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Friday, August 13, 2010

Crazy Candy Co Candy Laces

Crazy Candy Co. Candy LacesI love playing with my candy. It’s fun to see candy companies recognize that part of the experience.

I found this small bag of Crazy Candy Co Candy Laces at Aldi. They have a few sugar-based candies from this Crazy Candy Co on the shelves, like gummi bears and sour neon worms. Though Aldi sells Haribo, this Crazy Candy Co is one of their house brands.

The Candy Laces are like fruity licorice; they’re made from wheat and come in four flavors: Strawberry, Apple Peach, Raspberry, Peach. The package says they use no artificial flavors or colors. The package is cute and inviting and would certainly appeal to juveniles. The price is pretty good at 79 cents for three ounces - it’s not a lot of candy or a lot of money for a little treat.

Crazy Candy Co. Candy Laces

The laces are about 18-20 inches long each. Though it’s natural coloring, they’re bold and bright.

Crazy Candy Co. Candy Laces

The laces are soft and flexible, but still strong enough to take a little tugging and pulling. They have a light beeswax coating on them to keep them from sticking and drying out, but it’s not oily or sticky. I found it easy to twist and braid the laces together. Let’s face it, one of the reasons I bought them was because I thought they’d be fun to play with and photograph.

Crazy Candy Co. Candy LacesThe light orange laces are Apple-Peach. First, I was a little surprised that this was a flavor. It seemed odd to have two peach flavors in one package that only had four flavors to begin with.

The laces are lightly translucent and well made. Not bumps, tacky or chalky spots.

The peach and apple flavors are authentic. It’s like a lightly sweet glass of juice. The texture of the chew is a little sticky but since the cords are so thin to begin with, it’s not like big gobs can get stuck in my teeth.

Crazy Candy Co. Candy LacesThe yellow laces are Peach which is much more of a bold flavor than the apple mix version.

The color is bright and the laces sometimes look like a heap of curry ramen to me.

The peach flavor is a little tart and has a little pine note to it, like peach skins. It’s not overwhelming or artificial, though still not quite authentic.

Crazy Candy Co. Candy LacesThe maroon laces are Raspberry.

I was hoping for something really intense and jammy. Instead it’s just a little tart, vaguely floral and mildly berry-flavored.

One thing that I noticed about the Raspberry laces is that they’re slightly smaller in diameter from the other flavors. Still the same texture though.

Crazy Candy Co. Candy LacesThe dark pink laces are Strawberry.

Strawberry is a common flavor for red licorice, so I went into this with a lot of experience with red laces. My first impression: nicely done.

The flavor is tart and good mix of floral, berry and tangy notes. The chew is firm, like an al dente pasta and it’s not as leathery or doughy as some other American and Australian versions.

I found that they kept fresh even without sealing the bag up inside a zippered plastic bag like I do with many of my opened candies. After about a week they got a little firmer, but never tacky or dry.

The package is nicely designed and the candy itself is well made. I don’t care personally for the flavor mix much, but I know that children would probably be drawn to the bright colors and mainstream flavors. (They might be disappointed that the apple isn’t more like the Jolly Rancher Green Apple.) These would be great for decorating as well.

Related Candies

  1. Godis Gula Snoren (Toffee Laces)
  2. Broadway Strawberry Rolls
  3. Young & Smylie Traditional Licorice
  4. Cinnamon Fire Twizzlers
  5. Kenny’s Licorice Pastels & Root Beer Twists
  6. Twizted Paradise


Name: Candy Laces
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Aldi
Place Purchased: Aldi (Youngstown, OH)
Price: $.79
Size: 3 ounces
Calories per ounce: 101
Categories: All Natural, Candy, Aldi, Chews, 6-Tempting, Netherlands

POSTED BY Cybele AT 11:35 am     CandyAldiChews6-TemptingNetherlandsComments (5)

Friday, February 12, 2010

Q.Bel Double Dark Chocolate Wafer Bar

Q.Bel Double Dark Chocolate Wafer BarsI reckon there are some very excited people out there to find the new Q.Bel 70% Double Dark Wafer Bars. Not because they’re all natural, preservative free and free of hydrogenated oils. Nope, it’s because they’re vegan. No dairy, no honey, no glazes and no colorings.

The package doesn’t herald the vegan-ness (but the Q.bel website does). The package feels, to me, collegiate. I don’t know if it’s the colors that remind me of a library or a winter scarf (no, none of these were colors for the colleges I attended)

Q.Bel Double Dark Chocolate Wafer Bars

The bars are the same format as the Mint Wafer Bars and the Dark Wafer Bars. There are three layers of crispy flavorless wafers (like ice cream cones) with a chocolate creme between then. Then the whole thing is covered in 70% dark chocolate.

These are not a sweet treat, they are dark and a little bitter and all delicious. The chocolate punch is substantial. The bar smells like chocolate and except for the lightly malty crisp wafers, that’s really the only flavor. It has a dry and bitter bite to it, a good silky smooth texture, but probably a little too much on the smoky and bitter side for me to eat as a plain bar. But in this format with airy wafers and grainy sugary chocolate cream centers I found the perfect balance.

Q.bel gave me an insane amount of “samples”, full display boxes, again. And like the last time I put them on my bookshelf in my office and found that even the folks in my office who don’t normally go for dark chocolate liked them, and of course those who do love dark were enthralled by the textures and deep flavor. Now that I’ve found a source in stores (Whole Foods stocks them for $1.39 a bar) I will definitely buy them, now that my inventory is gone.

The only thing I’d like would be for the bars to be slightly bigger, maybe 1.3 ounces. However, the calories per ounce are pretty high, so keeping each finger below 100 calories is probably a good idea. (The package is 180 calories.)

Other reviews (I think I’m alone in my overwhelming preference for this bar but it still gets high marks): ZOMG Candy, BitterSweet, Chocolate Blog.

Related Candies

  1. Ritter Sport Neapolitan Wafers
  2. Q.Bel Mint Wafer Bars
  3. Q.Bel Wafer Rolls
  4. Q.Bel Crispy Wafer Bars
  5. Fairhaven Candy Crumblz!
  6. KitKat Bitter & White
Name: 70% Double Dark Wafer Bars
    RATING:
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 6 TEMPTING
  • 5 PLEASANT
  • 4 BENIGN
  • 3 UNAPPEALING
  • 2 APPALLING
  • 1 INEDIBLE
Brand: Q.bel
Place Purchased: samples from Q.Bel
Price: retail $1.39
Size: 1.1 ounces
Calories per ounce: 164
Categories: Chocolate, Cookie, Netherlands, Q.bel, All Natural

POSTED BY Cybele AT 12:16 pm     Comments (2)

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Q.Bel Mint Wafer Bars

Q.Bel Dark Chocolate Mint Wafer BarsLast year a new candy bar line came to the market. They’re from Q.bel and the initial launch was six different flavors with two different chocolate bar styles: Wafer Bars and Wafer Rolls.

This year they’re expanding their line with two new bars. Today I have the Mint Wafer Bars. In the compact package are two wafer bars with a mint creme filling sandwiched between crispy light wafers covered in dark chocolate.

It’s not a big package, though it has a sharp design that fits with the rest of their candy bars. They seem to have a color coding thing going on; as you’d expect this one is green for mint. Though there are two bars in there, it’s still pretty light, only 1.1 ounces. The ingredients are all natural and have no hydrogenated oils or preservatives (though honestly, few candies do use preservatives).

Q.Bel Mint Dark Chocolate Wafer Bars

The bars are about three inches long and a little under one inch wide. The dark chocolate coating is glossy, rippled and rather thin, just enough to seal up the wafers and cream. The dark chocolate coating is made in Belgium, but the candy bars are manufactured in The Netherlands.

The wafers inside are light and mostly flavorless, there’s a slight hint of toasted rice (though they’re made with wheat flour). The cream center is white and slightly cool on the tongue. The mint is very light and fresh with a slight note of real mint leaves instead of just peppermint oil. It’s smooth for the most part with just a little bit of a tiny grain to it. The chocolate coating is deep and rich with a dry and bittersweet bite.

The combination is quite nice, not too sweet and refreshing. The portion size is insufficient though: I know, my Americaness is showing. I’d love the package to have three instead of two. But glancing at the teensy print of the nutrition label it is clear that each finger is about 95 calories. But that means that these are jam packaged with calories - that comes out to 173 per ounce.  Mmm, crispy, minty and chocolatey fat.

The earlier Dark Chocolate and Milk Chocolate Wafer Bars featured crisped rice, while these just have the wafer planks and dark chocolate with cream. While this limits the crunch, it does mean that the cream and its flavors are more forward.

On the whole, they’re very tasty. My only hesitations with them are the price (usually $1.50 or so) and how hard they are to find. I’m told that they’re available at Whole Foods, but you know how WF likes to move stuff around to confuse their shoppers so I find it difficult to grab them on a regular basis.

The other new flavor is Double Dark Chocolate Wafer bars which feature 70% cacao chocolate and are actually vegan. I’ll review those in my upcoming Vegan Week.

Related Candies

  1. Sunspire Peppermint Pattie
  2. Q.Bel Wafer Rolls
  3. Q.Bel Crispy Wafer Bars
  4. Jo’s Peppermint Crunch
  5. KitKat Mint Dark Chocolate Minis
  6. I Miss: Bar None
  7. Head to Head: Cookie Joys vs Cookies n Mint
Name: Mint Wafer Bars
    RATING:
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 6 TEMPTING
  • 5 PLEASANT
  • 4 BENIGN
  • 3 UNAPPEALING
  • 2 APPALLING
  • 1 INEDIBLE
Brand: Q.bel
Place Purchased: samples from Q.Bel
Price: retail $1.50
Size: 1.1 ounces
Calories per ounce: 173
Categories: Chocolate, Cookie, Mint, Netherlands, Q.bel, All Natural

POSTED BY Cybele AT 9:57 am     Comments (4)

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Van Slooten Lakrids Figurer

Van Slooten Lakrids FigurerI’m still trying to love salted licorice.

In my current attempt, I’ve been looking for very lightly salted stuff and hoping to find non-ammonium versions.

The latest item I found was this cute little can from Van Slooten called Lakrids Figurer which features both sweet and salty liquorice in one package. It’s Dutch, so it does feature ammonium chloride as the salt of choice.

But the package was just so cute and so were the little licorice pieces inside. I had their Autodrop Total Loss mix before and was enchanted with the imaginative shapes they make.

Salty Lakrids FigurerThe clever part about the assortment was that there were both kinds of licorice. They were coded - four of the animal shapes were salted and three were sweet.

Think of them like animal crackers! Or perhaps some sort of licorice roulette if you don’t know the key.

The salty licorice shapes were Zebra, Elephant, Lion and Kangaroo. Each was about an inch or inch and a quarter at the longest.

They’re soft and pliable, though not quite chewy like Dots. The immediate taste on the tongue is not quite salt but more like a savory sizzle, a little smoky. Once I chewed it a little I got some notes of ground pepper and woodsy licorice. But later the salt turned a little odd, as it usually does. When I exhaled it was a bit like ammonia and also a bit rusty tasting.

I have to say that I did very well with these overall. If I managed to grab one by mistake when hunting for the sweet ones, it wasn’t the end of the world.

Rating: 6 out of 10

Sweet Lakrids Figurer

The sweet figures were Koala, Crocodile and Turtle.

I was trying to figure out if there was a reason for the different animals being salty or sweet. I tried breaking it down by species type, by habitat and even used the Wallace Line. There is no logic for the consumer as far as I can tell.

They aren’t easily sweet - putting it on the tongue to dissolve is rather subtle - not quite salty but definitely deep and smoky with molasses, anise and burnt toffee notes.

Rating: 7 out of 10

They texture is a cross between a gumdrop and something a little denser but not as hard as some other licorice cakes or coins. There’s no wheat in it, like most American and Aussie style products. I also found them very soothing to my throat - even the salty ones.

Even though I found the salty ones edible, they’re still not quite my style ... though I would definitely recommend them as a “starter” salty licorice for those looking to broaden their candy experiences. They do get a little stuck in my teeth.

So far I like the Van Slooten stuff I’ve had though I don’t think I’ve found their item that’s precisely suited to me yet. I’ll keep looking.

Related Candies

  1. Venco Drop Toppers - Salmiak & Mint
  2. Wolfgang Skipjacks & Jungle Jacks
  3. Licorice Assortment
  4. Good & Plenty (Fresh from the Factory)
  5. House of Chocolate Blues
  6. Salted Licorices: Djungelvral and Dubbel Zout
Name: Lakrids Figurer (Licorice Figures)
    RATING:
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 6 TEMPTING
  • 5 PLEASANT
  • 4 BENIGN
  • 3 UNAPPEALING
  • 2 APPALLING
  • 1 INEDIBLE
Brand: Van Slooten
Place Purchased: Mel & Rose (West Hollywood)
Price: $3.95
Size: 8.8 ounces
Calories per ounce: unknown
Categories: Licorice, Netherlands

POSTED BY Cybele AT 12:57 pm     Comments (7)

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Venco Drop Toppers - Salmiak & Mint

Venco Drop Toppers - Salmiak & MintWhy is salted licorice so unlike salted versions of other sweets? Adding salt to chocolate or caramel produces a satisfying mixture of flavors, at least for me.

Instead salted licorice seems to produce awkward faces ... though not always an unpleasant reaction, I’m usually ready to eat more, but I’m not sure if I have that “oh I must gobble this and then find a source in bulk” reaction.

Perhaps it’s that most other salted sweets use either plain sodium chloride (table salt) or sea salt. But salted licorice usually employs other metallic salts such as aluminum chloride and ammonium chloride.

In an effort to give it all another try, I made sure to check out the licorice selections while I was in Solvang a few weeks ago. Solvang is a Danish-themed town near Santa Barbara which happily has many candy & chocolate shops. I picked out this mixed bag from Venco called Drop Toppers Salmiak & Mint. It was appealing, even though it was $8.25, because it had at least one tried and true favorite of mine: Schoolchalk.

Venco Drop Toppers - Salmiak & Mint

The assortment is an attractive mix of black and white pieces in a variety of textures and combinations of salt, sugar, licorice and mint.

Schoolkrijt - I’ve reviewed before but I’ll recap it here. It’s a tube of mellow & rich licorice filled with a cream. Then the whole thing is coated in a crunchy, thin minty shell. I love them, I’m addicted. I buy them when I can and I pretty much pulled them all out of this mix and finished them within days.

Venco Drop Toppers - Salmiak & MintZwartwitjes - look like little black and white M&Ms. (I think zwartwitjes means black & white.) I was hoping that the little lentils were salty dark chocolate with a pop of licorice to them.

Instead they were like a dense brown sugar & salt combination infused with licorice encased in a crunchy mint shell.

The salt is quite strong, but less metallic than many others I’ve had. The brown sugar & molasses notes helped me to overcome that electrical pop and of course enjoy the licorice.

I couldn’t really chow down on them like the Schoolkrijt, but I still found a way to appreciate these.

Drop Tikkel - looked like jelly beans. They were quite mellow and as far as weirdness factory, they were a little musty tasting, but otherwise not very salty. The licorice flavors were also rather muted.

The texture of the jelly bean center was more like a soft gummy than a jelly, so it had a nice chewy quality too.

Venco - Salmiak Rondos LicoriceSalmiakrondo - I avoided these for a while, because I figured if I could take a small amount of salted licorice, I probably couldn’t handle this much. The nuggets are about as big around as nickels. I didn’t know what was in there, so I carefully cleaved one apart for the photo with my teeth.

I found it’s pretty soft, happily. The black portion is rather smooth, kind of like a solidified taffy. The center is a softer, crumbly version of the Zwartwitjes. Still, it was salty ... and with no candy shell or minty backdrop to wash it away.

They’re also kind of bitter. But the salt wasn’t so strong or metallic that it turned me off. Still, not something I just wanted to shovel into my mouth mindlessly.

I like to dip my toe in the water sometimes when it comes to adventurous or exotic candies, so a mix like this is a nice way to ease into it. But it was pretty pricey ... but at least the package had some names & explanations for me to post here to guide others. The problem now is that I’ve eaten all the Schoolkrijt and my desire to eat the others since the review is over has evaporated. Luckily, I have a salted licorice friend.

Related Candies

  1. Leaf Schoolchalk, Allsorts & Pipes
  2. Short & Sweet: International Flavors
  3. Darrell Lea Licorice & Ginger
  4. Black Licorice Twists & Snaps
  5. Licorice Assortment
  6. Good & Plenty (Fresh from the Factory)
  7. Dutch Licorice
Name: Drop Toppers - Salmiak & Mint
    RATING:
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 6 TEMPTING
  • 5 PLEASANT
  • 4 BENIGN
  • 3 UNAPPEALING
  • 2 APPALLING
  • 1 INEDIBLE
Brand: Venco (Leaf)
Place Purchased: Ingeborg's Homemade Chocolates (Solvang, CA)
Price: $8.25
Size: 9 ounces (260 grams)
Calories per ounce: unknown
Categories: Licorice, Mint, Netherlands, Venco

POSTED BY Cybele AT 11:50 am     Comments (7)

Friday, February 6, 2009

Q.Bel Crispy Wafer Bars

Q-Bel Crispy Wafer BarsOne of the issues these days with candy bars isn’t the empty calories, it’s the ingredients. There’s a difference between bad for you (sound cue: giggle) and bad for you (sound cue: medical equipment).

I don’t usually feel bad about calories, fat or sugar. But I do feel weird about eating partially hydrogenated oils, artificial colors and flavors.

Enter Q.bel with their line of all-natural candy bars. No artificial colors, no artificial flavors, no hydrogenated oils, no high fructose corn sweetener and no preservatives.

Q-Bel Milk Chocolate Crispy Wafer BarsThe happy thing to report is that candy bars never needed any of the above to be good ... they just needed them to be cheap. So quality will cost you $1.39-$1.69 (but if you’re buying your candy at Whole Foods, that’s hardly a surprise).

Their inaugural line has six products. I’m going to review three of them today, their Crispy Wafer Bar which come in Dark Chocolate, Milk Chocolate and Peanut Butter.

Q-Bel Dark Chocolate Crispy Wafer Bars

The Dark Chocolate Crispy Rice Wafer Bar (purple wrapper) is a stack of three crisp, flavorless wafers filled with a chocolate cream, sprinkled with crisped rice and then covered in dark chocolate.

They come in a two pack of fingers. Each is about three inches long and three quarters of an inch wide.

If the photo and description sounds vaguely familiar to you, it might be because this is very similar to the Hershey’s Bar None. (Except there’s no peanuts in this version.)

The crunch is light and crisp, airy and a little like an ice cream cone. The chocolate is slightly bitter, creamy and sweet with a dry finish. The cream center is sweet and a little grainy but rather buttery.

The whole experience is extremely satisfying. It’s not really a chocolate bar, it’s definitely a candy. I am in love with this bar.

Rating: 10 out of 10 (as long as I can find it in stores)

Q-Bel Milk Chocolate Crispy Wafer Bars

The Milk Chocolate Crispy Rice Wafer Bars are just like the dark version except with 10 more calories.

They’re a lighter taste and seem to have more crunchies to them, but that just could be variations in the manufacture.

The scent is milky sweet with a slight cereal smell. There’s less of a chocolate punch here and more of a creamy, dairy milk chocolate event going on.

I was very pleased with it (and at first though this would be like Bar None, but it didn’t have the same punch).

Rating: 8 out of 10.

Q-Bel Peanut Butter Wafer Bars

The Milk Chocolate Peanut Butter Wafer Bars are a little different in that they don’t have the crisped rice. Instead of a chocolate cream filling they have a peanut butter filling between the wafers.

As I’m writing this I’ve been following the RSS feed from the FDA with all the recall warnings about peanut butter & peanut products. I’ve been assured by Q.bel directly and their website that they did not source their peanut butter from Peanut Corporation of America. (And it’s easy to believe them since these bars were manufactured in The Netherlands.

As with most nutty candies, this pair of bars clocked in with the highest calorie count: 190. (Don’t get the impression that these are dainty when it comes to calories, they’re dense in sugar and fat, clocking in on the upper range of the calories per ounce that I track.)

The bars are lovely to look at with their rippled coats of chocolate. They smell like fresh roasted peanuts.

The bite on these is very different. The peanut butter cream filling tastes unsalted and unsugared - so it’s a startling pop of real peanut flavor. But it’s very oily and soft, so when I bite into the bar, sometimes I’ve broken it because it’ll slide around (you can see the kind of crack it makes along the wafer line in the photo).

The peanut butter, while not crumbly or thick really sticks to my ribs. I found just one stick here to be very filling. The milk chocolate holds its own in this battle as well, giving a sweet and milky component to bring it all together.

Rating: 9 out of 10.

I’m so pleased that someone is making a quality product and I hope Q.bel becomes a standard in the confectionery industry. That you can make something with real ingredients and still make people want to overeat it. The packaging is compelling and appropriate. It protects the product inside, doesn’t take up too much space and gave me all the information I wanted to know. The images on the front are tantalizing and the bars actually look like that.

The portions may seem a little small, only 1.1 ounces, but they appear large because of the light wafers inside (maybe a little smaller than a KitKat bar). However, this also lowers the calorie count per portion, all are under 200 calories (which means those 100 calorie folks can just eat one). The price point is a little steep too, but if I were faced with an array of these and something like Nestle’s Crunch Crisp bar (which is a one-bar version of this filled with partially hydrogenated fats and covered with mockolate), I’d pick these at twice/thrice the price.

The other half of their product line is a series of Wafer Rolls in the same flavor array. (I’ll have a review of those soon.)

Q.bel did some liberal mailing of samples, so expect more reviews to pop up on the other food-oriented blogs. They did send me a silly-huge number of “samples” which were a box of each (20 bars) flavor. I’ve been very popular with my co-workers this week.

UPDATE: They should be available at most Whole Foods nationwide and online at Natural Candy Store.

Related Candies

  1. Q.Bel Mint Wafer Bars
  2. Choceur Luxury Mini Chocolate Bars
  3. ReeseSticks (Revisit)
  4. Ritter Schokowurfel
  5. Ferrero Raffaello & Rondnoir
  6. Happy Hippos
  7. Head-to-Head KitKat vs KitKat!
  8. Butterfinger Crisp
Name: Wafer Bars: Dark Chocolate Crispy Rice, Milk Chocolate Crispy Rice & Milk Chocolate Peanut Butter
    RATING:
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 6 TEMPTING
  • 5 PLEASANT
  • 4 BENIGN
  • 3 UNAPPEALING
  • 2 APPALLING
  • 1 INEDIBLE
Brand: Q.bel
Place Purchased: samples from Q.bel
Price: retail $1.69
Size: 1.1 ounces
Calories per ounce: 154, 163 & 172
Categories: Chocolate, Cookie, Peanut, Netherlands, Q.bel, All Natural

POSTED BY Cybele AT 1:31 pm     Comments (6)

Monday, November 24, 2008

Fresh Cola Mentos

I love getting candy from friends who travel. I love being surprised by candy that I didn’t even know existed. Finally, I love getting Mentos.

My friend Ernessa went to Belgium. While she brought me a wonderful box of Galler bonbons (we ate half the box after dinner on Saturday night, eschewing fresh peach pie for it), I was most excited about these: Mentos Fresh Cola.

Mentos Fresh Cola

It seems natural that a candy that’s become world famous for fountains made from putting the mints in diet soda bottles would eventually have an actual cola flavored version. (But strange that it’s not available in the United States.)

The wrapper has the familiar red color that many colas adopt for their packaging.

The pieces look a bit like fizzy cola. They’re light beige, but a little mottled, like there are bubbles.

The flavor is absolutely cola, a bit tangy like light lemon with a woodsy spice to it. It tastes fizzy, though that’s probably just my imagination. There’s a little spicy flavor in there, like cinnamon or nutmeg. It’s a bit sweeter than I’d like (but that’s kind of why I don’t drink soda anyway).

As I don’t drink soda, it’s nice to be able to get my cola flavor somewhere else. In a world of few cola options, these are a fantastic option. I think all that’s missing is the little dose of caffeine.

Related Candies

  1. Barley Mint Mentos
  2. Banana n Cream & Red Orange Mentos
  3. Brach’s Soda Poppers
  4. Mentos Fuji Apple
  5. Soda Can Fizzy Candy
  6. Jelly Belly Soda Pop Shoppe
  7. Pink Grapefruit Mentos
  8. Bottlecaps
Name: Fresh Cola Mentos
    RATING:
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 6 TEMPTING
  • 5 PLEASANT
  • 4 BENIGN
  • 3 UNAPPEALING
  • 2 APPALLING
  • 1 INEDIBLE
Brand: Mentos (Perfetti Van Melle)
Place Purchased: gift from Ernessa (thanks!)
Price: unknown
Size: 1.35 ounces
Calories per ounce: unknown
Categories: Chew, Netherlands, Perfetti Van Melle

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

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Short & Sweet: International Flavors

Meiji Rich Strawberry ChocolateFlavored white chocolate is kind of a strange thing, not something I cared much for as a kid, but as an adult I’m warming up to it. Perhaps because there are some really good options out there.

Meiji, one of Japan’s major candy & snack companies uses white and flavored white chocolates in many of their confections. The flavors range from berry and flower flavors (sakura) to green tea and caramel.

I found this Meiji Rich Strawberry Chocolate bar in Little Tokyo at Murukai Market, but every store seemed to carry them.

Meiji Rich Strawberry Chocolate

The bar is much deeper in color than the KitKats or even the limited edition Hershey’s flavored white chocolate bars that I’ve had. And the intensity of the color matches the flavor. It’s much more in the berry range than the “light touch of berries”. It’s both tangy and sweet, with that woodsy flavor of seeds in there as well.

I wasn’t as fond of it as a I’d hoped. Something about the tangy mixed with the sweetness and a bit of grain from the real berry in there made me miss the cocoa butter and milk base. But for $1.29, it was a great buy for a little more exotic taste than the ordinary.

Rating: 6 out of 10

Klene KrokantjesFor Licorice Fans, the Klene Krokantjes are all licorice, but three different “jelly bean” style varieties in one bag.

I wasn’t sure what these would be, I thought something like the Skoolkrijt that I’ve come to love. I assumed it was a licorice center with a candy coating. I found a description online that said, “Salty Salmiak & Mint Flavor with a crunchy outer shell” which didn’t really capture it all (except that it included that it was salted licorice, not the straight sweet kind).

There are three shapes, a dark and a light jelly bean style and a larger, um, rock. I didn’t even know there was a third shape at first, as there were only two in the bag so I didn’t photograph it.

Klene KrokantjesThe candies look like little granite pebbles. Black and white and gray, they’re speckled and natural looking. They don’t smell like much, just a bit sweet with a slight anise note.

The beans are two different flavors. The light one is a peppermint, menthol and licorice mix of flavors. There’s a lot of crunch outside, it’s a bit grainy. The inside isn’t a molasses/wheat chewy licorice. Instead it’s a gelatin gummi flavored with licorice (and salt). The combo isn’t bad, a little metallic but the mint helps kind of smooth it all together.

The gray ones were similar but more on the straight licorice side. (They might not have been minted, but the proximity made them so.)

The lumps were a piece of the wheat based chew, again a little salted and covered with the minty crunch. That was my favorite.

They’re a little confusing for me. Not enough of one thing or another and the lack of the molasses punch to go with the licorice (my favorite combo) just didn’t make me want more and I never finished the bag.

Rating: 4 out of 10.

Kosher JuicyFruit GumMy favorite gum is Chiclets. They’re not easy to find but are one of the few gums that is still made with sugar and not artificial sweeteners (and no coloring either, for whatever that’s worth).

I was saddened several years ago to see that Wrigley’s altered their time-tested favorites: Wrigley’s Spearmint, Doublemint, Juicyfruit and Big Red gums to include those sorts of things. But then at Munchies in Los Angeles I stumbled across this little treasure - Juicy Fruit Gum, not only is it Kosher (which I don’t really need) but it’s also made with sugar and on top of that, they’re candy coated chicklets!

The box was cute and held 20 pellets. I usually chew three pieces at a time, so at 50 cents it’s no different in price than the regular pack.

I liked the crunch of the sugar shell and the indeterminate mellow fruity flavor of the chew. The flavor doesn’t last very long, but I don’t usually chew gum for a long time, just long enough to get most of the sugar out then I rinse and repeat.

Rating: 8 out of 10

Related Candies

  1. Three Pink Bubble Gums
  2. Licorice Assortment
  3. KitKat Chocolatier (Strawberry & Green Tea)
  4. Short & Sweet: Japanese Goodies
  5. Hershey’s Raspberries ‘n’ Creme
  6. Salted Licorices: Djungelvral and Dubbel Zout

POSTED BY Cybele AT 11:45 am     CandyReviewKleneMeijiWrigley'sGumKosherLicorice CandyWhite Chocolate4-Benign6-Tempting8-TastyFranceJapanNetherlandsComments (9)

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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:

• Theo Chocolate Nutcracker Brittle

• Orgran Molasses Licorice

• Rogue Chocolatier

• Godiva Chef Inspirations

• Hachez Braune Blatter (Chocolate Leaves)

 

 

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