I was super excited to see that 3 Musketeers came out with a new limited edition flavor for the holidays. I spotted it on one of my trips to Target, which of course always leads me to cruise the candy aisles. I was lucky and spotted this one, since, in a way it looks very similar to the normal “festive” bag of regular 3 Musketeer minis. Over the years I’ve learned to be careful and to read the packages to make sure I’m not missing anything new. And this time it has certainly paid off!
This is quite a big bag of minis, ready for the holiday candy bowl. Each wrapper either is either silver or a nice light cocoa color. The aroma is very sweet and smells very much like a normal 3 Musketeer candy bar. There’s nothing in the appearance that looks different to me. I do very much love the festive artwork on the bag and it makes my brain scream “Yay! Christmas!” over and over.
The flavor is different in the ways I was expecting. The chocolate flavor has a very different essence to it. The chocolate has a very strong edge of dry milk power. It comes across like the aroma when you stick your nose into a bin of Nesquick. Even though cocoa as a drink is very watery in flavor, these candies don’t come across that way at all. Even though the nougat in the center is flavored like cocoa, the chocolate coating elevates the flavor and really makes it into a candy that stands on its own. As for the texture, it’s that texture we all know and love from 3 Musketeers. It’s light and fluffy, but very rich at the same time. Super delicious!
I found myself reaching for these 3 Musketeers the most while having my morning coffee. The fluffy texture (which I do love) and the smooth, rich chocolate flavor paired itself really well with a hot cup of coffee. I wonder since these are hot cocoa flavored, does that mean I had a mocha? I can’t rightfully say since I know little about making coffee drinks. Regardless, I really enjoyed them and the people I shared them with also seemed to enjoy them. They did say that these tasted “different” from regular 3 Musketeers, but they all couldn’t quite lay their finger on it. All I know is they’re yummy and they’re something you should try out.
Rating: Will Eat Again
Links 3 Musketeers Website
The holiday season is now in full swing! This is an exciting time for any candy lover as the sweets that come out for the Holidays are always interesting and delicious. Which is why I was super excited to hear from Hedonist Artisan Chocolates about reviewing some complimentary samples their Salted Caramels. It has been a few years since I tried and reviewed the Hedonist Chocolates’s Holiday Truffle Collection. It was super delicious and awesome so I was most eager to give their Salted Caramels a try.
I first need to comment on the beautiful packaging that these Salted Caramels come in. It’s simple yet so very stylish with the dark brown box and the simple golden rod yellow ribbon. It speaks of elegance with the subtle styling. Once the box is opened, the caramels are beautifully arranged in a tray that keeps them separated and safe. The milk and dark varieties are easy to distinguish, one is noticeable lighter in color. Each has salt sprinkled on top. They smell rich of chocolate, but I detect no notes of caramel in there.
Dark Chocolate Caramel: You immediately taste the salt on your first bite, which elevates the caramel into a whole new level of intensity. The sweetness of the chocolate and the butteryness of the caramel are elevated and the flavor is more grand. The richness of the dark chocolate delivers sweetness that isn’t overpowering and mingles nicely with the salt. The buttery caramel it out of this world! It’s smooth and not too sticky in texture. The flavor is complex, with the flavor rooted in butter accented with nice toasted notes. Again, mixed with the salt, just makes the flavor simply “pop”. It’s incredibly deliciousness.
Milk Chocolate Caramel: The salt really makes these chocolate incredible. The milk chocolate is sweet and creamy, and adds a lovely sweetness but not much chocolate flavor. The caramel is so delicious. It’s buttery and sweet, with nice deep toasted notes that contrast beautifully with the salt. Because the milk chocolate isn’t as flavorful as the dark chocolate, you can taste the caramel much better. I found that I got even more flavors out of the caramel when tasting the milk chocolate pieces. Along with the buttery ans toasted notes, I get a tad of smoke which reminds me of how toasted marshmallows smell. It’s so a delightful play of flavor and texture as you eat it. These are meant to be slowly savored as the flavors are so wonderful.
This package also came with a surprise: Candy Cane Bark!
Gorgeous isn’t it?
The slabs of bark are thick, as least a 1/4 of an inch. They’re mainly bittersweet chocolate (55%), with white chocolate swirls on top and a generous coating of candy cane crumbles. They are very attractive!
Despite all the candy cane crumbles, this bar still smells of chocolate. It’s a sweet smell too, full of cream, caramel and coffee. The flavor is a wonderful balance of peppermint and chocolate. This is an Andes Mint on super steroids. You first get the flavor from the candy canes, with their sweet and intense peppermint flavor. It’s cool and refreshing and leaves a wonderful fresh flavor in your mouth. The chocolate is just luscious, it’s creamy, sweet and incredibly chocolatey. It compliments the candy cane bits so well. I couldn’t stop reaching for this bark one I opened the package, a sign that it is indeed irresistible.
I simply loved these samples from Hedonist Chocolates. They were really delicious and you could tell that they really used fresh, quality ingredients in making these chocolates. Both the Salted Caramels and the Candy Cane bark didn’t last very long between my husband and myself eating them once I had my tasting notes for the review. I know several of my family members who are going to love these, and I plan to buy them some for the holiday season (some of them are caramel people). I’ll buy myself another box of course too. Hedonist have really kept up the quality since I last sampled their chocolates, and I greatly look forward to when I can have some again!
Links Hedonist Artisan Chocolates Website
Along with the Mentos DUO that I reviewed last time, I also found this Lakrita Mint flavor as well. I saw pictures of licorice and mint leaves on the side, and I realized it’s been a long time since I’ve had any black licorice. Like an itch that you need to scratch, I felt it’s been too long so I decided to try this flavor too. Into the basket it went and I looked forward to when I could taste what Mentos thought licorice was like.
I know the Dutch are really into their licorice, and as a fellow black licorice lover I really appreciate that. They get way more interesting licorice candies than we do here in the US, which is a huge understatement since black licorice is so hard to find in our country. Still, sometimes I am lucky enough to encounter black licorice that’s imported from Europe every so often. And I found this roll of Mentos Lakrita Mint on one of those lucky streaks.
The dragees are actually a bright white. I was really expecting black or dark gray. They have no aroma to them at all, which I also find puzzling. I pop one into my mouth and begin chewing and immediately taste peppermint. It’s a bright, intense, and fresh flavor that reminds me of intense toothpaste. Halfway through chewing the licorice flavor starts to come through. The peppermint gradually fades away to reveal and very intense and flavorful black licorice flavor. I get notes of molasses, anise and a little bit of herbs. The licorice flavor is actually a tad salty to boot, which I think this is a first for me, because normally I hate salty licorice. This is different, as I quite like it. A lot. It’s just a kiss of salt, enough to notice it, but it really enhances the licorice flavor and I found myself enjoying it very much.
I was expecting to not like these Mentos at all, since I’m not the biggest fan of peppermint and some black licorices don’t have the greatest flavor. These I really loved. They’re refreshing without it being too much, and the licorice flavor is very satisfying. It just goes to show that you have to try something in order to know if you really like it. I found a new favorite and something I can nab whenever I need a licorice fix. I urge you all to give that candy you’ve been eyeing a try, sometimes it’s a risk but it can be a very rewarding one!
Rating: Will Buy Again
Links Mentos Website (US)
Mentos are a candy that I really don’t have very often. I can’t really say why, since I remember their commercials from my 80s childhood and they always seemed appealing. As I got older I really liked their strawberry flavor and recall it being a “special treat’ when I was able to try some when a friend bought a roll. For something that feels so special to me, I’m surprised why I don’t buy them more often. Regardless, when I see an new and unique flavor of them, of course I’m buying one to try! I saw this roll of Mentos DUO at Cost Plus World Market, and I was beyond delighted to see that they had some Mentos imported from Holland. Yes please!
The package looks almost identical to the ones sold here in the United States. The only things that hinted that it was foreign was that it had a strange flavor and the import sticker that’s on the side. The wrapper is incredible colorful and pretty, with images of strawberries and lime slices. It’s a very bright and fun red/green color combination.
The dragees are pastel pink and smell very strongly of strawberry. The chew starts off very sweet and flavorful of the strawberries you get in the aroma. It’s sweet and slightly floral with a hint of cotton candy. The chew is soft and inviting, and you easy start working away at it. The strawberry flavor persists until your start getting toward the center. That’s where the lime flavor shows up. The lime flavor isn’t terribly tart, but it does have a vibrant citrus quality to it. The flavor actually blends beautifully with the strawberry instead of clashing with it. Buy the time the lime is at it’s full flavor strength, the dragee is all but chewed up. So the lime taste gradually sweetens and fades away.
I enjoyed this flavor a lot, and I know a lot of my friends who would enjoy it too. I have to admit though, as tasty as it was, after a few pieces I was really satisfied and didn’t feel the need to have any more. I like how Mentos is packaged like that, it’s easy to take however much you want, twist the wrapper and store for later. I certainly appreciated the unique flavor and hope to try more of what the Mentos from Holland have to offer.
Rating: Will Eat Again
Links Mentos Website (US)
When I was very early in my candy writing career, Chuao Chocolatier was one of the very first “gourmet” chocolate companies that I became very well acquainted with. Back then I wrote for Candyaddict.com, and easily wrote several articles regarding Chuao’s extensive chocolate line. Since then, I’ve done my best to keep up with the new chocolate bars and flavors they’ve introduced. Now that I live in Los Angeles, visiting one of their cafes is also on my to-do list. The point I am trying to make is I’m a big fan, and I was very pleased to find one of their newest bars in Cost Plus World Market recently. May I present, the Potato Chip Bar.
Yes, you read that right. Potato Chip. I really admire how Chuao Chocolatier, much like Vosges, just goes there with their more offbeat flavors. They branch out from the stranger chocolate flavors (like sea salt and chili) that are slowly becoming more mainstream. Flavors like honeycomb (the candy variety), panko, and even pop rocks are fair game to Chuao Chocolatier. The bar comes in an eye catching wrapper that is in the style from their “classic” range of chocolate bars. It goes from golden to bronze. The shapes of cacao pods decorate the edges, and the wording on the front is centered and clear.
The chocolate is a pretty medium brown color. On the back, you can see the light yellow flecks of the potato chips blended into the chocolate. The chocolate has a nice snap, but the break is not clean. The potato chips cause some rough edges and crumbling.
The the flavor starts out very creamy and sweet. The milk chocolate has intense flavor of milk, cream and caramel. It’s a very milky milk chocolate. You get some really nice chocolate flavor once the milky notes dissolve away. It’s a little sad, because as soon as the chocolate flavors arrive they’re immediately drowned out by the saltiness and flavor of the potato chips. The chips are pleasantly salty and have that nice crisp, starchy flavor. It stands out alone to me, as it doesn’t really mingle with the flavors of the chocolate since it appears right at the end. It’s a little disappointing since I wanted a chocolate and potato chip experience, but the flavors read separately so it’s hard to really get the together. The only way I found to resolve this is to later bites at once, but I don’t like feeling I have to gobble a chocolate bar to get the intended flavor fusion.
This bar is unique and that’s something I really appreciate. I liked the saltiness the bar had, but after eating this bar for a bit made me wonder if potato chips are the best way to get that salty kick in a chocolate bar. They do add a subtle starchy flavor to the chocolate, and also a slightly crunchy texture. Like all candy, such a preference depends on the person. You have to try it to find out if you like it, which I encourage to do with this bar. Plus, there’s the bagging rights of having eaten a chocolate bar with potato chips in it.
Rating: Will Eat Again
Links Chuao Chocolatier Website