Monday, July 27, 2015

Turkish Delights: Ulker Laviva Candy Bar

The Ulker Laviva candy bar from Turkey is packaged in an understated elegant wrapper. Inside, though, the candy bar is anything but delicate or sedate. This slim stick is comprised of a crunchy chocolate cookie (the consistency of a Twix cookie, but chocolate flavor). A layer of thick chocolate frosting or fudge tops the cookie and the whole thing is enrobed in a thick layer of rich milk chocolate. The whole thing would simply be too rich, except that the chocolate cookie lightens up the combination. I really like this candy bar and can't think of a single equivalent on the American market. Therefore, we need Lavivas imported into far more American grocery stores and bodegas. Or Twix should make a new line of chocolate cookie based bars.

Score: 4

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Loki Pup's Marzipan Doppelgänger from Hungary

There are few things more enthralling to Obsessive Sweets than candy. One of those few things/beings is Loki the Fuzzle. Via special delivery from Budapest, Hungary via California, I have now received a treasure that combines these two special loves- a miniature Loki doppelgänger modeled in marzipan from the Szabó Marzipan Museum in Budapest, Hungary. (To see a photo essay on the artistry on display at the marzipan museum, click here). Now to the implicit problem in an edible treasure- the struggle between consuming vs. collecting. (I had this same issue with the infamous Loki m&m's.) I had to sample the goods but it seemed so cruel. I compromised. Nibbling on the tail I surmised that the smooth rich marzipan tastes as incredible as its outward visage. Taste confimed, I packed mini Loki (minus the tail) into an air-tight transparent container and placed it on my shelf to admire for the marzipan's natural duration. Since some of the marzipan pieces at the museum in Budapest are over 100 years old, I'm feeling optimistic! Thanks, Mom!

Score: (Perfect, top of the line, enthusiastic) 5

Friday, July 17, 2015

Chuao Chocolatier Pop Corn Pop ChocoPod

Biting into the Chuao Chocolatier Pop Corn Pop ChocoPod made me a little nervous. The wrapper warns that beside the already quirky combination of popcorn and chocolate there's a "surprising Pop" added into each bite. Huh? The warning refers to Pop Rocks distributed throughout the chocolate. The experience was kind of fun- the combination of pop rocks, popcorn bits, and tasty milk chocolate isn't half-bad. However, is it really what one is searching for in a chocolate bar or merely a gimmick to pull in a consumer? It's mostly gimmick. There's really no reason for the fizzing bits except the element of surprise. All in all, I enjoyed the chocopod and wouldn't turn down another. I probably wouldn't seek it out again, though.

Score: 3

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Gummy Snapshot: RingPop Gummies

It's not like the new gummy versions of the classic Ring Pop taste very good, but who can resist these enticing edible gems? I'd rather sit and admire the pleasing glow of the gummy jewels in sunlight rather than consume them.

Score (visual bling): 4
Score (taste): 2

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Photographic Field Guide: Szabó Marzipan Museum, Budapest, Hungary

A big thanks to guest photographer Pam "will travel" Mendelsohn for documenting a recent visit to the historic Szabó Marzipan Museum in Budapest, Hungary. 

This is all hand-painted marzipan. Really! Astounding edible artistry.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Jelly Belly Star Wars Jewel Collection

Recently I wrote a rave review about the Jelly Belly Star Wars Galaxy Mix (read review here). The mix consists of pearlized shimmering jelly beans in the following flavors: berry blue, blueberry, grape soda, green apple, island punch, sour apple, and wild blackberry. It's a good blend of flavors and the shining paint job transforms them into irresistible sparkling gems. And then Jelly Belly tops the Galaxy Mix by creating a tray of the mix, adding in some extra flavors, and then separating all the jelly beans by color for me!! Who knew this existed! Pre-sorted jelly beans with a Star Wars theme!!

* Special note: I received these samples from Jelly Belly Candy Company, the makers of Jelly Belly Jelly Beans. Thanks, Jelly Belly! I love to sample your exciting flavors! Although I review the jelly beans above, I do not give numbered scores to free samples so as to avoid any possibility of unfair scoring.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Nestle Cheesecake KitKat!

These miniature cheesecake flavored KitKats from Japan taste uncannily like cheesecake! Basically, that means that these bars taste like wafer cookies enveloped in sweetened cream cheese. And it really works. I consumed the entire bag at an alarming rate. Find these if you can! They're stupendous!

Score: 5

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Liddabit Sweets, New York: Pretzel and Beer Caramel

Liddabit Sweets is all the rage here in New York City with their high-end hand-made caramels and candy bars created in unique and esoteric flavors. They were even featured in a limited edition Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream flavor (click here to read)! I arrived at Liddabit in a pique of excitement to sample all the flavors. Overall, the caramels are delicious. The beer and pretzel caramel, pictured above, features a beer infused caramel with small crunchy pretzel bits suspended throughout. It's good, but given the high price tag I don't think it matched my elevated expectations. The caramel, buttery and infused with a yeasty ale flavor, was a nice balance, and the pretzel crunch makes the whole thing taste more substantive. I would eat a lot of these special caramels if placed in front of me-but at $2/piece, one at a time will suffice for now. Thanks, Kara!

To buy your own Liddabit Beer and Pretzel Caramels, click here.

Score: 4

Thursday, June 11, 2015

A Marzipan Chocolate Bar Straight From Norway: Nidar Troika Trippel Nytelse Na Enda Bedre

Marzipan chocolate bars are fundamentally delicious unless combined with dissonant ingredients. Unfortunately, Nidar's Troika Trippel Nytelse bar falls under this category (along with the recently reviewed Kolev Irish Coffee Marzipan Bar). The thin base of marzipan is, of course, delicious (see review of the Nidar Paske Marsipan Egg). Nidar simply makes delicious marzipan, a recipe the Norwegian company has been perfecting since 1915. The inner truffle layer is rich and dense, between frosting and fudge consistency. It tastes sweeter than it does chocolatey, which is a disappointment. Jelly has its place, but not paired with marzipan. The consistency is all off and the thick layer of berry gel simply never blends with the rest of the bar. An exciting bar to try, but not a triumph. Thanks for finding this, Zach!

Score: 2