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Thursday, May 3, 2007

Paskesz Milk Munch

Milk MunchI found this bar at a store called Kearn’s on Beverly Blvd. in Los Angeles. I’ve passed by this little convenience store for 13 years without ever stopping in. Because it’s in an Orthodox Jewish neighborhood, I thought they might have an interesting selection (and perhaps some leftover Passover Coke). They carried a good line of candies, with a strong focus on jelly based ones (Sunkist Fruit Gems, anyone?). They also had some imported items, especially ones from Israel in the Paskesz brand.

I’ve had a few Paskesz candies and find them decent middle of the road fare, rather like Hershey’s or Mars but with a good wholesome twist on the ordinary crunch.

Looking at the Milk Munch bar it was pretty obvious that it’s a Milky Way knock-off (Mars knock-off for your European readers).

image

The milk chocolate is unremarkable. It’s sweet and creamy, but lacks any real chocolate flavor contribution here. The main flavor here is the rather cereal tasting nougat. Salty and perhaps a little malty, it tastes a bit like cookie dough. The caramel is nice and soft, but again, not very flavorful.

I was hoping for a Milky Way Bar here, but I got something a little more toned down but far saltier ... and Milky Ways are pretty sedate as it is. But there was something more dense about the nougat portion that just didn’t please me. And at more than the price of a regular Milky Way, it just wasn’t worth it.

I tried the Paskesz Klik before and really liked them, read about it here.

Note from wrapper: made under the supervision of Rabbi O.Y. Westheim, Manchester

Name: Milk Munch
    RATING:
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 6 TEMPTING
  • 5 PLEASANT
  • 4 BENIGN
  • 3 UNAPPEALING
  • 2 APPALLING
  • 1 INEDIBLE
Brand: Paskesz
Place Purchased: Kearn's (Los Angeles)
Price: $1.09
Size: 1.75 ounces
Calories per ounce: 114
Categories: Chocolate, Caramel, Nougat, Spain, Paskesz, Kosher

POSTED BY Cybele AT 6:50 am     Comments (5)

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

April Search Strings

April was the end of our most recent Candy Season. I hope everyone has stocked up on excellent candy for the rest of the summer.

Here’s what brought many new readers to Candy Blog in April:

1. cadbury mini eggs
2. fda chocolate
3. japanese candy
4. marathon candy bar
5. easter candy
6. berries and creme
7. maya gold
8. choxie
9. barnegat candy
10. starburst candy

My Don’t Mess with Our Chocolate post is the first thing that comes up when you googled “fda chocolate” but that only accounts for a small number of folks who have been helping educate themselves and spread the word about the issue. Over 7,000 people have read that post so far.

The other searches are mostly old posts I’ve made, except for the Berries and Creme ... folks really want to see that commercial, I guess. It’s a little startling to see the Barnegat candy on the list. The post I made about Hometown Candy, Jordan Almonds and Barnegat is still seeing a lot of traffic as more and more people are swindled by this dubious webstore.

My predictions for this month include Skittles getting on the list and possibly fair trade.

POSTED BY Cybele AT 4:56 pm     CandySearch StringsFun StuffComments (4)

Skittles (Fruits, Wild Berry, Tropical, Smoothies & Sour)

imageSkittles are insanely tasty little morsels. Rather like little bits of Starburst covered in a candy shell. Skittles were first introduced in 1974 in the UK and parts of Europe. They spread to the States as an import for a while and then in 1981 Mars began making them in the States.

Obsessive folks (perhaps I’m one of them and speaking from experience) like to divide up the colors and eat them. I usually eat mine in pairs of same flavors, but when it comes down to the end of the pack, there are certain acceptable combos (all the citruses can be paired and grape and strawberry can go together ... strawberry and lemon are also acceptable but never ever put orange and grape together).

Original Fruit Skittles

  • Lime (Green) - classic lime, leaning more towards the tart side than the floor-wax side of things.
  • Grape (Purple) - a pretty well rounded fake grape flavor
  • Lemon (Yellow) - good and sour with some hints of zest
  • Orange (Orange) - juicy and flavorful
  • Strawberry (Red) - one of the few red candies I like, it smells like cotton candy and has a tangy, creamy berry taste
  • image

    While the Skittles website asserts that the flavor distribution is random, I’ve always felt that there were fewer green and purple ones in most bags. But as you can see from the photo, it’s just the green ones that seemed slighted in this mix (and I’m not going to complain). I took copious photos of all of the bags as well, so if you’re curious they’re here.

    You might want to partake of some of my favorite Skittles commercials: Man with Beard, Skittles Leak, this one is from the previous campaign (one that I think captures a bit of the wonder of candy and magic better) and the original with great costumes ... oh, wait, those aren’t costumes, that’s what we used to wear back in the day.

    Rating: 10 out of 10

    imageWild Berry Skittles

    These have been around for a long time, but I never really noticed them. I never saw a reason to get anything other than the regular Skittles. All of the flavors were great. Sure I ate the grape ones last, if at all (always share!), but they were one of those candies you can eat in a dark movie theater without having to spit out mistakes.

    Wild Berry Skittles come in a super purple pack, so there’s no mistaking them at the store (not like the M&M Pirate Pearls and M&M Almond). The colors look vaguely familiar, but without the vibrant orange and yellow. Instead they have a mousy pink in the mix which just makes them feel bland.

    image

     

  • Raspberry (Blue) - it’s a good berry flavor, perhaps a little more jammy and caramelized than I’d like
  • Strawberry (Pink) - I don’t know why these are pink, it confuses me ... why not just keep the same red from the classic mix?
  • Wild Cherry (Red) - cherries aren’t berries ... these are dreadful, they taste like Sucrets but without the numbing power
  • Berry Punch (Purple) - this one isn’t that different from the raspberry, perhaps a little more floral and less tart
  • Melon Berry (Green) - melons aren’t berries. It definitely tastes like watermelon and something kind of lemony.
  • Not enough of these flavors are actually berries and berries as a mix aren’t that interesting to me.

    Rating: 6 out of 10

    imageTropical Skittles

    As I was looking through a bunch of old commercials for Skittles online I realized that this was another flavor mix that I completely ignored. However, part of that may be that the flavors were different back then. The original mix of Tropical Skittles included two different flavors: Passion Punch (Blue), Mango Peach (Orange), Strawberry Watermelon (Pink), the new flavors are noted with an *.

    image

     

  • Banana Berry (Yellow)  - I was hoping this would be like Laffy Taffy. Alas, the banana and berry mix was not pleasant.
  • Kiwi Lime (Green) - good kiwi flavor, not enough lime
  • Mango Tangelo *  (Orange) - it’s kind of nice, but tastes more like peach than mango.
  • Pineapple Passionfruit * (Blue) - finally! A blue flavor I like. The pineapple part was great.
  • Strawberry Starfruit * (Pink) - I don’t eat Starfruits very often, only when they show up as a garnish on an expensive meal. These don’t taste like starfruit or strawberries. This tastes like the way ink pens smell.
  • I loved the look of these spread out on the table but again the proportion of “tasty” ones was too small to warrant buying the whole bag. (How long before Skittles goes the way of M&Ms and you can special order flavor mixes?)

    Rating: 6 out of 10

    imageSmoothie Mix Skittles

    I’m not sure if a consumer wrote to Skittles and said, “I love your chewy little morsels, but could you make them with less flavor? I just can’t take it.” And of course being capitalists wishing to capitalize on all corners of the untapped Skittles market, they did.

    Smoothies in real life are great. They’re like shakes only made with lots and lots of fruit. At least when I make them that’s how they taste. Some folks put yogurt or ice cream or sherbet in there, so I guess that’s where the watering-down of the flavor comes from.

    image

     

  • Lemon Berry (Yellow) - like lemon sherbet, just a little flavor and no tartness
  • Mixed Berry (Lavender) - the most flavorful of the bunch, berries lend a good floral brightness to this
  • Peach Pear (Light Green) - my two of my least favorite fruit flavors ... which don’t taste at all like peach or pear in this mix (more like banana)
  • Orange Mango (Light Orange) - smells like orange and tastes like papaya
  • Strawberry Banana (Pink) - I like this, probably because banana creates its own creaminess in smoothies, so it’s a believable flavor
  • These are just too bland. Maybe if I’d just come out of a coma these would be good for easing me back into the world ... or might put me back into a vegetative state.

    Rating: 5 out of 10

    UPDATE: Smoothies are discontinued.

    imageSour Skittles

    While all the other bags were virtually identical in format (same size and weight and materials) this bag is different. It’s a little shorter than the others and made with a much thicker plastic (that’s annoyingly hard to open). I’m guessing it’s because these are rather different Skittles. Instead of all the sour being locked up under that candy shell, here it’s on the outside of the shell in a sparkly sanded coating.

    image

     

  • Blue Raspberry (Blue)  - a good sour and then a berry hit and then a weird aftertaste
  • Grape (Purple) - the tartness felt more like citrus than malic acid and I kind of lost the grape flavor and just had a sweet chew
  • Lemon (Yellow) - the tartness really works on this, it feels citrusy on the outside and on the inside
  • Orange (Orange) - a slight blister at first and then a good sweet chew
  • Strawberry (Red) - really sour, then pleasantly floral, kind of like eating a not-quite-ripe strawberry and then a ripe one ... or maybe some limeade with some strawberries in it
  • The chew towards the end on all of these seemed grainier than usual. I don’t mind that as a feature though. I don’t like how messy these are. I like to line up my Skittles on my desk in little lines of each color as I dump small amounts out. These leave a dusting of sour on the desk. A word of caution as well, don’t ever get the sour powder in your eyes. It’s also very easy to just suck the sour off the outside, though it tastes the same on all of them, it also seems to lead to more tongue damage.

    UPDATE: The flavors changed, here’s a re-review.

    Rating: 7 out of 10

    Other products:

  • Tart & Tangy (discontinued)
  • Ice Cream Skittles (limited edition)
  • Fresh Mint Skittles (discontinued)
  • Carnival Flavors Skittles (limited edition)
  • Skittles Bubble Gum (contains artificial sweeteners, so I haven’t tried it)
  • Skittles Chocolate Mix (introduced in 2007 - probably discontinued as of 2009)
  • Skittles Crazy Cores (new introduction January 2009)
  • Skittles Fizzl’d Fruits (new introduction March 2010)
  • Skittles Blenders (new introduction January 2011)
  • Skittles Riddles (new introduction January 2012)
  • Notes:

  • Skittles made in the United States before 2009 contain gelatin, therefore were not suitable for vegans and are not Kosher. As of mid-2009 with the introduction of the new Skittles Crazy Cores they are made without gelatin and marked as being Gluten-Free
  • Skittles made in Europe do not contain gelatin (but I’m not sure if they’re Kosher).
  • Skittles have less fat than Starbursts: 2.5 grams per pack, all saturated versus 5 grams with 4.5 grams saturated in Starbursts.
  • In 2008 Mars and Wrigley’s merged and as of 2009 Skittles are marked as a Wrigley’s product.

  • Related Candies

    1. Skittles Riddles
    2. Skittles Blenders
    3. Skittles Fizzl’d Fruits
    4. New Flavors: Skittles Sour & Wonka Runts
    5. Skittles Crazy Cores
    6. Skittles Chocolate Mix
    7. Skittles from the UK
    8. Skittles Carnival Flavors
    9. Skittles (Fruits, Wild Berry, Tropical, Smoothies & Sour)
    10. Skittles Fresh Mint
    11. Skittles Ice Cream
    Name: Skittles
      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: RiteAid & 7-11
    Price: $.69-$.89
    Size: 2.17 ounces (1.8 ounces for Sour Skittles)
    Calories per ounce: 115
    Categories: Chew, Sour, United States, Mars

    POSTED BY Cybele AT 8:04 am    

    Tuesday, May 1, 2007

    Sour Bloops

    imageThis is another one of those products that I’ve only seen at the 99 Cent Only Store. These Sour Bloops are billed as “Intense Chewy Fruit Candies” and are made by Lance. Yes, Lance, that company that you makes those bright orange Cheese & Peanut Butter crackers that come in mini-bricks in vending machines.

    As something you would find in a vending machine, these fill an important niche. They’re like mega-Skittles or fruity Mentos. The flavor assortment is definitely unique.

    imageEach candy is a rustic looking Mentos, same size, same basic shape.

    The name Sour Bloops may be a little pedestrian and unimaginative but the candy certainly lives up to it. Basically they were okay.

    Green Apple - tangy, with a pretty good combination of apple juice notes and that fake green apple flavor of Jolly Ranchers. Pretty soft and pleasant. The flavor stays with the chew to the end.

    Wild Cherry  - tastes like a red cherry Lifesaver, but much more tart. Flavorful and a smidge medicinal, especially towards the end where I get a little burning feeling in my throat.

    Peach Lemonade - I haven’t the foggiest what this tastes like, since there were none in my mix.

    Stick with Mentos or Skittles unless you really need a peach lemonade fix ... which I can’t comment on, as they’re so rare as to not make an appearance in my bag. If you’re stuck with what your vending machine offers, well, this is a far better choice than Garfield’s Chocobites. These candies may also appear in rolls called Chewz.

    Name: Sour Bloops
      RATING:
    • 10 SUPERB
    • 9 YUMMY
    • 8 TASTY
    • 7 WORTH IT
    • 6 TEMPTING
    • 5 PLEASANT
    • 4 BENIGN
    • 3 UNAPPEALING
    • 2 APPALLING
    • 1 INEDIBLE
    Brand: Lance Snacks
    Place Purchased: 99 Cent Only Store
    Price: $.25
    Size: 1.54 ounces
    Calories per ounce: 110
    Categories: Chew, Sour, United States

    POSTED BY Cybele AT 7:22 am     Comments (10)

    Monday, April 30, 2007

    What Made Hershey’s Want to Change Chocolate?

    There was an extremely interesting comment left over the weekend on this post.

    It had a quote from Hershey’s asserting their position in 2000 that chocolate should not be adulterated with vegetable fats or milk protein fillers.

    Back in 1999 the USDA worked on something called the Codex for Proposed Standards for Cocoa and Chocolate Products that met for several years as an international body. The US had quite a few delegates for this and those who weren’t in attendance still offered their comments.

    But whatever it was is kind of a side story, because the point is that Hershey has not always been on the bandwagon to sell mockolate to unsuspecting Americans.

    On August 28, 2000 Stanley M. Tarka, Jr, PhD (Senior Director Food Science & Technology) filed an official statement as a member of the Hershey Foods team.

    Vegetable Fats

    - Hershey remains

    strongly opposed

    to the addition of non-cacao vegetable fats in any quantity to standardized chocolate products as currently proposed in brackets in Section 2.1. If vegetable fats other than cocoa butter are added to chocolate, then the label of such product should be required to clearly and conspicuously distinguish such product from standardized chocolate, similar to the approach taken in the current US. Standards (Sweet Chocolate and Vegetable Fat Coating; Milk Chocolate and Vegetable Fat Coating).

    Other comments on file:
    Raymond C. Glowaky of the Chocolate Manufacturers Association & National Confectioners Association - the notable passage I liked was that he suggested was under the section about processing aids was, “We suggest the word “hexane” should be replaced with ‘safe and suitable extraction solvents.’” Well of course they don’t want the word hexane appearing anywhere it doesn’t have to! (link)
    00-041N-1.pdf

    Lyn O’Brien Nabors (Executive Vice President) of the Calorie Control Council was pushing the support of alternative sweeteners, specifically looking to add Sucralose and Alitame to the list of approved sweeteners. (Don’t know what Alitame is? I had to look it up, it’s not approved for use in the US by the FDA.) (link)

    Edward S. Seguine (Vice President) of Guittard Chocolate Company said pretty much what Hershey’s guy said. They were against any adulteration of the standard, and if things were allowed to change, then they’d better be clearly labeled on the front of the package (which is pretty much the way they are now). (link)

    Paul Michaels (President) of M&M Mars had a lot to say ... four pages. In short, his recommendation was a hybrid of the current petiton at the FDA. He supported the swapping of cocoa butter with up to 5% vegetable fat, use of a wide range of milk products, other edible foodstuffs, a wide range of sweeteners and the use of polydextrose. Basically, if they got their way back then there’d be far less chocolate in M&Ms than there is now. (I had to look up polydextrose too, it’s a filler. It contains sorbitol which has a known laxative effect. It’s often used to make placebos.) (link)

    Richard R. Rio (Associate Director of Regulatory Affairs) of McNeil Specialty Products Company wants Sucralose to be permitted in chocolate. Small wonder, McNeil makes Sucralose. (link)

    Robert M. Reeves (President) of the Institute of Shortening and Edible Oils, Inc. supports the use of up to 5% vegetable fats. No surprise there either. (link)

    Kenneth Mercurio (Director, Regulatory & Nutrition) of Nestle said “Allowing 5% vegetable oils is a step in this direction to modernize the chocolate standards in the US.” They also do not support the use of an language on the label that would notify consumers of this. It strikes me that Nestle, as an international company would want a standard throughout all of its territories. But I don’t want modern chocolate. (link)

    So I’m left with the feeling that Hershey & Guittard are the only CMA members who wanted to keep our chocolate real. And the only thing that seems to have changed in the intervening years is that Hershey has taken a complete 180 degree turn on the issue.

    Hershey has been under huge pressures. In 2002 the Hershey Trust attempted to sell the company (but was stopped by public opinion). Currently they are downsizing, consolidating and outsourcing. They company is not losing money or anything, it’s just not growing, not keeping its other investors happy (seriously, the Trust doesn’t need any more money).

    Without the backing of Hershey, the CMA lost its largest voice for traditional chocolate. This is not the Hershey’s I grew up with.

    POSTED BY Cybele AT 7:52 pm     CandyFDANewsComments (6)

    Page 367 of 539 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

    Sweets & Snacks Expo Starts

    -63 days

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    Which seasonal candy selection do you prefer?

    Choose one or more:

    •   Halloween
    •   Christmas
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    ON DECK

    These candies will be reviewed shortly:

    • Wonka Randoms (and some Rowntree)

    • Eat with your Eyes: Nougat

    • Orgran Molasses Licorice

    • Rogue Chocolatier

    • Hachez Braune Blatter (Chocolate Leaves)

     

     

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