Thursday, May 17, 2012
My day job has been kicking my butt for the last month and I’ve run out of time to write posts at the moment, so you’ll just have to look at something that I’ve been eating but probably won’t review. Early mornings, late nights, European kiss greetings to co-workers, coffee breath ... I’m eating cough drops. Enjoy this peek at the new packaging for Luden’s Cough Drops. I miss the old salmon orange box, but thankfully the menthol cough drops inside are just the same as I remember.
Friday, May 11, 2012
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:
Name: Wild Ophelia
Name: Queen Anne’s French Vanilla Cordial Cherry
Name: Edible Candy Number Birthday Candle
Name: Ice Breakers Duo Mints - Raspberry & Ice Breakers Duo Mints - Strawberry
All images courtesy of the respective manufacturers.
Thursday, May 10, 2012
Mars has scaled back on the new product introductions they announce at Sweets & Snacks Expo, but there are still plenty of new twists on your favorite candies coming out in the next six months or so. Here are some highlights:
Name: Dove Cookies and Creme
Name: Milky Way Caramel Apple
Name: 3 MUSKETEERS Brand Hot Cocoa with Marshmallow
Name: DOVE PROMISES Silky Smooth Milk Chocolate & Strawberry Crème Swirl Hearts
Other items returning:
M&M’S Candy Corn White Chocolate Candies were an unexpected hit last year. I was surprised that I liked them and am glad to see that they’ll return for Halloween 2012. Full review here.
Dove Peppermint Bark will be back for Christmas in the bark and Promises version, but also a new DOVE Peppermint Bark Singles which sounds like a great way to just pick up a small, easy to eat bar instead of a large bag. Previous review of Promises here.
DOVE PROMISES Silky Smooth White Chocolate will also return for Christmas 2012. Previous review is here.
3 MUSKETEERS Dark Chocolate Strawberry Minis were introduced in a Fall Mix in 2007 (along with French Vanilla and Cappuccino). Lately they’ve been bringing out Cherry and Raspberry seasonally, but this Strawberry version will be out for Valentine’s Day 2013.
Images courtesy of Mars, Inc.
Tuesday, May 8, 2012
The Sweets and Snacks Expo, sponsored by the National Confectioners Association starts today in Chicago. It’s a huge trade show for candy manufacturers to show their product lines to candy buyers. Hundreds of new candy products are introduced each year, here are a few:
Name: Brand: Ritter Sport
Name: Au Natural
Name: Ginger-Lemon Gummi
Name: Gimbal’s Sour Beans
Name: Bonomo Taffy: Blue Raspberry & Cherry
Wednesday, May 2, 2012
They’re narrow tins that open like drawers. Inside are little spheres of chocolate. They call them Pearls. They’re not so different than the Godiva Pearls that are sold in the United States in much smaller tins.
The chocolate actually seemed to be of higher quality than the ordinary Hershey’s bars, but that could just be the premium packaging. It’s a great way to portion just a little bit of chocolate and the tins are nicely reusable. They’re thick enough that I could put a few thumb drives in them, or a card reader for my camera and some extra flash memory. Or I suppose I could refill them with other edibles and stash it in my bag.
Another view of the Hershey’s Extra Creamy Pearls.
Hershey’s Extra Creamy Milk Chocolate Pearls close up.
They’re each about the size of a fresh garden pea.
There was also a version of Hershey’s Special Dark Pearls, which I didn’t find as creamy as the milk chocolate version. I picked these up as samples at the ISM Cologne show last year.
Tuesday, April 24, 2012
Matthijs Liquorice is from The Netherlands and comes in an amazing array of shapes, flavors and sizes.
Animals, toys, fish, geometrics and even money.
A school of fish.
The Russian Matroesjkas were my favorite to look at. They also come in a combination version that’s half wine gum and half licorice.
Their website has loads more. I’m not certain where to find them in the United States. From the sampling I tried, I’m more fond of their wine gum and cola flavored products than the licorice.
Friday, April 6, 2012
A Happy Haribo gummi rabbit for Easter.
Friday, March 30, 2012
Haribo Gold Bears stand as the epitome of the gummi bear for good reason. They were the first and they are known around the world. Haribo is so big that they have 18 factories, but only five of them in Germany.
I’ve been told over the years that the German Haribo products are the best. The Haribo products we most often see here in the United States, especially the Gold Bears, are made in either Turkey or Spain. So while I was in Germany I made sure to pick up a bag of the original version made in Bonn, Germany. Flipping over the bag, it was immediately clear that they’re different. There’s an extra flavor.
The German Gold Bears have six flavors:
The Turkish or Spanish Gold Bears have only five flavors:
Further, the German Bears are made with all natural colorings. Here’s an array of Bears and Bunnies for color comparison:
On top are the German Gold Bunnies, packaged for the American market, in the middle are the German Gold Bears purchased in Germany and on the bottom are the Turkish Gold Bears purchased in the United States.
So let’s start where things are weird. First, the Green Gummi Bear. As you may have noticed in the listing above, in the United States, the green gummi bear is Strawberry.
I compared the colors of the Green Gummi Gold Bears because they show the most difference between the countries. The German bear is a light olive color, not a true green. Other than that though, the bears are the same shape and mass.
I thought maybe one was taller than the other, or thicker, but the variations are just that, variations across all the bears. Some are slightly thicker or taller, some have different facial expressions. But there’s no real difference in the moulding.
Turkish Strawberry (Green) compared to German Strawberry (Pink): The Turkish bear is just slightly firmer. The flavor (once you close your eyes and forget that it’s not lime or green apple) is light and only slightly floral. It’s tangy, but not puckeringly tart. Mostly it’s a bland gummi bear. The German bear is softer and just slightly more pliable. It’s jammy and has a good blend of florals and tartness, and though it’s slightly more flavorful, I wouldn’t say that there’s a huge difference in the intensity, just the nuances. Germany Wins.
Turkish Raspberry (Red) compared to German Raspberry (Red): The artificial nature of the Turkish bear is much more apparent when placed next to the deeper, wine red German bear. The Turkish bear is sweet and tangy, the berry flavors are fresh and have only the lightest note of seeds to them. The German bear is softer and has richer, more dense flavor with more boiled fruit flavors to it. Germany Wins.
Turkish Orange compared to German Orange: this is tough. Both looked virtually the same, and the textures were also so similar. The zesty and tart notes on both were dead on. The German bear tasted every so slightly more like freshly squeezed juice, but that could have been my imagination. Tie.
Turkish Pineapple (clear) compared to German Pineapple (clear): The Turkish version had an ever—so-slight yellow cast to it, which really only showed when I placed the bears next to each other on white paper. Pineapple happens to be my favorite flavor for the bears and this was no exception. The Turkish bear actually had enough tartness to make my jaw tingle. It’s sweet and floral and just wonderful. The German version was just as good, but had an extra little flavor towards the end, a more intense thing that I can’t quite peg as pineapple zest, but that sort of buzz that comes with fresh pineapple. Even though there was a slight difference, I will indiscriminately gobble both. Tie.
Turkish Lemon (yellow) compared to German Lemon (yellow): Lemon is a great flavor and Haribo really can’t fail. There’s a wonderful blend of zest and juice in the Turkish version, with so much lemon peel that it verges on air freshener. The German version is more like a candied lemon peel or marmalade, slight more bitterness but still plenty of juice. Turkish Win.
The last one is the German Apple. It tastes, well, like tart apple juice. Honestly, I’m glad it’s not in the bags that are sold in the United States, it would be one I’d pick around ... and there currently aren’t any Haribo Gold Bears that I don’t like.
So if there’s an additional flavor in Germany, I thought maybe this Easter Haribo Gold Bunnies version which features little rabbits instead bears and says it’s made in Germany would have that apple in it.
It does not.
The Green Bunny is actually strawberry.
But what’s more disappointing about these Haribo Gold Bunnies is that they’re terrible compared to both the Turkish Bears and the German Bears. Sure, the shape is cute and the colors are all natural, but the flavors are pale and watered down.
So if you’re a Green Apple fan, it’s worth it to seek out the true German Haribo Gold Bears. If you don’t care, then the Turkish version that we’ve been served all these years is great ... it’s not quite as intense, but it’s still a good quality product. The other think I noticed is that I paid one Euro (about $1.30) for my 200 gram (7 ounce) bag of German bears ... and I paid $1.50 for my Turkish bears, which only has 5 ounces in it. The German Bunnies were on sale for $1.00 at Cost Plus.
Meticulously photographed and documented reviews of candy from around the world. And the occasional other sweet adventures. Open your mouth, expand your mind.