Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Glico Pejoy - "Pocky Turned Inside Out!"

Many of us who have dipped our toes into the Japanese sweets market have encountered and fallen for Glico's Pocky snacks. They're a line of what look like pretzel sticks but taste like 'Nilla Wafers dipped in chocolate, matcha (green tea), or strawberry cream (click here to see the Pocky product line). Pocky sticks are light and crunchy and not too cloyingly sweet. Thus it's exciting that Glico has released a new product, the Pejoy! Pejoy's official motto is "Pocky Turned Inside Out." It's true. It's basically the same product but instead of the cookie stick dipped in chocolate, the very thin cookie stick is hollowed out and filled with a chocolate cream. The taste is basically the same but this is a far less messy treat. I inhaled these before I realized what was happening. They're nearly too easy to snack on- innocuous looking sticks that are crunchy and perfectly balance wholesome cracker crunch with a very light taste of chocolate emanating from within. It's not flashy but it's addictive. I heartily recommend them!

Score: 4

Ritz Cadbury Dairy Milk

Wow, it's so obvious and yet no one has produced a buttery cracker / chocolate bar combo that I'm aware of (Yes, Ritter has the cornflake chocolate bar that is so incredibly delicious). Until Cadbury and Ritz, the best mass-produced chocolate and cracker on earth, joined forces. Brilliant! Two buttery crunchy Ritz crackers sandwiching a luscious slab of Cadbury Dairy Milk. This had the potential to rank as best candy bar of all time. However, the Ritz cracker is not like the original that we think of here in the United States. Each rectangular cracker is about 1/4 the size of a regular one- it's quite thin and lacks the crumbly consistency and heavy notes of butter and salt. Don't get me wrong. It's a nice combination- Cadbury chocolate with a crunch. (Plus it comes in a handy three-bar pack!) However, it could have been next level if they had not compromised the cracker. I have a feeling either Cadbury will improve upon this initial experiment or another company will take the idea and run with it. Forward, charge! Thanks, Tara!

Score: 4

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Nidar IFA Salt Lakris Salty Licorice

Nidar IFA Salty Licorice has been around in Norway since 1930. The soft licorice candies were originally endorsed by Ivar F. Andresen, a well-known opera singer from the period- hence the name, IFA. Maybe these are better described as lozenges than candies, as I can see why an opera singer would like these but perhaps not a child looking for a sugar rush. They're not sweet. Instead, you get a slow-to-disolve tough little black gummy that tastes so strongly of real licorice mixed with salt and a tiny bit of sweet. The tablets do really soothe the throat, though, and completely knock out bad breath. In the right circumstances, the taste of Nidar IFA Salt Lakris peps you right up and makes your throat feel great. As long as you've got water nearby, these are fantastic, but you certainly can't snack upon them like m&m's.Thanks, Zack!

Click here to read a great history of the IFA Salty Licorice Pastille

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Easter Post-Holiday Snapshot: Starburst Jellybeans Easter Egg

There are no jellybeans that I prefer over Starburst Jellybeans. Here is the jellybean ideal packed into an egg-shaped wrapper. It's the perfect serving size for someone who doesn't have a sense of will-power near the round fruit-flavored jewels.

Easter Post-Holiday Snapshot: Russell Stover Iddy Biddy Bunnies

Russell Stover manages to pack 60 tiny chocolate bunnies into a foil package approximately the size of a traditional bag of m&m's. 60 bunnies! They taste good, too, and are surprisingly melty. I look forward to these each year.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Easter Post-Holiday Snapshot: Russell Stover Solid Milk Chocolate Cross

For those who prefer religious iconography for Easter candy over bunnies and chicks, Russell Stover offers a solid milk chocolate cross. Delicious. 

Easter Post-Holiday Snapshot: Palmer Little Pals Solid Milk Chocolate Flavored Chick

This bow-tied chick is not created from real chocolate, so don't expect anything too miraculous taste-wise. However, you can't beat the whimsical designs of Palmer Little Pals each Easter holiday. 

Easter Post-Holiday Snapshot: Ghirardelli Spring Impressions

Simple milk and dark chocolate mixed in each bite. Beautiful Easter imprints. Lovely!

Friday, April 11, 2014

Easter Treats: Maltesers MaltEaster Chocolate Bunny

Maltesers constitute the British equivalent of Whoppers malted milk balls. Though I enjoy both brands and almost anything with malt flavoring, Maltesers are the superior product. The chocolate is milkier and meltier, and the malt has a warmer flavor and a less dense consistency. For Easter, Maltesers created this charming two-bite bunny filled with an incredible, light-as-air malted cream with tiny chunks of crunchy malt ball suspended throughout. I've never experienced a malted cream filling before and it's brilliant. Talk about festive for the Easter Holiday! I wish Maltesers would create a malted cream candy for year-round! Thanks, Evan!

Score: 5

Norwegian Easter Candy: Nidar Paske Marsipan Kolibriegg

I love marzipan so much. In almost every form. As a child I thought there was nothing worse, but over the years it's grown on me to the point where it ranks as a truly favorite treat. (See past marzipan posts here). The Norwegian Nidar brand has been creating Easter marzipan from the same recipe since 1915. There's good reason: you can't improve on perfection! This Easter Egg looks a touch larger than your average Russell Stover Egg, but it weighs in at about three times heavier. It's a hefty little clump of deliciouness. The outer chocolate layer with sprinkles basically just facilitates the cohesion of the marzipan but does add a nice rich flavor. At base, though, there's a minimal amount of chocolate per marzipan-packed bite. The marzipan itself is chewy, thick, not-too-sweet, and melts in your mouth. I wish these goodies were sold in my area as I'd stock up in bulk. If you can get your hands on a Nidar Paske Marsipan Kolibriegg, buy 10! Thanks, Ginny!

Score: 5

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Sugarless Easter Gum: Limited Edition Jelly Bean Flavored Trident Layers Gum

What a great idea to release a Jelly Bean flavored Sugar Free Gum for Easter! It's certainly a new idea in an over-saturated field of Easter sweets. Unfortunately, the limited edition Trident Layers gum in Jelly Bean flavor does not resemble the taste of a jelly bean whatsoever. Nor does it simply taste good. It appears to consist of a central layer of strong green apple sandwiched between two thinner layers of a subtle pineapple-coconut-bubble gum. The combination is not appealing- green apple with a hint of suntan lotion? Great idea, but what a disappointing result. Thanks for scouting these out, Dan!

Score: 2

Friday, April 4, 2014

Easter Candy: Limited Edition Vanilla Creme Flavored Marshmallow

Wow, infusing an original Peep with vanilla makes a world of difference. These Limited Edition Vanilla Creme Peeps aren't all that different than the classic except for the infusion of vanilla essence as well as an exterior sprinkling of colorful confetti. By far these are the tastiest (and prettiest) of the new Creme flavored Peeps (previously explored here and here).

Score: 4 

An Embarrassment of Riches; or, What I Ate at Work Today

I'm so lucky to work with colleagues who travel with frequency and then feel compelled to bring back sweets to share from these exotic journeys. Example: today I have tasted decadent Michel Cluizel chocolates of multiple origins, hand-crafted chocolate bars embedded with fresh pistachios from Texas, Cheri's Desert Harvest Pricky Pear Cactus Jellies, Kilwins Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Tuttles, as well as Angelina Crispy Brittany Crepes from Paris. These treats were entirely consumed within three hours and I respect and appreciate that level of department-wide enthusiasm. Last week we were awash in Stoopwafels. Who knows what next week will bring, and I can't wait to find out. Thank you, colleagues! I am swept away in esoteric sweets of many lands!