Every visual aspect of Fujiya's Peko Milky Chocolate is engaging. The cheerful pink box sparkles with glitter, and the individual chocolate squares are decorated with smiling Peko characters. It all feels special, more of an event than your average drugstore chocolate bar. The chocolate is a nice melty consistency and the milk-flavored filling accentuates the creaminess of the milk chocolate. The whole thing is quite sweet, though, and I couldn't consume more than a few squares at a time. I wish we could enjoy all of that milky creamy chocolate without quite as much sugar. That said, these Milky Chocolates are definitely worth a try.
Astute readers may notice that there's been a short lapse in blog reviews this past week. This is because something unprecedented occurred-I ate something that turned me off of candy for a short spell. In the role of obsessivesweets, I pride myself as diving into any mysterious candy concoction with an open mind and welcoming palate. Sometimes I taste something that disagrees with my idea of delicious but that's all in the name of exploration and culinary adventure. This week, however, I finally tried something that stopped me in my tracks.
Tumuncular adversary, thy name is Hematogen. Mark and I were walking around Brighton Beach, Brooklyn and raiding candy aisles for Russian sweets. Many of these treats will be reviewed in upcoming weeks. One cheerfully wrapped bar was the consistency of a red-tinged soft tootsie roll and I guessed that it had a strong molasses base with a strange note of metal on top. The first bite was pretty tasty but that metal taste lingered really unpleasantly.
I wrote to my friend Masha asking for a translation of the packaging and received a surprising response. The bar is Hematogen, a nutrition bar consisting of difibrinated cow's blood, milk, sugar, and vanilla. Cow's blood? A blood candy bar? Suddenly the metallic taste and warm molasses base made sense. And my stomach turned. And I couldn't stop rerunning the feeling of the bar dissolving on my tongue. And my stomach turned again. And I simply couldn't face another candy bar for a little while.
It must be declared up front that I find all Twizzlers licorice fundamentally waxy, so will probably never adore any candy with a Twizzlers licorice base. That said, these Filled Fruity Twists are an improvement on the original Twizzler Bites. The gelatinous strawberry center softens each bites and adds a little burst of flavor. I think these might be delicious in Cherry, not quite as sweet and a little bit more tart.
Everything about the Florida Wafer Bar from Iceland is sumptuous. The wrapper's reflective foil with colorful bold lettering, the thick outer layer of chocolate and the plentiful sprinkling of coconut. The classic wafer bar elements almost get lost in all that action. Ok, the bar isn't as delicious as it could be. The chocolate is a little flaky and dry, causing waves of chocolate and coconut to crumble with each bite. The chocolate is super sugary, which overshadows the coconut. It's a great concept, though, and I think it could be such a delicious treat. Frankly, I'm still swooning over the wrapper and it's difficult to be objective. Thanks for finding this, Tara!
There is a vanilla cream and custard cake with puff pastry base popular in Central Europe that goes by a number of names. In Slovenia it is called Kremna Rezina (Cream Cake). Slovenian candy company Gorenjka has created a candy bar in honor of the dessert. The milk chocolate is super sweet, and unfortunately the filling tastes like vaguely sour milk to my unfamiliar palate. In addition, the outer chocolate melts much faster than the filling, leading to a confusing balance of consistencies and a difficult chocolate bar to consume in general. I'd still gladly sample the original Kremna Rezina cake, though. Thanks to my Mom for bringing this home in her suitcase to sample!
Originating from the Ukraine but distributed in Spain, Roshen's Johnny Krocker Wafer Bar takes the familiar wafer bar recipe and then mixes things up a bit. Whereas the classic wafer bar displays vanilla wafers with chocolate cream filling, the Johnny Krocker features rich chocolate wafers with milky cream frosting and it's fantastic. How have no other wafer bar brands come up with this fantastic variation? Each bite tastes like a light-as-air Oreo Cookie. There's just the right ratio of filling to cookie, too. These are great!
Mieszko Classic Vanilla Butter Toffee is so rich and creamy. I wouldn't, however, classify it as a toffee, which I think of as having the fantastically difficult chewy consistency that pulls out fillings big fan!). Instead, this Polish toffee more closely resembles a dense fudge, breaking down in little sugary clumps rather than waves of butter. Still, delicious.
I don't generally revel in a sour gummy, but am completely in love with the aesthetic of these brightly colored rainbow AirHeads. They're so cheerful, brightening up any sphere they enter. The flavor isn't bad, either. As the packaging attests, these bites are "sweetly sour," rather than the "XTreme" alluded to in the name. Overall, they taste like juicy fruit punch to me, no "rainbow berries" noted.
I love a candy with a dark twist! These Trolli Evil Twin Sweet and Sour Gummies present sugar in the form of conjoined twins, one opaque and one transparent, one sweet and one sour. And they're Evil! The flavor combinations are all quite good-sweet orange with sour lime, sweet strawberry with sour blue raspberry (meh), and sweet cherry with sour lemon (delicious!). But the main thing is they are tiny evil conjoined gummy twins. I can't wait to add that into the blog's gummy index!
You know how restaurants often serve after-dinner mints to cleanse and refresh the palate? These mints aren't supposed to wow you or in any way overshadow the dinner- they're supposed to punctuate the end of the meal. Developed in Italy in 1857, Leone Candy Originals are the ideal form of this post-dinner finish. I tried these tiny chalk-like pellets in two flavors: orange and lemon sage. The orange is aromatic and soothing and contains that wonderful spark of orange peel. The lemon sage also contains the essence of lemon peel balanced with the warmth of sage- it somehow makes your mouth feel clean and scrubbed of whatever garlic and whatnot was consumed. They both taste like cups of herbal tea melting on your tongue. Plus there are 115 flavors to sample!! Thanks, Mom!
Jujubes constitute a classic American candy created in 1920 by the Heide Candy Company (later purchased by Ferrara Candy Company). Although these tiny candies entice the consumer like a handful of colorful jewels, they have always been a hard gummy, with a consistency that comes close to that of a lozenge / hard candy. The tiny candies are slow to resolve on the tongue, hard on the teeth. Jujubes are meant for someone willing to do some hard work for a mouthful of flavored sugar- albeit tasty flavored sugar, including Violet, Lilac, Lime, Cherry, and Lemon. I recently purchased some Jujubes out of a sense of nostalgia and was shocked to find them softer and easier to consume than their predecessors of yesteryear. They now resemble your average gummy in consistency. They are also less translucent than their earlier incarnation. When did this shift occur? When did Jujubes become more accessible? My jaw didn't even feel sore after consuming the box- total shock and a strange sense of disappointment.
I really like the idea of the Wawel Dark Chocolate Bar with Cherry Filling (Wawel Studencki Weisniowy). The flavor of the cherry filling resembles the liquidy filling of a Cello Cherry. The consistency, however, more closely resembles the center of a York Peppermint Patty, maybe a bit grittier. I love the combination of the cherry with dark chocolate. In my dreams, the center might be a little less dense, a bit creamier. Otherwise, this is a great chocolate bar. I'd like to see a similar product on the American market.
Both Hawaiian Punch Licorice and Dr. Pepper Licorice (created by
Kenny's Candy Company) authentically recreate the beverages' distinct (and
delicious!) flavors. That said, the licorice is dense and waxy and
the flavor is deeply submerged in each chewy bite. It's a lot of work for not a lot