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Friday, June 1, 2007

Sour Extinguisher

Sour ExtinguisherFollowing up on yesterday’s Starburst Sour, I thought I’d tackle some real sour stuff. I found Sour Extinguisher at the 7-11 a few weeks ago and thought it was a cute idea. There are three different flavors with different levels of sour along with an “extinguisher” that puts out the sour burn.

The first thing I noticed was that the “randomness” of my bag meant that I had an overwhelming number of yellow candies. (The bag makes mention that the assortment may vary, it also makes mention of the chance of mouth irritation.)

The candies break down this way:

Tangy Tangerine - a mild sour ...  (6 candies)
Super Sour Lemon - super pucker power. (15 candies)
Tongue Twisting Lime - will it be enough to burn your tongue? (8 candies)
Sweet Blue Raspberry - the sour extinguisher. (4 candies)

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The little candies look more like pieces of lumpy gum. They’re matte in color and don’t smell like anything.

The Tangerine is nice. A little firm to chew, not quite a Chewy SweeTart or Skittles, it’s more like a Razzle that never turns into gum. Lemon is quite tart, but actually has some really good authentic lemon flavors in there, even a little bitterness that makes it taste like a freshly shaken lemonade. Lime is very sour, so much so that it takes a while to get to the actual flavor. Again, it actually tastes like lime eventually.

None of them was so sour that I had to reach for the Extinguisher but I pretended with some Lime anyway. The Raspberry was definitely sweet and it definitely smote the sour. The flavor was pretty bland, kind of like cotton candy.

The texture of the candies as a whole isn’t really my idea of great. They’re crumbly but never really chewy and then they disappear. I’d give them higher marks if I didn’t feel like the texture was due to being in the sofa cushions for several years. As an interactive candy that you really need to look at what you’re eating, it’s a fun idea, especially for kids who crave these sorts of things. I found, if nothing else, they really got my mouth watering.

Chewy ExtinguisherSee Candy Addict’s kid tested review.

UPDATE 6/9/2009: Big BOING, the company that developed Sour Extinguisher, sold it to American Licorice. It was relaunched in January 2009 with two flavor sets. Full review here of the new Chewy Extinguisher Sour Citrus & Chewy Extinguisher Sour Fruit.

Related Candies

  1. Wonka Kazoozles: Cherry Punch & Pink Lemonade
  2. Twizzlers Sweet & Sour Filled Twists
  3. New Flavors: Skittles Sour & Wonka Runts
  4. Red Vines
  5. Twizzlers Rainbow Twists
  6. Twizzler Sourz
  7. Twerpz
Name: Sour Extinguisher
    RATING:
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 6 TEMPTING
  • 5 PLEASANT
  • 4 BENIGN
  • 3 UNAPPEALING
  • 2 APPALLING
  • 1 INEDIBLE
Brand: big BOING
Place Purchased: 7-11
Price: $.89
Size: 1.5 ounces
Calories per ounce: 101
Categories: Chew, Sour, United States

POSTED BY Cybele AT 7:09 am     Comments (21)

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Starburst Sours (New)

Starburst Sour (new)Just when I think I’m done, I get pulled back in again! I thought I’d reviewed all the Starburst on the market today when I saw that the Starburst Sour have new flavors.

It’s not like I was that thrilled with the original set of flavors in the Starburst Sour array, so the new ones might be better.

As luck would have it I picked up the new flavors, then saw the original flavors at the 99 Cent Only Store. Before you go thinking that this will be a redux of the LifeSavers, both of these products are fresh.

Original Starburst Sour were manufactured in June of 2006 with an expiration of 8/2007. New Starburst Sour were manufactured in December 2006. (Curious how I know this, check out What Does that Mars Code Mean?)

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Here’s the flavor breakout:

Starburst Sour (new)Sour Tangerine (was Orange) - I really had to work hard on this one. The wrappers were the exact same shade of orange and the candies were the exact same shade of orange. I had to admit that the new Sour Tangerine was different from the orange. It had a “high note” of orange and tartness that just wasn’t in the original. I can’t say I prefer one over the other, but I’m glad there’s something citrus in there.

Sour Green Apple (was Cherry) - I was pretty surprised that this wasn’t in the original mix. It’s definitely a synthetic sour apple taste, but it’s quite intense and of course sour. It has some nice real apple juice notes to balance it out, especially as the chew goes on.

Sour Strawberry (was Grape) - While I enjoy a sassy tart and crispy apple and even a juicy tangerine, I have a hard time with sour strawberries, as they’re so much better when they’re sweet and ripe. It smelled like strawberry - a cross between summer flowers and cotton candy. The chew though, was a little less pleasant. It was sour but it didn’t match up with the flavor, it was like a blind date that was going horribly, uncomfortably wrong. It made me break out in a sweat twice, not because it was too sour, perhaps because of the red food coloring. I didn’t eat the third one in the mix.

Sour Blue Raspberry (same) - still an insane blue, still an unnatural flavor for food. Tart and a little on the lime side, a little bitter/dry aftertaste that I kind of liked it this time around.

Overall, I prefer the much more rounded flavors of the classic Starburst. I can see these being a nice change of pace and if I were doing more bike riding or running where I wanted a little something to get rid of dry mouth, this might be the stuff because they’re so portable and of course a good variety in every pack.

Some of our wheat sensitive friends will be happy to hear that the new packaging now says that New Flavors Starburst Sour are Gluten Free (please make sure that your package says that if you’re gluten intolerant since the old flavor set does not say that!).

Related Candies

  1. Eiffel BonBons
  2. Starburst GummiBursts
  3. Cinnamon Fire Twizzlers
  4. Sour Extinguisher
  5. Starburst Baja California & Tropical
  6. Starburst Berries & Creme and Fruit & Creme
  7. Starburst
Name: New Flavors! Starburst Sour
    RATING:
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 6 TEMPTING
  • 5 PLEASANT
  • 4 BENIGN
  • 3 UNAPPEALING
  • 2 APPALLING
  • 1 INEDIBLE
Brand: Mars
Place Purchased: Rite Aid (Hollywood)
Price: $.69
Size: 2.07 ounces
Calories per ounce: 120
Categories: Chew, Sour, United States, Mars, Starburst

POSTED BY Cybele AT 6:09 am     Comments (11)

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Lotte Chew-Let - Pomegranate

Chew-Let from LotteIt must be pomegranate day here on Candy Blog!

These Lotte chews were given to me by a co-worker of my husband’s who just returned from South Korea. She brought me lots of goodies (some which I’ll get to in the coming weeks). These were fascinating because they were pomegranate but also because they appear to be knock-offs of Morinaga’s HiCHEW (or maybe progenitors ... I’m not sure of the history of these things).

The package is partially in English on one side and in Korean on the other. There’s 2% of something in here, according to the English side ... I’m going to guess 2% real fruit juice.

The chews differ from HiCHEW in a couple of ways. First, the little rods are square, not rectangular.

Second, they’re colored on the outside and white on the inside. HiCHEWS are colored on the inside and white on the outside.

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There was no way to do a complete head to head since these were pomegranate flavored. The chews were a pleasant pink color. Soft and though chewy and yielding, not quite as latexy as the HiCHEW.

They were tangy and fragrant and reminded me of raspberry more than pomegranate. Pomegranates are naturally a rather dry flavor, but share a lot of similarities with raspberry. I still think I prefer the Citrus HiCHEW, but I’ll keep my eyes open for other varieties of Chew-Lets at the Korean/Japanese grocers.

Name: Pomegranate Chew-Let
    RATING:
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 6 TEMPTING
  • 5 PLEASANT
  • 4 BENIGN
  • 3 UNAPPEALING
  • 2 APPALLING
  • 1 INEDIBLE
Brand: Lotte
Place Purchased: gift
Price: unknown
Size: unknown
Calories per ounce: unknown
Categories: Chew, Korea, Lotte

POSTED BY Cybele AT 9:45 am     Comments (3)

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

UHA Puccho Custard

These are freakish, disarming and charming all at once. I don’t know why I ordered them from JBox, but I’m certainly glad I did.

I thought that the Puccho line is really inventive. If you’ve never had them they’re a chew studded with bits of gummi and then other candy, usually little sour or fizzy nuggets. I know it sounds weird but it really works.

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JBox.com called this variety Baked Puccho—Custard Cream. But from the package and taste I’ve decided it’s really creme brulee.

The chew is a light vanilla, smooth though not quite as bouncy as HiCHEW. Then as the chew continues there are little grainy sparkles of caramelized sugar and then soft and dense nuggets of caramel flavored gummis. Creamy and crunchy and chewy.

It sounds weird, I know, but they’re completely addictive and I’m sorry I didn’t buy more (especially since they’re currently out of them). They’re satisfying in that they make me feel like I’ve had a decadent fatty custard but they’re also so engaging because of the chew that I want to keep it going.

The other flavor they have in stock at JBox right now is Mikakuto Baked Puccho—Baked Apple & Cinnamon which also sounds pretty weird, but judging by my first impression of these, they’re probably very good.

Name: Baked Puccho - Custard Cream
    RATING:
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 6 TEMPTING
  • 5 PLEASANT
  • 4 BENIGN
  • 3 UNAPPEALING
  • 2 APPALLING
  • 1 INEDIBLE
Brand: UHA
Place Purchased: courtesy of JBox.com
Price: $1.40
Size: 60 grams
Calories per ounce: unknown
Categories: Chew, Gummi, Japan, UHA

POSTED BY Cybele AT 5:06 am     Comments (9)

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

HiCHEW Yuzu & Valencia

Here I was lamenting that Starburst wasn’t making the flavors I wanted when there are companies out there that make exactly what I like: strong citrus flavored chews. A couple of weeks ago I ordered from JBox. Even though my local Japanese markets in Little Tokyo stock a huge variety of candies, they always seem to miss the fringy things.

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The first item I wanted to try was Valencia Orange HiCHEW.

The candy is fresh and has that inimitable bounce that HiCHEWs always deliver. The orange flavor is well rounded, sweet and a little tangy with a good juicy zest bite to it. It’s not quite tangy enough for me, though it gets tangier and more latexy as the chew goes on.

Rating: 8 out of 10

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The one that really got me off my duff to place an order was Yuzu HiCHEW. I didn’t even know what that was, but it had a sliced yellow fruit on the front.

Yuzu is an Asian citrus that most of us know from Ponzu sauce. It’s kind of like grapefruit with a little lime and a little tangerine thrown in. Technically I guess the fruit is a hybrid of the Papeda Lemon and the Mandarin Orange. It’s an exceptionally hardy citrus that can tolerate frost and freezing temperatures, though not particularly attractive, it’s treasured for its peel.

The lemon notes come out loud and clear early on, then the mellow tangerine juice kicks in and at the end of the chew a really enticing grapefruit zest come out and ends with a slight bitterness. I bought two packs of both of these and as I write this, the Yuzu has three pieces left.

Rating: 9 out of 10

JBox sells them for $1.40 (plus shipping) which is a bit more than the dollar or so that I pay at the local markets. But if you don’t have a local market, that hardly matters. Full disclosure: JBox gave me a gift certificate so that I could try more of the stuff in their inventory, I’ve ordered from them before and like their selection. Even though everything was shipped slowboat, it arrived in great condition. They don’t always have all items in stock, but they just launched a new feature where you can get an RSS feed for all new items or just create a search for the items you’re waiting to be in stock. (A very dangerous feature ... the Pineapple Mentos are in!)

Other HiCHEW reviews: Strawberry, Grapefruit & Mixed Fruits

Name: Valencia Orange & Yuzu Hi-CHEW
    RATING:
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 6 TEMPTING
  • 5 PLEASANT
  • 4 BENIGN
  • 3 UNAPPEALING
  • 2 APPALLING
  • 1 INEDIBLE
Brand: Morinaga
Place Purchased: Jbox (Valencia Orange & Yuzu)
Price: $.99
Size: 2.0 ounces
Calories per ounce: 110
Categories: Chew, Japan, Morinaga

POSTED BY Cybele AT 6:29 am     Comments (10)

Friday, May 11, 2007

Starburst Retro

imageSometimes I don’t read the directions. Especially when it comes to things like Ikea furniture and software. On an evening walk a couple of weeks ago with the neighbors and my lovely site programming/design team, we stopped at the 7-11. I scanned the racks for something new and sure enough found the Limited Edition Retro Starburst Fruit Chews. Or so I thought.

I got them home and the next morning went to take their picture. As you can see, that went pretty well. Then I opened the pack only to find that it was the regular flavors with just one of the limited edition array inside. Drat! Not only did I have to buy keep searching, I’d have to buy another package ... and take another photo. Drat!

As luck would have it (I do have plenty) I got an email from a similarly snack-obsessed reader in Colorado who said that they had the large bags at Safeway (called Von’s in my area). So I stopped at Von’s on my way home and lo and behold they serviced all my limited edition needs on sale.

imageI’ve decided after living with them in a jar on my desk all week that I LOVE the Skittles Carnival flavors. For that same period of time I’ve had the Starburst Retro bag on my desk as well. Granted, they fruit chews are not in a pretty glass jar, but I have to admit the tie-dye look of the package is pretty fun and tasty looking.

The package shows a slice of watermelon, a mango, a lime and some cherries. Not really a good sign for me. The concept of retro confuses me as well. From the package design I was expecting something from the sixties and seventies; perhaps the original Starbust flavors (which would be lame as originally the Cherry chew was Lime).

Or maybe retro is just anything that used to be a fad and is no longer popular.

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  • Psychideli-melon - I consider watermelon a classic flavor, but not one that’s ever really gone out of favor, certainly not in the candy world. It was one of my early favorites from Jolly Rancher. This is tasty and has a big punch of watermelon flavor in it, though a slight bitter aftertaste to me.
  •  

  • Optimus Lime - I’m guessing this name is taken from Optimus Prime, the Transformer with a chest shaped like a Mack Truck. First introduced in 1984 as a toy and later a cartoon, I guess this concept qualifies as retro. As a candy flavor, well, it’s lime. Classic lime. Tart, full bodied with zesty notes and a long slow, salivary-gland-activating chew.
  •  

  • Hey Mango-rena! - I never thought I’d have to bring up the Macarena on Candy Blog. The song and dance of the same name hit big in the States in the summer/fall of 1996. Is that old enough to be retro? The mango is a classic tropical fruit consumed for thousdands of years which only became widely available in the United States in the early eighties. The flavor isn’t really very mango-ish. It takes more like fruit punch to me.
  •  

  • Disco Berry - so we’ve got the eighties and nineties represented, I guess Disco Berry is going to carry the seventies in this mix. This is a very dark red chew that also happens to turn the tongue a similar color. It’s a good berry flavor, kind of like punch but not terribly different from the Mango-rena.
  • As a mix I wasn’t that fond of these. Lime was nice, well, they were all nice, but I never felt like picking out a particular flavor and preferred to eat the Skittles all week. What I really want is a good Citrus Mix. Grapefruit ... why haven’t they done grapefruit? They could put in a tangy tangerine, zesty lemon, biting grapefruit and a key lime.

    Name: Limited Edition Starburst Retro
      RATING:
    • 10 SUPERB
    • 9 YUMMY
    • 8 TASTY
    • 7 WORTH IT
    • 6 TEMPTING
    • 5 PLEASANT
    • 4 BENIGN
    • 3 UNAPPEALING
    • 2 APPALLING
    • 1 INEDIBLE
    Brand: Mars
    Place Purchased: Vons (Los Feliz)
    Price: $2.59
    Size: 16 ounces
    Calories per ounce: 120
    Categories: Chew, United States, Mars, Starburst, Limited Edition

    POSTED BY Cybele AT 6:59 am     Comments (26)

    Monday, May 7, 2007

    Skittles Carnival Flavors

    imageThis bag of Limited Edition Carnival Flavor Skittles absolutely smells like a carnival midway: a combination of waffle cones, cotton candy and freshly shaken lemonade.

    I was a little peeved that I couldn’t find these in a single-serve bag, but at least they were on sale. While many chocolate based products in large bags are only 11-14 ounces, Skittles still come in a full pound bag.

    Skittles Carnival Flavors

  • Cotton Candy (light blue): cotton candy barely qualifies as a flavor. It’s just spun sugar. Some places give it a light strawberry or raspberry flavor, but often I think it just tastes like the color pink. This is sweet and has that light touch of burnt sugar and floral, strawberry sweetness ... all kissed with blue food coloring.
  • Bubble Gum (pink)  - stunningly faithful to the flavor of real bubble gum, sweet and disconcerting, as I thought I could just keep on chewing but eventually it disappeared
  • Candy Apple (light yellow) - candy apples are another one of those things that isn’t quite a flavor. The candy shell on an apple is usually just boiled and colored sugar. I guess the flavor here is cotton candy touched with a little bit of tangy apple.
  • Red Licorice (red) - I’ve never been quite sure what the flavor of red licorice is. I suppose it’s a very mild berry (strawberry and/or raspberry). It’s all sweet with none of the tangy bite of berries.
  • Green Slushy (light green) - this is more than lime. It does taste kind of like Mountain Dew (or what I remember MD tastes like, I haven’t had one in at least 15 years. It’s lime with a bite of bitterness or key lime perhaps. It’s actually really good. I like it better than a regular lime Skittle.
  • The only strange thing about all of the flavors is that the candy shell was every so slightly tangy when first placed on the tongue. While that’s fine for Red Vines and Slushie, it didn’t really belong on the Bubble Gum and Cotton Candy. I’m wondering if that sour bite is the ascorbic acid that gives each serving of Skittles its 45% RDA level of Vitamin C.

    I didn’t care much for the extended flavors I reviewed last week, but I found myself happily munching away on this bag of Skittles without picking out particular flavors. Also, the flavor combinations pretty much all work with each other. Perhaps Slushy and Candy Apple are my least favorite combo but Cotton Candy and Bubble Gum are quite a nice mix. The other fun thing is that there’s not strange Skittles Breath after eating them. Often with the fruity Skittles I find coffee unpalatable. Though they’re not really coffee compatible, they don’t spoil the experience for me.

    Related Candies

    1. Skittles Blenders
    2. Skittles Fizzl’d Fruits
    3. Skittles Crazy Cores
    4. Skittles Carnival Flavors
    5. Skittles (Fruits, Wild Berry, Tropical, Smoothies & Sour)
    6. Skittles Fresh Mint
    7. Skittles Ice Cream
    Name: Skittles Carnival Flavors
      RATING:
    • 10 SUPERB
    • 9 YUMMY
    • 8 TASTY
    • 7 WORTH IT
    • 6 TEMPTING
    • 5 PLEASANT
    • 4 BENIGN
    • 3 UNAPPEALING
    • 2 APPALLING
    • 1 INEDIBLE
    Brand: Mars
    Place Purchased: Von's (Los Feliz)
    Price: $2.59 (on sale)
    Size: 16 ounces
    Calories per ounce: 113
    Categories: Chew, United States, Mars, Limited Edition

    POSTED BY Cybele AT 6:09 am     Comments (90)

    Friday, May 4, 2007

    Hubba Bubba Sour Gummi Tape

    Hubba Bubba Sour Gummi TapeThis is a new level of portability for tape shaped gummi products. Capitalizing on the bubble gum tape dispenser (with the ultimate application being the Bubble Roll Message Maker) this little plastic disk holds six feet of candy.

    Hubba Bubba introduced these in two flavors: Sour Blue Raspberry and Shocking Strawberry. Though the product calls itself gummi, it’s looks more like Red Vines from the ingredients: Sugar, Corn Syrup, Wheat Flour, Corn Starch, Partially Hydrogenated Palm Oil, Malic Acid, Apple Juice Concentrate, Citric Acid, Natural and Artificial Flavors, Mono & Di-Glycerides, Red 40.

    There isn’t any gelatin in there, which is what I consider a defining ingredient of gummis. To continue that thought, jellies use pectin or corn starch, licorice or vines use wheat flour.

    image

    Naming aside, the dense roll unravels to reveal a long and flat tape with a coating of sugar and flavor on it (a little sour bite) which keeps it from sticking to itself. The chew is pretty dense and leathery, like a rather dry Red Vine.

    I found the package frustrating, as the cutter didn’t really cut, it just held the tape in place while I stretched it until it split and broke. Of course it would also scatter bits of the sugary coating around as well. I guess they’re worried about giving sharp objects to kids. I guess they’re not worried about stuff getting in my keyboard. Or maybe they have a co-marketing deal with those compressed air can companies.

    The candy is tasty but the novelty of the roll in a pack you can put in your back pocket isn’t well executed. These remind me of a bunch of different products, including the Sour Punch Straws and the unbranded stuff you can get in the bulk bins at the grocery store. Basically there are better values out there, however, if you’re looking for a light candy snack, especially for kids that involves some portion control, this might be fun.

    Name: Sour Gummi Tape - Shocking Strawberry
      RATING:
    • 10 SUPERB
    • 9 YUMMY
    • 8 TASTY
    • 7 WORTH IT
    • 6 TEMPTING
    • 5 PLEASANT
    • 4 BENIGN
    • 3 UNAPPEALING
    • 2 APPALLING
    • 1 INEDIBLE
    Brand: Hubba Bubba (Wrigley's)
    Place Purchased: 7-11 (Hollywood)
    Price: $1.19
    Size: 2.1 ounces
    Calories per ounce: 115
    Categories: Gummi, Sour, Turkey, Wrigley

    POSTED BY Cybele AT 7:31 am     Comments (15)

    Page 18 of 25 pages ‹ First  < 16 17 18 19 20 >  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

    -142 days

    Read previous coverage

     

     

    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:

    • Hachez Braune Blatter (Chocolate Leaves)

    • Rogue Chocolatier

    • Dandelion Chocolate

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

    • Candy Rant: Stimulants are not Energy

     

     

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