Monday, August 28, 2006

Garfield’s Chocobites

imageWhen I was the All Candy Expo there were lots of candies there that I’d never seen before, and many that I’ll probably never see again. One that seemed to be everywhere in the little freebie bowls were Garfield’s Chocobites by Arcor.

Yeah, they’re knock-offs of Peanut M&Ms. They’ve been sitting in my pile o’ candy I really don’t wanna eat.

I got a little piece of email last week that I had to share. Kendra wanted to make sure that everyone know about the bad candy known as Garfield’s Chocobites.

Here are some of her words:

For awhile now they’ve been offering “Garfield’s Chocobites” in my company’s vending machine, and I’ve wisely avoided them. However today I found the vending machine to have slim pickings, so I decided to give the chocobites a try, how bad could they be?

How bad you ask? Bad. I bought the “Peanut Chocolate Candies” variety, and the first one I pulled out, was covered in a fairly large splatter of lard. You heard me, lard. At first I thought it might be some candy coating glaze, but it was most certainly some sort of fatty lardy, crisco-like substance.

Technically that white greasy substance isn’t lard, it’s probably cocoa butter (though the ingredients also list something called polyricinoleic acid, which is a red flag that whatever is in the package will disappoint you). And usually I say hurray for cocoa butter, but when cocoa butter leaves the chocolate, it’s not a pleasant thing. If the cocoa butter has left the candy, it means that the candy has been stored improperly, in a warm environment long enough for the cocoa butter to melt and vacate the candy ... ew. And what’s left inside the candy shell if the cocoa butter is gone? Sugar and cocoa, dried milk and some other additives. What’s worse is that a vending machine would have this issue - it should be some sort of climate controlled machine! It’s plugged in, can’t they keep the temperature below 80?

Now, I’d say that Kendra should just forgo that vending machine ... but she’s not the only one. Even Candy Addict Victoria has found the similarly dismal results with her experience:

I bit a red one in half, which is what I do to almost everything when I eat, just to make sure there’s nothing unwanted hiding inside. It looked okay, again, much like a peanut M&M, so I chewed up the entire thing, which was a mistake.

A quick websearch did find one person who liked them, giving them 4.5 gummi bears out of 5.

Some anonymous person commenting at Junk Food Blog posits that:

You have to take into account that the Chocobites are made using real milk (the traditional way to make milk chocolate). [snip] So its not that they taste “terrible” one here is just not used to it…

Um, yeah, anonymous should check out the ingredients list and notice the presence of PGPR. It’s not that we’re uneducated dweebs, they’re made with inferior ingredients.

Anyway, my take on them (and mine are fresh) is that the peanuts are substandard. The candy shells are pretty but not tasty looking. They’re a little more textured than M&Ms (which isn’t a bad thing, just different) and the colors are vibrant, but a little uneven. The red and orange ones were a little mottled which made it look like someone had dribbled another color of dye in there. The shell is very crisp and thicker than M&Ms which is kind of fun. It makes them very crunchy. But after that it’s downhill. The peanuts are simply substandard. At least half of them were awful, chewy and bitter or tasted burnt. The chocolate is sweet and uninteresting with no creamy balance to the peanuts or crunchy shell.

I’m really sorry that some vending companies are putting in bad quality products to up their profits. At 1.74 ounces, it’s the exact same size as a bag of Peanut M&Ms, so you’re not the one getting a better value here. I’m all for generics, I buy them all the time, but this is one case where you’re gonna get burned.

Name: Garfield's Chocobites
    RATING:
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 6 TEMPTING
  • 5 PLEASANT
  • 4 BENIGN
  • 3 UNAPPEALING
  • 2 APPALLING
  • 1 INEDIBLE
Brand: Arcor
Place Purchased: All Candy Expo sample
Price: retail $.75
Size: 1.74 ounces
Calories per ounce: 138
Categories: Chocolate, Peanuts

POSTED BY Cybele AT 6:33 am Tracker Pixel for Entry    

Comments
  1. Well it could’ve been worse.  They could’ve tasted like lasagna, Garfield’s favorite food.  Or, even worse than that, they could’ve tasted like Garfield.  wink

    Comment by Marvo on 8/28/06 at 7:29 am #
  2. Jesus I hate Garfield.

    In terms of mainstream chocolate/candy peanuts, nothing tops M&M’s. There’s usually a reason why a brand does so well, usually, because it’s the best. I mean, you don’t buy M&M’s everyday (at least you shouldn’t), so when you do, make it the genuine article.

    Comment by GTO on 8/28/06 at 8:50 am #
  3. most unfortunate when a large company like garfield seeks to gain more profit - or so it seems - and sells out their product (in this case an overmarketed fat cat) and now its chocolates. :I

    Comment by sunny on 8/29/06 at 11:07 am #
  4. Cybele's avatar

    Marvo - hmmm, candy coated pasta and tomato sauce ... it could work .

    GTO - the only decent knock off I’ve had is the Brachs version (which are the candies that are sometimes featured as the background for the blog). But Brachs is far and away a better brand than Arcor.

    Sunny - I tried watching that Garfield live action movie a couple of weekends ago on cable. Most unfortunate was of money.

    Comment by Cybele on 8/30/06 at 1:01 pm #
  5. Thanks for the warning. I just saw these in my grad school’s student center vending machine and will steer clear. (I’ll probably avoid the vending machines altogether though, b/c the coffee machine had a sign reading “Do not use. Ants in coffee.” That’s a whole other problem!)

    Comment by Danielle on 9/13/06 at 5:07 am #
  6. Danielle:

    ERGH!!!! That’s like my worst nightmare come true! It’s so disgusting when you open up a container of food from the pantry just to find a bug or something in it. I hate bugs like ants and beetles and stuff, and I’ve been traumatized by an incident where my room mysteriously became the central hub for ants for several and. And I don’t mean those little red ones, which are bad enough when they’re in swarms, but those big black ones. I used to be so scared that they’d crawl on me while i was sleeping and worst IN me!  It only added to my paranoia of bugs when I developed a bee allergy (it took three stings on three seperate occasions before I reacted).

    Comment by Trish on 10/21/06 at 7:45 pm #

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