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Mexico

Monday, August 23, 2010

Arcor Whisper

I picked up a handful of these enigmatic peanut butter bonbons in Ohio at the Dollar General Store. I really had no idea what they were, but at 33 cents each it was hardly a gamble.

Whisper Peanut Butter Bonbon

I was concerned they wouldn’t travel well, but they did surprisingly well considering the mileage and temperature/humidity variations.

I had to take the wrapper off completely to find out exactly what they’re called and who makes them. They’re called Milk Chocolate Bonbon Whisper. They’re made by Arcor in Mexico. Now, I’m not a huge fan of Arcor’s chocolate candy. But since I already had these in hand I tried to keep an open mind.

Not only is the package vague, but it also leaves out the most important part about this candy, the peanut butter. The domed chocolate pieces are about 1.5 inches in diameter. Nicely formed, they’re glossy and rather cute. I picked up four of them and three made it back in good shape (and even the smashed one was still edible).

The construction is simple and rather familiar. There’s a large sphere of peanut butter surrounded by a light wafer then covered in milk chocolate. It reminds me of a New World Ferrero Rocher (swapping peanut butter for hazelnuts). There are no crushed nuts on the outside though.

The piece is about .7 ounces, so about the same heft as a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup. It smells lightly like peanut butter, a little hint of a grassy note instead of the dark roasted flavors of Reese’s. The chocolate looks light and milky, and though I was concerned that it wasn’t real chocolate but the ingredients listed cocoa butter and I think the soybean oil is in the peanut butter filling.

The chocolate isn’t fabulous, it holds everything together and is rather soft, but it’s not overly sweet or grainy. It just doesn’t have much of a cocoa punch. So the focus of the bonbon becomes the center. The peanut butter filling is smooth and fresh. It’s not greasy but feels a little empty at moments, like there’s a filler in it (maybe that soybean oil that’s so high up on the ingredients list). It’s sweet and salty and has a good overall peanut flavor. The crispy wafer is overshadowed a bit but still provides a nice crunch.

The wrapping is just a large piece of mylar. It wraps the piece very well though, even though it’s not completely sealed. The ingredients and manufacturing information was nearly impossible to read. The mylar is gold and the printing is blue. I ended up taking photos of the info and then blowing it up on the computer and adjusting the levels in order to read it.

It’s an odd little candy. It’s a great idea, but it lacked a bit of oomph and balance of textures with the flavors. It needs better chocolate and I think it could use little bit more crunch. But the price is certainly decent and the originality of the candy is a plus.

Related Candies

  1. Nestle Butterfinger Snackerz
  2. Trader Joe’s PB & J Bar
  3. ReeseSticks (Revisit)
  4. Lindt Lindor Truffle Eggs
  5. Peruvian Candies
  6. Garfield’s Chocobites


Name: Whisper
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Arcor
Place Purchased: Dollar General (Youngstown, OH)
Price: $.33
Size: .7 ounces
Calories per ounce: unknown
Categories: Candy, Arcor, Chocolate, Cookie, Peanuts, 6-Tempting, Mexico

POSTED BY Cybele AT 1:55 pm     CandyReviewArcorChocolateCookiePeanuts6-TemptingMexicoComments (19)

Friday, May 28, 2010

Nestle Butterfinger Snackerz

Butterfinger SnackerzNew Nestle Butterfinger Snackerz are crispy bite-size candies with a smooth Butterfinger-flavored center.

They come in a rather petite package, it weighs only 1.28 ounces, which is a pretty remarkable difference compared to the standard Butterfinger bar which clocks in at 2.1 ounces. Of course that does mean that there are fewer calories per serving, here a bag is only 170 calories (133 per ounce) while a bar is 270 calories (129 per ounce).

The package is a simple pouch, a little taller than a bag of M&Ms and in a bright yellow and orange with blue accents.

Butterfinger Snackerz

The Snackerz look every bit as appealing as the actual Butterfinger bar. They’re a bit chalky and smell like sugar and fake butter. They’re about 1.25 inches long and .75 to 1.00 inches wide. They’re decorated with little zags of orange icing confection. They’re an irregular puff shape, there’s a little pocket of Butterfinger creme in there.

Butterfinger Snackerz

The crunch is like a sweet version of Fritos or a breakfast cereal. Inside the sweets, salty and buttery flavored cream has a little hint of roasted nuts. The cereal and peanut butter combination is fun and different enough. The mockolate coating is a joke, it’s fresh so there’s no hint of rancid cocoa or anything that I get from Butterfingers now and then. But there’s no rich cocoa to go with it.

A few years ago I tried something called Butterfinger Stixx, which were a little wafer tube filled with a similar creme, but the difference there was that they were covered in real milk chocolate. That was a great idea. This is mediocre at best ... a smaller portion than most candies offer at this price but sub par ingredients.

After seeing what Nestle did with the Wonka line to create products with better ingredients, this is just plain disappointing. I know they can do better.

Made in Mexico, no Kosher statement on the package.

Related Candies

  1. Baby Ruth Crisp & Nestle Crisp Bars
  2. ReeseSticks (Revisit)
  3. Whoppers Reese’s Peanut Butter Flavored Candy
  4. Twix PB
  5. Butterfinger Stixx


Name: Butterfinger Snackerz
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Nestle
Place Purchased: sample from Sweets & Snacks Expo
Price: $.89 retail
Size: 1.28 ounces
Calories per ounce: 133
Categories: Candy, Nestle, Cookie, Mockolate, Peanuts, 4-Benign, Mexico

POSTED BY Cybele AT 6:46 pm     CandyReviewNestleCookieMockolatePeanuts4-BenignMexicoComments (10)

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)

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)

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Wonka SweeTarts Jelly Beans 2010

Wonka SweeTarts Jelly BeansWonka introduced a line of jelly beans back in 2006 (original review). They were matte, opaque pastel jelly beans with a strange grainy shell but familiar SweeTart flavors.

This year the product seems to have been reformulated, though there’s no mention of it on the package which is also redesigned. Readers alerted me that they were different this year.

The 2010 version of SweeTart Jelly Beans are more vibrant and come in the current SweeTart flavors of Cherry, Lemon, Grape, Blue Punch, Green Apple and Orange.

Wonka SweeTarts Jelly Beans

I noticed the color difference before I even took the bag home. They’re more opaque and shinier with consistent colors. They’re at once familiar and a little different.

The version I’ve had before had a grainy and cool-to-the-tongue shell. When I saw these and remembered the comments, I was wondering if Wonka was just using the Spree Jelly Beans which have a harder shell.

Wonka SweeTarts Jelly BeansThe shell is more crisp than the previous version and the flavors seem a little more distinct and intense. They also seem to be more faithful to the flavors of the chalky original SweeTarts disks. But what’s missing is probably the tangy hit that the real SweeTarts have.

As you’ll notice, I found quite a few abnormal ones in my bag. These were a few that had distinctive shapes, quite a few were just larger than what I’d call normal or smaller than what I would have thought should be the target. They all tasted fine - the narrow ones obviously had more shell to them proportionally.

Wonka SweeTarts Jelly Beans - RejectsThey’re still nice - the grape is much better as it is tangier now. I enjoyed the citrus flavors even though they weren’t particularly sour. Green apple is okay, though bland and I usually pick out the cherry and blue punch ones but if I ate them it’s not the end of the world.

In the end, the update is definitely different but I wouldn’t call it an improvement. I think it brings them more in line with what I’d expect from a product extension but still not as good as actual SweeTarts. Now if they could only do the SweeTarts Chicks, Ducks & Bunnies with all the flavors of SweeTarts we’d have something to talk about.

The versions I’ve tried before (2007 & 2008) were made in Canada. This bag was made in Mexico. There are no allergen statements on the bag, so they may be nut free/gluten free and contain no animal-derived products.

Related Candies

  1. Lemonhead & Friends Jelly Beans
  2. Big Tex Giant Jelly Beans
  3. Hot Tamales Spice Jelly Beans
  4. Smarties Jelly Beans
  5. Wonka Nerds Jelly Beans
  6. Lifesavers Jellybeans
Name: SweeTarts Jelly Beans
    RATING:
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 6 TEMPTING
  • 5 PLEASANT
  • 4 BENIGN
  • 3 UNAPPEALING
  • 2 APPALLING
  • 1 INEDIBLE
Brand: Nestle
Place Purchased: Rite Aid (Echo Park)
Price: $1.50
Size: 14 ounces
Calories per ounce: 95
Categories: Jelly, Sour, Mexico, Nestle, Easter

POSTED BY Cybele AT 11:42 am     Comments (5)

Monday, October 19, 2009

Farley’s Harvest Mix

Farley's Harvest MixCandy Corn haters probably think all candy corn is alike. And for the most part it is. It’s just a very sweet fondant lovingly crafted to resemble a stylized piece of field corn.

There are dozens of new version that are flavored, but by far the most popular and best selling is the classic stuff that comes in the Harvest Mix of mellocreme items.

Farley’s is an old company, making candy under the Farley’s name since 1891. They’ve distinguished themselves by making a huge variety of generic and popular candies such as gumdrops, candy coated peanuts and hard candies. In 1996 Farley Candy Company merged with Sathers Candy Company, a company with a strong distribution arm to become Favorite Brands International. In 1999, Nabisco bought up Favorite Brands and then within a year Kraft Foods purchased Nabisco. Then in 2002 Kraft Foods sold off Farley’s Candy Company and Sathers Candy Company which became Farley’s & Sathers Candy Company, Inc. Since then Farley’s and Sathers has swallowed up a few other candy companies, most recently Brach’s in 2007. Other brands include the classic Fruit Stripe Gum, Heide, Now and Later, Trolli Gummis, Super Bubble and Bob’s.

Farley's Harvest Mix

I found this Farley’s Harvest Mix at the Dollar Tree. The Harvest Mix (or Autumn Mix) is usually a combination of Candy Corn, Indian Corn and Mellocreme Pumpkins. This is no different. I found the bag a little odd. It’s a pretty big bag, and I think that 9 ounces for a buck is a good value, but the bar seemed barely half full. 

Farley's Harvest Mix - Candy CornFarley’s Candy Corn is made in Mexico, as is Brach’s ... which as I mentioned earlier (if you didn’t skip that paragraph) is now owned by Farley’s & Sathers, so I have to wonder if it’s just the same stuff. Both are made with honey and both contain gelatin (most other brands of fondant type candies are made with egg whites).

They look very much the same (well, most candy corn looks the same). I wouldn’t call the attention to detail fantastic, some were smudgy at the margins of the colors, others were of course shortened two color or one color versions. But the general flavor of them was a smooth and sweet dissolve. The texture is only slightly grainy and satisfyingly dense with a light moisture to it to keep it from being completely crumbly.

The honey note is noticeable as is a little hint of salt, which keeps the sweetness in check.

Farley's Harvest Mix - Indian CornThe Indian Corn from Farley’s is definitely not the same as Brach’s or any else that I’ve photographed to date.

Instead of three color stripes, there are only two here. A deep brown base and an orange top.

The brown base has a light cocoa flavor but the orange top seems less like the traditional candy corn. It doesn’t have that little bit of salt or honey flavor. It’s just bland and sweet. There’s not enough of the cocoa to balance out all that sweetness, so this Indian Corn, though it has a nice texture, is just too sweet.

I also got a little bit of a bitter aftertaste from it, which I suspected was from the food coloring. (More orange means more Red #40.)

Farley's Harvest Mix - Mellocreme PumpkinThese little pumpkins are quite cute. They’re nicely made, I found virtually all of them to be well formed, without bubbles or uneven bottoms.

The green stem and deep creases give them a nicely stylized look of real pumpkins. (If real pumpkins were smaller than your thumb and had flat bottoms.)

Like most other Mellocremes, these are just a dense sugar fondant. The flavor isn’t as pronounced or salty as the corn, so it’s all sugar. The texture is extra smooth, as the centers are quite soft.

But the sweet is simply too electric for me. It shoots bolts straight through my teeth and into my brain, leaving me feeling weary and abused after eating a half. There’s also the orange aftertaste, a lingering metallic note.

UPDATE: I talked to a representative at Farley’s & Sathers who confirmed that the Farley’s Candy Corn & mixes are now the same as the Brach’s. (They kept the Brach’s recipe.) So there you go ... I just re-reviewed the same product.

Related Candies

  1. Toffee Flavored Chocolate Covered Candy Corn
  2. Halloween Dots: Bat, Candy Corn & Ghost
  3. Brach’s Chocolate Candy Corn & Halloween Mix
  4. Milk Maid Caramel Apple Candy Corn
  5. Candy Corn Kisses
  6. Gourmet Goodies Candy Corn
  7. Brach’s Autumn Mix
Name: Harvest Mix
    RATING:
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 6 TEMPTING
  • 5 PLEASANT
  • 4 BENIGN
  • 3 UNAPPEALING
  • 2 APPALLING
  • 1 INEDIBLE
Brand: Farley's (Farley's & Sathers)
Place Purchased: Dollar Tree (Harbor City)
Price: $1.00
Size: 9 ounces
Calories per ounce: 109
Categories: Fondant, Mexico, Farley's and Sathers, Halloween

POSTED BY Cybele AT 9:05 am     Comments (13)

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Brach’s Gummi Candy Corn

Brach's Gummi Candy CornLast year I spotted Brach’s Gummi Candy Corn but it came in an insanely huge nearly two pound bag and I had to admit that I just wasn’t curious enough to bring home 30 ounces. I was hoping they’d come out in a smaller mixed bag, but I still haven’t seen them sold that way.

What’s cool though is that this 54 treat pack bag has each little portion already sealed up. (This is a general problem with most candy corn sold in stores - it’s not good for handing out for Trick or Treat.)

Brach’s makes pretty good gummis, more in the American tradition of the super-soft but also very juicy. I flipped over the package to find out about the ingredients on this one as was pleased to see fruit juice on there ... but curiously I didn’t see gelatin. These aren’t gummis at all ... they’re a jelly candy. Which is disappointing on one hand for someone hoping for some fun little rubbery candy corns ... but good news for folks who eschew those sorts of animal products.

Each little mixed package holds a random assortment of the four flavors and holds about 15 grams though I found that some had as few as 5 candies and other had more than 10.

Phantom Pineapple Orange Gummi Candy CornPhantom Pineapple Orange

They’re the standard shape and size of candy corn, maybe a little slimmer and the jelly seems to hold a point. They’re a bit matte but also translucent, so it’s an odd effect, like they’re made of beach glass.

The texture is a chewy jelly, not too sticky but it doesn’t have that bite that gummis have.

Each layer is actually different flavors. The top is orange - a general light & tangy citrus without much zest. The base is pineapple. Again, a nice punch flavor but not too deep or complex. Eaten together it’s much more like a tropical punch, and not really a great effect for me.

Ghostly Grape Punch Gummi Candy CornGhostly Grape Punch

The color of these was definitely like frosted glass. The grape flavor had a bit of a cherry note to it, but that could just be proximity.

I got a burning feeling in the back of my throat, a little effervescent note after I was done. Not my favorite of the bunch.

Like most jelly candies there were little bits left in the corners of my teeth when I was done.

Scary Cherry Gummi Candy CornScary Cherry

This cherry seemed to dominate every package I found.

It’s like cough drops. Each layer is the same, but the top pink part is less about the food coloring and more about the medicinal woodsy cherry punch.

Honestly, I liked them more than the grape. I didn’t feel the need to pick around them.

Bizarre Berry Kiwi Gummi Candy CornBizarre Berry Kiwi

I don’t know why berries and kiwi get lumped together as flavor combinations so often. This color combo is rather odd - not that I haven’t combined these colors in outfits in the past.

As a flavor kiwi is a little bit melon and a little bit citrus ... and mostly bland. The berry side is similarly like punch but has some strawberry notes.

It was the mellowest of the flavors and actually went well combined with the others.

On the whole the mixture is fun. It’s vegan (unlike actual candy corn which usually has eggs in it) so for kids who avoid gelatin/egg products, this is a fun & colorful mainstream looking product. However, the package says that it’s processed on equipment that also handles the top allergens: eggs, wheat, milk, peanuts, tree nuts & soy.

Related Candies

  1. Puffy Candy Corn
  2. Toffee Flavored Chocolate Covered Candy Corn
  3. Halloween Dots: Bat, Candy Corn & Ghost
  4. Milk Maid Caramel Apple Candy Corn
  5. Candy Corn Kisses
  6. Gourmet Goodies Candy Corn
Name: Brach's Gummi Candy Corn
    RATING:
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 6 TEMPTING
  • 5 PLEASANT
  • 4 BENIGN
  • 3 UNAPPEALING
  • 2 APPALLING
  • 1 INEDIBLE
Brand: Brach's (Farley's & Sathers)
Place Purchased: samples from CandyWarehouse.com
Price: unknown
Size: 30 ounces
Calories per ounce: 103
Categories: Jelly, Mexico, Brach's, Farley's & Sathers, Halloween

POSTED BY Cybele AT 11:57 am     Comments (7)

Monday, August 24, 2009

King Leo Dark Chocolate Crunchy Patties

Dark Chocolate Peppermint Crunchy PattiesKing Leo is known for their mint sticks. Currently their branching out a bit and have a few new items. One is a line of Dark Chocolate Crunchy Patties in different flavors.

They feature dark chocolate and a fondant cream center, but the unique selling proposition here is crushed hard candy bits to give them a little crunch.

They come in a cute gable box. I liked it’s simplicity - it’s just a paperboard box, but looks cute and befits the classic contents. Inside the box is a cellophane bag with the chocolates ... not quite as elegant, but I’m sure much more efficient than the trays that Turtles usually come in.

I tried the Peppermint variety first.

peppermintcreams

They smell clean and minty with a little note of cocoa. While they’re called patties, they’re really not flat at all, they’re like a half-round candy.

The chocolate is very thick but nicely tempered with a good crack but doesn’t flake too much. The candy crunches are mixed in with the chocolate coating (pretty much just on the top).

The cream center is a mellow and smooth fondant - softer than a York Peppermint Pattie but firmer than the gooey version inside Junior Mints. The package shows that the center is pink, thankfully it’s uncolored.

The mint is quite powerful and lingering. Each piece is pretty sizable too - about 3/4 of an ounce. So it’s a good portion, it feels decadent and satisfying - and also comforting since it’s not terribly fussy.

The chocolate isn’t quite as creamy smooth as I would have liked, but it is real and if it weren’t for the egg white they used in the fondant these would be vegan.

Rating: 7 out of 10

Dark Chocolate Lemon Crunchy PattiesThe next variety on my list is the Lemon.

The package is similarly themed with vertical stripes, this one obviously going with yellow. As an array the four varieties are quite attractive.

One of the issues of tossing enrobed chocolates into a bag like this is that they get a little scuffed up. These were shipped to me by Quality Candy, the company that runs King Leo these days, so they may be more bumped around than what you’d get in a store. (I haven’t seen these in stores yet but they’re supposed to retail for about $6.00 for a 6 ounce package.)

lemoncreams

Unlike the Peppermint, these barely betrayed their cream flavor. They smelled a little like citrus oils, but mostly like sweet chocolate.

The centers of the lemon version were pastel yellow. The cream center is both tangy and sweet with a good pop of zest to go with it. The crunch in the chocolate and the comforting lemon flavor was pleasant and definitely different. The dark chocolate actually went very well with the lemon in this case - I got the distinct flavors of both without one winning out.

The cocoa flavors of the chocolate aren’t the most complex, but they stand well to the lemony notes.

Rating: 7 out of 10

Dark Chocolate Orange Crunchy PattiesThe Orange package has smart looking two-toned orange stripes that set off the chocolate photos and the gold logo much better than the other varieties.

I’m a sucker for orange and chocolate, especially orange and dark chocolate. But I admit that I was a bit dubious of the Orange ones going in, because I thought they were going to be more like an orange hard candy mash-up with some chocolate than a fine cream.

Opening the inner cellophane package, these smell like cocoa and a bit like peppery orange.

orangecreams

Like the lemon, the orange creams are tinted and slightly tangy.

The orange and dark chocolate goes well together and has a nice blend of both the citrus oils and the juicy orange notes. These were by far the crunchiest of the patties I had, which was quite refreshing.

I rather liked these two citrus varieties, especially as a summer chocolate treat because they didn’t seem as sickly sweet.

Rating: 7 out of 10

Dark Chocolate Raspberry Crunchy PattiesThe last package was Raspberry with riotous pink and magenta stripes & accents.

Quite simply, these smelled strongly of raspberry. It wasn’t so much that it felt artificial, it was simply that it was strong.

When I took the photos, I had a little dish of my sample pieces that I usually enjoy after dinner. In this case I had the little dish sitting by me in the living room. I ate the orange and lemon ones, but left this one sitting there overnight (the bitten one, I ended up putting the whole ones away for later). Well, the next morning I came down to the living room and couldn’t believe that one little candy could actually scent a room that size.

raspberrycreams

Scent aside, they’re cute and a little flatter than the others. The center also seemed firmer and crumblier than the others.

It has the same light tangy quality and the interesting combination of the creamy and bittersweet chocolate with the crunchy candy bits. Overall it was far too much raspberry for me, but I enjoyed the simulation of raspberry seeds with the hard candy.

Rating: 5 out of 10

King Leo was founded in 1901 and is thought to be the oldest trademarked candy brand in the United States. They were bought out by Quality Candy Company in 2000. At that time the brand was just a line of peppermint sticks (three versions), since then Quality Candy has expanded the flavors and variety of products. They’re made in state of the art facility in Tijuana, Mexico. (You can read more about it in this trade magazine article - warning PDF.)

Overall I liked them, but find the price point a little steep ... but then again looking over the ingredients they haven’t mucked it up with too many unwholesome things - yeah, artificial flavors, but it’s real chocolate and real vanilla. The initial offering of flavors is a good variety without being too weird so I expect them to do well.

Quality Candy sent me a huge box with one package of pretty much everything they make ... and I’m pretty sure they sent similar samples to other blogs, so expect to see a lot people talking about them for the next few weeks.

Candy Addict starts with their Choco-Crisps, Candy Yum Yum had some heat issues and put her Crunchy Patties in the fridge and is giving some away, Todo Candy has a great video that shows how humungo this box was.

Related Candies

  1. Rogers’ Chocolates Victoria Creams
  2. Christmas Mint Round Up
  3. Cream Drops versus Creme Drops
  4. Junior Mints Deluxe
  5. Cadbury Orange Creme Eggs
Name: Dark Chocolate Crunchy Patties: Peppermint, Lemon, Orange & Raspberry
    RATING:
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 6 TEMPTING
  • 5 PLEASANT
  • 4 BENIGN
  • 3 UNAPPEALING
  • 2 APPALLING
  • 1 INEDIBLE
Brand: King Leo (Quality Candy Company)
Place Purchased: samples from Quality Candy
Price: $6.00 retail
Size: 6 ounces
Calories per ounce: 121
Categories: Chocolate, Fondant, Mint, Hard Candy, Quality Candy Co, Mexico

POSTED BY Cybele AT 10:33 am     Comments (5)

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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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