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Monday, April 6, 2015

SweetWorks Celebration Candies - Bears

SweetWorks Celebration Candies - BearsI’ve been putting off this review of SweetWorks Celebration Candies for months. I’ve seen them at stores quite a bit lately, not just the bears, but SweetWorks makes a wide variety of shapes and color variations for different party needs. My hesitation was that they look great, but didn’t taste like much at all.

This particular variation is little candy coated bears in pearlescent yellow, green and white. The sparkly coating is created with food-safe mica based pigments.

I got a sample of their peg bag of this variety that’s 12 ounces, but I’ve seen smaller 6 ounce bags and of course some wholesalers will sell by the case. They’re a very popular item for candy buffets, or for decorating and party favors for baby showers and birthday parties. They’re made by OakLeaf in Canada. The package says that it’s peanut free, tree nut free and gluten free, however, the package says that their facility does use milk and soy.

SweetWorks Celebration Bears

The bears don’t smell like much, a little perfumey but otherwise a clean smell. I don’t know if they have particular flavors, as the package only mentions what you can do with them: candy buffet, baked goods, party favors, themed events, candy dish, bridal shower, baby showers. Nowhere does it mention just eating or how they’ll taste.

They’re a pressed dextrose candy, a compacted powder made from glucose (dextrose) is flavored and stamped out under high pressure to make the candies. Then they’re tumbled with some colors and glazes to make them even prettier.

What is also nice about them is that they’re designed on both sides, so the front is the bear’s face and belly, the back has a tiny little buttocks tushy thing going on.

Sweetworks Bears

When I was at the Lolli & Pops candy store, I noticed that they had some uncoated multicolored bears as well, so I picked those up to see if there was a flavor difference.

These are actually quite different from the coated version, which is kind of sad, because these are nicer. The texture is a little on the powdery side, compared to the SweeTarts tablets but not as chalky as Smarties.

DSC_6682rb

Green is Lime - which is rare. It’s a more floral flavor than most lime candies, and much less sour than a traditional SweeTart.

Red is Cherry and passable, though more sour than cherry flavored. Heck, it might even be strawberry.

Orange is Orange and has a good orange soda flavor that balances the tart and juicy flavors.

Yellow is Lemon or maybe Pineapple. It was terrible, sweet and soapy.

Purple is Grape and probably my favorite - tart, floral and completely artificial.

Blue is Raspberry and so flowery, it was more like a soap.

These are nice edible decorations, but not great candy. I think the pearlescent bears may work well in decorating recipes since they don’t have a flavor, they won’t compete with anything. OakLeaf also makes Cry Baby Tears, which are the candies you’d want to get if you want something extremely sour with very little flavor variation.

Related Candies

  1. YumJunkie Sassy Straws
  2. Oak Leaf Hearts Candy
  3. Wonka Everlasting Gobstopper HeartBreakers (2014)
  4. Kasugai Fruits Lemonade
  5. Oak Leaf Candies
  6. Goodbye Tart n Tinys
  7. SweeTart Hearts


Name: Celebration Bears
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Sweet Works
Place Purchased: Samples from SweetWorks
Price: 12
Size: 12 ounces
Calories per ounce: 113
Categories: Candy, SweetWorks, Inc, Compressed Dextrose, 3-Unappealing, Canada

POSTED BY Cybele AT 7:49 am     CandyReviewSweetWorks, IncCompressed Dextrose3-Unappealing4-BenignCanadaComments (1)

Thursday, April 2, 2015

The Recent History of Brach’s Fiesta Malted Milk Eggs

Brach's Easter Parade - Life magazine ad April 4, 1960I’m a big fan of Malted Milk Balls and consider the candy coated Pastel Malted Milk Egg to be one of the best holiday candy creations ever. Brach’s has been making a pastel egg for at least 55 years, and malted milk balls for even longer.

Though the Brach’s brand has been around for over 110 years, they’ve changed ownership, leadership and product focus dozens of times. This means that the products themselves also change. The changes can be for consumer-driven reasons, supply issues and costs. I’ve noticed, since Candy Blog is coming up on 10 years, that the Brach’s Fiesta Eggs have changed quite a bit over the years, and have some photos and notes to document it.

2007 Full Review
Brach's Pastel Fiesta Malted Milk Eggs

Name: Pastel Fiesta Malted Milk Eggs
Brand: Brach’s (Callebaut)
Place Purchased: Long’s (Laguna Woods)
Price: $1.50 (on sale!)
Size: 7.5 ounces
Calories per ounce: 132
Type: Chocolate/Malt
Rating: 6 out of 10
Size: 1/2 to 2/3 of an inch
Shell: pastel, crunchy, lightly vanilla
Chocolate: creamy, flavorless, too sweet
Malt: light, airy

Though this was my first year reviewing them, it wasn’t the first time I had them and thought they used to be better.

2011 Full Review
Brach's Fiesta Eggs

Name: Fiesta Malted Milk Eggs
Brand: Brach’s  (Farley’s & Sathers)
Place Purchased: Target (Glendale)
Price: $1.99
Size: 7.5 ounces
Calories per ounce: 132
Type: Chocolate/Malt
Rating: 6 out of 10
Size: 2/3 of an inch
Shells - white with speckles, thick
Chocolate - Real, fudgy texture, lack of flavor
Malt - cripsy, moderately malty

I’d say that this was a lackluster version, though I liked the center, the chocolate brought the whole thing down.

2012 Full Review

Brach's Fiesta Malted Milk Eggs

Brach's Fiesta Malted Milk Eggs

Name: Fiesta Malted Milk Eggs
Brand: Brach’s (Farley’s & Sathers)
Place Purchased: Target
Price: $1.89
Size: 7.5 ounces
Calories per ounce: 113
Type: Chalk
Rating: 5 out of 10
Size 1.25 to 1.5 inches
Shell: White with few speckles, very thick, hard to bite
Chocolate: weak
Malt: milky, barely sweet, crisp

These were simply too difficult to eat because of the size and shell. The center was good, especially because the ratio was so high.

2015 Malted Milk Eggs Compared

Brach's Malted Milk Pastel Eggs

Brach's Pastel Eggs 2015

Name: Malted Milk Pastel Fiesta Eggs
Brand: Brach’s (Ferrara Candy)
Size: 7.5 ounces
Price: $2.50
Rating: 5 out of 10
Shell: Pastel. It’s crisp and has the texture of actual egg shells, a little bit of crumble, generally flavorless.
Chocolate: It’s passable stuff. It’s real chocolate, but not great quality. The texture is fatty and smooth, but also extremely sweet, there’s very little cocoa flavor to it.
Malted Milk Center: The texture is very dense, with a lot of milky notes but less malt than the others. It’s not overly sweet and not overtly salty.

The center this year is different. It’s darker in color, which does indicate that the recipe or manufacturing process has changed. The colors are great, I like the shell, though many commenters do not like the new version. I can’t put my finger on what’s wrong here, except that I don’t plan on buying them again, but I’ll finish the bags I have.

Related Candies

  1. Pastel Malted Milk Eggs Compared
  2. Sugarfina: The Chocolates
  3. Ovomaltine Chocolate Bar
  4. Trader Joe’s Milk Chocolate Malted Milk Eggs (Plus a Bonus)
  5. Whoppers Milkshake Strawberry
  6. Jelly Belly Deluxe Easter Mix
  7. Naked Chocolate Maltballs

POSTED BY Cybele AT 8:32 am     CandyReviewEasterBrach'sFarley's & SathersFerrara PanChocolateMalt5-Pleasant6-TemptingUnited KingdomHighlightFeatured NewsComments (4)

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Candyology 101 - Podcast Episode 11 - Jelly Beans

Candyology_Episode_11

In our latest episode of Candyology 101, Maria and I compare our list of our least favorite Easter candies and then cover Jelly Beans.

Don’t forget we have show notes to accompany the episode if you want to check them out.

You can download the episode directly via the MP3 link.

POSTED BY Cybele AT 6:03 am     CandyEasterHighlightRadio InterviewsComments (0)

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

YumJunkie Sassy Straws

DSC_8281rbOne of the problems with Pixy Stix, when it comes to offering them as party favors, gift decoration or as part of a candy buffet, is that you can only buy them in the assorted flavors. No one sells them in single flavor packages. Enter YumJunkie’s Sassy Straws. They come in twice the number of flavors, have really cute colors and designs on the straws what’s more, they can be ordered as separate flavor packages.

The flavor offerings go like this: strawberry (pink), watermelon (med-pink), blue raspberry (light blue), blueberry (blue), grape (purple), lime (green), cherry (red), orange (orange), black cherry (black).

The design of the straws is attractive when seen as a bulk arrangement. It’s simple, just a repeated pattern of colored swirls. The straws don’t have any writing on them, or notations of their flavors.

I picked up a full set of flavors at the Fancy Food Show earlier this year. 

DSC_8291rb

There’s no secret recipe for these granulated candies, it’s the same thing that makes up SweeTARTS or Lik-M-Aid. It starts with granulated dextose, which is just glucose (the stuff in corn syrup). Dextrose isn’t quite as sweet as regular table sugar, so this formula take flavors really well without being overly cloying.

Dextrose, Sugar, Citric Acid, Artificial Flavors & Colors. May Include One or More of the Following: Red 40 Lake, Yellow 5 Lake, Yellow 6 Lake, Blue 1 Lake, Blue 2 Lake. May Contain Peanuts, Tree Nuts, Milk, Eggs, Wheat & Soy Products

The flavors are actually pretty good. I’m not going to go through each one, but I can say for me the highlights were Strawberry, Grape (which is not quite Pixy Stix grape), and Orange. The dissolve is great, with a granulated start, cool feeling as it releases the flavor and a tangy note throughout. I didn’t like the Blueberry and found the Black Cherry and Cherry to taste exactly the same (which is just fine, it’s really about the straw colors, after all). I did wonder why there was no yellow (lemon, banana, pineapple, whatever).

Each straw is about 6 inches long. While the candy is 101 calories per ounce, there are only 8 calories per straw (only 2.25 grams of candy in there). It would take more than a dozen of these straws to make 100 calories.

Now, someone needs to convince Wrigley’s that they should sell Skittles in individual colors.

Related Candies

  1. Smarties Double Lollies and Mega Lollies
  2. Wonka SweeTarts Chicks, Ducks & Bunnies (2012)
  3. Runts
  4. Chewy Spree: Original & Mix’d Berry
  5. Goodbye Tart n Tinys
  6. Candy Blox
  7. Giant Pixy Stix


Name: Sassy Straws
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Yum Junkie
Place Purchased: samples from YumJunkie at Fancy Food Show
Price: unknown
Size: 1 ounce
Calories per ounce: 101
Categories: Candy, Compressed Dextrose, 5-Pleasant, United States

POSTED BY Cybele AT 8:22 am     CandyReviewCompressed Dextrose5-PleasantUnited StatesComments (0)

Monday, March 30, 2015

Willie’s Cacao - Venezuelan Gold 72%

Willie's Cacao - Venezuelan GoldWhile in London last year, I picked up quite a few chocolate bars. One brand that I noticed had good distribution and prices, was Willie’s Cacao. The company direct sources their cocoa beans and manufacturers their chocolate in England. For a small company they make a wide array of chocolate products, like the bars I picked up in single origin varieties like Madagascar, Peru, Indonesia and two different sourcings from Venezuela. In addition they also have a line of single origin cocoas, chocolate pearls and bars with flavors and inclusions.

I picked up the Venezuela Gold Las Trincheras 72% at Waitrose. The package is two little 40 gram bars that are wrapped separately for £2.99, or about $4.50. A lot of other single origin bars are priced at twice that, so it was a gamble that this was going to be passable stuff. The box is quite elegant, dark brown with orange, creamy yellow and gold foiled lettering. The package states that the single estate cacao comes from Hacienda Las Trincheras in northern Venezuela.

The flavor profile is described as smooth nutty notes, which is exactly why I like Venezuelan origin cacao.

Willie's Cacao (Venezuela)

The box helpfully gave me both the bar’s origin date and the best by date. It was produced in November 2013 and good until May 2015. I ate one of the bars after I returned from my trip last year, and saved the other in my climate controlled chocolate fridge until last month.

The bars are lovely, the mold, which says Willie’s Delectable Cacao gives the otherwise ordinary 2.75 inch square a bit more flair. The tempering is very nice, there’s a good snap to the bar and no bubbles or voids. The color is a little on the red side of dark brown.

The melt is easy but not too quick. The ingredients are very simple, no emulsifiers. Just cacao, raw cane sugar and cocoa butter. There’s a little dryness early on, and some bright fruit notes. The overwhelming flavor I get is not nutty but raisins. I usually associate strong raisin flavors with Peruvian chocolate. There are some other notes of rosemary, roses and plums, but I didn’t catch more than a fleeting cashew note. It’s a bit bitter at times as well, but not so much that it distracted from the other flavors, just enough to keep it from getting too sweet.

For the price, I think they’re very well done bars, and I appreciate the packaging style that allows me to actually eat some now and really save some for later, as I did here. However, I didn’t love this particular bar enough that I would import it. I am interested enough in the brand that I would pick it up again, especially some of the other origins.

Related Candies

  1. Hotel Chocolat Rabot 1745 Venezuela Chuao
  2. Soma Black Science Carenero Superior
  3. Chuao Venezuelan Origin Chocolate
  4. Amano Dos Rios 70% Chocolate
  5. Amano Milk Chocolate Ocumare
  6. Scharffen Berger Finisterra 10th Anniversary Bar
  7. Domori Cru
  8. Amano Single Origin Bars: Madagascar & Ocumare


Name: Venezuelan Gold Las Trincheras 72%
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Willie’s Cacao
Place Purchased: Waitrose (London)
Price: £2.99 ($4.50)
Size: 2.82 ounces
Calories per ounce: 153
Categories: All Natural, Candy, Chocolate, Ethically Sourced, Single Origin, 8-Tasty, United Kingdom

POSTED BY Cybele AT 8:15 am     All NaturalCandyReviewChocolateEthically SourcedSingle Origin8-TastyUnited KingdomComments (2)

Page 5 of 570 pages ‹ First  < 3 4 5 6 7 >  Last ›

Meticulously photographed and documented reviews of candy from around the world. And the occasional other sweet adventures. Open your mouth, expand your mind.

 

 

 

 

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COUNTDOWN.

Candy Season Ends

-89 days

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Which seasonal candy selection do you prefer?

Choose one or more:

  •   Halloween
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ON DECK

These candies will be reviewed shortly:

• Brach’s Chocolate Caramel Pretzel Bites

• Hachez Braune Blatter (Chocolate Leaves)

• Rogue Chocolatier

• Dandelion Chocolate

• Candy Rant: If your Licorice isn’t black, it isn’t Licorice

 

 

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