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Jelly Candy

Monday, June 4, 2012

Hot Tamales 3 Alarm

Hot Tamales 3 AlarmOne of my favorite candies, especially lately, has been Hot Tamales. They’re incredibly simple, basically just spicy cinnamon jelly rods. They’re cheap and easy to find. I have been buying the five pound bags at places like Smart & Final and at Jack’s Wholesale Candy in downtown Los Angeles. They look great in a candy jar and are an excellent pick-me up in the middle of the day or during long car trips.

Just Born, makers of Hot Tamales, recently introduced a new twist to their standard box. It’s called Hot Tamales 3 Alarm and as you might imagine, has three different spice levels inside:

The heat index is off the charts with the new HOT TAMALES® 3 ALARM candies, featuring three increasing levels of heat – hot, hotter, hottest! Test your taste buds’ boundaries with the hottest HOT TAMALES® bean ever. Just remember, you’ve been warned.

Hot Tamales 3 Alarm

The Hot level is orange. It’s mild but still a good mix of spicy and sweet.

The Hotter level is red. It’s warming but it’s just in the shell and dissipates pretty quickly. The flavor is well rounded, the woodsy bark flavors of cassia (sometimes sold as cinnamon but with a slightly more floral note to it), the sweetness of the bark and then the burn. There’s some throat tingling, but pretty much the normal Hot Tamale experience.

The Hottest level is maroon. It’s hard to tell these apart from the Hotter level sometimes, unless they’re side by side. But make no mistake, there’s a difference in flavor. The hotness is obvious. It’s more than just cinnamon hot, I could swear there’s some sort of capsaicin (hot peppers) in there. It burned my throat quite a bit. If I ate it with another level of hotness, I could take it, but otherwise I found it unpleasant.

I like the Hot Tamales Fire and I like the Hot Tamales classic. But I’m not so keen on this Hottest level in Hot Tamales 3 Alarm and find the Hot level a little too tame. Seems like Just Born got it right the first time, so that’s what I’ll stick with. This is fun, but nothing that will become a go-to candy for me.

Related Candies

  1. Ferrara Pan White Hot Red Hots Jelly Beans
  2. Mentos Cinnamon
  3. Brach’s Cinnamon Jelly Hearts
  4. Good & Fiery
  5. See’s Cinnamon (Hearts & Lollypops)
  6. Cinnamon Fire Twizzlers
  7. Hot Tamales Spice Jelly Beans
  8. Cinnamon Imperial Hearts
  9. Hot Tamales and Hotter Tamales


Name: Hot Tamales 3 Alarm
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Just Born
Place Purchased: 99 Cent Only (Silver Lake)
Price: $1.00
Size: 5 ounces
Calories per ounce: 99
Categories: Candy, Just Born, Cinnamon, Jelly Candy, Kosher, 8-Tasty, United States, 99 Cent Only Store

POSTED BY Cybele AT 10:48 am     CandyJust BornCinnamonJelly CandyKosher8-TastyUnited States99 Cent Only StoreComments (0)

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Baron Milk Chocolate PB&Js

Baron PB&J'sLike many confectionery origin stories, this Baron Milk Chocolate PB&J’s bars started long ago in war time.

Commercial peanut butter began in the United States, where about 6-7% of the world’s peanuts are grown in any year. Peanut butter was used heavily during war years as a cheap and relatively stable protein source for soldiers. The story goes that soldiers during World War II would eat sandwiches on stale bread with peanut butter for weeks on end, and to moisten the bread they would add jelly or jam. It didn’t hurt that it also made it taste better as well. When the soldiers returned home, they introduced their families to this cheap and easy food.

It seems kind of strange that for the most part candies are either jelly and chocolate or peanut butter and chocolate. There really aren’t any successful mass-manufactured chocolate, peanut butter and jelly candies. Maybe this new bar, all the way from Poland, will change that.

Baron PB&J's

The bars are tiny, the box holds more than a half a dozen of them (8 to be exact), a little expensive for $1.99 but at least a unique item.

Each little bar is individually wrapped in a paper foil. The recommended serving size is three sticks, each is about 60 calories.

Baron PB&J's

The bars are a little on the soft side, they smell like roasted peanuts and chocolate milk. The peanut butter filling is sweet and a little sticky. On top of the peanut butter is a thin layer of jelly. In this case it’s grape and though it doesn’t have much of intensity, it’s a little pop of tangy, juicy flavor. The peanut butter isn’t so much a paste, it’s far sweeter and has less of a roasted, salty and savory punch. Think of it like peanut butter cookie dough, sweet and thick.

The proportions are a little off for me. I’d like more jam, more peanut butter, but I think that’d mean a larger bar in general. The petite size makes them ideal for a small treat and I think the mild flavor set would be good for smaller kids. The two integral parts here, the peanut butter and jelly just aren’t good enough. It should be really intense peanut butter and great, all natural grape jelly, not some high fructose corn sweetener flavored like grape.

These are made in Poland and have all sorts of allergen notices on the package: made with soy, dairy, peanuts plus traces of wheat, tree nuts and eggs.

Related Candies

  1. Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups
  2. Zingerman’s Zzang! Wowza Raspberry Bar
  3. Krowki: Polish Cream Fudge
  4. Madelaine Duets
  5. Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate Powerberries
  6. Trader Joe’s PB & J Bar
  7. Sno-Caps, Goobers & Raisinets


Name: Milk Chocolate PB&J’s (Grape)
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: European Chocolate Millano
Place Purchased: Walgreen's (Echo Park)
Price: $1.99
Size: 3.5 ounces
Calories per ounce: 127
Categories: Candy, Chocolate, Jelly Candy, Peanuts, 7-Worth It, Poland, Walgreen's

POSTED BY Cybele AT 8:47 am     CandyReviewChocolateJelly CandyPeanuts7-Worth ItPolandWalgreen'sComments (4)

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

David’s Signature Beans Jelly Bean Sampler

David's Signature Beans Jelly Bean SamplerIn 1976 David Klein began selling a new kind of jelly bean he commissioned at a small ice cream parlor, Fosselman’s, in Alhambra, California. It was different in a lot of ways than the jelly beans folks usually sold. They were sold as individual flavors and included new flavors like Root Beer and Cream Soda along with the traditional fruity flavors like Very Cherry and Green Apple plus the required Black Licorice. This was the start of Jelly Belly and a revolution in the way that Americans viewed their sugar candy. Notably, it got people interested in intense and more unusual flavors as well as moving the bar on how much someone would pay for a pound of jelly beans.

The collaboration of David Klein with the Herman Goelitz Candy Co. came to an end when Klein was bought out. His settlement meant that he was paid a royalty for every bean sold (with a yearly cap) but couldn’t compete in the jelly bean category until that contract came to an end. Since its recent expiration, Klein has been collaborating with Marich Confectionery with family members of those that developed the original Jelly Belly in the 70s. The new line of David’s Signature Beyond Gourmet Jelly Beans are now available.

David's Signature Beans Jelly Bean Sampler

The beans are made with real fruit, flavorings and all natural colors. It’s a little frustrating to find out definitive information about the product line, the Leaf website has a couple of press releases, but no standard product information. The Facebook page for the product has a picture of their flavor offerings, which include wasabi, habanero, Thai chili and chipotle, but those weren’t in my sampler.

I found this sampler box on Amazon (sold by Oregon Trail Foods) for $16.95 for a half pound assortment of 16 flavors (plus shipping). I ordered it on Thursday and it arrived the following Monday. The box is a bit problematic, the little sections of the tray allow the beans to hop from one bin to another when the box is tipped, so when I opened mine I had to re-sort my beans. This was difficult for several of the colors which were extremely similar.

While the beans inside look great, I was disappointed at the flimsy and generic package that really didn’t entice me or create any excitement about what was inside. For something over $32 a pound, I expect a little of it to go into packaging.

David's Signature Bean & Jelly Belly Bean

David’s Signature Beans are unbranded and look like little pieces of polished glass. Each one was nearly perfect and consistently shaped. They’re a little larger than the Jelly Belly, which is on the right above. (The flavor on the left is cranberry, the one on the right is the Jelly Belly Snapple Cranberry-Raspberry, which is also all natural.)

David's Signature Beans - Black CherryBlack Cherry is the flavor I heard that was really startling in this mix. The color is quite dark, a milky maroon color. The shell is firm and crunchy with a light and consistent graininess right beneath that.

The flavor is a little bit tart and a little bit sweet. But it’s nothing like real fresh cherries or fake cherries to me. It reminds me of cherry juice, in that it’s a deep and has a sort of boiled berry jam note to it, but nothing distinct.

David's Signature Beans - Black Cherry

The construction of the beans is very consistent. The centers were mostly colored, though not with some sort of imposed artificiality, it’s just whatever the combination of real fruits made them.

In some cases the centers matched the shell like the Black Cherry. In other cases they were colorless.

David's Signature Beans - BlueberryBlueberry is really blue. The combination of coconut, blueberry and pomegranate is very patriotic looking.

The flavor is floral, at first it’s like a raspberry flavor, but then it gets that little kick that I associate with blueberry. It’s a tannin note, kind of like tea. It’s a rather confused tasting bean though, because it ends with a little creamy note, almost a vanilla. So think of it more like a blueberry smoothie.

David's Signature Beans - CoconutCoconut is like a perfect little white bead.

The shell is crisp, but not thick. The flavor is a very strong coconut milk, sweet and with that aromatic nuttiness. There’s no actual shredded coconut in the center, but the flavor is really authentic. It didn’t have that oily note that brings to mind hot and humid days by the pool with suntan oil, it was a bit cleaner than that.

David's Signature Beans - BaconThe bean varieties are interesting. A mix of standard, tried and true flavors as well as a few exotics and novelties.

Bacon is something I consider a novelty.

Bacon is also not a food I eat. I’d say it’s because I don’t eat pork, which is true (though I do eat candies with gelatin) but to go further, even as an omnivorous kid I didn’t like bacon. I don’t want a jelly bean that tastes like bacon. I’m not eating it.

David's Signature Beans - Sampler

Cranberry is very tart and bracing. There’s a light vanilla note to it as well and maybe a little hint of concord grape. I really like a good puckery cranberry, and I think if I were designing them, I’d make it even more sour.

That said, it’s still pretty well rounded and tastes more like dried cranberries than some sort of cranberry fruit juice cocktail.

Ginger is fascinating. It’s a bit of a tougher bean, the shell seems a little crisper. The flavor is immediately rooty, with lots of woodsy notes and less of that lemony tang that fresh ginger juice can have and more of the deep honey notes of ginger ale.

I would buy a bag of these, they also went well with the lemon, which is good, because they look nearly the same.

Grape was a good flavor, it was like grape juice, but missing that concord note that the Japanese seem to have pegged really well in many of their candies.

Green Apple was also very authentic, it was like unsweetened apple sauce, a cooked apple flavor without as much sour zing as a fresh apple.

David's Signature Beans - Himalayan Sea SaltHimalayan Sea Salt was one of the weirdest and least successful in the bunch. Other folks at the office who tried them ended up spitting this one out 100% of the time.

I don’t know quite why I’d want to eat salted sugar, but there it is. I can understand a salted caramel jelly bean, but just a salted jelly bean is mystifying. It was a cross between eating cake batter and licking my own sweat off my arms. It was kind of like a sports drink, but without the actual flavor of fruit juice.

David's Signature Beans - LemonLemon is exactly what I’d expect from a lemonade flavored jelly bean. It’s all tartness and a sort of pasteurized juice flavor.

I didn’t catch much in the way of zest, which is too bad, because I think that would have sent this one over the top.

Though I wasn’t as keen on this one as I’d hoped, it paired very well with other beans such as strawberry and ginger.

David's Signature Beans - OrangeOrange Punch is quite a deep tangerine color. This one describes the flavor better than the lemon, as this did taste more like an orange beverage than an actual orange.

Again the zest notes were missing, so it was more like a really good glass of Tang with an extra spoonful of the concentrate added to it.

Of course if this was called Fanta Orange, I’d want to add it to my soda pop mix and call it fabulous. 

David's Signature Beans - MangoPeach was mind-blowingly good. In most instances I do not care for peach candies, though I love fresh peaches. Here the flavor was well rounded without some sort of artificial note on top.

It’s a combination of apricot and peach, with a lot of tartness, quite a bit of “fuzz” flavor and a clean finish. It reminded me of baby food, really good peach puree.

DSC_8527rbPomegranate was nearly impossible to tell apart from cranberry on sight and for a while I wasn’t even sure I was tasting the right flavor since they all got mixed up in the box.

I think what distinguishes pomegranate from cranberry is the floral notes for pomegranate. It was quite reminiscent of raspberry with a sort of dry finish like Key limes have when compared to Persian limes.

David's Signature Beans - Root BeerRoot Beer is fantastic. All root beer candies should take a hint from this one. It certainly puts the other root beer jelly beans to shame, it’s far more intense and vibrant. There’s a lot of flavor without that artificial red aftertaste that I can get from Root Beer Barrel hard candies.

Of course this makes me wish for a whole set of soda flavored beans in exotics like tonic water, birch beer and guarana.

David's Signature Beans - StrawberryStrawberry is easy to tell apart from the other beans, as it’s speckled. Of course just being pink would have been sufficient to distinguish it.

It’s sweet and tangy, but missing a bit of the floral note that I get with many other strawberry flavors. Instead this was more like jam than fresh strawberry. But these also varied, some were larger than others and some were tarter than others.

It’s best in combination and actually went well with coconut.

David's Signature Beans - Vanilla BeanVanilla Bean was also great. The vanilla flavor was creamy and rich with a lot of dimension. There’s the sweet and soft note of the vanilla extract and then the deeper bourbon notes of the vanilla beans.

There were real little bits of vanilla seeds from the pod which stuck with me for a while. That’s fine because vanilla went well with most of the other flavors, including ginger, root beer and strawberry.

Overall, they’re wonderfully vibrant even if I’m not fond of the direction of each of the beans. However, the price is prohibitive and not quite justified by the product. While I like the use of real, whole ingredients, the packaging was not worthy of a product that’s so expensive. My guess is that if they do catch on they economies of scale might bring things more into line with my expectations ($10 a pound is still steep in my world). The thing that would set them apart though would be the quirkier flavors such as ginger and perhaps other spices. I am curious to try the other more exotic flavors, but I’ll wait to find them in stores when I’m not paying shipping on top.

Other bean flavors I am interested in, if someone wants to make them: cola, lemon cola, rum, gin, molasses, peppermint, cucumber, celery, spearmint, cardamom, lavender honey and an intense all natural black licorice.

You can read more about the history of David Klein and Jelly Belly on MSNBC.

Related Candies

  1. Gimbal’s Sour Gourmet Jelly Beans
  2. Bertie Bott’s Every Flavour Beans by Jelly Belly
  3. Trader Joe’s Jelly Beans & Citrus Gum Drops
  4. Lemonhead & Friends Jelly Beans
  5. Sandy Candy
  6. Starburst and Jelly Belly Jelly Beans


Name: 16 Jelly Bean Sampler
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Leaf
Place Purchased: Amazon (Oregon Trail Foods)
Price: $16.99 + $6.95 shipping
Size: 8 ounces
Calories per ounce: 106
Categories: All Natural, Candy, Leaf Brand Candy, Coconut, Ginger, Jelly Candy, 7-Worth It, United States

POSTED BY Cybele AT 2:51 pm     All NaturalCandyReviewLeaf Brand CandyCoconutGingerJelly Candy7-Worth ItUnited StatesComments (14)

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Jelly Belly Snapple Jelly Beans

Jelly Belly SnappleJelly Belly is expanding their line of all natural jelly beans with a new line called Jelly Belly Snapple Mix.

The candies come in a variety of packages from bulk mixes, peg bags to individual flavors. For the samples I got from Jelly Belly, they came in these cute little plastic bottles in the same shape as the Snapple glass bottles. They’re each filled with 1.65 ounces of one of the individual flavors.But you’re more likely to see packages with a mix of all five. Though I like just buying the flavors I like, in this instance the packages are unsustainable and wasteful.

Introducing Jelly Belly Snapple™ Mix – five Jelly Belly beans inspired by the top Snapple flavors! Made from 100% natural flavors and colors from natural sources, Snapple Mix consists of Fruit Punch, Mango Madness, Cranberry Raspberry, Pink Lemonade and Kiwi Strawberry. Just like the juices you love, they’re Made from the Best Stuff on Earth™!

As an American who remembers when Snapple was introduced nationally and their commercials with Wendy, the Snapple Lady I can say that I’ve always felt positive towards the brand. However, in all that time, I’ve probably had five or six of them. Even in my younger years when I did drink juice (rarely soda, even then), Snapple was always a little too bland for me. (I also don’t know how a company can say it’s made from the best stuff on earth if they’re using aspartame.)

Jelly Belly Snapple Cranberry Raspberry Jelly Beans

The bottles have a little twist off top with a ring that kept me from losing them (though I think if you pry them off, they’re like the rings from one of those spout milk jugs that cats love to play with until they end up under the fridge).

Cranberry Raspberry are red with a light purple hue. They’re sweet and have a good floral berry flavor to them. There’s only a slight hint of tartness, which is too bad, because I love the zing of cranberries.

Jelly Belly Snapple Jelly Beans

Pink Lemonade is kind of a weird product to start with. The beans here are quite pink and without much reason other than the fact that the color is in the name of the flavor. When I was a kid I thought that pink lemonade was pink because it had a touch of strawberry in it. But a little digging and I found out rather unsettling reasons for why early pink lemonade was pink. Anyway, Snapple’s classic Pink Lemonade is simply that, lemonade that’s been colored pink. This lemonade jelly bean is bland. There’s no tang, no real zest, just a mild lemon flavor.

Kiwi Strawberry is salmon-pink. The flavor is quite nicely rounded. The strawberry is center stage, sweet and floral with those toasted sugar notes of cotton candy. There’s a hint of sour and a pleasant and refreshing melon-kiwi note to it.

Snapple Jelly Belly Jelly Beans

Mango Madness is orange colored. The flavor is a mild mango or perhaps peach flavor. It lacks the intense pine and tartness that real mangoes have. Instead it’s rather one-note with just the sweet, Indian mango flavor.

Fruit Punch is a luxurious looking dark red color, a color I might mistake for root beer. I wasn’t looking forward to it, as fruit punch has never been a favorite flavor of mine. The notes are distinctive and have that authentic fruit punch flavor (is that guava and pineapple?) but still tastes natural. There are lots of red berry and cherry notes and a little twang of pineapple and either guava or papaya (maybe both). It was all sweetness with only a fleeting burst of tartness as part of the candy shell.

Overall, the flavors were mild. If you’re the type of person who tried Jelly Belly and thought, “My goodness, these would be good if they were less flavorful.” Then perhaps these were the Jelly Belly you were waiting for. I think they give naturally flavored & colored candy a bad reputation. I already know Jelly Belly can make good tasting beans without artificial flavors and colors, so I can only surmise that this is what Snapple customers want.

If I were a huge fan of these, I could see myself re-using the little bottles by buying bags of the mixes and refilling for easy portioning. This mix isn’t really to my taste, so I don’t see myself buying it again. I can see it getting a lot of play in places where you don’t normally see Jelly Belly just because of the brand and flavor recognition of Snapple. Jelly Belly does most of these flavors better in their Superfruit Mix or their Citrus Mix.

Related Candies

  1. Brookside Dark Chocolate Pomegranate
  2. Wonka Springy Double Yummy Gummies
  3. Panda Blueberry Liquorice
  4. Honees Honey Filled Drops
  5. Natural Vines Strawberry
  6. Trader Joe’s Jelly Beans & Citrus Gum Drops
  7. Jelly Belly Sunkist Citrus Mix
  8. Organic Surf Sweets


Name: Snapple Jelly Beans
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Jelly Belly
Place Purchased: samples from Jelly Belly
Price: $3.00 retail
Size: 1.65 ounces
Calories per ounce: 101
Categories: All Natural, Candy, Jelly Belly, Jelly Candy, Kosher, 5-Pleasant, United States

POSTED BY Cybele AT 11:39 am     All NaturalCandyReviewJelly BellyJelly CandyKosher5-PleasantUnited StatesComments (5)

Monday, April 2, 2012

Gimbal’s Sour Gourmet Jelly Beans

Gimbal's Sour Gourmet Jelly BeansGimbal’s Sour Gourmet Jelly Beans were introduced on the heels of Gimbal’s other gourmet panned offerings, their Lovers line of heart shaped jelly candies like Cherry Lovers, Honey Lovers and Sour Lovers.

The jelly bean mix has a gourmet price point, at $4.49 for me at the CVS, but the bag is big and it’s made in the USA.

The mix includes 12 flavors in bold colors.

Gimbal's Sour Gourmet Jelly Beans

The beans are absolutely lovely to look at. They’re small and well made, each was quite perfect. The Gimbal’s factory advertises that it’s free of most major allergens, including peanuts, tree nuts, dairy, eggs, gluten, gelatin and soy. As a jelly bean product they’re also fat free and contain no high fructose corn syrup (but I’ve never actually seen a jelly bean made with HFCS). The front of the package says they’re made with real fruit juice, and that’d be apple juice. It also says that it’s a good source of Vitamin C, but that’s only 10% of your RDA in a serving of 37 beans (about 1.4 ounces).

But as much as they tout the freedom from allergens, there are still plenty of other ingredients some folks may avoid, such as artificial flavors and colors.

Gimbal's Sour Gourmet Jelly Beans

Most of the beans were opaque, but in the case of beans of similar colors, one was translucent, the other opaque. The structure of the bean is the same as other jelly beans. A jelly center (modified food starch give it its smooth texture) covered in a grainy and flavored shell. In the case of these beans, they jelly center is the sour part, so the sourness goes through and through.

They’re tiny, sized like most other gourmet beans like Jelly Belly.

Sour Lemon was fully formed, a mix of juice and peel but with a more boiled marmalade note than a raw flavor.

Sour Grapefruit was fantastic. There was a lot of zest and that pine-type bitterness along with a biting tang of juice.

Sour Tangerine was sour and juicy but unlike the other two citruses, the zest notes didn’t come out until the very end.

Sour Mango was also orange, but opaque. The flavor was similar to peach, and if I wasn’t told it was mango, I probably would have guessed that. It was soft and tart but had that fuzzy fruit flavor that mangoes and peaches share.

Gimbal's Sour Gourmet Jelly Beans

Sour Watermelon was the darker green bean. It was pretty good, it reminded me a lot of Jolly Ranchers in the best way possible.

Sour Apple was kind of difficult for me to like. At first I though it was watermelon, it was just too vague. There was an authentic note of apple to it, but not much else.

Sour Lime was almost a key lime. There was soft vanilla note to it but it really finished sour.

Gimbal's Sour Gourmet Jelly Beans

Sour Blueberry was refreshing, it had a good berry note to it, almost a raspberry. I wouldn’t say it was really blueberry, but still quite fun.

Sour Grape is an unusual flavor for jelly beans. I see it a lot in hard candies but not so much in jelly beans or gummis. This grape is much like a Pixy Stix, tart and with that malic acid tangy bite and vague artificial grape flavor of soda.

Sour Strawberry had a great mix of flavors, it really had a nice floral start, like a fluffy wad of cotton candy. Then the flavor developed with strong tartness and finished with strawberry jam.

Sour Pomegranate had a lot of very dark floral berry notes to it. It never quite rang true as pomegranate, but it was still a very good bean, not as sour as the others.

Sour Cherry was well done. The flavor was bold and less medicinal than some I’ve had, with green notes and of course that sour finish that most of the beans had.

Overall, it was a good bunch of beans. Even those that I didn’t really like that much such as cherry or mango were still quite good enough that I just ate them instead of trying to pick them out. It’s hard to tell some beans apart unless you’re someplace well lit, so sort before going to movies if you really don’t want to get a flavor you dislike. I did like this flavor set better than the Jelly Belly sour variety which only has five flavors, but that’s purely personal preference.

The intensity satisfied me quite quickly, without giving me acidic burns on my tongue. The price is a bit high compared to generic beans but less than half of what you’d pay for Jelly Belly. They do pack quite a punch and I’m unlikely to finish this 13 ounce bag before Easter even with daily grazing.

Related Candies

  1. Sour Patch Kids Berries
  2. Gimbal’s Sour Lovers
  3. Dots Sour Slices - Pink Grapefruit
  4. Trader Joe’s Jelly Beans & Citrus Gum Drops
  5. Tootsie Sour Dots
  6. Judson-Atkinson Sours
  7. Gimbal’s Gourmet Jelly Beans


Name: Sour Gourmet Jelly Beans
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Gimbal’s Candy
Place Purchased: CVS (Silver Lake)
Price: $4.49
Size: 13 ounces
Calories per ounce: 99
Categories: Candy, Easter, Gimbal's Candy, Jelly Candy, Kosher, Sour, 8-Tasty, United States, Sav-On/CVS

POSTED BY Cybele AT 11:48 am     CandyReviewEasterGimbal's CandyJelly CandyKosherSour8-TastyUnited StatesSav-On/CVSComments (5)

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Lemonhead & Friends Jellies

Lemonhead & Friends JelliesFerrara Pan is introducing quite a few new products lately, especially for the holidays. I noticed this last year when I saw a more generic item on the shelves called Ferrara Pan Chicks & Bunnies Jelly Candy. This year I didn’t see that product on shelves again, instead I found what seemed more exciting and actually got my mouth watering: Lemonhead & Friends Jellies in Fun Springtime Shapes.

It’s a super simple classic candy, a moist, jelled sugar in fruit flavors coated in crunchy sugar.

The name Lemonhead brings to mind a sweet and tart candy, that’s layered with bursts of flavor that includes zest, tartness and sweetness. Let me just start off saying, there is nothing Lemhonheady about these. The assumption I made was that these sugary coatings were also tart. There’s not one iota of tartness in these. But let me move on and tell you what you do get.

Lemonhead & Friends Jellies

The pieces are huge. Larger than I expect something like a jelly to be, though they’re probably about the same weight as a jelly orange slice, they just seemed more than two bites big. They come in two shapes, chicks and rabbits.

Green = Green Apple: this was strange. It was like the artificial banana equivalent of green apple. A strange vaporous version with a slight acetone burn to it. It was all sweet and no tartness, so the flavor was missing a lot of the key flavor oomph.

Red = Cherry: was sweet and almost floral. It was a like a rose flavored version of fake cherry. The bitter aftertaste of the artificial colors was quite noticeable in this rather dark red jelly candy.

Purple = Grape: this has so much going on for it from the smell. It was like a grape soda in the shape of a chick ... until I bit into it and it was all promise and no delivery. The inky grapeness was there as a scent, but there was no malic acid tartness to go along with it. The artificial coloring also gave it a weird aluminum note.

Yellow = Lemon: citrus flavors always go so well with jellies because there are a few flavor notes that go beyond the tangy juice. In this case the zest is dead on, though a little bitter and the sweet floral notes are present. It’s a smidge on the grapefruit side, but I still enjoyed it.

Orange = Orange: like the lemon, this had two components, a note of the orange peel and a bit of floral soapiness. It wasn’t as strong as the lemon, but the balance is good and placed this one among my favorite three flavors.

Pink = Watermelon: was completely unexpected. I thought this was going to be strawberry. The flavor is strange, it reminded me of fresh laundry from the dryer ... there was a sort of static cling smell (I can’t really explain it) and a sweet floral note rather like strawberry and limes.It was really dreadful and bizarre.

The Ferrara Pan more generic jellies were far less expensive and didn’t promise me anything, so I couldn’t be disappointed. The Lemonhead & Friends Jellies captured me with the idea that they were like Lemonheads, that they were going to be tart. That’s an interesting proposition. On the other hand, these fruit jellies do come in some more unusual flavors - I’ve never seen Watermelon or Green Apple jellies before. So if you’ve always hated the tartness of Lemonheads, here’s an opportunity to partake of the brand.

If you’re looking for the best sour jelly, try the Gimbal’s Sour Lovers.

Related Candies

  1. Ferrara Pan White Hot Red Hots Jelly Beans
  2. Gimbal’s Sour Lovers
  3. Lemonhead & Friends Jelly Beans
  4. Brach’s Cinnamon Jelly Hearts
  5. Spearmint Leaves
  6. Russell Stover Pectin Jelly Beans
  7. Harry & David Fall Leaves Fruit Gels
  8. Chuckles


Name: Lemonhead & Friends Jellies
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Ferrara Pan
Place Purchased: Walgreen's (Echo Park)
Price: $1.99
Size: 8.0 ounces
Calories per ounce: 97
Categories: Candy, Ferrara Pan, Jelly Candy, 6-Tempting, United States, Walgreen's

POSTED BY Cybele AT 12:15 pm     CandyReviewFerrara PanJelly Candy6-TemptingUnited StatesWalgreen'sComments (1)

Friday, January 27, 2012

Ferrara Pan White Hot Red Hots Jelly Beans

Ferrara Pan White Hot Red Hots Jelly BeansValentine’s Day is all about red. Red is the color of love and passion; candies for Valentine’s Day play upon the flavors that follow with red: cherry, strawberry, raspberry and cinnamon. The fruity flavors are usually easy to find, but cinnamon is a little less common.

I was excited to see this small bag of Ferrara Pan White Hot Red Hots Jelly Beans for sale at Walgreen’s in their Valentine’s candy display. What does White Hot Red Hots actually mean? The package doesn’t say, but the little window shows that the small jelly beans come in two colors: red and a red speckled pink. Any additional questions could be answered for a mere buck.

Ferrara Pan White Hot Red Hots Jelly Beans

The beans are pretty and well made. They’re glossy, consistently shaped and I appreciated that the bag was sized appropriately for the amount of candy actually in it. (Sometimes bags are absurdly large but have very little candy in them.)

The white hot part, I think, means that these are very spicy cinnamon. Red Hots is just a brand of cinnamon imperials made by Ferrara Pan.

DSC_7024rb

They’re a little larger than a Jelly Belly but smaller than the classic pectin bean. (Shown above with a Tic Tac.)

They are actually very spicy. I just ate a bag of Hot Tamales last week and I can confirm that these are just slightly hotter than those. The shape is good, it’s small and packs a powerful cinnamon punch. There’s a slight clove note to them and every once in a while I also got a little whiff of artificial watermelon, which may just be a manufacturing thing.

I liked them. It was easy to just pop a few as both a pick-me-up and a little breath freshener. They go well with coffee or tea. I’d definitely pick these up again especially because I like the smaller sized bag. Ferrara Pan already makes Lemonheads & Friends Jelly Beans but I would be curious to try a standard spice flavor array or maybe a mint blend. (Ferrara Pan is known for their Lemonhead and Atomic Fireballs, but they also do a lot of contract manufacturing for house brands and other major candy companies, so chance are you’ve had their jelly beans before.)

They’re made with confectioners glaze, so they’re not considered vegetarian (though there’s no carmine in there). They’re made in equipment that also processes dairy, soy, tree nuts and peanuts. No mention of wheat/gluten but “modified food starch” is listed as an ingredient without any indication of the source.

Related Candies

  1. Valentine’s Day Candy Spotting 2011
  2. Mentos Cinnamon
  3. Brach’s Cinnamon Jelly Hearts
  4. Heide Red Hot Dollars
  5. See’s Cinnamon (Hearts & Lollypops)
  6. Dots Elements: Earth, Air, Fire & Water
  7. Cinnamon Imperial Hearts
  8. Chewy Lemonheads & Atomic Fireballs
  9. Atomic Fireballs


Name: White Hot Red Hots Jelly Beans
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Ferrara Pan
Place Purchased: Walgreen's (Union Square, San Francisco)
Price: $1.00
Size: 5.5 ounces
Calories per ounce: 99
Categories: Candy, Valentines, Ferrara Pan, Cinnamon, Jelly Candy, 8-Tasty, United States, Walgreen's

POSTED BY Cybele AT 11:50 am     CandyReviewValentinesFerrara PanCinnamonJelly Candy8-TastyUnited StatesWalgreen'sComments (10)

Monday, December 12, 2011

Pine Bros Softish Throat Drops

Pine Bros Softish Throat Drops - Wild Cherry FlavoredWhen I was a kid and candy was hard to come by, there was always the old standby of cough drops. I grew to love Hall’s Honey Lemon Eucalyptus drops as if they were decadent candy. Of course they are, there’s little that’s nutritional or therapeutic about them. But sometimes it’s a small pleasure that lifts the spirits when you have a cold.

My favorite cough drops as a kid were Pine Bros, which were about as old school as they come. They weren’t like the standard hard candy lozenges, instead these were a glycerine pastille, similar to Grether’s or Dr. Doolittle’s. The ingredient they all share is glycerine, which is viscous and has soothing properties as it can coat irritated membranes.

Pine Bros Throat Drops and I were born in the same city, about a hundred years apart. Once I moved to the West Coast from Pennsylvania, I couldn’t find Pine Bros any longer. Part of it was that Pine Bros, which was made by Life Savers between 1930 and then Life Savers was bought out by Leaf (I believe they were manufactured outside of the US for a while and the formula changed) then when Leaf divested in 1998 a company called IVC picked up the Pine Bros name. By 2005 they were gone.

Pine Bros Softish Throat Drops - Wild Cherry Flavored

The word softish is perfect for these. They truly aren’t hard or soft, but have a great squishy quality. The pieces are nicely formed and comfortable for the mouth. The pieces are about three quarters of an inch long and have a little indentation in the bottom, which I believe is caused by the piece shrinking a bit due to evaporation as it cures in its mold.

The flavor is mild, a combination of a jammy wild cherry flavor and a little hint of honey (though there’s not actually any in there). The flavor is rather similar to blackcurrant with its deep wine notes. It’s more floral than many other cherry candies and because they’re colored naturally (with elderberry juice) there’s no weird aftertaste.

Most cough drops are hard candies, but these are soft, pliable yet tacky and stiff and pretty much impossible to chew up. They’re not quite bouncy like a gummi (which contains gelatin, which is a protein) but still have some of that firmness. The other great thing is because they’re so smooth, there’s little danger of sharp voids like some cough drops can have - so no little cuts or scrapes inside the mouth.

Pine Bros Softish Throat Drops - Wild Cherry Flavored

I picked up the Value Size not because of its value but because it was the only format available. It holds 32 drops for $3.49 (2.38 ounces) while a little tin of Grether’s of a similar quantity would be about $10.

If you always wished that Grether’s came in Wild Cherry and at a fraction of the price, Pine Bros may be the solution for you.

Pine Bros Softish Throat Drops - Natural HoneyMy favorite Pine Bros flavors were Licorice and Honey. So I was excited that even though the Licorice wasn’t in production yet, the classic Pine Bros Natural Honey Throat Drops were back.

The package is new and sharp, but still has a classic feel to it. The color coding is similar to the boxes I remember as a kid. Cherry came in a deep red box, Menthol was in Blue and Honey was in a deep amber. The new packaging is a bit brighter, with more of a mustard yellow.

The ingredients are listed as a medicinal product, not a candy. My Pine Bros Throat Drops were also taxed, so were not considered food so do not have any nutritional/caloric information.

Active Ingredients: Glycerin 65 mg. Inactive Ingredients: Gum Acacia, Sugar, Honey with other natural flavors, Corn Syrup, Water, Sunflower Oil, Canauba Wax.

I was a little confused by the “Gum Acacia” item until I looked it up on Wikipedia. It’s Gum Arabic with a fancy new name in an attempt to hide from an urban legend.

Pine Bros Softish Throat Drops - Natural Honey

The pieces are beautiful little amber drops. They actually remind me of true amber. They sound like it when dropped and feel lighter than they look they should. But they’re a little weird. They’re not like I remember them.

The package smelled quite a bit when I opened it. Not just like honey but like roses, like a jam made from rose petals, so it’s a very sweet, syrupy rose scent. It’s not a bad thing, but it’s not the toasty and more cotton candy notes I was prepared for.

The texture is smooth, the melt is wonderful and they truly are soothing for a throat a bit raw from the drying and dusty Santa Ana winds. But the flavor, which I was hoping would be mild and sort of fleeting is rather stubborn. It tastes, well, old. Like old flowers, old tea ... not fresh. I actually found myself reaching for the Wild Cherry ones.

There are two other flavors that Pine Bros is hoping to bring back: Licorice and Honey Lemon. So here’s to hoping that it’s actually Honey Lemon that I love so much and that my favorite will be restored. But I also have high hopes for Licorice.

They are made in the USA in a facility that also processes peanuts and tree nuts. They’re not listed Kosher but the non-honey versions should be considered vegan (unless the glycerine was from an animal source, which is pretty rare because it’s so much more expensive).

I’m not planning on reviewing cough drops on a regular basis, but now’s a good time to ask: what cough drop do you eat like candy? (My other favorite is Thayer’s Slippery Elm, which also has a dreamy smoothness with the flavor of maple sugar considering it starts out looking like a small tablet of rabbit food.)

Related Candies

  1. 12 European Licorices
  2. Perfetti Van Melle Golia
  3. Honees Honey Filled Drops
  4. Gimbal’s Honey Lovers
  5. Eat with your Eyes: Pine Brothers Cough Drops
  6. Boules de Miel (balls of honey)
  7. Puntini Jujubes - Frutti Tropicali
  8. Jujyfruits & Jujubes
  9. Pastiglie Leone


Name: Softish Throat Drops: Cherry
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Pine Bros
Place Purchased: CVS (Park LaBrea)
Price: $3.49
Size: 2.38 ounces
Calories per ounce:
Categories: All Natural, Candy, Jelly Candy, 7-Worth It, United States, Sav-On/CVS


Name: Softish Throat Drops: Honey
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Pine Bros
Place Purchased: CVS (Park LaBrea)
Price: $3.49
Size: 2.38 ounces
Calories per ounce:
Categories: All Natural, Candy, Jelly Candy, 5-Pleasant, United States, Sav-On/CVS

POSTED BY Cybele AT 11:02 pm     All NaturalCandyReviewPine BrosJelly Candy5-Pleasant7-Worth ItUnited StatesSav-On/CVSComments (16)

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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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