As Halloween draws near (horray!) I’m subtly reminded of all the random candy I’d get trick-or-treating that I normally don’t buy for myself. Walking down the aisles in my local grocery stores and seeing the bags upon bags of candy, I see favorites that I haven’t had in a long time. The Tootsie Fruit Rolls are one of these favorites.
I recall fishing these out of my Halloween swag and setting them aside along with my other “don’t trade with the sibling” candy. These usually came with the other “loose” candy, such as Mary Janes, SweetTarts, Hershey’s Kisses, Candy Corn and regular Tootsie Rolls. I was always happy to trade my SweetTarts to my sister in return for these and I also never had a flavor preference either. All of them were delicious to me.
Since I’m too old for trick-or-treating (sob), I picked up a bag to review for the blog. That’s my excuse and I’m standing by it.
Vanilla (blue): This is very mild and sweet with a good vanilla flavor. Aside from the good chewiness factor of the tootsie base, this remnds me of nice fresh vanilla marshmallows.
Lemon (yellow): I love the sunny yellow color. The flavor is like lemon meringue pie, or cake, or some sort of lemon dessert. It’s zesty and sour with a strong lemon essence. The Tootsie part delivers a creamy sweetness, with almost a hint of coconut, and it’s just so tasty. It really got my saliva glands going.
Lime (green): Really nice lime flavor, which is hard to pull off without tasting like a cleaning product. The taste has a nice kick to it and the Tootise base adds a good subtle sweetness.
Cherry (pink): A pretty salmon pink color. The flavor is reminiscent of the cherry Tootsie Pop. It’s extremely fruity with a good juciness and those bright, sweet-sour cherry notes. It’s not medicinal at all, but does have a little bitterness towards the end.
Orange (orange): This has a nice flavor, but it’s not as intense as I was expecting. The actual orange flavor is mild, and the zest it the main feature. It’s juicy and really gets the mouth saliva going.
What can I say, I really enjoy these. Maybe not enough to pick them up any other time of year, but come October they satisfy my cravings for sweet nostalgia.
Rating:Will Eat Again
My first thoughts on this bar when I saw it on the shelf was: “Why 86%?” It seems a really random number to choose. I then looked at a contender for shelf space with Ghirardelli: Lindt; and saw that they have an 85% bar (which is really good by the way). Seems like Ghirardelli is trying to pull a one up on Lindt by making a bar with a higher cacao content to appeal to the dark chocolate devotees. It seems half-hearted that the “higher” percentage is only 1%.
The ingredients list reads: “Bittersweet chocolate (unsweetened chocolate, (do they mean cocoa solids?) cocoa butter, sugar, soy lecithin, vanilla, natural flavor”. I’m happy to see the real vanilla, yet am annoyed with the “natural flavor” and am confused as to why the cocoa solids are called “unsweetened chocolate”. Not to mention that 86% is called “bittersweet”, cause that’s really “dark” in my book. Oh, semantics. Chocolate terminology needs to start having some guidelines here.
The chocolate is a nice and very dark color. It smells roasted with notes of raisins, cherries and cinnamon. The snap is strong with a clean break. I see no bubbles or anything in the chocolate, so obviously this bar was nicely tempered.
The flavor starts off dry and bland at first. The middle is where things start to get interesting where a dry, chalky, and musky flavor appears. It has a slight fruity notes of berries and a twang of citrus at the finish. The aftertaste is, surprise, dry and a little tannic with that musky flavor again. Overall this bar tastes very “green” to me since plants come to mind. The mouth feel is very slick and slippery feeling, and it’s very pleasurable because of it. That’s what lots of cocoa butter will do for you.
I was surprised by the lack of flavor and the intense dryness of this bar. Granted, higher percentages are hard to do well, but it seems this bar just decided to avoid acidity associated with dark chocolates by sacrificing flavor. A good try, but it’s lack of depth just stopped it dead to me. Why eat it if it doesn’t taste of chocolate? I plan to stick with the Lindt 85% bar if you really enjoy tasting chocolate.
Rating: Might Eat Again
Talk about a blast from the past, right? Yes, I am aware that these were released a year ago. That’s ancient in candy time! In my defense, I saw them at one of my local candy haunts and thought I’d swipe them up before they disappeared or worse, were inedible. So here you are. The code on the back says 727FRCLVO*, so they’re not really that old at all. The package is an obnoxious bright pink, with a version of Red standing behind a large raspberry made of M&Ms pieces (logo and all) with a very sassy expression on his face. I’d expect this sort of thing to be reserved for Green!
The actual M&Ms are on the larger side, and are similar to what I remember the Crispy M&Ms being. They’re also a bring pink color like the package with the white “M” stamped onto them .They don’t have an aroma so it’s hard to gauge what the flavor will be like.
I have to be honest here and they taste…odd. I admit, they do taste like raspberry. But not the type of raspberry you’d want to be eating, mind you. It’s terribly artificial, with strong floral notes that really overpower any actual “berry” flavor in there. It’s such a loud flavor, it reminds me of old Bath and Body works perfume: still powerfully smelly yet so far removed from the original intent it’s hard to identify it anymore. You do taste the chocolate as it provides a brief respite from the “razz"berry flavor and delivers good sweetness. After tasting a few of these I feel like I had perfume sprayed in my tough. Ick.
Still, you may all already know this. These are to be avoided.
“Chocolate Covered”, “The Original” chirps the words on the package. How can anyone challenge, much less say no, to that? I’m inexperienced to the whole jelly ring candy world, and these are no exception. I’d always see these, or variations on them, with the other Jewish and Kosher Parve candy and sort of feel intimidated for reasons I can’t explain. Curiosity finally got to me and decided it was time to give them a try.
The ingredients list is promising. These rings are using real chocolate, so that’s a plus. There’s also agar-agar as well as raspberry flavoring listed, so at least now I know what to expect when I taste these. The package contains three rings all about the size of an Oreo cookie. They do smell chocolatey, but there’s also a very strange artificial raspberry scent to them too. The tops are lightly rippled from the enrobing and are very cute to look at.
First bite was nice except for the flavor. Kinda gross. Lets start with the texture then, shall we? Well, the jelly is firm but not chewy. The chocolate clings to it well as I didn’t get any flaking. The chew has a little give to it but it’s otherwise soft and quite pleasant. Ok, now for the bad part. The flavor is overwhelming of the gross, perfumey, fake raspberry flavor. Only in the aftertaste does it become the slightest bit authentic. I’m sad to say I hardly taste the chocolate.
It’s an “ew ew ew ew *swallow* oh, that wasn’t so bad…” sort of eating experience until your brain remembers the bad part and you’re left feeling disgusted. I didn’t finish the other two rings. Haha.
My sister one the one that recommended that I try these, as she’s a big fan of them herself. SweetTarts are something I only ate at Halloween, as they are pretty standard trick-or-treating fare. They were something that never struck me as anything special, and I’d always go for chocolate when given an option. I saw this bag of the chewy mini version and liked the idea of it. If I’m going to try something, why not go for the kind that seems more like fun?
The SweetTart minis are indeed small, about the size of pencil eraser heads. The colors are much more muted than I expected: very washed out and lightly flecked with white. There’s five flavors in the assortment: grape, apple, cherry, orange and lemon. Pretty standard flavors as you can see. Nothing off the wall or wacky here, which I strange for a Wonka product.
The chewy texture is odd, as they’re a little crunchy and a little chewy. Neither texture is substantial enough for me to feel like describing them as such though . Perhaps they are chewy in regard to the original candy, so it’s all really relative I think. You feel a hard crunch when you first bite down on the hard outer panned shell. The inside feels grainy and a little fluffy. The mini is chewy for maybe 5-15 chomps, but then it just dissolves into sugar bits after that. It is fun to play with them in your mouth though, so I give them points for that.
Grape: Nice grape flavor, not unlike grape soda. At first it tastes muted and then it’s overtaken by the “tart” part.
Cherry: Has a very medicinal flavor at first, then the tartness comes in and it becomes more fruity and authentic. Cherry lovers won’t be disappointed.
Orange: Very bright, sweet and a little reminiscent of Tang. Not as zesty as I was expecting.
Lemon: Hardly any flavor to this, which I find so disappointing! I kept waiting for some nice sour lemon flavors to come forward, but nothing. I don’t even get a tart with this one. It’s just mild and sweet. Too sweet for lemon.
Apple: Very juicy and floral. It’s really one of the best green apple flavors I’ve had to date. The tart was complimentary and it’s very nice.
The flavors of the chewy SweetTart minis were impressive even though the texture wasn’t. I suppose I should just stick to the original next time, right?
Rating:Might Eat Again