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Which chocolate is best?

by BY KATHY SAUNDERS Special to the Tampa Bay Times on August 14, 2013 10:55 AM

Sometimes the only treat that will satisfy a sweet craving is a piece of candy.

Nowadays, sugar lovers can choose from a variety of low-calorie, lower-fat candies by familiar confectioners.

Our panelists sampled three brands of candy to see if the slimmer versions packed as much flavor and pleasure as fully loaded chocolates.

Skinny Cow Divine Caramel-Filled Chocolates

Judges’ comments: Judges enjoyed a hint of salt in these little chocolate bits.

The caramel and chocolate combination was pleasing and flavorful.

The candies “are a perfect-sized treat,” said one panelist.

He added, “They are a great contrast with the dark chocolate and the caramel. They are very smart, like Rosalind Russell.”

Would they buy?

Three of the four judges said yes.


Shopping information: $4.29 for a 6-ounce box of six packs from Publix.

Serving size: One pouch

Calories: 130

Fat/fiber: 7g / 0g

Sugars/sodium: 15g/ 80mg

Carbs/protein: 18g / 1g

Hershey’s Simple Pleasures

Judges’ comments: We sampled the Milk Chocolate and Chocolate Creme combination of these treats, while Milk Chocolate and Vanilla Creme and Dark Chocolate and Chocolate Creme options also were available.

True to the package description, these Hershey’s bits were “Smooth and Creamy.”

One judge said, “A couple of these go a long way and I like the pleasant, creamy interior.”

Another panelist described the candies as “beautiful little bits of delightfulness.”

He said the creamy center made the pieces “a winning combination.”

Would they buy?

Two of the four judges said yes.


Shopping information: $3.79 for a 5.6-ounce bag from Publix.

Serving size: Six pieces

Calories: 180

Fat/fiber: 8g / 0g

Sugars/sodium: 23g / 30mg

Carbs/protein: 29g / 2g

Weight Watchers Bite Size Caramels

Judges’ comments: Wonderful size, not-too-sweet flavors and guilt-free gratification made these candies a big hit with judges.

“This is a lower-calorie snack?” asked one.

“It’s amazing what science can do.

“These are not bad at all,” he added.

Another said, “These definitely do not taste like diet candy.”

Would they buy?

All four judges said yes.


Shopping information: $3.50 for a 6-ounce bag of six pouches from Publix.

Serving size: One pouch

Calories: 120

Fat/fiber: 7g / 6g

Sugars/sodium: 9g / 20mg

Carbs/protein: 18g / 1g

Brookside Dark Chocolate Pomegranate

Judges’ comments: Good balance between tart and sweet were the draw to these pomegranate bits. “They are not at all bitter like some dark chocolates can be,” said one judge. “I’m a sucker for any berries covered in chocolate,” said another. “These delicious little buds could be tossed into a trail mix and be instantly at home.” A couple of judges said the chocolate overwhelmed the berries. “But that’s why I like them,” allowed one.

Would they buy? Three of the four judges said yes.

Shopping information: $3.99 for a 7-ounce package from Publix.

Serving size: One-fourth cup

Calories: 180

Fat/fiber: 7g / 1g

Sugars/sodium: 26g / 50mg

Carbs/protein: 26g / 1g

Panelists: Bob Devin Jones, artistic director of Studio@620; Wayne Conery, manager of the R-Bar on Treasure Island; John Hehn, owner of All Brite Lighting & Power Design Inc., and Jeff Jensen, public information officer for the City of Treasure Island.

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