Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Hammond’s All Natural Lollipops

Hammond's All Natural LollipopsThey say we eat with our eyes first. If there’s one candy that capitalizes on our attraction to bright and shiny things, it has to be lollipops.

I love lollipops in the sense that I love looking at them, I like buying them and I enjoying having them. But I’d have to guess that I only eat about half of the lollipops I ever have.

Part of it is that lollipops are simply hard candy. And I’m pretty sure that most people don’t actually like hard candy ... in the sense that they’d be willing to pay three times as much for it simply because it includes an inedible holder with it. But this is part of the amazing enigma of lollipops.

Hammond's All Natural Lollipops

If I were a sculptor, I would probably wish to make things of spun, twisted & boiled sugar.

If I were to have my wedding all over again today, I’d probably just carry a bunch of lollipops instead of a bouquet of flowers. (Or maybe some of those wondrous flowers made from sugar.)

At the moment though I just take photos of lollipops when I get a hold of them.

Today, however, I’m also eating them.

I have a set of Hammond’s Candies All Natural Lollipops.

They’re made without artificial flavors or colors and are hand crafted. They come in a variety of flavors, I have six that I’m going to profile

These are the middle-sized pops - they’re one ounce each and about two to two and a half inches across. (Honestly, I think some of these were more than generously oversized.)

Hammond's All Natural Lollipops

The pops feature thick wooden sticks and are wrapped simply in little cellophane bags with a sticker on the back that lists the flavor, ingredients & nutritional info. The front is all about the look of these hand-crafted medallions.

Cross Section of Strawberry LollipopStrawberry - magenta/red background with orange & cream stripes. (cross section above of broken pop)

The ropes of candy are built in layers, at the center is a slightly aerated hard candy center. The outer layers are smooth and for the most part “clear” boiled sugar candy. The slight aeration of the core means that it’s very easy to crunch & chew it up and has no noticeable voids. It also means the the candy has a slightly lighter feel to it than I think I would have guessed just looking at it.

The flavor is light and bright - a touch of tartness but mostly a floral berry flavor like cotton candy.

Pomegranate - satiny cream background with pink/red stripes.

This had a very light floral flavor at first, all sweetness on the outside. The core, though, has a bit of a yogurty tang to it and a mellow cherry flavor with a stronger pop of sourness towards the end. It’s not a very intense flavor - just a light and rather nondescript berry note. It’s more like a fruit punch and is an overall positive.

Hammond's Cherry LollipopCherry - alternating large stripes of bright pink and medium red with a small strip of cream between.

This was a big test for me, because for the most part I don’t like cherry flavored candies because I don’t like the aftertaste of the most commonly used red food coloring, Red 40.

The outside was sweet and has a little toasted sugar flavor to it. The interior has a nice, zesty sour pop to it along with the cherry flavor. It’s not the dark, black cherry flavor - more like a cherry pie note. I’d call it positive and definitely has no weird poisonous aftertaste. Call it a win for cherry haters.

Peppermint - deep red with a series of amber stripes inside cream bands.

The coloring on this one wasn’t what I would have picked out of the bunch as the mint flavored one.

The mint flavor is clean and crisp - fresh and cooling with a long-lasting aftertaste. The texture of the candy is a little odd at first. The outside is smooth and with few voids, but can be kind of sharp if you break or crunch it.

Hammond's Pear Lollipop
Pear - satiny light green with cream stripes (with inset green stripes)

Most of the pops at this point I was eating by breaking them first, eating the pieces and then whatever was left on the stick. For the Pear, which was just slightly smaller than the others, I ate it whole.

The outer layer was mild & sweet and had a light orchard fruit scent. In this case the center is the same ... kind of like an apple kissed toasted marshmallow. For the most part I love fresh pears but have never cared for pear flavored candies ... but this isn’t very “pear-flavored” so I give it a thumbs up.

Lemon - yellow bands with cream mini stripes

The outside is zesty but just a kiss of sweetness to it. The center is only slightly tangy. The whole thing reminds me of the flavor combination of a lemon bar. It’s not going to burn holes in my tongue, so I’ll definitely eat the whole thing.

The size of these pops was just a smidge too large for placing in the mouth whole. The texture and smoothness of the outside & inside meant that they were both interesting and pleasant from start to finish. In most cases the outside & inside also offered different flavor variations, which was a good feature to offer when selling at a premium price. They also come in a huge variety of sizes, from this one ounce version to a 4 ounce (saucer) to a full pound (dinner plate).

When not in “review mode” I found that these were definitely an all day sucker for me. The price is a bit steep - at about $2.50 to $3.00 per pop (depending on where you buy them). I’ve seen these at department stores around Christmas (in cinnamon!), at Cost Plus World Market (they also have Root Beer, but I don’t think it’s all natural) plus upscale candy shops and of course on the internet at CandyWarehouse.com, NaturalCandyStore.com and direct from Hammond’s.

Hard candy has its place, it’s durable and can be packed with flavor or just sweet comfort. Mostly it’s an amazing concoction because it can be beautiful.

To finish this off, have a look at how they make some of their hand-crafted creations:

Related Candies

  1. Melville Candy Company Tea Spoons
  2. Hammond’s Pantry Candies
  3. Disneyland Candy Novelties
  4. Peeps Lollipop Rings
  5. Miette Patisserie
Name: All Natural Handmade Twist Lollipops
    RATING:
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 6 TEMPTING
  • 5 PLEASANT
  • 4 BENIGN
  • 3 UNAPPEALING
  • 2 APPALLING
  • 1 INEDIBLE
Brand: Hammond's Candies
Place Purchased: samples from CandyWarehouse.com
Price: retail $2.50-$3.00 each
Size: 1 ounce
Calories per ounce: 120
Categories: Hard Candy, Mint, United States, Hammond's Candies, Kosher

POSTED BY Cybele AT 2:53 pm Tracker Pixel for Entry    

Comments
  1. I had no idea Hammond made lollipops! I always get lots of their candy canes at Christmas - I love the chocolate filled ones. I’ll have to look for these.

    Comment by Bonney on 4/29/09 at 3:19 pm #
  2. This is what I think of when I thnk of candy.

    Comment by jMo on 4/30/09 at 4:23 am #
  3. I HATE their lollipops. I just had the root beer and the cotton candy “flavors”. You could barely taste it at all, which was weird because they have a cinnamon apple lollipop that’s shaped like an apple that is utterly amazingly good.

    Comment by Meghan on 4/30/09 at 10:27 am #
  4. I’m not a hard candy person either - but these are ridiculously pretty. I’d buy them just as a decorative item if I could get them where I live.

    Comment by Laurie on 4/30/09 at 10:53 am #
  5. My local market always gets the Hammonds candies for the holidays. Haven’t tried them, but they’re just so beautiful. Love the simple, classy packaging too.

    Comment by CleanSimple on 5/03/09 at 4:27 pm #
  6. Tricia's avatar

    Wow, that process is pretty amazing - but it seems like the designs they are building up are much fatter than the final pieces, so I’m clearly missing something!

    Comment by Tricia on 5/08/09 at 4:50 pm #
  7. I would like to order your Pear Lollipops. May I know when and how much they will be? Email me anytime.

    Comment by Sharvae on 3/06/12 at 2:19 pm #
  8. hello can you please tell me how much ich lollipops please im very interested for my wedding

    Comment by sandra abreu on 3/28/12 at 11:28 am #

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