I used to think of Riesens as, if not gourmet, rich treats to be easily had in the candy isle. Chewy, chocolaty caramel was and is plenty pleasing to my palate on idea alone. I did not, however, know anything before about the company that makes Riesen, August Storck KG. It’s a German company that’s listed as Germany’s top candy and confectionary producer. They’re the same people who make the Werther’s Original hard candies.
Coming in a bag both basic and bland, the quality of these caramels is nothing sensational. Nothing worth particular note. Except. When you put one in your mouth, you fight away your criticism. The chocolate caramel is stiff, very stiff, and the chocolate coating melts quickly. Yet in this case, these two facts turn out to be positives. The chocolate is less than satisfactory, so who would want to taste more of it, anyway? Stiff caramel means it lingers, slowly softening, allowing you to alternate between sucking on it as with a hard candy and lightly chewing it as with a gum. My personal beliefs tell me this is the only way to eat a Riesen. A single one can last so long like this.
I find it amusing that the caramel has a better chocolate taste than the chocolate itself. It has a deep taste, a flavor close to cocoa powder, with any sweetness branching off from there and therefore kept to a minimum. There are light milky undertones from the caramel, but that’s it. Which seems to be part of the Riesen’s charm. How many caramel chocolates are out there? The only one I can think of is Amella, and what they do is very different, so it isn’t too common an idea. Then, chocolate and caramel could so easily make a sickly combination, but they don’t in a Riesen. Plus, they’re one of those things you can bring with you anywhere. To enjoy at the bus stop, at the mall, at the office, in between classes, wherever you are.