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Starburst

Friday, May 11, 2007

Starburst Retro

imageSometimes I don’t read the directions. Especially when it comes to things like Ikea furniture and software. On an evening walk a couple of weeks ago with the neighbors and my lovely site programming/design team, we stopped at the 7-11. I scanned the racks for something new and sure enough found the Limited Edition Retro Starburst Fruit Chews. Or so I thought.

I got them home and the next morning went to take their picture. As you can see, that went pretty well. Then I opened the pack only to find that it was the regular flavors with just one of the limited edition array inside. Drat! Not only did I have to buy keep searching, I’d have to buy another package ... and take another photo. Drat!

As luck would have it (I do have plenty) I got an email from a similarly snack-obsessed reader in Colorado who said that they had the large bags at Safeway (called Von’s in my area). So I stopped at Von’s on my way home and lo and behold they serviced all my limited edition needs on sale.

imageI’ve decided after living with them in a jar on my desk all week that I LOVE the Skittles Carnival flavors. For that same period of time I’ve had the Starburst Retro bag on my desk as well. Granted, they fruit chews are not in a pretty glass jar, but I have to admit the tie-dye look of the package is pretty fun and tasty looking.

The package shows a slice of watermelon, a mango, a lime and some cherries. Not really a good sign for me. The concept of retro confuses me as well. From the package design I was expecting something from the sixties and seventies; perhaps the original Starbust flavors (which would be lame as originally the Cherry chew was Lime).

Or maybe retro is just anything that used to be a fad and is no longer popular.

image

  • Psychideli-melon - I consider watermelon a classic flavor, but not one that’s ever really gone out of favor, certainly not in the candy world. It was one of my early favorites from Jolly Rancher. This is tasty and has a big punch of watermelon flavor in it, though a slight bitter aftertaste to me.
  •  

  • Optimus Lime - I’m guessing this name is taken from Optimus Prime, the Transformer with a chest shaped like a Mack Truck. First introduced in 1984 as a toy and later a cartoon, I guess this concept qualifies as retro. As a candy flavor, well, it’s lime. Classic lime. Tart, full bodied with zesty notes and a long slow, salivary-gland-activating chew.
  •  

  • Hey Mango-rena! - I never thought I’d have to bring up the Macarena on Candy Blog. The song and dance of the same name hit big in the States in the summer/fall of 1996. Is that old enough to be retro? The mango is a classic tropical fruit consumed for thousdands of years which only became widely available in the United States in the early eighties. The flavor isn’t really very mango-ish. It takes more like fruit punch to me.
  •  

  • Disco Berry - so we’ve got the eighties and nineties represented, I guess Disco Berry is going to carry the seventies in this mix. This is a very dark red chew that also happens to turn the tongue a similar color. It’s a good berry flavor, kind of like punch but not terribly different from the Mango-rena.
  • As a mix I wasn’t that fond of these. Lime was nice, well, they were all nice, but I never felt like picking out a particular flavor and preferred to eat the Skittles all week. What I really want is a good Citrus Mix. Grapefruit ... why haven’t they done grapefruit? They could put in a tangy tangerine, zesty lemon, biting grapefruit and a key lime.

    Name: Limited Edition Starburst Retro
      RATING:
    • 10 SUPERB
    • 9 YUMMY
    • 8 TASTY
    • 7 WORTH IT
    • 6 TEMPTING
    • 5 PLEASANT
    • 4 BENIGN
    • 3 UNAPPEALING
    • 2 APPALLING
    • 1 INEDIBLE
    Brand: Mars
    Place Purchased: Vons (Los Feliz)
    Price: $2.59
    Size: 16 ounces
    Calories per ounce: 120
    Categories: Chew, United States, Mars, Starburst, Limited Edition

    POSTED BY Cybele AT 6:59 am     Comments (25)

    Monday, April 23, 2007

    Starburst Baja California & Tropical

    Starburst Baja CaliforniaI’ve never been to Baja. I hear that the experience in the lagoons where the Grey Whales nurse their calves is amazing. I also hear they make great fish tacos there. But I also hear they eat these. It still hasn’t been enough to get me to drive that 200 miles south.

    The Starburst Baja California commericals make it seem to be a paradise.

    It might well be.

    image

    I admit that I’m always enchanted with candy that’s named for a place.

    Limon - this was strange. It started with the distinct flavor of bubble gum. I can’t explain it. Then it got very tart with a pleasant lemon-lime flavor and a slight hint of key lime.

    Strawberry Watermelon -  yes, this tasted just like you’d think a strawberry and watermelon Starburst should.

    Baja Dragon Fruit - as a blue flavor, I was a little put off, I can’t quite put my finger on the flavor. It reminded me of mango and a little bit of plum.

    Aztec Punch - the first time I tried this I thought I got my mixes mixed and it was a cherry one. So I dug out another one and the same thing happened. It tastes like cherry. Maybe that’s what the Aztecs put in their punch.

    Starburst TropicalI often shun Tropical flavored stuff because it all ends up being passion fruit, papaya and guava, which I think are good fresh fruits but not really flavors I’m keen on.

    But this array in Starburst Tropical of flavors sounded pretty good.

    image

    Mango Melon - I don’t know. It was kind of melon, kind of mango, but not the best aspects of either of those flavors. Not tangy enough, not zesty enough.

    Strawberry Banana - I don’t consider strawberries a tropical fruit. If something is indigenous to England, it’s not tropical. This was bad. I wanted to like it, as I love real strawberry and banana things, but the banana was just ooky, a little too fake and a little too much like a scented candle.

    Royal Berry Punch - another punch flavor. It’s like they thought that there weren’t enough specific tropical fruit flavors so they had to do these punchy things. This is nice though, a little note of coconut with some melon and citrus and maybe kiwi.

    Pina Colada - very coconutty and with a good tingly blast of pineapple. It doesn’t have that buttery flavor that coconut stuff often does, but the fully-rounded notes of the pineapple are great.

    If I were to create a Tropical Fruit mix, I’d keep it simple and pick from these: Pineapple, Mango, Lychee, Passion Fruit & Banana. The ultimate mix from these two packs would consist of: Limon, Pina Colada and Royal Berry Punch. No, I can’t even manage to pick a fourth. They’re all okay, but I prefer the original mix best (because of its high citrus content).

    Name: Starburst Baja California and Tropical
      RATING:
    • 10 SUPERB
    • 9 YUMMY
    • 8 TASTY
    • 7 WORTH IT
    • 6 TEMPTING
    • 5 PLEASANT
    • 4 BENIGN
    • 3 UNAPPEALING
    • 2 APPALLING
    • 1 INEDIBLE
    Brand: Mars
    Place Purchased: Rite Aid (3rd & Fairfax)
    Price: $.69
    Size: 2.07 ounces
    Calories per ounce: 120
    Categories: Chew, United States, Mars, Starburst

    POSTED BY Cybele AT 7:16 am     Comments (32)

    Friday, April 20, 2007

    Starburst Berries & Creme and Fruit & Creme

    Let me just start by saying that Starburst has some of the oddest commercials. Not “Freshmaker” odd, really really odd on purpose. The older Starburst commercials were rather traditional - selling Starburst on its description and merits. It’s fruity! It’s a chew! There’s real fruit juice in there! Now they focus on the experience and the kind of hip person (or tragically unhip) eats them.

    image

    I don’t read much into commercials. I eat Take 5 bars even though they had a wretched ad campaign last year that definitely wasn’t speaking to me.

    Starburst started expanding its flavors many years ago and now has a rather large family. Today I’ll tackle the “Cremes.”

    imageStarburst Berries & Creme - as with all the Starburst packages, this contains four flavors. While many companies are going with “smoothie” flavors (Skittles & Necco Wafers) for some reason Starburst decided we needed creme flavors in our Starburst.

    Strawberries & Creme - reminds me of strawberry yoplait.
    Raspberries & Creme - I’m not sure what this is, it doesn’t really taste like raspberry but it was nice
    Blueberries & Creme - this tasted like blue scented magic markers ... I feel like I’m in third grade!
    Mixed Berries & Creme - reminds me of yoplait. It tastes like mixed berries that are a little tart and a little creamy.

    On the whole the new flavors actually tasted new to me. The strawberries and creme didn’t taste like a regular strawberry, so kudos for originality. But I like the clean taste of the original fruits.

    image

    I was kind of confused when I was buying my array of Starbursts for this series. I didn’t understand the difference between Fruit & Creme and Berries and Creme. Turns out there’s only a fifty percent difference. Two of the flavors are the same, I’m guessing they’re what Starburst thinks are the two best flavors, or perhaps the ones that make the colors of the package look good.

    I don’t know if Berries & Creme and Fruit & Creme are meant to exist side-by-side, perhaps they’re battling it out right now for your affection and only one will remain on the regular Starburst repertoire.

    imageStarburst Fruit & Creme - I’ve got to say that if nothing else the colors of the wrappers are enchanting. I’m always pleased when there isn’t a blue in the package though. Something weird about blue food.

    Strawberries & Creme - yup, still strawberry yogurt.
    Orange & Creme - chewy creamsicles. The dairy taste is just odd.
    Peaches & Creme - oh dear, I don’t know what this is, it’s all the bad things about peaches ... basically peach fuzz. Why not make candy that tastes like banana peels while they’re at it? (Okay, orange peel is a great flavor ... I was just feeling snarky.)
    Mixed Berries & Creme - that’s definitely some berry yogurt or maybe a frozen yogurt pushup.

    For your reference and multimedia enjoyment: Berries & Creme, Beluga Barf, Fruit & Creme, Baja California then compare those to this
    1982 Commercial.

    Name: Starburst Berries & Creme and Fruit & Creme
      RATING:
    • 10 SUPERB
    • 9 YUMMY
    • 8 TASTY
    • 7 WORTH IT
    • 6 TEMPTING
    • 5 PLEASANT
    • 4 BENIGN
    • 3 UNAPPEALING
    • 2 APPALLING
    • 1 INEDIBLE
    Brand: Mars
    Place Purchased: Rite Aid (3rd & Fairfax)
    Price: $.69
    Size: 2.07 ounces
    Calories per ounce: 120
    Categories: Chew, United States, Mars, Starburst

    POSTED BY Cybele AT 7:20 am     Comments (18)

    Thursday, April 19, 2007

    Starburst

    Starbursts were one of those candies that simply appeared from nowhere and filled an aching void in my being that I never knew existed. They were chews, like Now & Laters, only they were actually chewy.

    image

    I didn’t know that they were road tested in Europe as Opal Fruits since 1960. They were introduced in the US in 1976, just as I was getting a regular allowance and permission to walk down to the convenience store with my sister. Though vaguely similar in format to Now & Laters, the soft chew and salivary-gland tingling tartness set them apart.

    imageStarbursts are great for kids, I can say this authoritatively because that’s what I thought when I was one. They’re individually wrapped, have an array of flavors and the long narrow package looks like it has a lot of candy in it. It promotes sharing and portion control. And they’re brightly colored. The bright wax wrappers can also be folded into chains. (I never went this far though.)

    The original flavors were orange, lemon, lime and strawberry but at some point lime was out and cherry was in. I wasn’t that fond of lime, but my dislike for cherry is well-known. The packages contain 12 chews.

    Orange - super tangy and then mellows into a pleasant zesty chew.
    Lemon - always reminds me of those little cups of Italian ice we’d eat in the summer. Sour and juicy and then sweet and chewy.
    Strawberry - tart and sweet, it really doesn’t taste much like real strawberries, but it’s one of the few “red” candies that I actually enjoy.
    Cherry - a pretty cherry tasting cherry chew, sharp and with that woodsy cherry flavor in there. I always got points with my friends because this would be the first Starburst I would offer out.

    As I was preparing this review and photographing the candies I was surprised that there were three of each flavor. I could have sworn that they were random and sometimes I was getting far too many cherries.

    Starburst actually have real fruit juice in them as well as 50% of your RDA of Vitamin C. They also (in the States) have gelatin in them, so they’re not suitable for vegetarians and not certified Kosher. I’ve heard that the European versions of Starburst don’t have gelatin, so I’m curious if the texture is any different.

    Other Starburst varieties:
    Starburst Sours
    Starburst Icy Bursts (Limited Edition)
    Starburst Fruit & Creme
    Starburst Berries & Creme
    Starburst Tropical
    Starburst Baja California
    Starburst Retro (I haven’t found these yet)

    Other Starburst products: Starburst Jelly Beans and Starburst Chew Pops

    Name: Starburst
      RATING:
    • 10 SUPERB
    • 9 YUMMY
    • 8 TASTY
    • 7 WORTH IT
    • 6 TEMPTING
    • 5 PLEASANT
    • 4 BENIGN
    • 3 UNAPPEALING
    • 2 APPALLING
    • 1 INEDIBLE
    Brand: Mars
    Place Purchased: Rite Aid (3rd & Fairfax)
    Price: $.69
    Size: 2.07 ounces
    Calories per ounce: 120
    Categories: Chew, United States, Mars, Starburst

    POSTED BY Cybele AT 6:28 am     Comments (72)

    Tuesday, August 22, 2006

    Starburst Icy Bursts

    At first I was irritated when I saw this new flavor set from Starburst. What the heck would Icy Bursts be? I thought that they’d have some sort of cooling sugar alcohol like Xylitol that’s all the rage these days, but instead it’s just the addition of mint to each of the flavors.

    image

    Once I figured that out, it reminded me of the not-so-great Bear Bubble Gum that had that awful menthol in it. But then I settle down and stopped trying to draw negative connections. 

    Part of what changed my mind was that I’ve been going to a new Gelato joint (well, I’ve been there twice) and sampled quite a few of their sorbet flavors. The ones that I’ve liked best were Limoncello & Basil, Strawberry & Licorice and Pineapple & Cardamom ... you can see where I’m going with this, right? Fruit and herbs are a great combo!

    What’s even better about the addition of mint is that I don’t have that awkward chemical aftertaste when I’m done. I’m left with a minty feeling, not a strange green apple burp taste in my mouth.

    Strawbrrrrry - yes, that word has six Rs in it, and five of them are in a row. I can actually pronounce that, as I can trill my uvula, so if you ever run into me in person, ask me to say it out loud. This one looks and smells like a regular strawberry Starburst and it isn’t until very late in the chew that the mint comes out. It didn’t rock my world, nor feel like a burst of anything, but I liked it.

    Kiwi Snowberry - creamier than the others, kind of like kiwi/strawberry, but who knows. The wrapper was green but the candy itself was mauve. Of all of them, the mint was the least welcome.

    Blue Raspberry Freeze - a rather pleasant surprise, the raspberry had some nice floral notes to it, a good tart burst and then the minty overtones. It ended up being my favorite of the set, which is odd because I never would have thought that raspberry should go with mint.

    Polar Citrus - it’s an orangy/lemony citrus with a little bit of a creaminess to it and a much more subdued minty undertone. It didn’t really have anything “blasty” to it.

    The thing that I’ve always liked about Starbursts is their way of tickling my salivary glands and making them tingle. These don’t do that. They’re mild and pleasant and don’t really deserve the word BURST in their name twice. That said, they’re nice enough and if they were in a bowl on my desk mixed with regular Starbursts, I’d eat them after the others were gone. These are a limited edition product.

    Did you know that Starbursts have 50% of your recommended daily value of Vitamin C? That was their unique selling proposition when they were introduced in the 60’s.

    Name: Starburst Icy Bursts
      RATING:
    • 10 SUPERB
    • 9 YUMMY
    • 8 TASTY
    • 7 WORTH IT
    • 6 TEMPTING
    • 5 PLEASANT
    • 4 BENIGN
    • 3 UNAPPEALING
    • 2 APPALLING
    • 1 INEDIBLE
    Brand: Mars
    Place Purchased: 7-11 (Silverlake)
    Price: $.89
    Size: 2.07 ounces
    Calories per ounce: 115
    Categories: Chew, Mint, United States, Mars, Limited Edition

    POSTED BY Cybele AT 6:02 am     Comments (12)

    Thursday, March 16, 2006

    Starburst and Jelly Belly Jelly Beans

    The traditional icon for Easter candy has always been Jelly Beans. I’m not sure when they were invented, but they’re a great candy because they are their own wrapper. You can hold them in your hand and unless you’re exceptionally sweaty, they don’t melt. Back in the day jelly beans were like gumdrops and came in spice flavors. Sometime late in the last century this changed and spice beans fell out of favor and now just about all jelly beans are fruit flavored.

    imageThe Starburst Jelly Beans are really fruity flavored jelly beans. A little smaller than the old fashioned spice ones but not as small as a Jelly Belly. They come in Cherry, Strawberry, Green Apple, Orange, Lemon and Grape. Like Jelly Belly, the Starburst beans use both a flavored center and flavored shell to maximize the taste. The Starburst beans are zesty and fruity, with a nice ring of tart. The shell, though a little grainy at first when you chew it, dissolves nicely. The whole candy dissolves very well instead of sticking like the Jelly Belly tend to do. (Note: Starburst Jelly Beans are made in Mexico.)

    image

    Here’s the array to match up the flavors of (Jelly Belly) and Starbursts for my taste test. From top left to lower right it goes: (Green Apple) Green Apple, (Blueberry) Grape, (Orange) Orange, (Strawberry Daquiri) Strawberry, (Lemon) Lemon, (Very Cherry) Cherry.

    imageI’ve already said lots about the Jelly Belly. I think they’re fantastic jelly beans. I don’t really care for the flavor mix boxes, I prefer to pick out my own jelly bean flavors. I usually go with a citrus mix of the various lemons, orange, tangerine and grapefruit and maybe a little pina colada.

    What I prefer about the Starburst is that there’s just fewer flavors, and the colors are pretty easy to distinguish so there are no surprises. I found the cherry flavor okay and if I had to drop a flavor, it’d be the grape.

    When I was at the store it was obvious that there’s been an explosion of jelly bean brands. Everyone is making them now. You can get Lifesaver branded ones, Ferrara Pan, SweeTarts, Starburst has several other flavor mixes ... I could go on and on. If you’re looking for value, well, the Starburst are FAR less expensive and with Easter candy half the fun is the insane quantity. Really, you can’t go wrong with jelly beans. What I always liked about jelly beans is that they were a candy you could leave out, unwrapped, in a bowl or in the grass of your Easter basket and as long as they didn’t get wet, they seemed to stay fresh forever. Well, I’ve never tested forever ... a jelly bean never lasted long in my house.

    If you’ve tried these or one of the other brands of jelly beans, like SweeTarts or Lifesavers, what did you think?

    Related Candies

    1. Jelly Belly Sunkist Citrus Mix
    2. Starburst GummiBursts
    3. Jelly Belly - All Natural
    4. Starburst
    5. Jelly Belly Deluxe Easter Mix
    Name: Starburst & Jelly Belly Jelly Beans
      RATING:
    • 10 SUPERB
    • 9 YUMMY
    • 8 TASTY
    • 7 WORTH IT
    • 6 TEMPTING
    • 5 PLEASANT
    • 4 BENIGN
    • 3 UNAPPEALING
    • 2 APPALLING
    • 1 INEDIBLE
    Brand: Mars & Jelly Belly
    Place Purchased: Rite Aid
    Price: $1.89 & $1.09
    Size: 14 ounces & 1.6 ounces
    Calories per ounce: 107 & 100
    Categories: Jelly, United States, Mexico, Mars, Jelly Belly, Easter

    POSTED BY Cybele AT 9:02 am     Comments (32)

    Tuesday, July 26, 2005

    Starburst Sours

    Name: Starburst Sours
    Brand: Starburst (Mars)
    Place Purchased: 99 Cent Only Store
    Price: 33 cents
    Size: 2.07 oz
    Calories per ounce: 120
    Type: Chew (Sour)

    I love sour stuff, though I must admit that as I get older, I’m not really into the tortuous super-sours that I pursued as a kid. So, basically what I look for in a sour is something that gets my salivary glands to tingle, but also delivers flavor and hopefully doesn’t trash my tongue too bad.

    The issue I run into with many of the more modern sours is that they’ve gone off and created rather chemical tasting candies. I’m kind of a fan of citrus sours, but the new sour flavors like green apple just taste like something I’d clean my windows with. The Starburst Sours are green apple, blue raspberry, cherry and watermelon. Now, I don’t think I’ve ever had a sour watermelon in my life, so that one was especially puzzling. But perhaps I should drop logic and reality from this review.

    First flavor was watermelon. It’s got a nice sour bit to it without overwhelming the watermelon flavor. Green apple is chemical through and through. Very sour and creates (sorry to be gross) some pretty unpleasant burps for me. Blue Raspberry reminded me of blue highlighter pens (and a bit like those scented markers we also had as kids) - the flavor is just like what I’d expect for a red raspberry, but I think that’d be too many pink things in the package, so they made it blue. I think the most successful flavor in the package is the cherry one - though I’m not a big fan on the flavor cherry (mostly because I associate it with poison because the red dye #2 thing back in the 70s) but this has a lot of flavors within it. It’s got a good sour bite to it that goes on through the whole chew, a nice woodsy cherry flavor and then a sweet maraschino topnote.

    On the whole, I think Starbursts are great. They were a great addition to the market when they first came out because they filled that hole - they’re chewy like taffy but not likely to pull out your fillings (or as a kid it seemed like I was always losing a tooth or a new one was growing in so taffy was pretty hard to eat). Starbursts have that great chew but are forgiving and not so rubbery as to pull on anything. Don’t get me wrong, they can get plenty stuck in your teeth, they’re just not taking your teeth out.

    These are not a flavor pack that I’m likely to buy again (I really love the originals though and will continue to buy them or Skittles) but I appreciate the addition to the line for those that like artificial sours.

    Rating - 7 out of 10

    Related Candies

    1. Starburst Sours (New)
    2. Starburst Retro
    3. Starburst Baja California & Tropical
    4. Starburst Berries & Creme and Fruit & Creme
    5. Starburst
    6. Starburst Icy Bursts

    POSTED BY Cybele AT 10:01 am     CandyReviewMarsChewsSourStarburst7-Worth ItUnited States99 Cent Only StoreComments (4)

    Tuesday, June 21, 2005

    Starburst Chew Pops

    Name: Starburst Chew Pops (Green Apple, Orange & Strawberry)
    Brand: Starburst (Mars)
    Place Purchased: Von’s Grocery
    Price: 10 cents each
    Size: .49 oz
    Calories 100
    Type: Lolly/Taffy

    I’ve got to hand it to Starburst. They’ve always packed their candies with flavor. When Starburst first came on the market, I loved them. They were much more flavorful than other taffy treats available at the time. Easier on the teeth, too.

    Starburst now offers lollypops. In the tradition of Charm’s Blow Pops and Tootsie Pops, there are fruit flavored hard candy with a same-flavored Starburst fruit chew center.

    I picked these up at the grocery store at the check out counter (thanks Russ!) for ten cents a pop. The orange is by far my favorite. It’s really orangy, and the flavor goes all the way through with the continuation in the chew. Dirt cheap, I know I’d buy these again. In fact, they’re perfect for Halloween (I like to give away a mix of chocolate and non-chocolate/nut treats for the kids).

    I wasn’t as keen on the green apple flavor as it had a very unpleasant chemical taste to it. But then again, green apple usually does. The strawberry is good too, but also a little bit on the artificial side. They’re rather tart, which is something I enjoy in a fruit hard candy.

    I hope they come out with more flavors. I bet I’d love lemon.

    Rating: 9 out of 10.

    POSTED BY Cybele AT 12:06 pm     CandyReviewMarsChewsHard Candy & LollipopsStarburst9-YummyUnited StatesVon'sComments (6)

    Page 2 of 2 pages  < 1 2

    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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    COUNTDOWN

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    Which seasonal candy selection do you prefer?

    Choose one or more:

    •   Halloween
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    ON DECK

    These candies will be reviewed shortly:

    • Patric Chocolate

    • Amano Chocolates

    • Candy Rant: Stimulants are not Energy

    • Candy Encyclopedia: The Difference Between Gummi and Jelly

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

     

     

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