Today is the second Michel & Augustin Petits Carres bar that I bought at the Grove Farmer’s Market. I recall them having a few varieties. If I bought all they had I clearly don’t remember. My sister just chose a few for me and I went with them. I didn’t care enough to make sure if I was trying all the varieties or just some of them.
This is the Hazelnut Dark Chocolate flavor, which, I am hoping will be a bit more flavorful than the plain dark chocolate. Time will tell though.
The first thing that had me bummed about this bar was it has overcooked cookie base. Not just darker than the last, no. It has inconsistent coloring all over and in some parts it was a dark as the chocolate was. Not good. The flavor is not as strong or yummy as Nutella is, which I found disappointing. The filling is only slightly nutty and just comes across as bland. Sadly there’s no saltiness in the cookies base. Just a bland sweetness and a rock hard texture which made it even more difficult to separate and eat as the Dark Chocolate variety.
So this one was disappointing. I was hoping it’d improve my thoughts about this candy, but instead it just made me think worse of it. If I wanted to eat flavorless burnt cookies I’d make some myself, as it’s easy to leave a batch in the oven too long. I mean, it didn’t taste terrible but it wasn’t great either. Especially since I paid about $4 for this, imported from France no less. Fool me once….
Rating: Might Eat Again
Links Michel & Augustin Webpage (French)
I came across this Michel & Augustin Petits Carres: Dark Chocolate at the same trip to the Grove Farmer’s Market down in Los Angeles on 3rd and Fairfax. The stores there carry and amazing array of items, and these bars from France are one of many. It was actually my sister who noticed them at first and kept picking them up to look at the packaging. The purist that I am, I was more interested in the huge bars of Felchin and Dolfin chocolates. It wasn’t until I she came over and tugged on my sleeves suggesting that these would be great to review on my blog. “Look at how unique these are!” she exclaimed. That line of reasoning was exactly why I bought them.
This is a candy bar that I have never seen before. This isn’t because it’s French and I just haven’t seen it on shelves here in the USA. No, I mean by the fact that this style of candy bar is completely new to me. Usually you see instead is a bar that is similar; where cookie bits are crumbled into the chocolate, or the chocolate is put into the cookie and it sold as a…well, a cookie. So this idea of a molded cookie base and chocolate interior which is a candy bar is very new to me.
I shall start with the first flavor: Dark Chocolate.
So these bare have butter biscuit as the bottom with a chocolate filling pressed into “wells” in the top. The bar is broke into six biscuit sections, two wide and three tall. Out of the wrapper it’s pretty to look at. Kind of like a stained glass cookie. Also though, due to the denseness of the cookie bottom, the sections are kinda hard to break. Everyone single one of them gave me a difficult time.
The bar is 73g in size/weight. I admit I wasn’t quite sure if this was a candy or a cookie. But, one seldom sees a 73g cookies wrapped like a candy bar. Much less from France.
The butter biscuit bottom is soft and crumbly. It doesn’t require a lot of chewing to make it break apart. The flavor is very sweet and buttery, with nice notes that aren’t too sweet. It’s a nice butter shortbread. I was surprised by it’s intense salty aftertaste, which was strange at first then ended up being the part I looked forward to most. The chocolate filling is soft and gooey, but solid. When I opened the wrapper it stuck to it and came out as a solid whole. Which is…odd. The flavor is sweet but very…flat. It reminds me of creamy cocoa powder. The flavor gets stronger, but it’s not very sweet and it has a very flat chocolate flavor.
So this is ...meh. I’ve had chocolate bars that are better and cookies that are better. I just can’t help but feeling that this is better off as a cookies, as opposed to packaged like a candy bar.
Rating: Might Eat Again
Links Michel & Augustin Webpage (French)
I remembered tasting these at the Fancy Food Show last year and was immediately impressed. Traditional gummi bears never really caught me, as I found the flavors to be too bland. These were just the opposite, with bold flavors and interesting ingredients. I vowed to keep and eye out for them in stores, and a few months later I was rewarded for my persistence. I chose the Blueberry Acai flavor over the Green Tea one I found as well. Something about the deep color of these just appealed to me, and I knew I’d have fun photographing them.
Firstly, I think it’s cute how they refer to these as pandas and not bears. They’re adorable to look at with little nubbins for arms and legs and bulgy eyes.
The pandas are beautiful in their simplicity. The gummi texture is just as it should be: nice balance of soft and firm so you get a chew, but nothing too hard so it isn’t a difficult task to separate a head. Yes, I do like to do that sometimes. The flavor is wonderfully bright and fruity. You taste the blueberry and it’s authentic, sweet, deep berry flavor with tart notes to it. I don’t know quite what acai tastes like, but I’m sure it’s in there.
I’ll be picking these up again when my extremely rare craving for gummi bears, er, pandas arise.
Rating: Will Eat Again
Links Bissingers Website
There’s a really nice gourmet store in my area called Bon Appetit Fine Foods that I like to stop in and look around every so often. They carry all sorts of edible delights, but I’m obviously interested in the chocolate and candy that they carry. It seems that their stock changes slightly every time I go. On one of my more recent trips I discovered these bags of panned chocolate candies from France. I picked up two different kinds, and this is one of them.
“Pomme d’ Amor” or “Apple of Love” is what these are called. How lovely! They’re pieces of apple, from the looks of the package it’s either dried or a jelly of some kind. It’s then covered in milk chocolate and then again in a colored white chocolate or confectioner’s glaze. I don’t read French so I couldn’t really tell you. I’m guessing that each color is a different flavor or variety of apple. Or perhaps not. Only one way to find out!
Yellow Brown Speckled: Hard for me to place, but it has a big fruity flavor with a bright sour note and something very cinnamon about it. The interior jelly’s texture is nice, a little softer than I expected.
Green: The jelly in this is much softer and darker in color. This is very pear tasting. The fruity flavor is strong and combined with the chocolate here it has a cheesy essence to it. Strange to read I know, but trust me, it’s an odd thing to taste! This also has an odd spiciness to it.
Red: This one just tastes sweet and I finally taste a little of the chocolate. No extreme fruity or spicy notes here.
Orange/Yellow Speckled: The most chocolatey out of the bunch. It still has a big sweetness to it; you get some of the chocolate and the rest just burns away with the sugar. The jelly is a light “golden” flavor, but other then delivering a slight tartness toward the finish of the piece, there’s not much to mention
I really needed a glass of water after these.
These were fun to try, but not something I was impressed with. It’s also nothing I’d particularly crave either. I could see these working as a nice accompaniment to a cheese dessert platter maybe. But alone as a treat, I don’t like it much.
Rating:Might Eat Again
I’ve always admired the Les Anis de Flavigny line of candies on the store shelves. For the longest time I didn’t even know what they were exactly, but their beautiful tins kept me eying them regardless. It was only a matter of time before I gave them a try.
Anis de Flavigny has been producing these candy pastilles for hundreds of years. Each are made using a traditional panning technique, where a single fennel seed is combined with a sugar syrup and dried in a rotating drum. This process is repeated for 15 days until one pastille is completed, so a lot of work went into each of these little treats! The tins are just as classic as the candies they hold; with scenes of two young people finding love.
There’s a whole slew of flavors that you can find in the line: Mint, Orange Blossom, Violet, Licorice, Anise, and Rose. All of which strike me as very classic, refined, and romantic flavors. The one I was given is the Mint flavor, showing the two lovers idling by a freshwater stream.
Now, there’s something to be said about mints and candy. Some mints, in my opinion, aren’t very candy-like. Take Tic Tacs for example. Other mints, like Junior Mints, are more like candy to me. These fall more into the candy category to me, as they’re very sweet and long lasting, and I certainly eat them for the flavor and not how fresh they make my breath.
The outside of these pastilles are very smooth and cool feeling. The first couple of pastilles I just sucked on and got a wonderful sweet minty flavor that lasted such a long time because these take forever to dissolve. I was surprised by how incredibly hard they are and was frightened for my teeth if I decided to try and chew one. As I gained more experience I got to a point where I knew it was safe to munch on them and my eating time was shortened considerably. I know, shame on me, but I’m a chewer all the way.
I’d pick these up over most other mints any day for many reasons. I’m also really drawn to the history, the flavor, and the design. Having a cute tin to keep afterward in a plus too. I’m happy to have finally tasted these and I looking forward to trying out the other flavors soon.
Rating: Will Buy Again
Anise de Flavigny website