There is no time like the present to get started on your Easter candy shopping, especially since its March 23rd this year. And there are few places as great to shop as ethel's chocolate. We've known about these "chocolate lounges" for some time, but hadn't been at an actual store until this past weekend in Las Vegas. In a nutshell, they are attempting to bring a Starbucks-esque experience to chocolate - democratizing high-end chocolate with truffles, bars and hot chocolate. Here are their Easter offerings, but come back soon to see our reviews of the 12 truffles we bought from ethel's.
8 Truffle Eggs in an Easter Egg Box
A unique truffle collection, perfect for sharing. 8 truffle eggs in milk chocolate in 2 of each of 4 flavors. Decadent ganache centers include Key Lime, Lemon, Raspberry and Passion/Mango. (Box size: 7 1/8" x 4 11/16" x 2 1/8"; declared weight: 5.2 oz (148g) - More Here
Small Egg & Bunnies - Milk Chocolate
Adorable bunnies with an Easter egg in milk chocolate. Almost too cute to eat, but never too cute to share! More here
Milk Chocolate Easter Bunny/Egg
Adorable bunnies with Easter egg in milk chocolate. Almost too cute to eat, but never too cute to share! More here
Spring box dark chocolate assortment More here
Milk Chocolate Bunnies in a Basket
4 ounces of milk chocolate shaped adorable bunnies in a basket. Perfect for filling Easter baskets or just as a treat. More here
Bear w/ Red Deluxe Heart Box
A bigger hug to wrap your arms around. A classic combination of soft and sweet. Heart contains 25 pieces. More here
We often talk about "authentic" licorice flavor, which is too strong for some people. These licorice piglets, however, have a more mild flavor without losing its authenticity. So if you're typically not a huge fan of black licorice, these might be a new one to try. They come mixed - red and black - in a nice tin, and they're small. So you can shovel them into your mouth if you're a fan or just nibble if you're getting used to good licorice.
Mars using Facebook & SMS for candy bar gift-giving
Facebook apps that allow users to give each other virtual gifts is not a new concept, things like flowers and even hot pretzels can be exchanged between friends. The Light Agency has now expanded on that idea with a Mars-branded widget that makes it possible to send real candy. The program is called "Celebrate." It was launched on Valentine's Day (smart), and it allows UK users of Facebook to choose from a range of Mars confectionery gifts from the Celebrate Sweet Shop online. Users select a friend, add a message and pay for the gift via PayPal tokens. The recipient gets a message requesting their mobile number. Then a Celebrate Voucher ID and gift details are sent to the recipient via text message. To get their gift, the recipient goes to one of 12,500+ PayPoint retailers and shows the Celebrate Voucher ID. Pretty slick if we do say so ourselves.
Candy Snob has yet to review Green & Black's, but it has been on our list for some time. But as a self-proclaimed connoisseur of organic chocolate, as well as an expert on living a natural lifestyle, we're going to take their word for it.
Interesting side-note we learned - Green & Black's was the first to earn the UK's Fairtrade mark.
What's inside to qualify it as organic? Nothing but good stuff...naturally...like Soy Lecithin, Organic Vanilla. Organic Raw Cane Sugar, Organic Almonds (25%) Organic Whole Milk Powder (20.2%), Organic Cocoa Liquor and Organic Cocoa Butter.
As with all Lake Champlain Organic Chocolates, these are all-natural, Kosher, gluten free, and 100% Organic Chocolate certified by QAI. The Dark Chocolate Bar contains 55% cocoa content.
The first observation that struck us as we ate this is that it melts extremely well in your mouth - it actually melts more like milk chocolate than dark. This is a big plus, it adds a whole dimension to the chocolate experience past the flavor (which was very good).
There is an herbaceous, earthy flavor to the chocolate - which adds nice dimension. Along those lines, there is a subtle, woody aftertaste.
So if you like your dark chocolate flavorful, complex and with a nice mouthfeel, Lake Champlain's Organic Dark Chocolate Bar is one to check out.
MSC Cruises introduces a chocolate-themed, Mediterranean cruise
Where do we sign up?
Eight days on the Mediterranean, cruising around on the MSC Orchestra, departing Genoa and visiting Tunis, Palma de Majorca, Barcelona and Marseille.
Yes, you heard correctly, there is a new chocolate-themed cruise from MSC Cruises that will tour around the Mediterranean in March - to mark 100 years of Italian chocolate. There will be chocolate massages in the spa, a 'Dinner for Lovers' that finishes up with samples from the Nestlé Perugina range, and an on-board chocolate tasting workshop with a master chocolatier from the School of Perugina Chocolate, who will teach passengers how to combine chocolate with exotic flavours such as spices, orange, coffee and liqueurs.
If there was ever a candy company with an appropriate name, it would be Chocolove.
This bar (which measures 6" x 3") is chock-full (no pun intended) of great dark chocolate flavor. At 61% cocoa content, there is enough cocoa butter to get through and smooth out the flavor for non-dark chocolate aficionados. The flavor is tart, and merges the bitter with the sweet brilliantly. There are solid fruity notes, and a really full body - no doubt from the Belgian chocolate Chocolove uses.
This particular bar is also certified 100% organically grown and processed which, according to the wrapper, is what gives the the beans' their rich and deep character. FYI, the beans are grown in the Caribbean.
Look for more reviews of Chocolove from Candy Snob soon.
The Choxie Espresso Truffle Bar is Candy Snob's second foray into the world of Choxie, and it does not disappoint. The bar contains rich truffled dark chocolate blended with aromatic espresso. I often notice when I eat chocolate truffles that as they melt they give way to a unique mouthfeel, one that is almost a cool feeling vs. the warm feeling of the initial outer coating. This was also the case with the Choxie Espresso Truffle bar. Add to this the tiny nibs of espresso evenly spread throughout, which add nice contrast to the super smooth texture, and you have a bar that is a joy to eat.
The chocolate isn't necessarily "top notch," but it is not low-end either, which is exactly what we would expect. The espresso flavor is understated but by no means weak - not nearly the intensity of a chocolate covered espresso bean.
I had never seen this treat until I moved to Arizona, I don't think they are available back East, but I could be wrong. Chick-o-Sticks are made by Atkinson Candy Company, located in Lufkin, TX. The company has been family-owned since 1932. Candy Snob loves family-owned, vintage candies.
So initially we picked this piece up wondering what the heck it was. What we found was an absolutely addicting, super crunchy, peanut butter and toasted coconut candy. Atkinson roasts Texas Grade A Jumbo peanuts, sprinkles them with salt while they're still warm, grinds them with pure granulated sugar, and finally dusts them with lightly toasted coconut. The texture is not completely unlike a Butterfinger inside, flaky but more dense and harder. Its the unique flavor combination of peanut butter and coconut that completely puts it over the top. This has become a Candy Snob check-out counter favorite.
But what's with the name? "Chick-o-Stick" sounds like a fast food chain, not a candy. Well, we looked around, and according to nicely noted, it gets the name because it looks like a chicken leg. Hard to tell if this is fact or a theory, but sounds logical to us so we'll go with it. Of course, I don't know of any chicken that's the distinctive orange color of Chick-o-Stix, but what the heck.
We'll let you all read the article, but the highlight for me was that the owner of the store states that her favorite candy is, yes, you guessed it, Mallo Cups!! She describes Mallo Cups as "shaped like a Reese's but the outside is milk chocolate and toasted coconut and the inside is marshmallow." That about sums it up, nice work! That just goes to show all you regional candy makers out there who struggle against the candy behemoths (Hershey's, Mars, Nestle) that a smaller candy company like Boyer in the middle of Pennsylvania can still live on in the hearts of people all the way in San Fran!
Easter is right around the corner, so its time to start thinking about what delicious confections we need for the holiday. Custom M&Ms make a great gift, I got them for my wife last Valentine's and they turned out really nicely.
The My M&Ms website gives you 17 color choices, and you get to put your own message on them. "Happy Easter" is great, but "Happy Easter Candy Snob" is even better.
My M&Ms is running a Free Bonus Bag promotion right now, I just got the postcard. You get a free bonus bag of customized M&Ms with a minimum purchase (which I assume is one bag at the normal price). The bags aren't they big, so you could double up on the same message or get two different messages. To take advantage of this, just click here and enter the promo code PARTY4. The offer expires 5/5/08.
Any true Candy Snob would jump at the chance to add confectionery goodness to another area of their life. If you wear lip balm, you're in luck. on10 Cosmetics has released a line of vintage Hershey's inspired cosmetics - authentic Hershey's flavors without the guilt. They're all made in the USA with high quality organic and natural ingredients.
Review: Ginger Chews by The Ginger People - Original Flavor
Much to our surprise, we're finding more and more interesting candies in the checkout aisle at Target. The other day, we picked up a 2 oz. box of Original flavored Ginger Chews from The Ginger People.
The package is roughly a cigarette sized box filled with 10 individually wrapped chews. Being a fan of ginger, we decided to check them out. To be honest, we hadn't heard of them before, but according to their website and packaging, they are the #1 selling ginger candy in America, and have been voted Best Candy from 1999-2000 at the Scovie Awards (which present awards to the best "hot" food around).
The pieces are wrapped twice, once in the branded paper, and again in parchment - we assume to keep them fresh. The piece itself is about 3/4 of an inch long by 1/3 of an inch wide and 1/4 of an inch high. When you take the parchment off, the piece has a light dusting of powdered sugar, no doubt to keep it from sticking to the paper. But we also found that it was a nice intro taste.
The sugar starts the flavor journey, a little sweet, which then moves quickly into what can only be compared to Luden's Honey Lemon cough drops. Granted, this is not a bad taste at all, but the similarity took me to Luden's instead of focusing on the Ginger Chew. It doesn't take much time, however, for the ginger flavor to impose itself in a nice way. It is not overbearing, but it definitely heats up and gets you on the sides and back of your tongue.
I would say the texture is more like a European gummy bear - tougher and much stickier than the U.S. counterparts. I wish they would have been a little softer, but they are not inedible by any stretch, this is completely a personal preference.
Overall, if you're a ginger fan, Ginger People Ginger Chews are a really nice option. They have a simple ingredient list, its an all natural product, and its a nice little treat with strong but not overpowering flavors. In addition to the Original flavor, the chews come in Peanut and Spicy Apple.
The all natural Tire Tread Black Licorice pieces are rich and chewy, and made for people who want classic licorice flavor. By that we mean not particularly sweet, with a strong yet enjoyable anise flavor. And from a texture standpoint, chewy but not sticky - you still want to be able to bite through the piece. Tire Treads hit all these points very well.
Tire Treads are made by Tubi's licorice, and you can get a 21-piece bag at Amazon here.
We like PayDay's a lot - salty peanuts and caramel are just a tasty combination. But we LOVE the PayDay Avalanche bar. A simple concept really, begging the question as to why its taken them so long to do it - take a PayDay and cover it in milk chocolate.
We mentioned how much we liked the flavor combo of milk chocolate and salt a few days ago (Review: Lake Champlain Organic Sea Salt & Almonds Milk Chocolate Bar). Well the same idea applies here. You have the crunchy peanuts, the sweet caramel and the chocolate coating, which is good enough on its own. But what puts the PayDay Avalanche bar over the top if the saltiness on the peanuts.
If you're at your local grocer, convenience store or gas station, pick yourself up this updated classic, you won't be sorry.
To be honest, whenever I've been in Target">Target and pass the Choxie display I have never really given it much of a chance. I look at the packaging, think its very creative and cool, and that Target">Target does that kind of thing pretty well. But I had never tried any.
I picked up a 3 oz. dark chocolate Ceylon spice bar. There are six pieces of solid (and I mean solid), dark (and I mean really dark) chocolate that is infused with Ceylon cinnamon and just enough piquant pepper to get you on the back of your tongue.
From a texture standpoint, its rock-solid dark chocolate - hard and slightly crumbly - and they throw in toasted cacao bean nibs which really throw the piece over the top and give it great added texture. Like a lot of infused chocolate, which I'm coming to enjoy more and more...the flavors are subtle. But make no mistake, this chocolate has a ton of unique and multi-dimensional flavor - it took me a minute to warm to it, but then I found myself craving more.
It is unlikely I will leave Target without some Choxie ever again.
Reese's has yet another line extension, this time the Reese's Whipps, which is a 1.9 oz. bar of peanut butter flavored nougat covered in milk chocolate. Being a fan of Reese's Peanut Butter Cups and a fan of 3 Musketeers, I gave it a try.
At first bite, my initial thought was that it was a bit dry. In fact some of the chocolate flaked off. This could easily be from shipment or temperature, since I bought it at a gas station, so I won't dock them too many points. However, the inside nougat was dry as well, which was a bit disappointing. It wasn't nearly as dense as other fluffy nougat bars, and its much smaller than say a 3 Musketeers.
The package touts that the bar has "40% Less Fat." Unfortunately, as is often the case in these situations, it also has 40% less flavor. It is not a bad flavor, but the peanut butter taste was very faint - it was equal to or less than the nougat.
Incidentally, the chocolate was different than normal Reese's chocolate - it was more milky and tasted much more like a Mars product than a Hershey's/Reese's product. They are obviously going after 3 Musketeers with one of their most powerful brands. Sadly, while the texture was similar in texture, it lacks in the flavor and satisfaction quotient.
Given the choice, I wouldn't go for this bar again.
Marshmallow, Peanut Butter & Single Origin Chocolates for any budget
The February issue of Food & Wine magazine has a great little feature on chocolate tier. The piece takes three types of candies - marshmallow chocolates, peanut butter chocolates, and single origin chocolate - and recommends "high" and "low" choices, depending on your budget.
Here's a Candy Snob overview:
High: Pierre Marcolini - light, airy marshmallows...high-quality dark chocolate...top shelf stuff. Check out marcolini chocolatier.com.
Low: Sanborn's Candies' chewy marshmallows are coated with milk chocolate. Go to sanbornscandies.com.
Peanut Butter Chocolates:
High: Vosges finishes its organic peanut butter-filled chocolates with sea salt, which we loved, when we tried it, by the way. Go to vosgeschocolate.com.
Low: We're not huge fans of peanut butter and white chocolate, but Cream-Nut clusters provide smooth texture and solid flavor for the money. Get them at koeze.com.
High: Hotel Chocolat's "Purist" line...c'mon, its made with beans from its farm in St. Lucia. Buy them at Hotel Chocolat.
Low: Hershey's Cacao Reserve line, which Candy Snob reviewed here, includes four single-origin milk and dark-chocolate options. Go to the Cacao website.
Review: Violet Crumble - Chocolate Covered Honeycomb from Nestle
Ok, I think this one should be renamed the Violent Shudder . . . I was intrigued by the prospect of chocolate dipped honeycomb--gooey, sweet honey trickling lazily from delicate crispy caverns. But what I experienced was much more like nails on a chalkboard, but inside my mouth. That's right, BIG shudder. Since I've never actually eaten chalk, I can only surmise this is what chocolate covered chalk tastes like.
Chocolatier 2: Secret Ingredients lets you play candy mogul
We're not huge video game folks here at Candy Snob, but the thought of a chocolate (and business) inspired video game certainly gets us interested. Chocolatier 2, as the name implies, is the second in the Chocolatier series, in which you help to run Baumeister Confections. In this new game, a mole is controlling Baumeister Confections and it's up to you to build a new empire from the ground up and take over Baumeister Confections. How? Well naturally through innovation and secret ingredients - the mainstays of the chocolate industry!
Review: Lake Champlain Organic Sea Salt & Almonds Milk Chocolate Bar
We're pretty excited about this bar - it is truly excellent. It has relatively high cocoa-content for milk chocolate (38%), plus roasted organic almonds and gray sea salt. Yes, we said sea salt. So imagine a killer piece of milk chocolate, stimulating your palate with its creaminess and chocolate flavor, melting nicely in your mouth giving you plenty of time to enjoy it.
Now...imagine during that melting time, you get intermittently surprises by a salty flavor. Not salty like table salt, but subtle saltiness that makes your taste buds feel like they're at a killer party where you have the perfect mix of friends, music, food and drink. Then...when the party is dying down, you get a little extra bonus in the crunchy almond bits. That's about how you feel eating this piece of chocolate.
The milk chocolate, like its plain sibling, has just the right amount of cocoa butter, so its still a strong chocolate taste. We were split in the chocolate category, I loved the chocolate but my lovely wife didn't like it as much as the plain milk chocolate bar - which is interesting because this bar has more cocoa content and she is a dark chocolate person. But we wholeheartedly agreed on the savory notes from the sea salt and the slight crunch from the almonds. The salt stimulates your taste buds and amplifies all the other flavors in the bar.
I could eat this chocolate until I got sick. And like all Lake Champlain Organic Chocolates, these are all-natural, Kosher, gluten free, and 100% Organic Chocolate certified by QAI.
Cool Hunting brought this one to our attention, accurately reporting that while candy cigarettes have been banned in several countries, researchers have not been able to prove a connection between licorice pipes and the dreaded "pretend cancer." Which is good news for licorice lovers. These bad boys are made in Finland, and are sure to make you look very smart and professorial.
It is a sad day when a side-show freak gets positive attention and exposure from a massive company, yet still decides to take their pound of flesh. But such is the case with New York's "Naked Cowboy," the Times Square street performer who is suing Mars Inc. for $6 million over the use of his trademark look -- white underwear, cowboy boots and a hat -- by a blue M&M candy on a Times Square billboard.
"M&M" PHOTO CREDIT: Run Around Paris
"Naked Cowboy" PHOTO CREDIT: Internet
But if you have your candy purchase all taken care of, but still want to send your Valentine some added sweeteness, send them a Virtual Chocolate. They have 34 images to send to someone with a personalized message.
We do NOT, however, recommend sending ONLY a Virtual Chocolate. That is just a tease and will only lead to your sweetheart getting mad at you...as if we needed more reason for that on Valentine's Day!
I was at my local gas station, buying a bottle of water to help wash down the excessively bitter taste of high gas prices, when I happened across an interesting find - a Vertigo Candy & Chocolate Pop made by Topps. This one happened to be Cookies & Cream.
So how can a lollipop deserve the name "Vertigo"? Well, by launching an immediate taste explosion - marked by conflicting textures coupled with well-matched flavors. It is a bit disorienting I must say, but certainly a delicious combo.
The chocolate, naturally, melts faster that the hard candy side. It is very nice, smooth milk chocolate that melts very nicely. The hard candy side of the pop was again a pleasant surprise. Cookies & cream wouldn't be my first choice for a lollipop, but darn if it wasn't really tasty.
At only 80 calories a pop (as if you were counting), this is a treat you should really check out. They also have chocolate/strawberry and chocolate/caramel pops, both of which we're looking forward to trying.
If your candy addiction has grown well beyond simple consumption, or your love for M&Ms needs to be expressed in art, look no further than "M&Ms" still life oil painting. This K. Madison Moore original measures 6 x 8 inches, is on gallery wrapped linen canvas. Because it has a hardwood panel, no frame is needed, its ready to hang.
Want to learn more, or maybe price it out for your living room, click here.
Kit Kat commercial - Raising the spirits of a lowly cubicle worker
This is a long commercial (about 3 minutes), but its very engaging. The story revolves around a cubicle worker that is having a really bad day. He's worked over by the markets, his coworkers and his boss. Finally, he gets to the Kit Kat machine for some much needed relief.
While wandering through a local home & garden show this weekend, I caught a whiff of a venerable favorite of events such as these - roasted nuts. I followed my nose to the stand and found what one usually finds - piles of roasted almonds, pecans and cashews. Usually there is a mix between sweet and salty nuts, but this particular vendor, German Roasted Nuts, was all sweet.
The company is based in Texas, and is family owned and operated, and in addition to online orders, they sell exclusively at home and garden shows. Their roasting technique uses water, not oil, and there are no added fats or preservatives. The recipe is simple (which is what the best recipes tend to be): cinnamon, vanilla, sugar and water.
I was close to buying a mixed cone of all three nuts, but when I sampled the cashews I opted for just those. We've all had great, hot roasted nuts, whether at a fair, on a city sidewalk, or at a show like this one. These were just about the best I've ever tasted. The taste was out of this world - simple, cleanly sweet with just a hint of saltiness from the nut. But what made these extra addicting was the texture. I think this was partially due to the tenderness of cashews in general, but also their water roasting technique. They just crumbled in your mouth. Once I started I just couldn't stop. We highly recommend all of the nuts, but certainly the cashews.
Hotel Chocolat taking Valentine's orders up to 5pm on Feb 13th
For all those well heeled and fashionably late this Valentine's - Hotel Chocolate is offering order processing all the way up to 5pm on Wednesday, February 13th! As we all know you only miss Valentine's once - don't let your busy schedule hurt your ability to get your special someone a real luxury treat.
Candyrific, the maker of novelty candies products, has launched M&Ms and Skittles products that come with a white board. Yes, I said a white board, the favorite office fixture of every company in the world. Now fans of Skittles or M&Ms can write personal handwritten notes to their friends, or to tell people they need more candy. The dry erase message board includes an pen and eraser.
Indeed, all that caffeine et al give you the get up and go you may need, but you crash hard. A sugar low of epic proportions hit me out of the blue about 1 1/2 or 2 hours after eating the Snickers Charged bar. Dizziness, the shakes, and overall fuzziness hit me like a ton of bricks. I was driving my car at the time, so this is not how you want to feel. The crash passed, but only after downing a Coke and eating a blueberry muffin. I don't drink Red Bull or other energy drinks, but I'd assume the crash is similar.
Review: Snickers Charged - Caffeine-infused Bar Wakes Me Up
The prospect of eating a Snickers bar often gives me heart palpitations, just because I love them so much. But with their latest line extension, the limited edition Snickers Charged, the palpitations come from the 60 milligrams of caffeine, taurine and other B vitamins (~10% of your RDA).
Bringing 60 milligrams of caffeine into perspective:
1 - 8-ounce energy drink contains 72-80 milligrams (110-140 calories)
I must first say that this it is fully unnecessary to add chemicals to candy. If you're tired, have a cup of coffee. I also don't get how this jives with the Snickers Marathon Bar. I know they're different, but with so many choices, the consumer's going to get confused, which isn't good for the brand. But I digress...back to the Charged bar.
I ate this bar early in the morning, figuring it could be my wake-up/breakfast. It ate just like a normal Snickers bar, which was good. The flavor was nearly unmistakable to the original as well. It seemed just a hint more syrupy to me, but it was nearly indistinguishable. So I was pleased that the added chemicals didn't ruin the flavor. If you had a blindfold on you'd say it was a regular Snickers bar.
Until the aftertaste kicks in...that's when the chemical taste rears its ugly head. It gets you on the back of the tongue and in the throat. Nobody likes a chemical aftertaste, especially if its associated with a venerable favorite candy bar like Snickers.
To sum it all up, the Snickers Charged has left me with a bitter taste in my mouth...literally...not to mention I can barely keep my hands still due to the chemicals coursing through my veins.
Not a raving review, but if you're still interested in checking them out, click here.Personally, I'd just buy the original. It still has plenty of good stuff to fill you up and it gives you a little energy - not to mention they taste better. You can buy regular Snickers here.
Lake Champlain's Organic Chocolates are frankly some of the best we've tried. They are certainly worthy of carrying the Lake Champlain moniker. They are all-natural, Kosher, gluten free, and 100% Organic Chocolate certified by QAI.
The Milk Chocolate Bar, which has 34% cocoa content, is extremely smooth with incredible mouth-feel. You can tell that there isn't an overabundance of cocoa butter, its creamy but still tastes very much like chocolate. The flavor is so creamy and smooth, you pick up caramel notes, which is quite enjoyable.
If you're a milk chocolate fan, you're not going to find too many chocolates that are much better than this. And for the occasional milk chocolate eaters, or even the dark chocolate only folks out there, there is plenty to enjoy in this bar.
Godiva Chocoiste Pearls are, as the name implies, pearl-sized pellets of dark chocolate decadence as only Godiva can do it. If you're able to eat one at a time (a big "if"), you'll notice how much flavor there is packed into these little chocolate BBs. You get the nice, albeit tiny, bite and chew of a good dark chocolate, without it being at all chalky. And the mint flavor is really subtle, almost giving it light berry undertones, which was very enjoyable.
The pearls come in mini-tins, which are great for convenience and portability. The problem is that they also lend themselves to pouring the whole tin of pearls into your mouth at the same time. Not that we'd do that, of course...
Louis Rossetto, the innovator who launched WIRED 15 years ago, is not applying that creativity to chocolate by launching Tcho. The startup aims to do for cacao beans what Starbucks did for coffee.
To them, chocolate isn't just a processed food; it's an agricultural product with its own terroir. It starts at the pod: The company plans to help farmers in Africa and Latin America apply more-scientific techniques to growing and fermenting.
Tcho's San Francisco factory crafts beans into chocolate that is labeled with the cacao varietal, origin, and a whole new lexicon. (sounds like wine...hmmm...that's what we've been talking about too!)
My Last Rolo - the Valentine's candy that lasts forever
The problem with giving candy as a Valentine's gift (or flowers for that matter), is that they are eventually gone, they are only a temporary gift. So how can you give your candy-loving significant other something that will satisfy the love of candy (let's say...Rolos), in a way that will score you long-term points?? Funny you should ask because we have the answer - sterling silver My Last Rolo keepsakes. They run £35 (about $70) apiece, which may seem expensive, but if your sweetheart truly loves Rolos, its a bargain.
La Tienda owner provides passionate history of chocolate & Spain
Don Harris, an aficionado of Spain for more than 40 years, wrote a really brief but informative blog post about Spanish chocolate on his site, LaTienda leading up to Valentine's Day.
He starts in 1544 and moves through Columbus, Cortés and Prince Philip II; chocolate's origin in the Amazon; all the way through World War II. Its a great read for anyone wanting to learn more about the role of Spain in the chocolate world (hint: its a pretty big role).
Our favorite excerpt is below...mostly because we too want to build a chocolate room in our house!
"Soon any Spanish nobleman worth his salt reconfigured his house so that he would have a Chocolate Room - usually situated between the Large Hall and the drawing room. There, as a man of leisure, he would spend hours in pleasant conversation with significant friends and political associates."
Chocolate Mii - the perfect Valentine's gift for a Wii addict
The Chocolate Mii comes to us from Paul Pape Designs and looks like a miniature Wii. The packaging even says, "Wii belong together, you and Mii."
Inside the Wii-shaped box are two chocolate Miis with hearts (made out of red hots) on their shirts. There are boy-girl, girl-girl, and boy-boy combinations - depending on your inclination. The Omaha Chocolate Company produces these cool confections - each made with 2.1 oz (pretty large) of gourmet milk, dark, or while chocolate, and they run $14.95 (a bargain for a gift this unique in our opinion).
Cocoa Farmers To Benefit From New Partnership With Chocolate Giant Cadbury
The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is setting up a partnership with the confectionery conglomerate Cadbury to support cocoa-farming communities in Ghana, India, Indonesia and the Caribbean by helping them to boost their crop yields, find new sources of income and improve local infrastructure.
RJ's is a New Zealand-based, family owned and operated candy company that focuses solely on licorice (we like candy companies with focus, btw, it means they take the little things seriously). Their licorice is all-natural, and vegan-friendly, BTW.
We picked up one of RJ's "soft-eating" licorice log at a local cafe/food shop - frankly thinking it was traditional black licorice (note to RJ's, you should print the flavor a little more prominently on the wrapper). We also took note of the "soft-eating" mention on the wrapper, and very much looked forward to a great licorice-y chew.
What we found was something that frankly looked more like a Vienna sausage than a traditional piece of licorice. Aesthetics aside, the biggest issue with this licorice was the texture. It was very chewy, and not soft. Actually, it was a little dry inside, which perhaps is the culprit. It absolutely was not "soft-eating."
However, the licorice had great flavor. The natural raspberry flavor was subtle, not overstated, and very tasty. Sometimes raspberry flavor can be overwhelming, but this was not the case at all with this. We both liked the flavor very much.
We would definitely give RJ's another try, we'd especially like to try the black licorice. But given options, we're not sure this would be our top choice.
My Dove Chocolate Valentine's Sweepstakes - Win a $21K Diamond Necklace!
Remember when we reviewed Dove Extra Dark Chocolate Minatures? In it we mentioned the nice little message inside each piece of dove chocolate on the inside of the wrapper. Well, now Dove has taken this to a whole new level. My Dove® Chocolate has partnered with Kwiat Diamonds to host the My Dove® “Expressions of Love” Contest. To enter, just tell My Dove® how you plan to say “I love you” in 51 characters or less (17 characters per line including spaces). The diamond necklace is worth $21,000, that's gotta be worth 51 characters no? And a diamond necklace trumps all Valentine's Day chocolate, I'm sorry to say.
Product Innovation Infuses Coffee Flavor into New Variety of TWIX®
HACKETTSTOWN, N.J. (January 23, 2008) — From fancy coffees to extravagant desserts, the pursuit of java-flavored food and beverages continues to be a hot trend percolating throughout U.S. culture. Today, TWIX® Brand is raising the bar on America’s coffee-flavor craze by introducing TWIX® Java with real espresso beans and coffee-flavored caramel. (Check out Candy Addict's review)
The limited-edition candy bar, available in stores nationwide through February 2008, is a decadent three layered blend of rich coffee flavored sweet caramel coated over a delicious chocolate cookie and covered in luscious milk chocolate. A touch of real espresso beans enhances the flavor of this chocolaty coffee treat. The brand offers fans a new type of “coffee break” and a chance to step back from hectic days.
“We are committed to constant innovation to create fun, great-tasting products that deliver a unique experience to our consumers,” said Michele Kessler, vice president, marketing, Mars Snackfood US. “TWIX® Java is the perfect treat or ‘pause’ for fans of TWIX and coffee lovers alike – a touch of espresso beans the perfect hint of java taste to the signature candy bar that fans have enjoyed for years”.
R.M. Palmer, the maker of many novelty and holiday candies, is launching the Dale Earnhardt candy bar, called the Big Mo'. This follows in the footsteps of other sports stars such as Reggie Jackson (Reggie Bar), Muhammad Ali (Muhammad Ali Crisp Crunch), and Pete Rose (Pete Rose Super Charg'r Energy Bar). The Big Mo' is a milk chocolate candy bar that will come in two flavors - creamy caramel and peanut butter. It is scheduled to hit stores nationwide in January 2008, had anyone seen it yet?
At some point in every cool company's life cycle, they get to a point where in order to grow they need to think beyond their original product category and into new ones. Such is the case with Jones Soda. The innovative soda company - known for putting customer photos on the bottles, opening distribution in skateboarding shops and selling turkey and stuffing flavored soda at Thanksgiving - is now selling candy. Now, as with any good brand extension, the company has not completely left their soda roots with flavors such as: cream soda, orange and cream, grape, green apple, berry lemonade, and fu fu berry. Yummy flavors, its carbonated, what more do you need?