Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Gummy Snapshot: Morinaga Hi-Chew Original Mix

Ode to Morinaga Hi-Chew Original Mix, mellow green apple, strawberry, and best of all, grape. Not too sweet, these classic treats take a long time to dissolve. A classic treat

Friday, May 10, 2019

Jelly Belly Candy Cones: Mellocreme Candy in Ice Cream Flavors

Mmm, the key to these Jelly Belly Candy Cones is that the graham flavored mellowcreme candy that is incorporated into each cone is tasty. It's not too strong but lends a graham element to each ice cream cone inspired flavor. Special shout-out to the delicious orange sorbet cone flavor.The mint chocolate chip cone is a close second. The only hitch is that orange and mint chocolate chip don't really go together so there are some weird mash-ups if you eat more than one candy at a time. Jelly Belly, let's get more mellocremes on the market!

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

7-Eleven Dragon Gummies

We all have a fever for Game of Thrones and dragons these days. Winter came, we're down two dragons, and I need some snacks to get through the rest of this final nail-biting season. 7-Eleven's in-house brand 7-Select has brought us Dragon Gummies, in three fire-wrought shapes and three defiantly non-firey flavors--blood orange, strawberry dragon fruit, and killer kiwi. The blood orange is great --basically orange. The strawberry dragon fruit is entirely strawberry flavored--the dragon fruit is in name only. And the killer kiwi is fine although I would never have guessed that the flavor profile was of the kiwi variety. Fun to bring to a Game of Thrones viewing, even if not the tastiest gummies on the market.

Score (flavor): 2
Score (visuals): 4

Friday, May 3, 2019

New Hazelnut Spread m&m's

How did Hazelnut Spread m&m's not exist before? We've been going through a collective Nutella obsession in America for the last few years, acting like it's something new even though it's been around and perfect in its own right since the 1940's. On a personal note, I don't prefer a hazelnut spread to pure chocolate ever--it's just not my personal go-to flavor. But I appear to be one of the few people who feels this anti-hazelnut-chocolate bias. If you do enjoy Nutella, these m&m's will rock your world. A warm buttery taste of hazelnut infuses the chocolate cream center of each oversized m&m. Run to get a package or 12 while they're in stores--definitely worth a try!

(No score due to anti-hazelnut-chocolate bias)

Monday, April 29, 2019

Juicy Fruit Bubble Gum

Strangely, chewing Wrigley's Juicy Fruit Bubble Gum lead me to finally, after decades, put my finger on the unique flavor of traditional Juicy Fruit--it's cloves! Who knew?! Probably everyone, but this came as a big "A-Ha" moment for me. For some reason, that clove flavor soared in the bubble gum version. I loved it. Definitely a great variation on a terrific theme.

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Variation on a Classic Theme: Strawberries & Cream Mike and Ikes

Strawberries and cream anything rarely pleases my taste-buds as artificial strawberry tends to be so cloying and artificial vanilla so bland. Mike and Ike has done the combination a favor, though. I would classify the strawberry as more of a "pink berry" artificial yet yummy berry-like flavor. The cream tastes more like cream soda to me, and I like it. The combination in no way resembles a dish of strawberries and cream but is pleasant nonetheless.

Sunday, April 21, 2019

Friday, April 19, 2019

Gummy Snapshot: E Wedel Jelly Turtles

 These E Wedel fruit jellies from Poland are so tasty! I knew they were awfully cute gummies but didn't have especially high expectations. Called Zelki Nadziewane z musem owocowym, this apparently roughly translates to fruit jellies with mousse. The mousse element constitutes the softer foamy vanilla base to each gummy turtle. The shells are flavored orange, lemon, and raspberry, all sharp good flavors that blend well with the creamy bottom layer.

Monday, April 15, 2019

Momiji Monju KitKat

I've never heard of Japanese sweet Momiji Monju, a traditional treat originating from the island of Itsukushima in Hiroshima. It's shaped like a beautiful Japanese maple leaf, a sweet cake comprised of buckwheat and rice and filled with sweet red bean paste. It sounds delicious and I'd love to try one. I'm not sure how reminiscent the candy bar is of the original sweet. I could taste the flavor of red bean paste mixed in with the white chocolate, which was tasty, and would like to read a review from someone who is well-versed in traditional Mimiji Monju. Fun to eat!

Score: 3

Friday, April 12, 2019

Peeps Pancakes & Syrup

Easter is Peeps season and I love this Spring's new Pancakes & Maple Syrup Chicks! The aroma exactly matches that of warm artificial maple syrup and there's an undercurrent of muffin or pancake underlying the maple to balance it out a little. The key is that although the aroma is strong, the flavor is subtle and soft, not overpowering. I really enjoyed this new flavor and hope we'll see it in future holiday seasons. 

Score: 3

Peeps Reviews Past (click each name to link to review):
Flavored Peeps
Apple Flavored Marshmallow Dipped in Caramel Fudge  
Blueberry Delight Flavored Marshmallow Dipped in Creme Fudge
Blue Raspberry Flavored Marshmallow
Bubble Gum Flavored Marshmallow
Candy Cane Flavored Marshmallow
Candy Cane Flavored Marshmallow Dipped in Dark Chocolate  
Candy Corn Flavored Marshmallow Dipped in White Chocolate
Cherry Flavored Marshmallow Dipped in Dark Chocolate 
Cherry Flavored Marshmallow Drizzled in Dark Chocolate
Chocolate Mousse Flavored Marshmallow
Coconut Flavored Marshmallow Dipped in Dark Chocolate
Fruit Punch Flavored Marshmallow
Gingerbread Flavored Marshmallow
Hot Cocoa and Cream Flavored Marshmallow Dipped in White Chocolate
Lemonade Flavored Marshmallow 
Lemon Delight Flavored Marshmallow Dipped in Lemon Fudge 
Lemon Sherbet Flavored Marshmallow Dipped in Creme Fudge
Maple Brown Sugar Flavored Marshmallow Dipped in White Fudge 
Mint Flavored Marshmallow covered in Milk Chocolate
Neapolitan Filled Delights 
Orange Creme Flavored Marshmallow 
Orange Flavored Marshmallow Dipped in Orange Fudge
Orange Sherbet Flavored Marshmallow Dipped in Creme Flavored Fudge
Party Cake Flavored Marshmallow 
Peppermint Flavored Marshmallow Dipped in Dark Chocolate
Raspberry Flavored Marshmallow Covered in Milk Chocolate 
Red Velvet Flavored Marshmallow Dipped in White Chocolate
Sour Cherry Flavored Marshmallow Dipped in Lime Fudge
Strawberry Creme Flavored Marshmallow
Strawberry Creme Flavored Marshmallow Dipped in Milk Chocolate 
Strawberry Delight Flavored Marshmallow Dipped in Creme Flavored Fudge 
Strawberry Flavored Marshmallow
Sugar Cookie Flavored Marshmallow Dipped in Milk Chocolate
Vanilla Creme Flavored Marshmallow

Traditional Peeps
Peeps Bunnies
Peeps Spooky Cats
Peeps Chicks (Blue)
Peeps Chicks (Green)
Peeps Christmas Trees
Peeps Easter Eggs
Peeps Ghosts 
Peeps Hearts
Peeps Minions
Peeps Monsters
Peeps Pumpkins
Peeps Snowmen
Peeps Tombstones 

Monday, April 8, 2019

Cella's Cherry Dips

You know that utterly unique flavor of a classic Cella's chocolate covered cherry? (Since 1864!) That amazingly thin yet sturdy outer dark chocolate shell, the candied chewy cherry at the center floating in that fantastic dripping cherry liquid. I've never tasted that flavor in any other chocolate covered cherry experience. Now Cella's has created a less messy version, Cella's Cherry Dips--basically the bonbon without the liquid. And yet that great cherry liquid flavor is infused into the candied cherry. I miss the pop of juice a bit, but this is still a great mouthful and far easier to carry around in one's bag.

Score: 4

Thursday, April 4, 2019

White Chocolate Marshmallow m&m's

I love to try any new flavor variety of m&m's that are released into the market. Especially ones with a beautiful color scheme--nothing uplifts the heart quite like a mix of candy in super-saturated and complimentary colors. These white chocolate marshmallow m&m's for Spring and/or Easter are such a tempting color mix, balancing a pale ballerina pink that verges on tan with vivid aqua, with flashes of startling white. Unfortunately the marshmallow flavoring is simply drowned out by the super sweet white chocolate. There's a bit of an essence of marshmallow but only if you're looking for it. They're not bad, but they're basically White Chocolate m&m's in new colors of sugar shells. 

Score (flavor):2
Score (pretty): 4

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Donan Hokkaido Butter Caramel

Really take a look at that mascot on the Donan Hokkaido Butter Caramel packaging. It's a pat of butter playing baseball! This is one of the most wonderful whimsical candy packages I've encountered, utterly charmed. The artificial butter flavor in these caramels, though, is way too much for my taste. The aroma hits your nose hard (hmm, like a pat of butter playing baseball...I see...) and the taste overwhelms the caramel. Not sumptuous buttery caramel, artificial vaguely floral butter flavoring. One was plenty for me.

Score (Packaging): 5
Score (Candy): 2

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Cadbury Crunchie - For the Love of Honeycomb Candy

Americans need to hop on the honeycomb candy bandwagon. It's a brilliant creation, beloved in England, with so much untapped potential, and yet I only tend to find it at local chocolate stores that make their own. Let's look to Cadbury's classic Crunchie bar for an example. This isn't the fanciest honeycomb candy and yet it is a pure delight. The way the sugar crystals break down with each bite is so pleasing, the flavor is rich and a bit more natural than your average candybar given the honey element. I love these Cadbury Crunchies. Here's my plea to an American candybar maker to please create a go-to American version!

Friday, March 15, 2019

Easter Candy Season: Tootsie Roll Eggs

As far as I'm concerned, Tootsie Rolls are fine but nothing to seek out. After tasting these Tootsie Roll Eggs, though, I realize that what Tootsie Rolls were lacking was a Crunch. Add in this satisfying outer candy shell, and suddenly it's such a delicious mouthful of chew. Tootsie Roll needs to issue some year-long variation on this theme!

Score (overall): 4
Score (innovation): 5

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Jelly Belly Easter Egg Mix

How to outshine the zillions of jellybeans currently lining the Easter candy aisles? Throw shining stars and hearts onto shimmering jellybeans. I'm immediately back in a Lisa Frank sticker. That said, they're pretty cute. These are a pretty sweet addition to an Easter basket.

Monday, March 11, 2019

Yes, Purple Rain Jellybeans

Prince fans rejoice, for here are your Purple Rain jellybeans. I love them, and not just because of the homage. Brach's makes a great jelly bean and these Purple Rain Tiny Jelly Bird Eggs for Easter blends four beautiful hues of berry flavors into a delicious mix. Ok, the only recognizable flavor is grape. Maybe blueberry. The other two are a variation on artificial berry flavor. But they're all tasty and they blend nicely. The aroma is nice, too. Put some out in a bowl to double as snack and potpourri.

Score (Prince + candy): 5
Score (visuals): 4
Score (recognizable flavors): 3
Score (good for the Easter basket): 5

Friday, March 8, 2019

Easter Candy Season Onslaught: Lindt Mini Eggs

Lindt appears to be trying to get in on Cadbury's Mini Egg game with their own brand's version. No complaints! I love Lindt milk chocolate and the sugar shells are a bit heavier and crunchier than the Cadbury eggs. These are also a tiny bit larger. I consumed them at an alarming rate. I think my bias still falls to Cadbury, but it's a tough

Score: 4

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Russell Stover White Pastel Pecan Delight Egg

Just because it's inexpensive, don't underestimate a Russell Stover egg. Some aren't great, but some are exceedingly delicious. I cound this White Pastel Pecan Delight Egg as one of the tastier varieties. The white pastel isn't fantastic but not offensive--I think a dark chocolate would be nicer. The caramel and pecans, though, are buttery and rich and just the right substantive consistency. It's super sweet but constitutes a decadent and worthwhile holiday candy to add into your Easter basket.

Score: 3+

Past Russell Stover Reviews:
Russell Stover Apple Pie in Milk Chocolate
Russell Stover Banana Whip in Dark Chocolate 
Russell Stover Birthday Cake in Milk Chocolate 

Russell Stover Caramel and Marshmallow in Milk Chocolate 
Russell Stover Caramel Apple in Milk Chocolate
Russell Stover Carrot Cake in White Chocolate

Russell Stover Chocolate Marshmallow in Milk Chocolate
Russell Stover Chocolate Wedding Cake in White Chocolate
Russell Stover Coconut and Almond in Milk Chocolate
Russell Stover Coconut Cream in Dark Chocolate
Russell Stover Coconut Cream in White Pastel
Russell Stover Cookie Dough in Milk Chocolate  
Russell Stover Lemon Cake in Dark Chocolate 
Russell Stover Maple Cream in Dark Chocolate 
Russell Stover Marshmallow in White Pastel
Russell Stover Orange Marshmallow in Milk Chocolate
Russell Stover Orange Cream in Dark Chocolate  
Russell Stover Peanut Butter in Milk Chocolate
Russell Stover Pecan Delight in Dark Chocolate
Russell Stover (Extra Crunchy) Peanut Butter in Milk Chocolate 
Russell Stover Pineapple Whip in Dark Chocolate
Russell Stover Pumpkin Pie in Milk Chocolate
Russell Stover Red Velvet Cake in Dark Chocolate
Russell Stover Sea Salt Caramel in Dark Chocolate
Russell Stover Strawberry Creme in Milk Chocolate
Russell Stover Strawberry Cream in White Chocolate 
Russell Stover Vanilla Creme in Milk Chocolate
Russell Stover Wedding Cake in White Chocolate

Monday, March 4, 2019

Lindt Blueberries and Cream White Chocolate Truffles

They're back! I'm so pleased to see Lindt Lindor Blueberry and Cream White Chocolate Truffles--a true sign of Spring approaching! (And not a moment too soon in these early days of March). The blueberry flavor is juicy and natural and it blends beautifully with a deep cream truffle. The white chocolate shell adds an awful lot of unneeded sweetness but I'm not sure if Dark Chocolate would be much better. Strike that, I think Dark Chocolate with Blueberries and Cream might be just the ticket!

Score: 3