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Peanuts

Friday, August 4, 2006

More Satisfying Snickers Almond?

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This is breaking news. Or at least it was breaking news to me: the Snickers Almond bar now contains peanuts ... I’m not talking about “processed in a facility and equipment along with peanuts” kind of thing. I’m talking about a main ingredient. (Click on the photos for more readable versions.)

I don’t know if I would have noticed, except that the Sav-on had both the old version of the bar (sans peanuts) and the new one side by side and I was curious why the packaging was suddenly different and what made the new one “more satisfying.”

So I purchased both and went off to the Candy Blog labs to do some analyses. First, the bars say they weigh the same, but when placed on the trusty postal scale the More Satisfying with Peanuts version came in at exactly 2.0 ounces and the Less Satisfying with just Almonds clocked in at 1.9 ounces. What’s even more puzzling about this is that the label says that they weigh 1.76 ounces ... at least Mars is generous.

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The original version shown above was easier to slice and seemed more “solid”. There weren’t copious amounts of almonds, but a fair amount. The bar was rather bland, as I mentioned in my review before. But there is something missing here, a toastiness, some sort of flavor.

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So the big thing I noticed right away was how difficult it was to slice this bar easily. It was kind of mucky ... not melted or anything, just not as structural. I think there may be more caramel now. Instead of just going back to a better tasting nougat, the Mars folks created the hybrid Snickers/Mars Frankenbar. It’s a Mars bar that tastes like a Snickers. Really, why buy this? It doesn’t taste like almonds ... if anything, it’s just a Snickers bar that’s a little smaller.

As a touchstone I went out and bought/consumed a standard Snickers bar. It really tasted no different except the Snickers Almond was a little crunchier because almonds are bigger than peanuts.

This got me to thinking about the ingredients, so here’s a run down of the top contents of the Less Satisfying Snickers Almond, More Satisfying Snickers Almond and the Satisfying Snickers (Peanut):

LS Snickers Almond…...MS Snickers Almond…..Plain Old Snickers
Milk Chocolate….........Milk Chocolate…......Milk Chocolate
Almonds….................Corn Syrup…................Peanuts
Corn Syrup…...............Almonds…...............Corn Syrup
Sugar….....................Sugar….....................Sugar
Skim Milk…................Peanuts….................Milk Fat
Hydr’ted Palm Kernel Oil….Milkfat…................Skim Milk

But let’s go back to that statement on the new Snickers Almond bar ... what exactly makes satisfaction?

Less Satisfying Snickers Almond: 230 Calories & 1.76 ounces (that’s 131 calories per ounce)
More Satisfying Snickers Almond: 240 Calories & 1.76 ounces (that’s 136 calories per ounce)
Snickers: 280 calories & 2.07 ounces (that’s 135 calories per ounce)

Could satisfaction be another word for caloric density?

While I find the More Satisfying Snickers Almond a little more tasty than before, its resemblance to the classic Snickers Peanut makes it superfluous. There are so few almond choices out there, why take this one away? I’m giving the Now More Satisfying Snickers Almond bar the same rating I gave the original.

(I’m also a little miffed that I consumed about 750 calories for this one review! I just hope none of them contained mouse droppings.)

Note: I looked at the Snickers website and they still list the old ingredients for the Snickers Almond bar.

UPDATE 9/2/2008: Well, the old new Snickers Almond is back. Here’s a brief revisit with the bar:

Snickers Almond

I like the bar (though I prefer the dark chocolate version) and I’m glad they brought it back.

Product: Mars Snickers Almond
Previous Review: 12/28/2005
Change: reverting to old recipe (eliminating peanut ingredients from previous version)
Result: A great bar with a long history and I’m glad that it’s back to a more classic formulation so it bumps up a notch. 6 out of 10

Related Candies

  1. Revisit: Take 5, Sunkist Fruit Gems & Snickers Almond
  2. Snickers Rockin’ Nut Road Bar
  3. Snickers Nut ‘n Butter Crunch
  4. Snickers Almond Dark
  5. Snickers Dark
  6. Snickers Xtreme
Name: Now More Satisfying Snickers Almond
    RATING:
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 6 TEMPTING
  • 5 PLEASANT
  • 4 BENIGN
  • 3 UNAPPEALING
  • 2 APPALLING
  • 1 INEDIBLE
Brand: Mars
Place Purchased: Savon (Hollywood)
Price: $.65
Size: 1.76 ounces
Calories per ounce: 136
Categories: Chocolate, Nuts, Nougat, Caramel, Peanuts, United States, Mars

POSTED BY Cybele AT 6:29 am     Comments (30)

Friday, July 7, 2006

P-Nuttles

P Whattles? P-Nuttles! I make fun of it, but it’s really a pretty cool name for a candy.

Sometimes I forget about the blessed simplicity of some classic candies.

imageP-Nuttles are one of those. Turning over the simple orange foil package I looked at the ingredients: peanuts, sugar, butter, salt. That’s it!

The uneven looking little morsels are simply panned peanuts coated with a crunchy toffee. Sweet with a solid salty hit, they’re dependably tasty. No worries if you come across a nut that’s lost its toffee coat, that means more crunchy shell at the bottom of the package.

These are great to put on ice cream or of course a good summertime sweet that won’t melt.

After my bad peanut experience yesterday, I was very happy with these. Not a bad nut in the bag, and considering how many that was, those are good odds. The only problem I have with them is that I have no idea where to buy them. I’m going to have to keep my eyes open for sightings in the wild, but at least I know I can get them online. I wouldn’t be surprised to find them at 99 Cent stores, as I’ve often found Cup-O-Gold there.

Name: P Nuttles
    RATING:
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 6 TEMPTING
  • 5 PLEASANT
  • 4 BENIGN
  • 3 UNAPPEALING
  • 2 APPALLING
  • 1 INEDIBLE
Brand: Adams & Brooks, Inc.
Place Purchased: All Candy Expo sample
Price: MSRP $.85
Size: 1.9 ounces
Calories per ounce: 142
Categories: Peanuts, Toffee, United States, Adams & Brooks

POSTED BY Cybele AT 6:18 am     Comments (12)

Thursday, July 6, 2006

Owyhee Old Faithful

It’s marshmallow day. Or maybe “Original Creme Center” day, since the Old Faithful doesn’t even say it has marshmallow in it. I bought this bar on the same day as the other limited edition Hershey items, so I figured I should review them at the same time. I got them at a store called Duck Soup, which focuses on retro items, like coffee mugs that look like paper cups and old pinball machines. But they also had a very nice selection of classic candy bars. What was even better was that they were only $.99 each ... that Idaho Spud I bought recently was $1.55!

This long lump has a latexy, ultrasmooth creme (ala marshmallow) center cloaked in whole peanuts and milk chocolate.

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The center was not at all what I expected. I expected something like a fondant or fudge, like the Bun. But instead it’s a rather strange viscous filling that doesn’t flow completely, but is super smooth. Not foamy enough for me to consider it marshmallow, but the ingredients include egg whites, so maybe it is.

In fact, I really loved the filling, with it’s slightly bouncy texture (yes, rather similar to the detested Idaho Spud) what I had particular trouble with was the peanuts in the cluster. There were bad peanuts. Once you have one bad peanut, it makes you skittish. And there were more than a few peanuts that were darker than normal and tasted like burnt plastic.

I don’t know if this was a bad bar, but it was bad enough that I was so fearful of another bad nut that I didn’t even want to finish it. So, I took the last third of the bar apart, just eating the marshmallow. Which I really liked on its own. However, that does not redeem this bar. I can’t not eat a major portion of it.

I’m sorry, I just can’t get past something called Old Faithful would have such bad quality control. It broke its promise of peanuts that I could eat. The milk chocolate was passable and it made me wonder why they didn’t use this coating for the Idaho Spud instead of the artery clogging mess o’ trans fats they had on there.

Note: there are no hydrogenated oils in this bar.

Name: Old Faithful
    RATING:
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 6 TEMPTING
  • 5 PLEASANT
  • 4 BENIGN
  • 3 UNAPPEALING
  • 2 APPALLING
  • 1 INEDIBLE
Brand: Idaho Candy Co.
Place Purchased: Duck Soup (The Grove, Los Angeles)
Price: $.99
Size: 1.5 ounces
Calories per ounce: 147
Categories: Chocolate, PeanutsMarshmallowUnited States, Idaho Candy Co.>

POSTED BY Cybele AT 10:39 am     Comments (6)

Limited Edition Marshmallows

Though there’s little reason for me to be buying candy with the huge stockpile I have from the All Candy Expo, I couldn’t help but stop at the 7-11 on Friday on my way home from work. That’s when I spotted these two marshmallow limited edition items: Marshmallow Take 5 and Marshmallow Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups.

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In the Marshmallow Take 5, the marshmallow replaces the caramel that’s normally found in there. Hershey’s has been mucking around with the Take 5 in these limited editions for a while, but none of the newer versions have been very satisfying in my opinion and this one is no different.

The bar smells wonderfully sweet and peanutty, but upon biting into it, it becomes freakishly fake tasting with a strong vanillin component. The peanut butter holds its own and the salty pretzel gives a welcome crunchy component but it still can’t drown out the sickly sweet marshmallow.

The thing I noticed about both of these bars is that the marshmallow isn’t fluffy like I’m used to with the Campfire kind. It’s rather latexy but very smooth.

(See other Take 5 reviews: Take 5, Take 5 White Chocolate, Take 5 Cookie & Take 5 Peanut Butter.)

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The Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup with Marshmallow was similar to the Take 5 in that it smelled and looked normal until you bit into it. Then there was a bit of flowing and slick marshmallow at the bottom of the cup, similar to the new Reese’s Caramel cup.

I found eating the first cup that I didn’t really like how overwhelming the marshmallow was to the texture of the crumbly peanut butter center. So for the second one I turned it over, so that the peanut butter layer hit my tongue first. Much better, but still, the sweetness of the marshmallow gave me a sore throat and didn’t really add anything to the experience.

I’m wondering, however, what a candy cup with caramel at the bottom and then flowing marshmallow (like a See’s Scotchmallow) might go over. Joanna at SugarSavvy.net also reviewed them yesterday.

(See other Reese’s reviews: Reese’s full line, Easter EggsSnack Barz, Nutrageous, Reese’s Sticks, Fast Break, Reese’s Cookies, White Chocolate Reese’s & Reese’s Bars.)

In the mean time, I hope Hershey’s has gotten the impulse to add marshmallows to everything out of their system.

Name: Marshmallow Take 5 & Reese's Peanut Butter Cups with Marshmallow
    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: 7-11 (Hollywood)
Price: $.85
Size: 1.3 oz & 1.4 oz
Calories per ounce: 138 & 143
Categories: Chocolate, Marshmallow, Cookie, Peanuts, United States, Hershey, Limited Edition

POSTED BY Cybele AT 6:20 am     Comments (15)

Monday, July 3, 2006

Fisher Milk Chocolate Covered Peanuts

Simplicity is a beautiful thing.

Peanuts and chocolate, chocolate and peanuts.

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I picked these up at the All Candy Expo. They weren’t sexy, they’re not new ... they’re just milk chocolate peanuts.

The peanuts were fresh and good quality. Not the super huge ones that are all standardized sizes, but I didn’t have a bad peanut in the bag, so I appreciate their ability to screen out the yucky ones. They have a nice, thin coat of milk chocolate, so it’s more peanut flavor than chocolate. They have a glossy sheen, which means that they don’t melt together so easily even on blisteringly hot days like today.

Honestly, I think these are much better than Goobers, they’re not quite as sweet and the peanuttiness shines through. I’ve seen these before in the concession sized boxes at movie theaters and I always passed them by because I thought they were a cheaper version of Goobers (or Peanut M&Ms). But they’re actually really good and fresh tasting.

Because there’s more peanut than chocolate in there, there’s not as much sugar either. So if you’re into a sweet little snack and can handle the fat content of the peanuts this is a good snack with lasting energy because of the protein hit.

Name: Fisher Milk Chocolate Covered Peanuts
    RATING:
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 6 TEMPTING
  • 5 PLEASANT
  • 4 BENIGN
  • 3 UNAPPEALING
  • 2 APPALLING
  • 1 INEDIBLE
Brand: Promotion in Motion
Place Purchased: All Candy Expo sample
Price: MSRP $.75
Size: 1.75 ounces
Calories per ounce: 150
Categories: Chocolate, Peanut, United States

POSTED BY Cybele AT 7:22 am     Comments (6)

Monday, June 12, 2006

Snickers Xtreme

Mars hasn’t been nearly as invested in the limited edition game as Hershey’s but I think that when they do come out with an item, though it’s usually just a simple twist on an existing one, they’re pretty good.

Witness the Snickers Xtreme. It’s a Snickers bar without that pesky nougat. What’s odd about this bar is that Snickers has already released this product in miniature.

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I smashed my bar in my bag, so the picture isn’t that pretty. (I cut off the smashed part to give the bar the best chance at looking dead sexy. I tried biting the bar to show off the innards, but all you saw was caramel, not the plethora of nuts.)

The label heralds it as having 5 grams of protein, which is pretty good for a candy bar. Nearly all of that protein is from the peanuts with a trace amount, I supposed, from the milk in the chocolate and caramel.

First, let me tell you about my hopes for this bar. I’ve always been a big fan of the Goldenberg’s Peanut Chews because of the density of the nuts but also because the infusion of molasses gave the chew a real pop of flavor. I was hoping that the Snickers Xtreme bar would fill that niche, only with real chocolate.

What this bar does is reveal how uninspiring the caramel of the Snickers (and I’ll wager the Milky Way) actually is. I could taste the peanuts loud and clear and the milk chocolate made a nice appearance (albeit a sweet one), but the caramel only provided a backdrop of sweet chew, no caramelized sugar notes. (And an odd hint of cinnamon but that could be cross contamination with all the other candy I’ve picked up and stored this with ... Atomic Fire Balls were EVERYWHERE!)

My last quarrel I’m going to mention is the name of the bar. If Milky Way put out a caramel-less bar, you wouldn’t call it a Milky Way Xtreme ... you’d call it a 3 Musketeers. If you took out the nuts in a Snickers, well, you’d have a Milky Way ... see where I’m going here? Changing an item to a different version of the same basic foodstuff, such as dark chocolate instead of milk chocolate does qualify. But taking out a whole item does not allow you to keep them name. Period.

Actually, I liked the bar. Probably more than the regular Snickers bar, because it isn’t quite as sweet (because of the nuts) and if it’s possible, it’s more satisfying that way. It’s a calorie laden bar - 290 to be exact and at over 2 ounces, it’s no wonder it satisfies (that’s only 10 more calories than the regular Snickers bar and one more gram of protein). Now if they decided to make the Snickers Almond bar into an Xtreme, I am so there!

Here’s something I learned last week: The Snickers bar was named after one of the Mars family horses. You can read more about the Snickers history (which is pretty interesting) at the Snickers site.

Name: Snickers Xtreme
    RATING:
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 6 TEMPTING
  • 5 PLEASANT
  • 4 BENIGN
  • 3 UNAPPEALING
  • 2 APPALLING
  • 1 INEDIBLE
Brand: Mars
Place Purchased: All Candy Expo sample
Price: approximately $.75
Size: 2.07 ounces
Calories per ounce: 145
Categories: Chocolate, Peanuts, caramel, United States, Mars, Limited Edition

POSTED BY Cybele AT 6:26 am     Comments (12)

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Reese’s Bars

I saw these new limited edition Reese’s Bars and I grabbed one over the weekend.

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The new Reese’s Bar seems to answer the call for the Reese’s Egg to be made year round. But for some strange reason it’s a pale imitation of the Reese’s Egg. I can’t quite figure out why, it is basically an uncupped peanut butter cup.

The bar is a little messier to eat if you take it out of the package. The oiliness of the peanut butter and the softness of the milk chocolate make it especially soft for handling.

The peanut butter center crumbles and melts nicely in the mouth, but the proportion of the chocolate to the peanut butter just isn’t right for me. I think I want a smidge more chocolate or lots more peanut butter.

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The other new limited edition addition is this Fudge Reese’s Bar. I was thinking, “Hey, I’d like some peanut butter fudge right now!” But that’s not what I got. In fact, I was wondering if this was ANY different than the Reese’s Bar shown above. The crumbly and cool peanut butter center was just as I remembered eating just a few minutes earlier.

I looked at the labels:

Reese’s Bar...............................Fudge Reese’s Bar
Peanuts…..........................................Peanuts
Milk Chocolate…............................Milk Chocolate
Sugar…..............................................Sugar
Dextrose…........................................Dextrose
Vegetable Oil…..............................Vegetable Oil

It continues identically to the very end. The difference appears to be within the ingredients of the Milk Chocolate itself. The coating on the Fudge Reese’s Bar is, well, fudgy, instead of chocolatey. The Fudge Bar has more milk in the chocolate enrobing.

While that sounds like it’d be nice, it makes for a mess. It’s not that warm here today (in the high seventies) and it’s rather hard to keep this thing from losing its bar-shaped coherence.

It doesn’t taste as good either, it tastes more like cardboard and less like chocolate.

Whatever the difference, I reject these bars because there’s nothing wrong with the plain old Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. These give you 1.3 ounces, the regular cups give you 1.5 ounces. They cost the same price ... and because they’re leaving out the little paper cups, I get shafted for .2 ounces? Maybe if you’re on a diet and want to trim those extra, um, 31 calories this would be a good deal. I’m not saying these are bad bars. If Reese’s Peanut Butter cups had never been invented and this was my first introduction, I’d be all for them. But they’re far from an improvement on the existing cups, so they get a poor score and can sink into the dark recesses of Limited Edition history.

Name: Reese's Bar & Fudge Reese's Bar
    RATING:
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 6 TEMPTING
  • 5 PLEASANT
  • 4 BENIGN
  • 3 UNAPPEALING
  • 2 APPALLING
  • 1 INEDIBLE
Brand: Reese's (Hershey's)
Place Purchased: Von's & 7-11
Price: $.39 (sale) & $.85
Size: 1.3 ounces
Calories per ounce: 154
Categories: Chocolate, Peanuts, United States, Hershey's

POSTED BY Cybele AT 10:20 am     Comments (9)

Friday, May 5, 2006

Boyer Smoothie

Now that I’ve eaten a dozen Reese’s products, I thought I needed a change. So I had a Boyer Smoothie.

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Boyer is based in Altoona, Pennsylvania and may be somewhat of a regional brand. I don’t see them out in Los Angeles, but they’re not hard to find once you get to the east coast or midwest.

I’m not sure I’ve ever had it before; it’s even odder now that I’ve had this cup. All this time I was expecting something called the Smoothie to be like a Buckeye (which is an ultrasmooth peanut butter filling in milk chocolate). They’re described as, “Creamy peanut butter covered with butterscotch.” Not only that, they’re chunky! The “butterscotch” coating is kind of like an overly sweet white chocolate and it’s studded with chopped peanuts, so it pretty much tastes like peanut butter fudge. The peanut butter filling is much like the Reese’s filling, it has a nice salty hit to it and is slightly crumbly.

But the whole thing had this sickly sweet smell to it. I guess if you’re allergic to chocolate, this might be the peanut butter cup for you. It’s just not for me. I want something else to play off the peanut butter, chocolate is a good companion as is coconut like in the Chick-o-Stick or the Peanut Butter Ginger Chews. As Boyer products go, I think I’ll stick with the Mallo Cup.

Name: Boyer Smoothie
    RATING:
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 6 TEMPTING
  • 5 PLEASANT
  • 4 BENIGN
  • 3 UNAPPEALING
  • 2 APPALLING
  • 1 INEDIBLE
Brand: Boyer Candy Co.
Place Purchased: Baldinger's (Zelienople, PA)
Price: $.65
Size: 1.6 ounces
Calories per ounce: 156
Categories: Peanuts, United States

POSTED BY Cybele AT 6:53 am     Comments (34)

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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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