Saturday, September 16, 2017

Organic Improves Sheila G's Chocolate Chip Brownie Brittle

We've tried and loved a lot of different varieties of Sheila G's Brownie Brittle here on The Chocolate Cult over the past few years. In general the difference in flavor between their regular and organic versions of the same variety has been minimal. Today we finally get to try out their Organic version of Chocolate Chip Brownie Brittle. The organic ingredients account for every one on the packages list with these few exceptions: sea salt, baking soda, natural flavor, and water. To be blunt I'm not sure how you'd qualify sea salt or water as organic. Baking soda is mined as Sodium bicarbonate and then is processed with another chemical so it can't be organic. As for natural flavor... it is derived from another ingredient and without more information I can't say where it would be considered organic or not but since all of the ingredients that have flavors are organic, it might be just not legally speaking. We were sent two 5 ounce bags of this product directly from Sheila G's headquarters to test out and write about in a fair and as objective fashion as possible; no other form of compensation was received.

As you can see it looks very much like the previous chocolate chip version we covered here. The scent when I opened the bag was very dark, it really made me eager to try it out. Individually eat piece's fragrance isn't very intense. The darker chips stand out against the lighter brittle and the amount of them varies per piece. When I place a piece on my mouth, there is a sweetness but also a strong cocoa edge. It crunches with each bite and the intensity of the chocolate increases with each bite but it never gets bitterly dark. This was pretty additive to eat. It didn't need a dip or spread, in fact I'd hesitate to add anything to it. The intensity may reflect a generally more dark tasting natures of organic cocoas and unsweetened chocolate which this has. It also has organic cocoa butter This also reminded me a lot of the Dark Chocolate Sea Salt version we wrote about here but without the saltiness.

If you have not yet tried Organic Chocolate Chip Brownie Brittle from Sheila G's, you need to do so. This is Sacrament Worthy. Great job, Sheila G!

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

In Honor of Milton Hershey's Birthday

Hershey's Cookie Layer Crunch Bar, Caramel variety
I'm sure many of you have heard of Hershey. In the USA this is the chocolate brand that many of us grew up with. The company bears the name of its founder, Milton S. Hershey and today, September 13, back in 1857, he was born in Derry Township, Pennsylvania. In honor of this American candy and chocolate icon, I'm going to look at a relative new Hershey product I got to try through my Kroger membership card in the form of a Freebie. Even though this post is also to honor the man himself, I won't be anything other than honest about my experience with this product. Kroger and Hershey had no idea their freebie would turn into this article so, of course, no other form of compensation was received either.

Before we get to the bar let's look back at Milton S. Hershey. What is interesting about Hershey in light of the product I'll be talking about later, is that he started in the candy business making caramels (Lancaster Caramel Company) so we shouldn't be surprised that in their candy today they often include caramel. Yet today we think of chocolate when we think of Hershey so how did that happen? Hershey went to the World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago in 1893 and there he saw how chocolate was made. In 1900 he sold his successful caramel company and focused on chocolate, particularly milk chocolate. By 1905 he had his first Hershey Chocolate Company factory up and running.

From: By unknown (original image); Centpacrr (derivative image) - Hershey Community Archives (original image), Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=25759267

Unwrapped Hershey's Caramel Cookie Layer Crunch Bar
Now let's look at Hershey's Caramel Cookie Layer Crunch Bar. It looks a bit like a regular Hershey's milk chocolate bar with the sectioned pieces all bearing the Hershey's logo but it is much thicker and as you can see inside is a lot of caramel and some solid pieces (probably the cookie crunch part of the bar). The sections break apart fairly easily and also very quietly. Where's the crunch? The crunch happens when I bite into a section but primarily chewy it is both crunchy and sticky. The chocolate is the standard Hershey's milk chocolate, the cookies pieces while crunchy don't add that much flavor, and the caramel is primarily sweet, not tangy or buttery. This is a candy bar so I'm not surprised that it has 200 calories, half of these from fat and 19 grams of sugars.

As a candy bar this is okay but it doesn't impress me, I'm not pulled to seek it out again. Have you had one? What did you think about this newer Hershey treat?

Online Articles Consulted for this Post:

1: Biography.com article

2: The Hershey Story

3: Hershey History.org

4: Wikipedia

Monday, September 11, 2017

10 for 10 Years Makes Chocolate Walk Tradition

For 10 years the Brown County Humane Society has been inviting pet lovers and chocolate lovers to come together to help support their operations with a November event called "Chocolate Walk." For nine of those ten years, I've been going with between 1-8 other people, walking the full length over the course of a few hours, eating a lot of different chocolatey treats, and telling you all about it. But there are 10 businesses in Nashville, Indiana, that have been a spot on the map, put forth their own time, money, and many times their own chocolate creations. Today I'm going to list them and give you a few memories I have of them on the Chocolate Walk. If you have memories of your own, please do leave a comment and let us know.

Hob Nob Corner Restaurant

The Candy Emporium

Nashville Fudge Kitchen

Carmel Corn Cottage

Common Grounds
Nashville Candy Store

Artist Colony Inn

Bone Appetit

Jack and Jill's Nut Shop
Ice Cream Cottage on the Right

Ice Cream Cottage is also a sponsor this year. They've won the "Best" vote for several years as well. And they deserve those "bests" because you get so many choices of treats when you are there from ice creams to hot cocoa to cookies or brownies in past years.

In another note, Crystal Jeffries of Forever Sweet is once more the official chocolatier for the event. I wonder if she'll have cupcakes again

Sunday, September 10, 2017

ShopRite Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips Recalled

Just one recall to share with you today, the second Sunday of September, 2017.

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ShopRite Real Chocolate Chips, Semi-Sweet

Wakefern Food Corp. has initiated a voluntary recall of its ShopRite brand Semi-Sweet Real Chocolate Chips. The chips were sold in 24 oz. bags bearing a UPC bar code of 041190 02668 and Best if Used By dates of April 11, 2019 and April 12, 2019.

The recall was issued because the package may contain milk chocolate chips, and milk is not declared in the ingredient statement. No illnesses have been reported but people who are allergic to milk could experience an allergic reaction if they consume the chips. No other package sizes or date codes are being recalled.

“Customers who purchased the chocolate chips may return them for an immediate refund or replacement,” said Karen Meleta, vice president of Consumer and Corporate Communications for Wakefern. “People who are not allergic to milk and those who are not concerned about consuming dairy ingredients may choose not to return the product as it is otherwise safe to eat,” she added.

The product was sold in ShopRite, The Fresh Grocer and other retail stores located throughout the Northeast. Wakefern has contacted ShopRite and The Fresh Grocer Price Plus Club customers who have purchased this product to alert them to the recall.

Customer questions or concerns about the recall can be directed to 1-800-ShopRite (1-800-746-7748) Monday – Friday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

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