January 2009
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Peeps Chocolate Mousse Bears

I grew up in a household devoid of marshmallow peeps. It wasn’t until college that I finally became familiar with this popular marshmallow confection. My roommate bought them by the dozen around Easter (they were still an Easter exclusive item back then) and set them out to get stale. She then nuked them in the microwave, froze them, and finally consume them. I had never witnessed such an elaborate candy eating ritual, and I was both confused and intrigued by it. 

Since then I have tasted my way though the different types of Peeps. Their light, marshmallow texture is delightful but the flavor leaves a lot to be desired in my book. They come across as flat and cardboard-tasting, and they remind me a little of Communion wafers. They’re terribly cute though, and I can’t help but eating a row of Chicks in the spring and some Pumpkin ones in the fall. Perhaps my love form them would grow if I experimented with my eating techniques a little. As of now I enjoy them fresh.

Enter the newest Marshmallow Peeps, Chocolate Mousse Bears for St. Valentines Day.

These look the same: puffy marshmallow with a colored sugar coating in an standard animal shape. They smell noticeable different, though. It’s a very sweet, cocoa aroma, like a good hot chocolate mix.

The flavor is much sweeter than a normal Peep to me. I’m also surprised to find they’re actually really flavorful, and I’ve tried all the varieties to date. They taste like I just took a spoonful of Nestle’s Quick, except in that wonderful puffy Marshmallow Peep form (you know, soft inside, slightly crunchy sugary outside). Immediately I finished off a row, promising to save the rest out in the open to get stale. They didn’t last a week.

Finally there’s a Peep I can say that I’m hooked on. I can’t help but recommend them whether you’re a Peep lover or not. You may just become a convert like myself.

Rating: Will Buy Again


Will Buy Again

Marshmallow Peeps Website


Zero Bars All Three

I’ve wanted to get my hand on these ever since I caught wind of their existence. If you’ve been a reader from the beginning, you’d know that my favorite candy bar is Hershey’s Zero Bar, that rare bar that’s basically a white chocolate Snickers. I couldn’t help but wonder if the Canadian Zero’s were going to be anything like that. I could find little information about them on the internet, so I was beside myself with joy when a friend of mine offered to send me some.

Once in hand, I was dazzled by the glitzy packaging. They definitely give off that “cool” vibe with their metallic wrappers.

Zero Dark: Looking at the ingredients list, I’m disappointed. Essentially, this bar is a block of mockolate. Oh joy.

It’s terribly messy to eat. It doesn’t hold it’s shape so it’s melty and therefore gets everywhere. The mockolate is cool on the tongue and it’s very, very sweet. The flavor is lightly of cocoa and hints of nuts and vanilla.

On the whole though, it’s unexciting and just lacking any satisfaction.

Zero Milk: Same off, greasy, cool feeling to it. The flavor is sweeter than the dark, with more milky notes, but no complexity. This fake milk chocolate is better than the dark one.

Zero White: Interesting. This bar actually has as a little cocoa butter in the ingredients listed after coconut and palm kernel oil. Yay? Well, at least it’s not hydrogenated…

I’m immediately surprised when I unwrapped this, since there’s milk and white “mockolate” in here. Huh, what? The bottom is milk and the top is white. I was expecting a full white bar.

Like the others, it’s greasy and cool to the touch. Surprisingly it tastes the most authentic of the three. It’s very creamy and slippery in the mouth, there’s lots of milky and tangy yogurt flavors in there. True to the white chocolate fashion, there’s also a strong sweetness to it too. It’s a very convincing mockery of the real thing.

Id’ (sadly) eat these again if there’s nothing else available. And I mean nothing.

Rating:Not Worth It


Not Worth It


Zootons Boxes Line

Organic and natural candies are getting more and more popular as the days go by. Enter one of the newest candies to fit into this niche: Zootons. They’re jelly candies that are organic, vegan and tasty too! Bold black boxes adorned with cute monsters hold these treats, along with the tag line of “Organic Candy With Out Of This World Taste”. Kind of a funny idea; extraterrestrial monsters that deliver candy that’s healthy for our planet and bodies.

To be honest, if it wasn’t for the generosity of a fellow candy friend, I wouldn’t have gotten my hands on these. Their website is still extremely vague on where you can buy them, and unless you can pick up samples on the trade show circuit, I don’t know where you can buy them. I am pretty frustrated by this, because I know there’s many of you out there searching for more friendly candy vices, and these certainly fit the bill.


Zootons Full

Organic Gummis: They come in crescent moon shapes and use all natural colors. The flavors are described as black currant, orange, pineapple and raspberry. Despite all natural color, they are easily distinguishable. Or at least thought so, until I realized there were four flavors and three colors. Hmm

I’m fascinated with the funny texture, as it feels like dried fruit. Soft, yet hard on the outside.

Pineapple: Very light and sweet. There’s no zest or tartness at all which I find disappointing.

Raspberry: I thought this was orange at first. Very floral with generic berry notes and a bit of pear in there. It reads more fruity than raspberry to me.

Black Currant: I am assuming that this is the right flavor since it’s the darkest color. Yet, it doesn’t taste of black currant to me. It’s fruity with bits of apple, pear, and grape but it lacks that piny hit like real black currants have.

Orange(?): I didn’t get anything orange flavored in this pack. Saddness.

Organic Cola: These are star shaped and so cute! The texture is harder and denser than the gummis. The color is perfect for cola.

The flavor is a beautiful mild cola: sweet, fruity, with notes of herbs and spices. They’re refreshing in their honest simplicity. 

Organic Sours These are also crescent moon shaped, but have a dusting of granulated sugar unlike the gummis.  Also listing as having strawberry, lemon, orange and raspberry flavors, yet there’s only three colors in my box. I am once again confused.

Lemon: Wowza, beautifully tart and zesty. It has a nice sourness and authentic flavor.

Raspberry: Very floral and slightly tart with flavors of pear. Why don’t other companies take a hint? So much better than that nasty fake blue raspberry sour stuff.

Orange: Oh, this one is awesome. The flavor is so juicy and fresh with the tartness is just a littler stronger than a real orange.

Strawberry: Again, wow, this is really juicy and not too sour to destroy the strawberry flavor. It’s just tart enough so it fits into the mix.

Organic Jellies: Stared shaped with a sugar coating that makes a great crunchy texture. The jelly part is soft with a subtle chew.

Black Currant: Tastes more like raspberry jam than it does black currant. Again, it’s lacking those piney notes I’m used to and expect.

Strawberry: Awesome, just like strawberry jam: juicy, sweet, and full of flavor.

Lemon: Fresh, sweet, slightly zesty. My favorite of the bunch.

Pineapple: Faint flavor with an authentic essence to it. There’s a light tang, but not as much as I’d expect from a pineapple flavor. This one comes in second.

I just loved these. If only I could buy more in stores! They are worth searching out and waiting patiently for.

Rating: Will Eat Again


Will Eat Again

Zootons Website


Atkinsons' Peanut Butter Bars

I’ve known of Atkinson’s Candy Company for some time now, as they’re the makes if the infamous Chick-o-Stick. I was surprised to see these in my local Wal-Mart, as I consider the Atkinson’s candy a bit of a regional/retro candy, and therefore pretty difficult to locate. I acted on my luck and brought a packet home to the candy labs for further evaluation. I’d never heard of the Peanut Butter bars before, and I was giddy about my new discovery. 

The package holds two long sticks, each white with brown stripes on them. They look like a hard candy, as they appear dense and glossy. Picking one up, the sticks are heavier than they look and they smell lightly of salty peanut butter.

The inside is white like the exterior, but it’s marbled with light brown stripes of peanut butter. The bite is hard and crunchy at first, but softens up pretty quickly as you start chewing. It’s an interesting texture combination, with the harder outside bits shattering and turning tacky, then chewy as you work it with your teeth. It’s a very satisfying mouth experience.

The flavor is full of fresh peanut butter that’s not too strong or too light. Like all god peanut butter, it has good salty notes and a hit of sweetness. I felt pretty satisfied after I finished the sticks, and wish I had gotten more. I hadn’t had anything quite like these before.

I appreciate that these are pretty sturdy and wont melt in extremely hot temperatures, which sadly is not a concern for me right now as it’s so cold out.

Rating: Will Buy Again


Will Buy Again

Atkinson’s Website


Golden Bonbon Nougat Package

I’ve seen these nougats around and was finally able to try them at the Fancy Food Show this past June. Since then I’ve been on the hunt to track down a pack for an official review, and now my hard work has finally paid off. Some candy with worth the work, and these Golden Bonbon Nougats are just that in my book.

These nougats hail from Canada where they’re made from an original Italian recipe. You can tell the company takes pride in their work, and once you taste them, you’re easily sold.

The nougats come in a pouch of assorted flavors and textures, so there’s a little bit of something for everyone. Each nougat is individually wrapped, labeled and cut into cute little mini fingers. It’s really a great in terms of packaging, as you can easily root through the bag and pick out your favorites and give the others to friends. I did just that and my roommate happily shared these with me.


Golden Bonbon Nougat Flavors

Crunchy Almond: Crunchy indeed! It’s hard, but not too bad. It took some working with the back teeth to get it to break, and then it softened up nicely. It has fresh nutty flavors of the almond and strong notes of honey and a little hint of maple flavor to it.

Crunchy Maple: This one is also really hard on the teeth. The flavor is much sweeter than the almond and the maple notes are powerful. Fake maple breakfast cereal comes to mind.

Soft Almond: The texture in this is much nicer. It’s soft, pillowy, has a good chew and the crunchy texture of the almonds compliment it nicely. The flavor in this is much more of an amaretto flavor than just almond with honey accents.

Soft Maple: Again, great with the texture. The maple flavor here is very prominent, and like the crunchy one, the slightly artificiality of the flavor reminds me of breakfast cereal.

Soft Orange: Strong bitter notes of orange as if the rind was used to make it. The honey in the nougat rounds out the sweetness and it’s a nice balance.

Soft Blueberry: The blueberry comes form dried blueberries in that’s mixed into the nougat along with the almonds. You don’t get the fresh, fruity flavor until you hit one and then there’s a great mix of blueberry and honey flavors.

Soft Cranberry: Wow, this is awesome! It tastes really like the whole thing was soaked in cranberry juice. Sweet, with a good sharp cranberry flavor and a tart edge.

Soft Cafe: The texture of this is a little firmer than the other soft ones I’ve had, much more thick and chewy. The coffee flavor is present, not too strong or too light. The coffee flavor itself is bitter and acidic. I’m not sure if I like the actual flavor of the coffee, but it does pair nicely with the nougat.

These disappeared pretty quickly and my roommate, who has such a small sweet tooth, kept asking if I had more of these long after I told her we’d finished them.

Rating: Will Buy Again


Will Buy Again

Golden Bonbon Website


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