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Jelly Candy

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Gimbal’s Honey Lovers

Gimbal's Honey LoversLast year Gimbal’s Candy introduced Cherry Lovers, a fanciful assortment of nine different cherry flavored jelly candies in the shape of hearts. It wasn’t my kind of thing and I wished that there was a citrus version. Gimbal’s went far more inventive than that and created Honey Lovers which features 16 different honey infused flavors of jelly beans.

Gimbal’s makes a wide array of panned candies and licorice but the big selling point for them is that they operate in a low-allergen facility. No peanuts, no tree nuts, no gluten, no dairy, no eggs and no soy. Honey isn’t just a flavoring here, the third ingredient on the list is actually honey. (The first two are sugar and corn syrup.)

The Honey Lovers come in either a 10 ounce bag or a 38 ounce resealable tub. Each of the hearts is colored and patterned to match their flavor. They also feature 25% of the RDA of vitamin C. On top of that, Gimbal’s is donating 5% of their sales to honey bee research at the University of California at Davis (which is just 100 miles or so away).

Gimbal's Honey Lovers

Golden Honey a wonderful and simple little jelly bean heart. It’s not a bright sweetness, it’s more of a concentrated honey with a little sugary grain from the shell ... which mimicked crystallized honey or honeycomb. The flavor was just a little different from the Jelly Belly Honey Bean, not quite as caramelized but still authentic.
Peaches and Honey tastes like peach fuzz and honey, kind of strange but true. Honey and peach have similar syrupy notes, so these go together well, kind of like a peach cobbler flavor.
Tangy Orange Honey starts our like a plain juicy orange jelly bean then becomes a deep honey flavored and smooth chew.
Buttered Honey Popcorn was the one I avoided. I detest fake butter flavor and this one had that “old movie theater” flavor. It was a little on the toffee side because of the honey, but still my least favorite of the bunch. (I’m sure some folks will be in love with it.)
Meyer Lemon Honey is kind of like a cough drop without the menthol. The lemon is light and only slightly zesty but no sign of tartness. The honey note is defined but separated from the lemon-ness, like the lemon is on the shell and the honey is in the center.

Gimbal's Honey Lovers
Cinnamon Honey wasn’t terribly strong but mostly cinnamon. I didn’t catch much honey on the end of it. Not as blazing as Gimbal’s stellar Lava Balls, but still fun and quite a change up from the rest of the primarily fruity bunch in this mix.
Black Cherry Honey has a little tartness at the front and was a very well balanced heart. The cherry flavors weren’t exceptionally strong, but still lasted well into the emergence of the honey flavors.
Honey Mocha Toffee (not pictured because I thought it was Black Cherry Honey) is just dreadful, there’s that fake butter flavor that I guess is supposed to be toffee and then a faint whiff of instant coffee. It’s like a bad hazelnut coffee creamer.
Coconut Honey is terribly sweet and with a strong tropical vibe. The coconut is strong on this one and since it’s easily confused with the vanilla, I ate it by mistake a few times. As long as you’re looking for something really coconutty, this is a great little heart.
Honey Vanilla this was my absolute favorite, I kept searching the bags for this one. It’s like a jelly bean version of the marshmallow in a See’s Scotchmallow. Fragrant and soft vanilla with the deep sweetness of honey.
Honey Raspberry is deep red and jammy sweet with just the right touch of honey at the end. The floral berry notes lingered long after the chew was gone.

Gimbal's Honey Lovers
Honey Dipped Strawberry is sweet and has that great summer taste to it, the honey isn’t a strong as the others, but then again, I didn’t need it to be with the great toasted sugar notes of the strawberry there.
Huckleberry Honey is kind of a mystery to me. I don’t know huckleberries that well, but can definitely say that the light berry and summer fruit notes have a tangy bite and a sweet finish.
Pomegranate Honey is a nondescript tart berry flavor where the honey takes over pretty quickly.
Blueberry Honey is like the other berry and fruit flavors, quite mild and mellow. I caught a faint bit of blueberry flavor to it, but mostly it tasted like a very honey-laden iced tea. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.
Orchard Pear ‘n Honey tastes rather green in the best way possible. It doesn’t have the same crunchy grain of a real pear, but the deep malty flavors of the honey go well with the grassy notes.

Overall this was a very inventive mix. Of the 16 flavors there were only two that I picked out and refused to eat (Mocha Toffee and Popcorn), and another three that I picked around but didn’t toss back in there if I got by accident. But the ones I liked, I thought were stellar (Vanilla Honey, Honey, Meyer Lemon, Strawberry). Even if I didn’t like some, there were others whom I shared these with who did, so they are a real crowd pleaser. The only suggestion I’d have would be to have a smaller flavor mix (with 5-8 flavors in a more limited color palette) that might do better for themed buffets and folks who simply buy candy for the colors.

Related Candies

  1. Eat with your Eyes: 100% Honey
  2. Jelly Belly Honey Beans
  3. Cool Honey Altoids
  4. Puffy Candy Corn
  5. Boules de Miel (balls of honey)
  6. Melville Candy Company Honey Spoons


Name: Honey Lovers
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Gimbal’s Candy
Place Purchased: sample from Sweets & Snacks Expo
Price: unknown
Size: 9 ounces
Calories per ounce: 99
Categories: Candy, Gimbal's Candy, Jelly Candy, Kosher, 7-Worth It, United States

POSTED BY Cybele AT 4:13 pm     CandyGimbal's CandyJelly CandyKosher7-Worth ItUnited StatesComments (6)

Monday, May 24, 2010

Jelly Belly Fruit Snacks

Jelly Belly Fruit SnacksJelly Belly Fruit Snacks are smooth fruity jelly chews in six flavors and made with seven fruit juices.

The package is simple and appealing, focusing on the fruits and the fruit shapes of the candy inside. They’re entering a very crowded markeplace, there are dozens of fruit snacks already on the market, many with licensing tie ins with cartoon characters.

They come in: Berry, Cherry, Orange, Lemon, Strawberry and Apple. Each flavor is a different color and shaped for the fruit it’s emulating.

Jelly Belly Fruit Snacks
(Sorry about the photo, I’m missing the apple one from that array - it looks strikingly like the strawberry, just no little seed bumps.)

Overall the texture is closer to gum drops (like Dots) than jelly beans or gummis. It’s an easy and smooth chew, but still a little sticky.

Cherry - is quite mild, a light woodsy black cherry with a tartness to it, but nothing terribly overwhelming.

Lemon - is vivid - a good blend of tangy and zesty.

Strawberry - is floral and a little bit on the fruit punch side of things. It’s mostly jammy sweet without much sourness.

Orange - is a bit ordinary but hard to be disappointed with a decent mix of juicy and zesty.

Berry - was hard to find in my mixes that I got. Two of the single serve bags that I opened didn’t have them at all. It’s a good raspberry flavor, but a little on the non-descript side.

Apple - is fresh and authentic, a lot like apple cider and nothing like “green apple.”

The caloric density on these is very low. As an all-sugar candy there’s no fat in it but also not much in the way of nutrition… no protein, no fiber. But there is a good dose of vitamin C and of course the fact that you can eat a handful for less than 100 calories can help a lot with a craving.

They’re pretty late to a crowded market where there are a lot of choices. The price point is a bit higher than I think many folks are willing to spend but it’s the kind of candy I might pick in a vending machine or if it came in theater boxes - the idea of a naturally flavored and colored version of Dots or Jujyfruits is probably appealing to parents as well.

Related Candies

  1. Lemonhead Fruit Snacks
  2. The Simpsons Fruit Snacks
  3. Dogs versus Cats (fruit snacks that is)
  4. Sunkist Fruit Gems
  5. Fruit Parfaits


Name: Fruit Snacks
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Jelly Belly
Place Purchased: samples from Jelly Belly
Price: $2.50
Size: 2.5 ounces
Calories per ounce: 92
Categories: All Natural, Candy, Jelly Belly, Chews, Jelly Candy, 7-Worth It, United States

POSTED BY Cybele AT 4:20 pm     CandyJelly BellyJelly CandyKosher7-Worth ItUnited StatesComments (3)

Friday, May 7, 2010

Trader Joe’s Jelly Beans & Citrus Gum Drops

Trader Joe's Jelly BeansTrader Joe’s is getting its “summer candy” on the shelves. Summer candy is usually sugar candy, or candy that bears the heat well. The great thing about summer candy is that it often reflects the taste of summer fruits.

One product is Trader Joe’s Gourmet Jelly Beans in 18 natural flavors. The jelly beans are even naturally colored with vegetable and fruit sources. (They’re not quite vegan though, since they use beeswax for the final polish.)

At first I thought that they might be actual Jelly Belly, but without the Jelly Belly stamp. But then I thought maybe they were Marich, who makes Green Beans for Whole Foods. Then flipping over the box I saw that they’re made in Ireland ... which really doesn’t make much sense to me because there are so many great jelly bean makers here in California.

Trader Joe's Jelly Beans

The flavor mix is almost all fruits, except for liquorice, which is really essential for any mix. The box is a nice size at 5 ounces and $1.99 they’re cheaper than Jelly Belly ($6.40 a pound versus about $9 a pound for most Jelly Belly).

Trader Joe's Jelly Beans
(The photos don’t match up with the flavor review ... they’re just illustrative.)

The citrus flavors included: Lemon, Lemon & Lime, Tangerine and Pink Grapefruit. All were sunny and zesty, though sweeter and not as intense as Jelly Belly. The zest was a little uneven as well, some were rather bitter from the peel oils but the same flavor another time wasn’t at all.

The berry flavors included: Strawberry Smoothie, Strawberry, Blueberry, Raspberry and Blackberry. These flavors had good combinations of both tartness, sweetness and the fragrant floral notes that accompany berries. I liked the raspberry quite a bit, it wasn’t quite jammy but still the best rounded (and possibly the most ubiquitous flavor in my box) but on the other end blueberry was completely lacking in any flavor at all.

Traditional fruits were Cherry, Apple and Grape.

Cherry was weird, in fact, I wasn’t sure for a while that it was the cherry, but process of elimination meant that it couldn’t be anything other.

Apple was dark green, not the light green shown on the package. It’s mild but convincing.

I can’t say that I remember eating the grape.

Trader Joe's Jelly Beans
(The photos don’t match up with the flavor review ... they’re just illustrative.)

Exotics were Banana Split, Coconut, Mango, Passion Fruit, Liquorice and Pomegranate.

Coconut was watery and sweet but still had a “coconut flavor” to it. I didn’t care much for it on its own but combined with other flavors like pomegranate or banana split it was a nice pop.

Pomegranate was sweet and a bit like cotton candy and raspberry.

I was quite fond of Liquorice, mostly because it was the first all natural licorice jelly bean that I think I’ve had. It had all the anise and licorice flavor - very sweet but a balanced woodsy and spicy character - but didn’t have any of the food coloring bitterness.

Mango was like peach for me, a little too much like the peel (or fuzz in the case of peaches) and not enough of the luscious tangy and custardy flesh.

Passion Fruit was similar to mango in that it didn’t quite get the fresh fruit for me, but it was a good mix of sweetness and toasted sugar flavors.

I loved Banana Split. It was sweet but still a good rounded banana flavor that made it taste creamy.

The texture overall is firmer than Jelly Belly and other gourmet beans. They’re smooth and very well made but chewy. Some folks may prefer that texture but I thought they were lacking punch and many didn’t taste different enough to warrant 18 flavors over 12 or 8.

Trader Joe's Citrus Gum DropsThe more exciting product for me was the new Citrus Gum Drops which feature my favorite flavor genre. Tangerine, Key Lime, Pink Grapefruit and Lemon.

Like the Jelly Beans, these are all natural and vegan. They’re also Kosher.

They’re also a better value, at 8 ounces for the same $1.99 price tag. I was hoping they’d be as good as the Starbucks teensy gum drops or the comparably priced but huge Whole Foods Gourmet Gum Drops.

Trader Joe's Citrus Gum Drops

The gum drops fit right in as gum drop sized. Like a thimble of firm jelly candy. The sugar sanding is fine grained and stuck well, so there’s not a lot of dust.

Trader Joe's Citrus GumdropsLemon - spectacularly well rounded, more like a marmalade than lemonade. Very zesty and only lightly tangy. The citrus oils are very pronounced and have a bitter aftertaste that I love until I’m done eating them and I have a bit of a burning tongue.

Pink Grapefruit - I had high hopes for these but they were a bit blander than I’d hoped. They’re more about the juice flavors than the peel. So they’re not bitter but just lacking a well rounded citrus punch but did have a bit of a caramelized sugar/honey smoothness.

Key Lime is subtle and quietly peppery. A little tangy and zesty but much deeper than the usual lime.

Tangerine - it says tangerine but it tastes simply like orange, perhaps even like Tang. Sweet and juicy, but not zesty or tart.

The gum drops were so well suited to my preferences, it’s like Trader Joe’s has been reading the blog. I liked the size and of course the price was great for a premium item. They’re not pate de fruits but they’re more vibrant than Dots.

Related Candies

  1. Wonka Exceptionals Fruit Jellies: Grapefruit, Goji Berry & Red Apple
  2. Tootsie Sour Dots
  3. Gourmet Gumdrops
  4. Harry & David Fall Leaves Fruit Gels
  5. Organic Zootons


Name: Gourmet Jelly Beans 18 Flavors
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Trader Joe’s
Place Purchased: Trader Joe's (Silver Lake)
Price: $1.99
Size: 5 ounces
Calories per ounce: 106
Categories: All Natural, Candy, Trader Joe's, Jelly Candy, 6-Tempting


Name: Citrus Gum Drops
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Trader Joe’s
Place Purchased: Trader Joe's (Silver Lake)
Price: $1.99
Size: 8 ounces
Calories per ounce: 102
Categories: All Natural, Candy, Trader Joe's, Jelly Candy, Kosher, 8-Tasty, United States

POSTED BY Cybele AT 4:00 pm     All NaturalCandyTrader Joe'sJelly CandyKosher6-Tempting8-TastyUnited StatesComments (9)

Friday, April 30, 2010

Wonka Exceptionals Fruit Jellies: Grapefruit, Goji Berry & Red Apple

Wonka Fruit Jellies - GrapefruitThe new line of Wonka Exceptionals includes new chocolate bars to replace the classic Wonka Bar and the completely new Wonka Fruit Marvels.

The Wonka Exceptionals Fruit Jellies are a bit more classic. They’re simple cubes of real fruit jelly made from all natural ingredients in Mexico. They come in single flavor boxes, the initial varieties are Grapefruit, Goji Berry and Red Apple.

They are packaged similarly to the Fruit Marvels. The label sleeve is over an eye-popping magenta and maroon box. Inside the box is an unlabeled purple mylar bag. It’s a lot of layers, and while I enjoy the fancifulness, it’s really wasteful.

Wonka Fruit Jellies - Goji, Apple & Grapefruit

The package simply describes them as fantastically flavorful soft jellies dusted with sugar. I also got a press release that said:

Made with natural ingredients, no artificial colors and 25 percent real fruit juice, these cheery confections are perfect for everyday indulgence or casual gift giving.

The ingredients go like this:

Sugar, corn syrup, water, pear juice concentrate, and less than 2% of pectin, natural flavor, beta carotene and citric acid.

The beta carotene is the only ingredient that isn’t marked as all natural, though it’s certainly not an artificial color.

Wonka Fruit Jellies - Goji, Apple & Grapefruit

I’ve had a lot of pate de fruits over the years, which are full fruit jellies. They’re usually thickened with the actual fruit instead of corn starch though sometimes there’s additional pectin (depending on the fruit). Though the new Wonka Fruit Jellies don’t quite rise to the level of pate, they do a good job with the texture and are less sweet than gum drops or fruit jellies like Boston Fruit Slices.

Wonka Fruit Jellies - GrapefruitGrapefruit is light yellow, none of this pink grapefruit stuff for Wonka.

The scent is a beguilingly authentic grapefruit peel. Grapefruit is a favorite smell for me, even clinical testing backs up its use for aromatherapy - the smell of grapefruit soothes, engenders trust and youthfulness (for women being sniffed by men, anyway). I like it because it smells like something I want to eat. It’s a mix of balsam, lavender, lemon and windy beach.

The half inch jelly cubes are rough and dusted with sugar. They’re a little messier than a gum drop but not as dusty as Turkish Delight. They’re soft to the touch but firm enough that they can’t be squeezed flat very easily. The moist jelly has a nice give, it’s not a sticky as a gum drop, these are more of a jam you can eat.

The flavor is mostly about the zest and grapefruit peel but there’s a light juice note with a little tangy snap. They’re not too cloying or sticky sweet, but not quite intense enough for me to call them a true pate de fruits.
 
Wonka Fruit Jellies - Goji BerryWhile I’ve had a lifetime of experience with Grapefruits and Apples, my interaction with Goji Berry is pretty limited. I’ve had dried goji berries quite a few times in the past three or four years. The dried berries are leathery and chewy but not terribly flavorful. Goji berries (also known as wolfberries) have a near-miraculous ability to fill my spam box with offers of all sorts of products. I’m sure goji berries were sad to see the rise in acai.

The berries are related to tomatoes, peppers and eggplants. They have tiny little seeds in them but they’re edible and provide a little bit of texture, though not quite like, say, kiwi or fig seeds do.

The package says nothing about where the flavor for these comes from, just that it’s natural. The whole point, as far as I can tell, of people eating goji is because of its high antioxidant properties, so just flavoring something with goji seems like a miss.

They’re sweet with a little tangy note. Kind of like raisin and orange. Not really that interesting to me.

Note: the Goji variety of the Fruit Jellies uses cochineal color, so they are not vegan.

Wonka Fruit Jellies - AppleRed Apple was much more appealing than I expected. It’s quite red, which was refreshing instead of the more common acid green that candies end up being.

The flavor notes are reminiscent of apple cider. There are notes of apple peel, a mellow and honey-like sweetness along with a light tart bite.

My hesitations with these are because of the excessive packaging, but for a natural fruit jelly product they’re priced rather well but still quite a bit steeper than other gummis or jellies. (They’re about twice the price per ounce compared to the Wonka Sploshberries.) The size of the pieces is perfect, I just pop them in my mouth, no messing biting & putting half aside. I do love grapefruit, which is a hard flavor to find, and apple lovers may enjoy a real fruit experience too. Goji can go, hopefully replaced by something really inventive ... maybe we’ll finally find out what a snozzberry is.

Related Candies

  1. Au’some Snerdles Super Mario Power Up Box
  2. Wonka Fruit Marvels
  3. Meiji Poifull
  4. Bissinger’s Pink Grapefruit Gummy Pandas
  5. Wonka Puckerooms
  6. Wonka Sluggles
  7. Dr. Doolittle’s Pastilles (Lemon, Grapefruit & Wild Berry)
  8. Terra Nostra Pocket Bars


Name: Wonka Exceptionals Fruit Jellies
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Nestle
Place Purchased: samples from Wonka
Price: $2.99 retail
Size: 5 ounces
Calories per ounce: 88
Categories: All Natural, Candy, Nestle, Jelly Candy, Kosher, 7-Worth It, Mexico

POSTED BY Cybele AT 12:16 pm     All NaturalCandyReviewNestleDiscontinuedJelly Candy7-Worth ItMexicoComments (7)

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Tootsie Sour Dots

Sour DotsA new addition to the Tootsie line of Dots is Sour Dots.

As with many sour iterations of popular products the package went for yellow and green, the seemingly universal colors of tartness.

The package design is cute. In this case the blue Dots logo dominates to give cohesion with the other boxes on the shelf (currently I’ve been seeing classic Dots, Yogurt Dots and Tropical). The little Dots themselves are depicted in each of the five colors with puckery faces. They’re called The Dot that bites back!

Sour Dots

The flavor assortment is middle of the road, though not just a sour dusted version of the regular fruit Dots (which come in Strawberry, Cherry, Lemon, Lime & Orange), these are Grape, Orange, Lemon, Green Apple and Cherry

The Dots are a traditional smooth jelly center with a sour coating that includes citric acid and malic acid. Dots boxes are wrapped in cellophane so they’re soft and fresh.

Sour Dots

The sour coating is definitely tart, the kind of sour that makes the back of my jaw tingle.

Grape - very sour and quite artificial but ultimately a chewy gum drop version of Pixy Stix.

Orange - so sour it’s almost salty at first, but the zesty notes of the gum drop give this a flavor depth that few other sour citrus candies have.

Lemon - really more like lemon peel than lemon juice, it’s fresh, bitter and tangy all at once. It really gave the feeling of those shaken lemonades from the fair.

Green Apple - not quite a Jolly Rancher, it’s far too tart. It’s more than just the chemical green apple, there is a hint of apple juice in there.

Cherry - this one was simply caustic. The cherry flavors were artificial and buried beneath the sourness, it was like fruity/woodsy toilet cleaner. I do admit that the cherry notes, once the sour is gone are rather deep, but still not my thing.

The smooth gum drop centers set these apart from other sour dusted jelly candies like Sour Patch Kids. They’re chewy, but kind of a slick smoothness that the others don’t have, there’s no graininess after the sour sanding dissipates. They don’t even stick to the teeth in the quite the same way as regular Dots. They’re a great value for only a dollar and some nice deep flavors. I found myself avoiding the cherry and green apple, but I’m sure that I could find friends (or husbands) to share those with.

Related Candies

  1. Halloween Dots: Bat, Candy Corn & Ghost
  2. New Flavors: Skittles Sour & Wonka Runts
  3. Dots Elements: Earth, Air, Fire & Water
  4. Dots
  5. Sour Patch Kids
  6. Florida’s Natural Sour Fruit Juice String
  7. The Lemonhead & Fruit Heads


Name: Sour Dots
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Tootsie
Place Purchased: RiteAid (Echo Park)
Price: $1.00
Size: 7 ounces
Calories per ounce: 94
Categories: Candy, Tootsie, Jelly Candy, Kosher, Sour, 7-Worth It, United States, Rite Aid

POSTED BY Cybele AT 10:05 am     CandyReviewTootsieJelly CandyKosherSour7-Worth ItUnited StatesRite AidComments (18)

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Au’some Snerdles Super Mario Power Up Box

Au'Some SnerdlesWhat’s in the box?

I’m sure some folks recognize it, it’s a Super Mario Power Up Box. Inside this mystery block are eight power ups: Starman, Super Mushroom and the gold coin in the form of Snerdles.

Next question: What are Snerdles? They’re are a candy mosaic made by Au’some. Chewy fruit strips covered with tangy, crunchy candies. Think of them like a Nerds Rope, but flat with the Nerds forming an image.

Au’some introduced Snerdles about 10 years ago and they appear on the market from time to time. The last time I heard of them was when they did a limited edition for Marvel back in 2003-2005 including Spiderman. They also made a generic version which was little squares or strips with images of the different flavors of fruit on them.

Au'Some Snerdles

The promo material I got last year said: Each candy fruit strip is decorated with tiny and tart crunchy candies for an amazing mouthful of texture. I was fascinated and really wanted to see them in person.

Au'Some Snerdles

Each Power Up Box holds eight individually wrapped Snerdles. Each weighs 11 grams (.39 ounces). They’re not quite square - they’re 2 inches high and 1.75 inches wide and about an eighth of an inch thick (without the toppings).

Au'Some Snerdles

They absolutely look like the box illustrates. The translucent fruit squares have designs made from little crunchies in different colors. They’re not quite as perfect, but the effect is quite cute and all of mine were faithful and easy to identify. They come in three flavors to go with the designs (though they’re not matched at all, any color can be any design). Blue Raspberry is Aqua, Strawberry is red and Apple is green.

Au'Some Snerdles

Apple Snerdles

It doesn’t smell like much out of the package. The fruit bar is a little sticky but very pliable. There’s a little pull to it, but it’s not at all a gummy.

It’s not quite fruit leather, it’s not as pulpy as that.

Goodness, this was realistically like an apple. The peel flavors and actual flavor of a granny smith were in there. The second ingredient is pear puree, so it really is fruity.

Au'Some SnerdlesStrawberry Snerdles

Really authentic scent of strawberry jam. It’s tangy and sweet with just a hint of grape in the background, but mostly a vague strawberry flavor. The candy pieces provide a crunch and flavor somewhere between a nonpareil and a Nerd. They’re tangy and sweet, but not quite flavored. They’re crunchy but have a slight starchy and chalky afterglow.

I found I could just bite them and eat them that way, but like a fruit roll up or fruit leather I did play a bit. I rolled some up, with the crunches on the inside to keep them from falling off (they’re little devils inside a keyboard). I also pulled some apart, so the mosaic was distorted, like the scattering of galaxies after the Big Bang.

Au'some Snerdles

The crunchies just sit on the top, they’re not pressed into the fruit square.

Au'Some SnerdlesBlue Raspberry Snerdles

Blue raspberry was certainly an odd color, an ocean aqua. It had an appealing scent, a mixture of floral berries and limes. This one was more tart than the others, though I can’t say that any rise to the level of sour candy. The flavors were like a berry jam, though not subtle or nuanced. Just straight ahead real berry flavor.

These really are an inventive candy. They’re not quite a fruit leather and without the nutrition panel I can’t say exactly whether I’d call these a snack or a candy. The fact that they’re made with a substantial amount of fruit puree should make parents happy and the cute designs and inventive package should make any kid who gets these the envy of his friends.

Made in a no peanut facility but no other notations of allergens on the list (such as tree nuts, eggs, milk, wheat/gluten). They’re also Kosher. Full ingredients: Sugar, pear puree from concentrate, dextrose, corn syrup, tapioca starch, citric acid, apple fibre, sodium citrate, artificial flavors, pectin, maltodextrin, carnauba wax, colours. They are made in China, though it says “Made responsibly in China.” I talked to some folks at the company, it’s a family run business who supervise the manufacture of the candies themselves so it appears that there’s more oversight than a company that outsources the production. They have more information on their website.

The box is easily reusable, it’s a 2.5” cube with a well fitted lid. I think you can peel off the top sticker and then throw change in there or game tokens or just keep refilling it with different candy. I don’t know the true retail price, I expect a box like this will be under $2.00, but on the internet where licensed merchandise can go for more, they might be around $3.

Au'Some Snerdles Au'Some Snerdles Au'Some Snerdles Au'Some Snerdles  Au'Some Snerdles

Aggrogate had a roundup of many Nintendo-themed candies, including Snerdles.

Related Candies

  1. Au’some Easter 3-Dees Gummy
  2. Short & Sweet: Tropical Flavors
  3. Wii Candy Dispenser & Nintendo Gummis
  4. The Simpsons Fruit Snacks
  5. Dogs versus Cats (fruit snacks that is)
  6. Bubble Roll Message Maker
  7. Florida’s Natural Sour Fruit Juice String


Name: Super Mario Snerdles Mystery Box
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Au’some
Place Purchased: samples from Au'some
Price: $2.00 retail
Size: 3.1 ounces
Calories per ounce:
Categories: Candy, Au'some Candy, Compressed Dextrose, Jelly Candy, Kosher, 7-Worth It, China

POSTED BY Cybele AT 2:00 pm     CandyReviewAu'some CandyCompressed DextroseJelly CandyKosher7-Worth ItChinaComments (8)

Friday, April 16, 2010

Madelaine Duets

Madelaine DuetsMadelaine Chocolate makes chocolate morsels. They make a wide array of chocolate pieces wrapped in novelty foils, but what they do that’s different from RM Palmer or even Russell Stover is they use really good chocolate.

Their array of foil wrapped treats is dazzling. Butterflies, poker chips, stars, hearts, balls, flowers and coins. They also make panned chocolates like a rainbow of Malted Milk Balls in both classic and specialty flavors. They’re a bit expensive but my real complain has been how hard they are to find.

It looks like they’re making a new push into retail outlets instead of bulk bins and wholesale quantities for party planners they packaging for the shelf. In addition to their new treats (some reviewed by Sugar Pressure) they have a new line of bonbons called Duets which are double filled chocolate spheres in four varieties.

Madelaine sent me a press kit with a sample of three of each of the new chocolates for review.

Madelaine Duets - Milk Chocolate & White Chocolate

The chocolates come in stand up bags made of paperboard, ten chocolates to a package and retail for about $6.25 according to their own direct-sell website (but probably less on store shelves). That makes each chocolate about 63 cents, not bad when compared to a Lindt Lindor Truffle which is about where I think they’re aiming in the marketplace.

Milk Chocolate & White Chocolate Duets

The pieces are nicely formed and again, I’m using Lindor truffles for comparison. They’re individually twist wrapped and not only clearly marked, they’re color coded if you should dump them into a bowl with other flavors. They’re about the same size as Lindor, though lacking the little divot that allows it to sit up on its own. Instead of a coconut and palm kernel oil in the center, Madelaine uses a combination of real chocolate, milk products and canola oil for the ganache core.

This is a classic confectionery pairing: milk chocolate and white chocolate. The ganache centers are satisfyingly soft, so much so that they melt readily. The blend of the flavors is quite milky with a bit of a cream cheese tang to them. For the most part it was like eating a version of a chocolate cheesecake.

It’s rich and sticky, a bit cloying but not as sickly sweet as I would have expected for a white and milk pairing like this. The chocolate shell is also good quality though it was the sweetest part of the confection. The flavors are well rounded and wholly authentic, not watered down or thinned out by excess oils.

Madelaine Duets - Caramel & Peanut Butter

Caramel & Peanut Butter Duets

I thought, How good could a caramel and peanut butter bonbon be from a commercial company? After all, I was consistently disappointed by gooey caramel from mass manufacturers. It usually had a great texture but little more flavor than Karo.

Madelaine Duets - Caramel & Peanut ButterThe sphere smelled like peanut butter and chocolate. So far so good. Biting into it, the peanut butter side wasn’t quite a meltaway, but not quite the crumbly peanut butter of a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup. A good roasted taste, a little salty and pretty smooth. The caramel side was a revelation. The texture was ultrasmooth and thick though not chewy. The flavor profile was actually like burnt sugar, like a true caramel. The combination of the two along with the milky chocolate shell was decadent and homey.

Madelaine Duets - Raspberry & White Chocolate Truffle

Raspberry & White Truffle Duets

This one smells quite milky without a hint of the berry jam inside. After biting into it I recognized the yogurty white ganache side. The great part of this one was the raspberry filling. No seeds but lots and lots of jammy raspberry flavors - boiled sugar, floral berry notes and a gooey sticky jam texture.

Madelaine Duets - Raspberry & Peanut Butter

Raspberry & Peanut Butter Duets

I saved the best for last. A few weeks ago I posted my favorite piece from an assortment of chocolates from William Dean Chocolatier that my sister gave me for Christmas. It was a peanut butter & jelly bon bon. Yeah, it sounds simple and homey. But what’s wrong with that?

This Duet has a layer of creamy peanut butter and that wonderfully flavorful raspberry filling. I could eat a whole bag of these without any problem.

They are expensive, but if I could buy them individually like Lindor Truffles I’d guarantee I’d pick up one or two of the PB&J on a regular basis. As a box, I’d hesitate a bit but probably go for it anyway - especially if I could snag a bag for about $5. They’re rich but not too decadent, a little more homey and have fresh flavors that fill a hole where I don’t think there are other commercially made products.

They will be released the week of April 19, 2010 and will be available at retailers such as WalMart and Kohl’s. (Check their website for current locations.)

Related Candies

  1. Hershey’s White Chocolate Meltaway Bliss
  2. Trader Joe’s PB & J Bar
  3. Dove Peanut Butter Silky Smooth Milk Chocolate
  4. Lindt Lindor Truffle Eggs
  5. Cadbury Raspberry Bunny
  6. Lindt: 60% Extra Dark Truffles


Name: Duets Milk Truffle & White Truffle
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Madelaine Chocolate
Place Purchased: samples from Madelaine Chocolate
Price: $6.25
Size: 5 ounces
Calories per ounce: 162
Categories: Candy, Madelaine, Chocolate, Kosher, White Chocolate, 7-Worth It, United States


Name: Duets Peanut Butter & Caramel
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Madelaine Chocolate
Place Purchased: samples from Madelaine Chocolate
Price: $6.25
Size: 5 ounces
Calories per ounce: 142
Categories: Madelaine, Caramel, Chocolate, Kosher, Peanuts, 8-Tasty, United States


Name: Duets Raspberry & White Truffle
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Madelaine Chocolate
Place Purchased: samples from Madelaine Chocolate
Price: $6.25
Size: 5 ounces
Calories per ounce: 142
Categories: Madelaine, Chocolate, Kosher, 7-Worth It, United States


Name: Duets Raspberry & Peanut Butter
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Madelaine Chocolate
Place Purchased: samples from Madelaine Chocolate
Price: $6.25
Size: 5 ounces
Calories per ounce: 142
Categories: Candy, Madelaine, Chocolate, Jelly Candy, Kosher, Peanuts, 9-Yummy, United States

POSTED BY Cybele AT 9:55 am     CandyReviewMadelaineCaramelChocolateJelly CandyKosherPeanutsWhite Chocolate7-Worth It8-Tasty9-YummyUnited StatesComments (10)

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Wonka Fruit Marvels

Wonka Fruit Marvels TinsNestle is going full-tilt to reinvigorate their stagnant Wonka candy brand. Last year it was gummis (Sluggles, Puckerooms & Sploshberries), this year they revised their chocolate bar line under the new Wonka Exceptionals and now they’re introducing some new sugar candy items to the Exceptionals line. The first is called Fruit Marvels which are vaguely described on the packaging as hard candies with soft centers, delicately sugar dusted. They come in three flavors: White Grape, Pomegranate and Clementine Orange.

There are two formats for the packages. The first is the tins, which hold 1.9 ounces (14 pieces) and retail for $1.99. Though that’s a little expensive, there’s a second more cost effective option which is the 5 ounce box which retails for $2.99 (and you can refill the tin).

Wonka Fruit Marvels - White Grape Packaging

The box is imaginative and quite different from the holographic mylar/plastic of the chocolates. These stand up boxes come in two parts. There’s a tall tab top box with a dizzying purple/lavender design, over that is a sleeve. The sleeve is taped to the box and features little circular cut outs that reveal the patterned box underneath. Like the Wonka Exceptionals Chocolate Pieces, even the UPC code gets Wonka-fied.

Wonka Fruit Marvels - White Grape PackagingInside the box is another package, a long mylar pouch with the candy in it. They’re not marked for the individual flavor, as I discovered later on when I ditched the boxes and carried all three pouches around in a ziploc bag while I was tasting.

The front of the package states Made with Natural Ingredients* and then directs folks to read the list of ingredients to explain the asterisk. Flipping over the box the ingredients are really easy to understand. For the White Grape they were: Dextrose*, Sugar*, Corn Syrup*, Pear Juice Concentrate*, and less than 2% of Modified Corn Starch, Tapioca Dextrin, Natural Flavor*, Tumeric Color, Citric Acid*.

I find this a little confusing ... they’re saying it’s made with natural ingredients, but not saying that all of the ingredients are natural. (So just about all food products would qualify under this “Made with Natural Ingredients” thing.) I appreciate that they’re not saying that highly processed ingredients like modified food starch is natural, but I’d prefer if they just said “made with real fruit juice but no artificial flavors or colors” and left it at that. Both Clementine & Pomegranate have Carmine coloring, which is a natural coloring derived from insects but of course not considered vegetarian/vegan, may be an allergen for some sensitive folks and is not kosher/halal.

Wonka Fruit Marvels Pomegranate Tin

The Pomegranate Fruit Marvels tin is simple. Inside are tucked over a dozen little candies. The tin is about 3.5 inches in diameter and just shy of an inch thick - a little big to tuck in a pocket. There’s a piece of waxed paper cushion on the bottom and on the top. The tin is easy to open and close, but stays closed so I wouldn’t worry so much about this coming open in the bottom of your bag.

They’re about .75 inches in diameter with a sugar sanded coating and soft coloring. The candies are really a puzzle at first. I didn’t understand what they were by the description, but I guess that’s why they called them Marvels.

Wonka Fruit Marvels - Pomegranate

The outside is a hard candy shell, it’s made of dextrose like SweeTarts, but it’s not compressed like other powder candies, instead it’s panned (added as a liquid layer that forms a hardened glaze after many coats). Inside is a firm and flavorful jelly. It’s like a super jelly bean in a way but remember that the shell is very thick.

When I first popped it into my mouth I thought it would be like a Gobstopper, many flavored layers and then a jelly ball in the middle, but it is actually faithful to the scale on the package. I tried sucking on them first. The sugar sanding is rough at first but that dissolves away quickly to the shell. The shell is dextrose (glucose) so it has a slightly cooling effect and it has a kind of thinness to the sweet note instead of the round syrup sweetness of sucrose (sugar). Eventually there’s a little hint of the floral berry flavors of pomegranate. There’s a layer just between the jelly center and the shell that has a little burst of sour.

Wonka Fruit Marvels - PomegranateI pulled quite a few of the candies apart. I found I preferred biting them to letting them dissolve. It’s not advisable to just crunch them up at first until you gain some experience at it, I think letting them warm and dissolve a little helps.

You can see the thickness of the shell here and how it’s dense but kind of crumbly.

The jelly center is complex. It’s smooth and thick, it’s also nicely flavored without being too sweet or tangy. Though I don’t think any candies really capture pomegranate flavor well, these are still an excellent flavor no matter what it’s called. It’s more raspberry to me - floral and jammy.

The sanding isn’t messy, no sticky fingers, but there is a bit of sugar dust in the bottom of the tins or the bags which can get everywhere.

Wonka Fruit Marvels - Clementine Orange

The Clementine Orange Fruit Marvels sounded really good. I love citrus and the less-common oranges often have wonderful notes that make things so much more interesting than just eating spoonfuls of Tang drink mix. Clementines are a tasty little citrus, they’re easy to peel and are usually seedless - they have the tangy profile and juicy taste of a tangerine.

The outside sanded shell doesn’t give much indication of the flavor inside, just a soft orange color.

Wonka Fruit Marvels - Clementine Orange

The flavor is truly like a tangerine. There are bold juice and citric acid notes but there’s also a really good zest component that sets it apart from straight-laced orange. There’s no bitter or lingering orange peel aftertaste though.

The White Grape Fruit Marvels are nearly colorless on the outside but a little on the yellow side after cracked open. (They were devilish to photograph, but I think you get the idea with the other two.) White grape was always one of my favorite fruit juices as a kid, so I’m very familiar with the flavor. This is extremely faithful. There’s a concord grape note to it, but also a brighter and lighter feeling to it, a little like champagne.

All three flavors are distinct and faithful to their profiles. The candy itself is unique, I’ve never had anything quite like it before so I give Wonka high marks for not just regurgitating the ordinary with a frivolous name and funny packaging. I like the concept of the boxes and that they’re more cost effective than the tins but still $3 for 5 ounces of sugar candy is on the high side, even for something that doesn’t have artificial flavors/colors. Also, the amount of packaging is silly, the outer sleeve could easily disappear without losing the feeling of upscale decadence.

I’m a little unclear about the target market for these, I’m guessing they’re not for little children like many other Wonka products lately like Kazoozles. Perhaps they’re targeting young adults, especially since the tins are great for sharing. They might also appeal to folks who want an intense flavorful indulgence without too many calories. Since they’re all sugar there’s no fat and each piece is about 12 calories. The tin makes each piece feel rather special. (Honestly, it seems like the target market is for grown ups for never quite grew up, which would be me.)

I like where Wonka is going lately.

These are in limited release right now, they’re available exclusively at WalMart stores until June 2010 when they’ll start appearing at Target. The candies are made in Mexico.

Related Candies

  1. Wonka Exceptionals Scrumdiddlyumptious
  2. Big Tex Giant Jelly Beans
  3. Wonka Kazoozles: Cherry Punch & Pink Lemonade
  4. Jelly Belly Sunkist Citrus Mix
  5. Wonka Tinglerz & Nestle Buncha Crunch
  6. Gimbal’s Lavaballs
  7. Wonka Sour Nerds


Name: Wonka Fruit Marvels
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Nestle
Place Purchased: samples from Wonka
Price: $2.99 retail
Size: 5 ounces for box & 1.9 ounces for tins
Calories per ounce: 99
Categories: Nestle, Hard Candy & Lollipops, Jelly Candy, 8-Tasty, Mexico

POSTED BY Cybele AT 12:16 pm     CandyReviewNestleHard Candy & LollipopsJelly Candy8-TastyMexicoComments (22)

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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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Which seasonal candy selection do you prefer?

Choose one or more:

  •   Halloween
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ON DECK

These candies will be reviewed shortly:

• Patric Chocolate

• Amano Chocolates

• Candy Rant: Stimulants are not Energy

• Candy Encyclopedia: The Difference Between Gummi and Jelly

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

 

 

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