestle and was reformulated to contain only a trace of trans fats.)
Meticulously photographed and documented reviews of candy from around the world. And the occasional other sweet adventures. Open your mouth, expand your mind.