September 30, 2008
Candy Snob - Monthly Roundup for September
Random Candy Stuff
September 29, 2008
Wasabi Ginger Lollipops
Can't wait to check these out. The spice and bite of ginger with a little heat from the wasabi. I bet its an interesting, engaging flavor experience.
More at Lolliphile
September 28, 2008
Review: Green & Black's Organic Chocolate - Toffee Chocolate Bar
We've been sampling the Green and Blacks Organic Toffee Chocolate bar, and we have to say it's pretty good. Here's what Green and Black's has to say:
Our delectable, organic toffee is made by heating sugar along with butter and molasses to create the perfect flavorful blend. This full, concentrated flavor allows the crunchy toffee pieces to punch their way through our intense 34% cocoa-rich milk chocolate. Available in 3.5oz bars.
We agree with the crunchy toffee idea, but overall the pieces were very small and fine. We like our toffee pieces to be a little larger, but the smaller pieces did provide a big toffee and chocolate flavor. We liked the milk chocolate, but would also like to see a dark chocolate and toffee bar. Overall we'll give this a thumbs up, and think you'll enjoy it. We finished ours in about 15 minutes, while we sipped on a nice cabernet.
At Green & Black's Organic Chocolate | Toffee Chocolate Bar
September 26, 2008
What's Inside Orbit White Gum?
This month's WIRED, in their "What's Inside" section (which always is a little scary) looked at Orbit White Gum. Here are some highlights:
Maltitol- a mild sweeteners that is a sugar alcohol, aka polyols, and is typically derived from natural carbs. The good: None of the normal unnatural taste of calorie-free sweeteners. They don't cause spikes in blood-sugar level. And they won't rot your teeth. The bad and the ugly: Well, their slow intestinal absorption can cause bloating, diarrhea, and flatulence.
Sorbitol - Another sugar alcohol. Do you have your pencil, calculator and abacus ready? A simple glucose molecule (C6H12O6) is broken apart and two extra hydrogen atoms are added (making C6H14O6). The result is about half as sweet as the original compound. Sorbitol can also be found in peaches, plums, and other fruit.
Gum Base - Apparently chewing gum used to be made from the sap of manilkara trees; now the chew often comes from styrene-butadiene, the same petrochemical used to make car tires. Yuck.
Glycerol - Yet another sugar alcohol. Glycerol is a clear, syrupy liquid, also used in pharmaceuticals and personal care products. Not to mention its ecofriendly. It is a byproduct of biodiesel production, so people are trying turn it into "green" antifreeze.
Aspartame - Ahhh, our old friend aspartame, we were wondering when you would appear. It is about 200 times more potent than sugar and is the calorie-free. A synthesis of two naturally occurring amino acids, it breaks down into small amounts of toxic chemicals like methanol and then formaldehyde in the body.
Acesulfame K - Yet ANOTHER calorie-free sweetener with a bitter aftertaste. Unlike aspartame, Ace K is totally artificial, so the body doesn't even try to metabolize it. Gee, that must be good for you then...
Sodium Bicarbonate - Baking soda, plain and simple. Just like when it is in your toothpaste, it helps clean and whiten your teeth.
From WIRED. Photo by Tim Morris.
Subscribe to WIRED
September 25, 2008
Candy Review: Theo Special Limited Edition, 91% Cacao
Monday we reviewed the Theo Madagascar, 65% Cacao, and felt that it left a little to be desired. But we still think Theo has a good thing going, so we're not even close to writing them off. So we tried the Special Limited Edition bar with 91, yes that's right, 91% Venezuelan cacao.
To give you an idea how fragrant this bar is, literally the second I opened the package, my wife who was sitting on the opposite side of our couch, could smell its dark chocolately goodness.
Visually, Theo bars are quite simple in their design, so there's actually nothing to report - it looks exactly the same as the Madagascar bar, except maybe a hair darker.
This bar is not for the faint of heart. Nor is it for non-dark chocolate LOVERS. Even for dark chocolate LIKERS, of which I consider myself one, it is pretty strong and bitter. This isn't a bar I would choose to eat on a regular basis. But if you want your chocolate to be as dark as possible, this is for you. I personally found it a little too bitter. However, for as strong as the flavor was, it still didn't have the depth or complexity of flavor I would have expected.
Texture-wise, it was very similar to the last Theo bar I had. I'm sure this dry, crumbly texture has to do in large part with the high cacao content (in this case there isn't much else in there). Surprisingly, even with far less cacao, this bar had better mouthfeel than the Madagascar bar.
CandySnob's opinion of Theo chocolates after two tries? Love the process, love that they are an ethical company. But less impressed with the actual end product, but still hold out hope.
Buy Theo Chocolate Here
September 24, 2008
Neuhaus Cornet D'Ore - If this ain't pretty, I don't know what is.
Hey, what's not to like about Belgian chocolates in general, but they're even better with gianduja. The roasting of the hazelnuts and almonds is always carried out under the maker's watchful eye. Strict cooking times, the right temperature and taste tests produce an ultra-smooth texture and decadent flavor.
Not to mention its just plan pretty.
Check out the Neuhaus Specialty Selection: Cornet D'Ore
September 22, 2008
Candy Review: Theo Madagascar, 65% Cacao
We've covered Theo for their ethical production and their "bean-to-bar" operations, we thought it high time we take Theo chocolate for a test drive or two. So we checked out theri 65% cacao content Madagascar bar.
Sadly, the test drive didn't go as well as we had hoped when looking at them in the showroom.
Let's start on a positive note. The packaging is beautiful, and the bar itself is elegant in its simplicity. There are no imprints, nothing fancy, just straight-up dark (and we mean dark) bars of chocolate.
We found the bar to be crumbly and dry. And it doesn't melt very smoothly in your mouth. In fact, when we looked at the cross-section after biting into it, you could see the gray striations in the chocolate - a sure indicator that something went wrong in the production.
From a flavor standpoint, again the experience fell short. We were expecting a rich, deep, complex experience, but found the chocolate had little depth of flavor and little to no finish.
We're hoping this is just an old batch, perhaps, although the "Best By" date is 04/09? We're just having a disconnect between Theo's reputation and the actual chocolate we tried.
We're reviewing Theo's Limited Edition Dark later this week, so stay tuned.
Buy Theo Chocolate Here
September 19, 2008
Fish "Candy"? - Yukon King Salmon
It isn't often you come across candy (or something called "candy") where you need to watch out for bones. But, if you try this Yukon King Salmon from Vital Choice, you better be careful. The key to the rich flavor is the oil content, which is 25-35%. The fish swim for 2,300 miles to spawn, so they eat a lot. Thus the high fat content. Yup'ik Eskimos then take the fish and hand de-bone, brine in salt and organic brown sugar, and smoke using natural alder wood.
The end result, according to the company, is a flavor that is subtly sweet - so much so that Alaskans call this treat "Salmon candy."
I believe we should ask Governor Palin to weigh in on this... :)
Thanks to Expired Foods for the heads up.
Chocolate Covered Sweets and Gifts Showcases High End Chocolates and Tins
Chocolate Covered Sweets and Gifts in San Francisco's Noe Valley is broken into two halves. One half is all chocolate, and the other is filled with gift boxes and tins.
Some of the chocolate makers you'll find here:
- Michael Mischer Chocolates
- Cacao Anasa
- Jade Chocolates
- Torn Ranch
- Poco Dolce
- Smile Chocolatiers' Choclatea bars
- Donnelly Chocolates
- Knipschildt Chocolates
from Cool Hunting
September 18, 2008
Figamajigs Prices to Rise in October
The bad news:
The cost to produce Figamajigs has gone up dramatically over the last several months and requires that we raise our prices for the first time in 4 years.
The good news:
The price will go up by only 10 cents.
The price increase will be effective October 1, 2008
Chocolate Type Faces - Perfect for Chocolate Printing
Typolade ~ chocolate type faces. We like NOTCOT's suggestion to pair with chocolate sauce for chocolate printing.
Check out the Typolade website.
September 17, 2008
Skin Your iPod with Gummi Bear Anatomy
Want to add some individuality to your iPod, and show your candy affinity at the same time?
Well, look no further. Remember when we covered the Anatomy of a Gummi Bear? Well now you can get it as a Gelaskin for your iPod product.
Check it out here.
September 16, 2008
Interesting flavor combos are perfect for pairing chocolate and wine
Comparing the nuances of chocolate to the nuances of wine isn't a new idea. Neither is pairing chocolates and wine. But if you are doing some pairing, it certainly makes the experience more interesting when the chocolates have rich, unique flavor combinations.
Such is the case with Chocolate Smith. They're "chocolate pates" are made in small batches from scratch (all organic and local). Then, the brilliantly dip each piece by hand in cheese wax, to keep it fresh and protecting it in hot weather.
We think the best way to get into pairing is to sample a lot of items. Chocolate Smith's Pate Sampler would be a great entre into the fun. The sampler features their top flavors (White Chocolate Mimosa Pate with Orange & Lavender, Dark Chocolate Pate, Nuts & Berries Pate with Pomeranate & Fig, and Sunset Orange Pate with Chipotle Chili & Cinnamon). And each one complements a different wine - from Champagne to Port.
$28.50 at Chocolate Smith
If you're interested in other wine news, check out CheapFunWines.com
September 15, 2008
Make a Bird House Out of a Nestle Can
Why not reuse the Nestle can to make a unique and stylish birdhouse!
From Ignacio Pilotto
September 10, 2008
Sweet Riot's Flavor 70 is Back in Action
Due to the popularity of sweet riot's Flavor 70, it has been out of stock for the past month. But they're back. Flavor 70 is the darkest of the dark - 100 % cacao "peaces" covered in 70% dark chocolate with a hint of espresso for all of you coffee lovers.
September 4, 2008
Fragile Candy - Careful you don't slice your tongue
This is one crazy lollie if you ask us. Very cool looking, but we think this might a case of form over function. In other words, this looks like it'll be darn difficult to eat, especially if you're a sucker instead of a biter.
From Yanko Design via NOTCOT
September 3, 2008
New Milky Way Ad Shows How Strong Its Caramel Is
Funny new ad from Milky Way ad shows a bar being stretched on a grocery store checkout conveyor belt. Engaging way to show the caramel.
See more at fubiz.
September 1, 2008
McCain Lollipops - A Sweet 'Ole Sucker for the Republican Convention
As a bi-partisan candy maker (candy knows no political boundaries), Kai's Candy is offering John McCain hard candies and lollipops. Just like the Obama lollies, the McCain candies are made with the traditional Japanese art of kumi ame (rolled candy), which makes each one interesting, fun and unique. Each candy is individually wrapped, and the lollipops come on super long 8" sticks. The flavors are similar to American hard candies, but with a more mild flavor.