August 15, 2008

Vegan Candy Week: Spring-summer Box Pave Glace - Vegan Dark Chocolate

purple box.pngThis is a great gift for the vegan candy lover in your life.

Swiss Imported chocolates specialties without preservatives or artificial coloring and using only the best natural stuff: cocoa powder, sugar, cocoa mass, vanilla, cocoa butter, and soy lecithin. Its 100% vegan and comes in a beautiful purple gift box.

Check out Spring-summer Box Pave Glace

Bob Wallace at Permalink | social bookmarking

August 14, 2008

Vegan Candy Week: Raspberry L'Ami Provencal hard candies

raspberry.pngTraditionally made hard candies from France by L'Ami Provencal. All natural, no preservatives or artificial colors. You'll get a big burst of natural raspberry goodnedd in these hard candies.

Raspberry L'Ami Provencal hard candies

Bob Wallace at Permalink | social bookmarking

August 13, 2008

Vegan Candy Week - Pere Pelletier Dark Candy Sugar

dark sugae.pngWhether this is truly "candy" or not I suppose is up to how the person consuming it. If you want to use it like normal sugar to sweeten tea, for example, then maybe its not "candy." But if the idea of vegan dark sugar (sucre candi) from France makes you want to eat it all by itself (like me) then we say it is "candy."

It does say "candy" on the label, btw...

Check out Pere Pelletier natural dark candy sugar

Bob Wallace at Permalink | social bookmarking

August 11, 2008

Vegan Candy Week - Pave Glace - Solid Soft Dark Chocolate

vegan chocolate.pngPave Glace is soft solid dark chocolate that uses cocoa butter instead of oils. Its all natural (Ingredients: cocoa powder, sugar, cocoa mass, vanilla, cocoa butter, soy lecithin), and does not use any dairy. With 75% cocoa content, this is a great vegan option.

Check out Vegan Pave Glace - Solid Soft Dark Chocolate

Bob Wallace at Permalink | social bookmarking

Compartes Chocolatier - Helping Darfur Through Chocolate

compartesforcause.jpgCompartes makes the statement that they make "Chocolates for a Cause." They have several gourmet, artisan chocolate collections, but the one that caught our eye was the African Collection - with flavors including Cardamom, Coconut and Organic Red Rooibus Tea. To add to the aesthetic, the African continent is painted on each piece.

compartes_2012_2005354.jpgPlus, each box of chocolates includes Relief Beads, which are one-of-a-kind bracelets, handmade from sand in Africa. The proceeds from the sales go to benefit Relief International, funding extensive programs in Africa and Darfur, including refugee camps, medical clinics, education and women's centers.

Compartes Chocolatier website

Heads up and images from CoolHunting

Bob Wallace at Permalink | social bookmarking

August 7, 2008

Review: 1880 Crunchy Alicante Almond Turron Candy

IMG_3773.jpgWe thought we had hit the Spanish Turron Holy Grail when we had the 1880 Soft Almond and Honey Jijona Turron, but we were premature in our evaluation. Although very different, the 1880 Crunchy Alicante Almond Turrón is actually our new favorite.

This is classic Turrón "Duro" (i.e. hard or crunchy) - because it is made up primarily (65%) of tasty Marcona almonds. Apparently, that's the most almonds they can put in without it falling apart. Then, they are doused in orange blossom honey to bind the bar together. They are bound together with 100% orange blossom honey.

The package comes with two foil-wrapped packages of bars, which are pre-cut so you can separate more manageable pieces. When I first opened these, it looked like there was a thin layer of Styrofoam on the bar - I figured shipment in the heat had melded it on to the candy, and I was not happy. However, under further investigation, it was not packing material. Rather, it is an ultra-thin wafer on top - so it is an added layer of texture for the whole eating experience.

This Turrón lives up to its "Duro" classification - it is very crunchy - you really have to give it a good bite. That initial crunchiness does give way to a little more chewiness, once you get into the dense almond clusters and honey. And while an odd combo, the wafer on top seems to make sense.

The flavor, if you like Marcona almonds and honey (if you don't, maybe this blog isn't for you...), is out of this world. Marcona almonds are NOT like those you find in the grocery store or in your Hershey's bar, these have a special nutty, slightly more oily, and certainly more intense flavor. With so many packed into this bar, coupled with the honey, you have an explosion of sweet, nutty, crunchy goodness.

We may have been eating the soft Turrón for breakfast, but we could make ourselves sick on the 1880 Crunchy Alicante Almond Turrón

Like the soft Turrón, this is made following an artisanal process in Jijona, Alicante, Spain.

Check out Alicante Turrón.

Some info from Wikipedia

Bob Wallace at Permalink | social bookmarking

July 22, 2008

From Bean to Bar - Chocolate Makers Controling the Whole Process to Ensure a Better Product

beantobar.jpgThe LA Times had a feature recently on the recent group of American "bean-to-bar" chocolate makers who are building their own factories and, as the term implies, owning the entire process of making their chocolate.

These folks "want to talk about cacao genetics, or the advantages of a roller mill versus a ball mill during chocolate refining, or the stability of certain types of crystalline structures in chocolate," and are likely "to be excited about a just-found piece of vintage machinery (say, a 1930s mahogany winnower) or the next shipment of beans from Bolivia. "

We've covered Tcho before, explaining the WIRED co-founder's small batch philosophy to making chocolate. We've also looked at Askinosie in Missouri and Theo from Seattle, and Mast Bros. Chocolate in New York. Two others mentioned are Taza in Somerville, Mass.; and Rogue Chocolatier from Minneapolis.

Look for reviews of Taza at Candy Snob soon, they were nice enough to send us some samples.

Rogue Chocolatier
Mast Bros. Chocolate

Read more at the LA Times

Bob Wallace at Permalink | social bookmarking

July 21, 2008

Kohler Chocolates - Beautiful Packaging, Enticing Products

kohlerchocolatespackaging.jpgWho knew a kitchen and bath manufacturer could make great chocolate? As it happens, Destination Kohler is a resort/spa in Kohler, Wisconsin. The resort made chocolates for sale within the resort itself, but due to popular demand, they decided to sell them to the general public. The Resort, the Chocolate maker and the Kitchen and Bath fixture maker are all under the Kohler parent company.

Learn more about them here.

From DieLine

Bob Wallace at Permalink | social bookmarking

July 11, 2008

Review: 1880 Soft Almond & Honey Jijona Gourmet Turron Candy

1880 honey almond.pngWe recently had a chance to try out some Spanish candy - the Soft Honey and Almond Turron Bar by 1880. The candy is made by hand in Jijona, Alicante, Spain.

The folks at La Tienda who were nice enough to send us some, warned us that it "was addicting" and that they "eat it for breakfast." So I was anxious to try it out, although I wasn't exactly sure what I was getting into...

In case you're ignorant of what Turrón is, like I was, it is a nougat confection that's typically made of honey, sugar, and egg white, with toasted almonds or other nuts, and usually shaped into either a rectangular tablet or a round cake. In this case, the Turrón is of the Jijona variety, which means its softer because the almonds are reduced to a paste and they add oil. Marcona almonds make up over 65% of the bar, and the almonds are ground together with 100% orange blossom honey.

Generally speaking, Turrón comes in a sealed rectangular package not unlike tofu packaging. We cut the package open to find, coincidentally, something that looked a little like light brown tofu, actually. The smell is amazing, and you can both see and feel the oiliness. Its not completely greasy by any means, but you definitely notice the oil.

When I cut our a small square and popped it in my mouth, the first thing that struck me was the highly unique texture. It feels dry, but it really isn't. In fact, it ends up being quite moist, while at the same time being a bit crumbly. As you chew and the Turrón begins to melt and soften even more, you notice the ever-so-slight crunch that comes from Marcona almond pieces that are so small you don't even see them.

If you've ever had almond butter, imagine that flavor times ten and you'll have the flavor of this Turrón. Mesh that with the honey flavor and you have one tasty treat.

This is a very interesting, very unique, and very delicious candy that everyone should try at least once.

Full disclosure...I've had this a couple times now for breakfast myself...

Check out more Turron

Some info from Wikipedia

Bob Wallace at Permalink | social bookmarking

July 8, 2008

Chocolatea from Smile Chocolates - "12 Sublime Tastes"

displaydetail_600px.jpgInfused chocolate is all the rage these days...and we must say there is usually a good reason why...because they're delicious. We hope the same holds true for Chocolatea, a new line of tea-infused chocolates from Smile Chocolatiers.

They sport four types of chocolate: Very Dark (72% cacao content), Dark (64% cacao content), Milk (37% cacao content) and White (37% cocoa butter).

They infuse into these chocolate bars one of eight aromatic teas. For the Very Dark line you have Pomegranate White, White, Coconut Green and Herbal Chai. The Dark line has the same, except it trades the Pomegranate for Wild Raspberry. The Milk and White have only two flavors each: Milk has Wild Raspberry and Ginger, and the White has Rosemary and Pistachio Green (which sounds the most interesting to us).

Check out Chocolatea here

Photo via TheDieLine

Noël Wallace at Permalink | social bookmarking

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