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Friday, March 16, 2012

Russell Stover Big Bite Pecan Delight Egg

Russell Stover Big Bite Pecan Delight EggI found the Russell Stover Big Bite Pecan Delight Egg at Walgreen’s along with the other super-sized Easter classic, the Coconut Cream in the shape of a Big Bunny.

Pecans and Caramel covered in Milk Chocolate

Ah, a pecan turtle. What a fabulous candy. The roasted, maple flavors of pecans with their oily crunch go so well with the burnt sugar, sweet chewiness of caramel with it all encapsulated in creamy milk chocolate.

I’ve reviewed a few different versions of these in the past. The first one I tried was the Organic Pecan Delight, which were sold individually wrapped and bagged. They were good, but lacked a lot of pecans. The second one I tried was the traditional Easter favorite, the Pecan Delight Egg ... well, that one was even more parsimonious with the pecans. Then most recently I tried the non-organic version of the Pecan Delight and was similarly underwhelmed.

So, would scaling up make a difference?

Russell Stover Giant Pecan Delight

They weren’t kidding about it being a big bite. It’s two ounces, so of course it’s big, but that’s the same size as a Snickers bar. It’s packed with 290 calories as well. What it’s not packed with is pecans. Those little lumps on the outside ... those are the pecan pieces. That’s it. No hidden nuts inside the caramel center.

Russell Stover Giant Pecan Delight

I can sit around being disappointed that there aren’t more pecans in this. (I can also call it false advertising.) But the reality is that it’s still a good piece of candy if you adjust expectations. The milk chocolate is passable - it’s sweet and milky and though a bit fudgy and grainy, it still has a pleasant melt and mouthfeel. The caramel center is salty and though sweet, not overly cloying or syrupy. The caramel is smooth, without the slightest bit of grain. It’s pretty gooey, but not chewy. The small bits of pecans gave it a roasted nutty flavor, but not much texture overall.

Would this have been better with more pecans? Absolutely. Would it have cost a dollar? No, not possible. It was a bad year for pecans, the price went way up. The solution to this is for Russell Stover to not offer this candy at this price point, or to adjust our expectations by not saying that it’s the Pecan Delight.

Related Candies

  1. Trader Joe’s A Very Merry Mingle
  2. Russell Stover Assorted Wrapped Chocolates
  3. DeMet’s Turtles: Pecan & Cashew
  4. Fannie May Pixie
  5. Sweet Earth Chocolates
  6. Russell Stover Eggs (2009 edition)
  7. Russell Stover Organic Pecan Delight


Name: Big Bite Pecan Delight Egg
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Russell Stover
Place Purchased: Walgreen's (Echo Park)
Price: $1.00 (on sale)
Size: 2 ounces
Calories per ounce: 145
Categories: Candy, Easter, Russell Stover, Caramel, Chocolate, Nuts, 6-Tempting, United States, Walgreen's

POSTED BY Cybele AT 2:28 pm     CandyReviewEasterRussell StoverCaramelChocolateNuts6-TemptingUnited StatesWalgreen'sComments (3)

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Schluckwerder Fancy Marzipan Eggs

Schluckwerder Fancy Eggs - Fine MarzipanSchluckwerder Fancy Eggs - Fine Marzipan are featured at Cost Plus World Market every year around Easter. It’s a very simple, almost mousy looking package. A gold plastic tray with ten sections holds pastel candy coated marzipan eggs.

I’ve been stalking these eggs for years. I’ve even taken photos of them in the store, hoping to go back after Easter when they’re on sale. The only problem with that plan is that there’s never any left after the holiday for discounting. They’re a little on the pricey side, $3.99 for a package weighing only 5.29 ounces from a German brand I’ve never heard of. On the other hand, I have a lot of confidence in German marzipan, now that I’ve visited a few factories in Germany and tasted quite a variety over the years. Germany knows what it’s doing when they combine sugar and almonds.

Schluckwerder Fancy Eggs - Fine Marzipan

Each egg is about a half an ounce, so two is a good and filling portion. The center is pure marzipan with a thin chocolate coating then a sugared candy shell. They use all natural colorings, however, they do also use carmine, so the product is off the table for vegetarians who draw the line there. (There’s also milk in there, so it’s a no for vegans.)

Schluckwerder Fancy Eggs - Fine Marzipan

The eggs vary a bit in size and shape. Some were spherical and about 1.25 inches in diameter and the more ovoid ones were about 1.5 inches long.

Schluckwerder Fancy Eggs - Fine Marzipan

Even though they’re kind of big, they’re easier to bite than something like a Malted Milk Egg or Marshmallow Hiding Egg. They have a slightly floral scent, nothing really overt, just a clean sort of orange blossom or fig perfume. The chocolate is thick enough to provide quite a bit of flavor. It’s not very dark but has a well rounded woodsy cocoa flavor and a smooth, silky melt. The center is soft and quite moist, which is nice because I don’t care for the chalky and tough marzipan.

The marzipan is a little doughy but not overly sweet. There’s a faint bit of amaretto flavor, but mostly it’s a clean rosewater and nutty almond flavor. They’re hearty without being sticky sweet. They’re easy to eat, though I usually ate mine in two bites instead of popping the whole thing in my mouth at once.

I’m glad I took the plunge and tried these. They’re definitely worth full price, especially if it’s something you had as a kid or in your travels. When you come down to it, the price works out to about 1.33 per ounce, which is far more reasonable than Caffarel. And I think I prefer this marzipan to the Caffarel version. I’ll still keep an eye out for them on after-Easter clearance.

Related Candies

  1. Lindt Holiday Almonds
  2. Choceur Nougat Bites & Marzipan Bites
  3. Laica & Caffarel Chocolate Eggs
  4. Niederegger Ginger Marzipan
  5. Voisin Papillotes
  6. Soubeyran Array


Name: Fancy Eggs - Fine Marzipan
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Schluckwerder
Place Purchased: Cost Plus World Market (Glendale)
Price: $3.99
Size: 5.29 ounces
Calories per ounce: 132
Categories: All Natural, Candy, Easter, Chocolate, Nuts, 7-Worth It, Germany, Cost Plus

POSTED BY Cybele AT 4:03 pm     All NaturalCandyReviewEasterChocolateNuts7-Worth ItGermanyCost PlusComments (0)

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Ferrero Eggs: Hazelnut & Cocoa

Hazelnut Ferrero EggsFerrero Hazelnut Eggs are new in the United States for Easter. They’re based on the popular Ferrero line of Rochers, not their Kinder Eggs (which are illegal in the United States).

The bag is expensive. It was 3.5 ounces and cost $3.99. There are only 10 little eggs inside. However, I liked the spare packaging which did the job of protecting the foil wrapped eggs as they were all fresh and unmarred.

The package says that they’re Crispy bite size eggs smothered in milk chocolate with luscious cream. Each egg is about 1.5 inches long.

Hazelnut Ferrero Eggs

The chocolate shell is extremely light in color, the ingredients bear this out, with sugar as the first ingredient in the shell and milk as the second with cocoa butter and cocoa mass pulling up the third and fourth slots.

It smells extremely sweet, a little like pudding and nutella. The bite is soft, the construction is similar to a Ferrero Rocher. There’s a nearly liquid hazelnut cream center, a crisp cookie shell and then the chocolate coating on the outside. (There are no crushed nuts in this item.)

The creamy center is sweet, sticky and quite slick. The smoothness gives up the roasted hazelnut flavors easily, and matches the sweetness of the chocolate shell very well. The light wafery crisp of the inner shell is the only thing that breaks it up and gives a little malty corn flake note to it (it’s made with wheat flour).

Cocoa Ferrero EggsFerrero Cocoa Eggs are like Ferrero Rondnoir. There’s a dark chocolate shell, a wafery light shell under that and a creamy dark chocolate filling. There’s only a touch of hazelnut in there, according to the ingredients, and I really didn’t catch any of the flavors.

Like it’s hazelnut buddy, there’s also a bit of palm oil in the center, which is a little disappointing, but expected. The Ferrero group has pledged to sustainably source their cocoa and palm oil by 2015. They also say that they don’t purchase cocoa from slave farms, but don’t have a formal certification process yet.

Cocoa Ferrero Eggs

The dark chocolate is well rounded, with a strong fudgy flavor like brownies. There’s even a slight bitter note to it that’s balanced out by the much sweeter creamy filling and more bland wafers.

I liked the Cocoa Eggs a bit better than the Hazelnut. They’re both different from their year round versions as well, which means that they are a little more “special” than just a reshaping and some pastel packaging.

They contain nuts, milk, soy and gluten. The only artificial ingredient was vanillin. They’re filled with fat (delicious fat) and clock in at 163 calories per ounce, on the very high side for candy.

I found them expensive for the amount and quality of the product. They were good, but not fantastic. For the same money, I’d probably be happier with See’s Scotchmallow Eggs.

Related Candies

  1. Aldi Choceur Flame Egg & Chocolate Rabbit
  2. Tony’s Chocolonely Chocolate Easter Eggs
  3. Milka L’il Scoops
  4. An Easter Dash - Reviews in Short
  5. Godiva Spring Pearls
  6. Ferrero Prestige (Ferrero Garden)
  7. Ferrero Raffaello & Rondnoir
  8. Ferrero Rocher


Name: Hazelnut Eggs
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Ferrero
Place Purchased: Rite Aid (WeHo)
Price: $3.99
Size: 3.5 ounces
Calories per ounce: 163
Categories: Candy, Easter, Ferrero, Chocolate, Cookie, Nuts, 7-Worth It, Italy, Rite Aid


Name: Cocoa Eggs
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Ferrero
Place Purchased: Rite Aid (WeHo)
Price: $3.99
Size: 3.5 ounces
Calories per ounce: 163
Categories: Candy, Easter, Ferrero, Chocolate, Cookie, Nuts, 7-Worth It, Italy, Rite Aid

POSTED BY Cybele AT 1:48 pm     CandyReviewEasterFerreroChocolateCookieNuts7-Worth ItItalyRite AidComments (9)

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Las Trojes Pepitoria Brittles

Las Trojes Pepitoria Mixed Seeds BrittleI was shopping for candy downtown at Jack’s Wholesale Candy and found these brittle disks. They’re made by a local company named Las Trojes which is based in Anaheim. I’m not quite sure what the name means, as troje is a granary or barn but could also be a storehouse.

The packages are quite simple, and do a fantastic job of showing off the product. They’re all extremely simple: a mix of sugar and seeds and/or nuts. They were also very inexpensive, at only $1 each for a two ounce package.Seed brittles are a beguilingly good snack but they’re also a great way to bind together vexing little seeds into something easier to transport and consume.

I picked up all three varieties they had at the store.

Las Trojes Pepitoria Brittles

The packaging features a thick piece of cellophane folded over the round disk and held in place by the label sticker on the back (or is it the front?).

Las Trojes Pepitoria Mixed Seeds Brittle

Las Trojes Pepitoria Mixed Seeds Brittle is quite a gorgeous little find. There are peanuts, sesame seeds, almonds, coconut and pumpkin seeds (pepitas) with only the addition of sugar to hold it all together. There are no added oils or partially hydrogenated fats or gelatins. It’s a vegan snack.

Las Trojes Pepitoria Mixed Seeds Brittle

The disk is easy to snap apart for eating. It’s firm and crisp, but if you live in a humid area, they can become a sticky mess quite quickly. I don’t expect these would do well in parts of Texas or Florida for that reason.

Las Trojes Pepitoria Mixed Seeds Brittle

The distribution of nuts and seeds is pretty even, I didn’t find parts that seemed to be all one nut, though peanuts were by far the largest bulk. The plank smells quite toasty, with a little note of toasted sesame and perhaps even a bit of burnt nuts. The sugar has a honey note to it but doesn’t add a whole lot of sweetness to the brittle, as there really isn’t much more than is needed to bind everything together. The pepitas, peanuts and sesame seeds have the strongest flavor, I didn’t catch much of a contribution from the almonds or coconut.

Las Trojes Pepitoria Coconut Brittle

Las Trojes Pepitoria Coconut Brittle is a great looking disk. It’s thick and crisp and doesn’t look like anything you’d make at home with store bought coconut flakes. These look fresh and rustic.

Las Trojes Pepitoria Coconut Brittle

The brittle has a little bit more bend to it, probably because the coconut is more fibrous and makes breaking it a little harder. The toasted coconut scent is incredible, the caramel and creamy tropical notes all swirl together. Though there’s a lot of crunch at first, it turns very chewy after that. The toffee flavor of the burnt sugar is great and again, it’s far from being too sweet, though it is the sweetest of the three products.

Las Trojes Pepitoria Pepita Brittle

Las Trojes Pepitoria Pepita Brittle is a great mix of greens and browns, the pumpkin seeds are glossy and toasty. I love pepitas in trail mixes, but I never eat them on their own. It smells like toasted pumpkin seeds, just like you’d expect. The seeds are crunchy and a little grassy tasting. This is the least sweet of the entire set and for the most part it’s about the pumpkin seeds. Though some of the seeds looked a bit burnt, I didn’t get the same sort of bitter toasted note from this that I did with the mixed brittle.

Las Trojes Pepitoria BrittlesThey’re all beautiful and wholesome snacks that barely qualify as candy. That’s not to say that they’re not laden with calories. The Pepita one is the leanest at 260 calories for the 2 ounce portion, but it also has 7 grams of protein and only 16 grams of sugars. The Mixed Brittle is 300 calories but packs 8 grams of protein and only 15 grams of sugar. The fat in there is from the nuts and seeds, which are generally regarded to be better for you than dairy or animal fats ... though still watch the calorie count. The Coconut one comes in as full on candy, even with only two ingredients with 310 calories, 200 of them from fat and only 3 grams of protein.

All the nutrition aside, I find these sorts of snacks more satisfying than many candies. There’s a great mix of textures and flavors, plus they’re really beautiful to look at. I’d definitely pick these up again, but I’d probably try to share them. They work far better when consumed right after opening and of course I find it hard to keep from eating the whole package anyway.

Related Candies

  1. Joyva Sesame Crunch
  2. Adams & Brooks P-Nuttles plus Coconut
  3. Trader Joe’s Soft Peanut Brittle
  4. El Almendro Turron Selection
  5. Old Dominion Brittle
  6. Morning Glory Confections: Chai Tea & Cashew Brittle
  7. Munch Bar
  8. Pocky Kurogoma (Black Sesame)


Name: Pepitoria Mixed Seeds Brittle
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Las Trojes
Place Purchased: Jack's Wholesale Candy (Los Angeles)
Price: $1.00
Size: 2 ounces
Calories per ounce: 150
Categories: All Natural, Candy, Brittle, Nuts, 8-Tasty, United States


Name: Pepitoria Pumpkin Seed Brittle
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Las Trojes
Place Purchased: Jack's Wholesale Candy (Los Angeles)
Price: $1.00
Size: 2 ounces
Calories per ounce: 130
Categories: All Natural, Candy, Brittle, 8-Tasty, United States


Name: Pepitoria Coconut Brittle
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Las Trojes
Place Purchased: Jack's Wholesale Candy (Los Angeles)
Price: $1.00
Size: 2 ounces
Calories per ounce: 155
Categories: All Natural, Candy, Brittle, Coconut, 8-Tasty, United States

POSTED BY Cybele AT 2:58 pm     All NaturalCandyBrittleCoconutNuts8-TastyUnited StatesComments (2)

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Bees & Beans Honey Bar

Bee's Beans Honey BarBees & Beans is a Portland, Oregon artisan candy bar maker. Faith Dionne says, “These are candy bars that you can feel great about eating.” I found the bar at BiRite Market in San Francisco’s Mission District, one of the best places I know to find artisan candy.

The Honey Bar is Honey caramel, salted filbert and honey nougat, hand dipped in dark chocolate with a sprinkling of sea salt.

Bees & Beans Honey Bar

Many of the ingredients are organic and, as much as possible, they are sourced locally in Oregon.

Sugar, honey, 70% chocolate (cocoa mass, sugar, cocoa butter, non-GMO soy lecithin, vanilla bean), organic cream, filberts, organic butter, egg whites, salt, vanilla extract, dried barley malt extract.

Based on the ingredients list, I believe this chocolate is sourced from Scharffen Berger. The Bees & Beans site says that they use both Theo Chocolate, which is fair trade, and Scharffen Berger, which is not, and is owned by Hershey’s. (Theo does not use soy lecithin.)

Bees & Beans Honey Bar

The construction of the bar is interesting, the caramel is on the bottom, the nougat on the top, then a coating of very dark chocolate sprinkled with sea salt. It looks just like a candy bar.

Bees & Beans Honey Bar

The nougat is almost marshmallowy. It’s soft and fluffy and has a bit of a pull when bitten, a silky sort of chew without any hint of sugary grain. The caramel is soft, not too chewy as to make the bar fall apart when bitten. There’s a sprinkling of salt on top, but also a fair amount of salt, as far as my tongue can detect, in both the caramel and the nougat. The filberts are only lightly toasted but have an excellent crunch, almost like a macadamia nut instead of like a hazelnut.

There is no perfect analogue to this in the mass-manufactured candy bar offerings in the United States. (Perhaps the European Nestle Nuts would be similar.) The textures are great and the ingredients are top notch. The prevalence of the honey flavors also sets this apart from so many other candies that might use honey but not enough to make it part of the texture and flavor profile to this degree. The short shelf life is an issue for folks like me who like to stock up (they sell the bars online in quad packs), but I was lucky to pick mine up a month ago and still eat it within its 2 month window of freshness. If I had to chose between this bar and the See’s Awesome Nut & Chew bar (which is all nougat and no caramel), it’d be hard. Bees & Beans makes several other bars that all sound fantastic, including a seasonal Malt Bar that I’ll have to order soon.

Related Candies

  1. Double Dutch Sweets: The Ramona Bar
  2. Rococo Bee Bars
  3. Loukoumi Artisan Confections
  4. Look! and Big Hunk
  5. Nutpatch Nougats
  6. Soubeyran Array
  7. See’s Awesome Nut & Chew Bar


Name: Honey Bar
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Bees & Beans
Place Purchased: BiRite Market (San Francisco)
Price: $4.99
Size: 2.0 ounces
Calories per ounce:
Categories: All Natural, Candy, Caramel, Chocolate, Nougat, Nuts, 8-Tasty, United States

POSTED BY Cybele AT 2:45 pm     All NaturalCandyReviewCaramelChocolateNougatNuts8-TastyUnited StatesComments (1)

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Ferrara Chocolate Candy Coated Chocolate Covered Almond Eggs

Ferrara Pan Candy Coated Chocolate Covered Almond EggsFerrara Pan which is known for Lemonheads and Atomic Fireballs got into the chocolate business a few years back making very good domestic versions of segmented chocolate oranges (with Belgian chocolate) and panned nut treats. This new Ferrara Chocolate group is also creating some new holiday items, I was excited to see these fun speckled eggs called Candy Coated Chocolate Covered Almond Eggs at Walgreen’s.

The bag is priced pretty well, at $2.49 for a half a pound, it’s about what I will pay for Almond M&Ms on sale.

Ferrara Pan Candy Coated Chocolate Covered Almond Eggs

The eggs are a nice size, indicating that they either have a lot of chocolate in there or start with very large almonds. They’re a milk chocolate product with a lot of milk in them. The first ingredient in the chocolate coating is sugar, the second is whole milk. So, that’s some milky chocolate. The coatings are attractive. They start with a pastel base and have little speckles on them. Some are quite speckled, others have barely a burnishing of color.

Ferrara Pan Candy Coated Chocolate Covered Almond Eggs

The ratios are great, the chocolate is thick and the almonds are nicely sized and well roasted to a crunch. The milky chocolate is sweet, but not that Easter-cloying sweetness. The level of milk in it gives it a cool melt on the tongue and a light toffee and dairy finish. The other notes are a bit of smoke, either from the chocolate itself or the almonds and maybe a hint of cinnamon (they are the makers of Red Hots). The shell is a little thinner than M&Ms so it has a lighter crunch.

They’re good. Good enough that I ate the whole bag in three days. They’re different from M&Ms, the melt of the chocolate is less sweet and less fudgy and a little smoother, but the flavor isn’t quite as intense. I prefer the look of the Ferrera to M&Ms and the consistent shape of the candies.

The candies are Kosher and made in the United States with Belgian chocolate. No gluten statement. There’s also no statement about the sourcing of the cacao and ethical concerns on the package or their website.

Related Candies

  1. Hershey’s Pieces - Milk Chocolate with Almonds
  2. Marich All Natural Holland Mints & Chocolate Jordan Almonds
  3. Ferrara Belgian Milk Chocolate
  4. Brach’s Indulge Almonds: Coconut & Caramel
  5. Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate Almonds
  6. Sconza 70% Dark Chocolate Toffee Almonds
  7. M&Ms Line


Name: Candy Coated Chocolate Covered Almond Eggs
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Ferrara Pan
Place Purchased: Walgreen's (Echo Park)
Price: $2.49
Size: 8 ounces
Calories per ounce: 140
Categories: Candy, Easter, Ferrara Pan, Chocolate, Nuts, 8-Tasty, United States, Walgreen's

POSTED BY Cybele AT 2:21 pm     CandyReviewEasterFerrara PanChocolateKosherNuts8-TastyUnited StatesWalgreen'sComments (1)

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Perugina Baci

Perugina Baci (Nestle)One of the seasonal imported candies I looked forward to as a kid were Perugina Baci. They were one of my earliest recollections of hazelnut candies. It’s a simple construction, a chocolate cream filling with crushed hazelnuts, topped with a whole hazelnut and then dipped in dark chocolate.

They’ve been made since 1922 and were very successful from the start. The hook with Baci though isn’t just the hazelnut textures and chocolate, it’s the packaging. Each little chocolate is individually wrapped, and inside the wrapper is a glassine paper that has quotes about love, now in multiple languages.

Perugina Baci (Nestle)

I ate plenty of these as a kid. They used to come in larger boxes, I think they had either three or four chocolates in them. Now they’re only available in this duo box or in the larger gift size versions (which change depending on the season). They were first introduced to American consumers in 1939 when Perugina opened their own shop on Fifth Avenue in New York City in 1939. But then they went away. Nestle bought Perugina in 1988 and the brand was less emphasized. Perugina concentrated their sales efforts on Italy and Europe. Baci weren’t as easy to find, though still turned up in Italian delis and import shops. When internet sales came along, it was a bit easier, but still, the impulse of buying a little tube of Perugina Baci was long gone.

That supposed to change now, as Nestle has an agreement with Colavita olive oil (not a Nestle product) to handle imports for Baci and other Perugina products. They made a big splash at the Fancy Food Show in San Francisco, so perhaps they’ll be easier to find now.

Perugina Baci (Nestle)

The pieces are about a half an ounce each and have about 75 calories in them. It’s a rich mix of dark chocolate on the outside, a filling of hazelnut paste and cream along with crushed hazelnuts. Then there’s a large, whole hazelnut on top.

The ingredients list for a complicated candy like this is very short: sugar, hazelnuts, chocolate processed with alkali, cocoa butter, milk, milkfat, soy lecithin and vanillin.

Where you find friends, there you find riches.
- Plato

Perugina Baci (Nestle)

Baci are only for chocolate eaters who love hazelnuts. There’s a lot of hazelnut in there. The filling is jam packed with crushed hazelnuts (the chocolate was invented to make use of excess crushed nuts in the chocolate factory) but the real appeal here is the fantastic whole hazelnut on top.

They smell sweet and nutty. Bite is easy, the center is soft enough to give easily, but not sticky or syrupy. It all melts well together, with a lot of woodsy and roasted nut flavors. Personally, I like biting off the bottom and consuming that first, leaving only the chocolate covered whole hazelnut at the end.

One is satisfying, two is downright indulgent. I think a box of three would be the perfect serving and put a fourth in to at least create the illusion of sharing.

While Caffarel are still my favorite Italian hazelnut chocolates, I do love Baci and I’m glad they’re going to be more available.

There’s no statement about the ethical sourcing of the chocolate on the package or Perugina Italian website. (The US website hasn’t launched fully yet.) The product contains hazelnuts and possibly traces of other tree nuts, plus soy and dairy. There is no statement about gluten on the package.

Related Candies

  1. Pernigotti Gianduia: Piedmont Hazelnut Paste
  2. Milka L’il Scoops
  3. Die Besten von Ferrero: Mon Cheri, Kusschen & Rondnoir
  4. William diCarlo Perle di dolcezza
  5. Laica & Caffarel Chocolate Eggs
  6. Short & Sweet: Hazelnut Bites
  7. Baci Bar
  8. Caffarel Gianduia 1865


Name: baci
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Nestle
Place Purchased: samples from Fancy Food Show
Price: $1.50
Size: 1 ounce
Calories per ounce: 150
Categories: Candy, Nestle, Chocolate, Nuts, 8-Tasty, Italy

POSTED BY Cybele AT 12:27 pm     CandyReviewNestleChocolateNuts8-TastyItalyComments (3)

Friday, January 13, 2012

Hershey’s Pieces - Milk Chocolate with Almonds

DSC_9765rbHershey’s has been chugging along with their Pieces line, the long-overdue expansion of the Reese’s Pieces product into other pelletized versions of popular Hershey’s candy bars.

The new Hershey’s Pieces - Milk Chocolate with Almonds isn’t as innovative as some of the other candies, such as the Almond Joy Pieces or the initial Reese’s Pieces. But they fill a void in Hershey’s offerings and I was looking forward to them.

The first big stumbling block I had, though, was the price. 8 ounces for about four dollars. Other stores sell them for $4.50. I have a hard time paying 8 or 9 dollars a pound for Hershey’s candy in bulk quantities.

They also don’t reinvent the niche with some new quality. They’re not low in allergens, the list on the back says that they may contain soy, wheat, other tree nuts and peanuts. A great selling point would have been a nutty candy that is actually peanut and/or gluten free.

Hershey's Pieces - Milk Chocolate with Almonds

The Pieces look like the package illustrates. They come in three colors: dark brown, brown and cream. They vary widely in size, based on the core of almond. Some are as small as a Peanut M&M, others are huge, sometimes over an inch long.

They’re a standard construction of a well-roasted almond, a milk chocolate coating and then a colored candy shell. The colors are pleasing. I actually enjoyed their muted tones more than the loud and artificial M&Ms Almond. Of course these are also artificial, with Red 40, Yellow 6 and Blue 1 & 2 ... just less bang for the coloring.

The almonds are roasted to a very dark color, roasted in cocoa butter and/or sunflower oil). This is a good choice. I found them all crunchy and fresh tasting, not a single fibery or bitter one in the bag.

The shell is thin enough to crunch easily and provide only a modicum of sweetness. The milk chocolate is only marginally acceptable. It has the Hershey’s sour note to it, which I actually like sometimes, especially when mixed with more savory elements. Here it was such a back seat to the large almonds, it worked.

I prefer this, by far, to the Hershey’s Milk Chocolate with Almonds bar. But I don’t like it better than M&Ms Almond, because of the difference in the chocolate flavor. What I’d really like to see is a Heath Pieces at this point, that’d really set the Pieces line apart from their current iteration as an M&Ms clone.

Related Candies

  1. Hershey’s Special Dark Pieces
  2. Hershey’s York Pieces
  3. Hershey’s Almond Joy Pieces
  4. Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate Almonds
  5. Sconza 70% Dark Chocolate Toffee Almonds
  6. Reese’s Pieces
  7. M&Ms Line
  8. Reese’s Pieces with Peanuts


Name: Milk Chocolate with Almonds Pieces
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Hershey’s
Place Purchased: Rite Aid (Sherman Oaks)
Price: $3.99
Size: 8 ounces
Calories per ounce: 142
Categories: Candy, Hershey's, Chocolate, Kosher, Nuts, 7-Worth It, United States, Rite Aid

POSTED BY Cybele AT 4:18 pm     CandyMorselizationReviewHershey'sChocolateKosherNuts7-Worth ItUnited StatesRite AidComments (5)

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