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November 2014
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Caramel

Sep
03



Hershey's Kisses: Caramel Apple Package

Hershey’s is following in their footsteps from last year and are releasing new flavors of Kisses for the fall. The big newbie last year were the Candy Corn Kisses, which were an exclusive limited edition release for Target. For those of you who were fans of those Kisses will be happy to know they’re back with a wider release this year and brought new friends with them this time: Caramel Apple Kisses and Pumpkin Spice Kisses.

I searched high and low for these new flavors, and unfortunately have had success in finding the former. The hunt for the Pumpkin Spice continues, I will not rest until I find them.

The Caramel Apple Kisses are beautiful to observe. The packaging is attractive with nice rich festive colors and nice illustrations. The Kisses are wrapped in even more eye-catching fall-colored wrappers with brilliant red and orange stripes. I look at these and am immediately reminded as to why I love fall so much.

Opening the bag with great anticipation, the kisses smell perfectly normal: sweet and chocolatey.

 

Hershey's Kisses: Caramel Apple

I took one of the Kisses to cut one in half for a photo. This proved dangerous as the center wanted to ooze everywhere. The caramel center is almost liquid, I was very surprised by. I don’t recall the regular Caramel Kisses being so flowing.

The flavor is first the sweet Hershey’s chocolate along with the creamy caramel flavors with nice burnt sugar notes. After that is when the apple taste comes in. It’s very artificial with a floral essence and strong juicy notes that have a slight tang to it. It reminds me of what candied apples taste like in a way: fruity, but something is a little off from the coating. They really remind me of those radioactive green Caramel Apple Pops that Charms makes. Despite the flavor oddness from the apple, the Kisses work somehow for me. They taste like fall.

As a side note, not everyone I shared these with agreed with me. As I fed some to one of my sisters and she scrunched her nose up at them.

Rating: Might Eat Again

 

Might Eat Again

Links:
Hershey’s Kisses Website

 


Aug
26



Snickers Rockin' Nut Road Bar

This is latest and greatest in the Snickers bar limited edition line. The wrapper describes it as: “Almonds, caramel and marshmallow-flavored nougat wrapped in dark chocolate”. Oh, wow! Is it just me, or does that sound simply amazing? Pinch me please, I surely must have gone to heaven.

Once unwrapped, the bar looks like a normal Snickers except for the darker brown color. It smells of the deep dark chocolate and a bit of a roasted flavor, I think from the almonds. It’s also smells very sweet with a milky vanilla essence. I cut the bar it in half to see the cross section. The marshmallow nougat is a pale white like snow, with the layer of almonds and caramel

The first bite is awesome. It’s thick, chewy and substantial and oh so tasty! You get a nice nuttiness from the almonds, a good sweetness from the caramel and a nice chocolate hit from the coating. The marshmallow nougat doesn’t deliver much in flavor but the texture is so nice. It’s a little thicker and stickier than the standard Snickers nougat, but it makes the chew so much more fulfilling. It’s really, really good. It’s a really stellar bar, and I like it way more than the original.

I’m hoarding these. Mars better make these a regular addition to the Snickers family.

Rating: Hoard

 

Hoard

Links:
Snickers Website


Aug
20



Lake Champlain Flowers Box

I was originally introduced to the work of Lake Champlain Chocolates by my Mom, and I wish I could remember where and when she originally discovered them. All I can recall is her gushing to me about how good their chocolate was and how I needed to try it. I finally caved and bought some when I saw it in Whole Foods some time later, and when I tasted it, I was hooked. 

I saw these earlier this year as one of their seasonal spring releases, and it was too pretty and tasty looking to pass up. The chocolates are so beautiful. They’re shaped like dogwood flowers and are wrapped by flavor in colorful foil. The actual chocolates is very dark in color and has a nice “clean” chocolatey aroma. I can’t imagine how they could be any more enticing.

 

Lake Champlain Flowers

Dark Mint (green): The bite is surprisingly firm and breaks off with a good “klok” sound. The mint flavor shows immediately yet it’s light and not overpowering at all. The chocolate provides sweetness and a good richness to the palette. What I thought was really cool was that there’s slivers/chunks of peppermint in here, like crushed pieces of candy cane. It delivers an unexpected burst of mintiness in some bites and the slightly chewy texture is a lot of fun.

Milk Chocolate Caramel (pink): The milk chocolate is wonderful and is the “standard” chocolate base for Lake Champlain: very creamy with dairy flavors and strong sweetness. The overall effect is extremely chocolatey and very satisfying satisfying. I’m reminded of good Swiss chocolate. The center holds the caramel which is very free flowing and drippy. The flavor is quite sweet with really strong notes of cooked sugar resulting in a toasty flavor. I also taste a strong hit of cream that gives it a little tang. The caramel center and chocolate exterior make a very sweet and dedicant combination here.

Milk Chocolate Hazelnut Praline (blue): This uses the same delicious milk chocolate as above but the the taste of the hazelnuts is immediately apparent. It’s as if Nutella has come and crashed milk chocolate’s party. It’s a wonderful combination, and dare I say, the whole thing feels smoother and richer because of it. This is hard for me to believe since Lake Champlain’s chocolate is so smooth to begin with. A lovely chocolate morsel to say the least.

These are awesome, no question about it. Even if the flavor selection doesn’t appeal to you, I can safely say that these also make excellent gifts. My Mom relies on me to give them to her.

Rating: Will Buy Again

 

Will Buy Again

Links:
Lake Champlain’s Milk Chocolate Flowers Webpage

 


Jul
14



Catch Bar

I bought this in an Irish grocery store in Queens because it was something I hadn’t seen before. I researched it once I got home to I find that it’s from the Dominican Republic. Wha, wha whaaaa? So confusing considering the rest of the store’s slotting was all from the UK. 

The description on the wrapper reads: “Soft caramel and crisped rice in milk chocolate” and it immediately reminds me of Nestle’s 100 Grand bar. My suspicions were confirmed once I unwrapped it, since it also looks very similar to one too. The only different is it’s one long bar instead of being split into two like the 100 Grand is. Because of this difference in form, the Catch bar is a little less molded so it’s “wider” due to it spreading.

The bar smells chocolatey and sweet with some dairy notes from the caramel. My first bite had a good meduim chew, not too soft and not too hard. I’m surprised because the puffed rice, followed by the caramel, are the main flavors I taste here. Yes, you heard me, the rice. It has a light, slightly sweet wheat-y taste to it like how I’d imagine a “whole grain” version of rice crispes would taste. They are fresh and crunchy and make this feel oddly wholesome.

The caramel is great, since it’s a little on the firmer side compared to most caramels in American candy bars. Because if this it chews a little longer and has some staying power in the mouth. The chew time allows you to feel the wonderful slightly grainy texture that caramel has, it’s so nice. Sadly, I don’t notice the chocolate very much, but from that I do taste of it it has a nice milk chocolatey flavor that balanced out the rice and caramel very well.

This is a lovely bar and I’m happy I picked it up. It’s a good example how a bar with similar ingredients can have a totally different flavor. So if you see Catch, go and catch it! It’s good!

Rating: Will Buy Again

 

Will Buy Again


Jul
11



Hershey's Whatchamacallit Package

As a child of the 80s, I remember commercials for the Whatchamacallit very vividly. They were always one of the coolest candy commercials on the TV. Chances were, though, if you asked me exactly what it was, I wouldn’t have been able to tell you as it was something I never begged my parents for at the checkout line in the grocery store.

So what exactly is a Whatchamacallit? The wrapper describes it as: “peanut flavor crisps, caramel, rich chocolatey coating”. As an adult I’ve avoided this bar for the longest time simply because I know it’s covered in mockolate, which I feel is the scourge of the candy world. I know it’s a question of production costs and shelf stability, but really, chocolate is perfect the way it is, why mess with it? I digress.

The bar is long and wide; imagine if two Kitkat fingers were laid out and flatted with a rolling pin. I have a hard time trying to think of another candy that’s more short and wide than it is tall and thick, but I am drawing a blank. So the shape immediately feels unique to me. The top is pretty with subtle textural ripples from the enrobing. The bottom is even better, with that lovely diamond criss cross pattern from the conveyor belt. Does anyone else admire this along with me? I may be alone in my appreciation.

I’m surprised that Whatchamacallit smells quite chocolatey considering the questionable ingredients. There’s aromas of caramel and a lack of any suggestion of peanut butter. I find myself again reminded of Kitkat. My first bite was really nice: you get some thick, chewy textures from the caramel and a nice crispy crunch from the peanut butter crisp. The first flavor is the chocolatey coating mixed with the caramel giving it a sweet kick. Then comes the peanut butter crisp which is very nutty and perfectly salty. The crisp’s flavor is also well balanced: not as intense as a Reeses’, yet it’s not subtle enough to let the other flavors shove it to the sidelines. Even so, I do think it’s the star taste in this bar.

Ok, so color me surprised. I liked this bar despite the mockolate. The flavors of the caramel and peanut butter crisp deliver solid flavors that are strong enough to mask the lack of real chocolate. I also find that the textural contrast of the the caramel and peanut butter crisp overshadow the unusual greasiness that mockloate always has. This is an excellent example how the combination of ingredients can make or break a candy bar. I probably won’t buy this again because of the mockolate, since I don’t like to willingly eat the trans fats, but I will eye Whatchamacallit with subtle affection every time I see it at the checkout counter from now on.

Rating: Not Worth It

 

Not Worth It

Links:
Whatchamacallit Webpage
Whatchamacallit commercial on YouTube.com

 


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