Frey Cinnamon and Blood Orange

February 19, 2008

The first thing I notice when I open a product to review is the smell. That was definitely the case with this bar. No, there was no horrific odor or sublime aroma. It just smelled strange, and rather familiar at that. I stared at it for a minute before I realized what it was – this bar smells like a mix of Juicy Fruit and Big Red gum.

I know. Odd, right? I wasn’t too keen on tasting chocolate that smelled like chewing gum, but I sucked it up and tried it anyway.

This is a white chocolate bar with “a fruity touch of blood orange and cinnamon flavor.” I found the white chocolate to be slightly waxy, but not unpleasantly so. The sweetness isn’t too overwhelming, and the other flavors certainly stand out.

The cinnamon flavor is definitely of the fake Big Red variety. It more akin to Red Hots than the actual spice. However, it’s not spicy at all, as Big Red can sometimes be.

Now, I haven’t actually had a blood orange, so I can’t tell you if the fruit flavor is authentic. My assumption is that it isn’t. It’s citrusy, and yes, a little too reminiscent of Juicy Fruit. The little orange bits throughout the bar (blood orange granules, according to the ingredients) are rather tart and acidic.

I didn’t like this very much. I’m not a huge fan of fruit and chocolate to begin with, and the chewing gum comparisons were very off-putting.

Nutrition Breakdown: There are 2.5 servings per bar. Each serving contains 240 calories, 16g of fat (10g saturated), 19g of sugar, and 2g of protein.

Rating: 4/10

Name: Cinnamon and Blood Orange
Brand: Frey
Store: Target
Price: 1.66 (reg 1.99)
Size: 3.5 oz.


Frey Tiramisu

February 11, 2008

Tiramisu is one of my favorite desserts. It’s a classic – ladyfinger cookies soaked in espresso and layered with mascarpone cheese.

I found this bar intriguing. How should Tiramisu be translated into a candy bar? I thought they might highlight the coffee, but Frey chose to make a milk chocolate bar with a mascarpone filling.

How do we create a cheese filling? Well, apparently, we take a lot of fat, add some mascarpone powder, and (BAM!) we’ve got mascarpone filling. From what I can work out from the ingredients list, the filling is made with a palm kernel oil, cocoa butter, mascarpone filling, and a couple other things. Palm kernel oil isn’t a trans fat, by the way, but it is high in saturated fat. It’s usually used in smaller amounts in truffle bars. It gives the bar a melt-in-you-mouth texture.

I now realize that I might have scared you off or grossed you out. Come on, candy is about decadence, and sometimes that includes fat. Most candy has similar amounts of fat anyway. Just don’t eat the whole bar at once.

The filling has a tangy dairy flavor and notes of almond, which I really enjoyed. It goes well with the chocolate and the whole thing melts like a dream.

So we have a mascarpone filling… but that’s where the similarity to Tiramisu ends. I’m surprised. It seems easy to add some ground espresso beans to the filling to cover the coffee angle. I would also add some crunchy cookie bits to represent the lady fingers. But Frey did none of this; they stopped at the filling. I think it at least needs coffee to be considered Tiramisu.

So while I liked this, I don’t think it’s a good representation of Tiramisu. It reminds me more of yogurt – maybe a milder Ritter Yogurt. Also note that it’s pretty sweet, so the sensitive should beware.

Nutrition Breakdown: Serving size is 4 squares; there are 2.5 servings per bar. Each serving contains 250 calories, 18g of fat, 17g of sugar, and 2g of protein.

Rating: 6/10

Name: Tiramisu
Brand: Frey
Store: Target
Price: $1.66

Frey Gingerbread

January 2, 2008

I know I said the Mint M&Ms were the last of the my holiday items, but I lied. I have two gingerbread bars to review, and I suppose they’re considered seasonal. Today we have the Frey Gingerbread, and tomorrow, a Choxie bar.

I love ginger in all it’s forms: fresh, crystallized, or ground spice. I especially love gingerbread cookies around the holidays. To my delight, Gingerbread was one of the three limited edition holiday flavors released by Frey this year. (The others are Fruit & Nut and Cinnamon & Coriander.)

I opened the package expecting to see chunks of gingerbread cookie in the chocolate. I didn’t. In fact, the top of the bar was perfectly smooth. The bottom revealed tiny indentations, and indeed, the cookie bits in this bar are very tiny. They are hardly visible, even after biting into the bar.

The cookie pieces may be tiny, but they are abundant! The bar is crunchy and full of gingerbread flavor. I find the spicy ginger and nutmeg to be the perfect compliment to the sweet milk chocolate. The balance is spot on. The chocolate could have easily overwhelmed the gingerbread, and vice versa, but they aren’t competing here.

I’m not sure if Target still has these out. But I do hope they have them again next year!

Ingredient Watch: Nothing suspect here. Kudos to Frey!

Nutrition Breakdown: Each bar contains 2.5 servings. Each serving contains 210 calories, 11g of fat, 24g of sugar, and 2g of protein.

Bottom Line: Yummy!

Rating: 9/10

Name: Gingerbread
Brand: Frey
Store: Target
Price: $1.50

Frey Hot Chilli Pepper

November 6, 2007

I’d never had a spicy chocolate bar before, so this was a first. It’s described as “extra fine dark chocolate with chilli.” It’s 55% cocoa solids, which I think of as classic dark chocolate. It certainly smells of chili, and when you snap it in half you can see the little reddish bits.

Like the other Frey bars, this is on the thin side. It is a 100g tablet with 2.5 servings per bar and 210 calories per serving.

Lets first talk about my expectations for this bar. I didn’t expect any heat or burn. I expected that the chili would lend more complexity to the chocolate. What I got was the total opposite. The initial taste was your standard, slightly sweet dark chocolate. A few seconds later, the heat started. It wasn’t really spicy, just hot; the kind that leaves a burn in your throat.

Now, I’m used to spicy/hot foods, so this was a fun surprise for me, but if you don’t like heat, stay away! I only ate two of the ten pieces, and I’ll probably share the rest. It’s a fun novelty, and I’m glad I tried it, but it’s not something that I really like. The chili just didn’t add enough to the chocolate; it was more like a special effect.

However, these could be good for practical jokes..

Rating: 4/10

Name: Hot Chilli Pepper
Brand: Frey
Store: Target
Price: $1.66

Frey Cafe and Cacao

October 22, 2007

I noticed the Frey Supreme line of chocolate bars in the Target aisles a while back, but I’ve only just got around to trying them. They come in a wide range of flavors. I picked up the Cafe and Cacao, and I was going to get the Tiramisu, but decided to have some fun with the Hot Chili Pepper instead. I’ll have a review of that one later.

The bars are 100 gram tablets. They are rather thin, which I think gives them a nice snap. They are split into 10 pieces, so it’s easy to snap pieces off to share. A serving size is four squares (so 2.5 servings per tablet). One serving of the Cafe and Cacao is 210 calories.

The Cafe and Cacao is supposed to be “extra fine milk chocolate with coffee and crispy cocoa nibs.” That’s right up my alley; I love nibby bars and coffee flavor. So, naturally, I ripped this open as soon as I got into my car and ate half of it for lunch (healthy, I know). The rest of it disappeared over the course of the next day, so I’m writing this from memory. This also means that I don’t have any pictures, which I’ll try to include in the future.

The bar smells like a sweet hazelnut coffee, and upon checking the ingredients I see there are ground hazelnuts in there (another favorite of mine). The chocolate is sweet and milky with a fairly creamy texture. The coffee comes through, but not overwhelming so. It’s definitely sweetened by the hazelnuts. I really enjoyed the texture of this bar. While the chocolate is creamy, the cacao nibs (and I suppose the ground hazelnuts) give it a nice crunch and an extra chocolate punch.

Now, I am biased towards this bar because it combines some of my favorite flavors, especially coffee, which I don’t think is used enough in candy. So my final rating?

Rating: 8/10

Name: Cafe and Cacao
Brand: Frey
Store: Target
Price: $1.66