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Monday, April 23, 2007

Snickers Shrek

ShrekersHere are some things I know: Novelty is not necessarily a good thing. Being gross does not make it tasty. Shrek is funny.

I got an email from Marvo at The Impulsive Buy alerting me that there were some new Snickers and M&Ms to celebrate Shrek the Third. I spotted the bags of minis at Target but just couldn’t bring myself to buy a whole bag, so I was happy to see the single bars at 7-11 the following week. The wrapper has a little drawing of a cross section and an arrow pointing to it with the words With Green Shrek Filling - Same Snickers Taste” next to it.

Can I just say that I’m wondering if they include smell in that?

image

It smelled a bit like feet to me. Perhaps Shrek’s feet, I can’t be sure, as he’s an animated character and likely smells more like pixels or ozone. Maybe “feet” is too strong. Latex balloons ... yes, that’s it: chocolate, peanuts and rubber gloves.

It tasted the same as the regular Snickers ... but perhaps a little peppery. (It’s not Wasabi that makes it green, is it?)

I’m just glad they didn’t cover it in a green “white chocolate.” A Snickers bar without the green filling gets an 8 out of 10. This one only gets a 7 out of 10. Until it goes on sale at five for a dollar later this year.

The other movie tie in are Ogre-Sized M&Ms Peanut Butter ... which might be similar to the M&Ms Peanut Butter Speck-tacular Eggs. Can anyone confirm that?

Name: Snickers - Shrek the Third
    RATING:
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 6 TEMPTING
  • 5 PLEASANT
  • 4 BENIGN
  • 3 UNAPPEALING
  • 2 APPALLING
  • 1 INEDIBLE
Brand: Mars
Place Purchased: 7-11 (Hollywood)
Price: $.89
Size: 2.07 ounces
Calories per ounce: 135
Categories: Chocolate, Nougat, Caramel, Peanuts, Limited Edition, United States, Mars, Kosher

POSTED BY Cybele AT 12:01 pm     Comments (20)

Starburst Baja California & Tropical

Starburst Baja CaliforniaI’ve never been to Baja. I hear that the experience in the lagoons where the Grey Whales nurse their calves is amazing. I also hear they make great fish tacos there. But I also hear they eat these. It still hasn’t been enough to get me to drive that 200 miles south.

The Starburst Baja California commericals make it seem to be a paradise.

It might well be.

image

I admit that I’m always enchanted with candy that’s named for a place.

Limon - this was strange. It started with the distinct flavor of bubble gum. I can’t explain it. Then it got very tart with a pleasant lemon-lime flavor and a slight hint of key lime.

Strawberry Watermelon -  yes, this tasted just like you’d think a strawberry and watermelon Starburst should.

Baja Dragon Fruit - as a blue flavor, I was a little put off, I can’t quite put my finger on the flavor. It reminded me of mango and a little bit of plum.

Aztec Punch - the first time I tried this I thought I got my mixes mixed and it was a cherry one. So I dug out another one and the same thing happened. It tastes like cherry. Maybe that’s what the Aztecs put in their punch.

Starburst TropicalI often shun Tropical flavored stuff because it all ends up being passion fruit, papaya and guava, which I think are good fresh fruits but not really flavors I’m keen on.

But this array in Starburst Tropical of flavors sounded pretty good.

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Mango Melon - I don’t know. It was kind of melon, kind of mango, but not the best aspects of either of those flavors. Not tangy enough, not zesty enough.

Strawberry Banana - I don’t consider strawberries a tropical fruit. If something is indigenous to England, it’s not tropical. This was bad. I wanted to like it, as I love real strawberry and banana things, but the banana was just ooky, a little too fake and a little too much like a scented candle.

Royal Berry Punch - another punch flavor. It’s like they thought that there weren’t enough specific tropical fruit flavors so they had to do these punchy things. This is nice though, a little note of coconut with some melon and citrus and maybe kiwi.

Pina Colada - very coconutty and with a good tingly blast of pineapple. It doesn’t have that buttery flavor that coconut stuff often does, but the fully-rounded notes of the pineapple are great.

If I were to create a Tropical Fruit mix, I’d keep it simple and pick from these: Pineapple, Mango, Lychee, Passion Fruit & Banana. The ultimate mix from these two packs would consist of: Limon, Pina Colada and Royal Berry Punch. No, I can’t even manage to pick a fourth. They’re all okay, but I prefer the original mix best (because of its high citrus content).

Name: Starburst Baja California and Tropical
    RATING:
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 6 TEMPTING
  • 5 PLEASANT
  • 4 BENIGN
  • 3 UNAPPEALING
  • 2 APPALLING
  • 1 INEDIBLE
Brand: Mars
Place Purchased: Rite Aid (3rd & Fairfax)
Price: $.69
Size: 2.07 ounces
Calories per ounce: 120
Categories: Chew, United States, Mars, Starburst

POSTED BY Cybele AT 7:16 am     Comments (35)

Friday, April 20, 2007

Valerie Lemon Hazelnut Nougat

Valerie Confections has another seasonal nougat. This one is Lemon Hazelnut Nougat Covered in Dark Chocolate.

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It’s heavenly looking stuff, with a good dark glossy sheen and sparlkling little slivers of candies Meyer Lemons from June Taylor. The chocolate is a buttery smooth dark Valrhona and the nougat itself is studded with organic hazelnuts from Trufflebert Farms.

Sigh.

I’m in heaven.

The price is, well, pricey. But Mother’s Day is around the corner, so if your mum is as nuts for nougat as I am, she might think you appreciate her or something if you were to show up for Sunday Brunch with a box of these. And maybe she’ll let you have a piece.

I think I was a little more fond of the Holiday nougat, which was orange and almond, but the fresh flavor of the lemon is really refreshing. There isn’t a trace of bitterness in the lemon zest, it’s just pure flavor and the chewy texture.

UPDATE 4/20/2009: I’ve just finished another box of this. I don’t know if it was the seasonal variation in the candied lemons, but this was divine. The bittersweetness of the chocolate and the bittersweetness of the candied peels was just spot on. I’ve bumped this up to a 10. I had a lot of fine candy around the house to eat, but this was what I kept going for. The price has also come down.

Name: Valerie Lemon Hazelnut Nougat
    RATING:
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 6 TEMPTING
  • 5 PLEASANT
  • 4 BENIGN
  • 3 UNAPPEALING
  • 2 APPALLING
  • 1 INEDIBLE
Brand: Valerie Confections
Place Purchased: samples from Valerie Confections
Price: $40 $36 for a box of 14 pieces
Size: unknown
Calories per ounce: unknown
Categories: Chocolate, Nougat, Nuts, United States

POSTED BY Cybele AT 1:43 pm     Comments (7)

Short & Sweet: Post Easter Tidbits

Snickers Sports EggThe Snickers Creme Sports Egg is odd. I don’t know who told them they needed more sporty Easter candy and I wonder if anyone’s been fired over this. First, there was a perfectly good Snickers Egg last year. The change this year, by all outward appearances, was putting a sporty theme on the package. But no! Instead they mucked around with the innards.

It’s not that this is bad, but I don’t know where they got the idea that this stuff is “creme”. It might be syrup or maybe caramel, but it’s not cremey at all. It’s a caramelly goo with some ground peanuts in it ... I think.

I rather liked it, but not as much as the original Egg.

Lifesaver Jellybeans PastelsAfter tasting the suprisingly good Livesavers Jellybeans, I wanted to try the Lifesavers Jellybean Pastels. But I just couldn’t bring myself to pay the price. So I waited.

Red Raspberry (medium pink) nice and berry, much more vibrant than all the other flavors
Watermelon (green) - not a winner for me, but fresh tasting, kind of like cucumber
Blueberry (blue) - more sweet and floral than rounded with tartness
Pina Colada (white) - I’m a sucker for pina colada flavored things, this could have used more pina.
Strawberry-Kiwi (light pink) a little tart, very sweet and rather flavorless
Banana (yellow) - mellow and sweet, kind of like cotton candy but instead of a caramelized sugar it was banana

The mystery here was the purple one. Sometimes it was tart and sometimes it was completely sweet. Is that Cotton Candy? Which one was supposed to be Mango Medley, are they also

peach

peach-colored?

Many of the colors are devilishly similar. Unless I looked at them in bright natural light, I couldn’t tell the peach and two pinks apart. As a mix, I found them all rather similar and didn’t dislike any of them enough to pick through it, so it wins on that front.

My final purchase I didn’t photograph. I stopped at Rexall by the Beverly Center and found that they had a nice display of 75% off goodies. It included two bags of Island Orange Mounds in the Fun Size. I wasn’t sure if they supposed to be part of the Easter sale. They expired last month but I’m okay with stuff on the cusp. When I got to the register they rang up at $2.00. I said I didn’t want it. The fellow shrugged and tossed in the 75% discount and I took them. They’re a little stiffer than the regular bar format I reviewed last year, but still quite nice. (Kosher)

The whole lot of stuff ... for only $1.24. At full price I wouldn’t love it ... at this price everything gets a 6 out of 10.

POSTED BY Cybele AT 11:12 am     CandyReviewEasterMarsWrigley'sCaramelChocolateCoconutJelly CandyKosherNuts6-TemptingUnited StatesComments (11)

Starburst Berries & Creme and Fruit & Creme

Let me just start by saying that Starburst has some of the oddest commercials. Not “Freshmaker” odd, really really odd on purpose. The older Starburst commercials were rather traditional - selling Starburst on its description and merits. It’s fruity! It’s a chew! There’s real fruit juice in there! Now they focus on the experience and the kind of hip person (or tragically unhip) eats them.

image

I don’t read much into commercials. I eat Take 5 bars even though they had a wretched ad campaign last year that definitely wasn’t speaking to me.

Starburst started expanding its flavors many years ago and now has a rather large family. Today I’ll tackle the “Cremes.”

imageStarburst Berries & Creme - as with all the Starburst packages, this contains four flavors. While many companies are going with “smoothie” flavors (Skittles & Necco Wafers) for some reason Starburst decided we needed creme flavors in our Starburst.

Strawberries & Creme - reminds me of strawberry yoplait.
Raspberries & Creme - I’m not sure what this is, it doesn’t really taste like raspberry but it was nice
Blueberries & Creme - this tasted like blue scented magic markers ... I feel like I’m in third grade!
Mixed Berries & Creme - reminds me of yoplait. It tastes like mixed berries that are a little tart and a little creamy.

On the whole the new flavors actually tasted new to me. The strawberries and creme didn’t taste like a regular strawberry, so kudos for originality. But I like the clean taste of the original fruits.

image

I was kind of confused when I was buying my array of Starbursts for this series. I didn’t understand the difference between Fruit & Creme and Berries and Creme. Turns out there’s only a fifty percent difference. Two of the flavors are the same, I’m guessing they’re what Starburst thinks are the two best flavors, or perhaps the ones that make the colors of the package look good.

I don’t know if Berries & Creme and Fruit & Creme are meant to exist side-by-side, perhaps they’re battling it out right now for your affection and only one will remain on the regular Starburst repertoire.

imageStarburst Fruit & Creme - I’ve got to say that if nothing else the colors of the wrappers are enchanting. I’m always pleased when there isn’t a blue in the package though. Something weird about blue food.

Strawberries & Creme - yup, still strawberry yogurt.
Orange & Creme - chewy creamsicles. The dairy taste is just odd.
Peaches & Creme - oh dear, I don’t know what this is, it’s all the bad things about peaches ... basically peach fuzz. Why not make candy that tastes like banana peels while they’re at it? (Okay, orange peel is a great flavor ... I was just feeling snarky.)
Mixed Berries & Creme - that’s definitely some berry yogurt or maybe a frozen yogurt pushup.

For your reference and multimedia enjoyment: Berries & Creme, Beluga Barf, Fruit & Creme, Baja California then compare those to this
1982 Commercial.

Name: Starburst Berries & Creme and Fruit & Creme
    RATING:
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 6 TEMPTING
  • 5 PLEASANT
  • 4 BENIGN
  • 3 UNAPPEALING
  • 2 APPALLING
  • 1 INEDIBLE
Brand: Mars
Place Purchased: Rite Aid (3rd & Fairfax)
Price: $.69
Size: 2.07 ounces
Calories per ounce: 120
Categories: Chew, United States, Mars, Starburst

POSTED BY Cybele AT 7:20 am     Comments (18)

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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.

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6 days

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Which seasonal candy selection do you prefer?

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  •   Halloween
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ON DECK

These candies will be reviewed shortly:

• Jelly Belly Sour Bunnies

• The Recent History of Brach’s Fiesta Malted Milk Eggs

• SweetWorks Celebration Candies - Bears

• Hachez Braune Blatter (Chocolate Leaves)

• Rogue Chocolatier

 

 

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