Thursday, June 28, 2012

Outburst Energy Bites in Chocolate Mint (Caffeine Charged!)

I'm always curious about any caffeine-infused edible to enter the market. Some are classics (read my review of Pocket Coffee here), some are fine but fleeting (read about the Snicker's Charged bar here), and some are pretty revolting (read about Lotte Black Black Candy and Gum here). These Outburst Chocolate Mint Energy Bites fall somewhere in the middle of the scale. The mint-infused chocolate isn't anything to write home about, but it's not half bad. If there wasn't caffeine involved I wouldn't have deemed them delicious, but for a caffeine-infused sweet, the chemical taste of caffeine was quite subtle and the little chocolate balls were pretty addictive. Actually, the primary problem with these is that it's easy to eat the whole box without realizing how much caffeine you're consuming. Four little m&m-sized bites constitute a (weak) cup of coffee. If you inadvertently eat the whole box, you're in for a triple wallup of energy. They are certainly effective. Honestly, I can't imagine exchanging my morning or afternoon coffee for a mouthful of these Energy Bites, but they are nice to have in one's bag for a sweet pick-me-up. I'd certainly eat them again with pleasure, but this time I'll pay attention to the quantity consumed.

Score (taste): 2
Score (overall effectiveness): 4

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Chocolate Bar, NYC: Caramel Stencil Bar

Earlier this month I reviewed the Toffee Crunch Stencil Bar from Chocolate Bar, NYC. I am especially intrigued by the the Stencil Bar series because of their unique packaging designed by Ed Roth of Stencil 1 in Brooklyn. I love the design on the Caramel Stencil Bar. Unfortunately, I didn't love the flavor. Instead of the milk chocolate encasing caramel filling, the flavor of caramel pervades the solid chocolate chunk. It wasn't distinctive enough- it tasted more like an extra sweet milk chocolate bar, and milk chocolate doesn't need a shot of extra sugar. I'm still piqued to try the rest of the Stencil Bar series, though.

Score (packaging): 5
Score (flavor): 2

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Greek Candy Bar: Bingo Serenata Double

As far as wafer bars go, this Bingo Serenata Double wafer bar from Greece is one of the best I've tasted. (And I seem to have tasted a surprising number of late: Nestle Princessa Maxi Mleczna from Poland; Milka GoFree (Cokolatah Gofret) from Turkey; KitKats from America and Japan; Ulker Chocolate Wafer Bar from Turkey; and even the new Nestle Crunch Girl Scout Cookie Candy Bars from America.). What makes the Serenata Double so good is the super thick layer of rich milk chocolate surrounding the wafer cookies. The ratio is just right, favoring the chocolate and allowing the crisp wafer cookies to act as a supporting, but fulfilling, role. If you can find one of these, definitely snap it up. Thanks to Mrs. Lykidis for bringing this treat to taste!

Score: 4

Monday, June 25, 2012

Fry's Turkish Delight

Although now distributed by Cadbury, Fry's Turkish Delight was originally introduced by J.S. Fry & Sons in 1914. It's a rose-flavored turkish delight candy surrounded by Cadbury milk chocolate. I'm not a fan of turkish delight, even the hand-made really good stuff that often has nuts suspended throughout the jelly. It's just too much jelly, and too flavorless, and I don't like the consistency or the absence of flavor. So I'm naturally not a fan of Fry's version. However, my father is a huge fan of turkish delight candy in general and I can assume he would be thrilled to find this treat in the supermarket instead of having to seek it out in specialty shops. The dense bar is small- about half the size of your average candy bar. The milk chocolate is great, as Cadbury's always is. But rose jelly and chocolate? A strange taste sensation especially when it consists of thick gelatin surrounded by melty chocolate. Thanks for finding this esoteric treat, Tara!

Score: 2

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Dark Chocolate Mint m&m's

I reviewed the Winter limited edition Mint m&m's in the past and found them to be enjoyable but not very striking (see review here). These new Dark Chocolate Mint m&m's are an improvement. The dark chocolate combines with the subtle mint infusion to create a soothing, pleasing flavor. I'll admit, the dark chocolate in these doesn't seem as dark or flavorful as the stuff used in Dark Chocolate m&m's. These would be even better if the dark chocolate maintained a little bitterness to offset the sweet mint. And the infusion of mint is still on the light side- I'd prefer a bit more strident mint flavor. These are certainly pleasant, the flavors just all seem a bit muted. I still prefer basic m&m's (or peanut butter m&m's...yum) to the mint-infused ones, but these are the best mint product m&m's has developed yet. Maybe they'll go even further in the next round and come out with something extraordinary. Thanks for finding these, Mark!

Score: 3

Monday, June 18, 2012

Cadbury Creme Egg Minis

I've written about my love for Cadbury Creme Egg Minis before (read here, here, and here), but every time I get to indulge, I can't help but share a pretty picture of the little lovelies! Thanks for the latest infusion, Dan!

Score: (a continued and rapturous) 5

Pintarolas, Portuguese Candies

These Pintarolas "milk chocolate beans" hail from Portugal. Produced by the Imperial Candy Company (active since 1932), these colorful m&m-style candies most remind me of British Smarties. Like Smarties, the coating carries a vaguely fruity taste (the same throughout, not varying by color). The chocolate is not too melty or rich, but I did enjoy the fresh colors and fruity taste of the candy coating mixed with the chocolate interior.

Score: 3

TEDMED edition m&m's

Same classic m&m's packaged to celebrate the 2012 TEDMED conference. Who wouldn't want to eat an m&m emblazoned with "Inspire," "Connect," or "Understand"? Thanks, Mark, for passing these along!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Limited Edition Nestle Crunch Girl Scout Cookie Caramel & Coconut Candy Bar

I am addicted to these limited edition Nestle Crunch Girl Scout Cookie Coconut & Caramel Candy Bars, infused with the flavors of the classic Samoa cookie. My favorite! It's true that the greasy mockolate coating lacks the depth and melty bliss of real chocolate. That would really make these perfection. But the crisp wafer cookies and coconut caramel layers between the cookies truly represent the flavor of a Samoa, in lighter bite-size form. It's vaguely magical! And I can honestly say that I have never experienced a candy bar with this alluring flavor profile. These should certainly not be limited edition. However, I would request that Nestle use some of its delicious real milk chocolate to enrobe the candy bar instead of the fake chocolate for the permanent edition.

Score: 4

Monday, June 11, 2012

Chocolate Bar, NYC: Toffee Crunch Stencil Bar

My friend Dan recently introduced me to Chocolate Bar downtown in New York City. It's a beautiful set-up, with home-made chocolates and a hard-core love of good design, both throughout the shop interior and on the chocolate wrappers. I bought one of the new Stencil Miniature Bars, all wrappers designed by stencil artist Ed Roth of Stencil 1 in Brooklyn. It was the Toffee Crunch Bar, and I loved the smooth milky chocolate tablet. The toffee flavor was delicious and provided a little crunch to each bite, but I might have preferred chunkier toffee pieces instead of the subtle toffee crumbles throughout. I've got more Chocolate Bar products to review- coming soon!

Score: 4

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

What is the Mystery Flavor of Dum Dum Pops?

photo courtesy

Have you ever been able to identify the peculiar "Mystery Flavor" in Dum Dum Pops? I sure haven't, and now I know why! Spangler candy creates the "mystery" pops at the end of a batch of one flavor when a new flavor batch is begun. In other words, between the pure flavor batches, you get a unique flavor combination. You can read all about it here in a report from mental_floss blog.