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Confections

Mrs. Prindable’s Gourmet Caramel Apples

Mrs. Prindable’s hand-selects extra-fancy apples based on crispiness, juiciness, and size. The Gourmet Jumbo Apples are an impressive 4.5 inches tall and 1.5 pounds. These enormous apples are available in eleven flavors and serve up to 10 people. While smaller than the Jumbo Apples, the Petite Apples are still sizeable at 3.5 inches tall and half a pound. These beauties are available in seven flavors and serve one or two people.

applesEach orchard-fresh premium apple is dipped by hand in creamy, smooth caramel cooked that same day. Then, depending on the flavor chosen, the apple is hand-rolled in the finest nuts and toppings. Gourmet caramel apples ordered from Mrs. Prindable’s are made to order to ensure freshness and are delivered without delay.

Natural Caramels combine the creamy caramel Mrs. Prindable’s is famous for with exotic flavor combinations to deliver a uniquely delicious bite-size indulgence. Each decadent treat offers a sophisticated visual experience in addition to satisfying caramel and chocolate cravings.

Irish Chocolatier Draws Attention to African Fairtrade Chocolate

A Canadian chocolatier has made a big splash in Ireland and Ghana in recent months with her plans to open the first Fairtrade bean-to-bar factory in Ireland.

Allison Roberts, now a resident in Clonakilty, Ireland, started her first chocolate business at age 12 in King City, Ontario, Canada.  In 2014 she was awarded a trip to Ghana as a Fairtrade representative and has since been on a mission to draw attention to, and create more business for Fairtrade cooperative farmers in GhanaWest Africa.

”The impact of Fairtrade in these rural communities is remarkable, we’re talking about the basics – introduction of water facilities, toilet blocks and schools,” Roberts explains. ”Fairtrade also provides education for farmers around crop rotation and safety and the Fairtrade premium nurtures the development of other industries such as batik or palm oil production in these areas of high unemployment.  One of the major problems with the chocolate industry is widespread child-slavery,” she continues. ”Fairtrade means farmers get a fair price for their crops, ensuring no child is ever taken from their family or forced to give up education.”

Roberts has been running her business, Clonakilty Chocolate, for six years and is now the process of buying her first set of manufacturing machines with the ultimate goal to reproduce her Irish factory in Ghana so that Ghanian farmers are able to add value to their products.  ”This is all part of a much bigger issue; there is an urgent need for a greater understanding around the impacts of food choices in the West. Large corporate control in the industry means we’re often not shown the reality behind the products we consume,” she said.

For more information and to watch videos from Ireland and Ghana visit www.clonakiltychocolate.com.

Moonstruck Chocolate Introduces Fall Confections Collection

Moonstruck Chocolate Co. welcomes fall with new collections inspired by warm autumn hues and rich flavors. Whether preparing for ghoulish Halloween festivities, a resplendent Thanksgiving table or simply celebrating the changing seasons, including handcrafted Moonstruck Chocolates in the mix steeps the senses in quintessential autumn experiences.

“With the changing of the seasons, we look to the bounty of the Northwest and highlight the flavors that are prevalent in markets, on kitchen tables, and at favorite local restaurants and watering holes,” explains Julian Rose, Master Chocolatier for Moonstruck. “Our fall collections feature spicy, nutty and syrupy notes that conjure memories of old favorites like pumpkin and pecan pies and gingerbread, but we think chocolate lovers also will find new favorites to enjoy.”

Pumpkin Patch Collection

moonstruck pumpkinIdeal for an autumn gift bag or place setting, the four-piece Pumpkin Patch Collection offers perfectly molded pumpkins that look almost too good to eat. Filled with velvety pumpkin spice milk chocolate and dark chocolate ganache and enrobed in ivory chocolate tinted naturally with orange, the pumpkins are hand-finished and two are dusted with sugar for a sparkly, textured delight. Suggested retail price is $10.

Monster Mash Collection

moonlightmonsterThis frightfully fabulous collection features the artistry of Chef Rose, who hand-carved the clay originals from which confection molds were cast. It’s no trick; each treat is decorated by hand, and no two monsters are exactly alike. Familiar combinations are captured in milk and ivory chocolate shells, including caramelized tones in the Crème Brulèe Werewolf Truffle, nutty goodness in the Peanut Butter Ghost Truffle, deep citrus in the Blood Orange Devil Truffle, and crunchy Oregon hazelnuts and popping candy in the Popping Praline Mummy Truffle. Suggested retail price is $10.

Spooky Spider Collection

moonlightspookyMoonstruck’s classic bow-tied truffles get a creepy crawly makeover as Creepy Orange Spider Truffles and Milk Chocolate Spider Truffles. The collection includes three truffles draped with orange spiders guarding a rich, extra-bittersweet dark chocolate ganache within. Two milk chocolate ganache truffles are embellish with foreboding dark chocolate spiders. Suggested retail price is $10.

Flavors of Fall Collection

Capture the best flavors of fall with this six-piece collection, released just in time to lend warmth and comfort to cooler autumn days. Stunning seasonal motifs of foliage, nuts and pies hint at the unique combinations within. The popular confections include a Maple Walnut Mousse Truffle, Pfeffernüsse Spice Truffle, Pumpkin Pie Truffle, Pecan Pie Truffle, Harvest Almond Praline and Plantation Molasses Caramel. Suggested retail price is $13.50.

New Milk Chocolate Tumbled Gingerbread Hazelnuts

Oregon hazelnuts get an extra kick from gingerbread spices before being tumbled with layer upon layer of premium chocolate. These small bites pack big and complex flavor, revealing notes of ginger and cinnamon followed by a toasty crunch under signature milk chocolate. Suggested retail price is $5.

Special Treats and Wrapped Collections

For a hauntingly sweet gesture, give Moonstruck’s 10-piece Haunted House Collection. Boxed in a chilling coffin-shaped haunted house, the collection includes one of each of Moonstruck’s Halloween-themed truffles, including all four Monster Mash truffles, both pumpkin truffles, both spider truffles, as well as a Frankenstein Toffee Truffle and an Extra-Bittersweet Black Cat Truffle. Suggested retail price is $25.

With fall comes the great pumpkin, and Moonstruck offers two. Satisfy chocolate and peanut butter cravings with a Milk Chocolate Peanut Butter Crispy Pumpkin, or take a walk on the dark side with a Dark Chocolate Rocky Road Pumpkin. At 110 grams a piece, pumpkins are available for a suggested price of $7.50.

Moonstruck offers its signature truffles specially wrapped in seasonally-inspired paper ideal for any gift-giving occasion. The suggested retail price is $20 for the nine-piece collection and $35 for the 16-piece box.

Finally, now is the time to find Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Almond Bark. A superb balance of sweet and salty, this decadent dark chocolate incorporates roasted almonds and Maldon sea salt flakes for a satisfying crunch. Available in one-pound boxes for a suggested price of $25.            

Moonstruck Chocolate’s autumn collections are available online at www.moonstruckchocolate.com, at select national retailers, in four Moonstruck Chocolate Cafés in Oregon and at the St. John’s store in North Portland. For more information, call 800.557.6666.

nibmor Offering Ethically-Sourced Chocolate at #SFFS14

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By Lorrie Baumann

Jessie Osias is serving Mint and 6 Spice Drinking Chocolates at nibmor’s booth #4475 at the Summer Fancy Food Show. This is nibmor’s debut at the Fancy Food Show, although the company, headquartered in New York, has been around for five years now. Both of the drinking chocolates that are being served in the booth are made with cashew milk. “Everything is vegan, so we stick to a nondairy milk,” Osias commented.

All of nibmor’s chocolate products are ethically sources, certified either by Rainforest Alliance or Fair Trade. The company is currently planning for a fall release of a 6 Spice bar, which is dark chocolate with 72 percent cacao. The 2.2-ounce bar will retail for about $3.99. At the same time, nibmor will release a Sea Salt Dark Chocolate Bar with 80 percent cacao. This will also be a 2.2-ounce bar to retail for $3.99.

nibmor is also planning a new All-Natural Superfruit line of chocolate bars intended to offer a healthier confection option to the mainstream grocery market. “We’re trying to meet the consumer where they are,” Osias says. The line is tentatively scheduled to launch at the end of this year. “At this point, it’s still being discussed,” says Osias.

Brittles are Hot at Hammond’s Candies #SFFS14

By Lorrie Baumann

The folks at Hammond’s Candies (in booth #3930 at the Summer Fancy Food Show) are delighted at the market’s reception of its new Cotton Candy, which launched in March and exceeded market projections for the entire year by the end of April, according to Hammond’s CEO Andrew Schuman.

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The Hammond’s Cotton Candy is the brainchild of Vice President Andrew Whisler.

The Hammond’s Cotton Candy is offered in Classic and Peppermint as well as a couple of other seasonal varieties, and Schuman is predicting that the peppermint flavor, which is made from crushed Hammond’s candy canes, is going to be a strong seller during this holiday season. Shipping of the product is in hiatus during the summer, but once the weather is a little cooler this fall, Hammond’s Cotton Candy will be available again. Schuman recommends ordering in September so you can offer it for sale to customers during the fall and holiday season.

The Hammond’s Cotton Candy is packaged in plastic bags to hang from a tree, and it retails for $2.99.

Also coming this fall is the Hammond’s Popcorn line, which will be relaunched in August, says Andrew Whisler, Hammond’s Vice President of Sales and Marketing. It’s coming in a newly designed bag with a much more attractive retail price point that should appeal to customers. Flavors include Caramel, Chocolate Caramel, Cinnamon Toast, Mango Habanero and Honey Peanut, as well as Chicago-style, which Whisler says is half caramel and half cheese popcorn. “It is so good, especially in combination,” he says. The popcorn retails for $3.99 to $4.99.

And new in the Hammond’s booth at the Summer Fancy Food Show are the Hammond’s Brittle Crisps. These are nut brittle confections that are a little thinner and a little crispier than the traditional brittle, and they’re infused with adventurous new flavors like Jalapeno Lime. There’s a Cashew & Cayenne Brittle for the folks who like sweet heat and a Sea Salt & Caramel Brittle for the folks who are fond of the sweet and salty taste. They’re packaged in 9-ounce bags to retail for $3.99 to $4.99, and they’re available to ship.. “They’re going to do real well,” Whisler says. “The price point is really nice on them.”

Buddy Squirrel Offering All-Natural Honey Bite Samples at #SFFS14

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By Lorrie Baumann

Buddy Squirrel is introducing a new line of All-Natural Honey Bites in booth #1160 at this year’s Summer Fancy Food Show. The line is made with real Wisconsin honey, which eliminates the need for any artificial preservatives, and no artificial flavors or additives are used. Each of the bite-size snacks comes in around 80 calories.

There are three varieties: Cinnamon Coconut Almond, Cranberry Peanut Butter, and Pistachio Cashew, all made with premium nuts and packaged in cups that will fit into car cupholders for snacks on the go. Each 3.6 ounce cup contains a single variety of the bites and retails for about $6, and there’s also a 7.2-ounce cup with a variety assortment that retails for about $10, says Buddy Squirrel Marketing Coordinator Emily Zager.

The cups are sealed to maintain freshness, which gives them a shelf life of about six to eight months, and the bite-size treats are individually wrapped as well, so they’d be great for school lunch boxes or for tucking into the kids’ bags for summer camp. “It’s really designed for people on the go,” Zager says.

 

Scharffen Berger to Debut Four Artisanal Chocolate Bars at #SFFS14

Scharffen Berger Chocolate Maker will be showcasing four new, rich and distinctive artisanal chocolate bars, featuring depth and unique flavors with on-trend exotic ingredients – that are not yet available at retail.  The four new bars include:

  •  Scharffen Berger 72 percent Signature Dark Chocolate
  • Scharffen Berger 33 percent Smooth Milk Chocolate
  • Scharffen Berger 72 percent Dark Chocolate with Pistachios and Sea Salt
  • Scharffen Berger 33 percent Milk Chocolate with Toasted Coconut and Macadamia

As with all Scharffen Berger chocolate, the new chocolate bars are crafted from the world’s finest cacao, are made with Rainforest Alliance Certified sourced cocoa, kosher certified and gluten free.

 

Hawaiian Host to Exhibit at #SFFS14

 

Hawaiian Host will bring its 80-year chocolate legacy to the 2014 Summer Fancy Food Show in New York City, June 29-July 1. At booth #4025, Hawaiian Host will share its signature island flavors and sample its long list of best sellers.

“As we pursue nationwide retail expansion, we are allocating many of our marketing resources to strengthen our brand presence from coast to coast, including large-scale event sponsorships, a revamped consumer public relations program, and strategic partnerships,” said Rosalie Char, Director of Marketing at Hawaiian Host, Inc. “With an already solid reputation as an industry leader on the West Coast, we are eager to meet with show goers in New York who may not be as familiar with our brand, to discuss Hawaiian Host’s newest products along with our expanding distribution and manufacturing capabilities.”

All 250 Hawaiian Host products are manufactured using super premium chocolate and an age-old proprietary process that has been utilized since 1927. Hawaiian Host will be sampling its signature products, including its newest creation, Coconut Caramacs, featuring coconut, homemade caramel and dry-roasted macadamia pieces, covered in signature milk chocolate and topped with toasted coconut flakes. Products are available nationwide via the company’s website as well as in select retail locations.

Hawaiian Host chocolate covered macadamias start with premium macadamias that are hand-selected, dry roasted and vacuum sealed to ensure freshness. The signature candy, first produced in 1927, combines macadamias with a special blend of super-premium chocolate to create its classic taste. Additional specialty items feature white and dark chocolate along with gourmet ingredients including toffee, caramel, honey and more. For more information on Hawaiian Host’s more than 250 products as well as simple dessert recipes, visit www.hawaiianhost.com.

 

Lindt EXCELLENCE Introduces New Lemon Bar

Premium chocolatier Lindt USA introduces EXCELLENCE Lemon into its dark chocolate collection as the most recent innovation to join the brand’s sophisticated offerings. The new bar will first be featured at the 2014 FOOD & WINE Classic in Aspen from June 20-22, where Lindt EXCELLENCE will serve as the Official Chocolate Sponsor.

The Lindt EXCELLENCE collection is the world’s most exceptionally crafted premium chocolate, and with the start of the summer season, EXCELLENCE Lemon is a timely addition. Created with passion by the Lindt Master Chocolatiers and made with the finest ingredients, its bright citrus flavor is pure and nostalgic of summertime year-round. EXCELLENCE Lemon masterfully combines silky dark chocolate with the refreshing taste of lemon and the delicate crunch of almond slivers. The thin, refined profile and harmonious duo of elegant contrasts offer consumers a unique sensory experience.

“EXCELLENCE Lemon tantalizes the five senses with its vibrant citrus flavor, smooth dark chocolate and crunch of almond slivers,” said Lindt Master Chocolatier Ann Czaja. “We’re excited to share this new fruit innovation, offering consumers a refreshing and palate-pleasing experience just in time for summer.”

EXCELLENCE at the FOOD & WINE Classic in Aspen
During the three-day FOOD & WINE Classic in Aspen, Lindt will host a special seminar and tastings, showcasing its premium dark chocolate collection to culinary experts, tastemakers and consumers. In addition to formally introducing EXCELLENCE Lemon during Grand Tastings, Lindt will also offer attendees an exclusive first taste of EXCELLENCE Pineapple with Toasted Hazelnuts, developed with fine wine partner J. Lohr Vineyards & Wines to pair perfectly with J. Lohr Estates Riverstone Chardonnay. The “Perfect Pairing” will be available to consumers nationwide in the fall.

The Perfect Chocolate and Wine Pairings
To celebrate the summer season and J. Lohr’s 40th year of family winemaking, Lindt Master Chocolatier Ann Czaja and J. Lohr Red Winemaker Steve Peck worked together to create the perfect dark chocolate and wine pairings, elevating the tasting experience. Exclusive pairings will be highlighted at the Classic, including the newest Lindt EXCELLENCE offerings and limited-edition J. Lohr anniversary varietals:

  • Lindt EXCELLENCE Lemon paired with limited-edition J. Lohr 40th Anniversary Pinot Blanc from Arroyo Seco in Monterey County
  • Lindt EXCELLENCE 70% Cocoa paired with limited-edition J. Lohr 40th Anniversary Red Wine from Paso Robles
  • Lindt EXCELLENCE Chili paired with 2012 J. Lohr Estates Falcon’s Perch Pinot Noir from Monterey County

The 3.5-ounce Lindt EXCELLENCE Lemon bar will be available at retail locations nationwide including Target, Lindt Chocolate Shops and www.Lindt.com. To learn more about the Lindt EXCELLENCE collection and perfect wine pairings, visit www.Lindt.com. For additional Lindt news and images from the Classic, “like” the company’s Facebook page or follow Lindt on Twitter.

Quality Confections from Cowboy Toffee Company

Cowboy Toffee Company‘s toffees are the kind your grandma would have made, if that’s the kind of thing she did. Fortunately for me, that’s exactly the kind of thing my grandma did, although mostly at Christmas time. Those memories were brought back by the taste of The Mustang, a classic toffee from Cowboy Toffee that’s made from butter, sugar, chocolate and almonds, in that order.

The company also offers its toffee-take on s’mores with a toffee called So Much S’mores, which is made from butter, sugar, milk chocolate and, you guessed it, marshmallows and graham crackers. The So Much S’mores toffee offers is gooey and wonderful, just like campfire s’mores, but it has the advantage of being much neater to eat. With this candy around, serving s’mores to your family doesn’t have to come with the warning to tie the long hair back first, since the traditional version isn’t so much something you eat as something you wear.

The third variety tasted today by the staff of Gourmet News is called Miss Bonnie, a choice for sophisticated tastes that’s flavored with the minty floral taste of lavender buds and white chocolate.

Thanks for sending along the samples, Cowboy Toffee Company. They were so good that we (mostly) don’t even want to take issue with your claim that Oakdale, Calif., where you make these treats, is the “Cowboy Capital of the World.” But that’s because our Gourmet News editorial office is located in Tucson, Ariz., where we have our own western traditions to keep alive, and we certainly don’t begrudge you a share of our wonderful western America heritage, especially if the result is these wonderful confections.