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December 2014
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Italy

Aug
31



Fiat and Fiat Noir

Fiat was a candy find that I really just stumbled across in one of the many gourmet stores all over Los Angeles. In this specific one my boyfriend and I popped in because they’re supposed to have outstanding burgers, but I also found some cool candy in their store while I waited. One of them was the Fiat and the Fiat Noir. They both were in little displays at the cash registers. Seeing as they were from Majani chocolate company from Bologna, Italy, I figured they would be a small indulgence and were worth a try. Especially since they said “Gianduja” on them. Yum, yum!

Each Fiat is a little cube about 1/2 inch tall and 3/4 inch wide. The white/red paper wrappers conceal the edges to a foil wrapper that protects the gianduja. It’s simple and attractive to look at. You can faintly smell their rich sweetness through the package.

Once out of the wrappers each cube is beautiful to look at. You can see different layers of chocolate and lighter gianduja in the cubes, so they look very decorative.

The Fiat Noir has two chocolate sides sandwiching a center of gianduja, so it looks like a colorful two tone cube. The flavor is intensely rich of chocolate and gianduja. The hazelnut notes are impeccable with sweet nutty flavors and a nice roasted taste. The chocolate is smooth and creamy but not too sweet. The overall effect is a less sweet, but strong and fancier Nutella.

Fiat milk chocolate has a much lighter color scheme. This one has light creamy beige and milk chocolate stripes. The flavor is more hazelnut and very sweet. You don’t taste much chocolate flavor here, just intense nutty flavors and sweetness. It reminds me of a hazelnut peanut butter in a way. Really tasty.

These were both incredible. They were flavorful, delicious, rich and satisfying. The cube was just the right portion size too. They went fantastically with a cup of coffee. My boyfriend and I shared them for as long as I small stash remained. We will definitely be stopping to get more next time we’re close to that store again.

Rating: Hoard

 

Hoard

Links Majani Website (Italian)


Apr
27



Caffrel Caffarel Ghiacciolini di Morbida Gelatina

These are interesting little candies, aren’t they? I found these along side the Caffarel Gianduja bar I reviewed earlier. They were displayed in a playful stand with more colors that I took home here. Since they’re all in Italian, I could only guess some of the flavors right away. There were five available total, and I took home the three you see here and left a Banana and Cola flavor back on the shelves.

One thing I love about Caffarel, aside from the great flavors, is they have a very whimsical tone to their confections. These are no exception. they look like little popsicles made of gum drops. So the candy is really natural (from the look of the coloring) gummi with a granulated sugar coating. The colors aren’t particular vibrant, as I suspect it’s from fruit juices than artificial colors.

The first one is Fragola, which I think is strawberry. It’s a nice rose color and the aroma is very fruity and sweet, like jam. the texture is extremely smooth and soft, and the granulated sugar gives a crunch to it. it’s a nice texture contrast. the flavor is fruity and a more delicate taste. it starts out very sweet and floral with strong strawberry jam undertones. its ends fruity and clean and it’s really tasty. I’m impressed.

The next flavor is Arancia, which I believe it orange. This is a light orange/cream color and is the same makeup as the first. It doesn’t have an aroma just a lightly sweet smell. The flavor is unmistakably orange. It has a nice sour/sweet flavor with a great juiciness to it. Very lovely.

Last but not least is Limone, which is lemon. The color is a extremely pale yellow. The gummi’s texture is much softer than the other two. The flavor is lovey and tart of a fresh squeezed lemon. I simply love this, it’s so fresh and delicious.

These are a cute sweet treat. Since they’re not really big, about 2-3 bites each, I was able to try finish all three without any problem. The portion size is good for kids, but the flavors and texture are great for anyone. A nice treat if you ever find them.

Rating: Will Eat Again

 

Will Eat Again

Links Caffarel Website


Mar
14



Caffrel Gianduja

Finding a Caffarel product not in a trade show always feels like striking gold to me. They’re an Italian confectionery company with an outstanding line of chocolate products. ON the rare occasions I find their booths and am able to sample some of their many delights and am always impressed with design, texture and flavors. So color my surprised when I was visiting a store during a trip through Topanga Canyon where I found some Caffarel products. Eureka!

This is a bar of their Gianduja, or hazelnut/chocolate mixture which is perfected by the Italians. The bar comes in a yellow wrapper that has lots of Rococo styled art and motifs and its feels very Easter-like.

The gianduja is a beautiful creamy middle brown color with a matte surface. It’s sectioned off into squares, two for each row which are about one inch by one inch squares that each have the Caffarel logo molded on them. The aroma is sweet and creamy with a hint of nuttiness.

The chocolate gianduja is extremely rich and creamy and melts beautifully. The flavor tastes very strongly hazelnut, with its rich nutty flavor and nice creamy, toasted notes. The hazelnut is the star, as I don’t get a lot of chocolate flavor here. If I could compare it to Nutella, the flavor is more refined, but less chocolately. It’s really awesome.

I wish Caffarel’s products were more widely available in the US. They have wonderful flavors that stand out amongst a lot of the confections we get here which can just taste overly sweet. So if you ever come across a Caffarel chocolate bar, I recommend you try it, as like this bar in the review here it’s bound to be really tasty and a rare treat.

Rating: Will Buy Again

 

Will Buy Again

Links Caffarel Website


Apr
29



Caffarel Conetto

Caffarel is one of those companies that I get all giddy when I find their products. Something about them already reads as upscale, luxurious, unique and extremely delicious. The fact they’re an Italian company adds to the appeal too because not only is it foreign, but also difficult to find. I always feel like I’ve stumbled across the holy grail when I see them in stores.

I felt exactly that when I walked into one of my favorite food boutiques in the area and saw the Caffarel Conetto on the counter. Oh wow! I’ve heard of these but haven’t actually seen them. They’re best described as a little wafer cone with hazelnut creme inside and topped with toasted rice bits. I bought a couple and couldn’t wait to photograph and then eat them!

They’re adorable to look at. They look like mini versions of the ice cream Drumsticks. The waffle cone is wonderfully textured, the rice crisps nicely caramel in color, and the whole things smells rich of chocolate, hazelnuts and cream. 

The hazelnut creme is very smooth and silky. The flavor leans more toward the hazelnut flavor with the chocolate more of an afterthought. Aside from the hazelnut and cocoa notes, there’s a lot of roasted and milky flavors mixed in there. Think of it as a milder, sweeter, nuttier Nutella. The rice bits provide a nice crunch (some were more chewy) and a very toasty, carby flavor. The cone is insanely crispy and fresh with a nice toasty brown sugary taste. Just like the ones in an ice cream shop! It provides a wonderful base for the hazelnut creme and the flavors in this work so well together.

Even though the Conetto is terribly tasty, I’d probably wouldn’t buy them again cause they’re expensive and on the small side. They’re great to give (or get!) as a gift and I certainly wouldn’t turn one down if handed to me.

Rating: Will Eat Again

 

Will Eat Again

Links Caffarel Website


Dec
25



Alberti Lemon Torrone

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays! No matter what you celebrate, I hope you are having a good time surrounded by loved ones and good food.

I realize that on the surface, this doesn’t seem like a very holiday oriented confection. I thought about reviewing one of the classic candies, like candy canes, or perhaps ones of the new limited editions that was released just for the holidays. But, I wanted something more meaningful. For me, Italian torrone (or nougat, if you prefer) is always associated with Christmas. There’s some foods that you only get once and year, and for my Dad, it’s Italian torrone.

My Mom always buys him a bar for the holidays, and in recent years, I’ve started to do the same. Growing up, I never quite understood what this confection was. My Dad always offered me some, and I didn’t take him up on his offer until me late teens or early twenties. To my surprise, I really liked it. Really liked it. From then on my Dad and I were able to share my love to torrone together, something my Mom and sisters don’t understand.

I think of him whenever I eat it.

This specific torrone is studded with almonds and is enrobed with a lemon flavored white chocolate coating. It’s protected in sturdy plastic, so I’m sure it’s very fresh. The bar smells very strongly of lemon, almost in a soapy way, with a slight almond essence toward the end of it.

The texture is awesome: firm with a edge of softness with a smooth mouth feel that has a slight grain to it. The almonds are fresh and deliver a meaty crunch. The lemon/white chocolate coating is thick and hard, protecting the soft, terribly fresh torrone under it. The flavor is a wonderful mix, and it’s really hard to separate each of the parts from one another (trust me I tried). The lemon flavor is sweet and slightly zesty, and the torrone has notes of nuts and honey. Overall it provides, albeit a little overly sweet, tasty fresh lemon/nougaty flavor, just like you’d expect. I like knowing what to expect from a confection, and this delivers everything I’d anticipated and then some.

Torrone fanatics would love this I think. I’d buy it again, but not regularly. Otherwise it wouldn’t remain such a special holiday treat in my mind.

Rating: Will Buy Again

 

Will Buy Again

Links
Strega Alberti Torrone Webpage


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