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Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Jujyfruits & Jujubes

imageI’ve always loved Jujyfruits, but probably for the wrong reasons. I never particularly enjoyed eating them, but they’re stunning to look at.

What’s particularly odd about Jujyfruits is that they’re less fruit flavored and more vegetable-oriented: asparagus (which I always thought was a little corncob), banana (the one that says Heide), grapes, pea pod, pineapple, raspberry and tomato (which I thought was the bottom of a bell pepper or just a flower). The shapes, further, have nothing to do with the flavors and are randomized so that all shapes come in all flavors.

And the flavors? Lemon, Lime, Cherry, Orange and Licorice. (Kind of like Chuckles which are also made by Farley’s & Sathers now.)

At the end of the last millennium, a customer survey revealed that the original spearmint green Jujyfruit was not popular enough and was replaced with lime. I rather miss that ... I liked being able to get a licorice and a spearmint candy in one package. Jujyfruits are rather soft when fresh, though not quite as soft as Dots in my experience. They’re chewy and pretty flavorful, though lacking in any tangy notes, it’s all sweet. They’re sticky and can leave big hunks congealed to the sides of molars. I really like the licorice one, which has very nice anise notes and a very clean flavor.

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Candy Wrapper Museum has a nice image of an earlier version of the Jujyfruits box, which I much prefer. The current box is rather, I don’t know, primitive looking. (Keep clicking around at the other old Heide products there at the CWM, quite fun to see they had a Good & Plenty knock-off called Hi-D-Ho that were also pink and white.)

A little more history: The Heide company that invented the Juju candies was started by Henry Heidi, a German immigrant in 1869. The company introduced Jujyfruits and Jujubes in 1920. Heide continued as a family run company after Henry Heide died and was then run by his son Andrew and his grandson Philip. But in 1995 they sold out to Hershey’s. Hershey’s then sold Heide (along with their other famous candies Red Hot Dollars and line of gummis) to Farley’s & Sather.

imageWhile the Jujyfruits have remained relatively unchanged over the years, the Jujubes have gone through some substantial changes.

According to the Food Network show Unwrapped, the difference between Jujubes and Jujyfruits is really only that Jujubes use Potato Starch instead of Corn Starch as their primary thickener. Add to that, Jujubes are “cured” longer, so they’re firmer.

When I was a kid, Jujubes were always hard as rocks and only a fool would try to chew them. (We were all fools back then. Of course the cool part was to soften them up enough to chomp down and glue your teeth together ... what fun!)

The Jujube that both the Jujyfruits and Jujubes are named after is a little tropical berry that really has nothing to do with the candy, it was probably just a romantic sounding name and in the early part of the last century many candies tried to adopt such exotic names. Both candies actually used something called Ju-Ju Gum at one time as an ingredient (it’s similar to many of the other vegetable gums like Gum Arabic, Acacia, Agar or Guar).

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Today Jujubes are a little softer, kind of like stale Jujyfruits. They also have a bit more range in their flavors which are: Lemon (yellow), Violet (purple), Lilac (orange), Lime (green) and Cherry (red). So they’re basically little floral pastilles that are slightly soft. (Think of them like the Grether or Doolittle pastilles.)

I haven’t had them in years and was actually rather pleased with them. I don’t think I really need a box of 6.5 ounces, a little tin filled with an ounce or two might do me for a week. All of the flavors, even the fruity ones, are rather delicate and floral. I wish they did still make the spearmint ones (but it’s okay if there’s no rose in there, I think two flowers is enough).

They’re just lovely to look at and because of their durable and inert nature, I feel fine leaving them sitting out on my desk without worrying about anyone eating them or them getting any staler. If you do find them inedible, a fun craft project is to stick an ordinary sewing pin through them and use them as push pins!

Overall, neither are candy I’m likely to buy or consume, but it was fun to revisit them and I’m glad they’re still around and have their ardent admirers.

Related Candies

  1. Dots
  2. Black Ace Licorice
  3. Pastiglie Leone
  4. Grapefruit & Blackcurrant Pastilles
Name: Jujyfruits & Jujubes
    RATING:
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 6 TEMPTING
  • 5 PLEASANT
  • 4 BENIGN
  • 3 UNAPPEALING
  • 2 APPALLING
  • 1 INEDIBLE
Brand: Heide (Farley's & Sather)
Place Purchased: Dollar Tree (Harbor City)
Price: $1.00
Size: 7.8 ounces & 6.5 ounces
Calories per ounce: 85 & 78
Categories: Jelly, United States, Farley's & Sathers, Kosher

POSTED BY Cybele AT 7:10 am     Comments (67)

Monday, July 23, 2007

Dots

imageDots are one of those candies that I see a lot at stores, but I rarely see anyone buying them or eating them.

Originally they were made by a company called Mason, who also made Black Crows (a licorice gumdrop). Black Crows were introduced in the 1890s, but Dots came along a bit later in 1945. What’s fun about Dots is that they’re gumdrops, but they don’t have that sugar sanding on them. The Mason company was sold to Tootsie in 1972, but some folks still call them Mason Dots (even the Tootsie site refers to them on their nutritional data page).

They’re sold in a few different sizes, the regular single sized box, a fun size (often in assortments of Tootsie products) and the “Movie Box”. I have to say that the movie box I picked up last week makes these look darn appealing. And taking the candies out of the box, I was pleased that they really do look like they do on the box.

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Dots come in five flavors that are supposedly random in the box:

  • Strawberry (pink) - lightly floral and fruity, kind of like cotton candy.
  • Cherry (red) - you know, cherry flavor with that light bitter aftertaste of Red 40. Not bad, I didn’t pick them out of the box but actually ate them.
  • Orange (orange) - nice round orange flavor, rather sweet with a slightly bitter zest that comes a little later.
  • Lemon (yellow) - wonderfully zesty, but then a mellower flavor with a very slight tartness.
  • Lime (green) - a light lime with both the zest and light tangy note ... as with many lime things, it’s a little too much like bathroom cleaner.
  • This box had a clear plastic overwrapper, so these were fresh. The Dots were soft and easy to chew. Of course they’re also kind of sticky, not in the way that threatens fillings, but big lumps will get stuck on the sides of my teeth. I’ve had my share of stale Dots and they’re really not a chewable food.

    Overall, they’re a nice candy. They don’t really thrill me much, but I had these sitting on my desk for several days and did actually eat them. I don’t see myself buying them for any reason though. If you’re a Dot lover, please testify to their enduring greatness.

    Each Dot has about 12 calories and no fat (it’s all sugar, baby).

    There’s no gelatin in these (that’d make them gummis) so they’re suitable for vegetarians and vegans who eat white sugar.

    Related Candies

    1. Tootsie Roll Mini Chews
    2. Chuckles
    3. Swedish Aqua Life
    4. The Real Jelly Babies
    Name: Mason Dots
      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 (Harbor City)
    Price: $1.00
    Size: 6.5 ounces
    Calories per ounce: 92
    Categories: Jelly, United States, Tootsie

    POSTED BY Cybele AT 6:28 am    

    Friday, July 20, 2007

    This Week in Candy - Can you Recall?

    Food safety (and Easy Bake Oven safety as well) has become a large issue not just in the United States but also in China. There’s a lot of fur flying around between the US and China on the issue, but I thought I’d just address a few things as they pertain to candy.

    First, there’s White Rabbit, a beloved vanilla taffy with a rice paper wrapper from China. Earlier this week the Philippines declared that they detected formalin (a nasty carcinogen) in the candy (even in the candy made in the Philippines) and ordered it to be removed from the shelves.

    Then China said that they tested the candy and found no such traces of formalin. (And another test.)

    Now, it’s entirely possible that the contamination is true and that it’s happening somewhere along the supply chain, perhaps in the warehousing or the repackaging for particular markets. I don’t know what to make of it and if you put one of the candies in front of me, I might eat it. But I sure wouldn’t eat more than one. I’ll keep eye on the story. (Here’s my White Rabbit review ... one of the very early ones from the archives.) There was a food contamination hoax earlier this week.

    In other news domestically Artisan Confections has recalled some lots of the Scharffen Berger Kumasi Sambriano bar because of possible milk contents that aren’t marked on the wrapper. My feeling on that is if you don’t have a problem with milk, go ahead and eat the bar, but if you are in a household with folks that do, be sure to return it.

    In a follow up to the Cadbury Salmonenlla contamination in the UK, the chocolate manufacturer was fined 1 million pounds (about two million dollars American) for their negligence in the matter. I’m sure it also cost them a lot in lost sales.

    Almond ClusterJust to cleanse our palate, here’s a completely unrelated and absolutely safe photo of an almond chocolate cluster from Charles Chocolates. (Think of it as the Candy Blog equivalent of a Unicorn Chaser.)
    Here’s a review of this week’s reviews!

    Monday: L’Artisan du Chocolat (7 out of 10)

    Tuesday: Flamigni Torrone (9 out of 10)

    Wednesday: Rum Cordials (8 out of 10)

    Thursday: KitKat Inside Out (5 out of 10)

    Friday: Charms Blow Pops & Zip-a-Dee (7 out of 10)
    Ratatouille Push Pops (4 out of 10)
    Bazooka Bubble Gum Pops (4 out of 10)

    Weekly Average: 6.375 ... 25% chocolate content.

    Related Candies

    1. Salmonella spurs Hershey’s Canada Recall
    2. Cadbury May Face Charges
    3. Factory Follow-Ups
    4. Mars Factory Closed by Health Inspectors
    5. Cadbury Recall

    POSTED BY Cybele AT 4:39 pm     CandyFun StuffNewsComments (83)

    Bazooka Bubble Gum Filled Pops

    Bazooka PopsBazooka’s Bubble Gum Filled Pops have a lot going for them. They’re a nice compact size, kind of like Blow Pops, but perfectly spherical. They have a plastic stick, which is great if you’re a moist person. The flavor varieties are pretty normal and bound to please: Grape, Orange, Green Apple and Cherry.

    But I hate to say it, they just don’t live up to this promising conceptual start.

    First, the hard candy isn’t that flavorful. While it’s nicely dense and doesn’t have too many sharp holes, it just doesn’t taste like much. The orange, which was by far my favorite, was rather like weak orange-ade. Cherry in this case was also weak and a lot more pleasant. I kind of liked the Grape in it’s mild form here, even though it in no way rivaled the Blow Pops.

    Second, the stick was very close to the top of the candy sphere. With these hollow plastic stick it means that once you dissolve a top layer, the hollow stick makes it hard to “suck” on the sucker without taking in air through the stick.
    Bazooka PopsThird, the gum center is hard. Seriously, frighteningly hard. I’m not sure how that happens, but it’s not hard all the way through, just on the first bite, like it’s been coated with cement or something. (I’m guessing it’s just a gumball that has one of those polished coats instead of being a lump of gum.

    The gum itself is okay once it warms up and softens. It seems like a smaller portion than a Blow Pop. It’s very sugary, which I rather like, but once the sugar is gone it’s too stiff and such a small piece that blowing bubbles isn’t easy.

    If you’re going to come late to the “gum filled lollipop” genre, you’d better get in with a top notch product that offers something either better or significantly different. This just doesn’t do it for me. They’re attractively packaged and come in a smaller “mini” version that I had similar issues with. I think I’ll stick to what I think Bazooka does best ... bubble gum.

    Related Candies

    1. Topps Baby Bottle
    2. Bubble Roll Message Maker
    3. Smarties Bubble Gum
    Name: Bubble Gum Filled Pops
      RATING:
    • 10 SUPERB
    • 9 YUMMY
    • 8 TASTY
    • 7 WORTH IT
    • 6 TEMPTING
    • 5 PLEASANT
    • 4 BENIGN
    • 3 UNAPPEALING
    • 2 APPALLING
    • 1 INEDIBLE
    Brand: Bazooka (Topps)
    Place Purchased: samples from Bazooka
    Price: unknown
    Size: .63 ounces
    Calories per ounce: unknown
    Categories: Hard Candy, Gum, Brazil, Topps

    POSTED BY Cybele AT 12:55 pm     Comments (0)

    Ratatouille Pocket Slider Lollipop

    There are a lot of marketing tie ins between movies and candy. Some of them work really well and some seem rather strange. I’m going to put these little Ratatouille Rat Racers Pocket Slider Lollipops in that category.

    Ratatouille is a new movie from Pixar/Disney that stars a rat (named Remy) who wants to be a chef. But, you know, he’s a rat. And in this world he can’t talk to humans. He has a brother named Emile, who is less discriminating about his culinary tastes. These little candy pops are simply a hard candy cylinder housed in a little slider topped with a toy. In this case the toy is a little plastic model of one of the characters with a wide steel wheel on the bottom for racing.

    image

    As a little toy, the racers are kind of fun. They’re slippery and move easily. The detail on them is pretty good, though I can’t figure out why they’re racing around on cheese or petit fours. But that’s simply my lack of imagination.

    The two flavors I picked up were Blue Raspberry and Green Apple.

    They’re both rather tart and have a good chemical, manufactured artifical flavor (kind of like computer animation!).

    As a candy, I’ve certainly had better hard candy in better flavors. The little toy roller cars are certainly better than a Happy Meal (TM) prize, but limited in their appeal. The retractable lolly is a nice idea, especially for kids who may want to space out their enjoyment of this marginal treat.

    The same company who makes these also did the similarly branded Peeps Pops. (I reviewed the ring ones and Jeanna at Wisconsin Candy Dish reviewed the slider pops that are pretty much the same as these.) They’re made in China, which at this moment doesn’t make me feel very good ... expect for the fact that I didn’t finish these. I just ate enough of each to get the flavor.

    Related Candies

    1. Disneyland Candy Novelties
    2. Gummi Lightning Bugs
    3. Kinder Egg
    4. Frugal Swedish Sweets
    Name: Ratatouille Rat Racers Pocket Slider Lollipops
      RATING:
    • 10 SUPERB
    • 9 YUMMY
    • 8 TASTY
    • 7 WORTH IT
    • 6 TEMPTING
    • 5 PLEASANT
    • 4 BENIGN
    • 3 UNAPPEALING
    • 2 APPALLING
    • 1 INEDIBLE
    Brand: Flix Candy
    Place Purchased: RiteAid (Vermonica)
    Price: $1.19
    Size: .42 ounces
    Calories per ounce: unknown
    Categories: Hard Candy, Novelty, China

    POSTED BY Cybele AT 8:42 am     Comments (6)

    Page 383 of 572 pages ‹ First  < 381 382 383 384 385 >  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.

    Candy Season Ends

    -142 days

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    Which seasonal candy selection do you prefer?

    Choose one or more:

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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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