Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Mini Review : Tunncock's Caramel Log

Going across the pond on this one!

This is my first import chocolate bar review, a Caramel Log by Tunncock's. I purchased this at The Bulk Barn in the imported chocolate bar aisle. The package of this little bar is kind of vintage looking. I don't know anything about this company but it looks like it could have been around for a while as a chocolate bar. It's got that nostalgic look to it which is probably what made me gravitate towards it.

A lot of food retailers have started to carry import goods and confectioneries which I am enjoying. The Bulk Barn itself has several British chocolate bars for sale such as Flake, Yorkie, Double Decker, and so on. However I have tried all of those bars before so I thought I would pick this little bar. It is only 27 grams so it is very small.

As you can tell by the photos the log is a caramel wafer covered in a light layer of chocolate topped with roasted coconut shavings. I never used to like coconut, but as of late I have been enjoying it in my chocolates and baking.

It was very enjoyable as a small, light snack. I would compare it to a very small caramel flavoured Kit Kat Bar with coconut shavings on the outside. The taste is not too overwhelmingly caramel or coconut. Just a hint of both.

I enjoyed this and would rate it a 3.5/5 I wouldn't likely purchase again though because there are so many other British/import chocolate bars for me to try!

-The Sweet Bean

Saturday, 27 June 2015

Spotlight - Ganong Brothers Limited

Hello! My first Spotlight on a company will be on Ganong Brothers Limited, which is Canada's oldest family owned and operated chocolate company.

Ganong logo lrg.gif
Image Source: Ganong Bros. Website
The company was established in 1873(only 6 years younger than Canada as a country!) by two brothers, James and Gilbert Ganong in St. Stephen, New Brunswick originally as a small retail and grocery business. Their focus soon changed to specializing solely in chocolates and manufacturing them.

Some of the company's earliest products were Chicken Bones which were pink cinnamon flavored hard candies with a chocolate center which they still produce today. I will review these in the future as I have actually never tried them before and I am interested to see how they taste.

Image source: Ganong Bros. Website.
For most of the early 20th century they specialized in embossing individual chocolates and trying to develop and perfect one of their ideas.... a chocolate you could keep in your pocket which later became known as a chocolate bar. Their exciting new product called the Pal-o-Mine bar was introduced in 1920. At the time there were not many chocolate bars so these was revolutionary for chocolate production.

In Canada Ganong was the first company to feature chocolates in a heart shaped box for that special someone on Valentines Day, something you can't imagine Valentines day without!

Through the generations the company has always been run by Ganong family members and has still been manufactured still in St. Stepehen. I like the fact that they have always remembered their roots and stayed true to who they are as a company. You can't say that for all companies around today. Today the original factory now serves as 'The Chocolate Museum' with lots of interesting artifacts and memorabilia involving their company and the whole world of chocolate making. I can't wait to go to this idyllic town in New Brunswick one day in the future and see the Ganong factory as well as the museum.

Image source : Wikipedia GarretRock
I hope you enjoyed this brief Spotlight on one of Canada's oldest chocolate companies. For further information please go to Ganong's website where you can read even more about their rich history.

Ganong Bros. Limited Website History

Wikipedia on Ganong Bros. Limited

Thank you for reading my first Spotlight! I hope to feature more Canadian companies soon.

-The Sweet Bean

Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Review & New Try : Big Turk by Nestle


Today is a Review as well as a New Try on Nestle's "Big Turk" Turkish Delight chocolate bar. This is another one of those bars which I have always seen at the stores but never actually thought would be a good idea to try. It just never appealed to me, I must have thought it was an older person's type of chocolate bar. The packaging just never caught my eye, nor did I see or hear of anyone else ever buying them. I believe I have only had a real Turkish Delight once while in England, and thought it was quite nice. 

This bar is manufactured by Nestle Canada exclusive to Canada. It is a 60 gram bar which is marketed as "60% Less fat than the average chocolate bar" which could be quite appealing if you are a health conscious candy consumer like myself.

The shape of the bar is a long oblong shape with contours and it feels quite stiff and is kind of hard to pull apart since the inside is basically a jelly. The jelly on the inside is a dark pinkish or purpleish colour which is more evident in direct sunlight.

I would compare the inside taste of the bar to the flavour of a gummy bear and the stiffness of a fresh jujube. Since I am a very big gummy candy and gummy bear fan I really enjoyed this and was surprised at how it tasted. The ingredients do not specify what the flavour of the jelly inside is it just says "artificial flavours" but I would say it almost tasted like a hint of strawberry. The chocolate coating was your basic chocolate bar covering: not the best quality but still moderately appetizing,

I give this bar a 4/5 and plan on repurchasing tomorrow as my snack! Yum.

-The Sweet Bean

Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Miscellaneous : Kinder Surprise Minions

I've been seeing these little Kinder Egg Minions all over the place lately, obviously due to the new Minions movie coming out in a few weeks. I thought I would share a couple photos since I know you can't easily get Kinder Surprise Eggs in the US which is very unfortunate!

I grew up enjoying Kinder Eggs often and I would have so much fun putting together the little toys that came inside. The cases that the toy comes in has changed since I was young, they are quite easy to open now.

I do enjoy how the chocolate tastes even though the "white" chocolate part is not real white chocolate. It is the perfect amount of chocolate for a small snack.

The toy I got was a Minion in a Napoleon outfit who's face turns from smiling to a grimace if you twist him at the bottom, pretty cute!

Hope you enjoyed this little share!

-The Sweet Bean

Review: Cadbury Marvellous Creations - Jelly Popping Candy


Hope you are all doing great and enjoy my thoughts and comments on candy so far.

Today's review will part one of a three part series on the fairly new Cadbury Dairy Milk Marvellous Creations.
I will be reviewing the Jelly Popping Candy bar this time around. I started seeing these bars on the shelves around a year ago and was immediately intrigued. They have sort of a carnival themed packaging which really catches your eye on the shelves. The main differentiating ingredient pop out of a cannon on each package.

I have always been a fan of Dairy Milk bars, so I knew these bars would taste great. However I wondered if they would be able to pull off a popping effect inside of a jelly bean inside of the chocolate.

The bar itself has odd shaped segments with varying patterns. You are able to see some of the popping candy infused jelly beans through the chocolate but not too many. They are actually quite sparsely distributed through the chocolate bar, each square might contain one or maybe two if you are lucky. This makes the popping effect fairly minimal. You can definitely feel a bit of popping in your mouth, but not to the extent of a package of Pop Rocks. I wouldn't mind a bit more of the popping sensation. The milky chocolate is of course a great flavour.. melting away in your mouth. Classic Cadbury taste.

Overall I did enjoy this bar and would rate it a 3.5/5. I usually wouldn't reach for this bar at the store though, mostly because I prefer the Banana Caramel Crisp bar, which I will feature and review in the upcoming days.

-The Sweet Bean

Saturday, 20 June 2015

Review - Maynards Beanz : Part One - Swedish Berries

Welcome back!

As you can tell by the title of this blog, I am a fan of Beans! Whether that be jelly beans, bean vegetables or bean legumes, I enjoy them all!

Over a year ago Maynards introduced a new type of candy which they called Beanz which turned popular preexisting candy into jelly bean form. Jelly Bean form of popular candies have been a trend recently, from Starburst to Jolly Rancher, a lot of brands are trying it out.

When I first saw Maynards Beanz it was the Swedish Berries ones. I was so intrigued and had to try them out! 

Originally I did not enjoy how they tasted that much. Somehow their was no pizazz or interest in these little beans. The squishyness of a normal Swedish Berry was lost and didn't translate in bean form. They are definitely not uniform in size and shape and can vary to almost double. I do enjoy regular Swedish Berries, but usually do not choose to buy them if given the choice.

Upon consumption for this blog post I standby my previous statement in that I don't particularly find these exciting. They are quite chewy and since they are so small don't have the full flavour of a Swedish Berry nor do they quite have the jelly center of a jelly bean. Not enough of either going on. Maybe if you are more of a Swedish Berries fan to begin with you might enjoy these.

I do find them quite appealing to look at. With their varying shapes and sizes, they look pretty cute in the palm of your hand.

I would rate Maynards Beanz Swedish Berries a 2.5/5... which I would call "Hmm, they are alright". 

Here is the rest of the Maynards Beanz, stay tuned for reviews on Fuzzy Peaches and Sour Patch Kids.

-The Sweet Bean

Friday, 19 June 2015

Faithful Favourite - Wonka Bottle Caps

Good day! Happy Friday.

I'd like to share with you one of my Faithful Favourite candies. Wonka Bottle Caps!

I have been enjoying these soda pop flavoured compressed dextrose candies since I was little at the time when they were still in the pouches instead of the rolls or theatre size boxes. Their sizes differ as they do make the size of the bottlecaps in the theatre size boxes quite a bit smaller than the roll. 

I've heard some people in the US say they can't find Bottle Caps that easily, however in Nova Scotia they have them at almost all convenience stores, which I am quite thankful for!

The flavours are: grape, cola, cherry, orange, and root beer. I personally find the orange and root beer flavours to be the most pleasant. If you suck on them for long enough they almost dissolve in your mouth.

Wonka candy has always been one of my favourtie candy brands and I could go on for hours how much I enjoy their products! You will start to notice a trend of Wonka candy in my Faithful Favourties posts. Stay tuned for more reviews on candy by Wonka as well as a Spotlight on the Wonka Company and how an imaginative book turned movie changed how the world saw candy and chocolate.

About a year ago during the summer, I used to unroll the Bottle Caps and take photos of the flavour disbursement so I could track it! After consuming and documenting about 8 rolls in a week and a half (still not tiring of their taste) I came to the conclusion they are not even in the amount of each roll, you get what you get. Which is fine by me because usually I would get a lot of root beer!

-The Sweet Bean

Tuesday, 16 June 2015

Review: Thrills Gum - "It Still Tastes Like Soap!"

Hello again and welcome back to The Sweet Bean!

Today for review I will be featuring a Gum... Thrills!

If you were a Canadian child in the 1970's or 1980's you will know this one for sure! Thrills Gum is a purple "rosewater" flavoured gum that has been compared to tasting like soap. Yes, soap. It even brands itself as so with a slogan of "It still tastes like soap!" Which I find quite amusing. It was originally manufactured by a company based out of London, Ontario called O-Pee-Chee. However, it is now made by Concord Confections.

I have had this gum in the past... not particularly willingly. My Mother used to share her fond memories with me of going to the bowling alley with her older sister in the 1970's who would give her nickles to buy this purple gum from the candy dispensers.

I remember the first time she bought it for me and my siblings and we thought it tasted terrible! She kept on chewing though, as she reminisced about her childhood. She actually did enjoy how it tasted of soap!

However, trying it now, several years later I have grown to almost appreciate the strange soapy flavour. The rosewater floral flavour is much more strong for the first couple of seconds, but then subsides to more of a mellow floral taste as you chew it for more minutes. As I currently chew the gum, minutes pass and it hasn't gone stale yet, which is a bonus for me as I hate stale gum!

Overall, I would rate this gum a 2/5 for flavour and overall enjoyment. I would definitely classify this as a novelty or nostalgic candy to enjoy with someone who can share their unique stories of enjoying this gum in "The Good Ol' Days".

Hope you enjoyed this post, another Canadian classic confectionery!

Purchased at Dollarama for $0.77

-The Sweet Bean

Psst! Here is a sneak peak of upcoming classic Canadian
Chocolate Bar Reviews! Stay tuned.

Monday, 15 June 2015

Review & New Try : Pal-o-Mine - Canada's Oldest Chocolate Bar


Today's review will be on Canada's oldest chocolate bar: the Pal-o-Mine bar by Ganong Brothers Limited.

The Pal-o-Mine bar was introduced in 1920 after years of the company testing and developing different versions and recipes. The Ganong Bros. Limited Company was founded in 1873, I will be making a full post on the history of this historic brand, please stay tuned for that!

But for now, the chocolate bar itself! Let me start off by saying I have never tried this bar before, having turned away peanuts and other nuts for most of my childhood I only started enjoying their uniqueness recently. Even more recently, nuts in chocolate have made it to my list of candy to eat. I didn't like crunchy bits.

The bar is marketed as "Fudge & Peanuts". Before opening, I carefully inspected the bar to feel it's shape and it felt quite stiff. I was afraid it might hurt my teeth. After opening and biting into the bar I was quite surprised to find a soft, almost melty inside. It was definitely more Fudgey than Peanut. It was like a peanut flavoured fudge. I didn't taste a single peanut piece in the whole bar. It had a homemade fudge dipped in semi-sweet chocolatey taste which was very pleasantly unexpected.

Overall I would rate this bar a 4/5 and will definitely be purchasing again in the future!

Hope you enjoyed my first review, thank you for reading and please stay tuned for more exciting content!

Purchased at my local Grocery Store for $1.29 CAD

-The Sweet Bean

Sunday, 14 June 2015

Guide to The Sweet Bean's Posts


Here is a Guide to the posts which will be making up The Sweet Bean. I decided to categorize my future posts because I enjoy structure when writing.

Please look forward to upcoming posts in the following categories:

Review - As the name suggests, this is where I review a candy and let you know how I think it tastes and give it a rating from 0 to 5. 0 meaning I hated it to 5 meaning I loved it!

Faithful Favourite - These posts will feature a candy I have been enjoying for a long time and would like to share as one of my favourites.

Spotlight - When a company or particular candy is featured. The history and story will be discussed.

Musings - This is where the art and look of the candy will be highlighted. This can mean anything from a display at the convenience store I admire or a different country's candy which I find appealing and wish I could try.

Comments - Humble comments and observations of whats new or trending in candy.

Recipes - Sharing candy and confectionery recipes I have either come up with or found online and taste great.

New Try - This indicates it is my first time trying the item and will usually coincide with a review.

Miscellaneous - Everyone knows sometimes you just have to let loose from structure! This category can have random, unpredictable posts.

Thanks for reading! I hope you enjoy my upcoming posts!

-The Sweet Bean

Introducing... The Sweet Bean!

Hello fellow Candy Lovers!

Welcome to The Sweet Bean! Inspired by the various candy related blogs I've been reading over the past few years I've decided to create my own. Here on The Sweet Bean I will be sharing my musings, comments, reviews, even recipes all related to candy and other confectioneries.

Even people who only know me a bit know one thing about me: Candy Obsessed! I've told almost everyone I know about my dreams to one day open a candy store.

Ever since I was young I've had a fascination with everything candy related. Not just eating it (although that is a major plus) but also how it is made, packaged and sold has always intrigued me. There can be the same brand of chocolate bar in two different countries but have different recipes and can taste completely different! Of course I have my faithful favourites I have been eating since I was a kid, which I will divulge, but I've also expanded my horizons and have developed new favourites which I never expected to enjoy.

Candy is always changing and the trend for what's popular at the moment can differ from year to year or country to country. What will always remain constant is the joy and satisfaction you get from ripping open that shiny, well designed package and enjoying what's inside.

Although due to my location of Nova Scotia, Canada I wont always have access to some of the new and exciting offerings someone in the US might have, I will do my best to discuss and review just as exciting Canadian counterparts.

I can't wait to keep tasting and learning more about candy, please stay tuned for upcoming reviews, spotlights, recipes and much much more! Stay Sweet!

-The Sweet Bean