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Friday, March 5, 2010

Wonka Exceptionals Domed Dark Chocolate

Wonka Exceptionals Domed Dark Chocolate PiecesThe new Wonka Exceptionals Domed Dark Chocolate pieces are No. 3 velvety dark chocolate with milk chocolate medallions.

They’re the third item in the new launch of the better quality Wonka chocolate products hitting store shelves now. The ingredients are all natural, the packaging revamped and the quality vastly improved.

Now that I’ve tried all three varieties I can say that they’re right, the quality of the chocolate is much better. The chocolate is smoother, has a bolder flavor and of course the fact that the ingredients are better should make it easier for families to choose Wonka. I’ve compared them before to Dove and Hershey’s Bliss - but what these have going for them is that the packaging is all about imagination - the bright striped foils are going to appeal more to kids than the sedate and elegant positioning of Dove or Bliss.

Wonka Exceptionals Domed Dark Chocolate Pieces

The pieces themselves aren’t quite as stunning to look at as the other two Exceptionals. The little domed blocks don’t stack either. I was hoping for some glossy dark chocolate, and while it’s tempered properly, the piece looks like well worn coat button instead of a sumptuous piece of dark chocolate.

Wonka Exceptionals Domed Dark Chocolate Pieces

The dark chocolate flavors are quite sharp. It’s acidic without being tangy, not quite chalky but a little dry. It’s smooth but I wouldn’t characterize it as the same silkiness as the milk and white chocolate from the Waterfall version. There are berry and raisin notes to the cocoa but nothing overtly complex. It’s toasty but not so dark that it’s roasty and too bitter like black coffee. The sweetness is pretty overwhelming, sugar is the first ingredient on the list.

As a dark chocolate, it’s very accessible, and probably won’t dissuade children from eating them. They remind me of eating chocolate chip cookies - the melt is similar to that in a fresh cookie.

I think Nestle has done a great job of reinvigorating the brand. It takes more inspiration from the original books and taps into the dreamy quality that Wonka has evoked in every kid who every kid who’s read it.

Related Candies

  1. Wonka Exceptionals: Chocolate Waterfall
  2. Wonka Exceptionals Scrumdiddlyumptious
  3. Nestle Milk Chocolate
  4. Nestle Noir
  5. Upscale Hollow Chocolate: Michel Cluizel & Hotel Chocolat
  6. Dark Raisinets
Name: Wonka Exceptionals Domed Dark Chocolate Pieces
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 4 BENIGN
Brand: Wonka (Nestle)
Place Purchased: Ralph's (Glendale)
Price: $4.99
Size: 9.5 ounces
Calories per ounce: 138
Categories: Chocolate, United States, Nestle, All Natural

POSTED BY Cybele AT 8:08 am     Comments (6)

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Wonka Exceptionals: Chocolate Waterfall

Wonka Exceptionals Chocolate Waterfall PiecesThe new line of Wonka Exceptionals are better quality chocolate candies. Nestle calls them The world’s most incomparably imaginative chocolate. The initial launch includes three chocolate products and to increase consumer interest a Golden Ticket giveaway for 5 trips around the world valued at $40,000 (that’s 5 different prizes, not 5 circumnavigations for one person).

Since the products are just being rolled out, they may not be on shelves everywhere yet. I found the Wonka Exceptionals Chocolate Waterfall Pieces at Ralph’s at a rather shocking price point of $4.99. The bars, which are 3.5 ounces are supposed to retail for $2.49. The package is gaudy and rather befitting the proud Willy Wonky tradition. The back of the package has the fun quote from the original Golden Ticket text from the book and exhorts folks to read the original book by Roald Dahl. (How many candies encourage that?)

The Waterfall chocolate is logged on the package as Bar No 99: Delectable combination of swirled milk & white chocolate.

Wonka Exceptionals Chocolate Waterfall Pieces

The pieces are wrapped in blue and purple striped foil. They’re a nicely sized block of one or two bites (9.25 grams or 1/3 of an ounce). They’re 1.25” long, 1” wide and about .33” high.

The package (which is sometimes hard to read because of how busy it is) says that it’s truly amazing chocolate made with natural ingredients and then says refer to the ingredients list. The list is then asterisked with only one ingredient not flagged as all natural - the soy lecithin. I’m guessing it’s because it’s from genetically modified (GMO) soy. Still, it’s all real chocolate - basically sugar, milk and cacao with a little vanilla & emulsifiers (lecithin - no PGPR).

The milk and white swirl is nicely done, usually in three expertly centered spokes.

Wonka Exceptionals Chocolate Waterfall Pieces

The pieces smell milky and sweet. The bite is quite soft, but still has a good snap to it for a high-milkfat chocolate. The texture does not disappoint. It’s very smooth and silky with a good fatty melt. The chocolate flavors are eclipsed by the dairy, but it’s still a comforting cocoa note that sticks to the woodsy and malty side of things. It’s very, very sweet though. They’re quite different from the Hershey’s Bliss White Chocolate Meltaway, which is not as sweet but of course doesn’t have the milk chocolate component.

There aren’t that many milk and white combination chocolates here in the United States, so this is a fun and original option. It’s probably not one I’d choose for myself but I don’t see the folks at the office complaining about them. (I’ve had the selection of all three versions in a jar for about a week on my desk.)

Related Candies

  1. Wonka Exceptionals Domed Dark Chocolate
  2. Wonka Exceptionals Scrumdiddlyumptious
  3. Hershey’s White Chocolate Meltaway Bliss
  4. Guylian Twists
  5. Choceur Coffee & Cream
  6. M&Ms Premiums
  7. Dove Silky Smooth Milk Chocolate Bars
  8. Hershey’s Bliss
Name: Wonka Exceptionals Scrumdiddlyumptious Chocolate Pieces
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 4 BENIGN
Brand: Wonka (Nestle)
Place Purchased: Ralph's (Glendale)
Price: $4.99
Size: 9.5 ounces
Calories per ounce: 146
Categories: Chocolate, White Chocolate, United States, Nestle, All Natural

POSTED BY Cybele AT 1:44 pm     Comments (8)

Monday, March 1, 2010

Wonka Exceptionals Scrumdiddlyumptious

Wonka Exceptionals Scrumdiddlyumptious Chocolate PiecesNestle has wisely decided to up their support for the Wonka brand.

The Wonka brand of candies was launched shortly after the release of the 1971 movie Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. They were originally made by Sunline but Nestle bought up Sunline (also the maker of SweeTarts and Pixy Stix) in 1988.  At that time the Wonka brand consisted of a combination of candies mentioned in the book, such as Everlasting Gobstoppers but mostly fanciful original creations such as Peanut Butter Oompas (picture here), Super Scrunch (picture here). They later focusing more on profitable and successful sugar candies such as Wacky Wafers (picture here), Dweebs, Runts, DinaSour Eggs (picture here) and of course Nerds.

The early Wonka Scrumdidilyumptious bar was a “chocolately caramel crisp” - the format was rather long, thick and narrow. (See this counter display.)

Wonka Exceptionals Scrumdiddlyumptious Chocolate Pieces

Nestle is reinvigorating the brand, both the sugar candy side (new gummis like Sluggles & Puckerooms, sour filled licorice like Kazoozles and chocolate popping candy like Tinglerz). Their chocolate line called Wonka Exceptionals capitalizes both on the imaginative side of the Wonka character from the Roald Dahl books as well as the quality aspect which has been largely lacking in previous chocolate products. The launch is with three different bars and foil wrapped pieces: Scrumdiddlyumptious, Domed Dark Chocolate & Chocolate Waterfall.

This new version of the Wonka Scrumdiddlyumptious Bar is spelled slightly differently: diddly instead of didily. It’s listed on the back of the package as Bar No. 17 and described as Milk chocolate with scrumptious toffee, crispy cookie & crunchy peanuts. Sounds good! No one else is making a bar quite like this, so it’s exciting to see them creating something original instead of a different packaging format of an existing product.

Wonka Exceptionals Scrumdiddlyumptious Chocolate Pieces

The little foil wrapped pieces are cute. They’re 1.25” long, 1” wide and about .33” high. They smell lightly chocolatey, but not as peanutty as I expected. The texture of the milk chocolate is super smooth and silky - a far cry from the waxy stuff in other Nestle products. It’s exceptionally sweet though, so too much of it and it burned my throat. The inclusions were little bits of graham cracker like cookies (digestive biscuits is perhaps more appropriate for comparison), little buttery toffee nuggets and peanut bits.

The variations in the nuggets meant that some pieces and bites were more interesting than others. The toffee had a good crunch to it and a salty note. The peanuts were not deeply roasted and were more grassy but still gave a different chew. The cookie pieces were mild and gave a malty cereal note to it.

The chocolate quality is a huge upgrade from the Wonka Bar (which is now discontinued - these will replace it). I don’t think I’d spend the premium for this in a bar format mostly because the Green & Black’s Peanut bar is truly scrumptious, similarly price but also organic & soon to be Fair Trade). However, foil wrapped pieces are different enough to warrant consideration.

Each piece is less than 50 calories, so if you have trouble controlling portions with a large bar, these are a nice option.

Bar Code for Wonka ProductsThe packaging is fanciful, though definitely cluttered and not that easy to read as most of the colors are the same value. The holographic plastic is a bit of overkill as far as I’m concerned (and probably resource intensive) but I’m guessing the bags without the “Golden Ticket” giveaway will be a bit clearer. I was most impressed with the fact that they were even creative with the bar code on the package.

The product line is expensive, we’re talking Dove or Hershey’s Bliss level, not the ordinary Nestle Crunch prices. The bags I picked up hold 9.5 ounces and were $4.99 each. (The press release from the company said retail is $4.49 and I’m guessing there will be sales where you can find them for about $3 a bag.) The bars are 3.5 ounces and retail for $2.49 each.

Related Candies

  1. Wonka Exceptionals Domed Dark Chocolate
  2. Wonka Exceptionals: Chocolate Waterfall
  3. Wolfgang Skipjacks & Jungle Jacks
  4. Hershey’s Bliss
  5. Wonka Nerds Jelly Beans
  6. Wonka Golden Egg
  7. Dove Chocolate
  8. Wonka Bar
Name: Wonka Exceptionals Scrumdiddlyumptious Chocolate Pieces
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 4 BENIGN
Brand: Wonka (Nestle)
Place Purchased: Ralph's (Glendale)
Price: $4.99
Size: 9.5 ounces
Calories per ounce: 146
Categories: Chocolate, Cookie, Peanuts, Toffee, United States, Nestle, Kosher

Name: Wonka Exceptionals Scrumdiddlyumptious Chocolate Pieces
Place Purchased: Ralph's (Glendale)
Price: $4.99
Size: 9.5 ounces
Calories per ounce: 146

POSTED BY Cybele AT 12:39 pm     Comments (7)

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Wonka Squishy Sploshberries Gummies

Wonka Sploshberries GummiesThe third new product in Wonka’s Edible Garden line of gummies is called Squishy Sploshberries Gummies Candy. As the name implies, they’re berry flavored gummies and they have sploshy centers.

What I found most interesting about them, as the gooey center has been done quite a bit already, is the flavor array. These aren’t ordinary berries. Though there’s no Snozzberry the flavors are: Raspberry, Blueberry, Goji Berry and Cloud Berry.

Like the other new Wonka gummis, these are made in the Czech Republic and boast no artificial flavors or colors.

Sploshberries - Cloudberry, Blueberry & Raspberry

Each piece is about the same diameter as a nickel (about 3/4”). They’re high and domed candies. They’re not greasy to the touch, just soft and matte. They have a translucent amber colored gummi top with a dark red fruity goo center and it all sits on an opaque white base.

The texture is soft and chewy, with a good latexy bounce to it. The molding of each of the pieces is great and for filled gummies, I was pleased to see that none of them had oozed in the bag.

The goo reservoir in the center is rather small, just a little dab. It’s also not liquid, more of a jelly so it’s more moist than the rest of the gummi, but not a flowing syrup.

Raspberry (far right) is vivid and jammy. It’s not quite specific enough to be exclusively a raspberry, sometimes I thought it was more like a blackberry with a little black cherry note to it.

Blueberry (middle) is also lightly tangy. The unique flavors come from the goo center. It’s a little more tannic, more like it has notes of black tea mixed with the more vanilla berry flavors.

Sploshberries - Cloudberry

Cloud Berry - I’ve never eaten a cloud berry so I can’t talk about the authenticity of the flavor. What I can say is that it pretty much tastes like all the other gummis in this assortment. It might have a little note of green apple, but it’s very pleasant and a little more custard-like, probably because of the white kind of marshmallowy base. This was the most prevalent flavor in the bag, so I had quite a few of them.

Sploshberries - Goji BerryGoji Berry - a little more woodsy than the others in the mix. It’s only lightly tart with a vague rosemary or herby note to it, like chewing on fibery goji berries.

I was hoping these would be a little more vibrant, that they’d have a little more pizazz. Wonka candies are usually known for being bold. Candies like Nerds and Runts are very specific. These were kind of tame. I appreciate the risks of making a naturally flavored & colored product and the unusual actual berry flavors instead of made up flavors. On the other side of that coin, all the flavors went together really well so it’s not like I noticed getting a “bad” flavor.

The allergen info on the bag has all the hot targets on it: made on shared equipment with peanuts, nuts, soy, milk, wheat and eggs. Also, it contains gelatin so it’s not vegetarian friendly.

Related Candies

  1. Wonka Puckerooms
  2. Wonka Sluggles
  3. Wonka Kazoozles: Cherry Punch & Pink Lemonade
  4. Trader Joe’s Gummy Tummies
  5. Albanese Gummi Butterflies
  6. Starburst GummiBursts
Name: Wonka Sploshberries
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 4 BENIGN
Brand: Wonka (Nestle)
Place Purchased: Target (Harbor City)
Price: $1.59
Size: 5.5 ounces
Calories per ounce: 106
Categories: Gummi, Czech Republic, Nestle, All Natural

POSTED BY Cybele AT 9:37 am     Comments (7)

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Nips: Mocha and Chocolate Parfait

Chocolate Parfait & Mocha NipsThe last two varieties to complete my set of Nips reviews are Chocolate Parfait Nips and Mocha Nips.

In case you haven’t been reading along, Nips are a hard caramel, first made by a company called Pearson’s which was later bought out by Nestle. They’re a great summer candy because they don’t melt but have a rich creamy flavor that can satisfy that craving even on the stickiest of days.

Both are variations on previously reviewed Nips, as they’re filled & flavored.

Chocolate Parfait Nips

The Chocolate Parfait Nips are made up of a Caramel Nip outside and a chocolate flavored inside.

The caramel is a little salty, creamy and with a silky sweet melt on the tongue. Sometimes it softens up a bit for splitting & bending ... or cementing teeth together.

Inside the bliss of the confection loses track for me. The chocolate center is like an oily Tootsie Roll. The chocolate flavor is weak and the texture is worse than that, a sort of waxy, greasy mess.

I’ve had this box for several months and I’ve eaten all of four of them so far.

Mocha Nips

The Mocha Nips are a bit darker looking. The rich hardened caramel is coffee flavored, just like the original Coffee Nips. In this case the mocha element comes from the cocoa paste filling.

The creamy, milky coffee outer portion is just like the classic Nip ... a good rounded coffee flavor. The inside though, like the Chocolate Parfait isn’t quite chocolate, it’s more like a frosting.

The bold strength of the coffee flavored outside masks the chocolate deficiencies better than the Chocolate Parfait, so I did end up finishing most of the box.

While I appreciate the attempt to create a few other versions, the chocolate just isn’t good enough to make me chose these over the classic solid flavors.

Related Candies

  1. Coffee Rio
  2. Nips: Butter Rum & Peanut Butter Parfait
  3. Nips: Caramel & Dulce de Leche
  4. Coffee Nips
  5. M&Ms Premiums
  6. Nestle Crunch Cappuccino Stixx
  7. Cafe Select Chocolate Coffee Trios
Name: Chocolate Parfait & Mocha Nips
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 4 BENIGN
Brand: Nestle
Place Purchased: 99 Cent Only Store (Miracle Mile)
Price: $.99
Size: 4 ounces
Calories per ounce: 121
Categories: Coffee, Caramel, Mockolate, United States, Nestle, Kosher

POSTED BY Cybele AT 8:59 am     Comments (4)

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Wonka Puckerooms

Wonka PuckeroomsI’m really digging Wonka’s new look and commercials. They take advantage of candy’s inventiveness and imaginative ways that kids (and adults) look at it.

One of their new candies is Puckerooms Sour Gummy Candy. They’re sour gummies (unlike the Sluggles, which are sweet gummies) in mushroom shapes and three different flavors.

The new Wonka’s Edible Garden are made with natural ingredients, including fruit juice and no artificial colorings or flavorings. (But of course they’re gummis and are not vegetarian since they use gelatin ... and in this case cochineal color, too.)

Wonka Puckerooms

There are three flavors and three different shapes (though the shapes are applied to all the flavors):

Cherry - as you can see from the photo, I found a grape & cherry combo, but for the most part the cherry ones were single flavored. It’s a tart cherry with a black cherry darkness beneath but a lingering sour. It got my glands a’tinglin’.

Grape - it’s just so fun for me to have grape gummis, I have a hard time focusing on these for the review. The grape flavor is much like concord grape jam with Pixy Stix poured over it. (Come on, if you’d thought of it as a kid, you would have loved it!)

Lemon/Orange - I loved the look of these, the orange was always on the top, making the stem lemon. The flavors were a good blend of citrus zest and of course a sour punch that lasted beyond the grainy coating and permeated the soft gummi. The lemon and orange were distinct but blended well.

The sourness isn’t blisteringly strong, in fact, I found them barely more tart than the Sluggles, just more consistently tangy from start to finish.

I like the option of really potent gummis made without artificial flavors & colors, so these are real winners. I saw them at Target over the weekend for $1.59 for a 6.5 ounce bag, so it’s not like parents need to compromise here - the kids get a mainstream treat without going to a special store. (Of course that doesn’t mean adults can’t enjoy them.)

Wonka Sour Puckeroom Gummies (updated 2010)UPDATE 11/2/2010: It appears that many folks shared their phallic views with Nestle and they updated both the package and the shapes of the actual candy.

The package is mostly green instead of purple. The Wonka name is minimized and the name of the candy is more focused on Sour Puckerooms Gummies where it was originally just called Puckerooms with a descriptive logline of sour gummy candy below that. I do like the typography on the word Puckerooms better on the new version.

The new shapes are such a compromise from the earlier, well defined mushrooms that they’re mere shadows of the shapes they once were. There are really only two shapes, the pointier one is now gone. There are two slightly different rounded ones with wide round caps and wide bases and then the narrower stemmed one with a wide cap. On the package they look distinctive. In real life they’re

New Wonka Puckerooms (2010)

So, there you go. Wonka is receptive to your ideas.

Related Candies

  1. Wonka Kazoozles: Cherry Punch & Pink Lemonade
  2. New Flavors: Skittles Sour & Wonka Runts
  3. Trader Joe’s Gummy Tummies
  4. Wonka Tinglerz & Nestle Buncha Crunch
  5. Organic Zootons
  6. Super Sour Worms
  7. Organic Surf Sweets
Name: Puckerooms
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 4 BENIGN
Brand: Wonka (Nestle)
Place Purchased: samples from All Candy Expo
Price: $1.59 retail
Size: 6.5 ounces
Calories per ounce: 92
Categories: Gummi, Sour, Czech Republic, Nestle, All Natural

POSTED BY Cybele AT 9:15 am     Comments (16)

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Short & Sweet: Tropical Flavors

As I was on my little candy walkabout late last week I noticed a lot of popular candies have a tropical flavor mix. So I decided to start picking them all up and do a little roundup.

Tropical Candy

For the most part I consider the tropical flavors to be pineapple, mango, papaya, durian (not that I advocate its use), carambola (starfruit), passionfruit, banana, lychee, guava and coconut. Citrus goes in there but things like strawberries and melons are definitely not a tropical fruit (my rule is if it can be grown in Ohio, it’s not tropical).

Overpackaging on Tropical Nerds Rope

First, I have to say that I’ve never had Nerds Rope before. It arrived on the scene sometime after my candy experimental days (you know, when you’re a kid) but before it was launched as a new product during my Candy Blog phase.

But the concept is simple, a sticky gummi rope is rolled in Nerds. In this case it’s a Tropical Nerds Rope.

Tropical Nerds Rope

The candy is kind of odd in that it’s rather over-packaged and overpriced (look how long the rope is compared to the wrapper). It’s less than an ounce but costs the same as a regular candy bar. But then again, it’s a 100 calorie snack! (90 to be precise.)

There are no flavors actually mentioned on the packages, just eensy images of Nerds in swim trunks and flower leis. In this case the gummi cord at the center is a sparkly green. The tangy Nerds are mostly pineapple tasting.

The chewy center and excellent Nerd stickage makes this much less messy than I had anticipated. The combination of textures and flavors is really nice. I enjoy the pineapple quite a bit (maybe some papaya in there) and don’t really feel the need to try any other flavor after this. (I could see a build your own rope kit too, a little length of gummi and kids could roll their own.)

Rating: 7 out of 10 (Made in USA by Wonka/Nestle)

Tropical Now and LaterNow and Later were off limits to me for a long time, mostly because I thought they were too risky for my teeth. But now that I have a good dentist, I’m not as apt to give into such unfounded fears.

Tropical Now and Later has a flavor assortment that’s right up my alley: Mango Melon, Pineapple and Banana. (I’ve never met a yellow flavor I didn’t like.)

Mango Melon Tropical Now and LaterMango Melon is Orange

Often mango flavored candies taste a lot like peach to me. And peach flavored candies often taste more like over-syruped peach pie than actual peaches. This was pretty much like that. The dominant flavor was of the musky mango with a little cantaloupe thrown in.

It got tangier the more I chewed, which I enjoyed, because that took over the flavor profile for the most part.

Banana Tropical Now and LaterBanana are Yellow

These are everything you’d expect from a banana taffy. Bold and artificial tasting with a strange blast of dry cleaning smell in the back of my throat and the old standby - fingernail polish remover.

Still, I love banana taffy.

Pineapple Tropical Now and LaterPineapple is also Yellow

This is only slightly lighter than the Banana, but luckily they print the name of the flavor on there.

Tangy and fruity but with a strange, warm Play Doh note in the middle.

I found them pretty much irresistible even if they were rather fake.

Rating: 6 out of 10 (Made in Mexico by Farley’s & Sathers)

Mike and Ike Tropical Typhoon

On the back of the box of Mike and Ike Tropical Typhoon is a flavor guide. It includes little images of fruits: banana, kiwi, lime, mango, strawberry and pineapple (also on the front).

The flavors, on the other hand, don’t quite match up.

Blue = Caribbean Punch: the initial flavor is a bit green & pine-ish. Then it becomes more punch-like. It’s all sweet and no tangy.

Peach = Mango: a little tart at first, then rather floral. Not exactly mango but definitely not peach and the longer I chewed the closer it got to the rosemary notes that mangoes have.

Red = Strawberry-Banana: the initial note here is sweet banana, then a little strawberry bobs by for a little floral note.

Green = Kiwi-Banana: it starts like the strawberry banana but then just stops ... it’s not that it’s an all banana flavored Mike and Ike, but just half-flavored. Some of them had a slight tangy melon flavor on the shell, but not all of them and it certainly didn’t taste like kiwi to me.

Pink = Paradise Punch : just a slight tingle of tangy in there, but it’s mostly a sweet punch flavor ... like the Caribbean Punch but without the strange balsam notes.

Overall, too much like the original Mike and Ike - too bland and not enough real punchy flavor in there. I really wanted some pineapple flavor in there, too. I’ll stick to Tangy Twister (which has Pineapple) or the Alex’s Lemonade Stand mixes.

Rating: 6 out of 10. (Made in USA by Just Born)

Tropical Dots

I have to say that I’ve always regarded the Tootsie company as rather traditional and slow to adopt to changing American tastes. But then it’s like they have this strange rebellious group known as the Dots Makers. They’re fully encouraged to do bizarre flavor assortments from the crazy Ghost Dots at Halloween (to be paired with Bat Dots this year which are Blood Orange flavored - which I would have called Blood Dots) then the Yogurt Dots but the real innovation came in the limited edition line called Elements that came in single flavor packages of Cinnamon, Green Tea, Wintergreen and Pomegranate.

So Tropical Dots are kind of tame in comparison, but they must be popular because they’ve been around since 2003.

Tropical Dots

Bright Pink = Tropical Nectar: it tastes like Hawaiian Punch with a strong bitter aftertaste. Sweet, tangy and definitely with that “tropical candy flavor” that I think is papaya.

Orange = Wild Mango: tart and rather citrusy with a pretty good imitation of mango flavor in there. Still tastes like the mango version of Tang.

Turquoise = Paradise Punch: an insane color for a candy, it’s rather similar to the Tropical Nectar but with more of a citrus twang to it and less aftertaste.

Yellow = Grapefruit Cooler: why didn’t someone tell me there was a grapefruit Dot? These are fabulous and I want to buy them by the box. The first notes are tangy then there’s a deep zesty flavor that has a black cherry note to it that dissipates and then it’s just a nice grapefruit & citrus flavor.

Green = Carambola Melon: - when my mother came to visit last time we went to a new Korean market in Little Tokyo (that replaced my favorite market, Mitsuwa). They had these little melons called Korean Melons ... they were small, about the size of a papaya or mango. Bright yellow with some mild bumps and distinct ridges. I bought two. I cut them up and was rather unimpressed with the flavor - like weak Musk Melon. The problem was later in the evening I kept smelling something like garbage. I turned out it was the melon. (I really like the idea of a one-serving melon though.)

Anyway, this one is supposed to be starfruit and melon. I don’t know starfruit that well. I usually eat it off of garnishes at dessert displays, but I’ve never actually bought my own from the produce department and tasted it. It had a rather musty taste to it that was also on the violet side of things ... it was just weird, but not in a terrible way, just in a “this is new to me” way.

The box was wrapped in cellophane so the Dots were soft and fresh. This didn’t stop them from sticking to my teeth, but still, it’s worth it for their smooth texture.

Rating: 7 out of 10. (Made in USA by Tootsie)

Tropical Razzles

The final item on my list is Tropical Razzles.

Like all Razzles, they look terrible out of the package.

Yellow = Pineapple: Nice tangy burst but with a light flavor & texture of a chewable vitamin C tablet. It holds its flavor pretty well, though becomes less tart and more sweet towards the end when it becomes as appealing and chewed paper.

Pink = Strawberry-Banana: nice mix of strawberry & banana notes, almost reminds me of the old Wacky Wafers at first. Chewing too long just disappoints, I vote for spitting out when it become sweet but the grain wanes.

Red = Tropical Punch: definitely like Hawaiian punch. Strong bitter aftertaste & cherry notes towards the end. The gum was much tougher on this one too.

Orange = Tangerine: more orange than tangerine. The tangy notes aren’t as forward as some of the others. When the flavor is gone there’s a weird metallic aftertaste.

Green = Kiwi-Lime: if there was kiwi in here, I missed it completely. This was lime. Very lime, nicely tangy with a little bitter zest note (or maybe the food coloring).

Overall, I think that Razzles suffer from too much artificial coloring. After chewing the pieces they’re extremely dark & vibrant ... that’s a lot of food coloring. If I wanted to treat it like candy (which I do), it means a lot of sticky leftover bits in a very short period of time.

Rating: 4 out of 10 (Made in Canada by Concord Brands)

Related Candies

  1. Mike and Ike Berry Blast
  2. Mike and Ike Italian Ice
  3. Tropical and Xtreme Sour Smarties
  4. Mentos Tropical & Black Currant
  5. Wonka Nerds Jelly Beans
  6. Starburst Baja California & Tropical
  7. Nerds Gumballs
  8. Tootsie Tropical Pops

POSTED BY Cybele AT 9:46 am     CandyReviewConcord ConfectionsFarley's & SathersJust BornNestleTootsieChewsGumGummi CandyJelly Candy4-Benign6-Tempting7-Worth ItCanadaMexicoUnited StatesDollar TreeWalgreen'sComments (6)

Friday, June 12, 2009

Baby Ruth Crisp & Nestle Crisp Bars

Baby Ruth CrispI got this one slightly smashed sample of the new Baby Ruth Crisp from All Candy Expo.

I’m a little hesitant to do a full review of the product based on a “fun sized” bar, so consider this a preview.

The wrapper says that the new bar is Baked Wafers, Caramel, Peanuts & Creme. It’s a nice white & waffle pattern background with the familiar Baby Ruth logo.

Baby Ruth CrispFrom the description it sounds like it could be the old Bar None. But a quick sniff and it’s clear that this is a bar with a strong peanut identity.

The layers are pretty complex. There are wafers and in between the lower wafers is a peanut butter creme. On the top of the wafers is a pretty thick layer of caramel and then some chopped peanuts.

The whole effect is a startlingly familiar flavor to the Baby Ruth but with the texture of a KitKat.

The only disappointment here is the chocolate. Nestle doesn’t really make many chocolate candies any longer and this new bar is no exception. I don’t have the ingredients, but judging by the other Nestle Crisp bars that I do have access to, this is a mockolate coating.

It lacks a good creamy component (more waxy) but has a little cocoa punch to it ... just no good dairy milk chocolate addition.

Nestle Crunch Crisp Old & NewThe addition of the Baby Ruth Crisp also marks the change in Nestle’s rebranding & repackaging of their Crisp bar line.

The new packages for Butterfinger Crisp and Crunch Crisp sport the tag line De * LIGHT * fully CRISPY

The most significant change is the reformatting of the bar.

The original Crunch Crisp was a long & wide bar. The new version is not only smaller (the overall weight of the package) but is also now a narrower (but slightly taller) bar in two separate pieces. The original was 1.74 ounces, the new on is 1.34.

Nestle Crunch Crisp Old & New

The last few times I’ve tried the Crunch Crisp bars the ambient temperature was over 80 degrees ... not the best climate for this bar.

Since then I’ve acquired these two versions and both benefit from temps in the high sixties. (Hooray for Southern California’s June Gloom.)

The flavor & overall ratio of crunch, creme & mockolate is similar with both bars. It reminded me a bit of chocolate pudding & ice cream cones. It’s harder to take a “big bite” of the new small bars.

Because of the wafers they seem less like candy and more like decadent cookies.

Since having the Q.bel bars, though, it’s hard to say that these are more than passably decent.

Butterfinger CrispThe Butterfinger Crisp disappeared from store shelves around me, and I thought it was discontinued. It turns out it was just going through this reformatting.

Like the Crunch Crisp this one has gone from 1.76 ounces to 1.41 ounces. It also goes from being manufactured in Venezuela to the United States.

The innards look virtually the same to the last one I ate four years ago.

It smells like fake butter flavor ... or maybe butterscotch candies. The crispy wafers are good, the cream in between is a little salty and has a light peanut butter taste (actually less peanutty than the Baby Ruth).

The chocolate on this seems less punchy and more like the waxy stuff from a Butterfinger Bar.

I’m sure the new two piece format makes production for both full serving & fun size much simpler. (And I really don’t have a problem with that, I like fun sized bars because sometimes I want variety for my “single serving”.)

Nestle Crunch CrispI don’t have much of an issue with companies making products smaller in order to keep prices the same (or raising prices) though in this case they’ve not only made it smaller, it’s not quite the same as before because the shape may change some ratios. Still, they pack some calories for such small bars - the new Crunch Crisp is 190 (was 250) and the Butterfinger Crisp is 210 (was 250).

Again, having found the Q.bel line, I see no reason to personally entertain this stuff any further unless I had some sort of financial issue that I couldn’t afford the Q.bel or no longer had access. (But these still wouldn’t be a choice high on my list. Nestle is capable of making chocolate and I think these would be much better with it.)

Expect the new line of Crisp bars including the Baby Ruth Crisp to hit shelves late August or early September.

Related Candies

  1. Wonka Tinglerz & Nestle Buncha Crunch
  2. ReeseSticks (Revisit)
  3. Nestle Crunch (Now Even Richer Milk Chocolate)
  4. Butterfinger Stixx
  5. Nestle Crunch Dark Stixx
  6. Nutrageous
  7. Head-to-Head: Butterfinger vs. 5th Avenue

POSTED BY Cybele AT 9:28 am     CandyReviewNestleCaramelCookieKosherMockolatePeanuts5-PleasantUnited StatesComments (14)

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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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