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July 2007

Monday, July 23, 2007

Dots

imageDots are one of those candies that I see a lot at stores, but I rarely see anyone buying them or eating them.

Originally they were made by a company called Mason, who also made Black Crows (a licorice gumdrop). Black Crows were introduced in the 1890s, but Dots came along a bit later in 1945. What’s fun about Dots is that they’re gumdrops, but they don’t have that sugar sanding on them. The Mason company was sold to Tootsie in 1972, but some folks still call them Mason Dots (even the Tootsie site refers to them on their nutritional data page).

They’re sold in a few different sizes, the regular single sized box, a fun size (often in assortments of Tootsie products) and the “Movie Box”. I have to say that the movie box I picked up last week makes these look darn appealing. And taking the candies out of the box, I was pleased that they really do look like they do on the box.

image

Dots come in five flavors that are supposedly random in the box:

  • Strawberry (pink) - lightly floral and fruity, kind of like cotton candy.
  • Cherry (red) - you know, cherry flavor with that light bitter aftertaste of Red 40. Not bad, I didn’t pick them out of the box but actually ate them.
  • Orange (orange) - nice round orange flavor, rather sweet with a slightly bitter zest that comes a little later.
  • Lemon (yellow) - wonderfully zesty, but then a mellower flavor with a very slight tartness.
  • Lime (green) - a light lime with both the zest and light tangy note ... as with many lime things, it’s a little too much like bathroom cleaner.
  • This box had a clear plastic overwrapper, so these were fresh. The Dots were soft and easy to chew. Of course they’re also kind of sticky, not in the way that threatens fillings, but big lumps will get stuck on the sides of my teeth. I’ve had my share of stale Dots and they’re really not a chewable food.

    Overall, they’re a nice candy. They don’t really thrill me much, but I had these sitting on my desk for several days and did actually eat them. I don’t see myself buying them for any reason though. If you’re a Dot lover, please testify to their enduring greatness.

    Each Dot has about 12 calories and no fat (it’s all sugar, baby).

    There’s no gelatin in these (that’d make them gummis) so they’re suitable for vegetarians and vegans who eat white sugar.

    Related Candies

    1. Tootsie Roll Mini Chews
    2. Chuckles
    3. Swedish Aqua Life
    4. The Real Jelly Babies
    Name: Mason Dots
      RATING:
    • 10 SUPERB
    • 9 YUMMY
    • 8 TASTY
    • 7 WORTH IT
    • 6 TEMPTING
    • 5 PLEASANT
    • 4 BENIGN
    • 3 UNAPPEALING
    • 2 APPALLING
    • 1 INEDIBLE
    Brand: Tootsie
    Place Purchased: Dollar Tree (Harbor City)
    Price: $1.00
    Size: 6.5 ounces
    Calories per ounce: 92
    Categories: Jelly, United States, Tootsie

    POSTED BY Cybele AT 6:28 am    

    Friday, July 20, 2007

    This Week in Candy - Can you Recall?

    Food safety (and Easy Bake Oven safety as well) has become a large issue not just in the United States but also in China. There’s a lot of fur flying around between the US and China on the issue, but I thought I’d just address a few things as they pertain to candy.

    First, there’s White Rabbit, a beloved vanilla taffy with a rice paper wrapper from China. Earlier this week the Philippines declared that they detected formalin (a nasty carcinogen) in the candy (even in the candy made in the Philippines) and ordered it to be removed from the shelves.

    Then China said that they tested the candy and found no such traces of formalin. (And another test.)

    Now, it’s entirely possible that the contamination is true and that it’s happening somewhere along the supply chain, perhaps in the warehousing or the repackaging for particular markets. I don’t know what to make of it and if you put one of the candies in front of me, I might eat it. But I sure wouldn’t eat more than one. I’ll keep eye on the story. (Here’s my White Rabbit review ... one of the very early ones from the archives.) There was a food contamination hoax earlier this week.

    In other news domestically Artisan Confections has recalled some lots of the Scharffen Berger Kumasi Sambriano bar because of possible milk contents that aren’t marked on the wrapper. My feeling on that is if you don’t have a problem with milk, go ahead and eat the bar, but if you are in a household with folks that do, be sure to return it.

    In a follow up to the Cadbury Salmonenlla contamination in the UK, the chocolate manufacturer was fined 1 million pounds (about two million dollars American) for their negligence in the matter. I’m sure it also cost them a lot in lost sales.

    Almond ClusterJust to cleanse our palate, here’s a completely unrelated and absolutely safe photo of an almond chocolate cluster from Charles Chocolates. (Think of it as the Candy Blog equivalent of a Unicorn Chaser.)
    Here’s a review of this week’s reviews!

    Monday: L’Artisan du Chocolat (7 out of 10)

    Tuesday: Flamigni Torrone (9 out of 10)

    Wednesday: Rum Cordials (8 out of 10)

    Thursday: KitKat Inside Out (5 out of 10)

    Friday: Charms Blow Pops & Zip-a-Dee (7 out of 10)
    Ratatouille Push Pops (4 out of 10)
    Bazooka Bubble Gum Pops (4 out of 10)

    Weekly Average: 6.375 ... 25% chocolate content.

    Related Candies

    1. Salmonella spurs Hershey’s Canada Recall
    2. Cadbury May Face Charges
    3. Factory Follow-Ups
    4. Mars Factory Closed by Health Inspectors
    5. Cadbury Recall

    POSTED BY Cybele AT 4:39 pm     CandyFun StuffNewsComments (83)

    Bazooka Bubble Gum Filled Pops

    Bazooka PopsBazooka’s Bubble Gum Filled Pops have a lot going for them. They’re a nice compact size, kind of like Blow Pops, but perfectly spherical. They have a plastic stick, which is great if you’re a moist person. The flavor varieties are pretty normal and bound to please: Grape, Orange, Green Apple and Cherry.

    But I hate to say it, they just don’t live up to this promising conceptual start.

    First, the hard candy isn’t that flavorful. While it’s nicely dense and doesn’t have too many sharp holes, it just doesn’t taste like much. The orange, which was by far my favorite, was rather like weak orange-ade. Cherry in this case was also weak and a lot more pleasant. I kind of liked the Grape in it’s mild form here, even though it in no way rivaled the Blow Pops.

    Second, the stick was very close to the top of the candy sphere. With these hollow plastic stick it means that once you dissolve a top layer, the hollow stick makes it hard to “suck” on the sucker without taking in air through the stick.
    Bazooka PopsThird, the gum center is hard. Seriously, frighteningly hard. I’m not sure how that happens, but it’s not hard all the way through, just on the first bite, like it’s been coated with cement or something. (I’m guessing it’s just a gumball that has one of those polished coats instead of being a lump of gum.

    The gum itself is okay once it warms up and softens. It seems like a smaller portion than a Blow Pop. It’s very sugary, which I rather like, but once the sugar is gone it’s too stiff and such a small piece that blowing bubbles isn’t easy.

    If you’re going to come late to the “gum filled lollipop” genre, you’d better get in with a top notch product that offers something either better or significantly different. This just doesn’t do it for me. They’re attractively packaged and come in a smaller “mini” version that I had similar issues with. I think I’ll stick to what I think Bazooka does best ... bubble gum.

    Related Candies

    1. Topps Baby Bottle
    2. Bubble Roll Message Maker
    3. Smarties Bubble Gum
    Name: Bubble Gum Filled Pops
      RATING:
    • 10 SUPERB
    • 9 YUMMY
    • 8 TASTY
    • 7 WORTH IT
    • 6 TEMPTING
    • 5 PLEASANT
    • 4 BENIGN
    • 3 UNAPPEALING
    • 2 APPALLING
    • 1 INEDIBLE
    Brand: Bazooka (Topps)
    Place Purchased: samples from Bazooka
    Price: unknown
    Size: .63 ounces
    Calories per ounce: unknown
    Categories: Hard Candy, Gum, Brazil, Topps

    POSTED BY Cybele AT 12:55 pm     Comments (0)

    Ratatouille Pocket Slider Lollipop

    There are a lot of marketing tie ins between movies and candy. Some of them work really well and some seem rather strange. I’m going to put these little Ratatouille Rat Racers Pocket Slider Lollipops in that category.

    Ratatouille is a new movie from Pixar/Disney that stars a rat (named Remy) who wants to be a chef. But, you know, he’s a rat. And in this world he can’t talk to humans. He has a brother named Emile, who is less discriminating about his culinary tastes. These little candy pops are simply a hard candy cylinder housed in a little slider topped with a toy. In this case the toy is a little plastic model of one of the characters with a wide steel wheel on the bottom for racing.

    image

    As a little toy, the racers are kind of fun. They’re slippery and move easily. The detail on them is pretty good, though I can’t figure out why they’re racing around on cheese or petit fours. But that’s simply my lack of imagination.

    The two flavors I picked up were Blue Raspberry and Green Apple.

    They’re both rather tart and have a good chemical, manufactured artifical flavor (kind of like computer animation!).

    As a candy, I’ve certainly had better hard candy in better flavors. The little toy roller cars are certainly better than a Happy Meal (TM) prize, but limited in their appeal. The retractable lolly is a nice idea, especially for kids who may want to space out their enjoyment of this marginal treat.

    The same company who makes these also did the similarly branded Peeps Pops. (I reviewed the ring ones and Jeanna at Wisconsin Candy Dish reviewed the slider pops that are pretty much the same as these.) They’re made in China, which at this moment doesn’t make me feel very good ... expect for the fact that I didn’t finish these. I just ate enough of each to get the flavor.

    Related Candies

    1. Disneyland Candy Novelties
    2. Gummi Lightning Bugs
    3. Kinder Egg
    4. Frugal Swedish Sweets
    Name: Ratatouille Rat Racers Pocket Slider Lollipops
      RATING:
    • 10 SUPERB
    • 9 YUMMY
    • 8 TASTY
    • 7 WORTH IT
    • 6 TEMPTING
    • 5 PLEASANT
    • 4 BENIGN
    • 3 UNAPPEALING
    • 2 APPALLING
    • 1 INEDIBLE
    Brand: Flix Candy
    Place Purchased: RiteAid (Vermonica)
    Price: $1.19
    Size: .42 ounces
    Calories per ounce: unknown
    Categories: Hard Candy, Novelty, China

    POSTED BY Cybele AT 8:42 am     Comments (6)

    Charms Blow Pops & Zip-a-Dee

    Charms Zip-a-DeeCharms Blow Pops are a classic lollipop. Like their Tootsie Pop cousin, they’re a hard candy pop with another candy inside, in this case it’s bubble gum. However, Tootsie Pops and Charms Blow Pops are related only by marriage. Tootsie bought the Charms Company in 1988, making Tootsie the world’s largest lollipop producer.

    I was especially fond of Charms pops as a kid and the little Charms hard candies in a roll. In the case of the Charms Blow Pop, it was always grape for me. The current flavor range is Cherry, Watermelon, Sour Apple, Strawberry and that Grape.

    blow pops

    Blow Pops are pretty big, they’re not Dum Dums. Of course if you’re going to put a decent sized piece of bubble gum at the core, the lollipop has to be bigger (unless you’ve somehow invented the candy-equivalent of the TARDIS or bag of ultimate holding ... depending on what sort of geek you are).

    The hard candy is passably good. It’s flavorful but usually has a lot of bubbles and voids in it and because of the size it means that there’s a very good chance I’m going to tear up the inside of my mouth at some point. That’s okay, bubble gum has soothing properties, right?

    My preferred method for eating is to suck on the lolly until I’ve gotten down to a spot that’s close enough to the bubble gum center that I could start biting and crunching.

    It’s okay to get some candy in your bubble gum.

    The bubble gum center is usually soft enough to chew easily, though I’ve had bad ones that were rock hard. The gum has a lot of sugar in it, so it takes a while to get it to a consistency that supports bubble blowing. The cool thing about Blow Pops is that they’re usually available as individual items. Usually about 25 cents ... so you can buy a few of them or just add it to your impulse purchases at the check out.

    As lollipops that I’d eat as a child the order of preference went something like this:
    1. Orange Tootsie Pop
    2. Grape Tootsie Pop
    3. Charms Lemon Sweet & Sour Pop
    4. Charms Orange Pop
    5. Grape Blow Pop

    image

    The Charms line at Tootsie also added the Zip-a-Dee Mini Pops assortment to their line of candies recently. They’re smaller round pops, kind of like miniature Blow Pops in format, except for the lack of a gum center.

    I though the flavor assortment sounded good and I was actually really pleased by the packaging on these. If you’re a fan of the smaller format of Dum Dums, this might be a nice change. They’re slightly longer than Dum Dums and perhaps a little zazzier.

    Charms Zip-a-DeeThe little wrappers are pretty solids with a white printed design for each flavor. I thought they were so charming, I’d recommend these to folks who are looking for a nice, inexpensive candy to include in a Candy Buffet (they’re popular at weddings and showers these days). I got this half pound bag for $1, so filling up some pretty glass jars or vases with these would be a snap for those on a budget but still want to look elegant.

  • Crazy Cotton Candy - sweet and rather bland and a disconcerting opaque light blue color. Tasty.
  • Strawberry Splash - mild and really fruity, not too tart but a nice round summery flavor.
  • Groovy Grape - pretty much the same grape from the Blow Pop. Not terribly strong, but then again, not terribly fake tasting either. More like grape soda than grape candy.
  • Cherry Mania - I ate two of these just to be sure, they tasted more like watermelon than cherry.
  • Watermelon Rush - light and refreshing, not too tart, kind of like cotton candy.
  • Awesome Orange - sweet and zesty and a little tangy.
  • Chillin’ Pink Lemonade - tart and lemony but rather sweet as well.
  • Boppin’ Banana - nice, a little fake tasting and also has a little tart bite to it that I don’t care much for.
  • Fruit Punch Blast - mellow and more on the berry side of things than anything else, a weird little bitter aftertaste for me, but that could just be the red coloring.
  • Bubble Gum Burst - really tastes like bubble gum, it has that sweet and round bouncy flavor that also has a little hint of the medicinal wintergreen in the background that says BASEBALL CARDS to me.
  • Green Apple Crash - this was kind of like the lemonade to me, and maybe tasted more of lime than green apple. Not unpleasant, just not what I thought.
  • Blue Razzberry - tangy and fruity with florals, tasted a little like the fruit punch.
  • Lollipops are just a way to dress up hard candy, but it does solve the essential problem of wanting to take the candy out of your mouth and not touch it with your fingers. Genius!

    Related Candies

    1. Gold Mine Gum
    2. Blow Pop Minis
    3. Tootsie Tropical Pops
    4. Razzles
    Name: Blow Pops and Zip-a-Dee Assortment
      RATING:
    • 10 SUPERB
    • 9 YUMMY
    • 8 TASTY
    • 7 WORTH IT
    • 6 TEMPTING
    • 5 PLEASANT
    • 4 BENIGN
    • 3 UNAPPEALING
    • 2 APPALLING
    • 1 INEDIBLE
    Brand: Charms (Tootsie)
    Place Purchased: 99 Cent Only Store (Harbor City)
    Price: $.25 & $.99
    Size: .65 & 8 ounces
    Calories per pop: 60 & 17
    Categories: Hard Candy, Gum, United States, Tootsie

    POSTED BY Cybele AT 7:21 am     Comments (7)

    Page 2 of 7 pages  < 1 2 3 4 >  Last ›

    Meticulously photographed and documented reviews of candy from around the world. And the occasional other sweet adventures. Open your mouth, expand your mind.

     

     

     

     

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    COUNTDOWN.

    Halloween Candy Season Ends

    -54 days

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    Which seasonal candy selection do you prefer?

    Choose one or more:

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    ON DECK

    These candies will be reviewed shortly:

    • Lindt Chocolate Cookie

    • Hachez Braune Blatter (Chocolate Leaves)

    • Dandelion Chocolate

    • Trader Joe’s Holiday Roundup 2014

     

     

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