If you follow the Ritter Sport page on Facebook, every month or so they hold a contest for a giveaway. I was lucky enough to win one a bit ago, and I was sent this adorable little goodie bag in the mail. How nice! It came wit ha tote bag, a lanyard, and Ritter Sport chocolate bars. It was a lot nicer than I expected, and I now have a great new bag for my work lunches and sweet for my coffee in the morning. I had reviewed all the flavors that came in this gift set, except Ritter Sport Almond, so I’ll take the opportunity to do that now.
The almond bar comes in a beautiful hunter green package. Some almonds tumble down on the package front, with the description of “with almonds frown in the California sunshine”. Almonds are California’s largest export, you know! The bar smells sweet and nutty. I get notes of cream and caramel with a hint of amaretto.
The squares break off nicely despite the large pieces of almonds in here. The chocolate is creamy and smooth and the almonds are fresh and crunchy. A really nice combination. The milk chocolate is sweet with nice notes of cream, caramel and cocoa. But don’t’ let the chocolate kid you, as the almonds are the real star here. They’re fresh and crunchy wit ha wonderful nutty flavor. It’s delicious in its simplicity.
So whether you win free chocolate from Ritter (follow them on Facebook if you want to try for that opportunity) or if you buy it in stores, you really can’t go wrong. I’m continually impressed with their chocolate and the flavors are always tasty. I highly recommend ll their chocolate bars, and am super excited for the new flavors I hear will be released later this year.
Rating: Will Buy Again
Links Ritter Sport English Website
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
Villars is a chocolate brand that I see around infrequently, yet I’d never bought it to try some before. I always recognized the packaging right away, and I can’t say exactly why, but I always ended up grabbing another chocolate bar instead. So when I saw these the other day in Cost Plus World Market, I figured it was finally time to give these chocolate a try.
I really like the packaging on these, as they’re very whimsical and pretty. They have a nice logo design, and the image of the pastoral Swiss countryside is very cute. It reminds me of the “Snow White” chocolate hazelnut Lindt bar wrapper. There’s something very classic about it.
The first bar I picked up is the “Chocolate au Lait Suisse”. Unwrapping the bar from its foil covering, you can see it’s sectioned off into two pieces wide and six deep. The design of the bar is very pretty, as each section has a flower relief on it. The chocolate is a nice light brown and is blended well. The back of the chocolate has no dents, bubbles or rippling.
The texture of the chocolate is grainty at first, then becomes incredible rich and smooth in the mouth.
The flavor is very European. The taste starts off sweet, then a blossom of chocolate and milky flavor takes over your taste buds. You have rich choocolate flavor complimented with that “dry milk” dairy flavor. It’s also very sweet, and I preferred to eat this chocolate with a cup of black coffee to cut the sweetness a bit.
Very good and very tasty.
The second bar I bought is the “Swiss Milk Chocolate with Caramel Chips”. This chocolate bar is set up the same way as the normal Swiss Milk flavor. The exception here is that there’s caramel chips in here. The bar design is the same, we have a beautful flower relief on each section. The chocolate is darker than the plain milk chocolate, and you can see the speckles of the caramel chips in the chocolate.
The flavor is a tad different. This milk chocolate is darker than the other, with less of a “dry milk” flavor. Instead you get the flavor of the caramel chips, which are sweet and buttery. The deliver a crisp crunchiness to the chocolate, which makes the texture experience quite different from a normal chocolate bar. Surprisinly this bar is less sweet than the plain milk. It has more going on in terms of flavor and texture, so it feels more complex.
I was impressed with both of these chocolate bars. They seem simple and unassuming, but they are some very nice Swiss chocolate, especially if you’re into that European milk chocolate flavor. I really enjoyed this chocolate with coffee, as the flavors paired up really well. I can see this chocolate pairing up with lots of things, since good chocolate is so versatile like that. I am glad I finally gave Villars a try.
Rating: Will Eat Again
Links Villars’ Website (French)
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
The Russell Stover Cream eggs hold a special place in my heart. They’re the candy that was always the big treat during the Easters of my childhood. I liked the fact that they came in different flavors, so there was always one that appealed to your current mood. My favorite flavor is the Maple Cream (review to come!) but the Strawberry always came in as a close second. The vanilla, coconut and the white chocolate coconut eggs (which are sadly discontinued) were always present too. So much yumminess!
This Strawberry Cream egg is milk Chocolate covered. You can smell its sweetness as soon as you open the package. It’ sweet, milky and has a slight berry kick to it. It reminds me of how a milkshake smells in a way. When you hold the egg in your hand, it’s surprisingly light for it’s size. It weighs in as only an ounce, but really packs in the flavor.
Taking my first bite, I notice that the milk chocolate is sweet and creamy. It has a great caramel cream taste to the chocolate. Out of many mass produced chocolates here in the US, I think Russell Stover’s falls on the sweeter side. That has both its pro and cons. One I peel away a bit more of chocolate, I get to the flavored interior. The strawberry center is very fuffy and rich. The taste is sweet at first, then a nice jammy flavor kicks in and it’s very fruity. It does taste of the strawberries, kinda like strawberry ice cream. Its’ very sweet, so I get a throat burn. I make sure to have a glass of water or coffee handy.
I feel like I should mention that I eat these eggs a little strangely. I nibble off all the chocolate top and side then lick out the fluffy inside. It feels like pulling chocolate panels off a soft object. This makes the candy somewhat interactive and last longer.
I really love this Strawberry Cream Egg, and I ok with saying I think a lot of that love is the nostalgia of them. If you’ve never had one, I recommend trying one out to see if it’s your kind of thing. Traditions always start somewhere!
Links Russell Stover Website