Founded by Paul Newman’s daughter Nell in 1993, and once a division of Newman’s Own, Newman’s Own Organics has been a separate company since 2001. Its focus is, unsurprisingly, on certified organic foods. The company provides a limited range of organic snacks, beverages, olive oil, vinegar and pet foods. Up for review are three of the five varieties of chocolate cup candy available: dark chocolate with peanut butter, milk chocolate with peanut butter and dark chocolate with peppermint.
Of the three, the dark chocolate with peppermint was the overall winner, disappointing news for fans of peanut butter cups, but great for fans of Thin Mint Girl Scout cookies. The dark organic chocolate isn’t terribly memorable on its own, but when paired with the cool, creamy peppermint filling, the end result is crisp and satisfying, particularly if tucked into the freezer for a little while. Less satisfying are the two peanut butter cup varieties. Of the two, the milk chocolate is better, likely because the mild saltiness of the peanut butter filling plays off the sweetness of the milk chocolate better than the dark. The dark chocolate peanut butter cups are, regrettably, bland, both chocolate and filling.
A quick read of the ingredient list for the cups shows that the company adds organic evaporated cane juice to its chocolate, both milk and dark, which renders the dark chocolate less bitter and too sweet for some taste buds (such as this reviewer’s). Similarly, the filling on all three contains organic non-fat yogurt, which likely contributes to its creaminess, a creaminess that works great for the mint filling, but less so for peanut butter. The peanut butter filling feels – and tastes – less like actual peanut butter than, well, a creamy peanut butter-flavored filling. There’s no doubt in this reviewer’s mind if the peanut butter cup ingredient list had stopped around creamy peanut butter, and added some salt, the cups would be far tastier than they are.
According to the company’s Web site, the chocolate cups are a pet project of Nell herself:
I couldn’t resist recreating a favorite childhood treat. Our cups have a wonderfully creamy, melt-in-your mouth texture,” says Nell. We focus on the kinds of products we loved as kids. We take them one step further by using the highest quality of available organic ingredients.
She definitely achieved the creamy texture, but whether it’s the ingredients or the formulation, I’m left now with naught more than a craving for a decidedly non-organic certified, sugar and salt laden Reese’s Peanut Butter cup….