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Thursday, May 14, 2015

Candyology 101 - Podcast Episode 14 - Panned Candy

Brach's Bridge Mix

In this new episode of Candyology101, Maria and I talk about one of the oldest and most flexible candy processes: panning. Stick around until the end of the podcast and we have an expanded Treat or Trick section with plenty of Sweets & Snacks Expo teases.

Download the MP3 and of course check up on the full show notes.

 

POSTED BY Cybele AT 6:42 am     All Candy ExpoCandyHighlightRadio InterviewsComments (0)

Monday, May 11, 2015

Brach’s Milk and Dark Chocolate Caramel and Nut Mix

Brach's Milk & Dark Chocolate Caramel & Nut MixBrach’s has expanded their line of stand up bag offerings. I spotted these at Target: Brach’s Milk and Dark Chocolate Caramel & Nut Mix. It sounds like a much simpler Bridge Mix.

Like most Brach’s products, the package is vague about the product once you get past the name. There’s a list of ingredients, but other than that, I was kind of left to guess what was in my mix.

So, what do we have? Pretty much what the name says. There’s an assortment of two different shapes of chocolate covered nuts ... peanuts and almonds. Then there are some gumdrop looking things that are caramels and some oblong bits that are chocolate covered brittle.

Brach's Nut & Caramel Mix

The whole mix smells sweet, a little like peanuts and cocoa. The sweetness has a fake vanilla note to it that isn’t very encouraging, though the appearance of the mix is pretty attractive. The panning is good, everything is shiny and smooth.

Milk Chocolate Peanuts are satisfying. There’s not a lot of chocolate, but far better than Nestle’s Goobers. There’s a little hint of salt to make these much more of a snack than a sweet.

Dark Chocolate Peanuts also have a hint of salt and a noticeable bitterness to the chocolate which again keeps the whole mix from getting to sticky sweet.

Milk Chocolate Caramels were lackluster. The texture was excellent, the caramel was chewy but not too stiff and it had a smooth consistency. However, it lacked actual caramel flavor and didn’t offset the milk chocolate coating much.

Brach's Nut & Caramel Mix

Dark Chocolate Covered Peanut Brittle are easy to spot. They’re large and have a thick coating of chocolate. The brittle center may be big, but it crunches easily. The nutty flavor is not front and center, this piece is more about the textures of the crushed nuts, the dark chocolate and the sugary brittle. The nut bits are quite small, so it’s almost like the sesame brittle found in Kosher delis.

Dark Chocolate Covered Almonds are one of the larger pieces, though some are small enough to be mistaken for peanuts. The almonds have a light blanching, they’re not overly roasted. They’re crunchy and hold up well to the rather sweet dark chocolate.

This mix takes a lot of guess work out of what can be candy roulette. I liked all the pieces and didn’t really long for anything else that wasn’t in here. I thought the peanuts were great, and it all looked good in a little bowl. I certainly preferred it to the actual Bridge Mix that Brach’s sells.

The product contains milk, peanuts, almonds and soy and is made on shared equipment with other tree nuts, eggs and wheat.

Related Candies

  1. The Recent History of Brach’s Fiesta Malted Milk Eggs
  2. Ghirardelli Milk Chocolate Spiced Almond
  3. See’s Bridge Mix
  4. Brach’s Bridge Mix
  5. Snack Mix for Traveling
  6. Recchiuti Asphalt Jungle Mix
  7. Brach’s Indulge Almonds: Coconut & Caramel


Name: Milk & Dark Chocolate Caramel & Nut Mix
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Ferrara Pan
Place Purchased: Target (Eagle Rock)
Price: $3.99
Size: 8 ounces
Calories per ounce: 133
Categories: Candy, Brach's, Ferrara Pan, Brittle, Caramel, Chocolate, Nuts, Peanuts, 7-Worth It, United States, Target

POSTED BY Cybele AT 10:33 am     CandyReviewBrach'sFerrara PanCaramelChocolateNutsPeanuts7-Worth ItUnited StatesTargetComments (1)

Monday, May 4, 2015

Strawberry Cajillions

DSC_9143rbYears ago, at my first visit to the All Candy Expo (now known as the Sweets & Snacks Expo), I was excited to see a candy called Gazillions. They were little boxes, probably sold for a quarter, that had tiny chewy candies in them, like mini Skittles but single flavors. They came in pineapple. And then I never saw them in stores.

Here it is, 8 years later and I finally found a package at Economy Candy. Except they’re called Cajillions. They’re billed as The Tiny Tasty Candies.

Ingredients: sugar, glucose syrup, hydrogenated palm oil, apple juice, citric acid, artificial flavor, gum arabic, malic acid, carnauba wax, artificial color (cochineal extract)

DSC_9151rb

They’re rather like teensy, rustic bits of deep fried Starburst chews. They’re about the size of lentils.

I hesitate to say that they have an actual shell, but they’re definitely coated and sealed, so they don’t get sticky.

The strawberry flavor is rather clean. The outside is sweet and a little like cotton candy at first, but upon chewing the bits, it’s tangy and pretty smooth. They’re a lot like Skittles, except there’s something that’s not quite right about them. It might be the fact that they use apple juice, so there’s a little note to it that’s just a bit like apple peels to me. But perhaps a little metallic as well.

The shape is pretty good, they’re appealing to look at, though there was a bit of a yellow cast to mine, which made me wonder about whether they were fresh. They don’t roll around, but because they’re so small, they’re not easy to pick up with my fumbly fingers. About five makes a small taste, a dozen is a decent mouthful for a flavorful chew. I could see them working well in candy buffets, especially if they’re available in a wide array of colors and flavors.

I don’t have much interest in the other flavors, which are Blue Raspberry, Green Apple and Watermelon in addition to the Strawberry. No mixes, no Pineapple. I’ll pass for now.

Related Candies

  1. Candyology 101 - Podcast Episode 13 - Skittles
  2. Yum Junkie Pufflettes
  3. Morinaga HiCHEW Mini
  4. Mentos Tutti Frutti
  5. Airheads Bites
  6. Russell Stover Color Me Candies
  7. Mike and Ike Alex’s Lemonade Stand


Name: Strawberry Cajillions
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Foreign Candy Company
Place Purchased: Economy Candy (New York, NY)
Price: $1.00
Size: 1.9 ounces
Calories per ounce: 116
Categories: Candy, Foreign Candy Company, Chews, 5-Pleasant, China

POSTED BY Cybele AT 12:09 pm     CandyReviewForeign Candy CompanyChews5-PleasantChinaComments (4)

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Candyology 101 - Podcast Episode 13 - Skittles

Candyology_Episode_13

If you were to make your own perfect mix of Skittles, what flavors would you include?

What new Skittles varieties would you like to see?

List in to episode 13 of Candyology 101 where Maria and discuss all things Skittles (that would fit into 50 minutes).

download the MP3 directly and take a look at our show notes.

Skittles

POSTED BY Cybele AT 12:39 pm     CandyHighlightRadio InterviewsComments (0)

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Mike and Ike Cotton Candy

Mike and Ike Cotton CandyJust Born, which makes the class Peeps marshmallows and Hot Tamales also make Mike and Ike. Since these are classic candies, recently they’ve been marketing them in nostalgic packaging, sold especially at places like Cracker Barrel and in decade themed gift baskets. Every once in a while they revive a classic flavor mix, as well.

This year Just Born announced the return of their Mike and Ike Cotton Candy, which was discontinued in 2002, and Mike and Ike Root Beer Float.

I’ve been looking for these since they were announced and finally found them at a Dollar Tree in Pennsylvania (but not at two I checked in California). I’m always curious how Mike and Ike does these limited mixes, especially since I know that cotton candy isn’t much of a flavor.

There are two colors in the mix, pink and blue, but it’s unclear if they’re intended to be different flavors of cotton candy.

DSC_9168rb

The box smells like the box, no fruity or floral aromas, nothing that reminded me of the county fair. Cotton Candy isn’t much of a flavor to begin with. Originally cotton candy was just spun sugar, so the flavor is toasted but otherwise just sweet. But somewhere along the way cotton candy was colored (a great choice, in my opinion) and given different flavors. The flavoring of cotton candy is usually subtle, often strawberry or blueberry.

The blue and pink jelly rods tasted the same to me. They’re sweet, with that burnt sugar note and a the lightest hint of strawberries. There’s no tartness, no zest, not much else ... these could be sold without any color at all as minimalist Mike and Ike.

I found the flavor pleasant and clean. The texture as good, they felt fresh, kind of like that feeling I have about 10 minutes after a nice cup of jasmine tea.

I don’t know if I would buy these specifically for the flavor, but because of the extra mild flavor and the pastel colors, they’d be great for a party favor or decorating baked goods.

Related Candies

  1. Mike and Ike Strawberry Reunion
  2. Elmer Cotton Candy Marshmallow Eggs
  3. Cupcake Bites
  4. Festival HiCHEW: Candied Apple & Cotton Candy
  5. Disneyland for Candy Bloggers
  6. Skittles Carnival Flavors
  7. Regennas Clear Toys


Name: Mike and Ike Cotton Candy
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Just Born
Place Purchased: Dollar Tree (Harrisburg, PA)
Price: $1.00
Size: 5 ounces
Calories per ounce: 99
Categories: Candy, Just Born, Jelly Candy, 7-Worth It, United States, Dollar Tree

POSTED BY Cybele AT 2:22 pm     CandyReviewJust BornJelly Candy7-Worth ItUnited StatesDollar TreeComments (1)

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COUNTDOWN.

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-116 days

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  •   Halloween
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ON DECK

These candies will be reviewed shortly:

• Hachez Braune Blatter (Chocolate Leaves)

• Rogue Chocolatier

• Dandelion Chocolate

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

• Candy Rant: Stimulants are not Energy

 

 

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