Sunday, December 30, 2012

Boyer Dark Chocolate Mallo Cup

Boyer Dark Chocolate Mallo Cup

After dinner out at a Korean restaurant with my husband and his friends, we stopped at a carry-out for some wine. Getting back into blogging was my excuse for perusing the candy shelves, and I just couldn't resist trying Boyer cups again. Maybe I should start saving the play money!

Boyer is known for Mallo Cups, but I'm not sure I've ever had one. I had never evem seen the dark chocolate variety, but since milk chocolate and marshmallow sounded a bit too sweet, dark seemed like the best choice. The packaging itself was eye-catching, and it reminded me a bit of a comic book.

Dark Mallo Cup

The cups had a strong cocoa scent. My first bite was surprising because I was not expecting coconut! It's on the ingredient list, of course, but it's not mentioned anywhere on the front of the package. The coconut added a little texture to the cup, but coconut haters, be forewarned!

The dark chocolate itself wasn't great. It was firm, but tasted a little powdery, especially in areas where the chocolate was a bit thicker. The marshmallow filling was pretty tasty. It had a light vanilla flavor, and the dark chocolate helped keep it from seeming too sweet. When the chocolate, marshmallow, and coconut were all in the right balance, it was pretty good.


Boyer Candy website

Friday, December 28, 2012

SunSpire Almond Butter Cups

Almond Butter Cups

When picking up almond meal to make French macarons, I picked up these all natural almond butter cups on a whim. Peanut butter cups are one of my favorite treats, so almond butter cups seemed like a sure thing.

SunSpire makes all natural chocolates, and they have some gluten free, dairy free, and fair trade certified products, too. These cups weren't fair trade, though. The pack comes with three cups, molded into their inner packaging.

Almond Butter Cups

As you can see, the cups were really hard to get out of their packaging. The almond butter was extremely dry and crumbly, so much so that these cups fell apart while I was eating them. Despite causing so much trouble, there was hardly any almond butter to speak of; these cups were mostly chocolate, as shown in the picture below.

Almond Butter Cups

Compositional problems aside, these really weren't bad. They didn't have a strong scent at all, just a bit nutty. The chocolate was bitter and creamy, and since it was so thick, it overwhelmed the very mild flavor of the almond butter. The almond butter was quite smooth and consistent, but I could barely taste it. The ratio of chocolate to almond butter was just way off.

I've had all-natural products with much better consistency than these, so I don't think I'm being unfair in saying that these just missed the mark of what a nut butter cup should be. I'll have to try some SunSpire chocolate on its own, because that part was pretty good.


SunSpire website

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Chuao Potato Chip ChocoPod

Chuao Potato Chip Chocopod

It's been a long time since I've had a Chuao ChocoPod, so it was a pleasant surprise to find one in my November Birchbox. It's a paid subscription service that ships a box of high-end beauty samples each month, and occasionally, there are edible extras. Prior to this, all I've gotten were nutrition bars, which were nowhere near as tasty as fancy chocolate.

Chuao seems to be one of the more adventurous chocolate companies out there, at least among the brands that are readily available in stores. Furthermore, I have yet to meet a Chuao bar that I don't like.

Chuao Potato Chip Chocopod

The streak continues! The ChocoPod had a strong cocoa scent, which is always encouraging for a milk chocolate bar. The chocolate was buttery, and not too sweet (nor was it very sticky). After the initial mild sweetness of the chocolate, the saltiness kicked in.

The saltiness of the kettle chip bits was enhanced ever so slightly by a bit of sea salt, and overall, the salt level was good. It enhanced the buttery qualities of the chocolate, and with the faint potato flavor from the chips, I was almost reminded of mashed potatoes (in a good, chocolatey way). Finally, the chip bits were very crunchy, breaking up the smooth texture of the chocolate quite well.


Chuao website

Monday, December 24, 2012

Salsa Verde Doritos

Salsa Verde Doritos

On the last day of our annual Las Vegas trip, my husband and I went to a cute little restaurant called Island Style for some Hawaiian/Korean brunch. After some tasty Loco Moco (and great service, I might add), we had some time to kill, so we walked over to a nearby CVS drugstore.

While traveling, I love checking out grocery stores and drugstores for local releases, and one such product in this Las Vegas CVS was Salsa Verde Doritos (and some Chile Limon Lays that got consumed on the plane home). These aren't available in the Midwest, so I'm guessing they're limited to the Southwest. There were many more curiosities at this particular CVS, including slot machines, video poker, and a full liquor store, but that's Las Vegas for you.

Salsa Verde Doritos

The chips smelled a little like lime. Right away, I could taste tart lime, along with cilantro, then onion and garlic. Finally, there was a bit of jalapeno heat at the end. All in all, these Doritos did taste like salsa.

The best part about the Salsa Verde Doritos was the slow-building heat. After a couple chips, my mouth was a little warm! It never got too spicy, but these were certainly spicier than most varieties of Doritos. I hope these make their way to my neck of the woods in the future!


Doritos website at Frito-Lay

The Doritos website has a neat little search feature that you can use to check if a certain product is available in your area. Sadly, no Salsa Verde Doritos are sold within 50 miles of my zip code.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Fujiya Vegetable and Fruit Cookies

Anpanman Cookies

Bear with me readers, because this is kind of a weird one. These Anpanman (red bean paste filled bread man) cookies are made with spinach and banana. Even though there were vegetable characters on the bag, I can't help but wonder if, like other sneakily healthful foods, the idea is that kids are supposed to gobble them up without thinking about the vegetables inside. Either way, these cookies were passed on to me through two different friends whose kids didn't like them, so I don't think it's working.

Truthfully, I was supposed to give them to my nephew, but I figured he wouldn't like them, either, and I couldn't resist having a taste. My nephew is a big fan of real vegetables, so I didn't feel too guilty about keeping them. There was also a bag of carrot cookies that I didn't photograph. Although carrot seemed like a safer bet, those actually tasted worse.

Anpanman Cookies

The cookies smelled like grass and vanilla. They tasted very faintly of banana, and the flavor seemed a bit fake to me. While they were sweet, there was something weird about them. The cookies tasted sour like chewable vitamins, but not in a good way.

The cookies were crunchy, but like vitamins, they had a chalky texture. The banana killed some of the sourness, but let's face it: even kids don't like these. At least they were better than the carrot cookies.


Fujiya website (Japanese)

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Boyer Butterscotch Smoothie Peanut Butter Cups

Smoothie Peanut Butter Cups

As a peanut butter lover, I'm always on the lookout for different types of peanut butter cups. Although the Boyer brand is new to me, the wrapper had the look of an old-timey candy, right down to the play money "rebate" offer. I'm not it's worth it to buy 50 packs of cups just for a $1 rebate, not to mention the postage to mail 50 cardboard pieces of play money is probably close to $1 itself, but I got a chuckle from it.

I said the Boyer brand was new to me, but that's just because I had no idea Boyer made the more famous Mallo Cup until going to their website for this review. Boyer has been around since the Great Depression. Though the brand has been sold a few times since then, the nostalgic look of the packaging hasn't changed much.

Smoothie Peanut Butter Cups

The cups had a lumpy look to them, offering a preview of the small nut pieces I would find inside. The coating was sweet and creamy, the nutty center was dense, and I liked the slight crunch from the small peanut chunks.

I didn't notice that these were butterscotch peanut butter cups until I tasted them. The butterscotch was a bit too sweet, but the warm, buttery flavor went well with the peanut butter. The cups were salty on the finish, and while they were different from the usual peanut butter cup, I found them too sweet to want to eat often.


Boyer Candies Website

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Romney's Kendal Mint Cake

Romney's Kendal Mint Cake Romney's Kendal Mint Cake

Here's a curious little confection that my boss brought back from England on her last visit. Traditionally, Kendal Mint Cake is intended for mountain climbers as a source of energy, and all it contains is sugar, glucose, water, and peppermint oil.

The two varieties here are made with white sugar and brown sugar, but there is also a chocolate-covered version. Both pack a seriously minty aroma, and pieces break apart like fudge.

Romney's Kendal Mint Cake

The white sugar version, found in the blue package, had the slightly crunchy texture of fudge. It reminded me of the center of a peppermint patty (so it would probably be quite nice if coated in chocolate). The mint was cool and refreshing, but not too strong. Of course it was sweet, but there wasn't really much flavor to it. I suppose flavor isn't the biggest concern for mountaineers.

Romney's Kendal Mint Cake

I much preferred the brown sugar version, simply for the added hint of molasses that brown sugar imparted. The mint was stronger in this version as well. The texture was a little firmer than that of the white, but still very much like fudge.

These mint cakes reminded me of the molded maple sugar candies found in areas known for maple syrup. While the peppermint oil was nice and refreshing, eating a piece of mint cake resulted in an immediate urge to go brush my teeth. The experience was interesting, but I think I'll leave this one for the mountaineers.


Kendal Mint Cake website

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Justin's Peanut Butter Cups

Justin's Organic Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups

This pack of Justin's Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups was an impulse buy at my local fancy grocer. It wasn't the fact that these are organic that won me over - it was the fact that they are dairy free! I'm willing to put up with the side effects of lactose intolerance for chocolate, but it's nice when I don't have to!

The wrapper isn't too exciting, but it gets the job done. I'll admit to succumbing to the charms of a flashy wrapper, but this is one of those times when the product just speaks for itself.

Even though I had a great experience with these, I must mention that a fellow blogger and Flickr contact had a pack of these that was extremely dry and crumbly.

Justin's Organic Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups Justin's Organic Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups

There are two pictures of the cups because I thought they were just beautiful. The dark chocolate was glossy and I loved the unevenness of the cross-section. The cups smelled dark and distinctly nutty. The dark chocolate had a good snap and a smooth, even melt.

The peanut butter filling was subtly-flavored and soft. It had the right amount of saltiness, and just a hint of sweetness. The balance was great overall, and the texture was smooth, without that oiliness that other peanut butter cups can have. Very good, and did I mention they're dairy free?


Justin's Nut Butter Website

Friday, December 14, 2012

Nestle Matcha "Adult Sweetness" KitKat

Matcha KitKat

Even though I've been away from the blog for a while, I was really tempted to come out of hiatus just to post a review of the incredible "Adult Sweetness" Matcha KitKat. It's everything I love about matcha and KitKats, and I highly recommend you try it if you like green tea.

This summer, I went on a business trip to northern Ontario, Canada, and got stuck there over a holiday weekend. I took a day trip to Toronto with the sole purpose of buying snacks, and I was not disappointed, because I found this KitKat.

Matcha KitKat

This KitKat had a strong matcha scent and a gorgeous green color. The flavor was spot-on: nice and bitter and just a little grassy. The "Adult Sweet" (meaning not very sweet at all) white chocolate added just a hint of milkiness, like a strong matcha latte. Perfect for a matcha enthusiast!

The matcha chocolate was creamy and just a little grainy, which went well with the delicate wafers. The wafers also seemed finely milled in comparison to a normal KitKat. I bought 5 boxes and a bag of mini bars, but it wasn't enough. I miss this KitKat so much. Japanese Snack Reviews reviewed them too, if you'd like an opinion from a less matcha-addled mind.


KitKat Website (Japanese)

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Thorntons Chocolates


This review is a long-overdue continuation of another review of Thorntons chocolates from my boss. Thankfully, I took good notes when I ate them, and these were so good that they stick out in my memory.

The remaining bars are Orange & Cardamom and Banana & Custard. Thorntons is a brand that I desperately wish I could find in the United States. As it is, I am grateful for the kindness of my boss, who often brings back sweets to share when she visits her family in the United Kingdom.

Thorntons Orange & Cardamom Thorntons Orange & Cardamom

Orange & Cardamom smelled of cardamom with a hint of orange. Cardamom is such a clean, appealing, and fresh spice, and it was best showcased in the first bite. I wish it hung around longer, because as the chocolate began to melt, both the cardamom and the orange flavors became subtle. The orange oil was never tart, just mildly citrusy. Finally, the texture was just that of smooth, creamy milk chocolate. It melted quickly and cleanly without being too sticky. A-

Thorntons Banana & Custard Thorntons Banana & Custard

The bar smelled like banana ice cream, and the white chocolate was mildly sweet with a heavy vanilla custard flavor. I do love to see vanilla bean flecks! Thankfully, banana chips gave the bar its banana flavor, so it was quite authentic. The crunchy banana chips and the creamy white chocolate were complementary. Though the bar was sweet, it was never too sweet, and I was surprised by how much I liked it. My husband, the true banana lover in the house, adored this one. A-

Thorntons Chocolates Website

Monday, December 10, 2012

Extra Dessert Delights Rainbow Sherbet


Even though they are all interesting, I have yet to really love any flavors from Extra's line of Dessert Delights. I adore how they approach Willy Wonka territory, but like Mr. Wonka himself, there's always something that just seems a little bit off.

Rainbow Sherbet actually didn't have that odd note, and I really wanted to like it. The bright pink packaging is gorgeous, and I've always loved rainbow sherbet (especially when mixed with cream soda, Sprite, or ginger ale).


The gum smelled tart and very fruity, but in a nondescript way. While chewing, I could taste lime and raspberry, but mostly, it was just a little sour. The gum didn't have much orange to it, but maybe that would have overpowered the other flavors. It did indeed taste like rainbow sherbet.

This gum might set a new record for short-lived flavor; I got around 2 minutes. The chew was firm and not very bouncy, and the gum itself was a bit dense. Though I enjoyed the flavor, I tend to just gnaw through entire packs of gum when the flavor dies out so quickly, so my jaw would thank me not to buy this gum again.


Extra Gum Website

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Chukar Cherries


My older brother is a cherry enthusiast. Every Christmas, he could count on finding a box of chocolate covered cherries under the Christmas tree with his name on it. You know, the kind with the sticky, syrupy filling, and the remnants of what was once a cherry in the center?1 These Chukar Cherries are nothing like those.

Appropriately, it was my brother who sent me this box of Chukar Cherries. I feel like I've missed out on so much in life by avoiding chocolate covered fruit, and it was all due to my own misconceptions. These were plump, meaty cherries with intense flavor, covered in lovely, thick chocolate. Here's a little bit about each kind in the box I received.


In the Cabernet Cherry, I didn't really taste the wine, but the tart cherry was wonderful. It was sour at first, but it had a nice bitter flavor. The outside chocolate was thick and only mildly bitter. My husband described this one as fresh.

Classic Cherry had a very sweet and sticky chocolate coating. The cherry within was mild and tender, and sour on the finish. The chocolate reminded me of hot cocoa, but while tasty, this wasn't my favorite of the bunch.

The Black Forest Cherry had a gorgeous dusting of bitter chocolate, and it did taste like black forest cake. The bittersweet cocoa was just right, and the cherry was woodsy with a slightly sour finish. The balance of bitter and sweet was perfect, and this was my favorite of the bunch.

Truffle Cherry was enrobed in sweet and smooth chocolate, with a very sweet, mild cherry center. Like the Classic Cherry, it was by no means bad, just not my favorite.

The Amaretto Rainiers were very sweet with an odd, medicinal note ar the start (probably from the liquor). The cherries were the plumpest of the bunch, but a little overly sweet.

Cherry Rouge had a strong cherry flavor, though my husband thought it was reminiscent of strawberries. These were nice and tart, but I didn't love the extra cherry flavor.

On the whole, I loved the thick chocolate, and the dried cherries in the center were wonderful. It seems a shame to call them dried cherries, because they were so plump and tender! The dark chocolate-covered varieties were definitely my favorites. Chukar Cherries are a Washington specialty, but they are easy to order online.


Chukar Cherries Website

1 I have heard that some people, for example my brother and my husband, do like cherry cordials.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Butlers Butterscotch Milk Chocolate

Butlers Butterscotch

Let's skip the part where I explain why I haven't blogged in so long. If anyone is still reading, I'm sorry for my absence! Please accept my sincere apology, and my gratitude. My chocolate and candy consumption certainly hasn't slowed down, and I went over my dental insurance limit for the year, so I may as well blog about it!

Butlers is an Irish brand of chocolate, but my local superstores carry a decent selection of bars. For such a comforting, homey flavor, I haven't seen many butterscotch chocolate bars in stores, so this Butlers bar stood out.

Butlers Butterscotch

The milk chocolate was embedded with tiny, toffee-like pieces of butterscotch, and it smelled just a little toasty (in a good way). The butterscotch pieces were first crunchy, then chewy, and they were surprisingly flavorful. I could taste buttery nuttiness and hints of burnt sugar.

The milk chocolate had a good consistency, despite being a little sticky. It had a moderate cocoa flavor that played nicely with the buttery pieces. The bar was a bit too thick, but I did appreciate that it was firm and had a decent snap for milk chocolate. The finish was a little too sweet for me, but on the whole, I was pleased.


Butlers Chocolates

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Nestle Raspberry KitKat

Raspberry Otona no Amasa

For those of us who find most white chocolate KitKats to be too sweet, Nestle Japan has an answer. They have expanded their line of "adult sweetness" KitKats with a few more limited edition flavors. Recently, I've tried both Raspberry and Matcha, but as I like to save the best for last, I'll start with Raspberry. A friend of my sister's brought this back from Japan, and again, my sister was kind enough to share.

This is mostly unrelated, but recently, I made white cake for my mother's birthday, and my husband made a raspberry filling from fresh raspberries. The filling was so good that we added too much, and when the cake was frosted, the filling came oozing out the sides like blood from a wound. So don't overfill your cakes, unless you were going for the bloody look anyway.

Raspberry Otona no Amasa

The bar smelled of raspberry and butter, a bit like a fancy soap you might find in a guest bathroom. The raspberry flavor was tart and sharp, and the KitKat delivered on its promise of reduced sweetness. The white chocolate gave the bar a mild, milky flavor without adding the burning aftertaste of too much sugar.

The wafers tasted a bit different, too, and according to the box, they've been refined. This gave the bar a slightly grittier, softer texture rather than the signature KitKat wafer crunch, but the texture was still enjoyable. This was my first raspberry KitKat, so I don't know how it compares to the regular, non-adult version, but it was a nice change of pace from strawberry.


KitKat website

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Thorntons Chocolates


Dear readers, you may recall that my boss visits her family in the United Kingdom once or twice a year, and she is so kind that she often brings me some chocolate back "in exchange" for watering her plants while she's away. I firmly insist that this arrangement is lopsided in my favor, but I very much appreciate the chocolate.

Today, I'm reviewing two of the four bars pictured above, and the other two will be posted soon. I started with the Bakewell Tart, because it just sounded delicious, and Sea Salt & Lemon, because the combination was new to me. Both are milk chocolate bars, and they came very highly recommended by my boss and her husband.

Bakewell Tart Bakewell Tart

The packaging for this bar is adorable, and the description alone sounded delightful. It certainly delivered on aroma, smelling of milk and almonds. Although the bar got a bit damaged in transit, you can see the raspberry bits and waffle pieces embedded in the milk chocolate. The almond flavor was along the lines of amaretto, sweet and almost cherry-like, which was a perfect companion for the tarter raspberry pieces.

The chocolate was sweet and a bit sticky, but the milky flavor went well with the fruit. The waffle pieces added a wonderful crunch, though I wasn't crazy about the texture of the raspberry seeds. Overall, every flavor was executed wonderfully and those flavors melded for a delicious bar. A

Lemon and Sea Salt Lemon and Sea Salt

Lemon & Sea Salt fared a bit better in transit, which was great, because the design on the bar was very pretty. The snap of the bar was firm for milk chocolate, and there was a slight lemony aroma. The salt was  sparse, but so good with the lemon. I never would have guessed (but I should have, as I love a salt rimmed margarita)! It was a bit sour, a bit salty, and wonderful.

The chocolate was rich, smooth, and delicious. For some reason, I didn't feel like this bar was sticky, even though the cocoa percentage and source were the same as the Bakewell Tart. The salt added a tiny crunch to break up the smooth texture. Finally, the finish was nice and clean. I was so sad to see this bar go! A+

Thorntons website

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Nestle Strawberry Tarte KitKat

Strawberry Tarte KitKat

Here in the US Midwest, the weather is really heating up. Definitely not good for shipping chocolate. For some reason, this has me in the mood to post chocolate reviews, so why not another KitKat? Variations on strawberry must be popular flavors for Nestle, as they keep bringing them back.

Strawberry Tarte is one such variation. It's not the most exciting flavor of KitKat; Nestle's not fooling anyone by throwing the word "tarte" on the end - it's a strawberry KitKat. But not every flavor can be special.

Strawberry Tarte KitKat

The bar smelled sweet and buttery (that must be the tarte part), and just a bit floral. The strawberry flavor was pretty fake and had a buttery finish. The white chocolate felt cool on the tongue, which was a bit odd with the strawberry.

It wasn't bad, but I couldn't really call it good, either. The bar had a sweet, almost cloying aftertaste, which is typical for this sort of KitKat. Nothing special. But if all KitKats were special, none of them would be.


Nestle Website

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Nestle Yatsuhashi KitKat

Yatsuhashi KitKat

Has it really been 2 months? Well, my spring hiatus is over, and I've got a backlog of reviews to get through. Even when I don't post, I'm taking pictures and documenting about 75% of the candy I eat, so if you're still reading, thank you very much, and you can expect more posts this summer.

The daughter of one of my sister's coworkers went to Japan for a school trip, and she bought some treats for my sister while she was there. My sweet sister was kind enough to share them with me, and I was especially excited to try the Kyoto edition Yatsuhashi KitKat. Yatsuhashi is a famous souvenir snack from Kyoto made of rice flour with cinnamon and sugar. It comes in raw and baked forms, and this KitKat draws from the baked version.


The bars smelled like cinnamon, but the first bite was intensely sweet. White chocolate KitKats are known to be overly sweet, but this one was intense. After getting past the sweetness, there was a strong, pleasant cinnamon flavor. Normally, the sweetness would put me off, but in this case, I was reminded of my favorite childhood cereal: Cinnamon Toast Crunch. It was uncanny.

The little brown flecks in the chocolate that you see in the picture seem to be bits of crunchy yatsuhashi, which were firmer than the wafers, making for a nice variety of textures. It was different from any other flavored KitKat I've tried, and with the white chocolate, I was also reminded of cinnamon ice cream. Sure, it was too sweet, but I'm cutting this one some slack for the nostalgia factor.


KitKat website

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Salazon Organic Dark Chocolate with Sea Salt & Organic Turbinado Cane Sugar


Wow, that title is a mouthful. Just like the last Salazon bar I reviewed, the word organic has been spammed. Regardless of my own positive or negative connotations with organic food, it was the turbinado cane sugar that sold me on this bar.

I love a good hike in a park, but by no means am I the outdoors type. Salazon markets their chocolate bars as energy food for outdoor adventures, but all that matters to me is that the chocolate tastes good. So far, so good, Salazon.

Untitled Untitled

The glossy bar was gorgeous on both sides and had a rich cocoa scent. There was a slight saltiness at first, and this saltiness increased as I chewed but stopped short of overwhelming the bar. The sugar made it sweeter than a typical dark chocolate bar, also giving the chocolate a slight caramel flavor. Of course, the sugar and salt added a light crunchy texture.

I saved the best for last - this is the creamiest dark chocolate I've ever had! I could not get over the smooth texture of the chocolate. It's worth trying just for that. It was just a tad too salty for my liking, but I'm willing to forgive that because of the wonderful texture. My husband and sister-in-law both really liked this bar, too, and neither took issue with the saltiness.


Salazon website

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Butlers Honeycomb Crisp

Butlers Honeycomb Crisp

Lately, Butlers chocolate bars have been popping up in my area superstores. Later, I learned that Butlers is an Irish luxury chocolate brand, but I'm never sure what to expect when I find a new brand at Wal-Mart or Meijer (though I've been pleasantly surprised before). This bar made up my mind for me; how could I resist honeycomb?

My husband was raised on honeycomb. I didn't even know it was edible until I met him (and by edible, he meant 'suck the honey out and chew on the wax until you're bored of it'). My prior exposure was limited to the tasty but not very filling cereal of the same name.

Butlers Honeycomb Crisp

The bar was lumpy on the back (and I love a good textured bar), and the bits of honeycomb and crisp rice revealed themselves when the bar was broken. The milk chocolate itself was firm and only a bit sticky, and it had a nice, mild cocoa flavor (32% cocoa according to the package). Milk chcoolate can put me off at times, but I really enjoyed it here.

The crisp rice and honeycomb bits gave the bar a delightfully flaky texture, as well as a slight caramelized sugar flavor. I didn't really get any honey notes from the bar, but the cocoa and caramel-like flavors melded well without being overly sweet. The crunch was really the stand out feature of this bar, and I was impressed.


Butlers Website

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Doug's Nuts

Doug's Nuts
Press Sample

Who doesn't love a good nut joke? Doug's Nuts call out to the snickering kid in all of us with their interesting directions for consuming their product: Place Doug's Nuts gently into warm, expectant palm. But jokes aside, there's nothing childish about snacking on nuts! In fact, it's downright healthy.

Doug's Nuts come from the small startup of Happy Nibbles, located in Eugene, Oregon. According to their website, many of the nuts used in the mix are local to that area. The mix contains almonds, peanuts, hazelnuts, walnuts, cashews, pumpkin seeds, and pecans, and they are flavored with vanilla, honey, and oatmeal stout. Most importantly, I want you to know that this sample was sent by Doug's Nuts for review.

Eating in small handfuls, I could mainly taste the peanuts and hazelnuts, but also the vanilla in the glaze. Still, the best way for me to tackle a product like this is to go through each nut, one by one, because that's how I usually eat mixed nuts.

Doug's Nuts

The pumpkin seeds were green and wonderful. They had a slightly sweet, toasty flavor that went very well with the slight saltiness and subtle caramelized flavor of the glaze, and I loved the vanilla aroma on the finish. The seeds were mild with a lovely crunch – I could eat a ton of these.

On that note, the almonds were also one of the stand-out nuts in this mix. They were plump and had just the right crunch, and the mildly woodsy flavor was also excellently matched with the glaze. The slight saltiness from the sea salt was perfect!

Walnuts have an earthier, slightly bitter flavor that almost overpowered the subtle seasoning in this mix. Walnuts aren’t my favorite, but they were done well here.

In this mix, the cashews didn’t blow me away. They were good, but not outstanding like some of the other nuts. I suppose I was expecting them to be crunchier, and the glaze seemed to add less here.

The pecans were excellent – I really got a sense of the vanilla and oatmeal stout in the glaze, and the texture was lovely – nice and crunchy! Wow – can I make a pie out of these?

Full disclosure – I just don’t care for hazelnuts, but that’s how mixed nuts go, isn’t it? The glaze went well with the strong, earthy flavor, and my husband loved them. He’s the hazelnut lover in the house, so please take his word for them.

In this mix, the peanuts were very earthy and flavorful (but not bitter). They were extremely well-roasted, noticeably better than the average peanut! The seasoning was just a bit player for the peanuts, but I was okay with that because the nuts were toasty and wonderful.

Both my husband and myself really enjoyed this mix. He liked every nut and ate handfuls at a time, whereas I ate around the hazelnuts (and sometimes the walnuts), but that's just my personal tastes. The subtle flavor of the glaze was just lovely, rounding out a tasty, filling snack. If you try Doug's Nuts, I don't think you'll be disappointed.


Doug's Nuts