Thursday, January 3, 2008

Candy Dump 2008 part 2

KitKat Peanut ButterI have lots more candy to tell you about that I haven’t done full reviews for. Here’s a half dozen of them.

First is the Nestle KitKat Peanut Butter from Canada. The format on this bar is the single chunky finger. This is actually larger at 1.76 ounces than the American single finger bar which is 1.59 ounces. I found this bar at Mel & Rose’s Wine & Liquors on Melrose Ave a month ago.

The bar is thick and chunky but follows the standard KitKat formula.

Peanut Butter KitKat

There are wafers with cream filling then a thick stripe of peanut butter all covered in milk chocolate.

The package smelled strongly of raw peanuts when I opened it. Roasted peanuts have a deep and smoky tone to them, this was that higher octave scent, like freshly snapped peas mixed with peanuts.

The crunch of the bar was good, but there’s definitely a lot of chocolate in operation here. The peanut butter stripe is great. It’s very flavorful despite being so thin. It’s not sweetened at all, in fact it’s pretty salty. I preferred eating this bar like I eat most KitKats. I nibble off both ends of chocolate, then all the chocolate off the sides. Then I eat the less-chocolatey remains.

It was really good and I think I’d buy this if I could find it at my local store. Far more satisfying than a regular KitKat (4 grams of protein - one more than a regular) and not nearly as sweet.

Rating: 7 out of 10

Das  Caramelini - Ginger & CoffeeDas Caramelini has a couple of new flavors. Most of the other candy bloggers also go free samples from Katie Das and covered it far quicker than I did, so I didn’t put down my thoughts right away.

She sent me Ginger & Pistachio which I already reviewed and loved last spring. The new-to-me flavor was Cafe Cortado. It’s a vanilla caramel with coffee.

Unfortunately I’m not keen on coffee beans in my food. It might be that I have a problem with caffeine or it might be that I don’t care for the texture, but these just didn’t do it for me. I tried a few, but I was very aware that I needed to eat them before noon (as I don’t drink coffee after that) which always made me feel pressured.

The great news though is that the wrapping of the caramels has been changed to a heavier waxed paper. They no longer stick to the paper and are far easier to keep popping in your mouth. The box looks deceptively small but holds a quarter of a pound of rich, boiled sugar & butter. You can order direct on their website for about $6.99 a box (less if you order more).

Rating: 8 out of 10

Kaon CitrusI ordered these Meiji Kaon Citrus from JBox.com last fall. I wasn’t quite sure what they were, but citrus and gummi combined with a brand like Meiji and I figured I could take a chance.

They’re not a transparent gummi, instead they’re opaque and matte. They’re still very soft and bouncy. They have a distinct bite, not a rubbery as a German gummi. The thing that was most clear was that this is a real fruit product. The texture feels a bit like pear, there’s a slight grain to it. Then there were a few bits of zest in there.

The flavor is predominantly tangerine with a little dollop of grapefruit & lemon in there for good measure. Completely addictive, I ordered two bags and ate both. They’re small bags though at only 35 grams each. I can’t remember how much I paid for them and of course JBox doesn’t have them on their site right now. (Here’s the official webpage.) See Sera’s review.

Rating: 8 out of 10

HalvaI picked up these little beauties at the All Candy Expo as samples, but I still haven’t found them in stores.

The Traditional Halva bars from Sultan’s Finest Foods are little .71 ounce bits of plain halva. They’re smooth and creamy with a strong sesame flavor to them.

It’s the perfect portion size, if only I can find them somewhere. These are made in Tunisia, and may be the first Tunisian candy mentioned on the blog! They’re imported by Agora International and come in a sugar free version as well. I think these sorts of sesame snacks are ideal, especially for hot weather. It’s creamy and filling, not too sweet and of course does better in hot weather than chocolate.

Rating: 7 out of 10

Sencha Green Tea MintsI’ve seen the Sencha Green Tea Mints at stores for years. I just couldn’t get my brain around them for the longest time. I like a mint that has some zazz to it, and the idea of green tea in a mint seemed to defeat the purpose.

These were sample packages that I picked up at ExpoWest which is for natural products. They’re usually sold in little maroon or dark colored tins with a clear top. These compressed candies are made from xylitol & sorbitol, which are natural sugar alcohols. They have a cool feeling on the tongue (and shouldn’t be consumed in large quantities because of some digestive troubles they can cause) and a subtle flavor.

The three flavors I got were: Delicate Pear, which is just slightly fruity and sweet. Green Tea was subtle and while fresh tasting, didn’t leave that minty burn.
Lively Lemongrass was, well, lightly lemon, but not quite lively.

The tea ingredients are fair trade and xylitol is supposed to be a pretty good base for gum & mints (not bad for your teeth, but bad for dogs). It’s hard to find sugar free mints that don’t have artificial sweeteners in them, so if you’re looking for something that fits that niche, these might be for you.

Rating: 5 out of 10

Stained Glass Candy

I’m very late with my write up on Stained Glass Candy. I ordered it online about a year ago. I expected it to be pretty little hexagonal disks of candy (about the size of a quarter), but the photography on their website didn’t prepare me at all for how lovely this stuff was.

Though it’s expensive for hard candy at $12.95 a pound (when you order 2 pounds), I figured I’d give it a try. The cool thing is that you can custom design your flavor mix, so I chose one pound of herbs & spices: cinnamon, hot cinnamon, wintergreen and anise. The second pound I did as fruits: banana, orange, lemon and pineapple.

Each piece came sealed in a little clear plastic sleeve with the name of the flavor printed on it. This was helpful as I’d ordered both cinnamon and hot cinnamon (definitely a difference!). The shapes were lovely, the colors clear (except for banana), distinctive and tasty. I loved the pineapple and anise especially.

The downside is that they’re a little softer than some hard candies, so they either need to be stored in a fridge to keep them from losing their shape eventually or just eaten quickly. The softness also means that they stick to teeth and can’t be crunched. But I kind of like slowly shaping them to the roof of my mouth.

I probably wouldn’t order these again unless I had a special need for them like a party or something. They’d make nice wedding favors or for a shower or something. But at five times the price of regular hard candy, it’d have to be a very special occasion or a very special flavor.

Rating: 6 out of 10

Related Candies

  1. VerMints
  2. Shigekix Aha! Brain (Citrus)
  3. St. Claire’s Organic Mints & Tarts
  4. HiCHEW Yuzu & Valencia
  5. KitKat Caramel
  6. Halvah and Turkish Delight

POSTED BY Cybele AT 9:09 am Tracker Pixel for Entry     All NaturalCandyReviewMeijiNestleCaramelChocolateCinnamonCoffeeCookieEthically SourcedGingerGummi CandyKitKatMintsNutsPeanuts5-Pleasant6-Tempting7-Worth It8-TastyCanadaJapanUnited States

Comments
  1. Oooh, halva.  I’d love to come across that somewhere.

    Comment by Alicia on 1/03/08 at 10:36 am #
  2. I think those stained glass candies are gorgeous.  The flavor mix doesn’t hold much appeal to me, but they are very pretty.

    Comment by Dave on 1/03/08 at 2:16 pm #
  3. There was a peanut butter KitKat like that in Australia/New Zealand a couple years ago that I had a friend send me several times. I really liked it.

    Comment by Grace on 1/04/08 at 1:18 am #
  4. The stained glass candies are beautiful.

    Halva is a very interesting product.  It’s not quite fudge, not quite marzipan or peanut butter, not quite humidified (hardened) cotton candy. I picked up a pound of Vanilla Halva for $3 at a local Mideastern grocer (I heard Russian, Hebrew, and Farsi inside) on the basis of the words “unique turkish confectionary”, and after recoiling at the strength of the taste, finished the entire thing(warning: hugely unhealthy compared to finishing even a pound of candy, due to fat content).

    I’ll be going back for another batch (and some of the outrageously cheap flatbreads compared to supermarket wheat tortillas) sometime soon.

    Comment by anonymo on 1/04/08 at 6:50 am #
  5. Hey Cybil, I have a candy for you to try, if you haven’t yet.  It’s called “Real Australian Licorice” (I know, sounds shady) and it’s by Black Opal.  I got it at Target.  It’s red licorice, and licorice extract is the very last ingredient listed, but it’s sooooo good.  And soft.  Mmm.

    Comment by Tindy on 1/04/08 at 7:02 am #
  6. OMG - that’s almost the exact same way I eat KitKats.  The only difference is that I go one step further to peel back each wafer layer and eat them one by one.

    Comment by Gigi on 1/04/08 at 9:35 am #
  7. I ordered the stained glass candy a few years ago after seeing it on FoodTV and loved it. If it weren’t so expensive I’d keep it around all the time! Unfortunately I didn’t know to keep them in the fridge so some of them melted when summer hit (I’d ordered in the spring). Hmmm…I just may have to order some again, regardless of the price!

    Comment by Carrie on 1/09/08 at 4:01 am #
  8. this is not an order i was just woundering if you could send me the history on stained glass candy if you happen to have or know it. this is for a school project.

    Comment by shelby waters on 1/15/08 at 12:21 pm #
  9. you can find halva in islamic and jewish specialty stores.

    I mean, I guess it’s easy to find ANYTHING here in nyc, but when it gets rare that’s where i go…

    sometimes fairway sells halva in huge 1/4 pound blocks wrapped in saran wrap in the cheese section!

    ...but maybe that’s redundant to mention, fairway almost counts as a jewish specialty store!! ahahhaha

    Comment by rachel, nyc on 8/31/08 at 5:45 am #

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