It’s the Crispy One, Not the Giant One
I’ve of course been incredibly curious about these. The giant version available at Honeydukes at Universal Studios has gotten a lot of coverage. But those reviews have been mixed — raving about the packaging and size of the frog, but mostly meh on the flavor and quality of the chocolate. Well, I don’t know who makes those, but it’s not Jelly Belly. Fortunately, the Chocolate Frogs available to the rest of us are more reasonably priced and more reasonable in size. It seems that what these lack in heft, they make up for in taste.
Nutrition and Whatnot
Now, I’m a label nerd, so the first thing I look at is nutrition facts. I like to enjoy my treats responsibly. The Harry Potter Milk Chocolate Frog with Crisped Rice is totally doable at 80 calories and 4.5 grams of fat. The other thing that struck me is that there are relatively few ingredients. This is real chocolate, complete with the cocoa butter you’d expect. For the gluten avoiders out there, you’ll unfortunately have to steer clear. The crisp rice is made with barley malt (scourge of foods that would otherwise be edible!)
The Magic Pack
So, the Chocolate Frog is wrapped in pretty purple foil packaging. It’s nothing you’re going to save forever. However, I was totally impressed with the way the important part — the collectible wizard card — is included. It’s enclosed in its own plastic sleeve that’s attached to the top of the wrapper. This suspends the card in the middle of the package, so it’s less likely to get bent or otherwise messed up before it gets to you, or in a backpack or what have you. It also prevents the chocolate from making contact with the card. So even if your frog melts, your card will survive unscathed. I’m sure that plenty of people will just keep the plastic on and build their collections in mint condition. I didn’t realize that the cards were holographic, either, which is a nice touch.
When you open the pack, you get a fragrance that’s chocolate plus a little bit more. Which is fitting, since that’s exactly what you’re about to eat. The chocolate frog itself is cute. It’s not lifelike, but I wasn’t particularly imagining or hoping that it would be. The little frog arms and legs (this guy is all knees) make it clear that you should start by biting off all the extremities.
Since this is chocolate with crunchies (technically known as “crisped rice), I thought it important to compare with other crunchy chocolates. So I broke out a Nestle Crunch and a Krackle. I have memories of absolutely loving Crunch bars, so I didn’t expect the Chocolate Frog to fare very well in a head-to-head. Shockingly, it turned out to be my favorite of the three. The color of our Chocolate Frog matches Nestle Crunch almost exactly, and is a bit lighter than the Krackle. The frog has the fewest obvious crunchies and looks as though it’ll be the creamiest.
Flavor and More Flavor
I started with the Krackle, which built to an almost acidic bitter flavor that kind of turned me off. The Crunch was better, but also finished on an unpleasant note. It’s more appropriate for moments of “I want something crunchy” than “I want some chocolate.” The chocolate in the Frog turned out to be very creamy and not your typical candy-bar fare. It has a consistent, mellow flavor and a mild finish that’s completely devoid of yuckiness. The crisped rice in the Chocolate Frog is far more subtle than in the other bars. As expected, the texture of Krackle is quite a bit granier than the frog, and even leaves a grainy residue on your hands. Nestle Crunch places the emphasis on the crunchies, making it almost a different beast than the frog. In my frog, most of the rice was at the bottom, adding a nice layer of texture without taking over the whole show.
All in all, I was totally surprised by my Chocolate Frog. It includes a nice, quality collectible bonus, which legitimizes the Harry Potter branding. And it’s a genuinely good piece of milk chocolate. I can definitely envision parents eating the frogs and giving the cards to their kids. You can order these now at CandyFavorites.com!