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United States

Tuesday, August 1, 2006

Jelly Belly Soda Pop Shoppe

One of the problems with getting “preview” candy from a trade show like All Candy Expo is that I never know what it’s actually going to look like in stores. One of the new products that I thought was pretty cool in concept was a new flavor assortment from Jelly Belly called Soda Pop Shoppe.

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The flavor assortment includes: 7 Up, Dr. Pepper, A&W Root Beer, Orange Crush, and Grape Crush. What I find a little odd about this soda pop assortment is that there’s no cola in it. But it seems that the variety is determined by some sort of flavor licensing from the Cadbury Schweppes people.

I got this little 3/4 of an ounce packet as a sample, but the fun part about these is that they’re going to be packaged in soda bottles (1.5 ounces in a bottle). Sounds like a good way to share and to reseal them.

7 Up: a nice lemon lime with a good zesty hit at the front that gives it a slight bitter bite. There’s no tangy component though.

Dr. Pepper: I’ve never been a fan of Dr. Pepper (or Mr. Pibb) but these seem to taste pretty faithful.

A&W Root Beer: these look almost like the Dr. Pepper, so be careful. Nice root beer flavor with a little creamy finish to it, like a foamy head.

Orange Crush: This one’s a real winner. Tangy with a slight effervescent quality and a nice fake orange flavor.

Grape Crush: a little too sweet and not tart enough for my tastes, but then again I outgrew my appreciation of grape soda when I was twelve.

I’m a little confused if the A&W Cream Soda flavor is supposed to be in this mix or not, but it would sure fit well, but I wouldn’t miss it if it doesn’t make it.

These should be available in stores next month and might make nice stocking stuffers for Christmas. I like all of the flavors in here except for the Dr. Pepper, which could easily be plucked out and set aside for someone else. I think the real surprise flavor here is the 7 UP which was far more complex than I’d figured it would be.

Name: Soda Pop Shoppe
    RATING:
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 6 TEMPTING
  • 5 PLEASANT
  • 4 BENIGN
  • 3 UNAPPEALING
  • 2 APPALLING
  • 1 INEDIBLE
Brand: Jelly Belly
Place Purchased: All Candy Expo sample
Price: unknown
Size: .75 ounces
Calories per ounce: 141
Categories: Jelly, United States, Jelly Belly, Kosher

POSTED BY Cybele AT 6:13 am     Comments (15)

Friday, July 28, 2006

Jolly Rancher Screaming Sours

imageThere was nothing else like a Jolly Rancher when they first came out. Back then green apple and watermelon were radical flavors ... actually, when I was a kid, the slang term “radical” wasn’t even in use yet.

I really wanted these to be good ... like a gummi bear version of a Jolly Rancher, only in Jolly Rancher flavors.

They come in four flavors - Watermelon, Apple, Orange and Cherry. They’re a little tart jelly candy with a sugar sand coating on them. They’re not gummis at all, there’s not even any gelatin or pectin in the ingredients list, it’s sugar, corn syrup and corn starch plus a little flavor, tartness and color. They’re kind of small morsels too, about the same size around as a nickel.

image

Cherry - not quite a black cherry flavor, this was like a sour cherry and definitely a chemical flavor. This one differed most from the hard candies I was used to.

Watermelon - oh, it’s like summer distilled into a strange pink chemical. Sweet, tart and floral all at once but not really much like the real stuff. But still good.

Apple - tart and appley with that distinct artificial taste, but completely faithful to the Jolly Rancher flavor.

Orange - as usual, my favorite. Tart and with a good citrus essence mixed with a completely middle-of-the-road Tang flavor. Satisfying.

The package warns that mouth irritation may result from the high “sour level” but I didn’t find them that sour at all. The flavors actually blended pretty well - you can pop an apple and watermelon in your mouth together or an orange and cherry and find a pleasant surprise. But they weren’t “Screamingly” sour in the slightest.

My biggest quarrel with these is that they go sticky very quickly. I don’t know if it was the insane heat of Los Angeles or that they just do that after the package has been opened. It doesn’t seem to have effected the flavor, except maybe they’ve bled together a smidge. But really, there’s nothing really compelling here. It’s not a true chew like a Starburst or a gummi or a jelly ... they’re just kind of soft and certainly not sour enough to warrant being called anything more than tangy jellies.

Name: Screaming Sours
    RATING:
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 6 TEMPTING
  • 5 PLEASANT
  • 4 BENIGN
  • 3 UNAPPEALING
  • 2 APPALLING
  • 1 INEDIBLE
Brand: Jolly Rancher (Hershey's)
Place Purchased: gift from Joz (thanks!)
Price: unknown
Size: 6.5 ounces
Calories per ounce: 99
Categories: Jelly, Sour, United States, Hershey

POSTED BY Cybele AT 5:22 am     Comments (25)

Friday, July 21, 2006

Mega Smarties

Everything’s better when it’s big!

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These are big Smarties. Yeah, there are two rolls of Smarties there in the picture. One is a regular sized roll and the other are the new gigantor Smarties.

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Each Mega Smartie is the same diameter as a quarter and tastes suspiciously like a regular Smartie. (Yes, those are Mega Smarties with regular Smarties on top to show scale ... Mega Smarties do not come with hats.)

Really, there’s very little difference except that for the first time I was able to taste the actual vague flavor of each of the Smarties colors. Not that there’s a lot of it. Not that I want a lot of flavor in my Smarties. They’re plesantly sweet and tart and dissolve quickly on the tongue. If I have any complaint with the Mega Smarties, it’s that they’re not quite as crumbly. There’s something so light and chalky about the demi-Smarties that allows them to enter the bloodstream instantly.

If there’s one thing to recommend Mega Smarties, it’s because they’re now in a single-serving package, you should be able to find them with other candy bars instead of in with the bulk and fun sized bags. I usually only pick up Smarties at Halloween, because that’s the easiest time to find them in the large bags ... see how clever they are!

(The weird thing is that I didn’t know what to call these. The label just refers to them as Smarties with no reference to the size. The Smarties.com website doesn’t say anything about Mega Smarties even existing.)

Name: Mega Smarties
    RATING:
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 6 TEMPTING
  • 5 PLEASANT
  • 4 BENIGN
  • 3 UNAPPEALING
  • 2 APPALLING
  • 1 INEDIBLE
Brand: Smarties (Ce De Candies)
Place Purchased: Savon (Hollywood)
Price: $.50
Size: $2.25 ounces
Calories per ounce: 100
Categories: Sour, Ce De Candies, United States

POSTED BY Cybele AT 5:53 am     Comments (41)

Monday, July 17, 2006

M&M Shipwreck Treasure

I’ve never tried M&M minis before, and I figured the gimmicky Shipwreck Treasure mix was as good a reason as any to pick some up. The little plastic tube with a large flip top was brown with a slight woodgrain to it. The trick here is that the colors of the M&Ms are kind of oceany - blue, aqua and green.

imageThe green ones actually change color ... if you put them in your mouth and take them back out, it’ll be gold. Or so they say. I tried tossing them in a little glass of water and it seems to work.

They’re certainly cute and the little tube is a great way to carry them in a resealable container.

But I’m not that keen on them. The shell is thinner and not quite as crunchy, but still very sweet. Because of the small burst of chocolate, they didn’t seem as chocolatey.

Part of what you’re paying for here is the tube, which is cute and the EXACT size for storing quarters. If I still went to the laundromat or rode the bus, this would be very helpful.

The size is cute, but unnecessary unless you’re using them for cooking (I can see them going over much better in cookies than the traditional size) or some sort of decorative purpose.

These M&Ms are part of a marketing tie-in for the Pirates of the Caribbean sequel. I also reviewed the Pirate Pearls White Chocolate M&Ms.

Related Candies

  1. Mint Crisp M&Ms (Indiana Jones)
  2. Skittles Chocolate Mix
  3. M&Ms Razzberry - Limited Edition
  4. Cherry Almondine M&Ms
  5. M&Ms Line
  6. M&M Pirate Pearls
  7. Darth M&Ms
Name: M&Ms Minis Shipwreck Treasure Mix
    RATING:
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 6 TEMPTING
  • 5 PLEASANT
  • 4 BENIGN
  • 3 UNAPPEALING
  • 2 APPALLING
  • 1 INEDIBLE
Brand: M&Ms (Mars)
Place Purchased: 7-11 (Hollywood)
Price: $.85
Size: 1.08 ounces
Calories per ounce: 139
Categories: Chocolate, United States, Mars, Limited Edition

POSTED BY Cybele AT 6:24 am     Comments (14)

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Tootsie Roll Mini Chews

I picked these up several months ago, the same time I got the Chocolate Covered Sugar Babies. I ate a few, and while they were fresh, they weren’t really stunning and I gave the rest of the package away.

When I was at the All Candy Expo, Tootsie really seemed to be pushing them, so I thought I’d give them another try.

image

My first mistake was eating a Storck Chocolate Riesen before eating a Mini Chew ... how could a Tootsie Roll, chocolate coated or otherwise, ever measure up to the chocolatey perfection of a Riesen? Let me just say that it can’t.

The glossy little Mini Chews are certainly cute, though they look like some sort of pelletized animal feed.

The chocolate is sweet and smooth once you get past the food-grade shellac that makes them so shiny. They’re not very chocolatey, but certainly more complex than the Tootsie center.

The Tootsie centers were nice and soft, easy to chew and had a slightly chocolatey hit that never really reached that creamy state that you expect.

If anything, the chocolate coating makes it quite evident that a Tootsie roll is no substitute for chocolate. It tastes too much like cardboard. Watery cardboard.

However, if you set aside your expectations for a chocolate experience and come at Tootsie Rolls like they’re taffy or a chew, they’re pretty good. The best thing about Tootsie Rolls is their durability. With the summer months, I often look for a chocolate alternative because of the heat and Tootsies were often a solution. The Mini Chews probably won’t fit the bill because of the real chocolate though. If you’re dieting, they might be a good option - a little blast of chocolate, but not much in the way of fat. For me, I’m sticking to Orange Tootsie Pops as a Tootsie delivery device.

Name: Tootsie Roll Mini Chews
    RATING:
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 6 TEMPTING
  • 5 PLEASANT
  • 4 BENIGN
  • 3 UNAPPEALING
  • 2 APPALLING
  • 1 INEDIBLE
Brand: Tootsie
Place Purchased: Dollar Tree
Price: $1.00
Size: 4.5 ounces
Calories per ounce: unknown
Categories: Chocolate, Chew, United States, Tootsie

POSTED BY Cybele AT 6:03 am     Comments (6)

Monday, July 10, 2006

Mounds Island Orange

This review is in honor of the New York Times Magazine column yesterday, called Consumed and written by Rob Walker on the subject of limited edition candies.

This particular candy is the perfect example. It’s a good, tasty bar that probably has limited appeal and will therefore never be seen on shelves again. Oh, how I mourn for some of these here-and-gone bars.

When I was a teenager my mother got a hold of a tapioca pudding mix that was coconut and orange flavored. You wouldn’t think that’d be a good idea, and I’m not sure I even liked it at first, but here it is, some 25 years later and I’m still pining for it.

image

The Mounds Island Orange bar is as close as I’ve come to recapturing that taste. (Yes, my mother tried to make it from scratch last time I was at her house, but it just wasn’t the same - something about the proportions was wrong ... don’t get me wrong, it was still tasty and I had two helpings. I love tapioca.)

It’s a regular old Mounds bar from the outside, it doesn’t even smell any different. A strong chocolatey aroma but no trace of the orange burst that awaits inside. That’s right, the coconut is orange flavored. Zesty orange and coconut, which really cuts the sweetness of the filling and allows the chocolate to shine through. (This is a much better idea than last years Key Lime Almond Joy which had a white chocolate coating flavored with lime ... whereas I would have preferred a coconut center with some lime essence in it.)

The center is a freakish orange color, as if someone took the pulp out of a fresh orange. It’s rather unnaturally orange, and it seems pretty silly that they would color the inside of it like that. But the flavor feels natural - not chemical in the least and I really enjoyed how each of the flavors played off each other.

I bought two of these bars, mostly because I saw that Joanna loved them as well, so if you’re a Mounds fan and enjoy zesty flavors, pick it up before it’s gone.

Name: Mounds Island Orange
    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: 7-11 (Hollywood)
Price: $.85
Size: 1.65 ounces
Calories per ounce: 133
Categories: Chocolate, Coconut, United States, Hershey's, Limited Edition

POSTED BY Cybele AT 4:09 am    

Friday, July 7, 2006

P-Nuttles

P Whattles? P-Nuttles! I make fun of it, but it’s really a pretty cool name for a candy.

Sometimes I forget about the blessed simplicity of some classic candies.

imageP-Nuttles are one of those. Turning over the simple orange foil package I looked at the ingredients: peanuts, sugar, butter, salt. That’s it!

The uneven looking little morsels are simply panned peanuts coated with a crunchy toffee. Sweet with a solid salty hit, they’re dependably tasty. No worries if you come across a nut that’s lost its toffee coat, that means more crunchy shell at the bottom of the package.

These are great to put on ice cream or of course a good summertime sweet that won’t melt.

After my bad peanut experience yesterday, I was very happy with these. Not a bad nut in the bag, and considering how many that was, those are good odds. The only problem I have with them is that I have no idea where to buy them. I’m going to have to keep my eyes open for sightings in the wild, but at least I know I can get them online. I wouldn’t be surprised to find them at 99 Cent stores, as I’ve often found Cup-O-Gold there.

Name: P Nuttles
    RATING:
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 6 TEMPTING
  • 5 PLEASANT
  • 4 BENIGN
  • 3 UNAPPEALING
  • 2 APPALLING
  • 1 INEDIBLE
Brand: Adams & Brooks, Inc.
Place Purchased: All Candy Expo sample
Price: MSRP $.85
Size: 1.9 ounces
Calories per ounce: 142
Categories: Peanuts, Toffee, United States, Adams & Brooks

POSTED BY Cybele AT 6:18 am     Comments (12)

Thursday, July 6, 2006

Owyhee Old Faithful

It’s marshmallow day. Or maybe “Original Creme Center” day, since the Old Faithful doesn’t even say it has marshmallow in it. I bought this bar on the same day as the other limited edition Hershey items, so I figured I should review them at the same time. I got them at a store called Duck Soup, which focuses on retro items, like coffee mugs that look like paper cups and old pinball machines. But they also had a very nice selection of classic candy bars. What was even better was that they were only $.99 each ... that Idaho Spud I bought recently was $1.55!

This long lump has a latexy, ultrasmooth creme (ala marshmallow) center cloaked in whole peanuts and milk chocolate.

image

The center was not at all what I expected. I expected something like a fondant or fudge, like the Bun. But instead it’s a rather strange viscous filling that doesn’t flow completely, but is super smooth. Not foamy enough for me to consider it marshmallow, but the ingredients include egg whites, so maybe it is.

In fact, I really loved the filling, with it’s slightly bouncy texture (yes, rather similar to the detested Idaho Spud) what I had particular trouble with was the peanuts in the cluster. There were bad peanuts. Once you have one bad peanut, it makes you skittish. And there were more than a few peanuts that were darker than normal and tasted like burnt plastic.

I don’t know if this was a bad bar, but it was bad enough that I was so fearful of another bad nut that I didn’t even want to finish it. So, I took the last third of the bar apart, just eating the marshmallow. Which I really liked on its own. However, that does not redeem this bar. I can’t not eat a major portion of it.

I’m sorry, I just can’t get past something called Old Faithful would have such bad quality control. It broke its promise of peanuts that I could eat. The milk chocolate was passable and it made me wonder why they didn’t use this coating for the Idaho Spud instead of the artery clogging mess o’ trans fats they had on there.

Note: there are no hydrogenated oils in this bar.

Name: Old Faithful
    RATING:
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 6 TEMPTING
  • 5 PLEASANT
  • 4 BENIGN
  • 3 UNAPPEALING
  • 2 APPALLING
  • 1 INEDIBLE
Brand: Idaho Candy Co.
Place Purchased: Duck Soup (The Grove, Los Angeles)
Price: $.99
Size: 1.5 ounces
Calories per ounce: 147
Categories: Chocolate, PeanutsMarshmallowUnited States, Idaho Candy Co.>

POSTED BY Cybele AT 10:39 am     Comments (6)

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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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-118 days

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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:

• Hachez Braune Blatter (Chocolate Leaves)

• Rogue Chocolatier

• Dandelion Chocolate

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

• Candy Rant: Stimulants are not Energy

 

 

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