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Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Skittles Chocolate Mix

One of the exciting new products teased at the All Candy Expo is the new Chocolate Mix Skittles. This is a permanent flavor addition to the Skittles line which already includes: Original Fruit, Tropical, Smoothie Mix and Wild Berry.


The Chocolate Mix has five flavors: Vanilla, S’Mores, Chocolate Caramel, Chocolate Pudding and Brownie Batter.

I was pretty skeptical. First, Skittles are known for a lot of flavor being packed into that candy shell. Second, one of the best things about chocolate is the whole experience of both the meltiness (fat) and the cocoa solids (flavor), there’s no way they could get that in here. Third, two of the five flavors in this mix were introduced in the Ice Cream Skittles last year and they were (chocolate and vanilla). I detested the chocolate ones ... and here’s a whole bag designed around that?

Chocolate Mix SkittlesVanilla (cream colored): light and sweet, like a vanilla taffy.

S’More (pale caramel colored): slightly tangy candy coating, a good toasted flavor to it ... not a trace of chocolate, but a little graham/cereal taste to it. Pretty good. Very sweet.

Chocolate Caramel (caramel colored): the prettiest color in the bag. A nice sweet chew with a little burnt sugar note to it and maybe a trace of cotton candy, but I wasn’t catching any chocolate at all.

Chocolate Pudding (dark brown, almost purple colored): vaguely chocolatey, mostly sweet, kind of like cocoa towards the end of the chew.

Brownie Batter (darkest brown): fudgy and kind of like a cookie all at once, which I guess is why it’s called brownie batter. It doesn’t have the complete chocolate flavor, more on the cardboard side and not nearly as satisfying as a Tootsie Roll.

I know everyone’s really excited about these, but I don’t like them much. They’re watery, not vibrant or really engaging my tastebuds. I know that the Carnival Skittles were similar in that they diverged from the intense fruit-ness that Skittles are known for, but these just didn’t have that zing that even they were able to muster with their delicateness. Quite a few folks have stopped by my office to try the new stuff I brought back. They try them, but no one’s come back for more.

The good news is that they contain no dairy and no gelatin ... so as long as you’re okay with a dash of hydrogenated oils, these might be the Skittles for you! The package also states that they are “Gluten Free.”

These should be available in stores later this year, post here if you’ve spotted them in the wild!

Related Candies

  1. Tootsie Rolls & Fruit Rolls
  2. UHA Puccho Custard
  3. Starburst Retro
  4. Skittles Carnival Flavors
  5. Skittles Ice Cream
Name: Skittles Chocolate Mix
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 4 BENIGN
Brand: Mars
Place Purchased: samples from Mars
Price: $.75 retail
Size: 2 ounces
Calories per ounce: 113
Categories: Chew, United States, Mars

POSTED BY Cybele AT 6:36 am     Comments (85)

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Candy Revival: Good ‘n Fruity Returns

I got word during All Candy Expo that Good ‘n Fruity, the fruity version of Good & Plenty is returning next year.

I believe the revamped product was test marketed last year in Oregon, as the photo shown here by permission from ravenzachary shows (or perhaps he got a frighteningly old box).

The original Good ‘n Fruity was a clear sweet jelly center with a variety of fruit flavored candy shells. According to Wikipedia, back in 1988 the centers were changed to improve the flavor and were rather like pieces of fruit licorice with a candy shell.

I have no recollection of ever eating Good ‘n Fruity, I always preferred the licorice parent. But I’ll give it a whirl! If only to find out if they’ve squandered their Dr. Frankenstien powers on this candy instead of reviving the Bar None.

We’ll find out in late February 2008 whether Zombie candies are as good as the original ones.

UPDATE 3/11/2008: I finally got a hold of a box via CandyWarehouse ... here’s the review.

Related Candies

  1. Goodbye Tart n Tinys
  2. I Miss: Bar None
  3. Goodbye Reed’s

POSTED BY Cybele AT 12:04 pm     CandyFeatured NewsNewsComments (82)

Chewy Lemonheads & Atomic Fireballs

Chewy Lemonheads & Chewy Atomic FireballsA couple of years ago I tried a Ferrara Pan product called Narbles. I didn’t care much for it, mostly because it didn’t capitalize on the unique properties of a Lemonhead (though it didn’t actually promise any Lemonhead properties).

I don’t know if Ferrara Pan has been reading my blog (they might have, because I was suddenly able to get mixed bags called the Fruit Headline) but they have a couple of new products: Chewy Lemonheads (and Friends) and Chewy Atomic Fireballs which were introduced at the All Candy Expo last week.


Lemonheads have been one of my favorite candies since I was a kid. They were staggeringly affordable (the larger boxes used to be 10 cents), came in a shareable portion, looked really cool, packed lots of flavor and of course the box turned into a noisemaker. (Sadly they don’t use that kind of box any longer).

Chewy Lemonheads & FriendsThe Lemonhead has several friends in this mix, they include Grape, Orange, Green Apple and Cherry.

The candy balls are beautiful. Slightly translucent (if you like to put your candy on your new LED flashlight on your keychain), they feel as dense as the original hard-candy-centered version, but will yield to pressure when squeezed (just like real lemons!).

It took me a while to get used to them. When I eat a Lemonhead I usually “peel” off the candy shell with my teeth to get to the layer or super sour. Since these are soft on the inside, it took me a while to develop a technique ... but it only took one box.

The outside flavor is just the same as the old Heads, the inside is a rather flavorless jelly ball ... pretty much like actual jelly bean. Come to think of it, these are simply round jelly beans with a sour layer in there. I took a few of them apart to examine the innards (sorry, no gory photos of that). Each was color coded very lightly. I was surprised to find that they were actually lightly flavored. Not super zippy, just mildly fragrant to continue the experience all the way to the core.

Of the five flavors the Orange and Lemon remained my favorites, but the Grape was actually more pleasing than I expected. Cherry and Green Apple just weren’t floating my candy boat, but with 3/5 of the mix as standout winners, I can eat a few cherries. I give them a 7 out of 10.


The Chewy Atomic Fireballs were the big surprise for me. First of all, there was no announcement from Ferrara Pan before the show that they were introducing them (press releases? we don’t need no stinkin’ press releases!). So when I went by their booth I though they were just showing off one of their most successful brands in huge bins at the corner. But looking closely ... chewy!

I took three boxes and opened one. They’re dark red and not easily confused with the Cherryheads.

This is quite a different experience because the traditional Atomic Fireball is a panned cinnamon jawbreaker with alternating sweet and spicy layers. The chewy Lemonhead was an easy shift for my brain, simply a chewy center instead of a hard one. This new Atomic Fireball is more Firehead than Atomic Fireball ... or perhaps Chewy Red Hot.

The outer shell is lightly cinnamon and sweet. If you keep sucking on it gets hotter (but not unbearably) until the candy shell dissipates to reveal the spicy mantle over the chewy jelly core. The core is soft and chewy (perhaps a little sticky) and has it’s own level of background cinnamon-ness.  So while it’s not quite the same as the jawbreaker’s layered experience, it’s still layered with a sort of alternating strong and mild spice to it.

They’re far stronger than Hot Tamales (though may be similar to the Hot Tamales Fire). I give them an 8 out of 10.

As a smaller portion, I really like the 25 cent, one ounce box (hey, it’s 100 calories folks!). The Chewy Atomic Fireball is a real winner, but be prepared as it does have a real burn and you can’t take it out of your mouth like a Fireball. The Chewy Lemonheads don’t quite thrill me, but part of that is that it’s so hard to top the lemony singularity that is the Lemonhead. I’ll probably give them a few more tries. I think I want a box of just the lemon ones for a pure experience. I hope they’ll sell them that way.

No word on when they’ll make an appearance in stores. Please post if you’ve seen them.

Related Candies

  1. Atomic Fireballs
  2. SweeTart Jelly Beans
  3. The Lemonhead & Fruit Heads
  4. Jelly Belly - Full Line
Name: Chewy Lemonheads & Chewy Atomic Fireballs
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 4 BENIGN
Brand: Ferrara Pan
Place Purchased: samples from All Candy Expo
Price: $.25 retail
Size: 1 ounce
Calories per ounce: 100
Categories: Jelly, Cinnamon, Sour, United States, Ferrara Pan

POSTED BY Cybele AT 8:49 am     Comments (21)

Candy Teases: Edition Two

Mars has many new products in store for us in the coming months, most in the limited edition realm:

imageName: Wildly Cherry M&Ms
Brand: Mars
Description: Cherry was rated the #1 fruit flavor by consumers in M&Ms brand research.
Release Date: March 2008
Notes: Wow, my “market research” revealed Strawberry to be the favorite red fruit flavor. (Of course I probably drive cherry fans away.)

Name: Twizzlers Pull n Peel Cinnamon Fire Candy
Brand: Hershey’s
Description: You’ll be sizzling and twizzling
Release Date: February 29, 2008
Notes: I’m not sure they’ll get as much sizzle in there as I want (I find Twizzlers a little bland), but I’m certain to give them a whirl. (UPDATE: Here’s the review.)

Name: Batman Reese’s Peanut Butter Bats in Dark Chocolate
Brand: Hershey’s
Description: Bat shaped Reese’s in dark chocolate (probably like the Reese’s Egg for Easter).
Release Date: Summer 2008 (attached to the Batman: The Dark Knight premiere)
Notes: People have been clamoring for the return of the dark chocolate Reese’s, so this seems like a good tie in.

imageName: Indiana Jones Crispy Mint M&Ms
Brand: Mars
Description: Tie in with the new Indiana Jones and the Temple of the Crystal Skull ... they’ll have little skulls printed on them just like the Pirate Pearls
Release Date: May 2008
Notes: These could be interesting ... of course bringing back the original Crispy M&Ms would be more interesting. (UPDATED: Here’s the review.)

Name: Snickers Adventure Bar
Brand: Mars
Description: a hint of chai and coconut in association with Indiana Jones and the Temple of the Crystal Skull
Release Date: May 2008
Notes: According to Brandweek the wrapper won’t say what the adventurous new flavors will be in this bar ... I think that’s too many flavors, but you know I’ll give it a whirl. (UPDATED: Here’s the review.)

(All photos courtesy of the respective companies’ press kits.)

Related Candies

  1. Candy Teases - New Products
  2. Snickers Shrek
  3. M&M Pirate Pearls

POSTED BY Cybele AT 5:12 am     CandyNew Product AnnouncementFeatured NewsFun StuffNewsComments (15)

Monday, September 24, 2007

Candy Blog is Munchcast!

imageIn case you haven’t been following along at the new show launches at This Week in Tech, they’ve got a new one called Munchcast.

The show is about, well, munchies! It’s hosted by Cammy Blackstone and Leo Laporte.

I’m on this week’s episode, it’s only their eighth and I’m honored to be part of it. It’s all about the All Candy Expo and the new candies introduced there.

Check it out!

(I haven’t listened to it all yet as I’m hopping on a plane in a few minutes ... but I had a fun time recording it.)

POSTED BY Cybele AT 2:01 am     All Candy ExpoCandyFeatured NewsRadio InterviewsComments (3)

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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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These candies will be reviewed shortly:

• Candy Rant: Stimulants are not Energy

• 10 Candies that Shouldn’t Be So Disappointing

• Halloween Candy Spotting 2015

• 10 Candy Corn Candies that aren’t Candy Corn

• Trader Joe’s Holiday Roundup 2015