I was greeted by a most unusual Jelly Belly package in the mail the other day. I wasn’t expecting anything, so naturally it was a nice surprise. Inside was one of the most interesting press kits I’ve seen in a long time. For once I was given instructions to eating candy! It’s been a long time since I’ve seen such a thing. What other candy would need instructions other than Jelly Belly’s new Tabasco Jelly Beans!
I feel quite tickled that Jelly Belly is doing something so daring as Tabasco flavored beans. Not everyone is into spicy flavors as they are quite an acquired taste. I’ve learned recently to appreciate spicy things. Which is another reason why I was so pleased about this sample, it’ll give me a chance to see how the spice translates to a jelly bean.
As for the instructions, they read:
“Eating instructions for Jelly Belly Tabasco jelly beans:
-One at a time
-Ready to level up? See: Citrus Mix”
The Citrus beans instructions read:
“Open. New flavor experiences when combines with TABASCO Jelly Belly jelly beans. Friendly note: TABASCO Jelly Belly beans a little too true to life? Extinguish the fire in your mouth wit ha couple of these.”
Helpful, wouldn’t you say?
I take my first bean out and pop it into my mouth. The flavor starts of sweet and you can really taste the flavor of the chili without the heat. It’s peppery with some sweetness. After a moment of chewing the spice then kicks in and it’s incredibly authentic to Tabasco sauce’s kick. This bean does have some heat to it. I certainly had my mouth burning, but in a good way, for a bit even after I had finished eating it. My husband tried some too and he really liked them. He felt the flavor was accurate to Tabasco sauce and had some heat to it. To be fair, his heat tolerance is way higher than mine, so the beans weren’t nearly as spicy to him. Still I did really enjoy the flavor, even if I could only eat one at a time.
I did try the Tabasco jelly beans with some of the citrus beans like the instructions in the press packet suggested. It certainly erased the flavor of the chili in the beginning of the bean. But it didn’t erase the heat of the bean. The spiciness of the Tabasco still shines through the citrus flavors of the other beans. It’s different but still very tasty.
I don’t think these Jelly Belly beans are for everyone. If you’re into spice and “hot’ foods, I certainly say go for it. If you’re not, I really don’t think you could get past how authentic the jelly bean tastes.
Rating: Will Eat Again
Links Jelly Belly Website
One of the most surprising samples I’ve received in 2012 were these two limited editions of Uno® and Apples to Apples®. I hadn’t played Uno® in some time, and I’ve never played Apples to Apples® before, so my first step was to read about how the games are played. Little did I know there’s been several limited editions to each of these games over the years, and the Jelly Belly versions are just one of the newest ones.
Each game comes with some changes to the original product. The Jelly Belly Uno® comes with Jelly Belly jelly bean shaped cards, new Jelly Belly inspired rules and of course, Jelly Belly beans! There’s multiple flavors included with Jelly Belly Uno®, which include: Very Cherry, Sour Apple, Sour Lemon, Blueberry and Tutti-Fruitti. The colors look like they’re very appropriately chosen, and they match all the colors represented in the Uno® game. I especially liked the addition of the Tutti-Frutti flavor that’s the “wildcard” bean that incorporates all the colors. That felt very clever to me.
Apples to Apples® is a new experience for me. I first heard of it from my husband who would often play it with his family. My family, being more book-ish, never played board games much, but when we did it was more along the lines of RISK® or Stratego®. Apples to Apples® also has a lot of limited edition variations, according to Wikipedia at least. Again, I didn’t realize that this was such a popular thing for board games! Like the Jelly Belly Uno®, this version also has Jelly Belly jelly bean shaped cards, Jelly Belly inspired rules, and flavored Jelly Beans of Red and Green Apple.
My husband and I sat down to give these games a try. It was a learning experience for me since I basically had to learn both the games from square one. Regardless, the Jelly Belly inspired rules were easy to distinguish and added a nice “flavor” to the game. The bean shaped cards were fun, but a bit hard to shuffle. We both had a lot of fun trying them out. Also, if you are already familiar with each of the games, the slightly changed rules aren’t too difficult to learn. Each game is recommended for ages 7 and up, so I can see how these would make for a fun family night of gaming.
As for the Jelly Belly jelly beans? Yes, of course they were really tasty!
Rating: Would Play Again!
Links Jelly Belly Website
I feel really badly about the fact that I cannot recall where I found this Nut Job bar. It’s been sitting on the top of my review stash for a few months now, so I have no real indicator where or when I bought it. No matter, it’s really all about how it tastes, right? Barton’s Nut Job’s description reads: “Delicious Double Chocolate, Creamy Caramel…Loaded with Peanuts!”. The front has a peanut characters; one dressed in a beanie, pants and sneakers, wearing multiple rings and a rock guitar. On the other side is a peanut with a backwards baseball cap and jeans with gold chains. I suppose they’re supposed to be “cool”, but I find them silly.
I looked at the Barton’s website for the Nut Job, and it looks like they market it as a protein snack for kids. Which, I find strange, because for this 2.2 oz, 300 calorie bar, there’s only 4 grams of protein in it. That’s not a whole lot. I open the wrapper a tad to take a whiff of the chocolate. It smells of defatted peanuts to me. It is a very nutty aroma, but the peanuts don’t smell as rich as I’m used to. Inspired by the interesting aroma, I took a look at the ingredients to see exactly what is in this candy bar. There’s nothing suspicious about the chocolate, as cocoa butter is listed. The next ingredient is dry roasted peanuts, which, is also seasoned with paprika and garlic powder. I have to admit, having a candy with those two ingredients is a first for me.
The flavor is very nutty right from the start. You definitely taste the peanuts, which, surprisingly taste like the aroma. They taste…flat somehow. Which really contradicts whats’s said in the nutrition labels. Also since there’s peanut pieces in there. So I can’t understand why the peanuts lack the flavor I was expecting. The chocolate and the caramel have nice flavors, even though they take the back seat to the peanut flavor. They give a nice sweetness to it, that has good notes of cocoa, caramel and cream. I do have to notice that the texture of this is really awesome. It’s like a thick, chewy fudge. The peanut pieces are small enough so they don’t create too much of a texture contrast and don’t get stuck in your teeth.
This Nut Job bar I think suffers from not knowing what it wants to be. A protein snack bar or a candy bar. Granted you can be both, a PayDay is an excellent example of that. But this just falls short I feel. It’s not as flavorful as a candy bar, and doesn’t supply enough nutrients to be a snack bar. It is a noble effort, but Nut Job I feel falls short of its name.
Rating: Not Worth It
Links Barton’s Chocolate Webpage
Jelly Belly has been branching out a lot in the past few years. They have found ways to keep flavors interesting and fresh, while keeping faithful to the classic beans. I feel today’s review of the Jelly Belly Chocolate Dips are one of those products. It’s the classic jelly beans we all know and love, but with the addition of a chocolate coating. I’ve reviewed some of the Dips in the past and today I’m trying one of the newer of the flavors: Strawberry.
The package has a wonderful smell once you open it. You mainly get notes of chocolate with a hint of sweetness of red berries and perfume. The chocolate covered Jelly Bellys have a nice sheen and they look like bigger, prettier Raisinets.
Tossing a couple into my mouth I lightly chew them to try and taste the chocolate before I get to the jelly bean. The chocolate tastes like a nice bittersweet chocolate. It’s not too bitter and it’s not too sweet. It has a good chocolate flavor without being too milky or sweet. The flavor of the strawberry bean is really strong. I’m not sure which of their strawberry beans they used for this one, but it’s really floral and has notes of raspberries in it. I was expecting more the strawberry jam flavor which was more authentic and concentrated. Balanced with the chocolate, the strawberry flavor is more floral then it is juicy, which I was surprised by. Together the flavors work really well and are really tasty. Neither the chocolate nor the strawberry steal the show, and they works together in balance. Once thing I did notice was that the beans don’t have the panned coating they normally do as “naked” jelly beans. I’m not sure why this is, but it’s something I noticed as I ate these.
I really enjoyed these and the friends I shared them with really enjoyed them too. One of the friends normally doesn’t like jelly beans but he expressed since the bean inside is different, it made the jelly bean enjoyable for him. I thought that was an interesting remark. Either way, it seems that whether or not you’re a fan of Jelly Belly’s jelly beans or not, it’s worth giving these a try to see if you like them!
Rating: Will Eat Again
Links Jelly Belly Website
I cannot see Sour Punch products and not think of one of my college roommates, who was the one who really introduced me to the Sour Punch candies. It’s amazing to me how many things, people and experiences you can associate with a certain candy. Since I really am a sucker for citrus flavors, this box of Tangerine Lemonade Sour Punch Bit really called to me. The box is a decent size, colorful and appealing. I really love the expressions of their Sour Punch characters on the front puckering up.
My readers may remember that I reviewed another Sour Punch Bits flavor last year, Strawberry Watermelon. These bits are way more colorful with their orange and yellow stripes. They are brightly colored and covered with a sour sugar. These exude a more “sour” presence than the other flavor did. They remind me of those colored erasers you see in Staples and Office Max.
The texture of these is soft but similar to plastic. The flavor is nice and way more up my alley than the Strawberry Watermelon. The tangerine flavor is spot on as it’s like orange, but way more zesty and tart. The lemonade accents it nicely with a lemon zip that keeps the flavor contrast from fading at all. This flavor has way more “punch” to me because the actual fruit flavors are zesty, so when the sour sugar wears off there is still sourness to the candy. I couldn’t help but pop one another another into my mouth to continue that sour flavor. It’s really addicting!
These are one of my favorite Sour Punch candies to date. I really like the shapes of them as opposed to the straws and belts. They’re just more pop-able and more intense since they’re individual pieces. This also makes them easy to share too, in my experience. So if you’re a fan of Sour Punch or any sour candies, I feel these are worth checking out.
Rating: Will Eat Again
Links Sour Punch Website