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Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Candyology 101 - Podcast Episode 4 - Christmas

Candyology-Episode-4

In Episode 4 of Candyology 101, we’re talking about candy associations with Christmas. It’s all the good and bad that the season has to offer.

You can also download the MP3 file, subscribe in iTunes or Stitcher.

Check out all the links & show notes on the Candyology 101 website.

 

POSTED BY Cybele AT 3:01 pm     CandyChristmasHighlightFun StuffRadio InterviewsComments (1)

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving

SweetWorks Milk Chocolate Turkey

The best turkey to serve a vegetarian is not a texturized vegetable protein one ... it’s a chocolate turkey!

I hope you’re having a sweet holiday.

POSTED BY Cybele AT 10:20 am     CandySweetWorks, IncHighlightFun StuffPhotographyComments (1)

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Candyology 101 - Podcast Episode 3 - Chewing Gum

Candyology101-Gum-v1

In this episode Lauren, Maria and I are taking on chewing gum, all its variations and waxing nostalgic about the gums of our youth.

Listen now:

You can also download the MP3 file, subscribe in iTunes or Stitcher.

Check out all the links & show notes on the Candyology 101 website.

POSTED BY Cybele AT 1:09 pm     CandyGumHighlightFun StuffRadio InterviewsComments (1)

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Candyology 101 - Episode 2 - Peanut Butter

CandyologyHeaderEp2

Listen in with my candy blogging buddies Maria from Sometimes Foodie and Lauren from Candy Bar Reviews on our second episode of Candyology 101. Our topic is Peanut Butter.

You can download the file directly, subscribe in iTunes or Stitcher.

We also have some great show notes up on the Candyology 101 website, if you want to track down anything we were talking about.  Enjoy!

POSTED BY Cybele AT 9:21 am     CandyHighlightFun StuffRadio InterviewsComments (2)

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

10 Pumpkin Spice Candies I’ve Tried

On the Halloween flavor trend meter, Pumpkin Spice is right up at the top this year. It’s an odd sort of synergy, since pumpkin pie isn’t really for Halloween. The pumpkins we associate with Halloween are for Jack O Lanterns and are not grown for eating. The closest I can come to a true Halloween pumpkin tie in would be pumpkin seeds, which are a seasonal item for folks who do their own carving and toasting of the pepitas. Here are ten of the pumpkin spice flavored candies that have hit store shelves that I’ve tried in recent years.

Trader Joe's Dark Chocolate Pumpkin Spice Salted CaramelsName: Dark Chocolate Pumpkin Spice Salted Caramels
Brand: Trader Joe’s
Place Purchased: Trader Joe’s (Park LaBrea)
Price: $4.99
Size: 6.2 ounces
Calories per ounce: 135
Type: Chocolate/Caramel
Review Rating: 6 out of 10
In Short: This is a new twist on Trader Joe’s annual favorite. They don’t improve on the original, but do make a nice themed hostess gift.

Trader Joe's Pumpkin Seed BrittleName: Pumpkin Seed Brittle Dusted with Sugar and Pumpkin Pie Spice
Brand: Trader Joe’s
Place Purchased: Trader Joe’s (Park LaBrea)
Price: $3.49
Size: 10 ounces
Calories per ounce: 121
Type: Hard Candy/Nuts
Review Rating: 7 out of 10
In Short: This is the only candy in the roundup that integrates actual pumpkin ingredients (even if it is just the seeds) and the pumpkin spice.

Russell Stover Pumpkin PieName: Pumpkin Pie
Brand: Russell Stover
Place Purchased: Walgreen’s (Studio City)
Price: $.50 (on sale)
Size: 1 ounce
Calories per ounce: 140
Type: Chocolate/Cookie
Review Rating: 7 out of 10
In Short: Russell Stover has a lot of pie and cake themed seasonal shapes; this one goes for more of the uncooked pie crust texture combined with the spices.

M&Ms Pumpkin SpiceName: M&Ms Pumpkin Spice
Brand: Mars
Place Purchased: Target (WeHo)
Price: $2.66
Size: 9.9 ounces
Calories per ounce: 142
Type: Chocolate/ Cinnamon
Review Rating: 7 out of 10
In Short: Mars has come out with quite a few seasonal flavors for their classic Milk Chocolate M&Ms over the years, and these keep returning. They’re the best of their spiced varieties (Cinnamon and Gingerbread) so it’s a keeper, though still not the best limited edition they’re ever done.

Pumpkin Spice KissesName: Pumpkin Spice Kisses
Brand: Hershey’s
Place Purchased: Target (Santa Monica & LaBrea)
Price: $2.99
Size: 10 ounces
Calories per ounce: 152
Type: White Chocolate (it really isn’t though)
Review Rating: 5 out of 10
In Short: Hershey’s does capture a lot more of the experience of a pumpkin pie filling with their spiced sweet paste covered in white confection (which is then colored orange).

Ovation Pumpkin Spice OrangeName: Pumpkin Spice Orange
Brand: Ovation
Place Purchased: samples
Price: $3.99 retail
Size: 6.17 ounces
Calories per ounce: 147
Type: Chocolate
Review Rating: 7 out of 10
In Short: This seasonal orange is very well made, which is part of the joy of the sectioned oranges. The spices are well balanced which makes the whole thing a good choice for a holiday product, but not really for Halloween.

See's Pumpkin Pie TruffleName: Pumpkin Pie Truffles
Brand: See’s Candies
Place Purchased: See’s (Glendale Galleria)
Price: $20.40 per pound
Size: 2 ounces
Calories per ounce: 135
Type: Chocolate
Review Rating: 6 out of 10
In Short: My opinion on these doesn’t matter much, they’re already sold out on the See’s website (though I’m sure they’ll get more in before Thanksgiving).

Pumpkin Pie Gourmet Candy CornName: Pumpkin Pie Candy Corn
Brand: Target
Place Purchased: Target (Eagle Rock)
Price: $2.99
Size: 9.9 ounces
Calories per ounce: 106
Type: Fondant
Review Rating: 4 out of 10
In Short: Zachary makes novelty flavored candy corn for a variety of stores. I couldn’t find this particular version at Target this year, but I know that Brach’s also makes a version now.

Naked Chocolate Pumpkin Spice Malt BallsName: Naked Chocolate Malt Balls: Pumpkin Spice
Brand: Naked Chocolate (Philadelphia)
Place Purchased: gift (thanks Susan!)
Price: unknown
Size: unknown
Calories per ounce: unknown
Type: Chocolate/Malt
Review Rating: 5 out of 10
In Short: Koppers makes these fancy, jumbo, multi-layered malted milk balls. They lack the simplicity of the malt and chocolate, which is really all I want in my malt ball, but if you go into the experience with your mind open, they’re a fun seasonal candy that looks great in a candy dish.

See's Pumpkin Spice LollipopsName: Pumpkin Spice Lollypops
Brand: See’s Candies
Place Purchased: gift from Russ (thanks!)
Price: $4.80
Size: 5.6 ounces
Calories per ounce: 100
Type: Hard Candy
Review Rating: 6 out of 10
In Short: These have a wonderful texture, but are far too mild in flavor for something with the word spice in the name.

BONUS: Actual Pumpkin KitKat
Pumpkin KitKatName: KitKat Pumpkin
Brand: Nestle
Place Purchased: gift from Santos (thanks!)
Price: unknown
Size: unknown
Calories per ounce: unknown
Type: Chocolate/Cookie
Review Rating: 7 out of 10
In Short: These Japanese KitKat feature real pumpkin cream filling ... but no spice. And yes, it pretty much tastes like sweet squash, but the crispy wafers and milk chocolate really work well.

Related Candies

  1. 15 Caramel Apple Candies I’ve Reviewed
  2. Candyology 101 - Podcast Episode 1
  3. 10 Underrated Candies
  4. Amsterdam on Foot: Three Chocolate Shops
  5. The 110 Essential Candies for Candivores
  6. Candy Blog Photography

POSTED BY Cybele AT 2:14 pm     CandyHalloweenHighlightFun StuffComments (0)

Friday, October 24, 2014

15 Caramel Apple Candies I’ve Reviewed

A favorite treat in late summer and into fall are caramel apples. I often start seeing them as fair season starts, but at this point they’re available all year round. The combination of a fresh apple and well made caramel is interesting. The apples are crispy and juicy, with a tartness and sort of quick sweetness. Caramel has a slow lingering sweetness and chew as well as the more toasted notes of the burnt sugar and browned butter. It’s hard to imagine a candy that can replicate this, and they pretty much can’t. The flavor combination has been a trend in the past few years, so here’s a recap of a few that I’ve tried.

Jolly Rancher Cruncn n Chew - Caramel AppleName: Jolly Rancher Caramel Apple Crunch ‘n Chew
Brand: Jolly Rancher (Hershey’s)
Place Purchased: Target (Eagle Rock)
Price: $1.00
Size: 1.55 ounces
Calories per ounce: 109
Type: Hard Candy
Review: 7 out of 10
In Short: What’s lacking here is the true Jolly Rancher green apple hard candy with its smooth texture, but if you set those expectations aside, these are pretty good.

Twizzlers Caramel Apple Filled TwistsName: Twizzlers Caramel Apple Filled Twists
Brand: Hershey’s
Place Purchased: Ralph’s (Glendale)
Price: $2.29
Size: 10.29 ounces
Calories per ounce: 101
Type: Chew
Review Rating: 6 out of 10
In Short: Twizzlers has created a candy no one asked for. It might actually have been worse if the caramel twist was on the outside and it was filled with green apple goo.

Laffy Taffy Caramel AppleName: Laffy Taffy Caramel Apple (Limited Edition)
Brand: Wonka (Nestle)
Place Purchased: Ralph’s (Glendale)
Price: $2.50
Size: 10 ounces
Calories per ounce: 102
Type: Chew
Review Rating: 5 out of 10
In Short: These are definitely tangy, but lack a good caramel flavor, which is too bad because the texture is quite nice.

See's Caramel Apple PopsName:Caramel Apple Lollypops
Brand: See’s Candies
Place Purchased: See’s (The Grove)
Price: $.65
Size: .7 ounces each
Calories per ounce: 100 (70 each)
Type: Hard Candy/Caramel
Review Rating: 7 out of 10
In Short: See’s makes an excellent caramel pop, and these have just a touch of apple flavor to them. But if you’re really in a caramel mood, just get the regular flavor.

Russell Stover Big Bite Caramel AppleName: Big Bite Caramel Apple
Brand: Russell Stover
Place Purchased: Walgreen’s (Echo Park)
Price: $1.00
Size: 2 ounces
Calories per ounce: 135
Type: Chocolate/Caramel/Peanuts
Review Rating: 7 out of 10
In Short: For the most part, these are just well-rounded caramel patties with the added interest of an apple flavoring. The crushed peanuts on one version add a new dimension to this category.

Jolly Rancher Caramel Apple LollipopsName: Jolly Rancher Caramel Apple Lollipops
Brand: Jolly Rancher (Hershey’s)
Place Purchased: Target (WeHo)
Price: $2.69
Size: 9.1 ounces
Calories per ounce: 109
Type: Lollipop
Review Rating: 5 out of 10
In Short: If you’re looking for a very sour version of a caramel apple candy, look no further. If you’re looking for authentic apple flavor or caramel texture ... move along.

Charms Super Blow Pop Caramel AppleName: Super Blow Pop Caramel Apple
Brand: Charms (Tootsie)
Place Purchased: Walgreen’s (Studio City)
Price: $.89
Size: 1.125 ounces
Calories per ounce: 101
Type: Hard Candy/Gum
Review Rating: 4 out of 10
In Short: The gum is terrible.

Shurms Soft Candy Chews: Caramel AppleName: Caramel Apple and Caramel Coffee Soft Candy Chews
Brand: Shurms Candy
Place Purchased: samples from Shurms Candy
Price: $4.59
Size: 3 ounces
Calories per ounce: unknown
Type: Jelly/Caramel
Review Rating: 7 out of 10
In Short: This is by far the most inventive version of this flavor combination with a good caramel and interesting pectin jelly candy. They’re also beautiful.

Tootsie Caramel Apple Pops - Green AppleName: Caramel Apple Pops: Orchard Assortment
Brand: Tootsie
Place Purchased: Rite Aid (Glendale)
Price: $2.99
Size: 15 ounces
Calories per ounce: 94
Type: Caramel/Hard Candy
Review Rating: 6 out of 10
In Short: Though I didn’t give them a high rating, these are probably the favorite for most people. The apple candy base is reliable and the caramel coating, though sticky and not appetizing to look at, is smooth and creamy.

Milky Way Caramel Apple MinisName: Limited Edition Milky Way Caramel Apple Minis
Brand: Mars
Place Purchased: CVS (Bryn Mawr, PA)
Price: $4.49
Size: 11.5 ounces
Calories per ounce: 125
Type: Chocolate/Nougat/Caramel
Review Rating: 6 out of 10
In Short: This is a confusing mess, as it combines both nougat and caramel with the apple flavor then throws chocolate on top. I think shifting this over to the Simply Caramel version might be more successful, but what do I know? This has been coming back as a seasonal item for four years now.

Werther's Original Caramel Apple FilledName: Werther’s Original Caramel Apple Filled Hard Candies
Brand: Storck
Place Purchased: 99 Cent Only Store
Price: $1.00
Size: 2.65 ounces
Calories per ounce: 118
Type: Toffee
Review Rating: 6 out of 10
In Short: It’s interesting to see a German take on this combination, especially since Werther’s is so great with caramel. Though they’re not bad, they’re not as good as the traditional caramels that they do.

Caramel Apple Sugar BabiesName: Caramel Apple Sugar Babies
Brand: Tootsie
Place Purchased: samples from All Candy Expo
Price: $1.00
Size: 5 ounces
Calories per ounce: 112
Type: Caramel/Sour
Review Rating: 6 out of 10
In Short: Sugar Babies are great, don’t mess with them. If you want a caramel apple version, just eat some apples with your Sugar Babies.

Milk Maid Caramel Apple Candy CornName: Milk Maid Caramel Apple Candy Corn
Brand: Brach’s
Place Purchased: Long’s (Dublin, CA)
Price: $1.49
Size: 9.5 ounces
Calories per ounce: 99
Type: Halloween/Caramel
Review Rating: 5 out of 10
In Short: The color is weird, but the quality is good. I didn’t care for them, but like many of the other candies profiled here, they’ve been returning for years so someone must like them.

Goetze's Apple Caramel CreamsName: Apple Caramel Creams
Brand: Goetze’s
Place Purchased: Giant Eagle (Liberty, OH)
Price: 1.00
Size: 12 ounces
Calories per ounce: 108
Type: Caramel
Review Rating: 5 out of 10
In Short: In retrospect I think these were worse than they actually were.

Hershey's Caramel Apple KissesName: Caramel Apple Kisses
Brand: Hershey’s
Place Purchased: Hershey’s Chocolate World
Price: $3.00
Size: 10 ounces
Calories per ounce: 128
Type: Chocolate/Caramel
Review Rating: 5 out of 10
In Short: Hershey’s has really pared down its list of seasonal items, and these did not make the cut, probably compared to the Pumpkin Spice Kisses, which are made with less actual chocolate content.

Bonus Candies (reviews are coming):
Brach’s Milk Maid Apple Caramel Royals: Enveloped in Brach’s signature caramel and crafted with real milk, each piece is like a home-made caramel apple straight from the cookie sheet… without the seeds or stick to get in the way. (Now reviewed.)
RM Palmer Caramel Apple Cups: Bite into one of these individually-wrapped chocolaty cups with a caramel apple flavored center and find out why everyone’s falling in love with Caramel Apple Cups! (I’ve searched 3 Walgreen’s, 2 Targets, 2 Rite Aids, Cost Plus World Market, KMart and a CVS ... I cannot find these on store shelves.)

Conclusion: This is no great caramel apple candy ... that won’t keep me from trying them, but I’d prefer to focus on flavors that do make great candy.

Related Candies

  1. Halloween Candy Spotting 2013
  2. 10 Underrated Candies
  3. Halloween Candy Spotting 2012
  4. 6 Candy Corn Candies That Aren’t Candy Corn
  5. The 110 Essential Candies for Candivores
  6. Four 99%-100% Chocolate

POSTED BY Cybele AT 3:24 pm     CandyHalloweenHighlightFun StuffComments (1)

Candyology 101 - Podcast Episode 1

I’ve been a guest on Marvo‘s podcast The Nosh Show a few times now, so we thought maybe a podcast devote just to candy might be fun. So candy blogging buddies Lauren from Candy Bar Reviews and Maria from Sometimes Foodie and I will be getting together twice a month to run down the sweet news on Candyology 101. Our first episode is about Halloween candy.

Brach's Autumn Mix

You can listen here or check out the website for full links to subscribe to the podcast on iTunes, Stitcher or via RSS.

POSTED BY Cybele AT 9:29 am     Behind the ScenesCandyHalloweenHighlightRadio InterviewsComments (2)

Monday, October 13, 2014

Candy Tease Fall 2014

Crispy M&MsName: M&Ms Crispy
Brand: Mars
Description: New M&M’S® Crispy Chocolate Candies feature a unique, crispy center covered in creamy milk chocolate, enclosed in a colorful candy shell. This crispy, crunchy and delicious treat is the texture and flavor variety consumers seek in their snack repertoire. Mars Chocolate first introduced this flavor variant as a limited-edition item in 1998, and consumers have been asking for its return via Facebook, online petitions and phone calls.
Introduction Date: January 2015
Notes: This is one of those instances where people have said they want a product to return, and now a lot of other brands are going to check back to see if the sales will support its permanent return. With lower-calorie snacking in vogue, this crispy version is filled with air and less fat, so it may get more snackers who weren’t even buying chocolate snacks.

3 Musketeers Mint MinisName: 3 Musketeers Mint Bites
Brand: Mars
Description: Each bite-sized piece features dark chocolate enrobing mint-flavored nougat, with the classic fluffiness consumers love about 3 MUSKETEERS® Bar.
Introduction Date: November 2014
Notes: I’ve been waiting for this. Nope, correction, I’ve been waiting for them to discontinue the mint bar, I’m glad to see they’re doubling down with the Bites version.

Name: TWIX Creamy Peanut Butter Cookie Bars
Brand: Mars
Description: The #1 consumer request among TWIX® Brand fans was to “bring back the classic cookie” - so the new recipe includes a traditional crunchy, flavorful TWIX® Cookie Bar instead of a chocolate cookie.
Introduction Date: January 2015
Notes: Back in 2007 Mars changed the Peanut Butter Twix a bit, by taking out the standard cookie and putting in a chocolate cookie. Both were good, but apparently, like the Crispy M&Ms, the die hard fans of the original wanted it back. (I’m wondering where the Cookies ‘n Creme Twix is, then.)

Snickers Mixed NutsName: Snickers Mixed Nuts Bar
Brand: Mars
Description: Mix it up with SNICKERS® Brand Mixed Nuts Bar—a satisfying mix of peanuts, almonds and hazelnuts combined with SNICKERS® Brand caramel and nougat, all coated with creamy milk chocolate.
Introduction Date: November 2015
Notes: Why is this taking so long! 2015? ... I want it now! (It will also be a limited edition item.)

Name: Toblerone Crushed Corn
Brand: Mondelez (Kraft)
Description: Aimed at strengthening Toblerone’s position in the confectionery category, Toblerone Crushed Corn is said to deliver a new taste and texture experience. The 400g bar combines Swiss milk chocolate with almond and honey nougat and pieces of crunchy roasted corn. It will be introduced to travel retail locations in October following an exclusive pre-launch in Gebr Heinemann’s stores, including Frankfurt, Copenhagen, Berlin, Hamburg, Cologne, Vienna and Oslo airports. 
Introduction Date: October 2014
Notes: The name is certainly unique, but perhaps not enticing. Still, I enjoy the combination of corn flakes and even corn nuts with chocolate.

Name: Temple Run Gummies
Brand: Mount Franklin Foods LLC dba Sunrise Confections
Description: This new gummy treat ties into the popular mobile game. It features six delicious Temple Run gummy icons in a variety of colors and fruity flavors including: apple, cherry, lemon, orange, pineapple, and blue raspberry.
Introduction Date: September 2014
Notes: It’s not a new trend, by any stretch, for candy companies to make versions of popular products in shapes to tie into a video game. In this case the little shapes fit well with gummi production technology. But aside from the box and the little shapes, I don’t see why I’d pay extra for a licensing fee when I could just buy really good gummis.

Haribo Sour Gold BearsName: Haribo Sour Gold-Bears
Brand: Haribo of America, Inc
Description: The number one selling Gummi Bear in America now SOUR!
Introduction Date: October 2014
Notes: It’s so odd that Haribo hasn’t introduced sour sanded bears since just about every other gummi brand does make them. I’m looking forward to seeing them in stores, since the texture of Haribo is so different from the American “juicy” style.

Name: Taffy Flipstick Bars
Brand: The Warrell Corp
Description:
The original Flipstick Taffy now comes in a bar! It’s available in four delicious flavors, including: Wild Cherry, Sour Apple, Sour Blue Raspberry, and Watermelon. .5 ounce each, 25 cents per bar.

Introduction Date: September 2014
Notes: Taffy seems to be back in vogue, and a lot of companies are going for the bar format instead of the hunks that are twisted at the ends.

POSTED BY Cybele AT 9:07 am     CandyNew Product AnnouncementHighlightNewsComments (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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COUNTDOWN.

Halloween Candy Season Ends

-50 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)

• Dandelion Chocolate

• Trader Joe’s Holiday Roundup 2014

 

 

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