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Candy Review: Wiseman House Almond Toffee

Categories: Candy,Candy Reviews,Chocolate Candy,Gourmet Candy,Hard Candy

Wiseman House Toffee Box

My awesome friend Greg from Houston and his friends are total foodies. What does this mean? That they are willing to drive 3.5 hours from Houston to attend the Austin Hill County Food and Wine Festival, even if it means driving through a hurricane to get there.

I am not a big fan of wine – with the exception of amazing New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs – but if there is gourmet food, then count me in! So we arrived at the festival Sunday afternoon, and as I was swishing my glass of overly sweet champagne in desperate need of a little O.J., I spot a chocolate booth.

Wiseman House Chocolates, a local Texas chocolatier, stood at the front of the main tent and just dared you not to stop by with their elegant display of product and fully uniformed workers. I sauntered as quickly as one can in 90ºF with a glass of champagne in hand, eager to pick at the lovely samples they were doling out.

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Candy Review: American Heritage Chocolate Sticks

Categories: Candy,Candy Reviews,Chocolate Candy,Gourmet Candy

American Heritage Chocolate

Chocolate’s association with America is nuanced in its origin and evolution. The confection originally developed in Central and South America where the indigenous peoples consumed it as a beverage. It wasn’t until 1847 that the solid chocolate we recognize today was created by Fry and Sons of Bristol, England.

Within America itself, the beverage form of chocolate retained a fascinating role in colonial development. For instance, American pioneers George and Martha Washington, Ben Franklin, and Thomas Jefferson were all fond of drinking chocolate. But it wasn’t limited to a few of our country’s greatest citizens. After the Boston Tea Party, colonists replaced their breakfast beverage of tea with chocolate.

These facts and more relating to the American Civil War, the Lewis and Clark expedition, and even the transpacific flight of Amelia Earhart incorporate chocolate in the telling of their histories. How do I know this? Because American Heritage Chocolate, a subsidiary of Mars, has conducted a vast deal of research into the topic, culminating in the upcoming publication of Chocolate: History, Culture, and Heritage and a corresponding presentation at the Smithsonian.

If you haven’t ever heard of American Heritage Chocolate, they manufacture handmade chocolate that is inspired by a colonial recipe (meaning solid chocolate with flavors akin to the flavors contained in the beverage form from the era).

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Candy Review: Terra Nostra’s Pocket Chocolate Bars

Categories: Candy,Candy Reviews,Chocolate Candy,Gourmet Candy,New Candy

Terra Nostra Organic Pocket Chocolate Bars

As a Candy Addict I have pretty strong cravings for sweets – specifically, chocolate. This can be seen as a good or bad thing depending on your point of view, or for me, depending on my mood. Some days I crave a lot of it, which can be bad, since my motto is “everything in moderation” and it makes me cranky when I want to eat more than I should. I’m sure you all understand the feeling, right?

This is why, yet again, the chocolates over at Terra Nostra have come to my rescue. Not only do they make ricemilk chocolate that makes my milk-free lifestyle a little easier, they’ve now got a new Pocket Bar line so I can feel like I’m eating more chocolate than I actually am. These new cute and wonderfully flavored Pocket Bars bars weigh in at 42 grams, which is nice since I can eat the whole thing without actually eating a more “normal” sized chocolate bar weighing in at 100g. The small size is also extremely portable which makes satisfying my chocolate cravings that much more convenient.

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Candy Review: Vosges Chocolate Bars

Categories: Candy,Candy Reviews,Chocolate Candy

Vosges Barcelona Bar

I don’t know who started this whole “combine salt with chocolate or other candy” craze, but I wholeheartedly support it! I am not a salt freak by any means, but the judicious sprinkling of salt on caramels, in chocolate, or other candies is really yummy. That’s why I pounced on the Vosges Barcelona Bar when I saw it at Cost Plus World Market. (Cost Plus has a really great selection of sweets, in case you didn’t know).

Chicago-based Vosges makes chocolates flavored with an assortment of spices and exotic ingredients. Their Barcelona Bar is a dark milk chocolate (41 percent cacao) with hickory-smoked almonds and grey sea salt. Yowza! The salt is not overpowering–it tickles the roof of your mouth and alerts your taste buds to pay attention. The chocolate is smooth, but the main flavoring in this bar is the almonds. They don’t skimp on the almonds in this bar at all. Every bite is filled with the crunch of almonds.

I really enjoyed the bar, but since I am not completely in love with almonds in chocolate (I mean, I’ll eat it if it’s there, but if I had my druthers I’d have plain chocolate or chocolate with peanuts), I probably wouldn’t buy it again. The Vosges chocolate bars run about $7 each, so they are definitely a gourmet treat.

Vosges Bobbi Brown Beauty Bar

Another Vosges bar I tried recently is the Bobbi Brown Beauty Bar. Yes, that Bobbi Brown. I was scanning a wall of chocolates when I spotted the cosmetic maven’s logo on what appeared to be a chocolate bar. I looked more carefully at it, and the description indicated it was a dark milk chocolate bar with matcha green tea powder in it. Two of my favorite ingredients! This purchase was a no-brainer. I tell you, I could buy a case of this chocolate bar. The matcha flavor is actually quite subtle, but what it does is enhance the flavor of the chocolate. It’s milky but very flavorful, and I swear the addition of matcha helps the chocolate flavor linger. Good stuff, that! I would definitely buy this bar again. And again. And yet again.

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candy, sweets, chocolate, matcha, salt, Bobbi Brown