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Friday, February 7, 2014

Oak Leaf Hearts Candy

Oakleaf Candy HeartsI’m a sucker for the look of candy, especially in bulk. I couldn’t help but pick up a five pound bag of these compressed dextrose hearts.

The weblisting for the product says that they’re pastel, but they’re much brighter than that. It’s hot pink, magenta/purple, turquoise blue and light yellow. The heart shapes are small, rather pillowy in form and about the size of a nickel.

I wasn’t really interested in how they tasted, at this price, it was more about having a pretty candy jar filled with little hearts before Valentine’s Day to share with co-workers. That was about two weeks ago and the jar is empty. (I didn’t eat them. But they were popular.)

Oakleaf Candy Hearts

These are not tart candies. I don’t think there are any acid flavorings at all in here. They might be flavored, but it’s so mild it’s hard to say for sure.

Purple is a lightly floral grape. Red has some strawberry notes. Blue is a kind of bitter raspberry, really the only flavor in the bunch I didn’t care for. Yellow is lightly lemony, quite fresh.

They’re pretty. They make a nice decoration, but not really very good candy. There’s nothing to offend anyone, no weird flavors because there’s barely any flavor at all. But I’m not saying that they’re not compelling, they’re gorgeous to look at and easy to munch. I’ve had other much more flavorful Oak Leaf candies before, so this must be from a much more subtle line of candy than I like.

Ultimately the review around the office was that they were too pretty to pass up. But no one wants me to buy them again. Kind of a weird relationship to have with candy. Personally, I’d prefer the Wonka Heartbreakers, so that’s what I’ve been eating while others have emptied the jar.

The SweetWorks website lists these as gluten free and nut free, though take care if you get them from a bulk bin (if you have concerns about cross contamination, it’s always best to get it in a factory sealed package).

Related Candies

  1. Wonka Everlasting Gobstopper HeartBreakers (2014)
  2. Candy Rings
  3. Brach’s Ice Cream Conversation Hearts
  4. Hello Kitty Lucky Stars Candy
  5. Necco Sweethearts Twilight Fire & Ice
  6. Runts
  7. Cinnamon Imperial Hearts
  8. Oak Leaf Candies

Name: Hearts Candy
Brand: Sweet Works
Place Purchased: Jack's Wholesale Candy (Downtown Los Angeles)
Price: $12.00
Size: 80 ounces (5 lbs.)
Calories per ounce: 113
Categories: Candy, Valentines, SweetWorks, Inc, Compressed Dextrose, Kosher, 4-Benign, Canada

POSTED BY Cybele AT 3:34 pm     CandyReviewValentinesSweetWorks, IncCompressed DextroseKosher4-BenignCanadaComments (1)

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Jolly Rancher Sours Hearts

Jolly Rancher Sours - HeartsHershey seems to have made everything in their current brand lineup into a Valentine’s version by making it heart shaped. Reese’s, York, Bliss, Hershey’s Milk Chocolate, Special Dark… if they couldn’t make it heart-shaped, they jammed it into a heart-shaped box.

The Jolly Rancher Sours jellies have been around for at least 8 years (previous review). I don’t know when they started making the heart version, but they’re basically the same product. There are four different, very identifiable Jolly Rancher flavors. I tried them when they first came out, but I figured this was a nice opportunity to revisit them.

The jelly hearts are rather small and sanded with a mix of sugar and sour powder. They’re lightly colored and well made. Some jelly candies can get damp and sticky, but these didn’t get stuck together and are all of a consistent size and shape.

Jolly Rancher Sours - Hearts

Green Apple is a light green. The flavor is that inimitable Jolly Rancher apple flavor. It’s juicy but slightly artificial. It’s not as tangy or as long lasting as I would have liked and has a lingering aftertaste, like it’s made of artificial sweeteners or something.

Watermelon is another flavor that’s highly identified with Jolly Rancher. The tartness is largely missing from this, but the floral and slightly musk-melon notes are there. It’s quite sweet towards the end, but in a pleasant way.

Cherry is almost spicy, it has more of a baked cherry pie flavor than I think I expected. The result is that I actually liked this quite a bit.

Orange is well done, it starts out tart and even the rough sugar sanding gives it an authentic fresh peeled orange texture. The sweet orange finish has just a light hint of zest.

Overall, for a product labeled sour I found them pretty weak. But without that expectation, they were quite nice ... not overly intense, much more like a movie candy that I could eat without worry about blistering my tongue. I just wish the flavor assortment was more of my style ... maybe for next Valentine’s Day they’ll make Cinnamon Fire Hearts. If you’re looking for some really intense sour sanded hearts, I’d make an effort to find Gimbal’s Sour Lovers (which are also sold under the Target brand this year).

Related Candies

  1. Trolli Sour Brite Hearts
  2. Jolly Rancher Crunch n Chew
  3. Jolly Rancher Tropical Fruit Chews
  4. Milky Way Simply Caramel
  5. Mentos: Juicy Orange, Lemon Lime & Watermelon
  6. Hershey’s Heart’s Desire
  7. SweeTart Hearts
  8. Jolly Rancher Screaming Sours

Name: Jolly Rancher Sour Hearts
Brand: Hershey’s
Place Purchased: Walgreen's (Echo Park)
Price: $2.79
Size: 10 ounces
Calories per ounce: 101
Categories: Candy, Valentines, Hershey's, Jelly Candy, Sour, 6-Tempting, United States, Walgreen's

POSTED BY Cybele AT 4:55 pm     CandyReviewValentinesHershey'sJelly CandySour6-TemptingUnited StatesWalgreen'sComments (1)

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Candy Blog on The Nosh Show (Soggy Bits)

Oreo Macadamia Crunch Bar

Counting down the days to Valentine’s, I joined The Nosh Show Team (Marvo, Dubba, Ryan and Eric)

I should be back on the show to talk about Easter candy sometime later this spring.

POSTED BY Cybele AT 4:20 pm     CandyHighlightFun StuffComments (0)

Monday, February 3, 2014

Wonka Everlasting Gobstopper HeartBreakers (2014)

Wonka Everlasting Gobstopper HeartBreakersWonka Everlasting Gobstopper HeartBreakers are a clever holiday version of the Gobstopper. They’re not the same candy, so it’s an interesting mash-up of elements and holiday themes.

The pieces are small compressed dextrose centers with some layers of hard sugar on top with some extra flavors in there. Classic Gobstoppers had many layers and flavors, but Wonka doesn’t make those any longer because they can take weeks to create from a center the size of a sesame seed. So they use a large SweeTart type candy at the center and the coating changes flavors only a handful of times.

A lot of candies get revamped over time. As I’ve heard unofficial from a Wonka insider, the classic SweeTarts Chicks, Ducks & Bunnies changed size & shape because the original equipment broke and since it was used only for that product line, they decided to reformat the molds to be more consistent with the Valentine’s and Christmas shapes.

The Everlasting Gobstopper HeartBreakers shifted colors in the newly available version for 2014. It’s not a drastic change, but a small tweak.

Wonka Heartbreakers

Cherry is mellow, with a sweet cherry flavor. After the top layer dissolves away, the coating is yellow. It doesn’t take much then it’s crunchable and I can get to the SweeTart-style center. The interior flavor is pretty neutral.

Watermelon is sweet and fresh, a little unexpected for this type of candy. After the initial layer dissolves, the layer under that is also a medium pink. The center is lightly tangy, but not overly sour. The layer under the watermelon-pink is also watermelon-pink.

Pineapple is delicate and light. It’s only slightly floral and fruity, but not tart bite. After the flavor dissolves away, the next layer is yellow. It’s smooth and cool on the tongue.

Gobstopper Heart Breakers

The classic HeartBreakers (above) were more vividly colored, with yellow and magenta instead of white and pink. While I miss the original colors and really don’t care much for the watermelon, I still love these. The limited palette is still attractive. I’m hoping the Easter version will also be back.

Related Candies

  1. Wonka SweeTarts Chicks, Ducks & Bunnies (2012)
  2. Wonka Everlasting Gobstoppers Eggbreakers
  3. Gobstopper Heart Breakers
  4. Runts Freckled Eggs
  5. Ausome Jewelry Kit
  6. SweeTart Hearts
  7. Gobs of Gobstoppers

Name: Everlasting Gobstopper HeartBreakers
Brand: Nestle
Place Purchased: Target (West Hollywood)
Price: $2.29
Size: 12 ounces
Calories per ounce: 113
Categories: Candy, Valentines, Nestle, Compressed Dextrose, Hard Candy & Lollipops, 7-Worth It, Mexico, Target

POSTED BY Cybele AT 12:24 pm     CandyReviewValentinesNestleCompressed DextroseHard Candy & Lollipops7-Worth ItMexicoTargetComments (4)

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Amy’s Organic Andy’s Dandy Crispy Candy Bar

Amy's Crispy BarIt’s a great time to be alive as a candy eater. Though some folks lament the loss of the regionally made candy bars, there’s so much more diversity when it comes to sweets as long as you know where to look. There are artisanal versions of popular candies, crazy new flavors, and incredible combinations as well as candies that cater to specific dietary restrictions.

I’m pretty pleased to see that there are more options for organic and all natural candy bars than ever before with products from Justin’s Candy Bars, Ocho, Angell and Eli’s. The other new entry into this marketspace is Amy’s Organic, with their exhaustively long-named bars. Today I have the Amy’s Organic Andy’s Dandy Crispy Candy Bar which features rice crisps, almonds & caramel covered in chocolate. Though some of the bars in the Andy’s Dandy line are organic versions of existing bars, this one really has no match in the hypermegaglobal corporate candy world.

Amy's Organic Andy's Dandy Crispy Candy Bar

Like the other bars, this is actually a pair of bars. I like this approach, as it gives me the opportunity to save some for later or share. It also means that the chocolate coating is a more consistent ratio for more of the bites, since the bar is shorter. The dark coating is smooth and creamy, it has a nice flavor of it’s own that’s a little green (olive notes) but holds up well to the light, malty cereal flavors. The texture is not as airy as a Whatchamacallit and the almonds are just pieces in there, not an almond meal (like peanut butter) or whole nuts. The brown rice has less of a malt note than regular crisped rice, but it’s also barely sweet. It’s crunchy but gets a bit of a chewy texture of its own later. The caramel layer is barely perceptible, it does more to just hold it all together.

The effect of the bar is great, it’s crunchy but not too filling. It tastes more chocolatey than a Whatchamacallit, though I miss any sort of almond note to it, it’s really just there for an extra durable crunch.

The bars are free of GMO ingredients, gluten and preservatives. Made on shared equipment with other nuts, seeds and wheat. They contain soy, dairy and almonds.

Related Candies

  1. Amy’s Organic Andy’s Dandy Creamy Candy Bar
  2. Amy’s Organic: Andy’s Dandy Chewy Candy Bar
  3. Eli’s Earth Bars - Dream Big Bar
  4. Theo Salted Almond Dark Chocolate
  5. Justin’s Peanut and Almond Candy Bars
  6. Organic Moo Milk Chocolate with Crisped Rice & Corn Flakes
  7. Crisp Angell Organic Candy Bar
  8. Crispy Cat

Name: Andy’s Dandy Crispy Candy Bar
Brand: Amy’s Organic
Place Purchased: Mother's Market (Laguna Woods)
Price: $2.49
Size: 1.5 ounces
Calories per ounce: 133
Categories: All Natural, Candy, Amy's Organic, Caramel, Chocolate, Cookie, Ethically Sourced, Kosher, Nuts, Organic, 7-Worth It, United States

POSTED BY Cybele AT 1:22 pm     All NaturalCandyReviewAmy's OrganicCaramelChocolateCookieEthically SourcedKosherNutsOrganic7-Worth ItUnited StatesComments (0)

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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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• Eat with your Eyes: Nougat

• Orgran Molasses Licorice

• Rogue Chocolatier

• Hachez Braune Blatter (Chocolate Leaves)

• Trader Joe’s Holiday Roundup 2014