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Cinnamon

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Cinnabon Pecan Clusters

The Cinnabon Confection Family (not a drop of chocolate among them)There are some candies that sound like fantastic concepts. Even new readers to Candy Blog know that I would favor any confection made of caramel, pecans and cinnamon. About five years ago Cinnabon, the little bakers of fresh cinnamon buns in malls, licensed their flavor and name for a line of candies made by Standard Confectionery Company. Standard is known for their GooGoo Clusters, so it’s no surprise that this line features various iterations of the ingredients all in the plopped cluster shape.

Back in 2006 I went to my first candy trade show, the All Candy Expo in Chicago. This was my first experience with “tasting everything”. This was an amazing time where I could keep an open mind and take small bites or samples of items that I probably wouldn’t consider buying for whatever reason. Most was exactly what I expected, but there were some surprises (both good and bad). I learned quickly that even in small bites there were things that demanded to be spit out. While there I spit three things out. The first was the Cinnabon Cinnamon Pecan Caramel Cluster.

What I didn’t know when I ate that sample was the actual description of this item: Rich Makara Cinnamon Caramel Topped with Crunch Glazed Pecans and Toffee Bits, Drenched in Milk Chocolatey Goodness. You already know where this description went awry ... in fact this might have been the item that mobilized me for the fight against anything that referred to mockolate “goodness”. I’d go so far as to call it “evilness.”

Years went by and I tried them again and had a similar reaction to the overly sweet, strangely grainy and waxy confection. Yes, the cinnamon notes were fantastic, but air freshener smells fantastic, that doesn’t make me want to eat it.

Cinnabon Cinnamon Mousse Pecan ClusterI saw the candies again at the 99 Cent Only store again and I figured if they’ve been on the market this long, there must be something I’m missing. So I bought the two varieties they had on hand.

The Cinnabon Cinnamon Mousse Pecan Cluster says it’s Rich Makara cinnamon mousse topped with crunchy glazed pecans and toffee bits, drenched in dark chocolatey goodness. My spell checker knows that chocolatey isn’t a word, and I know that it isn’t chocolate.

The packaging is nice, it has an accurate image on the front and I actually liked the little swirly bun designs on the edges of the wrapper. The pieces are 1.5 ounces (about 2.5 inches in diameter), which I think is a nice portion for candy, in this case it clocks in at 180 calories.

Cinnabon Cinnamon Mousse Pecan Cluster

My candy had a slight bloom on the top, not bad, just a light haze in some spots. The lumpy shape gave me hope that there were plenty of these glazed pecans.

I don’t know what Makara Cinnamon is. I’ve looked it up and can’t actually find that there is a real thing, it’s just like the Colonel’s 11 Herbs & Spices, a proprietary blend of some sort. Its mystery aside, the cinnamon does smell good. It’s a tantalizing blend of woodsy notes, a sort of heady volatile oil similar to menthol and a warm resin. The patties have a nice bite and texture. The mockolate coating is marginally flavorful, it’s overpowered by the cinnamon but the texture is smooth enough once it melts. The center of the patty is a sort of soft fudge that tastes kind of like the sweet center of a pecan pie, but a little more grainy. The pecans are nicely glazed with a sugary coating that gives them a salty crunch. Other than that hit of salt though, the whole thing is sickly sweet and quickly made my throat sore.

Cinnabon Cinnamon Cream Pecan ClusterThe second version I tried was the Cinnabon Cinnamon Cream Pecan Cluster.

This version comes in a white wrapper and is easy to distinguish from the other versions. It also reminds me that Cinnabon has the flavor that warms the soul.

The description on this one is Rich Makara cinnamon cream topped with crunchy glazed pecans and toffee bits, drenched in white chocolatey goodness. Now, I get how the dark one can claim some sort of “chocolatey goodness” since it does have some cocoa solids in it. This product has not one gram of cocoa content whatsoever. It can’t be like chocolate because there’s nothing that’s even chocolate adjacent about it.

Cinnabon Cinnamon Cream Pecan Cluster

Even the color of the white confection coating is odd, it’s not at all like white chocolate, which has a yellow cast and a translucent quality. It’s opaque, like a primer coat.

It does smell smooth and buttery though, and I loved the way the fake butter smell combined with the Makara cinnamon, in that way that actual Cinnabon kiosks can draw you in.

Again I liked the glazed pecans - they were small but had a salty crunch. The white coating was sweet and had a less convincing melt than the truly chocolatey one. There are toffee bits advertised in both of these, but I noticed that they’re more like corn flakes (rice flour is listed as an ingredient)

Sweet, strange and unreal. I don’t mind candy that becomes fantasy - but this was just a poor imitation of real things that could be fantastic. Call it the uncanny valley of candy.

If you’re a fan of candles instead of candy, well this is the stuff for you. If you’re looking for something that emulates the fresh baked Cinnabon experience, I’d say stick to your memories of that and wait for the real thing.

Candy Addict gave them a marginal review as well but Jim’s Chocolate Mission raved about the Cream version and the Mousse plus Rosa tried the Pecan Roll

Related Candies

  1. Russell Stover Assorted Wrapped Chocolates
  2. DeMet’s Turtles: Pecan & Cashew
  3. See’s Cinnamon (Hearts & Lollypops)
  4. Koeze Cream-Nut Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cluster
  5. Chocolate Dipped Altoids
  6. Charleston Pralines
  7. GooGoo Cluster

POSTED BY Cybele AT 5:15 pm     CandyReviewStandard Candy CoCinnamonMockolateNuts4-BenignUnited States99 Cent Only StoreComments (5)

Monday, August 30, 2010

Mentos Cinnamon

Mentos CinnamonFor something that’s described as “Chew Mints”, Mentos fail on diversity of mint flavors. In the United States there is exactly one mint flavor available: Mint. In other countries there are Spearmint, Xtra (double strong Peppermint or Spearmint), Lime Mint, Ice Mint, Cool Chews Orange Mint, Pomelo Mint, Strong Mint, Barley Mint and Lakritz Mint.

The only other flavor in the current American repertoire that I think features Freshmaking abilities is the Cinnamon Mentos. They’re not easy to find, I rarely see them in stores but grabbed this roll when I saw them at Walgreen’s last week. 

The package is hard to spot though, because it’s red and looks a lot like Strawberry at first glance.

Mentos Cinnamon

The pieces don’t smell cinnamon-like. It’s not like having a package of cinnamon gum and having the scent of it waft through your purse or desk drawer. These are quiet and self-contained.

They’re smooth and have a good crunch to the outside. The inside is like a candy version of Big Red gum. They’re woodsy and a little warm from the cinnamon flavoring, but not overly hot. The flavor last through the whole chew and is in general satisfying. There’s a little hint of mint to it, but that may just be me imagining it.

Some of the fruit flavors of Mentos can have a weird aftertaste, but the Cinnamon ones have a fresh note at the end. They cut mid-morning coffee mouth without making me feel like I’ve eaten a wad of toothpaste.

Related Candies

  1. See’s Cinnamon (Hearts & Lollypops)
  2. Fresh Cola Mentos
  3. Cinnamon Fire Twizzlers
  4. Mentos Xtrm: Mint & Spearmint
  5. Gimbal’s Lavaballs
  6. Licorice Mentos


Name: Cinnamon Mentos
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Perfetti Van Melle
Place Purchased: Walgreen's (Echo Park)
Price: $.89
Size: 1.32 ounces
Calories per ounce: 106
Categories: Candy, Mentos, Perfetti van Melle, Chews, Cinnamon, 7-Worth It, Netherlands, Walgreen's

POSTED BY Cybele AT 12:00 pm     CandyMentosPerfetti van MelleChewsCinnamon7-Worth ItNetherlandsWalgreen'sComments (2)

Monday, July 12, 2010

Necco Sweethearts Twilight Fire & Ice

Marketing tie ins with blockbuster movie franchises are nothing new. The Necco Sweethearts and Twilight co-marketing continues. I saw these at the Ralph’s grocery over the weekend and remembered that the movie is in theaters and that I actually had a couple of boxes.

Sweethearts Ice & Fire

I’ve never actually read the Twilight books or seen any of the movies. This is just about the candy.

Sweethearts IceSweethearts Ice come in a theater box, a plastic bag inside holds 4 ounces. The outside features an image of Edward Cullen, mysterious and attractive centenarian who happens to be a vampire.

Inside are two flavors of Sweethearts in the new softer texture and more intensely flavored formula. The Raspberry Freezeout and Lime Frostbite feature a dusting of sparkles courtesy of a newly approved edible mica.

The front of the box says Intense Wave of Cold! ... just what you want in a relationship that might last for all eternity.

Sweethearts Ice

The shape of the sweets is nicely done. They come in only two colors, but they’re pretty easy to tell apart. The printing is subpar though. I worked hard to find some good representatives for photographing. The sayings were things like “I “heart” EC”, “Live 4 Ever” “Bite Me” and “Dazzle”. There were a fair number of blank ones, which I’m told is because Edward Cullen can’t read Bella Swan’s mind.

They smell, well, feminine and juvenile. It’s like fruity bodywash or scented trash bags.

The Raspberry Freezeout flavor is light blue. The sparkly quality was evident to me except in extremely bright and direct lighting conditions (like outside in the sun). The flavor is sweet and floral, like a raspberry flavor is supposed to be. There’s no hint of tartness, instead after a moment the overly sweet flavor fades and a throat cooling menthol comes over it. It’s a little medicinal, but also a bit unexpected as it doesn’t really complement the berry.

The Lime FrostBite is slightly more successful, probably because of my indoctrination to the flavor combo via the Mojito. The lime is a light zesty note, again with no tart juicy vibe. Then the menthol emerges and it’s well, okay. It’s a little like toothpaste.

The texture is softer and smoother than the classic Sweethearts, so in a way that’s nice. But the flavor choices here simply aren’t for me.

Sweethearts IceThe second package is Sweethearts Fire which says it has an Intense Surge of Heat. The box features an image of the shirtless Taylor Lautner as Jacob Black, a shapeshifter with a tattoo. (Who was jailbait when the image was shot ... okay, maybe photos of shirtless teen boys can’t be jailbait.)

Inside is a plastic bag with two flavors of pink Sweethearts: Steamy Chocolate and Hotter Than Apple Pie.

Sweethearts Fire

These candies also come in two colors, though both are pink. One is bright pink and the other is dusty pink. They smell sweet and lightly cinnamony.

The pieces area also difficult to read, about half were not imprinted well enough. But the ones that I could read said things that were themed for the wolf boy and his unrequited love for Bella like “Wolf Man”, “Jacob”, “Save Me” and “Howl”.

Steamy Chocolate were rather rare in my package, about 25% of the candies. The flavor is light and slightly creamy, the cocoa notes come across as flat and cardboard, but maybe a little woodsy. The cinnamon is more earthy than spicy.

Hotter Than Apple Pie tastes like a holiday candle, like cinnamon with a little apple juice flavor thrown in to mellow it out. It’s a little spicier and more intense than the chocolate one. The pink coloring means that I got a bitter aftertaste after eating too many (about five).

While I liked the Fire version better than the Ice, I wouldn’t say that I liked them all that much at all. Perhaps the fact that the flavor was rather mainstream pleased me, just like most people really don’t want to love an immortal undead guy.

These candies suffer as novelty items instead of solid products that tie into a theme. The hearts and mottoes are a great idea, but the flavors are just ghastly for the most part. But maybe that’s the target market.

The good news is that Necco didn’t make a Bella Swan version, which as far as I can tell would be sugary sweet and flavorless.

Sweethearts have gelatin in them, so are not suitable for vegetarians and are not Kosher/Halal.

Full disclosure: I’m not against escapist entertainment, I’m sure if someone dug through my reading and viewing habits there’d be some goofy items as well. And I give folks full permission to make fun of those.

Related Candies

  1. Go Max Go Twilight Candy Bar
  2. Necco Conversation Hearts (Sweethearts) 2010
  3. The Twilight Saga: New Moon Heart’s Desire Sky Bar
  4. Snickers Nougabot Bar & Transformer M&Ms
  5. Twilight Sweethearts: Forbidden Fruits
  6. Endangered Species Chocolate


Name: Sweethearts Twilight Ice
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Necco
Place Purchased: sample from Sweets & Snacks Expo
Price: $1.25
Size: 4.0 ounces
Calories per ounce: 113
Categories: Candy, Necco, Compressed Dextrose, 3-Unappealing, United States


Name: Sweethearts Twilight Fire
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Necco
Place Purchased: sample from Sweets & Snacks Expo
Price: $1.25
Size: 4.0 ounces
Calories per ounce: 113
Categories: Candy, Necco, Compressed Dextrose, 5-Pleasant, United States

POSTED BY Cybele AT 12:59 pm     CandyNeccoCinnamonCompressed Dextrose3-Unappealing5-PleasantUnited StatesComments (10)

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Heide Red Hot Dollars

Heide Red Hot DollarsHeide Red Hot Dollars have a colorful past. The original Heide Red Hot Dollars were raspberry flavored, but when they were bought by Hershey’s in the 90s, they thought the name was confusing, so they changed it to Red Raspberry Dollars, which was obviously more descriptive but also lost the decades of product identification. To make things more confusing Farley’s & Sathers bought the brand (which includes Jujyfruits) and introduced these Red Hot Dollars, which are cinnamon flavored.

When I tried Red Raspberry Dollars last year I was a little frustrated because I wanted to try their spicy Red Hot Dollars. I was too cheap to actually buy them via the internet where shipping candy is often in excess of the candy cost, so I just kept my eyes open. When I was the NACS show in Las Vegas last month I mentioned my difficulties in finding them to the Farley’s & Sathers representative and he helped me out by giving me two boxes. (But no real help in finding them again.)

Heide Red Hot Dollars

The box was frustrating. Dots usually have a cellophane wrapper on the boxes. But Heide candies are just a plain paperboard box with product rattling around inside. But what they lack in moisture seals they more than make up for in glue. It was impossible for me to open either box at the flap ends without tearing the layers of paperboard to bits. But fortunately this frustrating package did keep it fresh. They were soft and pliable.

The thick “coins” look exactly like the raspberry ones. They don’t smell either, so don’t throw these in a bowl together unless you love both.

They’re soft like Dots, a little softer than Jujyfruits tend to be. The matte surface doesn’t have a greasy coat like some gummi products do. The gumdrop texture is dense and firm and very cinnamony. Some were hotter than others, enough to make me sweat sometimes.

I really enjoyed them and had no trouble eating both boxes in a matter of weeks. They’re a great candy to keep at my desk because they’re not messy, easy to offer & share plus they don’t give me any sort of weird candy breath. I enjoyed the smooth texture more than the grainy jelly bean known as Hot Tamales, but they really did get stuck to my teeth.

Vegans may be able to consume these; there’s no beeswax or confectionery glaze and the colors are all artificial. It all depends on how you feel about mineral oil and sugar. They’re also Kosher.

Related Candies

  1. Good & Fiery
  2. Dots Elements: Earth, Air, Fire & Water
  3. Cinnamon Fire Twizzlers
  4. Gimbal’s Lavaballs
  5. Jujyfruits & Jujubes
  6. Dots
  7. Hot Tamales and Hotter Tamales
Name: Red Hot Dollars
    RATING:
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 6 TEMPTING
  • 5 PLEASANT
  • 4 BENIGN
  • 3 UNAPPEALING
  • 2 APPALLING
  • 1 INEDIBLE
Brand: Heide (Farley's & Sathers)
Place Purchased: samples from Farley's and Sathers
Price: retail $1.00
Size: 7.8 ounces
Calories per ounce: 92
Categories: Jelly, Cinnamon, United States, Farley's & Sathers, Kosher

POSTED BY Cybele AT 11:16 am     Comments (3)

Monday, November 2, 2009

All Natural Necco Wafers

All Natural Necco Wafers (7 flavors)It’s hard to believe that I’ve never reviewed Necco Wafers. In the early years of Candy Blog I tried to concentrate on candies I’d never had before, but it became apparent that in order to discuss things that were new (or new to me) I had to cover the classics as well. So I’m slowly adding those.

Necco Wafers were introduced in 1863 by the Chase and Company candy makers. They were known for their hard candies (boiled sweets), lozenges and “Oriental style” sweets including Turkish Delight. They also innovated machinery and techniques to create confections like the wafers. Chase later merged with Ball and Forbes and Bird, Wright and Company to become the New England Confectionery Company in 1901. By the time they’d been around for almost fifty years they finally settled into their present day name, assortment and packaging style in 1912.  Necco Wafers were available in different sizes and were a popular penny candy of the time.

All Natural Necco Wafers (7 flavors)The wafers are lightly flavored and colored disks of sugar. The product is rather unusual for the modern era of confections and is more similar to breath mints than regular candy. They’re not fussy but perhaps a little homely and dated.

To make them, a dough of sugar and corn syrup is mixed up and stabilizers and binders such as gelatin, tragacanth, xanthan and gum Arabic are added. Then after the base is created it’s customized with the flavors and colors. The whole mass is loaded into a roller like it’s some sort of infinitely long pie crust then the disks are cut and stamped with the Necco name. They’re not baked, just air dried.

What’s created is a beguilingly crunchy lozenge. Crisp, thin and sweet.

The classic roll of Necco Wafers contained eight flavors and has always been a random assorted stack sealed in a glassine wrapper. I know most folks who like them also searched the store shelves for one that had just the right mix of colors they preferred.

This year marks a new generation of Necco Wafers now with all natural flavorings and colors. Because of the new restrictions Necco placed on itself, they dropped one flavor from the original that could not be replicated adequately: Lime.

The current flavors are chocolate, cinnamon, clove, lemon, licorice, orange and wintergreen. Since no artificial colors are used I was hoping that the flavors would be truer. (I’ve always had a problem with the pink ones having a bad bitter aftertaste.)

All Natural Necco Wafers (7 flavors)

I haven’t been able to find the large two ounce rolls in the stores near me, but I did finally find this package of the mini rolls at CVS in the Halloween section. (I visited about a dozen stores in two states in a month looking for them.)

The colors are quite a bit more subdued, as if Necco Wafers weren’t already a bit washed out. They’re so muted that I have trouble telling the pale yellow, lavender and white apart. And for folks that like to preview a roll before they open it, it’s quite hard to tell the light colors apart. The new wrapper also sports an updated logo ... though I find the logo to look more like something from 1998 (when the titled oval was all the rage in logos) than a modern candy, but not quite a reflection of its classic past.

Clove - I always avoided the clove for two reasons. I don’t like clove flavor and I didn’t like the food coloring aftertaste. In this case the clove (faint lavender) is much more mild and less caustic than before. Of course there’s no weird aftertaste either. I still didn’t like it much and was a little irritated that it was so hard to pull them out of the mix in anything other than bright sunlight.

Chocolate - the easiest to spot and one that needs no coloring. I found the cocoa flavors to be overly sweet, but at least true. It was like an old piece of dried chocolate frosting. A little pointless if you really want chocolate, but it has a freshness to it that doesn’t leave me thinking of cardboard.

Wintergreen - I was so happy about these. The color is still a teaberry pink, so they’re easy to spot. It’s exactly like a piece of teaberry gum if it was a crunchy piece of sugar (and a stale piece of gum can be like that). The flavor starts out rather soft and quaint, but builds up to a bit of a Ben Gay burn later. There’s a lingering buzz in the mouth. The best part of the finish is that it’s all flavor and no food coloring mess. My tongue looks like when I started (normal pink) and no metallic aftertaste.

Cinnamon - this white piece lots its mojo in the conversion to all natural. It’s sad how lacking in cinnamon punch it is now, it’s not that it’s bad, but I just don’t feel like picking them out and eating them first any longer.

Licorice - the color is so much lighter on these, it took me a while to realize that they weren’t the clove ones. They’re a light putty color that sometimes has a lavender cast to it. The flavor is quite a strong anise note. It’s sweet and has an aromatic and slightly menthol quality to it. It reminds me a little bit of the Fisherman’s Friend lozenges.

Lemon - the lemon flavored Necco Wafers were never spectacular and they haven’t changed one way or the other. Sweet and with only the slightest hint of lemon flavor, there’s no tartness (thank goodness - if you’ve had the SweetHearts Sour Conversation Hearts you’ll know what I mean), no zest.

Orange - this faint orange colored one has a little orange peel note to it. It didn’t seem as sweet as the lemon one, but that’s not saying much about it. It was mostly inoffensive.

I don’t miss Lime, but I did enjoy the flavor. As an assortment, I’ve found myself munching through the bag of minis without any problems. I’ve picked out most of the clove, but find all the other flavors enjoyable. So I consider the new mix a definite winner. The only issue was the strength of the flavors varies - the clove, licorice and wintergreen were very strong and left a distinct burn in the mouth while the rest were pretty mellow. So after a licorice, I could barely tell that I was eating a lemon.

Each roll of 9 pieces has only 50 calories. They take a while to eat and of course there’s the variety, so it’s a nice snack that’s easy to take anywhere. I do have a problem with the little white powder that seems to get everywhere though. (I tend to wear a lot of dark colors.)

I think this is a great development and I’m actually looking forward to see if the classic SweetHearts Conversation Hearts will also go all natural. They do still have gelatin in them, so sadly no good for vegetarians and they’re not Kosher/Halal. I really like my candies to taste like candy, not artificial colors.

Related Candies

  1. Chocolate Dipped Altoids - Creme de Menthe
  2. Canada Wintergreen
  3. Necco Conversation Hearts (Sweethearts)
  4. VerMints
  5. Chocolate Dipped Altoids
  6. Lifesaver Musk
  7. Pastiglie Leone
  8. Necco Smoothies
Name: All Natural Necco Wafers
    RATING:
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 6 TEMPTING
  • 5 PLEASANT
  • 4 BENIGN
  • 3 UNAPPEALING
  • 2 APPALLING
  • 1 INEDIBLE
Brand: Necco
Place Purchased: CVS (Eagle Rock)
Price: $2.29
Size: 11 ounces
Calories per ounce: 109
Categories: Chalk, Cinnamon, Licorice, United States, Necco, All Natural

POSTED BY Cybele AT 1:37 pm     Comments (26)

Friday, July 17, 2009

World Confections: Jaw Slammers

Long Lasting Jaw SlammersI picked up this variety pack of jawbreakers from a brand called World Confections at the Dollar Tree, mostly because they’re made in Pakistan. 

Each variety is a little different and sports a different package design. And each package holds a little over an ounce. (Actually, the boxes were basically twice as big as they needed to be.)

The Fruit Flavors Jaw Slammers introduced me to the product line’s mascot, this blond kid with a big jawbreaker in his mouth.

Long Lasting Jaw SlammersThere’s no list on the box of what the fruit flavors should be, so I was left to guess.

But more disturbing than the lack of info was the look of the jawbreakers.

Each is about the size of a garbanzo bean, nicely spherical but mottled and uneven in color.

The melt on the tongue isn’t smooth until the first layer of color dissolves away.

I tried a few of the colors but the flavor was never more than “bland fruit” with a blend of citrus, banana and sweet berry. The texture is much like most jawbreakers, smooth and then a little burst of flavor (it you could call it that) and then a little bit rougher texture ... then smooth again.

About two layers down the candy stops and becomes a piece of compressed dextrose about the size of the old Tart n Tinys. But unflavored.

They’re wholly unoffensive, but not terribly stimulating or satisfying. I don’t feel ripped off, but I was hoping for a bit more flavor.

Sour Jaw Slammers

The Sour Jaw Slammers box is pretty bold in color.

At first the pieces looked to be similarly mottled as the fruit ones, but after touching them, they’re softly textured. I expected that to be a sour blast coating like Toxic Waste. Instead it was just the same as the fruit.

I waited through the layers until finally I got to that chalky candy layer and was rewarded with a very tart SweeTart like nugget.

Again, none of the flavors were particularly distinct, but the sweet outer layer and then the textural difference of the sour center was at least interesting.

Bubble Gum Center Jaw Slammers

Once I got the style of these candies down, I thought I knew what to expect with the Bubble Gum Center Jaw Slammers.

These were even more bumply than the others.

They were also more flavorful. Not a good flavor. It was a combination of Country Time Lemonade and ketchup.

Then there was the center.

I was expecting a piece of bubble gum at the center. Because that’s what the box said .. with bubble gum center.

So get to the middle and it feels just like a piece of compressed dextrose ... a bit tangy though. So I chew and find that it’s like a Razzle.

The net amount of gum (bubble gum, you know, for blowing bubbles) is about the size of a mustard seed.

These are terrible.
Hot Red Shockers

Hot Red Shockers are, as I expected, to be like mini Atomic Fireballs.

The box design is a bit more of a downer than the others. Nowhere does it say that these are cinnamon.

In truth, they’re not just cinnamon. After first the little ball was a smooth and sweet cinnamon, then it ebbed into spearmint territory. The combination was like toothpaste or mouthwash. But then it came back around to cinnamon and there was definitely a red hot layer in there somewhere before the center became just a sugar ball.

I’m not sure why I would buy these when there are already two very good jawbreakers that fit the bill: Gobstoppers and Atomic Fireballs.

But I suppose if if I needed some water soluble ball bearings, this would fit the bill. Perhaps if I was looking for something to give away to people that I don’t care if they like me or not after receiving it. But not for me.

Related Candies

  1. Cinnamon Imperial Hearts
  2. Boston Baked Beans
  3. Atomic Fireballs
  4. Gobs of Gobstoppers
Name: Jaw Slammers, Sour Jaw Slammers, Bubble Gum Filled Jaw Slammers, Red Hot Shockers
    RATING:
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 6 TEMPTING
  • 5 PLEASANT
  • 4 BENIGN
  • 3 UNAPPEALING
  • 2 APPALLING
  • 1 INEDIBLE
Brand: World Confections
Place Purchased: Dollar Tree (Anaheim)
Price: $1.00 for set
Size: 4.08 ounces
Calories per ounce: 120
Categories: Hard Candy, Cinnamon, Chalk

POSTED BY Cybele AT 2:34 pm     Comments (3)

Monday, April 20, 2009

Good & Fiery

Good & FieryI have been waiting nearly a year to find these! I first read about them last year on Candy Addict’s list of new products coming out from Hershey’s. The release date of December 2008 came and went and I kept my eyes open but still didn’t see them in the stores ... not even on the internet. I thought maybe Hershey’s decided not to put them out.

Then last week I wandered down to the 99 Cent Only Store about a mile from my office to see what was new. I found a box. One box. Just sitting there, mixed in with the Sugar Babies and Care Bears Gummi Bears. I would have bought more, but this was all they had (and this one was a little dinged).

Good & FieryThe biggest question I had about these was which side of the confectionery line would they fall ... are they a licorice product like Good & Plenty or are they a jelly-bean-like Good & Fruity.

The front of the package was no help. It describes these only as Sweet and Spicy chewy candy. The side of the package pushed me in the direction of Good & Fruity when I looked at the ingredients. The first three are dextrose, sugar & corn syrup. Good & Plenty has wheat flour as part of the licorice.

So now I knew that I was expecting: Lemon, Orange, Apple & Cinnamon jelly rods.

All that confusion aside ... the box design is fabulous. I love the bold colors & graphic style (which is why there are so many photos in this review).

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Good & FieryGood & Fiery are like their brethren Good & Fruity - little jelly bean rods. Long (about 2/3 of an inch) & tapered at both ends, they’re smaller than Mike and Ike and a bit shinier, too.

Lemon (Yellow) - bright and translucent, I was more than curious what the combination of lemon and cinnamon would hold. The candy shells on these is rather thin & crunchy. Now, the flavor ... at first it’s a little bitter. The shell is sweet, but the little sweet veneer wears off and I got a slight bitter hit, an organic type of woodsy bitter. I got lemon zest too ... and then cinnamon. At the very end there was a little twang of tartness.

It’s downright bizarre. It’s like eating a candle. Not in a bad way.

Orange (orange) - also starts with a slight bitterness but that moved into a very strong sweetness quickly. The cinnamon here is like an actual cinnamon stick - woodsy with notes of cedar and pine and then a strong snap of tartness then some more bitter at the end. There’s a warm feeling from the cinnamon but not a strong lingering one.

Good & FieryApple (red) - I had trouble telling the reds apart when I didn’t have another to compare it to (though usually the cinnamon ones were a bit fatter). This apple is sweet and tangy and has that nice combination of apple juice flavor mixed with that made-in-the-lab note of “green apple flavoring”. The cinnamon is a bit of a background here but makes it taste a bit like a McDonald’s Hot Apple Pie. (Without the “caution filling is hot” label.)

Cinnamon (dark red) - I was expecting the plain cinnamon to be like a Hot Tamale or Sizzling Cinnamon Jelly Belly. Instead this one went in a wholly different direction. The shell on these seemed crispier. The cinnamon flavor on the outside was soft. Then at the edge of the shell and the jelly center there was a burst of flavor - like an all cinnamon chai - it had a burning warmth and some really authentic notes of real cinnamon, not just the cinnamon oils.

This has to be one of the strangest ventures I’ve seen Hersheys’ take in quite a while. It’s like they subcontracted the folks who developed the Dots: Elements (Earth, Wind, Fire & Water) to come up with a brand extension for Good & Fruity. I’m completely puzzled by these though, because I think Hershey’s created a great new product with their Cinnamon Twizzlers Fire. Why couldn’t they have taken those and made a version of that like the true Good & Plenty?

Those who are disappointed by the soulless rebirth of Good & Fruity aren’t going to find any comfort here. Those who enjoy cinnamon with all the variations of the flavor might find some solace.

Joann from Sugar Hi reviewed them a few months ago, at least helping to disambiguate their candy category but didn’t dissuade me from trying them.

Related Candies

  1. See’s Cinnamon (Hearts & Lollypops)
  2. Cinnamon Imperial Hearts
  3. Gimbal’s Lavaballs
  4. Good & Plenty (Fresh from the Factory)
  5. Chocolate Dipped Altoids
  6. Hot Tamales and Hotter Tamales
Name: Good & Fiery
    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
Place Purchased: 99 Cent Only (Miracle Mile)
Price: $1.00
Size: 5 ounces
Calories per ounce: 99
Categories: Jelly, Cinnamon, United States, Hershey's, Kosher

POSTED BY Cybele AT 7:29 am     Comments (43)

Friday, January 23, 2009

See’s Cinnamon (Hearts & Lollypops)

See's Hot HeartsSee’s candy shops carry more than their distinctive boxed chocolates.

Usually for holidays they’ll have some other panned sugar candies. For Valentine’s Day this year the trend seems to be cinnamon flavor. So I picked up a bag of their See’s Hot Hearts and their Cinnamon Lollypops.

The Hot Hearts were a bit expensive, in my opinion, for a sugar candy. It was $4.50 for a 12 ounce bag of what are basically heart-shaped Hot Tamales.

But hey, the bag was pretty and included a real piece of ribbon on it and a thick plastic bag with pretty little red foil printed hearts.

While See’s makes their own chocolates and lollypops, I’m pretty sure they have their sugar candies specially made for them by an outside company. I was hoping my trip to the Fancy Food Show might shed some light on that, because, spoiler alert ... these were good and I think I might want some more after Valentine’s Day!

See's Hot HeartsThe candies are a deep red color, lightly glossy and almost an inch across at the widest part of the heart.

The candy shell is crisp and a little grainy. The jelly center is sweet and very cinnamony. The sizzle of these heart-shaped jelly beans is substantial.

The cinnamon flavor is both woodsy and fiery, capturing all of the great aspects of cinnamon.

Even though there’s a fair amount of food coloring in these (including Red 40), there’s no bitter aftertaste. Not that there ever is an aftertaste, since I don’t actually stop eating them.

Yes, I want to know how to get them all year long, or themed for other holidays, like Fiery Eggs for Easter or a Screaming Phoenix for Halloween.

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See’s has been making their own Lollypops for years. The flavors change from time to time, but lately they’ve been adding in their seasonal flavors.

See’s Cinnamon Lollypops are the same rounded block shaped lolly made from a hard caramel base.

See's Cinnamon Lollipops

The scent is odd. It smells like caramel and cinnamon. But the scent and the flavors are never completely integrated. They just exist side by side.

Mmm, toasted sugar and butter flavors. Then, wow, a pop of hot cinnamon. Then the mellow and sweet caramel.

I liked them, but not quite as much and not in the same way as the Hot Hearts. They last a long time, but the combo of boiled sugar and butter with cinnamon never quite meshed for me. Plus there was a bit of a bitter artificial color aftertaste on these.

The pops are a great, reliable candy. They’re only 70 calories each, but be warned, they’re not fat free. Not that fat is a bad thing, it’s pretty much necessary for a caramel. Their Butterscotch lollypop is still the best (and the Root Beer is the best of their seasonal flavors). I’ve picked up the other flavors for review twice ... but ate them before I could photograph them.

Related Candies

  1. See’s Pumpkin Spice & Root Beer Lollypops
  2. Cinnamon Fire Twizzlers
  3. See’s Hollow Eggs with Novelty
  4. Cinnamon Imperial Hearts
  5. Gimbal’s Lavaballs
  6. Chewy Lemonheads & Atomic Fireballs
  7. See’s Awesome Nut & Chew Bar
Name: Hot Hearts & Cinnamon Lollypops
    RATING:
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 6 TEMPTING
  • 5 PLEASANT
  • 4 BENIGN
  • 3 UNAPPEALING
  • 2 APPALLING
  • 1 INEDIBLE
Brand: See's Candies
Place Purchased: See's (Sherman Oaks Fashion Square)
Price: $4.50
Size: 12 ounces & 5.6 ounces
Calories per ounce: 99 & 100
Categories: Hard Candy, Jelly, Cinnamon, United States, See's, Kosher

POSTED BY Cybele AT 9:12 am     Comments (18)

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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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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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