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CANDY RATINGS

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United States

Monday, October 24, 2005

Abba Zaba

Name: Abba Zaba
Brand: Anabelle
Place Purchased: gift (but I’ve seen them at 7-11)
Price: $.85
Size: 2.0 ounces
Calories per ounce:
Type: Chew/Peanut Butter

Again, I grew up on the eastern seaboard, so some of the candies I see on the west coast are unfamiliar to me. Abba Zabas are one of them. I think we had something similar, but I can’t recall what it was. The website for Annabelle’s is quaint, circa 1996, and entirely sincere like the candy. It’s a little disturbing that the ingredients label on the candy spells it Palm Kernal instead of kernel, but I have to admit that many spelling mistakes have made to the screen in this site.

Abba Zabas are a white taffy with a stripe of peanut butter in the center. If you open the package and take it out, it looks like a white subway tile and kind of sounds like one if you whack it on the side of the table. They’re dangerous things, really, the taffy is firm and sticky, so if you have any sort of dental work (fillings, crowns, bridges, dentures) you’re liable to lose it or loosen it. If you have firmly planted teeth, you’re probably their target consumer.

I found the taste to be very nice, the sweet taffy is a really good backdrop to the peanut butter, but I have to admit that I prefer either a hard candy shell on my peanut butter or a molasses chew like Mary Janes or Peanut Butter Kisses. The dental destroying qualities are just too overwhelming for me, so I’ll leave this one to the kids.

Rating - 4 out of 10.

POSTED BY Cybele AT 9:31 am     CandyReviewAnnabelle'sChewsPeanuts4-BenignUnited StatesComments (19)

Friday, October 21, 2005

York Pinkermint Patties

Name: York Peppermint Pattie (Special Edition - Miniatures)
Brand: York (Hershey’s)
Place Purchased: freebie!
Price: usually about $2.89 a bag
Size: 12 oz
Calories per ounce: 113
Type: Mint/Chocolate

York Peppermint Patties hardly need a review from me. They’re a dense/fluffy minted center with a thin dark chocolate coat.

The reason I bring these up is that instead of the regular market-testing Limited Edition, these pink-centered patties are to raise awareness and money for the Young Survival Coalition.

“YORK is donating $125,000 to support the Young Survival Coalition. You can show your support for the cause with YORK’s special Pink Patties. Our donation will help provide programs and services to help young women affected by breast cancer.”


While I don’t find $125K to be an extraordinary amount in the fight against cancer, the Young Survival Coalition isn’t that big of an organization, and it’s a good sum to them. I also like the tagline for the patties for this occasion ... Be Sensational.

(Here’s the press release from YSC.)

They’ve been out since this summer, but I’ve yet to see them in any store on the West Coast (okay, I’ve only looked on the coast of California from San Francisco to Los Angeles), these were sent to me by a friend of my sister-in-law in NY. If you find them, grab them. They’re no different than a regular YORK, except for the color. Eat them in the dark if the pink squicks you.

Rating - 10 out of 10 (cancer is bad, breasts are good ... actually I love Peppermint Patties, the miniatures especially)

POSTED BY Cybele AT 9:02 am     CandyReviewHershey'sChocolateFondantMints10-SuperbUnited StatesComments (6)

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Chick-o-Stick

Name: Chick-o-Stick
Brand: Atkinson’s
Place Purchased: gift (but I’ve seen them at 99 Cent Only stores)
Price: unknown
Size: .7 ounces
Calories per ounce: 130
Type: Peanutbutter Crisp

These have always scared me. I think because they’re called Chick-o-Sticks and look like they could be chicken legs. Not something I’d consider to be a sweet treat. And let’s face it, the orange color is pretty freaky. The Atkinson site doesn’t really say why they’re called that except that that’s what they’ve always been called.

What they really are is a peanut butter toffee crisp covered in coconut. Pretty simple. A lot like the inside of a Butterfinger bar, but a bit more solid (as you can see in the close up if you click on the photo).

The taste is good, sweet with a nice hit of salt and a really good roasted peanut butter flavor. Even though the coconut looks pretty minimal, the taste is pretty significant. Unlike some of the other crisped peanut butter candies, this one contains no trans fats, in fact the only fat in it comes from the peanut butter itself. They’re much easier to carry around than some chocolate candies because it doesn’t melt, so I can see this being a good treat for hiking or shipping long distances (the Atkinson website mentions shipping them to Iraq).

I know, I need to get a hold of a Clark bar and Zagnut to round out my tour of peanut crisp.

Rating - 7 out of 10

Related: Butterfinger & 5th Avenue head-to-head

POSTED BY Cybele AT 1:41 pm     CandyReviewAtkinson'sCoconutPeanuts7-Worth ItUnited States99 Cent Only StoreComments (26)

Monday, October 17, 2005

Hershey’s Cookies

Name: Hershey’s with Almonds & Reese’s Cookies
Brand: Hershey’s
Place Purchased: Long’s Drugs
Price: $.99
Size: 2.0 oz
Calories per ounce: 150 and 145 respectively
Type: Cookie

So, the Almond Joy cookies were nice. I loved the York cookies, but haven’t been able to find them again. What I have found are the Hershey’s with Almonds and the Reese’s (finally!).

Can I just say this about the Hershey’s with Almonds? OMIGOD! Awesome. Really. I wasn’t planning on reviewing them so close to the Almond Joy one ... but I wanted to photograph them, and once I opened the package and take a bit for the photo ... eek! They’re soooo good. I wanted to run down the hall and share them with someone else. I didn’t want to share them with someone else! They’re mine! I only have four!

The cookie part is light and crunchy with a good cocoa flavor like the cookie part of an Oreo, but lighter. The creamy chocolate topping has nicely roasted almonds in it. Not a lot of them, but enough for a good nutty flavor and texture. The chocolate is good and sweet and provides a good creamy balance to the slightly salted cookie. I wish they weren’t so hard to find and expensive as cookies go, but then again, I don’t want them in a larger package lest I eat more than four at a time. (I did share one.)

The Reese’s didn’t do much for me. They were peanutty, but lacked a creamy quality that the peanut butter cups have. I still think they’re a solidly good cookie - better than a Nutter Butter if you like chocolate with your peanut cookies.

Ratings: Hershey’s with Almond Cookie - 10 out of 10
Reese’s Cookie - 7 out of 10

POSTED BY Cybele AT 12:56 pm     CandyReviewHershey'sChocolateNutsPeanuts7-Worth It10-SuperbUnited States

Friday, October 14, 2005

Inside Out Junior Mints

Name: Junior Mints Inside Outs
Brand: Junior Mints (Tootsie Roll Industries)
Place Purchased: 99 Cent Only Store
Price: $.99
Size: 5.0 ounces
Calories per ounce: 126
Type: Mint

I got an instant message from a former colleague the other day about these. I hadn’t seen them, but sure enough they were just waiting for me at the 99 Cent store last week.

The Inside Outs are a white chocolate shell with a dark chocolate minted cream filling. They’re not at all like Junior Mints, except for the fact that they’re junior sized and minty. Where a regular Junior Mint has semi-sweet chocolate and an oozy mint filling, the Inside Outs have no real chocolate taste. Where Junior Mints are rather low in fat (for a chocolate candy), the Inside Outs don’t have that much more fat but their second ingredient (after sugar) is Partially Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil ... yes, the dreaded trans fats.

 

Even the description on the box is a little uninspiring “Dark Chocolatey Mints in a Smooth White Coating.” Mmm, don’t you just love white coating? And the word “chocolatey” screams “I have no real chocolate in me!”

If you dig Junior Mints, stick to Junior Mints ... they can hardly be improved. They’re usually a good value (the standard single serve box is 1.84 ounces) and pretty easily understood ingredients. There are real white chocolate mint candies out there and I advise seeking them out - real white chocolate uses cocoa butter which is not only a monosaturated fat it’s just smoother. The Inside Outs are a limited edition, so if you want to give them a try, you’d better hurry.

Rating - 4 out of 10

POSTED BY Cybele AT 9:48 am     CandyReviewTootsieLimited EditionMints4-BenignUnited States99 Cent Only StoreComments (16)

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Sport Beans

Name: Sport Beans
Brand: Jelly Belly
Place Purchased: 7-11
Price: $1.25
Size: 1 ounce
Calories per ounce: 100
Type: Jelly Bean

If you were to take out the brand awareness of Jelly Bellies and introduce a product called Sport Beans, I think you’re looking at a surefire flop. However, Jelly Belly seems to know what they’re doing and they’ve recognized that there were folks out there popping jelly beans for energy while exercising, so why not give them the stuff that they’re getting in a sports drink or gel.

Tangerine Jelly Bellies are far and away my favorites however Sport Beans only come in two flavors, Orange and Lemon-Lime. Could have been worse, they could only come in chocolate and buttered popcorn, so I think I lucked out. I was worried that it would taste salty and sweaty like Gatorade, but it didn’t. They tasted like really zesty orange jelly beans with a slight salty cast to them. The electrolytes provided are not nearly at the levels you’d find in a dietary supplement, but at comparable levels according to the chart on the website to GU plus added vitamin C & E. They’re actually more flavorful than regular Jelly Bellies, which I think is a good feature, as the tartness gets the salivary glands going so your mouth isn’t as dry.

The only drawback I see to these is eating them when you’re not working out. After all, they’re salted up, and if you’re someone who should be avoiding sodium these probably aren’t something you should have around. But, having had Gatorade and Powerade before, Sport Beans are far easier to carry around and meter out how much you want. Putting an open packet of Cliff Shots in your pocket or bag is a surefire sticky disaster in the making.

Rating - 8 out of 10

POSTED BY Cybele AT 9:44 am     CandyReviewJelly BellyJelly Candy8-TastyUnited States7-11

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Almond Joy Cookies

Name: Almond Joy Cookies
Brand: Hershey’s
Place Purchased: 7-11
Price: $1.25
Size: 2 ounces
Calories per ounce: 150
Type: Chocolate/Coconut/Cookie

I know they say they’re cookies, but if something is coated in real chocolate and has a creamy filling, it’s probably a candy. I mean, no one calls Twix a cookie.

I tried the York version of these over the summer and absolutely loved them. They fixed everything that’s wrong with the Girl Scout Thin Mints ... York Peppermint Patty cookies have no trans fats and real chocolate. The Almond Joy cookies aren’t quite as revolutionary, but they’re dang tasty.

It starts with a crisp chocolate cookie on the bottom then is slathered in a lighter coconut cream (not as dense as the center of an Almond Joy) that has some crushed almonds mixed in. The whole thing is dipped in real milk chocolate.

It was very coco-nutty tasting, very smooth. Sweet, but with a lot of different textures including a little hit of salt from the cookie.

They’re really pricey for a cookie, but only slightly more expensive than a regular candy bar. The serving size on the package says all four cookies, but I was pretty satisfied with only two of them.

Related - The Implusive Buy loved the Reese’s cookies (which I haven’t found yet) and Cheap Eats loves them if they’re free.

Rating - 8 out of 10

POSTED BY Cybele AT 9:04 am     CandyReviewHershey'sChocolateCoconutCookieDiscontinued8-TastyUnited States7-11Comments (4)

Thursday, October 6, 2005

The Rocas

Name: Almond Roca and Cashew Roca
Brand: Brown & Haley
Place Purchased: Cost Plus
Price: $.99 each
Size: 1.26 oz
Calories per ounce: 159 (Cashew) 161 (Almond)
Type: Toffee

Almond Roca is cool. It’s the perfect hostess gift when you only have time to dash into the nearest drug store. Everyone likes it, it isn’t expensive, but feels like it is. It comes in a frighteningly pink tin, which is easy to slap a premade gold bow on. People who bring me Almond Roca don’t come off as cheap at all, I consider it a treat. (For the record, I don’t think anyone has ever given me Almond Roca, though I’ve been offered it at other people’s houses, no doubt someone else brought the host it as a gift.)

Almond Roca is a simple little invention - a small log, like a chubby pinky finger of crispy toffee is covered in chocolate and rolled in crushed almonds. (Sorry, it kinda looks like something you’d find in the cat litter but that’s probably why they wrap it in that sassy gold foil.) Cashew Roca is the same thing, only rolled in crushed cashews and wrapped in an even more luxurious cobalt blue foil.

Honestly, I couldn’t tell the difference between the two, the nuts are crushed into such small bits and their proportion to the overall mass of the toffee and chocolate is minute. The almond one has more calories, but besides the swap of nuts on the ingredients, they’re the same but maybe the cashew one is a bit creamier.

The coating is a bit disappointing though, it’s always a bit greasy, sometimes comes off in clumps. It’s not real chocolate, but a pretty good grade mockolate.

Still, it’s dang tasty.

Ratings - 7 out of 10

POSTED BY Cybele AT 9:45 am     CandyReviewBrown & HaleyMockolateNutsToffee8-TastyUnited StatesComments (8)

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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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ON DECK

These candies will be reviewed shortly:

• Wonka Randoms (and some Rowntree)

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