Mint Crisp M&Ms

April 15, 2008

M&Ms has a history of movie tie-ins — at least, I know they’ve done tie-ins with Star Wars and Pirates of the Caribbean in recent years. The Star Wars campaign brought us the Dark M&Ms, which are now part of the permanent lineup. The white chocolate Pirate Pearls didn’t fare quite as well.

This year the big blockbuster is Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull. I’m a little young for Indy, but my dad is a big fan. I’ve been rewatching the three movies before I see the fourth with him. I just love Indy’s theme song.

The bag features Green, who obviously has the hots for Dr. Jones. Hey, he’s Harrison Ford, so I totally get it. It also features phrases like “Dig New Mint Crisp M&Ms” and “Get ‘M’ Before They’re Lost.” On the back are two “arti-facts.” Mine are:

1. Green made her first TV appearance in 1997. (I remember this!)
2. The Mola Ram character doesn’t make his first appearance in Temple of Doom until an hour into the movie.

Inside the bag, the M&Ms feature a skull, Indy’s hat, a pyramid/ziggurat, a compass, and a face/mask. Each design incorporates the classic ‘m’ somehow. They’re more than a little irregular, and aren’t all that pretty. They come in various sizes, ranging from tiny to very large, and are lumpy and bumpy.

As for the taste — well, if memory serves me correctly, these taste almost just like the Mint M&Ms that I had during the Christmas season. That’s not a bad thing. It’s a semi-sweet chocolate with a fairly strong mint flavor. The difference is, of course, the crisp. I really like the crisp; it adds fun texture and a burst of salt. The crisp leads these to one-up the Christmas Mint M&Ms.

I like these, though I don’t think I would buy them often. It would be nice if they were added to the holiday line-up, when I seem to crave mint the most (or at least, when mint products are pervasive).

These have also been reviewed by Sugarhog, Candy Addict, and Candy Blog.

Nutrition Breakdown: Please note that this is for the large “tear ‘n share” bag. Serving size is one package. There are 380 calories, 17g of fat (10g saturated), 38g of sugar, and 4g of protein per serving.

Rating: 7/10

Name: Mint Crisp M&Ms
Brand: Mars
Store: Wal-mart
Price: Unknown
Weight: 2.7 oz.

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Lindt Carrots, Bugs, and Bees, Oh My!

March 20, 2008

Lindt has several cute foil-wrapped chocolate products out for Easter. There are bunnies, chicks, and lambs, but I went for the slightly less conventional carrots and insects. Why? Well, these are the hazelnut products, and I’m a sucker for anything hazelnut.

Let’s start with the bugs and bees. There are two ladybugs, two bees, and one unidentifiable bug. Unwrapped, they all look the same. They’re adorable, but a little pricey at $3.00 for less than two ounces.

Like the Lindor truffles, which many are familiar with, these have a slightly greasy outside. The center is filled with a thick, slick hazelnut paste and crisped rice. It’s not too sweet, but nice and nutty. Nutella fans will approve. The crisp rice brings a fun texture, but no additional flavor.

I liked these; they were quite tasty. They’re on the expensive side, so I won’t be filling any Easter baskets with these, but I will look for them on clearance.

Nutrition Facts: Serving size is four pieces. There are 210 calories, 13g of fat (6g saturated), 21g of sugar, and 3g of protein per serving.

Rating: 8/10

The carrots are equally adorable. I was surprised to find that these are served on stick, so that they resemble chocolate umbrellas. Unlike the bugs, they aren’t filled. Instead we’re treated to a solid blend of chocolate and hazelnut paste. Think gianduja/Nutella on a stick. Seriously, does life get much better? It’s sticky, nutty, and quite satisfying, even though each piece weighs less than a half an ounce.

I’ll certainly be looking for these on clearance, though they’re already a great price at $1.33.

Nutrition Facts: Serving size is three carrots. There are 210 calories, 14g of fat (8g saturated), 18g of sugar, and 3g of protein per serving. Oh, and 10% of your RDA of calcium.

Rating: 9/10

Name: Lindt Bugs and Bees / Chocolate Carrots
Brand: Lindt
Store: Target
Price: $2.99 / $1.33
Weight: 1.76 oz. / 1.8 oz


Nestle Easter Eggs

March 5, 2008

Here are more molded, filled eggs, this time by Nestle. I know that the Wonka Egg has been around the past couple seasons, but I’m not sure about the other two.

Butterfinger Crème Egg: I almost passed this up because I thought it was a solid chocolate egg studded with Butterfinger pieces, ala the Nestle Christmas fare. But no, it’s filled with “Butterfinger pieces and peanut butter crème.” The filling is grainy and, well, a bit too solid to be called a crème, I think. The peanut butter crisps add a nice touch.

For as much peanut butter filling as there is, this didn’t have a super-strong peanut butter taste. I think my taste buds may have been whacked, as I did eat this just after recovering from a bug. In the end, I don’t care for Nestle chocolate, and I’d rather have a Reese’s Egg. Rating: 5/10

Nestle Crunch Crème Egg: This one contains chocolate crème, caramel, and of course, crisped rice — that’s what makes it a Nestle Crunch! Again, I think the crème is too solid to be called so. It’s like a light, maybe aerated, chocolate that doesn’t differentiate itself much from the shell. It‘s quite sweet, and the pocket of caramel adds to that. The caramel is salty and buttery, and I quite like it. However, it’s not enough to save this for me, I’m just not a fan of Nestle chocolate. Rating: 6/10

Wonka Golden Crème Egg: This piece has a little more novelty. It’s a tie in with Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, in which Veruca Salt demands the goose that lays the golden eggs… and subsequently takes a trip down the garbage chute.

It contains chocolate crème, caramel, and graham cracker bits. Hmm. Wait a minute. It’s the Nestle Crunch Egg all over again! Disappointing chocolate shell? Check. Not-so-crème-like chocolate crème? Check. Butter, salty caramel? Check. The only difference is that the crisped rice is replaced by graham cracker bits, and to be fair, there is a noticeable graham flavor. I love graham crackers, so I like this change, but it’s not enough to really change my opinion. (Though I do wish more candy would use graham..) Rating: 6/10

Name: … more eggs!
Brand: Nestle
Store: Walgreens and Target
Price: $0.50 each
Weight: about 1.1 oz each


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


Nestle Meets Santa Clause is Comin’ to Town

December 19, 2007

Santa Clause Is Comin’ To Town is one of the classic stop-motion Christmas specials — you know, the one with the Burgermeister Meisterburger. I’m not exactly sure how it ties in with Nestle, but let’s just go with it.

These come in Nestle Crunch and Butterfinger. The wrappers feature jolly old Santa, a few snowflakes, and the North Pole pole. Nostalgic. The chocolate medallions also feature Santa, which is a little weird. I feel bad eating this with Santa’s little molded face staring back at me. I don’t want to end up on the naughty list!

Butterfinger: Regular Butterfingers are covered in lackluster mockolate. This however, is made with real milk chocolate. That’s a necessity, because this is mostly chocolate. There are plenty crispy little Butterfinger bits that bring the salty peanut butter flavor, but it’s nothing close to the full on peanut butter blast of the Butterfinger.

I like this and I’m glad to have tried it with real milk chocolate. That being said, Nestle chocolate isn’t a favorite of mine, so I feel pretty ‘meh’ towards it.

This contains partially hydrogenated oils (most likely in the Butterfinger bits). The label does note that this “adds a trivial amount of trans fat.” So a slight tip of the hat to Nestle for at least noting that. (160 calories, 8g of fat, 18g of sugar, and 2g of protein per medallion)

Rating: 6/10


Nestle Crunch: So, this is pretty much a round Nestle Crunch; we’ve got the familiar sweet Nestle chocolate and crispy rice bits. I may say that I’m not crazy about Nestle chocolate — and I’m not — but the Nestle Crunch always wins me over in the end. It’s slightly malty, and I love malt. It’s familiar and good, but still, I want more from it. With a little more flavor, a little more maltiness, I would reach for these more often.

To it’s credit, this is free from any suspect ingredients. (170 calories, 9g of fat, 19g of sugar, and 1g of protein per medallion)

Rating: 7/10

Name: Santa Clause Is Comin’ To Town Butterfinger and Nestle Crunch
Brand: Nestle
Store: Walgreens
Price: $0.50