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March 2012

Friday, March 30, 2012

Haribo Gold Bears from Turkey and Germany

Haribo Gold  Bears - TurkeyHaribo Gold Bears stand as the epitome of the gummi bear for good reason. They were the first and they are known around the world. Haribo is so big that they have 18 factories, but only five of them in Germany.

I’ve been told over the years that the German Haribo products are the best. The Haribo products we most often see here in the United States, especially the Gold Bears, are made in either Turkey or Spain. So while I was in Germany I made sure to pick up a bag of the original version made in Bonn, Germany. Flipping over the bag, it was immediately clear that they’re different. There’s an extra flavor.

Haribo Germany Bears - They have Apfel bears

The German Gold Bears have six flavors:
Strawberry (light red)
Apple (green)
Lemon (yellow)
Orange (orange)
Pineapple (clear)
Raspberry (darker red)

The Turkish or Spanish Gold Bears have only five flavors:
Strawberry (green)
Lemon (yellow)
Orange (orange)
Pineapple (clear)
Raspberry (red)

Further, the German Bears are made with all natural colorings. Here’s an array of Bears and Bunnies for color comparison:

Haribo Comparison

On top are the German Gold Bunnies, packaged for the American market, in the middle are the German Gold Bears purchased in Germany and on the bottom are the Turkish Gold Bears purchased in the United States.

So let’s start where things are weird. First, the Green Gummi Bear. As you may have noticed in the listing above, in the United States, the green gummi bear is Strawberry.

Haribo Bears: German Apfel & Turkish Strawberry

I compared the colors of the Green Gummi Gold Bears because they show the most difference between the countries. The German bear is a light olive color, not a true green. Other than that though, the bears are the same shape and mass.

Haribo Germany vs Haribo Turkey

I thought maybe one was taller than the other, or thicker, but the variations are just that, variations across all the bears. Some are slightly thicker or taller, some have different facial expressions. But there’s no real difference in the moulding.

Turkish Strawberry (Green) compared to German Strawberry (Pink): The Turkish bear is just slightly firmer. The flavor (once you close your eyes and forget that it’s not lime or green apple) is light and only slightly floral. It’s tangy, but not puckeringly tart. Mostly it’s a bland gummi bear. The German bear is softer and just slightly more pliable. It’s jammy and has a good blend of florals and tartness, and though it’s slightly more flavorful, I wouldn’t say that there’s a huge difference in the intensity, just the nuances. Germany Wins.

Haribo Red GummiTurkish Raspberry (Red) compared to German Raspberry (Red): The artificial nature of the Turkish bear is much more apparent when placed next to the deeper, wine red German bear. The Turkish bear is sweet and tangy, the berry flavors are fresh and have only the lightest note of seeds to them. The German bear is softer and has richer, more dense flavor with more boiled fruit flavors to it. Germany Wins.

Turkish Orange compared to German Orange: this is tough. Both looked virtually the same, and the textures were also so similar. The zesty and tart notes on both were dead on. The German bear tasted every so slightly more like freshly squeezed juice, but that could have been my imagination. Tie.

Turkish Haribo Bears

Turkish Pineapple (clear) compared to German Pineapple (clear): The Turkish version had an ever—so-slight yellow cast to it, which really only showed when I placed the bears next to each other on white paper. Pineapple happens to be my favorite flavor for the bears and this was no exception. The Turkish bear actually had enough tartness to make my jaw tingle. It’s sweet and floral and just wonderful. The German version was just as good, but had an extra little flavor towards the end, a more intense thing that I can’t quite peg as pineapple zest, but that sort of buzz that comes with fresh pineapple. Even though there was a slight difference, I will indiscriminately gobble both. Tie.

Turkish Lemon (yellow) compared to German Lemon (yellow): Lemon is a great flavor and Haribo really can’t fail. There’s a wonderful blend of zest and juice in the Turkish version, with so much lemon peel that it verges on air freshener. The German version is more like a candied lemon peel or marmalade, slight more bitterness but still plenty of juice. Turkish Win.

The last one is the German Apple. It tastes, well, like tart apple juice. Honestly, I’m glad it’s not in the bags that are sold in the United States, it would be one I’d pick around ... and there currently aren’t any Haribo Gold Bears that I don’t like.

Haribo Gold Bunnies - GermanySo if there’s an additional flavor in Germany, I thought maybe this Easter Haribo Gold Bunnies version which features little rabbits instead bears and says it’s made in Germany would have that apple in it.

It does not.

The Green Bunny is actually strawberry.

But what’s more disappointing about these Haribo Gold Bunnies is that they’re terrible compared to both the Turkish Bears and the German Bears. Sure, the shape is cute and the colors are all natural, but the flavors are pale and watered down.

Haribo Gummi Rabbits & Bears

So if you’re a Green Apple fan, it’s worth it to seek out the true German Haribo Gold Bears. If you don’t care, then the Turkish version that we’ve been served all these years is great ... it’s not quite as intense, but it’s still a good quality product. The other think I noticed is that I paid one Euro (about $1.30) for my 200 gram (7 ounce) bag of German bears ... and I paid $1.50 for my Turkish bears, which only has 5 ounces in it. The German Bunnies were on sale for $1.00 at Cost Plus.

Related Candies

  1. Haribo Ingwer-Zitrone Gummis
  2. Bissinger’s Lemon Ginger Yuzu Gummi Pandas
  3. LifeSavers Gummies: Bunnies & Eggs
  4. Haribo Happy Cola
  5. Haribo Saure Dinosaurier
  6. Albanese Gummi Butterflies
  7. Haribo Gummi Bears vs Trolli Gummi Bears

POSTED BY Cybele AT 12:32 pm     CandyReviewEasterHariboGummi Candy9-YummyGermanyTurkeyHighlightHead to HeadCost PlusComments (10)

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Ovomaltine Chocolate Bar

OvomaltineEuropeans have an appreciation for malt beverages. I’m not talking about beer, I mean malted milk. One of the most popular is Ovomaltine, which is sold as Ovaltine in the United States.

Of interest to Candy Blog readers though is the line of confections made by Wander, the Swiss company that makes Ovomaltine. I picked up this 100 gram (3.5 ounce) Ovomaltine Milk Chocolate Bar, called Schweizer Milkchschokolade mit Ovomaltine in Germany.

The front of the wrapper is bold and uncomplicated, just the familiar logo of the drink and some squares of chocolate.

Ovomaltine

The bar isn’t really that attractive. The squares all bear the logo for the Ovomaltine, but the inclusion of the actual malted milk powder makes the surface of the chocolate bar itself a bit dusty looking. The segments are nicely sized and scored for easy breaking and sharing.

Ovaltine is not just a flavoring for milk, it’s also supercharged with vitamins and minerals. The chocolate bar is no different, though it’s not exactly the same as swallowing a couple of multivitams there are a few B vitamins and minerals in there.

Ovomaltine

The bar smells just like a jar or Chocolate Ovaltine. There’s a light milky and malty note to it along with that scent of B Vitamins. I don’t know what that smell is, but it reminds me of baby formula.

The bar is grainy, the flavors are bold, the malt is front and center. The milk chocolate is passable, it’s smooth but barely gives a cocoa kick to the bar. There’s a strange umami quality to the whole thing, it’s not too sweet but still tastes like a treat. I would definitely eat this bar regularly if I could find it.

Ovolino - I love this barWhile in Amsterdam in January 2011, I also picked up this bar called Wander Ovolino, though I don’t recall where (I think it was at Jamin). It was a little on the small side but very light. The center was a creamy, malty nougatine. I would have bought more but I never saw them at the stores again on my trip. It had more of a hazelnut note to it instead of the sort of multivitamin flavor that Ovaltine sometimes has.

If you want to know more about the origin of Ovaltine, here’s a good article from Slate shortly after Nestle scooped up the rights to the powdered mix in the US. Also, Wikipedia explains why it’s called Ovaltine in English speaking regions instead of Ovomaltine ... there was a typo on the trademark registration. More importantly, in France they have a version that’s spreadable like Nutella or Speculoos. Please, someone send this to me!

Related Candies

  1. Brach’s Fiesta Malted Milk Eggs (2012)
  2. Target’s Market Pantry Malted Milk Balls
  3. Nestle Milo Bar
  4. Trader Joe’s Milk Chocolate Malted Milk Eggs (Plus a Bonus)
  5. Villars Swiss Milk Chocolate
  6. Mighty Malts


Name: Ovomaltine Milk Chocolate
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Wander
Place Purchased: Kaufhof (Berlin, Germany)
Price: 1.35 Euro (about $1.80 USD)
Size: 3.5 ounces
Calories per ounce: 145
Categories: Candy, Chocolate, Malt, 7-Worth It, Switzerland

POSTED BY Cybele AT 12:51 pm     CandyReviewChocolateMalt7-Worth ItSwitzerlandComments (7)

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Jelly Belly Peas & Carrots Mellocreme Candy

Jelly Belly Peas & Carrots Mellocreme Candy comes in a little plastic container that looks like canned vegetables.

Jelly Belly Peas & Carrots

The can says eating your veggies never tasted so good and shows a heaping spoonful of the pretend side dish. They come in two flavors, the little carrots are Orange Sherbet Flavor and the peas are Green Apple Flavor.

Mellocreme is a firm fondant confection, usually just a combination of sugar and corn syrup, sometimes there’s a bit of a binder in there like egg whites and sometimes some honey for added flavor. Candy Corn is probably the most famous mellocreme candy, but especially around Easter there are little pastel shapes around in sweet fruity flavors.

Jelly Belly Peas and Carrots

The little carrot rods are shy of one inch long and the peas are actual pea sized (1/3 to 1/2 inch in diameter). The peas aren’t quite spherical, most have a flattened side.

They’re soft, but not crumbly or sticky. They dissolve nicely without any grain, though I wouldn’t exactly call them smooth. The orange carrot is sweet and has a soft and not too zesty orange flavor. Creamsicle is about as close as I can come to it. The peas are a little softer and have a very sweet and barely noticeable artificial apple flavor to them.

It’s a goofy candy that’s much better for the packaging and art direction than the actual eating. I happen to enjoy fresh carrots and frozen peas, so I’m going to pass on this. They’re a bit steep in the price area as well. The can retails for about $5 and is half of the charm of the candy. They’re sold in bags or bulk, but I think it really undermines the novelty aspect. But as a non-toxic plaything for little children, this is far better than plastic. All things considered, I’ll stick to fresh carrots and frozen peas as a snack.

They’re really low in calories as they’re more than 90% sugar. There’s no traces of gluten or peanuts. They contain soy and artificial colors and flavors plus beeswax and a confectioners glaze that makes them inappropriate for vegans and some vegetarians. Made in the USA

Related Candies

  1. Marich Halloween Mellocremes
  2. Godiva Spring Pearls
  3. Whitman’s Marshmallow Eggs & Carrot
  4. Marich Easter Select Mix
  5. Necco Paas Gummi Baby Bunnies
  6. Lindt Chocolate Carrots
  7. Jelly Belly Deluxe Easter Mix
  8. Gourmet Goodies Candy Corn


Name: Peas & Carrots Mellocreme Candy
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Jelly Belly
Place Purchased: samples from Jelly Belly
Price: $4.99 retail
Size: 5.5 ounces
Calories per ounce: 99
Categories: Candy, Easter, Jelly Belly, Fondant, 6-Tempting, United States

POSTED BY Cybele AT 1:35 pm     CandyReviewEasterJelly BellyFondantKosher6-TemptingUnited StatesComments (1)

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Wonka Springy Mini Chewy SweeTarts

Wonka Mini Chewy SweeTartsI saw this box of Wonka Springy Mini Chewy SweeTarts at KMart and was excited by the idea of special Chewy SweeTarts for Easter.

But I should have known better, considering how disappointed I am that Nestle has replaced the beautiful large Easter SweeTarts with little ones this year.

This isn’t so much a review as a reveal, for those who were curious about the product. (I reviewed them back in 2006.)

Wonka Mini Chewy SweeTarts

Mini Chewy SweeTarts have been around for at least 10 years, I think. They’ve been packages in different ways, they came in little single serving packs and these plastic flip top tubes. I like these theater boxes, they were certainly inexpensive at $1.00 per 4.5 ounce package.

Wonka Mini Chewy SweeTarts

The box calls them Springy, which sets them apart from the regular item. But there’s nothing different about them except for the box design ...which isn’t really better, just different.

The little banded spheres are made of a chewy, tangy compressed dextrose candy. They’re coated in a little glaze to keep them from sticking together. They’re firm but chewy. They’re grainy, but have a satisfying cool and quick dissolve on the tongue with a nice blend of tartness, artificial flavor and weird texture.

I like them, I had no problem eating both boxes (except for the cherry and green apple, which I set aside). I was glad they didn’t have that blue punch in there as well. I was just irritated that they weren’t cute little seasonal shapes.

They’re made with egg whites, so not appropriate for those with egg sensitivities or vegans. Also made in a facility that processes wheat. There are no other allergen ingredients (except all those artificial colors) nor any statements about nuts.

Related Candies

  1. Wonka SweeTarts Chicks, Ducks & Bunnies (2012)
  2. Easter Sugar Babies
  3. Au’some Easter 3-Dees Gummy
  4. Easter Novelty Toys (with candy)
  5. Jelly Belly Deluxe Easter Mix
  6. Head to Head: Chewy SweeTarts vs Chewy Tart n Tinys
  7. Head to Head: Mentos Sours & SweeTarts Shockers


Name: Springy Mini Chewy SweeTarts
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Nestle
Place Purchased: KMart (Park LaBrea)
Price: $1.00
Size: 4.5 ounces
Calories per ounce: 94
Categories: Candy, Easter, Nestle, Chews, Sour, 7-Worth It, United States, Kmart

POSTED BY Cybele AT 1:42 pm     CandyReviewEasterNestleChewsSour7-Worth ItUnited StatesKmartComments (1)

Monday, March 26, 2012

Hilco Mallow Pals Strawberry Squeezable Marshmallow

Mallow Pals Strawberry Squeezable MarshmallowI picked up one of the odder Easter offerings over the weekend at KMart: Mallow Pals Strawberry Squeezable Marshmallow from a company called Hilco. I’ve seen these before, I think they showed up a year or two ago, squeezed confections have been around for a few years now. (Though I also remember a bubble gum that came in a tube back in the early 1980s as well.)

The tube is themed for Easter, in a bright pink and completely shaped like a perched bunny rabbit.

The package is some sort of mylar, it’s flexible and has a foil-like quality to it. It doesn’t hold much, there’s 1.2 ounces and I paid a dollar for it on sale. But marshmallows are mostly air anyway.

Mallow Pals Strawberry Squeezable Marshmallow

The package has a little flat plastic bottom that allows it to stand up (it stands best if it leans against something though). There’s a plastic flip top.

The ingredients are interesting and reveal that this isn’t what I consider a true marshmallow.

Ingredients: Corn syrup, sugar, egg white powder, citric acid, sodium citrate, carrageenan vanilla, potassium sorbate, artificial flavors, red 40, yellow 5 and blue 1.

Modern marshmallows are made with gelatin. The protein in gelatin will stabilize whipped sugar syrup to hold the airy foam. Egg whites also perform the same in fresh goods, but don’t usually do as well when exposed to air. But still, they’re found quite often in treats, such as the Schokokuss or Mohrenkopf that’s found in the German speaking parts of Europe. The upshot of all of this is that this product is good for vegetarians who have to avoid traditional marshmallow products. (It’s not Kosher though. There are no statements about allergens on the package. It’s made in China.)

Mallow Pals Strawberry Squeezable Marshmallow

The goo has that soft and sweet smell of cotton candy. It squeezes out pretty easily. It’s soft and gooey and slumps over instead of forming bouncy peaks like marshmallow does. It’s pretty sticky as well. The texture is smooth, though there are a few sugary grains in there from time to time.

The strawberry flavor is mild and floral with no tartness and a weird bitter aftertaste that I can only assume is contributed by the artificial coloring. It dissolves quickly.

It’s weird stuff. It’s hard to imagine eating it right out of the pouch, but if I were a kid, I probably would. It’s sticky and can easily get messy. The pouch is easy to grasp, so it’s easy to dispense, though not necessarily easy to control like a pastry bag. It’s very low in calories though and one tube, though it’s supposed to be a serving, could probably be stretched to two if you were looking to limit calories.

It seems like it would be more fun to use as a frothy frosting item to ice cream, cookies, crackers, fruit or maybe even on top of hot chocolate. Sucking it right out of the tube seems a little wrong.

It comes in a couple of other flavors, I saw Green Apple on the shelves and I’ve also seen it listed online in Blue Raspberry.

Related Candies

  1. Kraft Jet-Puffed Marshmallows + Vanilla, Cinnamon Bun, Strawberry, Chocolate Royale, Gingerbread
  2. Chewbies Liquid Taffy - Orange
  3. Hello Kitty Pineapple Marshmallows
  4. R.M. Palmer Quax - The Yummy Ducky
  5. Topps Blue Razz Wazoo
  6. Three Pink Bubble Gums
  7. Bratz Candy Cosmetics
  8. Peeps Lollipop Rings


Name: Mallow Pals Strawberry Squeezable Marshmallow
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Hilco
Place Purchased: KMart (Park LaBrea)
Price: $1.00
Size: 1.2 ounces
Calories per ounce: 92
Categories: Candy, Easter, Marshmallow, 5-Pleasant, China, Kmart

POSTED BY Cybele AT 3:14 pm     CandyReviewEasterMarshmallow5-PleasantChinaKmartComments (3)

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