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March 2010

Monday, March 22, 2010

Skittles Fizzl’d Fruits

Skittles Fizzl'd FruitsBack in October I heard that Wrigley’s was introducing some new Skittles. These weren’t just new flavors, they were going to be a completely new way to experience the chewy fruit-flavored candy lentils.

Skittles Fizzl’d Fruits are billed as Fizzling fun for your mouth. As you can imagine from the name, they’re Skittles with a foaming, fizzy component.

The package is cobalt blue and holds the same amount as the Sour Skittles, 1.8 ounces (the regular flavors are 2.17 ounces). I couldn’t wait to find them in stores locally, so when I saw a box of them posted on eBay, I bought them right away.

From the outside of the package they looked like Sour Skittles, which of course gets my mouth watering immediately. The images show a softly sanded set of Skittles, my guess was this was the fizzing part.

This sort of fizzing reaction is the same as AlkaSeltzer or other effervescent tablets. Sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) is mixed with an acidic agent, in this case citric acid. When it’s dry, nothing happens but when water (or saliva) wets it, they begin a reaction that results in carbon dioxide (the air) and sodium citrate (an alkaline salt with a tangy flavor that works as a mild antacid).

I took one Skittle and carefully put a drop of water on it and sure enough as the water wicked around the whole candy the surface started to bubble slightly. It looked like it was being deep fried, or like putting a strawberry in a glass of champagne. It’s not like the whole thing got covered in scrubbing bubbles nor would a whole bowl of them create a “snap, crackle, pop” but it’s still a remarkable little chemistry demonstration.

Skittles Fizzl'd Fruits

The flavors are Berry Punch, Melon Berry, Raspberry, Strawberry and Wild Cherry. If this set of flavors sounds familiar, yes, it’s the same as Wild Berry Skittles.

They smell softly sweet with a light floral note, but nothing that really hints at the experience to come.

Skittles Fizzl'd Fruits

They are strange! I can say right now they are not for me, but they are definitely intriguing.

I was expecting the caustic and biting sour coating when I popped two of the Melon Berry flavor in my mouth, and yes, there was a sour tingle, but then there was a fizz. It’s not a carbonation fizz, it’s more like putting an Alka Seltzer tablet on your tongue. The foaming is soft and has small bubbles which dissipate quickly, especially when I chewed up the candy. I didn’t care much for the melon berry flavor as it was, so the additional component was weird and slightly metallic.

Skittles Fizzl'd FruitsThe Raspberry went nicely, the sour bite was less noticeable and the foam seemed to support the floral flavors. The coating, I was noticing, has a medicinal mineral salt flavor to it, like eating antacids.

Berry Punch had a kind of bubble gum note to it, so the bubbly coating fit right in. It reminded me of a cheap soda from my childhood, in the best way possible.

Strawberry was much more tangy than the one found in the regular mix and combined well with the fizzling.

Wild Cherry was a strange combination of foreign flavors, it simply put, an effervescent cough drop. It had all the worst aftertastes for me, a mid-tone metallic note and then the lingering cherry and bitter red dye afterglow.

As I mentioned earlier, they’re just not for me. I’m not much for effervescence; the caustic burps after just aren’t worth the tongue tingling. The mineral aftertaste is also a bit disconcerting for me, but I know it’s completely benign. Finally, I’m not that keen on the name. They’re using the Wild Berry mix so seems like they could have gone for Bubbly Berry instead of Fizzl’d Fruits since Fruits is the name of the classic flavor mix. I also ate three bags of these over the past five days and found that the fizzy coating was inconsistent. Sometimes it was fizzy but flavorless, other times it was a perfect blend of tangy and foamy.

I know that kids like to snort the sour powder from Sour Skittles, but this would be a very bad idea ... I give it about 11 days before videos start showing up on youtube of kids doing it. Skittles are now gelatin-free and gluten-free. They’re also no nuts and vegan if you’re the kind who will eat artificial stuff. Not Kosher.

Ebidebby also has a review of them today.

Related Candies

  1. New Flavors: Skittles Sour & Wonka Runts
  2. Skittles Crazy Cores
  3. Skittles from the UK
  4. Skittles Carnival Flavors
  5. Skittles (Fruits, Wild Berry, Tropical, Smoothies & Sour)
  6. Astra Flying Saucers
  7. Zotz Apple
  8. Skittles Ice Cream
Name: Skittles Fizzl'd Fruits
    RATING:
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 6 TEMPTING
  • 5 PLEASANT
  • 4 BENIGN
  • 3 UNAPPEALING
  • 2 APPALLING
  • 1 INEDIBLE
Brand: Wrigley's (Mars)
Place Purchased: eBay
Price: $.77 each (8.50 plus shipping for 24 count box)
Size: 1.8 ounces
Calories per ounce: 111
Categories: Chew, Carbonated, Sour, United States, Wrigley's, Mars

POSTED BY Cybele AT 10:39 am     Comments (71)

Eat with your Eyes: Groder

Groder Giandiua & Chestnuts

I picked up these foil wrapped treats in San Francisco as an alternative to Caffarel. Not quite as good but still charming and tasty.

POSTED BY Cybele AT 8:13 am     CandyFeatured NewsFun StuffPhotographyComments (0)

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Eat with your Eyes: 100% Honey

100% Honey

I’ve picked up these 100% Honey drops a couple of times now at the Japanese market. They’re beautiful and quite tasty. It’s a hard candy made of boiled honey, pretty simple. The flavor is deep and malty, much darker tasting than liquid honey. The price is usually quite right, around $3.00, which in the realm of cough drops is pretty reasonable. (Honey is supposed to be a very effective and all natural cough treatment.) Picture of the package here.

POSTED BY Cybele AT 9:23 am     CandyFeatured NewsFun StuffPhotographyComments (2)

Friday, March 19, 2010

Real Eggshell filled with Hazelnut Chocolate Truffle

Real Eggshell filled with chocolate truffleAt the Fancy Food Show in January I saw these lovely little items and couldn’t wait until I found them in the store.

The name isn’t so enticing but at least it’s accurate: Real Eggshell filled with Hazelnut Chocolate Truffle. I found mine at Cost Plus World Market, which has a great selection of Easter candy this year. They were a bit expensive at $3.99, so for some folks this might replace the chocolate rabbit if they’re on a budget.

It’s a real eggshell that’s been emptied and filled with a gianduia. The shell is then resealed with a little sticker dot over the hole, painted up and sold. The chocolate resolidifies and when the shell is peeled off, it’s like hard boiled egg made of chocolate.

Real Eggshell filled with chocolate truffle

I thought it might be cute to serve them as a dessert like a soft boiled egg. I didn’t try it myself, but I’m guessing instead of sticking them in the fridge before opening you could pop them in the microwave for 10 seconds or a pan of hot water for a minute to make them soupy. Then it’d be like a rich hazelnut pudding that you’d eat with a spoon.

Real Eggshell filled with chocolate truffle

Even though it’s what I’d consider a novelty product, the ingredients are gourmet: sugar, hazelnuts, cocoa butter, cocoa liquor, milk powder, soy lecithin and vanillin. I didn’t refrigerate either of mine before opening them, so I think as long as it’s not too warm (over 75 degrees) they remain solid enough to peel.

I opened mine two different ways. For the green one above I peeled off the sticker at the bottom. This showed that the painting is added after the filling is added, as the sticker is also painted and the margin under it is still a white chicken egg shell. For the second egg, the yellow one, I just smacked it against the edge of a table and pulled off bits.

Real Eggshell filled with chocolate truffle

Both eggs I had contained a void inside - so thought this one looks like it’s a hollow egg, the vacant space isn’t really that large. It’s kind of like the real air pocket in chicken eggs.

The truffle inside is soft, smooth and creamy. The hazelnut flavors are the best part - grassy, roasted and nutty. The dairy and cocoa butter keep it ultra smooth and the cocoa touch mellows it all out. It’s on the sweet side, not as sweet as Nutella or a Milka bar, but sweeter than the dark chocolate versions of gianduia I’ve had from Caffarel.

The confection is a novelty that lives up to the promise. It’s beautiful, unique and charming though a bit problematic to consume. I thought the best way to eat it was to expose enough truffle filling and then bite it off. Then I misjudged and got a little eggshell ... eating eggshell makes me think I’m eating my own teeth (I know, weird phobia). Finally I ended up taking off all the shell and muddling through with melty fingers.

$3.99 for 1.75 ounces actually isn’t that bad for true European gianduia, but still it seemed expensive because of the effort involved in getting the shell off. My favorite style of egg decoration is the laborious Ukranian style. That would be inappropriate for these because the shell is destroyed to get to the candy (Ukranian Egg Decoration or Pysanka application would also destroy the filling, which is added first). The point is that I didn’t care much for this airbrushed 80s reminiscent dayglo abstract.

Though the package says that the 1.75 ounces are a single portion, I found it too much to eat in one sitting. It’s 290 calories.

Related Candies

  1. Laica & Caffarel Chocolate Eggs
  2. Nestle Creme Eggs
  3. See’s Hollow Eggs with Novelty
  4. Princess Marshmallow Eggs
  5. Godiva Easter Eggs
  6. See’s Scotchmallow Eggs
  7. Kinder Egg
Name: Real Eggshell filled with Hazelnut Chocolate Truffle
    RATING:
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 6 TEMPTING
  • 5 PLEASANT
  • 4 BENIGN
  • 3 UNAPPEALING
  • 2 APPALLING
  • 1 INEDIBLE
Brand: Gut Springenheide
Place Purchased: Cost Plus World Market (Glendale)
Price: $3.99
Size: 1.75 ounces
Calories per ounce: 166
Categories: Chocolate, Nuts, Germany, Easter


Name: Real Eggshell filled with Hazelnut Chocolate Truffle
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand:
Place Purchased: Cost Plus World Market (Glendale)
Price: $3.99
Size: 1.75 ounces
Calories per ounce: 166
Categories: Easter, Chocolate, Nuts, 7-Worth It, Germany, Cost Plus

POSTED BY Cybele AT 12:17 pm     Comments (9)

Eat with your Eyes: Hazelnut Vegan Bites

Last weekend I went to ExpoWest, which is a natural products trade show held in Anaheim. There are about 30 choccolate or candy companies that display there so I try to stop by for a few hours during the show to check out the new treats. This year I saw that Sjaak’s, the California-based chocolatier that’s Fair Trade, Organic and often Vegan had some new items.

Sjaak's Fair Trade Hazelnut Vegan Bites

These little floral shaped bites are Hazelnut. Amazingly they’re also vegan - so no dairy products in there even though it’s “milky.” The chocolate is smooth, the hazelnut flavors are pretty bold. (I think a darker chocolate option would be fun, too.)

POSTED BY Cybele AT 8:13 am     CandyFeatured NewsFun StuffPhotographyComments (7)

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Wonka SweeTarts Jelly Beans 2010

Wonka SweeTarts Jelly BeansWonka introduced a line of jelly beans back in 2006 (original review). They were matte, opaque pastel jelly beans with a strange grainy shell but familiar SweeTart flavors.

This year the product seems to have been reformulated, though there’s no mention of it on the package which is also redesigned. Readers alerted me that they were different this year.

The 2010 version of SweeTart Jelly Beans are more vibrant and come in the current SweeTart flavors of Cherry, Lemon, Grape, Blue Punch, Green Apple and Orange.

Wonka SweeTarts Jelly Beans

I noticed the color difference before I even took the bag home. They’re more opaque and shinier with consistent colors. They’re at once familiar and a little different.

The version I’ve had before had a grainy and cool-to-the-tongue shell. When I saw these and remembered the comments, I was wondering if Wonka was just using the Spree Jelly Beans which have a harder shell.

Wonka SweeTarts Jelly BeansThe shell is more crisp than the previous version and the flavors seem a little more distinct and intense. They also seem to be more faithful to the flavors of the chalky original SweeTarts disks. But what’s missing is probably the tangy hit that the real SweeTarts have.

As you’ll notice, I found quite a few abnormal ones in my bag. These were a few that had distinctive shapes, quite a few were just larger than what I’d call normal or smaller than what I would have thought should be the target. They all tasted fine - the narrow ones obviously had more shell to them proportionally.

Wonka SweeTarts Jelly Beans - RejectsThey’re still nice - the grape is much better as it is tangier now. I enjoyed the citrus flavors even though they weren’t particularly sour. Green apple is okay, though bland and I usually pick out the cherry and blue punch ones but if I ate them it’s not the end of the world.

In the end, the update is definitely different but I wouldn’t call it an improvement. I think it brings them more in line with what I’d expect from a product extension but still not as good as actual SweeTarts. Now if they could only do the SweeTarts Chicks, Ducks & Bunnies with all the flavors of SweeTarts we’d have something to talk about.

The versions I’ve tried before (2007 & 2008) were made in Canada. This bag was made in Mexico. There are no allergen statements on the bag, so they may be nut free/gluten free and contain no animal-derived products.

Related Candies

  1. Lemonhead & Friends Jelly Beans
  2. Big Tex Giant Jelly Beans
  3. Hot Tamales Spice Jelly Beans
  4. Smarties Jelly Beans
  5. Wonka Nerds Jelly Beans
  6. Lifesavers Jellybeans
Name: SweeTarts Jelly Beans
    RATING:
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 6 TEMPTING
  • 5 PLEASANT
  • 4 BENIGN
  • 3 UNAPPEALING
  • 2 APPALLING
  • 1 INEDIBLE
Brand: Nestle
Place Purchased: Rite Aid (Echo Park)
Price: $1.50
Size: 14 ounces
Calories per ounce: 95
Categories: Jelly, Sour, Mexico, Nestle, Easter

POSTED BY Cybele AT 11:42 am     Comments (5)

Eat with your Eyes: Easter Dots

Most Easter candies are pale pastels and muted colors. The new Easter Dots are just the opposite - incredibly bright little knobs of flavored jelly.

Easter Dots

POSTED BY Cybele AT 8:17 am     CandyFeatured NewsFun StuffPhotographyComments (1)

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Eat with your Eyes: Coco-Luxe Cocoa Nib Bars

More stuff I’ve photographed and eaten but never written up as a full review. Here’s an array of bars from the small confectioner called Coco-Luxe. They’re rather different from mainstream fare and all happen to contain cocoa nibs.

Coco-Luxe Monkeyin’ Around bar is milk chocolate with banana chips, cocoa nibs and alfa sea salt.

Coco-Luxe Monkeyin' Around

Coco-Luxe Spumoni bar is white chocolate with dried cherries, pistachios and cocoa nibs.

Coco-Luxe Spumoni

Coco-Luxe Roark is dark chocolate with cocoa nibs.

Coco-Luxe Roark

You can see the full package images by clicking on the thumbnails:
Coco-Luxe Monkeyin' Around Coco-Luxe Spumoni Coco-Luxe Roark

POSTED BY Cybele AT 11:09 am     CandyFeatured NewsFun StuffPhotographyComments (2)

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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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• Patric Chocolate

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• Candy Rant: Stimulants are not Energy

• Candy Encyclopedia: The Difference Between Gummi and Jelly

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