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5-Pleasant

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Soda Can Fizzy Candy

imageSometimes I pick up crazy things at the Dollar Tree that I wouldn’t ordinarily buy. I’ve gotten a few emails about Jones Soda’s new line of fizzy pop flavored candies. I saw that they’re going for over $2 a tin for 50 candy bits but I couldn’t find out if they use sugar in them or artificial sweeteners so I decided to go on the prowl for the something else. (I was afraid they were going to be like those expensive and lackluster Bawls.)

I went to the Dollar Tree in search of Easter goodies and came away with this little sixpack. The little pop can looking packages hold 30-35 little carbonated candies in four flavors (two cans each): Grape Splash, Lemon-Lime Sprint, Orange Crash and Loca Cola.

The little candies are almost like the original Tart n Tiny candies (except these have a slight dome on either end of the bitty cylindral instead of being flat).

image

  • Orange Crash - a mellow orange that’s completely faithful to cheap orange soda. Tangy, a little fizzy and slightly medicinal tasting, I’m guessing because it has a distinct “mineral water” after-taste.
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  • Lemon-Lime Sprint (2 of these) - the lime is quite the leader here, not as tart as the orange, but kind of like tonic water overall.
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  • Grape Splash (2 of these) - oh, this is ABSOLUTELY grape soda condensed into a wee tablet! The fizz, the fake grape ... I can just feel the chilly purple anodized aluminum tumbler I used to drink Shasta Grape Pop out of at my grandmother’s as I write this.
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  • Loca Cola - this is one of those candies that I long for, something to give me the cola experience since I don’t drink sodas. I love the taste of cola, this has the tangy and spicy notes down pretty well. Not quite as good as a Haribo Gummi Cola Bottle, but it’ll do.
  • As a novelty item, I think they’re fun. I wouldn’t buy these and shovel them down day after day, but they’re a fun little diversion ... a novelty candy. Because the package comes with six little cans, they might make a nice little theme element if you’re planning a party or gift basket or just a little pick-me-up to leave in a co-worker’s cubicle.

    Each can contains only 7 grams of candy that adds up to 25 calories. So they certainly have the portion control down.

    (For a little perspective, the cans are 2” high and 1” in diameter ... in case you were going to look for them at the store and were expecting something as big as the picture on your screen.)

    Name: Soda Can Fizzy Candy
      RATING:
    • 10 SUPERB
    • 9 YUMMY
    • 8 TASTY
    • 7 WORTH IT
    • 6 TEMPTING
    • 5 PLEASANT
    • 4 BENIGN
    • 3 UNAPPEALING
    • 2 APPALLING
    • 1 INEDIBLE
    Brand: Kidsmania (Candy Novelties)
    Place Purchased: Dollar Tree (Harbor City)
    Price: $1.00
    Size: 1.47 ounces
    Calories per ounce: 102
    Categories: Chalk (Compressed Dextrose), Carbonated, China

    POSTED BY Cybele AT 6:57 am     Comments (47)

    Wednesday, April 25, 2007

    Gandour Bars from Malaysia

    I love the names on all of these candy bars! Santos of Scent of Green Bananas gave them to me a while back. They reminded me a bit of my uneven bunch of Peruvian candies.

    image

    Tourist
    A crisp wafer plank with two domed compartments with a chocolatey paste inside.

    The brand Gandour heralds they have the ingredients for happiness. Those ingredients include shea butter. Okee dokee.

    The chocolate filling is rather firm, a little salty and pretty creamy. It’s not very chocolatey, more on the fudgy side. The crisp wafers are fun, though a little dry. The whole thing reminded me of the Happy Hippo, though there’s no hazelnut in this creme paste filling.

    6 out of 10 (Halal)

    Safari

    This one is sporting a sassy jungle green wraper and woodsy font. Inside is a stack of wafers and creme then some caramel and crunchies with a mockolate coating.

    It’s a big old jumble not jungle inside the package. The lumpy crispies and mockolate don’t quite get a good grip on the caramel and wafer center. It just doesn’t work for me. There’s too much mockolate and not enough caramel.

    4 out of 10 (Halal)

    XL’Z

    M&M knock-offs made with mockolate. These were kind of a hybrid in size between Smarties and M&Ms. They’re bigger than M&Ms but thicker than Smarties. The colors were vivid. Though the package showed red, blue,  yellow, green and orange, I only had orange, red and green in my bag (which held 17 morsels). The mockolate was less milky than the other products and passably good. It actually tasted better than Garfield’s Chocobites. Kind of smoky and rounded, though not quite the smooth mouthfeel of cocoa butter chocolate. For a treat for little kids, I guess these would be just fine, but I could probably only bring myself to decorate a cake with them.

    4 out of 10 (Halal)

    Tofi Luk

    This is one that I had no clue about judging from the name. But the description and image on the wrapper seemed pretty agreeable. A biscuit bar with caramel and a chocolate flavored coating. So it’s like a Twix! The bar was just a little flatter and a little shorter than a Twix, but it’s kind of fun that they sell these smaller portions. It looked pretty good, with the same rippled appearance on the coating.

    The inside was a lot different from a Twix. Instead of being a very dry shortbread, this one was a little salty and reminded me of a dense Ritz Cracker plank. The caramel was not chewy or gooey here, just a sweeter texture between the cookie and mockolate (and not always there either). The whole thing had a rather strong “butter flavor” to it.

    5 out of 10 (Halal)

    POSTED BY Cybele AT 6:02 am     CandyReviewCaramelCookieMockolate4-Benign5-Pleasant6-TemptingMalaysiaComments (9)

    Wednesday, April 18, 2007

    Gold Mine Gum

    Gold Mine GumThis was one of the worst purchases I would make as a kid. I love little nuggets of gum (and often bought those Chicklets Tinys as well) but really the selling point here was the fact that it came in a real cloth bag! Still, it was a sweet treat with a reusable package (I would keep little pieces of beach glass or pennies flattened by trains in mine).

    I have no idea if this is the same brand that I would buy at the Stop ‘n Go in Munroe Falls, OH. I seem to recall a little miner in a big hat grinning his fool’s gold heart out on the front, but I might have imagined that.

    image

    Gold Mine Gum is just little candy coated nuggets of gum. I recall it being a fruity flavor (ala Juicyfruit) when I was a kid, but this stuff tastes kind of like cherry to me.

    The gum was actually inside a little clear cellophane bag inside, which is a good thing. After I took the photo (and chewed up everything outside of the bag in the picture), I didn’t put it back in the wrapper. The stuff I chewed right then was nice and soft. The stuff I’m chewing right now as I write this is a little crumbly to start, but as with trading card gum wafers, it softens up eventually. It’s sweet and sugary and then loses its flavor. The bubbles are okay, not super-smooth like the high-tech bubble gums that came long later.

    But back to the bad purchase ... there’s not a lot in here. 2 ounces of gum isn’t much and at a retail price of $1.25, there are better deal out there. But there’s something about the idea of chewing representations of an ore that may one day be made into your dental work that’s appealing.

    Note: this isn’t the same brand of gum from when I was a kid.

    Name: Gold Mine Nugget Bubble Gum
      RATING:
    • 10 SUPERB
    • 9 YUMMY
    • 8 TASTY
    • 7 WORTH IT
    • 6 TEMPTING
    • 5 PLEASANT
    • 4 BENIGN
    • 3 UNAPPEALING
    • 2 APPALLING
    • 1 INEDIBLE
    Brand: Espeez
    Place Purchased: sample from Espeez
    Price: retail $1.25
    Size: 2 ounces
    Calories per ounce: unknown
    Categories: Gum, Mexico

    POSTED BY Cybele AT 12:23 pm     Comments (20)

    Friday, April 13, 2007

    CocoaVia Bars

    After my pleasant first experience with CocoaVia last year I was happy to find that CocoaVia was at the ExpoWest trade show back in January. It meant that I could try more of their products without shoveling out oodles of dough. They were sampling their milk chocolate covered raisins, which I thought tasted like milk chocolate raisins. They also had a large assortment of their bars out there. It was hard to talk to the folks at the booth for all the attendees grabbing the free samples by the handful, but I stood my ground in the crush and had a nice conversation with the CocoaVia people.

    I like the idea of portion control. I had a little problem with those big tubs at Trader Joe’s sometimes, because I will just keep eating from it. I learned a long time ago to take a handful and put it in a little dish, close up the tub and put it away and then enjoy my treat.

    I think CocoaVia’s idea for a portion controlled sweet is two-fold - small individually wrapped packages sold only five at a time. And charge $20 a pound.

    image

    Chocolate Snack Bar - the package on this one is a bit deceptive. It just shows some chunks of chocolate but it’s really a bar of crispy/chewy grains with a chocolate base. It feels much more filling than the 80 calories might ordinarily seem.

    The crisped rice and grain crunch is mellow and malty while the chocolate gives it a creamy and tasty component. Yeah, it could be bigger, but it’s a supplement bar, not dessert. (The ingredients on this bar list Almonds and Peanuts.)

    80 calories and 25% of our daily RDA of Calcium, 15% of your Vitamin E and 10% of your B6, B12, Folic Acid and Vitamin C.

    Rating: 5 out of 10

    image

    Crispy Chocolate Bar - seemed to be more accurate on the picture front, little chunks of chocolate with itty-bitty crispies mixed in. The bar is dark and has a very green and smoky taste to it. And a bitter aftertaste. This was a seriously strong bar with a dry finish. Not really an indulgence, I felt like I was working to find the pleasant flavors instead of just enjoying it.

    I waited a couple of days and tried again and I’m gonna have to pass on this one, it’s just too bitter. It’s like eating a spoonful of cocoa.

    90 calories and 10% of your RDA of Folic Acid, Vitamin C & B12, 15% of your Vitamin E & B6 and 30% of your Calcium.

    Rating: 3 out of 10

    image

    Milk Chocolate Bar - was very nice. Super creamy and smooth with great chocolate notes and some caramelized milk flavors. This bar was softer than the other ones (you can see it even melted a little bit under my hot studio light when I was taking the picture).

    It reminds me a lot of the Dove milk chocolate, which shouldn’t be surprising since they’re both made by Mars. However, there is an odd bitter (and only slight) aftertaste for me. It’s a little metallic and it could just be the fortifications, but it makes it less like candy for me.

    110 calories and 20% of your RDA of Calcium, 15% of your Vitamin E & B6, 10% of your Vitamin C, Folic Acid & B12.

    Rating: 5 out of 10

    These are all okay, but I still have to say that their best innovation so far is the Dark Chocolate Covered Almonds. I even found them locally at Shim’s Produce (it’s kind of like the 99 Cent store of grocers). They had stacks of boxes for only 99 Cents. I thought there must be something wrong with them and only bought one, but it was just fine (expiration date of July).

    That brings me back to the huge drawback of the CocoaVia line. The price. At about $5 a box of five, it’s pretty harsh for the pocket book and not terribly satisfying to the sweet tooth. If anything I’d feel obligated to finish something I don’t like because I paid so much for it.

    Name: CocoaVia: Chocolate Snack Bar, Crispy Chocolate Bar, Milk Chocolate Bar
      RATING:
    • 10 SUPERB
    • 9 YUMMY
    • 8 TASTY
    • 7 WORTH IT
    • 6 TEMPTING
    • 5 PLEASANT
    • 4 BENIGN
    • 3 UNAPPEALING
    • 2 APPALLING
    • 1 INEDIBLE
    Brand: CocoaVia (Mars)
    Place Purchased: samples from ExpoWest
    Price: retail $1.00 each
    Size: .71 ounces to .81 ounces
    Calories per ounce: 99 / 127 / 141
    Categories: Chocolate, Cookie, Nuts, United States, Mars, Kosher

    POSTED BY Cybele AT 7:29 am     Comments (8)

    Wednesday, April 4, 2007

    Blueberry Hill Spice Jelly Beans

    Spiced Jelly EggsI had to go for a classic this year. I haven’t had traditional spice jelly beans for quite a long time. These were pretty looking jelly beans. The Blueberry Hill Foods Spiced Jelly Eggs are the traditional jelly bean size, not the itty ones that Jelly Belly seems to have popularized.

    I chose a bag at the store that didn’t look like it had too many purple ones in it, as I assumed that the purples were clove and I’m just not that keen on clove.

    Upon opening the bag I found that they ALL smelled like clove. I have to say that these were odd.

    image

    I’m still not quite sure what flavor these are, so I’m going to guess on some:

    Black - Licorice. Definitely licorice. Sweet and spicy with even a little hint of sizzle.
    White - Nutmeg? Seriously ... a nutmeg jelly bean? Hey, I actually like it, it reminds me of egg nog, but without the custardy taste.
    Green - Lime. I could do without this, but it wasn’t bad or anything.
    Yellow - Lemon. Nice and mellow with a good zest to it.
    Orange - Clove? It tastes like clove. Why is the orange one clove?
    Pink - Bitter new shoes? Really, I have no clue what this is. But that’s what it tastes like to me. Or maybe it taste like new carpeting at the dentist’s office. I’m not eating another one to try to narrow it down for you.
    Red - Cinnamon! I got one right! Sassy and sizzlingly good. Just don’t confuse the color with pink.
    Purple - Peppermint. What the ...? First of all, who makes peppermint jelly beans, and why would you make it the purple one. Anyway, it was tasty.

    Now I just need to sort out the bag of jelly beans and get rid of those orange and pink ones and I think it’s a nice mix.

    The texture of the beans is a little grainy, but not overly sweet, but has a good chew to it and well rounded flavors that last.

    A couple of other notes. This company has one of the worst websites I’ve ever seen. I’m not sure if it’s been updated since 2004 (it’s really not a website for consumers anyway). This product is manufactured in Mexico.

    Related Candies

    1. Russell Stover Pectin Jelly Beans
    2. Mike and Ike Italian Ice
    3. Wonka Nerds Jelly Beans
    4. Zachary Candy Corn & Jelly Pumpkins
    5. Gimbal’s Lavaballs
    6. Hot Tamales Ice
    7. Sunkist Fruit Gems
    Name: Spiced Jelly Eggs
      RATING:
    • 10 SUPERB
    • 9 YUMMY
    • 8 TASTY
    • 7 WORTH IT
    • 6 TEMPTING
    • 5 PLEASANT
    • 4 BENIGN
    • 3 UNAPPEALING
    • 2 APPALLING
    • 1 INEDIBLE
    Brand: Blueberry Hill Foods
    Place Purchased: Long's Drug (Laguna Woods)
    Price: $.99
    Size: 12 ounces
    Calories per ounce: 104
    Categories: Jelly, Licorice, Mexico, Easter

    POSTED BY Cybele AT 7:11 am     Comments (26)

    Tuesday, March 20, 2007

    Cadbury Raspberry Bunny

    DSC09053rYou know what surprised me most about this candy? It recognizes that it’s for Easter. There’s only one other product I’ve reviewed (as far as I can tell) in the past two years that actually mentions the Easter holiday on the wrapper. (The bunny is holding a basket that says “Happy Easter”) Strange, isn’t it? Are we all kidding ourselves that all these egg shaped things could easily be for Passover? (Oddly enough, this is Kosher ... though not for Passover since it has corn syrup in it.)

    But I guess I digress.

    This is the second Cadbury Royal Dark Raspberry Bunny I’ve bought this year. I lost the first one after I took the photo. (So calling out to it does no good ... it’s missing its ears!) It’s probably in the seat cushions in the car or stuck to the bottom of one of my backpacks.

    image

    It’s a very pretty bunny. It’s really well made, nice and shiny and with a pleasant chocolate scent. It’s well formed and looks like a bunny, unlike some candies I’ve purchased for Easter. It’s mostly chocolate with only a small reservoir of “Raspberry Creme Center” in it. It’s not very big, so it’s a good chocolate treat that won’t leave you hating yourself.

    The only problem is that Raspberry Creme center ... what is it? At first I thought it was a caramel. It’s almost a syrup and certainly not a creme. It’s sticky and drippy and a little tangy. It even tastes a little salty. It doesn’t taste much like raspberry. Smells a little like it, but doesn’t really taste like it.

    The chocolate is that Royal Dark chocolate that Cadbury is pushing now (with the Royal Dark Mini Eggs) which is rather palatable. It’s sweet but also has some nice cocoa notes. It lacks a sort of buttery oomph that good dark chocolate can have.

    I’m not really that fond of this. It’s fun and of course it’s not terribly big or expensive, so I can’t be that disappointed.

    Name: Royal Dark Raspberry Bunny
      RATING:
    • 10 SUPERB
    • 9 YUMMY
    • 8 TASTY
    • 7 WORTH IT
    • 6 TEMPTING
    • 5 PLEASANT
    • 4 BENIGN
    • 3 UNAPPEALING
    • 2 APPALLING
    • 1 INEDIBLE
    Brand: Cadbury (mfd by Hershey's)
    Place Purchased: Walgreen's & CVS
    Price: $.59
    Size: 1.1 ounces
    Calories per ounce: 136
    Categories: Chocolate, United States, Hershey's, Cadbury, Easter, Kosher

    POSTED BY Cybele AT 6:25 am     Comments (5)

    Friday, March 9, 2007

    Peeps Lollipop Rings

    Peep Pops PackageI was thinking to myself as Easter approaches and candy season comes to a close ... it’s sad that there’s no way to get that “Peep Flavor Experience” without all that fluffy marshmallow. You know, because Peeps are all about flavor. So imagine my surprise when I was at the drug store and I saw Peeps Lollipop Rings.

    They come in two flavors, actually. The first, in the traditional yellow is simply Marshmallow flavor. The second, in the bismuth pink is the new-millennium-classic flavor, Strawberry Cream.

    Yellow Peep PopBeing an eternal optimist (no, really!), I thought maybe this gorgeous little smooth Peep pop on a ring was going to taste like toasted marshmallows. Like the Jelly Belly jelly bean. It smells sweet and maybe a little milky. Oh, but the taste ... it was immediately tart. I pulled it out of my mouth and looked at the package. Had I mixed it up with the strawberry one?

    The tart taste was not sour, more like yogurt. Just a tangy bite, kind of milky. It’s a smooth taste, the pop is good quality with no voids at all. It’s easy to crunch too, if you can manage to get your teeth around a good corner.

    The ingredients fully explain the taste here: sugar, corn syrup, water, lactic acid, citric acid, sodium citrate, artificial flavors, corn starch, acacia gum, titanium dioxide, artificial colors. (Made in China) If you took out the corn starch and put in some gelatin you’d have a Gummi Peep (mmm, Gummi Peeps).

    Pink Peep PopThe Strawberry Cream flavor didn’t join the Peeps line up until 2000. I’ve never actually tried them, as the idea of Strawberry Cream Peeps (or Hearts) has no appeal for me.

    The flavor is rather yogurt-like. A creamy flavor, not very intense and sweetly fragrant of fake berries. It reminded me of Frankenberry Cereal.

    The pops are super cute and very well made. They had a consistent appearance and the ring platforms were of good quality (not some sort of easy to shatter plastic that rips up your mouth). They even fit on my ring finger.

    Note: though these candies are branded with the official Peep (tm) logo, they are not made by Just Born, instead they are manufactured by Flix Candy under a licensing agreement. (Just like you don’t expect that Just Born sewed those little Peep plushies, right?) They also make a Peeps Pop Slider which is kind of like those lipstick candies. (Reviewed by Jeanna at Wisconsin Candy Dish.)

    Name: Peeps Lolliop Rings
      RATING:
    • 10 SUPERB
    • 9 YUMMY
    • 8 TASTY
    • 7 WORTH IT
    • 6 TEMPTING
    • 5 PLEASANT
    • 4 BENIGN
    • 3 UNAPPEALING
    • 2 APPALLING
    • 1 INEDIBLE
    Brand: Flix Candy (licensed from Just Born)
    Place Purchased: Rite Aid (Hollywood)
    Price: $.69
    Size: .84 ounces
    Calories per ounce: 113
    Categories: Hard Candy, China, Just Born, Peeps, Easter

    POSTED BY Cybele AT 8:05 am     Comments (7)

    Monday, March 5, 2007

    Junior Mints Pastels

    Junior Mints went with a Valentine’s Limited Edition candy last month, but this month they seem like they’re having trouble committing to the Easter holiday. I picked up this Limited Edition Junior Mints Pastels at the Dollar Tree last week. They’re unlike any other the other Limited Edition Junior Mints so far (the others were Inside Out ... a white confectionary coating with a chocolate cream center).

    image

    The Junior Mint Pastels are a “smooth colorful coating” with the traditional Junior Mint flowing minty fondant center. They come in two colors, which barely qualifies them for the plural of pastel: creamy yellow and turquoise blue. I’m not sure why they didn’t throw a little pink and green in there.

    The term “smooth colorful coating” is rather appropriate here. I have no idea what else to call it. It’s firm and doesn’t quite have the same mouth-feel as chocolate. It’s all sugar, partially hydrogenated oils and milk. It’s sweet, and um, colorful. It tastes like it has a slight bit of salt to it, which is good because this whole candy is very sweet ... throat blisteringly, tooth-achingly sweet.

    I found them compelling, as odd as they are. But I’m often a sucker for minty white mockolate. I’m never buying them again though, as I much prefer the dark chocolate Junior Mints - the bittersweet chocolate offsets the sugary center much better. But I’ll likely finish this box.

    Name: Limited Edition Junior Mints Pastels
      RATING:
    • 10 SUPERB
    • 9 YUMMY
    • 8 TASTY
    • 7 WORTH IT
    • 6 TEMPTING
    • 5 PLEASANT
    • 4 BENIGN
    • 3 UNAPPEALING
    • 2 APPALLING
    • 1 INEDIBLE
    Brand: Tootsie
    Place Purchased: Dollar Tree (Harbor City)
    Price: $1.00
    Size: 4.75 ounces
    Calories per ounce: 124
    Categories: Mint, United States, Tootsie, Limited Edition

    POSTED BY Cybele AT 6:34 am     Comments (20)

    Page 29 of 37 pages ‹ First  < 27 28 29 30 31 >  Last ›

    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.

    Candy Season Ends

    -306 days

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    Which seasonal candy selection do you prefer?

    Choose one or more:

    •   Halloween
    •   Christmas
    •   Valentine's Day
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    ON DECK

    These candies will be reviewed shortly:

    • Candy Rant: If your Licorice isn’t black, it isn’t Licorice

    • Candy Rant: Stimulants are not Energy

    • Flavor Trends: The Slow Extinction of Lime

    • 10 Candies that Shouldn’t Be So Disappointing

    • Eclat Chocolate CUZ Toasted Corn 54%

     

     

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