Thursday, March 11, 2010
Seems like everyone’s getting into Easter versions of their popular candies. Cadbury-Adams has quite a few new varieties including Sour Patch Eggs and Sour Patch Bunnies (which I bought & will review soon) but the more innovative one appeared to be Assorted Swedish Fish Eggs.
The package is more than quirky. The little red Swedish fish is sporting white and pink bunny ears and a little talking bubble says, “What, you’ve never heard of Candiar?”
The package notes that it also includes Swedish Fish but it didn’t elaborate beyond that.
Inside it’s not a large amount of candy for a theater box. It’s 3.1 ounces, which means that the inner cellophane bag takes up less than a third of the volume of the box.
The assortment is a mix of the small Swedish fish and the little “eggs” which are half inch hemispheres. They come in three or four flavors/colors. Orange, lemon, lime and “Swedish Fish” flavor.
When I took the picture I didn’t know there was a difference between the light green eggs and the aqua eggs.
The Swedish Fish and the aqua eggs are the same berry flavor. Sweet, tangy and jammy.
The lemon eggs are mild, as are the orange ones. Not much zest or juice to it, but still an ultra smooth chewy gel. The lime ones were surprising and more sweet as far as I could tell and more zesty.
On the whole they were fun, the teensy eggs were different but took away from the interactive part of eating a regular size Swedish Fish (biting & pulling it apart).
These are made in Canada but there’s no allergen statement on the box. They contain no animal products, nut products or apparent gluten ingredients but you may want to check with Cadbury directly. They also may be vegan, depending on how you feel about eating mineral oil. (There’s no glaze or dairy in it.)
It’s hard to take a candy bar called The Most Awesome Chocolate Bar Ever seriously. But then again, why does a bar have to be serious? (See a photo of the package here.)
I ate two of these and would probably buy more if I could get a hold of them. The dark chocolate is dreamy smooth but the filling is really, actually awesome. The feuilletine wafers are crispy and toasty and mixed into a melty nougatine with soft cocoa flavors.
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
A few months ago I discovered quite by accident that Russell Stover introduced a new candy. The Color Me Candies are little milk chocolate candy coated lentils. (Yes, the same thing as M&Ms, Nestle Smarties, Jots, Hershey-Ets and Koppers Milkies.)
Not an innovative new product, but still it warranted a tasting as far as I was concerned because they’re selling them in single color bags and for what appears to be a barn-buster price. I ordered one color about a week ago - and of course right after I ordered they introduced some color mixes based on sports teams.
There are 13 colors total, I chose the Igloo Blue, which looked like an icy powder blue. I thought it’d photograph well and have less food coloring that might influence the flavor profile.
The bags hold 8 ounces and was priced at $2.99 (plus shipping - I got a bunch of other stuff as well that I couldn’t find in stores).
The pieces are similar in shape and size to M&Ms. They’re a little thicker in the center but a sharper, thinner edge. They’re consistently shaped and colored for the most part. There were variations, but all were within what I’d call acceptable.
The only hesitation I had after opening the shipping box was that some of the candies - probably about 5% were chipped. Not terrible, but in a glass jar for display and serving it might be distracting for the light colored versions. (I expect for the darker colors it’d be less noticeable.) This might have been because I didn’t order very much, so my box had a lot of open space for shifting of the contents. If you’re ordering a large amount I don’t expect it to be as much of an issue - but maybe check with their customer service to confirm.
The shell is crispy and crunchy - far more interesting as a texture than the M&Ms (it reminded me more of the new Hershey’s Pieces). The chocolate texture is creamy and smooth, far better and silkier than M&Ms (even the Premium ones). The primary flavor notes are dairy - a rich milky and caramel along with a mellow chocolate flavor.
They’re excellent, actually. Easy to keep eating, not too sweet and different enough from M&Ms that I would probably seek them out for a special occasion.
So, the pricing scheme: I see these as a candy buffet item so the price does make a difference. At the moment these are only available (as far as I know) from Russell Stover directly on their webstore. They are sold in 8 ounce (half a pound) bags in 13 single colors and 16 “team color” mixes. The cost at the moment is $2.99 per bag, which means they’re $5.98 per pound. The rival products to this are: M&Ms which are sold on their website in 7 ounce bags with a price tag of $15.98 per pound (or $11.60 if you’re willing to buy in a 5 lb box) and Koppers Milkies which are found on various webstores, I priced them at CandyWarehouse.com and found that they’re $9.90 a pound when purchased in a 5 lb box - some sites have them for less (but fewer colors) and some for more. Russell Stover doesn’t offer a bulk purchase, but I would expect that would make them even cheaper.
M&Ms and Koppers Milkies come in far more colors. M&Ms and Koppers Milkies are Kosher. None are nut free.
This is an assortment of Michel Cluizel chocolates I picked up at Fog City News in San Francisco a couple of years ago. What a great way to sample so many different flavors.
Tuesday, March 9, 2010
I’m gaga for Meiji’s Gummy Choco, which are little gummi beans of various natural fruit flavors covered in milk and flavored white chocolate. But I’ve also wondered what it’d be like to just eat the gummi centers.
The gummi jellybean centers are called Poifull and are rather harder to find in the United States.
I picked up a few boxes via JBox.com and then ended up finding some more at Nijiya Market in Little Tokyo a few weeks later. The flavors vary from time to time. (Sometimes the yellow ones are pineapple as shown in this box and other times they’re lemon or white peach.)
While it’s tempting to call these jelly beans, they’re not. Jelly beans have jelly centers - that means that they’re a thickened candy syrup, usually gelled using corn starch but good quality ones use pectin, a natural fruit product. Poifull are a gummi product, so the centers are bouncy and chewy and thickened with gelatin. (So my vegetarian friends, you can’t have these.)
They come in four flavors and all are equally fresh and transcendent. The shell is light and a little grainy after chewing, it mostly seals in the soft and fresh flavors of the gummis themselves.
Pineapple - is sweet and bright but more like canned pineapple than the fresh stuff. Not quite as acidic but still quite credible.
Grape - is the darker purple color. The flavor is amazing, like a condensed droplet of concord grape juice. Vivid, sweet and tangy.
Muscat Grape - is the green one and like the grape has an authentic juice flavor. Muscat is a white grape so is often a little milder in its juice form. This one was tasty but didn’t wow me like the others by comparison.
Apple - is the lighter pink one. It’s definitely just like a fresh glass of apple juice, or actually, more like cider. Tangy and with a good touch of apple peel flavors in there.
(I had another box & can review the Lemon - is a mild and marmalade-like flavor. The sugar notes are boiled and toasted and the zest is still quite authentic but lacking most of the bitter qualities. It’s not terribly tart, but still has a nice snap.)
The flavors are much more intense than even Jelly Belly, very well rounded and of course the gummi texture makes them last longer. I didn’t find myself gulping them down like I do with some jelly candies, they’re absolutely more in the gummi style of eating for me. I’ve only found them in these small boxes (and sometimes in the tiny boxes for the Meiji Mini Mix - photo).
They’re pretty expensive since they’re an import product, but as far as I can tell they’re also all natural - so parents can feel good about a super-flavorful product that comes in small portions. They’d make a great addition to an Easter basket.
Meticulously photographed and documented reviews of candy from around the world. And the occasional other sweet adventures. Open your mouth, expand your mind.