Thursday, August 2, 2012
I’m still on a lighter schedule here at Candy Blog central. But here are a few posts that you may have missed over the years in previous Augusts.
Unfortunately the Russell Stover version just doesn’t measure up, but that shouldn’t stop you from giving them a try, especially if you’ve been looking for a milk chocolate version or a non-holiday fix on their novelty items.
Name: Marshmallow & Caramel in Fine Milk Chocolate
Read the full and original review of Russell Stover Marshmallow Caramel.
It didn’t quite live up to my hopes, though I don’t recall being a huge fan of the flavor profile if I had it as a kid.
Name: Chewy Licorice Bits
Read the full and original review of Switzer’s Licorice.
Haribo in particular loves to make their candies in fanciful shapes that evoke their flavor. The Cola Bottles are one of those, and an excellent example of cola candy. It seems like Germany and Japan have embraced the American creation within their confectionery in a way that we just can’t seem to muster here in the States.
Name: Happy Cola Gummi Candy
Read the full and original review of Haribo Happy Cola Gummis.
The Kissables debacle was a strange time in Hershey’s history. The little candy coated kisses were a huge launch for the company and came as Hershey’s was also trying to dilute the accepted ingredient definition for chocolate itself in the United States. Even though the definition for chocolate remained pure, Hershey’s still altered the formula for Kissables to include vegetable oils, so it was no longer chocolate. At the same time Hershey’s also launched a Pure Chocolate promotional campaign, confusing the matter even further.
The issue and change brought national attention to Hershey’s and shortly after this Kissables disappeared from shelves (though I do see them at the discounters from time to time).
Name: Kissables (2008 formula)
Read the full and original review of the Old & New Hershey’s Kissables.
The Ferrero Rocher line got a new variety in 2007 with the Rondnoir, a dark chocolate version of the crunchy hazelnut paste chocolate. It was also an opportunity for me to review everything Ferrero had on American shelves at the time.
Name: Raffaello & Rondnoir
Read the full and original review of Ferrero Raffaello & Rondnoir.
It’s rare to be able to document a discontinued candy, as it’s happening. Especially when it’s a brand that I loved so dearly and continued to buy whenever I could right up until they disappeared. Reed’s were unlike any other hard candy rolls on the market, and it’s sad that the new owner, Mars, hasn’t found a way to bring them back in limited production like Cadbury Adams does with the classic Clove and Black Jack gums.
Name: Reed’s Cinnamon, Butterscotch & Root Beer
Read the farewell post for Reed’s Candy Rolls.
Usually a candy company trying to cross promote their candies will end up making a weird abomination, but in this case, Hershey’s made something that was actually better than the source products. They made a malted milk candy bar with crisped rice in it. It was wonderful. I bought expired ones and ate them long after the limited edition faded away.
Name: Twosomes - Whoppers
Read the full and original review of the Hershey’s Whoppers Twosomes Bar.
Wednesday, June 27, 2012
For this week’s installment of archival reviews, there’s definitely a summer theme going on. Less chocolate, more fruity chewy things.
Name: Gummi Bear Rings
Read the original review of Trolli Gummi Bear Rings.
Name: 3-Dees Natural Fruit Snacks
Read the original review of 3-Dees Natural Fruit Snacks.
Read the original review of Wonka Puckerooms Gummies.
Name: Now and Later & Soft Now and Later
Read the original review of Now & Later and Soft Now & Later.
Name: Disneyland Chocolates
Read the original review of Disneyland’s Candy Palace Chocolates.
Name: Feinherb, Dark Chocolate with Whole Hazelnuts & Fine Extra Dark Chocolate
Read the original review of Ritter Sport Dark Bars.
Name: Big Cherry
Read the original review of Christopher’s Big Cherry.
Tuesday, June 19, 2012
After my niece’s lacrosse game but before my nephew’s baseball game we headed over to Bevan’s Own Make Candy in Media, Pennsylvania, not far from Philadelphia. It’s a cute little shop where nearly everything they sell is made right there in the store. The Bevan’s shop has been there for over 50 years, churning out local favorites and holiday treats. I was interested in the items that they were particularly well known for.
The store looks barely touched by the years. The interior is a simple set of shelves, a quaint window display and a large glass candy case. The gal behind the counter was happy to answer questions and even ended up checking in back for a dark chocolate mix for me.
We picked up three boxes of candy, one to eat with the family and two which I shared and then took the rest home with me. We picked out Milk Chocolate Covered Pretzels (which were gone within 24 hours), Peanut Butter Sticks and Molasses Chips. Each box was between $6.00 and $6.50 and I think had about a half a pound in it.
I love the idea of a Butterfinger, but have been disappointed over the years with the quality of the Nestle product. But stores like Bevan’s almost always have a house made version, Peanut Butter Sticks and they’re far superior. This version is a straw-style peanut butter crunch that’s then covered in a large helping of milk chocolate.
The peanut butter crisp is flaky and melts in the mouth quickly. The peanut butter flavors are strong and it’s not too sweet with just the right, light touch of salt. The milk chocolate is smooth, a little too sweet for me, but the right ratio for this version of the candy. It was hard to keep at least half a box for photographing when I got home.
The other item I love getting, especially from Pennsylvania candy makers, is Molasses Chips. Like the Peanut Butter Sticks, it’s a candy that takes a bit of work and skill to make, even though the recipe is quite simple. The center is just a boiled sugar and molasses mixture that’s pulled and folded to create the unique layered texture. Then it’s cut up and covered in dark chocolate. The bitterness of the mild dark chocolate goes well with the dark, toffee sweetness of the molasses. Crispy, melt in your mouth, definitely a keeper.
If you’re in the area and crave a little home-cooked flavor, it’s a good shop to experience. Around the corner on Edgemont Street is the actual candy kitchen, you can look in through the window and see their equipment and candy making tables.
Bevan’s Own Make Candy
Read more about Bevan’s at the local Media, PA website, Fig Media.
Wednesday, June 13, 2012
Here’s another set of links to tasty (and maybe not so tasty) items in the archives from this week in history. Overall, it looks like my trend in June is to visit classics, with a few twists.
Last summer I got to try a new line of lower calorie treats. In reality what Nestle created were just small treats for the same price as a larger portion treat for the same price. Good job. (Still, they would be truly delicious with actual chocolate.)
Name: Skinny Cow Heavenly Crisp
Read the full review of Nestle’s Skinny Cow Heavenly Crisp from the archives.
Some candies are just too pretty to eat. Some of Haribos fit right in there. Since my trips to Germany, I’m actually pretty happy with the selections that we do get in the United States. Most of it is good and fits the flavor profiles Americans prefer.
Read the review of Haribo Raspberries from the archives.
Some classic candies just can’t be improved upon. These don’t need to be covered in chocolate, they don’t need to be made by hand. (Though a little less artificial coloring wouldn’t hurt.)
Read the review of Spearmint Leaves from the archives.
This is one of those candies I hadn’t tried before starting the blog. Since posting this I’ve actually bought a couple of full boxes of Coconut Longboys and enjoy them quite a bit, especially in the summer since they’re creamy but have no chocolate and stand up well to the heat.
Name: Long Boys: Coconut & Chocolate
When I wrote this review I fully intended to try other versions of Circus Peanuts and compare them, perhaps do a full photo array. But I can’t bring myself to buy them again, let alone open the package and possibly eat them.
Read the Circus Peanuts review from the archives.
This is one of the best Limited Edition Snickers that came along, I believe it’s been re-issued twice. It seems odd that they made the 3X Snickers (chocolate caramel, chocolate nougat and chocolate coating) a regular item but not this one.
Name: Snickers Xtreme
Read the review of Nestle Aero from the archives.
Friday, June 8, 2012
There’s pretty long list of candy that does well in the summer’s heat. Panned candies, those with a sugar shell, do particularly well. So for those who want a little licorice treat, I still like Good & Plenty. It’s not chocolate, but it has plenty of hearty and deep flavors because of the molasses base. One of my other favorite all-weather candies is Chick-o-Sticks.
What’s your favorite summertime candy?
Wednesday, June 6, 2012
I started Candy Blog over seven years ago and have probably documented about 2,500 products here in one form or another. It used to be that I could actually remember what I’d tried and reviewed, but the database has become so huge that sometimes I actually find myself searching my own website while at the store to see not only whether I’d tried something but what I thought of it.
So I thought once a week, I’d dive into the archives and present a highlight from each week on this date since Candy Blog’s inception in 2006.
Just a note, at the time I was using a Sony DSC-V3 camera to shoot. After about 40,000 shots on that camera, I finally upgraded to a Nikon D-60 and use a Tamron Macro Lens. The rest of the process is the same though.
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.
Meticulously photographed and documented reviews of candy from around the world. And the occasional other sweet adventures. Open your mouth, expand your mind.