One thing that I find frustrating about Valentine’s Day candy is the shelf space that is dedicated to the heart shaped boxes of chocolates. They come in all different sizes and each had a collection of frontal designs to choose from. I find this part of the candy aisle both daunting and annoying. You know they’re all boxes of chocolates, but which is the right size? Which has the assortment you would like? All these answers are unknowns until you buy one to see. That’s exactly what I decided to do.
I decided on the smallest heart shaped box that retailed for about $1.69 at the local drugstore. The color is a beautiful deep red with a rose illustration that looks like it was done in needlepoint on some red fabric. It’s very simple, pretty and romantic. I could have chose one that had a cute animal with googly eyes on it, but I find those obnoxious. I when with both a Whitman’s sampler and a Russell Stover sampler, even thought they are made by the same company.
Inside are three pieces, nicely settled in a plastic tray to keep them protected. They are a middle, milky brown color with a subtle sheen.
The first piece is a molded solid milk chocolate piece with the relief of a delivery boy carrying a box of Whitmans. It smells sweet with a hit of cream and caramel. The chocolate itself tastes of pure nostalgia to me. It’s sweet, creamy, has a nice toasted malty flavor to it which really brings out a “milk chocolate” flavor to it. Simple and tasty, while the piece is small enough to satisfy without going overboard.
The second piece is square shaped, smooth but with rippled from the enrobed chocolate. Like the first piece, it smells sweet with notes of caramel. My first, dense, slow bite reveals that this one has a thick caramel on the inside. The caramel is dense and chewy, but it’s not sticky or too hard. The flavor of the milk chocolate is sweet and malty, and the caramel adds a bright buttery note to it. Tasty, but not refined like more “upscale” caramels that I’ve gotten accustomed to.
The third pieces is an oblong oval, also with enrobed chocolate details on top. Inside this one is a smooth chocolate mousse. It’s light, creamy and fluffy that gives off an intense chocolate flavor that reminds me of chocolate ice cream. Delightfully flavorful and sweet, it went beautifully with a cup of coffee.
For the cost of this sampler, I think it’s a pretty nice little collection of chocolates. Sure they’re not anything overly gourmet or fancy, but there’s something so familiar and satisfying about these in their simplicity. I thought the chocolate was flavorful, way more than any Hershey’s bar I’ve had recently. If my fiance presented me with one of these, I would be pleased.
Rating: Will Buy Again
Links Whitman’s Website
Gimbal’s Fine Candies makes a bunch of really fantastic looking sweets. They are a company I’ve meant to try products from, but sadly they’re somewhat difficult for me to locate. Because of this, I’ve been waiting for the day where I have the luck to find some somewhere. Well, I was struck with candy luck the other day, as I found this bag of Cherry Lover’s jelly beans in my local Rite Aid. I immediately snatched it up and squealed at my good candy fortune.
These is an assortment of cherry flavored jelly beans. What impressed me right away is that “cherry juice concentrate” is one of the top items on the ingredients list. Yum! This made me very hopeful of having a more authentic taste as opposed to the medicinal one I encounter so much.
The beans are very pretty, and they’re even heart shaped! So cute!
Wild Cherry: Bright red. The flavor is classic red cherry, bright, fruity sweet. Thankfully there’s no hint of bitterness for the food coloring. Just a tasty, classic red cherry flavor.
Cherry Vanilla: White with red flecks. The flavor stars out like cherry, then this sweet, creamy flavor kicks in. I wouldn’t say it’s terribly vanilla, but when the two mix together ti does give off a cherry vanilla essence.
Black Cherry: Dark red. This one is very juicy, with strong, rich, notes of cherry that remind me of jam or a think juice. So yummy.
Chocolate Cherry: Dark brown. Immediately has notes of cocoa that are accented with bright cherry flavors. tasty.
Cherry Cheesecake: Pink with red flecks. Starts off sweet with creamy, rick, tangy flavors similar to cream cheese. The cherry flavor here is better and metallic tasting in comparison to the “cheese” flavor.
Bing Cherry: Bright red, hard to tell apart from the wild cherry. This flavor is more sweet than the wild cherry. The flavors are more metallic and deep than the wild cherry. Has more bitterness to it.
Cherry Daiquiri: Purple with red flecks. This starts off bright and fruity, more like a standard “berry flavor” than anything else. It tastes like there’s hints of lime.
Cherry Cola: Bright pink: Stars off sweet, then you get the intense, earthy flavor of cola. They’re sharp with an accent of herbs and lemon. Combined with the cherry it was very intense and it tickled my throat.
Kiwi Cherry: Pink with green flecks. The flavor is immediately very fruity with accents of pineapple and passion fruit. I wouldn’t call it “kiwi” per say, but mixed with the cherry it comes across as a very peachy flavor.
Overall, I really enjoyed these. My fiance too, was pleasantly surprised, and it’s the first thing he now grabs to munch on out of my candy stash. I plan to put these is a pretty candy dish when I have friends over, as they are terribly attractive to look at. If you are looking for a delicious, unique jelly bean, along with loving good cherry flavors. These are worth seeking out.
Rating: Will Eat Again
Links Gimbal’s Website
Hershey’s Kisses Cherry Cordial Creme are probably the first candy that I became aware of the existence of “limited edition” candies. It was back a few years ago, in 2007 I’d say, when I heard of Candyaddict.com making a petition to bring the flavor back since it had so many fans. Well, needless to say, they were successful! I’ve been seeing around this time of year since then. and I know it’ll sound odd, but this is the first time I actually bought a bag. Part of it is because cherry isn’t a favorite flavor of mine, plus there are so many other cool flavors candies have been coming in so I just didn’t have the time.
I picked this bag up on sale with the holiday candies, but imagine my surprise when I saw it among the Valentines Day candies when the store bought the new stock in. Needless to say, I got a deal! I wanted to explain why my package had snowflakes on it.
Opening the bag you get a very distinct smell. It’s very bright, fruity and red. It does have a “cherry” hint to it, but the kind of cherry medicine reminds you of. The wrapper is a pretty red raspberry color, accented with black stripes. The little paper sticking out the top read “cherry” and it easily identifies the type of kiss you’re looking at. You know, in case the color didn’t already suggest it.
The center of these Kisses are very fluid. hey immediately gush into my mouth as I bite down onto them. The flavor is, sweet at first, very syrupy. Then you start tasting hints of the milk chocolate, then the flavor of the cherry creme even more. It’s terribly sweet, and the flavor is a mix between real cherries and the flavor of red cough medicine. The chocolate takes an edge of the artificial flavor of the cherry, but I still manage to taste to bitter metallic tones of it. Not the worst cherry flavor I’ve ever had, but not the best either.
If you’re a fan of cherry cordials, I’d give these a try. Many friends who I shared these with enjoyed them, especially those who were fans of cordials to begin with. So i feel better about this, since it’s me having the problem, not the candy. It still amazes me how differently we all feel about certain candies. These Cherry Cordial Creme Kisses certainly have their fans, so if you’re curious at all, see why so many petitioned to being them back so long ago.
Rating: Will Eat Again
Links Hershey’s Kisses Webpage
M&M’s has been very good recently with releasing limited edition flavors for the holidays. There was the Candy corn M&M’s for Halloween, the Mint and Cinnamon M&M’s for the Holiday season, and now that Valentine’s Day is fast approaching we have Cherry M&M’s. This isn’t the first time that M&M’s has tried a cherry flavoring. Way back in 2008 when I was still writing for CandyAddict.com I reviewed the Wildly Cherry M&M’s when they first came on the market. Then they released the Cherry Cordial flavor for the holiday season. Still, this is the first plain “Cherry” flavor for M&M’s, so like anything new I have to try it. I know it’s an impossibility, but I do wish I had samples on hand from the older flavors so I could see how they compared to this new flavor.
In case you had any doubt in your mind, this package lets you know it’s for Valentine’s Day. We have the ladies man “Red” on the front, dressed in a tux and holding out a giant heart shaped box that reads “be Mine”. In his other had he holds two cherries, and the back ground is swirled with hearts. It’s pretty romantic. I am also very pleased that they managed to do a package design without any pink on it.
The M&M’s candies are all red or maroon colored, and vary in size by a little bit. Some are larger and some are smaller.
You can smell the cherry flavor on the M&Ms right away. It’s bright and metallic, with a strong juicy note that has a floral edge to it. It’s a cherry flavor I haven’t enountered much before. The aftertaste is a little medicinal, but by all mean it’s not unpleasant.
It’s funny how the cherry flavor diminishes each time you pop a new flavor in your mouth. I’ve paired these with coffee, and I’ve also shared them with my fiance. At first he seemed hesitant, since he isn’t big on cherry flavors. Soon he was eating them piece by piece exclaiming that they are “Pretty good”! If you’re a cherry lover, I do recommend giving these a try. Like other cherry flavors M&Ms has done in the past, these are tasty if you like red candies!
Rating: Might Eat Again
Links M&M’s Website
The very first Valentine’s Day candy I got this year were these delicious samples from See’s Candies. They are very festive, with a large, heart shaped Milk Bordeaux and a Sweetheart box. They use lots of red and pink, plus the heart shaped which make them perfect for Valentines Day. I was super excited to receive these samples, as See’s candies are favorites of mine, and I adore trying their seasonal fare.
If you’ve never had a See’s Bordeaux, well, let me just say it’s a little slice of heaven. It’s a mix of brown sugar and butter cream, so it’s rich and smooth, which being a little grainy and sweet. So, terribly addictive. This one for Valentines Day comes in a little box, but don’t let it fool you. It’s still a large Bordeaux even if it’s not a whole pound of them from their chocolates counter.
It’s very sweet looking, in the shape of a heart, with two frosted hearts in the center: one red and one white.
The way this candy melts in your mouth is an absolute pleasure. You get waves of sweetness that are buttery and have a richness that is hard to explain. The texture is smooth and thick, as if a square of fudge just melted on your tongue. It doesn’t dissipate too quickly and it leaves you moth feeling clean. No greasy aftertaste or grit. It’s pure bliss.
Everyone I’ve shared pieces of this Bordeaux with, cause for it was was that big, absolutely loved it. My fiance posture relaxed as he looked at me and said “Wow, that is really good”. The Bordeaux is one of my favorite See’s, and it will firmly remain there.
The Sweetheart Box is a lovely collection of some of See’s best truffles. This box, though, is the oly boxed assortment that has their Peanut Butter Pattie and P-Nut Crunch (tm) in it. Both are perfect for any lover of peanut butter, so this assortment is a good bet if your Valentine loves that flavor. There’s a nice assortment of other chocolate, nougats and nut-brittle in here, so your taste buds certainly won’t get bored. To add to its festive feeling, not only is the box beautifully decorated, there’s solid red foil wrapped heart candies in here that complete the feeling.
I am smitten with these chocolates and especially that Milk Bordeaux heart. I’d have a constant stash of those in my kitchen in an ideal world. If your sweetheart is into rich chocolates and sweet fillings, See’s is a great option for your Valentines Day gift giving.
Links See’s Candies Website