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Sometimes things can get a little twisted around here! Enjoy.
Salted Caramel choc-filled centre, wrapped by a soft Caramel twisted licorice.
Contains gluten from wheat, soy, dairy and liquorice extract.
When I saw this in my small box of goodies, I couldn't wait to get into them and share with my three children. We've all tried the licorice log version of this and thoroughly enjoyed it, so we were hopeful that these would be just as yummy, as the bonus with this size is they're a lot easier to share with the family than a log. My daughter must have read my thoughts as she bought over a pair of scissors with which to open this, otherwise, as she correctly guessed, the bag would be too hard to open unaided or without being able to tidily reseal it.
Upon opening it, we all agreed that there was a hint of caramel to smell but nothing too strong, the pieces were all nice and firm and none were stuck together. I handed out some to my three kids and we all took a bite. My seven and nine year olds both loved the treat, gobbled down their piece and promptly asked for more. My eleven year old was a little more restrained and did want a second piece but when finished found that he had had enough sweetness for the time being. My mother had a piece and enjoyed it well enough, despite it not being her usual treat. I am quite happy to let my kids finish these off, I enjoyed the center of these which was the salted caramel chocolate but the outer layer I simply didn't like at all.
A win for my kids but I will stick with the licorice logs.
I have really enjoyed reviewing the RJ's products that I have received so far, so when these arrived as part of my review box, I had a certain expectation I suppose, and was excited to try these as I had not seen them before.
RJ's products are hand in hand with quality to me, and being a New Zealand made product makes that even better. The pairing of salted caramel chocolate and caramel flavoured licorice sounded like a caramel delight I needed to explore. Luckily the kids were all still at school, so I was able to try them myself without the 3 gannet children begging for a taste!
The packet itself is simple and appealing with the distinctive silver black and white colours of the RJ's brand. Every packet also has a picture of what the product is - so you know exactly what you should expect when opening the bag. The nutritional information is on the back and well set out - showing ingredients and also allergen warnings - always good to be aware of.
The packet is easy to open - and tears easily - but does pose a problem if you do not want to eat them all at once, that it is not resealable, which would be a great change to the packet. My advice is to cut the top off rather than tear it, so a simple peg can be popped on the top to keep the remainder fresh.
Biting into the first twist I was pleased with the amount of chocolate in the middle - none of this stingey little bit - but a nice mouthful. The caramel licorice twist on the outside was soft, but not squishy and not too sweet - complementing the salted caramel flavour well. I did have a couple of twists to try them and did find after the third that the flavour became sweeter, and probably not something I could eat a lot of. I decided to try cutting these and adding them to the kids icecream, and they lend themselves to this very well - they are not mushy and do not fall apart when cut and when added to vanilla icecream the sweetness complements it. I think that they would be great in yoghurt or on the top of caramel muffins too!
I would buy these again, however, I prefer the salted caramel logs that RJ's do - less of the sweet taste to overcome, and a much more manageable (willpower) portion size for me!!
I was very disappointed to find I had to fight the bag to open it and there was no way to reseal it once it was opened. Maybe because some other items I had recently reviewed was so simple to open I expected the same from this product. No matter how much I pulled or strained I could not get it to budge, and it made no difference if I tried to go across ways or downwards. So, in the end had to find some scissors to use. But once I finally did manage to get the bag open I was welcomed with the sweetest caramel smell.
I don't know why but I expected black chocolate but instead was welcomed with a brownie caramel licorice covered around brown chocolate which makes complete sense when you thing about it. It had the nice twist to it and they are a little over a bite size. When ever there is an opportunity to have Salted Caramel both the girls and my husband jump at the chance where as I am just getting used to the taste. I do not like it when it is too salted or too caramel I am right in the middle. I usually shy away from the flavour but I seem to get out voted more and more so I am adjusting my taste buds.
The good thing about this flavour is I think the packet will last a while going by my personal preference alone I found them to be extremely sweet and not a flavour I could have all the time. Even the girls limited themselves to only two pieces and said they would have some more again later. My husband had to have a couple to see exactly how he felt and said he liked the caramel flavour but could not quite pick up the salt. I put into my trusty shelf in the fridge and to date I don't believe anyone has gone near them since.
After thinking about it I think if the size was cut down to maybe a third they would be better digested as the size they are now it is just too over powering with the flavour. Its a shame as we really love the caramel coated log and I assumed it was going to be exactly like that. I think this is something that will be eaten once and a while but can't see myself buying another bag.
I've always associated licorice with the horrible black stuff so I was so happy when RJ's developed new flavours and combinations. I love Salted Caramel and Chocolate so for me, this was a match made in Heaven! Needless to say, when my girls saw the package they hassled me until I opened the packet. It is the usual foil bag with an accurate picture of the twists on the front. Both my girls loved them and were keen for another one although the pieces are quite large and I found it difficult to eat more than 3 in a setting. The Twists come in a large bag with 42 pieces in them and you could easily cut the pieces in half to make them go further. To say we loved them was an understatement! We loved the firm chocolate centre and the caramel licorice although there was only a faint salty taste. There were very sweet but delicious when you allowed them to melt on the tongue!
I decided to get adventurous and sliced the twists thinly and added them to some cupcakes. I must admit, these were scrumptious and a big hit with the family. The twists added lovely chewy chocolate bits to the cupcakes that standard chocolate chips couldn't. Although they worked really well in the baking, I preferred them just the way they are! Another job well done by RJ's and a great price for a big bag of great tasting licorice!
Salted caramel is certainly not a new idea, but its recent surge in popularity has certainly seen it being adapted into a number of food items that it has not been a part of before.
The packaging comes in the usual foil pack that RJ's is known for. The pack is easy to open but isn't resealable, so you have the risk of ants getting in or the product going stale if you don't eat it quickly. According to the front of the packet, the caramel flavour is present two-fold, with both caramel licorice and salted caramel chocolate. One would hope this means the product will have a strong flavour.
Grabbing a couple of pieces from the bag, the licorice is firm so you don't have to worry about the pieces sticking together too much or getting stuck to the base of the packet. Having chocolate present in these products does mean the licorice pieces do end up looking a little dirty or dusty due to the chocolate coming into contact with the licorice.
Upon inspection I was very impressed with the ratio of chocolate to licorice, with the chocolate taking up perhaps 75% of the volume of the product. While the licorice doesn't stick to itself all that much, it does merge with the chocolate quite well. I have a tendency when I eat products like this to eat the outside and inside pieces separately, and this proved difficult to do effectively. It's definitely been designed to be eaten together in one go.
Despite the caramel flavour being present in both the chocolate and licorice, I found the flavour rather dull. Almost coming off like the flavour of a stale coffee that happens to be more sugary than bitter. The zing of the salt only hits you once when you first bite into the chocolate and the level of saltiness is inconsistent and does vary throughout the pieces in the pack. Overall the flavour is unbalanced.
I'm not a coffee drinker. I find it far too bitter and unpleasant, but I have worked in a cafe for several years and am very familiar with the smells of stale coffee products. So for the caramel flavour to remind me of a diluted version of that bitterness, I don't find it appealing at all. Due to it's similar qualities in flavour to that of coffee, I imagine it would pair nicely with the caffeinated beverage. But this is not a product for me.
I had three very willing testers waiting impatiently for me to open the bag - my daughter-in-law and the two teenagers, Miss 17 and Mr 15. Finally, daughter-in-law got so impatient that she grabbed the bag off me and opened it herself. Before I could ask her not to tear it too much as I wanted a review photo, she had ripped the corner off much more neatly than I could have done and handed it back to me.
Miss 17 was off to referee netball shortly and had thought she would not get any, so she was thrilled she was able to take part too. Lollies are not something any of us eat every day; they are a special occasion treat to enjoy in company. I gave everyone two and took two myself, but not before I had sniffed the inside of the bag. Even this was enough to surround me with the unmistakable aroma of caramel - one of my favourite flavours.
The lollies were quite firm when we first bit into them. I chewed my first then let the second melt at its own pace. I thoroughly enjoyed the second way of eating it because the different flavours separated out. First, you got the pure caramel taste of the outer section, the flavour enhanced by the salt. Then, as the outer melted away, the inner core of chocolate became evident. It held its cylindrical shape momentarily before it too collapsed and melted down. Delicious!
My daughter-in-law enjoyed them but found she could not eat many as they are quite rich. She stopped after three while Miss 17 kept right on going. They were driving 200 km to the tournament, so I gave them another dozen to take in the car on the understanding that they would phone me as soon as they got there with an updated report on their reactions. Miss 17 was very pleased about that, needless to say.
By the time I had finished my second, Mr 15 was on his fifth. We had waved goodbye to the others, so the rest of the packet was ours to share. I was impressed by just how many the pack contained; according to the information printed on the outside, there were approximately 42, but it seemed as if there were a lot more than that. Like my daughter-in-law, I found them quite sweet, and after I had eaten a third, I decided I had had enough for the time being. Mr 15 had no such qualms; he would have eaten the rest of the packet in one go if I had not stopped him.
After dinner, we got the packet out again. Mr 15 said his fingers still smelled of caramel, even though he had washed them, but he did not seem too unhappy about that. I had two; the rest disappeared gradually until all he had left was an empty packet and a big smile on his face. Later in the evening, we had a phone call from the other two. Miss 17 had happily eaten most of them. Her mother, like me, had not been able to manage more than a couple more. But they both enjoyed them and said they were a great way to eat chocolate when you are in the car as the mess is all inside the twisty bit.
I think they are excellent value for money, given the number in the packet and the length of time it takes to eat them. None of us found anything negative to say apart from the richness which stopped the older ones from eating too many. They are made from natural ingredients and look beautiful when they are served up. We had put some into a fancy glass to serve them and agreed that it would be quite a nice centrepiece for a dessert table. Yes, we will be buying these again.
I absolutely love RJ's products particularly all of their delicious fruity licorice treats. When I saw the Salted Caramel Choc Twists come up for review I must say I was a little curious as I would never have considered such a flavour combination to be turned into a tasty licorice flavour, I was skeptical and was tossing up whether or not to request these but I am so glad I did salted caramel is a flavour I have come to enjoy over the past few years when it became all the craze, and you can't go wrong with chocolate, and somehow RJ's got the combination of the 2 spot on to create the most delicious licorice treat!
With a net weight of 280grams in the bag the amount of licorice twists is very generous, I counted 42 twists in my bag which equates to 7 servings of 6 pieces each, these days it's hard to find any product such as confectionery where the bag is actually full of the product rather than fresh air. The design of the packaging is attractive and eye-catching and I love the way that RJ's have used a combination of brown and golden tones to portray the colours of the product itself. Buying this product means that you are supporting NZmade which is always something I like to do when possible, the map of New Zealand on the back is a cute design being made out of licorice twists.
Next came the taste test I decided to pull these out today at lunch for our visitors to try and they were a hit. A delicious, soft and chewy licorice outer encasing a salted caramel chocolate centre, flavours which worked generously together. I must say that we all agreed that the licorice tasted of a creamy caramel with a hint of salt, however the chocolate taste didn't really come through on this occasion, even when I tried eating the 2 layers separately, Miss 5 and her friend (also 5) declared they were so good and were begging for more, the adults also loved them and said they tasted like a mix between toffee and caramel flavours without being over sweet.
I had plans to try these out in some different dishes but decided against it as some things are just best left eaten as they are and I believe these are one of those things. I can't wait to buy these again soon as they are absolutely delicious.
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