Friday, April 15, 2011

Crispy M&Ms

Crispy M&Ms are made by Mars and are considered an extirpated variety of the popular candy. I know, it’s Friday, and here I am comparing species conservation with candy. But I find it interesting ... so here’s a brief digression after a tantalizing photo.

Yes, Crispy M&Ms

In Northern California there used to be a small sub-species of Elk called Tule Elk. They were exterminated, either hunted for their meat & hides or simply killed by ranchers to keep them from competing for food with the newly introduced domesticated grazers. Eventually they were all gone ... or so folks thought. Except a local rancher back in the late 19th century took a liking to the slightly smaller elk and took a small herd to a ranch in southern, inland California where they survived quite nicely. In 1978 a small breeding group was reintroduced to the area, thus ending their local extinction.

Crispy M&Ms Crispy M&Ms

Perhaps North American Crispy M&Ms (shown above in their Canadian version circa 2006) were a flash in the pan, a evolutionary dead end. They were introduced in 1998 and had pretty much disappeared in the wild by 2005. But they’re still around in Australia, the Southeast Asia and Europe. In fact, in my visit earlier this year I saw them in both Amsterdam and Cologne and bought them in both locations. All the packages were identical and list France as their origin.

M&Ms CrispyIf you remember the Limited Edition Mint Crispy M&Ms that were released in conjunction with the last Indiana Jones movie, you might recall that they were larger than regular M&Ms, larger than Peanut M&Ms even.

The European version is about the same diameter as a regular Milk Chocolate M&M, but puffier, closer to being spherical.

The package is more square, just like bed pillows in Europe are more square than pillows in the United States, it’s just the way they do things. The packet holds only 1.27 ounces (36 grams) instead of the more calorically imbued 1.69 ounces of the American Milk Chocolate.

M&Ms Crispy

The colors are a little more muted than the American version and I expected this was because these were all natural. Well, some of them are, such as carmine (sorry vegetarians) and tumeric, but they also use Blue #1.

They’re sweet and crunchy and oddly nutty. I had to read over the ingredients (translating as I went, as it was in French) twice to reassure myself that there were no hazelnuts. There was something about the crispy center, it’s like a brown rice nuttiness. It’s lovely. Though there’s less chocolate than the old Crispy M&Ms, it’s still quite a cocoa punch. There is no malt flavor, but a light touch of salt.

They’re still more of a sweet snack than a chocolate candy for me. The crunch is great but there’s not quite enough chocolate satisfaction if I was looking for chocolate. It really is too bad that Mars doesn’t still make these in the United States because they do fill a certain void that the Pretzel just can’t quite touch.

But it’s still possible, that a small breeding population of Crispy M&Ms could be reintroduced to the United States, say only at M&Ms Stores or online. Just to see if the conditions are right for them to thrive.

Strangely enough, when I was traveling, I saw the Pretzel M&Ms rather often as well as the Peanut M&Ms, but less of the plain Milk Chocolate variety. In a vending machine in Amsterdam and at the grocery store.

Related Candies

  1. Mars Delight
  2. Cracker Corn Choco
  3. Limited Edition M&Ms Coconut
  4. Limited Edition Strawberried Peanut Butter M&Ms
  5. Wheat Chocolate
  6. M&Ms Line
  7. Head-to-Head: Smarties vs. M&Ms

Name: Crispy M&Ms (France)
Brand: Mars
Place Purchased: Various markets in Cologne & Amsterdam
Price: $1.15 (.80 Euro)
Size: 1.27 ounces
Calories per ounce: 140
Categories: Candy, Mars, Chocolate, Cookie, 7-Worth It, France

POSTED BY Cybele AT 3:05 pm Tracker Pixel for Entry     CandyReviewMarsChocolateCookieM&Ms7-Worth ItFrance

  1. We get Crispy M&Ms; here in the UK, but we rarely (ie never) get Limited Edition ones.

    Comment by cinabar on 4/15/11 at 3:44 pm #
  2. I miss crispy m&ms;! I was so upset when they disappeared, I thought they were a really solid product.

    Comment by Dee on 4/15/11 at 3:59 pm #
  3. I though these where to be reintroduced this year.

    Comment by Whotony on 4/15/11 at 4:14 pm #
  4. I heard they are back in June.

    Comment by pman on 4/15/11 at 5:53 pm #
  5. I’m nearly positive I saw them at CVS, here in Boston, just yesterday. Will definitely double-check.

    Comment by Amanda on 4/15/11 at 7:17 pm #
  6. the pretzel ones are in the same bag.

    Comment by whotony on 4/15/11 at 8:46 pm #
  7. We still have the mint crispy ones here in Australia, we also get milk chocolate orange flavour.  Sounds like a better idea than it tastes I assure you.

    Comment by Nyssa on 4/16/11 at 1:34 am #
  8. I loved these when they were around - bought nearly a pack a day, at least on a week. So sad when they disappeared - didn’t see why they would! They’re so good! It might be that I associate it with M&M’s before I started comparing net weight of the different varietals.

    Pretzels made me happy but crisp is better imo. Different texture and I don’t need slightly salty milk chocolate. There’s very little candy in the pretzels bags too…felt like I got more with the crisps, but that might be selective memory.

    Comment by Carrie on 4/18/11 at 8:19 pm #
  9. You summed up my thoughts perfectly - the pretzel M&Ms; just do not fill the void left by the disappearance of the American Crispy. Give us our Crispy M&Ms;!!!!!

    Comment by Josh on 4/20/11 at 6:34 pm #
  10. I can’t wait until these are re-released in the US. Does anyone have more specific dates?

    I love the Crispy M&Ms;—I was bummed when I realized they were discontinued.

    Comment by Makai on 4/22/11 at 8:26 am #
  11. I remember Crispy M&M’s back in the early 90’s.  I found a ‘dispenser’ and a bag of them at our local commissary when I lived in Alaska.  I loved them and was bummed when they were discontinued.  When I saw the Blue M&M bag, I thought they were back and then read the package—just pretzels.  NOT the same, I tell you.

    Comment by Jann on 1/16/12 at 12:08 am #
  12. I tried the pretzel m&m’s once, they were the most disgusting thing I have ever tried to eat.  I threw away half the bag…  while the crispy m&m’s were not my favorite.  At least they are on the list, if it was on the list it would still be under Dirt.  Yes I would eat dirt shaped m&ms; before eating those nasty things!!!

    Comment by Bubba on 8/06/12 at 7:27 pm #
  13. What happened?  Just got a bag of M&M’s peanut…. Yikes!  poor quality. misshapped… Weird… never saw such a decline in a product. 
    I have been munching on M&M’s for 50 years.


    prod #
    40000 30470

    Comment by Kitt on 1/26/13 at 12:07 pm #
  14. I can send m’n'ms to anyone who wants them, just reply to this, and I’ll give you my email address so we can arrange it smile

    Comment by Aj on 3/13/13 at 2:09 am #
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