Comptoir du Cacao is a French chocolate company that I discovered way back in 2006 and the New York City chocolate show. They had too many different chocolates to remember, but I did buy a box of their crispy pralines. I brought my swag home to share with my family, and to this day my Mom has never raved about anything more than the Comptoir du Cacao chocolate I brought home. I wish I knew more about the company itself, other than it is in France. Sadly their website is mostly in French, which I can’t read, so their background will have to remain a mystery to me.
Fast forward to 2011’s holiday season. My sister discovered a store in Manhattan who recently began selling Comptoir du Cacao’s chocolates. As a Christmas gift ,she gave me these two chocolate bars of theirs. Having been so long since I have had them I was super excited for this opportunity again. Will they live up to my memory though?
Praline Feuillete: Noix de Coco
This bar is described as white chocolate with a coconut hazelnut filling. The package keeps the chocolate nice and safe, with a thick clear plastic around the chocolate and a sturdy cardboard case. The bar is sectioned off with two chocolate squares per row, and it’s easily to break a piece off. You can easily see the filling through the beautiful white chooclate. Its smells creamy and extremely coconutty.
The flavor is very creamy and rich at first. You taste the sweet, buttery notes of the white chocolate and the richness of the hazelnuts right away. Then to coconut appears, it’s delicate, and completely authentic. You can even taste the texture of the flakes of dried coconut in there. The mixture of the flavors is very harmoniuos and amazingly delicious. I really wish I had a more of this bar as I practically inhaled it.
Praline feuillete “caramel beurre sale”:
This is the second bar I received as a gift. It’s a salted caramel with milk chocolate, if I’m reading that French correctly. The chocolate is a pretty color with a nice medium tone and a very high gloss to it. Very gorgeous to look and an unusually beautiful for a milk chocolate (which is usually more matte in color).
This has a layer of praline in it, and when you snap off a piece you can see the center that is sandwiched between the chocolate.
The flavor is first of the rich, smooth and flavorful milk chocolate. Then you feel the crispiness of the salted caramel, as they’re little pieces inside the praline. They’re flavorful, very buttery with a nice kick of salt. Then you taste the extremely flavorful richness of the gianduja filling. It’s very chocolaty and has wonderful notes of toasted hazelnuts. Just amazing.
I can’t express properly how amazing delicious and incredible this chocolate it. It is beyond words delicious. I wish it was more readily available so I could have more of it (well, maybe not a good idea, I don’t want to put 300lbs on in a week) and so that other have the opportunity to taste something so good. If you ever stumble across their stuff, I recommend buying it, it’s something you won’t regret.
Links Comptoir du Cacao Website
Today is my last review from from OldTimeCandy.com’s samples. It’s Black Cow®! I chose this candy because I had no idea what this candy was other than it was indeed a retro “classic” candy that recently made a comeback. I haven’t seen it in stores anywhere myself, so I figured it was my change to give this classic a try.
Firstly, I love the wrapper on this bar. The brown and yellow color scheme is very stylish and appealing, yet evokes an “old time” feel. It’s a flat, pliable candy, even in the wrapper. I immediately compared it to Big Hunk, Abba Zabba and the Turkish Taffy candies right away because of it. The all seem to belong to the same “family” of styles. What I find interesting about Black Cow® is that it says it’s “chocolate caramel” and not “taffy”. Sadly this bar is not real chocolate either, as there’s no cocoa butter on the ingredients list.
Opening the wrapper, the candy smells like brownie batter. We’re off to a good start! It’s chocolate colored and have a nice gloss to it. The flavor is very sweet and sure enough, I do get notes of chocolate and buttery caramel in there. I do taste the butter very strongly, and it does compliment the chocolate flavors well. The chew is dense and sticky, yet it doesn’t stick to your teeth. This really is brownie batter in taffy from wow!
Now I am sad with myself for requesting only one sample! I was floored I wasn’t expecting Black Cow® to be so good! It just goes to show you never know what a candy is like until you try it.
Links The Warrell Corporation
One food thing that people I know pick up on quickly that aside from being “really into candy” I also am a big fan of root beer. I am not a big soda drinker at all. I maybe have a soda once every 4-5 months if that, but I am just rabid for root beer. That’s why when OldTimeCandy.com offered me samples, I immediately looked to see if they carried the IBC root beer floats hard candies that I’ve had a hard time finding. I was in luck because sure enough they did, so I asked if I could have a few for the review.
There’s a difference between the IBC root beer barrels and the IBC root beer floats. The floats, that I have here, have a vanilla section of the hard candy to mimic the ice cream. It does add an extra flavor element while keeping the authenticity of root beer. Who doesn’t love a root beer float?
The flats are about the size of a pecan. The edges are round so there’s no sharp edges to catch on your mouth. The vanilla half and the root beer half are split pretty close to 50/50. The cellophane wrapper with the IBC root beer logo in red is simple and attractive.
The candy smells slightly spicy. The flavor starts out sweet, them blossoms into that full root beer flavor. Woodsy notes of spice, wintergreen, anise and cola all mix together to make this really fantastic rich root beer flavor. The vanilla float side adds a creaminess to the flavor and really smooths the flavor out. Its so wonderful!
I love these IBC root beer floats. They really are an extremely versatile and delicious candy. I’d like to make a batch of root beer cupcakes and use these as a decorative top. I also love keeping these in my purse for long days at work and long car drives to help keep my focus. Plus they’re so tasty! I must for any root beer lover out there.
Links IBC Root Beer Floats at OldTimeCandy.com
Goldenberg’s Peanut Chews are a very well know candy if you’re a Philadelphia local. It’s a classic candy, as it’s been around since 1917. I hadn’t had one until summer 2005 where I stumbled across a promo for them on the streets of Manhattan. I tried the free samples I was given and feel in love with their flavor. It’s delicious and timeless.
Now some years later, Goldenberg’s Peanut Chews have re-designed the packaging and are trying to get the word out about Peanut Chews. I for once, am happy to help, as I know a “local” candy can sometimes have a hard time branching out. I feel they’re doing a good job, as I have seen Peanut Chews around here in Los Angeles on occasion. When Goldenberg’s Peanut Chews asked if I’d like some samples for a review, I excitedly said yes!
I want to start by saying I love the new packaging. It’s retro yet keeps the essence of the candy. It doesn’t look out of place on the candy shelf, and it’s eye catching at the same time. Peanut Chews come in two varieties, milk and dark chocolate. Each is color coded and easy to identify.
For those of you who don’t know what exactly is a peanut chew? It’s a chewy center made of peanuts mixed with a molasses then covered in chocolate. Simple yet tasty. I have to also say that, these Peanut Chews are not using real chocolate. They’re mockolate, as there’s no cocoa butter in there. It’s right there in the ingredients.
The milk chocolate variety smells sweet and full of peanuts. The flavor is very heavy on the milk chocolate’s sweetness and the toasty peanuts. The chew is nice and think and there’s no hint of the molasses.
The dark chocolate has a very different flavor. The flavor is not as heavy of on the peanuts, you taste more of the chocolate and the molasses. I think I like the dark chocolate version better because the notes of the molasses is are really unique and wonderful flavor.
Goldenberg’s Peanut Chews are a candy that I keep coming back to. They have such a classic flavor and its simplicity is really delicious and addicting. That combined with the nostalgia factor and the connection with Philadelphia (which really means a lot to my Philly raised fiance!) makes Goldenberg’s Peanut Chews a candy that is found in my candy stash very often.
Rating: Will Buy Again
Links Peanut Chews Website
As a candy enthusiast, it’s important for me to not only taste candies and love doing so. It also entails knowing a lot of the history behind the candies. Anyone who knows anything about candy knows the name David Klein. He’s the man who invented the Jelly belly jelly bean, and is the focus of a documentary call “CandyMan”. It’s a really good documentary if you haven’t seen it, and what I’m reviewing today are David’s newest jelly bean.
At first I was skeptical of the “Beyond Gourmet” in the name of these jelly beans. Gourmet is such a trendy word to throw around nowadays, especially in regard to food products. ONe look at the flavor list of these jelly beans and I immediate got why they’re named in such a way:
Bacon? Ginger? Himalayan Sea salt? Yes, these jelly beans are definitely thinking outside the box.
I had some trouble with the packaging, as the little wells inside the box didn’t contain my jelly beans very well. When I first opened them they had all amassed as a giant colorful pile at the bottom and I had to sort them back into their original spaces. That was harder than it sounds, as some of the jelly beans, mainly the Cranberry, Pomegranate, Black Cherry and Grape are pretty close in color.
Upon opening the box and looking inside, you can see how gorgeous the beans are:
Enough with the looking, let’s get on with the tasting!
Bacon: I admit I was skeptical of this flavor. I know “meat” flavored jelly beans have been attempted before, and there’s bacon jelly beans that I’ve seen around yet I haven’t’ tried any of them. The bean is a cream colored with brown speckling on it. It has no aroma. The flavor starts off very spicy and smokey. It actually does taste like bacon! It has a pork flavor with a lot of smoke to it. Of course there’s some sweetness to it. I have to admit, I love bacon, and tasting it in a jelly bean is bizarre. Tasty, but bizarre.
Black Cherry: This flavor is awesome. It’s deep, very complex flavor. It’s sweet, it has notes of jam and and it’s all back cherry. Extremely authentic, totally delicious.
Blueberry: This flavor is a little strange to me. It has intense berry notes right at the beginning, and about halfway though does the true blueberry flavor comes out. When it does, boy, it’s the real thing. Yum!
Coconut: This flavor is outstanding. It tastes like real coconut flakes. It has this extra tier of flavor that really makes this taste who and authentic. So awesome, one of the best flavors in this box.
Cranberry: This flavor was very tasty. It’s tart, zesty and has the “bite” that cranberries have. It’s a taste tha tworks really well in jelly bean form. Delicious!
Ginger: This one is spicy and fun. it has the very typical ginger “burn” to it, and it’s like taking a swig of an authentic ginger ale. It’s like eating real crystallized ginger.
Grape: The flavor is very floral for grape. I get notes of concord grape and jam in there. It’s a very tasty bean.
Green Apple: This flavor is fun. It’s starts off wit ha floral edge then immediately blossoms into apple. I’m surprised that it tastes so authentic. It’m immediately reminded of those dried apple slices that just pop with flavor.
Himalayan Sea Salt: This one is really unique. It has a sweetness to it, that’s very plain and has no essence to it. The salt flavor is really awesome, it balances beautifully with the sweetness. A really different and delightful bean.
Lemon: I was looking forward to this flavor so much. It’s exactly everything I hoped it would be. It’s tart. It’s zest and it’s completely refreshing. The lemon flavor it out of this world. I love it so much!
Orange Punch: This flavor is so much fun. It’s bright and punchy with notes of oranges and tangerines. It’s sweet, it’s tart and full of citrus flavor. So wonderful.
Peach: This is a fun flavor. It’s perfectly preach. I get notes of peaches, and oddly, plumeria. It’s a very juicy, fresh flavor. One of my favorites!
Pomegranate: This flavor was hard to pin down. Pomegranate is a very vague flavor to me. it tastes very fruity and red, with a nice tartness to it. It’s very delicious and refreshing because of the tartness.
Root Beer: This jelly bean is my absolute favorite out of the whole box. I have never tasted a more delicious root bear candy than this jelly bean. It is absolutely outstanding. The flavor stats with subtle spice and wintergreen notes and then quickly blossoms into a creamy, rich root beer flavor. Amazing!
Strawberry: This flavor is really great. it tastes exactly like a sweet strawberry jam. Often candy strawberry flavors just come across as “pink” or “red”, but this flavor has completely captured the fruit.
Vanilla Bean: This bean is so delicious! It tastes like melted vanilla ice cream. It’s so flavorful. This bean even has the bleck flecks on vanilla in it. So yummy!
I was really impressed with all these flavors. The “beyond gourmet” title is certainly well earned. These flavors taste amazing and incredibly authentic, even more so than it’s Jelly Belly ancestors, and they take that little extra step into new “gourmet” territory with the ginger, bacon and Himalayan Sea salt flavors. Just, wow. My fiance and I both really adored these jelly beans, and we hope to order some of their other jelly beans at some point. The “wasabi” and “thai chili” flavors just call to us, we want to try them! Bravo David Klein, bravo!
Links Oregon Trail Foods