I am always amazed on how many different varieties of licorice that exist out there. Living in the United States, you really don’t see that many, as it’s not a popular candy here, for reasons I don’t quite understand. Walk into any store that imports candy from Europe and you start to get an idea of how extremely popular and diverse a candy it really is. These Tappsy licorice candies are not only different from other varieties I’ve had before, they’re also more creative. I’ve seen licorice in animal shapes before, fish and cats come right to mind. But panda faces? Really? This is certainly new territory.
So what are these Panda faces made of? Well, aside from the accents of black licorice to define the features, the white part is a soft, gummi “foam”. It’s chewy, yet not very dense. It reminds me of the “cream” part in many gummies you find here in the USA, like the white part of those blue gummi sharks you see everywhere.
The flavor is really nice, and not as delicate as I imagined. Depending on the piece you got, as there were pieces that had the base of black licorice accented with the white foam, and others visa versa. The white foam is lightly sweet and is a little marshmallow-y in flavor, a light vanilla flavor accented by a starchiness. The licorice is lovely with delicate herbal notes and a wonderful rich molasses base to it. They two parts blend beautifully and I found myself very tempted to keep eating these one after another.
I definitely recommend these if you love black licorice and you are looking for something new. I was wonderfully surprised with these! Yay, pandas are yummy!
Rating: Will Eat Again
Links Katjes Website
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!
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.
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.
Links Milka Website
Upon discovering Droste pastilles for the first time and really liking them, I obviously began to seek out the other varieties they had to offer. I think after trying as many as I could get my hands on, the bittersweet pastilles have stood out as my favorite. The white chocolate ones would come in second.
If I had to decide on what type of chocolate is my favorite, I’d have to say bittersweet. It’s a nice middle ground that isn’t clearly defined by the chocolate community, so it’s really up to the manufacturer to decode what makes their specific chocolate bittersweet (or semisweet as some like to call it). It is usually a chocolate that may or may not contain milk solids and the cocoa percentage ranges from 50% to 70%. This specific Droste variety has milk solids and doesn’t exactly list the percentage on the wrapper, which has become sort of a standard thing nowadays.
I really love the packaging on these. The cardboard tube contains a heavy duty plastic packet that holds the roll of the rounded chocolate discs. It’s easy to open it up, take a few, and twist it back up to save the rest for later. I like having that ability to store part of the chocolate away safely, which I think is a design flaw for the big bars of chocolate.
The pastilles are a beautiful deep brown with a bright sheen to them. They were a delight to photograph.
They chocolate tastes very coconutty to me right away. I could smell it in the aroma, and in the mouth it’s an overwhelming characteristic of the chocolate. One the coconut eases off, you notices the very deep roasted notes of cocoa, coffee and caramel; delivering an intense chocolately hit. It reminds me of a first sip of a really good hot chocolate. It also really reminds me of eating a handful of bittersweet chocolate chips, minus the volume in the mouth (but who wants to admit to actually doing that?).
The mouth feel is very smooth and rich, and it feels wonderful on the palate. It’s thick and buttery, without overdoing it.
Out of all the Droste flavors and varieties. I return to this one the most. I think that speaks for itself.
Rating: Will Buy Again
Droste was my gateway chocolate, as so to speak. It was the first chocolate I had that really started to open my eyes to the tasting adventures that lay awaiting me in the realm of candy. Prior to finding and buying my first roll of the pastilles, I’ve always knew the company for their boxes of cocoa and the Droste Effect illustrated on them. My parents also were familiar with Droste as they lived in Holland for a time, so they were amused by the idea of their daughter finally discovering a chocolate they’d known about for years.
These pastilles are 75% dark chocolate and this actually lists cocoa liqueur as the first ingredient. Impressive, at least for a semi-upscale chocolate. Immediately you can see these are much darker than American dark chocolate, and have an almost spooky gloss to them. It feels more mysterious and exotic.
The smell is rather sweet with notes of coffee, cinnamon and coconut. The snap is very hard, break is clean. The texture is nice and creamy without being too thick and it moves nicely in the mouth,
The melt in your tongue is slow causing the flavors to be released gradually. First it’s very dry with notes of cocoa and almonds, then it grows a little more powerful and sweet where subtle notes of caramel and coffee come through. There’s a slight fruity note at the end and the aftertaste is not as clean as most, because I still detect lingering notes of fruit and cocoa. This chocolate feels very “brown” and rich. The bitterness with well tempered here, it’s not too sweet or too astringent and I feel it’s a perfect middle ground and a great place for beginners. I say that because the flavor notes are strong and there is a “middle ground” of complexity so the tasted wouldn’t get overwhelmed with to many sensations to try and identify.
Even though now I’ve learned more refined taste in chocolate, I still find myself picking up a roll of these pretty often. They just hold a special place on my taste buds and chocolate heart, so I encourage you to give them a try yourself.
Rating: Will Buy Again
Heksehyl is another licorice I found out about from Cybele over at CandyBlog. Isn’t it wonderful how even we candy bloggers can learn about new things from each other? I often turn to her website for licorice recommendations, because I’m really a novice. I just know that I like the stuff.
The Heksehyl was an extremely lucky find in a random gourmet shop in the Caesar’s Pier during a recent trip to Atlantic City. I immediately recognized it and grabbed a bag and tore it open once I was outside the store. I was that excited to find them, as interesting licorice is not an easy thing to come across in my area.
They look like little tubes, with a brown creamy center. Surrounding that is a layer of black licorice and then a dusting of granular sugar to finish it off. The pieces are a good size and can be one or two bites depending on what you felt like.
The flavor is more of the molasses center than the licorice. It’s sweet, woodsy and rich, complimented by the herbal anise-like flavors of the licorice. The sugar coating gives it a bit of a gritty texture, but it’s a very pleasant one. The overall flavor isn’t so bold that it’s overpowering, so it’s easy to down quite a few before realizing it.
This big bag was gone within a week. I wish I could find it near me so I could buy more.
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