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Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Black Ace Licorice

Black Ace LicoriceI’m a licorice fan, so it’s hard to do it wrong. I’ll eat it as a hard candy, a chewy rope or classic pastille. What I thought was great about this Black Ace Licorice is that it fits into that niche of licorice products that just about everyone can enjoy. Until I saw this package it didn’t occur to me that so many gluten/wheat sensitive folks were missing out on some great chewy licorice goodness.

This licorice has no wheat flour in it, as most laces, twists and ropes do. Most mass-produced licorice products in the United States don’t even contain real licorice any longer, they use anise flavoring instead. Black Ace is all natural and contains real licorice (which is a good thing and a bad thing, I’ll get to that in a moment.) Licorice has been used for centuries in teas and medicinals. The extract is extremely sweet and has been used an alternative sweetener. It’s a natural expectorant as well, so it’s often found in cough remedies. Some of the effects of too much licorice can be welcome (laxative effect), unpleasant (green stool), or downright dangerous (high blood pressure & edema). Again ... that’d be too much licorice. What’s too much? More than six servings a day.

Black Ace LicoriceBlack Ace are little dots of licorice. They’re soft and chewy, pretty much melting away in the mouth smoothly as you chew or dissolve them. They have corn starch in them, which I guess might make them a jelly product. They’re very sweet, but have a mellow peppery, woodsy taste to them. They’re sweetened with corn syrup and sugar, not molasses, so I miss some of the more earthy flavors. There’s also a little hit of salt in here that tones down the high sweet flavors of the licorice itself.

Black Ace also does a Red version, which also has a similarly pleasant, smooth and soft chew. The flavor is a good fruity/floral mix, something like raspberry. I’m not a big fan of Red in general, mostly because it reminds me I could be having black licorice. But these were definitely nice.

I enjoyed them quite a bit but would probably prefer a molasses & wheat based candy. But if you’re a fan of licorice and can’t have wheat and don’t want boring old hard candies, this might be a solution. Since they’re all natural, you can expect to find them places like Whole Foods as well as Beverages & More, Oakville Grocery or Bristol Farms and possibly TJ Maxx and Marshalls.

Note: though this is all natural, fat free, wheat and gluten free, the package states that they were made in a facility that processes peanuts & other nuts.

Name: Black Ace Licorice
    RATING:
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 6 TEMPTING
  • 5 PLEASANT
  • 4 BENIGN
  • 3 UNAPPEALING
  • 2 APPALLING
  • 1 INEDIBLE
Brand: Food Savvy
Place Purchased: samples from Food Savvy
Price: unknown
Size: 6 ounces
Calories per ounce: 100
Categories: Licorice, Jelly, United States

POSTED BY Cybele AT 9:51 am     Comments (9)

Monday, May 7, 2007

Skittles Carnival Flavors

imageThis bag of Limited Edition Carnival Flavor Skittles absolutely smells like a carnival midway: a combination of waffle cones, cotton candy and freshly shaken lemonade.

I was a little peeved that I couldn’t find these in a single-serve bag, but at least they were on sale. While many chocolate based products in large bags are only 11-14 ounces, Skittles still come in a full pound bag.

Skittles Carnival Flavors

  • Cotton Candy (light blue): cotton candy barely qualifies as a flavor. It’s just spun sugar. Some places give it a light strawberry or raspberry flavor, but often I think it just tastes like the color pink. This is sweet and has that light touch of burnt sugar and floral, strawberry sweetness ... all kissed with blue food coloring.
  • Bubble Gum (pink)  - stunningly faithful to the flavor of real bubble gum, sweet and disconcerting, as I thought I could just keep on chewing but eventually it disappeared
  • Candy Apple (light yellow) - candy apples are another one of those things that isn’t quite a flavor. The candy shell on an apple is usually just boiled and colored sugar. I guess the flavor here is cotton candy touched with a little bit of tangy apple.
  • Red Licorice (red) - I’ve never been quite sure what the flavor of red licorice is. I suppose it’s a very mild berry (strawberry and/or raspberry). It’s all sweet with none of the tangy bite of berries.
  • Green Slushy (light green) - this is more than lime. It does taste kind of like Mountain Dew (or what I remember MD tastes like, I haven’t had one in at least 15 years. It’s lime with a bite of bitterness or key lime perhaps. It’s actually really good. I like it better than a regular lime Skittle.
  • The only strange thing about all of the flavors is that the candy shell was every so slightly tangy when first placed on the tongue. While that’s fine for Red Vines and Slushie, it didn’t really belong on the Bubble Gum and Cotton Candy. I’m wondering if that sour bite is the ascorbic acid that gives each serving of Skittles its 45% RDA level of Vitamin C.

    I didn’t care much for the extended flavors I reviewed last week, but I found myself happily munching away on this bag of Skittles without picking out particular flavors. Also, the flavor combinations pretty much all work with each other. Perhaps Slushy and Candy Apple are my least favorite combo but Cotton Candy and Bubble Gum are quite a nice mix. The other fun thing is that there’s not strange Skittles Breath after eating them. Often with the fruity Skittles I find coffee unpalatable. Though they’re not really coffee compatible, they don’t spoil the experience for me.

    Related Candies

    1. Skittles Blenders
    2. Skittles Fizzl’d Fruits
    3. Skittles Crazy Cores
    4. Skittles Carnival Flavors
    5. Skittles (Fruits, Wild Berry, Tropical, Smoothies & Sour)
    6. Skittles Fresh Mint
    7. Skittles Ice Cream
    Name: Skittles Carnival Flavors
      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: Von's (Los Feliz)
    Price: $2.59 (on sale)
    Size: 16 ounces
    Calories per ounce: 113
    Categories: Chew, United States, Mars, Limited Edition

    POSTED BY Cybele AT 6:09 am     Comments (90)

    Saturday, May 5, 2007

    FDA & Mockolate - It’s not over

    The newspapers are still latching onto the story. Browse through a few stories:

  • Contra Costa Times: Fudging Chocolate by Janis Mara
  •  

  • The Missoulian: Don’t deceive us with ersatz ‘chocolate’
  •  

  • News with Views: Heart Attack Chocolate by Jon Christian Ryter
  •  

  • About: Chocolate Lovers Unite, then Write the FDA by Kathy Gill
  •  

  • San Jose Mecury News: Chocolate change would leave bad taste
  • It’s important to keep the coverage going through blog posts and message boards and letters to the editor. The story should saturate the news so that the comments at the FDA will ultimately reflect the citizens and not just manufacturers.

    POSTED BY Cybele AT 6:43 am     CandyFDANewsComments (3)

    Friday, May 4, 2007

    Hubba Bubba Sour Gummi Tape

    Hubba Bubba Sour Gummi TapeThis is a new level of portability for tape shaped gummi products. Capitalizing on the bubble gum tape dispenser (with the ultimate application being the Bubble Roll Message Maker) this little plastic disk holds six feet of candy.

    Hubba Bubba introduced these in two flavors: Sour Blue Raspberry and Shocking Strawberry. Though the product calls itself gummi, it’s looks more like Red Vines from the ingredients: Sugar, Corn Syrup, Wheat Flour, Corn Starch, Partially Hydrogenated Palm Oil, Malic Acid, Apple Juice Concentrate, Citric Acid, Natural and Artificial Flavors, Mono & Di-Glycerides, Red 40.

    There isn’t any gelatin in there, which is what I consider a defining ingredient of gummis. To continue that thought, jellies use pectin or corn starch, licorice or vines use wheat flour.

    image

    Naming aside, the dense roll unravels to reveal a long and flat tape with a coating of sugar and flavor on it (a little sour bite) which keeps it from sticking to itself. The chew is pretty dense and leathery, like a rather dry Red Vine.

    I found the package frustrating, as the cutter didn’t really cut, it just held the tape in place while I stretched it until it split and broke. Of course it would also scatter bits of the sugary coating around as well. I guess they’re worried about giving sharp objects to kids. I guess they’re not worried about stuff getting in my keyboard. Or maybe they have a co-marketing deal with those compressed air can companies.

    The candy is tasty but the novelty of the roll in a pack you can put in your back pocket isn’t well executed. These remind me of a bunch of different products, including the Sour Punch Straws and the unbranded stuff you can get in the bulk bins at the grocery store. Basically there are better values out there, however, if you’re looking for a light candy snack, especially for kids that involves some portion control, this might be fun.

    Name: Sour Gummi Tape - Shocking Strawberry
      RATING:
    • 10 SUPERB
    • 9 YUMMY
    • 8 TASTY
    • 7 WORTH IT
    • 6 TEMPTING
    • 5 PLEASANT
    • 4 BENIGN
    • 3 UNAPPEALING
    • 2 APPALLING
    • 1 INEDIBLE
    Brand: Hubba Bubba (Wrigley's)
    Place Purchased: 7-11 (Hollywood)
    Price: $1.19
    Size: 2.1 ounces
    Calories per ounce: 115
    Categories: Gummi, Sour, Turkey, Wrigley

    POSTED BY Cybele AT 7:31 am     Comments (15)

    Webstore Review: Economy Candy

    I thought I would give you some real-world info about what it’s like to order from some of the webstores I’ve mentioned before.

    Economy Candy’s site is pretty well organized. The photos are good the descriptions are decent, except when it comes to the bulk stuff. I visited their brick & mortar store when I was in New York last year, so I knew that they were for real. The site does not have everything that’s in the store. However, I get the feeling that you could probably call them and have them throw in some ad hoc items. (Perhaps someone can confirm that.)

    I went there specifically for the chocolate covered halvah, and I figured as long as I was there and paying the shipping I’d throw in some other stuff.

    I put in an order at Economy Candy and purchased the following:
    2lbs Shufra Halvah Squares - Kosher (@ 6.99/lb) .................13.98
    1 lb Milk Chocolate Malt Balls - Kosher (@2.99/lb)................2.99
    1 bar French Taffy Chew - Banana…...............................0.75
    1 bar French Taffy Chew - Chocolate…............................0.75
    1 bar French Taffy Chew - Vanilla…..............................0.75
    1 bar Peco Brittle 1.8oz….......................................0.75
    1 bag Flying Saucers - 35 Piece Bag…............................1.79
    UPS Ground…....................................................12.91
    HANDLING….......................................................3.00

    TOTAL: $37.67

    The order tracking was a little frustrating. I kept visiting the site and their order tracking page but it never said that my order had shipped. But the candy showed up within a week. So go figure.

    The package was well organized and everything was fresh and in tact. My Halvah came in a little white box and the rest of the contents just wrapped nicely in bubble wrap.

    I would definitely use them again for future purchases of items I’m not able to get elsewhere. They allow purchases of single candy bars, though the shipping is a little high, if you’re getting a variety the shipping isn’t that bad.

    Pros: Good selection, good prices, fresh product.

    Cons: Frustrating website & order tracking, they don’t always give a lot of information about the bulk items. Shipping and handling a bit expensive (but candy is kind of heavy).

    I give the whole experience a 7 out of 10.

    POSTED BY Cybele AT 6:32 am     Candy7-Worth ItFun StuffShoppingComments (5)

    Page 373 of 546 pages ‹ First  < 371 372 373 374 375 >  Last ›

    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

    Halloween Candy Season Ends

    11 days

    Read previous coverage

     

     

    Which seasonal candy selection do you prefer?

    Choose one or more:

    •   Halloween
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    ON DECK

    These candies will be reviewed shortly:

    • 10 Candies that Shouldn’t Be So Disappointing

    • Brach’s Royals: Caramel Apple and Sea Salt Caramel

    • Dove Dark Chocolate Cranberries

    • Russell Stover Big Bite Pecan Pie

    • Brach’s Candy Corn Nougats

     

     

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