Thursday, August 23, 2012

In the News: Red Vines Black Licorice Recall Due to High Lead Content

photo courtesy

This morning NBC News reported that Red Vines has issued a recall on their one-pound bags of Black Licorice Twists with the "Best Before Date" of February 4, 2013 due to high lead content. The recall is luckily limited to that specific batch, so continue eating your proper red Red Vines with confidence. They're way better than the black licorice variety anyway.
Click here to read the report on NBC News blog.
Click here to read the American Licorice Company's recall statement.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Breaking Bad "Blue Meth" Prop Candy: Now For Sale

photo courtesy of

Breaking Bad is one of my favorite TV shows and so I was both aghast and enthralled to read in today's Gawker blog that there is "Blue Meth" candy, based on the show's famous product, for sale at The Candy Lady shop in Albuquerque (where the show is based and shot). Even cooler, the show first approached Debbie Hall, the shop owner, to create a candy version of the blue drug that has been used as a prop ever since. So this isn't derivative candy- this is the real thing! Walter White is really tossing around bags of rock candy dyed blue on set. And White's cook and supplier is The Candy Lady. Cool! To read the Gawker entry, click here

Monday, August 20, 2012

Best Chocolate Bar Ever: Salazon Chocolate Co. Organic Dark Chocolate Bar with Sea Salt & Organic Turbinado Cane Sugar

I bought this Salazon Chocolate Co. Organic Dark Chocolate Bar with Sea Salt and Organic Turbinado Cane Sugar on a whim recently at the local bodega. To be frank, it's the best candy bar I ever tasted. I think it might not appeal to others as much as it did to me, but my taste buds found it to be perfection. Here's the thing. First off, the packaging is beautiful and I'm a sucker for great packaging. The candy bar came in this really unique wrapper with an enticing photograph of woods speckled with late afternoon sunlight. It's simply so inviting. You open the bar and discover an elegant frieze of Asian rice-pickers or fishermen, I can't tell which. My candy bar got a little melted between the bodega and home so the chocolate landscape isn't as beautiful in the photograph as an unblemished bar. Finally, the taste. The rich dark chocolate blends sweet and bitter elements perfectly and melts in your mouth almost instantly, leaving behind crunchy granules of both salt and sugar. As the chocolate fades away, you are left with the chocolate after-notes amped up with combined salt and sugar flavors. It's as if the chocolate goes through a metamorphosis of flavor from the time you bite it until the last of the bite dissolves. I also love that little crunch of the salt and sugar bits. I have to find more of these. I would also love to test their chocolate bar that features sea salt and crushed coffee. Of you happen to see these Salazon Chocolate bars anywhere, pick one up. You won't be sorry.

Score: 5 (5+!)

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Dark Chocolate Macadamia Nuts from Hawaii's Big Island Candies

Chocolate covered macadamia nuts are a classic treat from Hawaii. Recently I received a box of the goodies (the dark chocolate version) straight from Hawaii, created by Big Island Candies. They were tasty. You can't really go wrong with fresh macadamia nuts clothed in rich chocolate. My only complaint was the the chocolate coating was quite rigid and didn't melt easily. You really want the buttery macadamias and chocolate to meld in your mouth and they never merged in this case. They remained separate elements throughout. My suspicion is that since so many of these Hawaiian chocolate treats are shipped and carried away from the islands, they have to be packaged with no risk of melting on the road, so maybe the company uses a chocolate that is a bit firmer. Thanks for sharing these, Carol!

Score: 3

Chocolove Orange Peel in Dark Chocolate Bar

This Chocolove Dark Chocolate (55% Cocoa) Orange Peel Bar constituted a really lovely surprise. I'm used to orange and chocolate being presented as chocolate infused with orange flavoring. That's ok, but this is better! Suspended through the dark chocolate are numerous crunchy pieces of real orange peel. It adds a bit of crunch or substance to the melty chocolate. In addition, you get that real orange peel zest that finishes in your mouth with that pleasantly bitter taste. It combines beautifully with the dark chocolate. And speaking of which, this is really pure tasting dark chocolate and yet this is one of Chocolove's bars with the least pure cocoa content. I can't imagine how strong the rest must taste. I'm not sure I would have enjoyed much darker because it already rode the line between perfect and not-sweet-enough. All considered, I loved the taste of this bar, especially because it was totally unique to any other chocolate-orange mixture I've consumed. Thanks, Mark!

Score: 4

Friday, August 10, 2012

Mexican Candy: Bocadin Wafer Bar

Oddly, I've been taste-testing a lot of wafer bars recently. I don't even love wafer bars, but keep coming across intriguing international versions of the classic cookie candy bar to compare. (Recent reviews include: Bingo Serenata Double from Greece, Nestle Princessa Maxi Mleczna from Poland, Milka GoFree (Cokolatah Gofret) from Turkey, KitKats from America and Japan, Ulker Chocolate Wafer Bar with Hazelnut Cream from Turkey, and even the new Nestle Crunch Girl Scout Cookie Bars from America). I'm very picky about a wafer bar as it has to be super delicious to impress my taste buds. I mean, there is no contest for me when presented with a wafer bar versus a peanut butter cup. It just goes without saying. Maybe I've just been eating too many of these wafer bars of late, but I found this Bocadin Wafer Bar from Mexico to be the most disappointing choice yet. The wrapper claims that it is a "peanut filled wafer with chocolate flavor coat." Well, the first problem is immediately evident- "chocolate flavor". This is not chocolate but that greasy coating that approximates the taste of chocolate without any underlying substance. Not a good start. In addition, I tasted no peanut flavor in the filling. Finally, there was no crispness to the wafer. I bit into the bar and was greeted with a sodden mouthful of flavorless mushy cookie. Maybe I got a bad one? Have any other readers had good experiences with a Bocadin Wafer Bar?

Score: 1

Favarger Chocolates of Geneva: Aveline Black Filberts, Recipe #152

Oh my, my cousin John was visiting from Geneva and brought along a box of the most decadent candies. Farvarger has been creating chocolate delicacies since 1826, and over the years they have certainly perfected the recipes. This particular box contained Aveline Black Filberts (Aveline Noir), the company's Recipe #152. Each individually wrapped piece contains dark chocolate that almost reaches the consistency of fudge- thick, sticky, and super melty. Suspended in the rich dark chocolate bites are finely chopped bits of almonds to add a little crunch and balance some of the strong chocolate flavor. They're incredible. I couldn't eat more than one at a time because of their taste intensity. One fills you up! Thanks, John!

Score: 4