Calendar

August 2009
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Aug
31



Galler Cat Tongues Tops

One thing I was always interested in was this idea of Belgium chocolate and the stereotype that it’s especially “fancy” or “gourmet”. The misconception is that Belgium chocolate is a style of making chocolate as opposed to the fact that the country is naturally filled with talented chocolatiers (which, is true, but you get what I mean). There’s many chocolates that come with this Belgium-styled claim; Godiva, CafeTasse, Leonidas come right to mind. Galler is another one, and it wasn’t until I stumbled across these tins of “Cat Tongues” in Marshalls, one of their signature offerings, did I get a chance to finally try them.

I had no idea what a “Cat Tongue” was, but the interesting tin and the fact I hadn’t had any Galler before was reason enough for me to make the purchase. I bought a tin of each flavor: dark, milk, white. I saved the milk one as a gift and took the dark and the white for official blog tastings.

The The packaging is nice, as I was greeted with a long chain of individually wrapped Cat Tongues on the inside. All nicely folded up one another so nothing got squished. The illustration of the very European-styled Cat (I’m reminded of the art by Albert Uderzo in the Asterix comics and Peyo’s work on the Smurfs.) 

 

Galler Cat Tongues

Unwrapping a piece, you can see each are molded into the face of the Cat giving us the raspberry, as so to speak. The chocolate looks flawless and the praline center is barely visible though the white chocolate shell.

These did not have as much flavor as I hoped. Just picking up a piece to eat, the chocolate feels overly sweet and greasy. The praline center has a good hazelnut flavor but it’s not as strong as Nutella. The dark chocolate Cat Tongue had a nice snap to it and a nice dark gloss. The mild dark chocolate did mask some of the praline’s sweetness, but it was still on the bland side. The white chocolate was creamier and milkier, and had a more pronounced hazelnut flavor as there wasn’t much chocolate for the praline to compete with (or should I say sugar?). Both of them just didn’t do it for me and didn’t deliver an indulgent chocolate experience I was hoping for.

These didn’t really do it for me, but I did share them with friends and family with positive results. My Mom especially liked taking the white and dark ones and placing them back to back to nibble on with coffee. She was also gifted the milk chocolate ones (which means I didn’t get to taste them) and said they were quite enjoyable. I look forward to trying Galler’s other products, namely those adorable colored chocolate bars I see sometimes.

Rating: Not Worth It

 

Not Worth It

Links Galler USA Website


Aug
28



Cup O Gold Package

This is another classic candy that takes the form of a chocolate cup with a creamy marshmallow filling. I cannot help but compare it to its East Coast counterpart the Mallo cup, which is a candy I go ga-ga for, as Cup O Gold shares a few similar traits, like also having coconut bits in it. That’s where the similarities end though, as Cup O Gold has bits of almonds tossed in there along with different forms of packaging. Cup O Gold carries one big cup, whereas Mallo Cup holds two. Look at it as the difference between a package of regular Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and the one Reese’s Big Cup.

I adore the packaging of Cup O Gold, with its 1970’s color scheme with browns, yellows and oranges and the gleefully grinning prospector (who, makes a large appearance on the boxes that hold the Cup O Gold. He’s just grinning in a small gold emblem on the individual packages). It makes me happy for many reasons I won’t get into, but it may have something to do with my weak spot for vintage design and old west films.

Cup O Gold Center

The flavor is nice, with the chocolate sweet and giving a nice chocolate and caramel flavor. There’s more chocolate-to-marshmallow here, so the marshmallow is less of a flavor and is more drippy and fresh than the Mallo Cup. You can still easily taste the marshmallow, which has a light vanilla flavor. It’s more like the infamous Valomilk that’s specific to the Midwest. I really have to concentrate to taste the coconut and almonds, as they’re mixed into the chocolate. The pieces are so small they provide more of a texture than anything.

Most people I meet prefer either Mallo Cup or Cup O Gold. My theory was that it was a classic East Coast/West Coast split on it. That is, until I gave one to my boyfriend (who is a classic Pennsylvania native) and declared he thought that Cup O Gold was the superior of the two. Traitor. 

I do love the Cup O Gold, I just can’t get past the fact that I like Mallo Cup better. I think I like the size and ratio of ingredients better. I do pick one up whenever I see these in stores though, because unless I play the comparison game, these a a golden nugget of a candy. You don’t come across them often and you feel like you found treasure when you do.

Rating: Will Buy Again

 

Will Buy Again

Links Adam’s - Brooks Website


Aug
26



Mounds Bar Package

“Sometimes you feel like a nut, sometimes you don’t” is the extremely catchy tag line for Peter Paul’s Almond Joy and Mounds candy bars. Peter Paul was it’s own candy company back in the day, but as time passed it was acquired by Hershey’s, so now even though Almond Joy and Mounds are members of the Hershey’s candy family, they still carry the name of their creator.

Mounds is really such a classic candy bar, and it really is a good example of a how simple ingredients can make something really stellar. Let’s hear it for dark chocolate and coconut! I really can’t say when the last time I had a Mounds bar was. Perhaps college? High school? It’s a bar that I’m a fan of, but something tat gets pushed aside for more specific cravings and newer candy conquests. Which is a shame, really.

Mounds Bar

One thing I want to mention that I really like about Mounds bars is that, well, when you open the wrapper and you find two little pieces of candy bar as opposed to one big long one. It feels like a present in a way. My head goes: “Oooo! I get two? Awesome!” Who cares of they’re smaller, twp pieces are two pieces. I have to give props to Almond Joy and 100 Grand for also doing the same thing.

Onto the tasting! The first piece I took smells dark and sweet, with a whiff of coconut. My first bite is extremely moist and dense, and you can make out the texture of the individual coconut flakes as you chew. The flavor is very sweet, with the coconut as the main, strong flavor. The chocolate compliments it nicely with it’s more subtle, smokey chocolate flavor that cuts into the coconut’s sweetness. It’s extremely balanced and so satisfying. If chocolate and coconut is what gets you goin’, there’s nothing better than the sweet simplicity as executed here.

Like most candy bars today, Mounds had a few limited editions show up on the market. The most notable was the Island Orange that Cybele reviewed and that I was able to find only in mini form. I remembered liking them. 

Rating: Will Eat Again

Will Eat Again

Links Mounds Webpage


Aug
24



Whitman's Soho Box

I first heard of the new gourmet line offered by Whitman’s back at the All Candy Expo in 2005. It was at a time when everyday candy companies were starting to jump onto the gourmet and upscale chocolate bandwagon. Whitman’s, a branch of Russell Stover, was unveiling their new box of artisan gourmet chocolate bonbons, called Soho after the trendy, artsy, designer neighborhood in New York City. I admit, at first I didn’t pay much attention to them. I like Russell Stover chocolate as much as anyone, as I’d have them every now and again growing up. It wasn’t until my boyfriend showed up with these Soho chocolates in their bright red box, knowing full well that they were something I hadn’t tried yet. He figured it’d be an interesting thing to try, and boy, he didn’t know how right he was.

Firstly, I want to touch upon the fact that how a food looks can really be a treat. I have to give it to Whitman’s because, the design and look of these chocolate is quite attractive. The bright red box, the golden interior tray that holds and protects the bonbons, and the look of the bonbons themselves is really a treat to look at. Ah, eye candy. 

 

Whitman's Soho Bonbons III

Sadly, that’s where the good things about these chocolates end.

There is no guide saying which flavor is which. There’s a brief blurb on the back of the box stating what the flavors are, but no indication otherwise.

To add to the frustration, there’s this overpowering fake perfume smell upon opening the box which permeates into all the chocolates, making it nearly impossible to distinguish by aroma alone.

Cacao Truffle: round with yellow, red and brown swirls: I figured staring off with the plainest of the bunch was the best idea. Wrong. The ganance center was dry, almost to the point where it was more like a crumbly nougat. It tasted mostly sweet, with that tainted perfume flavor from the whole box. 

Madagascar Vanilla Brulee: dark chocolate rectangle with ridges: I could only guess it was the vanilla as it, well, because it didn’t taste like anything else in the flavor line. Process of elimination. It was just sweet and didn’t really carry flavors that make me think vanilla…or dark chocolate. Unlike the Cacao truffle, the center here was more liquid, but not anything custardy like a brulee should be.

Raspberry Ganache: round dark chocolate with yellow swirls: Oh, this was the offender that made everything in the box smells like one generic thing. The flavor and aroma is so fake and powerful. It’s like a bad perfume. Ew.

Pear Praline: white dome with yellow streaks: It took me a moment to figure this one out, as it tasted of citrus at first, then turned so horribly bitter that I had to spit it out. It had to be the pear one as, again, process of taste of elimination tells me it couldn’t be anything else.

Sea Salt Caramel: milk chocolate square with red lines: Just by the look at this one I thought it would be the raspberry. Instead it’s a bland caramel that has no depth or intensity of flavor. As vacant as a California Valley Girl.

Pistachio Noughat: rectangle with red and yellow splashes: This one was confusing because it wasn’t a nougat, just a strange this-could0be-a-ganache-or-a-nougat-but-isn’t center with only little bits of pistachio mixed in. Again, no flavor and just sweet.

I had cut each piece in half so I could share them with the boy. Not only did I not finish my halves, but I also chucked the rest as to spare him the chocolate trauma. Sometimes I think some candy is meant just to look at. These are a good example.

Also check out Rosa at ZOMG Candy!‘s impressions and CandyAddict’s review.

Rating: Inedible

 

Inedible

Links Whitman’s Website


Aug
21



Lindt Hot Papaya

Lindt is a pretty well knowing chocolate in my household, and my Mom always had some one hand as I was growing up. The favorites were always the Lindor balls and the milk chocolate bars, but over the years I made sure to have some experience with all of their delicious offerings. I am pleased to see that whenever I stop in the Lindt Store (yes, we are lucky enough to have those here on the east coast) that I often see something new and tempting. That was exactly the case with this new Hot Papaya bar.

Now, I have to say that chili and other hot spices in chocolate are not anything new to me. There was a time when they were novel and I was also a bit intimidated by the idea. Once I gave it a try though I found it to be a pleasing combination and have since had too many chocolate bars with spices to shake a stick at. What sold me on this bar was the fact I’d never seen papaya used. That was the unique selling point here.


Nice deep reddish brown color Very dark and mysterious. Pieces are big and thick, as the filling is sandwiched between the chocolate. Smells tropical and very fruity, sweet and papaya-like wit notes of pineapple, apple and peach. You also get notes of the chocolate and it smells of bright red fruits, coffee and cocoa.

Nice snap to the bite. It’s rich, deep, and tastes very buttery from the cocoa butter. It’s slippery and rich and a nice mellow dark chocolate consistent with Lindt quality. The center is a ganache with a jelly-like filling. the ganache is creamy and smooth, ad gives a cooling counter effect to the fruit and spice jelly filling. As for the filling it’s extremely fruity and fresh, and I am reminded of fresh papaya and other tropical flavors. It’s very intense and delicious. The chili is really an after burn, you get it once the chocolate is swallowed and it appears and this warmth in your mouth. The papaya meshes nicely with the dark chocolate, the sweetness of the fruit ad the milder dark chocolate balance beautifully.

Love how Lindt is trying new fruit and spice combinations in chocolate. This is a winner in my book.

Rating: Will Buy Again

 

Will Buy Again

Links Lindt Website


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