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Farley's & Sathers

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Chuckles

It’s not that I’ve never had Chuckles, but it’s been a very, very long time. I don’t actually know who eats Chuckles. It’s not me. And it’s pretty hard to figure it out because I never see them being sold, let alone being eaten.

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The last time I remember seeing them was in a vending machine on the campus of Kent State University in the basement of the building where my father worked ... this would be around 1978. I probably bought them. I loved that vending machine, it was super-cheap and sometimes dispensed two candy bars, it was like a slot machine! (Except when you win candy you can’t really stuff it back in the coin slot to try to win more.)

What sets this flavor assortment apart is the first one:

Licorice - light and refreshing, a completely different experience from the doughy/molasses experience of black licorice vines. The licorice isn’t overpowering but nice and smooth.

Cherry - this is one of the worst and for lots of personal reasons. It reminds me of medicine, like so many of those cough potions and penicillin elixirs of my youth, I just can’t bring myself to like cherry that much. This is sweet and strong and has a slight bitter, poison note to it that I’m never sure is the color or the actual cherry flavor.

Orange - wonderfully zesty without much of a tart hint to it at all. It was so orangy that it left a slight burning tingle to the inside of my lips. Maybe Chuckles can be called the Altoids of jelly candies?

Lemon - zesty, light and sparkly. The zest actually lends a little bitter note in the middle to this one, but I don’t mind it a bit because it reminds me of real lemon rinds.

Lime - well, there’s always the underdog in every flavor mix and lime is it here. It’s everything you’d expect from a circa 1920 lime candy - the essence of a clean floor. It’s kind of sad that the fabulous flavor of lime was co-opted by the cleaning moguls, but there you have it, for at least two generations the scent of lime just can’t be separated from the smell of a clean bathroom. Even with all its baggage, I still ate the whole piece (not true with the cherry one) and wondered what was so bad with associating a piece of candy with sparkling tiles?

Now, I like jelly candies. I do find myself pining for Spearmint Leaves and Orange Slices from time to time, but I don’t really care for buying a half pound of them, which is usually how they’re sold. But then again, when I want Spearmint Leaves, Chuckles aren’t going to scratch that itch and maybe if I’m in the mood for citrus, I’m not going to want that licorice or cherry. The point is, no one else sells a single serving of jelly candies like this and these are really good versions of a jelly candy because the flavors are so intense. Now I’ve gotten myself all worked up and I’m a little sad they don’t sell these around here.

Name: Chuckles
    RATING:
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 6 TEMPTING
  • 5 PLEASANT
  • 4 BENIGN
  • 3 UNAPPEALING
  • 2 APPALLING
  • 1 INEDIBLE
Brand: Farley's & Sathers
Place Purchased: Economy Candy (NYC)
Price: $.69
Size: 2 ounces
Calories per ounce: 85
Categories: Jelly, United States, Kosher

POSTED BY Cybele AT 6:13 am    

Monday, August 1, 2005

Haribo Gummi Bears vs Trolli Gummi Bears

This is my first “taste off” for CandyBlog. I’ve chosen Haribo Gummi Bears to go head-to-head with Trolli Gummi Bears. They’re both the “original” gummi bears that most Americans remember hitting big on the candy scene in the early eighties. I spent quite a bit of my allowance on these. My in-school supplier was a German girl I hung around with, Tina, who must have had them imported by the case by family members. She always seemed to be able to sell me a little 2 ounce packet of them when I needed a fix. Later I found a place in Georgetown (yes, all the way down in DC - I grew up in Pennsylvania) or at the White Flint Mall where I could get them by the pound. Eventually, by the mid-eighties everyone carried them and of course there were more brands available. But the two that I had first contact with were Haribo and Trolli. There are plenty of other brands, like Heide, Black Forest, Brachs and of course a Disney cartoon franchise.

Personally, before this taste test, I would say that Haribo was my favorite. Let’s see how they do…

Name: Trolli Gummi Bears
Brand: Trolli (now owned by Farley’s & Sathers)
Place Purchased: 7-11
Price: $.85
Size: 1.5 oz
Calories per ounce: 100
Type: Gummi

Trolli Gummi Bears come in five flavors. From left to right they are (as far as I can tell): Cherry, Orange, Lemon, Pineapple and Lime. The shape of the bears is a rather stylelized bear shape, with a large head, narrow legs and little bumps for eyes and a nose.

Trolli are soft, soft bears. Squishy and aromatic, they yield their flavor instantly on the tongue. Inside the package they look a little greasy, but they don’t feel that way once you pop them in the mouth, they’re far softer than Haribos with a better burst of flavor when you put it in your mouth. The cherry is very strong, and overwhelms all the other flavors in the package, all of them smell like cherry.

Name: Haribo Gummi Bears
Brand: Haribo
Place Purchased: Cost Plus
Price: $1.39
Size: 5.29 oz
Calories per ounce: 100
Type: Gummi

 

Haribo Gummi Bears are kind of freaky looking in these photos, they look a little evil. Trust me, in person they’re just cute as can be. Their heads are smaller than their body (as it should be) and they have softer curves and cute little dimpled ears. Their bellies have a little texturing that I think is supposed to be fur.

They’re far firmer than the Trolli Bears. What’s cool about them is that you can have them in your hand or pocket (yes, I sometimes stick candy in my jacket pockets not in any sort of wrapper so I can snack discretely when walking or in a meeting) without them sticking to anything. The Trolli bears have that oily coating that just makes lint stick to them. The flavors from left to right are: Berry (strawberry or raspberry, I can’t tell), Orange, Lemon, Pineapple and Lime.

Flavor for Flavor:

Red - this is the only color where the flavor is different in the brands:
Trolli’s red is robust cherry flavor, with a good woodsy undertone, nice tartness and aroma. Haribo’s berry is tart and sweet, but lacks a flavor punch (because I can’t tell what flavor it is).

Orange - the color and the flavor
Trolli’s orange is soft and has a good tartness and flavor, a slight bitter tinge to it, like orange oil.
Haribo’s is immediately zesty without any bitterness. Tart and sweet, with more flavor going towards the aromatic orange than juicy.

Yellow - lemon, one of the most enduring flavors in the world
Trolli’s lemon was sweet and tart with that same bitter zest tinge to it.
Haribo’s lemon was incredibly lemony, with all the notes: zest, sweet and sour. Flavor through and through, mellow but vibrant.

Clear - the puzzling flavor of the gummi bear world, I’m going with Pineapple here
Trolli’s is nice and sour but lacking flavor (I’m still tasting the cherry on most of these even though I segregated the other flavors over the weekend).
Haribo’s is intense, with a good sour punch that makes my salivary glands tingle. If I were only allowed one gummi bear flavor for the rest of my life, this would be it.

(The funnest part of the clear ones is that they remind me of invisibility. You know, like Wonder Woman’s invisible plane on the Superfriends. See, you can cast the whole cartoon with gummi bears! The Red Bear is Superman, the Orange Bear is Aquaman, Yellow is Batman and Green is Robin. It’s a perfect match!)

Green - everyone’s least favorite flavor, Lime
Trolli’s lime is very zesty with that slight bitter bite to it and a strong and smooth sour to it. Most lime things remind me of cleaning supplies and this one is no different.
Haribo’s lime gummi is the least flavorful of them all. It’s tart and much sweeter than the others and has an unnoticeable note of lime to it.

Since I’m not a fan of cherry, the Haribo Bears are a more logical choice for me because I’ll eat all the flavors in there (and their Pineapple is so phenomenal).

In the end, this test only confirmed what I already knew, Haribo is the bear for me. The slightly waxy outer coating and firmer bite might be a negative for some folks, but I find it to enhance their durability. The flavors are all intense and distinct. Trolli’s softer chew is compelling but the overwhelming intrusion of the cherry flavor on its companions is a real turnoff for me.

Other resources: About Gummi Bears, Huge Selection of Haribo Gummi Products, Gummi Bears TV Show, the largest Gummi Bear photos.

UPDATE: I should have known that Haribo would win ... Google Fight told me so.

UPDATED UPDATE: Haribo’s green bear is Strawberry ... kind of strange, but if you close your eyes and don’t look at the color it’s a little more obvious. (Thanks to the readers who pointed that out.)

POSTED BY Cybele AT 10:17 am     CandyReviewFarley's & SathersHariboWrigley'sGummi CandyGermanyUnited StatesHead to Head

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