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October 2010

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Tootsie Caramel Apple Pops

Tootsie Caramel Apple PopsAbout 15 years ago Tootsie introduced a new lollipop. Like many of Tootsie popular lollipops it was a combination of two already famous candies. In this case the Tootsie Caramel Apple Pops combined a hard candy with caramel. It was a base of green apple flavored hard candy covered with a hard caramel (think Sugar Daddy).

Since they candy is meant to mimic a caramel covered apple, it only makes sense that other varieties of apples get their day in the sun. Last year Tootsie introduced their Assorted Apple Orchard Caramel Apple Pops. The bag has a variety: Green Apple, Golden Delicious and Red Macintosh.

Tootsie Caramel Apple Pops - Green Apple

I admit that I’ve had these before, well, I’ve had Green Apple pops in my possession before. I used to do product photography, so I’d get large quantities of candy to take pictures of and then I’d get to keep it. I had huge box of these and never actually ate one myself. They’re messy, the packaging doesn’t really highlight them well either. Worse, I saw them being made on TV (I think it was Unwrapped, but can’t find a mention of it on the Food Network website) and they look radically different when purchased than when they roll off the production line.

They’re puckered and irregular and often little bits of caramel poke out of the bottom of the wrapper. But I actually like Sugar Daddy and regular Tootsie Pops, so I should give these a fair shake.

The pops start with a hard candy disk, in this case flavored like green apple. Then the pop gets a coating of hard caramel and then a wrapper. During shipping and storage there’s some sort of glaciation that takes place and the pop flattens and takes on the shape of the wrapper. The hard candy gets marbled with the caramel.

The hard caramel is smooth and sweet with a light toasted sugar flavor with a hint of milk. The green apple candy is slick, without the painfully sharp edged voids of Tootsie Pops and Blow Pops. They’re not as intensely flavored as Jolly Ranchers, just a tart apple flavor. They’re comforting and mellow.

My main complaint is the width of the pop, it’s a little too wide for my mouth. The edges tend to be irregular, kind of rippled from the wrapper, this is uncomfortable when sucking on the pops after a while. The whole pop will eventually be soft and pliable and of course stick to the roof of my mouth if I’m not careful (I’m sure those impressions are like fingerprints).

Tootsie Caramel Apple Pops - Golden Delicious

The Golden Delicious variety comes in a mustard yellow wrapper. In the real fruit world, golden delicious are not on my list of favorite apples - I find them too sweet and often mealy. In the case of the candy version of the golden delicious, neither of those qualities was an issue. The scent of this pop was actually very apple like, it reminded me of peeling apples.

The apple flavor is muted and sweet and doesn’t quite stand up to the caramel as well. It’s almost like applesauce or apple pie a la mode (with caramel sauce).

Tootsie Caramel Apple Pops - Red Macintosh

I was glad that Tootsie didn’t go with red delicious on this one, instead it’s Red Macintosh which is a much more flavorful apple. The pop in this case is kind of in the middle of the flavor profile gamut - it’s not as intense or fake tasting as the Green Apple, but a little bolder than the Golden Delicious. The flavor of the red candy part was like an apple cider - notes of the apple peel and juice but still on the sweet side.

Getting over the messy look of these is a bit difficult, but the candy inside definitely has merits. I don’t see buying them for myself again but I love the idea and think that Tootsie did a great job of making the flavors distinctive enough. The pops are only 60 calories. The combination of textures and flavors makes these a good treat for those watching their calories.

Related Candies

  1. Caramel Apple Kisses & Caramel Creams
  2. Milk Maid Caramel Apple Candy Corn
  3. Caramel Apple Sugar Babies
  4. Mentos Fuji Apple
  5. Tootsie Pops - Regular & Super Sized


Name: Caramel Apple Pops
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Tootsie
Place Purchased: Rite Aid (Glendale)
Price: $2.99
Size: 15 ounces
Calories per ounce: 94
Categories: Candy, Halloween, Tootsie, Caramel, Hard Candy & Lollipops, 6-Tempting, United States, Rite Aid

POSTED BY Cybele AT 2:22 pm     CandyReviewHalloweenTootsieCaramelHard Candy & Lollipops6-TemptingUnited StatesRite AidComments (19)

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Eat with your Eyes: White Malteasers

Malteasers White

I picked up this curious alternate version of Mars’ malted milk balls called Malteasers in white chocolate a month or so ago. I was ready to review them, then it got very hot in Los Angeles. So hot that even the candy I store in insulated coolers (no ice or anything) actually melted. It was in the high nineties in my candy room.

So you’ll just have to enjoy the photo.

Package photo here and review of the regular Malteasers here.

POSTED BY Cybele AT 12:23 pm     CandyNew Product AnnouncementHighlightFeatured NewsComments (6)

Monday, October 4, 2010

Mary Jane & Mary Jane Wicked Mix

Necco Mary JanesI can’t think of another candy that embodies the description humble American treat better than Mary Jane. First there’s the fact that they originated in Paul Revere’s house in Boston by the Chas. N. Miller Company. Second, they’re made from molasses and peanut butter, two hearty American flavors. The wax paper packaging has remained largely unchanged (undated old wrapper & advertisement from 1927).

The Chas. N. Miller Company was bought by Stark Candy in 1985, and Stark was bought up by Necco in 1990.

Necco has kept the traditional candy largely intact. When I was a kid Mary Jane were still a penny candy, sold out of tubs positioned near the cash register at convenience stores. These days they still go for pocket change, I’ve seen them for 10 cents each at retro candy shops.

Mary Janes

The candy is simple, a rich and stiff molasses taffy rectangle with a small reservoir of peanut butter in the center.

I stopped eating Mary Janes about 15 years ago when it seemed that every time I bought them they were hard and crackly. But I’ve had better luck around Halloween when they’re fresh and packaged directly by Necco (beware of other repackagers like the generic drug store brands).

The chew is a little tough at first but softens with a bit of work and warmth. The taffy isn’t too sweet and has a toasted, earthy flavor from the molasses (the fourth ingredient). The peanut butter strip in the middle is undependable at best. Some pieces have a generous filling that gives the candy a beautifully balance of roasted nuts and burnt sugar. The chew is smooth and has a consistent flavor from start to finish.

I find them irresistible. So much so that I’m on my third bag since September.

Mary Jane Wicked MixNecco has been on a kick to create alternate versions of their classic candies and Mary Jane wasn’t left behind. The Mary Jane Wicked Mix popped up a couple of years ago at Halloween.

The mix contains a four flavor variations: Peanut Butter & Jelly, Peanut Butter & Banana, Smores and Peanut Butter & Vanilla. What you might notice is missing from that list is the classic Molasses & Peanut Butter Mary Jane. Unlike the Clark Wicked Mix, which contains the classic milk chocolate Clark plus the Dark Clark and Coconut Clark, this mix doesn’t have the original. (Which is how I got into this messy Mary Jane addiction in the first place, I had to buy a bag to do this post ... and then I ate them so I had to buy another bag, and another.)

Mary Janes

The little wrappers are similar to the original. They’re a thick waxed paper that protects the candy well and releases except when they get too warm. My bag was a little bit oily, which I blame on the peanut butter. The candies were all soft and easy to chew, but the wrappers were sometimes just a little bit greasy to the touch.

The wrappers have the same bold black bookface font for the Mary Jane logo and have the little cartoon of the Mary Jane character. They’re color coded for the flavors (they don’t have the flavors named on them) but don’t have the red stripe.

Banana Mary Jane (Wicked Mix)

The version that immediately made the most sense to me is the Banana & Peanut Butter Mary Jane.

The yellow waxed paper looks brighter than the original because the taffy beneath is a pale yellow instead of a medium beige. It smells like fake banana and a little like peanut butter. The chew is soft and immediately reminiscent of Circus Peanut. The peanut butter, on the pieces that have a generous quantity, cuts the sweetness and artificiality to create a pretty good candy. It was definitely the one that I was reaching for in this mix.

Peanut Butter & Jelly Mary Jane

The raspberry red wrapper gave me a little bit of hope on the Peanut Butter & Jelly Mary Jane, which is good because the idea of a grape taffy filled with peanut butter was not appetizing.

The taffy was lightly tangy and tasted a little like grape Pixy Stix. The chew was softer, so much softer than the rest that it was a completely different texture of chew. The peanut butter did a good job of covering the disappointing grape jelly effect, but not good enough to make me want to keep eating these after the review was over. Thankfully there were only a half a dozen of these in my big bag of 85 pieces.

S'more Mary Jane

I wasn’t quite sure what a Smore Mary Jane was supposed to be. I liked the look of the dark brown wrapper and I thought maybe it’d be a cocoa flavored taffy.

Sadly the flavor note they were going for here was toasted marshmallow with peanut butter. That’s a great idea, but I needed more darkness to the whole thing and less fake vanilla sweetness. A little cocoa would have been nice, too.

Vanilla Mary Jane (Wicked Mix)

The Vanilla & Peanut Butter Mary Jane got me to thinking about another vanilla taffy filled with peanut butter, the Annabelle’s Abba-Zaba.

Mary Jane Vanilla & Abba-Zaba

RiteAid always has Abba-Zabas, so I went by and picked up a bar to compare. (While I was there I bought bag #2 of the classic Mary Janes.)

Mary Jane Vanilla & Abba-ZabaLet me start by saying that the Mary Jane is far easier to eat. Abba-Zaba are a smack & unwrap kind of taffy. It’s hard to portion and often messy.

The Abba-Zaba taffy is sweet but silky smooth in the chew, it’s almost warm and buttery. But it’s also sweet, a little sweeter than I’m keen on. The peanut butter is thick and has a strong flavor to it, the proportion or perhaps that there was so much of it in one place gave it a lot more prominence than in any of the Mary Janes.

The Vanilla Mary Jane is like a bleached out sea shell, missing all the beauty and character of the original. The fake vanilla taffy is okay and I admit that it does give the peanut butter more dominance. But the whole thing is just too sweet and bland. The Abba-Zaba wins based on its superior texture and better balance of peanut butter.

Overall, this experience has proved that the Mary Jane deserves to endure untouched for all these years (96 years!). I can see this variety being fun for kids who might be turned off by the smoky notes of the molasses original.

More on Mary Jane at the Bewildered Brit.

Related Candies

  1. Clark Bar Wicked Mix
  2. Molasses Pops
  3. Mary Jane’s Bread Pudding
  4. Mary Jane Peanut Butter Kisses
  5. Goldenberg’s Peanut Chews
  6. Abba Zaba


Name: Mary Jane
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Necco
Place Purchased: Rite Aid (Glendale)
Price: $.99
Size: 7 ounces
Calories per ounce: 113
Categories: Candy, Necco, Chews, Kosher, Peanuts, 10-Superb, United States, Rite Aid


Name: Mary Jane Wicked Mix
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Necco
Place Purchased: Rite Aid (Glendale)
Price: unknown
Size: 24 ounces
Calories per ounce: 113
Categories: Candy, Necco, Chews, Kosher, Peanuts, 4-Benign, United States

POSTED BY Cybele AT 2:35 pm     CandyReviewHalloweenNeccoChewsKosherPeanuts4-Benign10-SuperbUnited StatesRite AidComments (6)

Friday, October 1, 2010

Candy Tease- October 2010

imageName: Hi-CHEW Grape
Brand: Morinaga
Description: Japan’s #1 selling fruit chews for more than 30 years. Now in Grape.
Introduction Date: in stores now
Notes: I’ve blogged quite a bit about HiCHEW over the years and take full credit for the fact that they’re now being sold more widely in American stores. The new packaging is in English and with a flavor list slightly different from Japan. We can get strawberry, melon, green apple and mango in stores already. The candy isn’t made in Japan, it’s produced in Taiwan. Some hardcore HiCHEW fans (including me) prefer the Japanese version, as the flavors are more intense and authentic tasting.

imageName: Jelly Belly Seed Packs
Brand: Jelly Belly
Description: Jelly Belly play on the nostalgia of heirloom seeds and reflect the ingredients used to make Jelly Belly beans.
Available in Watermelon and Very Cherry, the products are gluten-, dairy- and gelatin-free, as well as kosher certified

Introduction Date: unknown
Notes: The choice of cherry as a flavor for a seed package is more than odd as cherries come from trees. I don’t know anyone who has grown a cherry tree from seeds (most people I know buy saplings). Better choices might have been cantaloupe, strawberry, blueberry, mixed berry, or raspberry. I like the idea of the packaging though, it would definitely be fun to add to a themed gift basket for a gardener or food enthusiast.

imageName: Ben Tre - 72% Cacao Single Origin Dark Chocolate
Brand: Scharffen Berger
Description: Ben Tre is one of the first Vietnamese single-origin beans to be imported into America. Ben Tre is spicy, lightly fruity with notes of banana, cinnamon and fig.
Introduction Date: in stores now
Notes: Banana and fig along with chocolate is a great combination. I’ve never had a bar made with Vietnamese cacao. This is definitely one single-origin folks will be interested in.

imageName: Dark Chocolate Mallo Cup
Brand: Boyer Candies
Description: From milk chocolate to a rich & popular dark chocolate with a creamy Mallo center. Boyer Candy Company will introduce their ever famous cup candy in a dark chocolate Mallo Cup. “This is in response to an overwhelming demand from loyal Mallo Cup customers”
Introduction Date: 11/1/2010
Notes: Mallo Cups are the first “cup candy bar”, so it only makes sense that they get a flavor extension eventually. I’m assuming they come with the little Boyer play money points.

All photos/images courtesy of the respective manufacturer

POSTED BY Cybele AT 5:56 pm     CandyNew Product AnnouncementHighlightFeatured NewsComments (5)

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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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COUNTDOWN

Halloween Candy Season Ends

7 days

Read previous coverage

 

 

Which seasonal candy selection do you prefer?

Choose one or more:

  •   Halloween
  •   Christmas
  •   Valentine's Day
  •   Easter

 

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ON DECK

These candies will be reviewed shortly:

• 10 Candies that Shouldn’t Be So Disappointing

• Brach’s Royals: Caramel Apple and Sea Salt Caramel

• Dove Dark Chocolate Cranberries

• Russell Stover Big Bite Pecan Pie

• Orgran Molasses Licorice

 

 

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