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January 2010

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Milky Way Simply Caramel

Milky Way Simply Caramel BarThe Mars family of candy bars, as far as I’m concerned, is all about nougat. They put it in all their legacy bars: 3 Musketeers, Mars (now Snickers Almond), Snickers and Milky Way. For a very short period of time they actually made a plain old caramel and chocolate bar, it was called Marathon.

Back in 2007 or 2008 there was a brief limited edition in miniature form of the Milky Way bar with just the caramel. Then it became a regular item in 2008 in Canada as Mars Caramel (and nut free to boot). It’s taken a while for it to return to the United States, but now it’s available in full bar form here, too (though this one is made in the USA and doesn’t have the no nuts seal, it actually doesn’t list peanuts as a possible allergen ... just egg and of course soy and milk which are in the ingredients.)

The Milky Way Caramel bar fills a hole in the American candy bar grid of confectionery possibilities. It’s a firm caramel covered in milk chocolate. It is unlike the Cadbury Caramello which is a flowing caramel covered in milk chocolate or the Rolo which is small pieces filled with a flowing caramel.

Milky Way Caramel Bar

It’s attractive, as are most Mars candy products. The block is smaller than the standard Milky Way bar. It’s only 1.91 ounces instead of 2.05 and not quite as high (as there’s no fluffy nougat in there).

The milk chocolate is thick and doesn’t flake off. The caramel is a milky amber color and has an excellent glossy pull to it. The texture of the caramel is silky smooth and though it’s dense it’s not quite chewy. The scent of the whole bar is a bit like a toasted sugared cereal, not much chocolate punch but plenty of buttery notes.

The caramel has flavor, but that’s just it, it tastes like “flavor” not an authentic “boiled until it caramelizes” sugar flavor.

The whole thing is sweet and of course it’s a lot of caramel to eat, though certainly not as cloying as Caramello. I’ve had a couple of these bars (the broken one pictured above I got at the NACS convention in October and the package was from this weekend) and I simply cannot finish one in a single sitting. I like the proportion of chocolate to caramel and the texture is distinctive. There’s an overriding milk flavor to the whole thing, which I liked. But I prefer my chocolate to be darker and my caramel chewier (it probably doesn’t help that I spent the weekend eating See’s Scotchmallows.). But my preferences aside, it’s well done: real chocolate, no artificial colors and great textures. 

Other reviews of Mars Caramel (which is a slightly smaller bar than the American one, so the proportions of chocolate to caramel may be different): The Candy Critic, Jim’s Chocolate Mission, Candyrageous.

Related Candies

  1. 3 Musketeers Mint with Dark Chocolate
  2. Dove Caramels & Chocolate Covered Almonds
  3. Snickers Dark
  4. Head to Head: Milky Way & Mars (Canada & UK)
  5. Cadbury Eggs: Creme & Caramel
  6. Milky Way Crispy Rolls
  7. Short & Sweet: Caramello /  Mega M&Ms / Orange Kisses
Name: Milky Way Simply Caramel
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 4 BENIGN
Brand: Mars
Place Purchased: Rite Aid (Sherman Oaks)
Price: $.69
Size: 1.91 ounces
Calories per ounce: 131
Categories: Chocolate, Caramel, United States, Mars, Kosher

POSTED BY Cybele AT 7:52 am     Comments (27)

Monday, January 11, 2010

El Almendro Turron Selection

El Almendro Turron SelectionI love variety, in fact I crave it. I was excited to find this selection of three different kinds turron (torrone) in this box from El Almendro. It includes Turron Duro, Turron Caramelo and Turron Crocanti.

Each piece is about one ounce (there are seven so I got three of the Duro) and individually wrapped. In fact the package was wrapped a lot. The box was wrapped in cellophane. There tray inside was wrapped in cellophane and each of the pieces is wrapped in cellophane. They’re very fresh.

The most remarkable thing about all three varieties is that they’re mostly almonds. Each lists the ingredients as 60% almonds.

Almond Turron

Turron Duro is a light and crunchy turron. This version is common in both Italy and the Iberian Peninsula. El Almendro is Spanish and the best thing about it, of course, is that in Spanish you trill the double r ... it’s like extra exercise for your mouth, so you work off more calories.

The finger is three inches long and one inch wide, so it’s a nice bar-like portion. The white nougat is crispy and filled with nuts and has the scent of marshmallow, almonds and honey.

If you’ve always wanted more of those little nougat bits in a Toblerone, this is the stuff. They’re tacky but mostly crunchy, only mildly sweet with oodles of almonds. The honey notes are prominent but never quite dominate because there are just so many nuts. My favorite of the three,

Almond Turron

The Turron Crocanti variation has a transparent amber version of the turron instead of the milky white stuff. Here the caramlelized sugar flavors win out over the honey. There’s no egg white in it, so it’s more of an almond brittle. It’s also a little more bitter as candy part is quite dark and burnt tasting (in the best way possible).

Almond and Sesame Turron

The Turron Caramelo was a little confusing to me at first. Every time I looked at it, I though ... oh, it’s a fig turron! And then I’d eat it and it’d be a sesame turron.

The candy looks like something I’d get in a dish at a Chinese restaurant. It smells quite dark and toasted, like sesame oil. Sesame isn’t always a good pick for me. I enjoy Sesame Snaps (those sesame finger cracker things) and Sesame Brittle (those little fingers wrapped in cellophane and sold at health food stores) and of course I’m a nut for Halvah. But sesame has a dark side - a side that reminds me of burnt hair and flaming plastics. The bars were extra hard and crunchy, which was a little disturbing as I’m worried sometimes that I’ll break my teeth on candy I’m reviewing and then where will I be!

The flavor is actually quite pleasant after I smashed the bar around inside the package when I had my second one. The sesame overshadows any honey or almond and definitely ventures into the bitter burnt notes. This was my least favorite.

I’m glad I got a variety that confirms how much I prefer the version that has egg whites in it. Now I just need to find a package that has them in these perfect sized fingers. Often the Spanish turrons come in dinner plate sized wheels, which means messy smacking & breaking.

It’s pretty wholesome and filling stuff, at only 110 calories per stick and the fact that it’s mostly almonds and all natural might make some parents pretty happy.

Related Candies

  1. Fard’s Persian Pistachio Nougat
  2. Trader Joe’s Lumpy Bumpy Bar
  3. Flamigni Torrone
  4. Valerie Lemon Hazelnut Nougat
  5. Nougat de Montelimar
  6. Trader Joe’s Torrones
Name: Turron Selection: Duro, Crocanti & Caramelo
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 4 BENIGN
Brand: El Almendro
Place Purchased: The Candy Store (San Francisco)
Price: I can't remember
Size: 7.05 ounces
Calories per ounce: 110
Categories: Nuts, Nougat, Spain, All Natural

POSTED BY Cybele AT 2:17 pm     Comments (13)

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Godis Gula Snoren (Toffee Laces)

Godis Gula SnorenJust before Christmas I went to Ikea for the first time in years. Our office was adopting a family for the holidays and I opted to get the wholly unsexy but necessary housewares gifts. My ulterior motive (besides getting a whole kitchen setup in a single easily wrapped box) was to get some candy.

I’d heard that Ikea had these strange candy laces a while back via Candy Addict and had to try them for myself. They’re called Godis Gula Sn?ren by Ikea Food.

The package is radically generic, a simple matte white plastic package with san serif black print in English and French and a high-key photo of the candy itself.

Godis Gula Snoren

While it’s tempting to call them Toffee Laces since the description on the bag says candy laces with toffee flavour I’m going to go with candy spaghetti. And when I say candy spaghetti, I’m going all the way, from the fact that it’s made with wheat to the color and shape of the stuff.

I had 16 laces in my package. Each is 1 meter long. They’re quite thin, like cooked spaghetti. However, unlike cooked spaghetti these are actually hollow. They’re very, very long candy tubes. Perhaps more like bulk surgical tubing for Barbie Dolls.

Godis Gula Snoren

They smell more like dishwashing liquid than candy, a vaguely sweet and vanilla scent but also a bit artificial. (The package actually lists no artificial ingredients - they’re colored with beta carotene.) The flavor isn’t actually toffee, but thankfully it’s also not butter flavored. It’s just, well, vaguely sweet and chewy.

They’re flexible and pretty useful candies. Tie them in knots and make an edible bracelet. Decorate cupcakes by cutting them like chives. Or when the craze hits a la candy sushi, you can make your own candy Pho

As something to simply buy and eat, well they were passable. They’re either for people with far too little imagination or far too much.

More fab coverage & pictures on A Table for Two and actual Spaghetti & Meatball Cupcakes from Not Quite Nigella.

(I looked up Godis Gula Sn?ren via an online translator and it told me it was Candy Yolk Cord.)

Name: Godis Gula Sn?ren
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 4 BENIGN
Brand: Ikea Food
Place Purchased: Ikea (Burbank)
Price: $1.99
Size: 3.5 ounces
Calories per ounce: 100
Categories: Chew, Sweden, All Natural

POSTED BY Cybele AT 12:09 pm     Comments (14)

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Broadway Strawberry Rolls

Broadway Strawberry RollsI had never heard of Delfa Rolls or Danish Ribbons until a couple of years ago when I started getting emails from folks looking for a source for the licorice and strawberry rolls.

Sadly, Danish Ribbons are no longer made.

So when I heard that there was a replacement for them, I needed to try them to see what all the saddened fuss was about. The replacement product is called Broadway Rolls. They come in the classic black licorice and strawberry flavors.

Broadway Strawberry RollsWhen I was at The Candy Store in San Francisco, they had quite a few of the rolls on display (though only in the Strawberry flavor, no Licorice).

The roll itself is quite clever. It’s a very thin and malleable wheat-based chew. The strips are about 3/4 of an inch wide and deeply grooved (to the point that you can pull it apart into threads).

When rolled up, the little spools are about one inch high and the roll is sold with four in a package, lightly stuck together in a stack. 

Broadway Strawberry Rolls

Each roll is like a spool; they’re dense and quite hefty at about a half an ounce each. Unrolled the strap is about 11 inches long.

The fun thing about them is that they’re easy to play with. I found that I could tease off one or two strands and unspool them. I also found I could unroll the whole thing and then have what appeared to be part of the innards of my computer (the cable that attaches my hard drive). The only thing I couldn’t manage was just biting into the roll.

Most of the time I just found myself unrolling enough for a bite.

The soft and slightly waxy textured Broadway Roll is rather like a Twizzler. They’re strawberry flavored, mostly sweet and floral but with a light tangy note. They’re not intense and though soft enough to bend and pull, I wouldn’t call them chewy.

I think I’d prefer to try them in Licorice, but these are pleasant enough and certainly unique. I can see why they’d be missed. The format is different enough from other licorices, even plain laces, to warrant a petition to revive them. I don’t know who originally made Danish Ribbons (some sources say Malaco, the originator of Swedish Fish) but these are made in China.

They’re probably really fun for decorating, or creating your own gingerbread motherboard.

Related Candies

  1. Twizzlers (Strawberry)
  2. Red Vines
  3. Cinnamon Fire Twizzlers
  4. Kenny’s Licorice Pastels & Root Beer Twists
  5. Swedish Aqua Life
Name: Broadway Strawberry Rolls
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 4 BENIGN
Brand: Gerrit Verburg
Place Purchased: The Candy Store (San Francisco)
Price: $1.19
Size: 2.12 ounces
Calories per ounce: 100
Categories: Chew, China

POSTED BY Cybele AT 9:48 am     Comments (15)

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Grape Vines

Grape VinesLast year I got a curious comment on my Red Vines review mentioning Grape Vines. I thought they were long gone. Incredibly I read that American Licorice was reviving the grape flavored licorice twists and have been scanning shelves for them ever since. I spotted them at the grocery store last week and of course snagged a package.

First of all, the box and logo are just fabulous. They’re snazzy and happy and classic. I like the simplicity and boldness of the Red Vines packaging, especially the standard tray which seems to be their most popular format. The clear window shows off the product but the unified graphic elements make them easy to recognize on the shelf. I was happy to see that Grape Vines fit right in.

Grape Vines

It’s not your imagination nor a strange anomaly in the photo, they’re not all the same color. Some are more on the magenta side of purple and other twists are on the concord-grape-juice purple side. Besides the color, they look and feel just like Red Vines. The texture is matte but smooth with a bit of a glow, as they’re slightly translucent. They’re not at all sticky or tacky. They’re flexible, especially since these are fresh (though I’ll eat licorice fresh or stale).

They’re the kind of candy you can put out on your desk and not worry about. They don’t leave a greasy mess, they don’t really dry out (maybe after a day or so, but an afternoon while you’re working at the computer is just fine). I’ve even stuck them in my pocket out of the bag without incident (though I don’t recommend that for more humid or damp regions).

Grape Vines

They smell like Pixy Stix and ball point pen ink and taste like flat grape soda.

The chew is pleasant and not as waxy as Twizzlers can be. The flavor is mild with just a light hint of grape. The grape isn’t all artificial tasting either, sometimes it’s remarkably like raisins. (Though if I wanted raisin flavor I should just eat raisins.) I was pleased to see that they didn’t need to use Red #40 for the coloring so I didn’t get that aftertaste I often find with brightly colored candies.

They’re different. I enjoyed them, though not more than the standard Red Vines and certainly not as much as my cherished black licorice.

On a side note, I got a new lens for my camera for Christmas. Can you tell I was enjoying Grape Vines if only as an excellent subject to test it out? (Tamron SP AF60mm F2 Di II LD (IF) 1:1 Macro)

Related Candies

  1. Topps Wild Berriez Wazoo
  2. Now & Later
  3. Twizzlers (Strawberry)
  4. Judson-Atkinson Sours
  5. Black Licorice Twists & Snaps
  6. Red Vines
  7. Kenny’s Licorice Pastels & Root Beer Twists
Name: Grape Vines
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 4 BENIGN
Brand: Red Vines (American Licorice)
Place Purchased: Gelson's (Silverlake)
Price: $1.49
Size: 5 ounces
Calories per ounce: 99
Categories: United States, American Licorice, Kosher

POSTED BY Cybele AT 7:24 am     Comments (20)

Monday, January 4, 2010

Vosges Bombalinas - Black Pearl Cashews

Vosges Bombalinas - Black Pearl CashewsI like wasabi and ginger, and of course cashews and dark chocolate. So Vosges Bombalinas Black Pearl Cashews, which are 62% dark chocolate covered cashews with ginger, wasabi & sesame seeds should be an amazing mix.

I bought this small box of chocolate covered cashews when I was in Las Vegas in November and I’d completely forgotten that I’ve had the Black Pearl bar from Vosges oh, so many years ago. It could be the reason I forgot was that it wasn’t that memorable. (It’s also entirely possible I’ve eaten too much between then and now ... entirely possible.) Something about Vegas made me spend $9 for less than three ounces of nuts, must be the fact that my honor bar in my hotel room made that seem reasonable.

Bonus featured here include the fact these are gluten free and considered vegan (the confectioners glaze is made from gum arabic and corn syrup, not shellac).

Vosges Bombalinas - Black Pearl Cashews

They are lovely. They are big, luscious cashews. They are expertly panned. So I had no quarrel with that.

The crunch of the nuts was great and the chocolate was dark and rich. But the other notes, the woodsy ginger, the sizzling wasabi and the toasty sesame were all missing. There was a grassy note to the chocolate and some smoky and woodsy qualities, but I really wanted my sizzle and burn. Good dark chocolate covered cashews aren’t hard to find, and since these pack no special punch, I’d say go for the cheaper plain versions.

Did I eat them all? Eventually. Were they worth nine dollars? No. Would I buy them again? Probably not.

Related Candies

  1. Vosges Haut Chocolate Skulls
  2. Marich Chocolate Sea Salt Cashews
  3. Morning Glory Confections: Chai Tea & Cashew Brittle
  4. Ginger Chews: Hot Coffee
  5. Compartes Chocolates
Name: Bombalinas - Black Pearl Cashews
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 4 BENIGN
Brand: Vosges Haut-Chocolat
Place Purchased: Vosges (Las Vegas)
Price: $9.00
Size: 2.5 ounces
Calories per ounce: unknown
Categories: Chocolate, Nuts, United States, Vosges, All Natural

POSTED BY Cybele AT 1:57 pm     Comments (4)

Friday, January 1, 2010

The 110 Essential Candies for Candivores

The world of candy is immense with more than 10,000 choices at any given moment on the planet, how can a mere mortal experience it all? Well, having it all is overrated. I’ve compiled a list based on my lifetime of candy of just the essentials, candies that every candy lover should experience at least once. You know, for a good foundation in candy education.

These are not necessarily my favorite candies (some I don’t even like and others I haven’t tried) but they’ve stood the test of time. 

If you’re game, repost this list with yours checked off and your thoughts. (Maybe even add your own.) You can grab the raw list of 110 here.

Bubble Chocolate1. 70%+ Cacao Chocolate
High cacao content chocolate provides a rich experience of more chocolate flavors without so much sugar to get in the way. Best savored in small bites.

2. Aerated Chocolate: (Brand Names: Aero, Choc-o-Lite, Elite, Wispa)
The addition of air to chocolate is quite a revelation, it provides a different texture and though it’s sold as being a lower calorie alternative (as it’s lighter in weight for the same size bar) it’s still chocolate. Extra bonus for Flake bars. see more

3. Altoids
Dense and curiously strong mints, they are the ultimate expression of flavor over delivery device. see more

4. American-Style Hard Toffee: With or without chocolate, with or without nuts.
As much an expression of butter as it is the toasted sugar notes. The way it cleaves probably demonstrates some sort of geological properties that I’m not familiar with so maybe it’s educational. see more

5. Anis de Flavigny
A demonstration of patience. At the center is a tiny fennel seed with the hard sugar coating built up layer by layer of weeks of tumbling. see more

DSC03938r6. Any Lolllipop Bigger than your Head
Usually the kind of candy you get after begging and pleading at the fair for hours. They’re nearly impossible to eat but gorgeous to look at as sugar art.

7. Atomic Fireballs: (Maker: Ferrara Pan, also Sconza)
A relative of Anis de Flavigny, these large ball bearings are all panned sugar with alternating layers of intense cinnamon. see more

8. Black Sugar Candy
Okinawa, Japan is famous for its dense and deep dark sugar which is the basis of Black Sugar Candy. Heralded for its medicinal properties, it’s also a simple pleasure for the complex flavors of the molasses-like candy. see more

9. British Toffee
A stiff caramel made with treacle (like molasses) for a rich and deep flavor and long-lasting chew. see more

10. C.Howard Violet Gum/Mints or Parma Violets
Just like it sounds, they’re violet flavored chalky candies. see more

Cadbury Orange Creme Egg11. Cadbury Creme Egg
Far too much fondant encased in a milk chocolate shell and once the size of a small chicken egg. see more

12. Candy Buttons on Paper
Dried dabs of colored sugar paste on paper. A triumph of looks over substance.

13. Candy Corn / Mellocremes
Lightly flavored and stiff fondant in crazy and charming seasonal shapes. see more

14. Carob
In order to appreciate chocolate it’s important to taste what it’s not. Not just any bean can be ground up and combined with saturated fats and poured into a bar form to create a tasty treat. It’s best to keep carob for a hearty hot beverage. see more

Christopher's Big Cherry15. Cherry & Coconut: (Brand Names: Cherry Mash, Big Cherry, Twin Bing, Cherry Ripe (AU),  Cherry Blossom (CDN))
A strange but enduring candy treat, a fondant center with a real cherry is covered in a mixture of chocolate (or mockolate) and coconut.

16. Chocolate Coins
For a long time I preferred this kind of money to the real thing. It hearkens back to the days when cacao was used as currency. see more

Nibs a Plenty17. Chocolate Covered Cacao Nibs
Bits of cocoa beans are coated in chocolate to provide an intense chocolate experience. Each piece can have a different flavor profile. see more

18. Chocolate Covered Cherry Cordial
An amazing demonstration of kitchen chemistry with the magic of adding invertase to a fondant ball with a cherry at the center. Quick dipping while the fondant is still firm means that after the chocolate has hardened the enzyme activates and the center becomes an oozy syrupy cordial.

19. Chocolate Covered Dried Fruit (Raisins, Orange Peel, Apricot, Ginger, Fig)
Dried fruit remains moist and flavorful when sealed in the protective and tasty coating of milk or dark chocolate. see more

Starbucks Milk Chocolate Covered Coffee Beans20. Chocolate Covered Espresso Bean
The ultimate pick-me up: a little caffeine, a little fat, a little sugar. see more

21. Chocolate Covered Insects
Proof that anything is better covered in chocolate. Well, better than it was before, but still not necessarily something everyone wants to eat.

22. Chocolate from at least 5 different countries
I could say 5 different brands, but different cultures have different flavor preferences and since chocolate manufacturing went through so many different stages of development, different countries have different styles. (Of course there are always exceptions.)

Chocolate Bar Mosaic (36)

23. Chocolate Fudge
I’m a fudge purist and pretty much prefer chocolate or peanut butter. I’m sure a good case can be made for Oreo Fudge and Raspberry Champagne Swirl. It’s a great candy to make at home and so many variations exist a list of 100 could be made of just those. see more

24. Chocolate Truffle
While I may rail against Mockolate, for some reason the addition of butter or cream to chocolate makes something wholly divine. Ganache is simple and pure and simply supports the inherent chocolate flavors. Truffles can be flavored, but everyone should try the classic.

Giant Chupa Chups Pop25. Chupa Chups
Spain’s amazing lollipops. They’re dense and have no voids and come in an amazing array of flavors. The bonus is the plastic stick that doesn’t become a papery mush. Double bonus is that they come in grown up flavors like coffee.

26. Circus Peanuts
They’re shaped like peanuts but they’re banana flavored with the texture of a dense and grainy marshmallow. Love them or hate them, they persist. see more

27. Clear Sugar Hard Candy: (Styles: Barley Sugar Candy, Juntsuyu, Clear Toy Candy)
The pure taste of toasted sugar in solid and individually wrapped form. Some are so clear they appear like gems or optical glass. They’re poured carefully to avoid bubbles & voids for an extra smooth melt. see more

Brach's Sundae Neapolitan Coconut28. Coconut Bar: (Brand Names: Mounds, Almond Joy, Bounty)
Coconut and sugar make the center of all of these bars. There can be nuts, there can be milk or dark chocolate. They can be made at home or from a neighborhood candy shop. Dryer versions that aren’t coated with chocolate are also extremely popular all over the world.

29. Coffee Crisp
Canada’s best known candy bar, they’re a massive layered block of wafers and light coffee flavored cream covered in mockolate. see more

30. Coffee Hard Caramel (Brand Names: Coffee Rio, Coffee Nips)
A tacky toffee made with coffee, it’s like a super-dense and sweet latte you can put in your pocket see more

31. Cotton Candy: (Also called Fairy Floss, Candy Floss, Pashmak, Fluffy Stuff)
Spun sugar. Nothing more to say than that.

2008 Crunch Bar Wrapper (Now Even Richer!)32. Crisped Rice in Milk Chocolate: (Brand Names: Nestle Crunch, Hershey’s Krackel, World’s Finest)
An ideal combination of milk chocolate and crisped rice. Some mass-produced versions aren’t so ideal, so find your favorite. see more

33. Dragon’s Beard Candy
Similar to Cotton Candy in its strand texture, Dragon’s Beard is actually made like pulled noodles in a labor intensive process where strands of sugar are pulled and folded until they’re fine and silky.

Dulce de Leche34. Dulce de Leche: (Also known as Cajeta)
Slow caramelized milk and suguar, usually starting from a base of sweetened condnesed milk. Some use goats milk, which provides a different flavor profile. Some is a thick sauce texture, others become more solid like fudge. see more

35. Dulces de Calabasas: (Candied Squash or Pumpkin)
Similar to candied ginger or orange peel, squash or pumpkin chunks are slowly simmered with sugar and water until innundated. As it cools it crystalizes like fudge.

Durian HiCHEW36. Durian Taffy or Hard Candy
Durian is a fruit of Southeast Asia with a soft custardy center that taste like a combination of boiled onions and melon. see more

37. Gianduia (Gianduja): (Brand Names: Caffarel, Ferrero (Nutella))
Roasted hazelnut paste is mixed with cocoa (or chocolate). see more

38. Ginger Chews
Mostly made in Indonesia, these soft little rods of ginger and sugar syrup come in a variety of flavors. see more

Caramel Creams39. Goetze’s Caramel Creams (Bullseyes)
There is only one and it’s rather a strange candy at that. A hoop of caramel bulked up by wheat flour with a center of pure sugary cream. More like a soft cookie than a candy. see more

40. Green Tea Candy
There are plenty of varieties but nearly all provide a dense condensate of sweet green tea. Some use whole matcha powder, some use steeped green tea.

Haribo Bear41. Gummi Bears
A stiff mixture of sugar syrup, a light flavor and a little gelatin. Gummi bears are made in starch molds come in a variety of flavors, intesities and textures. Other similar candies: gummi worms, non-pariel coated berries, rings, food shapes and fruit slices. see more

42. Halvah
A block candy made from sesame paste and sugar, creating a crystalline texture. Usually served in chunks or blocks sometimes it’s made into bars or individual pieces and coated in chocolate. Variations include cocoa and pistachios. see more

kiss43. Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Kisses
A never imitated chocolate flavor, the Hershey’s Kiss is individually wrapped and sharable and represents the egalitarianism of economically-produced chocolate for the masses.

44. Hot Tamales: (Brand Name: Just Born but generic cinnamon jelly beans will do.)
Intense cinnamon jelly rods. see more

45. Idaho Spud: (Brand Name: Idaho Candy Company)
A dense latexy marshmallow center is covered in mockolate and coconut flakes to simulate the shape of a real potato with eyes. see more

46. Jelly Babies: (Brand Name: Basset’s but there are other generics.)
Little people shaped jelly candies from the United Kingdom. They carry a light dusting of corn starch to prevent sticking but also highlights the details of the molding. Each flavor/color is a different character shape. see more

Jelly Belly Citrus Mix47. Jelly Beans: (Bonus for Jelly Belly Buttered Popcorn)
A firm jelly ovoid is covered in a grainy candy shell. Usually the shell contains the flavoring but a modern trend has been to flavor both the center and the shell, started by Jelly Belly. Don’t miss the original pectin style either for the full effect.

48. Jolly Rancher Hard Candies: (Brand Name: Jolly Rancher from Hershey’s USA)
Smooth and intense hard candies in ground-breaking flavors such as Green Apple.

49. Jordan Almonds: (Also called Sugared Almonds or Confetti)
Fresh almonds covered in a thick candy shell. Often used as favors for weddings because of the symbolism of the bitter nut being coated in sugar. (As if that says something about marriage.) see more

Kinder Eggs50. Kinder Surprise or Kinder Egg: (Brand Name: Kinder - Germany)
A little capsule with a toy for you to assemble is encased in milky chocolate. see more

51. Kit Kats from at least 3 countries: (Brand Names: Nestle and Hershey’s in USA)
An interesting demonstration of how production varies from region to region, the UK KitKat tastes perceiveably different from those sold in Japan and those in the United States. Bonus for any of the limited edition varieties. see more

Kit Kat Face-Off

52. Lemonheads: (Brand Name: Ferrara Pan)
A tiny sweet lemon drop covered in an intensely sour layer then a sweet grainy shell. There are other fruity cousins such as Cherryhead, Orangehead and Applehead but they lost their appeal when they normalized the name. I loved Alexander the Grape. Grapehead, not so much.see more

53. Licorice Allsorts
Amazingly inventive shapes and colors made from colored coconut fondant and wheat/molasses licorice. see more

54. Licorice Pastels: (Varieties: Good & Plenty or Skoolkrijt)
Black licorice made with a wheat base and molasses then coated in a candy shell to keep it soft and add a crunch. Also pretty to look at. see more

LifeSavers 5 Flavors55. LifeSavers
An iconic hard candy they’re sharable and come in a vast array of flavors. WintOGreen will spark when you bite them. see more

56. M&Ms / Smarties
Candy coated chocolate lentils exist from a variety of companies all over the world so extra points if you’ve had more than three versions. see more

57. Malted Milk Balls
The classic malted milk center covered with a generous coating of real milk chocolate is the key here. Dark chocolate, peanut butter and all the fancy mint and cookie versons are all fine, but the classic original is the one to start with. see more

Maple Lollipop58. Maple Sugar Candy
Maple sugar is simply solidified maple syrup. It’s hard to find and expensive but worth it for sugar afficinados to try. There are two versions, the grainy crystallized kind and the clear hard candy version. The texture changes the aeration of the flavor notes, so go for both.

59. Marathon Bar or Curly Wurly
A braid of chewy caramel dipped in chocolate. Even if you never had the American version called Marathon you’ll understand why so many folks pine for this unique bar. see more

Snickers Dark60. Mars Snickers: (Alternate versions come in Dark and Limited Edition varieties.)
A classic and dare I say wholesome candy bar with grand proportions of chocolate, fluffy nougat, caramel and peanuts. A meal in a bar. see more

61. Marshmallow: (Both factory made and artisan style)
A foamy and bouncy sugar fluff. see more

62. Marshmallow & Coconut Cup: (Brand Names: Sifer’s Valomilk, Adams-Brooks Cup O Gold, Boyer’s MalloCup)
A simple milk chocolate cup filled with marshmallow of varying consistencies depending on the brand. Also a classic: Rocky Road which features marshmallow chunks and nuts in chocolate. see more

63. Marshmallow Peeps
Grainy sugar coated marshmallows in themed shapes for various holidays. Can be eaten fresh or stale, frozen or flambe. That’s versatility. see more

Biermann Marzipan Fruits64. Marzipan
Ground almonds and sugar is about as simple as candies come. The beauty is not only when it’s covered in chocolate but when it’s scuplted into a multitude of shapes.

65. Mentos
A chewy mint that once had an anachronistic ad campaign. Also the basis for improvised carbonated fountains. The best part is that they’re actually tasty. see more

66. Mexican Mazapan
Peanuts are the base of this drier cousin to almond marzipan. Also related is halvah, made from sesame seeds. see more

67. Mockolate
Just because something’s on this list doesn’t make it good, just an essential thing to try in order to be well-rounded. True mockolate is any chocolate product that uses vegetable oil (usually hydrogenated tropical oils) in place of cocoa butter, but could also be one that uses only some oils in addition to cocoa butter. Its best use is for decorative items that aren’t meant to be eaten but would be prohibitively expensive if they were made out of good chocolate. see more

HiCHEW Stack68. Morinaga HiCHEW: (Maker: Morinaga)
A bouncy and latexy chew that’s unique. Morinaga of Japan isn’t complacent about being so popular either, in addition to more than a half a dozen regular flavors they issue limited edition flavors with alarming frequency. see more

69. Musk Sticks
Imagine long stiff ropes of Altoids, except instead of peppermint or cinnamon, imagine they’re flavored like musk. That’s Australia’s Musk Stick. see more

70. Necco Wafers: (Maker: Necco)
Crunchy wafers of sugar, soft and powdery, incredibly durable. It’s rare to find a packaged major brand of candy that has so many different flavors in one roll (a mix of spices and fruits). see more

waxlips71. Nik-L-Nips or Wax Lips: (Maker: Tootsie)
Food grade wax made into shapes that can be worn (wax lips, vampire teeth) and later chewed. Or filled with strange syrupy liquids like Nik-L-Nips.

72. Nougat & Nut Roll: (Brand Names: Hershey’s Payday or Pearson’s Nut Roll)
A plain nougat center with a light caramel coating rolled in fresh peanuts. One of the original meal replacement bars. Alternate versions are the Pecan Roll which is a bit more decadent and expensive featuring pecans and often a better quality nougat center. A rare non-chocolate candy bar. see more

French Nougats

73. Nougat de Montelimar or Torrone: (Brand Names: Arnaud Soubeyran, Nutpatch Nougats)
Fluffed sugar with egg whites and a dash of honey. With or without nuts or candied fruits. Different versions have different textures, and they vary widely with the amount of nuts. see more

74. Panela, Panocha, Piloncillo and/or Jaggery
Basically, it’s brown sugar. Delicious brown sugar. (Many grocery stores sell it in bulk bins in the vegetable section.)

Pates de Fruits75. Pate de Fruits (fruit pate)
It’s jam you can bite.

76. Peanut Butter Buckeyes
A regional favorite in the midwest US, a ball of peanut butter is most of the way into chocolate, leaving only a little top uncoated. The result looks like a buckeye (or chestnut).

77. Peanut Butter Crisp: (Brand Names: Butterfinger, 5th Avenue, Clark Bar, Chick-O-Stick, Zagnut)
Peanuts are combined sugar and sometimes molasses to create a honeycomb peanut crisp (often through a layering process). The result is similar to halvah but far more hearty and sugary. Most bars are covered in chocolate but some, like Zagnut or Chick-O-Stick are coated in toasted coconut. see more

Peanut Butter Kisses78. Peanut Butter Molasses Chews: (Brand Name: Mary Janes, Peanut Butter Kisses, Abba Zaba)
Molasses taffy with a peanut butter filling. Mary Janes are the best known mass market version though there are dozens of salt water taffy shops that make a softer similar product. see more

79. Pecan Pralines: (New Orleans Style & Texas Chewy)
Boiled sugar and butter with pecans. The texture varies regionally from a caramelly texture in Texas to a smooth melt-in-your-mouth fudge in New Orleans to a sandy sugar in Charleston. The French tradition of praline was based simply on melted sugar usually mixed with nuts, which is also good. see more

Sunspire Peppermint Pattie80. Peppermint Pattie: (Brand Names: York, Pearson’s, Junior Mints, Dutch Mints, Holland Mints.)
A white fondant mixed with peppermint oil (sometimes using gelatin or egg whites as a binder) is then coated in chocolate (dark please). Sometimes additionally coated in a candy shell as in Dutch Mints. see more

81. Pez: (Maker: Pez)
A rectangular compressed dextrose tablet dispensed through the neck of a novelty plastic character.

82. Pixy Stix or Lik m Aid: (Brand Names: Wonka or Pucker Powder, Sandy Candy, Baby Bottle Pops)
Powdered dextrose candy with a tangy bite. see more

Pocket Coffee83. Pocket Coffee: (Maker: Ferrero)
Sweet real espresso inside a chocolate shell. Available seasonally from Italy there are some generics available as well. see more

84. Pocky: (Brand Name: Glico also Meiji Lucky Stick)
Bland biscuit sticks dipped in chocolate. Later versions are flavored and others have fillings. see more

85. Razzles: (Maker: Tootsie)
First it’s candy, then it’s gum. It’s never good in either form. see more

Pink Strawberry Red Vines86. Red Licorice
A berry flavored wheat-based chew. Comes in many formats from ropes to twists to laces. see more

87. Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups: (Brand Name: Hershey’s)
A crumbly, salty and sweet peanut butter in a cup of sweet and milky milky chocolate. Iconic and ideally proportioned. see more

88. Ribbon Candy and/or Old Fashioned Candy Sticks
Hard candy formed into flat strips and furled up into ribbon-like stacks or twisted into rods. Pretty to look at and often in hard-to-find-otherwise flavors. Stores like Papa Bubble let you watch it being made in the traditional manner. (Also related, the Candy Cane.) see more

89. Rock Candy or Konpeito
Large cloudy crystals of sugar, often colored. see more

90. Root Beer Barrels
Hard candy in the shape of a barrel flavored with root beer. Root beer is a more common flavor in the US with an aromatic origin as a combination of sassafrass root along with licorice, cinnamon, wintergreen, molasses and honey.

91. Salt Water Taffy
A seaside favorite it comes in a variety of formats, often rod shape or squat disks and in dozens of flavors. (Bonus if you saw it being pulled.)

Trader Joe's Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Caramels92. Salted Caramel
Caramel with a liberal dash of salt see more

93. Salted Licorice
Licorice with a strange infusion of ammonium salts - not for everyone see more

94. Satellite Wafers (Flying Saucers)
Foamy corn starch disks have a pocket of powdery candy or little candy nuggets. Kind of like a tiny candy pita. see more

Single Origin Chocolate95. Single Origin Chocolate
Chocolate made from beans from a specific growing region and sometimes a single plantation. Instead of a blend to provide a consistent profile from year to year, these batches of chocolate are particular to the beans and growing conditions and sometimes the vintage. One of the only ways to truly taste the wide variety of flavor profiles that cacao is capable of producing. see more

96. Smooth & Melty Mints: (Maker: Guittard)
A white confection with peppermint flavoring and often pastel colored. Each little chip or disk is then given a base of nonpariels. Similar to Peppermint Bark. see more

97. Spice Gumdrops and/or Spearmint Leaves
Jelly candies in spice and floral flavors and coated in a granular sugar. see more

Sponge Candy98. Sponge Candy: (Also known as Honeycomb, Seafoam, Cinder Toffee. Brand Names: Violet Crumble, Crunchie)
Aerated boiled sugar. Usually coated in chocolate to prevent it from getting tacky from humidity. (Well, the chocolate also tastes good.) see more

99. Starburst / Skittles
Intense tangy and fruit flavored taffy. Starburst are individually wrapped, Skittles are candy coated. Other variations are Laffy Taffy, Now & Laters and Mambas. see more


100. Swedish Fish
Jelly candy in the shape of a fish. Traditional version is red and is Swedish berry flavor. A mix of fruit flavors is also available. see more

101. SweeTarts or other sour Compressed Dextrose
Disks of firmly compacted dextrose and acid in fruity flavors. Also related: Bottle Caps, Runts and other novelty shaped tiny tart candies that are coated or uncoated. see more

102. Tamarind Candy
The pod has both sweet and sour notes and is used as a base for candies from both Mexico (usually combined with chili) and Southeast Asia.

Pomegranate Tootsie Pop103. Tootsie Pop
A chocolate taffy wad covered in sharp hard candy and put on a stick. see more

104. Turkish Delight
A simply jelly candy made with simple ingredients. Smooth and delicate it’s usually flavored with florals like rosewater and orange blossom but sometimes combined with aromatics like lemon or mint and combined with hazelnuts or pistachios. see more

105. U-No: (Maker: Annabelle’s)
A truffle-like fluffy center with ground almonds covered in chocolate. One of the highest caloric density mass-marketed candy bars on the market. (That means fatty folks.) see more

White Chocolate with Whole Hazelnuts106. White Chocolate
A valid confectionery expression of milk, sugar and cocoa butter with the texture of chocolate. Wonderful in combination with so many other flavors like plain vanilla, lime, salt, chai spices or pistachios that it deserves to be appreciated (and maybe needs a new name that doesn’t make it sound like an unwanted stepchild). see more

107. White Rabbit: (Maker: Shanghai Guan Sheng Yuan Food, Ltd)
A milk-rich taffy from China. As a special treat it also has an edible rice paper inner wrapper. Also comes in other flavor varieties such as Red Bean and Green Tea. see more

108. Wine Gums
A British favorite these are similar to gummis in their dense chew. Flavored like wine though most really just taste like grape and currant with a yeasty note. see more

Zero109. Zero
The only white coated mass-market candy bar. Zero is a ground almond chocolate nougat with a strip of caramel covered in a white confection. As a piece of fine chocolate with the right ingredients this would be stellar. see more

110. Zotz: (Maker: Zots)
Hard candies filled with fizzy sour powder. Similar: Napoleon Bonbon which has only a sour powder filling without the fizz. see more

Some quick answers to what I expect will be questions: Why 110? Well, I made a list and it ended up with 110 on it. I didn’t want to hack 9 or 10 off just to have a cool number. It’s the number I felt was appropriate to display the breadth of modern candy.

Why so many American candies? Yes, it has a North American bias as it’s based on my experience, your list will be different.

Why aren’t the really good candies on here? You mean the high end chocolatiers or items available from only one store? I wanted to include things that are accessible to most people, to make the list do-able.

What do you think is essential but left out? Or inconsequential yet included? If you post your own list, please stop back by and leave a link so everyone can check it out.

POSTED BY Cybele AT 9:51 am     Candy10-SuperbFeatured NewsFun StuffComments (45)

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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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Candy Season Ends (Easter)

4 days




Which seasonal candy selection do you prefer?

Choose one or more:

  •   Halloween
  •   Christmas
  •   Valentine's Day
  •   Easter





These candies will be reviewed shortly:

• Patric Chocolate

• Amano Chocolates

• Candy Rant: Stimulants are not Energy

• Candy Encyclopedia: The Difference Between Gummi and Jelly

• Candy Rant: If your Licorice isn’t black, it isn’t Licorice