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Thursday, September 4, 2014

Cacao Prieto 72% Dark Chocolate Pecan & Sour Cherry

Cacao Prieto Sour Cherry & Pecan in 72% Dark ChocolateCacao Prieto is a unique bean to bar chocolate maker in Red Hook, Brooklyn, New York. Not only do they make chocolate, they’re also a distiller, making rum, whiskey and cacao liqueur.

They source their chocolate from an organic, family run farm in the Dominican Republic and appear to take equal care after the selection of their beans. Cacao Prieto also uses centuries old technology to roast, and then has innovated some new machinery to winnow the cacao before processing it with reproduction melangeurs. (You can see the process with photos here.)

I’ve seen these bars around for the past few years but was scared off by the price. The time was right, perhaps because of the name of this bar: Cacao Prieto Pecan & Sour Cherry in 72% Dominican Dark Chocolate. The thought of dried sour cherries and pecans had my mouth watering right away.

Cacao Prieto Sour Cherry & Pecan in 72% Dark Chocolate

The bars from Cacao Prieto even have interesting packaging. The whole package is in a cellophane sleeve, and the window on the back of the box shows the bar with its inclusions. Even with the little peek, the packaging protects it well as for the most part they’re displayed with the window facing down. The front of the package also features a little postcard with similarly charming artwork designed by Brooklyn artist Sophie Blackall.

The bar is a slab, rather like a bark. The inclusions are really just scattered on top of the bar, not mixed into the chocolate. Personally, I prefer mine mixed in. I think a full coating protects nuts and fruits from oxidation (so they don’t get stale) very well, and usually means that you get a consistent taste of chocolate and nut/fruit in each bite. But Cacao Prieto says that each bar is hand-created, so I trust that this means that each of those inclusions was placed their by an artiste ... so who am I to argue. I’ll just leave myself in their expert hands.

The bar is nicely thick and quite robust. It’s 5.5” inches by 3.5” inches and weighs in at 4.2 ounces. Of course, the larger size is welcome considering the price of the bar at $13.

Cacao Prieto Sour Cherry & Pecan in 72% Dark Chocolate

The chocolate itself has a crisp snap but yields well to the tooth even though it’s rather thick. The melt is buttery smooth. The flavors are rich, with a lot of toasty brownie notes, woodsy coffee and a note of toffee and cherry (but that could be the cherries themselves). The pecans are expertly chosen and placed. Crisp, mapley and crunchy, they went very well with the chocolate. The cherries were very soft, chewy and tangy.

I loved the bar. Usually I get bored after about 2 ounces of intense chocolate, but this was so well done. The chocolate itself is dreamy, the nuts and cherries are absolute perfection. I noticed that Cacao Prieto actually sells couveture drops of the 72% Dominican ... which I’m pretty tempted by at the moment.

There are a few other interesting features for the bar, first is that it’s Kosher. That’s pretty rare for bean-to-bar chocolate. The bar is made from organic beans and contains no soy lecithin as an emulsifier. There are also no milk products and is considered vegan.

Lolli & Pops

I picked up this bar at Lolli & Pops, a newer and still small chain of candy stores. I got a private tour of the shop before they opened one Sunday morning last month from one of their salesfolk, Jaz. It’s an interesting selection, very wide. They have the standard sugar candy offerings of gummi bears, Skittles and Jelly Belly by the pound. Those are pretty expensive at $15.00 a pound, which is standard mall pricing these days. But what sets Lolli & Pops apart would be their selection of lesser known candies. They have imported mass-produced bars, a good cross-section of Japanese gummis and chews and then they have chocolate bars. Their chocolate room has a lot of candy by the pound (that’s where I got the Chocolate Covered Banana Gummi Bears reviewed last week) but also bars.

They have chocolate from most of the fine bean-to-bar chocolate makers: Amano, Theo, Lillie Belle, Marou, Blanxart, Poco Dolce, Chuao, Scharffen Berger, Taza, Dick Taylor and Dandelion… just to name the ones that I can remember. Though the other candy was priced a bit high, the bars here were at about the same price as if I’d ordered them right from the chocolate makers themselves ... without the shipping. Now, all the chocolate is expensive, most bars are between $5 and $10 a bar, but that’s just the going rate for many of the small batch companies. I don’t know of any other shop in Glendale that carries such a wide variety, so it’s a nice addition to the area.



Name: Pecan & Sour Cherry in 72% Dominican Dark Chocolate
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Cacao Prieto
Place Purchased: Lolli & Pops (Glendale)
Price: $13.00
Size: 4.2 ounces
Calories per ounce: 157
Categories:

POSTED BY Cybele AT 2:08 pm     All NaturalCandyReviewChocolateEthically SourcedKosherNutsOrganic9-YummyUnited StatesComments (2)

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Brach’s Caramel Macchiato Candy Corn

Brach's Caramel Macchiato Candy CornLabor Day is kind of the marker for the beginning of Candy Season ... which is the ramp up to Halloween. Candy Corn is inextricably tied with this time of year, for its associations with harvest and, of course, North America is known for its corn.

In order to keep people interested in Candy Corn, Brach’s has been introducing new flavored varieties for the past five years or so, in addition to their classic Candy Corn, Indian Corn and Mellocremes. I was rather interested in the Brach’s Caramel Macchiato Candy Corn because it sounded less sweet. Coffee actually sounds like a natural flavor combination for Candy Corn, and a touch of salty caramel should help it fit in nicely with the fondant flavor profile.

Brach's Caramel Macchiato Candy Corn

The pieces do a good job of replicating the look of a coffee drink: dark base, caramel orange middle and white top. (Though the picture shows the caramel on the top of the foamed milk.)

The ingredients list real coffee as a flavoring, as well as honey. The ingredients also list sesame oil, which I don’t think I’ve seen on the list before and note that the candy was made on equipment with milk, eggs, tree nuts, peanuts, wheat and soy are present. Brach’s also uses gelatin in their Candy Corn.

Brach's Caramel Macchiato Candy Corn

The base is a bit salty and a wonderfully sweet, woodsy coffee flavor. It’s a bit of a stale flavor, like coffee powder, but this is Candy Corn, not a high end truffle. The middle section is lightly salty with a note of honey plus a little hint of butter and the continuing coffee flavor. The white top is less flavorful and also a bit on the crunchy side.

I’m finding that I like these. I was surprised, but I also enjoyed the Carrot Cake Candy Corn earlier this year. If you like Candy Corn, you may enjoy these as a little change of pace. If you don’t, these will not change your mind.

Related Candies

  1. Brach’s Carrot Cake Candy Corn
  2. Brach’s S’mores Candy Corn
  3. Starburst Original Fruit Flavored Candy Corn
  4. Jelly Belly Candy Corn Jelly Beans
  5. Halloween Dots: Bat, Candy Corn & Ghost
  6. Milk Maid Caramel Apple Candy Corn
  7. Milk Maid Caramel Candy Corn
  8. Brach’s Autumn Mix


Name: Caramel Macchiato Candy Corn
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Brach’s
Place Purchased: KMart (Park LaBrea)
Price: $2.50
Size: 9 ounces
Calories per ounce: 101
Categories: Candy, Halloween, Brach's, Farley's & Sathers, Ferrara Pan, Coffee, Fondant, 7-Worth It, Mexico, Kmart

POSTED BY Cybele AT 11:31 am     CandyReviewHalloweenBrach'sFarley's & SathersFerrara PanCoffeeFondant7-Worth ItMexicoKmartComments (0)

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Hershey’s Candy Corn Creme with Candy Bits

Hershey's Candy Corn Creme with Candy BitsHershey’s has a lot of returning holiday favorites for Halloween, but hasn’t neglected to introduce a few new items. Hershey’s Candy Corn Creme with Candy Bits was one of the odd items that really has no name (I think the best adaptation of an existing name to Halloween would be the Cadbury S’creme Egg).

A few years back Hershey’s had a seasonal variety of Kisses called Candy Corn Kisses. It made perfect sense, Kisses are kind of triangular and the layered look was a nice adaptation of the idea. The white confectionery base was simple enough, just a sort of honey/strawberry flavored version.

In the Hershey’s brand scheme, though, the Cookies n Creme bar has already captured the white confection lovers, so they’re more likely to spark to the new Hershey’s Candy Corn Creme with Candy Bits.

Hershey's Candy Corn

The bar is simply a white chocolate style confection (Hershey’s uses a combination of cocoa butter and other oils instead of just cocoa butter which it would need to be a true white chocolate). Scattered within the bar are orange and yellow candy sprinkles. The effect is that it does have a similar coloring to candy corn, though the yellow-white of the creme is dominant instead of the yellow-orange of Candy Corn.

If you’ve always wanted Candy Corn to have fat in it, that would be why you’d want to buy this.

The snack size bars are simple, they’re long and have four little segments with the name Hershey’s inside each.

Hershey's Candy Corn

The bars smell sweet and milky, with a hint of strawberry. It reminds me of a glass of Strawberry Qwik in smell only (certainly not in color). The melt is decent, not creamy smooth, but a little waxy. It’s quite sugary and extremely sweet, though the flavor and a hint of salt moderates that slightly. The sprinkles are annoying. They’re waxy and add no actual flavor or real textural interest. I would have preferred either nonpareils or perhaps if they swirled different colors of confection into it instead.

I think the Kiss version was more successful visually, but I didn’t care for the butter flavoring. This one is definitely less intense, but neither is great to eat. If Hershey’s wants to capitalize on their Cookies n Creme bar, I think making a seasonal version with a cookie in it, a la Golden Oreos might actually be more tasty.

There are all sorts of ingredients in here, including partially hydrogenated oils, PGPR, resinous glaze (on the jimmies), tocopherols and artificial colors. The candy contains milk products and soy and is made on shared equipment with almonds. There is no statement about gluten or peanuts.

Related Candies

  1. Brach’s Carrot Cake Candy Corn
  2. Charms Super Candy Corn Blow Pop
  3. 6 Candy Corn Candies That Aren’t Candy Corn
  4. M&Ms White Chocolate Candy Corn
  5. Cookies ‘n’ Cream Bites
  6. Hershey’s Drops: Milk Chocolate & Cookies n Creme
  7. Ritter Sport White Chocolate with Hazelnuts
  8. Candy Corn Kisses
  9. Green and Black’s White Chocolate


Name: Hershey’s Candy Corn Creme with Candy Bits
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Hershey’s
Place Purchased: KMart (Park LaBrea)
Price: $3.79
Size: 9.45 ounces
Calories per ounce: 149
Categories: Candy, Halloween, Hershey's, Mockolate, White Chocolate, 4-Benign, United States, Kmart

POSTED BY Cybele AT 9:35 am     CandyReviewHalloweenHershey'sMockolateWhite ChocolateUnited StatesKmartComments (0)

Friday, August 29, 2014

Chocolate Covered Banana Gummi Bears

Chocolate Covered Banana GummisIn general, covering anything in chocolate probably makes it better. Along those lines, there are plenty of examples of confections that are simply candy covered in chocolate. Chocolate covered gummi bears have been around for quite a few years, but in a rather limited concept: it’s a fruity gummi bear (who knows what flavor) covered in chocolate.

At Lolli & Pops, a new chain of candy stores, I found Chocolate Covered Banana Gummis. So instead of the flavor gamble of most chocolate covered mixes, this was just one kind of gummi bear ... the Albanese Banana Gummi Bear.

Chocolate Covered Banana Gummis

They’re easily identifiable as Albanese bears, as the little A on the belly can be seen clearly on many of the bears, even with the chocolate coating. (To confirm this, I also melted the chocolate off of a couple just to be sure. For the record, the Banana Bears are a transparent yellow, not white.) The bears are enrobed, not panned. This means they have a flat side, so though they’re lacking some of the 360 degree qualities of regular gummi bears, they also don’t have that glaze seal on them that can make it waxy.

They smell sweet and milky, kind of like breakfast cereal. The banana flavor is recognizable, not exactly artificial and not as caustic as Circus Peanuts. They taste rather creamy but have just a slight tangy bite, like a not-quite-ripe banana. The chocolate is thin and creamy, with a good melt but not an intense cocoa infusion overall.

By itself, a banana gummi bear is a little bland. And the milk chocolate itself is milky and sweet, but also not extraordinary enough for me to eat it on its own. But together ... yes, I ate my quarter pound portion of these with no trouble at all. They’re passable on their own, but a new confectionery treat together.

Related Candies

  1. Bonomo Taffy Nibbles: Vanilla and Banana
  2. Sockerbit Swedish Candy Selections
  3. Albanese Chocolate Dipped Gummi Bears
  4. Jelly Belly Chocolate Dips
  5. Candy Source: Albanese Candy Factory
  6. Chocolate Covered Gummi Bears
  7. Meiji Gummy Choco
  8. Elvis Reese’s Peanut Butter and Banana Cup


Name: Chocolate Covered Banana Gummi Bears
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Albanese Confectionery
Place Purchased: Lolli & Pops (Glendale)
Price: $3.75
Size: 4 ounces
Calories per ounce:
Categories: Candy, Albanese Confectionery, Chocolate, Gummi Candy, 7-Worth It, United States

POSTED BY Cybele AT 12:24 pm     CandyReviewAlbanese ConfectioneryChocolateGummi Candy7-Worth ItUnited StatesComments (0)

Monday, August 25, 2014

Peeps Minis Chocolate Creme

DSC_6385rbJust Born is attempting to make Marshmallow Peeps a year-round treat. I’ve already tried the Vanilla Creme version, so today I’ll review the new Peeps Minis Chocolate Creme.

There are a few ways to approach it. They could just continue making different shapes and colors like they do for the holidays. Perhaps a tech themed array like the Facebook like button, the Twitter bird and the loading animation you get when trying to stream videos most of the time. Or perhaps transportation, like cars, boats and airplanes. Some pets, like cats and rabbits and birds (wait, those are already shapes they make). Maybe happy faces or embrace emoji and go with an array of different symbols.

Instead, Peeps have gone a different way with their marketing plans. They’ve taken Peeps out of the tray, made them smaller and singular. Well, not completely singular. They’re still called Peeps even though they’re no longer conjoined. They’re sold in a stand up bag that reseals with a zip. There are 24 in the bag, even though it only holds 3.4 ounces. (A similar sized bag of chocolate candy holds about 6-8 ounces.)

DSC_6389rb

They don’t look chocolatey, and they don’t look marshmallow. They’re slumped little fellows, they look a little tired and deflated. I understand that they haven’t been coddled inside a tray with a sunroof like most other Peeps, so I’ll have to consider that these Peeps aren’t supposed to be admired for their good looks ... you must buy them for their other qualities.

The bag smells like a cake mix, a little like cocoa, and fake vanilla, and sugar of course. There’s a lot of sugar. It seems like there’s more sugar coating, more grainy sugar in proportion to the marshmallow than a regular tray Peep. I didn’t care for the heavy dose of sweetness here, especially since the marshmallow part was so lacking cocoa. It was like weak chocolate milk.

They’re far too sweet for me, even when combined with other treats as a sort of condiment for nuts or very dark chocolate.

Peeps are gluten free but may contain milk, even though here’s none in the ingredients. They’re made in the USA.

Related Candies

  1. Peeps Minis Vanilla Creme
  2. 3 Musketeers Hot Cocoa Marshmallow Minis
  3. Peeps Gingerbread Men
  4. Kraft Jet-Puffed Marshmallows + Vanilla, Cinnamon Bun, Strawberry, Chocolate Royale, Gingerbread
  5. Meiji Creamy Marshmallow Chocolate
  6. Peeps Peepsters (Milk & Dark Chocolate)
  7. Peeps Chocolate Mousse (Bears & Bunnies)
  8. Peeps Spooky Cats & Cocoa Bunnies


Name: Peeps Minis Chocolate Creme
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Just Born
Place Purchased: Target (West Hollywood)
Price: $2.79
Size: 3.4 ounces
Calories per ounce: 99
Categories: Candy, Morselization, Peeps, Just Born, Marshmallow, 5-Pleasant, United States, Target

POSTED BY Cybele AT 2:33 pm     CandyMorselizationPeepsReviewJust BornMarshmallow5-PleasantUnited StatesTargetComments (4)

Friday, August 22, 2014

Yowie Hollow Chocolate with Toy

Yowie Boof & SquishBack in 1995 Cadbury introduced a hollow, molded chocolate novelty called Yowie that included an animal toy in the center in Australia. They were wildly successful not only in Australia but in Oceania, as well, even outselling the more globally known Kinder Surprise Egg in those territories. Then about 10 years ago some disputes between Cadbury and the product line’s creators, they were discontinued (more about that here).

There are plenty of hollow chocolates out there filled with little candies, but it’s not easy to find them with a toy surprise. In the United States they are banned because in most cases the toy inside qualifies as a choking hazard. Even though the toy is enclosed within a plastic egg that is far too big to be swallowed, it’s the tiny toys (often requiring assembly) that have American regulators on watch for them. (I’ve brought back the toys from Kinder Eggs from Germany, but never the intact candy.)

The Yowie Group has found a way around all of this regulation by simply making the toy inside too big to be a choking hazard and are reintroducing the Yowie line of toys enclosed in chocolate ... starting this time with the United States.

Yowie Boof & SquishYowies also have a few other features that Kinder Surprise Eggs do not. The chocolate is considered real chocolate (all natural) and is Rainforest Alliance certified. They’re shaped and molded not like a simple egg, but in the form of different characters. Inside the molded chocolate is a plastic capsule (also kind of a toy itself) that holds the toy. The toy is actual decent quality and are themed as little animal figurines with information inside the capsule about them.

The chocolate is formed in halves, fully designed on both sides (though the back is less interesting). It comes apart rather easily to reveal the capsule inside. They’re rather large, about 2.75 inches tall.

I bought two of them at Lolli & Pops in Glendale (I can’t even find anywhere online to buy them as I write this). They were expensive, $3.75 each. Sadly, one of them was badly bloomed and inedible. They had the same expiration on them, and none of my other chocolate I purchased had any texture/blooming issues, so I’m going to have to say that it happened somewhere between manufacturing and the checkout counter. (So, I staged the photo below to make sure you’d see both of the toys.)

Yowie Boof & Squish
My Boof chocolate was gray and crumbly, but contained this cute Polar Bear

The chocolate itself is pleasant. It’s very thin, so once I put a piece in my mouth, it melted very quickly. It has a fresh “dairy milk” flavor, a rounded cocoa note and a smooth texture. It’s not the best milk chocolate I’ve ever had, but it’s certainly very good for a chocolate novelty item.

Yowie Boof & Squish
My Squish Yowie held this African Grass Owl

You’re not buying it for the chocolate anyway, and as far as candy indulgences go for kids, it’s only one ounce (most chocolate/candy bars are 1.5 to 2.5 ounces) so it’s pretty low in calories overall (153). The little toys are solid and good quality for something considered a novelty ... though certainly not a product I’d be willing to pay more than 50 or 60 cents for, let alone $3.75, even if it does include an ounce of chocolate. But this is for kids.

It’s difficult to read the foil for the ingredients and other information. The press release from the company says that the chocolate is ethically sourced and their website shows the Rainforest Alliance logo. The chocolate is gluten and nut free and Kosher certified. The novelties are made here in the United States at Whetstone Chocolate of St. Augustine, Florida.

Related Candies

  1. R.M. Palmer Quax - The Yummy Ducky
  2. Riegelein Confiserie Hollow Chocolate
  3. Wii Candy Dispenser & Nintendo Gummis
  4. Peeps inside a Milk Chocolate Egg
  5. Gummy Fishies
  6. Soda Can Fizzy Candy
  7. Gummi Lightning Bugs
  8. Kinder Egg


Name: Yowie Chocolate with Toy
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Yowie Group
Place Purchased: Lolli & Pops (Glendale)
Price: $3.75
Size: 1 ounce
Calories per ounce: 153
Categories: All Natural, Candy, Chocolate, Ethically Sourced, Kosher, Novelty/Toy, 7-Worth It, United States

POSTED BY Cybele AT 1:53 pm     All NaturalCandyReviewChocolateEthically SourcedKosherNovelty/Toy7-Worth ItUnited StatesComments (0)

Monday, August 18, 2014

Jelly Belly Beanaturals: 14 Flavors

Jelly Belly BeanaturalsIt seems odd that I picked up Jelly Belly jelly beans while I was in London, but this particular box isn’t available here. I bought this cute little pocket-sized flip-top box of Jelly Belly Beanaturals: 14 Flavors at Selfridges.

These beans are made in Thailand. In fact, if you see Jelly Belly candy in a store outside of North America, it’s probably going to be the Thai-made version. Many European countries have strict rules about genetically modified ingredients, the factory there uses non-GMO sugar and non-GMO glucose syrup (from tapioca instead of corn. (You can read more about that here.)

So, in addition to being free of any GMO ingredients, the beans are also made with all natural flavorings and colorings. They’re kosher, made in a nut free facility and gluten free. This is actually not that different from many of the jelly beans and other candies that Jelly Belly offers ... except for that GMO thing. Jelly Belly has plenty of beans mixes that are all natural ... so what I’m really trying out here is the European version.

Jelly Belly Beanaturals

The box is not large and only holds 1.59 ounces, so there were not even that many beans in there considering there were going to be 14 different flavors. In my assortment I had six Lime. Only one Barbecue Banana, but six Lime beans. These are the hazards of random distribution.

The first thing I noticed was how quickly the beans lose their freshness. The box was shrinkwrapped, and when I photographed them over the weekend, the beans I ate were soft and normal. But later in the week, oh, about Wednesday, when I worked on this post in earnest, they were suddenly hard. They were kept in the flip top box, closed, out of the sun and within a reasonable temperature span. Yet they were stiff and, well, stale.

Lime (light green) is nicely rounded, a little bitter towards the end and missing more of the juicy tartness.

Plum (dark maroon) is sweet and sort of like actual plum ...maybe just the plum skin but not much of the fruity, juicy notes.

Barbecue Banana (speckled yellow) is quite nice. Very sweet but the banana does have more of a baked sweetness to it, instead of the artificial vanilla note. I actually thought I only had one of these until I realized later that I had a bunch of opaque yellow ones that weren’t lemon leftover that were banana. Yum.

Orange (orange) is sweet but with a zesty note towards the end. It reminded me more of an orange jelly slice than a jelly bean as it lacked that tart bite.

Tangerine (orange) was really similar to the orange, so much so, I wasn’t sure they were different except that there were several of those and they were definitely a lighter orange. I wanted something intensely orange with that hint of lemon that real tangerines have. They were fine, but I really had my hopes up.

Jelly Belly Beanaturals

Lemon (yellow) was in the citrus zone that I hoped Tangerine would be. It was both sweet and tart and had a strong lemon peel bitterness at the top.

Cherry (red) was good. It was fruity without any hint of the bitterness that artificial colors can bring. The flavor also lasted a while, with a sort of jasmine floral finish.

Strawberry Jam (light pink) was actually more like jam than fresh strawberries. This left it more on the sweet side, without that delightful cotton candy floral note, but still good and nice in combination with my many Lime beans.

Juicy Pear (medium green) was weird and grassy and maybe even a little garlicky ... to the point where I was wondering if I got a Bernie Bott’s bean by mistake. But I only had one of these beans, so there was no way for me to get someone else’s opinion.

Pineapple (uncolored) was bland overall, like canned pineapple instead of the fresh stuff. Too much syrup and not enough acid.

Passion Fruit (speckled orange) is okay, it actually didn’t taste like much except for that generic “tropical candle” flavor.

Coconut (white with small speckles) tastes undeniably like coconut. It just does. Sometimes I thought there were actually coconut bits in it. You’d think it would go well with Pineapple ... and you’d be right.

Yup, there’s one missing here ... I didn’t get any Fruit Punch in my box. I’m okay with that.

I don’t think I’ve had this issue with the beans getting really hard so quickly before. Jelly Beans are one of those candies that is intended to be put in an open container for serving ... a bowl of jelly beans. If they can’t take being in a closed but not sealed box for several days without losing their freshness, I’m not sure I can commit to eating the full box (I know, it’s less than 2 ounces) within a day.

Related Candies

  1. Sockerbit Swedish Candy Selections
  2. David’s Signature Beans Jelly Bean Sampler
  3. Jelly Belly Snapple Jelly Beans
  4. Jelly Belly Sunkist Citrus Mix
  5. Organic Zootons
  6. Jelly Belly - All Natural


Name: Beanaturals
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Jelly Belly
Place Purchased: Selfridges (London, UK)
Price: ​​​£ 1.35 ($2.25)
Size: 1.59 ounces
Calories per ounce: 102
Categories: All Natural, Candy, Jelly Belly, Jelly Candy, 7-Worth It, Thailand

POSTED BY Cybele AT 4:18 pm     All NaturalCandyReviewJelly BellyJelly CandyKosher7-Worth ItThailandComments (3)

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

PUR Sugarless Gum - Coolmint & Cinnamon

Pur Sugarless Gum - Cinnamon & CoolmintI’m a bit of a picky chewer, when it comes to gum. Part of it may be that I’m just such a minority in my tastes that it’s not profitable to make the kind of gum I might like.

I mostly chew gum made with sugar, not because I necessarily want sugar in my gum, but because it’s so hard to find sugar free gum that’s not made with artificial sweeteners like aspartame (NutraSweet), sucralose (Splenda), acesulfame potassium (AceK) and saccharine. It’s very rare to find a gum like the PUR line that is sugarless but also made only with xylitol, which is a sugar alcohol. Xylitol has been around for years and is often used in sugar free mints and gums, though usually in combination with artificial sweeteners. It has a light ans sweet note to it, but like most sugar alcohols, it also has an odd cooling effect on the tongue (which is usually a desirable feature for mints).

The PUR Gum is is gluten free, nut free, dairy free, vegan and free of GMO ingredients. I’ve tried the other flavors that were introduced when the gum line launched about three years ago:  Peppermint, Spearmint and Pomegranate Mint. I liked them quite a bit, though they’re not easy to find.

Coolmint Pur Gum

The pieces are simple chiclets, rounded rectangular pieces, a little rustic and uneven, measuring about 3/4 of an inch long and about 1/3 of an inch wide. A serving, for me, is two pieces. (With actual Chiclets it’s usually 3 pieces at a time.)

The chew is very soft at first, with a very cool note on top and a strong sweetness before the other flavors kick in. The sweetness is not the same as sugar, it’s less round, cool on the tongue and rather slippery.

The flavor is very odd. At first it was a bit on the wintergreen side, which some people find medicinal ... or repulsive. There are other notes to it, a little hint of eucalyptus and then another more balsam note, it reminded me of mastic, which is a resin that’s also used a chewing gum in the Mediterranean. (If you’ve never had mastic, it’s also similar in its flavor profile to tea tree oil, which is not meant to be eaten but is found in many natural personal care products.)

The wintergreen notes dissolve away and all that seemed to be left was that sort of resin note with a hint of something like jasmine tea. It’s pleasant, at least for me and did definitely freshen my mouth after eating some curry for lunch.

Cinnamon Pur Gum

Cinnamon is predictable and comforting. It’s woodsy and a little on the clove side of spicy, but has a wonderful warming hotness to it. The intense and rounded flavors dissipate pretty quickly, but the lingering flavor is just sweet and with the lightest tough of cinnamon.

There’s no weird bitter note, either, which I think is often caused by artificial colors. There are no colors here, so it’s all about the gum flavor. The xylitol sweetness lasts for a while, I’d say the pieces are satisfying for about 15 minutes. After I tossed the gum, I still had that lingering warmth of the cinnamon for at least a half an hour. It definitely cut through coffee breath.

I’d probably still stick with the Peppermint (from the original review) for a gum to keep in my desk, but for travel, I think I would go with the Coolmint because I really felt like chewing the pieces longer than the other flavors. It’s a little expensive and the packaging takes up a lot of space for such a small amount of gum. (I might like it if the blister pack was scored so I could just tear off a few of them to keep them in my little case that I take on airplanes.)

The gum is not easy to find, and not cheap. I’ve seen it at natural food stores and grocers, such as Sprouts and Erewhon.

Related Candies

  1. Oak Leaf Refresh Triple Mint Chewing Gum
  2. Glee Sugar Free Gum
  3. Tree Hugger Bubble Gum
  4. Hollywood Chewing Gum
  5. PUR Gum: Xylitol Sweetened
  6. Wee Glee Gum
  7. Mentos Cinnamon
  8. Classic Gums: Black Jack, Clove, Beemans & Teaberry
  9. Canada Wintergreen


Name: PUR Gum: Coolmint & Cinnamon
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Frey
Place Purchased: samples from Pur Gum
Price: $1.75
Size: .44 ounces (9 pieces)
Calories per ounce: 101
Categories: Candy, Frey, Gum, 7-Worth It, Canada

POSTED BY Cybele AT 1:04 pm     CandyReviewFreyCinnamonGumMints7-Worth ItCanadaComments (3)

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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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These candies will be reviewed shortly:

• Eat with your Eyes: Fruity Gumballs

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