Friday, July 30, 2010
Every once in a while at Whole Foods they have interesting bulk chocolate, usually by the fine cheeses. One of the items they were actually sampling (this was about two years ago) were Belgian Chocolate Marbles. They were milk, dark and white chocolate swirled pearls. Well, flash forward a few years and I was at the Fancy Food Show where I finally found out who makes them: Callebaut.
Callebaut recently started moving into selling directly to consumers, previously they did most of their products for other confectioners or as ingredients. So maybe these will show up in stores. They’re fun little nuggets, pretty and made from good quality chocolate - real cocoa butter in the white chocolate and a strong dairy flavor.
Thursday, July 29, 2010
About five years ago Twizzlers, a Hershey’s company, introduced Twerpz (original review). They were cute little nibs of flavored “licorice” that had a grainy and flavored cream filling. They were around for about three years then slowly faded away. Twizzlers introduced a few similar products such as the Twizzlers Sweet & Sour Filled Twists, but didn’t relaunch the Twerpz line. In a completely unrelated area, Hershey’s had a line of chocolate bar “Awesome Twosome” brand mashups around the same time. They were regular Hershey’s Milk Chocolate bars with bits of other bars mixed in, like Whoppers, Heath, Almond Joy and Reese’s Pieces.
So it appears that this new product, now under the Jolly Rancher brand is taking over the Twizzlers Twerpz product, but giving it a little twist by combing two flavors in each piece (that’s the Twosome part).
The flavors of the Awesome Twosome Chews are standards in the Jolly Rancher palette. One is Watermelon on the outside and has a Green Apple filling. The other is Cherry on the outside and has an Orange filling. Each has a sour grainy dusting.
The Watermelon/Green Apple is kind of fun because it’s a reverse of the colors of an actual watermelon. That’s about where the fun for me ended. The package itself smells rather plastic and artificial, like bubble gum, wood glue and one of those discount movie palaces that always smells a little damp. They’re soft and chewy and the sour coating isn’t that powerful, just a nice zap.
The tube of watermelon licorice is well flavored, in the Jolly Rancher arena, which is good if you like that sort of thing. The green apple inside goes pretty well, but again, horribly artificial and acidic in a way that reminds me of burps.
The Cherry/Orange was at least made up of one flavor that I generally like. The cherry chew part was very flavorful, but sadly it was a very bad flavor. The use of food coloring and one note of medicinal cherry kept me from enjoying it at all. There were only four of these in my bag, so I didn’t get a lot to try. The paste filling was an interesting texture but in the case of the orange one, far too mild and like Tang instead of a well rounded zesty orange to stand up to the cherry.
The aftertaste was like I’d chewed on PlayDoh for a while and then swallowed Country Time Lemonade drink mix. However, I know that there are folks who are really looking forward to these. I like the concept but the texture, flavors and general execution just doesn’t fit my style.
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
Jelly Belly Confections makes a classic licorice bridge mix that has jelly beans, buttons, mellocremes and pastels. Personally, the pastels (candy coated licorice nibs) are my favorite. But I found this abridged mix that just has jelly beans, licorice bears and buttons at the Dollar General, certainly cheaper but missing the fun stuff.
Still, I love the look of the buttons.
Monday, July 26, 2010
Melville’s Candy has always made stunning molded lollipops, they even have a new line with all natural ingredients. The flavors are more subtle, but then I feel like it’s more like the classic barley sugar pop than an intensely flavored hard candy pop.
Sunday, July 25, 2010
Actually, what kept me from eating these was the fact that they were cherry-flavored.
Great idea for a summer party - it’s a generous straw that can be used to sip lemonade and probably even milkshakes (or a float).
Saturday, July 24, 2010
Following on yesterday’s Lucky Stars, this Super Mario mushroom tin with mushroom shaped candies is also made by Boston America Corp.
Friday, July 23, 2010
I’ve been tempted for the past few months by the Hello Kitty Lucky Stars Candy at Cost Plus World Market. I resisted, I actually did. But then a package turned up from Sweets & Snacks Expo with some samples and this was among them.
The cute tin is shaped like a Chinese food takeout container, complete with little metal carrying handle.
The tin holds 1.5 ounces of red and white compressed dextrose stars.
The base is 2 inches square, the top is about 2.125, so it has slightly tapered sides. It’s about 2 inches tall as well. The top fits nicely and even has little embossing like the flip top would. The red enameled finish and decoration is very nicely done. Everything is well made on the package, no sharp edge while the carrying handle swings easily.
Both the tin and the candy inside is made in China.
The stars are a shiny glazed compressed dextrose, like SweeTarts, but not actually tart at all. They’re about a half an inch across and rather thick. The mold is nicely shaped, they remind me of little sheriff’s badges. I think they’re the same flavor ... possibly some sort of pineapple. Of course the red ones taste like red food coloring, which I suppose is better than the taste of cadmium or lead that probably comes from licking the actual tin.
They’re crunchy and satisfying, like tiny Sprees without the tangy note.
If you’re buying this candy, you’re buying it for the packaging. Which is fine, it’s a cute little tin and it would be great for something like rubber bands, paperclips or those weird scented erasers. The little plastic bag inside only fills up half the tin anyway. It’s easy to refill with anything else.
Thursday, July 22, 2010
There are so many things to love about this. Let’s start with the package. The tin is adorable and most of all, function. The top slides open a little or a lot to dispense chocolate covered cacao nibs.
So it’s a tin of nibs? What’s so special about that these days? These are single origin criollo nibs from the Ocumare Valley (my favorite).
I picked up this sample earlier this year at ExpoWest (a natural products show). Now they just need to get them in stores.
Meticulously photographed and documented reviews of candy from around the world. And the occasional other sweet adventures. Open your mouth, expand your mind.