Thursday, September 25, 2008

Harry & David Fall Leaves Fruit Gels

Fall Leaves Fruit GelsHarry & David are known for their fresh fruit boxes & baskets. They also have a pretty good selection of candies, especially seasonal varieties. Like Trader Joe’s, some are made especially for Harry & David and others are just repackaged with their brand name on them.

When looking through their selections I like to spot the items that they carry that I don’t see anywhere else and saw quite a few a couple of weeks ago in their fall selection. Many items aren’t even mentioned on their website. (If you go into the store they’re always sampling things, too.)

Fruit jellies in general are a ho-hum candy. The kind of thing most of us will eat if it’s around but rarely buy. I’m a huge fan of gourmet pate de fruits which are more intense distillations of real fruits and I was hoping that these Harry & David Fall Leaves Fruit Gels were more like that than Brach’s Fruit Slices. Mostly, I bought them because they were pretty.

Fall Leaves Fruit Gels

Each little “hand” is about 1.75” across at the widest. The colors are all vibrant and though they’re rather thick, still translucent. The sugar coating adheres nicely so they’re not at all messy.

imagePear (chartreuse)

This color was a little disturbing to me, kind of like antifreeze. Happily it tasted like a crisp pear-flavored jelly. Tart and with that strange melon note that pears always seem to have. The grainy sugar coating even mimics those little gritty bits in pear flesh.

imageLime (green)

Very much the epitome of a lime jelly. It has a strong zest to it, even a little bitter at times, a little tangy bite and an overall LifeSavers flavor (you know, back when LifeSavers made lime).

imageStrawberry (red)

Biting into it, it has a bit more tartness than many fruit jellies, more like a strawberry-lemonade than straight strawberry. But the scent is wonderfully summery - that sweet mix of flowers and cotton candy.

imageRaspberry (darker red)

It has a nice berry fragrance and an immediate jammy flavor of raspberries. But something went weird toward the end, there’s a strange very sweet aftertaste, as if it has some sort of artificial sweetener in it (but of course it’s not on the ingredients list, which is what has me mystified). I couldn’t really investigate this anomaly as there was only one raspberry leaf in the bag.

imageTangerine (orange)

Not as vibrant looking as the other colors, this was a little paler, I’m guessing because it’s tangerine and not orange. The flavor isn’t as intense as I’d like. Mellow and citrusy, but not tart or zesty.

imageLemon (yellow)

I picked out a package with a lot of lemon because I assumed that I’d like them. The lemon zest was strong and reminded me of fresh lemon balm that my grandmother grew by her back door. As we’d leave her house after a visit we’d all grab a little sprig and rub it in our hands. The smell reminds me of long car rides on farm-lined country roads in Ohio. It’s only slightly tangy and quite smooth.

The price was steep for jellies that aren’t actually real fruit ($8.95) and I’m not likely to buy these again. But if I had a very specific need for an edible decoration such as cupcakes or as an accent on a dessert tray, these more than satisfy. If I’m going for inexpensive fruit taste, I’ll probably keep going for Sunkist Fruit Gems (only in the larger bags that include grapefruit, of course).

These are vegan (no gelatin and all artificial colors) but not Kosher.

Related Candies

  1. Loukoumi Artisan Confections
  2. Organic Zootons
  3. Sunkist Fruit Gems
  4. Fruit Parfaits
  5. Chuckles
  6. Boule Chocolates and Fruit Pate
Name: Fall Leaves Fruit Gels
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 4 BENIGN
Brand: Harry & David
Place Purchased: Harry & David (Emeryville, CA)
Price: $8.95
Size: 12 ounces
Calories per ounce: 94
Categories: Jelly, United States

POSTED BY Cybele AT 10:44 am Tracker Pixel for Entry    

  1. Cybele—do you have any recommendations for good pate de fruits, besides the Boule and the parfaits? I love fruit-based candy, but I can’t bring myself to spring for the shipping charges on something totally untried.

    Comment by Sarah on 9/25/08 at 12:10 pm #
  2. I haven’t tried these yet, but I’m ecstatic that they included pear!  Pear is hard to get right (which why I’m assuming that most companies don’t even attempt it).

    Comment by Jesse on 9/25/08 at 6:31 pm #
  3. Sadly, these are no longer available.  They were actually repackaged by Harry & David (as many of their candies are).  Originally made by the Jelly Belly Company (formerly Goelitz), they were one of my favorite fall candies.  Delicious doesn’t even begin to describe it! I doubt I’ll ever find a pectin jell candy that tastes as good as those fall leaves did.  However, the same pear, tangerine, lime, etc. flavors that were in the leaves are still available in the actual Jelly Belly beans.
    Juicy Pear, Raspberry, Lemon Drop, etc.  Same delicious flavors, just in a different package.

    Comment by Gyan Galoob on 8/20/09 at 11:06 am #
  4. So, have these changed now…the jelly beans that I like are the Jelly Belly kind…8 years later I wonder if Harry and David has changed in any way.

    Comment by SJCarras on 4/29/17 at 10:07 am #
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