Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Ritter Sport Marzipan

Ritter Sport Marzipan

When I was younger, my father's job had him travelling overseas every few years, and one of the best things about that was the souvenirs he brought back. When he went to Germany, he brought back an assortment of mini Ritter Sport squares. Of course, these can be purchased in the United States, but that was my first exposure to them.

Since then, all kinds of different flavors have popped up, and I still run across the odd (not necessarily new) flavor, just waiting to be tasted. At a local Fresh Market (think Whole Foods but smaller), Ritter Sport Marzipan was on sale, and I couldn't resist. It came highly recommended by both the checkout clerk and the customer ahead of me in line.

Ritter Sport Marzipan

The dark chocolate bar was absolutely gorgeous with just the right amount of gloss. A quick break released the wonderful aroma of almonds and cocoa, and from the first taste, I was hooked. The marzipan had a wonderfully gritty texture that reminded me of cookie dough (since they can serve a similar purpose), and the taste reminded me of amaretto liqueur.

Although the smooth, mild dark chocolate would have been okay on its own, it was a wonderful match for the marzipan. It was difficult to put this bar down, and it is close in the running to my beloved Butter Biscuit for my favorite Ritter Sport squares. One small issue I had was that the marzipan was soft and moist for the most part, but there were some dry spots scattered throughout the bar.

Check out the Ritter section at Candy Blog for several reviews, including Marzipan, and have a look at Chocablog's review of the Marzipan bar.


Ritter Sport website

Monday, March 29, 2010

Tirol Ichigo ga Ippai (again)

Ichigo ga Ippai

Like people and animals, snacks follow the circle of life as well. Last winter, a friend sent me the Strawberry 2009 variety pack, and this winter, I received the 2010 version. Thankfully, they are similar, but not identical.

This version includes Strawberry Jelly, Strawberry and Cookie, and Strawberry Condensed Milk, and I'll review them one by one.

Straberry Jelly Tirol

Strawberry Jelly had a strong strawberry scent, and was filled with a bright red gel. The jam center was a tasty and fairly authentic strawberry, but I didn't feel like it went well with the buttery strawberry flavored white chocolate.

Strawberry and Cookie Tirol

Strawberry and Cookie Crunch is basically a strawberry version of Tirol's White & Cookie Crunch. The strawberry flavor was mild, but it didn't really add anything, and I prefer the regular white chocolate version.

Strawberry Condensed Milk Tirol

'Tsubu Tsubu' Strawberry Condensed Milk was, as expected, very sweet and milky. I believe the tsubu tsubu refers to the texture of the strawberry seeds that were found throughout this piece. It reminded me of a strawberry frosting with a hint of crunchiness from the seeds, but it was very, very sweet.

None of these flavors grabbed me, but none of them tasted bad, either. Check out another review of this pack at Pocky Watch.


Tirol website

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Doritos Scream Cheese

Doritos Scream Cheese

Even though I've probably tried 3 new flavors of Doritos in the US within the past year, I was still excited to see a different flavor when I was shopping in Windsor, Ontario. Maybe it was the metallic bag. Little did I know that "Scream Cheese" was the product of a contest to name a new Doritos flavor in Canada. It was a good call for them to bring in outside talent to name their products - remember Nacho Cheesier?

Contestants submitted their own commercials for the flavor they named online, and if you're interested, Ryan Coopersmith's winning video can be viewed on the Doritos YouTube channel. It's worth a chuckle, not to mention $25,000 and 1% of profits from future flavor sales.

Doritos Scream Cheese

Of course, what's really important here is how the chips taste. Thankfully, the cheese didn't smell like nacho. My best guess would be cheddar, with sour and smokey notes. The best part was the nice mild heat that kicked in at the end, as I thought it helped to set them apart from other flavors.

The powder on them was a bright, bright red, and when I wiped the corners of my mouth after eating (as Doritos inevitably make a mess), it looked like I had wiped some lipstick off. I liked the heat, but wasn't crazy about the sour. They didn't make me scream, but I do love a good old-fashioned mystery flavor naming contest. Bonus points for that.

It looks like they have another contest going on now, and I do have a bag of "Unidentified Flavor II" Doritos just waiting to be consumed. It looks like this time, they want to create a viral video, so check out their website at the link below if you are interested.


Doritos website

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Maynards Juicy Squirts Sours

Maynards Juicy Squirts Sours

Before one of my Flickr contacts pointed it out, the thought hadn't occurred to me that "Juicy Squirts" is a funny name. It does sound a bit like something you come across online and can't unsee, but luckily, it's candy. Still, it's not something I want to search for on Google.

Maynards is part of the Cadbury family of brands, but it originated as a small family company in the United Kingdom. I have never seen the Maynards brand in the US, but over the border in Canada, they sell many kinds of gummies. For example, Sour Patch Kids are now part of the Maynards brand in Canada, but they are released by Cadbury Adams in the US (without much mention of that on the package).

Maynards Juicy Squirts Sours

Right away, I had a bit of an issue: half of the bag was cherry. There were four flavors included, but I only got 1 purple, 2 raspberry, and 3 apple. The remaining 6 or 7 gummies were all cherry. Unequal flavor distribution aside, the gummies were pretty large - about the size of my thumb. Each gummy was full of a different color (and flavor) juice, and it reminded me of the Gushers fruit snacks I loved as a kid.

Green was a slightly floral green apple, but I'm not sure what the red inner juice was supposed to taste like. Maybe some sort of red berry? In any case, the flavors went well together.

Purple was either grape or blackcurrant, but honestly, I'm not sure. It did taste a lot like fake grape, and was my favorite of the bunch. Maybe I'm just saying that because there was only purple in my bag.

Red (cherry-shaped) had a standard red, medicinal cherry flavor. My husband figures that the ingredients must be the cheapest, and that was why there were so many in this bag.

Red (raspberry-shaped) had a nice, mild raspberry flavor with a slightly sour bite to it. Again, I'm not sure what flavor the center juices were, but I enjoyed the piece.

Overall, I liked the firm, chewy texture of the gummies. My husband thought they were sour enough, but I hardly found them sour at all. Combined with the bad assortment, Juicy Squirts Sours just left me feeling disappointed.


These have also been reviewed at Candy Addict

Cadbury website

Monday, March 22, 2010

Skittles Fizzl'd Fruits

Skittles Fizzl'd Fruits

While filling up at a gas station on the way to see a concert, I stopped in the attached convenience store and was shocked and thrilled to find Skittles Fizzl'd Fruits. Since I wanted to consume them right away, I took pictures in the car, with the candy on my lap and in my hand.

These have been on my mind ever since Cybele's Valentine's Day 2010 candy tease, as I love Skittles and almost all fizzy candy. Unfortunately, the grocery stores near me are very slow to receive new items (they just now carry Crazy Cores on their shelves), but I always forget about gas stations. With pay at pump, I hardly have a reason to go inside and look at all the new, overpriced candy (these Skittles were $1.39 US).

Fizzy Skittles

One whiff of the open bag told me that the flavors were the same as the Wild Berry Skittles, so I won't go too deeply into how the flavors differed. They had the appearance of Sour Skittles, but the effect was entirely different.

These were very fizzy on the tongue - surprisingly fizzy! You have to suck on them a bit to get the true effect, but it made me think of a berry soda (close to the point of bubbles up your nose, but without the pain). Fizzl'd Fruits were tasty, nostalgic, and fun. If you like the berry flavors, definitely check these out. I prefer the original fruits, but it was nice to see a new spin on a different flavor set. Now, I wonder if they can combine fizzy with sour?

There's also a review of these at CandyBlog.


Skittles Website (note: it's very graphic-intense)

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Meiji Marron Chocolate

Meiji Marron Chocolate

I apologize for the unannounced review hiatus. A quick vacation and the game Mass Effect 2 have distracted me, but I've been stockpiling candy and reviews in the meantime. I'm ready to move from one nerdy hobby to another.

This review isn't terribly current, as chestnut is a fall flavor in Japan. That's when I bought the bar, and when I ate it. I misplaced my notes, though, and didn't find them until about a week ago, and since there's a good chance the flavor will reemerge next year, I wanted to post it.

Meiji Marron Chocolate

The aroma of this bar was amazing, it smelled just like roasted chestnuts. The smooth filling tasted a bit like coffee, but it was well balanced with the moderately sweet milk chocolate.

The textures of both the filling and the chocolate were wonderful, and the flavors of milk chocolate and chestnut went together perfectly here. My husband and I both enjoyed it thoroughly, and on a side note, the box was very pretty.


Meiji website

Friday, March 12, 2010

Lotte Let's Be Mild Coffee

Let's Be

While at one of a local Asian markets, I was in the mood for canned coffee. Suntory Black Boss coffee was available, but it was about $2.50. Since that seemed a bit excessive for a tiny can of coffee, I went for a $0.99 Korean coffee called Let's Be. Lotte is a giant conglomerate with a presence in just about every industry in East Asia, including food and beverage.

I am a bit of a coffee fanatic (though not quite at the Gilmore level). My husband and sister are both sensitive to it, but if I don't mind staying up late, I can drink several cups with no indigestion (so long as the creamer is lactose-free).

Let's Be mild is not the best choice for coffee fans. It smelled mostly of sugar and not very much like coffee. The taste was also extremely sweet, and a bit milkier than it looked. To its credit, it tasted very fresh for a canned drink. The bitterness and much of the acidity were muted by the sweetness.

Let's Be mild just wasn't suited to my tastes at all, but coffee is a rather personal thing. There was nothing wrong with the drink itself, I just wouldn't recommend it to those who like stronger coffee. Then again, it was labelled "mild coffee," so I doubt it would attract those types anyhow. There are bitter and black versions of Let's Be, and I would definitely try them if I found them in the future.


Lotte Chilsung Beverage website

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Sour Patch Jelly Beans

Sour Patch Jelly Beans

Just last weekend, I was searching for fizzy Skittles at my local Target store. I didn't find them, but I did find Sour Patch jelly beans. This really helped me contain my disappointment.

Jelly Beans have always been a favorite of mine at Easter and year round. Not so much the classic jelly beans, but Jelly Belly or Starburst jelly beans. My all time favorite movie candy is Sour Patch Kids, so everything fell into place when I saw this bag of beans.

Sour Patch Jelly Beans

The jelly beans looked a lot like Sour Patch Kids - same colors, same bumpy texture. All four of the original flavors were there: lime, orange, lemon, and redberry, whatever that is. There were no loose sour crystals on the beans, though, just a solid sour coating.

Yellow was a sour, citrusy lemon that falls in the middle of the fake---slice of lemon spectrum. Orange was a sweet, tart, orangeade kind of flavor, but I really enjoyed it. Green tasted just a bit more floral and sweet than the original lime flavor. It's my favorite of the original Kids, but somehow wasn't here. Red simply tasted red, and was my least favorite of the four.

If you like Sour Patch Kids, you'll like these jelly beans. I had a hard time resisting them, as did most of my "helpers." Though Starburst jelly beans have a larger variety of flavors, Sour Patch jelly beans are definitely one of my favorite candy spinoff beans.


Sour Patch Kids website

Monday, March 8, 2010

Tirol Peach - Chestnut - Persimmon


I was a little confused by the name of this Tirol variety pack, as my knowledge of Japanese proverbs is rather limited. The full Japanese is 桃栗三年柿八年 (momo kuri sannen kaki hachinen), which roughly translates to "it takes time for one's actions to bear fruit." More literally, it means "peaches and chestnuts in 3 years, persimmons in 8." Please correct me if my translation is bad.

Tirol Momo-Kuri-Kaki

I loved the cute characters on the bag and chocolate wrappers, although the peach is a little creepy. I'm pretty familiar with peaches and chestnuts, but I have never tried persimmon (even though I do see them at the supermarket occasionally). According to Wikipedia, the taste is similar to plums and dates. However, I'm not sure it matters for this review - I'll get into that in a minute.

Momo Tirol

First, I tried the creepy peach. It smelled like peach, and had a gooey gummy center. The gummy did have the texture of peach flesh, but the flavor was nearly overpowered by the taste of sugar. It seemed like most of the fruit flavor was in the chocolate. This was too sweet for me, and something about the peach flavor felt a little fake.

Kuri Tirol

Chestnut smelled toasted, and had a strong, nutty flavor with hints of coffee. It wasn't as overwhelmingly sweet as the peach, but the white chocolate could have been a little richer. The glaze in the middle was nice, though, and overall, I was satisfied.

Tirol Kaki

Last up was persimmon, but as you can see in the picture, this one was actually more like chocolate coated senbei. I'm not sure where the persimmon comes in, and am hoping that one of my readers can help me understand. Still, this was my favorite of the three. The milk chocolate (which seemed a little waxy here) went so well with the mild soy sauce flavor of the crunchy cracker center. It was very well balanced, and I would love to have a bag of just this variety (maybe with a few chestnut thrown in). Forget the peach.

On their own, I would say peach is a C+, chestnut is a B+, and persimmon is an A-. Overall, that averages to a B!

Check out another review of this pack at Tasty Japan!

Tirol website

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Mars 3 Musketeers Truffle Crisp

3 Musketeers Truffle Crisp

Outlet malls are never as good as they seem. It sounds great, decent products at discount rates, but anything that's actually cheap tends to be damaged or defective. When I shop at clothing outlets, good stuff never seems as cheap as it should be.

Oddly enough, this candy bar was purchased at an outlet mall candy store. As you can see in the next picture, it was $1.25 US, which is a little pricey for a candy bar. Since it was an outlet mall, I figured the bar was discontinued, but it's actually rather new to the market. Rosa at ZOMG, Candy blogged about how Truffle Crisp is actually a re-brand of a poorly marketed bar called Fling, and it's an interesting read. The original Fling slogan was colossally bad.

3 Musketeers Truffle Crisp

I was expecting the Truffle Crisp bar to be like a Twix, with a cookie layer under nougat, so it was a bit of a nasty surprise when the bottom layer was more like meringue. It was chalky and sweet, and I really wished it was a cookie instead. I only like meringue on pies - things like meringue cookies really don't do it for me.

The candy bar was pretty much doomed for me after that. The melt was nice, but the nougat was so very sweet (especially atop all that crunchy sugar/fat). My husband didn't really care for it either, but one of my friends liked it. I suppose it comes down to your feelings on meringue. Still, it was nice to see something different.


3 Musketeers website

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Nikkou Panache


I try to keep a candy dish out for guests, and usually, I try to put good candy in it. Some things do tend to get left behind (like some rather strong matcha candies even I have to be in the right mood to enjoy). There's always lots of leftover candy from reviewing, so I think it works out well for me and anyone who comes to our house.

These Panache chocolates were purchased specifically for that candy dish. I don't usually go for obscure Japanese brands (they often don't even make it to the US), but these chocolates were so cute and pretty that I couldn't resist. They are made by Nikkou, a company that also makes KitKat and Tirol clones. Orchid64 reviewed one of their Tirol clones a while back.


The chocolates were adorable, with a cute little heart stamped on each pink and white face. They smelled very faintly of strawberry, but the actual strawberry chocolate had a bit of a sour punch. The milk chocolate was of average quality and it did a good job of keeping the sourness in check.

One of my friends thought they tasted more like raspberry than strawberry, but that might just mean the flavor wasn't terribly authentic. These were average tasting crowd pleasers, but for me, the only thing that really stood out was the cute design.


Nikkou website