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Monday, June 15, 2015

Russell Stover Pecan Delight Minis

DSC_9277rbRussell Stover is probably best known for the inexpensive boxed chocolates sold at drug stores. I happen to like them for their holiday novelty candies, but more recently they’ve tried to get into everyday snacking with their Big Bite pieces. At first these were just larger versions of the seasonal favorites, but more recent items are completely original to the format. The opposite spectrum of this trend is morselization ... and Russell Stover has introduced some teensy versions of their more popular items. I picked up their Russell Stover Pecan Delight Minis, which are nugget-sized pecan turtles.


These candies that have the word pecan as the first word in their name and they need more pecans. A lot more pecans. Currently they’re little pecan bits, where are nice, they’re a good textural element, but they’re not dense enough ... I need some crunch in my chewy caramel and creamy milk chocolate.

The size is good, they’re poppable. The vague sprinkling of pecans does give a woodsy maple note to the whole thing, the tough of salty is just about right. The caramel is a little too flavored and not authentically caramelized sugar and cream.

As a candy, they about as good as other morsel things at the same price. They’re certainly better than Brach’s. I can’t say that I liked these better than the Demet’s Minis, which also suffer from too few pecans, but I do think the chocolate is of better quality here. (And less expensive.)

Related Candies

  1. Trader Joe’s Milk Chocolate Jumbles
  2. DeMet’s Turtles Minis
  3. Russell Stover Big Bite Pecan Delight Egg
  4. Trader Joe’s A Very Merry Mingle
  5. DeMet’s Turtles: Pecan & Cashew
  6. Fannie May Pixie

Name: Pecan Delight Minis
Brand: Russell Stover
Place Purchased: Walgreen's (Glendale)
Price: $3.50 (on sale)
Size: 7.5 ounces
Calories per ounce: 149
Categories: Candy, Morselization, Russell Stover, Caramel, Chocolate, Nuts, United States, Walgreen's

POSTED BY Cybele AT 4:44 pm     CandyMorselizationReviewRussell StoverCaramelChocolateNuts6-TemptingUnited StatesWalgreen'sComments (1)

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Candyology 101 - Podcast Episode 16 - Treat or Trick Revisited

Monday, June 8, 2015

Mars Milky Way Marshmallow with Caramel

DSC_9208rbMars has been teasing quite a few new candy items lately, the first one to hit store shelves will be their Milky Way Marshmallow with Caramel Bar. The press release says it delivers a magnificent combination of fluffy marshmallow nougat covered with a layer of smooth caramel, enrobed in creamy milk chocolate.

Limited Edition bar should hit shelves in July or August ... when they’re gone, they’re gone. (Though sometimes Mars will bring back a limited edition item.) The Impulsive Buy readers have already spotted them in the wild.


The bar looks good. The fluffy white nougat is definitely different from the normal Milky Way nougat. The scent is also a change from the traditional Milky Way, it’s less malty, less milky smelling. There’s a slight vanilla note to it, even before biting.

It’s a very sweet but clean tasting bar. There’s no lingering malty notes, not as much of a salty hint either. It tastes fresh. So if the concept of the Milky Way bar appealed to you, but the fact that the nougat was malty was holding you back, this might be the bar for you. Is it marshmallowy? No, the texture of the nougat is not smooth, not as fluffy as actual marshmallow. However, if you’re a vegetarian, the fact that it’s a nougat (made with egg whites) and not a marshmallow (made with gelatin) might be a selling point.

The bar contains soy, egg and milk and also may contain traces of peanuts. There’s no statement on gluten.

Related Candies

  1. Milky Way Simply Caramel Bites
  2. Revisit Reviews: Pretzel M&Ms, Rally Bar and Snickers Rockin’ Nut Road
  3. Milky Way Unwrapped Bites
  4. Limited Edition Milky Way French Vanilla
  5. Russell Stover Marshmallow & Caramel
  6. Zingerman’s Zzang! Candy Bars
  7. Head to Head: Milky Way & Mars (Canada & UK)

Name: Milky Way Marshmallow with Caramel Bar
Brand: Mars
Place Purchased: samples from Mars
Price: $1.25 retail
Size: 1.72 ounces
Calories per ounce: 128
Categories: Candy, Mars, Caramel, Chocolate, Kosher, Limited Edition, Nougat, 7-Worth It, United States

POSTED BY Cybele AT 3:49 pm     CandyReviewMarsCaramelChocolateKosherLimited EditionNougat7-Worth ItUnited StatesComments (8)

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Snickers Mixed Nuts

DSC_9207rbIt’s been a while since Mars has done something new with the Snickers bar. Sure, they miniaturized it, and brought back the Snickers Rockin’ Nut Road Bar, but nothing innovative has come along in a few years.

Mars announced last month that they’re releasing a new limited edition bar in November nationwide. It’s called SNICKERS Mixed Nuts Bar. They bill it as a satisfying mix of peanuts, almonds and hazelnuts combined with SNICKERS® Brand caramel and nougat, all coated with creamy milk chocolate.

Mars sent me some samples of their new candy bars, so I thought I’d give a preview. I think it’s an exciting concept to include so many different kinds of nuts in one bar.


This is a strange bar, because of its mixed status there’s not quite enough of any of its elements. It smells a bit like peanuts, but not as peanutty as a regular Snickers. The nougat is salty and the caramel chewy, all the nuts are crunchy ... the almonds are especially bold and I do recall at least two hazelnuts. If I sound disjointed, that’s the bar right there. It’s a stop and a start, I kind of got going with a nice almond and then there were some peanuts. I’m more mellow than Snickers, more bold than Snickers Almond.

In addition to the milk, eggs, soy, hazelnuts, almonds, and peanuts, the bars may also contain traces of other tree nuts. There’s no statement about gluten.

Related Candies

  1. Candyology 101 - Podcast Episode 9 -  House Brands
  2. Revisit Reviews: Pretzel M&Ms, Rally Bar and Snickers Rockin’ Nut Road
  3. Limited Edition Milky Way French Vanilla
  4. Liddabit Sweets - Candy Bars
  5. Snickers 3X Chocolate
  6. Demet’s Hazelnut Turtles
  7. Revisit: Take 5, Sunkist Fruit Gems & Snickers Almond
  8. Snickers Almond Dark

Name: Snickers Mixed Nuts
Brand: Mars
Place Purchased: samples from Mars
Price: $1.25 retail
Size: 1.76 ounces
Calories per ounce: 132
Categories: Candy, Snickers, Mars, Caramel, Chocolate, Kosher, Limited Edition, Nougat, Nuts, Peanuts, 6-Tempting, United States

POSTED BY Cybele AT 12:59 pm     CandyReviewSnickersMarsCaramelChocolateKosherLimited EditionNougatNutsPeanuts6-TemptingUnited StatesComments (2)

Monday, June 1, 2015

Mike and Ike Root Beer Float

DSC_9310rbMike and Ike come in a dozen flavor mixes, but every once in a while they put out a variety that is just a single flavor in a box. The new Mike and Ike Root Beer Float is a re-issue of an old flavor that comes back from time to time. Mike and Ike are simple, they’re cheap, they’re a reliable but probably underrated candy.

The box is quaint, though I’m not keen on the “pre-faded” look of packaging meant for food. I want my food to look fresh, at least by design. The other complaint about the box is that there’s a little perforated tab you can push to create a dispensing hole on the side of the box. That hole is on the bottom of the box, right under that Made in the USA logo you see in the lower left corner. There’s no way to close it once you open it. Not a big deal, because Mike and Ike don’t need to be sealed up, unless your environment is particularly humid. However, you can’t stand the box back up like it’s shown here without dumping the candy.


The first thing I noticed is that these are not mousy brown jelly rods. No, these are designed to look like the foamy head on an icy cold Root Beer Float. Well done, Just Born, well done.

The look made me think that these would be more vanilla than root beer, which wouldn’t necessarily be a bad thing, but not quite as appealing. Rest assured, these are Root Beer.


There’s a little tangy note at the top, not quite sour but a little bite. The root beer flavor is pretty good, it has a nice nutmeg note with a little wintergreen and vanilla. The vanilla isn’t strong enough to give me an ice cream vibe, but a mix of both vanilla bean and root beer Mike and Ike might have been a fun idea to play with too.

I liked that the colorings were minimal and didn’t influence the flavors in the slightest. The medicinal note of the root beer did get a little odd after eating what was probably more than a single portion ... it does tend to taste pretty much like wintergreen after a while.

I enjoyed them fully. I like root beer, often soda flavored candies are mixed together and I have to pick through the cherry cola and Dr. Pepper flavors to get to the root beer. So it’s nice to have a box that is exactly the flavor I wanted. Since they make Hot Tamales as a single flavor, I don’t see why they can’t just keep these as a permanent item.

Related Candies

  1. Mike and Ike Cotton Candy
  2. Haribo Happy Cola Gefullt
  3. Pennsylvania Dutch Candies - Root Beer Puffs
  4. David’s Signature Beans Jelly Bean Sampler
  5. Tootsie Frooties - Root Beer
  6. See’s Pumpkin Spice & Root Beer Lollypops

Name: Mike and Ike Root Beer Float
Brand: Just Born
Place Purchased: Dollar Tree (Pasadena)
Price: $1.00
Size: 5 ounces
Calories per ounce: 99
Categories: Candy, Just Born, Jelly Candy, 8-Tasty, United States, Dollar Tree

POSTED BY Cybele AT 1:22 pm     CandyReviewJust BornJelly Candy8-TastyUnited StatesDollar TreeComments (4)

Friday, May 29, 2015

Candyology 101 - Podcast Episode 15 - Sweets & Snacks Expo


In this episode Maria and I go through the new trends from the Sweets & Snacks Expo in Chicago and pick out the items we’re most excited about.

Download the MP3 and of course read all the show notes here. If you’re listening on iTunes, take a moment to give us a rating.


POSTED BY Cybele AT 12:27 pm     CandyHighlightRadio InterviewsComments (0)

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Ts & Js Sour Gummies

DSC_9263rbTrader Joe’s makes little fanfare with their new products, they just quietly appear on the shelf and perhaps get a mention in the Fearless Flyer. There are rarely announcements of upcoming products, they just show up. However, the same day that the email announced the new Trader Joe’s Ts & Js Sour Gummies, I wanted some for myself. (Sadly, the first location I tried didn’t have them yet, just a blank space.)

The new sour candy pieces are shaped like the letter T or J and come in four flavors: Key Lime, Tangerine, Meyer Lemon and Grapefruit.

As I mentioned last month in a long profile about the difference between gummis and jellies, this is another case of jelly candies called gummies. It’s kind of sad that Trader Joe’s did that, because their ingredients are quite clean and vegetarians would probably be more likely to pick them up if they weren’t called gummies.

So, if there’s an analogue to this candy in the big brand world, these are all natural, citrus-flavored Sour Patch Letters. Sorry, I think Trader Joe’s buried the lede ... because this is an incredible concept. It’s everything I already like in Sour Patch Kids, with flavors I prefer and ingredients that shouldn’t interfere with the intensity of the flavors.

Ingredients: Cane Sugar, Tapioca Syrup, Modified Corn Starch, Dextrose (Corn), Malic Acid, Natural Flavors (Key Lime, Meyer Lemon, Tangerine and Grapefruit), Citric Acid, Colored with Fruit and Vegetable Extracts (Pumpkin, Carrot, Black Currant), Sodium Citrate, Spirulina Extract (Color), Palm Oil. MANUFACTURED IN A FACILITY THAT PROCESSES PEANUTS AND TREE NUTS.

Trader Joe's Sour Gummies

The colors are muted, with the lime and grapefruit a little hard to tell apart ... except for the fact that I liked both and didn’t care after a while. All are similar to the structure of Sour Patch candies, a sweet jelly center with a mild flavor and an intense sour sanded exterior. Each piece is a mere bite, not too big and pretty clean to eat with minimal mess.

The red ones are Tangerine: the sour coating is tangy and textured, but melts away easily or provides a bit of crunch if you can’t wait. The center is less flavorful, more zesty. The orange notes definitely veer off into authentic tangerine with quite a bit of orange peel flavor.

The light orange are Lemon: the combination of the sour sanding and lemon peel notes of the center give a good approximation of Meyer lemon, which is more mild than the common Eureka lemons.

Clear is Grapefruit: such a great tangy coating with a very strong bitter zest component. Definitely a winner.

Light green is Key Lime: These have a bright lime flavor that’s pretty generic but really refreshing in a too green apple world. It’s pretty good Key lime notes, which have a little creamy component to them instead of the straight acid of Persian limes.

They’re vegan, there are no artificial colors or flavors ... Kosher and priced pretty well. Really, my only complaint is the fact that they call them gummis.

Related Candies

  1. Trader Joe’s Candy Coated Licorice
  2. Sour Patch Kids Berries
  3. Glico Pocky Cookie Crush
  4. Gimbal’s Sour Lovers
  5. Trader Joe’s Jelly Beans & Citrus Gum Drops
  6. Tootsie Sour Dots
  7. Trader Joe’s Gummy Tummies
  8. Sour Patch Kids
  9. Pink Grapefruit Mentos

Name: Ts & Js Sour Gummies
Brand: Trader Joe’s
Place Purchased: Trader Joe's (Glendale)
Price: $1.99
Size: 7 ounces
Calories per ounce: 104
Categories: All Natural, Candy, Trader Joe's, Jelly Candy, Kosher, Sour, 9-Yummy, United States

POSTED BY Cybele AT 1:03 pm     All NaturalCandyReviewTrader Joe'sJelly CandyKosherSour9-YummyUnited StatesComments (4)

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Candy Tease: Sweets & Snacks Part 1

The Sweets & Snacks Expo started today in Chicago, with 650 exhibitors profiling thousands of candy products. Here are a few highlight of the new products announced.

tic tac mixersName: Tic Tac® Mixers
Brand: Ferrero U.S.A.
Description: Introducing new Tic Tac Mixers, the newest addition to the Tic Tac family of products. Two exciting flavors in every piece. The first delicious flavor layer of Tic Tac Mixers delights you as it touches your tongue. As you let it melt in your mouth, Tic Tac Mixers transitions to a great tasting flavor combination that will surprise your senses.
Introduction Date: 05/01/2015

Notes: It’s a fascinating idea, though not original. Layering flavors so that the product experience changes over time. The two flavors (Cherry + Cola and Peach + Lemonade) aren’t quite up my alley, but I’m curious how vivid the flavor definition is.

russell stover freeze itName: Russell Stover Freeze-it Big Bites
Brand: Russell Stover Candies
Description: A new twist on a classic favorite, ice cream! The Freeze-It candy bars are signature ice cream flavors in convenient and ready-to-go packaging. We offer two classic flavors; smooth vanilla bean or crisp mint chocolate chip both smothered in rich dark chocolate. You can enjoy them immediately after purchasing or place them in your freezer for just 30 minutes to enjoy a frozen ice cream flavored treat.
Introduction Date: Summer 2015

Notes: I like the idea of a mint chocolate chip ice cream candy treat, though I find it hard to believe that it will taste better frozen than actual ice cream.

Goetze PopName: Caramel Creams® Pop
Brand: Goetze’s Candy Company
Description: Caramel Creams® Pop features the unique flavor of a nostalgic Caramel Creams®, but now in a lollipop format.
Introduction Date: 06/01/2015

Notes: I’m a huge fan of Goetze’s Caramel Creams and really enjoy eating the parts separately. But the proportions on this, based on the image, look completely odd. But I’m willing to give it a try.

Flipz BDay CakeName: FLIPZ® Birthday Cake Covered Pretzels
Brand: DeMet’s Candy Company
Description: Introducing New Flipz® Birthday Cake Covered Pretzels! The perfect combination of sweet, creamy cake frosting, and the salty crunch of a pretzel. Flipz®, the most flippin’ awesome snack ever!
Introduction Date: 05/15/2015

Notes: This sounds dreadful. The only thing that sounds good is the salt. I don’t even understand the obsession with birthday cake, let alone making it into a candy that covers a snack.

lindt hello bitesName: Lindt HELLO Bites
Brand: Lindt & Sprungli
Description: HELLO Bites chocolate covered bite sized pieces available in three flavors, packaged in re-sealable stand-up pouches. Pretzel Bites, Toffee Bites and Minty Bites
Introduction Date: 08/01/2015

Notes: Lindt does great chocolate, but this foray into panned candies and the morselization trend is a little odd. For Christmas they do make some panned nuts, but I don’t recall anything along these lines before. The descriptions for the individual products are a little vague.

All images courtesy of their respective makers.

Related Candies

  1. Candy Tease Fall 2014
  2. Candy Tease - Sweets & Snacks Part 2
  3. Candy Tease - Sweets & Snacks Part 1
  4. Birthday Cake M&Ms
  5. Lindt Holiday Almonds
  6. Zitrone Honig Tic Tac

POSTED BY Cybele AT 10:52 pm     All Candy ExpoCandyNew Product AnnouncementHighlightComments (6)

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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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Choose one or more:

  •   Halloween
  •   Christmas
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These candies will be reviewed shortly:

• Candy Rant: Stimulants are not Energy

• 10 Candies that Shouldn’t Be So Disappointing

• Halloween Candy Spotting 2015

• 10 Candy Corn Candies that aren’t Candy Corn

• Trader Joe’s Holiday Roundup 2015