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Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Russell Stover Coconut Minis

DSC_9273rbAll candies will be morselized. But at the moment there are no Mounds Minis from Hershey’s, so Russell Stover has a version that might satisfy your coconut-jones.

The new Russell Stover Coconut Minis are exactly what you’d think. They’re unwrapped little morsels of poppable dark chocolate covered coconut.

They’re the antithesis of the Russell Stovers icon, there’s no box. It’s just the candy, miniaturized and thrown in a bag.

They’re a little pricey, I picked up mine on sale at $3.50 a bag, but the regular price ticket said they’re $4.29. But there’s 8 ounces in the bag, which makes them a pretty good deal at $7 a pound.

DSC_9293rb

The image on the bag makes it look like these are little squares, but in reality they’re rectangular. They’re about an inch long and 3/4 of an inch wide.

Mine were a little scuffed up and appeared a smidge bloomed (but the Pecan Minis did not, which were purchased from the same shelf at the same time). However, the texture of the chocolate was just fine. They smell nice, like brownies and coconut.

The chocolate was soft, the coconut center was pretty tender and chewy. It’s not as sweet as I expected. In the ordinary Coconut pieces, from the wrapped bagged line, there’s a larger ratio of coconut to the chocolate. Here the chocolate and coconut seem well balanced. The chocolate has a good melt and stereotypical cocoa flavor. The coconut was very chewy and fresh without too much sticky sweetness.

I liked them quite a bit, and found them very munchable. They’re a little messier than some morselized candies, since they’re still enrobed, not panned and sealed. I think the ratios were much more successful here than the Pecan Delight Minis, which lacked pecans ... these are coconut and filled with coconut.

These candies contain soy and milk and created on shared equipment with wheat, eggs, peanuts and tree nuts.

Related Candies

  1. Ritter Sport Winter Edition Coconut Macaroon
  2. Zitners: Butter Krak, Peanut Butter, Double Cocoanut & Butter Cream Eggs
  3. 3 Musketeers Coconut
  4. Dove Milk Chocolate Coconut Creme Eggs
  5. Twix Coconut (Limited Edition)
  6. Russell Stover Assorted Wrapped Chocolates
  7. Brach’s Indulge Almonds: Coconut & Caramel


Name: Coconut Minis
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Russell Stover
Place Purchased: Walgreen's (Glendale)
Price: $3.50 (on sale)
Size: 8 ounces
Calories per ounce: 135
Categories: CANDY BLOG, Morselization, Russell Stover, Chocolate, Coconut, 7-Worth It, United States, Walgreen's

POSTED BY Cybele AT 12:54 pm     CandyMorselizationReviewRussell StoverChocolateCoconut7-Worth ItUnited StatesWalgreen'sComments (1)

Monday, June 15, 2015

Russell Stover Pecan Delight Minis

DSC_9277rbRussell Stover is probably best known for the inexpensive boxed chocolates sold at drug stores. I happen to like them for their holiday novelty candies, but more recently they’ve tried to get into everyday snacking with their Big Bite pieces. At first these were just larger versions of the seasonal favorites, but more recent items are completely original to the format. The opposite spectrum of this trend is morselization ... and Russell Stover has introduced some teensy versions of their more popular items. I picked up their Russell Stover Pecan Delight Minis, which are nugget-sized pecan turtles.

DSC_9297rb

These candies that have the word pecan as the first word in their name and they need more pecans. A lot more pecans. Currently they’re little pecan bits, where are nice, they’re a good textural element, but they’re not dense enough ... I need some crunch in my chewy caramel and creamy milk chocolate.

The size is good, they’re poppable. The vague sprinkling of pecans does give a woodsy maple note to the whole thing, the tough of salty is just about right. The caramel is a little too flavored and not authentically caramelized sugar and cream.

As a candy, they about as good as other morsel things at the same price. They’re certainly better than Brach’s. I can’t say that I liked these better than the Demet’s Minis, which also suffer from too few pecans, but I do think the chocolate is of better quality here. (And less expensive.)

Related Candies

  1. Trader Joe’s Milk Chocolate Jumbles
  2. DeMet’s Turtles Minis
  3. Russell Stover Big Bite Pecan Delight Egg
  4. Trader Joe’s A Very Merry Mingle
  5. DeMet’s Turtles: Pecan & Cashew
  6. Fannie May Pixie


Name: Pecan Delight Minis
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Russell Stover
Place Purchased: Walgreen's (Glendale)
Price: $3.50 (on sale)
Size: 7.5 ounces
Calories per ounce: 149
Categories: Candy, Morselization, Russell Stover, Caramel, Chocolate, Nuts, United States, Walgreen's

POSTED BY Cybele AT 4:44 pm     CandyMorselizationReviewRussell StoverCaramelChocolateNuts6-TemptingUnited StatesWalgreen'sComments (1)

Monday, June 8, 2015

Mars Milky Way Marshmallow with Caramel

DSC_9208rbMars has been teasing quite a few new candy items lately, the first one to hit store shelves will be their Milky Way Marshmallow with Caramel Bar. The press release says it delivers a magnificent combination of fluffy marshmallow nougat covered with a layer of smooth caramel, enrobed in creamy milk chocolate.

Limited Edition bar should hit shelves in July or August ... when they’re gone, they’re gone. (Though sometimes Mars will bring back a limited edition item.) The Impulsive Buy readers have already spotted them in the wild.

DSC_9236rb

The bar looks good. The fluffy white nougat is definitely different from the normal Milky Way nougat. The scent is also a change from the traditional Milky Way, it’s less malty, less milky smelling. There’s a slight vanilla note to it, even before biting.

It’s a very sweet but clean tasting bar. There’s no lingering malty notes, not as much of a salty hint either. It tastes fresh. So if the concept of the Milky Way bar appealed to you, but the fact that the nougat was malty was holding you back, this might be the bar for you. Is it marshmallowy? No, the texture of the nougat is not smooth, not as fluffy as actual marshmallow. However, if you’re a vegetarian, the fact that it’s a nougat (made with egg whites) and not a marshmallow (made with gelatin) might be a selling point.

The bar contains soy, egg and milk and also may contain traces of peanuts. There’s no statement on gluten.

Related Candies

  1. Milky Way Simply Caramel Bites
  2. Revisit Reviews: Pretzel M&Ms, Rally Bar and Snickers Rockin’ Nut Road
  3. Milky Way Unwrapped Bites
  4. Limited Edition Milky Way French Vanilla
  5. Russell Stover Marshmallow & Caramel
  6. Zingerman’s Zzang! Candy Bars
  7. Head to Head: Milky Way & Mars (Canada & UK)


Name: Milky Way Marshmallow with Caramel Bar
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Mars
Place Purchased: samples from Mars
Price: $1.25 retail
Size: 1.72 ounces
Calories per ounce: 128
Categories: Candy, Mars, Caramel, Chocolate, Kosher, Limited Edition, Nougat, 7-Worth It, United States

POSTED BY Cybele AT 3:49 pm     CandyReviewMarsCaramelChocolateKosherLimited EditionNougat7-Worth ItUnited StatesComments (7)

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Snickers Mixed Nuts

DSC_9207rbIt’s been a while since Mars has done something new with the Snickers bar. Sure, they miniaturized it, and brought back the Snickers Rockin’ Nut Road Bar, but nothing innovative has come along in a few years.

Mars announced last month that they’re releasing a new limited edition bar in November nationwide. It’s called SNICKERS Mixed Nuts Bar. They bill it as a satisfying mix of peanuts, almonds and hazelnuts combined with SNICKERS® Brand caramel and nougat, all coated with creamy milk chocolate.

Mars sent me some samples of their new candy bars, so I thought I’d give a preview. I think it’s an exciting concept to include so many different kinds of nuts in one bar.

DSC_9220rb

This is a strange bar, because of its mixed status there’s not quite enough of any of its elements. It smells a bit like peanuts, but not as peanutty as a regular Snickers. The nougat is salty and the caramel chewy, all the nuts are crunchy ... the almonds are especially bold and I do recall at least two hazelnuts. If I sound disjointed, that’s the bar right there. It’s a stop and a start, I kind of got going with a nice almond and then there were some peanuts. I’m more mellow than Snickers, more bold than Snickers Almond.

In addition to the milk, eggs, soy, hazelnuts, almonds, and peanuts, the bars may also contain traces of other tree nuts. There’s no statement about gluten.

Related Candies

  1. Candyology 101 - Podcast Episode 9 -  House Brands
  2. Revisit Reviews: Pretzel M&Ms, Rally Bar and Snickers Rockin’ Nut Road
  3. Limited Edition Milky Way French Vanilla
  4. Liddabit Sweets - Candy Bars
  5. Snickers 3X Chocolate
  6. Demet’s Hazelnut Turtles
  7. Revisit: Take 5, Sunkist Fruit Gems & Snickers Almond
  8. Snickers Almond Dark


Name: Snickers Mixed Nuts
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Mars
Place Purchased: samples from Mars
Price: $1.25 retail
Size: 1.76 ounces
Calories per ounce: 132
Categories: Candy, Snickers, Mars, Caramel, Chocolate, Kosher, Limited Edition, Nougat, Nuts, Peanuts, 6-Tempting, United States

POSTED BY Cybele AT 12:59 pm     CandyReviewSnickersMarsCaramelChocolateKosherLimited EditionNougatNutsPeanuts6-TemptingUnited StatesComments (1)

Monday, June 1, 2015

Mike and Ike Root Beer Float

DSC_9310rbMike and Ike come in a dozen flavor mixes, but every once in a while they put out a variety that is just a single flavor in a box. The new Mike and Ike Root Beer Float is a re-issue of an old flavor that comes back from time to time. Mike and Ike are simple, they’re cheap, they’re a reliable but probably underrated candy.

The box is quaint, though I’m not keen on the “pre-faded” look of packaging meant for food. I want my food to look fresh, at least by design. The other complaint about the box is that there’s a little perforated tab you can push to create a dispensing hole on the side of the box. That hole is on the bottom of the box, right under that Made in the USA logo you see in the lower left corner. There’s no way to close it once you open it. Not a big deal, because Mike and Ike don’t need to be sealed up, unless your environment is particularly humid. However, you can’t stand the box back up like it’s shown here without dumping the candy.

DSC_9317rb

The first thing I noticed is that these are not mousy brown jelly rods. No, these are designed to look like the foamy head on an icy cold Root Beer Float. Well done, Just Born, well done.

The look made me think that these would be more vanilla than root beer, which wouldn’t necessarily be a bad thing, but not quite as appealing. Rest assured, these are Root Beer.

DSC_9320rb

There’s a little tangy note at the top, not quite sour but a little bite. The root beer flavor is pretty good, it has a nice nutmeg note with a little wintergreen and vanilla. The vanilla isn’t strong enough to give me an ice cream vibe, but a mix of both vanilla bean and root beer Mike and Ike might have been a fun idea to play with too.

I liked that the colorings were minimal and didn’t influence the flavors in the slightest. The medicinal note of the root beer did get a little odd after eating what was probably more than a single portion ... it does tend to taste pretty much like wintergreen after a while.

I enjoyed them fully. I like root beer, often soda flavored candies are mixed together and I have to pick through the cherry cola and Dr. Pepper flavors to get to the root beer. So it’s nice to have a box that is exactly the flavor I wanted. Since they make Hot Tamales as a single flavor, I don’t see why they can’t just keep these as a permanent item.

Related Candies

  1. Mike and Ike Cotton Candy
  2. Haribo Happy Cola Gefullt
  3. Pennsylvania Dutch Candies - Root Beer Puffs
  4. David’s Signature Beans Jelly Bean Sampler
  5. Tootsie Frooties - Root Beer
  6. See’s Pumpkin Spice & Root Beer Lollypops


Name: Mike and Ike Root Beer Float
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Just Born
Place Purchased: Dollar Tree (Pasadena)
Price: $1.00
Size: 5 ounces
Calories per ounce: 99
Categories: Candy, Just Born, Jelly Candy, 8-Tasty, United States, Dollar Tree

POSTED BY Cybele AT 1:22 pm     CandyReviewJust BornJelly Candy8-TastyUnited StatesDollar TreeComments (4)

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Ts & Js Sour Gummies

DSC_9263rbTrader Joe’s makes little fanfare with their new products, they just quietly appear on the shelf and perhaps get a mention in the Fearless Flyer. There are rarely announcements of upcoming products, they just show up. However, the same day that the email announced the new Trader Joe’s Ts & Js Sour Gummies, I wanted some for myself. (Sadly, the first location I tried didn’t have them yet, just a blank space.)

The new sour candy pieces are shaped like the letter T or J and come in four flavors: Key Lime, Tangerine, Meyer Lemon and Grapefruit.

As I mentioned last month in a long profile about the difference between gummis and jellies, this is another case of jelly candies called gummies. It’s kind of sad that Trader Joe’s did that, because their ingredients are quite clean and vegetarians would probably be more likely to pick them up if they weren’t called gummies.

So, if there’s an analogue to this candy in the big brand world, these are all natural, citrus-flavored Sour Patch Letters. Sorry, I think Trader Joe’s buried the lede ... because this is an incredible concept. It’s everything I already like in Sour Patch Kids, with flavors I prefer and ingredients that shouldn’t interfere with the intensity of the flavors.

Ingredients: Cane Sugar, Tapioca Syrup, Modified Corn Starch, Dextrose (Corn), Malic Acid, Natural Flavors (Key Lime, Meyer Lemon, Tangerine and Grapefruit), Citric Acid, Colored with Fruit and Vegetable Extracts (Pumpkin, Carrot, Black Currant), Sodium Citrate, Spirulina Extract (Color), Palm Oil. MANUFACTURED IN A FACILITY THAT PROCESSES PEANUTS AND TREE NUTS.

Trader Joe's Sour Gummies

The colors are muted, with the lime and grapefruit a little hard to tell apart ... except for the fact that I liked both and didn’t care after a while. All are similar to the structure of Sour Patch candies, a sweet jelly center with a mild flavor and an intense sour sanded exterior. Each piece is a mere bite, not too big and pretty clean to eat with minimal mess.

The red ones are Tangerine: the sour coating is tangy and textured, but melts away easily or provides a bit of crunch if you can’t wait. The center is less flavorful, more zesty. The orange notes definitely veer off into authentic tangerine with quite a bit of orange peel flavor.

The light orange are Lemon: the combination of the sour sanding and lemon peel notes of the center give a good approximation of Meyer lemon, which is more mild than the common Eureka lemons.

Clear is Grapefruit: such a great tangy coating with a very strong bitter zest component. Definitely a winner.

Light green is Key Lime: These have a bright lime flavor that’s pretty generic but really refreshing in a too green apple world. It’s pretty good Key lime notes, which have a little creamy component to them instead of the straight acid of Persian limes.

They’re vegan, there are no artificial colors or flavors ... Kosher and priced pretty well. Really, my only complaint is the fact that they call them gummis.

Related Candies

  1. Trader Joe’s Candy Coated Licorice
  2. Sour Patch Kids Berries
  3. Glico Pocky Cookie Crush
  4. Gimbal’s Sour Lovers
  5. Trader Joe’s Jelly Beans & Citrus Gum Drops
  6. Tootsie Sour Dots
  7. Trader Joe’s Gummy Tummies
  8. Sour Patch Kids
  9. Pink Grapefruit Mentos


Name: Ts & Js Sour Gummies
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Trader Joe’s
Place Purchased: Trader Joe's (Glendale)
Price: $1.99
Size: 7 ounces
Calories per ounce: 104
Categories: All Natural, Candy, Trader Joe's, Jelly Candy, Kosher, Sour, 9-Yummy, United States

POSTED BY Cybele AT 1:03 pm     All NaturalCandyReviewTrader Joe'sJelly CandyKosherSour9-YummyUnited StatesComments (4)

Monday, May 11, 2015

Brach’s Milk and Dark Chocolate Caramel and Nut Mix

Brach's Milk & Dark Chocolate Caramel & Nut MixBrach’s has expanded their line of stand up bag offerings. I spotted these at Target: Brach’s Milk and Dark Chocolate Caramel & Nut Mix. It sounds like a much simpler Bridge Mix.

Like most Brach’s products, the package is vague about the product once you get past the name. There’s a list of ingredients, but other than that, I was kind of left to guess what was in my mix.

So, what do we have? Pretty much what the name says. There’s an assortment of two different shapes of chocolate covered nuts ... peanuts and almonds. Then there are some gumdrop looking things that are caramels and some oblong bits that are chocolate covered brittle.

Brach's Nut & Caramel Mix

The whole mix smells sweet, a little like peanuts and cocoa. The sweetness has a fake vanilla note to it that isn’t very encouraging, though the appearance of the mix is pretty attractive. The panning is good, everything is shiny and smooth.

Milk Chocolate Peanuts are satisfying. There’s not a lot of chocolate, but far better than Nestle’s Goobers. There’s a little hint of salt to make these much more of a snack than a sweet.

Dark Chocolate Peanuts also have a hint of salt and a noticeable bitterness to the chocolate which again keeps the whole mix from getting to sticky sweet.

Milk Chocolate Caramels were lackluster. The texture was excellent, the caramel was chewy but not too stiff and it had a smooth consistency. However, it lacked actual caramel flavor and didn’t offset the milk chocolate coating much.

Brach's Nut & Caramel Mix

Dark Chocolate Covered Peanut Brittle are easy to spot. They’re large and have a thick coating of chocolate. The brittle center may be big, but it crunches easily. The nutty flavor is not front and center, this piece is more about the textures of the crushed nuts, the dark chocolate and the sugary brittle. The nut bits are quite small, so it’s almost like the sesame brittle found in Kosher delis.

Dark Chocolate Covered Almonds are one of the larger pieces, though some are small enough to be mistaken for peanuts. The almonds have a light blanching, they’re not overly roasted. They’re crunchy and hold up well to the rather sweet dark chocolate.

This mix takes a lot of guess work out of what can be candy roulette. I liked all the pieces and didn’t really long for anything else that wasn’t in here. I thought the peanuts were great, and it all looked good in a little bowl. I certainly preferred it to the actual Bridge Mix that Brach’s sells.

The product contains milk, peanuts, almonds and soy and is made on shared equipment with other tree nuts, eggs and wheat.

Related Candies

  1. The Recent History of Brach’s Fiesta Malted Milk Eggs
  2. Ghirardelli Milk Chocolate Spiced Almond
  3. See’s Bridge Mix
  4. Brach’s Bridge Mix
  5. Snack Mix for Traveling
  6. Recchiuti Asphalt Jungle Mix
  7. Brach’s Indulge Almonds: Coconut & Caramel


Name: Milk & Dark Chocolate Caramel & Nut Mix
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Ferrara Pan
Place Purchased: Target (Eagle Rock)
Price: $3.99
Size: 8 ounces
Calories per ounce: 133
Categories: Candy, Brach's, Ferrara Pan, Brittle, Caramel, Chocolate, Nuts, Peanuts, 7-Worth It, United States, Target

POSTED BY Cybele AT 10:33 am     CandyReviewBrach'sFerrara PanCaramelChocolateNutsPeanuts7-Worth ItUnited StatesTargetComments (1)

Monday, May 4, 2015

Strawberry Cajillions

DSC_9143rbYears ago, at my first visit to the All Candy Expo (now known as the Sweets & Snacks Expo), I was excited to see a candy called Gazillions. They were little boxes, probably sold for a quarter, that had tiny chewy candies in them, like mini Skittles but single flavors. They came in pineapple. And then I never saw them in stores.

Here it is, 8 years later and I finally found a package at Economy Candy. Except they’re called Cajillions. They’re billed as The Tiny Tasty Candies.

Ingredients: sugar, glucose syrup, hydrogenated palm oil, apple juice, citric acid, artificial flavor, gum arabic, malic acid, carnauba wax, artificial color (cochineal extract)

DSC_9151rb

They’re rather like teensy, rustic bits of deep fried Starburst chews. They’re about the size of lentils.

I hesitate to say that they have an actual shell, but they’re definitely coated and sealed, so they don’t get sticky.

The strawberry flavor is rather clean. The outside is sweet and a little like cotton candy at first, but upon chewing the bits, it’s tangy and pretty smooth. They’re a lot like Skittles, except there’s something that’s not quite right about them. It might be the fact that they use apple juice, so there’s a little note to it that’s just a bit like apple peels to me. But perhaps a little metallic as well.

The shape is pretty good, they’re appealing to look at, though there was a bit of a yellow cast to mine, which made me wonder about whether they were fresh. They don’t roll around, but because they’re so small, they’re not easy to pick up with my fumbly fingers. About five makes a small taste, a dozen is a decent mouthful for a flavorful chew. I could see them working well in candy buffets, especially if they’re available in a wide array of colors and flavors.

I don’t have much interest in the other flavors, which are Blue Raspberry, Green Apple and Watermelon in addition to the Strawberry. No mixes, no Pineapple. I’ll pass for now.

Related Candies

  1. Candyology 101 - Podcast Episode 13 - Skittles
  2. Yum Junkie Pufflettes
  3. Morinaga HiCHEW Mini
  4. Mentos Tutti Frutti
  5. Airheads Bites
  6. Russell Stover Color Me Candies
  7. Mike and Ike Alex’s Lemonade Stand


Name: Strawberry Cajillions
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Foreign Candy Company
Place Purchased: Economy Candy (New York, NY)
Price: $1.00
Size: 1.9 ounces
Calories per ounce: 116
Categories: Candy, Foreign Candy Company, Chews, 5-Pleasant, China

POSTED BY Cybele AT 12:09 pm     CandyReviewForeign Candy CompanyChews5-PleasantChinaComments (4)

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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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