Thursday, February 5, 2009

Trader Joe’s Gummy Tummies

Trader Joe's Gummy TummiesThe idea of a liquid burst inside a gummi candy is nothing new, but seems to have made a bit of a comeback lately. (Starburst GummiBursts & LifeSavers Fruit Splosions.)

Trader Joe’s has a twist on this in their new Trader Joe’s Gummy Tummies Penguins. The flavor array in the package is pretty small: Strawberry, Lime and Cherry. They’re made with natural flavors, have no preservatives and no artificial colors. (They also state that it’s pork gelatin in them ... so they’re safe to eat for non-vegetarian Hindus.)

They’re much larger candy pieces than other versions and are made in such a way that you can actually see the goo inside their tummies.

       Trader Joe's Gummy Tummies

Oh, I’m sorry, did that scare you?

Scared me.

These things are freaky looking, and what’s worse, they smell. For a couple of days I thought there was an old apple core hiding somewhere in my office (I even crawled under my desk looking for it), turns out that’s what the combination of cherry, strawberry & lime Gummy Tummies smells like.

Trader Joe's Gummy Tummies

The shapes are nicely defined, though I wouldn’t call them nicely designed. I didn’t really get the whole “penguin” thing. I asked around and everyone pretty much agrees they look like Grimace from McDonald’s or one of the lesser ghost characters from Casper.

They’re very soft and have a bulbous belly that’s even softer to the touch. They remind me of blisters ... the cherry one (on its side up there) is even worse, because the gummis rather uncolored (like my skin) but has a dark red filling (like a blood blister). I’ll spare you the graphic photo of that and let you just imagine it instead.

Lime is easy to tell from the others, as it’s transparent yellow. The flavor is rather mellow, just a light touch of lemon/lime zest and then a mix of tangy & sweet. The filling is smooth and sticky and just a repeat of the above flavors in a form that needs no chewing.

Strawberry is the pink bellied one. (Though I had to hold them up to the light to tell them apart from the cherry.) The flavor is floral and tangy. The goo doesn’t do much for it and that’s probably a positive.

Cherry has the darkest belly and smells like wild cherry LifeSavers. The liquid center is a lot more flavorful, like a dense syrup of cough suppressant or Cepacol.

This whole tasting has made me realize that I don’t like goo filled gummis.

For those of you who have a Trader Joe’s nearby, you may enjoy this little video.

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Name: Gummy Tummies
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 4 BENIGN
Brand: Trader Joe's
Place Purchased: Trader Joe's (Silverlake)
Price: $2.49
Size: 7 ounces
Calories per ounce: 94
Categories: Gummi, France, Trader Joe's, All Natural

POSTED BY Cybele AT 10:03 am Tracker Pixel for Entry    

  1. The best center filled gummi’s out there are Maynards Juicy Squirts (I got them in Canada) and Sour Patch Xploderz.  I think there actually same candy, just the U.S. one is Sour and the Canadian one is sweet.

    Comment by Matt on 2/05/09 at 10:51 am #
  2. Those look very disturbing.  I could picture something like them at Halloween, under ‘candy dissection kits’.

    Comment by Cat Skyfire on 2/05/09 at 11:15 am #
  3. Freakish. They don’t like penguins to me either, but rather like melting snowmen.

    Comment by Laura on 2/05/09 at 11:16 am #
  4. Is it wrong that I find this hilarious?  Because I totally do.  Maybe it’s because the reality of their construction is pretty horrific (I did in fact imagine the midsection image. *shudder*) and yet they just look so HAPPY. lol

    Comment by Elise on 2/05/09 at 2:54 pm #
  5. I don’t think I was hankering for these to begin with, but your description and photos have made this a must-avoid…blood blisters =/= appetite-whetting!

    Comment by Ani on 2/05/09 at 3:59 pm #
  6. You description was ummm….interesting.
    Don’t think I’ll be trying these any time soon.  I don’t like squirety canties or gum anyway.
    PS - I loved the video - thanks for that link.

    Comment by candyann on 2/06/09 at 4:27 am #
  7. ooops, sorry that should read “squirty candies”.

    Comment by candyann on 2/06/09 at 4:28 am #
  8. I’m a big gummi fan, but I think you’re tampering with perfection here. Apple core? Cough syrup? Blisters? Hold me back doggy daddy.

    Comment by Jeanna on 2/06/09 at 4:44 am #
  9. That TJ’s video is really cute.  I like the somewhat wistful references to the things that aren’t there anymore…

    Comment by JJR on 2/06/09 at 9:56 am #
  10. Boy that looks freaky!  It reminds of the movie “Alien” with the creature bursting out of John Hurt’s chest.

    Comment by ian on 2/06/09 at 12:15 pm #
  11. OK, OK, I didn’t really look- I just had some and found them well, interesting. Being a candy realist,
    I didn’t get into the whole descriptive, horror thing. Me bad, I sent some to the grandaughters for
    Christmas. Hmmmmm, they ate them anyway. Just call us the Adams fam-ih-lee, boom boom.

    Comment by deb on 2/07/09 at 5:25 am #
  12. LOL!  tummies with goo!  funny!

    Comment by dawn on 2/07/09 at 12:15 pm #
  13. There gross,Disgusting looking, me and my sis agree it looks rather like a deformed snowman not a penguin. And i agree it does look like a blood blister.

    Comment by Bubbles on 2/08/09 at 3:05 pm #
  14. I think these are good, I didnt see anything halloween like or scary. Geeeze how sensitive are Americans becoming these days. They taste good I like the tummy juice. Dont read into things so ppl. Its just candy!

    Comment by JPJN on 2/09/09 at 7:02 am #
  15. Cybele's avatar

    JPJN - if you keep reading this site you’re going to get carpal tunnel typing “It’s just candy!”

    What was your impression of that guy who made a song about Trader Joe’s? It’s just a grocery store.

    (And looks aside, they’re still only a 5 out of 10.)

    To everyone else, I’m glad you’re along for the ride, playing with our food.

    Matt - I was actually looking for the Sour Patch Xpoloders, but haven’t seen them lately. I know a place that carries Maynards, so I’ll keep an eye out for the squirts.

    Comment by Cybele on 2/09/09 at 7:11 am #
  16. I love these! But sadly they have already been discontinued.

    Comment by Lia on 2/17/09 at 12:01 pm #
  17. These Gummy Tummy Penguins are so amazingly delicious. Being a bad vegetarian I ate one forgetting to read the ingredients.  I wish I never ate one because now I crave them!  Oh well. They are delicious.. and don’t smell like rotting apples. If you like gummy you’ll like these.

    Comment by casey on 2/17/09 at 4:18 pm #
  18. I’d rather have an all natural gummy that is discolored and vaguely RESEMBLES a “blood blister” than a gummi that is dyed and made of very unnatural ingredients.  P.S. the best way to eat this is to first suck out the juice.. aka “blood blister” and then chomp down. goood stuff.

    Comment by aaaaaaa on 2/17/09 at 4:24 pm #
  19. Tricia's avatar

    The video is hilarious - although I’m worried about the girl in the cart that gets stopped by the electronic force field. And were there eggs in the container that flew off? Inquiring minds want to know! (Good thing we don’t have those here, my boys would do all sorts of nefarious tests on them…)

    Comment by Tricia on 2/19/09 at 8:47 am #
  20. Oh man that is really creepy. Penguins in general are sort of suspect and it reminds me of E.T. which makes me sad that they missed that marketing campaign the first time around.
    Love, Gimmeyummy

    Comment by Jamie Susan on 4/14/09 at 6:15 am #
  21. i loooooooooooove these! this guy doesn’t have a sweet tooth in his body if he doesnt like them.  they are truly yummmy!

    Comment by Carrie on 6/23/09 at 9:12 am #
  22. It’s so awesome to bite into those cherry ones… half a penguin remains, cherry goodness oozing from the lifeless gummy body.  Candy carnage at it’s best.  Yum!

    Comment by Jerry on 7/23/09 at 8:39 am #
  23. I went to Trader Joe’s today, and these actually caught my eye. The woman stocking shelves nearby informed me that they were a store favourite, which made me even more curious.

    They are delicious. Thank goodness I only bought one bag.

    Comment by sarah on 8/02/09 at 6:09 pm #
  24. I absolutely love these things.  Bought one bag, and by the end of it, was walking back to tj’s for more.  They are good because the liquid has a honey tone to it, and the pieces are big and smushy in my mouth.

    Comment by Jennifer Balesteri on 8/10/09 at 11:37 am #
  25. i LOVE these so much !
    my friend had them at camp..
    i live reeeeaaallly far away from a
    trader joe’ there anywhere else
    i can get themm ? thankss(:

    Comment by sarah grace(: on 9/29/09 at 8:44 am #
  26. Woohoo, go Gummy Tummy Penguins!

    I think these are quite good, here is my review of them:

    We must have gotten them way before everyone else because I found them hiding in my store in November 2008.

    Comment by Daniel on 10/10/09 at 10:21 am #
  27. Hi smile I was just wondering if you were sure those were French? Thank you. smile

    Comment by Marjorie on 3/22/10 at 11:00 am #
  28. yep, 100% sure they’re french. it says so about twice on the package smile

    Comment by Marie lynn on 5/27/10 at 5:19 pm #
  29. Thank you for your answer. smile I asked because I’m French and I have never seen anything like that. I’m still puzzled because there’s no Trader Joe’s in France. But if it says so smile

    Comment by Marjorie on 6/09/10 at 4:25 am #
  30. Honestly I never saw any if these in France even though I ‘m a french man fan of candies.
    I guess trader joe’s penguins are an imitation of various types of haribo’s gummies.

    Comment by Thomas on 11/29/10 at 4:00 am #
  31. Good good stuff! Not smelly and really cute!

    Comment by Taylor on 5/05/11 at 10:26 pm #
  32. I LOVE these things! I love penguins especially, so the shape of these is SO cute and these are super yummy. Whoever wrote this bizarre little put-down article on these things obviously has nothing better to do and was traumatized as a child by—well, who knows what? Maybe penguins. Or maybe they need to stop watching so many episodes of C.S.I.  The point is, they are fun & yummy!  They DON’T smell bad. They smell just like they taste—-DELICIOUS. And they’re FUN! I like the goo inside. You people who have problems with the appearance/texture/shape/etc. of these things have deep-rooted issues. I’m just sorry they’re not making them right now…I hope they come back, ‘cause they were one of my all-time favorite gummies. Is there anything else out there that’s like these, if they’re not making the Trader Joe ones any more? I would love to find some!

    Comment by Liz Vee on 12/05/11 at 2:07 pm #
  33. Place in a bowl, cover with the alcohol of your choice e.g. rum so they are completely covered and leave for 5-8 hrs for maximum squish and alcoholic effect.

    Comment by Holly Anderson on 9/20/12 at 6:50 am #
  34. I have not tried the penguins, but the halloween ones (spiders and pumpkins) are really good! The pumpkin ones are orange I think, and the spiders are blackberry. I don’t care that much for the pumpkins, but I looooove the spiders!

    Comment by Barbara on 10/11/12 at 8:50 am #
  35. these are really good! Just polished off a bag.

    Comment by lizzy on 3/19/13 at 4:32 pm #
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