Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Oak Leaf Candies

I have a deep attraction to pretty candy. I’ve always enjoyed arrays of colorful candies spilled out on my desk. I like to arrange them in patterns, rainbows, color combos. I put them in glass jars, layered by color or shape. Mix them up, repeat and eat.


Most candies are pretty limited in what they can do with shapes and variety. Compressed Dextrose - the plain old chalky sweet and tart candies however, are extremely flexible when it comes to design (I call them chalk candies). With the loss of Tart ‘n Tinys, the time has come to find a replacement.

Cry Baby TearsOak Leaf (part of SweetWorks) is one of the few sugar-candy companies that really pays attention to the possibilities of pretty candy. At the All Candy Expo I got to see in person the huge variety that they make. I also got to bring home a good selection of those that attracted me most.

Holy moly, the green Baby Tears is actually lime! Who knew anyone made anything lime any longer? It’s all green apple these days. I think blue is Blue Raspberry, which was okay but certainly not sour.

There are a few versions of baby tears out there, (ZOMG has a review here).

BonzMost of the candy is the same, the only differences are the colors and shapes. Some have different flavors depending on the mix. I was tickled by this Bonz variety. They sell it a couple of different ways, with just the skulls, just the bones and a mix of the two. (The plain bones are fun for a dog theme, the mix is great for Halloween or pirate themes.)

The bones themselves were super tart and kind of chalky on the inside instead of being dense. Pink (cherry), Red (also cherry), Yellow (lemon), Blue (sweet raspberry), Green (lime) and White (pineapple?). The candy shell was thin and easy to chomp through or dissolve off.

The skulls didn’t have an identical color line, there was a Purple (grape) and Orange (orange) and the Green was darker (watermelon).

FruitsThese were dreadful. As cute as they are, they’re just as tasteless. The scale, for one, is just horrible. The Watermelon is the same size as the Strawberry and that’s bigger than the Lime! The Orange has a cute bumbly coating, but it’s so thick and flavorless I was worried it was actually a piece of plastic display. The grape had a similarly hard shell filled with a flavorless sweet powder. The Banana was the only standout, though I’m still not sure how I feel about it. Some days when I chomp on them I find the fake banana flavor comforting. Other days it feels rather cool on my tongue and slightly bitter I’m wondering if I’m eating fingernail polish remover. I had another small assortment of little fish in my mix and found the banana-yellow one in there even more alarmingly chemical-tasting. (I’m wondering if there’ll come a day when someone diagnoses Banana Candy Workers Lung.)

Concord Booth at ACE 2006All of the candies are fun and at most places where I see them in bulk (at those pick-a-mix places at the mall) they’re way overpriced. You can buy them for about $2.50 a pound on Amazon (different brand) ... if you’re willing to buy 24 pounds of Bonz at a time. I wouldn’t pay more than $4 a pound for these unless I was depressed and nothing but bright food coloring and sugar could shake the doldrums.

Thank You BananasThey make Super Sours (different sizes, coated and uncoated), Smiles, Snaps, Lil’ Jewels (perhaps like the old Tart ‘n Tinys?) and Fishes along with all sorts yellow Bananas and multicolored Crazy Bananas.

The best way to buy these, as far as I can tell, is from those candy machines in kiosks at malls and arcades. At only a quarter for a little handful, it’s a pretty good pick-me-up.

If I wanted a fun and casual candy buffet (especially one that could stand the heat in summer), these could definitely be at the top of my list. Though some flavors are hit & miss, I still give them an 8 out 10 ... because they’re still pretty to look at if I don’t eat them.

EDITED 11/28/2007: I updated this to correct an earlier error. I attributed this candy to Concord Confections in error. These candies were made by Oak Leaf.

Related Candies

  1. Head to Head: M&Ms vs Koppers Milkies
  2. Baby Bottle Pacifier Tarts
  3. Astra Flying Saucers
  4. SweeTarts: Chicks, Ducks & Bunnies (2006)
Name: Oak Leaf Dextrose Confections
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 4 BENIGN
Brand: Sweet Works
Place Purchased: samples from All Candy Expo
Price: unknown
Size: unknown
Calories per ounce: unknown
Categories: Chalk, Sour, Canada, Oak Leaf (Sweetworks)

POSTED BY Cybele AT 9:58 am Tracker Pixel for Entry    

  1. Just looking at them—or rather, at your fantastic photos of them—made me smile.  The colors are just irresistable.  I’m going to keep an eye out for the Cry Baby Tear (no pun intended). wink

    Comment by Maura on 10/09/07 at 10:09 am #
  2. Those stars are so cute! And speaking of blox, my grocery store is selling “Bloxx” by Haribo. The look is appropriate for a lego-themed birthday party, but they are not functional.

    Comment by Tricia on 10/09/07 at 5:10 pm #
  3. I love the skulls and bones.

    Comment by WendyB on 10/09/07 at 8:42 pm #
  4. I meandered over from nano after I saw your signature in which you say you have a life (really) so naturally I was oh so curious.  I don’t know that this necessarily proves you have a life.  But I do know I love it!  And that you have proven you know how to have fun!

    Thank you for putting a great big smile on my face today.

    Comment by satia on 10/10/07 at 2:28 am #
  5. The weirdest thing happened to me! Only a few days after reading this blog entry my fianc? and I were at the petrol station. When we were by those candy dispensers I gave them a casual glance and would you believe it, they had these! So far this may not sound too incredible but the thing is we live in FINLAND!

    Of course I had to buy some. A small handful cost 0.20e and there was an assortment of skulls, bones, fruit and what looked like baby rattles (???) I did like them but they weren’t anything to shout about. My fianc?‘s comment was that if he hadn’t know it was candy he would have thought he’d put a plastic toy in his mouth. Hehe.

    Comment by LaLa on 10/18/07 at 7:03 am #
  6. Ever since I was a little kid I use to eat sixlets candy daily! Then they stopped selling them here. I went crazy all over looking for sixlets candy and then I finally found them after 17 years of searching high and low! Is there a way I can buy them in bulk?! They are the best chocolate candies!!!

    Comment by Stephanie on 5/25/08 at 9:01 am #
  7. hellow

    can you tell me whats is the price of the neon star if i buy 2000 box, cif mexico city.

    price for Kg


    Comment by xavier benitez on 7/06/09 at 7:02 am #
  8. You can get some of these candies in bulk at Walmart’s Party section(not all Walmarts). Great for candy buffets!

    Comment by Mo on 7/24/09 at 4:36 am #
  9. hello i am looking for mint round and squar candy
    in a 1.25 cm diameter

    Comment by roni kotler on 3/23/10 at 6:35 am #
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