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Easter

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Runts Freckled Eggs

imageWonka makes a product called Runts, which are little fruit flavored & shaped compressed dextrose candies covered in a hard candy shell. They’re super cute. They’ve recently added a couple of flavors (some sort of blue balls and pink hearts), but the essence of Runts has always been quirky shapes to match the flavors.

The unique item about Runts has always been the banana. Love it or hate it, you can’t argue that it doesn’t look like a banana (but you’re welcome to argue that it doesn’t taste like one).

Enter the holiday version of Runts, the Runts Freckled Eggs. They’re little egg shaped Runts ... with freckles!

image

These Runts, as you can see, are egg shaped. They’re also spattered in a sassy way in different colors. There are four flavors: Orange, Blue Raspberry, Green Something and Strawberry. The spattering varies from egg to egg, which pleased me.

The candies themselves are fun, they’re kind of like Gobstoppers, they have a hard shell that feels cool on the tongue, it’s ultra smooth and sweet. Unlike Gobstoppers these shells are thin and you can crack open the candies to reveal the compressed dextrose (ala a SweeTart) candy inside. The candy center isn’t a tart as a SweeTart but more mellow. Not very flavorful either, but I could tell the difference between the flavors ... expect the green one. Sometimes I thought it was watermelon, sometimes green apple.

My complaint here is that there’s no banana. But if you approach these without any preconceptions attached to the all-season Runts, these are tasty and certainly a bit different than jelly beans and marshmallow eggs. I kind of liked the box too.

These were made in Mexico.

Related Candies

  1. Runts
  2. Wonka Nerds Jelly Beans
  3. Gobstopper Heart Breakers
  4. SweeTart Hearts
  5. Gobs of Gobstoppers
Name: Wonka Runts Freckled Eggs
    RATING:
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 6 TEMPTING
  • 5 PLEASANT
  • 4 BENIGN
  • 3 UNAPPEALING
  • 2 APPALLING
  • 1 INEDIBLE
Brand: Wonka (Nestle)
Place Purchased: Walgreen's (Echo Park)
Price: $.50
Size: 1.75 ounces
Calories per ounce: 101
Categories: Chalk, Mexico, Nestle, Easter

POSTED BY Cybele AT 6:45 am     Comments (13)

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Cadbury Raspberry Bunny

DSC09053rYou know what surprised me most about this candy? It recognizes that it’s for Easter. There’s only one other product I’ve reviewed (as far as I can tell) in the past two years that actually mentions the Easter holiday on the wrapper. (The bunny is holding a basket that says “Happy Easter”) Strange, isn’t it? Are we all kidding ourselves that all these egg shaped things could easily be for Passover? (Oddly enough, this is Kosher ... though not for Passover since it has corn syrup in it.)

But I guess I digress.

This is the second Cadbury Royal Dark Raspberry Bunny I’ve bought this year. I lost the first one after I took the photo. (So calling out to it does no good ... it’s missing its ears!) It’s probably in the seat cushions in the car or stuck to the bottom of one of my backpacks.

image

It’s a very pretty bunny. It’s really well made, nice and shiny and with a pleasant chocolate scent. It’s well formed and looks like a bunny, unlike some candies I’ve purchased for Easter. It’s mostly chocolate with only a small reservoir of “Raspberry Creme Center” in it. It’s not very big, so it’s a good chocolate treat that won’t leave you hating yourself.

The only problem is that Raspberry Creme center ... what is it? At first I thought it was a caramel. It’s almost a syrup and certainly not a creme. It’s sticky and drippy and a little tangy. It even tastes a little salty. It doesn’t taste much like raspberry. Smells a little like it, but doesn’t really taste like it.

The chocolate is that Royal Dark chocolate that Cadbury is pushing now (with the Royal Dark Mini Eggs) which is rather palatable. It’s sweet but also has some nice cocoa notes. It lacks a sort of buttery oomph that good dark chocolate can have.

I’m not really that fond of this. It’s fun and of course it’s not terribly big or expensive, so I can’t be that disappointed.

Name: Royal Dark Raspberry Bunny
    RATING:
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 6 TEMPTING
  • 5 PLEASANT
  • 4 BENIGN
  • 3 UNAPPEALING
  • 2 APPALLING
  • 1 INEDIBLE
Brand: Cadbury (mfd by Hershey's)
Place Purchased: Walgreen's & CVS
Price: $.59
Size: 1.1 ounces
Calories per ounce: 136
Categories: Chocolate, United States, Hershey's, Cadbury, Easter, Kosher

POSTED BY Cybele AT 6:25 am     Comments (5)

Monday, March 19, 2007

Jelly Belly Deluxe Easter Mix

DSC09436rI found a great new candy store over the weekend. At the suggestion of a reader (thannks Jenny!) I journeyed to City of Commerce to visit Garvey Nut & Candy. It’s a warehouse, mostly wholesale, but they also sell retail. The bulk (and I mean bulk) of their products are sold in full cases, but it’s cash & carry, so no shipping costs incurred.

They had a small selection of items that were sold from open boxes. Just about all of it was from their Easter inventory. At FANTASTIC prices. One of the finds was the Jelly Belly Deluxe Easter Mix ... at $2.35 for a 9 ounce bag, it’s unheard of. The Jelly Belly online sells the same bag for $4.99 (in a prettier store, I’ll admit). If you’re planning a big party or wedding and live in the LA area, this might be just the place for you. High end chocolates and mints to bulk wrapped candies to nuts and nut mixes. For the Easter goodies they had the large packages of Peeps of all kinds for 99 cents, jelly beans (all sorts of Jelly Belly seasonal products), deluxe chocolate eggs (fudge, peanut butter, vanilla), baskets, tins and foil eggs by the kilo (some by Madelaine, which are quite tasty).

You may have to ask them for prices on many items and you may need help finding things. (Their website isn’t very good, so don’t bother.) They have funky hours too: 8AM - 4:30PM on weekdays and Saturday 9-2 (until Easter, then they’re closed on Saturdays until August). I’ll probably head back down there for a look at their Halloween goodies in the fall.

Garvey Nut & Candy
6416 Flotilla Street,
Los Angeles, CA 90040
(323) 890-5890

Okay, enough of that, you came here for some candy, didn’t you?
image

The Deluxe Easter Mix contains assorted pastel Jelly Bellys, bunny corn, mellocremes, gummi eggs and malted chocolate eggs. (It’s also supposed to contain chocolate eggs, but I picked through the bags to find one that had more malted eggs ... which I promptly ate. If you want a full account of them, check out Sera’s review at Candy Addict.)

image

The bulk of the mix seemed to be populated by these friendly fellows: Mellocremes. (Click on the photo for the full shape assortment.)

They’re flavored lightly: grape, lemon, lime, strawberry and vanilla. The flavors are light (especially light for a company that built itself on extra flavor). I didn’t care for lime at all, but the lemon and strawberry were quite nice. I don’t know which color was supposed to be vanilla (maybe there are white ones, I didn’t have any in my mix).

imageThis is the Bunny Corn, and it’s pretty much the same recipe as the Mellocreme but a different shape. They tend to be a little firmer and as you might guess, they’re just like Candy Corn. They’re not flavored.

If the Mellocremes in white taste like this, I might be more fond of them. I rather like candy corn, in small doses.

There are only two colors on these, which seemed a little skimpy. Candy Corn usually has three colors (orange,  yellow and white). But I guess Bunnies travel light.

imageThe Jelly Belly website calls these Orange Creme Non-Pareil Eggs, which doesn’t really sound like much fun. So I’m going to call them Crunchy Gummi Eggs. They’re super-cute, with pastel colored crunchy spheres (non-pareils) on the outside and a tangy orange gummi on the inside. They’re larger than a jelly bean, about the size of a foil wrapped chocolate egg that you can often find in Easter baskets.

They’re much like the Crunchy Bears I reviewed a while back, except these only come in orange, which is fine by me. The gummi is super-soft and the crunchy coating gives it some fun ... it’s the crunchiest thing in the bag. Jelly Belly also makes a slightly related product with the Champagne Bubbles and Berries.

There were also some Jelly Belly scattered in, they came in Berry Blue, Cantaloupe, Cotton Candy, Island Punch, Lemon, Lemon Lime, Pi?a Colada, Pink Grapefruit, and looked oh-so-coordinated with everything else. (I picked out all the pink grapefruit while shooting the photos.)

Overall the mix was very pretty, and attractiveness is important with holiday candy. But I wasn’t really that keen on some of the elements (the Mellocremes, especially). It was a good introduction to the whole line of Easter treats, so now I know what to buy in a solo bag - the Orange Creme Non-Pareil Eggs. At normal mortal prices of $4.99 a bag, I’m not that wild about the whole shebang (so they get a 6 out of 10) as a sub-$2.50 find, they’re a 7 out of 10.

Name: Deluxe Easter Mix
    RATING:
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 6 TEMPTING
  • 5 PLEASANT
  • 4 BENIGN
  • 3 UNAPPEALING
  • 2 APPALLING
  • 1 INEDIBLE
Brand: Jelly Belly
Place Purchased: Garvey Nuts & Candy
Price: $2.35
Size: 9 ounces
Calories per ounce: 107
Categories: Chocolate, Malt, Gummi, Jelly, United States, Jelly Belly, Easter

POSTED BY Cybele AT 11:08 am     Comments (11)

Lifesavers Jellybeans

DSC09417rI’ve been rather peeved with Lifesavers for a few years. In fact, you might even call my rant about the Five Roll flavors changing my first Candy Blog post.

But if I was complaining before that the five flavor roll changed to accommodate new flavors, I should be pleased that the Lifesavers Jellybeans actually have all my favorite flavors (well, no tangerine, but orange will do nicely). My other pet peeve is that the colors on their logo no longer match the flavors. If you look at the package it lists the flavors on a different color stripe, but the color of the stripe doesn’t match the flavor. Oh well.

image

The Lifesavers Jelly Beans are about the size of Jelly Belly, but a little fatter around the middle. The colors are bold and appealing and the quality control was very good - the beans were very consistent.

Grape - has tones of both fake grape and a little smidge of concord in there, just like grape soda.
Strawberry - sweet and floral with a tangy bite.
Cherry - tastes like a cherry Lifesavers ... it’s kind of growing on me ... oh wait, it’s bitter now, never mind.
Orange - zesty and tart like it should be.
Peach - surprisingly round in its flavor, still I pick them out (but they look a lot like the orange).
Lemon - like the orange, a good balanced citrus flavor.
Green Apple - artificial tasting, through and through.
Pineapple - sassy and tart with a good flowery note and a touch of cotton candy ... just like it should be.

Overall, with only two flavors I didn’t much care for (cherry & peach), this is an excellent assortment. They’re not quite Jelly Belly (which pack flavor through and through), but for a fraction of the price they’re admirable. I actually liked them much better than the Starburst ones I tried last year. There’s another pastel mix of flavors as well: Red Raspberry, Mango Medley, Cotton Candy, Watermelon, Blueberry, Pina Colada, Strawberry-Kiwi, and Banana which also sounds pretty tasty. (I’ll probably give those a try if they’re sitting around after Easter on sale.)

Name: Lifesavers Jellybeans
    RATING:
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 6 TEMPTING
  • 5 PLEASANT
  • 4 BENIGN
  • 3 UNAPPEALING
  • 2 APPALLING
  • 1 INEDIBLE
Brand: Lifesavers (Wrigley)
Place Purchased: Walgreen's
Price: $1.59
Size: 14 ounces
Calories per ounce: 106
Categories: Jelly, United States, Wrigley, Easter

POSTED BY Cybele AT 6:08 am     Comments (28)

Friday, March 16, 2007

All Easter Week 2007

Yep, that’s right, it’ll be all Easter candy, all week long.

Right now I’ve got the following in the tasting basket:

Palmer Nest Eggs (Peanut Butter)
Rabbit Change
Melster Fluffies
Melster Marshmallow and Marshmallow & Caramel Eggs
See’s Egg Quartet
Cadbury Royal Dark Raspberry Bunny

I’m sure I’ll prowl the stores over the weekend for more. See the photos here and browse all Easter candy reviews to date here.

Check out CandyAddict’s special Easter series, SugarHog.net has been into Easter candy lately, too and Wisconsin Candy Dish so don’t miss ‘em!

Finally, Chocolate Obsession reminds everyone to “Make Mine Chocolate” ... so buy your kids and lovers chocolate bunnies, not the flesh and blood ones.

POSTED BY Cybele AT 2:56 pm     CandyEasterComments (1)

Friday, March 9, 2007

Peeps Lollipop Rings

Peep Pops PackageI was thinking to myself as Easter approaches and candy season comes to a close ... it’s sad that there’s no way to get that “Peep Flavor Experience” without all that fluffy marshmallow. You know, because Peeps are all about flavor. So imagine my surprise when I was at the drug store and I saw Peeps Lollipop Rings.

They come in two flavors, actually. The first, in the traditional yellow is simply Marshmallow flavor. The second, in the bismuth pink is the new-millennium-classic flavor, Strawberry Cream.

Yellow Peep PopBeing an eternal optimist (no, really!), I thought maybe this gorgeous little smooth Peep pop on a ring was going to taste like toasted marshmallows. Like the Jelly Belly jelly bean. It smells sweet and maybe a little milky. Oh, but the taste ... it was immediately tart. I pulled it out of my mouth and looked at the package. Had I mixed it up with the strawberry one?

The tart taste was not sour, more like yogurt. Just a tangy bite, kind of milky. It’s a smooth taste, the pop is good quality with no voids at all. It’s easy to crunch too, if you can manage to get your teeth around a good corner.

The ingredients fully explain the taste here: sugar, corn syrup, water, lactic acid, citric acid, sodium citrate, artificial flavors, corn starch, acacia gum, titanium dioxide, artificial colors. (Made in China) If you took out the corn starch and put in some gelatin you’d have a Gummi Peep (mmm, Gummi Peeps).

Pink Peep PopThe Strawberry Cream flavor didn’t join the Peeps line up until 2000. I’ve never actually tried them, as the idea of Strawberry Cream Peeps (or Hearts) has no appeal for me.

The flavor is rather yogurt-like. A creamy flavor, not very intense and sweetly fragrant of fake berries. It reminded me of Frankenberry Cereal.

The pops are super cute and very well made. They had a consistent appearance and the ring platforms were of good quality (not some sort of easy to shatter plastic that rips up your mouth). They even fit on my ring finger.

Note: though these candies are branded with the official Peep (tm) logo, they are not made by Just Born, instead they are manufactured by Flix Candy under a licensing agreement. (Just like you don’t expect that Just Born sewed those little Peep plushies, right?) They also make a Peeps Pop Slider which is kind of like those lipstick candies. (Reviewed by Jeanna at Wisconsin Candy Dish.)

Name: Peeps Lolliop Rings
    RATING:
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 6 TEMPTING
  • 5 PLEASANT
  • 4 BENIGN
  • 3 UNAPPEALING
  • 2 APPALLING
  • 1 INEDIBLE
Brand: Flix Candy (licensed from Just Born)
Place Purchased: Rite Aid (Hollywood)
Price: $.69
Size: .84 ounces
Calories per ounce: 113
Categories: Hard Candy, China, Just Born, Peeps, Easter

POSTED BY Cybele AT 8:05 am     Comments (7)

Thursday, March 8, 2007

See’s Scotchmallow Eggs

DSC09119rOh, goodness, what do we have here? See’s makes a lot of seasonal treats and I think I’ve discovered my new favorite: The Scotchmallow Egg. I’ve reviewed the Scotchmallow Bar before, which is milk chocolate, but this one is more like the piece you get in the store (or a box of See’s). It’s dark chocolate (Guittard, thankyouverymuch) with marshmallow and caramel in the center.

The box has six eggs in them, which are about twice the size of a regular piece of Scotchmallow - about 2.25” long and 1.5” across at the widest. The box lists two eggs as a serving size, which works out to 200 calories ... so that’d make each egg one of those fashionable “100 calorie snacks.”

image

Diehard Scotchmallow fans know what’s wrong with this picture. The candy center is upside down. In the Scotchmallow Bar and the pieces the caramel is on the bottom and the marshmallow is on the top. The proportions area also a little different, with the marshmallow being 2/3 and the caramel 1/3. It looks to be halfsies here (or maybe more caramel).

Here’s my best guess on how this happened. (And this is just a guess, the extent of my research amounts to seeing California’s Gold tour the factory.) The Scotchmallow is a stacked candy - they make sheets of caramel and sheets of marshmallow and then cut out the little rounds and stack them up and enrobe them (for both the bar and the piece). That wouldn’t work for the egg because of the domed top. So they pour the caramel into molds (just a guess here, folks). Then the marshmallow is poured on top, they’re flipped over and out of the mold and enrobed. Some settling occurs.

That’s the thing, the marshmallow on these is not quite as fluffy. But who cares? It tastes great. The spectacular thing about the See’s marshmallow is that it has honey in it ... you know, something that gives it flavor. It’s also a moist marshmallow, not a dry one (Peeps would be somewhere in between, when they’re fresh). The dark chocolate is rich and not too sweet. The honey touch in the marshmallow is the first flavor and then the caramel kicks in with its dark burnt sugar flavors and buttery notes.

I have to mention that some of my eggs had caramel that was a little more grainy than I’m accustomed to. I’m not sure what caused that, but even though the texture was a little different, the taste was exactly the same. I think I still prefer the traditional chocolate box piece, partly because it’s not as messy, but also because I like to nibble the chocolate off the sides and top and then eat the marshmallow ... then the caramel. But I have to love the fact that I can just pop in a store and grab one of these boxes (and my free sample) without much fuss.

The box costs $4.80 and contains a half a dozen eggs ... that works out to about $14.25 a pound ... a regular pre-packed pound of See’s is $14.50. See, it’s a deal! And no pieces you don’t like! For those of you into just marshmallow they also do a Marshmallow Egg (but in milk chocolate).

Related Candies

  1. See’s Cinnamon (Hearts & Lollypops)
  2. Lake Champlain & See’s Bunny Battle
  3. See’s Hollow Eggs with Novelty
  4. Marshmallow Pig
  5. Russell Stover Orange Marshmallow Pumpkin
  6. See’s Egg Quartet
  7. See’s Awesome Nut & Chew Bar
  8. See’s Scotchmallow
Name: Scotchmallow Eggs
    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
Place Purchased: See's (Newport Beach)
Price: $4.80
Size: 5.4 ounces
Calories per ounce: 100
Categories: Chocolate, Caramel, Marshmallow, United States, See's, Easter

POSTED BY Cybele AT 6:52 am     Comments (17)

Monday, March 5, 2007

Junior Mints Pastels

Junior Mints went with a Valentine’s Limited Edition candy last month, but this month they seem like they’re having trouble committing to the Easter holiday. I picked up this Limited Edition Junior Mints Pastels at the Dollar Tree last week. They’re unlike any other the other Limited Edition Junior Mints so far (the others were Inside Out ... a white confectionary coating with a chocolate cream center).

image

The Junior Mint Pastels are a “smooth colorful coating” with the traditional Junior Mint flowing minty fondant center. They come in two colors, which barely qualifies them for the plural of pastel: creamy yellow and turquoise blue. I’m not sure why they didn’t throw a little pink and green in there.

The term “smooth colorful coating” is rather appropriate here. I have no idea what else to call it. It’s firm and doesn’t quite have the same mouth-feel as chocolate. It’s all sugar, partially hydrogenated oils and milk. It’s sweet, and um, colorful. It tastes like it has a slight bit of salt to it, which is good because this whole candy is very sweet ... throat blisteringly, tooth-achingly sweet.

I found them compelling, as odd as they are. But I’m often a sucker for minty white mockolate. I’m never buying them again though, as I much prefer the dark chocolate Junior Mints - the bittersweet chocolate offsets the sugary center much better. But I’ll likely finish this box.

Name: Limited Edition Junior Mints Pastels
    RATING:
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 6 TEMPTING
  • 5 PLEASANT
  • 4 BENIGN
  • 3 UNAPPEALING
  • 2 APPALLING
  • 1 INEDIBLE
Brand: Tootsie
Place Purchased: Dollar Tree (Harbor City)
Price: $1.00
Size: 4.75 ounces
Calories per ounce: 124
Categories: Mint, United States, Tootsie, Limited Edition

POSTED BY Cybele AT 6:34 am     Comments (20)

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