Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Cream Drops versus Creme Drops

Vermont Country Store Cream DropsA few months ago I saw Creme Drops at the 99 Cent Store, but since it was hot out, I didn’t pick them. Then I saw Robby’s review on Candy Addict of the Necco variety and I thought maybe I’d made the right decision.

But then I saw these on the website for the Vermont Country Store and made a mental note. Well, that mental note didn’t sit there too long because a couple of weeks later VCS wanted me to try some of their candy and I specifically requested their Assorted Cream Drops.

Since it’s finally gotten cool in Los Angeles, chocolate shipping produces less anxiety than the other 8 months of the year. (They’re packaging for shipping was great, too, by the way. Everything arrived in great shape.)

Vermont Country Store Cream DropsThe best part of the description on their website: real chocolate.

The rest of the description is rather vague. The name they use is Chocolate-Covered Cream Drop Assortment with 6 Luscious Flavors but the box never actually list the flavors by name (but digging around on the description page does yield the list).

And the drops all look exactly the same.

So I set about picking them out of the box and cutting them in half, like it was some sort of logic puzzle like mine sweeper.

After eight of them (three were Lemon and not in a row), I determined that they are randomly loaded into the box. The dividers in the box do a great job of protecting the candies without any fussy papers. (Eventually I found that sniffing them carefully did allow me to pick out orange or maple, but then again, who wants one that I’ve held up to my nose? I think I’m better off poking holes in the bottom.)

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Yellow = Lemon: sweet and creamy but a little like a scented candle. The bittersweet chocolate shell set the mellow center off quite nicely. It’s not very zesty, just a light aromatic lemon. All of the pieces had sugar grains in it though, unlike the other flavors. I’m guessing this was just a manufacturing glitch.

Beige = Maple: I could often sniff this one out, the maple flavor was quite pungent. It combined well with the sweet and slightly stringy fondant center.

Orange = Orange: reminded me of a creamsicle. Sweet and with a good mouthfeel and a nice chocolate note that cut that almost-too-sweetness of it.

Pink = Raspberry: this interior was very bright pink, which alerted me that this was probably the one with the Red Dye #40. It was all about the floral and perfumey flavors, not much of the rich tangy berry in there.

Brown = Chocolate: this is the mellowest of the bunch. It’s not so much chocolatey as just less sweet and slightly creamier. The filling is not quite silky, but the gooeyness is more than pleasant.

White = Vanilla: tastes exactly like a Junior Mint without the mint. The fondant center is wonderfully smooth, the chocolate becomes the star. It melts easily though admittedly the whole thing is very sweet. I would recommend eating these with strong black coffee or black tea.

These are a quality product. The consistency of the fondant center was fresh and glossy, the chocolate was good. They’re not really something that I would eat on a regular basis, when I have a box of mixed chocolates, I usually leave the creams for last so actually buying a box of creams isn’t something I’m likely to do. I prefer the slightly fattier creams that Fannie Mae (we had a box of those at the office recently) or See’s make. But if you’ve always wished that Junior Mints came in other flavors or perhaps want a less chocolatey or dark chocolate version of a Cadbury Creme Egg, then this might be for you.

Rating: 6 out of 10

Zachary Creme DropsI saw the Zachary version of Old Fashioned Creme Drops at the 99 Cent Only Store, this time with a festive wreath on them, so I figured they were fresh so I bought them.

The description on the package says: Creme Filled Center with Smooth Chocolate Flavored Coating!. So yeah, it’s mockolate. (But at least their snowflakes have six points.)

I had hopes though, since it’s also a full 12 ounces ... for only a dollar? That’s quite a value there. A one pound box of sugar is about $1.19 at my local grocery store.

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Because they’re bagged and not in a box with little partitions, they are a little more scuffed than the Vermont Country Store variety. (But again, the price difference is absurd - VCS are $1.25 an ounce and Zachary’s are 8.3 cents an ounce.)

They also only come in one flavor, plain. (Or perhaps I should call it vanilla, but there is no vanilla or vanilla flavor listed on the ingredients.)

The shell is mockolate but has a dark, toasted scent.

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The bite of the Zachary candy (left) is vastly different from the soft and glossy VCS variety (right). This is a solid fondant, similar to the center of a York Peppermint Pattie.

The texture is smooth, but crumbly, kind of like an albino fudge.

I rather liked the center but the mockolate coating ruined it for me. It was sweet and had that stale Easter essence. It’s rather sad, I’d gladly take 1/3 of the quantity at twice the price if they were real chocolate because the centers are pretty good.

I can recommend these for people who already love them (and I shouldn’t quibble with folks who like what they like). I can recommend these for placing as a decoration on a tray of cookies or perhaps adding to a dessert plate when you’re really in a crunch and don’t like your guests (or know that they all have colds and would simply appreciate the fondant texture).

Rating: 3 out of 10

I kind of wish both varieties came in mint.

Related Candies

  1. Mint Cremes from the Makers of Jelly Belly
  2. Junior Fruit Cremes
  3. Cadbury Ornament Creme Egg
  4. Zachary Candy Corn & Jelly Pumpkins
  5. Cadbury Orange Creme Eggs
  6. York Chocolate Mint Truffle Pattie
Name: Assorted Cream Drops & Old Fashioned Creme Drops
    RATING:
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 6 TEMPTING
  • 5 PLEASANT
  • 4 BENIGN
  • 3 UNAPPEALING
  • 2 APPALLING
  • 1 INEDIBLE
Brand: Vermont Country Store & Zachary
Place Purchased: samples from VCS & 99 Cent Only Store (Silverlake)
Price: $19.95 & $1.00
Size: 16 ounces & 12 ounces
Calories per ounce: 105 & 112
Categories: Chocolate, Fondant, Mockolate, United States, Zachary

POSTED BY Cybele AT 12:10 pm Tracker Pixel for Entry    

Comments
  1. Sera's avatar

    The VCS ones look so tasty! smile

    Comment by Sera on 12/16/08 at 3:30 pm #
  2. This review makes me wish that Cadbury creme eggs came in mint. :(

    Comment by Laura on 12/16/08 at 4:41 pm #
  3. Hey there—

    I wanted to suggest something for you to review: Reber’s “Mozart Piano Bar.”  There’s a picture and description here:

    http://www.chocolat.com/browseproducts/Mozart-Piano-Bar.html

    These are sometimes available at checkout at the Berkeley Bowl supermarket, though I haven’t seen them in a while.  There’s marzipan in here, but it’s pistachio marzipan!  It does have a slightly (to my mind, pleasantly) boozey flavor.  There’s crisped rice in the chocolate coating.

    Comment by JJR on 12/17/08 at 5:27 am #
  4. Hmm… Those cream drops look delicious. I think I might have to seek some of the real stuff out. Thanks for the head’s up!

    Comment by Robby on 12/17/08 at 11:28 am #
  5. We’ve gotten the VCS assorted cremes many times and they were always organized in columns (or rows if you turned the box).  No code, but once you found out, you could label that column.  Doled them out one by one (had them as a kid in the 40s-50s for pennies).  JK

    Comment by Jesse Kalin on 1/30/09 at 3:24 pm #
  6. its 2 0clock in the morning and ive been thinking about those damn chocolate drops for days..even months ..i bought them along time ago and could never find them. all this time i thought it was at wal mart i got them..when i read your letter i relized i got them at the dollar store.. thank you sooooooooooooooooo much. its thanksgiving tomorrow but im going to check it out anyway..its worth the trip..

    Comment by diane on 11/25/09 at 9:35 pm #
  7. I would like to have some of those choclate fudge drops that comes in a bag. Not the creme drops. I can not find these anywhere. Thanks, Benny

    Comment by Benny L. Berry on 12/26/09 at 2:01 pm #
  8. Do you remember the pumpkin creams that Fannie Mae used to make? My ex-mother-in-law used to order them for me back in the late 90’s at Thanksgiving. They were the absolutely best thing you could ever put in your mouth. I can’t find them. I haven’t tried to find them in years, but now I am obsessing over them. Any ideas would be appreciated.
    KCR

    Comment by Kristin Russell on 10/13/11 at 5:15 pm #
  9. I want to know how to buy the different flavors or your creme drops.  I can only find them at Hobby Lobby stores which are few and far between.  They are very good and I would like them more often.  The Hobby Lobby stores do not have them all the time.  Can I buy them online to get the flavors I want. 

    Thank you for your time

    Comment by Beverlie on 10/31/13 at 1:02 pm #
  10. Either you like them or you don’t.
    I love Zachary’s, but they are very hard to find.
    Usually only come out around Christmas time and when I find them I will buy a case…..

    Comment by Bud L. on 11/02/13 at 8:54 pm #
  11. The one good thing about this blog post: I found out the name of the creme drops I only see during the holidays.  Other than that, I can’t say anything good about it.  Why?  The last paragraph shows the person/writer’s real character.

    “I can recommend these for people who already love them (and I shouldn’t quibble with folks who like what they like). I can recommend these for placing as a decoration on a tray of cookies or perhaps adding to a dessert plate when you’re really in a crunch and don’t like your guests”

    Comment by Beth on 12/16/13 at 7:36 am #
  12. I found them at Family Dollar as an everyday item. They also sell them at Dollar Tree around christmas. I got my mom hooked on them! smile

    Comment by Bobbi on 1/30/14 at 8:39 am #

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