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Friday, June 28, 2013

Sour Punch Punchies

DSC_2554rbIt’s as if I’ve got a theme going with all these new products that are bite versions of the established candies. Today it’s a nibble from American Licorice’s popular Sour Punch line. These are Sour Punch Punchies and are described, simply as: soft,chewy, sour candy.

The two ounce bag has nuggets of candy coated wheat-based sour chews in five flavors: lemon, strawberry, tangerine, blue raspberry and green apple. They’re similar to the Chewy Sour Extinguisher that they released a few years ago, which had sour nuggets along with a magic one that would neutralize your ability to taste sour temporarily.

Sour Punch Punchies

Sour Punch Straws and the later Sour Punch Bits are sour chews with a wheat flour base, like Red Vines. They usually have a sour sanding on the outside and a more intense flavor than a regular Red Vine. They’re devilishly messy, as the sanding tends to get everywhere. I also found that one straw was often more than I wanted as a portion. I like sours, but not in large quantities as age has finally taught me that too much sour is bad for my tongue if I’d like to use it for the following days.

The Sour Punch Punchies are have a core of Sour Punch Bits and then a candy coating similar to a jelly bean - it’s smooth on the outside but a little grainy and not crunchy. The colors are bold and very vivid.

DSC_2552rb

Tangerine was the flavor I tried first, because it was bound to be good. The sourness was great but also had a nice hit of zest right away. The grain of the coating reminded me of Lemonheads, since there’s a bit of a “peel” effect with a sourness at the margin between the shell and center. The center is a little gummy and pasty and has a slight wheat flour note to it, as most of the Sour Punch products do.

Blue Raspberry is floral and seedy and sour. It’s very artificial at times, but an overall winner.

Lemon was right up there, again, bringing a lot of the qualities that I love about Lemonheads, but with more flavor in the center.

Strawberry was milder and like a smoothie in a way, not quite as sour but with a creamy note that the chew at the center brought in.

Green Apple was pure artificial in all the right ways. It tasted nothing like actual apples (as some candies will straddle the line) but more like Jolly Ranchers amped up. The sourness was not as strong as the lemon, which was by far the most intense.

There’s enough acid in there to burn my tongue before I finished the bag, I was able to eat less then half before I got a stomach ache. They’re really pretty to look at and I loved the flavor variety in the package better than the Airheads Bites (mostly because I like citrus and strawberry better than cherry and watermelon).

Wheat flour is a major ingredient, so they’re not gluten free. But there’s no gelatin but they do use confectioners glaze, so they’re not vegan. There’s also a lot more sodium in there, 170 mg, than I would have expected in a candy like this. They’re made in the USA and Kosher.

Related Candies

  1. Natural Vines Strawberry
  2. Sour Punch Bits - Tangerine-Lemonade
  3. Grape Vines
  4. Chewy Sour Extinguisher
  5. Twizzlers Sweet & Sour Filled Twists
  6. Red Vines
  7. The Lemonhead & Fruit Heads
  8. Airheads Xtreme Sour Belts


Name: Sour Punch Punchies
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: American Licorice
Place Purchased: samples from American Licorice
Price: $1.19 retail
Size: 2 ounces
Calories per ounce: 110
Categories: Candy, American Licorice, Chews, Kosher, Sour, 7-Worth It, United States

POSTED BY Cybele AT 1:27 pm     CandyMorselizationReviewAmerican LicoriceChewsKosherSour7-Worth ItUnited StatesComments (2)

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Airheads Bites

Airheads Bites FruitIt seems like most of the new products I’ve been reviewing are new morsel versions of existing items. (I’m still trying to get the trademark of Morselization.) Today I have Airheads Bites from Perfetti Van Melle.

The category of candy known as Airheads has always been a bit of a curiosity for me. If you’ve never had them, they’re small, flat bars of tangy chew. They’re not taffy or a chew in the same sense as Starburst or Mentos. One of the main constituents is dextrose, which is the same stuff you find in SweeTarts. They really are just soft, chewy SweeTarts.

They come in watermelon, blue raspberry, cherry, orange, and lemon.

The ingredients are interesting:

Sugar, glucose syrup, maltodextrin, dextrose, hydrogenated coconut oil, and less than 2% of: citric acid, modified food starch, gelatin, sorbitol, artificial flavors, glycerol, carnauba wax, beeswax, shellac, gum arabic, red #40, yellow #5, yellow #6, blue #1

Airheads Bites

I had to wonder, after looking at them, what makes them different from Skittles or Starburst? Well, they just are.

The pieces are rounded and rather flat, so they don’t roll around. The coating is shiny but more like a jelly bean’s grainy sugar coating that’s polished than the crunchy sugar shell of a Skittle. The real difference here is the center. It’s pure Airhead. The chew is stiff and grainy but immediately flavorful.

Orange is sweet at first then very tangy and descends into a pleasant and consistent grain before dissolving quickly.

Watermelon is green and quite vibrant. Again, it starts sweet and then gets tart and slightly more artificial. They all dissolve away very quickly.

Blue Raspberry starts very floral and doesn’t get as sour as they others, but is more like a bubble gum flavor.

Lemon is yellow and is weird at first, with a strong household cleaner note that then becomes a rather standard lemonade mix flavor.

Cherry is quite normal and reminded me a lot of Life Savers. It reminded me that I’m getting to like cherry more than I did 10 years ago.

Overall, they are tasty little bits and far easier to eat than the ordinary Airheads bars. I liked the flavor diversity in the single package. I found mine at 7-11, so they’re out in stores now. They come in another version called Airheads Bites Berry.

I was sorry to see that these were not for vegetarians (gelatin). I was also a little surprised to see that they’re made in China, as the factory for Airheads is in Kentucky. Maybe they’re just trying out the product and will make them locally if they’re a hit. There was also no mention of allergens on the label, so I don’t know about gluten for those concerned.

Related Candies

  1. Rowntrees Tooty Frooties
  2. Airheads Pink Lemonade
  3. Mentos Rainbow
  4. 12 European Licorices
  5. Chewy Sour Extinguisher
  6. Head to Head: Chewy SweeTarts vs Chewy Tart n Tinys
  7. Airheads
  8. Airheads Xtreme Sour Belts


Name: Airheads Bites - Fruit
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Perfetti Van Melle
Place Purchased: 7-11 (Silver Lake)
Price: $1.49
Size: 2 ounces
Calories per ounce: 110
Categories: Candy, Perfetti van Melle, Chews, 6-Tempting, China, 7-11

POSTED BY Cybele AT 2:02 pm     CandyMorselizationReviewPerfetti van MelleChews6-TemptingChina7-11Comments (9)

Friday, June 21, 2013

Starburst Minis (Original)

Starburst MinisLast month at the Sweets & Snacks Expo, Wrigley’s showed off their new Starburst Minis. They were kind enough to send me some samples of the new version which should be hitting stores this month.

As you would expect from the name, they’re mini versions of the regular Starburst chews. They’re also unwrapped. (Some folks who make chains from the wrappers will not find this to be a selling point.) The flavors are the same as the Original packages: orange, lemon, cherry and strawberry.

Starburst Minis

A wrapped Starburst is .75 inches square and approximately .33 inches high. Each is approximately 5 grams. The new Minis are slightly more than .5 inches square, though the sides are not straight, they’re pinched and are .25 inches high. So my calculations show that they’re about one third the size.

What’s more interesting is the ingredients list. Starburst contain gelatin. So, they’re off limits to vegetarians and have never been Kosher/Halal to my knowledge.

Starburst Minis do not contain gelatin. They use pectin, which is derived from vegetable/fruit sources. In addition to the artificial colors, the other ingredient of concern to some folks would be the use of confectioners glaze, which has shellac in it. Shellac is derived from insects,so it is not a vegan product. It is gluten free. Also, oddly, this is made in Mexico. (I checked my other recent Starburst purchase of Starburst Very Berry but confirmed that they were made in the USA.)

Starburst Minis

Aside from the size and the enhanced ability to combine flavors, the other difference is texture. I found that the pieces were slightly aerated. They weren’t as dense as a regular wrapped Starburst, and also not quite as intensely flavored. But they’re softer and easier to chew. The chew had the same long-lasting flavor and lack of grain ... but a lighter dissolve on the tongue (I think because of the aeration).

They don’t do well in humid climates. Humidity in Los Angeles, lately, has been around 40% and they’ve done well, but one damp morning and they were rather stuck together. I left them in the office overnight where it’s air condition and they separated again. So if you’re in a humid area, you might want to stick with the wrapped version or keep these sealed in a zipper bag when you’re not busy consuming them.

The key feature to recommend the Starburst Minis is not their size, it’s the fact that they’re unwrapped. But I’m sure there are a lot of folks who will hone in on the fact that they don’t have gelatin in them. I don’t like the texture as much, but I can see the appeal of these, especially in circumstances where the wrappers are a hindrance, such as snacking on a plane or in a movie theater. But mostly I figure Skittles are mini Starburst - not quite the same flavor array, but a good approximation and they don’t stick together.

Related Candies

  1. KitKat Minis
  2. Candy Tease: Sweets & Snacks Expo - Part 2
  3. Starburst Very Berry
  4. Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups Minis
  5. Skittles (Fruits, Wild Berry, Tropical, Smoothies & Sour)
  6. Starburst


Name: Starburst Minis (Original)
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Wrigley’s
Place Purchased: samples from Wrigley's
Price: $1.89 retail
Size: 3.5 ounces
Calories per ounce: 107
Categories: Candy, Mars, Wrigley's, Chews, 7-Worth It, Mexico

POSTED BY Cybele AT 1:21 pm     CandyMorselizationReviewMarsWrigley'sChewsStarburst7-Worth ItMexicoComments (36)

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

10 Underrated Candies

I often try to champion exceptional candies, ones that don’t have million dollar advertising budgets or huge fandoms on social networks. But there are other candies out there that have been plugging away for decades just being dependable. They’re not the best they could be, but they certainly don’t get the attention they deserve.

So here they are, not the only 10 candies that are underrated, but just 10 that I happen to love and find myself eating more often, now that I’ve circled around and tried a few thousand other candies in the past eight years.

Atkinson Chick-o-Stick

Chick-O-Sticks (Atkinson’s)

Description: Orange crunchy layers of peanut butter crisp rolled in coconut.

What’s to like about it?

Crispy peanut butter layers. You get right to it, no busting your way through some crazy overly-sweet mockolate. It’s just about the peanuts, it’s completely crispy, a little salty and totally nutty. The best format are the individually wrapped minis shown, they make far less mess than the long bar format.

They’re vegan and gluten free.

Hesitations?

Well, there’s coconut on the outside. I’m not sure why, but it’s there and it’s always been there. There’s not a lot and it really doesn’t contribute much to the flavor but does give a little chew to the texture. What would make me even happier is if they got rid of the artificial colors in it, which I could swear give them a slight bitter aftertaste that I don’t get from the equally lovely Atkinson’s Peanut Bars.

What makes it underrated?

The packaging is lackluster and they can be hard to find, especially in the Northeast.

Goldenberg's Peanut Chews

Goldenberg’s Peanut Chews (Just Born)

Description: a molasses chew studded with peanuts covered in dark mockolate.

What’s to like about it?

Molasses and peanuts. That’s it. It’s dark and mysterious, only slightly sweet, sometimes a little bitter. It’s chewy and crunchy and with a lot of nuts, it’s very satisfying and filling. They come in cute little bars, so you can just eat one or two and save the rest for later or share. They’re vegan!

Hesitations?

The mockolate coating is disappointing. It’s usually a bit toasty flavored but waxy so it lacks a creamy smooth quality that might really tip this over into being an incredible candy.

What makes it underrated?

The name and packaging marks it as an old-time, regional candy bar. Just Born, who bought out Goldenberg’s, renamed the candy, then brought back the classic name & design, further confusing people. The molasses component is a hard sell in artificial times.

Ferrara Pan Root Beer Barrels

Root Beer Barrels (Various Brands)

What’s to like about it?

It tastes like root beer! I tastes more like root beer than most of the cheap and weak sodas on store shelves and it’s more portable. It’s a hard to find flavor that really shines in hard candy form.

Hesitations?

Some brands are better than others. Voids in the candy can be sharp and make small cuts or abrasions on the tongue or palate.

What makes it underrated?

It’s hard candy and hard candy is for old ladies.

Honees

Honees Honey Drops (DiNatura)

Description: little honey flavored hard candies filled with honey.

What’s to like about it?

They’re dead simple and satisfying, the honey center coats the throat and does actually soothe without medication.

Hesitations?

They can be expensive and can be messy, as many packages get sticky because of the delicate filling in the pieces.

What makes it underrated?

They’re stuck in the cough drop aisle, not with the rest of the candy. Sure, they’re soothing, but they’re also comforting, and who doesn’t want to be comforted regularly?

Compartes Candied Orange Peel Dipped in Chcoolate

Chocolate Covered Orange Zest (your local chocolate shop)

Description: candied orange peel is dipped in dark chocolate

What’s to like about it?

It’s extremely simple with a good combination of textures and flavors. There’s the bitterness of the orange oils and dark chocolate, the chewy texture of the peel and the creamy melt of the chocolate.

Hesitations?

They’re a small treat, and the satisfaction is usually due to good quality peels done well (not to soft and sticky, not leathery tough) and appropriate amounts of chocolate. They’re often expensive, which is odd because it’s basically chocolate covered garbage, but they do require a bit of manual labor to make.

What makes it underrated?

Probably the fact that some places sell bad versions or put awful chocolate on them. They’re also not for everyone, citrus is just not everyone’s thing.

Hot Tamales

Hot Tamales (Just Born)

Description: rod shaped hot cinnamon jelly beans.

What’s to like about it?

They’re cinammony, soft and chewy. They’re not too hot, so you can eat a lot of them, unlike some other super sizzling cinnamon candies.

Hesitations?

The red food coloring is a bit overwhelming and sometimes I get a package that tastes like cherry.

What makes it underrated?

They’re just jelly beans. There’s only one flavor in the box.

Butter Mints

Buttermints (Richardson)

Description: buttery mint puffs

What’s to like about it?

They’re like sweet, minty air. They’re soft and melt in your mouth. They’re lightly flavored like peppermint, the opposite of the blast of flavor from an Altoid.

Hesitations?

They’re hard to find and can get stale quickly or take on flavors from other foods around them. If they’re sitting out in a bowl, they’re going to be disappointing.

What makes it underrated?

They’re marketed as an after dinner mint, not a treat in their own right.

Old Dominion Butter Toffee Peanuts

Toffee Peanuts (Various brands - shown is Old Dominion also Adams-Brooks Candies)

Description: crunchy caramelized sugar covering peanuts

What’s to like about it?

They’re often found at truck stops and in vending machines. They’re a great combination of satisfying peanut protein and sweet, buttery toffee. Though they’re similar to French Burnt Peanuts, they’re not as tough to crunch and often have a more authentic peanut and browned butter flavor to them.

Hesitations?

They can be sticky and sometimes if the bag has been shaken up too much, all the toffee comes off the nuts. (But then it’s just perfect as a topping for ice cream.)

What makes it underrated?

As you may have already noticed a theme here, underrated candies are usually in small pieces, not bar form. It’s easy to dismiss a toffee coated peanut because there are other, more trendy candies out there. But they’ve been making these for hundreds of years for a reason.

Spearmint Leaves

Spearmint Leaves (Generic)

Description: spearmint flavored jellies shaped like a mint leaf.

What’s to like about it?

There are so few spearmint candies in the United States these days, and these endure for a reason. They’re sweet but with a really powerful spearmint note to them that balances it out. The sugar crust balances the sticky jelly of the center. They’re usually vegan as there’s no gelatin used in gumdrops.

Hesitations?

They can get stale quickly, or worse, get sticky and damp. They’re not easy to combine with other candies in a trail mix. I feel like an old lady when I pick them out in the store.

Sugar Babies

Sugar Babies (Tootsie)

Description: caramel bits covered in a grainy sugar shell.

What’s to like about it?

If you’ve ever thought, “why don’t they make caramel jelly beans”, this is the answer. Why make a flavored item when you can give the same treatment to the real thing.

Hesitations?

When the get stale, they’re pretty hard. They don’t do well in trail mix with things like dried fruit because the moisture will make them even grainier or sticky.

What makes it underrated?

I think folks stop eating them when they grow up, and never go back.

So that’s my list. What do you think is undervalued or poorly marketed?

Related Candies

  1. Candy Tease: Bar None, Reed’s and Regal Crown Sours
  2. Flix Candy Flix Mix
  3. Candy Tease: Sweets & Snacks Expo 2011 Part 1
  4. Candy Tease: Nostalgia in 2011
  5. The 110 Essential Candies for Candivores

POSTED BY Cybele AT 12:20 pm     CandyBrittleCaramelChewsChocolateCinnamonJelly CandyMintsMockolatePeanutsToffeeHighlightFun StuffComments (14)

Monday, April 8, 2013

Mentos Philippines: Tropical and Duo

In a world where more financial transactions are digital and something like Bitcoin is a reality, it’s comforting to know that barter still exists. Over the new year my mother had a neighbor request to use her empty parking space in her condo parking lot to store a car while they were on a trip to the Philippines for a month. My mother agreed for a nominal fee and the simple request: bring back some Mentos, the kind you can’t get in the United States.

They obliged! So upon their return I was gifted three different 810 gram bags of individually wrapped Mentos. (Yes, for mental metric converters, that totaled 6.36 pounds.) Each large bag, the size of an airplane pillow, contained 300 pieces. There were three varieties: Mentos Duo, Mentos Tropical Mix and Mentos XTreme Spearmint.

Mentos Duo Lemon Grape

Mentos Duo Lemon Grape has that wonderful Asian grape flavor instead of the American artificial grape. It’s soft and floral and reminds me of concord grapes right off the vine. The lemony center is subtle and lightly zesty without adding too much sour. They’re more subtle Mentos, not like a Skittle. This was one of my favorites.

Mentos Duo - Mango Orange

Mentos Duo - Mango Orange is orange on the outside and mango on the inside. The orange flavor is sweet with a little bit of tanginess. The center is also sweet, but without the tart bite and a little note of pine and peach that mango can sometimes have. It’s a nice little change of pace from regular citrus Mentos.

I’ve tried the Duos before and like the idea of them and in this bag the two combinations are well done. They’re a little different which sets them apart from the usual chews like Starburst.

Mentos - Watermelon

The Tropical Mix doesn’t have anything that new in it, as all of these flavors are now available in the Mentos Rainbow worldwide.

Mentos Watermelon reminded me of a Jolly Rancher. It’s an odd sort of flavor, at first is was actually a good representation on the outside, but the inside got strange. It was a little plasticky - like styrofoam and had notes of mint to it. I don’t know if it was because they might have been too close to the Spearmint pieces, or they were just weird. I’m not that big on Watermelon candies, so for the most part I chalk it up to personal preference.

Mentos Orange

Mentos Orange starts with a floral orange blossom flavor, and maybe even a hint of bergamot. The tangy juice flavor don’t develop until the pieces are well chewed. There’s not much zest to it, but a good well rounded orange flavor still emerges.

Mentos Pineapple

Mentos Pineapple is probably my new favorite Mentos flavor since Pink Grapefruit disappeared. It’s tangy and floral and the flavor is intense enough to last to the very end. I found myself pulling them out of the mix pretty consistently.

I enjoy the fruity Mentos a lot. I took a large zipper lock bag of these with me on my trip to Hawaii. A little treat like this is good for the ears like chewing gum on a flight. The pineapple and orange felt like they were breath fresheners, too. I don’t know why they don’t sell the individually wrapped version here in the United States. The rest are going in a jar on my desk at the office, even my most germaphobic office-mates won’t have a problem.

Related Candies

  1. Mentos: Ume, Honeyed Apple and Lemon Squash
  2. Mentos Pina Colada & Mojito plus Mentos Duo
  3. Mentos Cinnamon
  4. Fresh Cola Mentos
  5. Mentos Plus Citrus Mix
  6. Dalandan & Juicy Ponkan Mentos
  7. Pink Grapefruit Mentos


Name: Mentos Duo: Grape-Lemon & Mango-Orange
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Perfetti Van Melle
Place Purchased: Gift
Price: Unknown
Size: 28.57 ounces
Calories per ounce: 106
Categories: Candy, Mentos, Perfetti van Melle, Chews, Kosher, 7-Worth It, Vietnam


Name: Mentos Tropical Mix
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Perfetti Van Melle
Place Purchased: Gift
Price: Unknown
Size: 28.57 ounces
Calories per ounce: 106
Categories: Candy, Mentos, Perfetti van Melle, Chews, Kosher, 7-Worth It, Vietnam

POSTED BY Cybele AT 3:14 pm     CandyMentosReviewPerfetti van MelleChewsKosher7-Worth ItVietnamComments (0)

Friday, March 22, 2013

Starburst Very Berry

Starburst Very BerryWrigley’s has quietly introduced a new Starburst flavor variety: Starburst Very Berry. The package features four flavors: Strawberry, Raspberry, Blackberry and Blueberry.

This isn’t Starburst’s first foray into the berry world, they used to make a version called Berries and Creme which had a creamy version in strawberry, raspberry, blueberry and mixed berry. This version is a bit more bold, dumping the creme for a more fruity intensity.

Starburst Very Berry

The package says Great fruit taste! Real fruit juice! (That’s apple juice. They all have apple juice, and less than 2% of it, too.) They also have 20% of your RDA of vitamin C.

I picked these up in their Easter box, but they’re also available in the single serve package and bags. The hazard with the bags and box is that you’re never sure of the ratio you’ll get. My box had an inordinate amount of blueberry and only one raspberry.

Starburst Very Berry - BlackberryBlackberry

This flavor sounded great, even though I’m never sure what the difference in artificially flavored candies is between raspberry and blackberry aside from the color.

The flavor is, well, good. It’s very floral and deep with a lot of black cherry, cranberry and raspberry notes. But overall there’s a sort of softness to it, it’s not a lack of intensity, it’s just not puckery or dry like pomegranate can be.

Starburst Very Berry - BlueberryBlueberry

I had a lot of these and I was a little put off by the color. It’s not the color of food, it’s the color of a drug or a toy. The flavor is balanced and does a good job of being blueberry “flavored.” It’s a mix of tannins, like iced tea and a floral note that reminds me of ball point pen ink. It’s a little tangy, between the tartness level of a citrus and the blander strawberry.

Blueberry is hard and the most interesting thing about blueberries, to me, is the combination of textures. It’s a difficult thing to mimic in a chewy candy, like the fuzz on a peach or the layers of flavor and mouthfeel of a concord grape.

Starburst Very Berry - Strawberry ChewStrawberry

Well, it’s the strawberry Starburst. There’s not much else to say except, “Welcome!” It’s a softer flavor, more like cotton candy than a sour berry flavor. There’s a light tartness to it, but mostly it’s sweet with a little kiss of floral strawberry flavor.

The wrapper is a different color pink or at least it seemed brighter. I’m glad it’s in this mix.


Starburst Very Berry - RaspberryRaspberry

This is very floral and deeply jammy. There’s a hint of pineapple tartness but overall it’s a well rounded flavor with some cherry notes as well. It’s not wholly raspberry, it lacks a “seed” flavor to it. I can’t say much more because I only had one.

Overall, it’s a nice mix. It’s less sour than some of the other varieties that include citrus flavors. I liked the colors, and if you’re going for something like a glass jar that would be on display on your desk or at a party, the look is quite striking.

Starburst contain gelatin, so they’re not for vegetarians and not Kosher/Halal. They are gluten free.

Related Candies

  1. Starburst Sweet Fiesta
  2. Starburst Flavor Morph
  3. Starburst Sour & Sweet
  4. Starburst Retro
  5. Starburst Baja California & Tropical
  6. Starburst Berries & Creme and Fruit & Creme
  7. Starburst


Name: Very Berry Starburst
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Wrigley’s
Place Purchased: Target (West Hollywood)
Price: $1.00
Size: 3.5 ounces
Calories per ounce: 101
Categories: Candy, Mars, Wrigley's, Chews, Starburst, 7-Worth It, United States, Target

POSTED BY Cybele AT 11:53 am     CandyReviewMarsWrigley'sChewsStarburst7-Worth ItUnited StatesTargetComments (6)

Monday, February 25, 2013

Skittles replace Lime with Green Apple

Skittles Now With Green AppleBREAKING NEWS: The Original Fruits Skittles are no longer original.

The green Skittle, which has always been Lime in the United States (except for a brief replacement in 2001), has been replaced with Green Apple.

I noticed the new packages on shelves last week here in Southern California (but they’re probably rolling out all over the country on different timetables). Haley, a reader, mentioned in the comments on the Darkside Skittles review that Midnight Lime in the Darkside mix is now the new home of the much-maligned citrus.

Skittles - Now with Green Apple

The Green Apple Skittle is a fine tasting Skittle. It’s a mix of actual apple juice flavor, with that sort of peel note to it and the artificial Jolly Rancher. It has a good mix of tartness and sweetness, but it’s actually less tangy than I would have hoped.

The perfection that was the Original Fruits Skittles is now gone. The best feature of Skittles is their combine-ability. Every flavor went with every other flavor in a surprisingly versatile way.

Strawberry & Lime was a daiquiri. Lemon & Lime was a soda. Grape & Lime was a great fruit punch. Orange & Lime was a citrus cooler.

As nice as Green Apple is, it doesn’t play well with others. It’s too head strong. Green Apple and Grape is a wreck. Green Apple and Lemon is passable, but only because Lemon is making up for Apple’s failings. Green Apple and Strawberry is a battle in my mouth, the floral notes of the berry are quite strong, but the plastic note of the Green Apple just steamrolls it. Green Apple and Orange is, well, just fine.

Skittles Facebook Page

Reaction on Facebook, since I’ve been glancing at the page, isn’t generally positive. More than half of the new messages posted there are negative about the Green Apple (the other posts are general comments with only one I saw that was positive about the flavor).

I’m not sure if this is a publicity stunt and Wrigley’s is planning for a backlash and then will, with much fanfare, return Lime ... or if it’s really a sign of the times, that Lime has had its day, that it’s a 20th century fruit living in a 21st century candy bag. This was mostly an American phenomenon, anyway, Australia went Green Apple more than 10 years ago.

For me, this ruins Skittles perfection. I liked every single flavor in the package. I would eat them all, sure I would rank them but I didn’t pick around a certain flavor. (I give the cherry Starburst away instead of eating them myself.) I still like Skittles ... but I’m far less likely to buy them with the new flavor swap.

Note: The Easter Pastel Skittles still have Lime for 2013.

Related Candies

  1. Skittles Darkside
  2. Skittles Crazy Sours (Europe)
  3. New Flavors: Skittles Sour & Wonka Runts
  4. Skittles from the UK
  5. Skittles (Fruits, Wild Berry, Tropical, Smoothies & Sour)
  6. What Made Hershey’s Want to Change Chocolate?

POSTED BY Cybele AT 11:31 am     CandySkittlesMarsWrigley'sChewsUnited StatesHighlightFeatured NewsComments (180)

Monday, February 18, 2013

Annabelle’s Abba-Zaba Strawberry Peanut Butter

Annabelle's Abba-Zaba Strawberry Peanut ButterThe original Abba-Zaba bar has been around since the 1920s. It’s a simple construction, a ribbon of thick peanut butter inside a chewy vanilla taffy.

Annabelle’s, the California company that now makes Abba-Zabas came out with a new flavor last year, the Abba-Zaba Strawberry & Peanut Butter. The little starburst on the side of the package says “PB&J with real peanut butter.”

The color of the package is extraordinary. The regular flavor is taxi-cab yellow and black ... for strawberry they went magenta and black. It looks like nothing else on the shelves.

Abba Zaba Strawberry Peanut Butter

I’m not a huge consumer of Abba-Zaba, I’m more of a Look or Big Hunk fan, as the Annabelle’s bars go. The concept is strong, but the flavor profiles & textures are just a little off for my tastes.

The Strawberry Abba-Zaba has a fruity taffy outside. It’s sweet, though not sickeningly. The bar is best if you smack it on the edge of a table before you open it to break it into easy to eat pieces. The taffy is flavored only with the scent of strawberries, it’s not a tangy taffy. So the idea of getting the flavor of a Peanut Butter & Jelly Sandwich is a little off ... because it doesn’t taste like jam. It’s more like a strawberry cake - all sweetness and not tart. The chew is good, not too tough, it’s soft and combines well with the peanut butter center. The peanut butter is smooth and creamy, but lacking a big salty punch or enough texture to differentiate it well from the taffy when it’s chewed together. I like the graininess of peanut butter in candies like Mary Janes.

Overall, it’s not my thing. It’s different ... but I’d be more inclined to go for a honey taffy or maybe even Banana if it was just going to be sweet.

Related Candies

  1. Baron Milk Chocolate PB&Js
  2. Mary Jane & Mary Jane Wicked Mix
  3. Madelaine Duets
  4. Look! and Big Hunk
  5. Abba Zaba


Name: Abba Zaba Strawberry & Peanut Butter
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Annabelle’s
Place Purchased: FAO Schweetz (NYC)
Price: $1.99
Size: 1.8 ounces
Calories per ounce: 120
Categories: Candy, Annabelle's, Chews, Kosher, Peanuts, 5-Pleasant, United States

POSTED BY Cybele AT 1:54 pm     CandyReviewAnnabelle'sChewsKosherPeanuts5-PleasantUnited StatesComments (1)

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