Foreign Candy Company
Monday, May 4, 2015
Years ago, at my first visit to the All Candy Expo (now known as the Sweets & Snacks Expo), I was excited to see a candy called Gazillions. They were little boxes, probably sold for a quarter, that had tiny chewy candies in them, like mini Skittles but single flavors. They came in pineapple. And then I never saw them in stores.
Here it is, 8 years later and I finally found a package at Economy Candy. Except they’re called Cajillions. They’re billed as The Tiny Tasty Candies.
Ingredients: sugar, glucose syrup, hydrogenated palm oil, apple juice, citric acid, artificial flavor, gum arabic, malic acid, carnauba wax, artificial color (cochineal extract)
They’re rather like teensy, rustic bits of deep fried Starburst chews. They’re about the size of lentils.
I hesitate to say that they have an actual shell, but they’re definitely coated and sealed, so they don’t get sticky.
The strawberry flavor is rather clean. The outside is sweet and a little like cotton candy at first, but upon chewing the bits, it’s tangy and pretty smooth. They’re a lot like Skittles, except there’s something that’s not quite right about them. It might be the fact that they use apple juice, so there’s a little note to it that’s just a bit like apple peels to me. But perhaps a little metallic as well.
The shape is pretty good, they’re appealing to look at, though there was a bit of a yellow cast to mine, which made me wonder about whether they were fresh. They don’t roll around, but because they’re so small, they’re not easy to pick up with my fumbly fingers. About five makes a small taste, a dozen is a decent mouthful for a flavorful chew. I could see them working well in candy buffets, especially if they’re available in a wide array of colors and flavors.
I don’t have much interest in the other flavors, which are Blue Raspberry, Green Apple and Watermelon in addition to the Strawberry. No mixes, no Pineapple. I’ll pass for now.
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
I saw these last year at the All Candy Expo, but didn’t really give them any of my attention. I didn’t get them. They’re called Eiffel BonBons but I just didn’t know what they were beyond the chewy candy description on the package. The little beret wearing bonbon with his mustache and spats just seemed a little like it was co-opting a stereotype. (He’s also kind of creepy because he seems to find himself tasty.)
Then folks commented that they were fabulous and I was missing out on something. So I started looking for them. After all, they were introduced in the United States after being known as a sleeper hit amongst travelers to France and students of the French language (apparently they’re sold by French clubs at schools all over North America). Supposedly they’re available at Target or Wal-Mart, but I’ve not seen them at all.
But what are they?
Even after eating a whole package, I’m not sure if I can adequately describe them.
They’re little spheres, about the size of a hazelnut or garbanzo bean. They’re not completely consistent in color or size but in the case of the Strawberry ones, they’re pink with darker pink flecks. They’re powdery on the outside, kind of like Smarties can be. They smell like strawberry or pink cotton candy - just sweet and fresh.
On the tongue the coating is sweet. There’s a slight shell on the candy, but it’s not crunchy, more like a Smarties kind of crumbly compressed dextrose coating. It’s not tangy though, just sweet with a light touch of strawberry.
Inside is a soft and tangy fruit chew. It’s a foamy Starburst, it’s pillowy when you bite into it. (Also like a Starburst it has gelatin.)
It doesn’t have the sophistication that the name seems to indicate, but the taste & texture are definitely unlike other candies that I’ve had. If you’re going to go to the trouble of importing a candy into the crowded American confectionery market, it should be unique.
I’m smitten and I really want another bag ... this one was only 1.25 ounces. They also come in Green Apple.
As far as I can tell there are two avenues for purchasing this. You can stumble across it wherever it’s been picked up for retail or buy it online (Apple & Strawberry only). The other option, if you know you like it, is to buy in mass quantities from the same place that school groups do for their fundraisers (but you’d better be sure you like it, the minimum is 80 packages and they also carry the full range of flavors like Watermelon, Cherry & Blue Raspberry).
Meticulously photographed and documented reviews of candy from around the world. And the occasional other sweet adventures. Open your mouth, expand your mind.