One of the new products that were announced at the All Candy Expo this year were a new line of “fancy” M&M’s. These M&M’s not only looked different, but they also come in an array of new flavors to appeal to more sophisticated palates. I eagerly awaited these beauties to show up in stores and when I finally say them in Target, I scooped up the three most appealing flavors (hey, they’re $3.99 apiece!) so I could give them a try.
These M&M’s Premiums are different in many ways, but the biggest difference for me is that they lack the candied shell of the originals. I find it really odd not having the shell there. The M&M’s feel like you’ve sucked on them already and have dissolved the shell, so all that hits your tongue is the smooth creamy milk chocolate. This is frustrating, since the shell kept the M&M from “dying” too quickly in my mouth and helped the taste and experience longer. That shell kept the delicious party raging on longer and I miss it.
The packages are cute, I give them that. They’re tall cardboard boxes that curve inward at the waist. They have a little window in the tummy area so you can see the M&M’s inside, all shiny and looking like twinkling treasure. Inside, the design gets even more intuitive. The M&M’s come in a re-sealable little plastic pouch, making it easy to take a little now and safely store the rest for later.
These have the bright blue speckled exterior and I’m reminded of sapphires. The almond is terribly fresh, with a good crunch and a strong nutty flavor. The chocolate is sweet and compliments the nut well. The only thing I wondered was were these worth paying more than the normal Almond M&M’s? I think the only difference is the exterior. My conclusion is no, since I’d rather have the shell and pay a little less.
These are purple and pink spattered and look very pretty. The “triple” comes from the fact they have milk, dark, and white chocolate layered in them. Their size is larger, similar to the size of the Razzberry and Cherry M&Ms.
These are incredibly creamy right off. Again, the lack of shell means you get an intense chocolate hit right away. It’s very sweet, milky and terribly smooth in texture. When bitten in half the cross section shows dark chocolate on top, a layer of white in the middle and the center is the milk. The chocolate is pleasant, as it’s really sweet and milky, with a slight caramel and coffee note in there. Other than that it isn’t any more complex than that (really, it’s an M&M, what do you expect?). Regardless, it’s very satisfying and tasty. I don’t really get a sense of all three chocolates but it’s a good blend that makes this richer than the regular M&M’s.
The fairest of them all in my humble opinion with their bronze, copper and golden colors. They’re the size of plain M&M’s and smell chocolatey with a hint of coffee. Good points right away, since I’m scared they wouldn’t taste very “mocha” like at all.
Like the Triple Chocolate, these are very creamy and have a good coffee flavor right away. It’s strong enough to stand out, but not drown out the chocolate flavor. Thankfully the M&M is not overly sweet and it really reminds me of the mocha you can get at the coffee shop. The coffee flavor is bold and slightly acidic, and tastes of a good brew and not just like there was some Folgers flavoring mixed in there. So if you’ve been looking for a good coffee flavored chocolate, this is worth a try.
The M&M’s Premiums are a fun little experiment. The new colors and flavors are attractive and fun, but with the higher price I don’t find them complex enough to keep me from buying more. I hope these do well since I am a fan of M&M’s, and I hope Mars would consider adding more flavors to the mix so something more unique would come along.
Rating: Will Eat Again
I bought this in an Irish grocery store in Queens because it was something I hadn’t seen before. I researched it once I got home to I find that it’s from the Dominican Republic. Wha, wha whaaaa? So confusing considering the rest of the store’s slotting was all from the UK.
The description on the wrapper reads: “Soft caramel and crisped rice in milk chocolate” and it immediately reminds me of Nestle’s 100 Grand bar. My suspicions were confirmed once I unwrapped it, since it also looks very similar to one too. The only different is it’s one long bar instead of being split into two like the 100 Grand is. Because of this difference in form, the Catch bar is a little less molded so it’s “wider” due to it spreading.
The bar smells chocolatey and sweet with some dairy notes from the caramel. My first bite had a good meduim chew, not too soft and not too hard. I’m surprised because the puffed rice, followed by the caramel, are the main flavors I taste here. Yes, you heard me, the rice. It has a light, slightly sweet wheat-y taste to it like how I’d imagine a “whole grain” version of rice crispes would taste. They are fresh and crunchy and make this feel oddly wholesome.
The caramel is great, since it’s a little on the firmer side compared to most caramels in American candy bars. Because if this it chews a little longer and has some staying power in the mouth. The chew time allows you to feel the wonderful slightly grainy texture that caramel has, it’s so nice. Sadly, I don’t notice the chocolate very much, but from that I do taste of it it has a nice milk chocolatey flavor that balanced out the rice and caramel very well.
This is a lovely bar and I’m happy I picked it up. It’s a good example how a bar with similar ingredients can have a totally different flavor. So if you see Catch, go and catch it! It’s good!
Rating: Will Buy Again
As a child of the 80s, I remember commercials for the Whatchamacallit very vividly. They were always one of the coolest candy commercials on the TV. Chances were, though, if you asked me exactly what it was, I wouldn’t have been able to tell you as it was something I never begged my parents for at the checkout line in the grocery store.
So what exactly is a Whatchamacallit? The wrapper describes it as: “peanut flavor crisps, caramel, rich chocolatey coating”. As an adult I’ve avoided this bar for the longest time simply because I know it’s covered in mockolate, which I feel is the scourge of the candy world. I know it’s a question of production costs and shelf stability, but really, chocolate is perfect the way it is, why mess with it? I digress.
The bar is long and wide; imagine if two Kitkat fingers were laid out and flatted with a rolling pin. I have a hard time trying to think of another candy that’s more short and wide than it is tall and thick, but I am drawing a blank. So the shape immediately feels unique to me. The top is pretty with subtle textural ripples from the enrobing. The bottom is even better, with that lovely diamond criss cross pattern from the conveyor belt. Does anyone else admire this along with me? I may be alone in my appreciation.
I’m surprised that Whatchamacallit smells quite chocolatey considering the questionable ingredients. There’s aromas of caramel and a lack of any suggestion of peanut butter. I find myself again reminded of Kitkat. My first bite was really nice: you get some thick, chewy textures from the caramel and a nice crispy crunch from the peanut butter crisp. The first flavor is the chocolatey coating mixed with the caramel giving it a sweet kick. Then comes the peanut butter crisp which is very nutty and perfectly salty. The crisp’s flavor is also well balanced: not as intense as a Reeses’, yet it’s not subtle enough to let the other flavors shove it to the sidelines. Even so, I do think it’s the star taste in this bar.
Ok, so color me surprised. I liked this bar despite the mockolate. The flavors of the caramel and peanut butter crisp deliver solid flavors that are strong enough to mask the lack of real chocolate. I also find that the textural contrast of the the caramel and peanut butter crisp overshadow the unusual greasiness that mockloate always has. This is an excellent example how the combination of ingredients can make or break a candy bar. I probably won’t buy this again because of the mockolate, since I don’t like to willingly eat the trans fats, but I will eye Whatchamacallit with subtle affection every time I see it at the checkout counter from now on.
Rating: Not Worth It
Whatchamacallit commercial on YouTube.com
Yes, I am aware that these are way past their original release date of last fall. I saw them at one of my local candy haunts and thought I’d swipe them up before they disappeared or end up inedible. So here you are .The code on the back says 727FRCLVO*, so they’re really not past their prime.
The package is an obnoxious bright pink with, I’m guessing, a relative of Red standing behind a large raspberry made of M&Ms pieces (logo and all) with a very sassy look on his face. With an expression like that, I’d expect it to be reserved for Green!
The actual M&Ms are on the larger side, about the same as I remember the old Crispy M&Ms being. They share the same bright pink color as the packaging with the white “M” stamped onto them. There’s no aroma so it’s hard to gage what the flavor will be like.
As for the taste, well, it’s…odd. I admit they do taste like raspberry, but not the type of raspberry you’d want to be eating. It’s terribly artificial with strong floral notes that really overpower any actual “berry” flavor present. It’s such a loud flavor and it reminds me of old Bath and Body works perfume: powerfully smelly and so far removed from the natural essence that it’s hard to identify it anymore. Thankfully you do taste the chocolate. It provides a brief respite from the “razzberry” taste and delivers a solid chocolate flavor and a good sweetness.
After tasting a few of these I feel like I had perfume sprayed on my tongue.
I’m glad that these were a limited edition release that didn’t last too long. The concept of the raspberry flavor is good, but the execution of the flavors really don’t work for me. They’re best to be avoided.
Rating: Not Worth It
* To read these magical codes, be sure to check out Cybele’s awesome explanation over at Candyblog.net.
Lifesavers are one of those candies that have always been in my life. I vividly remember enjoying them often in my childhood: I enjoyed each flavor and happily took the rejected green ones my friends didn’t like. As an adult, I don’t eat them as frequently, but I do pick them up when the craving strikes. Sometimes I have a hankering for the 5 Flavor roll (now sadly changed from the original) or the Butter Rum, but most often I find myself reaching for the Tropical flavored mix.
I think I keep reaching for the Tropical flavors more often simply because the flavors seem more fun to me. Most any hard candy offers you cherry, green apple, orange, etc. and it simply gets too boring after a bit. Plus some of my favorite flavors, such as pineapple, are usually found in these exotic mixes. So I’m always game for a roll of Lifesavers Tropicals when the mood strikes.
Fruit Punch: Fire engine red colored and a bright and perfectly punchy in flavor! I get all the notes of oranges, berries, banana in there. Think Hawaiian punch but more authentic.
Pina Colada: Clear and whitish in color. It has great zesty pineapple notes and comes across as very juicy. The coconut shows up as a mild sweetness that tastes a little milky that really rounds the flavor out. The best of the bunch.
Mango Melon: This one has a milky creamsicle appearance which is neat and unique. The flavor is much more melon than mango, thankfully. It’s mildly sweet with light juicy undertones. More like honeydew than cantaloupe or watermelon with some nice floral notes.
Tangerine: Light orange in color. The flavor is nice and orangy with that extra zestiness characteristic of tangerines. Not as “juicy” as I was hoping but very tasty.
Banana: (yellow) This one also has a milky creamy appearance. The flavor is banana, with it’s familiar sweet starchy flavor. This somehow tastes like a “greener” banana as opposed to an overly ripe one, since there’s a small and subtle tartness to it which delivers an authentic edge.
What more can I say? Even the flavors I didn’t prefer so much ended up being better than I expected (and remembered). These make a perfect hot day treat and I like how I can easily just toss a roll into my purse and know they’ll be good still later on when the sweet tooth comes calling. That’s what I call a Lifesaver!
Rating: Will Buy Again