Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Morinaga Golden Kiwi Hi-chew

Golden Kiwi Hi-chew

Numerous sources have told me that golden kiwis are better than the regular variety, and that this Hi-chew tastes very authentic. However, I have never had golden kiwi, so I have no point of comparison.

I bought these at a Japanese grocery store, and they came highly recommended. I was really impressed with the pineapple flavor, so my hopes were high. Maybe they were too high?

Golden Kiwi Hi-chew

I love that the bars are wrapped in gold foil. It makes them look like little bars of solid gold and reminds me of Fort Knox, as seen in cartoons. They smell strongly fruity. The taste reminded me of strawberry kiwi Starburst, because it didn't taste specifically kiwi. Kiwi was there, but there was something else. That must be the golden kiwi.

The pineapple Hi-chew screamed pineapple; it was dead on. Kiwi is a little harder to pinpoint, but there was just something missing from these. Having said that, they were delicious and I had no trouble eating half the package myself in one night.


Morinaga Website (Japanese)

Mars Galaxy

Mars Galaxy Bar

My boss recently spent a week in England, and since she is so thoughtful, she brought back British chocolate for my group at work! According to her, the Galaxy bar is better than Cadbury, so I was very excited to try it.

I vaguely remember seeing someone else's review of a Galaxy bar, but I can't remember which blog it was or what they thought. It's a nice theme, though, Galaxy bar from Mars. And, the chocolate bar itself has an adorable design. I love the little G!

Galaxy Bar

The chocolate smelled very sweet and a little nutty. It tasted unlike chocolate I've had in the past - very rich, creamy, and velvety. It really stuck to my teeth! It reminded me a little of Dove milk chocolate, in taste and texture. I have no nutrition info on it, because I think it was sold as a set and not an individual unit, but it tastes very fattening - that's good for chocolate, though.

I'm glad the bar I had was portioned, but I don't think I could eat more than one block of this at a time because of the sweetness. On taste alone, it might be better than Cadbury, but for mass consumption potential, I think Cadbury wins. I'm not a huge fan of eating chocolate by itself, so I might not be the best person to appreciate this, but it was a nice change of pace from all the Hershey here in the US.


Mars website

Monday, March 30, 2009

Mentos Red Fruit-Lime Gum

Mentos Gum

Here's another kind of Mentos gum. This time, it's the non-specific "Red Fruit-Lime" that Ryan Seacrest has been talking up on the radio. A friend of mine bought this first, and after trying it, I bought my own so that I could review it at my leisure.

According to the package, I should taste lime, strawberry, raspberry, and some little berries I can't identify. Cranberry, perhaps? Let me know if you have any ideas. After peeking at the ingredients list, I saw that the gum was made with lemon guice, not lime, and blackcurrant, which is a fairly rare flavor in the US.

Mentos Gum

Once again, the pieces were cute and shiny. They smelled fruity, too, but nothing identifiable. The coating was sweet and tangy, and the center was tart, but a fake lime. The initial tang was good, but it faded fast, and then it just tasted red.

I couldn't taste raspberry, but my husband detected strawberry. Personally, I agree with calling this gum "red fruit" because that's about as specific as I could get. The flavor longevity was disappointing, shorter than Tropical, but the flavor itself was better.


Mentos website

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Mentos Gum Tropical

Mentos Gum

It's been a while since I've posted a gum review. Recently, Mentos started selling gum in the United States, so since I'm a sucker for new products, it seemed like a good opportunity to review some more gum for this site.

According to the packaging, I should have tasted kiwi, orange (or maybe tangerine), and mango in this gum. I also should have been able to see the soft center, but I don't think any of those things actually happened.

Mentos Gum

The pieces were shiny and pleasing to look at, and the shape and gloss reminded me of Spree (only thicker). They had a light vitamin C smell. I bit the gum in half to see the soft center, which for some reason, I expected to be liquid, but I couldn't see it. It wasn't liquid, either, it was just soft.

The outside shell was very crunchy, and the only flavor from the package I could really taste was orange (maybe a little mango). I also thought I tasted some banana, but that could have been my imagination. It did taste fruity and juicy, so I liked that. Most of the flavor was gone after about 10 minutes, and after just under 20 minutes, I spit it out. I also think it's worth mentioning that the product website advertises a "tasty burst of freshness" but this gum made my mouth feel sort of stale, like most fruity gum. I was pleased with the initial taste, but I can't see myself buying this kind again.


Mentos website

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Nestle Tiramisu KitKat

Tiramisu KitKat

Tiramisu really isn't one of my favorite desserts. I love coffee, but I don't like coffee-flavored desserts and candies very much. But when I ordered the Matcha Tiramisu bars, I figured I might as well order a couple normal Tiramisu bars, too.

The package boasts a "harmony of coffee and cheese" and says that it was made with 0.4% coffee. The last coffee flavored KitKat that I tried was pretty bad, so I was a little worried, but I was pleasantly surprised.

Tiramisu KitKat

The bar had a strong coffee scent, and when I broke it apart, it was stronger. The chocolate was very creamy, and by itself was mild. The wafers by themselves, however, tasted very strongly of coffee, suggesting that the cream between the wafers was the main source.

It actually did taste like tiramisu! I didn't even mind the coffee flavor for once, because it wasn't overpowering. Maybe it's just because the pack only had one bar, but it wasn't sickeningly sweet, either. Much better than the Caramel Macchiato McFlurry flavor from last year.


KitKat Website (Japanese)

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Nestle KitKat Matcha Tiramisu

Maccha Tiramisu KitKat

New matcha KitKats are always very exciting, so from the moment this one was announced, I knew I needed to get my hands on some. However, I was a little skeptical about matcha tiramisu. To me, tiramisu means a strong espresso flavor, but I suppose that it could be made with other beverages. Tea seems a natural choice after coffee, and a Google image search turned up results proving that it has been done before.

Knowing that there would be no coffee flavor, I wasn't sure what to expect of this KitKat. Honestly, I was hoping it would taste a little like the regular matcha KitKat because I like that one so much. And it did.

KitKat Maccha Tiramisu

The single bar (thicker than one bar from the normal two bar pack) was pale green and smelled sweet. It tasted very similar to the regular matcha flavor, but much creamier. The matcha taste was weaker, overpowered a bit by the creaminess.

It was a very good KitKat, but I just can't call it tiramisu. A Flickr contact pointed out that the extra creaminess is probably supposed to be like the mascarpone cheese used to make tiramisu. It was definitely noticeable, so I think Nestle did their job. I also tried the regular tiramisu flavor that was released at the same time, and should have that review up tomorrow.


KitKat Website (Japanese)

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Nestle Strawberry Milk Chocolate KitKat

Strawberry KitKats

I am rather backlogged with reviews right now. I haven't been uploading as much as I'd like to, due to some real world responsibilities, but I'm trying to get back into the swing of it now. These strawberry KitKats have been at my house for over a month and I'm just now getting to them.

I was on the fence about buying them when I saw them in Ann Arbor, MI, since I've tried many strawberry KitKats in the past. The milk chocolate base was what pushed me over the edge, and I caved in and made the purchase in the hopes that these would not be as overwhelmingly sweet as their white chocolate cousins.

Strawberry KitKat

It smelled like strawberry milk with a hint of cocoa when I opened the wrapper, and the wafers on the inside mostly smelled like chocolate. Thankfully, these weren't melted.

The strawberry flavor was quite mild, and every now and then, there was a little burst of fruitiness. It was definitely artificial, but as I had hoped, these weren't as sweet as the white chocolate kind. All in all, a solid KitKat. Nothing spectacular, but definitely good.


KitKat Website (Japanese)

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Nestle Houjicha KitKat

Houjicha KitKat

Here is another souvenir from Toronto. Because it was a bag full of mini bars, they were a little pricey, but not terrible at about $6 Canadian. Houjicha is a variety of Japanese green tea, but it is roasted over charcoal, giving it a very different taste. I really like houjicha, especially with meals and snacks.

Unfortunately, my bag of KitKats must have seen some heat at some point, because all of the bars were melted. For that reason, I didn't get a picture of the chocolate itself, but from the outside, they looked like normal milk chocolate KitKats.

Houjicha KitKat

The KitKat smelled like milk chocolate with a slightly roasted, almost caramel flavor, but it was not at all overpowering. I broke one in half to smell it, and the flavor was the same, but slightly stronger. The bag said there was houjicha in the cream between the wafers, so that made sense.

I don't know if it's because these were melted, but the flavor was very similar to plain old milk chocolate KitKats. Three out of four people I shared these with thought the same thing. The tea flavor was there, but it was very subtle. When I concentrated, I detected just a tiny bit of bitterness reminiscent of tea. I should also mention that, as with a lot of milk chocolate KitKat variations, the sweetness was at a good level. These KitKats tasted good, but I was hoping for a stronger tea flavor.


KitKat Website (Japanese)

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Nestle KitKat Cookies+

KitKat Cookies Plus

I'm pretty late to the party in trying this kind of KitKat, but even before trying it, I was sure this would be a case of "better late than never." On a mini-vacation to Toronto, we stopped in again at the Pacific Mall, and although many of the items are of Chinese origin, the selection of packaged snacks and candy is dominated by Japanese products.

Most of the comments I had read on Flickr and in blogs for this KitKat were pretty positive, and I am a big fan of chocolate cookies (I'd prefer Oreos without the cream, I think), so I was fairly certain I would like this flavor. It did not disappoint!

KitKat Cookies Plus

The bars smelled like hot cocoa, very rich and chocolatey. They tasted rich and crunchy, not too sweet, and even a little bit bitter. The flavor of the chocolate cookies inside and the chocolate outside went together very well. I couldn't taste the wafers, but their texture also complemented the cookies.

I only got one box, since I'm trying not to overload myself with snacks, but I wish I had bought more of these. Cookies+ is definitely a new favorite of all the 40 KitKat flavors I've tried! I actually have a spreadsheet to keep track of them. Anyhow, this flavor was a fun departure from the normal KitKat fare, and I recommend trying it. Check out ZOMG, Candy for more thoughts on this KitKat.


KitKat Website (Japanese)

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Tirol Kuri Zenzai Chocolate

Kuri Zenzai

Tirol multipacks seem to have the 4-5 standard flavors as well as a flavor that changes periodically. I've seen Strawberry Milk, Strawberry Mochi, and this one (more recently), Kuri Zenzai.

Kuri means chestnut, and zenzai is a soup made from azuki beans (sweet red beans) and mochi (sticky rice cake). I've never tried it before, but it sounds nice. The chocolate itself has a cute little picture on the front featuring all three of the ingredients I mentioned.

Bitten Tirol

The chocolate itself is very attractive, with a lighter color on top and darker chocolate on the bottom. I think it was all colored white chocolate, though, and no milk chocolate. It smelled toasty and slightly burnt, a bit like caramel.

The chocolate was lightly flavored and tasted roasted. Perhaps that was where the chestnut came in, because I couldn't taste the nut itself. I didn't taste azuki at all, just sweet white chocolate. The mochi center added a nice, chewy texture with a firmness that offset the smooth chocolate.

Although I'm not sure the flavor was particularly accurate, it was good, and the roasted taste was original and different from what I'm used to. Definitely a fun addition to the Tirol variety pack.


Tirol Chocolate website (Japanese)