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Gummi Candy

These are chewy.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Lifesavers Gummies Sour

Lifesavers Gummies SoursI see these at the 7-11 all the time. It’s one of those candies that I just don’t buy, thinking one day I’ll run out of things and those will be there for me to review.

But more recently I was sick. A bad head cold and whatnot. You know how it is. Sometimes I don’t want a delicate chocolate that makes me pay careful attention to nuance. Sometimes I just want the texture burned off my tongue.

I’m a huge gummi fan, don’t get me wrong. But I’m very happy with the plain old traditional Haribo Bears. Sometimes I enjoy the Japanese gummis, especially when they’re covered in chocolate.

Opening the bag, it smelled like fruity shampoo.

The bag holds five flavors: Strawberry, Tangy Cherry, Watermelon, Black Raspberry & Tangerine.

Those who have been reading here for a while know which one puts me over the moon, Tangerine. (I used to love the single-flavor Tangerine Lifesavers that were once available and can now only be found in the Tropical Mix.)

Lifesavers Gummies Sours

They’re soft and pliable gummies, sanded with a tingly sour coating. They’re larger than the old hard Lifesavers, a little larger than a quarter.

The colors are a little hard to tell apart. The Orange, Red and Light Red all kinda look the same in incandescent lighting (years from now people won’t know what I’m talking about when incandescents are illegal and everyone has CF or LEDs).

Smelling them didn’t help, but believe me, it’s pretty easy to tell them apart by taste.

The Tangerine is wonderful. It’s tangy, it’s zesty, it’s fruity and just tastes like I should have some peels lying around when I’m done.

Tangy Cherry, is well, a light cherry. I don’t like it as much as the regular cherry Lifesavers Gummies, but it’s okay.

Strawberry is one of those odd flavors. I don’t want my strawberries to be sour. If you gave me sour strawberries I’d probably tell you to take them back to the grocery store and get your money back. These were also okay, but looked an awful lot like the tangerine, so I ate a few more than I wanted to by mistake.

Watermelon is rather like Strawberry, it should be sweet and fragrant. Sour is wrong. But here I am, and not only is it sour, but it’s also green. It tastes just horrible, but the good news is that my husband thought this was the best flavor and has no problems rummaging through the bag and getting rid of them.

Black Raspberry is also pretty intense. It has a nice jammy base, with some good tartness and then of course the wonderful floral raspberry flavor.

These aren’t so sour that they ruin your mouth. Pretty much like Sour Patch Kids, but with a gummi base instead of a jelly one.

By a strange coincidence I also tried the Lifesaver Gummies after another cold for similar reasons.

Unlike many other Lifesavers products these days, these are made in the USA.

Related Candies

  1. Sour Jujyfruits
  2. Sour Patch Extreme
  3. Sour Gummi Bears
  4. Sour Extinguisher
  5. LifeSavers
  6. Lifesaver Gummies
Name: Lifesavers Gummies Sours
    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's)
Place Purchased: samples from CandyWarehouse.com
Price: $1.39 retail
Size: 7 ounces
Calories per ounce: 92
Categories: Gummi, Sour, United States, Wrigley's

POSTED BY Cybele AT 4:59 am     Comments (17)

Friday, March 21, 2008

Easter Novelty Toys (with candy)

Here are a few combo candy-toy items for Easter baskets and beyond:

M&Ms Mini

I thought this little M&Ms mini figure was pretty cute. He’s made of some sort of durable hard plastic, not that cheap thin stuff.

The little figure is full of mini M&Ms. They’re regular M&Ms, not the Easter pastel version, but I’m okay with that.

The most vexing thing about this is the little hat that twists/pops off to reveal the candy. It was like a frelling child safety cap without the insane instructions.

There were a few varieties, including Green, Red and Yellow. I liked the Blue because it felt most like Easter pastels even if he did have some sort of a goofy look on his face. I don’t know if the bunny hats are swappable for other non-holiday novelties.

It was expensive for the scant amount of candy involved, $1.99 regular price. But a fun grab next week on sale, perhaps.

Hershey's Lamb with Kisses

When I was a teenager I had a thing for sheep items. (Well, in college we actually had a sheep living at a house I was renting a room at, but he was more of a lawnmower.)

My obsession caused me to rewrite passages of Shakespeare with sheep in mind:

Methought I heard a voice cry ‘Sheep no more!
Macbeth does murder sheep’, the innocent sheep,
Sheep that knits up the ravell’d sleeve of care (1)

I’ve kind of moved on from the sheep thing (though if I ever have one I get to name, he’ll be called Fleance).

While this little cheap plastic egg with sheep features was only 99 cents, it also only has give Hershey’s Kisses in them. (At least they’re pastel foil.)

M&Ms Toys with CandyMoving up in price, Candyrific recently expanded their toy/candy line with some M&Ms themed items.

They fall more in the realm of toys than candy containers and are pretty fun combinations.

The first is a set of fans. Candyrific came out with a really good candy novelty a couple of years ago, which is the fan that has little LED lights on it and a candy container in the handle. This new version has the M&Ms characters in various colors holding the fan. The central container at the base of the handle holds .7 ounces of regular M&Ms. (There’s supposedly a version of this for Easter, but I got the year-round version as a sample and haven’t seen the pastel ones with bunny ears in stores.)

The second is a miniature Etch A Sketch that holds a small fun-sized pack of M&Ms.

          M&Ms Fan Toy

I have to admit that I enjoy these a lot. I don’t care about the candy inside. I wish that they lit up like the other versions do, but I’m guessing the money they spend on those LEDs in this instance goes to M&MS for the licensing of the characters. But at least they have real M&Ms in there.

They’re well made and even have a real battery compartment that can be opened and replaced for actual lasting play.

I really could have used a few of these last September during that blackout on Labor Day weekend where my house was over 100 degrees inside.

The fan blade is made of a soft foam, and no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t hurt myself with it. Maybe if I stuck it in my eye. (Please don’t try that, or if you do, please don’t blame me.)

M&Ms Etch A Sketch

The other fun item is this little Etch A Sketch with a couple of M&Ms on there. They come in a few different colors, but they’re pretty much the same. I had an Etch A Sketch as a kid and enjoyed it ... actually got pretty good at drawing on it. This one doesn’t work quite as well, the little stylus draws a very thin line, probably a little too thin on the first pass, so I ended up going over my lines twice.

M&Ms Etch A SketchIt’s a crazy small amount of candy, but like the fan, it’s pretty easy to put any kind of candy in there and refill it however you like.

The biggest drawback is trying to clear the Etch A Sketch, which everyone knows involves turning it over and shaking it wildly. With the M&Ms in the little container part it makes a lotta noise and to clear the EAS properly, I broke some of my M&MS.

There is an easy solution to this of course, just take the lid off (the part that has the EAS on it) and just shake that. Like my problems with getting the hat off of the Easter minis, I’m sure a child would figure this out much quicker than I did.

The last item is a bit of a re-review of one of my favorite candy novelties so far, an Easter version of the Gummy Lightning Bugs.

Lightning Bunny Gummy CandyThis version has little gummy rabbits and is called Lightning Bunny Candy by Kandy Kastle. They’re all one flavor, instead of a mix. I was worried when I saw that they’re all red, but it’s cool, they’re strawberry, not cherry.

For only 99 cents there are 9 little gummis and the cute purple light up tongs.

The package said that the tongs were redesigned. Actually, it says “New & Improved Tong Included” so they’re better than before and there’s only one. (Tongs, I’m guessing are like scissors and pants and are always plural.)

The tongs aren’t really improved, if you ask me. They’re just shorter than before, probably easier to grasp for little fingers and they don’t stay on as readily, which probably provides a lot more longevity.

This is the kind of exploratory toy that I think is good for kids. It makes them slow down and really look at everyday things in a different way.

Lightning Bunny Gummy CandyI tried them on some other items, they don’t open as widely as they used to, so anything as large as say, a Spearmint Leaf is too big. But small items like jelly beans (awesome!) and chocolate covered coffee beans (boring) are the right size.

I think adding a little toy in an Easter basket is fun. (I think the best one I ever got was a kite, which me & my brother and sister took out to the field across the street behind the cemetery and promptly got caught in a tree within an hour.)

The Hershey’s one isn’t the best toy in the world, but the design is nice. The filled M&M is also nice and certainly well built, but doesn’t offer much opportunity for interaction. I can see it being collectible though. The fan & Etch A Sketch are the best of the bunch, but a little pricier for “candy” items at $3.99 retail, but still a good value for a small toy.

If parents are looking for a way to still have a bit of bounty in the basket, a novelty item that contains a small amount of candy (especially something that can be refilled on a regular basis) is a good compromise. I mean, I wouldn’t have felt cheated if I got one of these as a kid.

They all get a solid 7 out of 10. The Lightning Bunny was made in China, in all other cases the candy was made in the USA, but the toys were made in China.

Related Candies

  1. Gummy Fishies
  2. Bug Jar Candy
  3. M&M and Reese’s Pieces Peanut Butter Eggs
  4. Gummi Lightning Bugs
  5. Light Lollipops

POSTED BY Cybele AT 8:32 pm     CandyReviewEasterHershey'sMarsChocolateGummi CandyNovelty/Toy7-Worth ItChinaUnited StatesRite AidSav-On/CVSComments (0)

Friday, February 22, 2008

Same old things, different flavors

Since I’m still down with this aggravating illness, I thought I’d do some short & sweet briefs on a few things that I’ve been eating. Mostly it’s stuff that I’ve reviewed but in different flavors & varieties ... so they don’t warrant a full write-up on their own.

Strawberry Gummy Choco

I took a little jaunt to Little Tokyo three weeks ago because I was craving the Gummy Choco I had last year. Mitsuwa Marketplace (3rd & Alameda) has an awesome selection, including single flavor packs of Muscat and Strawberry. I opted for the Strawberry Gummy Choco. (Oh, and I got another tube of the mixed fruits.) However, the price seemed to be better at Nijiya Market in Little Tokyo Village at only $1.49 instead of $2.49 ... but of course parking is a little more difficult over there at times.

They have a milk chocolate coating with an innner coating of real white chocolate. The gummy center is a rich and jammy strawberry. Ultra-soft and combines well with the creamy chocolate.

They’re still a satisfying candy to eat when you have no sense of smell, the combination of textures and the zap of the tart berry center keeps me amused.

Rating: 9 out of 10

Wheat ChocolateI picked up another brand of Wheat Chocolate at Mitsuwa. This bag was a little smaller, but basically the same price per ounce and had the same decent quality chocolate coating.

It’s as simple as can be, just puffed wheat (I think puffed barley, actually) that’s covered in a shiny & thin coat of milk chocolate.

It’s sweet and kind of earthy and freakishly addictive. I don’t know if it’s my imagination, but I think I prefer the Japan Confectionery brand, if only because each kernel was separate from the others. It seemed like more of these were stuck together. ($1.69 for 4 ounces ... which doesn’t sound like much, but there’s a lot of air in there.)

This stuff should be sold in movie theaters ... it’s an ideal movie candy.

Rating: 8 out of 10

Charles Chocolates Candied Hazelnut Chocolate BarBack in November I visited with Chuck Siegel at Charles Chocolates and saw all the new stuff, including a preview of one of his new bars that sounded right up my alley: Candied Hazelnut in Dark Chocolate.

What has me so excited (besides the prospect of creamy dark chocolate with perfectly roasted hazelnuts) was that it might be an easier to find version of that wonderful Spanish bar I had last summer: Avellana Caramelizada Chocolate by Mallorca.

Charles Chocolates Candied Hazelnut Chocolate Bar

Instead of whole hazelnuts encased in a crunchy sugar glaze, these were bits of hazelnuts. The bits were crunchy and fresh, but didn’t have quite the burnt sugary crust that I was aching for. (But how was Chuck to know that’s what my expectation was?)

It’s still a great bar, I love his 65% dark chocolate blend. It has an excellent soft and silky melt, it’s a little tangy with mostly mellow flavors that let the other inclusions shine. I would have liked slightly bigger crunchy bits.

The packaging has changed slightly with the Charles Chocolates bars as well. When I first tried them each bar was wrapped in a microthin piece of foil. Now they’re a metallic airtight pack inside the box. Probably a much better way to keep the chocolate fresh in the stores, but not as easy to reseal if you tear the bag when opening.

Rating: 8 out of 10

Lifesavers - New & OldThe last item is kind of a fun thing that I picked up last summer. I noticed that there were two different designs for the same roll of Cryst-O-Mint Lifesavers on the shelves at Walgreen’s, so I picked them up.

Over the years Lifesavers has changed more than their packaging. The only thing that has remained the same is the shape of their product. The familiar donut shape is here to stay, even if they’re made in Canada now.

The Cryst-O-Mint is unlike the other mint Lifesavers in that it’s a boiled sugar sweet, not a compressed dextrose candy.

It’s not an intense mint like an Altoid, just a soft and clean peppermint flavor. The production of the candy is good, the pieces were all intact and didn’t have any voids or sharp spots like some of those Brach’s Ice Blue mints.

Also a plus, there are no artificial colors in there, because they’re colorless. If they’d just left out the High Fructose Corn Sweetener, they’d actually be an all-natural candy.

You can read more about the Lifesavers redesign here.

Rating: 6 out of 10

Related Candies

  1. Short & Sweet: International Flavors
  2. Candy Dump 2008 part 2
  3. The Candy Dump 2008
  4. Welcome to the Candy Dump
  5. Charles Chocolates Bars
  6. Lifesaver Musk

POSTED BY Cybele AT 8:55 am     CandyReviewCharles ChocolatesMeijiWrigley'sChocolateCookieGummi CandyHard Candy & LollipopsMintsNutsWhite Chocolate6-Tempting8-Tasty9-YummyCanadaJapanUnited StatesComments (6)

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Meiji Gummy Choco

Meiji Gummy ChocoOver the holidays my mother was in town for a visit and we went on a hunt for exotic citrus. I thought for sure I could find some fresh yuzu in Little Tokyo. (I was also keeping my eyes open for kalamansi, dalandan and ponkan.) Finally I did see some yuzu at Mitsuwa Marketplace, but at $29.99 a pound (about $8 each), I had to give up on my plans to candy yuzu peel.

There were a few consolation prizes though, including my new favorite Wheat Chocolate and I picked up a tube of Meiji Gummy Choco.

I’ve had these before, one of my co-workers loves to bring in new finds from her local Asian market and shared some with me. But I gobbled them up before I could take any pictures. So here they are, in all their glory.

Meiji Gummy Choco

Meiji packages these in several different ways, but I prefer the tall tube (a little shorter than a standard paper towel roll).

Meiji Gummy ChocoThe design on the package is absolutely wonderful. It’s colorful and exciting but not too busy. Even without the English on the package, it’s pretty easy to figure out what’s going on inside. Each end shows the little candies, just slightly larger than real life. There are also cute little peep mascots on the package wearing little hats ... I think they’re hats, or someone’s dipped their heads in chocolate.

Luckily this was an export package and was in English. The mix of flavors here are Strawberry, Muscat and Orange. The flavored white chocolate coating is real white chocolate. The ingredients for the confection start out like this: sugar, corn syrup, cocoa butter, whole milk powder, palm oil, concentrated fruit juice, skim milk powder, cacao mass, gelatin ... and so on.

Now, you may find this a little odd, but before I was exposed to the Gummy Choco, I’d never had chocolate-covered gummis before. (I’ll have some Muddy Bears up in the next week or so as a comparison). Somehow I always thought that the texture combo wouldn’t work, that the chocolate would be grainy and flaky compared to the gummi or that the chocolate would be subpar. Meiji has balanced theirs with a very soft gummi that’s pretty intensely flavored along with a generous and flavored white chocolate coating.

  • Strawberry - not quite pink, it’s almost lavender. The outside is very milky tasting and sweet. The strawberry gummy at the center is pretty intensely flavored. It’s like chewing on a fresh strawberry preserve ... but without the seeds. (The ingredients do say real fruit juice and no artificial flavors or colors either.)

  • Muscat - a yellow/green color that reminded me more of honeydew melon at first on the outside, but the gummi on the inside is definitely a light grape flavor. It’s not my most favorite of the three, definitely the most mild.

  • Orange - a lovely salmon orange color. The orange on the white chocolate coating is rather pronounced and reminded me of orange sherbet. There’s a brief taste of the chocolate layer then a zap of tangy chew from the soft gummi.

  • If the idea of white chocolate is just too difficult for you, Meiji makes a milk chocolate and strawberry version that’s also spectacular (and often sold in boxes instead of the tubes). I haven’t seen them in the States, but here are some more versions on Flickr.

    Basically, I love these. I love the look of the package, I love the easy-to-dispense tube. The taste is great, often with flavor mixes there’s one that I don’t like, but I loved all of them. The price for an import candy wasn’t too bad ($1.49 at Nijiya Market in Little Tokyo Plaza) and it was absolutely fresh. There’s even 8% of my daily RDA of calcium in every serving. If they sold these at movie theaters, I might actually start going to the movies again.

    They’re pretty popular and can be found in both Chinese, Korean and Japanese markets as well as various webstores. I’m not sure if they’re carried in comic book stores, but keep an eye out anyplace that you can find manga and other Asian imports.

    (Meiji also makes other tubular goodness with their Coffee Beat.)

    Related Candies

    1. Sour Gummi Bears
    2. Brain Candy! (gummi brains)
    3. Lifesaver Gummies
    4. Gummi Clown Fish
    5. Fragrant Gummies
    Name: Gummy Choco Mix
      RATING:
    • 10 SUPERB
    • 9 YUMMY
    • 8 TASTY
    • 7 WORTH IT
    • 6 TEMPTING
    • 5 PLEASANT
    • 4 BENIGN
    • 3 UNAPPEALING
    • 2 APPALLING
    • 1 INEDIBLE
    Brand: Meiji
    Place Purchased: Nijiya Market (Little Tokyo)
    Price: $1.49
    Size: 3.7 ounces
    Calories per ounce: 149
    Categories: Chocolate, White Chocolate, Gummi, Japan, Meiji

    POSTED BY Cybele AT 8:11 am     Comments (35)

    Thursday, January 3, 2008

    Candy Dump 2008 part 2

    KitKat Peanut ButterI have lots more candy to tell you about that I haven’t done full reviews for. Here’s a half dozen of them.

    First is the Nestle KitKat Peanut Butter from Canada. The format on this bar is the single chunky finger. This is actually larger at 1.76 ounces than the American single finger bar which is 1.59 ounces. I found this bar at Mel & Rose’s Wine & Liquors on Melrose Ave a month ago.

    The bar is thick and chunky but follows the standard KitKat formula.

    Peanut Butter KitKat

    There are wafers with cream filling then a thick stripe of peanut butter all covered in milk chocolate.

    The package smelled strongly of raw peanuts when I opened it. Roasted peanuts have a deep and smoky tone to them, this was that higher octave scent, like freshly snapped peas mixed with peanuts.

    The crunch of the bar was good, but there’s definitely a lot of chocolate in operation here. The peanut butter stripe is great. It’s very flavorful despite being so thin. It’s not sweetened at all, in fact it’s pretty salty. I preferred eating this bar like I eat most KitKats. I nibble off both ends of chocolate, then all the chocolate off the sides. Then I eat the less-chocolatey remains.

    It was really good and I think I’d buy this if I could find it at my local store. Far more satisfying than a regular KitKat (4 grams of protein - one more than a regular) and not nearly as sweet.

    Rating: 7 out of 10

    Das  Caramelini - Ginger & CoffeeDas Caramelini has a couple of new flavors. Most of the other candy bloggers also go free samples from Katie Das and covered it far quicker than I did, so I didn’t put down my thoughts right away.

    She sent me Ginger & Pistachio which I already reviewed and loved last spring. The new-to-me flavor was Cafe Cortado. It’s a vanilla caramel with coffee.

    Unfortunately I’m not keen on coffee beans in my food. It might be that I have a problem with caffeine or it might be that I don’t care for the texture, but these just didn’t do it for me. I tried a few, but I was very aware that I needed to eat them before noon (as I don’t drink coffee after that) which always made me feel pressured.

    The great news though is that the wrapping of the caramels has been changed to a heavier waxed paper. They no longer stick to the paper and are far easier to keep popping in your mouth. The box looks deceptively small but holds a quarter of a pound of rich, boiled sugar & butter. You can order direct on their website for about $6.99 a box (less if you order more).

    Rating: 8 out of 10

    Kaon CitrusI ordered these Meiji Kaon Citrus from JBox.com last fall. I wasn’t quite sure what they were, but citrus and gummi combined with a brand like Meiji and I figured I could take a chance.

    They’re not a transparent gummi, instead they’re opaque and matte. They’re still very soft and bouncy. They have a distinct bite, not a rubbery as a German gummi. The thing that was most clear was that this is a real fruit product. The texture feels a bit like pear, there’s a slight grain to it. Then there were a few bits of zest in there.

    The flavor is predominantly tangerine with a little dollop of grapefruit & lemon in there for good measure. Completely addictive, I ordered two bags and ate both. They’re small bags though at only 35 grams each. I can’t remember how much I paid for them and of course JBox doesn’t have them on their site right now. (Here’s the official webpage.) See Sera’s review.

    Rating: 8 out of 10

    HalvaI picked up these little beauties at the All Candy Expo as samples, but I still haven’t found them in stores.

    The Traditional Halva bars from Sultan’s Finest Foods are little .71 ounce bits of plain halva. They’re smooth and creamy with a strong sesame flavor to them.

    It’s the perfect portion size, if only I can find them somewhere. These are made in Tunisia, and may be the first Tunisian candy mentioned on the blog! They’re imported by Agora International and come in a sugar free version as well. I think these sorts of sesame snacks are ideal, especially for hot weather. It’s creamy and filling, not too sweet and of course does better in hot weather than chocolate.

    Rating: 7 out of 10

    Sencha Green Tea MintsI’ve seen the Sencha Green Tea Mints at stores for years. I just couldn’t get my brain around them for the longest time. I like a mint that has some zazz to it, and the idea of green tea in a mint seemed to defeat the purpose.

    These were sample packages that I picked up at ExpoWest which is for natural products. They’re usually sold in little maroon or dark colored tins with a clear top. These compressed candies are made from xylitol & sorbitol, which are natural sugar alcohols. They have a cool feeling on the tongue (and shouldn’t be consumed in large quantities because of some digestive troubles they can cause) and a subtle flavor.

    The three flavors I got were: Delicate Pear, which is just slightly fruity and sweet. Green Tea was subtle and while fresh tasting, didn’t leave that minty burn.
    Lively Lemongrass was, well, lightly lemon, but not quite lively.

    The tea ingredients are fair trade and xylitol is supposed to be a pretty good base for gum & mints (not bad for your teeth, but bad for dogs). It’s hard to find sugar free mints that don’t have artificial sweeteners in them, so if you’re looking for something that fits that niche, these might be for you.

    Rating: 5 out of 10

    Stained Glass Candy

    I’m very late with my write up on Stained Glass Candy. I ordered it online about a year ago. I expected it to be pretty little hexagonal disks of candy (about the size of a quarter), but the photography on their website didn’t prepare me at all for how lovely this stuff was.

    Though it’s expensive for hard candy at $12.95 a pound (when you order 2 pounds), I figured I’d give it a try. The cool thing is that you can custom design your flavor mix, so I chose one pound of herbs & spices: cinnamon, hot cinnamon, wintergreen and anise. The second pound I did as fruits: banana, orange, lemon and pineapple.

    Each piece came sealed in a little clear plastic sleeve with the name of the flavor printed on it. This was helpful as I’d ordered both cinnamon and hot cinnamon (definitely a difference!). The shapes were lovely, the colors clear (except for banana), distinctive and tasty. I loved the pineapple and anise especially.

    The downside is that they’re a little softer than some hard candies, so they either need to be stored in a fridge to keep them from losing their shape eventually or just eaten quickly. The softness also means that they stick to teeth and can’t be crunched. But I kind of like slowly shaping them to the roof of my mouth.

    I probably wouldn’t order these again unless I had a special need for them like a party or something. They’d make nice wedding favors or for a shower or something. But at five times the price of regular hard candy, it’d have to be a very special occasion or a very special flavor.

    Rating: 6 out of 10

    Related Candies

    1. VerMints
    2. Shigekix Aha! Brain (Citrus)
    3. St. Claire’s Organic Mints & Tarts
    4. HiCHEW Yuzu & Valencia
    5. KitKat Caramel
    6. Halvah and Turkish Delight

    POSTED BY Cybele AT 9:09 am     All NaturalCandyReviewMeijiNestleCaramelChocolateCinnamonCoffeeCookieEthically SourcedGingerGummi CandyKitKatMintsNutsPeanuts5-Pleasant6-Tempting7-Worth It8-TastyCanadaJapanUnited StatesComments (9)

    Monday, August 27, 2007

    Katjes Tropical Gummis & Yogurt Gums

    Katjes Tropical GummisAs German candy makers go, in my mind Haribo is most associated with Gummi Bears and Katjes is most associated with Licorice.

    So here are some Katjes products that are gummis ... I wasn’t sure how I was going to feel about them, mostly since I’ve never felt the need to stray from my favorite brand (except of course in service of Candy Blog). But back at the beginning of the year I got an email though, from a reader name Charlene who suggested the Katjes Saure Ananas (Sour Pineapple) ... which sounds just like something I’d dig. Though GermanDeli.com carries them I usually just wanna hold the package in my hand, so I went off to Cost Plus after browsing their online ad and seeing that they had Katjes on sale at two packages for $4.00. While I never found the Saure line, I did find a few other items.

    Tropen Fruchte sounded just my speed in the gummi department - based on the cognates and pictures on the wrapper, I decided these are Tropical Fruit. (Okay, okay, the back of the package had an English sticker that said Tropical Fruit Gummis.) What appealed to me most was the supposed grapefruit gummi that was to appear inside.

    Katjes Tropical GummisI’ve gotta give them credit, there’s no need to ponder what the flavor are (once you translate them) ... they’re molded into each and every one: Grapefruit, Tropika, Exotic, Mango, Kiwi and Passion Frucht.

    Regardless of what the candies actually said, they all tasted rather the same. Oh sure, the tropika tasted a little more like pineapple than the exotic, which tasted a bit more like passion fruit, but I felt the passion and intensity lacking in all of them.

    And of course the grapefruit could not rival my other best pal, the Haribo Pink Grapefruit Slice. Katjes was more of a mellow lemon with a little grapefruit zest in it.

    Katjes YogurtThe other item I picked up was the Katjes Yogurt Gums. I have no idea what I was thinking. It’s completely unlike me to ever get anything “yogurty.” As a dairy product, I think yogurt is fine but I don’t like it in other things or even the flavor of it in other things. It’s just a personal thing.

    The flavors sounded interesting: Himbeere, Erdbeere, Birne, Heidelbeere, Zitrone and Kirsche.

    When I first tried these I detested them. They were soft and felt rather like something for a baby.

    However, after letting them sit in the bottom of my desk drawer, then being retired to “maybe someday when I’m feeling too lazy to take new photos I’ll review these” box I tried them again. No longer as soft, but oddly grainy like a pear is, I kind of dug them.

    The flavor wasn’t terribly tangy in the “dairy gone bad” way, more in the natural tangy fruit way. The gums have real apple pulp in them, which is probably why the pear (birne) one tasted and felt so authentically pear-ish.

    I can’t say that I feel like buying either of these again, but I’m pleased that they use no artificial colors and often have fruit pulp, natural flavors and fruit juices in the candies. But for now, I’m going to stick to their licorice or pounce on their sours when I finally find them.

    Related Candies

    1. Sour Gummi Bears
    2. HiCHEW Grapefruit
    3. Gummi Lightning Bugs
    4. Dutch Licorice
    5. Lifesaver Gummies
    Name: Tropen-Frutchte Gummi & Yoghurt Gums
      RATING:
    • 10 SUPERB
    • 9 YUMMY
    • 8 TASTY
    • 7 WORTH IT
    • 6 TEMPTING
    • 5 PLEASANT
    • 4 BENIGN
    • 3 UNAPPEALING
    • 2 APPALLING
    • 1 INEDIBLE
    Brand: Katjes
    Place Purchased: Cost Plus (Glendale)
    Price: $2.00
    Size: 7.1 ounces
    Calories per ounce: 95 & 91
    Categories: Gummi, Jelly, Germany

    POSTED BY Cybele AT 6:25 am     Comments (15)

    Thursday, July 26, 2007

    The Simpsons Fruit Snacks

    Simpsons Fruit SnacksThere’s a movie coming out this week called The Simpsons Movie which is based on some long-running cartoon also called The Simpsons. (Yes, I know you know who The Simpsons are!) I live in Los Angeles and we’re blessed with two live-action promotions for the movie ... they’ve turned two 7-11 stores into Kwik-E-Marts. It’s kind of fun, you can go into the store and see dimensional cut outs of your favorite characters and partake of a few of their favorite fictional foods. This means Buzz Cola, Krusty-Os and those pink glazed & sprinkled donuts are actually available.

    Sadly, there is no candy actually associate with the series, but I did pick up these Simpsons Fruit Snacks, which have been out for a few years. (If you want other candy content from The Simpsons, check out

    Brian’s

    Jamie’s awesome list with videos!)

    The Simpsons Fruit Snack is about as lame as a product you’d expect to find if you really lived in Springfield. The package is nice and happy and says things that are totally true like “mixed fruit flavor”, “no preservatives” and “made with real fruit juice” and sports images of the Simpsons kids: Maggie, Lisa and Bart.

    But once the package is open and not in view there is absolutely nothing “Simpsons” about these. They’re shaped like little fruits ... not little characters.

    So I decided that I just wasn’t working hard enough at this ... that I wasn’t taxing my imagination and decided that they ARE Springfield characters ... if you really work at it. (The illustrations below may require a bit of squinting to make it work.)

    image
    image

    Orange:  Apu (on those formal occasions when he wears his turban)
    Grape: Sherry and Terri
    Strawberry: The Space Coyote
    Apple: Kang & Kodos
    Cherry: Radioactive Man
    Yellow: Just about any other Simpsons character but I like to think it’s Mr. Sparkle

    The promise of the package and the Simpsons tie in aside, the flavor of the candies is pleasant. They’re a gummi (with gelatin), but extremely soft. I was happier once I let mine sit out for a couple of days. They do have a full days allowance of vitamin C and they do have fruit juice as the first ingredient (just as those Scooby and Hello Kitty snacks had real fruit juice).  So for a friendly fruit gummi, they’re a pretty good deal for $1.59. Not really flavorful, just, well, pleasant.

    Other irritated opinions about the lack of relationship between the Simpsons and the fruit snacks: Taquitos.net, Amazon.com & VeganCore (may be a different version of the snacks that didn’t have gelatin though).

    Related Candies

    1. Dogs versus Cats (fruit snacks that is)
    2. Starburst Retro
    3. Skittles (Fruits, Wild Berry, Tropical, Smoothies & Sour)
    4. Haribo Gummi Bears vs Trolli Gummi Bears
    Name: The Simpsons Fruit Snacks
      RATING:
    • 10 SUPERB
    • 9 YUMMY
    • 8 TASTY
    • 7 WORTH IT
    • 6 TEMPTING
    • 5 PLEASANT
    • 4 BENIGN
    • 3 UNAPPEALING
    • 2 APPALLING
    • 1 INEDIBLE
    Brand: Taste of Nature
    Place Purchased: Kwik-E-Mart (7-11 in Burbank)
    Price: unknown
    Size: 5 ounces
    Calories per ounce: 100
    Categories: Gummi, United States

    POSTED BY Cybele AT 9:21 am     Comments (4)

    Wednesday, July 25, 2007

    Sour Gummi Bears

    Sour Gummi BearsMonths ago YumSugar urged me to try the Sour Gummi Bears from Bristol Farms, and I didn’t. Most of the time when I go into Bristol Farms (which may be five or six times a year) I opt for the Licorice Pastilles or some imported chocolate bar. But this time I not only remembered, I found a bag that was mostly clear ones (that means Pineapple, my friends!). This didn’t stop me from picking up that Italian torrone as well.

    YumSugar wasn’t wrong, these are tasty gummi bears. They’re rather like the Sour Patch Kids - a sour sand covers a traditional fruity gummi bear. I suspect that these are made by Farley’s & Sathers. I’m actually concerned that these are not labeled correctly, the ingredients said: Corn Syrup, Sugar, Modified Corn Starch, Fumaric Acid, Citric Acid, Lactic Acid, Natural and Artificial Flavors, Artificial Colors. What’s missing on this list is some sort of jelling agent, like Gelatin. I actually sent Bristol Farms an email, but it’s been over a week and there hasn’t been even an automated response (so much for trusting them with my top dollars).

    Sour Gummi BearsThe bears come in the normal Gummi Bear flavor array: green apple, lemon, pineapple, strawberry and orange.

    The gummis are soft and chewy (and most definitely gummis with some gelatin in them, you can’t get this texture with corn starch). The flavors aren’t deep, the sour sand keeps everything on a tangy + sweet level. The orange one reminds me a lot of orange jell-o with a hit of orange pixy stix. They’re not quite as tart as Sour Patch Kids, but of course they’re also a different flavor set, so it’s not an apples to apples comparison.

    I was especially thrilled at the high ratio of Pineapple ones, which is a flavor that goes so well with the sour sand it’s ridiculous. The least favorite flavor out of the bunch, oddly enough, was the green apple, which I would have thought would do well. The red was strawberry instead of cherry, so the assortment scored points there.

    I’m sure there are cheaper places to get these, especially if they are made by Farley’s & Sathers, which are a really well priced, good quality brand.

    Related Candies

    1. Sour Patch Kids
    2. Sour Extinguisher
    3. Sandy Candy
    4. Haribo Fizzy Cola
    5. Giant Pixy Stix
    Name: Sour Gummi Bears
      RATING:
    • 10 SUPERB
    • 9 YUMMY
    • 8 TASTY
    • 7 WORTH IT
    • 6 TEMPTING
    • 5 PLEASANT
    • 4 BENIGN
    • 3 UNAPPEALING
    • 2 APPALLING
    • 1 INEDIBLE
    Brand: Bristol Farms (private label)
    Place Purchased: Bristol Farms (Pasadena)
    Price: $1.59
    Size: 5 ounces
    Calories per ounce: unknown
    Categories: Gummi, Sour, United States

    POSTED BY Cybele AT 7:06 am     Comments (4)

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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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