Monday, January 31, 2011

Lindt Lindor Truffles: Milk Chocolate & Smooth White Filling

Valentine's Day is a few weeks away, but for the past month or so, stores have been stocking their shelves with Valentine's Day candy. As mentioned previously, Valentine's Day candy is, more often than not, regular candy that's packaged in red and pink and priced a few cents to a few dollars more than their non-holiday counterparts. Lindt is one of my favorite chocolate makers, and they also have capitalized on this. I decided to see if there was any merit behind them listing some of their products as "Limited Edition"

I'm pretty sure that "milk chocolate & smooth white filling" is a flavor that they have put out before. It is also a product that will generate many jokes from kids in middle school and up. Despite this, I decided that in the spirit of Valentine's Day, it would only be proper if I took a go at this and reviewed. Regardless if it's really a limited edition flavor, I haven't written about it before, so it was worth a try either way.

The chocolate ball cut in half

Like most Lindt chocolates, this didn't disappoint. The filling was creamy and gave a slightly buttery taste. The flavor was exceptional and not too sweet. However, how was this a limited edition flavor? Again, they're probably just trying to capitalize on Valentine's Day being around the corner, so they probably decided to put out an already existing product and labeling it as limited edition. I would like to see Lindt put out something with strawberry or cherry filling perhaps to reflect Valentine's Day. They have a raspberry flavor out, so I suppose that's sort of a change. Ghiradelli chocolate has put out a dark chocolate and strawberry flavor, which I will write about later, and I would like to see Lindt put one out as well. Anyway, in regards to THIS product, it is like other Lindt chocolates and is a better than most of the chocolate you'll find sitting next to it in on the shelves.

Lindt Lindor Truffles: Milk Chocolate & Smooth White Filling: 9/10

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Meiji Coke Flavored Cotton Candy Gum

If you recall, last Summer, my friends Phil and Karina, brought me many candies from their trip to Japan. One of the candies that I was very fond of was a grape flavored cotton candy that had popping candies inside of it. Since then, I have found that there are some markets in the U.S. that carry that candy, which is still as delicious as I remember it. On the back of the package, the English label labels it as Chewing Gum. I suppose that it was easier to label it as Chewing Gum instead of Cotton Candy with Poprocks. Next to it, I also saw another candy in a similar package that was also labeled as Chewing Gum. I decided to take a risk.

Ninjas blowing a bubble and a frog. This has the makings of being a great candy. I felt the package, and it was as soft as the grape cotton candy from before, if not a bit more uniform and packaged, so I decided to give it a try. If it's endorsed by those characters up there, how could I lose?

A tuft of the cotton candy

There was no popping when I ate it, so I was a bit disappointed, but it did taste like cola, sot hat was good. However, at that point where cotton candy's supposed to melt away in your mouth, the candy began to turn into chewing gum. Eventually most of the cotton candy in my mouth turned into cola flavored chewing gum, which was delightful. I have to say, I would have liked it to have the popping candy and some more tart flavor. I think if there was some pop and a bit of sour flavor it would have put this candy over the edge. Otherwise, it's a very interesting candy, and one that my students enjoy. There aren't other candies readily available that can do this.

Meiji Coke Flavored Cotton Candy Gum: 9/10

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Mini Strawberry Crunch Bars

It's a few weeks before Valentine's Day, and stores, such as Target, are starting to put out pink and red packages for their candies. There's nothing really different between Valentine's Day candy and regular candy outside of the little hearts on the Valentine's Day candy. However, some candies like Kisses have decided to put out raspberry flavored chocolates. I'm also glad to see that Ghiradelli has put out "limited edition" strawberry chocolate squares. Since that long explanation led to the subject of strawberry chocolate, I'd like to write about another familiar product that has also put out a strawberry chocolate flavor.

Albeit, it's a Japanese variety of a familiar American product, but I figure it's all the same. Now when they start selling Twix varieties from the UK here, oh boy. Anyway, I don't really see foreign versions of Crunch bars, so this seemed like an endeavor worth trying.

The mini "bars" actually come in two squares

It had all the texture and familiarity of the Crunch bars you can find in America, so that's good. The strawberry flavor slightly overpowered the chocolate flavor, but it didn't completely hide the chocolate, which was good. I'm hesitant to say that I would prefer this OVER Crunch bar. I'd say that it would be nice to have this every once in awhile. This was not better, not worse, but it was just different. It's on par with the regular Crunch bar. The best variety of Crunch bar, in my opinion, is the White Chocolate Crunch Bar.

Mini Strawberry Crunch Bars: 8/10

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

European Cheese Kit Kat

Some things are just so ridiculous that they're worth trying at least once just to know what they're like. For instance, I had tacos with brains as the meat not too long ago. Was it good? It was okay, but I wouldn't have chosen it over any other meat. Likewise, this product falls in the line of, "I don't know what it is, but I need to try it"

That's right, European Cheese Kit Kat. Just when I thought Ginger Ale was the most ridiculous flavor they could come up with, Kit Kat has this. I don't know whose idea it was to make this a flavor, but they're probably trying other ridiculous flavors with Kit Kat, like mayonnaise or something. On a side note, the box was very nice.

It's like opening a treasure chest

And finding Kit Kat inside

When I first unwrapped the Kit Kat there was a very pungent cheese smell coming from it. Think of a cheese with a very powerful smell and you have the smell of European Cheese Kit Kat. The flavor, however, was like that of a normal Kit Kat. I would say that it tasted like white chocolate Kit Kat. It was just the typical Kit Kat sweetness with no hints of saltiness or any hidden surprises. The texture of the Kit Kat wafer and the smell of the cheese reminded me of those cheese and cracker snacks that I used to like as a kid. The smell was outrageous, the flavor was not, and I came out sort of confused by the smell coupled with the flavor. All in all, it was worth the try and I was not disgusted. I must, however, knock it for being relatively expensive to a bag of Kit Kats and yielding only 10 mini bars. For the price of this, I could have bought a two bags of fun size Kit Kats.

European Cheese Kit Kat: 7/10

Monday, January 17, 2011

Calbee French Salad Chips

Potato chips and things of that ilk are usually a toss up. There may not be ridiculous flavors in America, but all varieties tend to be very solid. The problem with foreign chips is that often times, despite how crazy the flavor may sound, is that they always taste like something familiar in American chips. For instance, Calbee's Hot & Spicy Chips taste like a subtle BBQ. There are other examples of other brands being underwhelming, but let's talk about the Calbee brand.

French salad is not a flavor that I've seen for American chips. When you think of chips, salad is a flavor that you probably wouldn't think of. The only time I think of salad and chips are when taco salads have tortilla strips. Calbee has one flavor that I like very much, which is Seaweed & Salt, and one that I'm not fond of, which is the aforementioned Hot & Spicy. They're one for two, so I thought it was worth trying a third flavor. Also notice the mascot, he is either the mayor of chip town or he won a pageant.

A Calbee French Salad chip

The best way to describe this flavor is a cross between sour cream and salt & vinegar. The texture is akin to Lay's potato chips, but less greasy. The flavor was a bit subtle, but it wasn't as under-flavored as Hot & Spicy. I'm not sure if I liked this flavor more than Seaweed & Salt, but it's definitely better than Hot & Spicy.There are definitely American flavors that are better (BBQ), but this flavor could compete with them,

Calbee French Salad Chips: 8/10

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Apple Oreo Bar

You know what's not seen often? Apples and chocolate. When was the last time you got apple and chocolate ice cream? How about a chocolate chip apple cookie? Well, the common accompaniment to apple is caramel. There are candied apples, caramel apples, and other things that are some sort of sticky, sugary friend to apples, but that friend is never chocolate. Luckily, I found that, sometimes, apples can be friends with chocolate.

Here is, yet again, another Japanese Oreo bar. You never know what flavor you're going to get with these; I know I didn't know what flavor this was because all the text is in Japanese. However, the market where I got this from, was kind enough t label it as Oreo Apple.

The Apple Oreo Bar fortunately broke into perfect halves for me as I was driving home

Now I know why chocolate isn't apple's best friend. Chocolate likes to drape over things, but apple just wants a friend to hang on to him, not one that will smother him. When they hang out, there's a discord as to who should take the leading role. This wasn't a bad bar, but it wasn't particularly good. The oddest part of this bar was actually the Oreo bits. By the time the chocolate and apple flavored filling had melted, there were these Oreo pieces that were still lingering that left that familiar, slightly bitter Oreo cookie taste in my mouth. The other flavors of Oreo bars were much more pleasing because they used flavors that seemed to go well with each other. It was interesting, and it was worth trying, but I wouldn't want to see apple and chocolate again unless apple brought along his friend caramel.

Apple Oreo Bar: 6.5/10

Monday, January 10, 2011

Elite Milk Chocolate with Popping Candy

Some weeks ago, I found that students liked the novelty of having popping chocolate. The problem was that the market I usually bought them at had run out. I came in week after week, but these chocolates had become a rare commodity. I had to think of another place where I could get that chocolate. I decided to look online for the chocolate, but unfortunately, I was not able to find the same brand. However, I did find out that another company that did make a chocolate that featured popping candy, so I placed an order and just got them.

You may recognize the cow on the wrapper. It turns out that this is from the same company that brought the chocolate with candy pieces from a previous entry. The company name is Strauss-Elite and it's based in Israel, which explains why I wasn't able to tell what the Chocolate with Candy Pieces was all about. Anyway, let's take a look at this wrapper. Look at the edges of the chocolate squares, they are exploding like fireworks. That's what I expect to happen in my house.

A square of chocolate. All the light spots are the popping candy

The initial bite didn't yield any popping. I was kind of disappointed when this happened; the chocolate was good, but I bought this chocolate for its novelty as well. However, as the chocolate began to melt, there were many mini-explosions going on in my mouth. I was satisfied that there was a large yield of popping candy. This candy was good, and I don't know why there aren't popping Hershey bars. The closest thing in the American market are Wonka Tinglerz. As I've said in previous entries, I am not a fan of Mr. Wonka's chocolates, but I do like Tinglerz. America, this is another thing you need to get on.

Elite Milk Chocolate with Popping Candy: 8.5/10

Monday, January 3, 2011

Lion Angry Lemon Hard Candy

This is another candy whose real name I don't know, so I'm just going to name it myself. The English label just reads, "Hard Candy", and the brand is Lion, so that's about it. The following picture explains the name I gave it:

Is that not the angriest lemon you have ever seen? He's probably insulting you in so many different ways you don't even know. He's calling you the biggest wuss in the history of mankind, and you don't have what it takes to eat him.

A simple flow chart on the back explaining the levels of sourness I assume. Meanwhile, that lemon is still calling you out.

There are four levels of sourness, each one marked with a certain number of stars (1 being the least sour, 4 being the most sour)

It seems as if the lemon gets happier the more sour it gets. Then it becomes all shriveled and red. How now, brown cow?

Stars 1 through 4. Notice how Stars 3 and 4 have a powdery coat on them.

When I ate this candy, I was expecting the initial shock of a Super Lemon hard candy. If you're unfamiliar with Super Lemon, they are basically super charged lemon drops that give an extreme rush of tartness for the first few seconds, and later on they become normal lemon drops. This candy is the reverse in that it starts off sweet and then as you approach the middle, you there is a rush of sour liquid that comes out. The sourness of the liquid is based on how many stars you picked.

This candy was good. The sour liquid was a nice surprise, especially if you're not expecting it. Without the liquid, it would taste just like a typical lemon drop, which wouldn't be too bad either. The sour liquid makes this candy much more interesting though.

Lion Angry Lemon Hard Candy: 7.5/10