Monday, May 30, 2016

Aerated Japanese Chocolates: Glico Caplicocot

These Caplicocot from Japanese candy company Glico are a strange concoction. Picture the bubbly air-filled center of an Aero Bar or Hershey's Air Delight, then make the bubbles smaller and more concentrated, and you have the basic consistency of the Caplicocot. I wasn't that into it. I just didn't love all that added air. The vanilla flavor was not too sweet with a nice creamy taste, with a solid milk chocolate foundation. They weren't terrible but they were also easy to put aside, which is never a good sign with candy.

Score: 2

Friday, May 27, 2016

Turkish Treats: Ulker Dido Wafer Fingers

The Turkish Ulker Chocolate Wafer Bar is the brand's go-to most-beloved wafer bar. That bar layers wafers with a mellow hazelnut cream encompassed in milk chocolate. Although not as widely distributed, the Ulker Dido wafer bar constitutes the company's basic wafer bar- wafers interspersed with chocolate cream wrapped in milk chocolate. It's delicious, light, crispy, with a good chocolate flavor. The hazelnut of the Chocolate Wafer Bar is something special, but if you're not a hazelnut fan, the Dido is a tasty alternative.

Score: 3

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)

Nestle Tin Larin Wafer Bar (Mexico) 
Tiki Gold Wafer Bar (Trinidad/ Tobago)
Tunnock's Caramel Wafer Biscuit (Scotland)
Ulker Chocolate Wafer Bar (Turkey)
Ulker Cokonat (Turkey)

Monday, May 23, 2016

Meiji Fran Chocolate from Japan

Fran chocolate-dipped cookie sticks are a little bit like Pocky's pudgy cousin. They're Meiji's beefed-up answer to Glico's original product. It's a similar milk biscuit cookie but infused with more butter flavor. Fran cookie sticks are dipped in chocolate like Pocky, but this chocolate is creamier, a chocolate mousse rather than milk chocolate. They're delicious and addictive. I don't think I prefer Fran to Pocky but they present a nice variation on the original.

Score: 3

Friday, May 20, 2016

Limited Edition Caramel Marshmallow Sugar Babies

I absolutely love Sugar Babies and don't feel like there's much that can be done to improve upon their simple perfection. That said, I'm always happy to try variations- limited editions are always exciting. New Caramel Marshmallow Sugar Babies are a tasty variation on the original. The original Sugar Babies caramel candy shell is filled with half caramel and half marshmallow. The marshmallow is quite dense so the texture of the two fillings is pretty similar. The marshmallow mellows the caramel flavor and emphasizes the creaminess of the caramel. They're pleasant to snack on and quite addictive. That said, I'll still take the plain caramel originals any day.

Score: 3

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Travel Snapshot: Dulces Larri Dulce De Leche from Mexico

Dulce de Leche is one of the simplest and tastiest sweets out there, a thick fudgy caramel created by slowly boiling down sweetened milk. Because of its simplicity and fantastically appealing taste, dulce de leche is enjoyed in countries across the world. On a recent trip to Mexico I encountered some wonderful dulce de leche, mostly homemade as freshness counts with this dessert. I did enjoy finding wrapped packages of the treat to bring home, however. Pictured here is a Corazon de Leche (Milk Heart) distributed by Dulces Larri. A wonderful treat to savor the flavors of Mexico upon return home.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Chuao Chocolatier Sweet & Salty Chocolate Bar

I love the innovative and somewhat eccentric flavors of Chuao Chocolatier Chocolate Bar line (read past reviews here). I didn't expect all that much of their Sweet & Salty Chocolate Bar, though, because I've never really focused on the quality of Chuao chocolate before, distracted by all kinds of flavor bells and whistles. With only sea salt added, would the plain milk chocolate impress? I was totally wowed. This is a fantastic, creamy bar, with the smallest hint of salt throughout. I need more of these two-bite bars on hand at all times.

Score: 5

Friday, May 13, 2016

E. Wedel Pawetek Mleczny Toffi Bar from Poland

E. Wedel Pawetek Mleczny Toffi bar consists of milk chocolate filled with a liquor-infused caramel. I don't really like booze and sweets combined because the alcohol tends to really dominate any more subtle flavors. However, for a fan of the combination, this is a good chocolate bar, with strong rich flavors and a really nice soft caramel consistency.

Score: 2

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Marzipan Dreams from Germany: Schogetten Marzipan - Cream Milk Chocolate

We all acknowledge the perfection of marzipan. It's a given. I've never encountered a marzipan cream, though, and it's as wonderful as one might expect. German candy company Schogetten has provided this much-needed variation on the original. Marzipan mixed with cream, a super soft flavorful mixture encased in a high-quality chocolate shell. These are fantastic. I need to be able to find these locally.

Score: 5

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Gummy Snapshot: Disney Pixar Finding Dory Gummy Characters

A movie tie-in is always fun, and these jewel-like gummies depicting the characters from Disney / Pixar's new Finding Dory are a pleasure to behold. The flavors are just ok, not very juicy and very artificial, but for a fan of the movie they'll be a big hit!

Score: 3

Monday, May 9, 2016

Crispy S'mores m&m's

The new Crispy S'more M&M's were a big disappointment. Frankly, the flavor idea is a fantastic one. I could just picture a melty milk chocolate infused with the flavor of marshmallow surrounding the perfect crunchy graham center, all contained within the bite-sized shell. This was m&m's opportunity to branch into a graham center- it would have been amazing. It could have lead to other flavor combinations. Graham works, as we know so well from real s'mores, perfectly with milk chocolate. The crispy cookie center of the s'mores m&m's just didn't lend enough flavor. The crunch is nice but let's have the cookie center contribute more than consistency. Both the flavor and aroma of the marshmallow was off- I like artificial marshmallow flavor, but this one didn't mimic a real marshmallow closely enough. It was vaguely off-putting. As long as I'm picking these m&m's apart, the aesthetics of this variety isn't very pleasing either. The color combo is a knock-off of the recent Coffee Nut m&m's (delicious), and these are about 1/2 the size and bear a lumpy candy shell rather than m&m's usual smooth outer casing. I love that m&m's is trying all kinds of new flavors, but the s'more variety didn't achieve its potential.

Score: 2

Friday, May 6, 2016

Vintage Sweets: Pearson's Salted Nut Roll

Available since the 1930's, Pearson's Salted Nut Roll remains one of the  tastiest, if somewhat elusive, treats on the market. Apparently prolific in the Mid-West (because Pearson's Candy Company is based in St. Paul, Minnesota), in New York City I had to go to a specialty shop, It's Sugar, to find one of these classic bars. It's such a simple, perfect combination. Light creamy nougat is enrobed in a thick layer of buttery caramel, and then rolled in full salted peanuts. If you can get your hands on one of these, it's well-worth revisiting.  

Score: 5

Monday, May 2, 2016

Halva Salmiak Finnish Sweet Licorice

Halva's Salmiak Finnish Sweet Licorice is so incredibly soft and offers a really nice, subtle level of sugar with a strong licorice flavor. It's not overpowering but really substantive.

Score: 3