Monday, October 10, 2011

Russell Stover “Day of the Dead” Skeletons

Russell Stovers "Day of the Dead" Chocolate Covered CaramelRussell Stover has epitomized Americana for as long as I can remember. They’re a safe and unassuming brand. Their boxed chocolates are dependably sweet and bland but have a nice flair for dependable and fresh holiday themed chocolate novelties.

I was a little surprised when I saw these new Russell Stover Day of the Dead Skeletons at the drug store.

They have two varieties, one chocolate covered caramel and one chocolate covered marshmallow - but what’s interesting about them is the South of the Border design on the package (bilingual as well).

I’ll start with the Russell Stover Caramel Covered in Milk Chocolate (Caramelo Cubierto en el Chocolate con Leche).

They’re large skeleton shaped caramel planks covered in milk chocolate, the package features a brightly clad skeleton. There are at least three different designs per confection. For the Caramel I chose this lady skeleton wearing a red blouse with poofy sleeves, a green full skirt, a yellow yat with dingleberries and holding maracas. It’s quite a sight, especially when designed with bright flat colors and accents of purple, orange and silver foil.

Russell Stovers "Day of the Dead" Chocolate Covered Caramel

The pieces are large, about twice the size as the regular Pumpkin products they make. The Caramel was 2.5 ounces and about 4.5 inches long.

The design of the actual candy is not quite as impressive as the package. In fact, once I pulled it out of the wrapper, you could have easily convinced me this was a Halloween Saguaro Cactus. But shape aside, it’s a really lovely piece of candy. The chocolate is nicely tempered, it’s shiny and had very few scuffs and no leaks. The ripples were also nice to look at and gave a feeling that this was a piece of candy made by people.

Russell Stovers "Day of the Dead" Chocolate Covered Caramel

The caramel is soft, but not runny. The bite is easy and the caramel has a good pull but not a lot of chew to it. It’s smooth and has a lot of toffee notes and very little grain. The milk chocolate is sweet and has a lot of dairy notes though not much going on other than that.

It’s a lot of candy - I couldn’t eat more than a third in one sitting, so it’s not an easy piece to have a little and then put it away.

It’s not an innovative piece, they make a similar product for Easter, but it’s fresh and I really loved the package.

Russell Stover "Day of the Dead" Chocolate Covered MarshmallowThe Russell Stover Marshmallow Covered in Milk Chocolate (Malvavisco Cubierto en el Chocolate con Leche) has an equally vibrant package design. I chose a skeleton wearing a sombrero and bright poncho beating on a magenta and yellow drum.

This piece is only 2.25 ounces, missing a quarter of an ounce because the marshmallow is so fluffy, but probably about 50% thicker than the Caramel version.

The shape is similarly blocky and poorly defined, but still has glossy rippled milk chocolate enrobing.

Russell Stovers "Day of the Dead" Chocolate Covered Marshmallow

The Russell Stover marshmallow is always moist and smooth, fluffy but not too foamy. It doesn’t have much flavor, no honey notes but a good vanilla extract finish. It’s a clean tasting candy - everything tastes real - real sugar, real milk, real vanilla. It’s comforting and homey.

The Day of the Dead celebrations of Mexico are vibrant, social and life-affirming. It’s fun to see a confection here in the United States that feels like it’s appealing to those who want to join in the celebration without feeling like it’s exclusionary or pandering. I don’t know if these are going to be sold everywhere, I picked them up in the Echo Park neighborhood RiteAid, one of the denser areas of Mexican-Americans in the country and over 6 million people of Mexican descent in the Southern California metropolitan counties. Next, I’d like to see the inclusion of some real Mexican confectionery traditions.

Related Candies

  1. Russell Stover Marshmallow & Caramel
  2. Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate Tahitian Vanilla Caramels
  3. Russell Stover Giant S’mores Bar & Mint Dream
  4. CVS Marshmallow Pop
  5. Russell Stover Dark Chocolate Covered Marshmallow Pumpkin
  6. Russell Stover Marshmallow Rabbits
  7. Russell Stover Orange Marshmallow Pumpkin
  8. Littlejohn Caramel Marshmallows


Name: Day of the Dead Skeleton Carmel covered in Milk Chocolate
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Russell Stover
Place Purchased: Rite Aid (Echo Park)
Price: $1.00
Size: 2.50 ounces
Calories per ounce: 136
Categories: Candy, Halloween, Russell Stover, Caramel, Chocolate, 7-Worth It, United States, Rite Aid


Name: Day of the Dead Skeleton Marshmallow covered in Milk Chocolate
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Russell Stover
Place Purchased: Rite Aid (Echo Park)
Price: $1.00
Size: 2.50 ounces
Calories per ounce: 120
Categories: Candy, Halloween, Russell Stover, Chocolate, Marshmallow, 7-Worth It, United States, Rite Aid

POSTED BY Cybele AT 1:06 pm Tracker Pixel for Entry     CandyReviewHalloweenRussell StoverCaramelChocolateMarshmallow7-Worth ItUnited StatesRite Aid

Comments
  1. I want to say that I saw these last year, but I’m not completely certain.  They look familiar, but I know I didn’t buy either one.  I would have definitely written a review if I had.

    Comment by Johnny Carruthers on 10/10/11 at 2:20 pm #
  2. yay!  I got one of these the other day and likewise couldn’t get more than a third of the way through. It’s just as well though—they’re yummy, but did you see the calorie count in these bad boys?  Still I liked them.  Would buy again!  I thought the packaging was great and was pleased to see it in TN.

    Comment by Elise on 10/10/11 at 7:59 pm #
  3. I’ve been addicted to Russell Stover’s holiday chocolate “novelties” since I discovered them a few years ago. I’ve never seen these skeletons but I’m sure they taste like every other caramel and marshmallow holiday item Russell Stover makes — that’s not a bad thing!

    I prefer the combination marshmallow and chocolate varieties, a sort of poor man’s Scotchmallow. Wow, I feel like I need to run to the store and pick some up right now.

    Comment by Ryan on 10/11/11 at 11:46 am #
  4. These are so completely full of awesome.

    Comment by Jeff on 10/19/11 at 2:31 pm #
  5. “The ripples were also nice to look at”

    I read that at least three times as “nipples.”

    Comment by spinetingler on 11/12/11 at 12:37 pm #

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