Friday, January 16, 2009

Mike and Ike Italian Ice

In Los Angeles this week it’s been in the eighties. Yes, in January. So the thought of Mike and Ike Italian Ice doesn’t feel a bit out of place in this strange heat spell.

Mike and Ike Italian Ice Flavors

Though Mike and Ike are available in single serve bags, I see them most often in the movie boxes. I think it’s cool, I like the bold designs on them and of course they’re usually a better value than the single serve. But the packaging itself has been bugging me for a while. Inside the rather large box (for something that holds 4.2 ounces) is a plastic bag. I’d be just as happy to pick up a peg bag for the same one dollar as the box. (A package that collapses as you eat it is handy, too.)

To have both the box and the bag is wasteful, though probably ensures freshness and keeps the soft candies from getting crushed.

I’ve had my fair share of Italian Ice over the years, though usually in the little cups from the convenience store freezer. And always lemon. What distinguishes Italian Ice flavors from other fruity flavors? There’s no indication on the box, except that it tells me that it has Your Favorite Italian Ice Flavors. Which isn’t exactly true, since as I mentioned, I really just like lemon and they’ve put four other unnecessary flavors in here.


The colors are similar to a set of highlighter pens. A little less vivid, a little less dark than the regular Mike and Ike.

The flavors here are:

Light Red = Cherry: A light woodsy cherry flavor. Because the color isn’t quite as dark, I’m guessing it didn’t need as much food coloring so I don’t get a typical bitter aftertaste. Which makes this a flavor that I don’t have to avoid. (Though it was still the last flavor left after I picked over them anyway.)

Light Blue = Blue Raspberry: this one has flavors on the darker end of the raspberry flavor profile, kind of like jam. But then there was a pop of menthol or mint in there. I don’t know if this was the Italian Ice part of it that was supposed to emulate that cool feeling of sorbet, but really it just make me think I was eating a cough drop.

Light Green = Watermelon: Grossly artificial tasting and a strange aftertaste, especially when paired with the citrus ones. (Bitter & slightly medicinal.) Bad artificial watermelon may replace my dislike of cherry very soon.

Light Orange = Orange: Nice blend of orange essence and orange juice flavors. Could use a little bit more tartness.

Light Yellow = Lemon: Light, tangy but also a little fizzy. Didn’t quite have a minty taste. Becomes rather sweet and flavorless quickly.

As you can guess, my favorite assortment so far was been the Mike and Ike Alex’s Lemonade Stand. But Tangy Twister comes in second and if you look sharp in late February you’ll probably see the Jelly Bean variety for Easter as well (I bought them last year on an after-holiday sale and, well, ate them).

Other reviews of the Italian Ice: Candy Addict and Wisconsin Candy Dish.

These are filled with artificial colors & flavors but are technically vegan.

Related Candies

  1. Dots Elements: Earth, Air, Fire & Water
  2. Organic Zootons
  3. Good and Fruity
  4. Hot Tamales Ice
  5. Mike and Ike Jolly Joes
  6. Mike and Ike Orange ‘n Cream
Name: Mike and Ike Italian Ice
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 4 BENIGN
Brand: Just Born
Place Purchased: Walgreen's (Echo Park)
Price: $1.00 (on sale)
Size: 4.2 ounces
Calories per ounce: 104
Categories: Jelly, United States, Just Born

POSTED BY Cybele AT 10:21 am Tracker Pixel for Entry    

  1. Hmmm…Check your link for the candy addict review. It went to one of your old reviews. Thanks!

    Comment by Shannon on 1/16/09 at 12:44 pm #
  2. Cybele's avatar

    Shannon - thanks for the catch, I think I fixed it.

    Comment by Cybele on 1/16/09 at 12:50 pm #
  3. Interesting, I haven’t seen these yet, but if I do on sale, I might check them out. They don’t sound like anything to get excited about, just curious.

    Comment by Cocoazilla on 1/19/09 at 5:39 am #
  4. I haven?t seen them either… and I?m from Mexico!!

    Comment by Karla on 1/20/09 at 8:55 am #
  5. I found these in San Juan, Puerto Rico last week when I was there on Vacation. I too, picked up a couple of boxes at the local Walgreen’s on Isla Verde Ave. Sounds to me like Walgreen’s is the only store for now that is carrying them. They taste pretty good to me and I love italian water ice!

    Comment by Chuck on 2/11/09 at 6:17 am #
  6. I found these at Walgreen’s today.  I really like them.  I don’t think the blue raspberry flavor is the only one with a touch of mint- I tasted it in the watermelon too.  I think the cherry was my favorite. 

    Tangy Twister is probably still my favorite Mike & Ike assortment, though.

    Comment by Ann on 3/15/09 at 2:01 pm #
  7. I picked up a box of these at 5 Below the other day.  I always go there to get the Lemonade Stand ones as I can’t find them anywhere else.  This was the first time I’ve seen this flavor mix and I was really hopeful.  Definitely not my favorite.  I really hate when menthol-type flavoring is added to make candy have a cooling effect.  Not what I was expecting at all.  Was hoping for something a little sour and lightly sweet, but these miss the mark.  Especially the watermelon, and usually I don’t mind that weird made-up flavor.

    On another note, have you ever tried Rita’s Swedish Fish Italian ice?  I rather enjoy that.

    Comment by Kay on 9/17/10 at 3:21 pm #
  8. I love putting these in the freezer! They are tangy and cold, perfect for the summer/spring seasons. =)

    Comment by Le on 4/09/12 at 7:08 pm #
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