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Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Toblerone Single Peaks

TobleroneWhen I was a kid one of the prized chocolate bars to get in a Christmas stocking was a Toblerone bar. They were huge and exotic. Pretty to look at and certainly unique in their composition: milk chocolate with almond nougat bits.

Times have changed and Toblorone aren’t so hard to find any longer. Toblerone is named for both the inventor of the confection, Theodor Tobler and torrones, the honey and almond nougat found in the chocolate. The shape is also distinctive (and protected by trademark), each piece a little triangle representing the Swiss Alps. The traditional bar is a series of twelve peaks. The single pieces are now sold in assortments and may be my perferred way of enjoying them.

The Toblerone is now made by Kraft, but before that it was made by Suchard (which was later swallowed by Kraft in Europe). Whether this has changed the quality of the chocolate is up for debate. I remember Toblerone being better when I was a kid, but there could be any number of reasons I appreciated it more.

The Milk Chocolate peak smells mildly of milk and coconut with a little chocolate touch. It has a pretty soft bite to it, so it’s not at all stiff and waxy. The honey notes of the hard nougat bits and almonds come out immediately, and if you’re a chewer, they add a little light texture. It’s rather sweet, but also rather different from the overtly milky Swiss chocolates I’ve become accustomed to.

Toblerone DarkThe second iteration of the Toblerone was Toblerone Dark in 1969.

It has a pleasant fruity overtone to the chocolate. It’s semi-sweet, so it’s not too dark, but still has a good melt. It’s a little grainy, a little chalky feeling towards the end but the abundant torrone bits kind of cover that up well.

The nutty notes from the nougat also blends well. This is the first time I think I’ve tried the dark bar, and it doesn’t really work for me. I’m completely missing the honey flavor from the nougat.

It’s very sweet: throat searingly sweet. It’s a good thing each piece is only two bites.

Toblerone WhiteToblerone White came along in 1973.

Though Toblerone calls this a “white confection” the fat in there is cocoa butter (so it really is white chocolate). So no worries about hydrogenated oils! It certainly smells strongly of Easter baskets and vanillin.

The milk flavors are very strong here, so strong it’s almost like eating a block of sweet vanilla cheese or something. The nice thing about it is that it does enhance the honey of the nougat,

Toblerone StackedNow this one is pretty cool. I have no idea what it’s called, as it’s not really on the Toblerone website. I’m calling it the Toblerone Stack and it features a hefty base of the traditional Milk Chocolate Toberlone and a little white cap of the White Toblerone.

Maybe they’re called Matterhorns. While the white chocolate one was far too much white chocolate, the balance of 3 to 1 milk chocolate actually works here.

The white chocolate makes the honey and vanilla notes pop even more and the milk chocolate keeps it grounded with the chocolate flavors. I know there used to be a candy bar in the States that had a trio of flavors stacked, the only current mass-produced bar I could find is the Australian Nestle Triple Decker (contains Strawberry, Milk & White).

Toblerone FilledThe Toblerone Praline was introduced in 1997. It may be the only format they’re available in (I’ve never seen them in bar form). They come in a smart red wrapper.

The outside shell is pure milk chocolate, no nougat bits in there. The inside is a softer chocolate cream studded with the almond and honey torrone. There seems to be a larger proportion of almonds in there than usual as well.

It has a very distinct and creamy melt like a truffle, but completely lacking in the honey flavors and coconut scent of the original Milk Chocolate.

I really like these Single Peaks and would love to buy them for Christmas for putting in stockings or perhaps just in a candy dish. I don’t think they’d quite work for Halloween as an individually wrapped candy. Besides the fact that they’re probably absurdly expensive for giving away to kids you don’t even know the wrappers aren’t sealed (just twisted) so it’s possible that vigilant parents would just throw them out (or maybe they’d take them from the kids pointing out that they weren’t sealed to protect them but actually eat them).

I got these as samples from All Candy Expo but of course there’s no American website just for Toblerone, but here’s the page on the Kraft site.

Has anyone seen them in stores?

Name: Toblerone Assortment
    RATING:
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 6 TEMPTING
  • 5 PLEASANT
  • 4 BENIGN
  • 3 UNAPPEALING
  • 2 APPALLING
  • 1 INEDIBLE
Brand: Kraft
Place Purchased: samples from All Candy Expo
Price: unknown
Size: unknown
Calories per ounce: 146 (varies)
Categories: ChocolateNougat, Nuts, White Chocolate, Switzerland, Kraft, Kosher

POSTED BY Cybele AT 12:21 pm    

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Caramel Apple Sugar Babies

Caramel Apple Sugar BabiesIt took me a while to find the new Caramel Apple Sugar Babies, but I have to be honest, I wasn’t really looking forward to them.

I like Sugar Babies, in fact, I love them. They’re just fine the way they are. They don’t need to be improved ... but I suppose if they want to expand the line, that’s fine with me.

Okay, I’ll open my mind a little and at least try them.

Caramel Apple Sugar BabiesThe candies are regular Sugar Babies covered in a green, sour apple coating. As you can see from the photo, they’re kind of freaky. The green coating is really green, but it’s also kind of matte, not shiny like Sugar Babies.

They reminded me of Shrek. Like Shrek’s skin ... probably not an appealing association.

The flavor coating is tart and a little crumbly, kind of like the SweeTart Jelly Beans. The green apple flavor isn’t really intense, but a good counterpoint to the sweet, creamy and grainy caramel.

I don’t think they’re an improvement on Sugar Babies, just something different. It’s an interesting take on the caramel application on apples, but doesn’t really capture that experience at all (for one, it’s inside out!). So even though I wasn’t that keen on them, I did end up eating the whole box, so they must be pretty tasty!

I’m very late in getting a hold of these, so if this seems a little familiar you may have read about them before: Sera’s review at Candy Addict, Jeanna at Wisconsin Candy Dish and Sugar Hog.

Related Candies

  1. Mentos Fuji Apple
  2. Tootsie Roll Mini Chews
  3. Chocolate Covered Sugar Babies
  4. Goetze’s Caramel Creams
  5. Junior Caramels
Name: Caramel Apple Sugar Babies
    RATING:
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 6 TEMPTING
  • 5 PLEASANT
  • 4 BENIGN
  • 3 UNAPPEALING
  • 2 APPALLING
  • 1 INEDIBLE
Brand: Tootsie
Place Purchased: samples from All Candy Expo
Price: $1.00
Size: 5 ounces
Calories per ounce: 112
Categories: Caramel, Sour, United States, Tootsie

POSTED BY Cybele AT 7:28 am    

Monday, October 22, 2007

Sixlets & Limited Edition Dark Chocolate Flavored Sixlets

Chocolate Flavored SixletsHere’s one of those candies that I only saw in my Trick-or-Treat haul: Sixlets. Oh sure, they were probably in stores that I frequented. They come in a variety of packets, including the “changemaker” size that holds eight little candy spheres and used to sell for a two cents.

The big reason I shunned Sixlets was I was never quite sure what they were. Are they like M&Ms? Are they candy coated peanuts? Are they a jawbreaker?

Eating them never really answered those questions. They definitely don’t have nuts in them, but taste a little nutty. They’re not like M&Ms, though there is a chocolate-like center. They’re not jawbreakers, in fact the shell is pretty thin.

Chocolate Flavored SixletsSixlets are currently made by Oak Leaf, who makes bubble gum and other confections in Canada that are usually sold in bulk and dispensed in gumball machines that are sold by the handful. Before that they were made by Hershey’s, which purchased the Ovation brand that made Sixlets under management of Leaf (they also made Whoppers, which Hershey’s kept).

Sixlets are certainly cute. They come in vivid colors: Yellow, Green, Red, Orange and Brown. They’re spherical and consistent looking, with a shiny candy shell. The center is a malty-flavored mockolate. Made from partially hydrogenated palm kernel oil, sugar and milk protein, they’re not really that appealing as a confectionery item to eat on their own. Cocoa powder is way down at the fifth position on the list of ingredients. The candy shells are pretty ordinary, except for the orange one, which has a light orange flavor to it (just as Smarties from the UK do). The mockolate barely has a chocolate taste, and the whole thing is a little grainy and a bit greasy.

What they lack in taste they more than make up for with economy and portion control. What other candy comes in little tubes of 8 pieces? Not to mention the fact that each little tube has only 35 calories!

Limited Edition Dark Chocolate Flavored SixletsWhy Oak Leaf came out with the Limited Edition Dark Chocolate Flavored Sixlets is beyond me. The regular ones barely taste like chocolate and any health benefits of “dark chocolate” will be ruined by the use of partially hydrogenated vegetable oil.

The package is attractive, the Sixlets mascot is some sort of an insect ... well, maybe he’s an insect, he only has four legs. And he wears glasses ... and wants us to eat one of his segments.

These little packets were unmarked. Just generic clear cellophane tubes with little unbranded spheres inside.

Dark Chocolate Flavored SixletsThey are similarly attractive to their original counterparts, with a light brown shell in the mix instead of a yellow one. The orange is also orange flavored here as well.

The taste of the “dark chocolate” isn’t really noticeably different from the regular Sixlets. They’re just as disappointing as the regular Sixlets ... except that I paid for this whole bag (I picked the other little guys up at the All Candy Expo).

There are differing stories about why they’re called Sixlets. The current packaging has them in tubes with 8 pieces or 20. Some folks say that they used to come in tubes that had six for a penny. Others say that they came in boxes that had six individual boxes in each package and that’s how they were written up in the wholesale catalogs. It could be that someone just thought it sounded like a good name ... maybe they were into numerology. The number six represents “Reaction/flux. Responsibility” according to Wikipedia. If anyone else has any theories, I’m happy to entertain them.

Caitlin at Candy Addict has a great fondness for them and Bad-Candy.com, well, thinks they’re bad.

Like them if you will ... just don’t call them chocolate. They might be good for decorating ... the rest of these are going in the Trick-or-Treat bowl (don’t worry, I’ll give the kids something good and just slip these in while they’re not looking).

Related Candies

  1. Peeps Monster Mash Ups
  2. Vertigo Pops
  3. M&Ms Line
  4. Idaho Spud
  5. Head-to-Head: Smarties vs. M&Ms
Name: Sixlets & Dark Chocolate Flavored Sixlets
    RATING:
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 6 TEMPTING
  • 5 PLEASANT
  • 4 BENIGN
  • 3 UNAPPEALING
  • 2 APPALLING
  • 1 INEDIBLE
Brand: Oak Leaf
Place Purchased: samples + RiteAid
Price: $1.19
Size: 5 ounces
Calories per ounce: 142
Categories: Mockolate, Canada, Limited Edition, Halloween, Kosher

POSTED BY Cybele AT 7:06 am    

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Candy Teases: Edition Three

Name: Tootsie Pop Drops
Brand: Tootsie
Description: Fruit flavored hard candies with a Tootsie Roll center
Release Date: Early 2008
Notes: Tootsie Pop Drops will return next year after a long absence from store shelves. This is good news, because it was especially sad that the Blow Pop Minis were on the market (blech) and the obviously superior Tootsie Pop Drops were nowhere to be found.

UPDATE 3/22/2008: They are pretty much like the original, a little smaller but a very good return. Here’s the review with photos.

imageName: Reese’s Select Clusters Candy
Brand: Hershey’s
Description: Peanut clusters made with premium ingredients
Release Date: August 2008
Notes: I have no idea how these will be different from regular Reese’s products ... except maybe they’ll improve the quality.

imageName: Werther’s Original Caramel Chocolate (Milk & Dark)
Brand: Storck
Description: Rich milk chocolate marbled with smooth, creamy caramel in fine European tradition
Release Date: November 2007
Notes: I actually tried these ... I was hoping for something as rich and satisfying as Storck Chocolate Riesen. Until I can get a hold of the real packaging so I can read the label, I’m not able to do a full review. 

(Images courtesy of the respective manufacturers.)

Related Candies

  1. Candy Teases: Edition Two
  2. Candy Teases - New Products

POSTED BY Cybele AT 10:15 am     CandyNew Product AnnouncementFeatured NewsFun StuffNews

Friday, October 19, 2007

Reese’s Pieces

They’re the candies that made E.T. famous: Reese’s Pieces. Little sweet nuggets of peanut flavored candy covered in a colorful shell. Loved across the universe, they were introduced in 1978, but didn’t break out as a widely-known candy until being featured as alien-bait in E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial in 1982.

image

The story is quite familiar to most movie and confectionery fans. Steven Spielberg approached M&Ms about doing a product placement (not a very common thing in those days) in his new movie about a child who adopts an abandoned alien. M&Ms turned down the project, so Spielberg went to his next choice, Hershey’s and the Hershey’s Kiss. Hershey’s wasn’t keen on that, but did offer up one of their new candies that they’d been trying to launch national since 1980, Reese’s Pieces ... which look an awful lot like M&Ms! Sales improved drastically and the idea of product placement was cemented as a way to increase revenue in feature films and television series.

Reese's PiecesAre they a Halloween candy? Well, the movie takes place around Halloween and they do sport festive harvest colors.

While Reese’s Pieces may sport the Reese’s name, but they’re really not much like the Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup, except that they contain peanuts.

It’s a sweet, melty peanutty center covered in a crisp candy shell. They come in three colors: orange, yellow and brown. They also come in an Easter version that has a pastel shell and is larger.

The center is made from a peanut powder of sorts, instead of a peanut butter. Much of the peanut oil has been removed, mostly because of a manufacturing problem with peanut oil ... it’s a liquid a room temperature, so it tends to migrate out of peanut butter via osmosis when coated with lower-fat things like a sugar shell. (Some folks may notice that their Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups get a little shiny spot in the center of the shell when this happens.)

I find that Reese’s Pieces lack a big nutty punch. They taste like peanuts, but don’t have that real peanut taste that a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup has. They’re also really sweet and don’t have that little salty hit that most other peanut things like Payday Bars, RPBC and Pearson’s Nut Roll have. I’ve always noticed a bit of a floral note to them as well, that just doesn’t do anything for me.

I keep thinking I’ll like them, then I buy them and I’m disappointed. The Easter versions, with its thicker shell and more concentrated “peanut butter as cookie dough” flavor pleases me a lot more. I’m wondering as well if I’m imagining that the shells used to be more consistent. These seemed a little bumpier, a little less opaquely colored.

Related Candies

  1. Reese’s Whipps
  2. M&M and Reese’s Pieces Peanut Butter Eggs
  3. Trader Joe’s Mini Peanut Butter Cups
  4. Peanut Butter Kisses
  5. Reese’s Pieces with Peanuts
Name: Reese's Pieces
    RATING:
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 6 TEMPTING
  • 5 PLEASANT
  • 4 BENIGN
  • 3 UNAPPEALING
  • 2 APPALLING
  • 1 INEDIBLE
Brand: Hershey's
Place Purchased: RiteAid
Price: $1.00
Size: 4 ounces
Calories per ounce: 145
Categories: Peanuts, United States, Hershey's, Reese's, Kosher, Halloween

POSTED BY Cybele AT 10:39 am    

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