Friday, October 31, 2014

Brach’s Bridge Mix

Brach's Bridge MixYou might wonder why my Halloween review is of Bridge Mix. It’s because it’s actually the scariest candy on the market today. Every maker has a different set of what they include in their mix, and because everything is coated in chocolate, it’s a game of Russian Roulette if you’re a picky eater. 

If I were to rank candies according to age demographics, most results would land where I expected. Super sour candies are targeted to tweens, dark chocolate to adult women and sweet and savory candies to men who love sports. And the sales data pretty much bears that out. Then there’s Bridge Mix. First of all, Bridge Mix doesn’t seem to have any sort of marketing campaign associated with it. But if you were to find out how old the average buyer is, I’m going to guess somewhere around 73.

I picked up the Brach’s Bridge Mix because the package made it look appealing and compared to some of the other chocolate bag offerings lately, it seemed like a good value. The package is vague, but it mentions that it’s a mix of all natural milk and dark chocolate. However, there was no listing on the back of the package as to what the actual items inside would be. The front just showed the coated pieces ... the ingredients were so long, all I could say for sure is that I could expect raisins, peanuts, sugar and Brazil nuts inside the chocolate.

Brach's Bridge Mix

My first impression upon opening the bag was good. It’s a resealable bag that holds a 8.7 ounces which makes for a full cereal bowl of candy. The pieces look good, they’re shiny and for the most part distinctive. I thought I could tell which were peanuts and raisins, though the larger spheres were a mystery.

The ingredients listed Brazil nuts and the picture on the front shows a piece that really looks like a chocolate covered Brazil nut. No such item appears in the bag. Maybe my mix was missing the Brazil nuts ... it was certainly not sufficiently randomized for my tastes.

Ingredients: Milk Chocolate (Sugar, Cocoa Butter, Whole Milk, Chocolate Liquor, Lactose, Soy Lecithin, Butter Oil, Salt, Vanillin, Ethyl Vanillin), Sugar, Corn Syrup, Peanuts with TBHQ and Citric Acid (preservative), Sweet Chocolate (Sugar, Chocolate Liquor, Cocoa Butter, Soy Lecithin, Vanilla Extract), Raisins, Sweetened Condensed Skim Milk (Sugar, Nonfat Milk, Buttermilk, Whey Solids), Corn Syrup Solids, Brazil Nuts, Malted Milk (Milk, Barley Malt, Wheat Flour, Salt, Sodium and Potassium Carbonate), Modified Food Starch (Corn), Malt Extract (Barley Malt, Wheat Flour), High Fructose Corn Syrup, Partially Hydrogenated Oil (Soybean, Cottonseed, Palm Kernel), Salt, Pectin, Baking Soda, Citric Acid, contains 2% or less of the following ingredients: Tapioca Flour, Soy Lecithin, Red 40, Natural and Artificial Flavor, Mono and Diglycerides, Hydrogenated Palm Kernel Oil, Gelatin, Confectioner’s Glaze, Acacia (Gum Arabic), Coconut Oil, Calcium Carbonate. [Contains: Milk, Brazil Nuts, Peanuts, Wheat and Soy]

Though it’s all natural chocolate, there are a lot of not-so-natural items in there, too. There’s also gelatin, which was hard to find on the list if you’re vegetarian.

Brach's Bridge Mix

Cherry Jelly Ball covered in Dark Chocolate were one of two that I could reliably pick out of the mix. It’s a big, very strongly cherry flavored jelly ball covered in dark chocolate. I was hoping there would be other flavors, but this was it. The jelly center is nice, dense and very floral. However, there’s a grainy sugar layer in there that messed with the texture and sweetness level. I don’t like cherry candies, but I thought this was a refreshing item to have in a mix ... and it was easy for me to avoid.

White Sugar Cream covered in Dark Chocolate - if you’ve ever wanted a York Peppermint Pattie without the mint flavor, this might be your candy. But the fondant in the center is hard and grainy ... so it’s not really a good texture combination at all. The dark chocolate outside is in a much larger ratio than most other mint candies, which is fine because that’s the only flavor you’re going to get out of this thing. I felt like about 1/4 of my bag was filled with these. I would bite them in half to see if it was a large peanut or something else and then toss the other half when I found it was the fondant ball.

Milk Chocolate Malted Milk Ball - I’d like to have a long and wonderful commentary here, but that photo of the one bitten in half is the only one I got in this bag. I’ve been searching for Brach’s Milk Chocolate Milk Balls for a couple of years, and found that this Bridge Mix is the only place I can find them ... and I got one lousy one. I didn’t savor it enough to be able to review it.

Dark Chocolate Covered Peanut - excellent. The peanuts have skins on them, which I enjoy. It highlighted the bitterness of the chocolate. The peanut had a light touch of salt, and though not large, they were crunchy and deeply roasted.

Milk Chocolate Covered Peanut - not as good as the dark one, the milk chocolate hides the peanut notes somehow, but after stumbling across so many of those fondant balls, I was happy to have these.

Milk Chocolate Brown Sugar Ball - I have no idea what this is. The center was not grainy, not smooth, not flavorful, not appealing. It tasted sweet, but also dusty. I just have no idea what the point was, except to fool me into thinking that I was going to get a Malted Milk Ball.

Milk Chocolate Covered Raisins - pretty good. The raisins were soft and chewy, not tough or tacky. The raisins dominated, the chocolate was sweeter than the actual dried fruit but didn’t contribute more than texture to the experience.

Brach's Bridge

The one item that was easy to pick out were the little flattened bullets that came in both milk and dark chocolate.

Milk Chocolate Covered Nut Brittle - the chocolate coating isn’t as thick as the other candies, but that didn’t matter. The center of this little morsel is a nicely made, crispy nut brittle. There may be Brazil nuts in there, but definitely peanuts. It’s salty, it’s barely sweet and I’d like to just buy a bag of these.

Dark Chocolate Covered Nut Brittle - the dark chocolate version was even better, as it enhanced the roasted nut flavors.

I’ve come away with an appreciation for people who simply throw caution to the wind and pop a handful of candy pieces in their mouth. I’m not a Bridge Mix person. In fact, this bag of candy made me angry. There were good things in it, but too many horrible things. There’s no listing anywhere that I can find that says what kind of candy is even in the bag ... it’s as if Brach’s is evasive and doesn’t want to commit to what they might put in there on any given day. I ended up with a pile of half bitten candies on my desk after I determined what I did and didn’t like ... I spit out the other halves in the trash. It was, in the end, a bad value for me, since I ate so little of it, though, technically, I finished the bag.

I really just wanted some Malted Milk Balls.

Related Candies

  1. Cacao Prieto 72% Dark Chocolate Pecan & Sour Cherry
  2. Brach’s Dark Chocolate Blueberry Acai
  3. Christopher’s Big Cherry - Dark
  4. RJ’s Licorice Allsorts
  5. Trader Joe’s Allsorts -a- Licorice
  6. Jelly Belly Chocolate Dips
  7. Licorice Bridge Mix

Name: Bridge Mix
Brand: Brach’s
Place Purchased: Target (Eagle Rock)
Price: $3.49
Size: 8.7 ounces
Calories per ounce: 133
Categories: Candy, Brach's, Ferrara Pan, Brittle, Chocolate, Fondant, Jelly Candy, Malt, Nuts, Peanuts, Toffee, 5-Pleasant, United States, Target

POSTED BY Cybele AT 12:55 pm Tracker Pixel for Entry     CandyMorselizationReviewBrach'sFerrara PanBrittleChocolateFondantJelly CandyMaltNutsPeanutsToffee5-PleasantUnited StatesTarget

  1. And this is how I feel when the ‘chart’ that comes in the upper lid of a chocolate assortment is wrong and I end up with something other than the chocolate truffle I picked! Bridge Mix and Chocolate Assortments. They can be so VERY good… or oh, so bad.

    Happy Halloween!

    Comment by BethinMD on 10/31/14 at 3:59 pm #
  2. I like bridge mix but usually buy from the bulk bin which has a slightly different mix.  I think my favorite pieces are the nut brittles. The bulk mix has a couple colors of fondant which I think are suppose to be flavored but the only one I can tell is lemon.  There are usually some very stiff caramels which tie with the malt balls for my second favorite.

    Comment by Rachel on 11/01/14 at 9:55 am #
  3. Bad candy makes me angry, too. Haha! I’m normally one of those people who wants to try everything. No, NEEDS to try everything. No, HAS to try everything. However, I’ve never been able to bring myself to try such an unappealing mix. Let’s just say I’m even less likely to do so after reading this review. There are just too many good candies ahead of Bridge Mix on the list!

    Comment by Heather on 11/01/14 at 12:09 pm #
  4. I can see how the Brach’s bridge mix fails to meet expectations, but if you’ve never tried it, the See’s Candy bridge mix is basically pure crack.  Highly recommended even if you are not 73 and don’t play bridge.

    It has chocolate covered almonds, pecans, walnuts, raisins, coconut cubes, caramel cubes, butterchew cubes, bits of their molasses crisp, and I think sometimes a chunk of toffee here and there.  The pieces are fairly distinguishable from one another aside from the cubes, but I like all of the cubes.  I can only buy it in the small bags because if I get the full pound box we will finish it in two days.

    Comment by Michaela on 11/01/14 at 11:41 pm #
  5. This is a great post because it explains the mystery that is Bridge Mix. I have also looked at the package and puzzled over what is inside. Now I don’t ever have to buy a bag of this, thanks to you!

    Comment by Amy on 11/02/14 at 2:22 pm #
  6. See’s Bridge Mix!!!!  Try it.  It is delicious and addictive.

    Comment by rebecca malley on 11/02/14 at 8:02 pm #
  7. I have never bought or tried Bridge Mix, so thank you for reviewing Brach’s brand so I don’t have to buy it ever in my life. You saved me at least $3!

    I will take the See’s recommendations though. I’ll seek that out today!

    Comment by Wendy on 11/03/14 at 10:49 am #
  8. Good post. I love bridge mix when it’s done right (and I’ve got a ways to go before I hit 73!) but a bad bridge mix is a waste of time.  I’ve always thought Brach’s was a tolerable mix in a pinch if only because it has fairly decent variety, even if not all of the pieces are exceptional.

    Comment by Ruffy on 11/03/14 at 2:01 pm #
  9. This looks like a bridge mix I’ll have to try. I’ve been avoiding them due to the possibility of almonds (my own probably-not-deadly nut allergy), but since those aren’t in this oneā€¦ hm. Might be good.

    The cherry jelly ball is strangely tempting.

    Comment by Jamie B. on 11/05/14 at 10:03 am #
  10. I may be late to comment on this post but I bought a bag of Brach’s Bridge Mix last week (after seeing this post) and to my surprise they changed the mix from what was posted here.  Jellies are out and caramel drops are in.  That’s a shame because the jellies were my absolute favorite and the caramels get stuck in your teeth.  The mix also includes almonds now - I don’t mind this.

    I emailed them requesting they bring back the jellies.  I urge everyone else who enjoyed the jellies to do the same.

    Comment by Wade on 11/13/14 at 4:28 pm #
  11. I have always loved Bridge Mix, but the almonds too much.  Have always loved the jell like pieces which have been removed, too many malt balls now and therefore will not buy bridge mix again. You had a good balanced mixture, but now I feel it is unbalanced with too many large pieces.

    Comment by frank on 11/28/14 at 6:46 pm #
  12. SAVE YOUR MONEY- The new company that operates Brach’s ruined this. I am in agreement with the reviews that they should bring back the old time favorites, I am MUCH younger than 73 years old and this mix was always my favorite treat, because of the assorted flavors. See’s has a nice mix with quality chocolate, but I miss the flavors I was raised on.. BOOOO TO THE COMPANY THAT CHANGED BRACH’S PRODUCTS!

    Comment by lil bit on 2/24/15 at 5:45 pm #
  13. I always bought bridgemix a bag a week or more.  but you have taken out my favorite jellies.  without them they aren’t right I won’t buy them anymore.  I am so disappointed.  that was my special treat each week.  Martha from winterset,  iowa

    Comment by martha cunningham on 3/15/15 at 3:16 pm #
  14. been98
    There is too much dark chocolate in the Brachs bridge mix.

    Comment by Joseph Nemeth on 4/07/15 at 6:33 pm #
  15. They say that tragedy + time = comedy, and in this case, it’s certainly true. I found your scathing review of Brach’s Bridge Mix to be utterly hilarious, especially the part where in the entire bag, there was only 1/2 of a malted milk ball, but there were numerous “fondant balls” that you were not too fond of. Next time, learn your lesson and just buy a movie-sized box of Whoppers instead.

    Comment by Eric on 4/30/15 at 7:52 pm #
  16. I also noticed that the jellies were gone and caramels were in.

    The jellies were my favorite and I’m very upset that they have been removed.

    At least I now have confirmation that this was done and I will write to put in my protest too!

    Comment by Judy on 6/15/15 at 11:15 am #
  17. i look for bridge-mix everywhere! I finally found some and bought 2 bags. there were no Brazil nuts or jellies. The coconut was awful, harder that a rock, there was too many of the butter finger-like candies and not enough choc covered raisins or peanuts. I have ate this candy all my life and have surely missed the old way of doing it. the almonds were good and so are the malted milk balls although there were a few really small ones.

    Comment by pat kangas on 7/02/15 at 3:43 pm #
  18. Quit buying bridge mix by the bag for all of the reasons you mentioned and only buy pick a mix. I love the creams and the bulk bridge mix still had them….until now! My grocer kept being told it was discontinued…was finally able to get more in! They were right apparently the old mix IS discontinued…the bulk bridge mix is identical to the prepackaged. Off to amazon to try See’s!

    Comment by Vickie Pleiss on 7/30/15 at 6:34 pm #
  19. Thanks to all the comments. Y’all confirmed my suspicion. For special occasions my dear hubby would always treat me to Brach’s bridge mix from the pic-a-mix from our local grocery store. Found this blog after we could no longer find our Brach’s
    So sad to learn they have changed the mix, cherry
    jellies were the best! RIP Brach’s Bridge Mix

    Comment by JD on 9/09/15 at 1:15 pm #
  20. Our local 5-and-10 store has consistently carried fresh Brach’s and other bin-type (bulk) candies for decades. However, they too are baffled by Brach’s decision to change their classic Bridge Mix into something completely unrecognizable.  The jellies - the main reason I buy the stuff for my elderly mother, because she loves them so - are gone.  Not even just cut back in number, but completely gone.  The Brazil Nuts are now Almonds. There’s an abundance of horrid, chemical-tasting and rock-hard “creams” that taste of - well, nothing.  They’re just sickly sweet, with no discernable flavor whatsoever.

    I bought Mom one last 1/4 lb. of the stuff, but that’s the last.  Brach’s needs to wake up and listen to their consumers.  I won’t buy this crap anymore.

    Comment by Sue on 10/03/15 at 1:40 pm #
  21. I’ve been buying Brachs bridge mix for years; it’s always been my favorite candy. But, I do not like the new mix; I feel like all I ever get is caramels and they stick to my teeth. I see in the package you’ve added almonds but I rarely have one. Im not even sure how this can be called a mix anymore since there are so few different candies. I’m so sad that I’ll have to look for another brand.

    Comment by Dian on 11/05/15 at 12:51 pm #
  22. where do you buy bridge mix in beaver co pa

    Comment by russ b on 11/15/15 at 6:03 pm #
  23. Yeah it is for the mature palate (I ate it as a child not an age thing).  Life is a mystery, you never know what is coming up next.  I don’t recognize half the stuff in your bag, must be a local thing.  Bridge mixture is like listening to the radio before digital, half the stuff, best case, you don’t like.  But just listening to greatest hits over an over is boring.

    Comment by Tam on 2/15/16 at 2:10 pm #
  24. Very disappointed in the NEW Bridge Mix.  The jellied candies are missing and so are the chocolate covered Brazil Nuts.  I found some tastier mix at Walgreen’s…..their brand….

    Comment by Marilyn Flanagan on 4/18/16 at 7:55 pm #
  25. I’m so glad I found this blog. I never knew what the jelly candy was in Bridge Mix. Cherry jelly ball, hunh? They’re my favorite part.
    Well today I happened to get a package of Bridge Mix (“Now with Almonds”), because I wanted some of those jellies, and I discovered what y’all already know: they removed the jellies and replaced them with almonds. Dang. Almonds are fine, but I can get them anywhere. I want my chocolate-covered jellies!

    Comment by Genevieve on 4/21/16 at 12:42 am #
  26. I had a chocolate square one time at a party that had been made with bridge mix ... have never been able to find a recipe.  any ideas?

    Comment by LINDA on 11/28/16 at 9:04 pm #
  27. Age has nothing to do with it.  As a kid, these were my favorite candies.  I have no idea what the brand was.  I was just never addicted to any specific kind of candy.  (We brought our own candy to the movies.)  And my mother wasn’t 73 at the time.  HOWEVER, I am now 71 and noticed these in bulk the other day.  So I bought them.  I’d have problems with nuts, but I had no problems with these.  I suspect the chocolate taste was “off,” could barely distinguish one piece from another, but that could just be due to my antique taste buds.  I am not a huge sugar person anyway.  I like my carbs.  Give me a jelly donut over a piece of candy any day!

    Comment by Priscilla on 1/20/17 at 6:29 am #
  28. I’m far from being 73 years old and I love Bridge Mix.  I have never gotten a jellied type candy in the Brach’s brand so I don’t know where that one came from.  I usually get several Brazil nuts too.  I found your post, even though it’s 3 years old, to be rather insulting.  I thnk anyone would enjoy it and not just the “mature”, aka old palate.
    Hopefully you’ve learned to be a little more tactful since then. Not that it matters.  Your review and a couple of your responses have turned me away from readying this blog again.

    Comment by Cindy on 7/28/17 at 5:48 pm #
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