Archive for Germany

Review: Wendler Nougat

A few months ago, while preparing for a big Oktoberfest party, my mom picked this candy bar up at a local German grocery store along with some beer and brats. Immediately, I remembered the last German candy bar I tried – the Storz Nougat PralinĂ©. Both have gold packaging, are made of a chocolate and hazelnut nougat, and hail from Deutschland. Two things jumped out at me about this Wendler product though. First, the packaging design is superior to the Storz version. It’s crisply folded and has a cool metallic, textured feel to it. Second, I could see from the picture on the front that this product has two distinct layers, one darker (and presumably more chocolately) than the other.

wendler_nougat_wr

Structure
Two layers of German nougat. The bottom layer is a darker shade of brown than the top.

wendler_nougat_cs

Texture
The Wendler Nougat bar is soft and dense. It coats your whole mouth as you try to chew it. There isn’t a huge difference in consistency between the two layers, but the top layer is slightly smoother, while the bottom layer is a bit drier.

Flavor
Very surprisingly, there is almost no chocolate flavor. It didn’t taste at all like I was expecting, which was something similar to Nutella. Instead, there’s a distinct roasted hazelnut flavor. Overall, this product is very sweet and unfortunately, without the chocolate present, there’s not much going on to cut into that sweetness. There’s really no discernible difference between the two layers, except the top was maybe a little sweeter.

Verdict
Maybe I’m being overly critical because I was so sure that this bar was going to taste like chocolate and I was horribly let down. It’s very one-dimensional and way too sweet.

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Review: Ritter Sport Cornflakes

When my boss Andy first heard about this site, he was concerned there aren’t enough candy bars in the world to dedicate a whole blog to. I assured him that there are thousands of different candy bars and that it would take me years to get through the ones I already know about – let alone the thousands I’ve yet to discover.

At my local Target last night, I was reminded of just how many candy bars there are in the world when my girlfriend spotted one I had never seen before – a Ritter Sport with cornflakes in it. I obviously had to pick it up and even though I have a bucket full of bars at home waiting to be reviewed, I decided to eat this one next.

Structure
This is a square, 16 segment bar of molded milk chocolate with whole and crushed pieces of cornflakes incorporated throughout.

Texture
The cornflakes are surprisingly crunchy – much more so than their puffed rice counterparts. The bar breaks apart pretty easily though because there are so many cornflakes packed in. It’s easier to bite through than a regular piece of ordinary chocolate would be, which is nice because Ritter Sport bars are pretty thick.

Taste
Obviously, milk chocolate is the predominant flavor and it’s very good. You don’t really taste the cornflakes at all… at first. If you try really hard though, after the chocolate has subsided, you get a little bit of genuine cornflake taste. It’s interesting, definitely different from anything I’ve ever had.

Verdict
Cornflakes in chocolate is just unique enough that it caught my attention, but not so crazy that it’s a gimmick. This is a really good candy bar and I’d buy it again.

The whole cereal in chocolate thing got me thinking… what other cereals would work? Lucky Charms in white chocolate? Maybe Cinnamon Toast Crunch in milk chocolate? Cheerios in dark chocolate? Leave me some comments. Let me know if there are any cereals you think would be good to put in a candy bar.

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Review: Ritter Sport Milk Chocolate with Whole Hazelnuts

I purchased this German candy bar a few weeks ago and have been anxiously waiting to try it out. The excellent packaging for the Ritter Sport product line is the first thing that caught my eye. It’s distinct, simple, and successfully conveys what’s inside – which is a milk chocolate bar “chock full of whole roasted hazelnuts”. They’re not kidding either. Judging by the packaging, there must be 40+ hazelnuts in this bar.

Ritter Sport Milk Chocolate Hazelnut wrapper

Structure
A square, molded milk chocolate bar with 16 small square segments – each embossed with the Ritter Sport logo. Whole hazelnuts are liberally distributed throughout.

Ritter Sport Milk Chocolate Hazelnut cross-section

Texture
It’s really thick (enough to conceal the whole hazelnuts), but easy to bite through. The milk chocolate has a nice feel to it; very smooth and not at all grainy. The hazelnuts are nicely toasted and thus, provide a great crunch. Smooth chocolate and crunchy nuts are a classic, heavenly combination and this bar doesn’t disappoint in delivering that combo to it’s fullest potential.

Taste
This is a straightforward, two tone tasting experience. There’s milk chocolate and there’s hazelnuts. Nothing else thrown in to confuse it. The hazelnuts taste fresh, like they were toasted right before being sealed in. The milk chocolate is good, though I noticed it wasn’t intense. In a way that’s good because it balanced well with the hazelnuts, but the chocolate flavor was fleeting. In the end, I think it all worked.

Verdict
This is a very simple, yet really high quality candy bar. Most importantly, the packaging doesn’t lie. There are a lot of hazelnuts in it, so you feel like you’re getting your money’s worth. I’d definitely buy more of the milk chocolate with hazelnut bars, but I’m also going to try to get my hands on the 22 other Ritter Sport varieties.

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Review: Ferrero Kinder Bueno

On a recent trip to London, one of my friends was nice enough to pick up some bars that I generally can’t find here in the US. The first of these bars that I’m digging into is the Kinder Bueno; but first, a few interesting facts about this product…

  • “Kinder” is the German word for “children”. “Bueno” means “good” in Spanish.
  • Kinder products are produced by Ferrero, the makers of Nutella.
  • My mom thinks these bars are “wonderful”.

Kinder Bueno packaging

Structure
The package contains two small bars, each with four wafer pockets filled with hazelnut cream. The whole bars are enrobed in a thin layer of milk chocolate and drizzled with dark chocolate.

Kinder Bueno cross-section

Texture
When you pick this product up, you’ll instantly notice how light and delicate it is. In fact, both bars came to me slightly broken from their overseas trip in a suitcase. The wafers are crispy and the cream filling is really light and smooth. I’ve tried similar products with cream centers that are dry and chalky. This is nothing like that. It’s closer to whipped cream. Kinder Bueno also get points from me for a nicely tempered chocolate coating.

Taste
I hadn’t actually paid attention to the packaging that states “Milk and Hazelnut” as the flavors and shows a tall glass of milk next to the bars. I usually think of milk as a base, not a flavor. But as I was tasting this bar, I really picked up on the milk flavor. The hazelnut was tertiary, behind both the chocolate and milk flavors. Overall, the flavors are very subtle. The wafers are mostly flavor-neutral, but the thin chocolate layer is surprisingly good.

Verdict
This is getting a big thumbs up from me. I could eat six of these in one sitting. The only knock (and its hypothetical one) is that it might be better with pieces of chopped hazelnuts in it.

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Review: Storz Nougat Praliné

When we hear “nougat” in America, we think of a fluffy, white substance like the stuff found in Snickers and Three Musketeers. But nougat means something entirely different in other parts of the world. This German candy bar is the gianduia variety of nougat, which is a combination of chocolate, hazelnut paste and almond paste. I had never seen this bar before recently finding it in a local store, so I had to check it out for myself (I’m hoping it’s worth the $3.99 I paid for it).

Storz Nougat Praline wrapper

Structure
This is a solid, molded bar with six segments.

Storz Nougat Praline cross-section

Texture
Nougat Praline is soft and smooth – like a thick chocolate mousse. It thoroughly coats your mouth and dissolves nicely. The texture is completely homogeneous; there are no crunchy bits.

Taste
This bar was delicious on the first bite, which was likely accentuated because I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect. It tastes almost exactly like Nutella; bursting with hazelnut and chocolate flavors. The downside… it’s REALLY sweet. There’s a lot of sugar in this product. I enjoyed the first bite, but became overwhelmed after a few more. It’s an indulgence that should be split across multiple sessions or shared with a few others.

Verdict
I’m on the fence about this one. This is a high-quality candy that is certainly tasty, but it has a one-dimensional texture and is a bit too sweet. Most importantly, I don’t think this product should be made as such a large bar. It would be better to make this candy in bite-size pieces. I definitely won’t be shelling out four bucks for another one.

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