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Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Ritter Sport Coffee and Hazelnuts (Winter Edition)

Ritter Sport Coffee & HazelnutsRitter Sport has been releasing seasonal variations on their popular square bars for the past few years. Only in the past few years have they appeared reliably on US shelves, and usually for the Winter Editions.

The new Ritter Sport Coffee & Hazelnuts is a new bar, though it combines elements from other existing bars. I found my bar at Cost Plus World Market with the Christmas candies, they had all three varieties for this season, including the return of the Caramelized Almond and the also new Vanilla Crescents. It’s nice to see new bars in the mix, but disappointing that they’re all milk chocolate. This bar was $2.99, a smidge higher than the regulars, which sell for $2.49.

Ritter Sport Coffee & Hazelnuts

The bar looks like all the other Ritter Sport bars ... a 4x4 grid of sections, each with the Ritter Sport logo on top. This is a filled bar, a coffee cream studded with crushed hazelnuts. It’s a simple concept and rather baffling that no one has been doing this all along.

The ingredients, however, were not promising when it comes to cocoa content:

Ingredients: sugar, palm fat, milk, cocoa butter, chocolate liquor, lactose, milk, hazelnuts, skim milk, butterfat, hazelnut paste, coffee powder, soy lecithin, natural flavor, natural coffee flavor.

I’m not against fat, I love the stuff. All that fat made this bar pretty high on the calorie count, 172 calories per ounce ... that’s 600 for the whole bar (for reference the whole hazelnut dark bar has 550 calories for the whole bar). Ritter Sport has been pretty good about the sourcing of its cacao, but they’re not forthcoming about their palm oil. For that reason and others mostly of taste preferences, when buying their bars for just eating, I usually stick to the solid chocolate varieties (or marzipan).

Ritter Sport Coffee & Hazelnuts

It looks great, smells mildly like coffee and cocoa but mostly sweet. The bite is soft, as most of the milk chocolate Ritter Sports are. The cream center has a cool melt and a vague coffee note to it, but it’s not as strong as the Espresso Bar, which is disappointing. The cream center is a little slick and thin, ultimately. The bar is extremely sweet for something that’s supposed to be coffee and hazelnuts. There are some hazelnuts, enough for a crunch and a touch of gianduia in the center. I really wanted a deep roasted experience ... the mix of the hazelnuts and coffee were promising, but ultimately not as deep as I’d hoped. But if you like Ice Cubes, you’ll appreciate the decadence of this bar. Dark chocolate would improve this bar immensely.

It’s not a bad bar, but like many of the bars that Ritter Sport has been making, especially the filled ones, they’re sweet and too oily without enough flavor. I want more dark chocolate options.

Related Candies

  1. Good and DeLISH Morning Rush Coffee Bites
  2. Dove Hazelnut Crisp Dark Chocolate Promises
  3. Trader Joe’s Chocolate Kona Coffee Truffles
  4. Mast Brothers Stumptown Coffee
  5. Ritter Sport Espresso
  6. Meiji Corot & CoffeeBeat
  7. Choceur Coffee & Cream
  8. Short & Sweet: Hazelnut Bites


Name: Coffee and Hazelnuts
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Ritter Sport
Place Purchased: Cost Plus World Market (Farmers Market)
Price: $2.99
Size: 3.5 ounces
Calories per ounce: 149
Categories: Candy, Christmas, Ritter Sport, Chocolate, Coffee, Nuts, 7-Worth It, Germany, Cost Plus

POSTED BY Cybele AT 11:45 am     CandyReviewChristmasRitter SportChocolateCoffeeLimited EditionNuts7-Worth ItGermanyCost PlusComments (1)

Monday, November 3, 2014

See’s Bridge Mix

See's Bridge MixI picked up the Bridge Mix from See’s Candies over the weekend, mostly because the comments from readers were so adamant that it was worth having a try.

At $18 a pound it’s about 2.5 times more expensive than the Brach’s Bridge Mix. It also has all natural chocolate and at least lists a sample of what is probably in the mix: Bite-sized pieces of raisins, coconut, caramel, brittles, almonds, pecans, nougats and more covered in milk and dark chocolate.

See's Bridge Mix

The kind folks at See’s actually gave me a little cup of the mix to sample before I made my purchase ... because it just comes in this one pound box. The box has four little sections, which keep the mix from wandering too much. I don’t know if I would necessarily serve it from the box, but the nice thing about Bridge Mix it’s a panned candy, which means that it has a little glaze on each piece to keep it from sticking together and you can put it out in a bowl without worrying that it’ll all melt into a lump.

See's Bridge MixOne of the first things I should mention is that I’m allergic to walnuts. Not deathly allergic, as I’m still alive, but for the most part my reactions to walnut traces lately has been a swollen throat and flushed skin. The See’s Bridge Mix does contain walnuts. One of the items is chocolate covered nougat, which has walnuts in it. It’s hard to tell, in Bridge mix, which pieces are which, so it’s a little difficult for me review these in the normal manner. For any piece that is the right shape to be a nougat, I have to split open first to see what’s in it.

The good part is that most of the pieces are easy to just chomp. The little items that look like raisins or almonds are raisins and almonds. The pillow things that look like molasses chips are molasses chips. The lumpy things that look like pecans are pecans. It was the little cubes I had the trouble with ... which leads to the general complaint with Bridge Mix.

See's Bridge Mix

Dark Chocolate covered Caramel Rectangles had a more stringy, chewy caramel than the little cube ones I found a few times. These were quite nice, but maybe a little heavy on the chocolate.

Dark Chocolate Lump is Rum Raisin Nougat This is the piece that has walnuts in it.

See's Bridge Mix

Milk Chocolate Cube is Caramel The picture makes this one look like it might be a chocolate caramel, but it tasted rather rich but caramelly overall.

Milk Chocolate Rounded Cube is Butterscotch The See’s Butterscotch is one of my favorite pieces. This version is a little drier and has a different set of ratios for the chocolate and center. I prefer the enrobed piece (not the bar), but the creamy melt of the chocolate and sort of buttery brown sugar fudge do work well, especially with the nuts. This and the caramel looked the same to me, and most of the milk cubes were Butterscotch.

Dark Chocolate Cube is Toasted Coconut These are wholly unexpected for this type of mix. You can see from the cross section, these are packed with coconut, so they’re not too sweet and it is nicely toasted to bring out the tropical flavor.

Flat Milk Chocolate Square is Toffee (not pictured) I like the See’s Toffee, it’s crisp and buttery and easy to bite. The toffee notes are good, but for some reason it’s never had that smooth burnt sugar dissolve that I often crave. It’s a personal preference issue.

See's Bridge Mix

Milk Chocolate Pillow is Molasses Crisp. These might have more chocolate on the regular version available by themselves. They’re crisp and crunchy, with just enough aeration to the honey-molasses candy to make them easy to bite. The lingering honey notes of the center goes well with just about everything else in this mix.

See's Bridge Mix

Milk Chocolate Pecans & Almonds - the pecans are fantastic. They’re roasted perfectly, they have a great woodsy maple flavor, so you get a sweet crunch combined with the chocolate. The almonds are very small, if I didn’t know any better, I would have assumed that they were peanuts. They’re well toasted and decent, a good crunch and probably a different variety than the nonpareil almonds I’ve been eating, because they’re less fibery.

Dark Chocolate Covered Raisins are quite niece. The raisins are big, though the chocolate isn’t particularly dark, it is generous.

The mix is very strong, it doesn’t have any items that feel like they’re cheap filler. I did find that the almonds were left at the end, I was picking out the big bits. But I think once I figured out the code, it was easier to mix and match without worrying that I was going to get a “bad piece.” I do not recommend playing roulette if you have a food sensitives when it comes to this sort of thing.

I would prefer an actual guide on the package, or at least a real listing the items that are in i. I’d also like to just make my own mix… but that’s not the way mixes work. I would definitely buy this again. But I play Canasta, not Bridge.

Related Candies

  1. Snack Mix for Traveling
  2. M&Ms Sweet & Salty Snack Mix
  3. See’s Double Caramel
  4. Cedrinca Gran Mix
  5. Eat with your Eyes: See’s Butterscotch
  6. Recchiuti Asphalt Jungle Mix
  7. Leaf Schoolchalk, Allsorts & Pipes
  8. Marich Easter Select Mix
  9. Licorice Bridge Mix


Name: See’s Bridge Mix
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: See’s
Place Purchased: See's (Glendale)
Price: $18.00
Size: 16 ounces
Calories per ounce: 145
Categories: Candy, Morselization, See's, Caramel, Chocolate, Coconut, Nougat, Nuts, Toffee, 8-Tasty, United States

POSTED BY Cybele AT 2:40 pm     CandyMorselizationReviewSee'sCaramelChocolateCoconutNutsToffee8-TastyUnited StatesComments (5)

Friday, October 31, 2014

Brach’s Bridge Mix

Brach's Bridge MixYou might wonder why my Halloween review is of Bridge Mix. It’s because it’s actually the scariest candy on the market today. Every maker has a different set of what they include in their mix, and because everything is coated in chocolate, it’s a game of Russian Roulette if you’re a picky eater. 

If I were to rank candies according to age demographics, most results would land where I expected. Super sour candies are targeted to tweens, dark chocolate to adult women and sweet and savory candies to men who love sports. And the sales data pretty much bears that out. Then there’s Bridge Mix. First of all, Bridge Mix doesn’t seem to have any sort of marketing campaign associated with it. But if you were to find out how old the average buyer is, I’m going to guess somewhere around 73.

I picked up the Brach’s Bridge Mix because the package made it look appealing and compared to some of the other chocolate bag offerings lately, it seemed like a good value. The package is vague, but it mentions that it’s a mix of all natural milk and dark chocolate. However, there was no listing on the back of the package as to what the actual items inside would be. The front just showed the coated pieces ... the ingredients were so long, all I could say for sure is that I could expect raisins, peanuts, sugar and Brazil nuts inside the chocolate.

Brach's Bridge Mix

My first impression upon opening the bag was good. It’s a resealable bag that holds a 8.7 ounces which makes for a full cereal bowl of candy. The pieces look good, they’re shiny and for the most part distinctive. I thought I could tell which were peanuts and raisins, though the larger spheres were a mystery.

The ingredients listed Brazil nuts and the picture on the front shows a piece that really looks like a chocolate covered Brazil nut. No such item appears in the bag. Maybe my mix was missing the Brazil nuts ... it was certainly not sufficiently randomized for my tastes.

Ingredients: Milk Chocolate (Sugar, Cocoa Butter, Whole Milk, Chocolate Liquor, Lactose, Soy Lecithin, Butter Oil, Salt, Vanillin, Ethyl Vanillin), Sugar, Corn Syrup, Peanuts with TBHQ and Citric Acid (preservative), Sweet Chocolate (Sugar, Chocolate Liquor, Cocoa Butter, Soy Lecithin, Vanilla Extract), Raisins, Sweetened Condensed Skim Milk (Sugar, Nonfat Milk, Buttermilk, Whey Solids), Corn Syrup Solids, Brazil Nuts, Malted Milk (Milk, Barley Malt, Wheat Flour, Salt, Sodium and Potassium Carbonate), Modified Food Starch (Corn), Malt Extract (Barley Malt, Wheat Flour), High Fructose Corn Syrup, Partially Hydrogenated Oil (Soybean, Cottonseed, Palm Kernel), Salt, Pectin, Baking Soda, Citric Acid, contains 2% or less of the following ingredients: Tapioca Flour, Soy Lecithin, Red 40, Natural and Artificial Flavor, Mono and Diglycerides, Hydrogenated Palm Kernel Oil, Gelatin, Confectioner’s Glaze, Acacia (Gum Arabic), Coconut Oil, Calcium Carbonate. [Contains: Milk, Brazil Nuts, Peanuts, Wheat and Soy]

Though it’s all natural chocolate, there are a lot of not-so-natural items in there, too. There’s also gelatin, which was hard to find on the list if you’re vegetarian.

Brach's Bridge Mix

Cherry Jelly Ball covered in Dark Chocolate were one of two that I could reliably pick out of the mix. It’s a big, very strongly cherry flavored jelly ball covered in dark chocolate. I was hoping there would be other flavors, but this was it. The jelly center is nice, dense and very floral. However, there’s a grainy sugar layer in there that messed with the texture and sweetness level. I don’t like cherry candies, but I thought this was a refreshing item to have in a mix ... and it was easy for me to avoid.

White Sugar Cream covered in Dark Chocolate - if you’ve ever wanted a York Peppermint Pattie without the mint flavor, this might be your candy. But the fondant in the center is hard and grainy ... so it’s not really a good texture combination at all. The dark chocolate outside is in a much larger ratio than most other mint candies, which is fine because that’s the only flavor you’re going to get out of this thing. I felt like about 1/4 of my bag was filled with these. I would bite them in half to see if it was a large peanut or something else and then toss the other half when I found it was the fondant ball.

Milk Chocolate Malted Milk Ball - I’d like to have a long and wonderful commentary here, but that photo of the one bitten in half is the only one I got in this bag. I’ve been searching for Brach’s Milk Chocolate Milk Balls for a couple of years, and found that this Bridge Mix is the only place I can find them ... and I got one lousy one. I didn’t savor it enough to be able to review it.

Dark Chocolate Covered Peanut - excellent. The peanuts have skins on them, which I enjoy. It highlighted the bitterness of the chocolate. The peanut had a light touch of salt, and though not large, they were crunchy and deeply roasted.

Milk Chocolate Covered Peanut - not as good as the dark one, the milk chocolate hides the peanut notes somehow, but after stumbling across so many of those fondant balls, I was happy to have these.

Milk Chocolate Brown Sugar Ball - I have no idea what this is. The center was not grainy, not smooth, not flavorful, not appealing. It tasted sweet, but also dusty. I just have no idea what the point was, except to fool me into thinking that I was going to get a Malted Milk Ball.

Milk Chocolate Covered Raisins - pretty good. The raisins were soft and chewy, not tough or tacky. The raisins dominated, the chocolate was sweeter than the actual dried fruit but didn’t contribute more than texture to the experience.

Brach's Bridge

The one item that was easy to pick out were the little flattened bullets that came in both milk and dark chocolate.

Milk Chocolate Covered Nut Brittle - the chocolate coating isn’t as thick as the other candies, but that didn’t matter. The center of this little morsel is a nicely made, crispy nut brittle. There may be Brazil nuts in there, but definitely peanuts. It’s salty, it’s barely sweet and I’d like to just buy a bag of these.

Dark Chocolate Covered Nut Brittle - the dark chocolate version was even better, as it enhanced the roasted nut flavors.

I’ve come away with an appreciation for people who simply throw caution to the wind and pop a handful of candy pieces in their mouth. I’m not a Bridge Mix person. In fact, this bag of candy made me angry. There were good things in it, but too many horrible things. There’s no listing anywhere that I can find that says what kind of candy is even in the bag ... it’s as if Brach’s is evasive and doesn’t want to commit to what they might put in there on any given day. I ended up with a pile of half bitten candies on my desk after I determined what I did and didn’t like ... I spit out the other halves in the trash. It was, in the end, a bad value for me, since I ate so little of it, though, technically, I finished the bag.

I really just wanted some Malted Milk Balls.

Related Candies

  1. Cacao Prieto 72% Dark Chocolate Pecan & Sour Cherry
  2. Brach’s Dark Chocolate Blueberry Acai
  3. Christopher’s Big Cherry - Dark
  4. RJ’s Licorice Allsorts
  5. Trader Joe’s Allsorts -a- Licorice
  6. Jelly Belly Chocolate Dips
  7. Licorice Bridge Mix


Name: Bridge Mix
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Brach’s
Place Purchased: Target (Eagle Rock)
Price: $3.49
Size: 8.7 ounces
Calories per ounce: 133
Categories: Candy, Brach's, Ferrara Pan, Brittle, Chocolate, Fondant, Jelly Candy, Malt, Nuts, Peanuts, Toffee, 5-Pleasant, United States, Target

POSTED BY Cybele AT 12:55 pm     CandyMorselizationReviewBrach'sFerrara PanBrittleChocolateFondantJelly CandyMaltNutsPeanutsToffee5-PleasantUnited StatesTargetComments (11)

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Brach’s Royals: Caramel Apple and Sea Salt Caramel

Brach's Apple Caramel RoyalsThe Brach’s Milk Maid Royals candies were always quite special looking. I remember seeing them in the pick-a-mix assortments at the dime store as a kid. I was attracted to the bold foil wrappers that each little flavored caramel rod sported. The looked expensive and sophisticated. The are a lot more caramel choices in the stores now and it seems harder to find the Brach’s individually wrapped candies since the bins of the candy disappeared from many grocery store candy aisles.

Royals Caramels are a layered candy, a flavored center chew is surrounded by caramel. It’s a simple construction that’s helped by the fact that caramel goes with just about everything.

I’ve noticed that Brach’s has recently started repackaging their standard line of candy and sprucing up the flavor assortments to match current tastes. The new Brach’s Apple Caramel Royals come in a stand-up gusset bag and are positioned right next to M&Ms and the new morsel sized candies like York Minis and Snickers Bites.

DSC_6901rb

The package is a lovely apple red but the candies inside are wrapped in neon green waxed paper. It’s kind of an odd, especially because I had two flavors sitting around at one time and I kept grabbing the wrong package. However, Brach’s did use red for their Caramel Apple Candy Corn, so the flavor colors do match on the outside at least.

Unlike the foil-wrapped ancestors, these candies don’t look like much in the wrapper. They’re the kind of candy that would probably sit around with the Tootsie Rolls at the end of Trick-or-Treat until I was desperate.

DSC_6902rb

The look of the candies unwrapped is odd, the caramel looks good - an opaque medium brown color. But the green center is on the blue side, which makes it look a little more like a caramel filled with toothpaste than a green apple candy. Luckily the smell aligns everything again. It’s sweet and with a light apple peel and milk scent. The chew is soft, the caramel and sort of taffy center mix well. It could use a little bit of salt to bring it together. It’s never quite a smooth and creamy caramel, but much more satisfying than the Brach’s Candy Corn Nougats I tried last week.

The ingredients list actual apples plus buttermilk as an ingredient in these, which really makes them one of the closest candies on drug store shelves to actual caramel apples.

Brach's Salted Caramel RoyalsThe Brach’s Sea Salt Caramel Royals come in the same style of gusset bag. It’s a more sedate design, as the colors are more subdued.

While caramel apple candies are quite trendy right now for fall, the general salted caramel rage is a year round thing and still going strong. It only makes sense that Brach’s, now owned by the Ferrara Candy Company, would expand into some of these mainstream trends.

While they say sea salt on the front of the package, the ingredients list only salt. The nutrition panel shows that there are 180 mgs of salt per serving of 6 pieces. As a point of reference, the Apple Caramel Royals have only 75 mgs.

DSC_6893rb

The Sea Salt Caramel Royals are, well, quite nice! The chew is soft with a little difference between the caramel outside and the sort of pasty chew inside. They’re definitely salty, but it does highlight the brown sugar notes of the caramel. I wouldn’t be likely to buy these again, especially at the price when I can get some really good sea salt caramels from Trader Joe’s or just some Sugar Babies ... but I will finish this bag.

These candies are made in Mexico. The contain milk, soy and egg ingredients. There’s no notation about nuts or gluten, though.

DSC00847rBrach’s Milk Maid Royals have been made since the late 1920s (though I’m sure the wrappers have changed over the years). The flavors are probably also cyclical with changing tastes. The last time I had them I enjoyed the extra-sweet Maple and Butter Rum, but didn’t care for the sherbet flavored Orange. The Chocolate is softer than a Tootsie Roll but didn’t have the reliably long chew.

Related Candies

  1. 15 Caramel Apple Candies I’ve Reviewed
  2. Ghirardelli Milk Chocolate Sea Salt Cashew
  3. See’s Caramel Apple Lollypops
  4. Pearson’s Sea Salt Caramel Nut Goodies
  5. Trader Joe’s Chocolate Covered Sea Salt Butterscotch Caramels
  6. Werther’s Original Caramel Apple Filled
  7. Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Caramels


Name: Apple Caramel Royals
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Brach’s
Place Purchased: Samples from CandyWarehouse.com
Price: $6.00
Size: 10 ounces
Calories per ounce: 112
Categories: Candy, Halloween, Brach's, Ferrara Pan, Caramel, 6-Tempting, Mexico


Name: Sea Salt Caramel Royals
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Brach’s
Place Purchased: Samples from CandyWarehouse.com
Price: $6.00
Size: 10 ounces
Calories per ounce: 112
Categories: Candy, Brach's, Ferrara Pan, Caramel, 7-Worth It, Mexico

POSTED BY Cybele AT 2:19 pm     CandyReviewHalloweenBrach'sFerrara PanCaramel6-Tempting7-Worth ItMexicoComments (2)

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Dove Dark Chocolate Cranberries

Dove CranberriesDove Chocolate, a Mars brand, often skirts a line in their marketing and products between being a healthy indulgence and pure decadence. The new line of chocolate covered fruit goes for the former but still accomplishes the latter.

Mars sent me some of their new products, including this amazingly large bag of Dove Whole Dried Cranberries in Dark Chocolate. It’s 26 ounces of chocolate covered sugared dried cranberries.

The package makes it look like these are plump cranberries, but they’re the ordinary dried variety. There’s a little bit of sugar added, which is fine, because I’ve had unsweetened cranberries before and they were too puckery,even with a chocolate coating.

Dove Cranberries

The pieces are quite large, and cutting them in half reveals why. They aren’t strangely large cranberries. Instead they’re covered with a lot of chocolate. Often chocolate covered cranberries are flat, but these are very appealing looking. These a plump and a little chew reveals that they’re pretty moist, not leathery. They’re tangy and have a sort of bitterness to them that cranberries are known for, but it’s offset well by the chocolate.

I often find Dove’s chocolate a little bland, but dark chocolate here has a lot of flavor. It’s a rich chocolate pudding vibe, a little woodsy. It’s creamy without being too slick, though Dove does use dairy fats in their dark chocolate, so this is not vegan. (There’s 5 mg of cholesterol in here, which serves as an indication of the level of dairy fats.)

They’re expensive. But there aren’t that many higher quality choices at grocery stores for chocolate covered cranberries. I did find Ghirardelli’s new Dark Chocolate Cranberries are just as good as these but are likely to be harder to find. Steer clear of the Nestle version in their Raisinets line as they’re just terrible.

Related Candies

  1. Ghirardelli Dark Chocolate Cranberry
  2. Simply Balanced Dark Chocolate Mixed Berry (Target)
  3. See’s Holiday Pie Truffles
  4. Trader Joe’s A Very Merry Mingle
  5. Nestle Cherry Raisinets
  6. Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate Powerberries
  7. Nestle Cranberry Raisinets
  8. Dove Silky Smooth Milk Chocolate Bars


Name: Whole Dried Cranberries in Dark Chocolate
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Mars
Place Purchased: samples from Mars
Price: $14.99 retail
Size: 26 ounces
Calories per ounce: 133
Categories: Candy, Mars, Chocolate, Kosher, 8-Tasty, United States

POSTED BY Cybele AT 4:24 pm     CandyReviewMarsChocolateKosher8-TastyUnited StatesComments (1)

Monday, October 27, 2014

Sweet’s Naturally Flavored Candy Corn

Sweet's Naturally Flavored Candy CornI’ve often wondered why these isn’t an organic version of Candy Corn out there. A few years ago I got a mellocreme mix from Marich, but I haven’t seen in at Whole Foods for at least two years. You can get organic, fair trade peanut butter cups ... you can get M&M knock offs made with natural colors and less sugar ... why no Candy Corn?

Well, Sweet’s Candy Company of Utah has come through with an American-made, Kosher, non-GMO and gluten free Candy Corn.

The bag for Sweet’s Naturally Flavored Candy Corn certainly looks festive. But the little window reveals a bit of weirdness, which is fine if weirdness is what you like in your Halloween treats. The candy corn comes in three different colors. Not three layers in a single piece, three different colors. Yellow, white and orange.

The ingredients are as complex as they are simple:

Ingredients: Cane Sugar (non GMO), tapioca syrup (non GMO), corn syrup (non GMO), invert sugar (non GMO), egg whites (cage-free), coconut oil (expeller pressed, extra virgin), colored with fruit and vegetable extracts (pumpkin, carrot and apple), titamium dioxide (for color), honey, natural flavors, salt, carnuba wax, confectioner’s glaze.

Though they’re using all natural colors and flavors and plenty of sourcing information about the ingredients, the Candy Corn is not vegan since it contains egg whites, honey and confectioners glaze.

Sweet's Naturally Flavored Candy Corn

The pieces are normally sized and very well made. I guess when you don’t do the layering, there are fewer weak points on the candy, so there was no pile of the white caps at the bottom of the bag at all.

The Candy Corn smells sweet and pleasant, but more like orange sherbet than honey. I tried a few pieces and noticed right away that they were different from each other. Whether intended or not, the different colors are different.

White is nice, pleasantly mild with a sort of vanilla marshmallow note. It didn’t have the honey flavor that I’d expect from my candy corn, and was also missing that little note of salt I was craving.

Yellow is similarly mild, but has a sort of, well, root flavor to it, like a vague sort of boiled carrot thing going on in the background.

Orange is ever so slightly tangy and has an orange note.

I really missed the layers, I like eating each layer as a separate bite, as I imagine they taste different or sometimes have slightly different textures. The candies had a high gloss on them, the glaze kept them from being sticky but did mean that it took a moment for them to start dissolving unless I chewed them. The yellow one was the only one that seemed like it didn’t belong, the white and orange were perfectly acceptable as a natural alternative to the convention version.

Even though these are all natural and gluten free, they’re made in the same facility with peanuts and tree nuts. There’s no statement about dairy.

Related Candies

  1. Spangler Candy Corn Circus Peanuts
  2. Brach’s Caramel Macchiato Candy Corn
  3. Brach’s S’mores Candy Corn
  4. Jelly Belly Peas & Carrots Mellocreme Candy
  5. M&Ms White Chocolate Candy Corn
  6. Marich Halloween Mellocremes
  7. Toffee Flavored Chocolate Covered Candy Corn
  8. Zachary Candy Corn & Jelly Pumpkins


Name: Naturally Flavored Candy Corn
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Sweet Works
Place Purchased: Whole Foods (Park LaBrea)
Price: $4.00 (on sale)
Size: 9 ounces
Calories per ounce: 106
Categories: All Natural, Candy, Halloween, Fondant, Kosher, 5-Pleasant, United States, Whole Foods

POSTED BY Cybele AT 1:38 pm     All NaturalCandyReviewHalloweenFondant5-PleasantUnited StatesWhole FoodsComments (1)

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Theo Peanut Butter Cups (Milk and Dark Chocolate)

Theo Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter CupsWhat the world needs is more versions of the peanut butter cup.

What Theo Chocolate is offering in their new line of peanut butter cup are the following qualities: organic ingredients, ethically sourced chocolate, kosher, no palm oil or soy ingredients and free from genetically modified organisms. The new cups come in two varieties, milk and dark chocolate, and the dark chocolate is vegan. Though they’re Theo Chocolate branded, they’re actually made in Canada.

The Theo Chocolate Milk Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups were $2.25 a package, I picked them up at the factory store in Seattle (I’ll have a write up about the factory tour after Halloween) but they should be available at stores that carry Theo Chocolate soon as well. The packages are 1.3 ounces, so they’re only .2 ounces smaller than the usual Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup packages. Theo uses peanut butter from CB’s Nuts, a small batch nut roaster and butterer.

Theo Milk Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups

They’re not your ordinary round cups, nope, these are little heart shapes. They’re .65 ounces each, a nice size with a more even proportion of chocolate to peanut butter than some cups with thinner chocolate shells. There’s no oily puddle on the top, but my cups were probably extremely fresh since I bought them at the factory store.

They smell very toasty, the chocolate is crisp and has a good snap to it. The peanut butter is not fatty or oily, but also not quite crumbly. The overall roasted notes of both the chocolate and peanut butter are very strong. For a milk chocolate product, this is only very barely sweet. If you’re a fan of the more savory elements of peanut butter and chocolate, this is probably a good match for you.

The texture of the peanut butter is similar in particle size to Reese’s ... it’s not whipped smooth, there are little crunchy bits and a dryness to it that keeps it from feeling to slick on the tongue. The chocolate is lightly bitter as well but has a milky note and smooth melt.

Theo Milk and Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups

There’s no notation as to the percentage of cacao, but this photos shows that the milk chocolate cups are very dark looking compared to the dark ones.

Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups Ingredients: Cocoa Beans, Sugar, Peanut Butter (roasted peanuts), Cocoa Butter, Powdered Sugar (sugar and non-gmo corn starch), Peanut Flour (roasted peanuts), Salt, Rosemary Extract, Ground Vanilla Bean [67% fair trade ingredients | peanut butter sourced in the U.S.]

Theo Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter CupsThe Theo Chocolate Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups are packaged so similarly to the milk chocolate variety, the sales staff at the factory store would let each customer know as they rang up their order that they’d chosen a particular variety ... so I sense that there may be a change in the future to help distinguish them.

Theo Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups

The cups are beautiful, again, a little smaller than the Reese’s Peanut Butter version, but lacking the little fluted paper cups. Instead they just sit on a little paperboard tray. The mold detail includes the Theo logo on the bottom of the cups, if you’re so inclined to actually look at them before you gobble them up.

Theo Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups

These have the same deep roasted scent as the milk chocolate, but without the light dairy note to it. The dark chocolate is immediately bitter and creamy, with a very silky melt but a strong coffee flavor. The peanut butter balanced the intensity of the chocolate with a lightness, a little hint of salt and a comforting peanut flavor.

Just one cup was exceptionally satisfying.

These are much pricier than the traditionally produced peanut butter cups on store shelves, but have none of the additional ingredients that give many folks pause. However, they’re still made in a facility that processes wheat, tree nuts, egg and soy so they’re not for those sensitive folks.

Though Justin’s Peanut Butter Cups were first to market with ethically sourced ingredients, I think I prefer these for the texture and intensity.  (But I’ll probably still hand out Justin’s for Halloween since they’re available in singles.)

Related Candies

  1. Nestle Butterfinger Peanut Butter Cups
  2. Theo Salted Almond Dark Chocolate
  3. Nectar Nugget Peanut Butter and Almond Butter Cups
  4. UNREAL #77 Peanut Butter Cups
  5. Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups
  6. Justin’s Organic Peanut Butter Cups
  7. Dark Chocolate Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups
  8. Factory Fresh Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups
  9. Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup Line


Name: Milk Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Theo Chocolate
Place Purchased: Theo Chocolate Factory (Seattle, WA)
Price: $2.25
Size: 1.3 ounces
Calories per ounce: 154
Categories: All Natural, Candy, Theo, Chocolate, Ethically Sourced, Kosher, Organic, Peanuts, 9-Yummy, Canada


Name: Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Theo Chocolate
Place Purchased: Theo Chocolate Factory (Seattle, WA)
Price: $2.25
Size: 1.3 ounces
Calories per ounce: 146
Categories: All Natural, Candy, Theo, Chocolate, Ethically Sourced, Kosher, Organic, Peanuts, 9-Yummy, Canada

POSTED BY Cybele AT 3:05 pm     All NaturalCandyReviewTheoChocolateEthically SourcedKosherOrganicPeanuts9-YummyCanadaComments (0)

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Brach’s Candy Corn Nougats

Candy Corn NougatsI’ve purchased quite a few candy corn themed candies this year, so it was easy to toss the Brach’s Candy Corn Nougats in my basket as well.

Brach’s makes a variety of holiday versions of their individually wrapped nougats, but this is the first year they’ve made a Halloween Candy Corn version. The bag holds 12 ounces of three different color varieties of the candies. They come in yellow, white and orange, just like the layers of candy corn and each features a little image of candy corn at the center. Like many of Brach’s other candies, these are made in Mexico.

Brach's Candy Corn Nougats

Nougat is already very similar to Candy Corn in its ingredients. It’s basically sugar, glucose (sugar syrup), honey and a little protein (in this case egg whites, some candy corn uses gelatin). It’s a little different from taffy in that it’s usually a bit softer chew and has a mild honey flavor. Nougat is usually a smoother texture than fondant, but they should both have a clean and fresh melt on the tongue without much tooth-sticky.

It’s hard to say that these are bad when they succeed at being exactly what they’re supposed to be. They’re a soft nougat that tastes like candy corn. So that’s good.

The chew is soft, really too soft. They’re not quite foamy or puffy like a marshmallow, but not chewy like a taffy. They’re not quite melt in your mouth divine like a French nougat, either.

Related Candies

  1. Spangler Candy Corn Circus Peanuts
  2. Brach’s Christmas Nougats Mix
  3. Charms Candy Corn Pops
  4. 6 Candy Corn Candies That Aren’t Candy Corn
  5. M&Ms White Chocolate Candy Corn
  6. Brach’s Cherry Cordial Nougats
  7. Eat with Your Eyes: Pinwheel Nougats
  8. Nougat de Montelimar


Name: Candy Corn Nougats
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Brach’s
Place Purchased: Walgreen's (Echo Park)
Price: $2.49
Size: 12 ounces
Calories per ounce: 116
Categories: Candy, Halloween, Brach's, Ferrara Pan, Nougat, 5-Pleasant, Mexico, Walgreen's

POSTED BY Cybele AT 2:33 pm     CandyReviewHalloweenBrach'sFerrara PanNougat5-PleasantMexicoWalgreen'sComments (0)

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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:

• Lindt Chocolate Cookie

• Hachez Braune Blatter (Chocolate Leaves)

• Dandelion Chocolate

• Trader Joe’s Holiday Roundup 2014

 

 

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