Ritter White Chocolate with Whole Hazelnuts

April 16, 2008

My confession? I enjoy — maybe even love — white chocolate. Well, it’s not much of a confession — I’m not ashamed! It just seems that many people have a distaste for the stuff. That’s fine; everyone has their personal tastes. However, I wonder if more people would like white chocolate if they tried good (or heck, even real) white chocolate. I liken it to dark chocolate. A lot of people try Hershey’s Special Dark and avoid dark chocolate thereafter. But a nice Endangered Species bar or even a piece of Dove might turn them over to the dark side.

White chocolate is similar, but a good white chocolate is even more elusive than a good dark. The white confection that Hershey’s puts out doesn’t even qualify as white chocolate. A bit of the cocoa butter is replaced by other fats, such as tropical or hydrogenated oils. I’m not going to pretend that I don’t guiltily indulge in these things sometimes, but it really ruins the texture and flavor profile of the white chocolate.

I’ve looked around, but a good, readily-available white chocolate bar is hard to come by. I’ve tried and loved Green and Black’s, but the store no longer stocks that variety. Curses.

Enter the Ritter White Chocolate with Whole Hazelnuts. It delivers real white chocolate, bits of crisped rice, and a nice chunk of hazelnut in every bite. I love the texture of this bar. The chocolate is creamy, the hazelnuts are crunchy, and the rice bits are crispy. The rice brings a hint of malt to the party, but the major flavors are the chocolate and hazelnuts, which balance each other nicely. The hazelnuts never let the chocolate become too cloying.

This may not be the epitome of white chocolate, but I love the combination with the hazelnuts, it’s inexpensive, and it’s easy for me to come by. Ritter and I are forming a nice relationship, and this could become my go-to white chocolate bar.

Show some white chocolate a little love. If he still doesn’t capture you’re heart, he’ll understand. He just wants a chance!

Nutrition Breakdown: Serving size is 6 squares. There are 210 calories, 14g of fat (7g saturated), 17g of sugar, and 3g of protein per serving.

Rating: 9/10

Name: White Chocolate with Whole Hazelnuts
Brand: Ritter
Store: World Market
Price: $1.99
Weight: 3.5 oz.


Ritter Whole Hazelnuts

February 7, 2008

I’m not crazy about hazelnuts alone, but I love hazelnuts and chocolate – I can eat Nutella by the spoonful. American candy doesn’t often utilize the combination, but thankfully, European hazelnut confections are pretty easy to come by.

This is a perfectly simple combination: milk chocolate and whole hazelnuts. The chocolate is rich with diary notes. But more important is that this bar is seriously chock full of hazelnuts. Every bite contains a fresh, crunchy hazelnut; there are no gaps between them. Looking at the list of ingredients, I see that hazelnuts are actually the second ingredient, after sugar.

I think of this as a hazelnut Mr. Goodbar, only better. It’s simple, inexpensive, and made with quality ingredients. Sometimes I think that candy-makers should stick with this formula instead or running away with wacky flavor combos (not that I don’t love those too).

Nutrition Breakdown: Serving size is six squares, or about one-third of the bar. Each serving contains 210 calories, 14g of fat, 17g of sugar, and 3g of protein. It also contains 8% of the RDV of both calcium and iron.

Rating: 9/10

Name: Milk Chocolate with Whole Hazelnuts
Brand: Ritter Sport
Store: Target
Price: $1.66

Ritter Minis Assortment

January 23, 2008

I love assortments like this because I get to try a bunch of different flavors without having to buy full-sized bars. This assortment of Mini Ritter Sport bars contains nine bars in seven flavors – there were two Yogurt and Knusperflakes. Each mini bar is 2×2 for a total of four squares, or one-fourth the size of a regular Ritter.

Vollmilch / Milk Chocolate:
This is the base for most of the other bars in the assortment. It’s a sweet, rich milk chocolate with strong dairy notes. I’m pretty fond of it. Rating: 7/10

Hazelnuss / Hazelnuts: Here we have chopped hazelnuts in milk chocolate. Sweet and nutty; simple but effective. Rating: 8/10

Knusperflakes / Corn Flakes:
This is milk chocolate with corn flakes. In the US, crisped rice candy is very common, but corn flake bars are rare. That’s odd, considering we are the biggest corn producers. It’s also too bad, as corn flakes add more flavor and crunch than crisped rice does. I’m really like this, but I’m already a big fan of corn flakes with sweets – I love corn flakes in ice cream. Rating: 8/10

Knusperkeks / Butter Biscuit:
This is a butter cookie/cracker covered in milk chocolate. There is also a layer of chocolate creme, but it didn’t stand out from the chocolate coating. The soft flaky cracker goes well with the chocolate. Rating: 7/10

Marzipan / Marzipan: This is the only bar in the assortment without a milk chocolate base. Instead we have semi-sweet chocolate filled with marzipan. I’d never had marzipan before, but I love almonds, amaretto, and anything made with almond extract. Marzipan seems right up my alley, but alas, I didn’t enjoy this. It has strong alcohol flavor and an unpleasant sandy texture. I only detected a hint of almond after the alcohol taste faded away. I’m not sure if I don’t like marzipan, or if I didn’t like this marzipan. Rating: 4/10

Nugat / Praline: This is not what I was expecting – it’s not what I would call nougat or praline, but on second thought, praline is often used to describe European filled chocolates. Anyway, this is milk chocolate filled with a thick hazelnut creme. It’s quite nutty, a little sticky, and perfect for hazelnut nuts like me. Rating: 9/10

Joghurt / Yogurt: This is interesting: milk chocolate filled with a dense yogurt creme. I was prepared to dislike it. I love plain yogurt and eat it almost daily, but chocolate seemed like a bad combination. So I was pleasantly surprised to find that I really liked this. It’s tangy and a little sour, like plain yogurt. Not for everyone, but I quite enjoyed it. Rating: 7/10

Ingredient Watch: Clear. Ritter uses quality ingredients – “Quality in a square.”

Nutrition Breakdown: This is approximate, depending on which bars you eat. Serving size is 2 bars. Each serving contains 180 calories, 11g of fat, 19g of sugar, and 2g of protein.

Name: Ritter Sport Minis
Brand: Ritter Sport
Store: World Market
Price: $3.49

Ritter Chocolate Creme

January 9, 2008

I wrote this review back in November, before I started keeping track of nutrition facts, so that information is missing. There are a couple more reviews that were also pushed aside in favor of seasonal fare; those will be up tomorrow, again, sans nutrition info. Just a heads up!

I found this on clearance at Target for 44 cents. It was well within it’s expiration date, so I couldn’t pass it up, especially because I’d never had a Ritter bar before.

Ritter Sport is a German line of square-shaped chocolate bars. According to their website, the company was founded in 1912, but they didn’t introduce their square bars until 1932. The idea was to produce a sturdy chocolate bar that would fit into the pocket of a sport coat.

Ritter bars are 100g bars split into 16 bite-sized squares and contain almost three servings per package.

This is milk chocolate with a chocolate creme filling. The chocolate is sweet with strong dairy notes, and the creme filling is even sweeter and milkier. It’s made with Ritter’s alpine milk chocolate, which has an “unusually high milk content.” I guess this is milk chocolate’s answer to extra-dark chocolate. The center is creamy but firm and has a super melt.

The extra-strong dairy flavor threw me of at first, but I ended up liking it quite a bit. If you’re a milk chocolate fan I’d suggest you give this a try.

Rating: 7/10

Name: Chocolate Creme
Brand: Ritter Sport
Store: Target
Price: $0.44