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Thursday, August 9, 2007

Werther’s Caramel Coffee Hard Candies

Werther's CoffeeI was standing in the drug store last week staring at the candy aisle. There were lots of new things, one that caught my eye was the Werther’s Caramel Coffee hard candies, mostly because I got an email the week before extolling their virtues (thanks for the suggestion .

So I thought, I should pick some up. I didn’t want a lot of them, but luckily they had two sizes. A 3.5 ounce bag, which is a nice size for sampling, reviewing and sharing. And the second bag was 5.5 ounces ... a little more than I wanted to buy. The price? Both were $1.99. Neither were on sale. They were just the same price. So I bought the larger bag (what, am I stupid?).

The little hard candies are like the Werther’s Original, a creamy toffee or buttery hard candy.

image

They’re attractively packaged, each individually sealed in its own easy to open gold mylar pillow. No, they’re not in the twist wraps like the original Werther’s Original which I really need to cover, but you can check out this review of the classic by Jamie on Candy Addict.

These little disks are exceptionally pretty. They have a pleasant swirl of two different colors (though I can’t really tell the difference in taste between the pieces) that look like black coffee and coffee with cream.

The flavor is, well, very sweet and creamy. The coffee comes out as a little bit of a background hint to the stronger toffee/caramel. It’s missing a bit of the salty hit that I enjoy with Werther’s Original. As coffee hard candies go, these don’t rival the other set that I’ve had from Bali’s Best and United Coffee. But if you’re the type of person who likes their coffee sweet and perhaps enjoys Caramel Macchiatos (I’m sorry, I’ve never had one so I can’t really compare it), this might be a fun little pocket treat.

I enjoy crunching them, they have a wonderful way of cleaving in flakes and shattering. Of course then it kind of becomes a sticky mess in my teeth, but that gives me something to work on later. They’re exceptionally smooth, which makes for a good candy to be patient and dissolve in your mouth. No voids whatsoever, so it’s not going to cut up the roof of your mouth like some candies like butterscotch disks can.

Werther’s Original are a great summer candy. They give you that creamy boost like chocolate but they’re so freakishly durable - you can leave them in a hot car or let them get frozen and you can even dunk a package of these babies in the ocean and they’re gonna come out of the package exactly the same.

Notes from the package: may contain wheat products, definitely contains milk & soy. Each candy is about 20 calories (more than most hard candies because they’re made with cream & butter). Made in Germany. These also come in a sugar free version (that I’ve not tried, but perhaps someone else can weigh in on how they are).

Related Candies

  1. Trader Joe’s Espresso Chocolate
  2. Storck Chocolate Riesen
  3. Vertigo Pops
  4. Pocket Coffee
  5. Bali’s Best Coffee & United Coffee Candy
Name: Werther's Original Caramel Coffee Hard Candies
    RATING:
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 6 TEMPTING
  • 5 PLEASANT
  • 4 BENIGN
  • 3 UNAPPEALING
  • 2 APPALLING
  • 1 INEDIBLE
Brand: Storck
Place Purchased: CVS (Silverlake)
Price: $1.99
Size: 5.5 ounces
Calories per ounce: 121
Categories: Coffee, Hard Candy, Germany, Storck

POSTED BY Cybele AT 6:56 am     Comments (10)

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Associated Press Follows up on GMA Petition to the FDA

There was a cool article out of the AP that got featured on Yahoo News and CNN yesterday about the FDA Petition from the Grocery Manufacturers Association.

imageHere’s some video as well.

You can read Sweet Debate: What is Chocolate by Andrew Bridges here on the Star-Telegram or CNN.com or the Roanoke Times.

Bridges did a great follow up on the story, which is refreshing when so many of these issues seem to drop off the face of the map.

Cool things:

  • It mentions that there were 1,500 responses to the FDA on the Citizens Petition ... way to go chocolate fans!
  • It mentions that this may have an adverse effect on the economy of cacao growers and middlemen in the tropics. There are 50,000,000 people around the globe that make their living from chocolate, of course this has huge economic ramifications, even if it ends up being a 5% fat swap in chocolate.
  • It makes mention (towards the end) of the positions that Mars, Nestle and Hershey put on the record back in 2000. (A story, I might add, that I covered here back in this post.)
  • Big Chocolate doesn’t want to comment any longer ... Hershey’s, Nestle, Mars, the CMA ... they didn’t have anything to say for the article.
  • You can read the FDA statement that they put out around the time when the public comment period ended.

    Here’s the interview I did for NPR last month about it where I think I took an admirable stand against some of the GMA’s positions.

    Related Candies

    1. Other things in the FDA Citizen’s Petition
    2. Washington Post: It’s not Over
    3. LATimes Editorial
    4. FDA Chocolate Definition Change
    5. Don’t Mess with Our Chocolate!

    POSTED BY Cybele AT 1:18 pm     CandyFDANewsComments (2)

    Mentos Plus Citrus Mix

    Oh, the lovely commenters here are blessed, blessed friends to have told me of this Mentos assortment ... the assortment of my dreams!

    image

    Citrus candies are my absolute favorite and of course the Pink Grapefruit Mentos are divine. There are parts of the world where you can get these, Mentos Plus Citrus Mix. They’re fortified with Vitamin C and come in an assortment of three flavors: orange, pink grapefruit and lime.

    At first I was thinking, Lime? Why not Lemon? But they pulled it off, a Lime as spectacular as Pink Grapefruit is. It’s zesty and slightly bitter but doesn’t give me any images of housecleaning products. Just clean, clean limes.

    Orange was nice and juicy. Not quite zesty enough for me, but far and away better than the American Orange Mentos that we get in the regular mixed Fruit roll here.

    Here’s another curiosity from the label. The Fuji Apple ones I reviewed didn’t have gelatin in them (and were halal) but mentioned Gellan Gum. This box has no gelatin or gellan gum, instead lists starch and gum arabic as the thickeners. It also bears the halal seal. I find it amazing that Mentos have so many different recipes worldwide. (This package also contains 2.5% fruit juice.) If you don’t have any problems with sugar these look like they’re vegan (no beeswax or insect-derived colors) but please read all labels as I’m finding that this may not be the case with every package.

    The package is about 1.5 ounces (42 grams) and I counted 18 pieces in the box. The vitamin C content is 4 mg per piece.

    These should definitely be made available in America. If they’re not going to give us rolls of the Pink Grapefruit, they should really include them in a mix like this. They’re just so darn pretty, too. Repackage them for weddings in little clear boxes to show off the delicate pastels and they could knock Jordan Almonds out of favor.

    Special thanks go out today to Santos for bringing me these three lovely (if now empty) boxes of Mentos. These were made in China for the Philippines. I think they also sell them in Australia. Has anyone else spotted them for sale in their area?

    Related Candies

    1. HiCHEW Yuzu & Valencia
    2. Pure Fun & Yummy Earth Organic Hard Candies
    3. Mentos Berry Mix
    4. Sunkist Fruit Gems
    5. Pink Grapefruit Mentos
    Name: Mentos Plus Citrus Mix
      RATING:
    • 10 SUPERB
    • 9 YUMMY
    • 8 TASTY
    • 7 WORTH IT
    • 6 TEMPTING
    • 5 PLEASANT
    • 4 BENIGN
    • 3 UNAPPEALING
    • 2 APPALLING
    • 1 INEDIBLE
    Brand: Perfetti Van Melle
    Place Purchased: gift (thanks Santos!)
    Price: unknown
    Size: 1.5 ounces
    Calories per ounce: unknown
    Categories: Chew, China, Perfetti Van Melle

    POSTED BY Cybele AT 10:29 am     Comments (13)

    Tuesday, August 7, 2007

    Atomic Fireballs

    Atomic Fireballs were invented in 1954 by Nello Ferrara, the son of the founder of Ferrara Pan. The spicy flavor and the exceptionally long lasting candy was instantly popular (coupled with the pop culture obsession with all things atomic at the time).

    imageAtomic Fireballs are made in a process called hot panning, where layers of sugar syrup and flavor are deposited on a single sugar grain core. The pans are hot as they tumble the developing candies through this long process. It takes two weeks and at least a hundred layers to make the familiar spicy jawbreaker. You can see the process here at the Ferrara Pan website. Ferrara Pan sells over 15,000,000 every week!

    Atomic Fireballs come in two sizes, a little pea sized one in boxes similar in format to the Lemonhead and the more popular full-sized, individually-wrapped jawbreaker. (Ferrera Pan still makes Red Hots, which are cinnamon imperials and though they’re nice they’re NOT the same thing.) I haven’t seen the little ones in years, but a quick search on the internet indicates that they’re still around. (Here’s a great shot of their old packaging.)

    It’s still easy to find Atomic Fireballs individually wrapped, usually for a nickel or dime each at checkout stands at convenience stores or liquor stores.

    imageAll that history and nostalgia aside, how are they?

    The outside is rather mild. The shiny ball is smooth and takes a moment to release a strong blast of cinnamon (and a little bitterness too for those who can taste Red 40). Either I’ve become extremely resilient over the years (and judging from my inability to eat my husband’s chili, I’d say not) or they’ve decreased the hotness of this product.

    The cinnamon was definitely tingly and spicy but didn’t really gain any momentum until the second “major” layer. I recall not being able to hold one in my mouth for very long as a kid ... it’s no issue at all now.

    I also think the texture has changed slightly. It feels a bit lighter, a little more chalky now. It loses flavor after that second internal layer. I had no problem crunching one open for the cross section with some nutcrackers ... something that was extremely difficult years ago because of the density (and possibly they were larger back in the olden days). The best way when I was a kid to break them open was to drop them onto concrete. This was more fun with the old full-sized Everlasting Gobstoppers because they had colored layers.

    Fireballs were one of those candies I enjoyed eating while reading and later on long car trips where I found the hotness kept me alert while driving. I’m a cruncher, but the sphere has to be dissolved down to at least a third of its original size before I can crack it open with my teeth. I wish they were as strong as I remember them, they’d get a full on 9 out of 10 if they did. But this watered down version is still a fun 7 out of 10.

    Other fun things I found out while researching this:

  • In Europe they’re called Atomic Fire Blast.
  • Robert at Candy Addict had a sweet (and spicy) flashback
  • Each large sized Atomic Fireball has 20 calories (if you’re able to eat the whole thing) and weighs 5.67 grams (.2 ounces)
  • The bag I bought says it was produced in a factory that also handles peanuts, tree nuts, milk, wheat, soy and eggs ... all that’s missing from the list of allergens is BEES!
  • This package was made in Mexico, I’ll try to find out if they still make them in the United States.

    Related Candies

    1. Anis de Flavigny
    2. Goodbye Reed’s
    3. The Lemonhead & Fruit Heads
    4. Choward’s Violet
    Name: Atomic Fireball
      RATING:
    • 10 SUPERB
    • 9 YUMMY
    • 8 TASTY
    • 7 WORTH IT
    • 6 TEMPTING
    • 5 PLEASANT
    • 4 BENIGN
    • 3 UNAPPEALING
    • 2 APPALLING
    • 1 INEDIBLE
    Brand: Ferrera Pan
    Place Purchased: 99 Cent Only Store (Harbor City)
    Price: $.99
    Size: 6.25 ounces
    Calories per ounce: 66
    Categories: Hard Candy, Mexico, Ferrera Pan

    POSTED BY Cybele AT 7:37 am    

    Monday, August 6, 2007

    Milka Alpenmilch

    Milka in WrapperIf you’ve ever been to Europe you’ve probably seen the Milka bar called “Alpenmilch”. It comes in a lilac-colored wrapper featuring a lilac colored cow on it. Billed not as a chocolate bar, it’s called a “Chocolate Confection”. Reading the ingredients, it’s not added vegetable fat that keeps it from being called “chocolate” in the United States, it’s whey and hazelnut paste.

    Milka was introduced in Switzerland in 1901 by Suchard as an affordable confection for the masses. The name comes from the German words Milch (milk) and Kakao (cocoa).

    The Suchard company was briefly run by Philip Morris starting in 1990. In 1993 Philip Morris rolled their other food conglomerate, Kraft, in with Suchard and is now called Kraft Jacobs Suchard AG. This huge company makes a lot of well-known European sweets under the brands Marabou, Terry’s, Toblerone, Callard & Bowser, Cote d’Or and Daim. At the beginning of this year Altria (the new name for Philip Morris, which sounds like a diet drug to me) announced it was spinning Kraft back off into its own company.

    image

    I found this attractive looking bar at Target for $1.69. I’ve also seen the white confection version at the 99 Cent Only Stores, but I wanted to try this one first.

    The funny thing about the bar is the little marketing line on the back:

    Treat your senses to a smooth, rich flavor. Delight in MILKA - the tender, chocolaty pleasure of Alpine Milk.

    I’ve never heard chocolate described as tender before!

    The bar is rather light looking, lighter than a Hershey bar. It has a softer snap to it, as most milk chocolate bars do. It smells distinctly milky and a little nutty. It melts slowly and has a very sticky, fudgy feel on the tongue. The thick melt does release a lot of flavors. The primary flavor is powdered milk, followed by a little burnt sugar taste and a light touch of hazelnuts. Though the bar is pleasant, there’s very little “chocolate” flavor in here.

    There must be a lot of milk in this bar because a single serving (1.48 ounces) contains 10% of your RDA of calcium and 3 grams of protein. (Of course a glass of milk has three times that.)

    Target carries a rather wide selection of all kinds of chocolate. This isn’t really top of the line stuff, but if you’re a fan of European style milky chocolate or would like a less expensive version of guanduia (hazelnut chocolate paste), then this might be a good option. I’ll finish this bar and likely try the Milka White confection, but I’m not sure if I’d buy it again.

    Note from wrapper: May contain traces of other tree nuts [remember there are hazelnuts in here] and wheat. This bar was made in Germany.

    Related Candies

    1. Theo 3400 Phinney Bars
    2. Hershey’s Cacao Reserve
    3. Villars Swiss Milk Chocolate
    4. Karuna & Princas Sokoladas
    5. Dairy Milk Bubbly
    Name: Milka Alpenmilch
      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: Target (Glendale)
    Price: $1.69
    Size: 3.52 ounces
    Calories per ounce: 156
    Categories: Chocolate, Nuts, Germany, Kraft

    POSTED BY Cybele AT 10:40 am     Comments (20)

    Page 380 of 572 pages ‹ First  < 378 379 380 381 382 >  Last ›

    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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    COUNTDOWN.

    Candy Season Ends

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    ON DECK

    These candies will be reviewed shortly:

    • Milk Chocolate M&Ms Pumpkin Spice Latte

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