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November 2014
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Hoard

Mar
19



Brach's Spiced Beans Package

I want to be perfectly honest here. I love, love spice beans. I realize that they’re the jelly beans we’ve all encountered as kids, probably visiting the Grandparents over the Easter holiday. We’d see a candy dish on the table full of jelly beans and eagerly grab a handful. As we shoved the colorful, sugary orbs into our mouths, we realized they were full of odd flavors: cinnamon, peppermint, and heaven forbid, clove. Flavors that are not suited to our sugar-oriented taste buds, and they’re promptly get spit into the garbage when the adults weren’t looking.

So yes, I am strange in this love of mine. In my defense, I didn’t eat them as a kid. I wasn’t ever exposed to them to be honest. It wasn’t until college where I noticed them in the candy aisles and decided to try them to see what the fuss was about. The rest is history, as so they stay.

Brach’s has always been one of my favorite varieties. I liked the flavors and textures, especially more than the other cheaper pectin spice beans I’d enounter. I was tempted by them a few times from the cheaper price tag, but I soon realized that you got what you paid for.

So why do I feel Brach’s are so superior? Firstly, these beans are large, like three to four times the size of Jelly Belly Beans, and maybe two to three of the Starburst and Just Born’s beans. They just have an satisfying size, even if you’re just looking at them. 

 

Brach's Spiced Beans

Ginger (orange): I hard a hard time placing this flavor at first. Which I found frustrating for a bit. It didn’t taste gingery at first, but then halfway though that gingery burn shows up a little bit. I’d say it’s the spiciest of the bunch, but it’s still pretty mild, all things considered. This was the flavor I was looking forward to least, but I did liked it after all.

Clove (purple): It’s woodsy, sweet and not as strong as I was expecting. I enjoyed the nutty and herbal chew. Am I the only one?

Licorice (black): Oh yay! I love licorice jelly beans. This reminds me of the licorice flavor in Good & Plenty; good strong flavor with molasses’ sweetness to it. No hints of anise here. I really thought this was a stellar flavored licorice bean. Yum, my second favorite of the bunch.

Spearmint (green):A nicely fresh, bright flavor that reminds me of toothpaste. Has a little grassy note to it.

Cinnamon (red): Was there any doubt? This one is wonderful warm and grainy, I felt like I was chewing some Big Red gum, minus the extremely intense burn.

Peppermint (white): I was nervous about this one at first, as I’m not big on peppermint. Thankfully, it’s a very light and delicate flavor. I liked this too since it didn’t overpower my taste buds which I find peppermint usually does.

Wintergreen (pink): Lovely grainy, clean, fresh, a little sweet and peppery. Can’t you tell I just love wintergreen? The flavor is strong, and has good spicy notes similar to root beer.

I always buy a few bags to keep me going for a few months past Easter, and this year is no exception. If you haven’t tried spice beans before, I really suggest giving them a try. You may just find you love them as much as I do.

Rating: Hoard

 

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Links Brach’s Website


Mar
18



Milka Ei Egg Package: Closed

I heard about these mysterious Milka “Scoop Easter Eggs” in places all over the internet. Usually I’d hear them mentioned, and praised, in areas where Cadbury Cream Eggs were being discussed. The idea of a cream filled chocolate eggs was extremely tempting, so I started to extensively search to find these nameless scoop eggs that fondly existed in people’s childhood Easter memories. My hard work eventually paid off as I located these Ei Eggs made by Milka (I know Ei is “egg” in Dutch) and I knew immediately that I had found what all the fuss was about. I put an order in and waited patiently for my treat to arrive on my doorstep.

First of all, I was impressed by the packaging. They really went all out. The eggs come in a pack of four, in a beautiful bright purple egg carton. How cool! You flip the top open to find the eggs and a set of two plastic spoons to eat them with. Are they suggesting that at share? I hope not!

 

Milka Ei Egg Package: Open

This one’s interactivity I found really interesting. It looks like a large Cadbury Cream Egg (CCE from now on) that you “crack” open and eat the white looking insides with a spoon. So cute! Once unwrapped from the foil, the egg’s surface is smooth, except for 1/4 way up the top where there’s a zig zag crack pattern showing were you are supposed to open the egg. The packages’ picture directions who you whacking it open with the dinky plastic spoon that is included, but I decided lightly squeezing the egg to get it to cleave was a better method.

Eating the broken off top shell gave me a chance to taste the chocolate: it’s sweet, has a really nice milkiness to it that has a slight tang to it. I’d say Cadbury chocolate is milkier and I do get notes of the chocolate and some caramel in there too. I was impressed with the chocolate’s taste, since I really was expecting it just to be creamy and sweet tasting like most mass produced milk chocolates are.

 

Milka Ei Egg: Inside

Now, for those white cream insides. Taking my first scoop, I realized the insides were more light and fluffy as opposed to the CCE’s dense and gooey center. This is more whipped and airy. The flavor is that of white chocolate: it’s creamy, a little chocolatey, very sweet and I even get notes of malt and vanilla. Overall, a stellar white chocolate flavor. It has that very slick mouth feel from all the cocoa butter and vegetable oils. This was cute to eat too as it was oddly satisfying to eat with the little spoon. That also slowed down my eating process so it took me a bit to finish and I could go slowly and really enjoy it.

I love these, since the interactivity of eating it is not only fun, but unique was well. Not to mention they’re really delicious! The only thing I would warn against is you may find this overly sweet if you are sensitive to that sort of thing and if CCE’s are not too your liking for the same reason. If you see them, I highly recommend you picking some up.

Rating: Hoard

 

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Links Milka Website


Feb
25



Q.bel Peanut Butter Wafer Bar Package

These are last of the Q.bel reviews I have to share. Take my word for it though, as these may be last, but not the least of the bunch!

Q.bel PB Wafer Bars

I can’t comment much more on the packaging without it feeling like I’m beating a dead horse. Unwrapping these bars, I am pleased to say these smell exactly like Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups (RPBC) to me. The aroma is so strong of fresh peanut butter with a kiss of chocolate. It’s something I could sit and inhale all day.

 

Q.bel Peanut Butter Wafer Bar

The Peanut Butter Wafer Bars are a little different in terms of construction than the Milk and Dark Chocolate ones. There’s no rice crisps in this bar and I was sort of expecting to find bits of peanut in there as a replacement. Alas, I was wrong. The peanut butter is beautifully sandwiched in between the wafers, as you can see in the photo.

There’s a really nice crispness to the bite in these despite the lack of the crisped rice. The flavor isn’t as punchy as the Wafer Rolls, there’s more wafer here to soften the bold flavors of the peanut butter and chocolate. It’s very creamy, nutty with a touch of salt. There’s nice sweetness under the whole flavor from the chocolate that’s smooth and cool on the tongue. I got a bit of a throat tickle from eating this, as the peanut butter is intense. I like it that way though.

Out of all the Wafer Bars I had, these were the ones that disappeared first out of the bunch that I shared with friends.

 

Q.bel Peanut Butter Wafer Rolls Package

Q.bel Peanut Butter Wafer Rolls

The Peanut Butter Wafer Rolls, like their Milk and Dark Chocolate counterparts, didn’t disappoint. They too smelled strongly and are reminiscent of RPBC. The coating didn’t melt as easily in my hands as the others did, which I found perplexing. I’m not complaining though!

 

Q.bel Peanut Butter Wafer Rolls

The Rolls are wonderfully peanutty, roasted and salty. The flavor is great and I’d consider this an awesome snack for peanut butter lovers. You get an intense flavor hit of the smooth, extremely fresh creamy peanut butter. It’s sweet, roasted, salty, and plain tasty! The Roll even lets you get the thick peanut butter texture on your tongue if you eat it in just the right way. The chocolate coating gives it that needed edge of sweetness and the wafer provides a wonderful crunchy/crispy texture.

Addicting. Simply addicting.

Even though I’m more of a chocolate than a peanut butter person, I’d say these were beautifully done and tie with the dark chocolate wafer rolls as my favorite in the Q.bel line.

You don’t have to take my opinions on these as the final word though, be sure to check out what Cybele at CandyBlog.net, Rosa at ZOMG! Candy, CandyAddict.com and Chocolate Blog has to say about them.

Rating: Hoard

 

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Links Q.bel Website


Feb
24



Q.bel Dark Chocolate Crispy Rice Wafer Bar Package

Today we continue on with the reviews of Q.bel’s new line of candy bars, and in particular the Dark Chocolate Crispy Rice Wafer Bars and Wafer Rolls. I’ve decided to separate the reviews by flavor instead of format, since I thought it’d be interesting to see how the execution of the confection influenced the flavor, as opposed to the other way around.

One thing I’d like to mention first is that I’m impressed with the packaging on the Wafer Rolls. Considering they’re more delicate than their brick-like bar siblings, they come packaged in a plastic tray that’s actually recyclable. I was happy to find that triangle with a number 1 printed on it when I first tried them. It makes me feel responsible somehow to set it aside in my recycling bin every time I eat one. It must be some unidentified OCD issue that I have.

 

Q.bel Dark Chocolate Crispy Rice Wafer Bar

Dark Chocolate Crispy Rice Wafer Bars

These are basically the same format as the Milk Chocolate versions I reviewed yesterday, however they look much darker and have a rather sophisticated feeling. The surface appears more heavily textured than the other as it has more bumps from the rice crisps on top.

I looked at the ingredients list and was surprised to find the cocoa powder isn’t alkalized or “dutched”. Usually that is the reason for the dark color in chocolate products, which is why Oreo cookies are so dark, in case you didn’t know.

These smell milder than the Milk Chocolate bars with a softer, smokier chocolate aroma. The darker chocolate is deeper, more acidic smelling of red berries and coffee.

The flavor is milder too with not as big of a chocolate punch as the Milk Chocolate bars (or the Wafer Rolls, getting to that..). Instead, you do taste more of the wafers here, which add a mild vanilla flavor to the whole bar and serves to mellow out the chocolate flavor. The bar starts off sweet with the vanilla wafer coming through a little later and then finally the chocolate which its mild, lightly sweet, coffee and coconutty taste. The overall effect is a sturdy chocolately hit, and I really like it. The crispy texture and strong chocolate flavor combined with the size of the bar keeps it substantial rather than a light snack.

 

Q.bel Dark Chocolate Wafer Rolls Package

Dark Chocolate Wafer Rolls

Following in the footsteps of the Crispy Rice Wafer bar, the Wafer Rolls sport the same dark, rich dark chocolate appearance. The color is very deep, and mysterious with nice purple undertones. It smells sweet with hints of caramel, coconut and chocolate.

 

Q.bel Dark Chocolate Wafer Rolls

On a side note the ingredients list milk fat in the dark chocolate, so it’s not “true” dark chocolate. Also unlike the bars, the cocoa liqueur is listed as alkalized, so the extreme darkness of the chocolate makes more sense here.

The flavor is rich, deep and very chocolatey. True to my expectations of a good dark chocolate. I get more of a chocolate hit here than I do with the milk chocolate version, which I really like. The taste reminds me more of a bittersweet than a true dark chocolate: it’s sweeter, and has nice flavors of coconut, caramel, coffee, and chocolate running through it. Again, the wafer adds only texture here since the chocolate is so powerful, and give it a great crispy crunch. I taste more of the creamy chocolate center in this version too, and it’s thick on the tongue which makes me really slow down and savor it.

Hmm, now I’m realizing it may be a bad thing I can get these at my Whole Foods. I want to buy them out of this flavor, pronto.

Rating: Hoard

 

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Links Q.bel Website


Feb
18



KitKat Senses Wrapper

I’ve tried many Kit Kats in my candy blogging days, but none of them have been from the “Senses” line. The physical structure of the Kit Kat Senses differs from the many other strangely flavored varieties which have become commonly available all over the world. Now I don’t know about you, but for me, Kit Kats are all about the four, long, wafer filled bars. The Senses line adds more to the equation by creating one large single finger like a Kit Kat Chunky with five creme filled cavities on the top. Sounds interesting, doesn’t it?

This specific Kit Kat Senses had hazelnut creme filled cavities; an interesting twist on the format that Kinder Bueno uses, really, now that I look at it. In fact, it just seems to be a Nestle took that idea right off of Kinder and just re-named it as Kit Kat. Interesting.

The bar smells extremely hazelnutty, as if I just opened up a jar of Nutella.

The flavor is awesome. It’s a similar to a Manner Biscuit but with more chocolate. It tastes intensely of hazelnut, cream, cocoa and sweetness. In fact, I find that those flavors practically overpower the chocolate and I find myself missing it a little. It’s an amazing flavor overall though and an immensely satisfying.

The texture is great, as it takes the best part of Kit Kat and adds a contrasting element. You get the crispy wafers and then the thick, creamy texture of the hazelnut creme. Mmmmm.

I’m impressed with Kit Kat Senses! I thought perhaps it’d be too much of a good thing or mucking with perfection, but I stand corrected. They’re addicting. I highly recommend trying one if you ever see them. 

Rating: Hoard

 

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Links Kit Kat Senses


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