Country the Candy Comes From
When I was very early in my candy writing career, Chuao Chocolatier was one of the very first “gourmet” chocolate companies that I became very well acquainted with. Back then I wrote for Candyaddict.com, and easily wrote several articles regarding Chuao’s extensive chocolate line. Since then, I’ve done my best to keep up with the new chocolate bars and flavors they’ve introduced. Now that I live in Los Angeles, visiting one of their cafes is also on my to-do list. The point I am trying to make is I’m a big fan, and I was very pleased to find one of their newest bars in Cost Plus World Market recently. May I present, the Potato Chip Bar.
Yes, you read that right. Potato Chip. I really admire how Chuao Chocolatier, much like Vosges, just goes there with their more offbeat flavors. They branch out from the stranger chocolate flavors (like sea salt and chili) that are slowly becoming more mainstream. Flavors like honeycomb (the candy variety), panko, and even pop rocks are fair game to Chuao Chocolatier. The bar comes in an eye catching wrapper that is in the style from their “classic” range of chocolate bars. It goes from golden to bronze. The shapes of cacao pods decorate the edges, and the wording on the front is centered and clear.
The chocolate is a pretty medium brown color. On the back, you can see the light yellow flecks of the potato chips blended into the chocolate. The chocolate has a nice snap, but the break is not clean. The potato chips cause some rough edges and crumbling.
The the flavor starts out very creamy and sweet. The milk chocolate has intense flavor of milk, cream and caramel. It’s a very milky milk chocolate. You get some really nice chocolate flavor once the milky notes dissolve away. It’s a little sad, because as soon as the chocolate flavors arrive they’re immediately drowned out by the saltiness and flavor of the potato chips. The chips are pleasantly salty and have that nice crisp, starchy flavor. It stands out alone to me, as it doesn’t really mingle with the flavors of the chocolate since it appears right at the end. It’s a little disappointing since I wanted a chocolate and potato chip experience, but the flavors read separately so it’s hard to really get the together. The only way I found to resolve this is to later bites at once, but I don’t like feeling I have to gobble a chocolate bar to get the intended flavor fusion.
This bar is unique and that’s something I really appreciate. I liked the saltiness the bar had, but after eating this bar for a bit made me wonder if potato chips are the best way to get that salty kick in a chocolate bar. They do add a subtle starchy flavor to the chocolate, and also a slightly crunchy texture. Like all candy, such a preference depends on the person. You have to try it to find out if you like it, which I encourage to do with this bar. Plus, there’s the bagging rights of having eaten a chocolate bar with potato chips in it.
Rating: Will Eat Again
Links Chuao Chocolatier Website
There are times when I love Cost Plus World Market, and there’s times when I reeealllllyy love Cost Plus World Market. They are really great for candy hunting sometimes, and on one of my more recently trips there I struck candy gold. I found a bunch of interesting flavors of Mentos there, this Fresh Cola flavor one of them.
I’ve noticed that cola as a flavor is way more prominent in candy over in Europe than it is here in the Unites States. Honestly, the only “common” candy that I can think of that’s cola flavored is the Haribo Cola Bottles, and that’s not a domestic candy!I guess I’ve just proved my own point. I guess folks here just enjoy drinking the flavor too much. So finding this flavor in Mentos really felt special to me, since I don’t get cola flavored candy very often.
The package uses an attractive red color scheme (Coca Cola anyone?) and shows a carbonated glass of cola on the right side of he logo. It looks very fresh and invigorating. The candy dragees (as the package calls them) are a muted beige color and don’t have any aroma to mention. They feel hard and I’m unable to squeeze them in my fingers.
Popping one in my mouth, I immediate get the cola flavors as it feels like it just sizzles onto my taste buds. It’s sweet, it’s spicy and have a wonderful earthiness to it. Now, I know what you all are immediately wondering: what familiar soda does it taste like? Well, it’s about 85% Pepsi in flavor I’d say. I say 85% since I feel this flavor is more complex. I get more spice and fruity flavors in these Mentos than I do wit Pepsi. This might be because Pepsi is, as a drink, not as concentrated as a flavored candy would be. Also I think that every one had as different idea as to what “cola” tastes like. The texture is nice, as they’re easily chewed and aren’t too sticky.
I really enjoyed these. I’m glad I bought two rolls of them at the time. They’re fun to eat, very flavorful, and the texture is fun. I also love how you can just have a few, twist the top of the package and you have more for later. Point being, these were awesome. The flavor is refreshingly different, and I encourage you to try them if you ever happen upon them. Or any cola candy for that matter.
Rating: Will Eat Again
Links Mentos Website
One of the candies I recall seeing ever since I was little is Big League Chew Bubblegum. I don’t know if its just been around for so long, or if it’s the fact that it’s so iconic. Maybe both! I just remember seeing a lot of classmates (from Elementary school) having the stuff at lunch or at snack time. I’ve seen it every so often over the years, but as time goes on it seems that it just gets rarer and rarer. I had completely forgotten about it until I recently saw it. In fact, I actually bought my package at a 7-11 on a trip to Big Bear Lake, CA. I know there’s several different varieties, but they only has the original bubblegum variety there. I saw my chance and I took it. I will have Big League Chew for the first time in my life, for my candy blog.
If I’m not mistaken I think I’ve heard some people are not a fan of this stuff. It’s kinda like with candy cigarettes, as I’ve heard this gum is meant to mock chewing tobacco that all the baseball players use. I felt really horrible considering this coincidence when read the back of the Big League Chew package. They put the reasoning for the shredded bubblegum pieces so innocently:
..“So they came up with an great idea-shredded bubble gum in a pouch-. Today, more and more professional and amateur players in all sports are turning to Big League Chew, a fun gum that keeps your mouth from getting dry when the game is on the line.”
The drawing on the front is hilarious. The ball player has this intimidating grimace on his many stubbled square jaw, as he readies himself for the pitch. His forearm, my god, someone get a doctor. It’s so short and full of muscles I’m surprised he can get a shirt over them. I’ts the same artwork as I remember from my youth in the 80s, and it’s charming that it has remained there all these years.
The bag is easy to open and immdiately you smell the scent of bubblegum. It smells sweet and fruity, with heavy notes of cotton candy and “pink”. The bubblegum is cut into thin strips and is really easy to sepeate and take however much you want.
I take a few pieces and and begin to chew. The flavor is exactly as it smells: sweet, fruity, notes of perfume and cotton candy. The texture of the chew is very silky and smooth. It’s really nice to chew and easy to stretch out to blow bubbles. The flavor disappeares after a bit, and the chew hardens a little, but it’s still really fun to chew. It’s also nice grab a few strips of bubblegum to “refresh” the flavor in your mouth every little bit. I have to amit, this candy is a lot of fun.
A gum like this might change the way I think about gum. Since there’s no sugar alcohols in here, I do’t feel afraid to eat a lot of it. Especially once the flavor runs out. There’s a big package of it so I can take a little, roll it up and save it for later. I have to admit, I approached this gum feeling a bit cynical, but I actually quite like it. I honestly can’t see myself having it very often considering how rate it is to find. But when I do see it again, I’ll be sure to try the other flavors and I recommend that you do the same!
Rating: Might Eat Again
Links Big League Chew Website
I spotted this box of Lemonhead & Friends Redhead on a quick trip to Ralph’s a couple of weeks ago. They were on display and the bright red box completely caught my eye. It’s been some time since I had any of the Lemonhead brand, and craving something new I grabbed a couple of boxes. I figured they’d be fun to review as well as something tasty I could nibble on at work during the 3pm lull.
The first thing that stood out to me about the package was the “updated” look. Usually when Lemonhead and Friends appear together, they tend to be standing around looking at one another with fruit in their hands. This box, also cleverly named Redheads, has all the friends actually doing something. I like how here at least they’re all dancing to music, it immediately feels a lot more fun.
The candies, once I open the box to inspect them, all roll out in beautiful colors of all shades or red. At first it’s a little hard to tell them apart, well, the ones that weren’t maroon or pink anyways. There’s no distinct aroma to them as they just smell vaguely fruity. The candies are about chickpea sized. Some are smaller and some are a little larger. Quality control isn’t a big concern here, but I do find the irregularity refreshing and fun.
Strawberry: Orange pink in color. The flavor is sweet and reminds me of jam. There’s a nice intense berry flavor to it.
Cherry: Colored bright red. It immediately has juicy flavor that turns into a fake cherry flavor. I’m reminded of medicine. Blech.
Raspberry: Dark red in color. It tastes very “red” but also has an odd aftertaste of perfume.
Watermelon: These are the pink ones in the mix. Typical fake Jolly Rancher watermelon flavor. Notes of melons, flowers and a strange sourness that overwhelms my taste buds really easily.
These are alright, but they also aren’t really my thing. I’m a citrus lover, so I want my lemon and orange flavors back please. I do realize how Lemonhead wants to get in on this recent fad of having only red flavors in a mix. It just made me miss the other flavors and want a normal box of Lemonhead. However, I do realize I’m a minority, so if you’re into these red flavors, these just might be your new favorite.
Rating: Might Eat Again
Links Lemonhead Website
I am going to start this review by saying that I am already a big fan of Divine Chocolate. Since I am buying candy so often for the blog, I don’t get to buy it and enjoy it as often as I’d like since I am busy trying new things. I was in my local Whole Foods the other day and I saw this new Coffee Milk Chocolate bar that just yelled at me from the shelf. I knew I had to try it for the blog. I was especially excited about this bar, much like the Strawberry White Chocolate bar that Divine also makes, since coffee and chocolate is such a natural pair. I’m really surprised that I don’t see it around more often.
The wrapper is really pretty. The background of a rich brown adorned with designs of black on gold decorate the front and edges. “Divine” is written in embossed curly gold letters across the front with the tagline of “Heavenly Chocolate with a Heart”. The “Fair Trade Certified” logo is proudly displayed on the upper left. What’s not to love?
The chocolate has a beautiful medium brown color and a subtle sheen. It smells rich and creamy with an intense coffee scent. You can tell that this flavor will be powerful. I also get some notes of cream in there as well, which makes me look even more toward my first bite. The chocolate is section off nicely into squares that are four across and six deep. It makes for a perfect sized piece of chocolate in my humble opinion. Each comes in about about 1/2 inch long, 1/3 wide and 1/4 deep. I break of fa piece to find that this also has a really nice, clean snap to it. I haven’t tasted this chocolate yet and I’m already in love!
I take my first bite and I’m in heaven. Why? I feel no coffee grounds mixed in here. Some coffee chocolates I’ve had decided that adding coffee grinds to the chocolate was the “best” way to add some flavor. Flavor, perhaps, but having a sandy-textured chocolate as as result it hardly worth it. The flavor is immediately smooth and you get notes of cream, caramel and chocolate. The chocolate flavor escalates as the coffee flavor also starts to show up. The two blend together, neither one overtaking the other, but working together to give the most intense and flavorful mocha combination I’ve ever tasted. It’s so heavenly and delicious. The texture is also silky smooth and thick on our tongue so it feels incredible luxurious.
All I can say is, I love this chocolate. It’s really amazing. It has great texture, it has amazing flavor and it’s fair trade certified. If you’re a coffee chocolate lover, you must try this chocolate bar.
Links Divine Chocolate Website