Monday, February 18, 2019

Fujiya Chocolate Pencils / Choco Enpitsu

As a lifelong nerd, I'm naturally drawn (hehheh) to the Fujiya brand chocolate pencils (Choco Enpitsu) from Japan. They're absolutely charming and the chocolate isn't bad either. They also come with a fun 3D sticker. Sweet inspiration for students!

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Brach's Tiny Conversation Hearts

Since we won't have Necco Sweethearts on the shelves for the 2019 Valentine's Day season, we have to consider alternate options. Brach's traditional Tiny Conversation Hearts are classics. They don't look as good as some other brands but the flavors are better and they don't try to get to contemporary or clever with the messaging. Not exactly delicious, but definitely addictive. 

Monday, February 11, 2019

Welcome, Creamy Peanut Butter Snickers

On a visceral level my body rejects the earthier notes of almond butter and yet could subsist almost entirely on peanut butter. It's a mystery but fundamental to my nature. So I'm not the target audience of Snickers new Almond Butter Bars. In the meantime, I love Snickers Peanut Butter bars. They've been released in different packaging before, switching out a layer of super smooth peanut butter for the traditional nougat. They're terrific--the peanut butter is a bit less sweet than your average Reese's which balances out the caramel nicely.

Score: 4

Friday, February 8, 2019

Tony's Chocolonely Caramel Sea Salt Milk Chocolate Bar

Forget the heart shaped candy and get your love the Tony's Chocolonely Caramel Sea Salt Milk Chocolate Bar for Valentine's Day. This is a decadent chocolate bar, the best I've tasted within this general price range. I wasn't surprised. The milk chocolate bar recently made me swoon. Add in buttery chips of toffee spiked with a hint of salt and the whole thing is a fantastic bite. Tony's Chocolonely has taken my heart by storm!

Score (new raving fan): 5

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Heart Shaped Junior Mints for Valentine's Day

(Republished from original blog post, Feb. 3, 2017, with new photos!)

These heart shaped Junior Mints for Valentine's Day are the best! Junior Mints are, first off, the yummiest drugstore candy. Or actually the second best after the glorious and unbeatable Reese's Peanut Butter Cup. In this holiday version, the Junior Mint is super festive in the shape of a heart. In addition, some are filled with the classic white peppermint and others are filled with a surprising and jewel-like red filling. I've written before about my enthusiasm for the holiday mix idea from Junior Mints where they appear to be your standard Junior Mints and taste like your standard Junior Mints but if you bite them in half you are confronted by red or white colored filling, like a hidden homage to the holiday! Honestly, who really eats a Junior Mint by biting it in half. [note: I have now been informed that plenty of people bite their Junior Mints in half- I think that's better left for a Peppermint Patty but to each their own]. You could go through an entire box without noticing. I like the subtlety.

Score (flavor): 5
Score (holiday festiveness): 5
Score (subtlety): 5

Monday, February 4, 2019

Romantic Overtures: Dove Hearts in Pink Champagne and Milk Chocolate Swirl

Dove Chocolate is great, so no matter what new flavor variety the company releases, you know that the base chocolate layer will taste good. Pink champagne is a cool flavor idea to roll out for Valentine's Day. I like the idea of it as champagne and chocolate are certainly a tasty duo. (I'll come clean and say that I've never had pink champagne and am unsure of the specific flavor). With the knowledge of the desired flavoring I could really taste an essence of aromatic champagne mixed into the chocolate. My tastebuds could make that leap. If I hadn't known that Pink Champagne was the mix-in flavor, I never would have guessed. The chocolate tasted somewhat floral and if pressed, I might have guessed Banana. A far cry from Pink Champagne. So on one hand this experiment proves the strength of suggestion--if told it tastes like Pink Champagne I think it does. When left to my own devices, I veered more toward banana. Even if the flavor is hard to pin down, it's pretty tasty. I would certainly hand these out to colleagues and loved ones alike to celebrate the Valentine's Day Candy Season.

Score (Dove Milk Chocolate): 4
Score (flavor confusion): 2
Score (Valentine themed flavor and packaging): 4

Friday, February 1, 2019

New Almond Butter Snickers and Maple Almond Butter Snickers

Here stands the announcement that Snickers has released two new bars with an Almond Butter base. I can't weigh in. I loathe Almond Butter. It makes my stomach church and lurch--something about those earthier notes compared with my beloved diet mainstay and friend, peanut butter. For those that find Almond Butter palatable, these new Creamy Almond Bar Snickers and Maple Almond Butter Bar Snickers could be game changers. Let me know!

Here are two positive things I noticed about the bars before being too grossed out by almond butter proxmity. 1) The aroma of maple when you rip open the wrapper of the Maple Almond Butter Snickers is awesome. 2) I like this smaller, more compact format of two squares compared with the traditional Snickers bar.

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Red Velvet KitKat Spells Valentine's Day Romance

In a blind taste-test I would never identify the flavor of these incredible KitKats as Red Velvet. I just don't taste the cocoa at all. After consuming an entire bag, I'd likely guess at Buttercream Frosting flavor. Whatever titled, these KitKats are outstanding, absolutely top of the pack. And I don't even like white chocolate all that much! Somehow, though, there is more flavor to them than a mere white chocolate. Check these out--they're a highlight of this Valentine's Day candy season.

Score (flavor): 4
Score (properly identifying flavor): 2

Monday, January 28, 2019

Molten Chocolate: Hershey's Lava Cake Kisses

Who can resist a chocolate lava cake, with molten chocolate spilling from the center? Not I. These Hershey's Lava Cake Kisses are a great idea, especially for the Valentine's Day candy season. Each kiss consists of a dark chocolate shell with a liquid chocolate center. I forced these upon a number of colleagues and was met with quite a bit of enthusiasm. Were they being polite? Am I too critical? I like the dark chocolate outer shell. The liquid center, though, tastes so strongly of corn syrup. If this was filled with classic Hershey's Chocolate Syrup it could equal perfection. There's something just a little off with the current recipe. Try again, Hershey's! You're close!

Score (concept): 5
Score (final recipe): 3