Four decades ago, Goya chocolate candies meant ACCESSIBLE and AVAILABLE even if you were a grade schooler with loose change for allowance. Goya chocolate candies were cheap, sold in most sari-sari (neighborhood variety) stores and even the school canteen. At that age, no one really wondered why Goya chocolates never seemed to soften and melt even outdoors on the hottest summer days.
Fast forward to about twenty years later and most of my generation, largely Goya lovers because we grew up with Goya, had already found out that chocolates that did not melt were not really good chocolate at all. By that time, we had come to treat Goya as an object of nostalgia — we smiled when we thought about Goya but did not crave a return to it much like a youthful summer fling that was good while it lasted.
Goya chocolates went very low profile for a long time. The company was bought by Nestle, the products became almost invisible on the market shelves and were patronized only by the most loyal fans until a Singaporean company bought Goya from Nestle and the road toward modernization and revitalization began.
When I started seeing new Goya items on grocery shelves, I was wary because new packaging did not necessarily mean improvement in quality. Then, Sam and I bought bags of Easymelt dark chocolate buttons, I used them in my chocolate-topped cream cheese cookies and hot chocolate with salted caramel, and I was ready to try more Goya products.
Yesterday, at the grocery, Speedy and I went a little Goya crazy. We bought items we hadn’t tried before and we sampled them last night.
What we sampled: Goya Bits (plain, with peanuts and with rice crispies) and Dark Raisins (whole raisins coated in dark chocolate).
We loved the Dark Raisins. The raisins were substantially sized, they were soooo soft and pillowy and the chocolate coating was generous.
The plain Goya Bits were okay. Rather small but much better than Nips because Goya Bits plain was sweet without being cloying and, most importantly, the colored sugar coating was thin so you get more chocolate with every piece.
The Goya Bits with rice crispies were good too.
The Goya Bits with peanuts was a disappointment though. The peanuts were so tiny and some tasted burnt. Goya needs to source the peanuts better.