Saturday, April 30, 2016

Bring on Summer Flavors: Starburst Fruity Slushies

Starburst presents a variety of tangy, zingy fruit flavors for Summer with Starburst Fruity Slushies. They include: Strawberry Lemonade Chill; Cherry Splash; Blue Raspberry Rush; and Citrus Slush. The Cherry is tops. Blue Raspberry tastes the most artificial. This isn't my favorite grouping of new Starburst flavors, but it's always fun to mix it up a little and I respect the company's continued flavor innovations!

Score: 4

Friday, April 29, 2016

Exploding Popcorn Candy with Butter Flavor!

I am aghast to report that this Exploding Popcorn Candy with Butter Flavor, distributed by Accountrements, actually tastes like the real thing. Except with a sweet undertone, like buttered kettle corn. Pop Rocks exploding with artificial butter flavor. It's pretty gross but I'm always a fan of purposely grotesque novelty candies! Thanks, Mom!

Score (flavor): 1
Score (originality): 4

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Limited Edition for Spring: Ritter Sport Strawberry Mint

Ritter issues some of the coolest and tastiest flavors in their line of Sport bars. While the company remains true to the classic candy bar flavors and does them well, their limited edition flavors often constitute quite an innovative and tasty surprise. I was so excited to try the new Limited Edition Strawberry Mint bar. I imagined a rich and milky strawberry cream, more natural in flavor than your average strawberry candy or cream, with a light mint essence throughout--like a strawberry dacquiri without the alcohol, refreshing and light. Perhaps the bar I purchased went stale? I was shocked to find the filling a solid disk of chalk-like substance that crumbled into fine powder the moment I bit down. Unlike the image on the packaging, there were no real bits of strawberry within the chalky center, no essence of anything resembling natural fruit or mint. A great idea that somehow went terribly awry.

Score: 1

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

The Ever-Expanding Mast Brothers Chocolate Empire

News via New York Eater blog has it that Mast Brothers Chocolate is making a big move to the Brooklyn Navy Yard where they will be opening a huge chocolate factory, company headquarters, brewery, and store. Last year the company was found to favor packaging over content, wrapping reheated chocolate from Valrona and calling it their own. Consumers seem unshaken by the scandal and are propelling sales ever upward, allowing the Mast Brothers to keep expanding their chocolate empire.
Read more below:
On last year's scandal via obsessivesweets: Questioning Mast Brothers Artisinal Claims

Travel Snapshot: Praline Pecans from Savannah Candy Kitchen, Georgia

Sometimes praline pecans become too sweet, a thick candy casing dominating the nut's flavor. Straight from the Savannah Candy Kitchen in Georgia, however, these handmade praline pecans celebrate the fresh pecan, highlighting it's great natural flavor with a coating rich in butter and brown sugar. These are so addictive. Thanks, Conor and Ronan!

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Mexican Wafer Bar: Nestle Tin Larin

Nestle Tin Larin represents another basic wafer bar from Mexico (like the Bocadin Wafer Bar-click here). I like the smaller scale of these two-bite bars. It's a sweet snack that doesn't knock you into a sugar coma. Unlike the stale and nbland Bocadin Wafer Bar, Tin Larin offers a light crisp wafer bar alternating with peanut butter cream and all wrapped up in a thin layer of milk chocolate. It's a fantastic peanut butter filling. Many wafer bars attempt a peanut butter variety, but few come as close to peanut butter bliss as this Tin Larin. I wish these were easier to find in NYC. They're a terrific go-to sweet snack.

Score: 4

Wafer Bars Past:
Bingo Serenata Double (Greece) 
Bocadin Wafer Bar (Mexico)
Johnny Krocker Milk Wafer Bar (Ukraine)
Karin Blume Orange Mille Feuille Chocolate Bar (Japan)
Kit Kat Caramel (United States)
Kit Kat Cheesecake (Japan)
Kit Kat Chunky Mint (England)
Kit Kat Cookies & Cream (United States)
Kit Kat Milk Coffee (Japan)
Kit Kat Muscat of Alexandria (Grape)(Japan) 
Kit Kat Orange (United States)
Kit Kat Royal Milk Tea (Japan)
Mama Mia Wafer Bar (Poland)
Manner Original Neapolitan Wafers (Vienna)
Milka GoFree Chocolate Wafer Bar (Turkey)
Nestle Crunch Girl Scout Cookie Wafer Bar (United States)
Nestle Nesquik Wafer Bar (Turkey)
Tiki Gold Wafer Bar (Trinidad/ Tobago)
Tunnock's Caramel Wafer Biscuit (Scotland)
Ulker Chocolate Wafer Bar (Turkey)
Ulker Cokonat (Turkey)

Monday, April 25, 2016

Luscious Mediterranean Halva

Like marzipan, halvah/ halva is a traditional sweet that is so underutilized in American candies. It's hard to go wrong with halvah in any form. I prefer the plain halvah over the chocolate variety, but have never said no to either one. This halvah by the Haitoglou Brothers of Greece is perfection--smoth as silk and instantly melts in your mouth. The company's been producing halvah since 1924 so the recipe's lovely balance isn't surprising.

Score: 4

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Katjes Salty Herring (Salzige Heringe) Licorice from Germany

Although I really like the soft consistency of these Katjes Salzige Heringe/ Salty Herring Licorice from Germany, there is far too much salt involved for my palette. They made me thirsty. And grumpy. There needs to be a little bit of sweet to balance out the salt.

Score: 1

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Starburst Superfruit Flavors

I find the new Starburst Superfruit Flavors a little off-putting because it's not like these chews are healthy and superfruits just aren't appealing as a flavor-set. It should have been a more evocative name, like "Dark Fruits" or "Berry Burst Flavors" or something more enticing. That said, this is my favorite set of limited edition Starburst flavors so far. The flavors consist of: Raspberry Pomegranate; Strawberry Starfruit; Passionfruit Punch; and Blueberry Acai. The Passionfruit Punch is an especially good one. Blueberry is also nicely juicy, a new flavor direction. I wish these were on the market year-round.

Score: 4

Friday, April 22, 2016

Norway's Japp Chocolate Bar

Mmm, Freia's Japp milk chocolate constitutes a Norwegian variation on the Milky Way bar. Rather than Milky Way's layer of nougat, the Japp bar hosts a layer of thick cocoa meringue. It's lovely, almost exactly like a nougat but lighter. Each bite is a sticky, flavorful mess, which is wonderful! More stores in NYC should carry these treats from Norway.

Score: 4

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Chuao Chocolatier Honeycomb Dark Chocolate Bar

I love the innovative flavors created by Chuao Chocolatier, and their Honeycomb Chocolate Bar marks another successful venture. Honey is suddenly being integrated all through the candy aisle--both artificial and natural flavors--and when done right, it's a great compliment to chocolate. Here honey crystals are suspended throughout the two-bite Chocopod, and they offer satisfying crunchy bursts of honey throughout each mouthful of dark chocolate.

Score: 4

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Starburst Seasonal Edition Spring Mix

I always appreciate a Seasonal Edition of a candy without anchoring to a specific holiday. These Starburst Spring Edition flavors are a fun variation on the classic flavors. I wouldn't choose them over the original, but it's fun to mix it up. The flavors offered are: Strawberry Patch; Pineapple Punch; Sunny Citrus; and Cherry Kiwi Splash.  They all taste like they have a cream flavor added in, that Orange Julius or Creamsicle effect. Which is a nice twist. Special shout-out goes to the Pineapple Punch flavor. Pineapple isn't used enough in the candy aisle and this Starbursts presents a good example of its potential.

Score: 4

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Goldenberg's Peanut Chews Original Dark Chocolate: A Philadelphia Classic Since 1917

Goldenberg's Peanut Chews have been produced as a Philadelphia staple since 1917. Widely beloved since their inception, the chews were originally produced to serve as a protein-packed rations bar for the United States Military during World War I. After the war, they went retail. Chewy molasses makes a scrumptious flavor-packed combination with the peanuts. I wish the chocolate candy was real milk chocolate- that would be the cherry on top. But that molasses center saves it. Kudos to Goldenberg's longevity! Here's to the next 100 years!

Score: 4


Monday, April 18, 2016

Nestle Freskas From Mexico: Fruit Flavored Malt Balls

I've never exactly encountered a candy like Nestle Freskas from Mexico. They taste a lot like chocolate covered Fruit Loops. The flavor in no resembles a real fruit but it's tasty and zany just the same. They're somewhat addictive and definitely distinctive. The packaging is super creative, too.

Score: 4

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Limited Edition Ritter Sport Buttermilk Lemon (Crema al Limone)

Buttermilk is such a distinctive flavor, not frequently used in candy. Its sour taste doesn't necessarily translate to mass-marketed sweets. That said, the Ritter Sport Limited Edition Buttermilk Lemon bar made me reconsider buttermilk's potential. Like all of the yogurt-based candies, the somewhat sour note can be really pleasing, undercutting some of the sugar content and emphasizing some of the creamy notes of the chocolate. The lemon supports the sour note of the buttermilk. It's a really pleasing combination, totally different than anything I've tasted recently.

Score (flavor): 4
Score (flavor innovation): 5

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Flavor Vote! Honey Nut m&m's

To my mind, m&m's new Coffee Nut variety are the clear winners of the Flavor Vote campaign (read review here). They're something entirely new and totally satisfying. They give traditional Peanut m&m's a good run for their money. The Honey Nut variety aren't bad either. The honey flavor is a bit artificial and does make an already very sweet candy taste even sweeter. Which is a little much. That said, the honey does add a nice mellow note and blends really well with the crunchy peanut. Even though I'm voting for Coffee Nut, I would definitely not say no if offered more of these tasty Honey Nut treats.

Score: 4

Monday, April 11, 2016

Estonian Marzipan: Kalev Marzipan Bar

Marzipan constitutes one of the best flavors in the world, and I've rarely encountered a marzipan bar that I didn't love. Unfortunately, Kalev Marzipan bar from Estonia is not a new favorite. Upon first bite, it's nice soft and chewy marzipan with a solid almond flavor. Strangely, though, as the marzipan melts in one's mouth, a strange chemical aftertaste starts to dominate. The aftertaste was difficult to wash away and made me forget all of the nice initial reactions. I know Kalev makes some tasty bars, but unfortunately this one is not a triumph.

Score: 1

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Gummy Snapshot: Trolli Sour Brite Octopus

Trolli Sour Brite Octopus, or Octopi, in a variety of brilliant shades. I love these. Semi-gross in concept and very tasty, a great combination!

Score: 4

Monday, April 4, 2016

Flavor Vote! New Coffee Nut m&m's

Back in October, m&m's announced that they would be releasing three new limited edition flavors on the Spring market (read about it here). Consumers are supposed to vote on their favorite, making it a year-round item. All three flavors have good potential: Coffee Nut, Honey Nut, and Chili Nut. Yesterday I was thrilled to find the Coffee Nut variety at the local Rite Aid. They're so good, rivaling traditional Peanut m&m's. The coffee flavor tastes natural, which is key, and blends so beautifully with the chocolate and peanut. I shared the Coffee Nut m&m's with three other taste testers and all agreed, these are Great! Get your hands on some if possible and then vote!

Score: 4

Friday, April 1, 2016

Like m&m's, but Prettier: Meiji Marble Chocolate

Image a lighter, creamier, less sugary version of m&m's, and there you have Meiji's Marble Chocolates. Smooth pebbles of chocolate covered in pastel candy shells are so aesthetically pleasing, and tasty, too.

Score: 3