Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Malaysian Hard Candies

My site designers/programmers Susie & Travis (from Hop Studios) sent me a bag o’ treats a few months ago from their trip to Singapore. I don’t really have any specs on the candies since it was a mix, so here’s a sample of what they looked like:


It took me a while too steel myself for trying so many mysterious things, but I’ve finally plowed through most of the treats. Some were just variations on the candies we have available here, different kinds of mints (chewy, hard, soft), coffee hard toffees, ginger chews (made in Indonesia) and of course fruit hard candies. Some were rather normal, based on the ubiquitous citrus fruits but a good number were curious.

Durian and Tamarind top the list of scary candies. I’ve heard horror stories of Durian, which is rather common throughout Southeast Asia. It’s a sizeable and formidable looking fruit and I’m told an acquired taste for outsiders (and some who’ve grown up there have never been fond of it). It’s a divisive fruit, actually, as so many people can’t stand it because of its rather pungent odor, it’s not allowed on public transportation in many large cities.

The durian hard candy is probably just as much an acquired taste and not one I’m likely to accomplish. This hard candy tastes okay at first, a little sweet, a little tart and then rather like boiled shallots. Yes, onions or garlic or perhaps a little like Slim Jims.

The Tamarind, which I’ve never had and is surprising as I live in Los Angeles and it’s all over the place, was actually nice. It’s a little toasty, rather ordinary after all being so worked up about trying that.

imageThe most curious one was the Creamy Corn. It tasted just like it sounds. Like creamed corn. Only in a hard toffee instead of running on my plate into my fried chicken. I have to say that it was very faithful to the name, and I ate the whole thing and was fascinated by it, but I can’t say I enjoyed it. It’s rather like eating the Buttered Popcorn Jelly Bellies. It’s a novelty, not a pleasure. At least not for me.

Mango was actually really nice, better than any other mango candy I’ve had, probably because they did more than make it taste like peaches. There were a few mango flavored ones, but the best overall were the ones branded Lot100 (the Blackcurrant was good, too). It had a nice pine essence to it, which is one of the things that I find so interesting about real mangoes, they have a woodsy flavor to them.

The best one was called Great Monster and I think was simply an orange hard candy. Simple, tart and zesty.

I had high hopes for those labeled barley sugar candies, but they didn’t really taste like the barley sugar I know of here in the states. They were nice, especially the lime torrone one (which was not at all like an Italian Torrone).

There are still a few I haven’t tried, but give me a few more days to get my courage back.

Rating - 6 out of 10 overall (some higher some lower ... it’s an average)

POSTED BY Cybele AT 1:52 pm Tracker Pixel for Entry     CandyReviewHard Candy & Lollipops6-TemptingMalaysia

  1. i was really surprised the first time i tried tamarind hard candies as well. the only ones i seem to find these days are from mexican groceries but they’re spicy and yummy!

    Comment by jayfish on 12/28/05 at 5:15 pm #
  2. boiled shallots in a candy? yeah, I think I’d give that one a miss, too…

    Comment by Tricia on 12/28/05 at 6:11 pm #
  3. For some reason corn is a big flavor over there.  The last time I went to Malaysia I had some corn ice cream with cooked corn bits in it.  It was a little ,the corn bits were salty, yet not bad at all.

    Durian is indeed an acquired taste.  It’s the smell that puts most people off, but the taste is divine. I have never liked anything durian “flavored”. I guess it’s just one of those flavors that can’t be replicated.

    Comment by Porgy on 12/28/05 at 8:00 pm #
  4. Bah, I meant to say that the ice cream was a little odd.

    While I’m here I should say that Malaysia is one of my favorite places, despite the wonky candies.

    Comment by Porgy on 12/28/05 at 8:06 pm #
  5. re durians: durian flavourings tend to fall short of the real thing. if you ever have the opportunity, have a durian cream puff or a crepe—mixing it with cream and chilling it tends to mute the flavour, making it easier for novices to accept. yum!

    Comment by cl on 12/29/05 at 7:41 am #
  6. i need some help please im in search of the most disgusting candies in the world ive heard of this durian fruit candy but cant seem to find were to order it if sombody could email me with some help i would appreciate this thanks smile


    Comment by Jared on 4/25/07 at 8:06 am #
  7. TORRONE is one of the ‘endangered’ brands in Malaysia since it can only easily found in rural places. Have you tried the White color TORRONE? Its nicer and ‘barley-er’ than the green (i think) since the lime ruin the taste of good barley.
    Victory never failed in flavoring their candies.
    But LOT10 Durian flavored?? LOL! As a Malaysian, I never took (again) any kind of Durian flavored candies because its even horrible when it came in artificial flavoring.
    Great Monster?? one more name that i never found before.

    p/s- Im a BIG fan of Durian ;p’re a true dare devil!

    Comment by Anuar Salleh on 9/10/07 at 9:42 am #
  8. i realise this is a very old review, haha. but i just had to say: i love great monster! it’s hard to find nowadays, but i used to eat them all the time because they stained your tongue in all sorts of colours. mmm nostalgia. think i’ll go look for them soon.

    Comment by kero on 9/01/08 at 9:19 pm #
  9. Try fresh durian someday. Just a little. It’s much better fresh. I love it fresh but hate it in candy. The most popular variety is the Monthong durian, grown in Thailand. Monthong means golden pillow, describing the visual aspect of the fruit. It’s a wonderful thing, I tell you. If you are ever in the DC area, I will be glad to get one for you and share it outside, as my wife does not allow them indoors due to the lovely bouquet.

    Comment by Carl Weaver on 9/02/08 at 4:39 am #
  10. wher can i buy Malaysian Hard Candies in the usa. Mainly look for the tamrind candy ( Like the one pic of on this site)

    Comment by ross on 6/11/11 at 6:14 am #
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