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April 2010

Friday, April 30, 2010

Wonka Exceptionals Fruit Jellies: Grapefruit, Goji Berry & Red Apple

Wonka Fruit Jellies - GrapefruitThe new line of Wonka Exceptionals includes new chocolate bars to replace the classic Wonka Bar and the completely new Wonka Fruit Marvels.

The Wonka Exceptionals Fruit Jellies are a bit more classic. They’re simple cubes of real fruit jelly made from all natural ingredients in Mexico. They come in single flavor boxes, the initial varieties are Grapefruit, Goji Berry and Red Apple.

They are packaged similarly to the Fruit Marvels. The label sleeve is over an eye-popping magenta and maroon box. Inside the box is an unlabeled purple mylar bag. It’s a lot of layers, and while I enjoy the fancifulness, it’s really wasteful.

Wonka Fruit Jellies - Goji, Apple & Grapefruit

The package simply describes them as fantastically flavorful soft jellies dusted with sugar. I also got a press release that said:

Made with natural ingredients, no artificial colors and 25 percent real fruit juice, these cheery confections are perfect for everyday indulgence or casual gift giving.

The ingredients go like this:

Sugar, corn syrup, water, pear juice concentrate, and less than 2% of pectin, natural flavor, beta carotene and citric acid.

The beta carotene is the only ingredient that isn’t marked as all natural, though it’s certainly not an artificial color.

Wonka Fruit Jellies - Goji, Apple & Grapefruit

I’ve had a lot of pate de fruits over the years, which are full fruit jellies. They’re usually thickened with the actual fruit instead of corn starch though sometimes there’s additional pectin (depending on the fruit). Though the new Wonka Fruit Jellies don’t quite rise to the level of pate, they do a good job with the texture and are less sweet than gum drops or fruit jellies like Boston Fruit Slices.

Wonka Fruit Jellies - GrapefruitGrapefruit is light yellow, none of this pink grapefruit stuff for Wonka.

The scent is a beguilingly authentic grapefruit peel. Grapefruit is a favorite smell for me, even clinical testing backs up its use for aromatherapy - the smell of grapefruit soothes, engenders trust and youthfulness (for women being sniffed by men, anyway). I like it because it smells like something I want to eat. It’s a mix of balsam, lavender, lemon and windy beach.

The half inch jelly cubes are rough and dusted with sugar. They’re a little messier than a gum drop but not as dusty as Turkish Delight. They’re soft to the touch but firm enough that they can’t be squeezed flat very easily. The moist jelly has a nice give, it’s not a sticky as a gum drop, these are more of a jam you can eat.

The flavor is mostly about the zest and grapefruit peel but there’s a light juice note with a little tangy snap. They’re not too cloying or sticky sweet, but not quite intense enough for me to call them a true pate de fruits.
Wonka Fruit Jellies - Goji BerryWhile I’ve had a lifetime of experience with Grapefruits and Apples, my interaction with Goji Berry is pretty limited. I’ve had dried goji berries quite a few times in the past three or four years. The dried berries are leathery and chewy but not terribly flavorful. Goji berries (also known as wolfberries) have a near-miraculous ability to fill my spam box with offers of all sorts of products. I’m sure goji berries were sad to see the rise in acai.

The berries are related to tomatoes, peppers and eggplants. They have tiny little seeds in them but they’re edible and provide a little bit of texture, though not quite like, say, kiwi or fig seeds do.

The package says nothing about where the flavor for these comes from, just that it’s natural. The whole point, as far as I can tell, of people eating goji is because of its high antioxidant properties, so just flavoring something with goji seems like a miss.

They’re sweet with a little tangy note. Kind of like raisin and orange. Not really that interesting to me.

Note: the Goji variety of the Fruit Jellies uses cochineal color, so they are not vegan.

Wonka Fruit Jellies - AppleRed Apple was much more appealing than I expected. It’s quite red, which was refreshing instead of the more common acid green that candies end up being.

The flavor notes are reminiscent of apple cider. There are notes of apple peel, a mellow and honey-like sweetness along with a light tart bite.

My hesitations with these are because of the excessive packaging, but for a natural fruit jelly product they’re priced rather well but still quite a bit steeper than other gummis or jellies. (They’re about twice the price per ounce compared to the Wonka Sploshberries.) The size of the pieces is perfect, I just pop them in my mouth, no messing biting & putting half aside. I do love grapefruit, which is a hard flavor to find, and apple lovers may enjoy a real fruit experience too. Goji can go, hopefully replaced by something really inventive ... maybe we’ll finally find out what a snozzberry is.

Related Candies

  1. Au’some Snerdles Super Mario Power Up Box
  2. Wonka Fruit Marvels
  3. Meiji Poifull
  4. Bissinger’s Pink Grapefruit Gummy Pandas
  5. Wonka Puckerooms
  6. Wonka Sluggles
  7. Dr. Doolittle’s Pastilles (Lemon, Grapefruit & Wild Berry)
  8. Terra Nostra Pocket Bars

Name: Wonka Exceptionals Fruit Jellies
Brand: Nestle
Place Purchased: samples from Wonka
Price: $2.99 retail
Size: 5 ounces
Calories per ounce: 88
Categories: All Natural, Candy, Nestle, Jelly Candy, Kosher, 7-Worth It, Mexico

POSTED BY Cybele AT 12:16 pm     All NaturalCandyReviewNestleDiscontinuedJelly Candy7-Worth ItMexico

Eat with your Eyes: Biermann Marzipan

Biermann Marzipan covered in dark chocolate

I’m not a huge fan of marzipan, but cover it in chocolate and I’ll definitely give it a try.

POSTED BY Cybele AT 9:03 am     CandyFeatured NewsFun StuffPhotography

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Pretzel M&Ms

Pretzel M&MsThe newest variety of M&Ms is just hitting the stores. Pretzel M&Ms were introduced at last year’s NACS (National Association of Convenience Stores) show. I love the fact that they brought back the skittish and paranoid Orange M&M character for these, he used to be the mascot for the discontinued Crispy M&Ms (which also came in a blue package).

The new product is just what it sounds like: a salty pretzel sphere covered in milk chocolate then the colored M&M candy shell.

The little X-ray of the M&M shows the pretzel inside him. Well, it shows a twisted pretzel, what’s inside here is pretzel nugget.

Pretzel M&Ms

Though the bulk of the package is similar to the Peanut ones, the weight is not. There were 16 candies in my package but it weighs only 1.14 ounces. (Milk Chocolate M&Ms are 1.69 ounces.) The front of the package has the new “what’s inside” nutritional info: 150 calories. That’s a great tally - a respectable and filling snack but not so many calories to displace a nutritionally balanced diet. The back of the package says that there’s 30% less fat than the average of the leading chocolate brands. This appears true, there are 132 calories per ounce, where most of the chocolate candies I review are between 142 and 160 calories per ounce. The pretzels are a lot of air and of course made of flour, a carbohydrate.

Pretzel M&Ms

The candies vary in size; they’re about 2/3 to 3/4 of an inch in diameter. They come in five colors: Red, Green, Blue, Brown and Orange. (Milk Chocolate and Peanut M&Ms also come in Yellow.) As near-spheres they’re vexing for snacking at my desk. When I tried to line them up and separate by color they just rolled around ... the Milk Chocolate obloid spheres definitely have the advantage there.

They’re crunchy, a little salty and sweet. The crunches are different - there’s the candy shell which is light and sweet, then the malty and salty pretzel center. The milk chocolate gives a little cocoa and milk flavor along with a creamy note.

I didn’t love them completely, I don’t know what was missing for me, maybe it was that there wasn’t enough chocolate for me. I also prefer dark chocolate on my pretzels to milk chocolate. Still, they’re a great addition to the line and more snack than dessert. They’re an excellent movie candy since they’re not too filling, have a savory and sweet mix and of course the are easy to share. They should be placed in every movie concession stand for the summer season.

Pretzel M&Ms are available at WalMart now, they’ll be in wider distribution starting in June 2010.

Related Candies

  1. Limited Edition M&Ms Coconut
  2. Candy Tease: All Candy Expo 2009 - Mars
  3. Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate Covered Pretzel Bites
  4. Revisit: Take 5, Sunkist Fruit Gems & Snickers Almond
  5. M&Ms Premiums
  6. Disneyland Candy Palace - Candy Case Chocolates
  7. M&Ms Line

Name: Pretzel M&Ms
Brand: Mars
Place Purchased: sample from Sweets & Snacks Expo
Price: $.89 retail
Size: 1.14 ounces
Calories per ounce: 132
Categories: Candy, Mars, Chocolate, Cookie, 7-Worth It, United States

POSTED BY Cybele AT 11:36 am     CandyReviewMarsChocolateCookieKosherM&Ms7-Worth ItUnited States

Eat with your Eyes: Delaviuda Trufas

Delaviuda Trufas

A co-worker brought these back from Spain for me last year. They came in a tall box, but what was fascinating about them was how they did actually look like black truffles.

POSTED BY Cybele AT 9:18 am     CandyFeatured NewsFun StuffPhotography

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Tootsie Sour Dots

Sour DotsA new addition to the Tootsie line of Dots is Sour Dots.

As with many sour iterations of popular products the package went for yellow and green, the seemingly universal colors of tartness.

The package design is cute. In this case the blue Dots logo dominates to give cohesion with the other boxes on the shelf (currently I’ve been seeing classic Dots, Yogurt Dots and Tropical). The little Dots themselves are depicted in each of the five colors with puckery faces. They’re called The Dot that bites back!

Sour Dots

The flavor assortment is middle of the road, though not just a sour dusted version of the regular fruit Dots (which come in Strawberry, Cherry, Lemon, Lime & Orange), these are Grape, Orange, Lemon, Green Apple and Cherry

The Dots are a traditional smooth jelly center with a sour coating that includes citric acid and malic acid. Dots boxes are wrapped in cellophane so they’re soft and fresh.

Sour Dots

The sour coating is definitely tart, the kind of sour that makes the back of my jaw tingle.

Grape - very sour and quite artificial but ultimately a chewy gum drop version of Pixy Stix.

Orange - so sour it’s almost salty at first, but the zesty notes of the gum drop give this a flavor depth that few other sour citrus candies have.

Lemon - really more like lemon peel than lemon juice, it’s fresh, bitter and tangy all at once. It really gave the feeling of those shaken lemonades from the fair.

Green Apple - not quite a Jolly Rancher, it’s far too tart. It’s more than just the chemical green apple, there is a hint of apple juice in there.

Cherry - this one was simply caustic. The cherry flavors were artificial and buried beneath the sourness, it was like fruity/woodsy toilet cleaner. I do admit that the cherry notes, once the sour is gone are rather deep, but still not my thing.

The smooth gum drop centers set these apart from other sour dusted jelly candies like Sour Patch Kids. They’re chewy, but kind of a slick smoothness that the others don’t have, there’s no graininess after the sour sanding dissipates. They don’t even stick to the teeth in the quite the same way as regular Dots. They’re a great value for only a dollar and some nice deep flavors. I found myself avoiding the cherry and green apple, but I’m sure that I could find friends (or husbands) to share those with.

Related Candies

  1. Halloween Dots: Bat, Candy Corn & Ghost
  2. New Flavors: Skittles Sour & Wonka Runts
  3. Dots Elements: Earth, Air, Fire & Water
  4. Dots
  5. Sour Patch Kids
  6. Florida’s Natural Sour Fruit Juice String
  7. The Lemonhead & Fruit Heads

Name: Sour Dots
Brand: Tootsie
Place Purchased: RiteAid (Echo Park)
Price: $1.00
Size: 7 ounces
Calories per ounce: 94
Categories: Candy, Tootsie, Jelly Candy, Kosher, Sour, 7-Worth It, United States, Rite Aid

POSTED BY Cybele AT 10:05 am     CandyReviewTootsieJelly CandyKosherSour7-Worth ItUnited StatesRite Aid

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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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