I'm sorry posting has been so sporadic lately, it'll get back to normal very soon. I only have two weeks left to prepare for my booth for Otakon's artist alley, so I'm sleeping even less than usual, and I look insane, but hopefully all this hard work will payoff. (If you want to read/see more of my art stuff, check out my art blog.)
Since I've been so focused on my print work, Sometimes Foodie has been a bit neglected, but I'm back! (With a fancy gold foil backdrop to boot!) Let's see what all the buzz is about with these Money on Honey caramels. (Oh so lame, but a honey post without any terrible bee references would be a total waste.)
The reason why I bought this chocolate is painfully obvious, just look at it! This packaging is freaking gorgeous, and so detailed! I saw photos of this brand in Cybele's Fancy Food Show photos, and I knew I had to have it. The design is so nicely done! Sure, honey caramels sound great too, but the real reason I bought this was so that I could geek out over the packaging.
Droga is not a new brand, the California-based company has been around since about 2011, but the packaging got a facelift just last year, and man, did they do a great job. Now that this brand has a new look and identity, it's being marketed to high end grocery shops (like the specialty grocery store I bought this from) and Bloomingdales. Their updated designs are so lovely, they were even featured on one of my favorite package design sites of all time, the dieline. On the outside there's a paper sleeve with most of the product information and branding, it has beautiful pops of textured color, reminiscent of tissue paper or watercolor, with gold foiling and a stylized illustration. When you turn it over the back-side has all of the necessary brand and food related info, as usual, but this time it's very nicely organized with a crisp and clean layout.
Normally I find something to nitpick and suggest, but this is just...perfect. I was able to stop by their booth at the Summer Fancy Food Show and express some of my graphic design fan girling, and they said they get that a lot. I'm sure they were a little hurt that everyone was so taken with the updated packaging and not immediately gushing over the product itself, so let's move on and talk a bit about the candy inside. (Because I could rant about this pretty package all day.)
Inside the paper sleeve is a white box with gold foiled text and a plastic tray with four individual caramels. The chocolates are fairly large, about three bites big, and they smell like salted honey. This was the last package available at Rastelli so, sadly, it looks like it had bloomed a tiny bit while it was on the shelves. (It was also a hot day when I drove it home, so I'm sure the hot car ride didn't help either.) Little bit of blooming or not, it's still a gorgeous product.
The coating is dark chocolate, and there is a light sprinkling of fleur del sel (salt) in the center. I picked up a square and took a bite.
Immediately I could taste the honey in the caramel filling. The texture is soft and runny, somewhere between a baking caramel and a thick ice cream topping, but the flavor profile is distinctly honey which is oh so good, but it slightly overpowers everything else. The chocolate coating and the salt are present, but easily forgotten. The chocolate coating is enjoyable, but it's not bitter enough to balance out the intense sweetness of the filling, while the salt adds a bit of a crunch. I wish there were more salt on top, or that the salt were a bit courser, so that the filling would be a bit more balanced, but I still enjoyed these a lot. The honey is so bold and sweet, that I felt really satisfied from just one square, and it has a soothing quality to it, almost as if I'm eating something that's supposed to be good for me.
Even though I wish there was a bit more salt, I would definitely buy these again. I love honey as well as caramel, and this is a beautiful combination of the two. Now as far as cost, these are pretty pricey. They come out to be $2.00 a piece, which is a bit steep for my penny pinching ways, but for a rare treat or gift, it's not so bad. Honey is really trending right now, and if any of you out there love honey as much as I do, you should do yourself a favor and try these. (Or buy them as a gift for a honey loving friend. The packaging is so pretty you don't even need wrapping paper.)
© Maria Smith http://poison-and-antidote.net
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