Friday, December 25, 2009

An evaluation of the seasonal mint candies I've tasted

As stated in an earlier post, there are many seasonal candies being introduced around November to January. During this time, candy manufacturers seem to believe that everyone loves mint and mint related accessories. I decided to go 0ut and taste as many of these candies as I could so that I could see if all mint candies were the same. After many bags of candy and days of tasting, I think I'm ready to give an evaluation of what I feel are the best and the worst mint flavored candies introduced during the holiday season.

1. Ghiradelli Peppermint Bark

This is still the best peppermint bark and best holiday candy in my opinion. It is smoother than other barks and tastes much richer. Maybe it's because it's more of a candy bar than those pieces of peppermint bark that are sold in tins. Whatever the case, I f0und this to be the most pleasing of the mint and peppermint flavored candies I had.

2. Mint Truffle Kisses/Hershey's Bliss MintIn my estimation this is sort of like an Andes chocolate mint in Kiss form. Regardless, it is my favorite variation of the holiday Kisses. It is smooth and the filling isn't too liquid like the fillings in the Cherry Cordial Kisses. The same goes for Hershey's Bliss Mint. I believe that if you like Andes Chocolate Mints, you will like these two candies. However, as a precaution, one student in my class who is particularly fond of Andes Chocolate Mints does not like these candies at all.

4. Candy Cane Kisses

The candy bits found in this variation of Kisses definitely adds an interesting texture to it. It doesn't have a chocolate flavor like the other kinds of Kisses, but that doesn't matter because this is more like peppermint bark than anything else. Those of you who dislike peppermint or peppermint bark should avoid this, but for those of you looking for something interesting, this candy may surprise you.

5. Hershey's Mint Miniatures
I really like Hershey's take on peppermint bark. The White Creme with Candy Bits is my definite favorite of the bunch and I would not mind buying a bag full of these. Unfortunately, there are its ugly siblings that come with it in the package. Mint Dark Chocolate is my next favorite, but there's a huge gap between 1st and 2nd when it comes to these candies. The Mint Dark Chocolate tastes just like a Hershey's Dark Chocolate bar. If you like Hershey's Dark Chocolate than you'll like Mint Dark Chocolate. If you were looking for something more however, you will be disappointed as the Mint Dark Chocolate is virtually indistinguishable from the regular Dark Chocolate. And the worst of the bunch is the Mint Milk Chocolate. Normally I love good milk chocolate. However, I don't like Hershey's take on Mint Milk Chocolate. It's initial flavor is somewhat odd where you're unsure as to what you're eating. However, once you get past that it's somewhat more pleasing as you taste the milk chocolate blend with the mint. Things get worse though, as you approach near the end you're given a bitter aftertaste. White Creme is definitely the best tasting one out of all the other ones in the bag.

6. Lindt Lindor Dark Mint Truffles
Sadly, I enjoy all flavors of Lindt Lindor Truffles, but this one missed the mark for me. There was just something about biting into one of these candies and feeling as if it just tasted wrong. Maybe I'm just not a fan of dark chocolate and mint mixed together, but I felt that for the price and with the expectations I had, this candy wasn't satisfying. However, every other person who tried the candy enjoyed it, so other people like it. It's worth giving a try to see which camp you're in.

7. Dove Peppermint Bark

This was a candy that I didn't enjoy. There's the very sweet peppermint bark element, and then there's the dark, but semi-tasteless, chocolate part to it. Something about Dove chocolates rub me the wrong way. For the way they advertise themselves I expect something more flavorful and rich, but all the Dove candies I have tasted pale in comparison to other candies. This one is no exception.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Mike and Ike, an in-depth report

After writing my post about Mike and Ike, I felt compelled to try the other varieties of Mike & Ike. The varieties besides Original that I tried were Tropical Typhoon, Berry Blast, Lemonade Stand, Zours, and Italian Ice. I will rank the varieties from best (1) to worst (6) and also discuss my favorite and least favorite flavors for each variety.

1. Italian Ice
Italian Ice is my definite number one flavor of Mike and Ike. Unlike Original, Berry Blast, and Tropical Typhoon, Italian Ice flavors start out with a bit of a tangy flavor before settling into a sweet jelly candy flavor. It's a welcome surprise to the countless other candies that give you only one flavor. The flavors are Lemon, Orange, Cherry, Blue Raspberry, and Watermelon. Here's how the flavors rank:

1. Blue Raspberry - My absolute favorite of the Italian Ice flavors. It has a nice sour start and has a very good "blue" flavor if you will. I mean it's hard for me to describe the flavor of blue raspberry, but just know that it is my number one pick for best flavor in the Italian Ice.

2. Orange - Surprise, surprise, not too long ago I was going on and on about how much I despised Orange flavored candies. Well Mike and Ike Italian Ice is the exception I guess. Unlike other Orange candies which are dull, the Orange in Italian Ice is tangy and gives a nice flavor.

3. Cherry - Again, surprise! Cherry falls to number three when it comes to Italian Ice. My issue with the Cherry in Italian Ice is that it was too confusing for me. I wasn't able to pick up on that distinct Cherry flavor right away. I even had to look at the back of the box to make sure that I was eating the correct flavor.

4. Watermelon - Whereas typically Watermelon would fall to the bottom of my list (I don't like any candies that are Watermelon flavored, I only like gum that is Watermelon flavored) it ranks only second to last. The reason here is that like the other flavors it has a nice sour introduction before easing you into that familiar sweet flavor. It's one of the few Watermelon candies that haven't had me trying to avoid them.

5. Lemon - Ah Lemon, poor Lemon has fallen to the bottom of my list. The reason for this is that it doesn't differentiate itself from the Lemon in the Original Flavor of Mike and Ike. When compared to the other flavors, it is dull and not as appealing. Where's the tang? Where's the surprise? It's non-existent in Lemon.