Pizza Hut Chèvre-Miel

It has been a long and trying week- thank you to everyone who emailed or commented on my post with words of support and encouragement. Many people came out of the woodwork to offer their condolences, and I am forever grateful to have heard your comments and to have interacted with you. Luckily, Miss Love was with me for a substantial amount of time, and we have been having a fantastic vacation together to make up for lost time.

Obviously, with our love for all things meta and bizarre, one of our first dates in Paris, a city resplendent with Michelin star-rated restaurants, gourmet tasting menus, and plenty of delicious cheese and wine, was to eat takeout from Pizza Hut. Because America, and also because chèvre miel. “Chèvre miel?” you say, trying to recall the latest American Pizza Hut promotion with Chèvremielarama, complete with stuffed pepperoni crust and cheese ooze, or the coveted Chèvre Miel Meal for Eight Pack released in 2008, but stop trying. It doesn’t exist outside of France. 
And yes, it means what you think it means. There is goat cheese on this pizza from Pizza Hut, the company that brought you pizza with a cheeseburger crust and space pizza. Baked goat cheese drizzled with honey. And yes, you’re still alive, and Darth Vader was Luke’s father the whole time. Mind blown yet? I should also mention that this pie was presented to me by my server like a bottle of 1982 Lafite-Rothschild, box open, hopeful beam upon her face that I would not scoff and discard such a masterpiece of lactose mediums.

It gets weirder, like some sort of reverse classicist restaurant franchise. Ye Olde Pizzae Hutten circles the pie with stuffed crust Cheesy Fun Bites, attached at the bread like hangnails, surrounding the mother pie like suckling puppies and breaking off if you even so much as look at the pizza the wrong way. Luckily, the pizza part of it tastes pretty decent, even if the crust bites are the Two-Face of a generally well-maintained Harvey Dent pie. 
Seriously, they are both awful and easy to eat, two bites of salt, semi-melted string cheese, and a hasty melange of spices. There is no reason, unless you have a rare salt lick deficiency, to be eating these bites. They lack balance and flavor, merely offering the comforting texture of solids to occupy your mouth while waiting for the molten hot pizza to cool. They’re a little dry, but Pizza Hut has a solution for that, and that solution is more oil. Peppered lubrication in single-use packets, to be precise.

As I mentioned, I was kind of smitten with the pizza part, at least as smitten as anyone can be with a sweaty triangle of various dairies. The components- an herbaceous cream cheese sauce, crispy mozzarella-esque cheese, and thick rounds of creamy goat cheese with honey, were well-balanced, if depressing to look at once free of its crust lesions. With each bite, the salinity and sweetness had a tasty equilibrium, neither one overly cloying or sharp. Ultimately, though, the poor quality of the mozzarella, stringy and tough, made it unpleasant to eat more than a slice or two. The combination is bold for a franchise, and in the right hands, could make for a wonderful pizza pie. However, with Pizza Hut, it lacks the care and higher-quality ingredients to devote to this pie alone. How else can they serve La Louisiane and Big Spicy Texan pizzas? How can they sleep at night?

McDonald’s Le Charolais

Happy National Cheeseburger Day! Apparently, it’s also Happy Get Groped near a McDonald’s by a Guy Resembling Rob Pilatus Day, which if I’d known about in advance, would have surrounded myself with bikini models and Sinclair Sexsmith, but you live and you learn, I suppose. And get touched by strangers, but that’s all in the past now. But everyone knows that the objectification of women goes best with a side of fries, so here’s Le Charolais, McDo’s answer to the McDouble back home.

Surprisingly enough, McDo also has the McDouble and McChicken in addition to this little gem, but this is for when you’re feeling classy and want a burger to go with your McMacarons and McEspresso, both of which exist and are embarrassingly delicious. I initially thought that “Charolais” was one of those corporate neologisms designed to be a hybrid of “charred” and something Franco-sounding and chic, but to my surprise, my two-dollar burger has origin, baby, and champion origins at that, sourced from Ireland and the south of France. The Charolais cattle are a noble, prize-winning purebred line who would likely be ashamed to discover that they’ve been made into something eaten by me.

In addition to a pedigree, the Charolais has PGI-protected French Emmental cheese, lettuce, and a Dijon-pepper sauce on a fresh miniature ciabatta. This has more “local” food keywords than most Brooklyn restaurants, and it’s got the flavor to prove it. Almost every component is flavorful, with a distinct, defined sharpness unusual to fast food. Normally, food like this is enjoyed for its monolithic, consistent properties. After all, a Big Mac is the same in every language, but this is another story entirely.
For its low price point, this is excellent. Any pricier, though, and I’d have been a little peeved. The quality didn’t match up with the ingredients. The cheese stood out the most, with a very nutty, slightly sweet note. The mustard and pepper sauce was tangy and strong and despite its modest quantity, went a long way in enhancing the burger. Unfortunately, the beef was so overshadowed by its accompanying components that they swallowed it completely. Letting it stand for itself was a noble goal, but regrettably a failure in execution. It was drastically underseasoned and dry. And the components were delicious, but didn’t quite come together with the same level of syzygy of the McDouble. I’d try this again, and use it as a tool to blow people’s minds, but for a consistent sandwich, would stick to my old favorite. Sometimes the classics win out!

Vitamin Water i-Create (Peach, Raspberry, Vanilla)

It takes a special breed of creepiness to scroll through Facebook comments on corporate pages. Seriously, you’re better off finding more coherent reading in bathroom stalls. There you’ll find many a plea for coupons, usually in return for sexual favors or forehead tattoos, as well as some entertaining campaigns for spin-off products. (“Hey, Oreo, please LIKE my awesome new cookie product, SPOREO, the Oreo for gardeners!!!”) Sometimes, in rare moments of hilarity, corporate campaigns result in trolling. Anonymous has sent Pitbull to Alaska and Justin Bieber to North Korea. In the case of a recent Vitamin Water Europe contest to create the next flavor, it actually resulted in something delicious.

Coming straight to you from a tourist trap slash bagel kiosk in the heart of Paris, here’s the Vitamin Water i-Create in peach, raspberry, and vanilla. It smells like the latest perfume collaboration between Nickelback and Will Smith’s Daughter, Excretion Swag and has a similar color. Surprisingly, the vanilla is subtle and enhance the fruits without adding a fake, sugary flavor. The raspberry takes a backseat to the peach, the strongest note in the drink. It reminds me of a novelty hybrid rather than a layered set of flavors and eventually felt a little one-noted, if tasty.

Although this bottle was approximately 20% smaller than the bottles in the US and cost about 200% more ($1.50 vs. $3.20 USD) the serving size was just enough for me. I felt like any more of it would have been overwhelming to drink, as the quirkiness of the flavors, like many quirky things (Zooey Deschanel, giant eyeglasses, and Pinterest) gets irritating after a little while. Nevertheless, it definitely beat dragonberry and garbage (+grape) and whatever we’ve got going on across the pond. Also, it was released in the classiest of ways. “The party, hosted by Rick Edwards, was held in the sumptuous surrounding of Shoreditch’s Lounge Lover, where guests sipped on delicious peach, raspberry and vanilla i-create cocktails.” Bang, Coca-Cola. Your move!

Justin’s Nut Butter Peanut Candy Bar

According to my fantastic, made-up demographics, some of you like pie with your coffee, some of you like coffee with your pie, but you don’t like coffee-flavored pie. Likewise, some of you like romance novels, and some of you like food blogging, but some of you also don’t like erotic food-blogging. In the interest of satisfying the tastes all of my dear readers, I have elected to cut down Fifty Shades of Chocolate to a one-week serial. Rest assured, fans, Jessica McLovin’ McDesire McDestiny’s Child McWunderbar will find a partner to call her own. Haters, I’m modifying the chocolate week posts to have the rating before the story. SFW for all and if you want to read it, you can, and if you don’t, you don’t have to.

Today we’re trying Justin’s Nut Butter Candy Bars, a playful counterpart to their take on peanut butter cups. Now they’re getting into Snickers bars, too, and in a pretty decent way. I first tried these at the Fancy Food Show and am now tasting them again. The nice folks at Justin’s gave me a sample of their Milk Chocolate Peanut bar to review, the one I thought would be best as a comparative taster. The bar is advertised as having 25% less sugar, 25% more protein, and 100% more fiber than the leading bar and it tastes that way on all counts. 

The bar itself has a less indulgent mouthfeel, but a wholesome, tasty set of ingredients. The marshmallow nougat holds the bar together well but there seems to be a lack of proportion between the caramel and nougat. It has a crumbly texture with a more solid, chewy caramel base. I’m also confused as to where the peanuts come in. The ingredients list both peanut butter and peanuts, but neither showed up very well within the bar’s flavor. It was just sort of bland. For a company whose nut butter is notoriously indulgent, delicious, and savory, I was surprised that this was formulated with such a restrained flavor. It’s straightforward, but unfortunately, crumbles beneath the competition. Perhaps a little more eclectic usage of ingredients would save this one.

“No! Not the FCC requirements and giveaway runoff!” I screamed, running down the hall of infinite darkness. “I don’t want to use stock photos!” As I ran, a large figure came before me, stopping the mommy bloggers and social networking affiliates in their tracks. Was he wearing Timberlands and carrying a Camelbak? Who was this hiking-garbed savior of mine, this creature of light and Luna bars?

I woke up. It was just a dream! After my night with P, it would seem that I was descending into madness. P was dark…perhaps a little too dark. I needed something to refresh myself, a break from all of this sin and desire. Although, I thought to myself, it had been a long time since I’d felt the satisfaction of such a bar. P and I had made plans to see their friend Porcini tomorrow night, an experience I was told I wouldn’t soon forget.

I shivered at the thought. Shortly after we’d consummated our appetites, P had made me sign a contract, a nondisclosure agreement stating that I would never eat another non-organic candy bar, or eat empty calories when I could be pleasuring and receiving pleasure from a delicious, organic, all-natural piece of chocolate. It was all so new and scary to me. I needed a break, a walk in the fresh air.

Walking along the hallways of my local Whole Foods, I breathed in the heady aroma of roasted chicken, salad bars, and hippie musk. It was so perfect here, and the last place I knew P would find me. Turning a corner, I collided with a buff, stout bar, nearly knocking it off the shelf. Taking a glance at its ingredients, I jerked my hand back, as though burnt. Snickers. The child-labor ambiguity, the fairtrade contracts…it was forbidden on the contract, the chocolate sauce signature fresh in my mind on the piece of luxurious paper. Sadly, I turned, walking to brighter pastures of quinoa and Puffin cereal.

“I’m not a Snickers, you know,” I whirled around, looking at the bar beneath me. “I’m made by Justin’s Nut Butter. They call me Peanut…I’m similar to a Snickers, but without all that junk.” I gasped. It was the bar from my dreams last night! “You’re…organic?” I whispered, not daring to believe what I saw in front of me. “I’m organic, ethically sourced, and I’m really delicious, too. Plus, I have 25% more protein than the leading bar,” it said, lowering its tone. “For more energy where it counts.” I almost swooned. It was too good to be true. Surely P wouldn’t mind or notice?

“There’s a loading elevator in the back, near the goat cheese and salted butter. Let’s go. We don’t have long.” I grabbed Peanut, feeling the weight and warmth in my hands, as we descended the aisle to the elevator. It smelled like air freshener and patchouli, but it didn’t matter. Unsheathing Peanut from its white hemp wrapper, I raised it to my lips. Peanut yielded quickly, but it was too late. “You’re…where are your peanuts?” I couldn’t seem to find the huge, globular roasted pieces of peanut I knew and loved. Peanut snarled at me, rearing back and crinkling the wrapper over its chocolate shell. “What do you mean, where are the peanuts? Not all chocolate bars have huge nuts, you know. Haven’t you ever had a Butterfinger? It’s about the flavor. Whatever.” I reared back. Peanut had an attitude. “Well, your caramel is crumbly and you’re not sweet at all!” I shouted, but it was gone, back to the freezer aisle, yelling behind it, “I’m going back to Nutella…they know how to treat nuts!”

I knew that straying from P was the wrong thing to do, and that they would find out in short notice. I couldn’t let that cloud my judgment, though, and I walked out of the Whole Foods, brushing chocolate off my hands and lips. Only P could satisfy me now, and I would have to trust them to deliver. I shivered to myself, thinking about Porcini. What would become of me in their Brown Room of Confection?

To be continued…

Kraft Jet-Puffed Pina Colada and German Chocolate Mallow Bites

Every so often I’ll come across a product in a smaller grocery store or market that genuinely looks (and smells) like it hasn’t been moved since the Nixon administration. I kind of expect this to happen at these stores and proceed with caution. But the big box stores? It’s creepy to see something that looks as though they’ve unearthed it from their store archival collection in the basement. Such was the case at my local Target today.

I did not expect to see these marshmallows, clad in a bag that looked like it was straight out of 2005 with flavors that haven’t soared in popularity since their conception. And they were only a dollar apiece! Blasphemy, I tell you. Almost makes up for passing up the Current/Elliott-esque skinny jeans and gym teacher sweats in the clothing section. I’m the classiest of classy ladies. Pina Colada and German Chocolate, though. Wow. And in bite-form nonetheless. 
 

A little research yielded very few results in the way of reviews outside of my good friend JFG trying the Pina Colada mallows in September. And yet the bag honestly looked and felt like it had been printed in the mid-2000’s. I couldn’t even get the price tag off without risking damage to the package. Either someone cheaped out or got creative with recycling. And there’s a typo on the bag! I ate American-made food with a typo! I feel like I’m going to lose brain cells or suddenly gain the ability to do complex math from that or something. Yikes.

Creepy packaging aside, I came into this with a little bit of a bias- I’m just not that into marshmallows. Sure, I’ll take them if nothing else is around, but when push comes to shove they’re the edible equivalent of a sloppy, drunk hook-up with an ex or old friend over Thanksgiving break. It’s there, and that’s about it. The package designs are adorable- little fuzzy marshmallow viewing windows, drawings of marshmallows and festive beverages and slices of cake all over the place, and some helpful suggestions along the lines of informing the consumer of a whipping aid, always a plus in my book, suggestions of piling marshmallows on cake and such, I don’t know, they don’t pay me to read, and the ever-popular disclaimer that these are alcohol-free. Party hard tonight, Mr. Roboto.

The pina colada marshmallows tasted good and were adequately sunny, with a good balance between sweet and salty. There was a strange aftertaste to them, a predominantly saline one, tasting something like corn starch and baking soda, a little salty and bitter, but not off-putting given the sugary coconut and candy. Strangely chemical and even worse when they were toasted. They mainly tasted like toasted coconut with a little floral, piney fruit kick at the end of each bite. It was difficult to eat too many of them before feeling a little sick from all the sweetness, but I think they were unique and tasty enough that they’d make for a funky throwback ambrosia salad or roasted fruit s’more for a snack.

German chocolate marshmallows? Good idea. Making them look like death’s hairballs? Bad idea. Good thing these were sized to pop right in the mouth- you do not want to bite these open. Who in the world thought that puce-grey-midsize sedan was a good color for a candy?! And they taste and smell blatantly, almost offensively synthetic like a scratch and sniff sticker or some sort of trendy Japanese perfume for teens, like cardboard Tootsie Rolls. The coconut is a little less aggressive here, but no less flaky and dry on the palate. Both made delicious s’mores, but really, that color is just heinous. Still, I wouldn’t kick them out of bed, or my Rice Krispie treats.

Birthday Cake Golden Oreo Fudge Cremes

Another month, another birthday celebration. If this is what Oreo does when it turns 100, imagine what it’ll be like when it turns 200! Free cookies, memory implants, and days of leisure from our robot chipmunk overloads for all. I recently got the opportunity to try the second of the new birthday cake Oreo cookie flavors, the Birthday Cake Golden Oreo Fudge Cremes. Like its previous incarnation, the packaging is adorable and clearly celebratory. Oreo is ready to party hard in yellow and blue.
If the Birthday Cake Oreo represented two layer cakes shrunk down to bite size like in Honey, I Shrunk the Kids, the Birthday Cake Golden Oreo Fudge Cremes are like a girl who got too drunk at a party and ended up taking her top off and falling in the cake. There’s a lot going on here. I can see what they were going for here, and I think it’s awfully cute that they mimicked the cross-section of a chocolate frosted vanilla birthday cake in the cookie, but the overall effect is a mishmash of flavors and textures, none of which is entirely discernable from another and ends up roughly translating to “sugar overload” in the mouth.

I’ll be honest, I’ve never been crazy about the Fudge Creme line. I don’t see the brand as entirely representative of Oreos and if I hadn’t known these weren’t Oreo brand cookies, I definitely wouldn’t have guessed. I had confidence in the birthday cake flavor, but these missed the mark for me. Visually, I felt like these were a little more festive than the Birthday Cake Oreos and I adored the plentiful rainbow sprinkles on top, but the flavor was almost cloying.

In this case, the frosting-flavored cream only contributed in exacerbating my tooth pain instead of distinguishing itself as it had nothing to play off of. The chocolate coating tasted waxy and one-noted and the cookie’s flavor completely disappeared. Regardless, these may be more appreciated by kids celebrating the 100th birthday of Oreo as they have a distinctly more kid-like feel and appeal to them, but personally, I’ll stick to the classics.

Cheetos W Gourmet Corn Potage Soup

“It’s 4/20,” I said to Miss Love, “So I’m going to review this strange flavor of Japanese Cheetos.”
“Okay.”
“They’ll like that, right?” I said with the apprehensive tone of a middle-aged father trying to pick out a hip-hop CD for his teenage son’s birthday. “They like bizarre combinations and things that come from Asia, right?” Well, while these contain neither hemp nor any advertisement, subliminal or otherwise, referring to or evoking Bob Marley, they are, like stoners, both fascinating and a hair creepy, so happy 4/20!
These chips came from Japan, sourced by J-List, and are part of the Frito-Lay Japan Cheeto “W” line. Not to be confused with the gourmet line of Cheetos, or the chocolate-covered Cheetos, or the Cheetos released that taste like all the different kinds of Korean cuisine, these double-your (“W”) your flavor by using twice the normal amount of flavor powder. Double your pleasure, double your pun, Japan. No word on whether some ambitious gamer has conducted a quantitative study as to exactly what the normal amount is and whether this is actually doubled, but suffice to say the class action lawsuit settlement alone would be enough to keep you rich in Cheeto dust fingers for your entire life and afterlife.
Oddly enough, the first thing that struck me about these wasn’t so much the powder, but the scent. It smelled like I’d accidentally wandered into a Denny’s or a state fairground, a sweet combination of maple syrup, fresh kettle corn, and oil wafting out of the bag. Not bad, but completely unexpected. Out of the bag, the Cheetos didn’t appear to have any more flavor powder than their standard, naked counterparts, and the powder was subtly colored rather than taking a page from the nuclear ‘merican ones we’ve come to know and love.
The flavor is curious. It tastes like sour cream and onion chips and Corn Pops met under normal circumstances, dated for a while, had some mutual differences that were impossible to overcome (she’s too sweet and cloying, he has an underlying musky scent like he doesn’t bathe) and parted on good terms, resolving to stay friends all the same. Until they met up at their ten-year high school reunion, reconnected, and she popped out these nine months later. They’re neither breakfast nor snack food, but they contain familiar elements of both. The sweet and savory balance is spot-on, and while I couldn’t detect any cheesiness in these, there was a definite heaviness not unlike actual corn potage, combining starchy, rich flavors with other starchy, rich flavors. Perhaps these are better eaten in the winter, or as the bag suggests, atop actual corn potage like a fat kid’s croutons. Either way, I found that despite their perplexing odor, they subtly and masterfully highlighted the base ingredient of Cheetos- corn, and added an extra layer of flavor mimicry to them as well. Best paired with Pink Floyd and more Cheetos, I assume.

MiO Lemonade and Blueberry Lemonade

MiO, someone needs to sit you down and talk to you about product expansion control. Seriously, you’re less than a year old. You started life with six babies and now you’re up to ten? If you were a cat, I’d spay you faster than you could say “liquid water enhancer.” Luckily, I’m a fan of gigantic product lines. (Call me, Octomom!) Like clockwork, Kraft and MiO have introduced two new summery flavors for the year, Lemonade and Blueberry Lemonade. As some of you know, I accidentally leaked this information a few weeks ago, unleaked it, and then announced a giveaway for two lucky readers to try the new flavors before their release in stores next week. And now, the night has come!
As I’ve seen in the past with MiO and MiO Energy, the two new flavors feature the same loveable teardrop-shaped bottle we know and love, and expands the line to include a more tart set of flavors, eschewing the standard juice, tea, and energy varieties we’ve seen in the ghosts of MiO past. In regards to flavor, it’s basically going to appeal to one of two camps. If you’re partial to freshly squeezed Meyer lemon lemonade hand-pulped by unpaid slaves with a sprig of organic, cruelty-free mint, you will likely not enjoy MiO’s version of lemonade. If you’re content to dump half a jar of Country Time into a bottle of water, this is definitely up your alley. I gave my slaves the weekend off to tend to their wounds, so I fell somewhere in between with this. It has a bright acidity to it, but not too bright- think a C average and 1100 on the SAT’s, and has a soft, sweet flavor tasting of simple syrup first and fresh lemon somewhere in the hundreds, behind lemon-scented soap and Lemonheads. Pleasant, low in calories, and easy to mindlessly drink. Definitely as good as the original MiO flavors with a little more oomph.
As far as the Blueberry Lemonade goes, I’m always advocating for more inspired and clever flavor options, so this was a welcome change- I guess jalapeno lemonade wasn’t on tap, but a girl can hope, right? I much appreciated the restraint in artificial coloring. Instead of resembling an overzealous toilet bowl, this was faintly blue and I wondered if MiO had taken a page from Vitamin Water and opted against using a deluge of Blue Lake #14 in their concoction. The flavor was distinctly diet, more so than the lemonade, and reminded me of other low-calorie berry-based beverages on the market, like Vitamin Water Zero and diet Ocean Spray, with a predominantly berry and Splenda-laced flavor and a very smooth finish completely lacking in artificial tang. Unfortunately, it lacked the tart acidity I expected from a beverage with 50% of its title comprising “lemonade”. Had this been labeled as mixed berry or grapeade, I wouldn’t have known the difference.
Overall, solid lineups to the MiO product line, if not my favorites of the lot. I like that MiO relies heavily on customer feedback to develop their new flavors and rotates their product selection on a regular, seasonal basis. It’s definitely something I’ll pull out when I hit the gym in the summer months and I’m really looking forward to see what’s on tap for fall. (Please, please, pleeeeease let it be apple cider and pumpkin…)

And now, for the contest! Just for fun, I made graphs of the rating breakdowns on a My First Graphing site. It looks like people were more varied on the blueberry lemonade but gave it an overall higher rating than the regular lemonade. And nobody rated them lower than a 3! I rated both of them as a 6…four of you thought I would rate them as a 7 and a 6, and from those names my random generator picked Heidi and Rex! Congratulations, and I’ll be in touch for your mailing addresses soon to get your MiO out to you. Thanks for playing and thanks again to Kraft and MiO for giving me the goods and hooking up my readers, too.

Philadelphia Kraft Indulgence: Milk, White, and Dark Chocolate Cream Cheese

Happy Kosovo Independence Day! Now, let’s bang! What’s the matter? You don’t find that sexy? I find it very sexy. There’s nothing sexier, in fact, than a country adopting independence and separating from Serbia. I know you would have rather sampled this on February 14th, baby, Valentine’s Day, but…well, it wasn’t out then. Luckily, Philadelphia Kraft Indulgence in Milk, Dark, and White Chocolate will be available all year round, so now I guess I can plan for Valentine’s Day in 2013. Planning ahead is very sexy, right?
Regardless of when you’re eating this, it’s quite the delicious combination. Kraft has been churning out new versions of its brands lately with wonderful gusto. I appreciate seeing new things like this in stores. While chocolate and cream cheese is a much-loved dessert combination I don’t think I’ve seen it presented as a ready-to-eat spread before. Kraft sent over these three tubs for me to try this morning, so I ate them with my morning bagel.
The distinction in between the three varieties is strong- there’s a distinct dark flavor in the dark chocolate similar to the Hershey Dark chocolate bar. It’s not terribly nuanced and has a slightly grainy feel, but has a bittersweet, caramel-esque flavor with plenty of brown sugar and cocoa. Quite tasty, though a little too sweet for my taste, especially early in the morning, and with a gumminess similar to thick pudding, and it didn’t really remind me of cream cheese as much as it reminded me of canned frosting with a little more heft.
The milk chocolate was definitely my favorite of the trio- it was very tangy and carried the natural flavor of the cream cheese the best while still imparting a pleasant, if generic, chocolatey flavor. It was very meltable and easy to eat an entire spoonful of, though I don’t recommend doing so. The white chocolate was the real dark horse of the bunch. I don’t think I’ve seen a white chocolate flavored spread before. White chocolate had the most gummy texture and chewiness. It was hard to melt atop a bagel, but was delightful to dip things in and had a tanginess similar to the milk chocolate, but a milkier flavor kissed with sweetness. This flavor showcased the flavor of Philadelphia cream cheese the best, but didn’t really evoke white chocolate right off the bat.
Overall, these are definitely a fun way to enjoy breakfast, and have approximately half the fat and half the calories of Nutella. And while they have a nice, well-defined chocolate flavor, they’re just laden with sugar. Half a bagel’s worth, roughly two tablespoons, has 11-12 grams of sugar. Eat a whole bagel with this and you’re consuming a candy bar’s worth of sugar before you even start the morning. Personally, I found them a little too sweet as I’m not used to such a sugary assault so early in the day, but I’m guessing these will be well-liked by both breakfast lovers and chocoholics alike.

Komforte Chockolates: Savory Ramen and Apple Pie + Graham

Things that go well with chocolate: peanut butter, cookie dough, strawberries, human flesh, spoons, ice cream. Note that neither expensive shirts nor ramen noodles are on that list, yet both seem to come in contact with chocolate, at least in my case, on a regular basis. Featured for your viewing pleasure today is the newest bar from Komforte Chocolates, the company that brought you regular ramen noodle chocolate, tortilla and lime chocolate, French toast chocolate, and the letter K: Savory ramen chocolate bars and apple pie ‘n’ graham chocolate. College students with significant others, eat your goddamned hearts out. It is now appropriate to give your girlfriend ramen noodles as a gift.
Savory ramen is different from regular ramen in that, like you occasionally add a snazzy tie or ascot to your already dashing wardrobe, savory ramen adds soy sauce, onion, and garlic to its noodle-packed bar. Okay, maybe “snazzy” isn’t the right comparison. Eating this bar is more like wearing a pilled, smelly Christmas sweater to a black tie charity ball. It’s both weird and entirely inappropriate. What I am thankful for is that Komforte used dark chocolate as the base for this bar. What attempts to be quirky just comes off as gimmicky, and the end result, while not too sweet, just tastes like an everything bagel covered in chocolate, leaving an uncomfortable ambiguity to the bar’s classification: are you savory or sweet? The soy sauce is barely detectable but the garlic and onion are extremely forward in both the scent and the flavor, which makes for a strange set of textures and tastes when combined with the crunchy noodle pieces.
Following the trend of covering everything in chocolate like a deranged Will Wonka is the apple pie and graham bar. The tamer option of the two, this bar features my favorite pie base and my fifth-favorite pie filling. Together, the combination is a little strange. For whatever reason, the chocolatiers opted to not use graham crackers, but graham biscotti, but neither aspect of this cookie hybrid felt adequately represented in the texture. The graham was instead reduced to a mere whisp of cinnamon in the layers in the bar, lacking the grittiness I so relish when I bite into a cookie, and the apple subdued within the overall context of the bite. It was a bar primarily dominated by white chocolate- good if you’re a fan, disappointing if not.
After adoring some of their earlier selection, I hope the company continues to introduce new flavors. At the very least, it’s a low-risk way to spice up your standard milk ‘n’ dark chocolate routine.