Tuesday, January 1, 2008

The Candy Dump 2008

I’ve been cleaning up my studio space and going through all my unreviewed items. Let me say that there are a lot of them so I’m going to devote the rest of the week to clearing them out of the queue.

Half Cut ChocolateHalf Cut Chocolate

I don’t know where they came from. My neighbor Robin gave them to me from one of her friends at work who travels a lot. The back of the package has a translation on it, unfortunately into another Asian language. The only thing in English on the package besides the calorie info is the words “Half Cut Chocolate.”

Half Cut Chocolate

These lovely little hemispheres look just like itty bitty cantaloupes. They each come individually wrapped in cellophane. Even though they’re wrapped, the bag smells of a light melon flavor. Once opened, they do smell a lot like cantaloupe. The white confection base is sweet and a good complement for the flavor. They’re a little bland, but so incredibly cute and of course so unusual.

I was rather unsure of how melon would go with chocolate, but it’s a perfectly natural combo for white chocolate.

Rating: 5 out of 10

Black Sesame CaramelsMorinaga’s Black Sesame Caramels

I’m not a big fan of sesame flavored things. I enjoy sesame snaps (basically, sesame brittle) and the odd seed on a bun ... well, I also like halvah. Okay, I might just love sesame!

I was kind of on the fence about these. They tasted a lot like toasted sesame oil used in Japanese cooking, which always tastes a little burnt to me. But they were very smooth and creamy and after chewing for a minute or so they become very rich. But the smell put me off each and every time.

I ordered this box from JList.

(I realize now that I carelessly photographed this package upside down. Even though I don’t read Japanese, it’s not like I couldn’t have figured out that the little angel went at the top.)

Rating: 6 out of 10

Morinaga's Azuki CaramelMorinaga’s Azuki Caramels

I had high hopes for the red bean flavored caramels. They package was easy to spot, pretty much kidney bean red.

The Morinaga caramels have always had a slight grain (kind of a short caramel or dry caramel). This worked particularly well with the red bean flavor, which of course I always expect a little bean mealiness. It’s so smooth though and has such a consistent texture, it really works. It reminded me a lot of adzuki ice cream in that it got that creamy texture, but it’s much less sweet and more flavorful.

I really liked this and was looking forward to buying more, but I haven’t seen them again. I got this box in Little Tokyo after lunch one day when I was on jury duty.

Rating: 7 out of 10

DSC01334rAunt Sally’s Creamy Pralines

This was one of the products I was looking forward to at the All Candy Expo. I didn’t make it over to their booth until the last day and all they had left was their original flavor. Their Creamy Pralines also come in Bananas Foster, Chocolate and Cafe au Lait but all they had left was the original.

Aunt Sally's Creamy PralinesAunt Sally’s makes two different kinds of Pralines (pronounced PRAH-leens), this Creamy kind and a Creole kind.

The Creamy Pralines are a nice size, 3/4 of an ounce, like a small chocolate chip cookie. The nuts are abundant and smell fresh and kind of like maple. The sugary praline base is soft and kind of chewy like a fudge, but not quite caramel. It’s very smooth with only a slight grain to it.

I’m much more fond of either the straight chewy pralines or the sandier version (I think that’s Creole), but these were still very nice. I’m still curious to try the Bananas Foster version. At $2 each on the website, they’re a little pricey. I get one that’s almost triple the size at Littlejohn’s Toffee at the Farmers Market for $2.50 (it’s the sandy style).

I still haven’t been able to find them in person anywhere, SugarHog.net found them at the Albanese Candy Factory store.

Rating: 7 out of 10

Related Candies

  1. Candy Dump - International House of Chocolate
  2. Welcome to the Candy Dump
  3. Short & Sweet: Japanese Goodies
  4. Green and Black Caramels

POSTED BY Cybele AT 10:20 am Tracker Pixel for Entry     CandyReviewMorinagaCaramelNutsWhite Chocolate5-Pleasant6-Tempting7-Worth ItUnited States

  1. Shoot, you can’t go anywhere in New Orleans without running into any of the multiple Aunt Sally locations.  They’re not the only praline hawkers in NOLA, and with that said, I happen to like Southern Candy Company’s pralines better than Aunt Sally’s.  I dunno, Aunt Sally’s always tasted ‘mass produced.’  But if you ever get the chance to taste Southern Candy Co’s pralines, the rum flavored pralines are really tasty. grin

    Comment by Maggi on 1/01/08 at 12:41 pm #
  2. Those black sesame caramels sound awesome to me, I’m going to keep my eyes open for them. Maybe I didn’t read carefully enough, but where did you buy them?

    I cannot get enough of pralines, and made 3 batches (on separate days of varying humidity) this past month using the recipe from the Tartine cookbook, with great success.

    I, of course, added extra salt (fleur de sel or other nice sea salt) both in the mixture as well as on top.  They are the sandy version - and impossible to stop eating.  If you’re interested in trying them and don’t have the book, I’ll send you the recipe.  Soooo good.  Oh, brown sugar.  Sweet, sweet brown sugar.

    Comment by Joanna on 1/01/08 at 3:03 pm #
  3. The red bean caramels sound good - I like red bean in candies.  If you like the chewy pralines, you might also want to try Armadillo Droppings from Texas.  They’re very rich and chewy.

    Comment by Rebecca on 1/02/08 at 4:24 am #
  4. Hi! i love you blog <3 anyways the half cut things, there melon flavored chocolate as you discovered. They are probably souviners from Hokaido, Japan since they used a specific melon [yubari] (as written on the packaging) which is famous in hokkaido. Just thought may be you wanted to know!

    Comment by 373 on 3/04/08 at 6:32 pm #
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