Will Buy Again
I love Japanese Kit kats. Even though my review history hasn’t shown it, I do keep up with all the new flavors that are released, almost obsessively so. I have a pretty big backlog of these, I assure you. Getting a timely review of them up, considering the quantity of Kit kats that I have and the ones I’ve yet to taste, make it a very difficult endeavor. So I hope you don’t mind that when I review these flavors that some of them may be unavailable. Unless you look on eBay, of course.
So, all that aside, these were a release from this summer. They’re Kokuto “black sugar” flavor and they come in this giant bag filled with mini, two-fingered bars. Now, you may be wondering what “black sugar” is, and it’s an easy thing to not know about unless you’re into regional Japanese foods. Okinawa produces a special kind of sugar, the very black sugar that’s flavoring these Kit kats, and it’s similar to brown sugar. This black sugar contains lots of minerals and is considered a very healthy, and tasty, sugar to eat. You can easily find hard candies made from this special sugar, and I am ashamed to say I have not yet tried them.
The base of these Kit Kats are white chocolate, which I feel is a good decision since I don’t want heavy flavors to overpower what flavors the black sugar may impart. The bars are attractive as Kit kats always are.
As for the flavor? It tastes of molasses. Thick, blackstrap molasses. I’m a big fan of molasses, so I’m immediately addicted. The rest of the bar is the tried and true Kit kat, with crisp wafers and a nice balance of chocolate to wafer.
I love the flavor, and these are great with a nice cup of tea. I wish I had gotten more.
Rating: Will Buy Again
Japanese Kit Kat Webpage
These were a last minute find in the Los Angeles Mitsuwa. I was in the check out line, and I saw these sitting on the shelf, obviously misplaced. Curious, I picked up the box and couldn’t make out what the heck they were. The name and the illustration on the box does little to explain what the candy is. Since further investigation was required, I took them home to the candy labs for a throughout analysis.
Inside the box, there’s a half dozen of individual packets that are colored coded. Half orange, half purple. Each packet holds two sticks, which are crispy and break cleanly in the mouth. I’m immediately impressed with how much fun they are to chomp and am taken aback slightly when I find they have a fizz to them. The telltale tingling on the tongue is really pleasant.
I finally get it. Soda flavored candy.
Grape: Wow, this is awesome. It really tastes of grapes and/or grape soda with that deep pear/preach, strawberry flavor with the acidic twang to them that you associate with wine grapes. Added to the fizz texture, it sort of feels a bit alcoholic, but thankfully this is innocent and way more tasty.
Orange Soda: Wow, again! The flavor of this is orange soda, spot on. I guess that’s pretty easy to do as it’s an artificial flavor to begin with, yes? This is like eating a Sunkist Orange soda: and good mix of tang and the real zest of orange combined with the fizzy texture. Yum.
A very successful purchase and taste in the dark here. I hope I run across more candy of this variety soon. I’d love to try more!
Rating: Will Buy Again
I first tasted the Hot Cocoa Kisses back at the 2006 All Candy Expo. I wasn’t impressed with from what I remember, but at the same time I was experiencing flavor fatigued from all the samples I had tasting prior to visiting the Hershey’s booth. They first appeared in stores as a holiday limited edition last year and I made sure to ignore them. This year I decided to go back and give them as shot.
These are similar to the Truffle Kisses, as there’s not an easily detectable filling. It’s more a smooth texture you feel in your mouth as opposed to anything you see. The center is cool on the tongue, a little greasy and very slippery.
I was expecting the flavor to be like the Truffle Kiss; basically an intensely smooth, sweet chocolate flavor. The Cocoa Kisses are not like that. Yes, they do have an intense chocolate taste, but there’s something sweeter and more buttery about this these. Thankfully, it’s not an intense fake buttery flavor like the Candy Corn Kisses. I’m instantly reminded of cupcake frosting: sweet, buttery, creamy, a little tangy with a dash of salt.
I don’t get “hot cocoa” from this at all, it’s really more like frosting. They’re tasty and I like them better than the fudge center ones.
Be forewarned as these are very, very sweet. By the time I was on my fourth Kiss I started to get a throat burn. That didn’t stop me from polishing off more than a serving or two in one sitting. Oops.
Rating: Will Buy Again
Hershey’s Kisses Website
See’s Candies is a confectionery giant out in the West coast. They’ve an impressive history and have been making candies since 1921 following traditional recipes and using quality ingredients. With such quality products, it’s really hard to go wrong. It’s a shame that I’m in the East Cost, which has a sad lack of See’s products. I hope to work my way though their products as time goes on. But I can say that from what I have already tasted, they make pretty stellar stuff.
This past summer I was lucky enough to visit a See’s store while on vacation in Los Angeles. Like a kid in a candy stores, I couldn’t decide on exactly what I needed to buy, as so many of their confections could be considered a “must try”. I did decide on some of their Root Beer lollypops, as I have a big weak spot for all things root beer. They were only a small part of the purchases I made there.
After bringing my See’s swag home, I discovered that the Root Beer lollipop was a summer limited edition. I was lucky enough to catch it in stores. It’s the same format as their other lollypops, a thick rectangular mass that smells sweet with notes of wintergreen and spice.
The Root Beer lollipop was a summer limited edition and I was lucky enough to catch it in stores. It’s the same format as their other lollypops, a thick rectangular mass that smells sweet with notes of wintergreen and spice.
The flavor is awesome, it’s like a single brew, old fashioned draft root beer. The different flavor components are very separate and easily distinguishable. First there’s the creamy sweetness, followed by a wintergreen peppery hit, rounded out with sharp, spicy woodsy notes. It’s so lovely. My favorite “hard” candy root beer flavor to date, as other varieties I find are usually too heavy on the herbal flavors in Root Beer. This one is just right.
Like the Root Beer, the Cinnamon lollipop is a limited edition flavor for this holiday season. They come in attractive bright red wrappers and they call to you immediately from the shelf.
The lollipop is opaque and doesn’t resemble a hard candy at all. It smells creamy and milk, but there’s also a strong cinnamon scent that’s very “hot”.
The flavor is really interesting. It’s cinnamon, and it burns a little, yet it’s very smooth and creamy. It’s a nice mix of both worlds. I get a little mouth burn with it, but it’s very mild and it reminds me of a red hot. The creamy flavors cool off the burn and I’d imagine it being like drinking a steamed milk with cinnamon syrup.
It’s a shame that both of these are available for only a limited time. They’re so tasty! I can’t help but wonder if their short shelf lifespan is part of their appeal though.
Rating: Root Beer: Hoard
Cinnamon: Will Buy Again
About a year ago was when I had my first taste of Charles Chocolates, a San Francisco based chocolatier founded by the endearing Chuck Siegel. This is another chocolatier that I was immediately smitten with and have, like Chuao, been trying to work my way through all of their chocolate offerings.
Charles Chocolates stresses the use of extremely fresh ingredients and making the chocolates in small batches to ensure quality. And believe me, you can really taste the difference as the flavors, for me, are much more intense than other chocolate bars I’ve had. Out of the regular Charles Chocolates offerings, I have a weak spot for the Milk Chocolate Caramelized Rice Krispie Bar and have been eyeing the Tea Collection for some time now.
The Emeryville Collection is a new line of bars that are made to sale exclusively in Whole Foods. They’re immediately eye-catching with their bright, art-deco styled boxes.
Hazelnut bar (65% bittersweet): The chocolate is dark, rich, and fruity. It has a beautiful color, shiny gloss and a strong snap. The hazelnuts are whole and roasted, so the flavors are much more complex. Extremely fresh, nutty, sweet, salty and crispy. It’s really lovey and the whole bar has a great buttery feel on the tongue.
Cashew (41% milk): The chocolate is a beautiful, creamy color. The flavor is milky and sweet and exceptionally smooth. It falls into the “epitome of what good milk chocolate is” category in my book. The cashews are buttery and fresh. They have a great crunch to them and they have a nice saltiness to them that balances out the chocolate well.
Pecan Cherry (65% bittersweet: It’s the same nice dark chocolate as the Hazelnut bar, so it has that delicate sweetness and light fruitiness. The cherries are big and juicy and they really deliver a nice chewy texture. The pecans are fresh with that similar salty roasted flavors and crispy texture that the hazelnuts ad cashews have. This bar is the sweetest of the three and I blame that on the cherries, but it’s satisfying and very tempting. This bar is a sophisticated twist on the usual “raisin and peanut bar” you see everywhere.
This trio of bars are an excellent example of how simple ingredients and combinations can really elevate an already great chocolate. I can’t wait for these to show in my local Whole Foods.
Rating: Will Buy Again
Charles Chocolates Website