Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Ritter Sport Fruhlingsspezialitaten 2010

Ritter Sport Haselnuss KrokantHere in the United States we have as many as 16 different Ritter Sport chocolate bars to choose from. In the United Kingdom the regular offerings number 19 and in Germany, the home of Ritter there are 23. But what Germany has in addition to their wide variety are the seasonal editions.

I picked up the three Spring Specialties, called Frühlingsspezialitäten 2010, at Mel & Rose Wine and Spirits last week on a lark. (In Europe the Summer Specialties are already available.) The three limited editions are Haselnuss Krokant, Cashew in Alpenmilch and Bourbon Vanille. They’re all milk chocolate bars.

Ritter Sport Haselnuss Krokant

The 100 gram (3.5 ounces) bars are the same square format made of a grid of 16 blocks of chocolate. The Haselnuss Krokant or Hazelnut Brittle isn’t exactly a brittle (a crunchy caramelized sugar).

The package, being an import, is all in German: Gefuillte Vollmilchschokolade mit einer Haselnuss-Creme (36%), Haselnuss- und Mandel-Krokant (6%) und Reis-Flakes (3%). A little online translation help and I think it’s: Milk chocolate filled with a hazelnut cream (36%), hazelnut and almond crunch (6%) and rice flakes (3%).

Ritter Sport Haselnuss Krokant

It’s a stunning bar with a sweet and nutty scent. It’s less about the milk chocolate and more about the textures and flavors of the center. It’s creamy and sweet with a milky hazelnut paste. Dotted in that are little rice flakes, kind of like the cornflake bar, but a little crunchier with less of a malty-corn note. Though it mentions hazelnut and almond crunch, I never quite got that specifically, but maybe I was confusing that crunch with the cereal.

It’s sweet and decadent, really fatty and creamy but with enough of a flavor punch from the nuts that I was satisfied with a row of four blocks. It’s too bad that this is a seasonal variety and most readers are unlikely to come across it. There was a similar piece in the Ritter Schokowurfel assortment called Crocant, which was just a hazelnut paste with crispies.

Ritter Sport Cashew AlpenmilchThe next bar has a great spring flair. The Cashew in Alpenmilkch is a simple alpine milk chocolate (30% cacao) with cashews (14%). It’s not quite as nutty as the dark chocolate hazelnut bar that I’m accustomed to; the cashews here are crushed instead of whole.

Even the underside of the bar didn’t display much when it came to the nutty contents. (The hazelnut bars are distinct with their nubbly bottoms showing off the large, whole hazelnuts.)

I’ve noticed alpenmilch bars often have a softer texture and bend more than break because of all the milk. This one wasn’t soft or fudgy, it had the same satisfying snap to it.

Ritter Sport Cashew Alpenmilch

It smells sweet and nutty and a little like yellow cake. The chocolate notes are just a hint of caramel and a lot of dairy milk. The cashews give it a fresh crunch, a little soft and grassy without the floral notes that pistachios often bring. The overall flavor notes I get though are much more on the bakery side of things than chocolate - honey and fresh angel food cake.

A touch of salt might add a little more dimension to this, but then again this bar stands out as different from the other nutty Ritter Sport bars I’ve had. They hit on something that’s not just a different set of ingredients but a different taste profile that might just win some different fans.

Ritter Sport Bourbon VanilleThe final bar sounded dreamy to me: Gefuillte Vollmilchschokolade mit einer Bourbon-Vanille-Creme (45%).

This bar uses the full milk chocolate as does the Haselnuss Krokant instead of the alpine milk of the Cashew in Alpenmilch.

I was hoping this bar would be a straight vanilla cream version of the Yogurt bar or perhaps if that center is too tangy, maybe like the Cappuccino bar. The scent was a bit more like the former than the latter. The format is the same, a firm cream center inside a molded milk chocolate bar. I was hoping for something that approached the vanilla experience of the Green & Black White Chocolate bar but a ganache.

Ritter Sport Bourbon Vanille

I can’t say that the smell gave me much hope for the bar, and it went downhill from there. It was sweet and it did have some deep oaky and tobacco notes that I like when I stuff my nose into a bundle of whole vanilla beans. But the milky/yogurt notes also gave it a spoiled vibe, it reminded me of Gouda, actually more like Play Doh. Completely non-toxic but not exactly mouth watering. The texture is good, the center is soft and though not silky smooth, it’s not too grainy either. It’s a bit like a super-smooth fudge but not fatty enough to be a ganache. The chocolate is overpowered by the cheese and vanilla to the point where all I got was the sweetness and melt.

It’s like someone made a vanilla flavor from reading about what it’s supposed to taste like instead of the actual stuff. Maybe if someone gave this to me and didn’t say it was supposed to be bourbon vanilla I’d say, “Wow, this is the best Ritter Sport maple syrup and chevre bar I’ve ever had.” But it didn’t go down like that. It just turned me off. This was the one bar in the assortment that I didn’t finish.

If you need more Ritter, check out Jim’s Chocolate Mission (he has reviews of these) and Like_the_Grand_Canyon on flickr has oodles of Ritter photos.

Related Candies

  1. Ritter Sport Neapolitan Wafers
  2. Green & Black’s Peanut Milk Chocolate
  3. Marich Chocolate Sea Salt Cashews
  4. Laica & Caffarel Chocolate Eggs
  5. Vanilla Creme Kisses
  6. Ritter Sport White Chocolate with Hazelnuts
  7. Ritter Darks


Name: Haselnuss Krokant
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Ritter Sport
Place Purchased: Mel & Rose Wine & Spirits
Price: $2.99
Size: 3.5 ounces
Calories per ounce: 161
Categories: Candy, Ritter Sport, Chocolate, Cookie, Nuts, 8-Tasty, Germany


Name: Cashew in Alpenmilch
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Ritter Sport
Place Purchased: Mel & Rose Wine & Spirits
Price: $2.99
Size: 3.5 ounces
Calories per ounce: 161
Categories: Candy, Ritter Sport, Chocolate, Nuts, 7-Worth It, Germany


Name: Bourbon Vanille
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Ritter Sport
Place Purchased: Mel & Rose Wine & Spirits
Price: $2.99
Size: 3.5 ounces
Calories per ounce: 165
Categories: Candy, Ritter Sport, Chocolate, 5-Pleasant, Germany

POSTED BY Cybele AT 11:45 am Tracker Pixel for Entry     CandyReviewRitter SportChocolateCookieNuts5-Pleasant7-Worth It8-TastyGermany

Comments
  1. Great reviews Cybele. My own personal favourite out of this lot was the cashew flavours. I was a little disappointed with the hazelnut krokant as it wasn’t far all that removed from quite a few other bars in the Ritter range.

    Like you I was desperately disappointed with the vanilla flavours. It was a real let down in my book :( Thanks for the shout out.

    Jim

    Comment by Jim on 4/27/10 at 1:59 pm #
  2. I love Ritter Sport bars.  I really wish I could find these, but I haven’t found them in my area yet, although I’m still looking.  Great review, they look so tasty and I’m completely jealous of the candy our European neighbors have access too.  The cashew one looks especially tempting to me.

    Comment by Mark D. (sugarpressure) on 4/28/10 at 7:18 am #
  3. Ritter sport is also kosher, dairy.

    Comment by Rabbi's wife on 4/28/10 at 10:21 am #
  4. I wish we did have that many Ritter varieties in the UK lol 19 is an astonishly high amount, often in general it amounts to maybe 5 or 6 at best, its pretty hard coming across them atall I’ve found. :(

    Comment by Alan on 5/01/10 at 3:03 am #

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