Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Review: Ruby Chocolate - ChocoLove Xoxo

For the last three years or so, I have been hearing about this new, fourth type of chocolate – ruby. The premise is that this chocolate appears light pink, with no added coloring whatsoever. Naturally as a person who dislikes fruit of all varieties, it’s more mystery than anything that piqued my interest. Traditional chocolate is so amazing and it’s hard for me to imagine that the world needed another version but for the sake of the blog, I was on the hunt.

Originally, ruby chocolate was limited in supply, hard to locate and expensive to buy. Fast forward to today and there’s a ruby chocolate Kit Kat, Hagaan Dazs ice cream bars coated in this stuff, etc, etc. Last week, we received an Amazon & Whole Foods advertisement featuring a sale of Chocolove chocolate with a picture of the ruby variety, so it was all too perfect a few days later when we found ourselves driving right by.

Chocolove chocolate is usually very good, so I could barely wait to get back to the car before cracking the bar opening and giving it a try. I’m not sure why I was so surprised when I finally unwrapped it by how startling the ruby color was, but it looked exactly like strawberry yogurt. Having been apprehensive by the mention of berry notes on the packaging and from anything that I’d ever read previously, laying my eyes on this was not a relief.

The ingredients are as advertised: sugar, cocoa butter, milk, cocoa liquor, soy lecithin, citric acid and vanilla. Zero mention of food coloring. Even several days later, my mind is blown. And the taste? Equally as hard to understand as I ate it. The texture reminded me of white chocolate – waxy more than crumbly, light in texture and in flavor. What was unmistakable was the tartness. While the berry flavor was mild, if at all present for me, the aftertaste had a bite to it that reminded me of unflavored yogurt in the sourness.

I only bought one bar and I split it up into thirds to share the novelty with my sister and parents, so that lets you know about how much I enjoyed this. That being said, I recommend trying this for the first time because it’s so amazingly different from any notion of chocolate that ever existed prior. My secondary recommendation is that this be re-named something besides chocolate. Who says you can't reinvent the wheel?

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Review: McDonald's Snickerdoodle McFlurry

For some reason, my FiancĂ© and I have picked up the most amazing habit, one of running to McDonald’s for ice cream when we’re in need of a good dessert. Back in college when I did Weight Watchers, the hot fudge sundae was a reasonable splurge – clocking in at less than 400 calories while being insanely delicious and I think that’s when the addiction truly started. Our closest McDonald is in Greenwich and like everything else in that town, it’s luxury through and through. 

When you walk inside you can order from the computerized screens avoiding all human interaction and all of the seating is brand new. The exterior looks like something you’d see on HGTV. None of this sways us to swing by more than we otherwise would, but it certainly makes the experience feel a little more upscale and warranted.

On a Friday night after a restaurant reserved for special occasions, we decided to save ourselves the $16 on what would likely be an inferior dessert and to go to the Golden Arches. We both love a good McFlurry and I had read a few months back that there would be a limited time Snickerdoodle variety.

To be honest, I had no idea what a Snickerdoodle was besides a type of cookie that I’ve never looked at twice. There’s no chocolate or peanut butter in it and I always think it sounds very vanilla, but McDonald’s rarely has limited time McFlurry flavors so to avoid a lifetime of regret I decided to go for it.

Even after eating this, I had to google what Snickerdoodle is. McDonald’s describes this as creamy vanilla soft serve with snickerdoodle topping mixed throughout – so I guess that is a “bring your own understanding” type of description. In digging deeper, it has pieces of sugar cookies, cinnamon and white chocolate pieces in the mix.

I have a very new relationship with white chocolate, having only started to like it in the last year or two but I can tell you upfront this was the best part of the entire thing. The chips added a chewy element which balanced out the mixture a bit and added some sweetness. The cinnamon and cookie mix made the topping seem like a powder in each spoonful and I found the taste to be reminiscent of a zesty holiday candle. The cookies themselves were very dry and sharp while eating.

Beyond scratching some belated holiday curiosity, I can’t recommend this Mcflurry knowing there are m&m’s and hot fudge on offer. It’s possible that McDonald’s did a disservice to snickerdoodle lovers and I’ve been misled to think they’re awful, but I can tell you that I’ll never pick up a snickerdoodle cookie again if it can be avoided. And if you’re wondering, yes I still ate the entire thing.