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This delightful confection is the Hershey Chocolate Covered Marshmallow Snowman. It was made in Mississauga for Hershey Canada.

Let me dispense with any illusions you might have that this is tasty. Yes, I ate it all, but mostly because it’s after midnight and I’m drinking wine and sweets tend to look like a great idea. It’s also fairly small. The chocolate is too soft and you can’t hold this confection for more than a few seconds before it starts melting onto your fingers (appropriately, about which more later). The marshmallow is soft and spongy but not in a good way. It’s rather sticky, far, FAR too sweet, and doesn’t seem to have been given any flavour other than corn syrup. It is overpoweringly sweet with no relieving hint of vanilla or any other flavouring.

Now: the appearance. I really don’t have to say anything other than “look at the photos”. This “snowman” manages to look both like a penis and like a poop. It’s mystifying how beautifully it encompasses both shapes, depending on how you look at it. Mystifying and brilliant. Somewhere in Mississauga there’s an industrial candy mold machiner who smiles every time he thinks about the day he managed to make a shape that is both penis and poo and passed it off as a snowman.

Although if you handle this confection for long, you will decide that it’s more fecal than phallic when it starts melting brownish streaks all over your fingers…

Taste: C

Appearance: F

Condition upon unwrapping: C

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This is the Hershey’s Cherry Cream Bell, made in Mississauga for Hershey Canada. The packet says “Cherry Cream Centre Covered in Rich Chocolate.”

It is reasonably bell-shaped and I’m relatively certain the outside is Hershey’s chocolate. That’s really all I can say about this confection. It weighs a ton—like, it is a dismayingly dense little piece of candy. It has the kind of weight that makes your heart sink. You just know that lurking under the mediocre, slightly bloomed chocolate surface is something dire. Something foul. Something that tastes of chemical cherry.

This is the candy equivalent of Mordor. One does not simply bite into Mordor. There is artificial flavouring there that does not sleep.

I nibbled off one corner of the bell, cautiously, the way one approaches a chocolate that one suspects to be of the nougat persuasion. I was right to do so. The interior is a horrible, heavy, dense, pink stuff that reminds me of that dense putty used by physios, or possibly those moldable wax earplugs. I believe it to be some horrible attempt at fondant.

Taste: F. Minus.

Appearance: F

Condition upon unwrapping: C (chocolate slightly bloomed, whole thing just messy and deformed-looking)

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These are the Peeps Gingerbread flavoured Marshmallow Gingerbread Men, made by Just Born. They may contain milk but are gluten free.

The first thing is, when you open the package, this amazing wave of gingerbread smell floods out. These things smell like a gingerbread latte. Second, they’re pretty cute. They look like little gingerbread men, and have tiny icing faces, cuffs, and buttons. However, there is usually only one per tray that is perfectly formed, evenly dusted, and has acquired icing features that don’t make it look like it’s wearing shackles or else has the fug, facially speaking. Keep in mind that the separated one in the photo has been cut with scissors. They separate pretty neatly, but not as neatly as the photo might lead you to believe.

They taste like a gingerbread latte, pretty much. There’s a strong hit of gingerbread spice when you bite, because they’re dusted with spice as well as the usual sugar. The marshmallow is sort of pale honey-brown and also tastes somewhat gingerbread-y.

I really just like these things. The marshmallow is good, not super sweet, dense and moist, not sticky. The biteability is very good. That said, do not eat all six in one go. You are going to make yourself sick. If you simply must, accompany them with a glass of milk so you have a little buffer for your system.

I know, these aren’t chocolate covered, but gosh darn it, I just love Peeps, and their holiday shapes are amusing to me. Expect more.

Taste: A-

Appearance: B

Condition upon unwrapping: A

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I wanted to do these together, since they are basically the same product. These delicious looking little trees are Peeps chocolate covered mint marshmallow trees, made by the Just Born company of Pennsylvania. I include a photo of one of them cut open so you can see the virulently green interior. This is the colour I always envision the lady in The Silver Chair’s poison-green kirtle being, if that helps at all.

The chocolate covering of these confections is okay. The dark chocolate is a little brittle, as you can see by the condition upon unwrapping, but the texture of the milk chocolate one is very good. I know you’re dying to know what the marshmallow is like, given that these are made by the same people who make the delicious little Peeps chicks we know and love.

These marshmallows are perfect. They are fluffy but resilient, so light and airy, the mint flavour is intense but perfectly genuine—peppermint, not spearmint—and the biteability of these marshmallows is second to none. They are moist inside, not dry the way Peeps chicks can sometimes be, and not sticky like most of the chocolate-covered marshmallow confections I’ve been reviewing. I think the chocolate covering preserves the moist texture of the marshmallow. I want to get big ones of these and use them as pillows.

That said, I feel that the flavour of the dark chocolate simply does not complement the minty marshmallow very well, and it’s also brittle and a little waxy. The milk chocolate, however, has a great texture, is not waxy, and the flavour is perfect with the mint. Regardless of the price, which I think was $1.99 each, the milk chocolate ones are VERY worth it. It’s probably good that they didn’t come in trays of four like the last one, because I would just cram them all into my mouth at once.

Taste: Milk Choc: A+ Dark Choc: B

Appearance: A

Condition upon unwrapping: Milk Choc: A Dark Choc: C

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This is a tray of Hot Cocoa Marshmallow Trees made by Elmer Chocolate of Ponchatoula, Louisiana, a town that is surely named for either a breed of hunting dog (pronounced “HUT’n DAWG”) or else a mosquito-borne illness. As you can see, there are four tiny …confections…per packet.

Taste-wise these are not awful. They’re super sweet, the chocolate is okay, and the flavour of the filling is definitely very reminiscent of the sort of post-nasal drip you’d get from snorting Swiss Miss. They’re not bad tasting, though they are definitely going for the hypoglycemic market. However, the marshmallow is more like a super-whipped nougat than a proper marshmallow, which could explain the shape.

Oh, the shape. So the worst part of this confection is definitely that it looks like a tray of freshly harvested dog poops. I’m not sure what else there is to say. Also, surprisingly considering the little tray, 2 of the 4 confections were broken when I unwrapped them.

Taste: B

Appearance: D

Condition upon unwrapping: D

For $3.99 CAD, I’d say give these a miss.

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This is a Russell Stover milk chocolate covered marshmallow santa. It was manufactured in the US but obviously for the Canadian market, as it is labelled in both official languages.

As you can see, the wrapper bears the traditional picture of Santa with a bag of toys, and the confection actually sort of looks like an actual santa. There is a notable lack of detail around the facial region, but given the horrible possibilities, I think that we can forgive him. This one looks a little bit like poop, but not at all like a penis, so I think we’ll call that a win.

The marshmallow is yielding but relatively dense, which probably helped it take the necessary detail. It’s strongly vanilla flavoured and intensely sweet. The milk chocolate is also quite sweet, so this is probably more of a child’s confection.

However, be aware: it is processed in a facility that also processes peanuts and treenuts.

Taste: C

Appearance: B

Condition upon unwrapping: A

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This is the Ganong Marshmallow Santa. It is made in New Brunswick, is gluten-free, and costs sixty-nine cents CAD. That’s the good news. The bad news is that it looks like a penis. I’ve had two of these now, just in case the first one was a fluke, and they both looked exactly like this. Honestly, there’s just no saving it—the way the chocolate moved when the enrobing stage was happening even made it look kind of veiny. :(

Taste-wise, it’s not the worst thing out there. The marshmallow is kind of dense and not very sticky, but well-flavoured with vanilla, and the chocolate is a dark chocolate with a pretty high cocoa butter content, so it stands up pretty well to careful handling and has okay flavour. The chocolate layer is also not paper-thin, which helps.

So, how does this Santa do?

Taste: B

Appearance: F

Condition upon unwrapping: A

Eat it yourself or give it to friends as a joke, but I would refrain from putting it in a child’s stocking.

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My local import candy shop will receive its annual shipment of dubious marshmallow confections in the next few days, so expect to begin seeing these goodies unwrapped, photographed, and reviewed sometime next week.

I will tag them with type (santa, reindeer, tree, etc), manufacturer, and general quality, and will evaluate them based on appearance, taste, and condition upon unwrapping.

Hopefully this will aid you to select the best possible marshmallow Santa for stockings and Christmas baskets, or at least make you laugh. (Hint: many of these chocolatey delights look like…something other than candy.)