Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Storck Chocolate Riesen

Storck Chocolate RiesenAs a kid the best caramels I ever had were the ones that my grandmother would make every holiday season. They were large, two bite caramels usually studded with nuts. She’d make them fresh in large batches and give our family a large tin of them. They were the size of my thumb (my adult thumb, not my child-sized one) and wrapped in twisted wax paper.

Dense, firm and chewy they were the perfect combination of sugar and butter. Later, for my sixteenth birthday my grandmother gave me the recipe (along with a candy thermometer, which I still have). A simple concoction of sugar, corn syrup, evaporated milk and butter, it was the careful boiling that made all the difference. I’ve made a lot of caramels since then. No two batches are the same (though hers were always consistent).

For years I looked for a mass-manufactured version that would satisfy that desire for some chewy burnt sugar and dairy fat. The closest thing I ever found were See’s caramels, but those weren’t easy to come by when I lived in the far recesses of Northern California. Kraft caramels, while interesting don’t have that chewy pull and a rather bland flavor. Marathons were long gone, Rolos are too runny and don’t even get me started on the sauce bar known as Caramello.

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Enter the Storck Chocolate Riesen, a popular candy in Germany and later covered in chocolate and introduced in the United States. Sure Grandma’s caramels were plain and these were chocolate, but the essential texture was there. I found them for the first time at the Canned Foods Warehouse in Eureka, CA. Those were the days where I was on a limited budget but still found some discretionary cash for such indulgences. Riesen put me over the moon when they had them in stock.

The caramels are individually wrapped, a dark and chocoatey caramel covered in dark chocolate.

They smell luxurious, like sweet chocolate. One bite and there’s a soft and slow chew as the chocolate melts and the dark burnt flavors the caramel start to burst through. The caramel is smooth and rich and not even terribly sweet.

Riesen are still made by Storck in Germany, who also make the indulgent Toffifay, creamy Werther’s, sassy Mambas and elusive Merci. In case you’re wondering, Riesen means “giant” in German. I wonder if they also make a plain caramel, I’d love to try it.

If you’re someone with a real chocolate jones but on a limited diet, this might make a good indulgence. The candies are individually wrapped, so it’s easy to parcel them out for portion control. Yes, three of them have 170 calories, but only 6 grams of fat that belie the deep and satisfying chocolate experience. Instead of gnawing on something that just leaves you unsatisfied, why not have a long-lasting creamy chew?

They should really make these in single stack-packs like they do with Mambas. I would probably buy these much more often if I could find them with the other candy bars instead of the peg bags at the grocery/drug stores. The caramel is above and beyond anything that you’d get in a Milk Dud (and these have real chocolate on them) or Snickers bar.

These caramels do have whey in them (and other dairy products) so I’m not sure if it’s processed in a vegetarian manner. Yes, I bought these at the 99 Cent Only store, but they have an expiration date of 2/2008 on them ... they were definitely fresh.

Name: Chocolate Riesen
    RATING:
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 6 TEMPTING
  • 5 PLEASANT
  • 4 BENIGN
  • 3 UNAPPEALING
  • 2 APPALLING
  • 1 INEDIBLE
Brand: Storck
Place Purchased: 99 Cent Only
Price: unknown
Size: 3.5 ounces
Calories per ounce: 134
Categories: Chocolate, Caramel, Germany, Storck

POSTED BY Cybele AT 7:40 am Tracker Pixel for Entry    

Comments
  1. 99cent stores you say? which one do you frequent b/c the ones near me are very hit or miss - mostly the latter at that :I i love riesen. those cheesy commercials come to mind smile

    Comment by Sunny on 5/29/07 at 8:45 am #
  2. I guess Kraft stopped making Fudgies? They were a chocolate-flavored caramel I loved as a kid.

    Comment by The Velvet Blog on 5/29/07 at 9:18 am #
  3. They do make those caramels in a stack pack like Mambas. They have them at Harris Teeter (near Washington D.C.) but I bet you could get them online too.

    Comment by kara on 5/29/07 at 9:20 am #
  4. When I think chewy caramels I think Columbines. I used to get them from a vending machine on campus before attending lectures. They were tasty and distracting (from my lectures).

    Comment by leigh on 5/29/07 at 11:06 am #
  5. Oh, I love these. I used to eat them by the bagful. That’s why I don’t buy them anymore…. But they may be worth a revisit.

    I believe there is a chocolate covered toffee-like candy by the same people. It’s not caramel, but is of the same quality. It’s strange that it is not on their website. I will investigate!

    Comment by Kate on 5/29/07 at 12:55 pm #
  6. Oh yes yes yes. I love those so much. Since childhood. They do make your jaw hurt though, after you’ve had a couple in a row. :D

    A while ago a friend brought back some caramels from Japan for me (you’ve actually reviewed those) and I had to buy a bag of Riesen right after I finished the Japanese ones. Caramel methadone, lol.

    Comment by Christine on 5/29/07 at 1:06 pm #
  7. I love these.  Far more than the sum of its parts.

    Comment by Dave on 5/29/07 at 1:39 pm #
  8. I vouch for what Kara said. I’ve seen these in stack packs too! I find mine in my local Shoprite. smile

    Comment by Sera on 5/29/07 at 5:48 pm #
  9. You get these in the UK, in single bars with about 5/6 caramels in each one. I love them!

    Comment by Lucy on 5/30/07 at 2:45 am #
  10. I don’t allow myself to buy these any more, as they are one candy that I cannot stop eating once I start.  Now, thanks to Cybele, I’ve got a strong craving for them. What am I going to do now?

    Comment by Karen on 5/30/07 at 6:29 pm #
  11. Cybele's avatar

    Sunny - there are two I hit, both are on Sunset Blvd. One in Hollywood (much bigger) and the smaller one in Silverlake at Maltman. I also saw them at the Dollar Tree down in Harbor City.

    TheVelvetBlog - yeah, fudgies are long gone. There’s a Brach’s chocolate caramel that’s pretty similiar though.

    Kara, Lucy & Sera - It’s true! The do make them ... but I’ve been looking all week and still haven’t found them.

    Christine - methadone! Perfect!

    Dave - exactly, I wouldn’t want a bar of their chocolate by itself, but it works well here.

    Karen - head out to the nearest dollar store?

    leigh - Columbines you say ... this may require some more investigation!

    Comment by Cybele on 6/01/07 at 10:37 am #
  12. These are my favorite treat!!!  Nice and chocolate.  I can get Merci at the grocery store and that is really yummy chocolate, too.  I like to give a box of Merci (about $5.00) as a thank you gift when the need arises.

    Comment by Wendy on 7/23/07 at 1:15 am #
  13. There’s a type of fondue I made once with Riesen candy and rum.  I cannot locate the recipe.  It was x number of pieces of Riesen candy melted down and I think 1/4 cup of rum added to it.  You then dipped fruit, or whatever in it.

    Can anyone tell me how many pieces and the exact quantity of rum that’s supposed to go into this?
    Any help would be appreciated.
    Thank you,
    Carrie

    Comment by Carrie on 10/04/07 at 6:05 am #
  14. I used to LOVE the Riesen PEANUT. Anyone seen those, lately? Haven’t located them in a couple of years. Can’t find any mention of them on any websites…

    Comment by Sammie on 10/06/07 at 10:20 am #
  15. WHERE’S THE PEANUT RIESENS LATELY????  THEY WERE THE BEST ONE!!!

    Comment by Brenda on 10/11/07 at 5:40 am #
  16. Does anyone have a recipe for a chocolate mousse made with riesen chocolate candies?  Thanks Jess

    Comment by Jess on 7/04/08 at 3:03 pm #
  17. I just found your blog and could see myself getting really hooked.  I had to look up your review of Riesens because I think they’re probably the best peg-bag candy out there.  I love to bite off the chocolate before chewing the caramel—it’s a good chocolate for a drug-store candy, I think.  They DO make your jaw hurt, though.

    Comment by JJR on 12/16/08 at 8:07 pm #
  18. what is the recipe ?

    Comment by dana henry on 2/06/09 at 2:15 pm #
  19. I’m looking for a recipe that I once had where you use Storck Riesen and graham crackers.  Does anybody out there have it or know where I could look for it?

    Comment by Deb on 2/20/09 at 4:46 am #
  20. I just made the chocolate Riessen’s mousse….it was AWESOME! and very rich.

    4 bags of Reisen canies
    1 cup half and half
    1 small container of Cool Whip

    Heat the half and half over medium heat till it just begins to boil.  Add the candies.  Slowly begin to mix as the candy melts.  If the mix becomes too warm, remove from heat for a minute or two.  When the carmel has totally melted, remove pan from heat and allow to cool to lukewarm.  Scrape cooled chocolate into a mixing bowl.  Add the Cool Whip and mix together.  Place in the refrigerator a few hours before serving.  Enjoy!

    Comment by Meg on 11/27/10 at 1:26 am #
  21. I love these candies.  the problem is, once i get the taste in my mouth, i won’t stop eating them until the bag is empty.  they are tough on my teeth, but boy, what a treat..especially as the chocolate starts to melt in your mouth…yummy!!!

    Comment by SHARON CEASAR on 3/29/11 at 8:04 am #
  22. I was looking for that recipe also, with the stork reisens and the graham crackers, and you sprinkle nuts on the top?  Does anyone have it???

    Comment by Ruth on 12/11/11 at 1:59 pm #

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