Thursday, March 29, 2012

Easter Treat: Jelly Belly Peter Rabbit Collection (and Jelly Belly Hosting Santorum Rally??)

The packaging on the Jelly Belly Peter Rabbit Collection of jelly beans is so irresistibly lovely! Any Beatrix Potter fan cannot help but scoop up a bag or two. It's an odd selection of flavors, to my mind not at all evocative of bunnies in general or Peter Rabbit in particular: Bubble Gum, Buttered Popcorn, Juicy Pear, Lemon Drop, Sour Grape, Top Banana, and 7Up. It's not the most enticing flavor mixture, although Grape, Pear, Lemon, and 7Up are pretty great. This is one of those cases where I got more excited about the packaging than the actual candy, but it is some of the best candy packaging I've encountered.

On another note, I was a bit dismayed to find out that the Jelly Belly company is taking a major political stance and hosting a Rick Santorum Rally at their Fairfield, California factory this afternoon. (Read here for more on the rally, covered in the LA Times). I hadn't known about Jelly Belly's long-held support of Republican Party candidates (remember Reagan's famous jelly beans? Jelly Belly). I don't want to think about the money paid for my Peter Rabbit Jelly Bellies supporting Santorum, or anyone's, campaign.

Score (packaging): 5
Score (flavor profile): 2
Score (political campaign support): 1

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Dona Jimena Hojaldre and Trufado al Whisky

A colleague recently returned from a trip to Spain bearing some fantastic treats made by the Dona Jimena company. One box contained individually wrapped two-bite cakes. I tried the Hojaldre, which vaguely translates to "puff pastry." This little layered goody had the consistency of a really light and flaky scone or shortbread. Though buttery and rich, the dominant flavor was a sparkling zesty orange and I loved it.

The second box yielded Dona Jimena truffles, again two-bite size and individually wrapped. I tried the Trufado al Whisky, or Whiskey Truffle, and was blown away. I usually don't like candy mixed with alcohol but this used the whiskey element to perfection. Covered in both white and milk chocolate, the core maintained a consistency halfway between a brownie and fudge. The whiskey flavor wasn't overwhelming and mixed perfectly with the chocolate to make the flavor interesting and indulgent. These boxes were emptied by my office-mates (and myself) in record time. Thanks, Femke!

Mystery Solved: White Nights Candy

image of bank bridge courtesy of travelpod

Earlier this month I asked Obsessivesweets readers for help in identifying a Russian candy with fantastic graphic packaging (read here), and Masha thoughtfully responded with a number of helpful tips. Apparently the candy's name translates to "White Nights" and the griffins/ winged lions on the wrapper indicate that it is a St. Petersburg-themed candy. The stalwart griffins allude to the famous guards of the city's Bank Bridge. I still don't really appreciate the slimy banana-flavored filling, but knowing more of the context makes me enjoy the candy all-the-more! Thanks, Masha!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Easter Treats: Palmer Chica-a-Dee Double Crisp

Palmer chocolate always strikes me as surprisingly good. Their products are fun and innovative for holidays, but the low price and waxy visage always makes me newly wary. But it's great- a little heavy on the corn starch flavor but melty and rich. This Palmer Chic-a-Dee Double Crisp is one of the more festive Easter holiday candies I've encountered. The rice krispies are fresh and crunchy and offset the sweet chocolate perfectly. (Palmer makes such an exceptional peanut butter-chocolate product-see my review of their Halloween Peanut Butter Body Parts here. I wish they would make some of these with a peanut butter filling. That would be divine).

Score: 3

Monday, March 26, 2012

Easter Season: Cadbury Mini Eggs

The reason I most anticipate the Easter holiday sweets season is the arrival of Cadbury Mini Eggs and Cadbury Creme Eggs. I've written about the perfection of Cadbury Mini Eggs before (read here), but couldn't resist picking up and documenting a package I picked up this weekend. The speckled chocolate shells are crisp and perfectly offset the rich chocolate center. Cracking through a Mini Egg is sublime and I highly recommend stocking up on these to have on hand for the rest of the year. Long live the Cadbury Mini Egg!

Score: (ecstatic) 5

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Easter Sweets: Swedish Fish Eggs

Swedish Fish are my favorite gummies and I've written a glowing account of these Swedish Fish Eggs before. But those came in a box and these come in a blue plastic Easter egg, so I couldn't resist. Same fantastic consistency as the classic, and the classic red Swedish Fish remain, this time surrounded by lemon (yellow), orange (orange), yellow, green (lime), and aqua (berry) eggs. Festive!

Score: 4

Easter Holiday Candy: Lindt Mini Eggs (Milk Chocolate)

Lindt makes really great chocolate- it's got creamy rich milky substance to it. (Read recent review of Link Bittersweet Chocolate here). These Lindt Mini Eggs offer that delicious milk chocolate in individually wrapped bite-size egg-shaped form. Nothing really new but great on-the-go and super festive in an Easter basket!

 Score: 4

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Gold Mine Nugget Bubble Gum

As a kid I was really into Gold Mine Nugget Bubble Gum. Maybe it was that Juicy Fruit-esque flavor. Maybe it was the great packaging in the burlap sack. Maybe it's because I grew up in a small town that grew around the gold mining boom of the mid-1800s and mining references pervaded the place. Who knows, I just loved it. I haven't seen the candy-covered gum very often in New York, but my friend John came to visit from California and brought me some Gold Mine Gum from Economy Candy right here in the city (I love that place). Gold Mine still feels like treasure, just like I remember. In the intervening years the family-run Espeez Company bought the brand and changed the packaging and the flavoring, but just a little bit. The dominant flavor of the candy-covered gum nuggets is still Juicy Fruit but now there's an undertone of clove that I don't remember. It's good! If you can find a package, support the classic and scoop it up!

Score: 4

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Angry Birds Fruit Gummies

These Angry Birds Fruit Gummies are less about the candy product than about the product tie-in. If you're a fan of Angry Birds, collect them all! There are four different boxes offered, all with the same candy inside. If you're a fan then the shapes are most likely exciting, too, depicting various characters. I'm not above this sort of thing. I certainly raced out to buy the Twilight themed New Moon Sky Bar and Transformers 2 Snickers Nougabot Bar. I'd also be excited to purchase Grand Theft Auto Twizzlers or Mass Effect Mars Bar. But I'm just not hooked into the Angry Birds craze, and so these mediocre gummies left me wanting. The flavors taste really artificial and cloying, not to mention that the actual candy content to box size ratio is pretty bad (ie, huge enticing box to very few actual gummies).

Score: 2

Monday, March 19, 2012

Mystery Candy from Russia: Translation Help Needed!

I'd like to appeal to any obsessivesweets readers who speak Russian for help in identifying this mysterious candy. The packaging is so appealing with the stately winged jaguars or cat-like beasts. The candy itself was not so much to my taste. You know how bananas a little past their prime can be slimy? The filling tasted vaguely of banana but the consistency also contained that odd slime factor but with some additional sugar crystal crunch, as well. I'd love to learn more about these! Any help is greatly appreciated!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Easter Candy Season: Elmer's Gold Brick Egg

I was really excited to find this Elmer's Gold Brick Egg in my neighborhood Duane Reede. They don't usually deal candy from small companies. Elmer's Chocolate, from Louisiana, has produced chocolate products since 1855 and has been making Gold Brick Eggs since 1936. They're a small company that has stayed true to their traditional recipes and I had never stumbled across them in New York before. I've been especially hoping to try their Heavenly Hash Eggs, that apparently suspend pecans in a marshmallow filling, but no luck finding those yet. I have a feeling I'll like that one. Unfortunately, I wasn't that thrilled with the Gold Brick Egg. The chocolate was nice and creamy, and pecans are always an excellent integral ingredient mixed with chocolate, but I found the chocolate melt-away center a little too corn syrupy sweet. It had a nice texture, but the whole combination was just a little too sweet without a substantive chocolate flavor. I think I would enjoy the Heavenly Hash Egg more...

Score: 3

Easter Candy Season Begins: Nestle Crunch Egg

Easter candy season is upon us! The Nestle Crunch Egg is your typical Nestle Crunch Bar in Easter egg form. Nothing new taste-wise (and I'll admit that I'm just not a huge Nestle Crunch fan in general), but festive and fun to find in one's Easter basket. 

Score: 3

Monday, March 12, 2012

Papabubble Hand Crafted Hard Candy: I Love New York - 5 Boroughs Mix

Papabubble is a store in New York that makes the most incredible hand-rolled hard candy (read about it here in The New Yorker and The New York Times).  This is candy as an art form, staying true to traditional methods while creating modern marvels. If you can visit the store, you'll witness candy-makers layering and pulling the glass-like rolls. 

The flavors are also unique and exciting- grapefruit-basil, lemon-lavender, and pear-bergamot mix with classics such as raspberry, butterscotch, and cherry. (For a full list of flavors, click here). I've never tasted a bad one. (By the way, they give out free samples).

The I Love New York Borough Mix feels like a special treat. Each candy announces the name of a borough through carefully constructed layers of colored candy layering. All of the flavors sparkle. Brooklyn is Strawberry-Banana (my least favorite flavor though I call Brooklyn home), Manhattan is Mango-Lime, the Bronx is Passion Fruit-Orange (the best), Queens is Apple-Pear, and Staten Island tastes like Raspberries and Lemon. I bought a few other mixes on my last visit there and can't wait to try them. I'll report back soon.

Score: 5 (indeed)

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Meiji Sweets Gum, Blueberry Cheesecake Flavor

Mmm, I feel like Violet Beauregarde in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory when I chew this Meiji Sweets Gum in Blueberry Cheesecake Flavor! It does lose its flavor quickly but is so flavorful and delicious that I keep popping more and more in my mouth! Soon, like Violet, I'll blow up into a big human blueberry! It really is a vivid juicy blueberry flavor, though fleeting. The cheesecake element in the center is actually not gum but a chewy candy. The flavor didn't really come through but it is an interesting process to both chew gum and break down a chewy candy. Maybe I'm a purist, but I found that gum/candy combination a little distracting. Overall, though, these Meiji Sweet Gums are really fun!

Score: 3

Malaco Lauantai Juniori Gummies

Swedish candy is relatively new to me, so I wasn't at all sure what kind of flavors to expect from these Lauantai Juniori gummies from the Malaco company. I've gotten to taste some absolutely delicious Swedish licorice products in the past, but certainly never gummies. My friend Tara sent these gummies and I love the barnyard shapes and mellow Autumnal color scheme. As Malaco originally introduced the United States to the unimpeachable original Swedish Fish so I was a little surprised as the mushy soft consistency of the candies as compared to the firm perfection of the traditional Fish. The flavors tasted muddled, too, in comparison. I couldn't make it through more than one of each flavor. I'll stick with the Fish!

Score: 1

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

100,000 Hits and Growing!

I woke up today to discover that Obsessivesweets has reached 100,000 hits! Amazing! I'm still not sure how people find their way to this blog, but I'm genuinely thankful to all of the readers for tracking it down and for their continued interest in my sugar-fueled missives. Here's to the myriad candy yet to be tasted and to many more postings to come! 

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Update: Nestle Crunch Thin Mints Candy Bar to be Revealed in June

image courtesy of the girl scouts via huffingtonpost

Update! The good news is that the rumored merging of Nestle Crunch candy bars with a multitude of Girl Scout Cookie flavors is not merely a cruel internet hoax! The bad news is that we will have to wait until June for the candy bars to be unveiled. I can't wait (especially for the Peanut Butter Do-Si-Dos flavor!)! Read the Huffington Post to read the official confirmation from The Girl Scouts of America.