Sunday, May 31, 2009

Wonka Tinglerz Poppin' Tinglin' Chocolate Candy

As odd as the combination sounds, pop rocks covered in chocolate actually works. True to the creations in Willy Wonka's fictional chocolate factory, you eat Wonka Tinglerz in stages- first the soft chocolate coating melts in your mouth and then the popping and fizzing begins and grows incrementally more voracious on your tongue. I made the mistake of swallowing some before they were done popping and it was a very strange sensation to feel them fizzing down my throat. Avoid that. Otherwise, these are great! Thanks for spotting these, Dan!

Score: 3

Hershey's White Chocolate Take 5 Limited Edition

Oosh, these are delicious. The white chocolate is actually melty instead of that caustic waxy kind I often encounter and it blends so well with the salty pretzels. I still think I'd take the milk chocolate over the white chocolate, but these make for nice variety.

Score: 4

Barratt Dolly Mix

You know those weird foamy Circus Peanuts candy you used to eat despite its unnerving texture? These kind of remind me of a fruity version of those in smaller, denser bites. You can taste the individual grains of sugar and it is at once repulsive and addictive. The flavors are also a little "off" from candy an American palate is typically used to- pear and black current?- but I certainly polished off the whole bag.

Score: (a highly ambivalent) 3

Hershey's Kisses Limited Edition Chocolate Truffle

Honestly, I see only a slim difference between these limited edition Chocolate Truffle kisses and the Hot Cocoa Cream variety. I guess the chocolate center in the cocoa is more mellow than the flavor in these, but the difference is negligible. Don't get me wrong, a chocolate kiss is delicious no matter the consistency of the center. These simply feel a little uninspired compared to more exotic kisses like Creme de Menthe or Cherry Creme.

Score: 4

Ferrara Pan Chewy Lemonhead & Friends Candy

The same fantastic tangy flavors of the original lemonheads, grapeheads, and so on. These, however, boast a chewy jelly bean-like consistency instead of the traditional hard candy candy.

Score: 5

Hershey's Peanut Butter Chocolate Bar

I don't really understand this: Hershey's produces Reese's products but this particular Hershey's Peanut Butter bar does not incorporate Reese's tried-and-true peanut butter. Why? That aside, this is delicious and really Big. The peanut butter seemed a little less sweet and a little bit smoother than Reese's, which I didn't love. The ratio of peanut butter to chocolate also seemed off. These are all small differences though and I'd eat this any time.

Score: 4

Friday, May 29, 2009

Walkers Chili & Chocolate Potato Crisps

My friend Tara sent a box of treats from England containing roughly 2 billion intoxicating varieties of Walkers Potato Crisps, including daunting Cajun Squirrel, tempting Duck & Hoisin, and addictive Smoky Bacon flavors. There's been some fantastic snacking going on. These Chili & Chocolate chips are a close approximation to a traditional Mexican Mole sauce. I've eaten my share in the Oaxaca region where the Mole is apparently at its best and have never taken to it. It's me, not the sauce, as the finest palates have claimed to relish the taste of Mole. It's hard to describe if you've never tried it- the chili and chocolate are the strongest elements but there's also this soily undertone to the whole thing. The seasoning on these crisps matches that unique flavor perfectly.

Score: 2

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Baskin Robbins Mint Chocolate Chip Soft Candy

The horror of these mint chocolate chip chews from Baskin Robbins, the purveyors of classic and creative flavors of ice cream! The texture, repulsive; the flavor, distinctively off-putting, like a fruit-infused mint. I barely made it through one, and resisted spitting it out only out of scientific curiosity.

Score: 1

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Skittles Crazy Cores

Skittles Crazy Cores flavor combinations run the gamut from delicious to nastiness.
Blue = Blue Raspberry Lemon
Orange = Mango Peach
Green = Strawberry Watermelon
Red = Cherry Lemonade
Pink = Melon Berry
Those are the flavors according to the index on the back of the package. Instead, I'd break it down more like this: Red and Blue and Red and Blue Punch flavors, respectively. They're the best, gone in a flash. All I could taste in the Green and Pink was Watermelon, though I had been hoping that the Berry and Stawberry in the combinations would soften the blow of the synthetic Watermelon disgustingness. It's just my bias, I hate watermelon flavored anything except real watermelon, so I couldn't taste those two varieties subjectively. Blech. The Orange colored Mango Peach skittles were surprisingly good, an even and mellow blend of Mango and Peach. Unfortunately, that flavor numbered the fewest in the pack. In the end, I'd eat the Crazy Cores again but they still don't compete with Original. Thanks for hunting these down, Dan!

Score: 1 (Pink, Green), 3 (Orange), 4 (Blue, Red)

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Starburst Sour & Sweet Chews

Something that makes original Starburst Chews so sublime is that every single flavor is good. As someone who tends to pick through candy mixes, discarding some and favoring others, it's a real treat to head into a pack of Starburst and just pop them into my mouth without worrying about the "licorice jelly bean" effect. This new pack of Starburst Sour Sweet Chews suffered that curse. I just didn't enjoy the Sour variety- Sour Watermelon and Green Apple- and the Sweet flavors- Sweet Strawberry and Blue Raspberry- were just ok. The Sour flavors lost that milky mellow undertone that makes Starbursts traditionally delicious. The Sweet had that yummy undertone but just didn't sparkle like the original flavors. What can I say? Starburst has spoiled us. But I am happy that they continue to experiment with flavors! Some are gonna be hits!

Score 2-3 Various Flavors

Walkers' Original Toffee

Oh my, I can't get enough of this stuff. Walkers' Original Toffee is so buttery and creamy and dense. I'm a little gun-shy having recently broken off a crown while chomping on the delicious Wonka Bumpy Jelly Beans (and yes, I did keep right on eating them. They're that good). As I felt that familiar, yet alarming, toffee pull on my molars, I came up with a new plan and allow me to say that it's brilliant. Melt the toffee for in the microwave and dip and sliced apple in the softened toffee. If you're more daring, place the toffee-covered apple slices in the fridge and let the apple harden, turning into a perfect and less messy version of a candy apple.


Friday, May 15, 2009

Barratt Sherbet Fountain

Isn't that a disturbing photo? I found it to be less than mouthwatering to eat something that looked so illicit, like a night of debauchery. Here's the thing. It's supposed to be a licorice whip that you dip in powdered sugar-or maybe powdered milk-that has somehow been infused with effervescence and a super chemically creamsicle flavor. It's startling. And actually fizzy. Like a Lik M' Stik that's been ground into a fine powder after being left in one's bag for a few weeks (yeah I'm speaking from experience). The licorice was delicious and old-fashioned and I ate that right up. I couldn't get more than a few dips into the orange powder though.

Score: 2

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Mars Strawberried Peanut Butter M&M's (selling them now in packs of 24)

Add these Strawberried Peanut Butter M&M's to my wishlist! They sound phenomenal, like a peanut butter and jelly (and chocolate!) sandwich minus the needless bread! The Candy Enthusiast has a glowing review that makes me all the more eager to try these new and limited-edition treats!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Necco Wafers Smoothies

These new Necco Wafers Smoothies are pretty hit or miss. What would you expect from a company willing to experiment with Clove flavor in its original roll? They're daring. I loved the Blueberry and Tropical wafers. More imbued with flavor than the classics, there was no mistaking the Pina Colada mixture in the Tropical blend or the tang of Blueberry in the grayish blue wafer. I had to spit out the Banana Caramel, but I have a predisposition to loathe synthetic Banana flavoring except for special exceptions (example: Banana Creme Reese's Peanut Butter Cups). Peach was unrecognizable and vaguely spicy and the Strawberry Creme was cloyingly sweet. Blech. Like the classic roll, I ended up picking through and throwing out half the wafers (Licorice, nasty). The good flavors were worth the waste, though.

Score: 1-3 Various Flavors

Note: I usually manage to take my own photos for this blog. It's a point of pride. However, I ate these Necco Wafers too fast to get them in front of a camera. Thanks to Neo-Neocon for the image.

Wrigley's Orbit Positively Pomegranate Sugafree Gum

I remember a "fruit"-flavored fluoride treatment that the dentist used to swab onto my teeth as a kid, one of the strongest, most unpleasant sense memories I've got stored away. It made me dread the dentist for the longest time. I opened up this pack of Orbit Positively Pomegranate Gum and an intense aroma uncannily suggestive of that fluoride treatment wafted out instantly. And this is a pungent aroma that drifted around my bag for days after the offensive sticks had been removed. I persevered and popped a stick of the stuff in my mouth and, gag, I had to spit it right out. The flavor matched the aroma and I couldn't find any similarity to the tangy bright taste of the actual fruit. I don't know why these last two attempts with Orbit flavors have been so abysmal. Before I started this blog I tried their Sweetmint and Sangria Fresca and Mint Mojito varieties and found them to be delightful.

Score: 1

Hershey's Kisses Limited Edition Coconut Creme

Score: 4

Jojo Jelly Bean

I had low expectations for these jojo jelly beans (especially after the recent discovery of the brilliant Nerds Bumpy Jelly Beans). The packaging is brilliantly perverse, but after opening the box I discovered a paltry little plastic envelop of innocuous beans. Just look at the photo- do those shout potential? They certainly don't rival Jelly Bellies aesthetically. But they're surprisingly delicious! Firm, a candy shell of a lovely consistency, and fresh versions of the classic cherry, orange, lemon, grape and apple flavors. I shared them at work and others agreed that these little beans were worth digging into. Thanks for finding these, Adam!

Score: 3

Hershey's Kisses Limited Edition New York Cheesecake

We picked up these limited edition New York Cheesecake Kisses at the official Hershey's Store in Times Square on the way to a show and I waited all the way until intermission (nearly 2 hours!) to rip them open to taste. It wasn't what I expected. The extra-large drops contain a cream that does have a little cheesey taste but basically tastes like a smoother version of the Coconut Creme Kisses. I thought maybe I was missing something and insisted that others sample. They agreed that the chocolates were strangely coconut-dominated in flavor. Yummy, definitely, but I definitely felt that the taste didn't match the name.

Score: 3

Macaroons, Kee's Chocolates, New York

kee's chocolates

I really enjoy the chocolates and macaroons created by Ki Ling Tong of Kee's Chocolates. I used to live around the corner from her unassuming sweet shop and had the luxury of stopping in to taste-test one piece at a time. Her macaroons are exceedingly airy in texture and come in an astounding variety of enticing flavors such as Lavender, Passion Fruit, or Green Tea with Jasmine. I'm not a huge fan of the layer of chocolate that adheres the two halves but others I know swear by it. Because of the fine ingredients, the cookies are not inexpensive, and so it's taken me quite a while to work my way through the menu. However, Tong recently started making bite-sized version of the original cookies and selling bags of 6 so that customers can sample more of the delicate rainbow of flavors.