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Hershey's

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Hershey’s Simple Pleasures

Hershey's Simple Pleasures Smooth & Creamy Milk Chocolate with Vanilla CremeHershey’s is introducing its first new candy line since, well, the last time they did it. (The last one was 2007.) The new Hershey’s Simple Pleasures line launched with three different products, all little foil wrapped chocolate patties that boast 30% less fat than most other chocolate things. Or something like that.

It’s odd to be reviewing another little chocolate covered patty after just reviewing some yesterday. Yesterday was something utterly simple, with only three ingredients (though peppermint). The Hershey’s Simple Pleasures Milk Chocolate with Vanilla Creme has oodles of ingredients:

Simple Pleasures, Complex Ingredients*: Milk chocolate (sugar, nonfat milk, cocoa butter, chocolate, lactose, milk fat, soy lecithin, PGPR, vanillin), corn syrup, sugar, glycerin, vegetable oil (cocoa butter, palm, shea, sunflower and/or safflower oil), sorbitol, nonfat milk, contains 2% or less of: natural and artificial flavor, milk fat, modified cornstarch, soy lecithin, glyceryl monostearate, caramel color, tocopherols, PGPR

* Actually, I added the Complex Ingredients part, so to be clear, their package copy actually states:

Hershey’s Simple Pleasures combines quality ingredients, including dry-roasted cocoa beans, brown sugar and pure milk to create a velvety-smooth chocolate outside and a rich, creamy center

Go ahead, look back up at that list of ingredients and see if you can find brown sugar. Nope, I couldn’t either. Also, I’m not certain why they called them dry-roasted cocoa beans. I don’t know of another process. I don’t think anyone deep fries them, microwaves or steams them in a pressure cooker. So why mention that? To confuse people.

Hershey's Simple Pleasures

The patties are only 1 inch across and nicely made, a dome shape with a swirl on top. They were glossy and well tempered to give a snap when bitten or broken in half. (That’s actually not easy to do, because the filling comes out.)

Hershey's Simple Pleasures

The filling is less of a thick fondant like Junior Mints, it’s quite a bit more runny than that. It does smell quite a bit like vanilla, almost like pudding, which I found appealing. But the appearance of the filling is a little less appealing, since it’s just a sugar goo, like a lemon pound cake glaze that hasn’t set up yet.

The chocolate is more like the Bliss line, not the standard flavor profile of Hershey’s Milk Chocolate. It’s sweet, a little grainy but consistent and with a mild cocoa note to it. The vanilla flavoring of the center pretty much screams the loudest though it’s closely rivaled by the severe sweetness of all the sugar components.

The lower fat is achieved in this product by creating a filling that’s pure sugar and water. There are also a few sugar alcohols in there, sorbitol is used, though in very low amounts (3 grams per serving of 6 pieces). So while the UNREAL candy line I reviewed last week gets its lower calorie profile by adding in fiber and other nutrients (also ending up with an incredibly long list of ingredients), Hershey’s gets there with oodles of carbs.

Hershey's Simple Pleasures Smooth & Creamy Dark Chocolate with Chocolate CremeThe Hershey’s Simple Pleasures Smooth & Creamy Dark Chocolate with Chocolate Creme is kind of the richer version of the Milk Chocolate & Vanilla Creme version. They both have the same calorie profile, though the Dark variety has twice the fiber (a whole 2 grams).

In this case the package description on the back is slightly more accurate, this variety does have brown sugar in the ingredients list. But the qualification of the 30% less fat is qualified that it’s based on the average of milk chocolates on the market. I don’t know what the average fat content of dark chocolates is (I don’t even know where to find the source material for those statements - it’s not on their website).

Hershey's Simple Pleasures

The pieces are, again, well made and packaged. The red foil creates an appetizing wrapper and the chocolate does look really good, well molded and glossy. Each piece is only 30 calories, and a recommended serving is 6 pieces, which is quite generous. (The whole package holds 22-24 pieces, or if you lose it and eat the whole thing, it’s about 675 calories.)

Hershey's Simple Pleasures

This smells a bit fudgy, a bit like brownies. Sweet and dark. The chocolate center here is a bit thicker than the Vanilla Creme. It’s like a frosting, thick and sweet and not quite grainy. The cocoa flavors are actually much better than any commercial frosting in a can. The dark chocolate shell is much sweeter than the center and actually started giving me a sore throat after the second one.

The portion control is pretty good on these. Three could be a nice treat and come in under 100 calories and look like a sufficient indulgence. But the bang for the buck and actual satisfaction I got was sub par. The reliance on sugar instead of flavor meant that mostly I was left with the feeling that I’d eaten a bunch of sugar, not some chocolate.

The Hershey’s Simple Pleasures line also includes Smooth & Creamy Milk Chocolate with Chocolate Creme but I didn’t find those at the Target I got these at.

The fact that Hershey’s has such huge brand recognition and is on so many shelves means that these may succeed in spite of their drawbacks. I don’t care to spend that much money on so little chocolate, I’d rather have a handful of at least all-chocolate chips in a smaller portion. That’s a simple pleasure. This is just too complex for me.

Simple Pleasures are made with dairy and soy. There’s no mention of shared equipment with nuts, peanuts, eggs or wheat/gluten. They’re made in Mexico.

Related Candies

  1. Nestle Skinny Cow Dreamy Clusters
  2. Nestle Skinny Cow Heavenly Crisp
  3. 3 Musketeers Richer Chocolate Taste
  4. Pretzel M&Ms
  5. Nestle Cranberry Raisinets
  6. Hershey’s Bliss
  7. Hershey’s Favorites - Sugar Free


Name: Simple Pleasures: Milk Chocolate with Vanilla Creme
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Hershey’s
Place Purchased: Target (WeHo)
Price: $3.49
Size: 5.6 ounces
Calories per ounce: 121
Categories: Candy, Hershey's, Chocolate, Kosher, 5-Pleasant, Mexico, Target


Name: Simple Pleasures: Dark Chocolate with Chocolate Creme
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Hershey’s
Place Purchased: Target (WeHo)
Price: $3.49
Size: 5.6 ounces
Calories per ounce: 121
Categories: Candy, Hershey's, Chocolate, Kosher, 5-Pleasant, Mexico, Target

POSTED BY Cybele AT 10:46 am     CandyReviewHershey'sChocolateKosher5-PleasantMexicoTargetComments (8)

Friday, May 11, 2012

Candy Tease: Sweets & Snacks Expo 2012 - Part 3

The Sweets & Snacks Expo for 2012 has wrapped up and all the exhibitors are probably on their way back to their candy factories with sheaves of new orders in their briefcases. Here are a few other new items that folks were talking about:

Wild OpheliaName: Wild Ophelia
Brand: Vosges Chocolate
Description: Wild Ophelia is a line of eight different chocolate bars with decidedly Americana flavor profiles, such as Southern Hibiscus Peach and New Orleans Chili. The bars are all-natural, gluten free, with ingredients sourced from food artisans and farms from across the United States, while the packaging is made with 100% recycled board and 100% renewable energy.
Introduction Date: 5/1/2012
Notes: Vosges is extending their take on chocolate with this lower priced line (well, I’m not sure it’s really lower priced, the bars are just smaller). The bars have startling ingredients like beef jerky and barbecue potato chips and more sedate and appealing sounding items like caramel corn and peanut butter and banana.

Queen Anne CordialsName: Queen Anne’s French Vanilla Cordial Cherry
Brand: World’s Finest Chocolate
Description: A premium whole cherry and French vanilla-flavored light, creamy filling are surrounded by a milk chocolate shell.
Introduction Date: 10/1/1012
Notes: I think vanilla fondant and cherry is a natural combination. The Queen Anne line is often found at dollar stores, so it’s nice to see a bit of an extension of the flavors within the ingredients available for that price restricted item.

Edible CandlesName: Edible Candy Number Birthday Candle
Brand: Webb Candy
Description: This birthday candle is sure to make the cake a little jealous. While the top is a hat for the wick, the bottom section is fully edible candy. Available in number 0-9.
Introduction Date: September 2012
Notes: I’m a little unclear about what the candy part of this is, but I love the idea. I know that the old school trick for keeping candle wax off your cake is to put them in gumdrops. But an actual candle holder that’s a themed candy is pretty cool.

Ice Breakers DuoName: Ice Breakers Duo Mints - Raspberry & Ice Breakers Duo Mints - Strawberry
Brand: Hershey’s
Description: Ice Breakers Duo Mints expand Hershey’s Mints into the growing fruit segment. Hershey’s is #1 in Mint, gaining 4.1 share points vs. a year ago. Ice Breakers Duo Mints have a fruit flavored, textured side, and a cooling, smooth side with flavor crystals.
Introduction Date: 4/6/2012
Notes: It’s fun to see more fruity breath freshening mints. Too bad they use artificial sweeteners, otherwise I’d give them a try. (A summer fruit salad of strawberries and fresh spearmint is really quite good.)

All images courtesy of the respective manufacturers.

Related Candies

  1. Candy Tease: Mars 2012 Announcements
  2. Candy Tease: Sweets & Snacks Expo 2012 - Part 2
  3. Candy Tease: Sweets & Snacks Expo 2012 - Part 1
  4. Candy Tease Spring 2012
  5. Candy Tease: October 2011
  6. Candy Tease: Mars 2011 Announcements
  7. Eat with your Eyes: L.A. Burdick

POSTED BY Cybele AT 10:53 am     CandyNew Product AnnouncementHershey'sHighlightFeatured NewsComments (1)

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Rolo Minis

Rolo MinisRolos were introduced in the United Kingdom back in 1937 by Mackintosh’s, which was a well known toffee company. (Toffee in the UK is generally more like caramel is in the United States, soft and chewy or actually a flowing syrup.) Mackintosh later merged with Rowntree (creator of the KitKat) in 1969 and that company was then bought up by Nestle in 1987. Though Nestle and Hershey’s are huge rivals in the United States, Hershey’s maintains their license for Rolos and KitKats here.

Rolos are available in two formats currently, the rolls with an individual serving and foil wrapped versions which are usually sold in mixes in bags along with other Hershey’s favorites. (Here’s an early Candy Blog review of Rolos.)

Rolo Minis are new from Hershey’s, to go with the other items in the new Hershey’s minis line like Hershey’s Drops and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup Minis. They’re a smaller version of the popular candy, though might not have the precise ratios of elements. The point, I guess, is to provide candies that don’t have all that messy packaging:

Unwrapped, bite-sized convenience meets the delicious combination of smooth chewy caramel rolled in creamy milk chocolate.

Rolo Milns

Why is it called a Rolo? One of the key features wasn’t what the candy was, but how it was packaged, it was a roll. That’s it. But here it is in a bag. They kind of roll, but just in small circles. They’re just little knobs of milk chocolate with a chewy caramel filling. That could be called anything.

Geometrically speaking, the form of a Rolo is called frustum-shaped. That is, a cone that has had its pointy end lopped off. So the base is wider than the top. In the case of Rolos, there’s also a little rim around the top, which has no purpose as far as I know. There is no logo or any other branding on the candy itself.

The pieces are rather scuffed up from rolling around in that bag. In fact, they’ve come all the way from England, where they were made. Seemed a little odd to me, but these are imported from England and made by, well, I’m guessing Nestle.

Rolo Milns

Though the chocolate is a bit dry looking, it’s actually pretty good. It’s smooth enough to melt well, the caramel center is stiff enough to provide a good chew but not so hard to pull out any teeth. They remind me of a softer version of Milk Duds back when they were made with real milk chocolate.

Overall, they’re much better, less sweet and smoother than the large version of Rolos. I found myself munching on these a lot more readily than the regular Rolos. They go well in a mix, too, with some nuts and pretzels.

Related Candies

  1. Wonka Triple Dazzle Caramel Bar
  2. Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate Tahitian Vanilla Caramels
  3. Milky Way Simply Caramel
  4. Storck Chocolate Riesen
  5. Fran’s Gray Salt Caramels
  6. Head to Head: Rolo vs Caramel Kisses
  7. Short & Sweet: Caramello /  Mega M&Ms / Orange Kisses


Name: Rolo Minis
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Hershey’s
Place Purchased: Target (Eagle Rock)
Price: $3.89
Size: 8 ounces
Calories per ounce: 138
Categories: Candy, Hershey's, Caramel, Chocolate, 6-Tempting, United Kingdom, Target

POSTED BY Cybele AT 4:24 pm     CandyMorselizationReviewHershey'sCaramelChocolateKosher6-TemptingUnited KingdomTargetComments (4)

Friday, April 13, 2012

Twizzlers Chocolate Twists

Twizzlers Chocolate Twists  (Classic)A few years ago I reviewed Twizzlers Chocolate Twists. What I didn’t realize at the time was that Hershey’s had changed the recipe and even the shape. There were many comments from fans of the classic version of the Chocolate Twizzlers who petitioned Hershey’s to return to that version.

So here it is, nearly four years later, and Hershey’s has heard the requests and responded with the new improved Now in the Classic Twist version.

We’re at a crossover period at the moment, where both versions are on store shelves, so I poked around and picked up both at different stores at different times. I also dug out the wrapper from my 2008 review so I could do a full comparison between the versions. The packages differ in very small ways. But if you’re looking for the return to the classic twist, look for the little blue dot that says Now in the Classic Twist.

Twizzlers Chocolate Twists (New Recipe & Classic)

First, the packages are virtually identical. The top is the Twizzler red with the blue outlined white Twizzlers logo. The clear center bit of the package shows the candy, which is the best way to tell them apart, as is the image at the top. The “Classic” Twizzlers have crimped ends. The revised formula, which is on its way out, has an open end.

The little diagram at the top of the package shows this and points to them with the text “totally twisted” with an arrow next to it. The thing of special note is that the 2012 version has a (r) mark next to it.

Twizzlers Chocolate Twists (Classic)

So I’ll start just with a straight review of the Classic Twist Chocolate Twizzlers. The expiration date is November 2012. Actually, nowhere on the package does this say that they’re Chocolate Twizzlers. It just says on the lower right of the front that it’s made with real Hershey’s chocolate. Otherwise, they’re just Twizzlers Twists. It’s as if Hershey’s thinks that saying “made with chocolate” is a flavor.

The twists are nicely made, glossy and consistent. There were exactly 20 twists in my package. They’re slightly flattened on one end, but otherwise a soft of oval tube with set of six twisted ribs.

The scent is mildly cocoa, a little on the woodsy side. They’re stiff but flexible. The bite is soft enough to cleave off easily without much pull. The base of the recipe is wheat flour (the second ingredient after corn syrup), so it’s a sort of doughy chew. The flavor is very clean, again it’s quite woodsy and not terribly deep. It’s like weak cocoa or slightly warm chocolate milk.

I found it pleasant enough though not satisfying as a chocolate candy, and not really compelling enough for a snack either texture-wise or with enough flavor intensity to hold my interest.

Twizzlers Chocolate Twists (New Recipe - Old)Now, I was on the fence about re-reviewing the rejected formula for Chocolate Twizzlers. But as I mentioned, I found the wrapper from the review from 2008. (Please don’t get the impression that I hoard my wrappers, I was cleaning out my studio because my roof was leaking and just happened to find it stuck in with some nice tins and boxes that I have been keeping.)

Inside this package there were only 15 twists, even though the packages weighed the same. They’re actually shorter, so I can only assume that they’re simply beefier than the other version.

Twizzlers Chocolate Twists

They look just the same as the 2008 version. No crimped ends, slightly milkier color than the crimped end Classic.They’re soft, much softer than the other version.

They smell sweet but not much like chocolate or really much else. The chew is doughy and soft, the texture is kind of sticky but smooth overall. The chocolate flavor is bland and lacks the slightly bitter edge of the Classic.

Mostly it’s the texture that’s different here, globs of it would stick to the edge of my molars and gums. Probably a dental nightmare.

Twizzlers Chocolate Twists (New Recipe & Classic)I feel like I haven’t really gotten to the bottom of this, because there are so many inconsistencies revealed by the packages.

There are 20 twists in the new bag, 15 in the old bag. So the new twists are 25% lighter. But the portion size on the package is still the same. It says on all three that 4 twists weigh 38 grams and provide 130 calories. But how could that be? If Hershey’s is providing information that’s off by 25%, isn’t that causing problems with portion control? And which one is correct?

The ingredients from the version I reviewed in 2008, which were uncrimped, look more like the current crimped version than they do with the uncrimped 2012 version. How can that be explained?

Twizzler Chocolate ingredient Preview

Basically, it’s not like you have a choice. The people spoke, consumers said they preferred the old crimped twists ... whatever the ingredients happen to be ...with or without palm oil, with or without soy lecithin.

Twizzlers Chocolate Twists (New Recipe & Classic)

Given the choice between both versions ... I choose neither. I stick by my 4 out of 10 rating from four years ago. It’s a middling candy. If you want a cocoa-rich flour based product, have an Oreo. If you want a chewy strip of candy, have a real Twizzler. The chocolate versions are just lacking zing. The new ones are prettier, that’s about all I can say.

Related Candies

  1. Limited Edition Twizzlers Pull ‘n’ Peel Grape
  2. Mini Charleston Chews
  3. Twizzlers Licorice Twists
  4. Twizzlers Chocolate Twists
  5. Twizzlers (Strawberry)
  6. Cinnamon Fire Twizzlers
  7. Tootsie Rolls & Fruit Rolls


Name: Twizzler Chocolate Twists
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Hershey’s
Place Purchased: KMart (Park LaBrea)
Price: $1.39
Size: 5.0 ounces
Calories per ounce: 97
Categories: Candy, Hershey's, Chews, 4-Benign, United States, Kmart

POSTED BY Cybele AT 3:20 pm     CandyReviewHershey'sChews4-BenignUnited StatesKmartComments (5)

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Hershey’s Kisses filled with Creme de Menthe

Hershey's Kisses Creme de MentheThe drug stores and big box discounters are in full Easter mode right now. But I found a little display of St. Patrick’s Day items at Target on an endcap near the party supplies. It included the Hershey’s Kisses filled with Creme de Menthe in a very green bag accented with green shamrocks.

Honestly, I wasn’t sure if I’d had these before, I had to pull out my droid phone and look it up. Even then, I still suspected that these were another limited edition Hershey’s Kisses item, the Mint Truffle Kisses (reviewed in 2007).

Hershey's Creme De Menthe Kisses

The Kiss packaging is to the point. They’re green folk. Whoop de doo. The little flags say Creme de Menthe, which is a bit generic in a way, I was hoping they’d have little shamrocks on them instead of dots to separate the text.

The molded Kisses are sharp, consistent and shiny. They smell quite minty and a little chocolatey. The semi sweet shell is mild and imbued with quite a bit of mint, whether it started that way or not. The melt is good, for a Hershey’s chocolate item, not terribly smooth, but not chalky or fudgy either. The center is a little more like a smooth fudge, not grainy but not like a flowing fondant like a cordial. It’s a bit salty, which balances the sweet well and gives the peppermint a little bit more dimension.

I liked them well enough. It’s easy to eat just a few of them as a little refreshment. I didn’t find myself reaching for them over and over again after three or so. The mint flavor is clean and not too sickly sticky.

The ingredients list is long and features a lot of vegetable oil for the center (the second ingredient for the filling) which includes palm oil. The allergen statement only lists peanuts (and of course it’s made with dairy products and soy) but says nothing about tree nuts or gluten. Hershey’s is far behind the rest of the chocolate world with its ethical sourcing of cocoa, so if you’re looking for a nice minty treat without enslaving children, try Seth Ellis Mint Sun Cups or the Divine After Dinner Mints.

Related Candies

  1. Sun Cups Dark Chocolate Mint Cups
  2. Tea Forte Minteas Lemongrass Yuzu
  3. An Easter Dash - Reviews in Short
  4. Hershey’s Bliss Creme de Menthe Meltaway Center
  5. Hershey’s Pumpkin Spice Kisses
  6. Hershey’s Mint Truffle Kisses
  7. Kisses Coconut Creme
  8. The Mint Kisses: Chocolate Mint & Candy Cane
  9. Cherry Cordial Creme Kisses


Name: Kisses filled with Creme de Menthe
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Hershey’s
Place Purchased: Target (WeHo)
Price: $3.19
Size: 10 ounces
Calories per ounce: 138
Categories: Candy, Hershey's, Chocolate, Kosher, Mints, 7-Worth It, United States, Target

POSTED BY Cybele AT 11:32 am     CandyReviewHershey'sChocolateKosherMints7-Worth ItUnited StatesTargetComments (2)

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Cadbury Chocolate Creme Egg

Cadbury Chocolate Creme EggIt’s exciting to see a new Cadbury product for Easter. The Cadbury brand is so inextricably tied to Easter is many American’s minds because of their iconic products like the Cadbury Creme Egg and the Cadbury Mini Chocolate Eggs.

This year Hershey’s in the United States is rolling out the Cadbury Chocolate Creme Egg. (I didn’t see that these are for sale in the UK.) They’re made by Cadbury Canada, not imported all the way from the UK by Kraft.

They’re only 1.2 ounces these days, but I think that’s actually a good size for such a thing.

Cadbury Creme Egg & Chocolate Creme Egg

If there’s one thing that Cadbury Creme Eggs mess with, it’s the definition of creme. I consider a creme to be creamy, something with a bit of fat in it, something that’s smooth. The traditional Creme Egg has a fondant which is actually smooth, but doesn’t rise to the level of something that’s actually creamy. It doesn’t melt in your mouth, it dissolves.

Cadbury Chocolate Creme Egg

These eggs are not a ganache center, instead it’s a smooth fondant. I expect little from a Cadbury chocolate ingredient-wise; I know it’s a lot of sugar. But I was dismayed to see that the ingredients included things like palm oil and high fructose corn sweetener. (And it’s not easy to see those things, it’s printed on the foil but not on the website, so I had to carefully flatten the foil, then photograph it and zoom in to read it.)

Cadbury Chocolate Creme Egg

The Cadbury Chocolate Creme Egg gets closer to that creamy ganache that I would hope it would be, but misses a bit. Basically, if you love chocolate frosting, you’ll love the Chocolate Creme Egg.

It was pretty good. Much better, in my opinion, than the traditional plain fondant version. The fudgy center has plenty of cocoa in it, and it is quite smooth, like a rich tub of frosting. There may even be a little salt in there, which offsets the sticky, sickly sweet milky chocolate The cocoa notes of the filling are more like a Tootsie Roll than a chocolate truffle, but that’s just fine for Easter.

I like this addition to the Cadbury Egg offerings.

There’s no statement about the ethical sourcing of the chocolate, though Cadbury is going Fair Trade with many of their UK chocolates. It’s made on shared equipment with peanuts and tree nuts. I couldn’t find a gluten statement.

Related Candies

  1. House Brand Creme Eggs
  2. Cadbury Popping Mini Eggs
  3. Russell Stover Eggs
  4. Cadbury Canadian Creme Eggs
  5. Cadbury Orange Creme Eggs
  6. Cadbury Eggs: Creme & Caramel


Name: Chocolate Creme Egg
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Cadbury
Place Purchased: Walgreen's (Echo Park)
Price: $.50 (on sale)
Size: 1.2 ounces
Calories per ounce: 150
Categories: Candy, Easter, Cadbury, Hershey's, Chocolate, Fondant, 7-Worth It, Canada, Walgreen's

POSTED BY Cybele AT 12:52 pm     CandyReviewEasterCadburyHershey'sChocolateFondant7-Worth ItCanadaWalgreen'sComments (6)

Friday, February 24, 2012

Jolly Rancher Crunch n Chew

Jolly Rancher Crunch n ChewWhen Jolly Ranchers hard candies were introduced in 1949 their original name was Famous for Flavor; that certainly describes what has set Jolly Ranchers apart from other candies for all these years.

Jolly Ranchers probably single-highhandedly made hard candies cool for kids. The flavors are bold and fresh and more intense than most others available back in the seventies when they went national and really still to this day. The brand has obviously branched out with chews, gummies and jelly beans. But their core product remains their individually wrapped hard candies in flavors like green apple, cherry, blue raspberry and watermelon. (One of my favorites has always been the Fire Sticks, though they’re not made any longer.)

Jolly Rancher Crunch n Chew

The candies come packaged in a variety of formats. They should be available as little packages in vending and convenience stores as well as this peg bag that holds 6.5 ounces. Each piece is individually wrapped. Instead of the twist clear wrappers, these have sealed ends. The new logo design is bold and appealing, but the color difference between the watermelon pink and the cherry pink is quite faint. (Though the names are also printed on there.)

Jolly Rancher Crunch n Chew

They’re about 7/8ths of an inch. The construction is interesting, it reminds me of the Jolly Rancher chewy center lollipops. There’s a chewy center, kind of like a Starburst and a hard candy shell. The shell is different from the texture of a regular Jolly Rancher. It’s not transparent, it’s milky and doesn’t have that same smooth melt and light pliability.

Cherry (Dark Pink) is the flavor I wanted to get out of the way, as it’s usually my least favorite but a good time to concentrate on the qualities of the candy. The candy rod is pretty thick, though it’s called crunch and chew, I don’t recommend biting into it right away, I suggest dissolving it a bit. The cherry flavor is strong with both tartness and a sweet woodsy but artificial flavor. Crunching brings an interesting set of textures. The chew in the middle was quite sour but worked well with the crunchy bits of hard candy. I suppose you could be patient and let the hard candy dissolve completely ... but the product is called Crunch ‘n Chew.

Jolly Rancher Crunch n ChewGreen Apple (Green) is the flavor that I most associate with Jolly Rancher. It’s good, it’s nicely rounded with both that artificial green apple plus a helping of apple juice and a little bit of dried apple. The center is chewy and much more mild, almost milky.

Watermelon (Pink) is quite artificial and reminds me of scented lip gloss. It’s tangy with a good dose of that fake watermelon. The chew inside is also tart and has a weird sort of plastic flavor to it, kind of like Play Doh smells.

Blue Raspberry (Blue) is rather berry flavor. It’s not quite as intense as the standard Jolly Rancher clear hard candy, but has a well rounded flavor that pulls in flavors of seeds and boiled jam all with a tangy backdrop.

They’re just not my style. The part I like most about Jolly Ranchers is their incredibly smooth dissolve, no voids and with a sort of syrupy thickness to the flavor. This was just another hard candy with a weird plasticy chew at the center. If I were 11 and someone gave this to me, I might like it. But as a grown up, I think I’ll probably just stick with the Cinnamon Fire or Wild Berry flavors.

Contains gelatin, so not suitable for vegetarians. Made in Brazil, no statement about gluten or peanuts/tree nuts but does contain corn starch, sulfur dioxide and soy.

Related Candies

  1. Jolly Rancher Tropical Fruit Chews
  2. Jolly Rancher Awesome Twosome Chews
  3. Mentos: Juicy Orange, Lemon Lime & Watermelon
  4. Chewy Sour Extinguisher
  5. Starburst Sours (New)
  6. Jolly Rancher Double Blasts
  7. Jolly Rancher Fruit Chews


Name: Crunch n Chew
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Hershey’s
Place Purchased: samples from Hershey's
Price: $1.80
Size: 6.5 ounces
Calories per ounce: 113
Categories: Candy, Hershey's, Chews, Hard Candy & Lollipops, 6-Tempting, Brazil

POSTED BY Cybele AT 2:16 pm     CandyReviewHershey'sChewsHard Candy & Lollipops6-TemptingBrazilComments (9)

Friday, January 13, 2012

Hershey’s Pieces - Milk Chocolate with Almonds

DSC_9765rbHershey’s has been chugging along with their Pieces line, the long-overdue expansion of the Reese’s Pieces product into other pelletized versions of popular Hershey’s candy bars.

The new Hershey’s Pieces - Milk Chocolate with Almonds isn’t as innovative as some of the other candies, such as the Almond Joy Pieces or the initial Reese’s Pieces. But they fill a void in Hershey’s offerings and I was looking forward to them.

The first big stumbling block I had, though, was the price. 8 ounces for about four dollars. Other stores sell them for $4.50. I have a hard time paying 8 or 9 dollars a pound for Hershey’s candy in bulk quantities.

They also don’t reinvent the niche with some new quality. They’re not low in allergens, the list on the back says that they may contain soy, wheat, other tree nuts and peanuts. A great selling point would have been a nutty candy that is actually peanut and/or gluten free.

Hershey's Pieces - Milk Chocolate with Almonds

The Pieces look like the package illustrates. They come in three colors: dark brown, brown and cream. They vary widely in size, based on the core of almond. Some are as small as a Peanut M&M, others are huge, sometimes over an inch long.

They’re a standard construction of a well-roasted almond, a milk chocolate coating and then a colored candy shell. The colors are pleasing. I actually enjoyed their muted tones more than the loud and artificial M&Ms Almond. Of course these are also artificial, with Red 40, Yellow 6 and Blue 1 & 2 ... just less bang for the coloring.

The almonds are roasted to a very dark color, roasted in cocoa butter and/or sunflower oil). This is a good choice. I found them all crunchy and fresh tasting, not a single fibery or bitter one in the bag.

The shell is thin enough to crunch easily and provide only a modicum of sweetness. The milk chocolate is only marginally acceptable. It has the Hershey’s sour note to it, which I actually like sometimes, especially when mixed with more savory elements. Here it was such a back seat to the large almonds, it worked.

I prefer this, by far, to the Hershey’s Milk Chocolate with Almonds bar. But I don’t like it better than M&Ms Almond, because of the difference in the chocolate flavor. What I’d really like to see is a Heath Pieces at this point, that’d really set the Pieces line apart from their current iteration as an M&Ms clone.

Related Candies

  1. Hershey’s Special Dark Pieces
  2. Hershey’s York Pieces
  3. Hershey’s Almond Joy Pieces
  4. Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate Almonds
  5. Sconza 70% Dark Chocolate Toffee Almonds
  6. Reese’s Pieces
  7. M&Ms Line
  8. Reese’s Pieces with Peanuts


Name: Milk Chocolate with Almonds Pieces
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Hershey’s
Place Purchased: Rite Aid (Sherman Oaks)
Price: $3.99
Size: 8 ounces
Calories per ounce: 142
Categories: Candy, Hershey's, Chocolate, Kosher, Nuts, 7-Worth It, United States, Rite Aid

POSTED BY Cybele AT 4:18 pm     CandyMorselizationReviewHershey'sChocolateKosherNuts7-Worth ItUnited StatesRite AidComments (5)

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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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