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Monday, February 9, 2015

Torie & Howard: Meyer Lemon & Raspberry

Torie & Howard makes organic hard candies in a variety of fruit flavors.

DSC_8170rb

I got this sample from the Fancy Food Show last month in their newest variety: Meyer Lemon & Raspberry Organic Hard Candy

They come in lovely tins, or can be purchased in bulk to refill the tin as well. There are some elegant touches, such as the inside of the tin is turquoise blue, instead of the default tin color.

As hard candies, the ingredients are pretty simple, so they’re organic, contain no corn syrup or gluten and are also free from GMO, soy and dairy products.

DSC_8174rb

The little wrappers take up a substantial amount of space in the tin, but they do hold 2 ounces of actual candy (more than the discontinued Altoids Sours).

The pieces are small, but fit well in the mouth. There are very few voids and the dissolve yields and intense flavor burst. I can’t quite tell that it’s a Meyer Lemon and not Eureka lemon flavors, but I can say that it’s lemony. The raspberry gives it a little more floral note, kissed with a bit of jam. The zest comes out later, and has a lasting bitter bite to it, so much that I kind of felt burned after eating five in succession (that is the serving size).

These are very refreshing, and I find them most useful in situations where I might want to stay alert, like driving or a long meeting. Since they’re small, they’re quite discreet. I think they’re a lovely gift or special occasion item, something to put in a gift basket for a baby shower or housewarming present. I don’t see buying these for myself except for extraordinary circumstances.

I would be curious to try spice flavors, though. I don’t know if I’ve seen a chai, or cinnamon in organic before.

Related Candies

  1. Simply Gum: Fennel Licorice
  2. Sugarfina Beverly Hills & Trio of Goodies
  3. Raley’s Hand Crafted Rock Hard Candies
  4. Torie & Howard Organic Hard Candies
  5. Newman’s Own Ginger Mints
  6. Gimbal’s Honey Lovers
  7. Organic Zootons
  8. Pure Fun & Yummy Earth Organic Hard Candies
  9. Organic Surf Sweets


Name: Meyer Lemon & Raspberry Organic Hard Candies
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Torie & Howard
Place Purchased: Samples from Torie & Howard
Price: $6.99
Size: 2 ounces
Calories per ounce: 106
Categories: All Natural, Candy, Hard Candy & Lollipops, Organic, 7-Worth It, Mexico

POSTED BY Cybele AT 4:13 pm     All NaturalCandyReviewTorie & HowardGummi CandyOrganic7-Worth ItMexicoComments (0)

Friday, February 6, 2015

Seely Dark Chocolate Mint Patties

DSC_8534rbI’ve reviewed quite a few mint patties here on Candy Blog over the years. It’s a good candy category and allows for a different variations in size, ratios and fondant/filling styles as well as ingredients.

Today I have the Seely Dark Chocolate Mint Patties which are made by hand with Fair Trade certified 70% chocolate and locally harvested mint.

I first tried some Seely products at the Fancy Food Show last month. The family run farm grows peppermint and spearmint in Oregon. They sell both packaged dried mint for tea and a few confectionery specialties made with their mint oils.

The patties are made by hand. It’s a curious little process, because they’re made like a sandwich, one side at a time. So the bottom is created by creating a puddle of dark chocolate and allowing it to set, then it’s flipped over and a mint cream center is deposited on top of it, then another layer of dark chocolate. Like an Oreo that has a flat unmarked inside and an embossed outside, this pattie has the swirls of the chocolate on both sides.

The box holds only 5 patties, which are one ounce each and packaged in an ordinary thick cellophane sleeve. They’re expensive, the box was $7.99, so each pattie works out to about $1.60 each.

DSC_8210rb

The dark chocolate is creamy and well tempered, it has a good snap but no real flavor of its own in combination with the peppermint center. The cream center is made from confectioners sugar (which contains corn starch), tapioca syrup and egg whites along with their own peppermint oil for flavor.

The center has a wonderful melt. It’s smooth and creamy, not dry but not moist or sticky like a York Peppermint Pattie. The pattie is mostly filling, only the thinnest of chocolate on either side. It’s not an overwhelming mint, but it is quite sweet. Though the chocolate is bittersweet, it could be just a little thicker or a little less sweet on its own. Otherwise, this is a true peppermint pattie.

The patties contain egg whites and soy. There are no other allergen statements on the list.

The other item I tried, but don’t have a photo for, are their Ivory Mint Melts. I’ve been curious about these, conceptually, for a long time. The Ivory Mint Melts are just little white chocolate disks flavored with box peppermint and spearmint. Peppermint and white chocolate is quite common, but the use of spearmint is pretty rare. Spearmint is easy to grow, and the most common mint found at the grocery store in the produce aisle. But when it comes to confectionery, nearly everything mint is going to be peppermint. The Ivory Mint Melts are a combination of white chocolate, made with real cocoa butter, and both peppermint and spearmint flavors.

The white chocolate has its own milky flavor, so it’s an interesting combination because its not a blank canvas. The melt is quite good, very smooth and with an immediate hit of the spearmint notes. It’s peppery and has a grassy note to it, then there’s the peppermint in the background. It’s really refreshing but took some getting used to as it is just so unusual. I would definitely buy these, though they’re expensive and I’d prefer to find them in a store instead of paying both the high price (it’s artisan) and the shipping.



Name: Dark Chocolate Mint Patties
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Seely Family Farm
Place Purchased: Whole Foods (Park LaBrea)
Price: $7.99
Size: 5 ounces
Calories per ounce: 120
Categories: All Natural, Candy, Chocolate, Ethically Sourced, Fondant, Mints, 8-Tasty, United States, Whole Foods

POSTED BY Cybele AT 1:12 pm     All NaturalCandyReviewChocolateEthically SourcedFondantMints8-TastyUnited StatesWhole FoodsComments (0)

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Theo Red Hot Cinnamon Love Crunch

Theo Red Hot Cinnamon Love CrunchValentine’s Day candy is disappointing because it’s usually about the packaging. So, I was pleased at Whole Foods when I spotted two limited edition varieties from Theo Chocolate for Valentine’s Day ... and on sale at 2 bars for $3 (they’re usually $4 each). I’ve often said that a fine chocolate bar is better than a greeting card and in this case, far cheaper. There’s even a “To” and “From” spot on the back of the bar. (But the ideal touch would be to include at least a personalized post it note.)

It’s called Theo Red Hot Cinnamon Love Crunch. The description on the back said: The red-hot crunch of cinnamon brittle in smooth, rich, 70% dark chocolate - spicy and sweet.

Sounds amazing: for $1.50, I was getting a unique bar that combined cinnamon and chocolate, that was also fair trade certified, non-GMO, organic, vegan, soy-free, Kosher and made here in the USA. Goodbye, ordinary candy in a heart shaped package! (The other bar I picked up was the milk chocolate My Cherry Baby.)

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On the tongue at first it’s a little tangy. The melt is a little grainy, I wasn’t sure if it was the crunchy bits or not at first, but it seems that some of it is spices. It became apparent very quickly that this was not just a cinnamon and chocolate bar. My bad for not reading the label fully.

Here’s the deal: the package is pink, the printing on the back is brown. In full light and my reading glasses, I can read it. But not in the dim light and glassesless state I was in at Whole Foods. (My usual trick when I don’t have my glasses and the print is tiny is to take a photo with my phone and then blow it up, but I read the description and thought that was the extent of the flavors.)

The ingredients of interest here are (after you get through the chocolate stuff): cayenne, cinnamon leaf essential oil, black pepper essential oil, nutmeg essential oil and clove essential oil.

I actually like spicy things (curry, cinnamon, black pepper and ginger), but the one I can’t do is red pepper. Capsascin is one of those compounds that people experience differently because of genetic differences. For me, cayenne isn’t fun, there’s a lot of heat that doesn’t seem to dissipate and in higher concentrations it just induces nausea. So, I avoid anything other than mild chili items. While there’s a proliferation of chili peppers in confection, and for the most part they’re tolerable, though not always enjoyable for me.

This was freakishly hot for me. I got the different sensations from the various spices, I could actually discern the difference between the black pepper and the cayenne and the cinnamon. (Clove actually has a bit of a numbing effect.) The cinnamon really only came in at the beginning as a scent. The tangy bite of the chocolate did help to mellow the pepper at first, but once it hit my throat, the one-two punch of black and red pepper was too much. The little brittle crunch pieces were supposed to be cinnamon, and maybe some of them were, but other larger bits seemed flavorless.

I tried this bar twice, eating only one of the large squares each time in small bits. The warming effect from the spices lasts a long time, well over a half an hour. Though it didn’t upset my stomach, it really didn’t please me either and I don’t plan on finishing the bar.

If your loved one is partial to the extremely spicy side of things, this might be a good option, especially if you’re looking for something without dairy or soy (the Lindt dark chocolate products contain milk and soy ingredients). The bar is made in a facility that also handles peanuts, wheat, milk, eggs and soy.

Related Candies

  1. Theo Chocolate Nutcracker Brittle
  2. Artisan du Chocolat Black Cardamom
  3. Limited Edition M&Ms Cinnamon Milk Chocolate
  4. Cowgirl Chocolates Mild Milk Chocolate Sarsaparilla
  5. See’s Cinnamon (Hearts & Lollypops)
  6. Theo 3400 Phinney Bars
  7. Chuao ChocoPods


Name: Red Hot Cinnamon Love Crunch
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Theo Chocolate
Place Purchased: Whole Foods (Park LaBrea)
Price: $1.50 (on sale)
Size: 3 ounces
Calories per ounce: 140
Categories: All Natural, Candy, Valentines, Theo, Chocolate, Cinnamon, Ethically Sourced, Kosher, Organic, 5-Pleasant, United States, Whole Foods

POSTED BY Cybele AT 1:57 pm     All NaturalCandyReviewValentinesTheoBrittleChocolateCinnamonEthically SourcedKosherOrganic5-PleasantUnited StatesWhole FoodsComments (0)

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Brach’s Red Velvet Candy Corn

Brach's Red Velvet Candy CornBrach’s Red Velvet Candy Corn is one of the newest in Brach’s wide-ranging attempt to create a Candy Corn for every flavor under the sun. Many of their flavors are inspired by desserts, like Apple Pie and Carrot Cake ... it’s not surprising that they went for Red Velvet Cake, and certainly appropriate for a Valentine’s-themed candy.

It’s no secret if you’ve been reading Candy Blog that I think Red Velvet as a flavor is stupid. So, you can guess where this review is going to end up, if you’re not the kind of person who scrolls to the bottom to see the rating before reading.

Sprinkles Red Velvet CupcakeFor those who are blissfully unaware, Red Velvet Cake is a yellow cake made with a touch of cocoa (classically with some vinegar to bring out the red) and buttermilk and then topped with ermine icing or the easier-to-make cream cheese frosting. So the flavor has become it’s a not-quite-chocolate cake with some cream cheese. For the most part the appeal of the cake is the stunning visual appeal of the layers of velvety dark red (usually enhanced with colorings) and the creamy white frosting. Sadly, most people experience it as a cupcake.

DSC_8378rb

Since Red Velvet Cake is a layered item, making a Candy Corn variety is actually kind of logical. The layers, however, make no sense. It’s like they took the ingredients and used those, instead of an assembled cake. The base is dark brown, and like Red Velvet Cake, it’s not actually chocolatey, simply less sweet. The middle layer is just red food coloring in otherwise unflavored fondant. So, for me, it’s bitter. The top is white, and has a more crumbly texture and even less flavor. There’s a general vanilla note, especially when I smelled the candy in the bag.

One of the things I like about classic candy corn is the honey note and the light hint of salt. There’s 70 mg of sodium in each serving (19 pieces) but I didn’t really get any pleasure from it.

They’re fine, but not as good as regular candy corn, and not inventive enough to make me either loathe it or love it.

If you’d like other thoughts on Red Velvet, listen in as Episode 7 of Candyology101 covers Valentine’s Day candy ... and Maria and I get to rant about our pet peeves.

Download MP3 directly. and read our full show notes.

Candyology_Episode_7

Related Candies

  1. Dove Milk Chocolate & Red Velvet Swirl Promises
  2. Red Velvet Peeps
  3. Brach’s Candy Cane Candy Corn
  4. Brach’s Carrot Cake Candy Corn
  5. M&Ms Milk Chocolate Red Velvet
  6. Brach’s S’mores Candy Corn
  7. Russell Stover Red Velvet Santa


Name: Red Velvet Candy Corn
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Brach’s
Place Purchased: Target (Eagle Rock)
Price: $2.79
Size: 14 ounces
Calories per ounce: 102
Categories: Candy, Valentines, Brach's, Ferrara Pan, Fondant, 5-Pleasant, Mexico, Target

POSTED BY Cybele AT 3:43 pm     CandyReviewValentinesBrach'sFerrara PanFondant5-PleasantMexicoTargetComments (0)

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Marabou Oreo Bar

DSC_8431rbOne of my contacts at Swede Sweets offered to send me this Swedish bar from Marabou which features Oreo cookie pieces.

Marabou is now owned by Kraft/Mondelez, so they can use real Oreo cookies and call them that on the package. I’ve had quite a few bars over the years that have Oreos in them, as Kraft also owns Cadbury, Toberlone, Terry’s and Milka. (Well, I’ve had the Cadbury and Milka Oreo bars, I’d love to try a Terry’s Chocolate Oreo-orange, once they invent that.) The bars that I’ve had were cream filled bars, that is, they were milk chocolate bars with a palm oil cream center with cookie bits mixed in. This bar is just what you’d think a cookies & chocolate bar should be.

The bar is made with Rainforest Alliance certified cacao, and contains at least 30% cacao. As a European “family chocolate” it also contains whey, which is considered a filler in the US, but then again, the US products with far less cacao mass to be called milk chocolate. Whey is just milk protein, it adds bulk without sweetness or extra fat, so as additives go, it’s not detrimental, though it can make the texture a bit more gummy.

It’s a big bar, at 185 grams, which is 6.53 ounces ... about twice the size of the usual large tablet bar.

DSC_8459rb

The look of the bar is good, it’s large, so it was broken in a couple of places, but along the segmentation lines. The bar isn’t particularly thick, which means that the inclusions weren’t going to be very dense.

The segments aren’t quite square, they’re about 1 inch on the longest side. There really aren’t that many big pieces of cookies, but a bit of cookie crumb/grit to the whole bar. Marabou chocolate is quite milky, though some of it’s flavor has that powdered milk note to it, but it’s also marked by some good notes of malt and a generic sweetness.

The cookie bits are good, less sweet than the overall milk chocolate. The bits aren’t numerous enough for me, which led to a moreish quality that kept me eating it ... hoping I’d stumble upon the piece where all the cookies were.

I think a single serve, thicker bar, might mean better proportions if they continue with this. The Hershey’s density of cookie bits in their Cookies N Creme bars is a good target (it’s easy to see how much is in there because it’s a white confection with dark cookie bits). I wouldn’t pay the premium to import this if I were ordering on the internet, but if I stumbled upon this in an airport, in a regular size, I might pick it up again.

As near as I can figure, this bar contains milk, soy and wheat (but your Google Translate experience will vary, as will your ability to find the umlaut key). There’s no statement about peanuts or tree nuts.

Related Candies

  1. Bourbon Everyburger Black Cocoa & Vanilla Cookies
  2. Marabou Noblesse Crisps: Original, Dark & Orange
  3. Dove Cookies and Creme + Ghirardelli Cookies Jubilee
  4. Milka Bars, Milka Drops and some Li’l Milka
  5. Glico Pocky Cookie Crush
  6. Oreo Bitter Bar (Japan)
  7. Trader Joe’s Mint Joe Joe’s versus Mint Oreos
  8. Head to Head: Cookie Joys vs Cookies n Mint


Name: Milk Chocolate Bar with Oreo Pieces
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Marabou
Place Purchased: Samples from Swede Sweets
Price: $2.99 retail
Size: 6.53 ounces
Calories per ounce: 154
Categories: Candy, Kraft, Marabou, Chocolate, Cookie, Ethically Sourced, Mockolate, 6-Tempting, Sweden

POSTED BY Cybele AT 1:41 pm     CandyReviewKraftMarabouChocolateCookieEthically SourcedMockolate6-TemptingSwedenComments (0)

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Meticulously photographed and documented reviews of candy from around the world. And the occasional other sweet adventures. Open your mouth, expand your mind.

 

 

 

 

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ON DECK

These candies will be reviewed shortly:

• Raaka Bourbon Cask Aged 82% Chocolate

• Suss Pecan Maple Caramels

• Candy Encyclopedia: The Difference Between Gummi and Jelly

• Candy Rant: If your Licorice isn’t black, it isn’t Licorice

• Candy Rant: Stimulants are not Energy

 

 

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