This is going to sound odd coming form someone who hates nuts in their chocolate, but I love Payday. All jokes aside, I am referring to the candy bar. For some reason, taking the nuts out of the chocolate works for me, and that’s what a normal Payday is. So imagine my surprise when I saw this Payday Chocolatey Avalanche bar, I was curious to see how I liked chocolate in my nuts, for once.
Notice the wording “chocolatey” here, we’re obviously not looking (and soon to be eating) the real thing here. Oh, no. We got mockolate here peeps, which is always disappointing. Regardless, this is a Payday, and Payday is more about peanuts than anything else, so I will try and not let it sway my opinion too much. In hand, the bar looks like a normal Payday, just enrobed in the “chocolately” coating. I’m curious as to where the “avalanche” is though. Hrrmm.
My first bite was hard, literally. My teeth had to crack down on this sucker. It was really that hard! I have no choice to assume it’s not fresh, and judging from the code on the back (32Mr3E7f) so that would be…3rd week of 2002? Yikes, I hope not. Anyways, the center of the Payday is what’s rock hard and is giving me the tough time. The rest of the bar is great, and I’m relieved that the peants are still the star here: fresh with a good hit of salt. The chocolatey coating isn’t adding much, it does have an extra little sweetness to it overall, but flavor wise, I get nothing.
Unless you’re like me and are insistent trying every candy on the planet, I’d skip this and keep getting the regular Paydays. You always win with those!
Rating: Not Worth It
Cadbury Picnic is a bar hailing from the Land Down Under. I’ve heard about it, but it wasn’t until an Australian friend sent me a candy care package that I finally encountered one. The specific one I got is actually a limited edition Picnic bar of the “Honey Almond Nougat” variety. “New!” and “A unique combination of almonds & crunchy pieces of honey almond nougat caramel & wafer covered in delicious Cadbury milk chocolate” are the descriptions on the wrapper. I’d by lying if I said it didn’t sound appealing and terribly tasty.
The regular Cadbury picnic bars have a wafer center, creamy caramel, and rice crisps all covered in chocolate. So this new variety adds more textural and flavor elements by replacing the rice crisps with the almonds and nougat. I still think that this will give me a pretty good indication of what the original bar is. It’s kinda funny how the Picnic sounds like the offspring of a Kitkat, a Nestle’s Crunch and a Milky Way.
I’m relieved to say that according to the ingredients list, this Picnic bar is using real chocolate! Yay! It’s gotten to the point where that’s always the first things I look for in candy bars. Yes, I’m a stickler for quality.
The bar itself looks like a very large, lumpy 100 Grand or a smaller, chocolate covered PayDay. Take your pick. It smells very strongly of sweet honey and almonds. It’s hard for my to explain but something in it also smells really “carb-y” and it’s hard to lay my finger on it. I don’t know what else it could be other than the nougat.
My first bite was extremely crispy. The center is the wafer and very similar in structure to a Kitkat. Wrapped around the wafer is the caramel, so already we have a crispy/chewy texture working here. The nougat and almonds add a slight crunch and it’s very addicting to chew and munch.
As for the flavor? It took me a moment to concentrate on it to be honest, I was already too busy trying to dislodge the pieces of nougat and caramel on my teeth. It’s got a lot going on: I get nice milky caramel notes, some light blandness from the wafers, then there’s a big salty hit from the almonds and finally a honey sweetness of the nougat. I don’t hardly taste any of the chocolate, as it cowers behind the big three of the caramel, nougat and almonds. I do like how the honey stands out, it proves a nice sweetness, especially blended with the caramel, and the saltiness provides a wonderful contrast. I just wish I wasn’t going to be picking bits of this out of my teeth for the next couple of hours. Ah, sacrifices, right?
Rating: Will Eat Again
Cadbury Picnic Webpage
I honestly can’t remember when I first had Bit-O-Honey. Or where I first saw of them or where I first heard of them. It was as if “Bam!” one day I saw them and due to the “unfamiliarity default”, I bought them to try. I believe part of the reason I finally noticed them was the fact that I’d recently discovered one of my favorite bars, Big Hunk, and Bit-O-Honey seemed like it’d be something similar.
Bit-O-Honey is described as a honey flavored taffy with bits of almonds blended in. From what I’ve seen, you can either find them in bar form or in bite sized pieces like I have shown here. I prefer getting the bag simply because it allows me to get more of a good thing. But in the end, it’s the flavor that matters and not how it’s packaged. Bit-O-Honey has quite a bit of history behind it as well, as it first hit shelves in 1924 and was eventually acquired by Nestle in the 1980s. It looks like Nestle was eager to include this enduring classic into its repertoire.
Smells sweet and lightly of nuts. The texture is sooooo nice. It’s dense and firm, yet is easily bitten into. The chew takes some working in the mouth but it never is a threat to your teeth and/or fillings. I’d like to think of it as a Starburst on steriods. And the flavor? Sweet, creamy with a smooth flavor of honey and almonds. It’s not intense like the flavor of marzipan, it’s much milder and reminds me more of a nougat in a Zero bar. Just enough flavor to compliment the sweetness and texture. I don’t really feel the almonds in the texture of the bar, but I prefer it that way. I hate getting nuts caught in my teeth.
I love these. They may not push Big Hunk from my favorite nougat/taffy bar, but they come in a close second. I’ll have have room for these in my stash.
Rating: Will Buy Again
Bit-O-Honey on Nestle’s Website
Some great chocolates you seek out on your own and others are thrust upon you as gifts. That was the case with these adorable bonbons from Asher’s Chocolates. I enjoy seeking out chocolates on my own since I know what my tastes are and how I feel like catering to them. Yet, it’s always so nice to try something new thanks to the thoughtfulness from a special someone. Not only is the surprise nice, but I also don’t admit to knowing everything out there in the great wide chocolate world. I do need to rely on other’s experiences and recommendations from time to time.
Asher’s is a chocolate company based in Philadelphia where they rose from humble beginnings back before the turn of the 20th century. Their story is similar to that of See’s Candies, a family run business that prided itself in making excellent confections. Asher’s is actually the oldest family owned candy making company in the Unites States and are being run by the fourth generation at the moment. It’s great to see a family so interested in their sweet traditions.
I was given a sampler pack of their milk and dark bonbons:
Mint: The dark chocolate is nice and rich and thankfully not too sweet. The mint has a nice freshness without being overpowering, which is a lot of my problem with minty and chocolate combinations. The texture of the ganache is smooth, creamy and just heavenly.
Peanut Butter Cup: The peanut butter is creamier, richer, and sweeter than the crumbly, dry standard of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. The milk chocolate is very smooth and sweet. Paired with the nutty, slightly salty peanut butter it makes one addictive little treat.
Coconut:Very sweet. The coconut is moist with a good dense, chewy texture. The full coconut flakes are still intact and I love chewing them. I consider this to be a more decadent version of a Mounds bar.
Peanut Butter Bonbon: Like the cup version but since the size ratios are different, it comes off as denser, sweeter, richer…Yum!
Blood Orange: Dark choc orange. orange jelly on the inside, can taste the fresh orange oil, flavors balanced well so neither overpower the other.
Marshmallow: Very, very mellow in flavor. The marshmallow is fresh and tastes lightly vanilla. The chocolate delivers most of the flavor and it’s very creamy and sweet.
These were certainly a step above of the other chocolate confections of this type, and the best of this kind I’ve had in a long time. Freshness was a big contributor, but I also feel the quality flavors and chocolate played a big part too. I look forward to visiting their retail store someday to try what other delights Asher’s has to offer.
Rating: WIll Buy Again (Even though I didn’t buy it the first time, haha)
Asher’s Chocolates Website
Christopher’s Big Cherry is one of those hard to find regional/retro candies that I’ve been meaning to get my hands on for ages. It was only when I found myself in Los Angeles, Big Cherry’s home turf, that I was able to finally buy one to try. It boggles my mind sometimes how I search high and low for a certain candy out East where I live, only to find it sitting in every gas station store once I get out West. It makes things interesting (and frustrating) for sure.
The big selling point for Christopher’s Big Cherry is that in the very middle of this big mound of mockolate, peanuts, and fondant sits a whole maraschino cherry. Over the years the candy has changed companies and now currently resides with the Adam & Brooks candy company.
The candy smells very sweet of the mockolate and there’s a strong peanutty edge to it. It looks like an unimpressive lumpy mound. The peanut bits give the surface and uneven texture, and the mockolate is lackluster and unexciting.
The flavor is sweet; so very, very sweet. The mockolate delivers a subtle cocoa flavor and a greasy mouth feel. The best part of this candy so far comes from the peanut bits which give it a nice, nutty flavor. They also have a knack for getting themselves lodged in my teeth. The fondant in the center is a brilliant Pepto Bismal pink with a thick texture and a subtle grain. The flavor is awfully sweet, but doesn’t really taste of cherry. I didn’t get any cherry flavor at all, in fact, until I bit into the maraschino cherry. The cherry is throat-searingly strong with that sweet and bitterly fake cherry flavor and the crystallized cherry texture.
I’m glad to have finally tried this, but the bland mockolate and the intense sweetness doesn’t tempt me enough to give it a second try anytime soon.
Rating: Might Eat Again
Adam & Brooks Website