Friday, January 18, 2019

Wawel Galaretka Pomaranczowa w Czekoladzie / Orange Jelly in Chocolate

One doesn't tend to have high expectations in a fruit jelly. They can be tasty, but rarely something super special or compelling. But behold, Wawel's Galaretka Pomaranczowa w czekoladzie (Orange Jelly with Chocolate) is one of those rare fruit jellies that soars above the rest. What I love is that the natural bitter of orange / orange peel is allowed into the jelly along with the sweet orange juice. It tastes like a real orange, trapped in jelly form. The chocolate coating didn't do much to enhance the orange in my opinion, but I guess something has to contain the sticky jelly. I also like that one can purchase these individually. You get a really great sweet but don't feel compelled to continue consumption to an unhealthy degree. If you can find these Polish sweets in your neighborhood, they're certainly worth a taste!

Score (orange flavor): 4
Score (chocolate coating): 3

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Jelly Belly Incredibles 2 Baby Super Freak Mix

The Incredibles and Incredibles 2 count as some of my very favorite Pixar movies--scratch that, my very favorite animated films--of all time. Needless to say I had to procure the Jelly Belly Incredibles 2 cross-branded Baby Super Freak mix. I love that kid. Throughout Incredibles 2 he had me giggling like crazy. The mix is a perfect color compliment to the movie, starring Berry Blue, shimmering Jewel Wild Blackberry (delicious and so pretty), Lemon, Sour Orange, and Very Cherry. Cheerful primary colors with a dash of shimmering magic. I love it! Now I just need to find the edition with Violet Parr on the packaging!

Monday, January 14, 2019

Chocolove xoxox Dark Chocolate Salted Caramel Cup

Chocolove xoxo milk chocolate counts as some of my very favorite chocolate in the world. I really like their dark chocolate, too, but their milk chocolate is transcendent. So I always have high expectations for a new Chocolove xoxox product. As one of those people who is wild for caramel, this new Dark Chocolate Salted Caramel Cup sounded entrancing. It was, for the most part. The caramel is a really good consistency, as soft as possible before it loses structure and becomes a syrup. My only complaint--and this comes as a surprise--too much salt. Usually I can't get enough and tend to prefer foods that others complain are too salty. Here, though, the salt was a distraction. I wanted those perfect flavors of dark chocolate and caramel and then just a few granules of salt on top to offset the sweet. The salted caramel simply felt oversalted. That said, I would happily each a bunch more of these. Everyone should try at least one.

Friday, January 11, 2019

Valentine's Candy Storms the Aisles: Reese's Peanut Butter Pink Hearts

Here we are mere days (minutes!) into 2019 and already the candy aisles are flooded with Valentine's Day Candy. It's overwhelming. And I'm still full from the holidays. That said, I'll never say no to a Reese's anything. Especially if that anything is Pink. The Reese's Pink Heart is a good new addition to the holiday line. The white creme (isn't as tasty as milk chocolate but its taste is inoffensive and the Reese's peanut butter always sings. The pink creme that enrobes the peanut butter is a pretty shade. Even while feeling antipathy about the too-early holiday spirit, I could not resist these peanut butter pretties.

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Roadtrip: Bearin Wheel Pies, Chinatown, New York City

Wheel pies are a delicious Taiwanese sweet street food. Imagine a hot baked (not fried) donut cooked around a center of oreo cookies or peanut butter cream or red bean or the like. The dough is not very sweet --a nice balance to the sweet center-- and the just-baked-enough dough turns each bite into a molten delicacy. Taste-tester Ben and I tried the Oreo and Peanut Butter fillings at New York City's Bearin Wheel Pies. The customer in front of us asked for more traditional Matcha and Red Bean wheel pies. The key is to eat them hot, when the dessert has barely constituted itself into cooked form. Worth the trip to NYC (or Taiwan), take a stroll to Walker Street in Chinatown and check out Bearin Wheel Pies. 

Monday, January 7, 2019

Classic Razzles and New Razzles Fizzles: First it's Candy...then it's Gum

Remember Razzles, the classic candy that turns into gum? More specifically it reconstitutes from crunchy fruit-flavored to chalk to super sweet flavorful gum and then just as suddenly into a flavorless mass of hardened gum. The trick is to not linger on the individual Razzles. I loved them growing up--a totally unique novelty candy.

Now Razzles are back! Distributed by Concord Confections, a division of Tootsie Roll, Razzles are also being created with Fizz! So it's candy, it's gum, and then there's some foam. Razzles Fizzles are not like pop rocks--more of a pleasing foaming ooze. The flavors are good, too. There's a whole lot going on at once--foaming, chewing, crunches--but these are great as a new novelty candy that refers to another always-classic retro novelty candy.

Friday, January 4, 2019

Roadtrip: Jelly Belly Jellybean Factory, Fairfield, California

There are well-produced videos that explain the entire history and production process of Jelly Belly jellybeans throughout the Fairfield, California factory tour. (In case Fairfield doesn't ring a bell, it's about an hour North of the Bay Area).

The 6-generation family company has created a welcoming, whimsical, not to mention Free tour constructed around the production facilities. It's a pleasure to move along the walkway above the factory floor, watching highly trained employees working in tandem with high-tech machines (check out Robot 4 in the photo below).

The factory is filled with an ever-changing mix of aromas from various batches in production--there's a constant but low-level din of machinery along the assembly line. What arrested me--stopped me in my tracks--is the sea of jellybean colors, sorted and stacked by flavor. Like a spice market in Marrakesh, a warehouse of 100 pleasing shades were stacked and ordered across the floor. This sight filled me with absolute delight. The archivist in me loved the sorting and stacking by color, the order inherent to this complicated candy production line. The photographer in me was soothed by these technicolor trays, first neatly ordered and then combined into the sorting machine to create so many variations of the rainbow. The candy lover in me was so hyped up on free samples. This is not to be missed for any candy lover, adult or child, visiting the Bay Area or Sacramento.

Enjoy the vistas.

(obsessive sweets, overstimulated)

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

New Favorite for the New Year! Tony's Chocolonely Milk Chocolate Bar

Previously, I'd say that Chocolove xoxo made my favorite go-to milk chocolate bar. Maybe Cadbury Dairy Milk. You know, the kind of milk chocolate that's heavy on the creamy and lighter on the sugar (as opposed to a Nestle milk chocolate). I think there's a new favorite in place, and it's Tony's Chocolonely Milk Chocolate Bar. I'd seen them around in fancy markets for awhile now, but was intimidated by the extra-large size of the bars. They're more like milk chocolate bricks. But recently I found a bunch of the bars for sale at a smaller, less daunting size, and scooped them up. It's perfect milk chocolate, super creamy and not too sweet, with the ideal consistency and melt. I can't wait to try all the varieties!

Score (new favorite!): 5

Monday, December 31, 2018

Hot Cocoa m&m's

Hot Cocoa m&m's consist of a thin layer of milk chocolate with a marshmallow flavored white chocolate center. I think it's that central white chocolate that presents the problem. Marshmallow flavored white chocolate is so incredibly sweet and the ratio here of white chocolate to milk chocolate is something like 3:1 or even 4:1. I think it would be delicious with a lot of milk chocolate flavored with a small dab of marshmallow white chocolate. In its current form, it's just too sweet to even concentrate on flavor.

Score (potential of concept): 4
Score (current flavor offering): 2

Friday, December 28, 2018

Winter Edition Ritter Sport Spekulatius / Speculoos

I think it's official--I've hit complete Speculoos saturation. Up until the trend washed through American candy aisles, my friend Dan would search out special jars of rare Speculoos cream for me and I hoarded them accordingly. There is something so perfect about that subtle warm gingerbready flavor. But suddenly Speculoos was everywhere--cookies, cream, in candy bars and cookies, as flavoring for Starbucks lattes. It became the new Spiced Pumpkin (but better because it's actually tasty) of the cold months. And suddenly I became awfully picky about my Speculoos. A year or so back, I would have been thrilled by this Ritter Spot Spekulatius milk chocolate bar. It's a great chocolate brand and they created a simple and elegant combination. That said, I prefer Speculoos Cream to the actual cookie. Although it's not yet on the Obsessivesweets, Trader Joe's makes an exceedingly good Speculoos Spread Chocolate Bar and while there are so many options out on the market, I'll probably go for that one and save my Ritter Sport purchases for their incredible Cornflake Bar (mmmmmmm)....

Score (Speculoos cookies/cream): 5
Score (Speculoos market saturation): (burned out) 3
Score (the bar itself): 4
Score (compared to Trader Joe's Speculoos Spread bar): 3