I’m not really big on mints or minty candies, but I couldn’t help pass up this beautiful box of the new Tic Tac Citrus Punch assortment. I’m a sucker for fruity, especially citrus flavors, so I knew these would be worth giving a try.
Tic Tacs are an interesting item in my mind, as most mints really try to make themselves look like candy. But Tic Tacs look like candy and are actually mints! There’s three flavors in the mix: grapefruit, orange and lime.
Grapefruit is the flavor I looked forward to trying the most. The flavor is wonderfully captured, it’s fresh and zesty with that nice sweet/sour note the grapefruits have. The minty aspect doesn’t kick in until the fruit flavor fades, which I really like.It leaves a nice light citrusy/minty flavor in my mouth and it’s refreshing. I found myself picking these out of the assortment and finishing them off first.
Orange is sweet and flavorful with a good orange flavor that is more “real” than other orange mints I’ve had. It gets a little tart at the end which is a nice touch.
With the Lime flavor I immediately notice that it is different in texture. Strange! It breaks much easier in my mouth than the others. It’s tart, sweet and very citrusy and like the others I feel the flavor is very authentic and I immediately think of limeade.
I liked this assortment a lot. The three different flavors kept things fresh and interesting, and they both fulfilled my need for something candy-like and to freshen my breath a little. A plus for any mint in my book. My only complaint that, even though the box of these was on the larger side, I did manage to finish them in record time. Oops.
Rating: Will Buy Again
Tic Tac Website
One thing that I really love about Charles Chocolates is their willingness to experiment with a multitude of different flavors. Their standard line of chocolates use all sort of additions to their tasty chocolate; from the traditional to the exotic. Regardless of what ingredients are used, the result is always pleasurable and delicious.
One of their most recent creations are a series of bars made especially for Bi-Rite Creamery, which are inspired by their infamous ice cream flavors. It’s a match made in heaven, as both companies share similar philosophies: making delicious treats in small batches while using the freshest ingredients. Besides, ice cream and chocolate are a natural pairing, and I’m interested to finally see ice cream in chocolate as opposed to the other way around.
Before I get into describing the flavors, I want to mention first that the base of these bars is a mix of dark and milk chocolates. This makes the chocolate exceptionally sweet and creamy, very reminiscent to how an ice cream base tastes. I thought this was a clever method of getting the “essence” of an ice cream’s flavor while still missing the texture.
Peanut Praline (a crunchy peanut candy in a rich blend of dark and milk chocolate): It has a terribly enticing aroma that’s hints of caramel, nutty, and very chocolatey. There’s large chunks of the candy in the bar and they are quite visible. The taste is of the chocolate: sweet, creamy, and of rich cocoa. The praline is crunchy and gives a great texture. The flavor is very buttery and nutty with a good dose of salt.
It’s exactly how I imagines a peanut praline would taste in chocolate. I love how the chunks of the praline aren’t too small so that I’d lose the texture in the chocolate, as I love to chomp on the chunks. Neither element of this bar is compromised for the other and it’s really nice.
Rocky Road (housemade marshmallows and salted almonds in a rich bled of dark and milk chocolate): Wow. Rocky road is right! This bar is just loaded with chunky bits of marshmallows and nuts and really looks like it needs a good pave job. Just breaking off a row I immediately hit the marshmallows and they softly pulled and stretched. You can tell they’re fresh and it’s awesome.
This bar is all about the texture. You get the intense crunchiness of the nuts and they’re very hefty. The marshmallows are soft, spongy and have a good “give” to them which is a great contrast to the nuts.
Flavor-wise it’s of the nice chocolate blend but supplemented with some saltiness from the nuts. It’s sweet and slightly stronger on the vanilla from the marshmallows.
Coffee Toffee (housemade almond toffee and coffee beans in a rich blend of dark and milk chocolate): This bar is extremely textured, and you can really tell just by looking at it. You can easily see the bits of toffee and espresso beans and it makes the bar look very mottled and spotted. Breaking off a row the texture is a little more crumbly and the snap is softer from all the additions.
The aroma is very roasted and sweet with a distinguishable coffee scent. It reminds me of mocha.
The flavor is immediately creamy with notes of the toffee with caramel and burnt sugar. The coffee flavor comes through after that initial burst of sweetness, with a smooth flavor that’s light and compliments the toffee and chocolate. Once you have all three flavors working together, it’s really wonderful, as all they’re all expertly balanced.
I’m happy to say that there’s no coffee grounds in this bar to deliver the flavor. Instead it’s bits of espresso beans and combined with the chunks of toffee it’s a very satisfying crispy texture.
This is my favorite of the bunch.
I love these bars and it’s a shame that unless I made the trek to the San Francisco to buy more, I probably won’t have them again. They’re certainly worth picking up if you’re in the area and I highly recommend you do so.
Rating: Will Buy Again
Charles Chocolates Website
I first saw these on the shelf at Di Bruno Bros. in Philadelphia. After perusing the flavors for a good few minutes, as the prince warranted only one purchase, I decided to picky up the Chai Latte flavor. I love caramels and I haven’t had that flavor in this medium before. My other options included a classic caramel, a variation with honey, a variation with chocolate, etc. so the spicy chai just called to me. I’m all for trying new things!
I’ve been aware of the DAS Caramelini for some time now, as they appeared on the candy blogosphere scene a few months ago. Cybele over at CandyBlog and Rosa at ZOMG Candy! both gave them good reviews. I made a mental note to myself to get some if I ever saw them.
I was immediately pleased with these once I opened them as they smell warm and sweet of cinnamon and cloves. It does impart a chai essence. I was worried that the spice in these wouldn’t be strong enough, and I was glad to smell I was wrong.
The flavor is very well rounded, and I’m actually reminded more of gingerbread than chai. It has a wonderful hit of cinnamon, a subtle bite of cloves and a warmth of ginger. Add all that to the creamy sweetness of the caramel base. So to be frank, it’s really rich and complex. The chew is nice as the edges are soft and it’s more firm toward the center. It gave a good chew, but it wasn’t as chewy as I’d like, since I found it dissolved too quickly in my mouth. Still, extremely tasty. I like eating candy that tastes of gingerbread!
I was able to sample the other flavors of the DAS Caramelini line at the Fancy Food Show this past June. They were all impressive like the chai variety I try here, and I was just floored by the Candied Ginger & Pistachio flavor. I can’t wait to get my hands on some more of those.
Rating: Will Buy Again
DAS Foods Website
100 Grand, that’s such a rich name for a candy bar. Ha ha, get it? I remember always liking these bars, and I really remember coming to appreciate them fully in Fourth grade during a week at summer camp. It was the one food that I could stomach as I was wrought with anxiety from being away from home for such an extended period of time. 100 Grand was there for me when my parents weren’t.
The premise behind this bar is pretty simple: rice crispies and caramel covered in Nestle’s milk chocolate. Kinda like a different shaped and pumped up with caramel Crunch bar, really.
There’s many things that this bat has going for it. Firstly, I appreciate how the bar is two pieces, rather than one. It allows for a more slow and satisfying eating experience. Especially since I’m more apt to eat a single bar much faster in one fell swoop. The two pieces keep me front doing that.
The texture is extremely chewy. You really have to work this one. The first bite is immediately crispy from the rice and then you hit the very dense caramel. The flavor is mildly sweet. I get a little caramel flavor, a little chocolate and a little malt. Overall, I’m underwhelmed. It’s not as flavorful as I remembered.
A good example on how memory and circumstance can make a candy taste better. To be fair though, I still enjoyed it.
Rating: Might Eat Again
100 Grand Bar Website
These pretty little chocolate cups of coffee made by Anthon Berg were another random “gourmet” shopping find. I’d never seen little chocolates filled with coffee before, only liqueurs, so I was eager to give this type of candy a try without making myself woozy from the alcohol. Yes, I am that much of a lightweight that this sort of thing concerns me.
I made my purchase and I eagerly did some internet research on Anthon Berg, which is a company from Denmark with an impressive confectionery history dating all the way back to 1884 when Anton Berg, a green grocer in Copenhagen, decided to start making chocolate. How’s that for an impressive history?
The premise of these treat are simple. A 55% dark chocolate shell holding a flavored syrupy center. They are cute; shaped like little coffee mugs with color coded foil wrappers. The first thing I did once I unwrapped one was gently bite the top off one so I could taste the chocolate alone. I find that it’s pretty average bittersweet chocolate, which is fine considering their main purpose is serving as a vessel for the liquid coffee interior.
Structurally, they chocolates are pretty sound. I had no leakage on any of the pieces and when I bit into them I could feel how thick the chocolate case is. The think foil packaging kept things fresh too, so they get points for that.
Espresso: Smells more of chocolate, but with a good coffee hit to it. The espresso is bitter but doesn’t taste terribly strong. It balances nicely with the sweet chocolate.
Cappuccino: The taste is strong and the coffee is more bitter and acidic. There’s a milky flavor to it, even thought the liquid coffee doesn’t show any dairy addition (not lighter in color at all). It’s terribly sweet.
Toffee Macciato: This one has a very milky and strong caramel aroma to it. The flavor is lighter than all the others with a really big toffee/caramel taste. There’s only a light coffee hint to be found so it’s by far the most mild, coffee-wise, of the bunch. It’s really more like dessert than a drink, as the caramel toffee flavor is very pronounced.
Vanilla Frappe: Smells of light, sweet coffee. The flavor is of a medium-bodied coffee with no acidity and a smooth vanilla flavor. It’s also very sweet.
I don’t quite get the appeal of these. If I want chocolate, I’ll have chocolate. If I want coffee, then I’ll grab myself a cup. These, while nice, are just a little tease of both for me and I find myself frustrated as opposed to satisfied. I need to go get myself some coffee now to fill this odd flavor void I’m feeling at the moment.
Rating: Might Eat Again
Anthon Berg Website