Saturday, October 31, 2015

Halloween Edition Gummy Snapshot Pt 4: Severed Gummy Finger


Friday, October 30, 2015

Via The New York Times: Smarties Maintains a Sweet Family Business



Smarties constitute a classic American candy, and this New York Times piece articulates what's so special about a traditional family-run candy company. Well worth a read. Thanks to astute obsessivesweets reader Mark for the alert!






Trick-or-Treat: Hello Halloween Pumpkin Flavor Marshmallow

Hello Halloween pumpkin flavored marshmallows hail from Japanese confectioner Eiwa. They're delicate marshmallows, a petite bite, and although I like the mellow flavor I can find no pumpkin flavoring in evidence. That might be a bonus, though. I'd prefer a subtle vanilla marshmallow bite, the consistency of a tiny fluffy cloud, over some pumpkin spice disaster any day. A unique treat for trick-or-treaters that will stand out from the rest of the night's haul.

Score: 3

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Soap and Citrus: Lotte Glamatic Gum


I'll admit I was in it for the packaging. The pink theme and foil hearts, not to mention the name, place sugar-free Glamatic gum squarely in the female marketing purview. It's all so overtly over-the-top, I have to applaud Japanese candy company, Lotte, for going all-in. The gum is a little bit over-the-top, as well. The primary flavor is this wonderful sparkling grapefruit, super citrus-y and not too sweet. Beneath the grapefruit, though, is the strong aroma of flowery soap. I'm sure it leaves the breath incredibly cleansed, but the soapy after-notes are a little unnerving.

Score (packaging allure): 5
Score (flavor): 5 (grapefruit)+ 1 (soap)= 3

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

E. Wedel Chalwa (Halvah) Bar from Poland



Mmmm, I really love halvah and feel that it's so underutilized in American candy. I was so pleased to encounter this vanilla halvah (Chalwa) bar from Polish confectioner E. Wedel. There aren't any bells and whistles, just a nice individual serving size of vanilla halvah. I'd love to try the other flavors and will have my eyes peeled. I've had better halvah but it more than serves its purpose as a tasty mass-produced version.

Score: 4

Monday, October 26, 2015

Cookie or Candy? Glico Summer Salt Pocky


I absolutely love a pack of Pocky, not to mention its inside-out little cousin the Pejoy (read previous review here), both produced by Japanese confectioner Glico. It's such a simple yet perfectly executed base recipe- crispy wheat cookie stick dipped in milk chocolate. There's a vast array of varieties on the classic. It's a little daunting to even scrape the surface of the many flavors. Summer Salt Pocky is a subtle variation, with a quiet dusting of salt crystals integrated into the milk chocolate. Delicious. Perhaps even better than the original. The salt makes the whole thing taste a bit like a pretzel dipped in chocolate. The packages are a perfect serving size, too!

Score: 4

Saturday, October 24, 2015

The Healthier Side of Halloween


Thanks to astute obsessivesweets reader Amy for the heads-up about a recent article in amNEWYORK exploring health-conscious candy. I like that health-conscious is not equated with diet and instead celebrates candy that is free of GMOS, preservatives, artificial flavors, and the like. I also like that the article focuses on three New York-based confectioners, Papabubble NY, Roni-Sue's Chocolates, and Cracked Candy.




Friday, October 23, 2015

Cranky: Sweet New Snickers Hunger Bar


I love my Cranky Bar! 

(Part of the new Snickers Hunger Bar campaign (click here to read original post), my Cranky Bar is one of 21 wrapper designs displaying unappealing signs of Hunger. Still seeking my Curmudgeon Bar.)

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Artpassion Chocolate: "The Elegant Way of Indulgence"


This one's a shout-out to my museum friends! Artpassion, "the elegent way of indulgence," is a chocolate bar distributed by Babayevsky Confectionary of Russia. I was in it for the name, but it's a good bar, too, consisting of rich almost-bitter dark chocolate loaded with chopped almonds. The two-bite individually-wrapped sticks are a nice touch, too.

Score: 4

Halloween Treats: Russell Stover Orange Marshmallow Pumpkin


Unlike the lovely Russell Stover Orange Cream Pumpkin (read review here), the Orange Marshmallow Pumpkin is a disappointment. The marshmallow consistency is so gloppy and whereas the Orange Cream tastes like a whipped Orange Julius, this orange flavor simply tastes artificial without the fun.

Score: 2


After Note: There are so many unique flavors to this Russell Stover line of filled holiday chocolates, and they range from pretty disgusting to incredibly delicious. Here is the growing list of reviews of these innovative candies.

Russell Stover Orange Cream in Dark Chocolate
Russell Stover Chocolate Wedding Cake in White Chocolate
Russell Stover Lemon Cake in Dark Chocolate
Russell Stover Birthday Cake in Milk Chocolate 
Russell Stover Carrot Cake in White Chocolate
Russell Stover Red Velvet Cake in Dark Chocolate
Russell Stover Apple Pie in Milk Chocolate
Russell Stover Caramel Apple in Milk Chocolate
Russell Stover Cookie Dough 

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Limited Edition Peko x Hello Kitty Milky Chocolate



Back in August, I wrote a review of Peko Milky Chocolate from Japan, tablets of firm milky cream filling enrobed in sweet milk chocolate (click here to read review). Recently I stumbled upon limited edition Hello Kitty packaging for the same bar and simply couldn't resist. I love the bright, whimsical pattern consisting of Peko girl and Hello Kitty perched in ice cream cones. Few candy wrapper designs can compare.

Score (packaging): 5(+)
Score (flavor): 3 

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Fortunato Brothers Bakery, Brooklyn: Marzipan Pizza


Another piece of marzipan perfection from Fortunato Brothers Bakery in Brooklyn. There is no better marzipan and the creations continue to amaze me! To see past Fortunato marzipan feats, click here.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Halloween Candy Season: Russell Stover Dark Chocolate Orange Cream Pumpkin


This Russell Stover Orange Cream Pumpkin is a nice surprise. I like the combination of light sparkling orange and dark chocolate in this new variation of the brand's filled holiday chocolates. The cream is not the consistency I expected, quite a bit like the nougat of a Milky Way infused with a sweet citrus flavor. The thin dark chocolate shell blends really nicely with the orange without dominating the delicate central flavor.

Score: 4


After Note: There are so many unique flavors to this Russell Stover line of filled holiday chocolates, and they range from pretty disgusting to incredibly delicious. Here is the growing list of reviews of these innovative candies.

Russell Stover Chocolate Wedding Cake in White Chocolate
Russell Stover Lemon Cake in Dark Chocolate
Russell Stover Birthday Cake in Milk Chocolate 
Russell Stover Carrot Cake in White Chocolate
Russell Stover Red Velvet Cake in Dark Chocolate
Russell Stover Apple Pie in Milk Chocolate
Russell Stover Caramel Apple in Milk Chocolate
Russell Stover Cookie Dough 

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Peter Luger Steak House Chocolate Medallions


Brooklyn's Peter Luger Steak House is a local institution, widely considered the best steak house in New York City. With 125 years to perfect the fare, it's no surprise that I was completely bowled over by every element consumed. I had certainly heard people speak of the porterhouse for two, creamed spinach, and the marvelous hot fudge sundae offered for dessert. I was unaware, though, that when the customer has completed the meal and is sitting slumped over with a painfully full belly, the restaurant offers up one last treat- a handful of foil-wrapped milk chocolate medallions emblazoned with the restaurant logo. The large chocolate coins continue the theme of simple fare done better than anywhere, and I choose to see them as a gold medal awarded to each diner for consuming the most outrageously pleasing meal ever. At Peter Luger every customer wins the gold.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

"Pits and Pyramids" Candy Art by Photographer Sam Kaplan

photo courtesy of samkaplan.com

Thanks to astute reader Dan for introducing me to the photography of Sam Kaplan. His "Pits and Pyramids" series combines my two loves- photography and candy- into such incredibly pleasing results. I get lost in Kaplan's ordered patterns and color fields of sweets. 

A Classic Pair: Sakuma's Moomin Candy


Sakuma Drops are a classic Japanese sweet produced since 1908. Made with real fruit juice, the colorful hard candies are always packaged in a lovely little upright tin. In a wonderful turn, Sakuma has produced a limited edition series of Moomin themed tins. I adore the quirky Moomin characters  and am excited to display this sweet tin for many years. I'll take my time consuming the contents in the meantime as they're something special, too- worth savoring.

Score: (rousing and enthusiastic) 5

Monday, October 12, 2015

Lindt Hello My Name is Coffee Blast Chocolate Bar

I love the innovative flavors, whimsical designs, and affordable pricetag of the Lindt Hello line of chocolate bars. The Lime Splash bar is unique and so delicious; the Berry Affair bar is lovely. Unfortunately, the Lindt Hello Coffee Blast bar isn't as appealing. I expected a rich coffee flavor infused with cream and sugar elements, like a whipped cappuccino cream. Instead, the filling was heavy on the black coffee flavor without the sugar and cream and tasted artificial, like instant coffee rather than the bite of real coffee bean. This one just didn't capture a taste that one wants to return to. I'll still try the entire Hello line, as finding the flavors that work is worth a few misses.

Score: 2

Halloween Edition Gummy Snapshot Pt 2: Gummy Brains


Saturday, October 10, 2015

Upcoming m&m's Flavor Vote: Coffee Nut, Honey Nut, or Chili Nut!

image courtesy of progressive grocer magazine via theimpulsivebuy.com

Hot off the presses over at theimpulsivebuy.com, there is to be an upcoming flavor vote between three new varieties of peanut m&m's. It does seem a bit early to begin the hype since the vote won't take place until March 2016, but I'm feeling awfully optimistic about the Honey Nut flavor! Get my ballot ready!

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Limited Edition for Halloween: Candy Apple Hubba Bubba Bubble Gum


All too often, Halloween candies are anchored in the Caramel Apple flavor profile rather than that of the Candy Apple. I love both versions of the fruit-based sweet treat, caramel and red candy apples, but find myself wishing for more Candy Apple flavored options. Wrigley's Hubba Bubba has created a Candy Apple bubble gum for Halloween and it's fantastic. The gum tastes uncannily like the real thing. Add in that the gum is an exceedingly florescent and surprising shade of green, and the whole package is a delight. They should offer this year-round!

Score: 4 

Monday, October 5, 2015

Ghoulish Halloween Delights: 3 Musketeers Fun Size Muskefears!


Like Sky Bar Zombie Food (read review here), 3 Musketeers is playing with the idea of blood-red filled chocolate for Halloween with their new Muskefears Fun Size bars! Blindfolded, the bar tastes exactly the same as the original, but the blood-red nougat tweaks the original concept enough to make it festive and ghoulish for Halloween. I believe this is what I'll be handing out to trick-or-treaters this year.

Score: 4

Friday, October 2, 2015

Oozing Halloween Sweets: Sky Bar Zombie Food

I love the influence that the runaway popularity of shows like Walking Dead, Fear the Walking Dead, and iZombie have had on Halloween holiday candy! More oozing red "bloody" fillings, more references to cannibalism, an overall darker and more twisted tone. Wonderful! Zombie Food is brought to us by the classic Sky Bar and constitutes chocolates in the shape of a foot, brain, or heart filled with oozing red-colored caramel. They're delicious and vaguely repulsive and thus ideal for the holiday. The caramel filling is a thick syrupy consistency with a robust flavor, heavy on sugar and light on the buttery elements. There's only one complaint: the colorful yet flimsy wrapper doesn't properly protect the fragile milk chocolate shell and these get absurdly messy if crushed. Their form necessitates more structured packaging. A unique treat ideal for Halloween!

Score: 4