Will Buy Again
Toffee has always been a rare treat in my family. Something that I made each Christmas season with my Mom and sisters to give out as gifts. I haven’t had any other kinds, save for a Skor bar here and there. This is why I was pretty excited to give Enstrom’s Toffee a try. Was it going to stand up to the homemade kind I’ve been eating for years?
The toffee comes beautifully packaged in a box where inside it’s separated into large slabs. And I do mean large, as the the base layer is about 1/2 inch thick. The toffee has a nice rich,creamy, milky caramel color. There’s a generous amount of grated almonds bits on top were dusty and therefore a little messy. Reaching in to secure a corner for immediate tasting, I was pleased to find it was easily broken off.
The chocolate layer that sits on top of the toffee has a nice thickness: not too thin so the toffee shows though, but not too thick so it’s like cake frosting. The almonds are roasted and terribly fresh. They release nice nutty, salty, smoky flavors that compliment the sweet toffee and chocolate beautifully.
The toffee crunches fantastically in the mouth. It’s light, crispy, and not sticky. It holds its texture yet is soft enough so I don’t get any in my teeth. I get wonderful buttery, creamy, rich caramelized flavors right away. Combined with the nuts I’m reminded of caramel corn with it’s sweet/salty/nutty flavors. The flavor is so terribly fresh and flavorful, it could easily stand alone without the almonds and chocolate.
And speaking of the chocolate, it’s fantastic. It’s very chocolately, mildly sweet, and it holds it’s own when eaten separately. Yes, I did pick pieces of it off. Alone I was able to explore the sweet, creamy, slightly coconutty flavors. With the toffee, as it’s meant to be, it adds a little richness to it all and rounds out an already stellar combination of textures and flavors.
So did this live up to my expectations? Oh yes, it exceeded them in fact! I didn’t anticipate wanting to finish off my box, but it was so good I found myself picking at the toffee every chance I got. I can’t wait to get my hands on more and am extremely tempted to forgo the kitchen work this year and put in a few orders with Enstrom instead.
Rating: Will Buy Again
Enstrom Toffee Website
I know, I know. This is yet another limited edition that I’ve reviewing way past its prime. I found these in a kiosk in a local mall, and I couldn’t help but take the opportunity to snatch up a packet to review for the blog. Especially considering that I’m an M&M and a white chocolate lover.
These were released back in 2006 for the Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest movie sequel. I remember hearing about their original release and searching high and love for them like a mad woman. I finally found them in a randomly placed display in my local ShopRite.
The package design is odd and cluttered, but that seems to be a standard thing for these movie release M&Ms. The designs for the Indiana Jones Mint Crisp M&Ms packages are equally as ugly. I also find it amusing how Green managed to get all up close and personal with the attractive male leads. Lucky gal.
The colors of the M&Ms are pretty and are a fitting color scheme for white chocolate and pearls with varying off shades of white: pink, blue, yellow, white. Very pretty and delicate. I also love the designs on them, a skull, ships, spyglass, cannon, a hook. Very cute! The ingredients list is promising too, listing real cocoa butter, as white chocolate should. I’m happy to know that Mars is holding onto its standards.
The flavor is very interesting, because unlike all the other M&Ms, I can taste the candy shell on these (which tastes oddly flat and sweet). The white chocolate is nice and sweet with a mild cocoa butter flavor (which taste mainly fatty with a light cocoa flavor). I was a bit fatigued after eating the pack as the sweetness really built itself up and I felt like I needed a glass of water.
As a white chocolate lover I was hoping I’d like these more that I do. I like the format of the little bits in a candy shell, but I miss the creaminess a bar allows you to experience, especially with good white chocolate. The pieces alone aren’t enough to convey the delicate flavor for me. Regardless, if they were fresher I would have stocked up on a couple of packs. It’d be nice if these became a regular in the M&M line.
Rating: Will Buy Again
I’ve always been a fan of Torrone even though I haven’t been able to eat it with great frequency. It was always a treat that was in my household during Christmas, and only because my Dad is crazy for the stuff. He’s recieve a few bars as a gift and would be gone by the end of the day. I’d always be offered some, and as the years went by I grew to appreciate it more and more.
Now, the kind I’m referring to here in the Italian style torrone that’s made up of honey, sugar, eggs whites and nuts and is similar to a nougat. It can be fluffy or on the harder side, depending on what the maker had in mind. It really didn’t matter to me in the end, they all tasted good.
Now when I saw this bar I was immediately taken aback, because it’s labeled as a torrone, but it didn’t look like what I typically was familiar with. It looked more like a nut brittle than a torrone, so I was immensely interested. It’s also from Spain, so I was egar to see how the recipe changed to a different country. I nabbed the bar and did some researching once I was back home. I found a retailer for the El Lobo company, and this is the description on the website:
“El Lobo is a delicious almond and honey turrón candy by the makers of 1880. These candies are 50% smaller than the premium 1880 brand, and have a simpler recipe, which means you can enjoy real D.O. certified Spanish turrón at a less premium price.”
I can supplement that with:
“Incomparable Marcona almonds make up over 65% of this ‘suprema’ quality gourmet bar - the most that can be added before the bars start to fall apart! This ‘suprema’ quality gourmet bar is similar to traditional turrón except that it is made from caramelized sugar and whole fresh (unroasted) almonds, rather than honey and egg white of the traditional turrón.
The almonds are bound together with delicious dark caramel and sandwiched with super thin wafer. Truly the finest in the world. Made by hand in Alicante, Spain.”
What I bought was the almond brittle variety. The candy is gorgeous! The supermodel of candies. It has beautiful whole almonds, perfectly round and well shaped. They’re covered in a thick, slightly sticky hard sugar syrup, which gives them a dark roasted color, much like oil on well tanned skin. On the bottom there’s a light wafer to keep it from sticking to anything.
It feels heavy and well formed. The first bite took some working to break off, as I was trying to cleave off a bite without breaking the whole thing and hurting my teeth.
Oh, YUM! You get the wonderful, roasted nutty flavors of the whole almonds, a sweet, rich honey like flavor from teh syrup, and a good wafer-like blandness that keeps it from being overly sweet. This is good. On top of that the texture is great as the syrup is chewy and crispy at the same time. The almonds have a good meaty chew and it’s just stellar. My only complaint is that it sticks to your teeth a little too much and it’s not fun having to try and pick the pieces out.
Just goes to show that natural and simple can be very, very, very good.
Rating:Will Buy Again
Spanish Torrone Produce Website
I’ve been paying much more attention to companies and their products since becoming an active candy reviewer a few years ago. It’s amazing to me how some brands and products really stand out and other fade into the candy shadows. One of the companies that have really stood out to me is Albanese Confectionery and their line of gummi candies.
I first tasted their products with their popular 12 flavor gummi bears. I was impressed with them to say the least, and that says something since I’m not a big fan of gummi bears to begin with (unless we’re taking the cartoon show). I usually find them too rubbery and tasteless, but these proved me wrong.
So naturally I was excited to find some of Albanese’s other gummi candy. So here you have it, their Gummi Army Guys. Is this a cool idea or what? To start they’re just awesome to look at. The molds are great; really well done and the size is good too. I want to stick them to a window and re-create a war scene.
Firstly, the texture is awesome. The army guys are firm, chewy, yet not too hard so my jaw gets sore. The chew is terribly ideal and exactly what I look for in gummi candy.
The flavor is fruity and is very apple like. I’m immediately reminded of fresh apple cider. I’m really pleased with it as it’s not overly done and is really fresh and tasty.
These are too fun for words and I wish I had a younger brother to share there with, as I can see boys really appreciating the shape and flavor (not to say a little girl wouldn’t, mind you!). My boyfriend will have to suffice.
Rating: Will Buy Again
Albanese Confectionery Website
I’m sure many of you have never heard of Boyer’s Smoothie, as it’s the ignored sibling to the ever popular Mallo Cup. The Smoothie was a creation that Boyer Candy Company made back in the day to ride the popularity of the Mallo Cup. It’s a unique candy, as it’s made of a smooth peanut butter center covered with butterscotch coating.
I was lucky to find a package of Smoothies in a random gas station in Upstate New York on my way to visit my parents. The package is so very dated in it’s design with almost garish colors and bland font. For some reason I find it terribly appealing, because it reminds me of a time when the flavor of a candy was it’s selling point. Not the package design and marketing campaigns.
Opening the package reveals the two cups, same format as Mallo Cup. They’re yellowish brown in color and I’m reminded of those horrid Reeses’ Inside Out Peanut Butter Cups that came out a few years ago. The Smoothie also comes with those cute cardboard money cards you can collect and save up for prizes. I’m still saving mine up.
The butterscotch is very sweet with that strong buttery flavor. The texture a little greasy and therefore slick on the tongue. Like the Mallo Cup it has a bit of texture, but instead of bits of coconut there’s small chopped chunks of peanuts layered in the coating on the top. If I had to liken the taste to something else, I’d say that these tasted like Reese’s Pieces if they were in cup form. I was disappointed with the flavor a little as it’s hard to taste where the butterscotch flavor ends and the peanut butter flavor begins, and vise versa. Last time I ate one of each they tasted very different, so I was of let down by this. Texture was the only tell tale sign I was eating one or the other.
Despite the faults I find with Smoothie, I still liked it. I can’t really explain it, but something about it appeals to me. It’s not something I’d eat regularly, though.
Rating: Will Buy Again
Boyer Candy Company Website