Thursday, November 6, 2008

GoNaturally Hard Candies

Hillside Candy has been making sweets for nearly thirty years and are best known for their line of sugar-free candies called GoLightly. GoNaturally is their new line of hard candies made with all organic ingredients. It’s also Kosher, dairy-free, gluten-free and corn-free.

Their initial offerings come in six different flavors:

     Honey Lemon          Cherry

Honey LemonHoney Lemon

Quite mellow, there’s no strong pop of either the honey or the lemon flavors.

It’s not really that sweet either, which makes it a rather nice change of pace and more soothing to the throat.

The pieces are rather small, about as big around as a penny. I loved the small size of the pieces and found with this flavor especially, the mild and true honey flavor kept me coming back over and over again until I finished the bag one afternoon. (Though each bag only holds 3.5 ounces, there are a lot of pieces because they’re so small - so I had a large pile of wrappers.)

CherryCherry

The funny thing, if you haven’t noticed already, is that none of these candies use any colorings. So while they vary slightly, they’re all a basic light amber color. Since the wrappers are opaque, there’s really no need for them to contain added colors to tell them apart.

Tangy and not terribly strong, it’s the typical cherry flavor. Not too much on the side of cough syrup, it reminded me of cherry popsicles instead.

This was my least favorite flavor, but mostly because I think that the malty dark flavors that the rice syrup gives the candy doesn’t go as well with the bright cherry flavors.

     Apple            Pomegranate

AppleApple

I wasn’t sure which way this flavor was going to go. Was it going to be Jolly Rancher Green Apple or the Japanese Mentos Fuji Apple? Well, it was a little of both. It had a definite acidic pop of the fake variety but also a good sprinkling of the apple peel flavors of real cider. I’ve always found the best thing about apples to be the wonderful crisp texture and crunch, so any candy that misses that aspect really misses with me.

I think kids may appreciate it this though, but it may not convert them from Jolly Ranchers.

PomegranatePomegranate

The curiously bright pink here belies the subtle flavor of the candy. It’s tangy and fruity like berries. It does a decent job of capturing pomegranate, which isn’t easy because most of the pom candies I’ve tried could have been named black raspberry or cranberry and I wouldn’t argue.

There’s a deep woodsy flavor to this, kind of like some red grapes have or, well, eating pomegranates. The dark molasses hint from the pomegranate or rice syrup does make this different from other pomegranate candies.

     Honey            Ginger

HoneyHoney

This is one of the candies that looked exactly like I’d expect a hard honey candy to look like. A little golden droplet.

The ingredients list has only three items on it: evaporated cane juice, brown rice syrup & honey. It tastes mellow, a little more mellow than a spoonful of honey but still a sweet little treat. Along with the Honey Lemon, this was my favorite.

GingerGinger

I’m always looking for good ginger candies because of my tummy upset issues and love of all things ginger.

These have an immediate woodsy taste, a little bit of a burn but mostly a taste of grassy sticks and spice.

I don’t know how well they’ll work with my sea-sickness and I doubt I’ll have them until whale watching season starts in January, I can see myself finishing this bag by next week.

My strangest issue with these was that they got soft and sticky. Los Angeles isn’t that humid, so I don’t think it was some sort of atypically moist condition that caused this. They’re not bad when they get softer around the edges, but they certainly don’t look as good and don’t have that crunch.

With that in mind, I don’t think they’d do well in an open bowl of candy, like a dish on your desk. Maybe a sealed jar or a zip lock bag.

I’m wild about the honey ones but didn’t have much of a feeling about the other flavors one way or the other.

This is an especially good product for those seeking a hard candy made without corn syrup or just something without artificial colors. It’s also made in the USA. The price is a bit steep for hard candy at about $2.50 per 3.5 ounce bag (though it’s certainly cheaper in bulk) but they do have some unique attributes, so there are definitely folks out there who will be thrilled to find the product and pay for it.

Related Candies

  1. Hammond’s Pantry Candies
  2. Loukoumi Artisan Confections
  3. Melville Candy Company Honey Spoons
  4. VerMints
  5. St. Claire’s Organic Mints & Tarts
  6. Chimes Ginger Chews
Name: GoNaturally Organic Hard Candies
    RATING:
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 6 TEMPTING
  • 5 PLEASANT
  • 4 BENIGN
  • 3 UNAPPEALING
  • 2 APPALLING
  • 1 INEDIBLE
Brand: Hillside Candy
Place Purchased: samples from Hillside Candy
Price: $2.50 retail
Size: 3.5 ounces
Calories per ounce: 103
Categories: Hard Candy, Ginger, United States, Organic, Kosher

POSTED BY Cybele AT 10:14 am Tracker Pixel for Entry    

Comments
  1. Your first two flavors in this group are the same as Luden’s cough drops, which were my favorite cough candy back when they came in little wax-paper lined boxes.  I knew that Cepastat were much better when you actually had a cough, but a mild cold was a good excuse to go through the honey-lemons like no tomorrow.

    Comment by Dave on 11/06/08 at 12:16 pm #
  2. We so abused Luden Wild Cherry “coughdrops” in elementary school that we weren’t allowed to have them. We weren’t permitted candy in class, so once the class discovered those wonderful, medical treats, they were all over the place.

    They’re still something I like to have, now and again.

    Comment by Russ on 11/07/08 at 9:19 am #
  3. where from?

    Comment by Brian on 11/08/08 at 11:48 pm #
  4. The discussion of the apple ones sparked a memory - when I was conspiring with my son to make edible amber last year, I thought about boiling apple cider to hard crack stage. That would be yummy! But instead, I just made standard hard candy, using dark corn syrup instead of light. I also made apple cider syrup. Maybe I’ll try the cider-to-hard-candy this year…

    Comment by Tricia on 11/11/08 at 3:25 pm #

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