Saturday, June 18, 2011

Box of Olympian Candies Revealed

Earlier this month I hope you have been enjoying our post about The Chocolate Cult's journey along the Wayne County Chocolate Trail in Indiana.  Our second stop on this trail made an offering to us and today I want to reveal their goodies and introduce you to our second Chocolate Coconut Acolyte, Laura, who is going to help us out when coconut products need testing more quickly than we can get samples to Primary Chocolate Coconut Acolyte who is struggling with high gasoline prices as I'm sure many of you are, Sisters and Brothers.

Olympian Candies was in downtown Richmond, Indiana, but outside the historic district we began our trek in.  We met the own and several of her very friendly employees.  They packed us a box of hand-picked samples of their best sellers which included some non-chocolate items we'll briefly mention but can't truly review for you all.  This photo to the right was taken in their because even though we packed a cooler with a lot of ice, I wanted to make sure they looked good in the mid-90 degree weather we had.  Luckily everything survived between all our coolers in the group.  From this revelation, I will start at the upper left side go right then return to the bottom left side and go right again.

Like the previous Saturday Sacrament, Olympian Candies also makes handmade caramels in that long form wrapped in wax paper.  Yellow is a nut caramel and the white wrapper is plain, unlike the previous review there is only one variety called nut and these from Olympian have big pieces I hope you can see. Since I visited both within an hour or so and am doing the review within an hour or so, I'll just give you my opinion on these caramels compared to the Abbott's ones.  The basic caramels do taste more different -- these are more tangy, less buttery and thus less slick to my fingertips.  The nut ones may be walnuts from the taste and look of the pieces.  For me, neither is better, simply different.

The chocolate candies from Olympian come in a lot of varieties and the wonderful ladies there that Friday gave us a box of their best sellers.  We'll start with this Dark Chocolate Peppermint Cream to the right. At the base this measures 7/8th inch across but it mushrooms out a lot to over 1.25 inches across. It has a dark cocoa scent but also a coolness and a hint of peppermint as well.  The chocolate shell is cool and smooth to my fingers and this piece seems rather light in my hand.  This shell makes a very loud snap when I take a bite and it cracks in several places to let out the mostly soft very cool peppermint center. This hits my tongue and immediately sends shivers down my spine.  I blends perfectly with the bitter chocolate to allow that to be the primary flavor but with the mint cooling sensation.  An excellent version of this common flavor combination just be careful with the slowly oozing center cause it got on my fingers forcing me to lick them.

Another dark candy, a Dark Chocolate Raisin Cluster, is next.  This has a base of 1.25 inches across and rise to almost 0.75 inches.  The raisins are fairly plump and slightly sweet and they are the primary sweetness amid a very solid and dark chocolate.  It wasn't until I took a bite through the very loud chocolate that I could even smell the raisins at all and from the outside it could have been peanut pieces or raisins.  I was pleased that the primary flavor is the darker chocolate which reminds me of the chocolate that Rene and I made from scratch last winter.

This takes us to the two larger pieces side by side off to the right.  The first is a Milk Chocolate Dittle which means it is Olympian Candies version of a turtle, Sisters and Brothers.  It measure approximately 2.25 X 1.5 X 0.75 inches but as you can see it is drop-formed so each piece was slightly different in the store display.  I take a whiff of this huge candy and can smell milky cocoa, some tangyness, and some pecan essence as well.  It barely makes a sound when I take a bite and the first flavor I taste is milk chocolate swallowed quickly by tangy caramel and the crunchy pecan tastes.  The chocolate returns but it is the caramel that is the dominant flavor with this treat.

The next large piece is the Milk Chocolate Toffee and I wonder if it, like many of the toffees before it, will bury our Sacred Substance under the buttery hard candy.  This is more rectangular in form at 1.5 X 1 7/8th X 0.5 inches.  Surprisingly it only smells like the milk chocolate with no hint of the toffee until I take a loud bite into it.  Inside is not only the solid, tangy toffee but visible slivers of almonds, a lot of them in fact.  The chocolate is thick enough that it competes fairly well with the toffee but ultimately that hard center rules the taste buds, no question, Sister and Brothers.

Olympian Candies makes a coconut chocolate candy they call a Spider and this is at the milk chocolate version that our Chocolate Coconut Acolyte described this way.  I don't recall ever seeing white chocolate and coconut paired together so this will be a new experience for me. The haystack smells very sweet with the chocolate scent being predominant but there is a hint of coconut in there as well. When I bite into it, it's very firm and there's a muted snap. As I chew, it crumbles in my mouth because of the high ratio of coconut to chocolate. I'd expected it to be softer due to the creamy nature of white chocolate. It's intensely sweet as I let a piece melt on my tongue but I also notice another almost chemical taste in the chocolate. Rather unpleasant and it completely masks the flavor of the coconut. It's apparent that the coconut is here merely for the texture and in that capacity it works wonderfully. It's toasted to a lovely golden brown and provides most of the body of the texture and a pleasing crunch.

The last dark chocolate candy is a Dark Chocolate Butter Cream. This is the smallest of the candies in our box at just an inch across and 0.75 inches tall and as you can see it isn't perfectly round but more elliptical.  The dark chocolate makes a snap when I take a bite and inside is a semi-sweet lightly yellow center with a very simply cream taste that develops a bit of buttery kick the more I chew.  Very interesting, I don't think this is like any buttercream I've had before and I like the complexity of flavors as I keep chewing.

That takes us to a Milk Chocolate Maplenut Cream which is a large piece around 0.75 inches across and swelling to 7/8 inch tall with a slightly mushroom shaped dome.  There is a definite maple scent mixed with the milk chocolate fragrance when I take a big sniff of it before venturing to take a bite though I have to open my mouth fairly wide to do this.  Only a small sound is made when I take this bite and immediately a very intense maple and nutty flavor hits me with the cream milk chocolate sort of circling it in my mouth.  The sweet maple flavor is the final flavor but the chocolate never completely disappears.

Finally we end with the second cluster, this one a Milk Chocolate Cluster.  This one is slightly smaller across but the same height.  This has a slight peanut scent under the milk chocolate and inside are nice half peanut pieces that are a touch salty.  Normally I think that salt works best with darker chocolate and I still have to agree here though it is a good piece of candy the salt is just more than this milk chocolate can really fend off to be the primary flavor.

Olympian Candies certainly pleased our group went we went on the Wayne County Chocolate Trail two Fridays back.  Each candy has their name molded onto the bottoms so you know when it is their creations.  We were pleased by these and believe they were good Sacraments for you all.  We love our small family owned candy companies so we hope all of you, Sisters and Brothers, will check them out either at 625 East Main Street as you can see in this photo or online.  Remember this is all part of the Wayne County Chocolate Trail if you have a couple of days to spend in the Richmond area.


Christine's Pantry said...

I enjoy all your post. I like your blog. Thanks for sharing!

TheChocolatePriestess said...

Thank you, Christine. That means a lot right now to me given that I found out some very bad news in my family this early morning before 5am.

A Busy Nest said...

That looks like a really great box of chocolates!

TheChocolatePriestess said...

The ladies were there were so friendly, too. Good service and good candy are always worth seeking out.

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