It took me a few years to catch on that there were other flavor varieties of the Cow Tail out on the market. Like the hard to find Charleston Chews, Cow Tails also have a chocolate and strawberry variants on store shelves. The trick is finding them.
I don’t recall exactly where it when it was that I first found the chocolate Cow Tail, but I assure you I was plenty excited. I really didn’t know what to expect from it when I piled them of them on the cashier’s counter top for purchase. Would the creme on the inside be chocolate? The outside? Would it be really chocolatey? Or more bland like a Tootsie roll? I couldn’t wait to find out.
Ah ha! Upon opening the wrapper I see that it’s the caramel outside that carries the chocolate flavor. It has the same delicious creme center, and it gives a a nice vanilla flavor to balance the chocolate. The chocolate exterior is flavorful (yes, there’s really chocolate in there) and it’s oddly satisfying. I appreciate how it’s a good authentic chocolate flavor, although it’s mild. The caramel still has that “wheaty” essence to it, and has that nice chew and sugary coating on it. It still feels faithful to the original Cow Tail formula.
I liked it just as much as the original vanilla variety, and I stock up whenever I happen to come across them.
Rating: Will Buy Again
I remember getting my first Goetze’s Cow Tale back in elementary school. I was in a convenience store with my mom who was buying gas, ans there was a display of them by the register. “Have you had these yet Sera?” asked my Mom pointing to them. I honestly admitted that I hadn’t, and I was treated to one right then and there. I’ve been getting them on a semi-regular basis ever since. Some candies just stick with you, you know?
The Cow Tales are just a different form of the infamous Goetze’s caramel creams. You recall what I’m referring to, the ones that come in a tray package in thick round pieces. Cow Tails are the same thing, except they come in a long thing tube instead. I preferred the shape of the Cow Tails to the original, as I love eating away at one side and lick out the inside. I technique I perfected early on, as I had to amuse myself on those long gas station stops somehow.
The Cow Tail is terribly soft and pliable. It’s fun to twist it into shapes and you could easily tie it into a knot. It has a light dusting of flour/confectioner’s sugar on the outside to keep it from getting too sticky in your hands. I appreciate how they thought to do that.
It smells very sweet and of vanilla, and it also has a nice “starchy” smell to it that’s hard to place exactly. The chew is substantial, yet soft. The caramel outside is mildly sweet, and this isn’t “normal” caramel by any means. It has hints of caramel and butter and the closest thing I can compare it to is soft sugar cookie dough after it’s been hardening in the fridge. The vanilla creme center balances out the mild caramel outside beautifully, providing a intense flavor hit of vanilla and sweetness with a creamy, almost cool feeling texture.
Together (or apart, depending on how you like you eat them) they makes a wonderful marriage of flavors that I happily keep returning to again and again.
Rating: Will Buy Again
Upon discovering Droste pastilles for the first time and really liking them, I obviously began to seek out the other varieties they had to offer. I think after trying as many as I could get my hands on, the bittersweet pastilles have stood out as my favorite. The white chocolate ones would come in second.
If I had to decide on what type of chocolate is my favorite, I’d have to say bittersweet. It’s a nice middle ground that isn’t clearly defined by the chocolate community, so it’s really up to the manufacturer to decode what makes their specific chocolate bittersweet (or semisweet as some like to call it). It is usually a chocolate that may or may not contain milk solids and the cocoa percentage ranges from 50% to 70%. This specific Droste variety has milk solids and doesn’t exactly list the percentage on the wrapper, which has become sort of a standard thing nowadays.
I really love the packaging on these. The cardboard tube contains a heavy duty plastic packet that holds the roll of the rounded chocolate discs. It’s easy to open it up, take a few, and twist it back up to save the rest for later. I like having that ability to store part of the chocolate away safely, which I think is a design flaw for the big bars of chocolate.
The pastilles are a beautiful deep brown with a bright sheen to them. They were a delight to photograph.
They chocolate tastes very coconutty to me right away. I could smell it in the aroma, and in the mouth it’s an overwhelming characteristic of the chocolate. One the coconut eases off, you notices the very deep roasted notes of cocoa, coffee and caramel; delivering an intense chocolately hit. It reminds me of a first sip of a really good hot chocolate. It also really reminds me of eating a handful of bittersweet chocolate chips, minus the volume in the mouth (but who wants to admit to actually doing that?).
The mouth feel is very smooth and rich, and it feels wonderful on the palate. It’s thick and buttery, without overdoing it.
Out of all the Droste flavors and varieties. I return to this one the most. I think that speaks for itself.
Rating: Will Buy Again
Droste was my gateway chocolate, as so to speak. It was the first chocolate I had that really started to open my eyes to the tasting adventures that lay awaiting me in the realm of candy. Prior to finding and buying my first roll of the pastilles, I’ve always knew the company for their boxes of cocoa and the Droste Effect illustrated on them. My parents also were familiar with Droste as they lived in Holland for a time, so they were amused by the idea of their daughter finally discovering a chocolate they’d known about for years.
These pastilles are 75% dark chocolate and this actually lists cocoa liqueur as the first ingredient. Impressive, at least for a semi-upscale chocolate. Immediately you can see these are much darker than American dark chocolate, and have an almost spooky gloss to them. It feels more mysterious and exotic.
The smell is rather sweet with notes of coffee, cinnamon and coconut. The snap is very hard, break is clean. The texture is nice and creamy without being too thick and it moves nicely in the mouth,
The melt in your tongue is slow causing the flavors to be released gradually. First it’s very dry with notes of cocoa and almonds, then it grows a little more powerful and sweet where subtle notes of caramel and coffee come through. There’s a slight fruity note at the end and the aftertaste is not as clean as most, because I still detect lingering notes of fruit and cocoa. This chocolate feels very “brown” and rich. The bitterness with well tempered here, it’s not too sweet or too astringent and I feel it’s a perfect middle ground and a great place for beginners. I say that because the flavor notes are strong and there is a “middle ground” of complexity so the tasted wouldn’t get overwhelmed with to many sensations to try and identify.
Even though now I’ve learned more refined taste in chocolate, I still find myself picking up a roll of these pretty often. They just hold a special place on my taste buds and chocolate heart, so I encourage you to give them a try yourself.
Rating: Will Buy Again
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays! No matter what you celebrate, I hope you are having a good time surrounded by loved ones and good food.
I realize that on the surface, this doesn’t seem like a very holiday oriented confection. I thought about reviewing one of the classic candies, like candy canes, or perhaps ones of the new limited editions that was released just for the holidays. But, I wanted something more meaningful. For me, Italian torrone (or nougat, if you prefer) is always associated with Christmas. There’s some foods that you only get once and year, and for my Dad, it’s Italian torrone.
My Mom always buys him a bar for the holidays, and in recent years, I’ve started to do the same. Growing up, I never quite understood what this confection was. My Dad always offered me some, and I didn’t take him up on his offer until me late teens or early twenties. To my surprise, I really liked it. Really liked it. From then on my Dad and I were able to share my love to torrone together, something my Mom and sisters don’t understand.
I think of him whenever I eat it.
This specific torrone is studded with almonds and is enrobed with a lemon flavored white chocolate coating. It’s protected in sturdy plastic, so I’m sure it’s very fresh. The bar smells very strongly of lemon, almost in a soapy way, with a slight almond essence toward the end of it.
The texture is awesome: firm with a edge of softness with a smooth mouth feel that has a slight grain to it. The almonds are fresh and deliver a meaty crunch. The lemon/white chocolate coating is thick and hard, protecting the soft, terribly fresh torrone under it. The flavor is a wonderful mix, and it’s really hard to separate each of the parts from one another (trust me I tried). The lemon flavor is sweet and slightly zesty, and the torrone has notes of nuts and honey. Overall it provides, albeit a little overly sweet, tasty fresh lemon/nougaty flavor, just like you’d expect. I like knowing what to expect from a confection, and this delivers everything I’d anticipated and then some.
Torrone fanatics would love this I think. I’d buy it again, but not regularly. Otherwise it wouldn’t remain such a special holiday treat in my mind.
Rating: Will Buy Again
Strega Alberti Torrone Webpage