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Rite Aid

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Limited Edition 3 Musketeers Marshmallow

3 Musketeers MarshmallowFor the past few years Mars has been trotting out their seasonal flavors of 3 Musketeers. This year they have a new one, Limited Edition 3 Musketeers Marshmallow for Easter.

The banner across the bottom of the logo says that this is Whipped Up, Fluffy Chocolate with Marshmallow Taste.

I don’t think they come in a full bar format, just this package of Minis. The bag weighs 9 ounces, but looks like it has a lot in it, probably because of all the teensy wrappers.

3 Musketeers Marshmallow Minis

Mars thinks it can get into the marshmallow game. Actually, they’re not getting into the marshmallow game, they’re getting into the marshmallow flavored game. The one thing these have going for them is that they’re safe for vegetarians. There are egg whites in there, so it’d have to be lacto/ovo vegetarians. And those vegetarians would probably be better off never having tried a real marshmallow, so they won’t be quite as disappointed.

3 Musketeers Marshmallow Minis

The pieces are tiny squares (almost cubes) - about three quarters of an inch at the base and a little over a half an inch high. They’re milk chocolate, though the chocolate coating is so thin it’s translucent in spots. The center is light and fluffy, though not quite foamy like marshmallow. The over-riding flavor is salty for me. There’s no malt to it and really no vanilla, so I was left with something that was trying to be less sweet but not quite succeeding. Though the salt covers up the sweetness on the tongue, it doesn’t disguise it in the back of my throat where it burns.

Plain marshmallows are airy and not quite sweet and are usually a generic vanilla flavor. These are just sugar flavored, I got no vanilla notes in there, and no toasted notes either.

Personally, a regular 3 Musketeers bar needs more flavor to please me. I even rechecked my 3 Musketeers opinion by eating some Minis side by side with the marshmallow version - there’s not enough cocoa or malt flavor and the texture is just too underwhelming. If you’re the kind of person who thought the classic needed less flavor, this is the candy for you.

The packaging says that 1 mini has only 25 calories, so it’s pretty easy to parcel out a portion of 100 calories. It also says that there’s 45% less fat than leading chocolate brands. Well, the calories per ounce are 124 by my calculation, so that’s more than a York Peppermint Pattie (113 per ounce) but less than a Twix (140 per ounce). I prefer both when it comes to taste.

Related Candies

  1. HiCHEW Japan vs HiCHEW Taiwan
  2. Peeps Peepsters (Milk & Dark Chocolate)
  3. Campfire Mini Marshmallows
  4. 3 Musketeers Cherry & Raspberry
  5. 3 Musketeers Mini Mix
  6. 3 Musketeers Mint with Dark Chocolate
  7. See’s Awesome Nut & Chew Bar


Name: 3 Musketeers Marshmallow
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Mars
Place Purchased: RiteAid (Echo Park)
Price: $2.99
Size: 9 ounces
Calories per ounce: 124
Categories: Candy, Easter, Mars, Chocolate, Kosher, Limited Edition, Nougat, 6-Tempting, United States, Rite Aid

POSTED BY Cybele AT 3:57 pm     CandyReviewEasterMarsChocolateKosherNougat6-TemptingUnited StatesRite AidComments (12)

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Dove Milk Chocolate Coconut Creme Eggs

Dove Coconut Creme Milk Chocolate EggsFor those who haven’t already noticed, it’s American Chocolate Week, and I’ve been featuring candies with American chocolate in them. You can read more about chocolate at the National Confectioners Association’s special website. Today I have something from Mars, who also makes their own chocolate for their candy products including the Dove Chocolate brand.

I picked up the new Easter product, Dove Silky Smooth Coconut Creme Milk Chocolate Eggs at RiteAid now that they’ve finally gone on sale. They were regularly priced at $4.99 for less than a half a pound, so I felt a little better picking them up at $2.99. 

The bag contains about 18 foil wrapped eggs (well, half eggs). The back of the package exhorts me to Indulge yourself this Easter season with the taste of Dove Pure Silk Chocolate.

Dove Coconut Creme Milk Chocolate Eggs

The eggs are wrapped in two different shades of light green. They’re about 1.66 inches long

The outside of the eggs is rather dull. They’re a molded egg with a cream filling (deposited). But the surface isn’t shiny, it has a very slight pebbled texture to it (I guess real eggs have that).

DSC_2130

The eggs have a sweet, milky and coconutty aroma. It’s much more complex than the standard suntan lotion smell of some coconut candies, so I was encouraged. The creme center is smooth and thick with a similar texture to the milk chocolate shell. It’s all very sweet with a thick and sticky melt. I want to love them, because the textures are so nice. But there’s something missing ... actual coconut. There’s coconut oil in there, sure, which is nice. It means these little candies clock in at an amazing caloric density of 161 calories per ounce. The center is just smooth cream without any chewy coconut. I miss it.

I’ve noticed with the coconut flavored items that Mars has been introducing (Coconut M&Ms and Coconut Twix Bars) that none of them actually have coconut flakes in them. It’s like Mars is afraid of the stuff. But I suppose there’s a demographic out there of people who like the milk chocolate products with the flavor of coconut added to it. Personally I prefer the combination of coconut and dark chocolate and feel like this could have been greatly improved with a Dove dark chocolate shell.

If you’re one of those people who prefers the actual stuff though, you might want to stick to the Hershey’s Coconut Creme Kisses (which are also back for Easter), the exceptional Russell Stover version (which is a great value) or Mounds/Almond Joy.

Sugar Pressure also gave these a whirl.

Related Candies

  1. Twix Coconut (Limited Edition)
  2. Dove Peanut Butter Silky Smooth Milk Chocolate
  3. Limited Edition M&Ms Coconut
  4. Dove Promises (Caramel & Almonds)
  5. Kisses Coconut Creme
  6. Dove Truffle and Snickers Eggs
  7. Russell Stover Cream Eggs


Name: Dove Silky Smooth Milk Chocolate Coconut Creme Eggs
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Mars
Place Purchased: RiteAid (Echo Park)
Price: $2.99
Size: 7.94 ounces
Calories per ounce: 161
Categories: Candy, Easter, Mars, Chocolate, Coconut, Kosher, 7-Worth It, United States, Rite Aid

POSTED BY Cybele AT 3:46 pm     CandyReviewEasterMarsChocolateCoconutKosher7-Worth ItUnited StatesRite AidComments (5)

Monday, March 21, 2011

Peeps Milk Chocolate Dipped Marshmallow

Chocolate Dipped PeepsLast year Just Born launched Chocolate Covered Peeps. It was a natural evolution, as Peeps were already made in a variety of shapes and colors and even flavors. But the one thing lacking in that new product was an essential part of the Peeps experience: the sugar crust.

This year we have another new version, Peeps Milk Chocolate Dipped Marshmallow. It’s exactly what it sounds like. A single Peep partially dipped in milk chocolate. They’re packaged in a tray of three, similar to the way the Sugar Free Peeps are sold. They come at a premium price, I paid $1.99 for my 1.5 ounces of new newness.

Chocolate Dipped Peeps

Each Peep is about a half an ounce. They’re fully formed, not formerly conjoined like the row of Peeps that usually come in a tray. They have a squat and wide base and just the very bottom of the base has a light coating of sweet milk chocolate.

They’re well protected by the overpackaging of the deep plastic tray. They’re also very fresh, though I prefer mine a little tacky and chewy. (I didn’t wait for some to get stale to post this review.)

The chocolate sticks well to the marshmallow, so even though it crunches when bitten, it doesn’t flake off easily. The flavor is quite milky and sweet and it’s passably smooth. The grain of the sugar crust would probably ruin any appreciation of a silky smooth chocolate anyway. The marshmallow is soft and chewy and relatively flavorless aside from the sweetness. They were probably some of the best Peeps I’ve ever had though I don’t care much for them ordinarily.

The proportion of chocolate to marshmallow was pretty good. Most of all I wanted something to cut the sweetness of the sugar crust and though the milk chocolate did a bit, it really wasn’t enough to warrant me buying these again.

I would love to try them with a really good dark chocolate dip. And I wouldn’t be adverse to seeing them in different flavors either. (Peppermint and dark chocolate? Especially if it wasn’t colored.)

UPDATE 3/28/2011: Oh, yes, they do make Dark Chocolate ones and Milk & Dark Dipped Mousse!

Related Candies

  1. Peeps Chocolate Dipped Marshmallows
  2. CVS Marshmallow Pop
  3. Whitman’s Marshmallow Eggs & Carrot
  4. Chocolate Covered Peeps
  5. Peeps Mash Ups - Savory
  6. Russell Stover Marshmallow Rabbits
  7. Peeps Mash Ups


Name: Peeps Strawberry Creme dipped in Dark Chocolate
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Just Born
Place Purchased: Cost Plus World Market (3rd & Fairfax)
Price: $1.99
Size: 1.5 ounces
Calories per ounce: 107
Categories: Candy, Valentines, Just Born, Chocolate, Marshmallow, 6-Tempting, United States, Cost Plus

POSTED BY Cybele AT 2:11 pm     CandyPeepsReviewEasterJust BornChocolateMarshmallow7-Worth ItUnited StatesRite AidComments (3)

Monday, February 28, 2011

Peeps Peepsters (Milk & Dark Chocolate)

Peeps Peepsters - Milk Chocolate CremesJust Born has been steadily expanding the Peeps line of products for the the past five years or so. Beyond just new colors and shapes for the iconic sugar crusted marshmallows, they’ve also delved into flavors and more recently, the addition of chocolate.

The newest member of the Peeps repertoire is Peeps Peepsters Chocolate with Marshmallow Flavored Creme. They come in two varieties, milk and dark chocolate and sound like an interesting new version, more about the chocolate and less about the marshmallow.

I found them at the drug store before Valentine’s Day, so I paid full price for my bags - $3.99, which I found startling for 11 ounces of candy whose first ingredient was sugar and contained palm kernel oil.

I’ll start with the Peepsters Milk Chocolate with Marshmallow Flavored Creme which are enclosed in an easy to spot yellow bag with brown and green trim. The pieces inside are visible through a little window and foil wrapped in a matte pastel assortment of yellow, orange and pink.

Peeps Peepsters - Milk Chocolate Cremes

The pieces are a little bit bigger than a Rolo. They feel solid and firm. Even without unwrapping them a vague soft vanilla flavor wafted from the bag. The little domes on the pieces have a little Peep on them, but that’s the only chicky thing about them. There’s really nothing that otherwise makes these feel Peepy except that the packaging tells me so.

The chocolate is smooth and has an excellent snap (however, it is rather cold in Los Angeles right now, they’ve been sitting in the unheated Candy Blog studio, which is about 58 degrees right now). It’s quite sweet but what’s most notable about the creme center is how firm it is. It seems to have the same density as the chocolate. So biting into it is like biting into a thick chunk of chocolate. As you can see from the cross section, there’s a lot of chocolate and not much filling.

The chocolate is sweet and milky, which adds to the marshmallow notes. The cream center does melt a bit on the tongue, kind of like a white chocolate but without the extra milk notes and malty flavor. Instead it’s all vanilla and sweetness. I didn’t get marshmallow at all. If this was served to me without a name, I don’t think think I would have come up with marshmallow as a descriptor. The essential elements of marshmallow are missing. (Lightness, fluffiness and smooth melt.)

Peeps Peepsters Dark Chocolate CremesThe Peepsters Dark Chocolate filled with Marshmallow Flavored Creme are similar to the milk counterpart. They come in a blue bag with white polka dots and the same brown trim. The foil wrapping on the pieces is blue, green and lilac. (So you could mix these in a bowl and knowing the key, pick out your preference.)

The dark chocolate contains milk fat, so it’s not suitable for vegans ... but the creme center has milk products in it anyway. There is no gelatin in it though, so lacto-ovo vegetarians can indulge if they want to. The thickener used for the center is gum arabic.

The caloric density on the dark version is slightly higher, there are two more grams of fat per serving in this version.

Peeps Peepsters - Dark Chocolate Marshmallow Cremes

Again there’s nothing Peepish about these. They have a much more pronounced vanilla smells to them, and less of the milky notes.

The chocolate is deep and rich, though not entirely well rounded. There are bitter, woodsy notes of charcoal and a lack of fruity notes to balance it all out. So it’s a very rough sort of flavors in combination - the one note sweet vanilla flavored center and then the cocoa powder outside. The balance of sweetness in this was much better though, so I definitely felt much less throat-searing on this version.

Peeps Peepsters - Dark Chocolate Marshmallow Cremes

It’s an interesting brand extension from a company that I’ve never really though of much more than a sugar candy manufacturer. The foil is cute, but the ratio of center to chocolate was a bit off for something that I thought was going to have the lightness of marshmallow. The attention to detail on the production though is much better than my recent experiences with the Chocolate Covered Peeps. The pieces were well made and protected appropriately by their wrappings. I like that there’s no unnecessary food coloring used in the centers to make them violently yellow - so parents can feel better about giving these to kids. And for once vegetarians can enjoy a Peeps product.

But if I were to pick up an Easter themed cream, I think I’d stick with the Russell Stover eggs line, even though the ratio of chocolate to cream is pretty much the opposite.

UPDATE 11/29/2012: Just Born updated the packaging look for Peepsters this year, though the product remains the same. They also introduced a Christmas-themed version with red and green foil wrappings.

Related Candies

  1. Peeps Dark Chocolate Covered Mint Marshmallow
  2. Chocolate Covered Peeps
  3. Peeps Mash Ups - Savory
  4. Russell Stover Eggs
  5. Peeps Mash Ups
  6. Cadbury Eggs: Creme & Caramel


Name: Peeps Peepsters Milk Chocolate with Marshmallow Flavored Creme
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Just Born
Place Purchased: RiteAid (Miracle Mile)
Price: $3.99
Size: 11 ounces
Calories per ounce: 128
Categories: Candy, Easter, Just Born, Chocolate, Kosher, 6-Tempting, United States, Rite Aid


Name: Peeps Peepsters Dark Chocolate with Marshmallow Flavored Creme
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Just Born
Place Purchased: RiteAid (Miracle Mile)
Price: $3.99
Size: 11 ounces
Calories per ounce: 142
Categories: Candy, Easter, Just Born, Chocolate, Kosher, 6-Tempting, United States, Rite Aid

POSTED BY Cybele AT 9:25 am     CandyPeepsReviewEasterJust BornChocolateKosher6-TemptingUnited StatesRite AidComments (35)

Thursday, December 23, 2010

RM Palmer Peppermint Patties

I’ve often made fun of R.M. Palmer as a maker of horrible candy. I do my best though to keep an open mind whenever I approach a candy from them that I’ve never had. Sometimes I’m rewarded.

RM Palmer Peppermint Patties

I picked up their Peppermint Patties since they were on display as a “great value” at RiteAid. It was only $1.00 for a 5 ounce bag of individually wrapped patties. Each little pattie is about 1.5 inches in diameter.

They’re molded instead of enrobed, which is kind of odd. (More like the Russell Stover version I mentioned last week in construction than the Haviland.) The molding has ripples on it to make them look liked they’ve been enrobed, but it’s easy to tell around the edge that they’re made in a mold. (And they look nothing like the image on the package, which I seem to have lost.)

The big difference between these and most other peppermint patties is the coating. This is not chocolate, it’s mockolate. The first ingredient on the list is sugar and the second is partially hydrogenated vegetable oil (palm kernel, coconut and/or palm oil). It’s really evident upon biting into them. The coating has a decent melt and the whole thing has a cool and fresh minty scent. The cocoa flavors are just that, plain old cocoa, like I’m eating that paste that you make with water and hot cocoa mix, not actual chocolate. The minty center is creamy and smooth and has a very subtle flavor, almost like peppermint bubble gum instead of a strong breath mint style.

Since there’s more coating than filling, these are very high on the calorie count for a peppermint pattie. York Peppermint Patties are about 115 calories per ounce, which is great for a product that contains real chocolate. These clock in at 152 calories per ounce. For that you can have an actual chocolate truffle (sure, it’ll cost more) and enjoy the real fats instead of this partially hydrogenated artery clogging crud.

They’re not horrible, they’re just not that good. I don’t plan on finishing the bag.

Related Candies

  1. Russell Stover Assorted Wrapped Chocolates
  2. Haviland Dark Chocolate Covered Thin Mints
  3. King Leo Dark Chocolate Crunchy Patties
  4. Sunspire Peppermint Pattie
  5. Manhattan Chocolates Dipped Mint Cremes
  6. Christmas Mint Round Up
  7. Junior Mints Deluxe


Name: Peppermint Patties
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: R.M. Palmer
Place Purchased: Rite Aid (Vermonica)
Price: $1.00
Size: 5 ounces
Calories per ounce: 152
Categories: Candy, R.M. Palmer, Kosher, Mints, Mockolate, 5-Pleasant, United States, Rite Aid

POSTED BY Cybele AT 1:48 pm     CandyReviewR.M. PalmerKosherMintsMockolate5-PleasantUnited StatesRite AidComments (8)

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Head to Head: Haviland Thin Mints vs. Maxfield’s Cream Sticks

Last week I reviewed the new Haviland Signature Dark Chocolate Thin Mints. As I mentioned then, Haviland makes several other varieties, the Orange and Raspberry. While shopping I also found these Maxfield’s All American Raspberry and Orange Cream Sticks. Since they’re similar prices and similar candies, I thought I’d compare them.

Haviland Signature Chocolate vs Maxfield's All American

The Haviland are patties and come in a long rectangular box of 21 that weighs 5 ounces. I paid $1.59 for one box and got the second half off. I’m going to hazard that the normal price for Haviland’s is going to be about $1.35. The Maxfield’s are sticks that come in a flat box with 13 sticks and weigh in at 3.15 ounces. I got both boxes for $1 on sale with a coupon. But let’s just say that these are normally about $1.00. So the price per ounce at my “regular” price estimates are 37 cents per ounce for Haviland and 32 cents per ounce for Maxfield’s.

Maxfield Cream Sticks - OrangeMaxifield’s little book shaped box is just a sleeve. It’s covered in a clear shinkwrapped plastic that seals out moisture. Once that’s off though, the sleeve does a good job of protecting the little tray inside that holds the sticks (because it meets up with the box very well and has wide edges.

The tray holds 13 perfect looking sticks. I wouldn’t say that the flimsy brown tray is great for serving from, except in the most casual company.

I don’t know much about the Maxfield’s All American chocolates. This is the first year I can recall seeing them in stores at Christmas. I saw a lot of boxed chocolates on the shelves most a lower prices than the standard Russell Stover which was in the same aisle. Maxfield’s is based in Utah and is part of Dynamic Confections (which also makes Kencraft candy which creates those fanciful panoramic sugar eggs at Easter).

Maxifield Cream Sticks - Raspberry

The Maxfield’s Raspberry Cream Sticks look great. I honestly didn’t expect much for the price and the fact that I hadn’t heard of the company before.

Each is nicely molded, fresh and looked like it just came off of the factory line. Each stick is about 2.75 inches long. They smell lightly of raspberry, like the seedy part of jam or perfume, not so much like the fresh berries.

The chocolate is smoky and pretty mellow, it’s not overly creamy or even sweet. The fondant center is moist and not quite crumbly, it’s softer than a York Peppermint Pattie but on the grainy side like the York. The raspberry flavor is all scent, there’s a light dash of pink food coloring in there.

The flavor was okay, not something I would just sit around eating. They’d be good, I suppose, to add to a plate of cookies or other desserts, but I wouldn’t just eat these without an accompaniment. They’re far too sweet for me without enough of a bonus of texture - the chocolate isn’t good enough and the fondant just lacks an authentic punch.

Maxfield Cream Sticks - Orange

The Maxfield Orange Cream Sticks were a bit more promising, mostly because I think it’s easier to do a cheap but good orange flavor than it is to pull off rasbperry.

The orange sticks were just as lovely as the raspberry. The orange scent from them was an excellent citrus zest. The fondant was moist and had a gentle chew to it, or I could let it dissolve. The zest wasn’t too strong, not harsh bitter note to it. It overpowered the chocolate completely though, the only thing the chocolate did was give me a break from the throat searing sweetness.

Again, with some very bold coffee or tea, I don’t think I’d mind the sweetness quite as much. Each stick has about 28 calories.

Haviland Dark Chocolate Covered Thin MintsThe Haviland patties really do no better in the realm of packaging. The box is nicely designed and the tray certainly does its job of protecting the candy, but I wouldn’t serve from them. It’s also sealed in cellophane.

The patties in my fruity versions were in a little bit better shape than the Peppermint ones I mentioned last week. These had no sign of bloom and even fewer scuffs on the tops from shuffling around in the box. The box boasts that they’re 63% cacao and are all natural.

Haviland Thin Mints - Raspberry

The Haviland Raspberry Creme Dark Chocolate Thin Mints box shows that the center is pink, but in actuality they were uncolored. That’s fine with me, I could tell them apart by smell alone. The raspberry scent is similar to the Maxfield’s sticks, like a puree that includes the woodsy notes of the seeds.

The patties are beautifully rippled and are about 1.33 inches around. The break is crisp but the filling is slightly flowing and has a little pull to it. The fondant is smooth with a light confectioners sugar sized grain to it The darker chocolate balances out the sweetness. The raspberry flavor is all scent and no tartness or true berry bits. It was a clean flavor and would go best with tea or perhaps some strong hot chocolate. The ingredients mention a touch of peppermint oil, and at first I thought that was a typo, but it’s true, there is a subtle minty finish.

Haviland Thin Mints - Orange

The Haviland Orange Creme Dark Chocolate Thin Mints are strong. Even with my seasonal allergies, I could tell that these were orange. Biting into them it’s even more apparent that they’re too orange. Orange oil can be caustic at high concentrations and I think that may be pretty close here. The zest was overpowering, I got a hint of the chocolate texture and at the very least the change in the sweetness, but the orange oil too over everything else.

Each pattie has about 27 calories.

I like the change up of the standard thin mints or mint stick with these. Fondant is certainly a flexible element for a candy and I certainly support different flavors being combined with dark chocolate. In this case the sticks didn’t have the quality of chocolate that they should have and the fruity thin mints didn’t quite have the same balance of elements that the peppermint version had.

All were good values and in a situation where you just want to have something for folks who aren’t that discerning (perhaps drunk on your spiked wassail or have frostbitten tongues from screaming at a northern bowl game).

Related Candies

  1. Marich Halloween Mellocremes
  2. Choceur After Dinner Mints: Orange & Peppermint
  3. House Brand Creme Eggs
  4. Cream Drops versus Creme Drops
  5. Romanego Dragees, Cordials & Fondants


Name: Raspberry & Orange Cream Sticks
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Maxfield’s
Place Purchased: Rite Aid (Echo Park)
Price: $1.00
Size: 3.15 ounces
Calories per ounce: 107
Categories: All Natural, Candy, Chocolate, Kosher, 7-Worth It, United States, Rite Aid


Name: Dark Chocolate Covered Raspberry or Orange Creme Thin Mints
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Necco
Place Purchased: Rite Aid (Echo Park)
Price: $1.00
Size: 5 ounces
Calories per ounce: 108
Categories: All Natural, Candy, Necco, Chocolate, Kosher, Mints, 7-Worth It, United States, Rite Aid

POSTED BY Cybele AT 4:03 pm     CandyNeccoChocolateFondantKosher7-Worth ItUnited StatesHead to HeadRite AidComments (2)

Monday, December 13, 2010

Russell Stover Assorted Wrapped Chocolates

Russell Stover Assorted Wrapped ChocolatesFor the past few months I’ve noticed this king sized bag of Russell Stover Assorted Fine Chocolates {individually wrapped} at CVS and RiteAid. It’s a rather simple looking bag and perhaps this photo doesn’t convey the massive size of it. It holds 20 ounces (1.4 pounds), so it’s kind of like picking up a gallon of milk.

The price wasn’t bad, both places were selling them for $9.99. But I didn’t really want them, so I didn’t buy them. Then I saw them on sale at Rite Aid for $7.88 and thought this was as good an opportunity as any ... especially when the price was down to a little more than $6 a pound for American made candy that uses real chocolate.

Inside unassuming bag are individually wrapped pieces of some of Russell Stover’s most popular “handcrafted in small batches” pieces of candy: Pecan Delight, Caramel, Mint Patty and Coconut. The wrappers are pretty subdued as well, just a plain white plastic with a picture of the candy and the name. They’re also a bit color coded, so it’s easy to pick them out.

Russell Stover Pecan Delight

The Pecan Delights really are delights. Sure they’re sweet and not terribly complex, but I get the impression that this package is all about comfort candies that satisfy a wide variety of people.

The milk chocolate coating is sweet but very smooth and has a good sticky milky quality. There caramel inside is stiff and chewy without being too hard or a danger to dental work. The pecans aren’t quite as dense as I would like, but they were fresh and crunchy.

I’ve tried the organic version of these before and thought they were good but not great. These were actually better as far as I was concerned than the DeMets Pecan Turtles, which I find sweet and lacking a strong toasted sugar flavor from the caramel.

Russell Stover Caramel

The Caramel is a small patty, with an appealing artisan look. The milk chocolate forms pleasing ripples on top and smells milky. The piece is about an inch and a half around.

The caramel is firm and has a good chew to it without being too tough or stiff. The flavor is salty and has adequate burnt sugar notes to it. It’s a nice size, about two bites for me, but I could eat it all at once if I wanted to. The caramel reminded me of Milk Duds, but of course with a much better, real chocolate coating.

Russell Stover Coconut

The Coconut piece is simple. If you’re a Mounds fan, this will be very familiar. A moist little log of sweet coconut covered in dark chocolate. It’s not as sweet or creamy as the Easter fare, which is fine with me. The coconut is chewy and not too sweet. The dark chocolate had just the lightest haze of bloom on it, but I find that’s not uncommon with coconut products because of the moisture/fat content. The flavor of the dark chocolate is good, it’s not as chalky and rough as Mounds though not completely decadent, it holds its own.

The pieces are small but easy to pop or savor slowly as two bites.
Russell Stover Mint Patty

My Mint Patty I photographed has a slight bloom on it. I opened three for the photos and found them all in a similar state. Then I started eating them for review and found the rest to be pristine - dark and glossy and nicely molded.

The chocolate takes the center stage here because of the proportions. There’s a lot of chocolate and it has a strong woodsy and smoky flavor. The mint center is smooth and a little runny but also a bit salty. The mint flavor is subtle and has an almost toothpaste combination of both peppermint and spearmint.

I have to say that doing Candy Blog has really made me look at brands like Russell Stover again. I don’t think that I was wrong about them back in the eighties, I just think they’re a bit better than they used to be, at least they taste fresher. It’s pure luck that this assortment has all of my favorite combinations. Half the pieces are dark, there are some good quality nuts in there and for the sale price, I thought these were a good value.

The packaging isn’t really sexy or nifty, but it gets the job done. They’re a step above the Hershey’s, Mars or DeMets, so expect to pay for that. This is an assortment I plan on sharing at the office - a little something for everyone.

Related Candies

  1. Haviland Dark Chocolate Covered Thin Mints
  2. Mounds
  3. Milky Way Simply Caramel
  4. Robitaille’s Presidential Inaugural Mints & Turtles
  5. Junior Mints Deluxe
  6. See’s Scotchmallow


Name: Assorted Chocolates Individually Wrapped
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Russell Stover
Place Purchased: Rite Aid (Echo Park)
Price: $7.88 (on sale)
Size: 20.7 ounces
Calories per ounce: 135
Categories: Candy, Russell Stover, Caramel, Chocolate, Coconut, Mints, Nuts, 7-Worth It, United States, Rite Aid

POSTED BY Cybele AT 5:13 pm     CandyReviewRussell StoverCaramelChocolateCoconutMintsNuts7-Worth ItUnited StatesRite AidComments (3)

Friday, December 3, 2010

Peeps Dark Chocolate Covered Mint Marshmallow

Peeps Dark Chocolate Covered Mint MarshmallowJust Born introduced Chocolate Covered Peeps for Easter 2010. They also made an appearance in the pumpkin shape for Halloween. But the most interesting of their new chocolate covered version of the marshmallow shapes is the Christmas introduction of the Peeps Dark Chocolate Covered Mint Flavored Marshmallow.

The candies come individually wrapped and weigh 1 ounce exactly. (There’s also a milk chocolate version, but both that I bought were crushed & sticky so I’ll have to find more.) Like the other chocolate covered versions before, they’re not just a chocolate covered classic Peep, they lack the sugar crust so the chocolate is the cloak it gets instead of the grainy coating.

Peeps Dark Chocolate Covered Mint Marshmallow

The tree shaped minty Christmas Peep is just shy of three inches long and pretty tall at about an inch thick. The dark chocolate shell contains a bit of milkfat but is otherwise has a pleasing dark sheen and makes a convincing tree shape. The package says that they’re gluten free, but of course aren’t vegan (gelatin & milk) and may contain peanuts, tree nuts, eggs and coconut.

Peeps Dark Chocolate Covered Mint Marshmallow

They actually smell more like sweet dark chocolate out of the package than mint, which I thought was a good sign after the overly sweet and underwhelming Easter and Halloween versions.

Biting into it, I found what I expected, which was a bright green, soft and moist marshmallow flavored with peppermint. The marshmallow is interesting, it’s fluffy without being foamy or latexy. The mint flavor is appropriately strong - strong enough to have a distinctive taste but not so strong to overwhelm the chocolate chip qualities of the dark coating. The smooth dissolve of the marshmallow is better than the slightly grainy and chalky chocolate.

I don’t generally get an aftertaste from green food colorings (blue & yellow), so my repulsion at the color was aesthetic, not technical. It did go far to convince me that this was something flavored like Creme de Menthe.

The product idea is sound, a flavored marshmallow in a festive, seasonal shape covered in chocolate. There aren’t any other mass-marketed candies like that. I still question the necessity of the strong food colorings (and maybe some sprinkles on there would serve a similar purpose of the tree “decoration.” I’m still not much of a marshmallow fan, so these don’t suit me, but I’m sure there are some fans who will enjoy these. They could benefit from higher quality chocolate and eschew the strong colors.

Related Candies

  1. Russell Stover Giant S’mores Bar & Mint Dream
  2. Chocolate Covered Peeps
  3. Pete’s Gourmet Confections: Marshmallows
  4. Christmas Mint Round Up
  5. Peeps Chocolate Mousse (Bears & Bunnies)
  6. Peeps inside a Milk Chocolate Egg
  7. Peppermint Peep Stars


Name: Peeps Dark Chocolate Covered Mint Marshmallow
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Just Born
Place Purchased: Rite Aid (Vermonica)
Price: $.50
Size: 1 ounce
Calories per ounce: 120
Categories: Candy, Christmas, Just Born, Chocolate, Marshmallow, Mints, 7-Worth It, United States, Rite Aid

POSTED BY Cybele AT 3:23 pm     CandyPeepsReviewChristmasJust BornChocolateMarshmallowMints7-Worth ItUnited StatesRite AidComments (6)

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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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These candies will be reviewed shortly:

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