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February 2010
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Feb
15



Organic Nectars Raw Cacao Bars

Chocolate is, in my opinion, a powerful creative medium. It’s a food that can be molded, shaped, flavored and textured in any way you like. We leave this job to skilled chocolatiers to work their magic on it for us, creating chocolate bars of all shapes, sizes and flavors, along with bonbons, truffles, and desserts that make our imaginations and taste buds soar. More and more people are aware of their eating habits nowadays, and there’s a desire for chocolate bars to fit this market. These Organic Nectars’ Raw Cacao Bars are just that. I was contacted by them asking if I’d like some free samples to try, and I gladly accepted their offer as I have yet to try some chocolate bars that fit into such a specific niche. 

These chocolate bars are not only organic, but they’re also Kosher, Vegan, Raw and are dairy, soy, allergen, gluten, refined sugar free. Talk about a clean chocolate bar! The ingredients are simple, and the main difference I see is that no refined sugar. Which, changes how chocolate solidifies.

54% Cacao: The aroma is very fruity and sweet, with nice notes of blackberries, cream, caramel and a strong chocolatey note. The break is clean and the snap is crisp. The flavor is very mild and I taste coffee, cream,  berries, forest, musk, mushrooms, caramel, vanilla and cocoa. The flavors mix and mingle as you chew, with a fruity crescendo at the end. The texture is gritty, probably because of the raw sugars, which has a different structural makeup than regular sugar does, so the chocolate forms differently. It’s a very tasty, rich, full chocolate for those of you who want another option.

Coconut Milk Chocolate: The chocolate smells creamy and earthy. The flavor is very caramel, creamy and earthy….I don’t get much chocolate or coconut flavor really. I was expecting flecks of coconut in here, but there isn’t. Very interesting. The texture is even more gritty than the 54%, and it gets dry and chalky at the finish. It stuck to my teeth and felt kinda icky, which is strange since milk chocolate is usually creamy and smooth. Which, made me curious and I looked at the ingredients of the bar, which read; “organic raw cacao butter, organic raw cacao butter, organic palm nectar, organic coconut powder, organic Tahitian Mexican and Madagascar vanilla, non GMO sunflower lecithin”. Where’s the milk? Not even coconut milk? So how is this milk chocolate? So..confused.

Also note, I was informed that the batch of Coconut Milk Chocolate and Golden White Chocolate that I received used a less ground palm nectar sweetener, and the newer batches mimic the smoother texture that the 54% has.

Golden White Chocolate: Upon opening this one up I was very surprised: this is not quite golden, but more of caramel/tan color. Like natural deodorized white chocolate. I was told the color is due to the sweetener, as it’s a golden color. It smells sweet and lightly of cocoa. The flavor is sweet, just sweet, not really any notes of cacao powder. The texture is also strange like the coconut milk chocolate: it gets gritty and feels like I’m swallowing sand. Not a fan. I miss the creaminess of regular white chocolate.

These bars were interesting. I really enjoyed the 54%, as it had a “wild” vibe to it and the flavor and texture most resembled what I consider to be mainstream chocolate. The milk and the white chocolate? Not so much, but that doesn’t mean they’re bad, just not my thing. I’m sure if I was Vegan or a Celiac, these chocolate bars would be just the thing I’d want to satisfy a craving. Because, isn’t that the point of chocolate? It should exist so everyone can enjoy it, and I’m sure the Organic Nectars bars will bring delight to many.

Rating: 54%: Will Eat Again

 

Will Eat Again

Milk Chocolate Coconut and Golden White: Not Worth It

 

Not Worth It

Links Organic Nectars Website


Feb
12



White Day Candy Trade III

An assortment of Pocky flavors available in winter season of 2007. Man that seems like ages ago…


Feb
10



Snickers

The Snickers bar, made by Mars, is one of the more quintessential candy bars found here in the US. It was created back in 1930, when many of our well known candy bars were born, and named after the family race horse. Snickers is a classic candy bar in that sense, it’s really survived over the years. No, correction, it has thrived since it’s creation and is one of the most popular candy bars sold today.

It wasn’t until I was contacted by Mars to see if I’d like some free samples that I realized that I never have done a traditional Snickers bar review. I guess I’ve overlooked it while chasing after all the limited editions that are being released.

Aside from the candy itself, I have to say that Snickers is also pretty keen on having some of the funniest commercials as of late. Who could say no to the likes of Mr. T? Or King Henry the VII? Take a gander if you haven’t seen these gems:

 

So for those of you who may not know what exactly a Snickers bar is, here’s a breakdown of the construction: it starts with a layer of peanut nougat at the bottom, then a stripe of caramel studded with fresh peanuts, then all is enrobed with milk chocolate. Simple, elegant, and very yummy.

Once the bar is unwrapped, you get the aroma which smells sweet and very peanutty. The texture has a nice chew to it, but it’s not too much as it’s soft and giving, so it doesn’t tire your jaw out like taffy would. The caramel is soft and not too dense.

The flavor is awesome; it’s a great mix of salty and sweet. You get the sweetness from the chocolate which has nice milky notes to it, then the caramel with the nice nutty/salty hit from the peanuts. Snickers is a masterpiece of contrast, and it’s a candy bar that satisfies.

From now until March 31, 2010 Snickers is holding a large contest called “SNACKONOMICS” which. You collect letters to spell out a specific word on the website (kinda like McDonald’s Monopoly) to win prizes. Now, normally I sniff at most contests, because really, what do I need with a new car when already have a nice one of my own? The prizes here are much more alluring to me, and they mainly consist of heft chunk of money that go toward things like your housing mortgage, car payments, and a yearly salary. Pretty nice rewards for eating a candy bar!

So many of my friends and family are people who go crazy for Snickers bars. They would all easily claim, hands down, that Snickers is their favorite candy bar of them all. It’s a great candy bar, as it has wonderful flavor and a great combination of ingredients. What keeps me from wanting to hoard them is the fact they suffer from my pet peeve: they have nuts in them. I still enjoy them though, because a great candy bar is a great candy bar. If you haven’t had a Snickers, you’re missing out.

Rating: Will Buy Again

 

Will Buy Again

Links Snickers Website


Feb
08



Glimmerglass Chocolates Bags

One of the gifts I received over the holidays were some treats from a chocolatier who had just opened up shop where my parents live in Upstate New York. My Mom discovered them at a Christmas open house and chatted with the chocolatier. Of course the fact that her daughter writes a candy blog (you know how Moms are!) was brought up, and I was immediately called to see which of the chocolates I’d like to try. I was more excited by the idea of trying anything that was offered, as it’s not often I get to try the work of a new chocolate business, but eventually settles on two things to try. 

 

Glimmerglass Chocolates

Cashew Honey Discs: Dark chocolate discs with a topping of caramelized honey cashews. The chocolate has bloomed a little, which I’m not surprised by, as didn’t get these samples fresh and they contain no preservatives. Thankfully bloom doesn’t affect flavor! The chocolate has a nice snap to it when bitten into, and the flavor is very fruity and rich. The texture of the chocolate is more gritty than smooth. The nuts are wonderfully fresh and have a great sweet/salty/roasted flavor combination going which I felt went well with the dark chocolate base.

Peppermint Bark: The base pf the bark is an even slab of a white and dark chocolate mix. The pieces are 1/2 inch think, with the white on top and the dark on the bottom. Nice, large chunks of Starbrights peppermint candy is crushed and sprinkled on top. It’s pretty to look at, for sure. The dark chocolate suffers from the same as the cashew honey slabs, there texture at the snap is very gritty and uneven, a sign it might have not been properly tempered. The flavor is balanced between the peppermint and the chocolate and one ingredient doesn’t overpower the other. This chocolate is creamier on the tongue and is a real delight to eat, as it just tastes of pure Christmas with the wonderful balance of flavors. Yummy!

Despite my nit-pickiness, these chocolates were tasty and a good start for a beginning business. The uneven texture is easily corrected with practice and experimentation, and I look forward to picking up some more of Glimmerglass Chocolates’ work when I next visit my parents.

Rating: Will Eat Again

 

Will Eat Again


Feb
05



Candy Trade Teaser: Lindt Lindor Bar II

These have always been a staple in my house growing up, as my parents love it so much. I was always confused because Lindt uses blue coloring for dark chocolate and red for milk, and it seems everyone else does it the other way around. Confusing.


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