Friday, February 22, 2008

Same old things, different flavors

Since I’m still down with this aggravating illness, I thought I’d do some short & sweet briefs on a few things that I’ve been eating. Mostly it’s stuff that I’ve reviewed but in different flavors & varieties ... so they don’t warrant a full write-up on their own.

Strawberry Gummy Choco

I took a little jaunt to Little Tokyo three weeks ago because I was craving the Gummy Choco I had last year. Mitsuwa Marketplace (3rd & Alameda) has an awesome selection, including single flavor packs of Muscat and Strawberry. I opted for the Strawberry Gummy Choco. (Oh, and I got another tube of the mixed fruits.) However, the price seemed to be better at Nijiya Market in Little Tokyo Village at only $1.49 instead of $2.49 ... but of course parking is a little more difficult over there at times.

They have a milk chocolate coating with an innner coating of real white chocolate. The gummy center is a rich and jammy strawberry. Ultra-soft and combines well with the creamy chocolate.

They’re still a satisfying candy to eat when you have no sense of smell, the combination of textures and the zap of the tart berry center keeps me amused.

Rating: 9 out of 10

Wheat ChocolateI picked up another brand of Wheat Chocolate at Mitsuwa. This bag was a little smaller, but basically the same price per ounce and had the same decent quality chocolate coating.

It’s as simple as can be, just puffed wheat (I think puffed barley, actually) that’s covered in a shiny & thin coat of milk chocolate.

It’s sweet and kind of earthy and freakishly addictive. I don’t know if it’s my imagination, but I think I prefer the Japan Confectionery brand, if only because each kernel was separate from the others. It seemed like more of these were stuck together. ($1.69 for 4 ounces ... which doesn’t sound like much, but there’s a lot of air in there.)

This stuff should be sold in movie theaters ... it’s an ideal movie candy.

Rating: 8 out of 10

Charles Chocolates Candied Hazelnut Chocolate BarBack in November I visited with Chuck Siegel at Charles Chocolates and saw all the new stuff, including a preview of one of his new bars that sounded right up my alley: Candied Hazelnut in Dark Chocolate.

What has me so excited (besides the prospect of creamy dark chocolate with perfectly roasted hazelnuts) was that it might be an easier to find version of that wonderful Spanish bar I had last summer: Avellana Caramelizada Chocolate by Mallorca.

Charles Chocolates Candied Hazelnut Chocolate Bar

Instead of whole hazelnuts encased in a crunchy sugar glaze, these were bits of hazelnuts. The bits were crunchy and fresh, but didn’t have quite the burnt sugary crust that I was aching for. (But how was Chuck to know that’s what my expectation was?)

It’s still a great bar, I love his 65% dark chocolate blend. It has an excellent soft and silky melt, it’s a little tangy with mostly mellow flavors that let the other inclusions shine. I would have liked slightly bigger crunchy bits.

The packaging has changed slightly with the Charles Chocolates bars as well. When I first tried them each bar was wrapped in a microthin piece of foil. Now they’re a metallic airtight pack inside the box. Probably a much better way to keep the chocolate fresh in the stores, but not as easy to reseal if you tear the bag when opening.

Rating: 8 out of 10

Lifesavers - New & OldThe last item is kind of a fun thing that I picked up last summer. I noticed that there were two different designs for the same roll of Cryst-O-Mint Lifesavers on the shelves at Walgreen’s, so I picked them up.

Over the years Lifesavers has changed more than their packaging. The only thing that has remained the same is the shape of their product. The familiar donut shape is here to stay, even if they’re made in Canada now.

The Cryst-O-Mint is unlike the other mint Lifesavers in that it’s a boiled sugar sweet, not a compressed dextrose candy.

It’s not an intense mint like an Altoid, just a soft and clean peppermint flavor. The production of the candy is good, the pieces were all intact and didn’t have any voids or sharp spots like some of those Brach’s Ice Blue mints.

Also a plus, there are no artificial colors in there, because they’re colorless. If they’d just left out the High Fructose Corn Sweetener, they’d actually be an all-natural candy.

You can read more about the Lifesavers redesign here.

Rating: 6 out of 10

Related Candies

  1. Short & Sweet: International Flavors
  2. Candy Dump 2008 part 2
  3. The Candy Dump 2008
  4. Welcome to the Candy Dump
  5. Charles Chocolates Bars
  6. Lifesaver Musk

POSTED BY Cybele AT 8:55 am Tracker Pixel for Entry     CandyReviewCharles ChocolatesMeijiWrigley'sChocolateCookieGummi CandyHard Candy & LollipopsMintsNutsWhite Chocolate6-Tempting8-Tasty9-YummyCanadaJapanUnited States

Comments
  1. Now I feel for you!
    I am not sure where you are in L.A. (last place I lived was Woodland Hills) but I am convinced that there is not much that a big steamy bowl of matzo ball soup from Solley’s (Jerry’s if you must but I don’t think it’s as good) can’t fix. Have a bowl for me!

    Comment by Gigi on 2/22/08 at 9:54 am #
  2. I hope you feel better soon.  Being sick is the worst, especially when it takes a toll on your tastebuds and/or stomach.

    Comment by Alicia on 2/22/08 at 1:12 pm #
  3. well, i just ordered some strawberry gummy choco from asian food grocer based on your review!  i remember that you also liked the white chocolate ones that you reviewed last month.  i love their coffeebeat and the marbles (like m&m’s) are good too, so i figure i can’t lose.  meiji makes the absolute best grapefruit gummies too.  perfect consistency and of course totally natural flavor.  i also ordered my favorite shigekix and hi-chew to make the shipment worthwhile. smile

    Comment by amy on 2/23/08 at 2:10 pm #
  4. Hey
    I just got home from an evening out and happened to find a new limited edition product at Walmart. I know you reviewed the raspberry and the cherry limited edition three musketeers, but did you know theres an orange!? It’s much better than the cherry. Just wanted to spread the good word.

    Comment by Jennifer on 2/23/08 at 4:41 pm #
  5. oh wow.
    This hasn’t been the first time I’ve been to your blog (actually I’ve been reading it religiously for some time now) and I really like it. I’m planning to go to the US this summer and all your blog posts will truly save me from another round of blech-inducing substandard candies. (I’m a sucker for attractive packaging and nonpareils. hahahahah!)

    Comment by Catherine on 2/24/08 at 11:42 pm #
  6. When my dad and I were traveling in Quebec, we stopped by and picked a pack of these. There pretty good.

    Comment by Princess Adeline on 6/12/09 at 2:34 pm #

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