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Thursday, September 27, 2007

Pop Rocks Milk Chocolate Bar

Pop Rocks Milk Chocolate BarLast year I tried the Limited Edition Chocolate Covered Pop Rocks. They were interesting, not really anything to bring me back to eating Pop Rocks on a regular basis.

But this year Pop Rocks had something completely new and not packaged in a flat envelope. This is the new Milk Chocolate Pop Rocks Bar. The gentleman at their booth at All Candy Expo was careful to tell me that they used premium chocolate for this bar. (I’m not sure I’d call it premium, it does have PGPR in it.)

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The bar is petite at only 1.16 ounces and three chunky segments.

The chocolate is soft and rather creamy but sweet. It melts quickly to reveal the chunks of Pop Rocks that, well, pop. It’s like a proactive Nestle’s Crunch Bar (with better chocolate).

The chocolate is light and lacking in the darker chocolate flavors, I got an overwhelming taste of raisins, but I don’t know if that had something to do with some actual flavor to the Pop Rocks.

The bar can be eaten two ways, as far as I’m concerned. The first is to simply let it melt and allow the Pop Rocks to pop. This creates a mild and interesting effect, but not terribly different. The second is to chew up much of the bar and then let it melt, giving it another chew or two as it dissolves completely. This is extremely noisy (at least inside my own head) and by far the most fun.

Popping candy chocolate bars have been around for a few years, most notably a brief appearance in the United States by the Wonka Xploder bar, which I never got to try.

I expect them to be found in the same places I see Pop Rocks (7-11, Target and candy shops), no word on the retail price. This bar was made in Spain.

Related Candies

  1. Gummy Fishies
  2. Soda Can Fizzy Candy
  3. Astra Flying Saucers
  4. Pop Rocks Cherry Cola
  5. Pop Rocks Limon
Name: Pop Rocks Milk Chocolate Bar
    RATING:
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 6 TEMPTING
  • 5 PLEASANT
  • 4 BENIGN
  • 3 UNAPPEALING
  • 2 APPALLING
  • 1 INEDIBLE
Brand: Pop Rocks
Place Purchased: sample from All Candy Expo
Price: unknown
Size: 1.16 ounces
Calories per ounce: 139
Categories: Chocolate, Carbonated, Hard Candy, United States, Pop Rocks

POSTED BY Cybele AT 7:03 am     Comments (14)

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

All Candy Expo - Link Wrapping

The Show Floor at All Candy ExpoOf course I wasn’t the only writer covering the All Candy Expo and I’m glad, otherwise I wouldn’t know half this stuff. So here are some extra reads if you’re inclined:

Bloggers

  • I met up with Ginny for a little while and we walked around the floor and talked about candy (of course). Here are her thoughts from the show.
  •  

  • The AV Club (at the Onion) got all sugared up. They have a roundup of the products that stood out to them.
  •  

  • Sera, Brian & Bonnie from CandyAddict.com were on hand and have copious (and continuing) coverage of the Expo here.
  •  

  • Chicagoist returned with a great list with lots of stuff that didn’t make as much noise as the big boys.
  •  

  • Kim from ChicagoParent.com has a great write up from a mom’s point of view.

    Entry to All Candy ExpoBig Media

  • Marketwatch: Can’t Eat Candy? Think of Gum as a Sweet Treat.
  •  

  • Chicago Tribune Blog: Sweet Discoveries at All Candy Expo (they saw the tea flavored Bali’s Best candies that I completely missed)
  •  

  • Brandweek: Dateline: Chicago’s All Candy Expo (includes mention of the new limited edition movie tie-is)
  •  

  • Chicago Sun Times: A Mixed Bag of Tasty Treats
  •  

  • Here’s the official press release from the All Candy Expo where they talked about the different trends (you can see how many of the reporters parroted that in their listings).

  • Of course some of the coverage was about Mars coming out in support of higher standards for chocolate identity and pledging no matter what the FDA decides they can do, they’re going to Keep it Real
  • Other Coverage by Me

     

  • I did a little coverage on Serious Eats: Trickle Down Chocolate Trends & All Candy Expo New Products.
  •  

  • If you haven’t already, take a listen to Munchcast (and of course bookmark it for the future!). Yes, I know my voice makes me sound like I’m twelve, but I promise I’m a grown woman.
  • Finally, the National Confectioners Association site also has a nice roundup of coverage including video links!

    Related Candies

    1. All Candy Expo - Tuesday Wrappers
    2. All Candy Expo - Tuesday Noon Update
    3. All Candy Expo - Monday Wrappers
    4. Navigating a Candy Expo

    POSTED BY Cybele AT 11:20 am     All Candy ExpoCandyFeatured NewsNewsComments (1)

    Skittles Chocolate Mix

    One of the exciting new products teased at the All Candy Expo is the new Chocolate Mix Skittles. This is a permanent flavor addition to the Skittles line which already includes: Original Fruit, Tropical, Smoothie Mix and Wild Berry.

    image

    The Chocolate Mix has five flavors: Vanilla, S’Mores, Chocolate Caramel, Chocolate Pudding and Brownie Batter.

    I was pretty skeptical. First, Skittles are known for a lot of flavor being packed into that candy shell. Second, one of the best things about chocolate is the whole experience of both the meltiness (fat) and the cocoa solids (flavor), there’s no way they could get that in here. Third, two of the five flavors in this mix were introduced in the Ice Cream Skittles last year and they were (chocolate and vanilla). I detested the chocolate ones ... and here’s a whole bag designed around that?

    Chocolate Mix SkittlesVanilla (cream colored): light and sweet, like a vanilla taffy.

    S’More (pale caramel colored): slightly tangy candy coating, a good toasted flavor to it ... not a trace of chocolate, but a little graham/cereal taste to it. Pretty good. Very sweet.

    Chocolate Caramel (caramel colored): the prettiest color in the bag. A nice sweet chew with a little burnt sugar note to it and maybe a trace of cotton candy, but I wasn’t catching any chocolate at all.

    Chocolate Pudding (dark brown, almost purple colored): vaguely chocolatey, mostly sweet, kind of like cocoa towards the end of the chew.

    Brownie Batter (darkest brown): fudgy and kind of like a cookie all at once, which I guess is why it’s called brownie batter. It doesn’t have the complete chocolate flavor, more on the cardboard side and not nearly as satisfying as a Tootsie Roll.

    I know everyone’s really excited about these, but I don’t like them much. They’re watery, not vibrant or really engaging my tastebuds. I know that the Carnival Skittles were similar in that they diverged from the intense fruit-ness that Skittles are known for, but these just didn’t have that zing that even they were able to muster with their delicateness. Quite a few folks have stopped by my office to try the new stuff I brought back. They try them, but no one’s come back for more.

    The good news is that they contain no dairy and no gelatin ... so as long as you’re okay with a dash of hydrogenated oils, these might be the Skittles for you! The package also states that they are “Gluten Free.”

    These should be available in stores later this year, post here if you’ve spotted them in the wild!

    Related Candies

    1. Tootsie Rolls & Fruit Rolls
    2. UHA Puccho Custard
    3. Starburst Retro
    4. Skittles Carnival Flavors
    5. Skittles Ice Cream
    Name: Skittles Chocolate Mix
      RATING:
    • 10 SUPERB
    • 9 YUMMY
    • 8 TASTY
    • 7 WORTH IT
    • 6 TEMPTING
    • 5 PLEASANT
    • 4 BENIGN
    • 3 UNAPPEALING
    • 2 APPALLING
    • 1 INEDIBLE
    Brand: Mars
    Place Purchased: samples from Mars
    Price: $.75 retail
    Size: 2 ounces
    Calories per ounce: 113
    Categories: Chew, United States, Mars

    POSTED BY Cybele AT 6:36 am     Comments (85)

    Tuesday, September 25, 2007

    Candy Revival: Good ‘n Fruity Returns

    I got word during All Candy Expo that Good ‘n Fruity, the fruity version of Good & Plenty is returning next year.

    I believe the revamped product was test marketed last year in Oregon, as the photo shown here by permission from ravenzachary shows (or perhaps he got a frighteningly old box).

    The original Good ‘n Fruity was a clear sweet jelly center with a variety of fruit flavored candy shells. According to Wikipedia, back in 1988 the centers were changed to improve the flavor and were rather like pieces of fruit licorice with a candy shell.

    I have no recollection of ever eating Good ‘n Fruity, I always preferred the licorice parent. But I’ll give it a whirl! If only to find out if they’ve squandered their Dr. Frankenstien powers on this candy instead of reviving the Bar None.

    We’ll find out in late February 2008 whether Zombie candies are as good as the original ones.

    UPDATE 3/11/2008: I finally got a hold of a box via CandyWarehouse ... here’s the review.

    Related Candies

    1. Goodbye Tart n Tinys
    2. I Miss: Bar None
    3. Goodbye Reed’s

    POSTED BY Cybele AT 12:04 pm     CandyFeatured NewsNewsComments (82)

    Chewy Lemonheads & Atomic Fireballs

    Chewy Lemonheads & Chewy Atomic FireballsA couple of years ago I tried a Ferrara Pan product called Narbles. I didn’t care much for it, mostly because it didn’t capitalize on the unique properties of a Lemonhead (though it didn’t actually promise any Lemonhead properties).

    I don’t know if Ferrara Pan has been reading my blog (they might have, because I was suddenly able to get mixed bags called the Fruit Headline) but they have a couple of new products: Chewy Lemonheads (and Friends) and Chewy Atomic Fireballs which were introduced at the All Candy Expo last week.

    image

    Lemonheads have been one of my favorite candies since I was a kid. They were staggeringly affordable (the larger boxes used to be 10 cents), came in a shareable portion, looked really cool, packed lots of flavor and of course the box turned into a noisemaker. (Sadly they don’t use that kind of box any longer).

    Chewy Lemonheads & FriendsThe Lemonhead has several friends in this mix, they include Grape, Orange, Green Apple and Cherry.

    The candy balls are beautiful. Slightly translucent (if you like to put your candy on your new LED flashlight on your keychain), they feel as dense as the original hard-candy-centered version, but will yield to pressure when squeezed (just like real lemons!).

    It took me a while to get used to them. When I eat a Lemonhead I usually “peel” off the candy shell with my teeth to get to the layer or super sour. Since these are soft on the inside, it took me a while to develop a technique ... but it only took one box.

    The outside flavor is just the same as the old Heads, the inside is a rather flavorless jelly ball ... pretty much like actual jelly bean. Come to think of it, these are simply round jelly beans with a sour layer in there. I took a few of them apart to examine the innards (sorry, no gory photos of that). Each was color coded very lightly. I was surprised to find that they were actually lightly flavored. Not super zippy, just mildly fragrant to continue the experience all the way to the core.

    Of the five flavors the Orange and Lemon remained my favorites, but the Grape was actually more pleasing than I expected. Cherry and Green Apple just weren’t floating my candy boat, but with 3/5 of the mix as standout winners, I can eat a few cherries. I give them a 7 out of 10.

    image

    The Chewy Atomic Fireballs were the big surprise for me. First of all, there was no announcement from Ferrara Pan before the show that they were introducing them (press releases? we don’t need no stinkin’ press releases!). So when I went by their booth I though they were just showing off one of their most successful brands in huge bins at the corner. But looking closely ... chewy!

    I took three boxes and opened one. They’re dark red and not easily confused with the Cherryheads.

    This is quite a different experience because the traditional Atomic Fireball is a panned cinnamon jawbreaker with alternating sweet and spicy layers. The chewy Lemonhead was an easy shift for my brain, simply a chewy center instead of a hard one. This new Atomic Fireball is more Firehead than Atomic Fireball ... or perhaps Chewy Red Hot.

    The outer shell is lightly cinnamon and sweet. If you keep sucking on it gets hotter (but not unbearably) until the candy shell dissipates to reveal the spicy mantle over the chewy jelly core. The core is soft and chewy (perhaps a little sticky) and has it’s own level of background cinnamon-ness.  So while it’s not quite the same as the jawbreaker’s layered experience, it’s still layered with a sort of alternating strong and mild spice to it.

    They’re far stronger than Hot Tamales (though may be similar to the Hot Tamales Fire). I give them an 8 out of 10.

    As a smaller portion, I really like the 25 cent, one ounce box (hey, it’s 100 calories folks!). The Chewy Atomic Fireball is a real winner, but be prepared as it does have a real burn and you can’t take it out of your mouth like a Fireball. The Chewy Lemonheads don’t quite thrill me, but part of that is that it’s so hard to top the lemony singularity that is the Lemonhead. I’ll probably give them a few more tries. I think I want a box of just the lemon ones for a pure experience. I hope they’ll sell them that way.

    No word on when they’ll make an appearance in stores. Please post if you’ve seen them.

    Related Candies

    1. Atomic Fireballs
    2. SweeTart Jelly Beans
    3. The Lemonhead & Fruit Heads
    4. Jelly Belly - Full Line
    Name: Chewy Lemonheads & Chewy Atomic Fireballs
      RATING:
    • 10 SUPERB
    • 9 YUMMY
    • 8 TASTY
    • 7 WORTH IT
    • 6 TEMPTING
    • 5 PLEASANT
    • 4 BENIGN
    • 3 UNAPPEALING
    • 2 APPALLING
    • 1 INEDIBLE
    Brand: Ferrara Pan
    Place Purchased: samples from All Candy Expo
    Price: $.25 retail
    Size: 1 ounce
    Calories per ounce: 100
    Categories: Jelly, Cinnamon, Sour, United States, Ferrara Pan

    POSTED BY Cybele AT 8:49 am     Comments (21)

    Page 367 of 570 pages ‹ First  < 365 366 367 368 369 >  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

    -90 days

    Read previous coverage

     

     

    Which seasonal candy selection do you prefer?

    Choose one or more:

    •   Halloween
    •   Christmas
    •   Valentine's Day
    •   Easter

     

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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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