Monday, July 10, 2006
This review is in honor of the New York Times Magazine column yesterday, called Consumed and written by Rob Walker on the subject of limited edition candies.
This particular candy is the perfect example. It’s a good, tasty bar that probably has limited appeal and will therefore never be seen on shelves again. Oh, how I mourn for some of these here-and-gone bars.
When I was a teenager my mother got a hold of a tapioca pudding mix that was coconut and orange flavored. You wouldn’t think that’d be a good idea, and I’m not sure I even liked it at first, but here it is, some 25 years later and I’m still pining for it.
The Mounds Island Orange bar is as close as I’ve come to recapturing that taste. (Yes, my mother tried to make it from scratch last time I was at her house, but it just wasn’t the same - something about the proportions was wrong ... don’t get me wrong, it was still tasty and I had two helpings. I love tapioca.)
It’s a regular old Mounds bar from the outside, it doesn’t even smell any different. A strong chocolatey aroma but no trace of the orange burst that awaits inside. That’s right, the coconut is orange flavored. Zesty orange and coconut, which really cuts the sweetness of the filling and allows the chocolate to shine through. (This is a much better idea than last years Key Lime Almond Joy which had a white chocolate coating flavored with lime ... whereas I would have preferred a coconut center with some lime essence in it.)
The center is a freakish orange color, as if someone took the pulp out of a fresh orange. It’s rather unnaturally orange, and it seems pretty silly that they would color the inside of it like that. But the flavor feels natural - not chemical in the least and I really enjoyed how each of the flavors played off each other.
I bought two of these bars, mostly because I saw that Joanna loved them as well, so if you’re a Mounds fan and enjoy zesty flavors, pick it up before it’s gone.
POSTED BY Cybele AT 4:09 am
Sunday, July 9, 2006
Cadbury may face formal charges in reference to the Salmonella montevideo contamination of their chocolate. Either the FSA (Food Safety Authority) or one of the municipalities that cover the factory of Cadbury may charge them for knowingly distributing food products unfit for human consumption.
Even though they recalled the offending product, Cadbury has been criticized for unsafe practices, including distributing their chocolate crumb to other factories for use before testing showed the it was safe, possibly leading to contamination of other factory products.
In the mean time the factory in question is being closed and completely cleaned, which may take months.
Cadbury’s sales are off since the recall notice. Nearly four times as many Salmonella montevideo infections were confirmed in the period that the contaminated bars were on the market than in previous periods.
Saturday, July 8, 2006
Consumed - NY Times Magazine
Rob Walker sums up the current limited edition fad in the candy industry (with a pretty funny little illustration by Leif Parsons) with some great insights. Oh, and expert commentary from me and Brian at Candy Addict (oh, and Susan Fussell from the National Confectioners Association).
Dig in, it’s for a limited time only!
Friday, July 7, 2006
The Wall Street Journal recently published a story about how Nestle is experiencing a decline in sales for the revered KitKat bar. Part of this may be due to the dilution of the brand with all the limited edition flavors and shapes.
Sales for 2005 were down over 16% from 2004 while Cadbury and Masterfoods bars have been gaining marketshare. What plays in the UK may not hold true with other markets, however.
Personally, I enjoy the limited edition flavored bars, but I wish they were seasonal - you know, that there were a dependable schedule so that I could get them every year, even if the strawberry was only a summertime thing.
Along that note, watch the New York Times Magazine this weekend ... I have it on good authority that there will be an article about limited edition candy bars there, too.
Here’s the follow-up on the previous stories about health and safety of various chocolate products:
The Mars factory in Oak Brook, Il reopened on July 4th after passing another inspection.
Um, yeah, I wasn’t worried about the stoppage impacting the quality ... it was the mouse turds I was concerned with.
See story here.
The more recent news out of the UK over the Cadbury Salmonella montevideo contamination is more complex. More testing is being performed on recalled items as well as products that were not included in the initial recall and the Freddo bar has been deemed safe.
But other reports are mentioning that Cadbury may have sold some of the raw product to other manufacturers (not uncommon as there are very few actual chocolate factories in the world). Cadbury has agreed to a complete cleaning of their facility and production line ... which I find surprising that they haven’t already done that. What’s more, once the crumb is used in other manufacturing elsewhere, it could contaminate other production lines.
It seems the one lesson Cadbury has learned is that they need to improve their testing. They did update their recall list and took some of the Freddos (but not all) off but added the Dairy Milk Mint 250 g bar. See article here.
Meticulously photographed and documented reviews of candy from around the world. And the occasional other sweet adventures. Open your mouth, expand your mind.