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Friday, April 20, 2007

Starburst Berries & Creme and Fruit & Creme

Let me just start by saying that Starburst has some of the oddest commercials. Not “Freshmaker” odd, really really odd on purpose. The older Starburst commercials were rather traditional - selling Starburst on its description and merits. It’s fruity! It’s a chew! There’s real fruit juice in there! Now they focus on the experience and the kind of hip person (or tragically unhip) eats them.

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I don’t read much into commercials. I eat Take 5 bars even though they had a wretched ad campaign last year that definitely wasn’t speaking to me.

Starburst started expanding its flavors many years ago and now has a rather large family. Today I’ll tackle the “Cremes.”

imageStarburst Berries & Creme - as with all the Starburst packages, this contains four flavors. While many companies are going with “smoothie” flavors (Skittles & Necco Wafers) for some reason Starburst decided we needed creme flavors in our Starburst.

Strawberries & Creme - reminds me of strawberry yoplait.
Raspberries & Creme - I’m not sure what this is, it doesn’t really taste like raspberry but it was nice
Blueberries & Creme - this tasted like blue scented magic markers ... I feel like I’m in third grade!
Mixed Berries & Creme - reminds me of yoplait. It tastes like mixed berries that are a little tart and a little creamy.

On the whole the new flavors actually tasted new to me. The strawberries and creme didn’t taste like a regular strawberry, so kudos for originality. But I like the clean taste of the original fruits.

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I was kind of confused when I was buying my array of Starbursts for this series. I didn’t understand the difference between Fruit & Creme and Berries and Creme. Turns out there’s only a fifty percent difference. Two of the flavors are the same, I’m guessing they’re what Starburst thinks are the two best flavors, or perhaps the ones that make the colors of the package look good.

I don’t know if Berries & Creme and Fruit & Creme are meant to exist side-by-side, perhaps they’re battling it out right now for your affection and only one will remain on the regular Starburst repertoire.

imageStarburst Fruit & Creme - I’ve got to say that if nothing else the colors of the wrappers are enchanting. I’m always pleased when there isn’t a blue in the package though. Something weird about blue food.

Strawberries & Creme - yup, still strawberry yogurt.
Orange & Creme - chewy creamsicles. The dairy taste is just odd.
Peaches & Creme - oh dear, I don’t know what this is, it’s all the bad things about peaches ... basically peach fuzz. Why not make candy that tastes like banana peels while they’re at it? (Okay, orange peel is a great flavor ... I was just feeling snarky.)
Mixed Berries & Creme - that’s definitely some berry yogurt or maybe a frozen yogurt pushup.

For your reference and multimedia enjoyment: Berries & Creme, Beluga Barf, Fruit & Creme, Baja California then compare those to this
1982 Commercial.

Name: Starburst Berries & Creme and Fruit & Creme
    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 (3rd & Fairfax)
Price: $.69
Size: 2.07 ounces
Calories per ounce: 120
Categories: Chew, United States, Mars, Starburst

POSTED BY Cybele AT 7:20 am     Comments (18)

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Starburst

Starbursts were one of those candies that simply appeared from nowhere and filled an aching void in my being that I never knew existed. They were chews, like Now & Laters, only they were actually chewy.

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I didn’t know that they were road tested in Europe as Opal Fruits since 1960. They were introduced in the US in 1976, just as I was getting a regular allowance and permission to walk down to the convenience store with my sister. Though vaguely similar in format to Now & Laters, the soft chew and salivary-gland tingling tartness set them apart.

imageStarbursts are great for kids, I can say this authoritatively because that’s what I thought when I was one. They’re individually wrapped, have an array of flavors and the long narrow package looks like it has a lot of candy in it. It promotes sharing and portion control. And they’re brightly colored. The bright wax wrappers can also be folded into chains. (I never went this far though.)

The original flavors were orange, lemon, lime and strawberry but at some point lime was out and cherry was in. I wasn’t that fond of lime, but my dislike for cherry is well-known. The packages contain 12 chews.

Orange - super tangy and then mellows into a pleasant zesty chew.
Lemon - always reminds me of those little cups of Italian ice we’d eat in the summer. Sour and juicy and then sweet and chewy.
Strawberry - tart and sweet, it really doesn’t taste much like real strawberries, but it’s one of the few “red” candies that I actually enjoy.
Cherry - a pretty cherry tasting cherry chew, sharp and with that woodsy cherry flavor in there. I always got points with my friends because this would be the first Starburst I would offer out.

As I was preparing this review and photographing the candies I was surprised that there were three of each flavor. I could have sworn that they were random and sometimes I was getting far too many cherries.

Starburst actually have real fruit juice in them as well as 50% of your RDA of Vitamin C. They also (in the States) have gelatin in them, so they’re not suitable for vegetarians and not certified Kosher. I’ve heard that the European versions of Starburst don’t have gelatin, so I’m curious if the texture is any different.

Other Starburst varieties:
Starburst Sours
Starburst Icy Bursts (Limited Edition)
Starburst Fruit & Creme
Starburst Berries & Creme
Starburst Tropical
Starburst Baja California
Starburst Retro (I haven’t found these yet)

Other Starburst products: Starburst Jelly Beans and Starburst Chew Pops

Name: Starburst
    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 (3rd & Fairfax)
Price: $.69
Size: 2.07 ounces
Calories per ounce: 120
Categories: Chew, United States, Mars, Starburst

POSTED BY Cybele AT 6:28 am     Comments (72)

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Twizzlers Rainbow Twists

Twizzlers Rainbow Twists PackageI bought this package of the new Twizzlers Rainbow Twists as couple of months ago but I just had to wait for the crush of Easter to be over before I could open them up. They are stunning. The colors are vivid and opaque, a little less shiny than the regular Twizzlers.

I’ve always been fond of black licorice and find red licorice passably good. You know, if someone puts one of those tubs on my desk, I’ll eat it. For a while I was obsessed with weird twist flavors. There was a fruit stand I would stop at on the 126 somewhere between Piru and Fillmore that had Root Beer flavored vines.

When I think about it, non-licorice twists are one of the few flour-based candies out there (except for candies like Twix or KitKat that have actual cookies in them).

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Each color of the Rainbow is a different flavor.

Grape (magenta) - a little tangy and pretty much tastes like a grape soda.
Blue Raspberry (aqua) - the color is kind of a turnoff for me (but I’m sure kids will love it), it has a little bitter taste to me as well, but a good raspberry scent and flavor to it.
Watermelon (green) - kind of strange. It tastes like watermelon smells but with other melons thrown in, like cantaloupe.
Lemonade (yellow) - just the zesty part of the lemon, without the tang that I might expect with something called lemonade. A little bitter aftertaste, but basically a winner as most citrus flavors are with me.
Orange (orange) - tastes like orange zest but pretty mellow, not quite creamsicle. No bitter taste like the lemon and thoroughly good.
Strawberry (light red) - tastes like a strawberry licorice vine. A little on the artificial side, but pleasant.

I was worried that the fake and plastic appearance of the candy reflected a lack of flavor, but they were all pretty punchy. But almost all of them had a weird metallic/bitter aftertaste to me. As a variety pack, I wasn’t fond of all the flavors, but this is pretty much always the way with mixes. I’m just not keen on them. I’m not alone either, the comments on this Slashfood post echo some of my sentiments.

While I had a good time photographing them (check out Sugar-Bliss-Gnome’s cool use of Twizzlers Rainbow Twists for cupcake decorations), I have no desire to finish any of the twists.

Here’s an alternate review that you might want to read (because it’s funny and does not endorse these).

Name: Twizzler Rainbow Twists
    RATING:
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 6 TEMPTING
  • 5 PLEASANT
  • 4 BENIGN
  • 3 UNAPPEALING
  • 2 APPALLING
  • 1 INEDIBLE
Brand: Twizzler (Hershey's)
Place Purchased: 7-11 (Hollywood)
Price: $.89
Size: 1.9 ounces
Calories per ounce: 100
Categories: Chew, United States, Hershey, Kosher

POSTED BY Cybele AT 7:48 am     Comments (43)

Monday, April 16, 2007

Eat-More

I’ve been puzzling over this candy bar for years. It’s called the Eat-More and is sold in Canada. It was originally made by Lowney but later Nabisco took them over but since 1987 they’ve been made by Hershey’s.

The description of Dark Toffee Peanut Chew sounded to me like the inside of a Goldenberg’s Peanut Chew (now Chew-ets), which I find pretty spectacular and the prospect of having that without the mockolate made me want one.

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Amber brought two for me direct from Canada, and in the King Size to boot. I have to say that the bar isn’t that attractive out of the package, which is probably

The King Sized bar is huge - 8.5” long. The slab is soft and chewy and has a pleasant smoky and roasted peanut scent. It’s not a caramelly chew exactly as the bar contains chocolate, which gives the toffee a bit of a stiff crumble.

It’s actually really satisfying and not at all sticky sweet. The 75 gram bar contains 8 grams of protein from the peanuts, so it’s a pretty satisfying snack. I wouldn’t say I wanted to eat more after about half the bar, but it was easy to just eat more later. As for the comparison to the inside of a Goldenberg’s, it’s not as smooth and doesn’t have that molasses kick. But the dark and robust flavors will probably appeal to Goldenberg’s lovers.

Since there’s nothing else in the States to compare this to, I have to recommend anyone who has been looking for a dark chewy toffee with nuts and chocolate to seek out this bar. It’s odd that something that I consider an “all weather” bar comes out of Canada. Since there’s no chocolate coating, it should travel well and stand up to temperature extremes.

Name: Eat More
    RATING:
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 6 TEMPTING
  • 5 PLEASANT
  • 4 BENIGN
  • 3 UNAPPEALING
  • 2 APPALLING
  • 1 INEDIBLE
Brand: Hershey's Canada
Place Purchased: from Amber in Toronto (thanks!)
Price: unknown
Size: 75 grams
Calories per ounce: unknown
Categories: Chocolate, Chew, Peanuts, Canada, Hershey's

POSTED BY Cybele AT 7:06 am     Comments (32)

Friday, April 13, 2007

Koakuma Goth Puccho

Koakuma PackageKoakuma from UHA are a curious little candy. They’ve taken their wildly popular Puccho and combined them with the flavors and colors of the Gothic Lolita style popular in Japan. Koakuma means “little devil” and the package sports the little character all over it. With a heart shaped face, little bat wings and on the bottom of the pleated bag, she rides a trident like a broom.

These little candies come individually wrapped inside larger pouches. The taffy base is black with rich colored stripes and then studded with gummis.

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Koakuma Peach Rose

I’m not usually fond of peach flavored candies. Don’t misunderstand, I’m a huge fan of fresh peaches, canned peaches and even dried peaches. There’s just something about many peach flavored candies I’m just not fond of.

No matter, because these don’t taste like peaches. It smells like peaches, but it tastes like mildly tart floral berries.

The little gummy bits provide and interesting texture to the bouncy chew. It was very fresh and soft and pretty darn good. I was really surprised I ate most of the bag.

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Koakuma Blueberry Rose

I’ve never really been that impressed with blueberry as a flavor. I often get it confused with raspberry in candies, and this one is no exception. It tastes like raspberry and a little floral note thrown in there with the rose. But I have to say that I’m impressed that the color actually looks like blueberries instead of like something pharmaceutical.

Again, bouncy and chewy and fresh and thoroughly enjoyable.

Both of them were nice, but the specific flavors just weren’t my favorites. I think I’d like a strawberry with rose or maybe a grape and violet. I bet they’d make a fun gift for someone who’s intro Goth though. (Who doesn’t like candies that match their nail polish?) There is another flavor called Cassis & Grape that I saw on JList for $1.80 (which has lots of other Gothic Lolita cosplay stuff to complete the look).

Here are some other reviews:
Japanese Snack Review & Giant Jeans Parlor

Name: Koakuma: Peach Rose & Blueberry Rose
    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: gift from Santos (thanks!)
Price: unknown
Size: 1.41 ounces
Calories per ounce: unknown
Categories: Chew, Gummi, Japan, UHA

POSTED BY Cybele AT 11:45 am     Comments (4)

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Mentos Berry Mix

I felt like a little fruity break this morning and picked out these Mentos Plus in Berry Mix to review. They have added vitamin C (4 mg per piece!). I’ve seen these in the States, but only in the sugarless variety. Santos gave me two boxes of these in the last delivery of candies from the Pacific. I gobbled up the first box shortly after taking this photo.

They come wrapped in a clear plastic outer wrapper and the box is about the size of a deck of cards. The flip top makes it easy to share, and with a flavor mix like this, easy to pick out just the flavor you want at the moment.

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The lightest pink is Cherry. It’s not bad, tart and with some nice cherry notes that reminded me a bit of the Apple Mentos. As a cherry candy goes, this is quite pleasant and has no bitter aftertaste ... but since I find it palatable, true cherry fans may find it an abomination.

The dusty pink is Strawberry. It’s a very deep flavor, going for the darker musky strawberry notes instead of the light florals that you usually get. A good tart bite and some musk melon in there.

The hot pink is Raspberry. This one is the most “fake” tasting of the bunch, with some pretty intense “flavor” of raspberries going on. Again, it doesn’t go for the light floral elements that you usually find in raspberry flavored things, instead it’s got a razzle-dazzle in there that reminded me of some intense raspberry jam or fruit leather.

This box makes me wish they’d do a Citrus Mix - orange, lemon and pink grapefruit. That’d be awesome.

But back to the product in hand ... I’d buy these, especially if I were traveling. I find chewy candies like these to be great for airplanes, a little something to get your salivary glands activated in the dry cabin and perhaps unstop your ears. Easy to share, maybe a good way to bond with your seat-mates. And perhaps the little dose of Vitamin C will help keep those airplane diseases at bay.

These were purchased in Guam, but made in China. They are certified Halal (which means the gelatin is not of porcine origin).

For those of you who don’t have any Mentos nearby but wanted some Mentos fun, check out the Indian website for Mentos, called the Mentos Helpline ... some of the humor doesn’t translate in all cultures, but it really is rather an interesting and non-traditional promotional site. Kudos to Mentos for thinking outside the box once again and embracing their fans. More about the Mentos Helpline in this article.

Name: Mentos Plus: Berry Mix
    RATING:
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 6 TEMPTING
  • 5 PLEASANT
  • 4 BENIGN
  • 3 UNAPPEALING
  • 2 APPALLING
  • 1 INEDIBLE
Brand: Mentos (Perfetti Van Melle)
Place Purchased: gift (thanks Santos!)
Price: unknown
Size: unknown
Calories per ounce: unknown
Categories: Chew, China, Perfetti Van Melle, Kosher

POSTED BY Cybele AT 6:41 am     Comments (7)

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Mentos Ice Pomelo

DSC08511rSantos of Scent of Green Bananas has been a great source of fun Mentos and KitKats. She’s been promising me some Pomelo Mentos, which I imagine are much like Pink Grapefruit Mentos.

But last month she surprised me with these little gems from Guam.

Ice Pomelo Mentos sound rather odd. For those of you who have never seen them, pomelos are large citrus fruit with a very thick skin and grapefruity taste (the common grapefruit is a cross between an orange and a pomelo).  I’m always a little leary when combining mint and citrus but then I have to remember that the mojito seems to combine Lime and Spearmint to great effect, so I’m game.

They look rather like the Pink Grapefruit Mentos, a cool and mellow pink. Upon biting into them, they’re soft and chewy (hooray for fresh freshmakers!) with an immediate hit of mentholated mint ... kind of like a Hall’s cough drop. The citrus pops in with some nice zest to it, but no tangy/juicy component.

I can’t rate these as high as the Pampelmousse, but I still liked them quite a bit, especially since I’ve been getting over the bronchitis and medicinal tasting things are actually a comfort.

Name: Mentos Ice Pomelo
    RATING:
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 6 TEMPTING
  • 5 PLEASANT
  • 4 BENIGN
  • 3 UNAPPEALING
  • 2 APPALLING
  • 1 INEDIBLE
Brand: Perfetti Van Melle
Place Purchased: gift (thanks Santos!)
Price: unknown
Size: unknown
Calories per ounce: unknown
Categories: Chew, Mint, Perfetti Van Melle

POSTED BY Cybele AT 6:06 am     Comments (4)

Friday, February 16, 2007

Doscher’s French Chew Taffy

A long time ago there was a taffy called Bonomo’s Turkish Taffy. It was not Turkish and it wasn’t even taffy. But it was made by a family named Bonomo. Though the candy behaved like taffy (it was smooth and chewy) it actually contains egg whites like a nougat (Bonomo even referred to it as a “short nougat”) and was even baked. The Turkish part of the name made some sense, as Albert Bonomo did come from Turkey. But the family admitted that they used the name because it sounded good.

The taffy was a great all year treat because it didn’t melt like chocolate or caramel bars. Though it comes in a single large bar, a little chill and a smack on the edge of a table and it would shatter into bite sized pieces.

In 1980 Tootsie Industries bought the brand and then discontinued it in 1989 citing low sales.

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Just as the Marathon caramel braid bar has its stand-in with the Curly Wurly, so does Turkish Taffy. It’s known as Doscher’s French Chew. It also comes in the same flavor array as Turkish Taffy did: Chocolate, Vanilla, Strawberry & Banana.

I don’t remember Turkish Taffy well enough to say that it’s an adequate replacement, so I’ll just talk about the chew on its own.

The bars are nice and big at 1.62 ounces each. You don’t have to chill the bars to break them but it helps. Sometimes I would just bend them in one direction slowly, then reverse direction quickly to cleave a good piece off.

They’re not quite as soft as something like Laffy Taffy or Airheads (totally different texture as well) but they’re less sticky than Salt Water Taffy. The egg whites and density gives it a lasting, smooth chew.

Vanilla - sweet and plain so it’s the texture here that’s the star.

Chocolate  - tastes like eating chocolate cake batter. The chocolate isn’t very rich or creamy or deep.

Banana  - a wonderful fake banana tastes that lasts all the way through the chew.

I definitely enjoyed this chew, it’s pretty smooth and not the least bit sticky on the teeth. I don’t see myself buying it very often but I liked the Banana much better than the Laffy Taffy version (which has a more latexy feel to it). Doscher’s also makes a Strawberry chew.

Doscher’s is a small factory in Cincinnati, OH. They also make candy canes and other chews. They’ve been around since 1871. They sometimes make seasonal flavors like Green Apple for Halloween.

Name: French Chew: Vanilla, Chocolate & Banana
    RATING:
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 6 TEMPTING
  • 5 PLEASANT
  • 4 BENIGN
  • 3 UNAPPEALING
  • 2 APPALLING
  • 1 INEDIBLE
Brand: Doscher's
Place Purchased: Economy Candy (via web)
Price: $.75 each
Size: 1.62 ounces
Calories per ounce: 99
Categories: Chew, United States

POSTED BY Cybele AT 7:06 am     Comments (9)

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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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COUNTDOWN.

Halloween Candy Season Ends

-51 days

Read previous coverage

 

 

Which seasonal candy selection do you prefer?

Choose one or more:

  •   Halloween
  •   Christmas
  •   Valentine's Day
  •   Easter

 

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ON DECK

These candies will be reviewed shortly:

• Villar’s Mini Tasting Chocolates

• Lindt Chocolate Cookie

• Hachez Braune Blatter (Chocolate Leaves)

• Dandelion Chocolate

• Trader Joe’s Holiday Roundup 2014

 

 

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