Archive for Positive

Review: Nidar Yade

I don’t often see molded candy bars that have both milk and dark chocolate. In fact, the Nidar Yade is probably the first one I’ve had. It seems most manufacturers assume that milk chocolate and dark chocolate are mutually exclusive and that consumers want one or the other, not both in the same product.

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Structure
A thin, wide molded bar with a bottom layer of dark chocolate and top layer of milk chocolate. Small, caramelized bits of macadamia nuts and hazelnuts are mixed in.

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Texture
Perfectly tempered with a nice snap when you break it into the smaller, triangular pieces. The hazelnut and macadamia nut pieces are really small, but add a nice contrast to the smooth chocolate.

Taste
There’s about two or more times milk chocolate than dark chocolate, but in terms of taste, the two are split evenly. The dark chocolate is more pronounced when you first bite in, but the milk chocolate becomes more noticeable on the finish. It’s difficult to taste any hazelnut or macadamia nut because the pieces are so small, but you do get some extra sweetness from their caramelized coating.

Verdict
I don’t actually finish many of the candy bars that I review on this blog myself. I try to share with others if they’re good or I sometimes toss out the rest if they’re really bad. So when I eat an entire candy bar myself, like I did with the Nidar Yade, that’s a sign that it’s a damn good candy bar. I would put the Yade easily in the top tier of the candy bars I’ve tried so far.

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Review: Nestlé Kit Kat Muscat of Alexandria

I learned via the internets (specifically JBox.com) that in Japan there are many odd varieties of flavored Kit Kats. So I was super excited to finally get my hands on one (Thanks Thanny) to try out for myself.

The first thing I noticed on the packaging was “Muscat of Alexandria” in large English print right below the Kit Kat logo. That seemed pretty odd, but I figured it probably had something to do with the pictures of green grapes. Sure enough, Muscat of Alexandria is an ancient vine of grape used in wine and raisin production. These are the things you find out writing (and reading) a candy bar blog I guess.

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Structure
The package contains two individually wrapped bars. Each bar is two segments of grape flavored, molded white chocolate filled with wafers.

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I really like that they added green coloring to the white chocolate.

Texture
The texture is exactly like a regular sized Kit Kat bar. The light crispy wafer and white chocolate coating work well together.

Taste
The grape flavor is subtle, but definitely noticeable – like weak grape bubble gum. The white chocolate helps to balance the slight citric acid flavor that immediately hits your tongue. Overall, it reminded me a little bit of the Choxie Lime Bar.

Verdict
I enjoyed the Muscat of Alexandria Kit Kat a lot. With one caveat though. I don’t think this is a candy bar I could eat all the time. It’s slightly odd and I enjoyed it because it’s unique. Green grape and white chocolate isn’t going to replace peanut butter and milk chocolate as a classic flavor combination, but it’s something you should try if you ever get a chance.

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Review: Cadbury Boost

In the US, the only Cadbury candy bars I ever see are the solid, molded variety with nuts and dried fruits mixed in. These bars are actually produced by Hershey’s under a license agreement. In the rest of the world though, there’s a big variety of Cadbury enrobed products like the Cadbury Boost. I suppose the Hershey’s licensing agreement might prohibit Cadbury from exporting these candy bars to the US.

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Structure
The inner core is a chocolate ganache-like filling, where the bottom half has small, round bits of biscuits (cookies) mixed in. This is surrounded by a thin layer of caramel. The whole bar is enrobed in milk chocolate.

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Texture
The chocolate filling isn’t as soft as I was expecting or would have liked. It’s slightly softer than the pure chocolate coating, but not much. The biscuit pieces are perfectly crunchy, but there aren’t enough of them. I would have liked the whole center, not just the bottom half, to include biscuits pieces. The way the caramel is layered so thin, it’s not noticeable at first. But since it’s so chewy, it lasts longer than the other components, so you end up with some caramel in your mouth after everything else is gone.

Taste
The milk chocolate, both the coating and the filling, taste good. The caramel is slightly salty, which complements the overall sweetness of the product.

Verdict
The Cadbury Boost is a reconstructed Twix bar, though it’s not quite as good. Twix has a higher proportion of caramel and it’s solid cookie bar provides more crunch than Boost’s small, round bits of cookie. That said, it’s still pretty darn good and Cadbury chocolate is tasty.

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Review: Cuba

I love the packaging for this bar, which is simply called Cuba. The candy bar itself is wrapped in gold foil, which is then covered in plastic – twisted off on the ends like a Tootsie Roll wrapper. The Cuba logo type is clear plastic, so the gold foil shows. I’ve never seen a candy bar wrapped like this before and I award them points for creativity. As for the candy product on the inside, I wasn’t sure exactly what to expect from the Norwegian description, but I could figure out that it had chocolate and almonds in it from the ingredients.

Structure
A molded high cocoa percentage milk chocolate with a soft chocolate filling containing small pieces of almonds.

Texture
The chocolate shell is thin and snaps apart nicely as you bite through to the soft center. The filling is light and fluffy like a mousse or a whipped ganache. The almond pieces are chopped very fine and add a little bit of crunchiness. I also noticed some small sugar granules suspended in the filling.

Taste
Cuba has a deep, intense chocolate taste with a bit of saltiness – a welcome shot of flavor in contrast to some cheap, tasteless chocolate I’ve had recently.

Verdict
This bar is a definite thumbs up. It’s more like a truffle you’d find at a chocolate shop than it is a candy bar you’d expect to pick up at a convenience store.

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Review: Nidar Smash!

The Smash! packaging caught my eye right away. It appeared to have little chocolate covered ice cream cones flying around with little candy bar particles floating in the background. I wasn’t exactly sure what was in the candy bar though. Instead of reading the ingredients, I decided to jump right in and take a bite. For a moment, I thought there actually were ice cream cones smashed up in it, but I realized the pieces were too salty. Then it hit me. Smash! is filled with crushed up bits of Bugles. Now the packaging makes sense because Bugles look like little ice cream cones.

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Structure
A molded milk chocolate bar with crushed up pieces of corn chips mixed in.

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Texture
The bar crumbles apart as you bite through. Because there are so many corn chip bits incorporated throughout, the structural integrity of the chocolate is compromised. That’s not a bad thing though, because the bar is thick and would be difficult to bite through if it were solid chocolate. The corn chips provide a ton of crunchiness. Overall, the Smash! is very similar to the Ritter Sport Corn Flakes Bar, though these pieces are a little lighter and crispier than regular corn flakes.

Taste
The milk chocolate is very good. It’s creamy with a deep flavor. The corn chips bits are noticeably salty and the corn flavor pokes through on the finish. The chocolate and chips work well together.

Verdict
A very solid effort. My only complaint is the thickness of the bar. It should have been a little thinner. All in all, a very good tasting candy bar though.

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Review: Nestlé Butterfinger Crisp

This particular candy bar was brought to me from Venezuela, though it can be found throughout the US. To my knowledge, there’s no variation in this product between South and North America. I’m excited to try it out because I’ve always liked the taste of a regular Butterfinger, but I’ve found the crystallized, flaky core of them to be a little off-putting. Hopefully, the Crisp version will be more to my liking.

Structure
Four layers of wafer separated by three layers of “Butterfinger” cream topped with a layer of crispie pieces – all enrobed in milk chocolate.

Have you ever noticed how artificially orange the inside of a Butterfinger is?

Texture
The Butterfinger Crisp is light and crisp (go figure!). The layers crumble apart as you bite through. It’s very similar to another Nestlé product I’ve reviewed, the Crunch Crisp, except this one is a little thicker. The crispies on top add some extra crunchiness and the peanut buttery stuff is a little chewy. All together, there’s a nice balance between the different textures.

Taste
Butterfingers have a distinct taste and this product definitely has it, though the Crisp is not as sweet as a regular Butterfinger. That is because the tasteless wafer layers temper the sweetness of the peanut butter filling and chocolate.

Verdict
The Litmus test for derivative products is to compare them to the original and in my opinion, the Butterfinger Crisp is superior to it’s ancestor.

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Review: Hershey’s Take 5

Flavors that work for ice cream generally work for candy bars too. Cookies and Creme, Peanut Butter Cup, and Mint Chocolate Chip are all delicious as ice cream and candy bars. Hershey’s Take 5 reminds me of Ben & Jerry’s Chubby Hubby, which is one of my all-time favorite ice cream flavors.

Structure
From the bottom up, Take 5 is two segments of hard waffle pretzels, peanut butter, caramel and chopped peanuts.  Each segment is enrobed in milk chocolate.

Texture
You’ll first notice the crunchiness of the pretzels, then the crumbly peanut butter and finally, the creamy caramel that sticks in your teeth and outlasts the rest of the components. The chocolate coating is very soft, but smooth. Overall, the Take 5 is a bit on the dry side, but that’s to be expected from a product consisting of peanut butter and pretzels – I don’t really fault them for that. Just keep in mind that this is a product that goes well with something to drink.

Taste
This is a salty candy bar and really tastes a lot like a plain old chocolate covered pretzel. However, the caramel, peanuts and peanut butter all add further deliciousness that elevate the Take 5 beyond it’s classic candy cousin.

Verdict
There’s so much going on with this candy bar. It’s crunchy, salty, sweet, chewy and just plain good. Though Hershey’s is using fake chocolate with this product, that wasn’t a deal breaker. The pretzel, peanut butter, and caramel do most of the heavy lifting, while the chocolate seals everything in and plays a supporting role. Don’t get me wrong though, this candy bar would be even better if it had real chocolate.

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