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Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Because you asked ...

Every once in a while I go through the search logs either on this site or the ones that refer people here from the search engines.

Sometimes I know that their questions aren’t actually answered when they arrive, so I’ll take a stab at it here!

Sour Patch FruitsQuestion: Why is my tongue is irritated from sour foods?

Answer: Sour foods are acidic. Many very sour candies contain high levels of acids such as malic acid and citric acid. At higher levels this can irritate the tongue and tender mouth parts. Luckily the irritation is temporary for most people.

Malic acid is naturally occurring and usually found in apples, more highly concentrated in green (unripe) apples.

Citric acid is also occurs naturally and is found in citrus fruits such as lemons and limes and in lower concentrations in oranges.

Question: What flavor is the red Skittle?

Answer: Red Skittles are strawberry flavored when found in the classic Fruits mix.

Question: What’s the difference between Hershey’s Mounds and Almond Joy candy bar?

Answer: I think the jingle for the candy bars answers that best:

Sometimes you feel like a nut
Sometimes you don’t
Almond Joy’s got nuts
Mounds don’t

Almond Joy’s got real milk chocolate
Coconut and munchy nuts too.
Mound’s got deep dark chocolate
and chewy coconut .... oooh

Sometimes you feel like a nut
Sometimes you don’t

Related Candies

  1. Sour Extinguisher
  2. Skittles (Fruits, Wild Berry, Tropical, Smoothies & Sour)
  3. Mounds Island Orange
  4. Warheads Juniors Extreme Sour
  5. Almond Joy Chocolate Chocolate

POSTED BY Cybele AT 10:16 am     CandyFeatured NewsFun StuffComments (0)

Limited Edition Hot Cocoa Kisses

At All Candy Expo the Hershey’s booth was highlighting their international flair in one corner giving out all sorts of Asian Kisses (a candy, not a different version of French Kisses) and bars. It’s nice to feel so global and try them, but of course I wanted to know what we could get here in North America.


The Hot Cocoa Creme Kiss is the newest edition to the celebratory line of Limited Edition Kisses marking the 100th anniversary of the confection. I’m not sure if they’re coming out with 100 versions or not, they may be getting close.

These molded Kisses sport light gold wrappers with gold wigglies on them. The little flag says Hot Cocoa instead of Hershey’s Kisses.

I wasn’t really sure what they were and the young woman at the Hershey’s booth was really no help, but I snagged a cup of coffee and a few handfuls to take back to the Candy Blog labs to see if I could answer the questions myself.

Inside is a chocolate creme, not unlike the Chocolate Truffle Kiss (now a regular item) creme. Except this one was a little lighter in flavor, perhaps a touch of malt-taste and a little saltier. In fact, they are saltier than the Truffle Kiss, which has 45 mgs of salt per serving. The Hot Cocoa Kiss has 55 mgs of salt per serving. Just enough to be perceptible.

They don’t do much for me. I think they’re pretty, but I certainly wouldn’t buy them. These are available in stores now (I saw them in Walgreen’s over the weekend).

Matcha KissesThe ones that Sera and I were most excited about were the Matcha (Green Tea) Kisses that they had out for two days. They sport a green foil wrapper with darker green squiggly stripes.

I don’t know what they’re really called, as the little flag on them just said Hershey’s Kisses. They smell like jasmine. The chocolate is sweet as is the creme center. The creme is distinctly salty at first, then develops into a grassy, green tea melody. Then comes the harsh truth of matcha ... a strong bitter note at the end that’s barely cut by the sticky sweetness of the rest of the Kiss.

I found them interesting, again, a novelty that I don’t know that I’d want to eat regularly. If I’m going to have something Matcha, I’m probably going to go upscale.

Strawberry KissesThe other Kiss they were offering samples of was a Strawberry Creme Kiss. Again, I’m not sure if it’s the right name as the little flag didn’t say. The pink foil wrapper already smelled of strawberry. Like strawberry ice cream. The chocolate is sweet and the creme center had a nice authentic taste of strawberries. This center was, as well, a bit on the salty side. I kind of liked how that helped to focus the strawberry flavor.

The strawberry wasn’t terribly strong and on some of them I missed it completely. It certainly tasted better than some of the other strawberry flavored efforts Hershey’s has put forth in the past (but I admit that I liked the white chocolate Raspberry bar they did). Since I was pretty fond of the strawberry and chocolate ice cream from the Neapolitan mixes, this felt familiar and friendly.

Other Limited Edition Kisses you might see around, these may not have shown up yet or may have come and gone. I doubt I’ll try them all, but feel free to pipe up in the comments if you think they’re worthy:

  • Camouflage Kisses - the same Kisses you know and love, but in camo foil wrappers so you don’t have to worry about them giving away your position when in epic paintball battles or sitting in a duckblind for days on end.

  • Crunchy Caramel Creme Kisses - milk chocolate with a caramel filling with crunchy bits.

  • Dark Chocolate Cherry Cordial Creme Kisses - the same cough medicine fondant but this time coated in Hershey’s dark chocolate. I haven’t seen them in stores, but they’ve popped up on eBay already.

  • Dulce de Leche Kisses - these may be part of the Thalia line and only available in areas with higher densities of Hispanics. They feature a dulce de leche (caramelized milk) center covered in milk chocolate.

  • Double Chocolate Fudge Kisses - chocolatier Kisses. Like magic.

  • Strawberry Dark Chocolate Kisses - just dark chocolate with a strawberry essence.

  • Vanilla Creme Kisses - I think these came and went already. A vanilla flavored fondant center.

  • Orange Dark Chocolate Kisses - dark chocolate with an orange essence.

  • Mint Truffle Kisses - a milk chocolate kiss with a minted chocolate center.

  • Raspberry Dark Kisses - dark chocolate with a raspberry essence.

  • Orange Creme Kisses - milk chocolate with an orange fondant center.

  • Confetti Kisses - white chocolate (possibly just a white confection) with little nonpariels. Kind of like the Candy Cane Kisses last year, but without the minty flavor.

  • Dark Espresso Kisses - dark chocolate with a coffee essence.

  • Neapolitan Kisses - these came out earlier this year and featured three layers, white, strawberry and milk chocolate.

  • New York Cheesecake Kisses - I’ve got no idea what these are, anyone?

  • Toffee Crunch Kisses - milk chocolate with toffee bits. (Maybe like a Symphony bar?)

  • Candy Cane Kisses - minted white chocolate with little nonpariels. Striped with pink. Returning this year for the holidays.
  • And if you want photographic evidence of many of these, visit Zoe’s Kiss Collection.

    Related Candies

    1. Hershey’s Mint Truffle Kisses
    2. Candy Corn Kisses
    3. Kisses Coconut Creme
    4. Kisses Chocolate Truffles
    5. The Mint Kisses: Chocolate Mint & Candy Cane
    6. Peanut Butter Kisses
    7. Cherry Cordial Creme Kisses
    8. Head to Head: Rolo vs Caramel Kisses
    9. Short & Sweet: Caramello /  Mega M&Ms / Orange Kisses
    Name: Limited Edition Hot Cocoa Kisses
    • 10 SUPERB
    • 9 YUMMY
    • 8 TASTY
    • 7 WORTH IT
    • 6 TEMPTING
    • 5 PLEASANT
    • 4 BENIGN
    • 1 INEDIBLE
    Brand: Hershey's
    Place Purchased: samples from All Candy Expo
    Price: $2.89
    Size: 8.5 ounces
    Calories per ounce: 145
    Categories: Chocolate, United States, Hershey, Limited Edition, Kosher

    POSTED BY Cybele AT 7:48 am     Comments (23)

    Tuesday, October 2, 2007

    Java Twix

    Limited Edition Twix JavaOne the much anticipated Limited Edition items at the All Candy Expo (at least for me) was the new Java Twix.

    The cookie and caramel covered in chocolate combination is pretty flexible and creating new versions of this doesn’t mess with the essential Twix-ness (just like there are many different cream and chocolate variations for the KitKat).

    I’ve been searching for a good coffee flavored candy bar for years, for a country so obsessed with coffee it’s rather surprising that we don’t have one. (Yes, I’m aware of the Coffee Crisp and it just doesn’t do it for me.)


    The bar is the standard construction: a chocolate cookie with a stripe of coffee-flavored caramel covered in milk chocolate.

    It smells sweet and a bit like caramel and graham crackers but not much like coffee at first.

    Once broken in half and the caramel revealed it has a pleasant roasted-coffee aroma. The caramel is a bit salty with an actual authentic-tasting coffee flavor to it (in addition to the natural and artificial flavors they list espresso ground coffee as an ingredient). The chocolate cookie is crumbly and crunchy with it’s own salty contribution. The milk chocolate on the outside is super sweet but pulls it together.

    I didn’t like the bar much when I first tried it out on the floor (I split a package with Ginny). But I have to admit that it was day two and I’d really only been eating candy for 36 hours (except for an awesome pile of shrimp at a party the night before).

    Chocolate Twix MixBut with the clarity of a lone bar on my desk without the clutter of a gagillion other flavors in my mouth and a billion other conversations flitting by on the show floor ... I really like this bar. I think it’s the best Twix bar I’ve ever had. Yes, it’s still a little sweet for me, but in combination with some nearly black coffee, it’s growing on me.

    You can expect these to start showing up later this year (reported release date is December 2007). In other news, if you were a fan of the Triple Chocolate Twix, it’s actually back in the miniature form. Mars released a few “autumn mixes” this year (that included the Vanilla, Strawberry & Mocha 3 Musketeers). The Twix one has regular Twix, Twix Dark Chocolate and Twix Triple Chocolate. I found them at RiteAid in the Halloween candy aisle.

    I hope the Twix Java at least finds its way into a seasonal bag ... and in dark chocolate please!

    UPDATE 9/29/2009: Mars has announced that TWIX Java will become part of their permanent line of candies. You can expect them in stores starting in April 2010.

    Related Candies

    1. Candy Teases - New Products
    2. Trader Joe’s Espresso Chocolate
    3. Twix PB
    4. Twix Triple Chocolate
    5. Coffee Beat
    Name: Limited Edition Java Twix
    • 10 SUPERB
    • 9 YUMMY
    • 8 TASTY
    • 7 WORTH IT
    • 6 TEMPTING
    • 5 PLEASANT
    • 4 BENIGN
    • 1 INEDIBLE
    Brand: Mars
    Place Purchased: samples from All Candy Expo
    Price: $.75 retail
    Size: 2 ounces
    Calories per ounce: 140
    Categories: Chocolate, Caramel, Cookie, Coffee, Marsr, United States, Limited Edition, Kosher

    POSTED BY Cybele AT 7:11 am     Comments (27)

    Monday, October 1, 2007

    Hershey’s CEO to Retire

    Richard H. Lenny, the CEO, President and Chair of The Hershey Company is calling it quits at the end of the year. He took his current position in 2001.

    You can read the press release below, which is obviously geared towards investors and not consumers, because not once does it mention anything good that’s happened since Lenny took over ... a period which saw the addition of PGPR to Hershey’s chocolate, the swapping of real milk chocolate in the Fifth Avenue bar to subpar mockolate and of course their support for the Grocery Manufacturers Association proposal to lower the standards of identity for chocolate (a reversal from their earlier position logged in 2000). Oh, yeah, and the closing of the Smith Falls, ONT and Oakdale, CA along with many smaller factories totalling at least 1,500 people directly.

    HERSHEY, Pa., Oct. 1 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/—Richard H. Lenny, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of The Hershey Company, has informed the Board of Directors that he intends to retire at the end of 2007. First elected as President and Chief Executive Officer of the Company in March 2001, Mr. Lenny was elected Chairman of the Board in December 2001.

    In commenting on the announced retirement, Robert H. Campbell, Chair of the Company’s Compensation and Executive Organization Committee, said: “On behalf of the Hershey board of directors, stockholders, and employees, we thank Rick for his leadership over this past six and one-half years. During this time, the Company developed and has been executing its value-enhancing strategy with the over-arching goal of building stockholder value over the long-term. Under Rick’s leadership, through a combination of core brand growth, disciplined global expansion, and improved margins, Hershey’s total stockholder return was higher than that of the S&P food group and significantly outperformed the S&P 500. In addition, Rick has assembled an excellent leadership team that we’re confident will realize Hershey’s growth potential.

    “The board has begun the succession process and looks forward to making an announcement in the near future. Once announced, there will be an orderly transition from Rick to his successor. We wish Rick all the best as he concludes his role with Hershey,” Campbell concluded.

    “My years at Hershey have been extremely rewarding as I’ve been honored to lead a dedicated and engaged organization. During this time, we undertook major challenges, all focused on building a strong foundation for the benefit of all our stakeholders. I’m extremely proud of my Hershey colleagues and all that they have accomplished. I also want to thank our board of directors for its keen insights, support, and guidance over the past several years,” said Lenny. “The long-term prospects for our category and particularly for our company remain promising. I look forward to working closely with my successor so that the transition to new leadership will be effective and seamless.” (source)

    If I were in charge, I’d go private. If I were the Hershey Trust, I’d slowly buy the company back. They have (or at least it looks like they have) the capital to do it. Move away from all for the profit business and move to become and socially and ecologically responsible company both in the United States and abroad. Mars has a huge advantage over Hershey’s in that it is privately owned and can take bigger risks when the consumer confectionery market is in flux as it is now.

    Hershey’s should get back to making quality confectionery products at affordable prices, pay people a decent wage and the Hershey Trust will be able to continue the Milton Hershey School without problems. After all, the Trust is there to help mold disadvantaged youth - give them the education and boost that they need. Are they really teaching them anything if they abandon the town, communities and ideals that Hershey built?

    More at the Wall Street Journal.

    POSTED BY Cybele AT 11:27 am     CandyFeatured NewsNewsComments (11)

    Reese’s Whipps

    Reese's WhippsOh, disappointment.

    I had high hopes for the Reese’s Whipps bar. The bar goes something like this: light and fluffy peanut butter flavored nougat wrapped in a layer of peanut butter then coated in mockolate. Okay, I’m not completely certain it is mockolate, as the ingredients include chocolate, but it’s so low on the list, I have my doubts. Especially since they don’t list it as part of the description of the bar and say that this element is “Made with Smooth Chocolate.” Whether it is or not is immaterial because it’s flaky and not that good.

    The bar is hefty at 1.9 ounces, just a little smaller than a 3 Musketeers (2.12 ounces) and wrapped in that unmistakable Reese’s orange.

    A little blue triangle in the corner heralds that this bar has 40% less fat*. That * leads to the disclaimer that it contains 9 grams of fat versus 15 grams of fat for the average leading chocolate candy brands. I really want to know what they consider the leading chocolate candy brands, which I’m guessing are M&Ms, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, Snickers and Hershey Bars. The bar itself has 230 calories. But I’ll rant about that more a bit later.


    The bar looks just like the wrapper promises. It smells lightly sweet and peanutty. The bite on the bar is soft, not stiff. The nougat inside has an immediate peanut butter flavor to it with a little salt and a kind of molasses darkness.

    The peanut butter layer around that gives a little extra peanutty zazz to it. The mockolate adds nothing. It gives no chocolatey contribution to the thing, no creamy component, no milky, buttery texture. It merely contains the other two elements, that are actually pretty good. The only good thing about the glaze is that it’s used sparingly ... it’s ultra thin. You could probably shine a light through it.

    Yes, with a good coating of real chocolate (like a 3 Musketeers), this could have been a standout bar.

    But I guess my real disappointment is that they’ve grabbed a play from the book of 3 Musketeers and are calling it “lower in fat” without mentioning on the front that it contains pretty much the same number of calories as any other candy bar. I’ve made a little list of the size, calories and caloric density of the leading bars, arranged with the least dense at the top. Pay careful attention to the number of calories though, even if it’s not dense, it’s certainly big:

    Candy Bar…..............size in grams….calories/cals per gram
    York Peppermint Pattie…....39 grams…................140/3.59
    3 Musketeers…..............60.4 grams…..............260/4.30
    Reese’s Whipps…............53 grams…................230/4.34
    M&Ms Peanut…...............49 grams…................220/4.49
    Butterfinger…..............60 grams…................270/4.50
    Snickers…..................58.7 grams…..............280/4.77
    Reese’s Crispy Crunchy…....48 grams…................230/4.79
    KitKat ......................43 grams…................210/4.88
    Twix…......................57 grams…................280/4.91
    Hersey’s Milk Chocolate…...60 grams…................300/5.00
    M&Ms Milk Chocolate .........48 grams…................240/5.00
    Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups…51 grams…................260/5.10

    It’s pretty clear that the York Peppermint Pattie is the candy to have if you want straight carbs (no fat, no protein). 3 Musketeers does pretty well as does the Whipps, but remember, if there’s no fat and no protein it’s all sugars. While I find sugar to be wonderful, straight sugar doesn’t really provide much long-lasting satisfaction if you’re looking for a snack that’s a treat.

    That chart means nothing if you don’t actually like the candy bar though. And this bar proves that Hershey’s does not need the FDA to change the definition of chocolate, they’re free to make a substandard product and try to sell it to us. Yeah, I’m probably been pretty harsh, but this could have been a really good bar.

    Shopping Jen found these at WalMart already and has a review posted here. I also saw these this weekend at Walgreen’s (at two for a dollar!), so they’re in the wild now.

    Related Candies

    1. Factory Fresh Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups
    2. What Made Hershey’s Want to Change Chocolate?
    3. Reese’s Crispy Crunchy Bar
    4. Head-to-Head: Butterfinger vs. 5th Avenue
    Name: Reese's Whipps
    • 10 SUPERB
    • 9 YUMMY
    • 8 TASTY
    • 7 WORTH IT
    • 6 TEMPTING
    • 5 PLEASANT
    • 4 BENIGN
    • 1 INEDIBLE
    Brand: Hershey's
    Place Purchased: samples from All Candy Expo
    Price: $.75 retail
    Size: 1.9 ounces
    Calories per ounce: 121
    Categories: Mockolate, Peanuts, Nougat, United States, Hershey's, Reese's, Kosher

    POSTED BY Cybele AT 6:54 am     Comments (32)

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