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Sunday, January 1, 2006

Adora Calcium Tabs

Happy New Year’s Day! Here’s a special review of an item some of you may be eyeing as part of a resolution to eat healthier.

I’m one of those people who believes that you should eat what you want and try not to compromise on it. If you want chocolate and you’re on a diet, instead of obsessing over what you can or can’t have, have the chocolate, but in moderation. Maybe walk an extra mile or something to make up for the indulgence. But denying yourself just makes you want that thing all the more and of course less satisfied with what you end up with. A chocolate yogurt will never be the same as a chocolate mousse. This is the way I live my life. And you’d think from reading this blog that I weigh over 200 pounds, but I don’t. I actually have a fair bit of self control because I allow myself indulgences and savor them. (I’m also, probably, blessed genetically with a good metabolism and of course I do remain active.)

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It’s nice to think that sweets can be nutritious and I’m grateful that good news is coming out about nuts and chocolate not being as evil as once thought. I have no illusions that Pixy Stix will ever be a healthy choice. They can make candy healthier by choosing good ingredients, like eliminating trans fats. What I question is fortifying regular candy with things in order to make them more healthy. Sometimes it works: the grapefruit pastilles I like have vitamin C in them and of course it’s nice to get a boost of fiber from my regular Mounds bar (well, it’s not fortified with it, that’s just the wonder that is coconut). When adding a vitamin or mineral to a treat though, it’s important not to spoil it what we liked in the first place. 

Adora is calcium fortified chocolate. It comes in two flavors, Milk and Dark Chocolate. They’re like thick coins of chocolate. They smell nice and are certainly pretty. I bought a bag of the dark chocolate tabs and they gave me a sample with the milk chocolate tabs to try as well. At first it was rather nice, sweet chocolate ... but as it went along it tasted, um, dusty. If you chew it, you can definitely hear the grain on your teeth. This was a dry gritty grain like that stuff the dentist uses to polish your teeth. The weird thing is that I’ve eaten a few of them now and they’re not all like that. The milk chocolate one was very sweet, but no grain at all until the very end. Some are pleasant and the grain is barely noticeable, and other times I have to wash it down with water or a few crackers. If I were to buy these and use them regularly, I’d definitely go for the milk chocolate one, even though it probably has less of the antioxidant benefit, you’re going to be more likely to eat them.

It is generously fortified though:
Vitamin D…...Vitamin K….Calcium
100IU….......40 mcg…......500 mg
25%............50%............50%

They recommend at least one tab a day and no more than three as overconsumption of calcium provides no additional benefit.

I have to give Adora credit. They have a good website with lots of information and points to some good resources about bone health and the importance of Vitamin D.  The thing is, I think I can eat these every day as a supplement, but I’m never going to feel like it’s a treat. So they would just become an addition to my regular candy consumption, not replace any portion of it. It doesn’t quite rise to the “Calcium the gourmet way,” but I could probably eat one of these every morning or evening. I will, however, finish the bag I have. If they come out with other varieties, I’ll be interested to try them. The good news is that Adora is reforumlating the dark chocolate ones to be less grainy, so if you purchase them now, you’re likely to get a more pleasant product. (I’ll update when I get a hold of the new ones.)

UPDATE:

Ed of Thompson Brands (the maker of Adora) is offering all CandyBlog.net readers a free sample of both the milk & dark chocolate tabs. Just send your name, address and other contact information to them with “CANDYBLOG Sample” in the SUBJECT to the following email .

I’m also going to get some to try the new formulation and will report back.

UPDATED UPDATE: I got the new samples! (Thanks Ed, that was fast!). I have to commend them for smoothing out the chocolate, especially on the dark ones. There’s still a trace of grainyness, but the overt gritty feeling is gone completely. I’m still not going to mistake these for a piece of candy, but the aroma is really pleasing and of course the boost of calcium for my aging bones (yes, my birthday is in a week). They are MUCH better tasting than the Viactiv chews I’ve tried (both the calcium ones in chocolate and the vitamin ones in fruit), so if taste is something that will help you keep up with taking a supplement, this might be the way to go. I’ve upgraded the rating from 6 out of 10 to 8 out of 10.

Name: Adora Calcium Tabs
    RATING:
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 6 TEMPTING
  • 5 PLEASANT
  • 4 BENIGN
  • 3 UNAPPEALING
  • 2 APPALLING
  • 1 INEDIBLE
Brand: Thompson Brands
Place Purchased: Factory Store in Fairfield, CA
Price: $7.99
Size: 210 grams
Calories per ounce: 30 calories per 7 gram tablet
Categories: Chocolate, United States

POSTED BY Cybele AT 12:00 pm     Comments (6)

Saturday, December 31, 2005

Dylan’s Candy Bar in NY Times

There’s an interesting article up on the NY Times website for tomorrow’s edition about Dylan Lauren, daughter of Ralph Lauren and founder of New York City’s Dylan’s Candy Bar.

Candy-Colored Dreams by Erika Kinetz

There are many interesting things about the article, but one of them is that there’s very little discussion about what she’s selling: candy. There’s a lot of coverage on how she’s selling it, but very little about eating it, tasting it, picking it out, you know ...enjoying it.

Apparently Ms. Lauren understood something her father - who says he does not like candy - did not: “Dylan knew that girls go and love candies,” Mr. Lauren said.

Not just any girls. Girls like her: trim, cool girls with good skin, perfect teeth and stunning clothes. “These Park Avenue sophisticates,” Ms. Lauren said, “who go to the Polo store and spend trillions of dollars on cashmere sweaters are going to buy gummy bears in my store. Just because they buy certain clothes and wear mink coats and whatever, they still have an inner child. They will buy lollipops.”

Ms. Lauren considers herself the model for the sparkling creature around which her business is coalescing: the Candy Girl, who appears every now and again in conversation. As in: “The Candy Girl can be sexy and young and thin. Candy’s not about fat people.”

I hope to visit Dylan’s Candy Bar next time I’m in NY, mostly because I heard that they carry a large selection of hard-to-find bars, like Sifer’s Valomilks. Here’s a cool write up about those in NYC Nosh.

More stories about Dylan Lauren and/or Dylan’s Candy Bar:
CNN: The Sweet Life
The New York Enterprise Report : How Sweet Is It?
Inc.: A Knack for Sweet Deals
Child.com: The Sweetest Gifts
(Yes, I went to great pains to make sure all the stories featured the word “sweet” in their titles.)

POSTED BY Cybele AT 7:17 pm     NewsComments (3)

Friday, December 30, 2005

Ancient Spiny Anteater Bears a Chocolately Name

An ancient mammal discovered in Australia has been named after the Cadbury chocolate company in a wonderfully twisted tale.
Check out the National Geographic for the full details of how the Kryoryctes cadburyi, an ancient ancestor of the spiny anteater, got it’s unusual name.

Don’t worry, there’s as much chocolate mentioned in the article as paleontology. The bet started when a bounty was offered to the students doing the digging part, a cubic meter of chocolate to anyone who found a mammal bone. Mind you these folks were digging in dinosaur bones territory - a spot where they were finding bones more than a million years old - it was exceptionally unlikely that they’d find such a thing. Even odder, the bones were found but not identified for more than ten years as it was first thought to be a turtle bone.

Once the bone was identified, Tom Rich, the man who offered the bounty, had to make good on the bet. But a cubic meter of chocolate is a lot of chocolate, like a ton of chocolate. Which is not only big, but expensive. Luckily a series of connections led the Melbourne Cadbury factory to donate the chocolate to the then-students. In turn the ancient beast was named for Cadbury.

POSTED BY Cybele AT 6:39 pm     CadburyNewsComments (0)

Short & Sweet: Butterfinger Jingles and Mint Miniatures

The Man picked up some new stuff for the stockings this year. Besides the typical hard candies (Brach’s) and Hershey’s Kisses (in red and green foils) we got two new items:

imageButterfinger Jingles (Nestle) - you know what’s great about these? They’re made with real milk chocolate. Instead of that waxy “chocolate coating” on the Butterfinger bar, Jingles start with real milk chocolate and then put little crunches of Butterfinger centers. They’re a bit bigger than a Hershey’s Kiss, which is a little too big in my opinion, but I’ll survive with a larger bite.

The other thing is, these made me realize is how clever Milton Hershey was when he decided how to wrap the Kisses with the foil wrapping “up” the Kiss, instead of putting the edges of the foil on the bottom. This is evident with the Jingles because all the foil edges are folded to the bottom of the Jingle so that it doesn’t have a flat bottom ... they wouldn’t sit straight for my photo.

imageThe other new candy for us was the Hershey’s Mint Mix Miniatures. There are three different bars, Milk Chocolate with Mint, Semisweet Chocolate with Mint and White Chocolate with Mint and Candy Bits.

The Milk Chocolate with Mint is positively blasted with mint. Seriously minty. Not Altoid-level, but for a chocolate product, I’m surprised it was brown it was so minty. I had to sequester these bars from the rest of the stocking mix because they were contaminating the Jingles. No one wants minted Butterfinger Jingles. The dark one was nice, nothing to write home about and maybe a little sweet but I did actually enjoy the White Chocolate one. I know, white chocolate, most people go, “ew.” But I do have a fondness for misty mints and let’s face it, that’s all this is. The good news is that Hershey’s uses actual cocoa butter in their white chocolate, so at least it’s not jam-packed with trans fats. They are actually the best thing in this mix, smooth, not too sweet and not too artificially vanilla tasting.

If you see any of these on sale after Christmas, they’re well worth picking up to keep around for snacking. I really don’t care what my candy is dressed in, as long as it’s good.

Rating - 7 out of 10 (but if you can find them for 75% off, then it’s a 10 all the way)

POSTED BY Cybele AT 4:27 pm     CandyReviewChristmasHershey'sNestleChocolateMintsPeanutsWhite Chocolate7-Worth ItUnited States

Narbles

Name: Narbles
Brand: Ferrara Pan
Place Purchased: Sav-On
Price: $.69
Size: 2.17 ounces
Calories per ounce: 97
Type: Chew

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I had no idea Ferrara Pan came out with a new candy. They’re best known for Lemonheads, which are the best lemon hard candies ever. I figured these would be like Skittles.

They’re about the same size, maybe a little larger but a bit harder feeling. There’s a candy shell with a bit of flavor to it and then a chewy center. The center doesn’t taste like anything at all, just sweet and the shell is tart and sweet and crunchy. The cool thing about the shell is if you bite it right, you can get just the shell to come off, which is where the flavor is. The center isn’t quite a gummy, not quite a jelly bean. It’s hard to describe and not really that good. If they really wanted to make everyone sit up and notice their first new candy line in 40 years, a combination between a Skittle type chew and the Lemonhead’s flavored shell would have been awesome.

Sadly, they did not consult me.

The flavor variety is nice: orange, lemon, grape, green apple and cherry but the colors are a little off. The grape is not purple as shown on the package but more like a navy blue. The colors were also not consistent or even, which is too bad because I’ve always liked the way Lemonheads looked.  The name is cool, like marbles but with an N, only I don’t know what the N stands for. It also feels like the candy is trying to hard to be cool, calling them “slammers” and positioning them as “awesome” and “get narbleized”. But their website is a little odd when you click on “where to buy” it says you can’t find them in stores for your state ... but I did!

If Ferrara Pan wants these to be a big hit, I really think they need to add that Lemonhead layer, you know, the one under the candy shell that’s a little grainy and bursting with sour goodness. That fills a hole in the fruit chew market and would put these up on the list of candies that I’d buy. It’d not only make the candy tastier, it’d set it apart from other sours and chews because of the interactive element of waiting for the sour layer or trying to peel it with your teeth. I know it’s probably more expensive to pack that much flavor into them, but at over two ounces per package, I’d be willing to settle for 1.5 ounces of really tasty candy. For now, I’ll just keep picking up Skittles.

Rating - 5 out of 10

POSTED BY Cybele AT 9:38 am     CandyReviewFerrara PanChewsDiscontinued5-PleasantUnited StatesComments (7)

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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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COUNTDOWN

Halloween Candy Season Ends

9 days

Read previous coverage

 

 

Which seasonal candy selection do you prefer?

Choose one or more:

  •   Halloween
  •   Christmas
  •   Valentine's Day
  •   Easter

 

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ON DECK

These candies will be reviewed shortly:

• 10 Candies that Shouldn’t Be So Disappointing

• Brach’s Royals: Caramel Apple and Sea Salt Caramel

• Dove Dark Chocolate Cranberries

• Russell Stover Big Bite Pecan Pie

• Orgran Molasses Licorice

 

 

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