I first tasted the Hot Cocoa Kisses back at the 2006 All Candy Expo. I wasn’t impressed with from what I remember, but at the same time I was experiencing flavor fatigued from all the samples I had tasting prior to visiting the Hershey’s booth. They first appeared in stores as a holiday limited edition last year and I made sure to ignore them. This year I decided to go back and give them as shot.
These are similar to the Truffle Kisses, as there’s not an easily detectable filling. It’s more a smooth texture you feel in your mouth as opposed to anything you see. The center is cool on the tongue, a little greasy and very slippery.
I was expecting the flavor to be like the Truffle Kiss; basically an intensely smooth, sweet chocolate flavor. The Cocoa Kisses are not like that. Yes, they do have an intense chocolate taste, but there’s something sweeter and more buttery about this these. Thankfully, it’s not an intense fake buttery flavor like the Candy Corn Kisses. I’m instantly reminded of cupcake frosting: sweet, buttery, creamy, a little tangy with a dash of salt.
I don’t get “hot cocoa” from this at all, it’s really more like frosting. They’re tasty and I like them better than the fudge center ones.
Be forewarned as these are very, very sweet. By the time I was on my fourth Kiss I started to get a throat burn. That didn’t stop me from polishing off more than a serving or two in one sitting. Oops.
Rating: Will Buy Again
Hershey’s Kisses Website
It’s HiChew time again! I’ve already gushed in my previous reviews of how much I adore HiChew, so I will spare you that rant again. This version, with it’s wonderful Engrish name, is pineapple flavored. I was just jumping out of my seat when I first started seeing it for sale online this past spring. Thankfully, since then, it’s now in most Asian markets so you can find it pretty easily if you have the mind to.
Firstly, aside from the amusing name, I am really drawn to the packaging of this flavor. It’s much more decorative than the other HiChew packages I’ve seen, and I think the frilly type and imagery works for it. It certainly catches my eye.
Opening the package carefully (so I could save the pretty wrapper!) to find the row of neatly wrapped pieces. They smell faintly sweet, but it’s a soapy sort of smell. I’m a little worried.
The flavor is extremely authentic. The taste is every bit pineapple with it’s sharp juicy notes and that hint of pine-like tartness. This is a little milder and sweeter than the real thing, but come on, it’s candy!
No question about it. I’m in love, and I’m currently working on my stockpile. Hopefully Morinaga will add this to their regular line of flavors.
Jelly Belly has been trying to push the envelope with flavors and products it seems in the past few years. Back when I was at the All Candy Expo in 2007 they unveiled their BeanBoozled beans: essentially a Russian roulette with good and gross flavors. This year they announced a line of flavors inspired by Cold Stone Creamery’s ice cream. I’m not quite sure on the connection between the two, especially since I’ve never been to Cold Stone Creamery (silly lactose intolerance). I am certainly intrigued by the idea of ice cream and jelly beans.
Chocolate Devotion: (Chocolate ice cream, chocolate chips, brownie and fudge): So bland. It has a faint cocoa flavor, yet lacks that “chocolatey” punch you hope for and expect. It doesn’t taste artificial, just weak.
Our Strawberry Blonde: (strawberry ice cream, graham cracker pie crust, strawberries, caramel, whipped topping): This one is odd. It’s strawberry, but also has strong flavors of banana too. It’s sweet, tart and very concentrated in terms of flavor. My favorite of the bunch.
Apple Pie A La Cold Stone: (french vanilla ice cream, cinnamon, graham cracker pie crust, apple pie filling and caramel): Immediately you taste the cinnamon and apples. There’s a note of the caramel there too, but it’s faint. It reminds me of store-bought apple strudel muffins. Or cinnamon coffee cake.
Mint Mint Chocolate Chocolate Chip: (mint ice cream, choc chips brownie and fudge): This has a nice medium mint flavor, but the chocolate part tastes awful and ruins the whole Jelly Bean. It’s horribly fake tasting, like Tootsie roll’s bad, ugly cousin. It also leaves an odd aftertaste in the mouth afterward.
Birthday Cake Remix: (cake batter™ ice cream, rainbow sprinkles, brownie and fudge): Very artificial vanilla flavor, right at the start. It’s overpowering and it burns my throat.
One thing does confuses me about these beans is their “mixability”. Most of all the other flavors in the Jelly Belly brand are meat to be eaten together in certain recipe combinations to make new flavors. I don’t see that happening with these. This isn’t a problem for me, as I like to eat my Jelly Beans one by one. I can’t help but wonder though…
Even eating these flavors solo, they aren’t enticing enough for me to recommend them.
Rating: Not Worth It
Jelly Belly Website
See’s Candies is a confectionery giant out in the West coast. They’ve an impressive history and have been making candies since 1921 following traditional recipes and using quality ingredients. With such quality products, it’s really hard to go wrong. It’s a shame that I’m in the East Cost, which has a sad lack of See’s products. I hope to work my way though their products as time goes on. But I can say that from what I have already tasted, they make pretty stellar stuff.
This past summer I was lucky enough to visit a See’s store while on vacation in Los Angeles. Like a kid in a candy stores, I couldn’t decide on exactly what I needed to buy, as so many of their confections could be considered a “must try”. I did decide on some of their Root Beer lollypops, as I have a big weak spot for all things root beer. They were only a small part of the purchases I made there.
After bringing my See’s swag home, I discovered that the Root Beer lollipop was a summer limited edition. I was lucky enough to catch it in stores. It’s the same format as their other lollypops, a thick rectangular mass that smells sweet with notes of wintergreen and spice.
The Root Beer lollipop was a summer limited edition and I was lucky enough to catch it in stores. It’s the same format as their other lollypops, a thick rectangular mass that smells sweet with notes of wintergreen and spice.
The flavor is awesome, it’s like a single brew, old fashioned draft root beer. The different flavor components are very separate and easily distinguishable. First there’s the creamy sweetness, followed by a wintergreen peppery hit, rounded out with sharp, spicy woodsy notes. It’s so lovely. My favorite “hard” candy root beer flavor to date, as other varieties I find are usually too heavy on the herbal flavors in Root Beer. This one is just right.
Like the Root Beer, the Cinnamon lollipop is a limited edition flavor for this holiday season. They come in attractive bright red wrappers and they call to you immediately from the shelf.
The lollipop is opaque and doesn’t resemble a hard candy at all. It smells creamy and milk, but there’s also a strong cinnamon scent that’s very “hot”.
The flavor is really interesting. It’s cinnamon, and it burns a little, yet it’s very smooth and creamy. It’s a nice mix of both worlds. I get a little mouth burn with it, but it’s very mild and it reminds me of a red hot. The creamy flavors cool off the burn and I’d imagine it being like drinking a steamed milk with cinnamon syrup.
It’s a shame that both of these are available for only a limited time. They’re so tasty! I can’t help but wonder if their short shelf lifespan is part of their appeal though.
Rating: Root Beer: Hoard
Cinnamon: Will Buy Again
There’s a really nice gourmet store in my area called Bon Appetit Fine Foods that I like to stop in and look around every so often. They carry all sorts of edible delights, but I’m obviously interested in the chocolate and candy that they carry. It seems that their stock changes slightly every time I go. On one of my more recent trips I discovered these bags of panned chocolate candies from France. I picked up two different kinds, and this is one of them.
“Pomme d’ Amor” or “Apple of Love” is what these are called. How lovely! They’re pieces of apple, from the looks of the package it’s either dried or a jelly of some kind. It’s then covered in milk chocolate and then again in a colored white chocolate or confectioner’s glaze. I don’t read French so I couldn’t really tell you. I’m guessing that each color is a different flavor or variety of apple. Or perhaps not. Only one way to find out!
Yellow Brown Speckled: Hard for me to place, but it has a big fruity flavor with a bright sour note and something very cinnamon about it. The interior jelly’s texture is nice, a little softer than I expected.
Green: The jelly in this is much softer and darker in color. This is very pear tasting. The fruity flavor is strong and combined with the chocolate here it has a cheesy essence to it. Strange to read I know, but trust me, it’s an odd thing to taste! This also has an odd spiciness to it.
Red: This one just tastes sweet and I finally taste a little of the chocolate. No extreme fruity or spicy notes here.
Orange/Yellow Speckled: The most chocolatey out of the bunch. It still has a big sweetness to it; you get some of the chocolate and the rest just burns away with the sugar. The jelly is a light “golden” flavor, but other then delivering a slight tartness toward the finish of the piece, there’s not much to mention
I really needed a glass of water after these.
These were fun to try, but not something I was impressed with. It’s also nothing I’d particularly crave either. I could see these working as a nice accompaniment to a cheese dessert platter maybe. But alone as a treat, I don’t like it much.
Rating:Might Eat Again
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