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Friday, May 30, 2014

Artisan du Chocolat Black Cardamom

Artisan du Chocolat Black CardamomI have a love for cardamom, and my recent trip to London did not disappoint when it came to cardamom-infused confections.

I was happy to visit the Artisan du Chocolat boutique within the Selfridge’s Food Hall. Not only did I get to choose from the full array of chocolate bars that they make, they also had one of their most famous chocolates that I’d been eager to try ... Pearls. They’re about the size of a hazelnut in the shell, spherical and come in light colors like silver, peach and creamy white that are dusted with pearlized color. It’s a stunning presentation. The chocolates themselves (I tried two) are decent. I had a caramel, which was covered in milk chocolate, so it was salty enough but still quite sweet and milky. The other was a hazelnut praline, which was also very sweet but also satisfyingly nutty. They’re quite expensive and nothing that I would buy on a regular basis.

So, back to what I did purchase, the Artisan du Chocolat Black Cardamom 70% Cacao

Artisan Du Chocolat Black Cardamom

Though the bar is called Black Cardamom, a mix of green and black cardamom is infused into the 70% dark chocolate made from South American cocoa beans. The bar is made from a simple mold with well defined segments that snap easily into portions.

The smell of the bar is woodsy and deep, a bit like burnt brownies. The cardamom notes aren’t really evident until I put it in my mouth. The cardamom is infused smoothly into the chocolate, there are not fibery hulls or little seeds. The flavor of cardamom is interesting, it’s a bit of a cross between nutmeg, jasmine and lavender.

The melt of the chocolate is good, it’s smooth and has a dark flavor and dry finish and a very slight raisin or raspberry note to it. The cardamom flavors are fresh and linger much longer than the chocolate notes.

Overall, it’s one of the best cardamom chocolate bars I’ve had. The portion is good, I found this size bar to be two servings. The price is a bit steep for the size and of course it’s hard to find in the United States. The company is artisan, but not terribly transparent about the sourcing of the ingredients beyond the basics that I’ve listed here.

Made with soy lecithin. May also contain traces of sesame, nuts and milk but is otherwise consider vegan.

I’ve purchased a few Artisan du Chocolat bars in the past, but haven’t featured any reviews to date. Since these bars are still available, here are a few tasting notes I made a couple of years ago:

Artisan du Chocolat Orchid & Orange BlossomThe Artisan du Chocolat Orchid & Orange Blossom is also a 45 gram bar and made with 72% cacao. The beans are a mix of Venezuelan and Mexican cacao.

The package is similar to the Black Cardamom bar, it’s a simple, glossy paperboard box. The bar inside is just wrapped in a clear cellophane bag. It’s easy to open, and because it’s not exactly form-fitted, it’s easy to get any remnants back in the package to seal up for later.

All of the bars I’ve tried from Artisan du Chocolat also use the same mold. It’s rather generic, with no special lettering or embossed designs ... it’s just a series of well-proportioned pieces.

Artisan Du Chocolat Orchid & Orange Blossom

Orange blossom is forward and loud. The soft flavor does well with the strong chocolate. Tangy notes, a little soapy at times and perfumey. Was much more subtle when I first opened the bar, but got stronger as the month went on. Chocolate is less sweet, smooth though has a dry finish and woodsy quality overall. There’s the slightest bitter note towards the end, but it fades to a rather fresh note that lingers.

Rating: 7 out of 10

Artisan du Chocolat Almond MilkThe Artisan du Chocolat Almond Milk is a bit of a change up. Instead of a fusion bar, as the previous two were, this is from the line called “break the mould” which includes their 100% cacao bar and sugar free bars in both milk and dark chocolate.

The bar is what it sounds like, instead of using dairy milk, Artisan du Chocolate substitutes almond milk ... well, specifically partially defatted almonds (26%), to boost the creamy texture of the bar and even out some of the chocolate’s intensity. The bar contains 40% cacao, but a lot of that is cocoa butter, not cocoa solids (probably because the almonds are defatted and the cocoa butter is necessary to maintain the chocolate texture).

There is no nutritional panel, so I don’t know what the fat, protein or sugar content is here. It would be interesting to find out, as chocolate itself has a fair amount of protein as do almonds.

Artisan du Chocolat Almond Milk

Very light looking for a 40% bar. Light cinnamon note to the bar. The melt is not quick, but very smooth. Creamy with a cashew-like nut flavor. Cocoa notes are really watered down. Lightly spicy without any actual spice.

Interesting bar, far too sweet than I’d want but at least it doesn’t have that sticky thick melt that dairy milk has. I enjoyed it as a confection, but it in no way replicated the experience of milk chocolate and didn’t have enough of a chocolate boost to satisfy me either. I’d actually throw it closer into the white chocolate category (can someone attempt an almond-cocoa butter white bar or maybe a cashew-cocoa butter white bar?).

Rating: 7 out of 10 (only because it’s dairy free - it’d be 6 out of 10 if it were going head to head with other 40% cacao bars)

I enjoy Artisan du Chocolat’s flavor mixes, there are a lot of herbs and spices and florals that they utilize that I don’t see in other confections here in the United States. But they’re not for everyday consumption, because of the price and difficulty to find.



Name: Black Cardamom 70% Cacao
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Artisan du Chocolat
Place Purchased: Selfridges (London, UK)
Price: £ 3.50 ($5.85)
Size: 1.588 ounces
Calories per ounce:
Categories: All Natural, Candy, Chocolate, 9-Yummy, United Kingdom

POSTED BY Cybele AT 1:11 pm     All NaturalCandyReviewChocolate9-YummyUnited StatesComments (0)

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

York Peppermint Pattie Minis

York MinisHershey’s won the The Most Innovative New Product Award at the 2014 Sweets & Snacks Expo last week for their new York Peppermint Pattie Minis.

This innovative new product innovatively reduced the size of a regular York Peppermint Pattie to the diameter of a penny. Hershey’s previously used this innovative innovation to shrink the size of their Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, KitKat and Rolo. It’s a stunning development in the world of confections ... duplicated only by the recent innovations by Mars (with their Bites format of Snickers, Milky Way, Simply Caramel, 3 Musketeers and Twix) and Wrigley’s (Starburst Minis). The morselization world is actually quite busy and crowded.

York Minis

It’s not Hershey’s fault that they were declared innovative (well, they probably entered the product in that category). The point is that there is an new, unwrapped version of York Peppermint Patties.

The package is simple, though it’s King Size bag holding 2.5 ounces, it was still listed as 1 portion on the nutrition panel and had no front of package tally of the calories and serving. Even though it’s a massive amount of candy, because it’s almost all sugar, it’s pretty low in calories: 260.

The pieces are really just tiny peppermint patties, a fraction of the size of the small snack sized versions, which are the preferred size for me. In the case of these, the ratios are particularly nice, as there’s just slightly more consistent distribution of chocolate in each bite ... because each piece is a bite. The chocolate is quite bitter, and though it’s not particularly creamy, it sets off the sweet and soft fondant well.

York Minis

It’s not innovative, but it is successful. The texture difference from Junior Mints is notable. Junior Mints have a runnier center, a thicker chocolate shell and a light waxy glaze that keeps it from melting right away.

Like the other sizes of York Peppermint Patties, the Minis are made in Mexico. There is no notation on the traceability of the cacao for the coating. York Peppermint Patties contain egg whites, soy and milk. There’s nothing on the package about gluten or nuts/peanuts, but the AskHershey.com website specifically says that York Minis are not gluten free.

Related Candies

  1. Airheads Bites
  2. Giant York Peppermint Patties (1 Pound)
  3. Nestle Butterfinger Bites
  4. Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate Honey Mints
  5. Rolo Minis
  6. Zachary Mini Mints
  7. Hershey’s York Pieces
  8. York Mints
  9. Junior Mints - Heart Shaped


Name: York Peppermint Pattie Minis
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Hershey’s
Place Purchased: 7-11 (Sunset Junction)
Price: $1.89
Size: 2.5 ounces
Calories per ounce: 104
Categories: Candy, Morselization, Hershey's, Chocolate, Kosher, Mints, 8-Tasty, Mexico, 7-11

POSTED BY Cybele AT 1:07 pm     CandyMorselizationReviewHershey'sChocolateFondantKosherMints8-TastyMexico7-11Comments (4)

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Twix Unwrapped Bites

Twix Unwrapped BitesThe final candy bar in the Mars pantheon to be morselized is the Twix Bar. The new unwrapped bite size version was just released this month in stores.

Twix Unwrapped Bites are exactly what they sound like, a bag of tiny little Twix bars (more like nuggets) all jumbled up, out of the wrapper and ready to eat.

Mars already makes bites which include the primary elements for the classic bar version, but have different ratios because of the miniaturization process. It’s an uneven transfer to the new format, in some case I prefer the new ratios, in others I think that one or more elements is lacking. So far I’ve tried: Milky Way, Milky Way Simply Caramel, 3 Musketeers, and Snickers.

Twix Bites

The little lumps aren’t really that pretty, but they’re chocolatey, so that’s appealing. Like the other bites, they get scuffed up tumbling around in the package, so they don’t have the elegant, shiny ripples of the long fingers. They smell sugary and sweet, just like regular Twix bars.

They’re not as messy as I find regular Twix, as I pop the whole thing in my mouth at once. The crunch of the cookie is good, there’s a bit higher ratio of chocolate in this version, and a good caramel chew to bring the elements together. Sweet, milky, a mild sandy crunch ... a good blend of textures. Like the other bites, it’s easy to mix them in with other items to create a custom mix. I think this might be good with a Chex Mix if you’re a sweet & savory person.

Twix Mix & Twix Bites

I thought it was interesting to note that in the United Kingdom, Mars also introduced a morsel version of Twix last year. It’s a little different though. Since I knew that the Twix Unwrapped Bites were coming to the United States, I made sure to find the Twix Mix while I was in London back in March so I could compare them.

Twix Mix and Twix Bites

The format of Twix Mix is actually a mix of little nuggets of biscuit (cookie) and caramel. They’re slightly different shapes, so if you’d prefer to eat one or the other, or make sure you’re mixing them, you can pick them out. The caramel pieces are just little spheres of a firm caramel covered in a very milky, thin chocolate shell. The biscuit pieces are a little flatter.

Twix Mix

The effect is actually quite nice. The ratios don’t match the classic Twix bar at all, and the milk chocolate is much milkier and the whole experience is a bit more on the malt side than the usual emphasis on the toffee/caramel notes. As a confectionery snack, they’re good and different enough from a bridge mix or something as traditional as Milk Duds.

The American Twix Unwrapped Bites have no notation on the packaging regarding the cocoa sourcing yet, though Mars promises that is coming in the next few years. They contain dairy, soy and gluten and may contain traces of peanuts.



Name: Twix Unwrapped Bites
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Mars
Place Purchased: Target (Eagle Rock)
Price: $2.99
Size: 7 ounces
Calories per ounce: 142
Categories: Candy, Morselization, Mars, Caramel, Chocolate, Cookie, Kosher, 7-Worth It, United Kingdom, Target

POSTED BY Cybele AT 11:45 am     CandyMorselizationReviewMarsCaramelChocolateCookieKosher7-Worth ItUnited StatesTargetComments (4)

Friday, May 2, 2014

Cadbury Dairy Milk Pebbles

Cadbury Dairy Milk PebblesThe trend of making little poppable versions of popular candies extends to Europe, so when I saw these new Cadbury Dairy Milk Pebbles in London, I picked them up. Cadbury already makes several morsel versions of their popular Dairy Milk chocolate. They make Buttons, which are little disks and of course the Easter version, the Cadbury Mini Eggs which have a shell.

Now Cadbury has a shell candy for all year round consumption, completing their entry into the world of morselization. I’ve also seen that Cadbury’s parent company, Mondelez (once part of Kraft) has created bagged mixes that include the Pebbles, mini Oreos, and Maynard’s gummi candies. Kind of like the M&Ms Sweet & Salty Snack Mix that came out from Mars.

Like most Cadbury chocolate products in the United Kingdom, this is not real milk chocolate. It’s what’s commonly called “family chocolate” which is a nice way of saying, “We don’t need to waste expensive cocoa butter on children, we’ll substitute some oil in there.” So it’s a quasi-mockolate product that uses some cocoa butter and some vegetable oil. Still, it’s not like it’s R. M. Palmer mockolate, it’s made from 23% milk content and 20% cocoa content ... then, you know, some sugar and a few oils, natural colors and shellac.

Cadbury Pebbles

Instead of going with the typical lentil shape, the pieces are like flattened Cadbury Mini Eggs. They’re kind of like guitar picks. The colors are plain, for the most part when I dumped them out of the bag they were a little chalky looking but polished up pretty easily with a paper towel. (I figured they deserved a little spa treatment after being carted partway around the world.)

Cadbury Pebbles

The yellow ones are a bit odd though, because of the all natural colorings, the ingredients on this particular one is a little odd. It’s kind of like curry ...a little grassy. The chocolate center is smooth, a little malty but with a thin punch of chocolate flavor. The shell is wonderfully crunchy, outside of the odd yellow one. The whole combination is really a great candy, I enjoyed eating them, though it certainly didn’t satisfy my desire for chocolate. I would be interested in trying these in some sort of mixed bag with mini Oreos and perhaps a few nuts.

I doubt that Cadbury will attempt to license this to Hershey’s for production under their deal. So American’s will have to content themselves with imports or just stocking up in the Easter version.

They contain milk, corn and soy. There’s no statement about nuts or gluten. Though Cadbury has started certifying some candies with sourcing information, the Dairy Milk Pebbles did not have a the Fair Trade or Rainforest Alliance stamp.

Related Candies

  1. Sugarfina Beverly Hills & Trio of Goodies
  2. Snickers Unwrapped Bites
  3. Milka Bars, Milka Drops and some Li’l Milka
  4. Schluckwerder Fancy Marzipan Eggs
  5. Hershey’s Drops: Milk Chocolate & Cookies n Creme
  6. Hershey’s Almond Joy Pieces
  7. Cadbury Mini Eggs


Name: Dairy Milk Pebbles
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Cadbury
Place Purchased: Waitrose (London)
Price: £ 2.00 ($3.37)
Size: 4.94 ounces
Calories per ounce: 141
Categories: Candy, Cadbury, Kraft, Chocolate, Mockolate, 7-Worth It, United Kingdom

POSTED BY Cybele AT 10:48 am     CandyMorselizationReviewCadburyKraftChocolateMockolate7-Worth ItUnited KingdomComments (2)

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Equal Exchange Peanut Butter

Milk Chocolate Peanut ButterEqual Exchange, the cooperative that sells cocoa, coffee, tea and chocolate made with fair trade ingredients sent me some of their new candy bars. They really fit right into the candy bar sector, not the high end chocolate bars. They currently make three bars, I thought I’d tackle a review of the Equal Exchange Milk Chocolate Peanut Butter Filled Bar first, since it’s the one with the widest appeal.

The bar is 1.5 ounces, which is a perfect single serving size. The wrapper is orange, lots and lots of orange, which is the universal color to represent peanuts, just like blue is supposed to represent milk chocolate. The bars are made in Peru with cacao from Peruvian cocoa co-ops.

Equal Exchange Peanut Butter

The format of the bar is simple, it’s long and narrow with 7 segments. Inside the milk chocolate shell is a peanut butter filling. The ingredients are very simple: sugar, cocoa butter, milk powder, peanuts, chocolate solids, sea salt and soy lecithin. (Organic where possible.) There are not additional oils in there, which is a nice change. Many peanut butter candies use some vegetable oils to stabilize the peanut butter.

Equal Exchange Peanut Butter

The bar smells sweet and a little nutty, but not terribly notable or enticing. The chocolate is smooth, rather sweet but overall has no real defining kick. The peanut butter center is firm, but melts well in the mouth. There’s no chalky grain like many American peanut butter candies. There’s a little hint of salt ... but it’s missing a roasted peanut oomph. I recognize this may be because the peanuts used for the peanut butter are not American (though the label doesn’t say their source). It’s a little grassy, but not much else. It’s kind of like Reese’s Pieces. The ratios are a lot more balanced, you can see there’s a lot of chocolate for the amount of peanut butter.

Overall, this is not a bar I would purchase. There are some good options out there in the peanut butter cup format for those looking for better ingredients and sourcing. For those in Canada, you can also find these bars under the Camino label. As far as Equal Exchange goes, I will still continue to eat the Milk Chocolate Caramel Crunch with Sea Salt, it’s an excellent hybrid of high end chocolate and candy satisfaction.

Related Candies

  1. Equal Exchange Dark Bars: Raspberry, Lemon Ginger, and Coconut
  2. Equal Exchange Milk and Dark Chocolate Foil Eggs
  3. Nectar Nugget Peanut Butter and Almond Butter Cups
  4. Equal Exchange Chocolate Caramel Crunch with Sea Salt
  5. Justin’s Organic Peanut Butter Cups
  6. Sun Cups


Name: Organic and Fairly Traded Milk Chocolate Peanut Butter
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Equal Exchange
Place Purchased: samples from Equal Exchange
Price: $1.99 retail
Size: 1.5 ounces
Calories per ounce: 173
Categories: All Natural, Candy, Equal Exchange, Chocolate, Ethically Sourced, Kosher, Organic, Peanuts, 6-Tempting, Peru

POSTED BY Cybele AT 1:23 pm     All NaturalCandyReviewEqual ExchangeChocolateEthically SourcedKosherOrganicPeanuts6-TemptingPeruComments (0)

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Oak Leaf Refresh Triple Mint Chewing Gum

Oak Leaf Mint GumsI don’t chew gum often, but when I do, I chew it a lot. It’s particularly hard to find gum that’s still sweetened with only sugar and not artificial sweeteners like aspartame and sucarlose. I enjoy gum as a candy, which means that I chew all the sugar out of it and before the flavor has much chance to fade, I swap that piece out for a fresh one. (It’s probably a style of consumption that gum companies should welcome.)

I love chiclet style gum because primarily because it’s attractive, but also because it has texture to it; the crunchy shell has its own flavor and goes with the pleasing experience of chewing until the sugar is depleted. I can line up the pieces like Skittles or M&Ms on my keyboard. I got a huge sample bag of Oakleaf Refresh Triple Mint Chewing Gum from SweetWorks late last year and have been making my way through the bag. This is the kind of gum you’d find in a quarter twist vending machine, a little handful of pieces for some of the change in your pocket.

Wintergreen - these white pieces have little speckles of blue on them, some of the time. The flavor is clean and soft, with a good note of wintergreen. It’s not overpowering, but definitely strong enough that others nearby may think you’ve been rubbing lineament into your joints. There’s a little numbing tingle towards the end, as wintergreen can have that sort of effect. The flavor lasted longer than the sugar, but did taste a lot more medicinal after the sugar was gone.

Oak Leaf Mint Gums

Peppermint - is a nice medium blue. I don’t really need this much food coloring in my gum, as the point of minty gums is to act as a bit of a digestive but mostly to freshen my breath.  don’t want my tongue looking blue when I’m done with it. It’s fresh, it’s not terribly strong but very sweet. I found it comforting but not challenging.

Spearmint is a pretty rare flavor in gum these days, so it’s nice to see it here. It’s green, for some reason spearmint is green and peppermint is blue (or red and white). The flavor is good, it’s peppery at first and quite strong, but mellows out after chewing and mixing with the sugar.

Of the three flavors, I preferred the wintergreen, but I’m usually mindful of not smelling like wintergreen in social situations or closed spaces. So the spearmint was my go-to flavor of the variety, especially since I can get peppermint chiclets in the form of actual Chiclets that don’t have blue food coloring. But since I already have these, they’re being consumed.

I did find that they stuck to one filling in my teeth (just that one old amalgam, even though I have other fillings). It’s hard to rationalize the large amount I have, but it works for my consumption style. It would be nice if they came in boxes like Chiclets or perhaps a tin like Altoids. The company that owns Oak Leaf, SweetWorks was recently purchased by the Swiss company called Frey which makes chocolate but also has their own line of gums, so maybe they’ll start doing some more gum packaging.

Related Candies

  1. Glee Sugar Free Gum
  2. Tree Hugger Bubble Gum
  3. PUR Gum: Xylitol Sweetened
  4. Ball Gum Balls (Football & Tennis)
  5. Classic Gums: Black Jack, Clove, Beemans & Teaberry
  6. Tiny Size Chiclets
  7. Gold Mine Gum
  8. Razzles


Name: Refresh Triple Mint Chewing Gum
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Sweet Works
Place Purchased: samples from SweetWorks
Price: $3.99 retail per pound
Size: 16 ounces
Calories per ounce: 113
Categories: Candy, SweetWorks, Inc, Gum, Mints, 6-Tempting, Canada

POSTED BY Cybele AT 12:50 pm     CandyReviewSweetWorks, IncGumMints6-TemptingCanadaComments (0)

Monday, April 21, 2014

Hot Tamales Tropical Heat

Hot Tamales Tropical HeatJust Born has been making Hot Tamales, a cinnamon flavored jelly candy, since 1950. Their newest twist is Hot Tamales Tropical Heat, which features spice combined with fruit flavors.

While the classic Hot Tamales get their warm heat from the active ingredient in cinnamon, cinnamaldehyde, the twist with this new version features hot peppers. The active hotness in chili peppers is caused by capsaicin.

Hot Tamales Tropical Heat come in a mix of three flavors in the bag: Limon Fever, Mango Tango, and Pineapple Picante.

I bought this half pound peg at Cost Plus World Market for $2.99 ... I found that a bit steep for what are basically jelly beans, but I was very interested in Just Born’s entry into this segment. I’m quite fond of the original and keep them on hand in my candy jars in my office.

Hot Tamales Tropical Heat

The pieces are beautiful and easy to differentiate from the regular Hot Tamales or Milk and Ike, if you happened to mix them together.

The Limon Fever is light green with a few green speckles on it. Though limón is lemon in Spanish, this has a distinct lime note to it. There’s a bitterness at the front, a nice zesty note of citrus peel, then a tart juicy flavor (which could be lemon) and a note of jalapeno. Though I get the spicy burst and the warmth, it’s not too much, not throat searing, just warm. Then after a while it’s just sweet and a little grainy.

Hot Tamales Tropical Heat

Mango Tango is medium orange with red speckles. This seemed to be the dominant flavor in my package, which is too bad. As much as I love mangos, they’re rarely good in candy format. The flavor starts out with a mild tangy bite and the heat from the chili, then it gets sweet and taste like peaches. That’s pretty much it. It’s not terrible, but it’s not quite mango.

Pineapple Picante begins with a good mix of floral and lightly tart. The chili warmth comes in just as the whole thing descends into sweetness though the floral pineapple remains. It’s the freshest tasting of the three, though I liked the enduing zest of the Limon as well.

Though I found these a little strange, I actually liked them, and I don’t actually like chili peppers. They’re warm but not painfully hot. But if you’re someone who likes their spicy spices to burn, these will not do it for you.

Hot Tamales are gluten free, contain no gelatin but do have confectioners glaze so wouldn’t be appropriate for vegans.

Related Candies

  1. Ginger Zingers Blood Orange and Chai
  2. Lindt Wasabi
  3. Haribo Hot Sticks
  4. Jelly Belly Tabasco
  5. David’s Signature Beans Jelly Bean Sampler
  6. McIlhenny Co Tabasco Brand Spicy Chocolate
  7. Cowgirl Chocolates Buckin’ Hot Habanero Caramels
  8. Jolly Rancher Fruitas Enchiladas
  9. Hot Tamales and Hotter Tamales
  10. Xocoatl 73.5%


Name: Hot Tamales Tropical Heat
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Just Born
Place Purchased: Cost Plus World Market (Farmers Market)
Price: $2.99
Size: 8 ounces
Calories per ounce: 108
Categories: Candy, Just Born, Jelly Candy, 7-Worth It, United States, Cost Plus

POSTED BY Cybele AT 3:41 pm     CandyReviewJust BornJelly Candy7-Worth ItUnited StatesCost PlusComments (3)

Friday, April 18, 2014

Pelino Confetti Flowers

Italian Confetti FlowersA classic item for wedding favors are little parcels of confetti. Confetti is a generic Italian term for panned candies such as Jordan almonds, coated nuts, mints and of course chocolate. Tradition is a little sachet of five pieces, symbolizing health, wealth, fertility, happiness and longevity for the couple and their guests.

Another style of presenting the panned sweets is to wrap the little pieces up and form them into flowers and other shapes. I’ve seen these for years, I remember seeing a display of them in New York City’s Little Italy in a deli by the counter. They were so pretty, I’m not sure I even understood that the petals were edible. This photos shows them made with Jordan almonds and tucked into crepe paper. I’ve seen them made with cellophane which can be clear or tinted as well as tule mesh, which can also be uncolored or tinted (but probably isn’t sanitary).

I picked up this little bouquet in London at Harrod’s in their Easter display. It was expensive for so little actual candy, £3.50 for about 15 little pieces (about $5.85 USD). It’s made by Confetti Pelino of Sulmona, Italy. They were established in 1783, in a region of Italy that’s well known for this traditional and painstaking method of confectionery.

Italian Confetti Flowers

This isn’t as much a review of the candy as it is a deconstruction of the assembly of the five stems of flowers.

The bouquet is held together by green floral tape and decorated with green crepe paper leaves of the same color. It’s pretty top heavy, as the candy petals are thick and will tip over the little bouquet when placed in a water glass or wine glass (so be careful if you’re playing with these at a wedding reception). Each little flower is on a stem of wire, held together with tape and string. Floral tape isn’t exactly sticky, so there’s no issue of excessive adhesive with these. It unravels quite easily.

DSC_5906rb

Each little piece of candy is a small, circular disk covered in cellophane. The cellophane is twisted together, the pointed, twisted ends are then tied together with a bit of string, and then taped onto the wire stem.

DSC_5911rb

The candy at the center of these isn’t a Jordan almond, just a little sugar disk. It’s kind of bland, and as far as I can tell, unflavored. It dissolves and tastes like, well, sugar.

As candy, it’s expensive and darned difficult to eat because of all the string and wire and tape and wrappers. As a favor or decoration is classically charming. There are a lot of different ways to achieve these with different colors of candy, different sizes, different tape and leaves or flower shapes. Harrod’s is a fine place to buy one bunch if you’re curious, but if you’re interested in using them as favors or centerpieces, do some research on which will suit you best.

Though chocolate candies could be used, I would advise folks to stick to centers that are more weather-tolerant. It’d be fun to make them with M&Ms or Reese’s Pieces, but I can’t imagine anything with a lot of oil in it would do well with the heat of being handled a lot or possibly sitting in the sun or a hot car. I looked around to find a tutorial for making these but didn’t have much luck (if you know of one, please leave a link in the comments). I can imagine that the same techniques could also be used to make candy wreaths, garlands and other styles of centerpieces.

Related Candies

  1. Eat with your Eyes: Maison Pecou Jordan Almonds
  2. William diCarlo Perle di dolcezza
  3. Sconza Jordanettes
  4. Romanego Dragees, Cordials & Fondants
  5. Confetti & Agrumetti
  6. Anis de Flavigny


Name: Confetti Flowers
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Confetti Pelino
Place Purchased: Harrod's (London)
Price: £3.50 ($5.85)
Size: 1 ounce (approximately)
Calories per ounce: 100
Categories: Candy, Hard Candy & Lollipops, Novelty/Toy, 6-Tempting, Italy

POSTED BY Cybele AT 3:08 pm     CandyReviewHard Candy & LollipopsNovelty/Toy6-TemptingItalyComments (1)

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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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