That feel of Christmas is definitely in the air now and the folks at American Soda were kind enough to send out a variety of treats for me to try that would be perfect for adding a different novel touch to a loved one's stocking. Sick of the same old chocolate coins and English chocolates they offer the chance to try the many wonderful concoctions from the US of A!
I couldn't wait to tuck in and try them all and figure out which ones were good and what was not so good and which ones you'd definitely want to be receiving in your Christmas stocking this year!
Butterfinger Christmas Medallion - 7.1/10
I definitely figured that this was the first one that I had to try; not only did it look wonderfully festive but I've never had the chance to try any of the Butterfinger products before. Opening it up the cute Santa theme is carried onto the actual chocolate; the chocolate is sweet, satisfying and definitely a lot better than Hershey's whilst the crunchy peanut pieces add a nice savoury element. Something a bit different to your usual chocolate coins and suitable for any kids or big kids alike!
Milky Way Simply Caramel - 8.4/10
So in the US the Milky Way is actually our Mars bar..confusing right!? Anyway this is pretty much their version of the diabolic Mars Caramel that was brought out this year in the UK; thankfully it seems that the Americans know how to make this bar better than we do! Instead of just taking out the nougat they have replaced it with more caramel, leading to a delicious sweet, gooey caramel chocolate bar. Heaven in a chocolate bar and would certainly tuck into this one again and again.
Cinnamon Bun Cake Bites - 3.8/10
I love cinnamon rolls, that sweet sticky raisin filled bun iced and dusted with cinnamon - so naughty yet so nice! However I am afraid to say that these Cake Bites did not live up to expectation; the ingredients list is perturbing at the best of times but I found these to be artificial tasting and cloyingly sweet and with these being around the same calories as a regular cinnamon bun..I think I would opt for the real thing.
Mint Choc Chip Cookie Dough Bites -6.9/10
Thankfully I can say that the Mint Choc Chip variety was much better! These possessed a nice level of sweetness and had the same sort of flavour as a Mint Chocolate Aero; the cookie dough filling provided a nice different texture to tuck into and the flavours overall worked well. If you know anyone who enjoys tucking into a good bit of minty chocolate then these would no doubt go down a treat.
Zagnut - 4.3/10
When I read the description of "coconut/peanut butter" I was expecting a cross between a Bounty/Reese's Bar; what I got was something different altogether. This is definitely not a chocolate bar but more fitting of a "candy bar" the peanut butter/coconut is really crunchy and splinters everywhere when you bite into it. It doesn't taste horrific, its very sweet, but does possess a good peanut flavour - it's just not really my cup of tea.
Take 5 - 8.3/10
If you love peanut butter you will adore this! The perfect combination between salty/sweet with peanut butter; caramel; pretzels smothered in milk chocolate. The crunchy pretzels provide a wonderful texture contrast to the smooth caramel and the thick sumptuous peanut butter. You can tell it's not the best chocolate and it's filled with a whole load of stuff I can't even pronounce..but it tastes good and heck if you can't treat yourself now and then!
5th Avenue - 6.4/10
Another crunchy peanut butter chocolate bar; heck the Americans sure like their peanut butter don't they - oh well, I'm not complaining. Unfortunately this is no where near as good as the Take 5 bar and I found the texture to be a bit claggy and the overall flavour to be a bit sweet for my liking. Nevertheless I would still say it was worth a try - just to see if it floats your boat.
100 Grand Bar - 4/10
It looks like a Toffee Crisp...it sounds like a Toffee Crisp, what with its "crispy puffed rice, caramel and chocolate"...however it doesn't really taste much like a Toffee Crisp; in fact it doesn't really taste a lot like anything. It's a bit bland and the overall experience was a bit of a let down.
Mallo Cups - 7/10
I'd had a go at making these myself at home before and they turned out delicious! These were similarly good; a sweet creamy chewy Marshmallow Fluff-like centre coated in chocolate. I'm sure these would go down a treat as something really a bit different this Christmas - there's certainly nothing like this in the UK that you can buy in the your local shop!
Milk Chocolate Peanut Chews - 6.4/10
When I opened these I didn't expect them to taste all that good; the chocolate had bloomed slightly and the name "peanut chews" doesn't really have the most appetising of rings to it. I was; however; pleasantly surprised - they have a texture akin to that of a chewy fudge yet have a wonderful light salty sweet peanut flavour to them. I don't know whether I would specifically go out to buy one of these but definitely wouldn't turn one down if offered.
So there we have it folks; a nice neat run down of some of the many goodies you can pick up at American Soda; some good, some not so good - however there's so much stuff to choose from and to try that it's really quite difficult to stop yourself from spending too much and there's certainly a whole load of stuff to make your Christmas chocolate slightly different this year!