I recently came across these Choco Dream Crispy Rice Stix from Natural Nectar during a recent visit to one of my favorite local specialty markets. Always on the hunt for new gluten-free finds, these immediately caught my attention as I scanned the shelves.
I tried two flavors: Original and Double Cocoa. Both varieties are essentially long elliptical cigar-like rice crisp that wraps around the chocolate filling. Two sticks are individually wrapped so it makes for a great portion controlled treat. First-up was the Original. These were pretty good but the rice crisp was actually a bit too firm – and almost tasted stale. I checked the sell-by date and it was well within range so I chalked-it up to perhaps that one portion might have had a seal issue but I would later find out that the remainder were also as firm as the first and I wasn’t sure if this is just their normal consistency.
I quickly moved on to the Double Cocoa, expecting the same rigid texture but was pleasantly surprised with the more delicate texture of these. The rice crisp easily gave way to a rich (soft) chocolate center – much better than the original.
Both flavors provide a mild flavor rice shell (with the Double Cocoa having a very subtle cocoa kick) but the shells are mildly sweet – almost neutral in flavor. The real treat comes when you break through to the cream center. The chocolate cream is sweet but not overpowering. It provides a nice complement to the nuttiness of the rice crisp adding an additional layer of sweetness.
I did enjoy these but would I buy them again? Likely not. The Double-Cocoa was by far the better of the two and I am still not sure why the original were so rigid in texture – perhaps just a one off – but with so many new gluten-free products out there companies need to ensure a consistent experience because we’ll just move on to the next item if we are disappointed.
You can learn more about Natural Nectar on their Web site (though these gluten-free items are not yet listed for some reason).