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Monday, July 6, 2015

Brach’s Chocolate Caramel Pretzel Bites

DSC_9267rbBrach’s has reintroduced their whole line of chocolate panned candies over the past two years. They’ve redone their classic Bridge Mix and now have several varieties of chocolate covered nuts. One of the surprising new items is Brach’s Chocolate Caramel Pretzel Bites.

The gussetted, resealable bag holds a half of a pound. Like most other Brach’s products, the description on the package is only contained in the product name ... nothing else to go on except the very long ingredients list.

The image on the bag shows some chocolate pieces, and then a cross section of the actual candies ... sitting next to that is a rustic pretzel nugget and a little square of caramel. That is really not what the product is.

DSC_9350rb

The little spheres are a great size, about the same size as a garbanzo bean or hazelnut. The milk chocolate coating is shiny and the bag had a nice sweet scent, a little on the milky side. The pieces have a good crunch, the pretzel center isn’t too hard or crumbly. The pretzel flavor was good, not too much of the washed crust that can get kind of bitter, and no big bits of salt. But upon eating the pieces, this is where the caramel part comes in. The caramel is actually little shards mixed into the milk chocolate. So at first it’s just a pretzel with some milk chocolate, but after chewing, the chocolate melts away and the starchy pretzel dissolves ... and what was left was some sort of tacky residue of hard caramel. It was weird and kind of waxy and unpleasant.

So, after a while I took to letting the milk chocolate melt away instead of crunching them up, but that was unsatisfying because then my pretzel would get mushy before the caramel bits were all gone. I’ve had other confections like almonds, that had a little toffee coating before the milk chocolate, I’m not sure why that wasn’t the process here.

I’ll pass on these in the future, which is too bad because it’s a unique selling proposition in the rather crowded field of morselized products.

Related Candies

  1. Brach’s Milk and Dark Chocolate Caramel and Nut Mix
  2. Revisit Reviews: Pretzel M&Ms, Rally Bar and Snickers Rockin’ Nut Road
  3. Russell Stover Kris P. Pretzel Bunny
  4. Starbucks Salted Almond Chocolate Bites
  5. Chuao Honeycomb & Potato Chip Chocolate Bars
  6. M&Ms Sweet & Salty Snack Mix
  7. Snyder’s Peanut Butter Pretzel Sandwich Dips
  8. Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate Covered Pretzel Bites


Name: Chocolate Caramel Pretzel Bites
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Brach’s
Place Purchased: Walgreen's (Glendale)
Price: $2.99
Size: 8 ounces
Calories per ounce: 136
Categories: Candy, Morselization, Brach's, Ferrara Pan, Caramel, Chocolate, Cookie, 5-Pleasant, United States, Walgreen's

POSTED BY Cybele AT 3:28 pm     CandyMorselizationReviewBrach'sFerrara PanCaramelChocolateCookie5-PleasantUnited StatesWalgreen'sComments (0)

Monday, June 29, 2015

Sconza Lemoncello Almonds

DSC_9302rbSummer is citrusy, a time for lemonade and key lime pies. It’s nice to see some creamy citrus candies out there, too. Sconza Candy introduced their Lemoncello Almonds a few years ago, but this is the first year I’ve seen them in stores in their own branded packaging.

Limoncello is a citrus liqueur that’s extremely popular in Italy. It’s made by steeping lemon zest (preferably Sorrento lemons) in a neutral spirit then adding some simple syrup. It’s naturally yellow and very lemony but not at all tart, since there’s no juice in there.

Sconza is known for their beautiful array of Jordan almonds. So, this confection, made in the heart of prime almond growing country, seems like a natural.

DSC_9307rb

The ingredients are almost all natural, just a touch of artificial color in there.

Ingredients: White Chocolate (Sugar, Cocoa Butter, Whole Milk Powder, Soy Lecithin - an emulsifier, Natural Vanilla Flavor), Almonds, Confectioners Coating (Sugar, Palm Kernel Oil, Nonfat Milk Powder, Anhydrous Milkfat, Soy Lecithin - an emulsifier), Cream {Milk}, Tapicoa Dextrin, Natural Lemon Flavor, Color Added (FD&C Yellow 5 Lake), Confectioners Glaze

DSC_9305rb

The white chocolate coating is touched with a bit of lemon zest and coloring. It’s delicate, not overpowering or bitter. It’s not too sweet either while the almonds are generously large and crunchy.

There’s sometimes a disconnect for me when reviewing. There are my expectations and there are the realities. The reality is that this candy delivers on its description. The expectation, however, was that they’d be a nutty version of the Citrus Shortbread Bites I had earlier this year ...which had a bit more of a salty/sweet note along with sweet/sour and creamy/crunchy. Those were just my hopes, and I can’t fault Sconza for not meeting that.

Overall, it’s a good candy combination but very mild and safe. They’re a nice alternative to Jordan almonds, especially since there’s no hard shell, but also a delicate pastel color.

The candies contain milk, soy and almonds and are also made on shared equipment with other tree nuts, sesame seeds and wheat.

Related Candies

  1. Caramel Robin Eggs and Citrus Shortbread Bites
  2. Equal Exchange Dark Bars: Raspberry, Lemon Ginger, and Coconut
  3. Peeps Sweet Lemonade Chicks
  4. Sconza Jordanettes
  5. Sconza 70% Dark Chocolate Toffee Almonds
  6. Frey Supreme: White, Lemon & Lime and Citron & Poivre
  7. Confetti & Agrumetti
  8. Valerie Lemon Hazelnut Nougat


Name: Lemoncello Almonds
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Sconza Candy
Place Purchased: Von's (Glendale)
Price: $4.49
Size: 5 ounces
Calories per ounce: 157
Categories: Candy, Sconza, Nuts, White Chocolate, 7-Worth It, United States, Von's

POSTED BY Cybele AT 5:25 pm     CandyReviewSconzaNutsWhite Chocolate7-Worth ItUnited StatesVon'sComments (2)

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Candyology 101 - Podcast Episode 17 - Haribo

Candyology101-17-Haribo

There are a lot of gummis out there, but none are like the original Haribo from Germany. In this episode Maria and I geek out over our favorite Haribo candies.

You can listen right here or download the MP3 file. Do check out the show notes on our Candyology101 website.

 

 

POSTED BY Cybele AT 4:32 pm     CandyHariboGummi CandyHighlightRadio InterviewsComments (4)

Monday, June 22, 2015

Royce’ Pure Chocolate Venezuela Bitter & Ghana Sweet

DSC_9063rbWhen I was in New York City earlier this year, I wanted to take advantage of the chocolate. I saw online that the Japanese chocolate company, Royce’, has several locations in Manhattan and offers tastings of the chocolate and Nama, truffle-like product. I don’t know that much about Royce’, but my experience with Japanese chocolate up until then was with mass-produced brands like Meiji, so I wanted to see what a single origin upscale brand might be like.

I stopped by a location on Madison Avenue, and was greeted promptly and offered some tastings. It’s a standard panel of tastings that focused on the Nama but also a few pieces of their plain chocolate disks. The chocolate was exceptionally smooth, flavorful but not intense. Since I was traveling and the fellow insisted that the truffles must be refrigerated, I bought a box of the Royce’ Pure Chocolate Venezuela Bitter & Ghana Sweet. This box contains two rows of rippled chocolate disks, one of 68% and one of 60% of two separate origins.

Ingredients: Cocoa mass, sugar, cocoa butter, whole milk powder, soy lecithin, natural and artificial flavor

I wasn’t thrilled when I read the ingredients, finally after I left the store. I didn’t realize that a dark chocolate product would have milk in it, as if it were some Ghirardelli or Dove product. But it was really the artificial flavor that I thought was odd ... I can only assume them mean vanillin, in addition to real vanilla.

DSC_9181rb

The little disks are individually sealed in cellophane. They’re a little over 1.5 inches across. It’s a nice, two bite piece.

The Ghana is quite sweet, very smooth and with a typical chocolate flavor profile. It’s brownies and chocolate milk and cocoa. There’s a little acidic note to it, but for the most part it’s woodsy and smoky and toasted. The melt is good, very smooth with an odd grit every once in a while.

The Venezuela has an immediate green note to the scent, a little like olives or boiled peanuts. The melt, again, exceptionally smooth. This is a bit more buttery though. The flavor is more acidic, less sweet with some stronger tannins. There are some red berry notes, more olives, black tea and tobacco.

I absolutely preferred the Venezuelan over the Ghana.

The box was price at $17 for only 7 ounces. The packaging is pretty spare looking, though the reality is there’s a lot of it. The paperboard box is wrapped in brown paper, but inside the box is a plastic tray for each of the chocolate disk rows. Then there was the individual wrappers. It all traveled well, and stores nicely. It’s been months and they’re still fresh and shiny, though there are only about 5 left.

Royce’ also makes chocolate covered potato chips, chocolate covered nuts, and chocolate bars with inclusions.

Related Candies

  1. Willie’s Cacao - Venezuelan Gold 72%
  2. Meiji Dark Rum Chocolate Sticks
  3. Kauai Chocolate Tour plus Nanea & Madre Chocolate Bars
  4. Fujiya Look Wafers & Crepes
  5. Six Kilos of Felchlin Arriba 72% Chocolate
  6. Meiji Milk Chocolate
  7. Amadei
  8. Hanahiyori - Green Tea White Chocolates


Name: Pure Chocolate Venezuela Bitter & Ghana Sweet
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Royce’ Chocolate
Place Purchased: Royce' Chocolate (Manhattan)
Price: $17.00
Size: 7.1 ounces
Calories per ounce: 170
Categories: Candy, Chocolate, 7-Worth It, Japan

POSTED BY Cybele AT 1:12 pm     CandyReviewChocolateSingle Origin7-Worth ItJapanComments (1)

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Russell Stover Coconut Minis

DSC_9273rbAll candies will be morselized. But at the moment there are no Mounds Minis from Hershey’s, so Russell Stover has a version that might satisfy your coconut-jones.

The new Russell Stover Coconut Minis are exactly what you’d think. They’re unwrapped little morsels of poppable dark chocolate covered coconut.

They’re the antithesis of the Russell Stovers icon, there’s no box. It’s just the candy, miniaturized and thrown in a bag.

They’re a little pricey, I picked up mine on sale at $3.50 a bag, but the regular price ticket said they’re $4.29. But there’s 8 ounces in the bag, which makes them a pretty good deal at $7 a pound.

DSC_9293rb

The image on the bag makes it look like these are little squares, but in reality they’re rectangular. They’re about an inch long and 3/4 of an inch wide.

Mine were a little scuffed up and appeared a smidge bloomed (but the Pecan Minis did not, which were purchased from the same shelf at the same time). However, the texture of the chocolate was just fine. They smell nice, like brownies and coconut.

The chocolate was soft, the coconut center was pretty tender and chewy. It’s not as sweet as I expected. In the ordinary Coconut pieces, from the wrapped bagged line, there’s a larger ratio of coconut to the chocolate. Here the chocolate and coconut seem well balanced. The chocolate has a good melt and stereotypical cocoa flavor. The coconut was very chewy and fresh without too much sticky sweetness.

I liked them quite a bit, and found them very munchable. They’re a little messier than some morselized candies, since they’re still enrobed, not panned and sealed. I think the ratios were much more successful here than the Pecan Delight Minis, which lacked pecans ... these are coconut and filled with coconut.

These candies contain soy and milk and created on shared equipment with wheat, eggs, peanuts and tree nuts.

Related Candies

  1. Ritter Sport Winter Edition Coconut Macaroon
  2. Zitners: Butter Krak, Peanut Butter, Double Cocoanut & Butter Cream Eggs
  3. 3 Musketeers Coconut
  4. Dove Milk Chocolate Coconut Creme Eggs
  5. Twix Coconut (Limited Edition)
  6. Russell Stover Assorted Wrapped Chocolates
  7. Brach’s Indulge Almonds: Coconut & Caramel


Name: Coconut Minis
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Russell Stover
Place Purchased: Walgreen's (Glendale)
Price: $3.50 (on sale)
Size: 8 ounces
Calories per ounce: 135
Categories: CANDY BLOG, Morselization, Russell Stover, Chocolate, Coconut, 7-Worth It, United States, Walgreen's

POSTED BY Cybele AT 12:54 pm     CandyMorselizationReviewRussell StoverChocolateCoconut7-Worth ItUnited StatesWalgreen'sComments (1)

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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:

• Hachez Braune Blatter (Chocolate Leaves)

• Rogue Chocolatier

• Dandelion Chocolate

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

• Candy Rant: Stimulants are not Energy

 

 

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