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Friday, March 14, 2014

Lovely Candy Chewy Original Caramels

Lovely CaramelsThe Lovely Candy Company is a new venture that says, “Enjoying candy is like riding a bike - everyone should be able to do it!” So, to take away any trepidation some folks would have to indulging, they’re making their line of individually wrapped chews and caramels from “cleaner” ingredients.

You’ll find they’re gluten free, no GMO ingredients, and they use rBST free dairy products. (However, even though they make no products with nuts, they are processed on shared equipment and may contain traces of peanuts, almonds, walnuts and pecans. They also don’t use soy, but again, may contain traces of soy as well as nutmeg.)

For my first experience with the Lovely Candy, I picked out their all natural Chewy Original Caramels. Unlike the ingredients list for Hershey’s new Lancaster Caramel Cremes I reviewed previously, this is a very short and easy to understand list of ingredients that you might assemble in your own kitchen:

Brown Rice Syrup, Sweetened Condensed Whole Milk (Milk, Cane Sugar), Butter, Dried Cane Syrup, Molasses, Vanilla and Sunflower Lecithin.

Lovely Chews Caramels

The caramels are soft and have a wonderfully sweet aroma. What I liked best was there was not fake butter note to it that I’ve experienced with other packaged caramels.

The bite is soft and easy to chew. It’s chewy and smooth, but not silky in the same way the Lancaster Caramel Cremes were. It’s odd to compare these to the previous product, but I am since they’re hitting store shelves (they were only a few feet from each other at Target when I bought them) at the same time with similar price points, I think it’s valid to see how they size up. The flavor is robust, not very salty but not sticky or overly sweet. They don’t have the molasses or brown sugar notes I was hoping for, also, I’ve noticed that brown rice syrup can give confections a malty note, but I didn’t sense that here either.

Overall, a decent caramel. Easy to chew, easy to share and pop in your mouth. I’m disappointed to say that I prefer the Lancaster caramels, even knowing their less than ideal ingredients list. Not that I won’t finish this bag ... I’m fully committed to them.

I like that I found these at Target, a place that I know serves a huge portion of this country with an awful lot of heavily processed products. If someone is looking for a candy with more transparently sourced ingredients, this is a good option. However, it’s still sugar and fat, so it’s still not considered a healthy alternative to nutritious food ... it’s just better candy.

Related Candies

  1. Hershey’s Lancaster Caramel Soft Cremes
  2. Werther’s Original Soft Creme Caramel
  3. Morinaga Sweet Potato Caramels
  4. Helliemae’s Salt Caramels
  5. Kraft & Ferrara Pan Caramels
  6. Bequet Gourmet Caramels
  7. Grandma’s Caramels
  8. Trader Joe’s Fleur de Sel Caramels

Name: Chewy Original Caramels
Brand: Lovely Candy Co.
Place Purchased: Target (Eagle Rock)
Price: $3.99
Size: 6 ounces
Calories per ounce: 113
Categories: Candy, Caramel, Kosher, 7-Worth It, United States, Target

POSTED BY Cybele AT 2:12 pm     All NaturalCandyReviewCaramelKosher7-Worth ItUnited StatesTargetComments (0)

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Hershey’s Lancaster Caramel Soft Cremes

Lancaster CaramelsMilton S. Hershey is one of great entrepreneur stories of the 20th century. Hershey always wanted to be a confectioner. He was apprenticed to a candy maker as a child and then later tried several times to make it on his own. He focused on caramels and small wrapped sweets, peddling them on a cart pushed around the streets. While working in Denver for another confectioner, he learned a new recipe for boiled sweets, a caramel that was extremely stable as well as delicious because of the use of milk in addition to butter. However, even in Philadelphia, Chicago and New York City ... each of these companies failed. In 1886 he returned home, in debt but still convinced that his new caramel recipe he learned in Denver could succeed. He convinced family members to invest once again and this time was the right time. He created the Lancaster Caramel Company which flourished.

He built this little enterprise into a full factory business by the turn of century, employing over 1,300 people and then sold it off for a million dollars in order to fund his new venture, the Hershey Chocolate Company. Hershey’s is finally introducing their own line of caramels, under the nostalgic name of Lancaster.

The new Lancaster Caramel Soft Cremes’ package looks nostalgic. What’s inside, though, is unlikely to be anything close to what Milton Hershey used to make in copper kettles. The package says “His [Milton Hershey] original caramel recipe is the inspiration for Lancaster Cremes. The ingredients tell the story of a modern confection:

Sweetened Condensed Milk (Evaporated Milk, Sugar, Water, Lactose), Corn Syrup, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Palm Kernel Oil, Sugar, Contains 2% or Less of: Dairy Butter (Milk), Glyceryl Monostearate, Salt, Soy Lecithin, Disodium Phosphate, Tocopherols, to Maintain Freshness, Sodium Carbonate.

Lancaster Caramels

Though I was a little disappointed to see the use of things like palm kernel oil, tocopherols and high fructose corn sweetener, I was more disappointed at the price for such things. Kraft Caramels are usually about $2 a bag on sale and contain similar ingredients but not the premium price. But, I was willing to give these a try.

The little nuggets are glossy and soft. They don’t smell like much, but have a beautifully soft and chewy bite. The chew and dissolve is impossibly smooth and rich, with good flavor notes of caramelized sugar and butter. It’s like a soft version of Pearson’s Nips. (I could imagine these as fantastic in coffee flavor.) It’s not a completely stiff caramel chew, like a Storck Chocolate Riesen, but much smoother than the soft bite of a Kraft Caramel.

As much as I wanted to hate these for their divergence from Hershey’s original simple ingredients, they are quite good. The texture, the consistency and overall not-too-sweet profile is really ideal. I begrudgingly love them. They come in two other varieties: Vanilla and Caramel and Vanilla and Raspberry. Honestly, I plan to quit while I’m ahead. If they come up with chocolate or coffee flavored ones, I’ll give those a go.

Oddly enough, the Lancaster Caramels are made in Canada, not Central Pennsylvania. Also, they’re not Kosher and there are no other notations on the package regarding nuts, wheat or eggs though the ingredients list dairy and soy as ingredients.

Related Candies

  1. Slo Poke Caramel
  2. Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate Tahitian Vanilla Caramels
  3. Kraft & Ferrara Pan Caramels
  4. Hershey’s Miniatures
  5. Coffee Nips
  6. Werther’s Original Chewy Caramels
  7. Sugar Mama
  8. Goetze’s Caramel Creams

Name: Lancaster Caramel Soft Cremes
Brand: Hershey’s
Place Purchased: Target (Eagle Rock)
Price: $3.59
Size: 8 ounces
Calories per ounce: 121
Categories: Candy, Hershey's, Caramel, 8-Tasty, Canada, Target

POSTED BY Cybele AT 2:08 pm     CandyReviewHershey'sCaramel8-TastyCanadaTargetComments (14)

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

R.M. Palmer Cake Batter Cup

RM Palmer Giant Cake Batter CupThe R.M. Palmer Giant Cake Batter Cup answers a need no one has addressed before. It’s a fake chocolate cup filled with a solid oil-based confection that emulates raw cake.

The wrapper is pink and the launch of the product coincides with spring, so I’m going to call it an Easter candy even though there are no rabbits on the package, just a couple of pasty kids in chef’s hats making some sort of bowl of batter.

It weighs a quarter of a pound, which is giant compared to the mini foil wrapped peanut butter cups R.M. Palmer usually makes, but it’s not as large as the half pound peanut butter cups that Reese’s sells in pairs around Christmas. But this isn’t peanut butter, where most of us think more is better. This is cake batter, which is pretty much a room temperature cookie dough smoothie.

RM Palmer Cake Batter Cup

The cup is huge, at a quarter of a pound, it’s the size of a small saucer and weighs, well, four ounces. This is not R.M. Palmer’s first attempt at a quarter pound cup, they make a passable Peanut Butter Cup version. The package says that it’s two servings, but that’s a staggering thought when I looked at the ingredients:

Sugar, partially hydrogenated vegetable oil (palm kernel, coconut and/or palm oil), whey, cocoa, lactose, skim milk, corn syrup solids, soy lecithin, natural and artificial flavors

RM Palmer Cake Batter Cup

The chocolate flavored coating looks like bad chocolate, but that’s about the only thing that it succeeds at. There are no chocolate notes in it, it has no chocolate texture, it’s filled with sugar, milk by-products and oils. The filling isn’t like the Russell Stover cake fillings, there’s no flour in there; it’s just more oil and sugar and fake vanilla.

I’ve never been much for eating cake batter, so the idea of a candy that re-creates this is not up my alley. Add to that, vanilla cake is the least interesting kind of cake. Why would I want to eat that batter? Spice cake, lemon pound cake, devil’s food ... these are interesting. Vanilla cake batter is not.

Related Candies

  1. Birthday Cake M&Ms
  2. M&Ms Milk Chocolate Red Velvet
  3. Russell Stover Santas: Gingerbread, Peppermint and Maple
  4. Russell Stover Red Velvet Santa
  5. Godiva Cake Truffles
  6. RM Palmer Giant 1/4 Lb. Peanut Butter Cup
  7. Cinnamon Bun Bites
  8. Cupcake Bites
  9. R.M. Palmer Quax - The Yummy Ducky

Name: Cake Batter Cup
Brand: R.M. Palmer
Place Purchased: Walgreen's (Echo Park)
Price: $1.00
Size: 4 ounces
Calories per ounce: 150
Categories: Candy, Easter, R.M. Palmer, Kosher, Mockolate, 3-Unappealing, United States, Walgreen's

POSTED BY Cybele AT 12:18 pm     CandyReviewEasterR.M. PalmerKosherMockolate3-UnappealingUnited StatesWalgreen'sComments (3)

Monday, March 10, 2014

Starburst Fruity Slushies

Starburst Fruity SlushiesAnother new year, another new variety of Starburst. This year it’s Starburst Fruity Slushies featuring four new flavors inspired by ... actually, I’m not sure what prompted these flavors.

The orange package is easy to spot and features a bunch of images of tasty looking fruits and some odd blue raspberries on it. The new flavors are strawberry lemonade chill, citrus slush, cherry splash and blue raspberry rush.

Starburst Fruit Slushies

The colors are great, if a little unnatural, but the palette is pleasant and easy to tell apart from the other Starburst varieties.

Strawberry Lemonade Chill is in a pink wrapper. It’s a standard strawberry but a little more tart and less floral. I didn’t like it as much as the regular Strawberry Starburst, which is surprising because the idea of strawberry with a touch of tart lemon and a hint of zest would be fantastic. This does not have those qualities.

Cherry Splash is in an easy to spot red wrapper. It tastes exactly like a Cherry Starburst. I don’t know what the splash is, maybe there’s a hint of lime in there, but it’s basically the same wild cherry flavor that has been in the Starburst pack for decades.

Starburst Fruit Slushies

Citrus Slush is in a sort of peachy orange wrapper. There weren’t that many in my package, so I had to make my tastings count. Instead of a citrus blast, it’s more like a fruit punch. It’s tart and has some nice tangerine notes, but not as much variety as I would have hoped. Could be orange, so again, not much different from the regular Starburst pack so far ... cherry, strawberry and orange.

Blue Raspberry Rush is in a cerulean blue wrapper and the piece inside matches exceptionally well in its “this is not food” impossibility. The piece smells like raspberry jam, and there is a definite jammy quality to the boiled fruit flavor. It also has a slight effervescent note to it. Overall, a well rounded flavor that ends rather sweet.

The variety was not innovative. I feel like the new Starburst are stuck in this rut or retreading the same territory. While I enjoy the idea of there being an infinite exploration of flavors for Starburst and Skittles, I think we have the standard flavors for a reason, they work well in this medium.

Related Candies

  1. Starburst Original Fruit Flavored Candy Corn
  2. Starburst Very Berry
  3. Starburst Sweet Fiesta
  4. Starburst Flavor Morph
  5. Mentos Rainbow
  6. Tayas Damla - Filled Fruit Chews
  7. Festival HiCHEW: Candied Apple & Cotton Candy
  8. Starburst Retro
  9. Starburst Berries & Creme and Fruit & Creme

Name: Starburst Fruity Slushies
Brand: Wrigley’s
Place Purchased: Target (Eagle Rock)
Price: $2.69
Size: 12 ounces
Calories per ounce: 103
Categories: Candy, Mars, Wrigley's, Chews, Starburst, 7-Worth It, United States, Target

POSTED BY Cybele AT 2:31 pm     CandyReviewMarsWrigley'sChewsStarburst7-Worth ItUnited StatesTargetComments (1)

Monday, March 3, 2014

Off to London

Union Jack Chocolate Bar

I’m traveling this week, picking up new colourful and flavourful things to review in the coming weeks.

Do you have a British favorite that I haven’t reviewed yet?

UPDATE: Thanks to everyone for your suggestions! I was able to find a lot of the items, plus a few more I’m looking forward to trying. I have to photograph everything, but they’ll be reviewed in the coming months.

POSTED BY Cybele AT 12:30 am     CandyCANDY BLOGUnited KingdomHighlightShoppingComments (26)

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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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Halloween Candy Season Ends

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Choose one or more:

  •   Halloween
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These candies will be reviewed shortly:

• See’s Caramel Apple Pops

• Jolly Rancher Caramel Apple Crunch n Chew

• Candy Cliches

• Seattle Chocolates Devil’s Delight Bar

• SweetWorks Celebration Candies - Bears