I have to confess, this blog was originally about only one chocolate but then I found some more chocolate that was worth talking about so this has been building since Christmas last year.
These first two chocolates, Premium M&Ms were originally bought as last minute Christmas presents.
I found these in our local shopping centre in a small cart (Lolly Castle) which sells a selection of international goodies that aren't found on the shelves of our local supermarkets; Pop Tarts, Babe Ruth bars, Junior Mints, all types of unusual Pringle-like, non-Pringle reconstituted potato snacks, and they're my lone supplier of Dr Pepper, the only carbonated softdrink to which I'm addicted. (So much so that before they started importing them, I tried to make my own version after my first trip to America where I drank it almost every day but that's another story!).
The plastic bag was inside a light cardboard sleeve but I was obviously so keen to get into the chocolate that I didn't bother about the packaging! : )
The candies themselves had a similar textured sheen that was reminiscent of tie dyeing.
We were curious as to what they would taste like.
I have to admit to a little disappointment with these. The reason most of us buy candy-coated chocolate is for the satisfying crunch as you bite through the shell. (Aside from the subtle added flavour and extra sugar that you're ingesting that is!) That satisfaction was sorely missing here. The exterior was as soft and yielding as the centre chocolate and the "shell" didn't taste much different to the inside.
That said, I'm glad I had the chance to taste them and they did look sooooo pretty on the table.
Meiji Melty Kiss - Green Tea Chocolate
Since discovering green tea icecream (served with a sweet slice of orange following my first Japanese meal ever), I have LOVED green tea in practically anything - straight (although I do prefer it with Jasmine and particularly the Dilmah brand); icecream of course, cake and now ... chocolate!
The pack opens to reveal cute individually wrapped portions, all very ironically "green".
This unwraps to a single, cocoa enrobed perfect cube
The ingredients list was a little scary but even though green tea is only the 7th ingredient, the taste was very true. (Don't be put off by the cheese powder. Think of it like the cream cheese in cheesecake - as a the silent partner in a balance of tastes!) I rather suspect that the core ingredient is white chocolate mixed with a green tea powder.
I would definitely buy these again if I came across them.
Hot Chocolate - Lindsay & Edmunds
Ah, winter is upon us - an off season of cold, wet, windy days (my memory of winters in Sydney is of brisk but sunny days and showery nights, not so this year!) that can only be salvaged by a cup of steaming hot chocolate.
Chocolate stores have flourished in Sydney. If you can get along to the ones which serve the hot liquid kind - Boon, Lindt, Max Brenner to name a few - just to breathe in the cocoa dust hanging in the air, it's a nice way to relax and de-stress. (The shopping comes later!)
But if it's too wet to venture out, you need some of these:
I have never been a huge hot milk fan before but watching the dark chocolate melt into the milk and sniffing the aroma which arises from the steam then wrapping your hands around the mug and feeling the contents glide down your throat is pure heaven.
Not to mention the great night's sleep I had afterwards! Thank goodness there are 4 in a pack!
In general, I dislike American chocolate. I was always intrigued by Hershey's because they were "the" American chocolate, much like Cadbury's or later on Nestle were considered the Australian household standard. But just because they're a household name doesn't mean it's the best chocolate.
I had long moved away from milk chocolate which is why I was surprised that I even picked up this block of Willy Wonka Exceptionals Triple Dazzle Caramel but I have to admit that I was "dazzled" by the holographic packaging which shimmers and chnges colour depending on the angle of the light.
There were three varieties to choose from but I was really keen to find a great caramel because there had been many disappointments - too chewy, too hard, too fudgey, not salty enough, etc., etc., etc.!
This was none of those. The chocolate was thin, the caramel delightfully runny without dripping and with just the right amount of saltiness.
US launch in 2010 (a real life Golden Ticket promotion!) and this Australian online confectionary seller The Professors which sells something which looks like the product but in packs of 12.
So it appears that these have been imported for the sole benefit of overseas guests staying in the Star City hotel. Ah well, I'll have to make a special trip out to Star City and hope that they haven't sold out by the time I get there! Yes folks, it's worth it!
Which brings me to a last minute discovery:
Midnight Crunch - Dark Chocolate with Quinoa!
I'm sure by now, you'll have heard of this South American pseudo-grain (it's actually a member of the beet, spinach or tumbleweed family of food groups) which is highly appreciated for its nutritional value. Judging by the truckloads of quinoa which have marched off the shelf and how it's been adapted to our western taste buds (quinoa chips, quinoa porridge, quinoa bread, etc.) obviously few people dislike this grain as much as I do, but having tried it a couple of times, I just can't bring myself to like the texture nor the taste.
So what appealed to me about this product was that someone had finally presented me with a pleasurable way to swallow this wholesome grain. Were this not one of three flavours produced by the cutely named Alter Eco Fair Trade company, one would think that they were riding the wave of the quinoa gravy train.
Removing the outer packaging reveals a stark white wrapper which peels to reveal the delicate block.
For a chocolate which contains no dairy, I was surprised at how smooth this chocolate tasted. The quinoa/rice crisp didn't add any more or less flavour than a rice crisp alone and the knowledge that the addition of the quinoa was helping to make the whole thing a smattering more healthy was a little tick on the side for me.
Mostly importantly, I would definitely buy this chocolate again.
Phew! What a long blog! Think I need to have some chocolate now! :D