Aren’t these just perfectly creepy? Just in time for Halloween too! I first heard of Griotten from a post Cybele made on CandyBlog a few months ago. They immediately caught my attention and I’ve kept an keen eye out for them for some time.The kind displayed on CandyBlog look like brown sugar cubes which is how you’d normally find them. I hadn’t seen them in spider form until I was given these as a gift.
Since I’ve had both shaped of Griotten before, I want to say there’s really no difference other than size. The spiders are about the equivalent of three of the cubes. The texture of these is so much fun. They’re squishy; similar to marshmallows but a little denser. They hold their shape instead of caving in with you play and eat them. The granulated sugar coating is a nice touch. It adds a subtle crunch to the light, fluffy and chewy texture. It also adds to the creepy-crawliness of the spiders.
The flavor is of black licorice, just so you know. It’s very heavy on the molasses aspect, so the flavor is much milder than the other licorices out there. It’s a good starting point if you want to learn to appreciate black licorice and want to start on something less intense. The sweetness is mild too, not too much and certainly doesn’t overpower the rich licorice and molasses flavors.
Like so many other candies this time of year, the shapes are so perfect for Halloween treats alike. I wish I could keep myself from eating them so I could put them to creative purposes. They’re just too tasty though.
Rating: Will Buy Again
One of the Halloween candies I routinely stock up on each year are gummi pumpkins. I admit that a good 75% of the reason is the fact that’s they’re cute little pumpkins and most of the time I’m not really taking the taste into consideration. This is a mistake really, if eating them is what you plan to do with them, which is what I do with them after I’m done cooing at how cute they are and squishing them with my fingers. Yes, pumpkins have that effect on me.
I’ve seen these made by several different brands, so it’s hard for me to pin down a specific one to review. I’ve had several over the years and it’s hard for me to really say if one is better than the other. They are all good in my book. These specific ones were samples from the All Candy Expo, but I’ve seen these in bulk bins at grocery stores. So they’re pretty easy to find if you’re willing to look.
The flavor of these is not pumpkin, sadly. Although that’d be a little strange now that I think about it. Instead, they’re the (next) best flavor in line: orange. It’s a nice fresh, slightly zesty orange, a little sweeter than a Lifesaver. The sugar coating gives a nice crunch and the texture is very firm and chewy. So much so that some tend to get stuck and all sticky in my teeth which is extremely annoying.
I also like how multi-purposeful these gummi pumpkins are. I’ve seen the used in many Halloween baking creations as they make wonderful toppers for cupcakes. Your imagination is the limit, really.
My favorite way to enjoy them is to leave the bag open and out on my table. I nibble on a few each day and taste enjoy them as the texture gradually hardens as they get a little stale. Strange, I know, but they’re fun and I always am disappointed when I find my bag empty. Which is always sooner than I expect.
Rating: Will Buy Again
Yay, more pumpkin truffles! I’m happy to see that pumpkin is getting more attention from all the chocolatiers as of late. It makes my little candy and squash-loving heart so very happy.
These truffles are made by the famed Knipschildt chocolatier lover in Connecticut. I’ve had limited experience with their work, as I’ve only sampled a few bites at the Chocolate Show in New York last year. From what I recall I liked the flavor of the chocolate so I feel very optimistic, heck, extremely excited to give these a taste.
The packaging is extremely attractive. A nice, handmade paper orange box securely closed with a wooden peg. The label is removable and nicely designed. I’m already brainstorming as to what I can reuse this box for.
Opening it up, you’re greeted with a little army of the truffles. Forty of them to be exact, all lined up in rows waiting to be consumed. They’re cute to look at as they’re large and topped off with a pumpkin seed. They smell sweet and roasted with a hint of nutmeg.
The chocolate shell was thick, but didn’t crack and made it easy to bite into. It’s a nice milk chocolate with good strong cocoa flavors. The ganache is very rich and the texture reminds me of very smooth fresh frosting, minus the sugar grain and greasiness. The flavor is more like pumpkin than pumpkin pie, as it comes across as more bitter and roasted tasting than sweet. Strong notes of nutmeg and clove mask any cinnamon that may be lurking in there, and it makes the flavor much more dark and mysterious.
I reviewed the Godiva pumpkin truffles last week and I prefer those to these. Not only flavor wise are they sweeter and more like a dessert, but the price is a little easier to handle. I paid $40 for this box at Dean and Deluca’s (yes, I know, I was kinda asking for it shopping there).
Rating: Will Eat Again
Knipschildt Chocolatier Website
If Absinthe flavored anything isn’t considered somewhat spooky, I don’t know what is.
I picked these up because I was intrigued. I had Leone’s Absinthe’s chocolate bar and really liked it, so I was interested to see how the flavor tasted in a pastille form. It comes in tis little box, about the size you get when you buy a case of mints. There’s a paper wrapping on the actual box, which I assume is there for both decorative and protective purposes.
The pastilles have no aroma and are very light pale green. They’re the size of pencil erasers and the surface texture is sort of uneven and wrinkled. These characteristics made them very difficult to photograph.
The flavor is, frankly, odd. It tastes more soapy than absinthe to me. I am missing those nice notes of anise and licorice. The texture is ok, they’re a little chalky and have a nice crunch to them. The pleasantries end there. After munching a few, I felt the desire to eat something else to get the odd flavor out of my mouth.
Stick to the chocolate bar if you want a nice absinthe candy for now. Even though these pastilles were disappointing, I am determined to find other sweet mediums that’ll deliver a nice absinthe flavor.
Rating: Not Worth It
HiChew were one of the first Japanese candies I’d ever tasted. And frankly, I was quite impressed. I’ve sort of been on an unofficial mission to taste every flavor I’ve come across. Even when I was over in Japan I scoured all the train station kiosks to see what different kinds were stocked and I’ve lost track of how many kinda I’ve eaten. This Mixed Fruit flavor is one of the most recent releases.
One of the things I love about HiChew is the texture. It’s a cross between gum and Starburst. It’s a nice fruity chew, but it’s more latexy and longer lasting. It’s really built for maximum chew time and satisfaction.
I was hoping that this roll would be a flavor assortment as opposed to a generic mixed fruit flavor. I was disappointed when I tasted one though, as it was obvious that it was the latter.
The chew is a light beige white with a little orangey pink center. The flavor is very strong and complex and I taste every single fruit that was pictured on the front of the package. I get the soft starchy sweetness of the banana first, then the tartness of the orange and pineapple, rounded out but the sweetness of the peaches and then finally the juicy notes of the grapes. I’m immediately reminded me of those Del Monte canned fruit cocktail mixes (and I mean that in the best way possible) and it all I need is a glass dish with some vanilla yogurt and an intensely bright maraschino cherry on top.
Worth giving it a try if you see it! Especially since I don’t’ know how long they’ll be selling it for.
Rating: Will Eat Again
HiChew Website (Japanese)