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Mints

Monday, November 1, 2010

Life Savers Pep-O-Mint & Wint-O-Green

LifeSavers PepOMint WintOGreen Throwback PackagingLife Savers were introduced in 1912 by Clarence Crane. They came in one flavor, Pep-O-Mint. Crane made chocolate most of the year but wanted a candy product that could withstand the summer heat and have a long shelf life. So he innovated the Life Saver. At first he was just trying to create a mint disk, similar to a Necco Wafer. But the pill maker he took his contract to had trouble making a plain, thick disk that didn’t fall apart. So they put a little hole in the center to stabilize the production. The look of the little white hoop of candy reminded Crane of the life saver found on boats, so that’s what he named the mint.

Within a could of years Crane sold the company and rights to Life Savers to Edward John Noble who saw the great potential of the candy. They were sold in little cardboard tubes, he streamlined things and packaged them like they’re sold today, in a roll wrapped in waxed paper and foil with a little paper label.

1934.10.15 Time Magazine P057

Noble was an excellent salesman and introduced techniques to his clients, such as telling them to make sure that customers always had at least one nickel in their change and to display the rolls on the counter by the cash register. Life Savers were positioned as an impulse buy. Early packages were all one flavor and consisted of the standard mints (wintergreen & spearmint), cinnamon, violet and even licorice. It wasn’t until 1935 that Life Savers in the Five Flavor roll came out.

In the late 1968s Noble sold the company to E.R. Squibb Corporation (yes, the drug people that later became Bristol-Meyers Squibb who make Plavix and Coumadin) and then they sold to Nabisco Brands Inc in 1981. Nabisco in turn was taken over by Kraft in 2000 and Kraft sold their candy interests including Life Savers off to Wrigley’s in 2004. Wrigley’s was acquired by Mars in 2008.

LifeSavers Pep-O-Mint

Life Savers Pep-O-Mint themselves are simple. A little loop of compressed sugar with some strong peppermint flavoring. It’s all held together with a dash of stearic acid. There are 14 in the standard rolls these days.

Instead of the smoothness of a boiled candy mint, these have a little bit of a chalky texture to them. They’re not as grainy as Altoids (and not as strong) but they’re not as airy and melt-in-your-mouth as Buttermints or After Dinner Mints.

It’s quite a simple little candy. I like to crunch them, but they also dissolve slowly if you’re patient. I’m not patient and can crunch through a whole roll on a drive home from work.

Lifesavers - New & Old  DSC_9443rbJust as Life Savers have gone through plenty of owners, the wrappers have been designed, redesigned and undesigned time and again. The packages I’ve featured in this review are from the new “throwback” release of the Pep-O-Mint and Wint-O-Green rolls that are available in convenience stores. (Here’s one article about the most recent redesign shortly before Mars acquired Wrigley’s.) Here are some more photos of the different designs & flavors of Life Savers over the years.

I like the classic look of these packages, but really it’s the size and shape that probably compels me. It’s the one consistent item no matter what year it is.

LifeSavers WintOGreen Throwback Package

Wint-O-Green Life Savers were introduced in 1919. They’re probably best know because of the cool feature that you can create a luminescent spark when crunching a Wint-O-Green Life Saver. (I can’t capture it with a camera, but here’s a guy who has.)

The flavor is strong and smells therapeutic, like Ben Gay or denture cream ... not like the milder Teaberry Gum or Canada Mints.

They’re smooth but quite aromatic. After eating about half a roll I tend to get a strange numbness, like Cepacol or other topical anesthetics can cause. It’s not all about medicine and therapy though, it reminds me of classic Bazooka Bubble Gum and Root Beer soda.

I don’t really like the smell of wintergreen that much, because of some of the more unpleasant associations with pain relieving rubs, but I do like the strange tingly flavor and how different it is from the standard peppermint or spearmint.

Both flavors are classics and still made in the classic way, though now in Canada where sugar is cheaper. I’m glad Wrigley’s hasn’t mucked around with anything aside from the packaging.

Related Candies

  1. Choward’s Spearmint & Lemon
  2. Musk Beechies Chewing Gum
  3. All Natural Necco Wafers
  4. Canada Wintergreen
  5. VerMints
  6. Lifesaver Musk
  7. Choward’s Violet


Name: Pep-O-Mint
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Wrigley’s
Place Purchased: Circle K (Koreatown)
Price: $1.10
Size: .84 ounces
Calories per ounce: 106
Categories: All Natural, Candy, Wrigley's, Mints, 7-Worth It, Canada


Name: Wint-O-Green
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Wrigley’s
Place Purchased: Circle K (Koreatown)
Price: $1.10
Size: .84 ounces
Calories per ounce: 106
Categories: Candy, Wrigley's, Mints, 7-Worth It, Canada

POSTED BY Cybele AT 3:31 pm     All NaturalCandyReviewWrigley'sMints7-Worth ItCanadaComments (4)

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Bassett’s Mint Favourites

Bassett's Mint FavouritesI picked up this package of Bassett’s Mint Favourites because it looked like a fun bunch of candies that were different from what we have here in the United States. It features: Mint Toffees, Murray Mints, Murray Butter Mints and Everton Mints.

I don’t know much about Murray Mints, so I tried to do a little research. They’ve been around since at least the fifties and were also sold in rolls. They were also one word, Murraymints. I think they were an independent company that made them, I can’t find any reference in their advertisements to Bassett’s or any other company that Bassett’s swallowed up like Trebor or other Cadbury properties.

Murray Mints were known as the too good to hurry mints. Here’s a set of old animated television advertisements.

So what are these classic hard candy mints like?

Bassett's Murray Mints

Bassett’s Murray Mints

The lightest tasting mint of the group, it was also a bit larger. The mint was mild and sweet, the texture of the candy is smooth. There’s a lot of milk in it, so the candy was a cross between a standard boiled hard candy and an American style crunchy toffee. I detected a note of clove in it, which wasn’t that appealing to me, but I appreciated the complex flavor combination of milk, mint and spices.

Bassett's Murray Butter Mint

Bassett’s Murray Butter Mint

An actual buttery hard candy mint, rather like putting milk in a peppermint tea. It’s a little salty and a little like butterscotch. The center of the hard candy has a softer, chewy center. The peppermint is strong but not overpowering. Fresh but a little bit more earthy with the addition of salt and the creamy butter and even a hint of honey. I liked this one better than the classic Murray Mint.

Bassett's Mint Toffee

Bassett’s Mint Toffee

At the store I had a choice of this Mint Favorites mix and just a bag of the Mint Toffee. I figured I’d like the toffee, but I wanted to variety to at least see the whole line of mint favorites. British Toffee is what we refer to as caramel in the United States. It’s usually firm but chewy, but sometimes is the style that’s soft and crumbly. Mostly toffee is in reference to any sugar that’s been boiled to the point of turning the flavor.

The piece is beefy, about an inch and a quarter long. It’s soft on the outside but a bit stiffer at the center (so it needed to warm up to chew). It’s quite buttery and has a strong dairy flavor more like milk or cream and of course an overriding peppermint flavor on top of that. The caramel flavors are a little lost, they can’t stand up to the mint, but the whole effect is still pleasant. The chew is smooth and lasts quite a while. It leaves a fresh feeling at the end.

I’m definitely keen on trying more of the Bassett’s toffee line after this.

Bassett's Everton Mints

Bassett’s Everton Mints

I thought this was going to be a licorice mint. Instead it’s more like a menthol mint, a cough drop flavor. It’s a combination of the peppermint and eucalyptus. It’s strong enough to give me a combination of burning and cooling in the back of my sinuses passages. The candy itself is smooth, with few voids, much nicer than the standard Halls cough drop. The chewy center is a bit more mellow but has a light anise and soft vanilla note.

Overall, a great mix that gives a clear sense of the similarities and differences between North American and British boiled sweets. Good quality and distinctive and ultimately satisfying. They’re all natural, though rather expensive here in the States at $4 for only 7 ounces.

Related Candies

  1. Mandy’s Old Fashioned Confections: Butterscotch & Caramel
  2. Walkers’ Nonsuch Liquorice Toffee
  3. Christmas Mint Round Up
  4. Barley Mint Mentos
  5. Bassett’s Licorice Allsorts
  6. Meiji Chelsea Yogurt Scotch


Name: Bassett’s Mint Favourites
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Cadbury
Place Purchased: Mel & Rose Wine & Liquor
Price: $3.99
Size: 7 ounces
Calories per ounce: 113
Categories: All Natural, Candy, Cadbury, Caramel, Hard Candy & Lollipops, Mints, 7-Worth It, Turkey, United Kingdom

POSTED BY Cybele AT 12:37 pm     All NaturalCandyCadburyCaramelMints7-Worth ItTurkeyUnited KingdomComments (5)

Friday, August 27, 2010

Cedrinca Gran Mix

Cedrinca Gran MixWhile in Illinois last month I visited Caputo’s Market, which boasts a huge selection of candies from all over the world. I tried some Polish candies and also picked up a few mixes of Italian candies from Cedrinca. I’m familiar with the brand as I’ve tasted a few of their mints and fruit candies at Italian restraurants when a handful is usually presented with the bill at the end of the meal. (Usually an Eastern US thing, on the West Coast they just have a bowl by the door.)

Caputo’s had a great selection of Cedrinca but I opted for a mix so I could get to know more of their items. This version is called Gran Mix and says Caramelle ripiene assortite which I took to mean assorted filled candies. And that turned out to be exactly what these are!

Cedrinca boasts that these are all natural candies, no artificial colors, flavors, additives or preservatives. Each candy was also individually wrapped and most were labeled to show what was inside.

Cedrinca Gran Mix

The majority of the mix was a mix of little rod shaped candies. Most were marked on the wrapper what they were.

The first notable one was Menta Ripeno Al Cacao which were a light mint hard candy filled with a chocolate paste. I’ve had a lot of experience with those disappointing starlight mints with the chocolate (why would you finish an excellent meal with a piece of candy like that?) and this was nothing like that. The chocolate filling was a like a fantastic chocolate buttercream. It tasted fresh and creamy and like real cocoa.

Mandorlatte looked the same but was crunchy delight with almonds and milk. It was fascinating, like vanilla pudding distilled into a hard candy. The crunch was almost like the center of a Butterfinger bar, the flavor was sweet and milky but with a hint of lemon and almond. Some had a slightly soft creamy reservoir, others were just the crispy stuff. Either way, I loved them. Fascinating and like nothing else, so of course I pulled those out of the mix to save for later.

The colorful metallic wrappers with the gold swirls on them were fruity, Bonbon Fourre. The outside was softer than the other candies, it was a hard candy but still a little bit on the mushy side. Crunchy into them to get to the jam center was easy. Savored in layers, it was okay, but I preferred to chew the whole thing up to mix the stiff chew of the candy outside with the tart fruity goo inside. They were supposed to be different flavors, but I never really noticed much of a difference. They were all perfectly pleasant but not intense or distinct.

Cedrinca Gran Mix

I don’t know what fruit they were supposed to be. These weren’t labeled, just color coded.

Cedrinca Gran Mix - Caramele Cedrinca Gran Mix - Cafe Espresso Cedrinca Gran Mix - Cappuccino

Caramella (peach wrapper) - a light, rather white large filled hard candy. It looked like the one above, but completely uncolored. The hard candy shell was lightly tart and vaguely fruity. The gooey jam filling was nondescript. It wasn’t citrus, perhaps it was peach. Tangy, very sweet but not very flavorful. I got another one that was in a purple wrapper that was also simply marked Caramella. It looked just the same (no artificial colors here, in fact, I don’t think they used any colorings on the candies themselves). The filling was a light yellow color and reminded me of red currant.

Cedrinca Gran Mix - Espresso

Espresso this was the variety of this format that I got the most of. The candy shell was the darkest of the three though it didn’t smell like anything at all.

Cedrinca Gran Mix - EspressoInside the candy was a thick coffee tar. It was a lightly grainy paste that tasted just like the sludge at the bottom of a coffee pot left on the warmer over the weekend. Yes, it was bitter and a little sweet, but also a bit burnt like charcoal. It was a curious candy, because it didn’t really please me, yet I kept eating them.

Cappuccino - the candy shell was crisper and had an excellent crunch. The candy shells was lightly coffee flavored, but mostly sweet. The filling was very interesting, it was a frothy sweet, slightly salty cream with little shards of bitter coffee hard candy. The combination of textures is fun and the light coffee flavor did give me the impression of a cappuccino with lots of sugar in it.

I’m a huge fan of assortments like this. It’s a great way to sample the whole line of products and narrow in on what you like before taking the leap of a full bag. The price is a little steep for sugar candy, but the fact that they’re all natural and that many were unique help to offset that. It’s a low-risk/medium-reward purchase. I think if I were to buy them again, I’d focus in on the Mandorlatte and Cappuccino. (Both were available at Caputo’s as single flavor packages.) I picked up a chocolate variety too, called Puccini that I’m still working my way through.

Related Candies

  1. Krowki: Polish Cream Fudge
  2. William diCarlo Perle di dolcezza
  3. Marich All Natural Holland Mints & Chocolate Jordan Almonds
  4. Pralus Creme de Noisette
  5. Puntini Jujubes - Frutti Tropicali


Name: Gran Mix
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Cedrinca
Place Purchased: Caputo's Market (St. Charles, Il)
Price: $2.29
Size: 5.25 ounces
Calories per ounce: 109
Categories: All Natural, Candy, Coffee, Hard Candy & Lollipops, Mints, Nuts, 7-Worth It, Italy

POSTED BY Cybele AT 2:26 pm     All NaturalCandyCoffeeHard Candy & LollipopsMintsNuts7-Worth ItItalyComments (5)

Monday, August 9, 2010

Choward’s Spearmint & Lemon

Choward's Lemon & Spearmint

While many mints these days are touting how strong they are or that they’re sugar free, the Choward’s line just plugs away at the same mildly-flavored line. They’re not easy to find, so when I spotted these at the Albanese Candy Factory Outlet, I grabbed both the Choward’s Spearmint and Lemon. They have classic textured foil wrappers and list that there are 15 mints in the package.

DSC_7443rbChoward’s Spearmint are plain white, the ingredients list no colorings. The little squares are are nicely formed. They’re about 2/3 of an inch square and have an excellent embossed Choward’s logo across the center on both sides. They stack easily and have a pleasant texture of unglazed fine bone china.

The spearmint is completely mild. It’s sweet ... much sweeter than I expected. Since they’re made with actual sugar instead of dextrose, it’s noticeable. (Dextrose or glucose is said to have only 74% of the sweetness of sucrose.) Since it’s not very minty, it’s hard to pay attention to anything but the sweetness. But I suppose maybe it’s a good deal - you get more sweetness for the same number of calories.

I found them fun to eat, but really not much for a long-lasting minty freshness. As a breath freshener, well, they didn’t make things worse. Just a little sweet pick-me-up. I can see them going well with mild drinks like tea.

Choward's Lemon

The Choward’s Lemon is a bit more of a curiosity. The ingredients are interesting in that the flavoring is just oil of lemon and citric acid (for tartness). I was expecting a bit of a lemon mint, instead it’s kind of like a SweeTart.

The crunch is smooth and hard and like the Spearmint, it’s quite sweet. But the citric acid gives it a little sour kick. The lemon oil is zesty and certainly more complex than SweeTarts. They less grainy texture took a little getting used to. Ultimately they were just too sweet for a sour chalky candy (I guess that’s why I like the dextrose-based ones) but I liked the texture quite a bit.

Related Candies

  1. Choward’s Guava
  2. All Natural Necco Wafers
  3. Spearmint Leaves
  4. Pastiglie Leone
  5. SweeTarts: Chicks, Ducks & Bunnies (2006)
  6. Choward’s Violet


Name: Choward’s Spearmint
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Choward’s
Place Purchased: Albanese Candy Factory Outlet (Merrilville, IN)
Price: $.90
Size: .875 ounces
Calories per ounce: 113
Categories: Candy, C. Howard Co., Compressed Dextrose, Mints, 7-Worth It, United States


Name: Choward’s Lemon
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Choward’s
Place Purchased: Albanese Candy Factory Outlet (Merrilville, IN)
Price: $.90
Size: .875 ounces
Calories per ounce: 113
Categories: Candy, C. Howard Co., Compressed Dextrose, Mints, 7-Worth It, United States

POSTED BY Cybele AT 3:10 pm     CandyC. Howard Co.Compressed DextroseMints7-Worth ItUnited StatesComments (3)

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Tic Tac Power Mint & Green Apple

Tic Tac  Power Mint & Green AppleStarting this month there are two new Tic Tac flavors on store shelves. Tic Tac Power Mint and Tic Tac Green Apple.

Tic Tacs are the world’s #1 selling breath mint. (Though really, only two of the current five regular flavors are mints, the rest are fruity.) They’ve been made in dozens of flavors and color combinations over the years, these new flavors are pretty ordinary but then again probably necessary.

They’re both exceptionally summery colors - bright green and aqua blue.

Tic Tac Big Pack - Power Mint & Green Apple

The samples I got were in the “Big Pack” which isn’t really that big, all things considered in the realm of candy portions. They’re one ounce of Tic Tacs in a clear plastic dispenser.

Tic Tac Power Mint

A few years ago Ferrero introduced Tic Tac Bold! They were stronger versions of Tic Tacs and came in translucent instead of clear plastic containers. They were good - obviously stronger than the regular Tic Tacs and meant to compete with Altoids. But the texture was different and they didn’t catch on.

This new Power Mint Tic Tac comes in the same packaging as the other Tic Tacs, which is great as far as I’m concerned since there’s no need to put them in a different box.

The blue color is inviting, though unnecessary. The regular white Freshmint has a light start with a vague anise note. The Powermint starts out that way as well, though goes to a strong peppermint much quicker. The mint is very strong, one Tic Tac goes a great job of powering through coffee breath. They’re not terribly sweet or chalky, just a quick chew to disperse the minty flavor. Sucking on them, they still dissolve the same however I got a very strong blast of mint there in the initial layers that burns.

Tic Tac Green Apple

Green Apple Tic Tac are surprising first of all because I thought there were green apples all along.

The texture starts with the same slick, smooth and cool shell. Then it gets a little tangy and a little flavorful underneath. I had especial trouble just letting these dissolve, I had to crunch them. The green apple flavor is exactly what you’d expect from a fake fruit. It’s sweet, chemical and lightly tangy. There’s no weird aftertaste but also not much freshening power to it. They don’t go with a lot of foods, like mint or coffee. But after an onion bagel, this might be a nice break.

Neither are my favorite Tic Tacs. I prefer the classic Freshmint and miss Cinnamon.

Related Candies

  1. Tic Tac Pink Grapefruit
  2. Cool Honey Altoids
  3. Twilight Sweethearts: Forbidden Fruits
  4. Mini Mentos: Orange, Apple, Lemon & Strawberry
  5. VerMints
  6. Tic Tac Bold!


Name: Tic Tac Power Mint
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Ferrero
Place Purchased: sample from Sweets & Snacks Expo
Price: $1.39 retail
Size: 1 ounce
Calories per ounce:
Categories: Ferrero, Mints, 7-Worth It, Canada


Name: Tic Tac Green Apple
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Ferrero
Place Purchased: sample from Sweets & Snacks Expo
Price: $1.39 retail
Size: 1 ounce
Calories per ounce:
Categories: Ferrero, 6-Tempting, Canada

POSTED BY Cybele AT 1:34 pm     CandyFerreroMints6-Tempting7-Worth ItCanadaComments (3)

Monday, April 26, 2010

Mint Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Bites

Mint Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough BitesThe box for Mint Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Bites says New! in the corner, but I know these have been around for at least 18 months. There’s no expiry date on the package, but the fact that I haven’t seen them at the drug store before gives me hope that they’re fresh. They certainly looked and smelled fresh.

The product itself references several other confections. The original Cookie Dough Bites are little soft and chewy bits of “cookie”, like eating uncooked dough without the chance of salmonella since they’re egg free. To make them a little easier to eat they’re covered in chocolate. In this new version they’re Mint Chocolate Chip, which is not a cookie flavor but is actually an ice cream flavor. Of course cookie dough is also an ice cream flavor now. Everything is an ice cream flavor now. If it’s not, watch some Iron Chef, I’m sure it’ll turn up there.

The box isn’t very attractive, though at least it stood out from the other Cookie Dough Bites varieties because this one is green, which means mint. I don’t care for the sheer number of fonts on the front (at least 6)  while the back is even worse.

Mint Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Bites

The nuggets are little discs of “cookie dough” covered in milk chocolate. They’re nicely panned but not so highly glazed so they’re waxy (though there is a little shellac coat on there that’s hardly noticeable). They’re about the size of a peanut but of course some are larger or smaller - some are conjoined twins.

They’re called mint chocolate chip and the image on the package shows the cookie middles with little chocolate chips but I never saw any. I bit many in half, but there was no indication of chocolate chips in mine. They’re covered in a milk chocolate and smell rather minty, kind of like ice cream. The centers are a little grainy, they way that cookie dough is, a great texture. The slightly gritty and minty center goes well with the sweet and milky chocolate outside. There’s no real cocoa flavor to it, but the mouthfeel is good. They’re sweet and the center is just a little salty, but they’re just lacking something.

I know that there are lots of folks who just love Cookie Dough Bites, but they’re just not my thing. I prefer a more substantial textural difference and better quality chocolate. I don’t need partially hydrogenated vegetable oils in my candy.

Related Candies

  1. Cookies ‘n’ Creme Showdown
  2. Brach’s Indulge Cookie Nibbles
  3. Ferrara Dark Chocolate Covered Biscotti
  4. Trader Joe’s Chocolate Covered Gingersnaps
  5. Cookie Dough Bites


Name: Mint Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Bites
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Taste of Nature
Place Purchased: Walgreen's (Echo Park)
Price: $1.00
Size: 3.1 ounces
Calories per ounce: 128
Categories: Candy, Taste of Nature, Chocolate, Cookie, Mints, 5-Pleasant, United States, Walgreen's

POSTED BY Cybele AT 1:32 pm     CandyReviewTaste of NatureChocolateCookieMints5-PleasantUnited StatesWalgreen'sComments (5)

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Russell Stover Giant S’mores Bar & Mint Dream

Russell Stover Giant S'mores BarThere are a lot of candy bars that try to emulate fresh fireside S’mores. Russell Stover may have hit on the closest thing.

The Girl Scout Handbook is the first recorded transcription of the recipe. For the uninitiated, S’mores are constructed like this: a fresh toasted marshmallow is mashed on top of a piece of milk chocolate between two graham crackers. Three great tastes are made better by their association.

I don’t consider S’mores themselves to be a candy, because they violate one of the primary rules of candy: it must be ready to eat and require no cooking or assembly.

The Russell Stover Giant S’mores Bar takes the assembly and toasting out of the equation.

I had to buy my bars online at the Russell Stover webstore because I couldn’t find them in any of the shops near me. At $1.49 it’s a bit more expensive than other candy bars, but it’s also unique so I figured it was worth it.

Russell Stover Giant S'mores Bar

The bar looks exactly as it’s depicted on the wrapper. The 2.5” graham cracker squares sandwich a large square of milk chocolate covered marshmallow.

In all instances at least one of my graham crackers wasn’t quite stuck to my marshmallow, but reassembly was simple.

It was messy, biting into the corners was fine, but the deeper I got into the bar the more crumbling of the graham cracker and flaking of the chocolate I got. The marshmallow center was moist and fluffy, just like all the other chocolate marshmallow products from Russell Stover. The chocolate tasted milky and fresh. The graham cracker tasted like cereal and kept it all from being too sickly sweet.

In case you’re wondering, yes, you can microwave it. I put it in the microwave for 15 seconds, but took it out at 12 when the innards came oozing out. It makes a horrible gooey mess and the marshmallow deflates into a sticky latex bonding agent that gets dry and tacky. I lost a lot of it to the plate.

I’d say in the future I will just lay in a stockpile of whatever seasonal marshmallow product is around, like the Marshmallow Egg and then get my own graham crackers to make my own since these are so hard to find. It’s a great idea and pretty well executed with good quality ingredients.

Russell Stover Dark Chocolate Mint DreamThe other item that prompted me to do my web order was the Russell Stover Dark Chocolate Mint Dream. They’ve been out for about a year, but I hadn’t seen them in stores. (I thought for sure they’d do an Easter version.)

The dark chocolate puck is a fluffy mint cream covered in dark chocolate.

It’s about the same size as the holiday Eggs, at 1.125 ounces it’s a nicely sized portion and rather economical on the calorie front with only 140 calories.

Russell Stover Dark Chocolate Mint Dream

I bought three of them and all of them had cracks with innards leaking out. But still, they’re handsome and well proportioned at about two inches in diameter and about 1.25 inches high.

Russell Stover Dark Chocolate Mint Dream

I feel a little bad reviewing these because of the cracking problem. I can’t say for sure what the filling is supposed to be, as I wasn’t sure if the leaking problem meant that the texture changed. The inside was similar in texture to the Raspberry Whip, but perhaps smoother. It’s almost a marshmallow, just as fluffy but the ingredients list no gelatin.

The mint is light and fresh, the center has a little salty note to it to even out the sugary sweetness. The dark chocolate isn’t terribly rich but it’s still creamy and not so sweet that it makes it all too cloying. It’s different from the fondant style of a Junior Mint, far fluffier and creamier. It’s enrobed instead of panned with a light glaze, so the chocolate melt is better. I would probably buy these again and would be willing to re-evaluate the breakage and seeping issue at that time.

Related Candies

  1. Russell Stover Color Me Candies
  2. Peeps Mash Ups - Savory
  3. Russell Stover Marshmallow Rabbits
  4. Snickers Rockin’ Nut Road Bar
  5. Junior Mints Deluxe
  6. Russell Stover Eggs (2007 edition)
  7. Artisan Marshmallows: Plush Puffs
  8. Hershey’s S’mores


Name: Giant S’mores Bar
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Russell Stover
Place Purchased: RussellStover.com webstore
Price: $1.49
Size: 2 ounces
Calories per ounce: 115
Categories: Russell Stover, Chocolate, Cookie, Marshmallow, 7-Worth It, United States


Name: Dark Chocolate Mint Dream
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Russell Stover
Place Purchased: RussellStover.com
Price: $.69
Size: 1.125 ounces
Calories per ounce: 124
Categories: Russell Stover, Chocolate, 6-Tempting, United States

POSTED BY Cybele AT 1:28 pm     CandyReviewRussell StoverChocolateCookieMarshmallowMints6-Tempting7-Worth ItUnited StatesComments (6)

Friday, April 9, 2010

Tic Tac Pink Grapefruit

It’s so frustrating when I know that there’s a candy out there I want to try but I just can’t get a hold of it. The Pink Grapefruit Tic Tac have been around for a couple of years, but as far as I knew they were sold only as a “big pack” and only at WalMart.

Pink Grapefruit TicTacs

I’ve been scouring eBay and the discount dollar stores ever since, hoping they’d turn up. Thankfully last weekend I found them at the 99 Cent Only Store - and for only 59 cents a package. I bought two, because I knew I’d love them.

The box holds exactly one ounce, which sounds like a single portion to me, the way I eat Tic Tacs. (I eat them like they’re candy.)

Pink Grapefruit TicTacs

They’re a beautiful shade of pink (carmine but at least the ingredients are all natural). They don’t smell like much, but they sound great in the package when I shake it.

They’re soft and smooth, a little slick on the tongue at first. Then they give up the flavor. The grapefruit is a good zesty blast, especially after the pink outside coating comes off. It’s tangy but I wouldn’t call it sour. I usually chew mine, so I was getting a big dose of grapefruit. It’s pretty intense if you eat a lot of them in a row since they use real dry pink grapefruit juice. In fact, after about half the package it was making my tongue vibrate a little bit from the citrus oils. There’s also a little bit of a mentholated after taste, it doesn’t really make them minty, but it does make my breath feel fresher when I inhale.

I would definitely buy these on a regular basis if I can find them reliably.

I saw that Ebidebby found them and Candy for Dinner also The Candy Enthusiast had the Citrus Punch Limited Edition version that included Pink Grapefruit.

Ferrero has changed the packaging just slightly. The old polystyrene that made such a satisfying rattling sound is gone and now they’re using polypropylene which cuts energy usage and greenhouse gas emissions. Of course it’s also important to reuse and then recycle the packaging when you’re done. The polypropylene is a little softer so the candy boxes don’t crack as easily as they used to. Do you have any tips on what to do with the boxes when you’re done?

Related Candies

  1. Bissinger’s Pink Grapefruit Gummy Pandas
  2. Jelly Belly Sunkist Citrus Mix
  3. Dr. Doolittle’s Pastilles (Lemon, Grapefruit & Wild Berry)
  4. Grapefruit Mentos (Japan)
  5. HiCHEW Grapefruit
  6. Tic Tac Bold!
  7. Pink Grapefruit Mentos


Name: Tic Tac Pink Grapefruit
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Ferrero
Place Purchased: 99 Cent Only Store (Silver Lake)
Price: $.59
Size: 1 ounce
Calories per ounce: 114
Categories: Candy, Ferrero, Mints, 9-Yummy, Canada, 99 Cent Only Store

POSTED BY Cybele AT 2:27 pm     CandyReviewFerreroMints9-YummyCanada99 Cent Only StoreComments (21)

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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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Halloween Candy Season Ends

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ON DECK

These candies will be reviewed shortly:

• 10 Candies that Shouldn’t Be So Disappointing

• Brach’s Royals: Caramel Apple and Sea Salt Caramel

• Dove Dark Chocolate Cranberries

• Russell Stover Big Bite Pecan Pie

• Orgran Molasses Licorice

 

 

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