July 2016
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Will Buy Again


Whitman's Sampler

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


Will Buy Again

Links Whitman’s Website



The Tea Room Midnight Mocha

I found this Tea Room Midnight Mocha along with the Pina Colada bar the other day in Cost Plus World Market. I’ll say again, I love that store! It’s a candy adventure every time I go in there. I was impressed to see that this is the first chocolate bar by the tea room to not have tea, but instead coffee, in it. Regardless, I was really excited to see a new flavor to try from them.

This bar is described to have 72% dark chocolate, yum! The wrapper is just gorgeous. It has rich tones of purple accented by bright pinks. Opening the bar it smells, deep, and earthy with a nice chocolate and coffee aroma.

The flavor is not acidic at all, which is a pleasant surprise. The flavpr starts off sweet and mild, with an excellent hint of chocolate. then the coffee flavor blooms with nice earthy tones kissed with cherries. It’s a wonderful mix. The texture is smooth and silky, thankfully not gritty as some coffee chocolates are. The flavor blends beautifully and is a wonderful pairing. I was worried the mixture of dark chocolate and coffee would be too acidic. The flavor comes of rich and delicious, with excellent notes of both the coffee and the chocolate.

Coffee and chocolate are a winning combination no matter how you cut it, and this bar is a beautiful example of how a coffee chocolate bar should be. The flavor isn’t acidic, the texture is silky (not gritty like some bars are) and the overall all balance of flavors is heavenly. One again The Tea Room hits another home run.

Rating: Will Buy Again


Will Buy Again

Links The Tea Room Website



The Tea Room: Pina Colada

I’m always excited when I find Tea Room Chocolates in stores. I love the flavors that they do, which is mixing all sorts of teas with different types of chocolate. So far my favorite of theirs is the White Chocolate Chamomile. This is why I was very happy to come across a few new bars of Tea Room’s in Cost Plus World Market. I immediately snatched it up, along with another new flavor, and eagerly took them home.

Today’s bar is 38% organic cacao “infused with a tropical fruit tea blend of pineapple, banana, mango and other island fruits”. Sounds yummy! The package is colorful and vibrant, which I think reflects the tropical fruits used in this bar. The chocolate is a nice medium brown color with a subtle sheen. The aroma is that of creamy milk chocolate with some hints of caramel. Sometimes I feel like I get a whiff of fruit, but it’s fleeting and quickly overpowered by the chocolate.

The flavor is immediately sweet and I get a slight hint of pineapple. then the rich chocolate flavor kicks in with notes of cream and caramel. At the end of the flavor I get some notes of coconut and “fruits”, hard to lay my finger on exactly what is it. Delicious, I’m really impressed. I admit I was a little worried that it’d taste like sun tan lotion but it totally doesn’t. It’s a subtle flavor that adds to the chocolate’s profile.

Out of all the Tea Room bars I’ve tasted to date, this one ranks pretty high up there. The flavors are all really well balanced and it makes for a very interesting and fun flavor. It comes across as exotic, and I think it’s a nice new twist on the more mundane flavors you see mixed with milk chocolate nowadays. I recommend it if you happen to come across it!

Rating: Will Buy Again


Will Buy Again

Links The Tea Room Website



HiChew Furano Melon

It’s gotten to a point where I am not sure how to write the set-up for HiChew anymore. I have reviewed them so frequently on the site here that I feel that you, my readers, are quite familiar with them now. So I am hesitant to go ahead and write essentially what I feel to be re hash. The HiChew today is a limited edition flavor called “Furano Melon”.

The first question that ran though my mind was “what exactly is a furano melon”? A little Google searching answered my question quite nicely. Furano is a place in Hokkaido, and it’s famous for its variety of what we know as cantaloupe. Regional fruit and vegetables are a very popular affair in Japan, so showcasing specific regional varieties in candies is a popular thing to do. HiChew is showering Hokkaido with some candy love by making a Furano Melon flavor.

The chew is a pretty light orange and smells sweet and juicy. The flavor is extremely fruity and floral at first, with nice rounded notes of cantaloupe. I’m reminded of the cantaloupe jelly belly bean. Then the flavor becomes more solid and intense, with notes of apple, peach and lychee. It’s very juicy and really flavorful, and it’s very authentic to what a real cantaloupe takes like. So yummy!

Like all the other HiChew flavors, this one is stellar and really is tasty. It doesn’t disappoint! I highly recommend this flavor if you’re into melons, especially cantaloupe!

Rating: Will Buy Again


Will Buy Again

Links HiChew Website (English)



Dolfin SpeculOOs

I was super excited about finding this bar, since it’s been ages since I’ve had a Dolfin bar of any kind. That’s one thing that stinks about making a big move, you lose all the local places that you know where you can find your favorite stuff. Dolfin is certainly a favorite of mine. Interestingly enough, this is a bar of theirs I haven’t seen before. Regardless, I was excited to have anything by Dolfin, so having it be a new item wasn’t a big deal. I trust them to do a good job with all their flavors, which has been my experience in the past.

So what it SpeculOOs? That’s exactly what I wanted to know when I first saw the bar. It was my sister who informed me that it was a Dutch spice cookie, so then I had an idea of what the flavor profile was. Once I got to a computer I found out it is the Speculaas cookie, and I have to admit, they look pretty good. Next time I’ll find some without the chocolate bar around it.

It’s a small 30g bar, just the right size. The chocolate looks “normal” with a nice medium brown color. It smells sweet and slightly spicy with notes of smooth cinnamon.

The texture is a nice contrast. It’s both silky from the chocolate and slightly grainy from the added ingredients of crushed cookies and spices. The flavor is lovely as the milk chocolate is extremely buttery and rich with nice notes of chocolate and caramel. The cookies bits have a slight shortbread flavor to it, and the spices are just enough to be there but don’t overpower anything. They’re a kiss of cinnamon and pepper. It’s a great combinations and really delicious.

So this bar, it’s amazing. I want more!  Maybe it’s the lack of Dolfin in my life recently that’s talking, but it was a nicely made and flavor chocolate bar. Just another reason why Dolfin is such a great chocolatier in my mind.

Rating: Will Buy Again


Will Buy Again

Links Dolfin Website


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