Monday, August 12, 2013

Dewar’s Chews

On my short vacation last month, I made on candy related detour on what was otherwise a cookie-fueled holiday. The Man and I swung through Bakersfield, CA to stop at Dewar’s Family Candy and Ice Cream Parlor.

Dewar's Chews

I’ve tried Dewar’s Chews before, while on vacation I’ve picked them up at a candy shop in Cayucos. I was excited to go to their land or origin and try more of them. At the shop the outside temps were about 100, so I was eager to get our candy and stash it in the cooler in the back seat immediately. At the counter in the shop, which is mostly an ice cream parlor at their main location on Eye Street, the gal let me taste any variety I wanted. That was great, because I’d tried the five or six main flavors, but there were some interesting ones like Roasted Pecan and Chocolate Hazelnut that were of particular interest.

The taffy was $14.50 for a pound, which is a bit steep, but considering the fact that they use fresh local nuts and real dairy for the caramels, I thought it was worth it.

I chose: Pistachio Caramel, Peanut Butter, Almond, Pistachio, Roasted Pecan and Chocolate Hazelnut. I also got a 12 ounce box of the classic flavors to take to the office that included Peppermint.


All of the chews that I liked featured nuts. The plain caramel is good, don’t get me wrong, it’s smooth and soft and chewy. It’s not quite as decadent as some of the artisanal versions that are popping up, but they’re rich and dependable.

The Roasted Pecan was one of the few that featured lots of nuts mixed in. It’s a strongly vanilla taffy with pecans in it, that’s it. It’s great, a little salty, less sweet and satisfying with a maple and wood smoke finish.

The Chocolate Hazelnut was a bit sweeter, not terribly chocolatey but with a nice hint of hazelnut. It was one of my least favorite of the bunch, but I still ate all of them.

The Pistachio Caramel was just the caramel with some pieces of pistachio in it. Great.

The Peppermint is soft, it has a bit of a corn starch chalkiness on the outside, but the taffy is soft and chewy with a great, light mint flavor. Very clean, no graininess.

Dewar's Nuts

The exclusive or unique item though are their nut filled vanilla chews. They’re a plain vanilla taffy filled with ground nuts. The first one I tried was Peanut Butter, which is quite nice. I’m accustomed to a molasses chew with peanut butter, but this was much lighter, much more appropriate to summer. The vanilla taffy is soft and chewy, the peanut butter center is a bit grainy and quite salty without being sticky. The combination is really fantastic.

The Almond version is also very good, with a deep roasted flavor without the artificial almond extract that some might want to impose on it. The Pistachio was also very fresh tasting with only a hint of the green tea and floral notes of the pistachio nuts.

The most notable set though are the nut filled vanilla chews. There’s something about them that’s extremely enticing. They’re devilishly unsatisfying though, I would eat one, hoping that there’d be more nut filling and then eat another one, thinking that one would be the perfect ratio.

Dewar’s does a far better job of making a special taffy that’s worth taking home from vacation than any other candy shop I’ve seen. It’s good enough that I’ll likely make web orders in the future.

As a side note, the cookie part of my California Central Coast vacation was also great. The two great cookies of the Cayucos area are from the Brown Butter Cookie Company (I like their chocolate cookies, which are like buttery sand, they just fall apart in your mouth) and the Pecan Chews from Linn’s in Cambria which were like the toasty top of a pecan pie.

Related Candies

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  3. Bonomo’s Turkish Taffy - Chocolate, Vanilla & Strawberry
  4. Nory Rahat Locum
  5. Molasses Pops
  6. Tootsie Rolls & Fruit Rolls
  7. Doscher’s French Chew Taffy

Name: Assorted Chews
Brand: Dewar’s Candy
Place Purchased: Dewar's Family Candy & Ice Cream Parlor (Bakersfield, CA)
Price: $14.50
Size: 16 ounces
Calories per ounce: 120
Categories: Candy, Caramel, Chews, Nuts, 8-Tasty, United States

POSTED BY Cybele AT 2:25 pm Tracker Pixel for Entry     CandyReviewCaramelChewsNutsPeanuts8-TastyUnited States

  1. Bakersfield isn’t near the coast!  It’s Central Valley.

    Anyhow, I’d been wondering about these; they show up in local stores occasionally.  It’s hard to tell from here on the coast what is from a big factory in the Central Valley and what isn’t.

    Comment by Crissa on 8/12/13 at 6:38 pm #
  2. Cybele's avatar

    Crissa - Well, I did say it was a detour!

    The shop is quite small, more ice cream parlor than candy store, and they do make them there in Bakersfield (they have two locations).

    It’s kind of fun to drive over from the coast, through Paso Robles and watch as mile after mile of pistachio and almond trees go by and then go get some candy made from nuts that were probably grown right there in California. Not quite artisan, but at least traditional.

    Comment by Cybele on 8/12/13 at 7:10 pm #
  3. ...and they’ve been doing it since 1909! 
    did you get a sample of the “newfangled” flavors? among them is the dewar family’s hat tip to the local pistachio growers (vanilla taffy style, a la the pb chews)...

    Comment by shirley on 8/13/13 at 7:27 pm #
  4. I do like knowing about places like these - they’re what make a trip through the inland valleys worth it.  There’s some definite treasures out there.

    Much of the nuts and vegetables eaten in the US are grown in California.  It’s rather amazing, really, and if you think about the acres we have now how much land could be producing across the country that isn’t.  California’s huge growing season just makes that happen, but there’s no reason tuff can’t be grown elsewhere in season - it’s just that our year-round sun, fog, and narrow rainy seasons make for extended seasons of many things people want to eat.

    And that’s left us with really weird ironies, like for instance that Silicon Valley wouldn’t exist had not a blight made the vineyards switch to orchards and then chip fabs because due to dropping prices.

    Comment by Crissa on 8/19/13 at 11:29 pm #
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