Monday, December 28, 2009

DeMet’s Turtles: Pecan & Cashew

DeMet's TurtlesI know some of you are thinking, “I could have sworn that Candy Blog already reviewed Turtles.” You’re not wrong. I did review Nestle Turtles a few years back.

What’s new is that they’re under new ownership. (Or maybe they’re under their original ownership.) Honestly I’m not sure of the history of De Met’s Turtles. Some sources on the web say that they were invented by De Met’s Rowntree in the UK in 1920. However, I also find notations that there was a candy company in Chicago called DeMet’s Candy, founded by Pierre DeMet.

They were invented by Pierre DeMet, who founded a candy company in his name in 1898, and later sold it. Turtles officially were named in 1922, and although several candy manufacturers make a similar product, a registered trademark of Rowntree DeMet’s, whose parent company is Rowntree of England. Turtles are made in Toronto, Canada, though the company’s office is in Chicago, at 230 W. Monroe, not far from the original DeMet’s confectionery shop, according to Barry Fulford of Rowntree. The candy is sold only in North America. And sales figures for 1986 were the largest in the company’s history, Fulford said.

Source - Chicago Sun Times - Chicago’s Best for Birthday Bash - March 5, 1987

Rowntree was bought by Nestle in 1988 and eventually changed the name to Nestle Turtles. Nestle only recently sold off the DeMet’s line of candies in 2008 along with a few other Nestle branded candies such as STIXX, Flipz (chocolate or yogurt covered pretzels) and Treasures. At first they were manufactured in the same facility in Canada, but recently the production has moved to the United States. This new move and different leadership means that I see Turtles where I didn’t used to.

Mostly I’ve been seeing the three Turtle package, which is considered a single serving, at drug stores. Priced around $1.19 it’s a little more upscale than a simple candy bar but not quite an all out high-end chocolate bar.

DeMet's Turtles

As far as I can tell, they’ve changed little from their previous owners. The packaging keeps them fresh, which is nice, though I’ve found that they’re lacking a little on the pecan side of things. The chocolate is sweet and though not actually chalky, I wouldn’t call it particularly creamy either.

Still, I enjoy them quite a bit. They’re comforting and well balanced. I enjoy caramel and nuts and only wish that the chocolate was better.

Demet's Cashew TurtlesThe other version I was also gifted by my mother in her big shipment of Aldi goodies was a box of the Cashew Turtles.

I saw a pair of these boxes - a set of Pecan and Cashew at CVS over the weekend in the Holiday candy section for $6.99. Each box holds 7 ounces, so it’s not a bad deal when on sale. The box still bears that notation that they use real Nestle milk chocolate (though for me that’s not much of a selling point).

Cashews aren’t that common in mass-marketed candies. Besides the Old Dominion nut brittle I reviewed I can’t think of any other cashew-based candies that can be picked up for less than $5 at a chain store. (Maybe Bridge Mix.) The box looks an awful lot like the pecan version, except for the amber badge that says Cashew on it. (The “Original” looks like this.)

Cashew Turtles

I’m a big cashew fan, especially when combined with chocolate. This version seemed a little saltier. The cashews weren’t large, more like peanuts, but they had a good fresh crunch to them. They were a darker roast than I’m also fond of, but I admit that it went well with the toffee flavored caramel.

These have a little bit more substantial crunch and more chocolate flavor, probably because the cashews themselves don’t offer much. Pecans have more of a woodsy/maple note to them, but cashews are a little bit grassy and peanutty.

Since I had two boxes open at the same time, I found myself grabbing the Cashew more often. It could be the novelty or it could be that I just preferred them. Both are decent and I’m glad that they’re still being made. I still think they’re expensive, but when they’re fresh I do enjoy them. So I’m bumping up my rating from the Nestle-owned version to a 6 out of 10.

Name: Pecan Turtles & Cashew Turtles
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 4 BENIGN
Brand: DeMet's Candy Company
Place Purchased: gift (Aldi/ Youngstown, OH)
Price: unknown
Size: 7 ounces
Calories per ounce: 146
Categories: Chocolate, Caramel, Nuts, United States

POSTED BY Cybele AT 10:49 am Tracker Pixel for Entry    

  1. They’ve been around so long that they’re sort of a Christmas tradition in my home.

    Comment by Pam Walter on 12/29/09 at 2:24 am #
  2. Awesome, didn’t know these had a cashew version! I agree that they need more pecan goodness, but they satisfy my turtle cravings pretty well. smile

    Comment by maggie on 12/29/09 at 3:58 am #
  3. I bought alot of turtles cashews an this new batch is filled with unopened pacakages but no candy

    Comment by craig anderson on 2/15/10 at 2:36 pm #
  4. I bought two boxes of DeMet’s Turtles and they were both stale. I complained on the DeMet’s facebook site and they blocked my comments. Won’t ever, ever, ever buy these again - NO EXPIRATION DATE ON PACKAGE - I THOUGHT ALL FOOD WAS REQUIRED TO HAVE AN EXPIRATION DATE ON EVERY PACKAGE?!?!?

    Comment by Jack Floyd on 2/26/13 at 5:05 am #
  5. If at all possible I need to read your expiration code for work. Thank you.

    Comment by Kay on 3/13/13 at 9:44 pm #
  6. I agree with Jack (#4).  Demets protects the age of their products with greater zeal than the CIA.  I suppose they are desperately afraid they’ll be impeded from selling any decade-old boxes they have in storage, or desperately afraid there won’t be enough cases of food poisoning in the US.  I really used to love their turtles, so it infuriates me.  But what sane person would take the risk?  Win?  The chocolate tastes good.  Lose?  You’re dead.  I won’t buy candy from Russian Roulette companies.

    Comment by prehistoric turtles on 5/26/13 at 3:36 pm #
  7. the boxes I just bought from Walgreens all had stale candy.  a film of cloudy chocolate.

    Comment by karen on 8/15/14 at 10:59 pm #
  8. I just bought a box of turtles from DeMet’s the chocolate collection (White, Dark and Milk). I would not risk eating these. There was no date on them and they looked greyish colored and old. A coupon fell out of the box and the coupon was expired. Is there anything we can do about this? We need to warn the companies selling this product and the customers…. I am taking this back to Walgreens and writing the company, but we need to do more. Any ideas??

    Comment by Tracey on 6/01/15 at 7:57 am #
  9. feel28
    We bought one bar of Turtles original and it had no date on them and looked grayish/white-ish around them.  Tasted bad.  Returned to local store,Target, and got another one and it also was the same.  am not going to make another trip.  The company should do something

    Comment by Dona on 8/31/15 at 1:33 pm #
  10. I, too, purchased a box from CVS and had to return it because the candy was stale and of course, there’s no expiration date on any of the boxes.  I also thought that all food items had to have an expiration date.  I was then given a box of turtles that were purchased at Walmart and they, too, were stale.  How do you safeguard from getting stale candy when there is no way of knowing from the outside packaging that the candy has outlived its shelf life!!!! I’ve read the other complaints and I, too, love turtles and would hate not to eliminate them from my snack cabinet for good!!! Please respond and advise!!!!

    Comment by Cynthia on 10/30/15 at 10:52 pm #
  11. Maybe its different in Canada, but here Turtles are still sold under the Nestle’s name, and they have a best before date on them…I think they taste different than they used to…softer, smoother with less density of chocolate.  They are too soft, the layers of chocolate and caramel very similar in consistency.  I miss the old ones.  They were more complex.  I hate Nestle anyway.

    Comment by Whitney on 1/03/16 at 7:57 pm #
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