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Target

Monday, June 14, 2010

Haribo Raspberries Gummi Candy

Haribo RaspberriesHaribo makes dozens of kinds of candy usually in fanciful shapes. The Haribo Raspberries Gummi Candy are kind of the other end of the spectrum. They look just like the real thing. They’re the same size and approximate the shape and texture of real raspberries and blackberries very well.

The Raspberries are a popular item for wedding candy buffets because they’re elegant with their sharp red and black colors but also because they do well in summer heat.

Oddly enough, before buying this bag, I’d never had the Haribo version before. I’ve had the Jelly Belly Confections brand, but saw no reason to try anything else.

I picked up this “value bag” at Target. Value is mostly accurate, it’s a half a pound for $1.49 - which is pretty good for Haribo. This particular bag was made in Turkey, I know that Haribo varies depending on which of their global facilities the candies are made in.

Haribo Raspberries

They are cute and exquisitely formed. Each is made up of a soft clear gummi center covered with black or red large nonpareils. The nonpareils themselves aren’t particularly flavored, the pop is in the center.

Haribo Raspberries

I don’t think there’s supposed to be a difference between the two, but I sense one.

The Black Raspberries are lightly bitter, like smoke, on the tip of my tongue. The center is a mild and tangy raspberry jelly. It’s not really gummi but completely smooth with only a slight bouncy chew. It wasn’t a full-bodied jam flavor, just a light floral berry juice.

The Red Raspberries were actually more to my liking, though much sweeter. I wish the nonpareils weren’t quite so sweet or at least had a little more flavor to them. But at least the red ones didn’t taste weird to me. (Odd because the only food coloring mentioned on the package was Red 40, my nemesis, which I would have expected to ruin the red ones.)

Overall, they’re pretty and probably fun for decorating or display, but not enough pop for me to keep eating. I will note again that these were from Turkey, the ones made in the German factory may be much better.

Related Candies

  1. Haribo Saure Dinosaurier
  2. Heide Red Raspberry Dollars
  3. Zachary Candy Corn & Jelly Pumpkins
  4. Haribo Fizzy Cola
  5. Jelly Belly - Full Line
  6. Haribo Gummi Bears vs Trolli Gummi Bears


Name: Raspberries Gummi Candy
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Haribo
Place Purchased: Target (Irvine)
Price: $1.49
Size: 8 ounces
Calories per ounce: 102
Categories: Candy, Haribo, Gummi Candy, 6-Tempting, Turkey, Target

POSTED BY Cybele AT 4:00 pm     CandyHariboGummi Candy6-TemptingTurkeyTargetComments (16)

Monday, April 5, 2010

Nestle Crunch - Even More Scrumptious

Nestle Crunch - Even More ScrumptiousOne of my favorite chocolate bars as a kid was the Nestle Crunch or Krackel. Both of them went downhill in the nineties (Hershey’s Krackel isn’t even a chocolate bar any longer) but the Nestle Crunch seems to be inching its way back to respectable. About two years ago Nestle released their “Now Even Richer” tweak, which improved the bar but it wasn’t hard when it was so waxy and flavorless before.

Nestle is going for it again with their Nestle Crunch Even More Scrumptious version. Since we’re in a crossover period where both the “Now Even Richer” and “Even More Scrumptious” version are on shelves, I picked up two for comparison.

Nestle Crunch - Even More Scrumptious

The bar’s shape and size is exactly the same. Same package design with the familiar red, white and blue colors that have been used for at least 50 years but of course updated from time to time. The mold has the bold CRUNCH lettering that lets you know what it is inside or out of the mylar. I prefer a bar with segments. While pretty molding is nice if you’re eating the whole bar yourself and don’t care about the sanitariness of biting right into it, I usually break my bar into pieces so I can share or portion. Though the ingredients on the old and new version are identical as is the nutrition information, flipping both bars over reveals the most significant difference:

Nestle Crunch - Current Formula & Even More Scrumptious

(Now Even Richer version on the left - Even More Scrumptious on the right)

Sometime in the mid-2000s (I think), Nestle started using these little BB shaped & sized crisped rice pieces. Not just in the Crunch bar but also in the 100 Grand Bar. I don’t like them. They lack the irregular air pockets that gives a Crunch bar its more rustic texture. But the big rice pieces are back, I took this as a good sign.

Nestle Crunch - Current Formula & Even More Scrumptious

(Now Even Richer version on the left - Even More Scrumptious on the right)

The color of the two bars is slightly different. It could be age, the new formula is obviously a fresher bar though both are within their freshness dates.

But what’s the difference in taste, how did they make it better without actually changing the ingredients or nutritional profile?

Well, it’s creamier. Not by much but the fact that the rice pieces are larger seems to make a difference as well. The bigger crunch makes the chocolate texture difference more noticeable. Is it really that much more scrumptious?, I’d say yes, there is some notable improvement in the creaminess and sweetness level of the chocolate. It still lacks a well-rounded chocolate flavor and texture. It’s far too sugar intense and not chocolatey enough for me, or even milky enough. It’s an entertaining enough piece of candy for the price, but not a satisfying bar of chocolate. It does earn the right to scootch up from at 6 out of 10 to a 7 out of 10. I hope the other holiday versions get this changeover, too.

(I think that’s Jenilee Harrison as the first bar-eater. What I got from this commercial is that it’s a candy bar that white people like.)

Related Candies

  1. Malley’s Chocolates
  2. Wilbur Milk Chocolate Crisp
  3. Nestle Milk Chocolate
  4. World’s Finest W.F. Crisp
  5. Nestle Crunch Crisp
  6. Nestle Crunch with Peanuts


Name: Nestle Crunch
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Nestle
Place Purchased: Target (Eagle Rock)
Price: $.69
Size: 1.55 ounces
Calories per ounce: 142
Categories: Nestle, Chocolate, Cookie, Kosher, 7-Worth It, United States, Target

POSTED BY Cybele AT 12:47 pm     CandyReviewNestleChocolateCookie7-Worth ItUnited StatesTargetComments (5)

Friday, April 2, 2010

An Easter Dash - Reviews in Short

Easter DotsEaster Dots come in one of the happiest looking boxes I’ve seen in a long time.

They’re also crazy cheap, most of the time a theater box like this that holds 7 ounces is just a buck. When I looked at the flavors on this box I was a little confused about what made these an Easter version besides the box (Mike and Ike come in holiday boxes that are the exact same candy). The flavors are Blueberry, Lemon, Lime, Cherry and Orange. The flavors of the classic Dots box are Strawberry, Lemon, Lime, Cherry and Orange. So in this version the Strawberry has been swapped for Blueberry.

These were very fresh. Tootsie does a good job of sealing up the boxes well and Dots have a clear cellophane overwrap.

Easter Dots

Once I opened the box I found out the big difference, it’s the color. Easter Dots are bright and opaque little nubbins.

Well, maybe there was another difference. These seem to be just as smooth but have a “shorter” chew to them, so they didn’t stick to my teeth like Dots usually do. I liked the freshness of the flavors, though it’s a little bland it’s also soothing. The blueberry was pretty convincing though I wish that one replaced the cherry instead of the strawberry.

Rating: 6 out of 10

Divine Milk Chocolate Speckled EggsI’ve been searching all over for these for the past month and finally found them at Whole Foods yesterday ... not with the candy but at the end of the cereal aisle.

Divine Milk Chocolate Speckled Eggs are all natural and fair trade milk chocolate eggs with a candy shell.

They’re freakishly expensive at $4.99 for 3.5 ounces, far more than I’d be willing to pay on a regular basis. I really only bought them because I’d been searching so hard for them it seemed weird to find them and then get decide they were too expensive. The chocolate is made from beans from the Kuapa Kokoo cocoa cooperative in Ghana. Seems like Easter is one of those holidays where folks may want to pay more attention to the social responsibility behind the treats.

The stand up box is charming. Inside is a little clear cellophane bag with a little more than a handful of eggs.

Divine Milk Chocolate Speckled Eggs

They’re very similar to Cadbury Mini Eggs. The shape is more football than pear. They beautiful muted colors and a matte finish.

The shell is smooth and softly decorated. The shell is quite thick and crunchy. The chocolate inside has a silky melt, a little sticky with a good caramelized dairy note. I liked them a lot and will probably buy them again next year. Hopefully they can be found in larger packages for better value. (Also, Whole Foods could do a better job of putting them where people can find them. I went to three different stores and it wasn’t until the fourth circuit of the one at 3rd & Fairfax that I found them - even after asking a stockperson.)

Rating: 7 out of 10

Sour Patch BunniesThe Sour Patch Bunnies are like many other Easter versions of regular candies. As you can imagine these are little bunny shaped candies instead of being shaped like spiky haired children.

I liked the box a lot, it was easy to tell apart from the regular Sour Patch offerings. The only quibble is really the packaging. Like many theater box candies, inside the box the candy is inside a plain cellophane bag. As I mentioned above, the Dots are just tumbling around in the box and there’s a cellophane seal on the outside. For this version I have to open the box top completely to get the bag out, dump the candy into the box and then I’m faced with an opening that is really too large for dispensing.

Sour Patch Bunnies

They’re a little lighter in color compared to the Sour Patch Kids. Honestly, I prefer this. They’re colored enough that I can tell them apart and guess the flavor and that’s really all I need. Other than that, the shape was so vague, unless you told me these were bunnies I wouldn’t have known. Pink is the classic Swedish Fish flavor with a tangy coating. Green is lime, yellow is lemon and orange is orange. A biting sour coating, a chewy sweet jelly candy in the center ... they’re great.

Rating: 7 out of 10

Russell Stover Peanut Butter PastelleI bought this Russell Stover Peanut Butter Pastelle Rabbit online from Russell Stover. I just couldn’t find it in the stores and thought it was a unique product.

The rabbit is similar to the white chocolate one I tried last year (and didn’t like that much, so I wonder why I was curious about this one). It’s a peanut butter coating (like peanut butter baking chips) with a peanut butter filling.

The three ounce flat rabbit is nicely molded. The butterscotch color is also really appealing. It smells like vanilla pudding and peanut butter. The coating though is a bit waxy and stiff, it melts but not in a dreamy way that good white chocolate does. But it’s not too sweet, which is a relief as well. The filling is a crumbly peanut butter with a salty note and a dry grainy crunch. I kind of got into it. I’d prefer it in a smaller format though, maybe one of the smaller eggs they do.

Rating: 6 out of 10.

Brach's Classic Jelly Bird EggsBrach’s Classic Jelly Bird Eggs are cheap jelly beans. I don’t know what classic is, the package gives no indication what the flavors are.

They’re only 99 cents for a generous 9 ounce bag. Even at that bargain price, they’re not much of a deal. They’re pretty enough to look at and probably decorate with, but they’re inconsistent in flavor and execution. I also resent not knowing what’s inside. It’s not like the bag is tiny and has no room for information like the flavor array.

Brach's Classic Jelly Beans

White is pineapple. It’s sweet and floral but bland. Green is lime and rather strong but lacking zest. Purple is grape and is utterly stupid ... seriously, it tastes like sweet stupidity. Black is licorice. All of the black ones seemed to be smaller than the other jelly beans. Still, they were tasty and well done. Pink is bitter and just dreadful. Perhaps it’s strawberry. Red is not as bitter but still dreadful. Orange is sweet and empty. Finally there’s yellow, which is actually pretty good, it’s like a sugared lemon peel.

Rating: 4 out of 10

Brach's Spiced Jelly Bird EggsSo as annoying as I found the Classic beans, you’d think I would be happy with the Brach’s Spiced Jelly Bird Eggs which are quite clear on the front that they feature spice flavors.

I was hoping for rich flavors, but of course I know Brach’s well enough that I really won’t be getting much more than a decent looking product. The bag doesn’t promise much more than a good value, so I should probably adjust my expectations.

Brach's Spiced Jelly Beans

Red is a mild cinnamon, not as good as Hot Tamales and kind of tinged with some of the mint notes, but still pleasant like a cup of spiced chai. White is peppermint. I have to say that a peppermint jelly bean is a little odd especially since it’s so grainy but still fresh tasting. Pink is wintergreen which I really love except when there’s too much food dye like this one that has a weird bitter clove & plastic aftertaste - but at moments it’s kind of like root beer. Purple is clove and is actually mild enough for me to enjoy though true clove lovers will probably be disappointed. Orange is sweet and again lacking in any pizazz. Black is again licorice and pretty good (though it makes my tongue dark green).

I think the problem is that I’ve already had some pretty good spice jelly beans from Hot Tamales (Just Born) and there’s really no need to switch brands, the price is comparable, availability is the only issue.

Rating: 5 out of 10

Related Candies

  1. Halloween Dots: Bat, Candy Corn & Ghost
  2. Divine Fair Trade Chocolate
  3. Whoppers Reese’s Peanut Butter Flavored Candy
  4. Dots Elements: Earth, Air, Fire & Water
  5. Cadbury Popping Mini Eggs
  6. Hot Tamales Spice Jelly Beans
  7. Cadbury Mini Eggs
Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The All American Chocolate Bunny Battle

Cadbury - Dove - Bliss BunniesThe cornerstone of an Easter Basket is the chocolate bunny. There are many to choose from and most often it’s about how it looks. I picked up three foil wrapped milk chocolate rabbits of similar size for a little comparison.

All were about the same price, between $3.99 and $4.49 (though prices vary from store to store, I picked all mine up at Target before the good sales started). All are American made, all are milk chocolate and all are Kosher. In the running are: Cadbury Dairy Milk Solid Milk Chocolate Bunny, Hershey’s Bliss Hollow Smooth & Creamy Milk Chocolate Bunny and Dove Fairy Bunny Silky Smooth Hollow Milk Chocolate Bunny.

Dove - Cadbury - Bliss Bunnies

Each is similar in size, thought the Cadbury bunny is solid so weighs a little more. Though they come in boxes, I’m not sure they’d go into the Easter basket that way. So here they are out of their boxes. I found all of them to be overpackaged, especially considering how many chocolate rabbits (Lindt is most notable) that are sold simply wrapped in foil without a box or plastic form shield.

Cadbury - Dove - Bliss Bunnies

Side by side it’s easy to see how the different milk chocolates are vastly different colors. Cadbury is the lightest and has an orange hue. Hershey’s Bliss is the darkest and from my reading of the ingredients and nutrition label it has the least fat (more milk solids and sugar).

Cadbury - Dove - Bliss Bunnies

They’re all three dimensional bunnies with nice molds. They were all pretty much flawless out of their wrappers as well.

Cadbury Solid BunnyThe Cadbury Dairy Milk Solid Milk Chocolate Bunny is made in the United States by Hershey’s from imported “chocolate crumb” from Cadbury’s facilities in the UK (at least that’s what I learned via the NYTimes in 2007).

The ingredients are different than the UK Cadbury Dairy Milk. There is no additional vegetable fat in there, but it does contain PGPR, an additional emulsifier often used in less expensive chocolate. (If you’re curious about the differences between the UK and US Dairy Milk, check out this head to head comparison.)

Sugar, milk chocolate, cocoa butter, lactose, soy lecithin, PGPR, natural and artificial flavor

They all came with a crazy amount of packaging, the Cadbury bunny’s box was more than two inches taller than the rabbit inside. But it’s a generous size, a full six ounces which at the selling price of $4.49 it was the best value of the bunch.

Cadbury Solid Bunny

The rabbit is a rather realistic representation, no anthropomorphism by the designers. It’s a classic sitting rabbit with high ears. The foil is great, the only one of the bunch that has a design on both sides. (The wrapping style is kind of like a chocolate coin, the two sides are a heavy printed foil and have a seam all the way around.) The fact that he could be seated facing either way was a great feature, especially if you’re designing an Easter basket for a particular tableau.

Cadbury Solid Bunny

My Cadbury bunny was soft, even though my house was a cool 68 degrees. Biting off the ears was pretty easy, but after that I had to take a knife to him and give him a few quick jabs to break him up.

The chocolate has strong caramelized sugar and yogurty dairy notes. The texture is sticky as it melts though not as sweet as I expected at first. The cocoa is mild and woodsy ... it’s the classic dairy milk chocolate I think most people are familiar with. It’s a little grainy and gritty.

I was a little irritated at how hard it was to eat, requiring a knife or the unsanitary gnawing. But he was lovely. Here are some more shots I took if you want to see some other views:

Cadbury Solid Bunny Cadbury Solid Bunny Cadbury Solid Bunny Cadbury Solid Bunny Cadbury Solid Bunny

Hershey's Bliss Hollow BunnyThe Hershey’s Bliss Hollow Smooth & Creamy Milk Chocolate Bunny was a little confusing. There were two products on the shelves at Target from Hershey’s (here’s where I picked all of these up). There was this Bliss bunny, which I thought was a good comparison to the Dove one, and then an identically molded one that was just “Hershey’s” but with a blue bow instead of a lavender one (I photographed the back of the package for later comparison).

The Hershey’s Bliss one has no PGPR like the Cadbury or classic Hershey’s recipe, but of course a price tag to match (in this case a dollar more).

The Bliss bunny wins for the least amount of packaging, if you can call this winning. Inside the box was a formed plastic piece that went over the front-facing side of the bunny but like the others, there was a lot of empty space in that box.

Hershey's Bliss Hollow BunnyBliss is a relatively new chocolate line from Hershey’s, it was introduced barely two years ago with a parallel line of products and pricing structure to the Dove line. The packaging and foil wrapping doesn’t quite rise to the level of elegance or chic sophistication that Lindt, Godiva and Dove have been perfecting for so long. But it’s what’s inside that matters ... well, in the case of hollow chocolate bunnies, it’s what’s inside the foil that matters, the really inside is nothingness.

Bliss was the lightest bunny in the bunch at only 4 ounces.

The shape is of a bunny on its hind legs, front legs kind of up in a begging position. She’s not carrying a basket or anything. The molding is nice, the details are pretty good, especially on the ears. I don’t care much for the design of it but the shape is good. It feels substantial, which is important to kids. It’s not easy to put a thumb through the side or anything.

The Bliss bunny had an excellent sheen. It broke nicely and wasn’t too soft. The bunny itself had thick sides, but not too thick that breaking it was difficult. (I actually like hollow bunnies more as I get older - I like the illusion or size but the ease of portioning.)

Hershey's Bliss Hollow Bunny

The chocolate was smooth and creamy, with a rich milky flavor with a little Hershey’s twang, but not too much. It’s sweet but not throat-searing and not at all gritty or grainy. I liked it much better than the Hershey’s rabbit I had last year and better than the Bliss foil wrapped pieces.

Here are more photos to give you a sense of the scale, wrapping and molding:

Hershey's Bliss Hollow Bunny Hershey's Bliss Hollow Bunny Hershey's Bliss Hollow Bunny  Hershey's Bliss Hollow Bunny

Dove Fairy Hollow BunnyThe final rabbit is the Dove Fairy Bunny Silky Smooth Hollow Milk Chocolate Bunny. This one diverges from the classic rabbit shape and goes a little into the weird territory. This bunny has fat, fat butterfly wings (I don’t know how some conservative folks feel about mixing fairies with Easter).

The box has the most packaging, a clamshell formed clear plastic piece that protects the bunny and holds it in place. It did its job well, as my bunny looked great in and out of the foil. The back of the box has a poem about the Fairy Bunny, a poem that tells the story of this magical Easter bunny who has a product placement deal with Dove.

This ingredients looked okay, there’s PGPR in there but it comes after the flavorings. (I’ve been told that PGPR is great for manufacturers because it makes molding easier.)

Dove Hollow Fairy Bunny

The Dove bunny is by far the best looking one in and out of the foil, but definitely on the feminine side with its lavender wing accents and luscious eyelashes. (Even the whiskers look feline-sexy.)

It’s a squat bunny, so it doesn’t feel quite as decadent as the Bliss one, even though it weighs a half an ounce more at 4.5 ounces.

Dove Hollow Fairy Bunny

The walls of the chocolate were inconsistent. Some spots were thick and beefy, others, like the sides and bottom away from the edges were quite thin.

The bunny has a soft milky and woodsy scent, not too sweet. The texture of the chocolate is creamy and smooth. As I had my bunny open for tasting for a couple of weeks, I noticed that the flavor profile changed. I’ve noticed this with molded items that have a lot of surface area, and especially with chocolate that has PGPR. The flavor gets a little rancid ... not full on “my goodness, this is spoiled” but a subtle “this was better last week”. So I found myself gravitating, much to my surprise, to the Bliss bunny.

This bunny still wins for its looks, here are some more glamor shots:

Dove Fairy Hollow Bunny Dove Fairy Hollow Bunny Dove Hollow Fairy Bunny Dove Hollow Fairy Bunny

On the whole, all three are good quality. They’re expensive by the ounce when you compare it to other chocolate like little foil wrapped pieces or big bars. But they’re also a special item for an Easter basket, gifting or just using as a decorative item. I suggest going for the chocolate you like ... but sometimes aesthetics trumps taste. Don’t forget to check out your local chocolate shop though - there’s something special about buying local from a company that molds their bunnies on site.

Related Candies

  1. Lake Champlain & See’s Bunny Battle
  2. Upscale Hollow Chocolate: Michel Cluizel & Hotel Chocolat
  3. Palmer Hollow Chocolate Flavored Bunny
  4. Russell Stover Hollow Milk Chocolate Bunny
  5. Lindt Chocolate Bunnies (Dark & Milk)
Name: Cadbury, Bliss & Dove Milk Chocolate Bunnies
    RATING:
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 6 TEMPTING
  • 5 PLEASANT
  • 4 BENIGN
  • 3 UNAPPEALING
  • 2 APPALLING
  • 1 INEDIBLE
Brand: Cadbury (Hershey's), Bliss (Hershey's) & Dove (Mars)
Place Purchased: Target
Price: $4.49, $4.49 & $3.99
Size: 6 ounces, 4 ounces & 4.5 ounces
Calories per ounce: 148, 142 & 152
Categories: Chocolate, United States, Mars, Hershey's, Cadbury, Kosher, Easter

POSTED BY Cybele AT 12:33 pm     Comments (4)

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Swedish Fish Eggs

Assorted Swedish Fish EggsSeems like everyone’s getting into Easter versions of their popular candies. Cadbury-Adams has quite a few new varieties including Sour Patch Eggs and Sour Patch Bunnies (which I bought & will review soon) but the more innovative one appeared to be Assorted Swedish Fish Eggs.

The package is more than quirky. The little red Swedish fish is sporting white and pink bunny ears and a little talking bubble says, “What, you’ve never heard of Candiar?”

The package notes that it also includes Swedish Fish but it didn’t elaborate beyond that.

Swedish Fish Eggs

Inside it’s not a large amount of candy for a theater box. It’s 3.1 ounces, which means that the inner cellophane bag takes up less than a third of the volume of the box.

The assortment is a mix of the small Swedish fish and the little “eggs” which are half inch hemispheres. They come in three or four flavors/colors. Orange, lemon, lime and “Swedish Fish” flavor.

Swedish Fish Eggs

When I took the picture I didn’t know there was a difference between the light green eggs and the aqua eggs.

The Swedish Fish and the aqua eggs are the same berry flavor. Sweet, tangy and jammy.

The lemon eggs are mild, as are the orange ones. Not much zest or juice to it, but still an ultra smooth chewy gel. The lime ones were surprising and more sweet as far as I could tell and more zesty.

On the whole they were fun, the teensy eggs were different but took away from the interactive part of eating a regular size Swedish Fish (biting & pulling it apart).

These are made in Canada but there’s no allergen statement on the box. They contain no animal products, nut products or apparent gluten ingredients but you may want to check with Cadbury directly. They also may be vegan, depending on how you feel about eating mineral oil. (There’s no glaze or dairy in it.)

Related Candies

  1. Au’some Easter 3-Dees Gummy
  2. All Gummies Gourmet Fruity Fish (Swedish Fish knock-off)
  3. Gummy Fishies
  4. Organic Surf Sweets
  5. Jelly Belly Deluxe Easter Mix
  6. Swedish Aqua Life
Name: Swedish Fish Eggs
    RATING:
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 6 TEMPTING
  • 5 PLEASANT
  • 4 BENIGN
  • 3 UNAPPEALING
  • 2 APPALLING
  • 1 INEDIBLE
Brand: Cadbury Adams
Place Purchased: Target (Eagle Rock)
Price: $1.00n
Size: 3.1 ounces
Calories per ounce: 99
Categories: Jelly, Canada, Cadbury, Easter

POSTED BY Cybele AT 4:00 pm     Comments (6)

Monday, March 8, 2010

LifeSavers Gummies: Bunnies & Eggs

LifeSavers Gummies Bunnies & EggsThe new LifeSavers Gummies Bunnies & Eggs are charming little Easter themed gummis that come in five different shapes and six different flavors.

The bag has the old LifeSavers logo and design elements to it (the rolls are rather different these days). It also features the bug-eyed bunny that appears on the Jelly Beans.

The flavors are Lemon, Apple, Orange, Tangy Cherry, Tangy Punch and Watermelon.

LifeSavers Gummies Bunnies & Eggs

All the candies are sherbet colors, soft, opaque pastels. They’re bouncy and squishy, not quite greasy but they definitely cling together readily.

I expected them to be big, about the same size as the hoops known as LifeSavers Gummies, which themselves are larger than the hard candy version. Instead they’re actually smaller than the little images on the package. These cute and plump little shapes are barely the size of a traditional gummi bear. (I threw an M&M in there for you to see the scale.)

LifeSavers Gummies Bunnies & Eggs

Blue is Tangy Punch - it reminds me of Hawaiian Punch. It’s tangy of course and has an artificial flavor to go with the tropical fruit.

Green is Apple - it’s far less tart than I expected. A little like apple juice.

Orange is Orange - it looks like sherbet and tastes rather like it too, soft and mellow with a light sour note but mostly a juice flavor.

Red is Watermelon  - at first I thought it’d be cherry. The watermelon reminded me of Jolly Ranchers in the best possible way. Fresh, a little more intensely fruity than the real melon and of course an artificial version of the actual flavor.

Lemon is Yellow - I didn’t care much for this one, it had a metallic note, like drinking lemonade in a can.

Pink is Tangy Cherry -  this is not the cherry I associate with LifeSavers. It’s far too mild and though it’s called Tangy Cherry, it’s not terribly sour at all.

On the whole they’re adorable, rather mild but nothing extraordinary. Gummis for Easter aren’t that common, so it’s nice to see a themed product. There is no allergen statement on the package but it does contain gelatin and of course artificial colors & flavors. It doesn’t say anything about gluten or nuts.

Related Candies

  1. Au’some Easter 3-Dees Gummy
  2. Disney Pixie Perfect Gummies
  3. Necco Paas Gummi Baby Bunnies
  4. LifeSavers Tangy Fruits Gummies
  5. Albanese Gummi Butterflies
  6. Lifesavers Jellybeans
Name: LifeSavers Gummies Bunnies & Eggs
    RATING:
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 6 TEMPTING
  • 5 PLEASANT
  • 4 BENIGN
  • 3 UNAPPEALING
  • 2 APPALLING
  • 1 INEDIBLE
Brand: Wrigley's (Mars)
Place Purchased: Target (Eagle Rock)
Price: $1.79
Size: 7 ounces
Calories per ounce: 92
Categories: Gummi, United States, Wrigley's, Easter

POSTED BY Cybele AT 12:02 pm     Comments (3)

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
    RATING:
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 6 TEMPTING
  • 5 PLEASANT
  • 4 BENIGN
  • 3 UNAPPEALING
  • 2 APPALLING
  • 1 INEDIBLE
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)

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Hershey-ets

Hersheyette's CaneLong before Hershey’s came out with Kissables, they had a product called Hershey-ets. They were introduced in 1954 and were pretty much direct competitors to M&Ms. They never quite took off so by 1978 the machinery for Hershey-ets was turned over to the Reese’s Pieces project and Hershey-ets were only made seasonally.

My personal memories of these candy covered chocolate lentils are pretty vague. I know that I could get them at Hershey Park in little vending machines for a dime or quarter for a handful. (Not to be confused with the machines that dispensed duck food.) The only reliable time, for many years, to find Hershey-ets was around the holidays when they were sold in Christmas colors and found in bags in the baking aisle or in these cute little clear plastic canes.

Then the disappeared in 2006 with the introduction of Kissables (2005)... then Kissables were reformulated from their original candy-coated milk chocolate drops formula into candy-coating mockolate in 2008... then they were quietly discontinued in 2009. Earlier this year Hershey’s announced a new product line called Pieces, which would add to the existing Reese’s Pieces line three new products: York Peppermint Pattie Pieces, Almond Joy Pieces and Hershey’s Special Dark Pieces. One item missing from that list was a classic milk chocolate version ... the Hershey-ets.

Hersheyettes

So I can’t say I was surprised when I stumbled on a display of Hershey’s Canes at Target a few weeks ago. They featured the Hershey’s Canes I remembered from my childhood - a clear plastic tube filled with Hershey-ets (green & red) or Reese’s Pieces (in white, green & red). They were only 99 cents so I picked up a few.

There’s not much to say about the construction of them, as most Earthlings are familiar with this candy construction. Milk chocolate ovoid covered with a brightly colored sugar shell.

Are they just smashed Kissables or are they mini Hershey’s Easter Milk Chocolate Eggs?

Kissables Original (2006) Ingredients:  Milk chocolate (sugar, cocoa butter, chocolate, nonfat milk, milk fat, lactose, soy lecithin, PGPR & artificial flavors), sugar, red #40, yellow #5, yellow #6, blue #1 & carnauba wax.

Hershey-ets (2009) Ingredients: Sugar, milk, cocoa butter, chocolate, contains 2% or less of artificial colors (yellow #5, red #40, blue #1), corn syrup, corn starch, modified food starch, resinous glaze, soy lecithin, carnauba wax, vanillin. (Manufactured on shared equipment with peanuts).

I don’t have a wrapper for the classic Hershey’s Eggs, but just by tasting these I’m going with a mini version of the Hershey’s Eggs. What’s weird is that there’s no PGPR in there.

M&Ms & Hersheyettes

Finally, since they look and act like M&Ms, I also did a little one-to-one comparison. Hershey-ets are little bulkier, a little less tapered at the edges. The shell is also thicker, so there’s more crunch.

M&Ms milk chocolate is sweet and tastes a bit like cocoa with a light peanut touch and milk. Not intense and the shell is like a light crust. They’re very easy to eat, and keep eating though they never quite fill me up.

Hershey-ets milk chocolate is classic Hershey’s tang. Honestly, sticking my nose in the little tube, it smelled like chevre, or at the very least, chocolate cheesecake. The tangy yogurt note cuts through the sweetness a bit, and the extra crunchy shell provides more than just melting protection. Still, they’re every sweet and after a handful they gave me a sore throat. I enjoy the fact that they’re so different from M&Ms, but they’re not quite the jumbo pop of the Easter version that I prefer which has more shell and more of an uninterrupted fudgy chocolate flavor and texture. I easily ate both tubes I had over two days.

Lately I’ve found that Hershey’s chocolate has tasted a little rancid, a little more like burps than is considered polite for candy. I’ve been blaming it on PGPR, which I think either adds some sort of off flavor or allows the flavors to oxidize quicker. These don’t seem to have that problem. The flavor, though tangy with that slightly caramelized milk note is still there, but either sealing them in the little airtight candy shell or the lack of PGPR gives me back my classic Hershey’s chocolate.

Though I don’t remember them, they were once available in single serve packages just like M&Ms, Candy Wrapper Archive has an image of them from the 60s. Retro Commercials remembers when Hershey-ets were sold by the bucket.

Related Candies

  1. Mentos - Pine Fresh (Pineapple)
  2. Head to Head: M&Ms vs Koppers Milkies
  3. UK Smarties (no artificial colors)
  4. Disney Branded Chocolate Candies
  5. M&Ms Line
  6. Head-to-Head: Smarties vs. M&Ms
  7. Jelly Belly JBz
Name: Hershey-ets
    RATING:
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 6 TEMPTING
  • 5 PLEASANT
  • 4 BENIGN
  • 3 UNAPPEALING
  • 2 APPALLING
  • 1 INEDIBLE
Brand: Hershey's
Place Purchased: Target (Harbor City)
Price: $.99
Size: 1.7 ounces
Calories per ounce: 141
Categories: Chocolate, United States, Hershey's, Kosher

POSTED BY Cybele AT 10:38 am     Comments (46)

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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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