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Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Candy Tease: Sweets & Snacks Expo 2012 - Part 1

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: Ritter Sport CherryBrand: Ritter Sport
Description: Attention all ice cream lovers! The classic Italian ice cream flavour Amarena cherry is now also available as RITTER SPORT chocolate. With its milk cream, sour cherries and the pleasantly light flavour of almonds, it can proudly take its place beside its Italian role model. Even the crispy cornet has its place in the square “Amarena Cup” in the form of small pieces of waffle! Ice cold, this chocolate square even beats the scoop of ice cream.
Introduction Date: November 2012
Notes:  I believe the Amarena Cherry will be a summer limited edition flavor in Europe, so it will transition into American stores shortly after that for the Winter. Also of note, there will be a few other holiday flavors for Americans: Coconut Macaroon, Dark Praline & Caramel Almond and after a 5 year absence, Ritter Rum, Raisins & Hazelnuts (Rum Trauben Nuss) is back for Holiday 2012.

All Natural Sweet CandyName: Au Natural
Brand: Sweet Candy Company
Description: The products in this line are made with all natural ingredients and contain No Artificial Flavors or Colors, No Corn Syrup, No Preservatives. Nummy Bears, Squishy Fishy, Squirmy Wormy, and Citrus Slices. “Classic Candies, Better Ingredients.
Introduction Date: 1/15/2012
Notes: I tried these at the Fancy Food Show in January. The products are jellies, not gummies but once you get over the texture difference, the flavors are really well balanced and fruity. The citruses are especially good. If you like the Gourmet Gum Drops at Whole Foods, you’ll love these.

Haribo Ginger-LemonName: Ginger-Lemon Gummi
Brand: Haribo
Description: Said Christian Jegen, president of Haribo of America Inc. “Ginger-Lemon is extremely popular overseas, and we anticipate it will be a big hit in the U.S., especially among adults who are looking for something new and unusual in their choice in sweets. We believe the American gummi candy market has yet to reach its full potential.”
Introduction Date: September 2012
Notes: I’ve had these, I’ve actually bought more than a half a dozen bags of them, and if I time it properly, they’ll be in stores in the US by the time I run out. If you like authentic tasting, tangy and spicy gummis, you should seek these out.

Gimbals Sour BeansName: Gimbal’s Sour Beans
Brand: Gimbal’s Candy
Description: The brand new Sour Gourmet Jelly Bean line is made with real fruit juice, and features two flavors that have never been made in sour jelly bean format before: Sour Mango and Sour Pomegranate. Also introducing this fall, Gimbal’s Harvest Mix Gourmet Jelly Beans are made with Real Fruit Juice. This 9oz Fall-themed bag is packed with seven delicious gourmet flavors including special Pumpkin Pie, Harvest Spice, Peach Cobbler and more!
Introduction Date: 61/2012
Notes: I already reviewed the Gimbal’s Sour Beans when I found them around Easter. There’s a lot to love about Gimbal’s candies. Most notably they’re free from the Major Eight Food Allergens and they use good ingredients. But I’ve had a devilish time finding them. The good news is that many of their products are going to be available in the smaller 2.75 ounce peg bags for just a buck. I hope the really hard to find Sour Lovers also come in this convenient package.

Name: Bonomo Taffy: Blue Raspberry & Cherry
Brand: Warrell Corp.
Description: Bonomo, the nostalgic Taffy brand is introducing two new flavors! Try new Blue Raspberry, and Cherry flavors today!
Introduction Date: 5/7/2012
Notes: Bonomo was one of the most missed discontinued candies when they resumed production under the guidance of Warrell Corp (Classic Caramel Company) about a year ago. They started up with the expected flavors: strawberry, vanilla, chocolate and banana. It’s interesting to see them expand the flavors so quickly. I fully expected cherry, but blue raspberry is an interesting demographic note, as it’s mostly requested by younger folks.

Related Candies

  1. Candy Tease Spring 2012
  2. Candy Tease: October 2011
  3. Candy Tease: Mars 2011 Announcements
  4. Eat with your Eyes: L.A. Burdick

POSTED BY Cybele AT 9:14 am     CandyNew Product AnnouncementGimbal's CandyHariboRitter SportWarrell CorpHighlightFeatured NewsComments (6)

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Eat with your Eyes: Hershey’s Luscious Pearls of Chocolate

Hershey's PearlsThis isn’t actually a review. It’s just a photo documentation of a version of Hershey’s chocolate that’s available in China.

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.

Hershey's Extra Creamy Pearls

Another view of the Hershey’s Extra Creamy Pearls.

Hershey's Extra Creamy Milk Chocolate Pearls

Hershey’s Extra Creamy Milk Chocolate Pearls close up.

Hershey's Special Dark Pearls (with M&M)

They’re each about the size of a fresh garden pea.

Hershey's Special Dark Pearls

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.

POSTED BY Cybele AT 7:23 am     CandyISM CologneHighlightPhotographyComments (0)

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Eat with your Eyes: Matthijs Liquorice & Winegums

Matthijs Liquorice is from The Netherlands and comes in an amazing array of shapes, flavors and sizes.

Matthiis Liquorice and Gummis

Animals, toys, fish, geometrics and even money.

Matthijs Liquorice

A school of fish.

Matthiis Liquorice

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.

POSTED BY Cybele AT 10:27 am     CandyISM CologneNetherlandsHighlightPhotographyComments (1)

Friday, April 6, 2012

Happy Easter

Haribo Gummi Rabbit

A Happy Haribo gummi rabbit for Easter.

POSTED BY Cybele AT 10:35 am     CandyEasterHighlightFeatured NewsComments (2)

Friday, March 30, 2012

Haribo Gold Bears from Turkey and Germany

Haribo Gold  Bears - TurkeyHaribo 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.

Haribo Germany Bears - They have Apfel bears

The German Gold Bears have six flavors:
Strawberry (light red)
Apple (green)
Lemon (yellow)
Orange (orange)
Pineapple (clear)
Raspberry (darker red)

The Turkish or Spanish Gold Bears have only five flavors:
Strawberry (green)
Lemon (yellow)
Orange (orange)
Pineapple (clear)
Raspberry (red)

Further, the German Bears are made with all natural colorings. Here’s an array of Bears and Bunnies for color comparison:

Haribo 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.

Haribo Bears: German Apfel & Turkish 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.

Haribo Germany vs Haribo Turkey

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.

Haribo Red GummiTurkish 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 Haribo Bears

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.

Haribo Gold Bunnies - GermanySo 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.

Haribo Gummi Rabbits & Bears

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.

Related Candies

  1. Haribo Ingwer-Zitrone Gummis
  2. Bissinger’s Lemon Ginger Yuzu Gummi Pandas
  3. LifeSavers Gummies: Bunnies & Eggs
  4. Haribo Happy Cola
  5. Haribo Saure Dinosaurier
  6. Albanese Gummi Butterflies
  7. Haribo Gummi Bears vs Trolli Gummi Bears

POSTED BY Cybele AT 12:32 pm     CandyReviewEasterHariboGummi Candy9-YummyGermanyTurkeyHighlightHead to HeadCost PlusComments (10)

Monday, March 12, 2012

Candy Tease Spring 2012

It’s a little early for Sweets and Snacks Expo announcements for new products, but there are a few new items of note in the candy world.

Justin's Nut Butter BarsName: Justin’s Candy Bars
Brand: Justin’s Nut Butter
Description: Available in three gourmet flavors, Milk Chocolate Peanut, Dark Chocolate Peanut and Milk Chocolate Almond, Justin’s Candy Bars contain organic chocolate, nuts, caramel and nougat. Justin’s All-Natural Candy Bars contain 25 percent less sugar, 50 percent more protein and 100 percent more fiber than the leading conventional candy bar, Snickers, the company said.
Introduction Date: Exclusive at Whole Foods through June 2012, available wider after that.
Notes: I tried these at ExpoWest and have to say that these don’t taste like healthy candy. There’s no compromise on the flavor and texture. I’ll have a full review soon.

Jelly Belly CockroachName: Gummi Pet Cockroach
Brand: Jelly Belly
Description: Gummi Pet Cockroach will join Pet Rat, Pet Gator, Pet Dinosaur and Pet Tarantula this June. The candy is created with two different flavors: one for the “legs” and the other for the “body.” The Gummi Pet Cockroach candies will be available in blackberry and cherry, grape and lime, and orange and blackberry.
Introduction Date: June 2012
Notes: I really don’t have a problem with novelty shapes as a rule. But this one isn’t quite the right coloring, it looks more like a flattened spider and certainly the size is out of scale. Also, what’s intimidating about Cockroaches is their crunchy shell. Jelly Belly was so accurate with their flavors for the Bertie Bott’s Every Flavor Beans (well, I hear that they were, I didn’t try all of them) it’s just a little disappointing that they didn’t go for the scary accuracy of big bugs instead.

Ovation - Dulce de LecheName: Dulce de Leche Ovation Sticks
Brand: SweetWorks, Inc.
Description: Ovation Sticks feature caramel truffle centers covered in all-natural dark chocolate.
Introduction Date: Available Now
Notes: The Ovation sticks are usually individually wrapped, which makes them ideal for serving in situations where you don’t want a big pile of opened chocolate. But for snacking for yourself, it’s a little daunting to either unwrap or observe all the wrappers you’ve created after a binge.

Juicy Drop TaffyName: Juicy Drop Taffy
Brand: Bazooka (Topps)
Description: The taffy packs in 2.36-ounce pouches containing eight pieces and a sour gel applicator, which lets consumers increase the sour flavor on the candy, the company says. The new items will debut in Blue Rebel and Knock Out Punch flavors.
Introduction Date: Available Now
Notes:

Sanders Pecan-dyName: Milk Chocolate Covered Gretzels, Twisted Toffee & Pretzel and Pecan-dy
Brand: Sanders Candy
Description: Milk Chocolate Covered Gretzels are cinnamon graham crackers shaped to resemble pretzels. Cashew Almond Pecan-dy is a mix of popcorn and caramel coated nuts. Chocolate Drizzled Cashew Almond Pecan-dy is the company’s popcorn and caramel-coated nut mix with dark and milk chocolate
Introduction Date: Available Now
Notes: The sweet and savory trend meets the comfort candy trend with Sanders. They redid all their packaging design recently, I think it suits them well and stands out.

Nifty Gummi CupcakesName: Gummy Cupcakes
Brand: Can You Imagine That!
Description: The fun-size gummy cupcakes with sprinkles come in a gift box and make a fantastic treat or sweet present.  And, if you’re looking for something a little more dramatic, there’s the Giant Gummy Cupcake, weighing in at 1 lb. Both are available in a variety of bright colors and flavors of gummy.
Introduction Date: Available Now
Notes: It’s far more appealing to eat food shaped like food than like vermin (though I’m not really a big consumer of cupcakes). These are deliriously cute and I’m probably going to buy them just to take their picture.

Here’s a couple of really early teases as well from Mars:

Milky Way Caramel AppleSeptember: MilkyWay Caramel Apple Minis are bite-size bars featurirng apple flavor caramel covered in milk chocolate. Packing in 11.5-ounce lay down bags.

September: The return of Candy Corn White Chocolate M&Ms.

November: Twix Sugar Cookie Minis combines Twix with sugar cookies. The 10.5-oz. packages will carry a suggested retail price of $3.99;

November: 3 Musketeers Hot Cocoa with Marshmallow Minis is a new limited-edition holiday flavor that will be available in a 10-oz. bag for a suggested retail price of $3.99.

POSTED BY Cybele AT 4:34 pm     CandyNew Product AnnouncementHighlightNewsComments (3)

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Eat with your Eyes: Apollo Strawberry

Meiji Apollo

Little Meiji Apollo chocolates are little mountains with a base of milk chocolate and a snowcap of strawberry flavored white confection. They’re cute, like the tops of an edible crayon.

POSTED BY Cybele AT 1:55 pm     CandyHighlightPhotographyComments (5)

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

2012 Fancy Food Show Notes - Day 3

The last day of the Fancy Food Show is a time for me to review my hit list and make sure I’ve covered everything I needed, then wander around waiting for serendipity.

Melville Gummi Bear Lollipops
Melville Gummi Bear Lollipops - photo (c) by Manny Treeson

Melville, which I know best for their beautifully molded lollipops had a new item, a giant gummi bear on a stick. And of course, once you’ve done that, you may as well dip it in chocolate.

John Kelly Fudge
John Kelly Peanut Butter Chocolate Fudge- photo (c) by Manny Treeson

John Kelly is a gourmet fudge line made right in Hollywood near my home. But it seems like I eat more of it when I’m at the Fancy Food Show than any other time of year. (It could be that their pieces are so huge and I always enjoy a little variation.) I tried their peanut butter and sea salt - not too sweet and not too rib-sticking thick.

Eclipse Caramels
Eclipse Caramels - photo (c) by Manny Treeson

Eclipse Chocolate is in San Diego and one company I’ve neglected for far too long. They use lots of great ingredients (many from California) and take a lot of care creating their product line. They have caramels, of course, since that’s the big trend the past few years. But I’m really interested in their Rocky Road, made with Plush Puffs ... I’ll have to pick some up and get a full review going soon.

Fralinger's Salt Water Taffy
Fralinger’s Salt Water Taffy - photo (c) by Manny Treeson

It’s great to see the West Coast version of the Fancy Food Show highlighting East Coast favorites. A Jersey Shore favorite, Fralinger’s Salt Water taffy was exhibiting with a compact booth filled with every flavor of their dense and flavorful salt water taffy. They even had the paddle pops (I got a molasses one to bring home and review).

More photo coverage here and I’ll have lots of reviews and thoughts coming up over the next month or so.

POSTED BY Cybele AT 7:58 am     CandyFancy Food ShowHighlightFeatured NewsComments (2)

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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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COUNTDOWN.

Candy Season Ends

-119 days

Read previous coverage

 

 

Which seasonal candy selection do you prefer?

Choose one or more:

  •   Halloween
  •   Christmas
  •   Valentine's Day
  •   Easter

 

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ON DECK

These candies will be reviewed shortly:

• Hachez Braune Blatter (Chocolate Leaves)

• Rogue Chocolatier

• Dandelion Chocolate

• Candy Rant: If your Licorice isn’t black, it isn’t Licorice

• Candy Rant: Stimulants are not Energy

 

 

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