Monday, July 20, 2009

Zingerman’s Zzang! Candy Bars

Zingerman's Zzang! BarsI’ve known about Zingerman’s classic candy bars for quite a few years, but finally found a local source for them a few days ago. I really wanted to see them in person, because while the Zingerman’s website is so fun & quirky with their little illustrations, I’d like more than a picture of a box when sinking $7 for a candy bar (yes, that’s what they are on their website).

I got the What the Fudge? and Ca$hew Cow Zzang! Candy Bars. The box heralds that they’re “taking candy bars back 100 years!” which I’m guessing they think that’s a good thing.

The boxes are smaller than I expected, 4.5” long and 1.25” high/wide. But the label says that the WTF? is 3 ounces. I looked at them out of the package and I thought there was no way it was 3 ounces, that’s more than a Snickers bar! (But sure enough, I used the postal scale at the office and they both came in at about 3 ounces even after I took out my photo-bites.)

So the fact that they’re sizeable almost makes up for the sticker shock - at least at the Larchmont Larder they were $3.95 each.

Zingerman's Zzang! What the Fudge?

The What the Fudge? Zzang! Candy Bar looks deceptively plain out of the wrapper. The box says: Milk chocolate fudge, Muscovado caramel, and malted milk cream dipped in dark chocolate.

Biting into it, I didn’t seem that complex. In fact, I didn’t think it tasted like much more than sweet, sweet fudge covered in chocolate.

The top layer of malted milk cream was smooth, but a bit frosting-like. The milky flavors came across distinctly when I pulled the parts of the bar apart, but I didn’t really get much malt. The milk chocolate fudge is sweet and doesn’t have much chocolate punch but has a melty smooth texture with a slight grain. The “caramel” isn’t quite a gooey caramel, it’s more of a grainy buttery layer with some distinct molasses notes of the Muscovado sugar.

Most importantly, because of these extremely sugary innards, the chocolate coating is a very dark, rather bitter bittersweet chocolate.

The package says the serving size is the full 3 ounce bar, which is far too much for me in one sitting. (The box also had the cryptic tally of 260 calories for the full bar, which is pretty much impossible for any candy that contains fat ... and chocolate was the first ingredient ... I’d go for something along the lines of 130 calories per ounce for this bar, bringing the total to 390.)

Zingerman's Zzang! Cashew Cow

The Cashew Cow Zzang! Candy Bar, as you can tell, was a little bloomed when I got it home. Happily the texture of the dark chocolate coating did not seem to suffer too much from the slight. The bar consists of Milk chocolate, cashew butter gianduja, cashew brittle & roasted cashews dipped in dark chocolate.

Though this bar is only reputed to be 2.5 ounces, it’s actually larger than the WFT? bar. (Also, when I weighed it after my bite, it still came in at 2.8 ounces, so their manufacturing process is a bit generous.)

It smells dark and toasty.

Instead of the layered order of the WFT?, the Cashew Cow is a muddled combination affair on the inside. The general look of it is a fluffed gianduja with some inclusions of nuts & crisped rice.

The center does have lots of textures going on: shards of brittle, cashews and crisped rice - all with varying degrees of crunch. The nutty background flavor is cashew with some buttery bits and the malty crisp of the puffed rice. And then the salt, there’s a lot of saltiness.

Sometimes I liked it, sometimes I found it a bit chaotic. It definitely wasn’t as sticky sweet as the WTF? bar, but this one seemed a bit too hefty for me as well.

The good thing was that both bars were distinct and unique ... I didn’t feel like saying “this is like a Milky Way” or “that’s like a Butter Brittle Hazelbar.” At $7 a bar, I’d be miffed ... at $4, I felt like it was a fun ride. I still prefer the BonBonBars as far as upscale candy bars go ... but again, these are nothing like those so it’s never going to be a one for one comparison and it might just all be about personal taste.

Here’s Victoria from Candy Addict’s review of these two bars, CPB Gallery reviewed & photographed the Original bar and Chocolate Ratings reviewed the Original and Cashew Cow.

Related Candies

  1. Q.Bel Crispy Wafer Bars
  2. Short & Sweet: Hazelnut Bites
  3. 3400 Phinney: Fig, Fennel & Almond and Hazelnut Crunch
  4. BonBonBars: Malt Ganache & Scotch
  5. See’s Awesome Nut & Chew Bar
  6. Lake Champlain Five Star Bar
Name: Zzang! What the Fudge? & Cashew Cow Candy Bars
    RATING:
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 6 TEMPTING
  • 5 PLEASANT
  • 4 BENIGN
  • 3 UNAPPEALING
  • 2 APPALLING
  • 1 INEDIBLE
Brand: Zingerman's
Place Purchased: Larchmont Larder (Larchmont)
Price: $3.95
Size: 3 ounces & 2.5 ounces
Calories per ounce: package is simply wrong
Categories: Chocolate, Caramel, Nuts, Cookie, Toffee, United States, All Natural

POSTED BY Cybele AT 9:48 am Tracker Pixel for Entry    

Comments
  1. Cybele, thanks so much for reviewing these! I’ve been eying them forever at Murray’s Cheese Shop here in NY, and could never bring myself to cough up the dough. Now I will…

    Comment by Ani on 7/20/09 at 3:57 pm #
  2. Wow - I was AT Zingerman’s and didn’t even know they had a candy bar. Damn - I want to try one!

    Comment by Hillary on 7/21/09 at 6:40 am #
  3. Ooh… I can’t wait to try them! Zingerman’s is the best! I went to school in Ann Arbor but didn’t realize how big their mail-order business was. (If you’re ever in MI, it’s well worth the trip - their deli puts all others to shame!)

    Comment by Joelle on 7/21/09 at 7:58 am #
  4. If I ever see these, I will try them, because I want a fun ride, too!!!  Any candy bar robed in dark chocolate gets extra points in my book.

    Comment by Michelle F on 7/21/09 at 9:02 am #
  5. This is totally off topic.. but have you seen the new Coconut M&Ms;?  I got a package at Walgreens.. but I’m kinda afraid to open them.  =)  I’m hoping they’re like little almond joys/mounds.  If you’ve seen them.. are you planning a review?

    Comment by stephanie on 7/21/09 at 12:24 pm #
  6. Typical Zingerman’s…overpriced!

    Comment by Patrick on 7/23/09 at 5:39 pm #

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