Mars is a candy bar with a very confusing history. If you want to read the full story, I recommend you check out Wikipedia’s article on the Mars bar, but for here I’ll give you are more succinct version. Mars bar was originally a UK candy bar, which is essentially their version of our Milky Way: creamy nougat with a stripe of caramel covered in chocolate. There has been countless varieties and variations over the years, so it’s a little tricky to keep track of them.
So imagine my surprise when I see this Mars bar sitting in the checkout shelf in a Wal-Mart. The package is not the traditional UK style with the black background and the bright red lettering, so I realize this must be some version for the USA. I notice almonds decorating the packaging, which is an immediate tip off that this isn’t the traditional bar. Excited to try it, I nab one off the shelf and take it home with me.
Once the bar is out of the wrapper, it looks like any traditional candy bar: rectangular with a pretty chocolate enrobing pattern on top. It smells sweet and inviting.
I take a bite.
My first impression on the bar is the fresh crunchy almonds. They’re whole too, as far as I can tell. They’re the main flavor and texture of this bar, kinda like how the peanuts are for a Snickers bar. The caramel is not there at all, I hardly notice it and it doesn’t leave a trail at all when I bite into it. The nougat is sweet and fluffy, but doesn’t add much flavor. The milk chocolate is nice and sweet, and balances out the almonds.
Overall? It didn’t wow me in any way. The nuts were the nicest part, so if you’re into nutty candy bars or an almond lover. I suggest checking it out.
Rating: Will Eat Again
Links Mars Website
I barely noticed this version of the MilkyWay bar when it first came out. I didn’t see any in store displays for it, nor did the packaging catch my eye. Which is odd really, since it looks very different from the dark brown wrapper of the original bar. It’s called the “Simply Caramel” bar, which confused me at first because I didn’t know what it meant. It was so straightforward that I didn’t know what to make of it.
So what is exactly the “Simply Caramel” bar? Well, there’s a giant band of caramel in the middle, enrobed in chocolate. It’s that simple.
One thing’s for sure. I had a blast photographing this bar. The caramel is not liquidy like a Caramello. Instead, it’s wonderfully stringy and smooth.
It smells sweet and of caramel and cream with notes of chocolate, exactly what I was expecting once I had this bar out of the wrapper.
The caramel is smooth and sweet, with nice notes of cream and burnt caramel. It’s a nice thick texture and isn’t too sticky. The chocolate is nice and sweet with good milk notes and a good chocolatey overtone. What can I say, I’m impressed!
If what I’ve said hasn’t convinced you to try one yet, consider this: my Mom hates limited edition candy bars with a passion. She thinks that the original candy bars are fine the way they are and all these variations are unnecessary and a shame to the originals. Yet, when I got her to try this one, she adored it. Just goes to show you don’t know until you try it!
Rating: Will Eat Again
Links MilkyWay Website
Meet the latest addition to the M&M family: Pretzel M&Ms. They came out a few weeks ago, with a limited release in Wal-Mart stores, and now they should be found most everywhere. I’ve been seeing them in assorted drug stores and convenience marts alike. Simply put, pretzel M&Ms have pretzel in the…which is pretty self explanatory. People have been pairing pretzels and chocolate for years now, so it’s only logical that M&Ms eventually jump on the bandwagon.
The packaging design borrows from the Crispy M&Ms that came out a few years ago. A blue colored package with a nervous Orange on the front. This makes me sad since I loved the Crispy M&Ms, and the reuse of this design makes me sure they’re not going to ever release them again. An entire package of these clocks in at 150 calories, which is much less than all the other varieties. Which makes this a much better choice if you’re watching that sort of thing.
The M&Ms are big. Bigger than the Peanut M&Ms even. The pretzel pieces are round, so the M&Ms are like little bloated globes. They’re very lightweight surprisingly, and there’s some variation in their size, but they’re all just really big.
The texture is very crunchy, between the candy shell and the pretzel core. Oddly enough, I don’t get a lot of chocolate flavor until the very end, once the pretzel has been chewed away. I get the sweetness from the candy shell, then the starchy saltiness of the pretzel. Once I’m ready to swallow, only then do I taste the chocolate. Strange, to say the last. Guess there’s too much pretzel to go around!
Overall? I liked these M&Ms, but they didn’t replace the Plain M&Ms as my favorites. If you’re really big on that sweet/salty combination, I’d give these a try.
Rating: Will Eat Again
Links M&Ms Website
I admit, I get a little skiddish when Skittles comes out with a new limited edition flavor. I say this because the last two that came out, the Chocolate Mix and the Carnival Mix, were really hit or miss. The Chocolate Mix, and if you’re a long-time reader would know as I reviewed them last year, was beyond horrid. The Carnival Mix was so awesome, so much so that I would have reviewed them too if I hadn’t eaten my well stocked stash like a starving wolf. So when I first heard whispers of Crazy Cores as a press release and then finally saw them in stores, well, you can imagine my hesitation. In the name of blogging (I do that a lot, don’t I? Well, it’s my job!) I decided to give them a shot. I wanted to make sure of Skittles dropped another gross candy bomb on us, I wanted to be able to warn you all about it.
The Crazy Cores’ package it bright orange, and it almost looks like the tropical flavor bag to me. There’s a new design on the front with the rainbow swirl on top, and this is what ticked me off as something different. The rainbow is really attractive actually (that sounds so strange to say in a way, doesn’t it?) as it’s beautifully colorful as it bursts out of the letter “I”. So eye catching.
There’s five new flavors in this mix, and I’ll work is boy going down the rainbow colors:
Cherry Lemonade (red shell, yellow interior): The flavor is immediately a mix of both. The cherry is bitter and the lighter of the two flavors. The lemonade tastes fake and acidic. Something about the flavor is very metallic, and it it makes my throat tickle. I needed a glass of water after this one.
Melon Berry (pink): This one immediately tasted of that fake watermelon Jolly Rancher flavor. The berry comes in as this odd floral sweetness that has a strange moldy flavor to it. Mmm, mold.
Mango Peach (yellow): Flavor is floral, juicy and peachy. There’s a strange tartness in there that I’m guessing is the mango. It’s got a nice, sweet/tart balance going on and it reminds me of a perfectly ripe grapefruit at moments.
Strawberry/Watermelon (green): Another berry melon flavor? Thankfully it tastes different, like the regular strawberry Skittle but sweeter and with more perfume-like flavors from the melon. It still reads predominately as strawberry. So I guess that’s ok.
Blue Raspberry/Lemon (blue): Oooo! I like this one! The lemon is more like lemonade, but it’s not as metallic and fake as the Cherry Lemonade. I think it’s like that because the blue raspberry flavor weakens it. The bue raspberry actually is really good here, as it’s not overly fake and has more authentic juicy berry flavors.
So my fears are alleviated. This isn’t another flavor disaster/bomb/crash in my mouth like the Chocolate Mix. Yet, this doesn’t make the world turn to gold and make angles sing like the Carnival Mix. Crazy Cores come somewhere in between. I’d recommend them to hardcore Skittles fans, but if they don’t do much for you to begin with, then I wouldn’t bother. The original mix still stands as the best of the bunch.
Rating: Will Eat Again
Links Skittles Website
Starburst has been busy with it’s new releases as of late, hasn’t it? I spied these on the shelves about the same time as I saw the new Sour & Sweet roll, and, in my typical Candy Enthusiast fashion, I had to try them. As I express before, I’m not too keen on sour candies, but I enjoyed the regular Gummi Bursts so much, I was actually eager to give these a try.
The sour variety have the same sort of eye-catching packaging as the original. This time with a nice spring green background showcasing the nice reds, oranges, and greens of the candies inside. They stand out nicely amongst all the other sweets in the store, and dare I say, more than the original flavor’s package.
Taking out the candies to examine and eat, I notice they do look and feel about the same as the the normal Gummi Bursts, but completely sanded with sugar. The “S” on top is no longer noticeable from this coating, which makes me sad, since I thought it was a nice visual detail. The pieces are squishy to the touch. Once in my mouth, the pieces are nice and gummi with the liquid center feeling slick and cool. Still didn’t get a “burst” with these, but that’s ok, it’s still a catchy name.
Green Apple: A medium sourness with nice fruity notes. It reads nicely as green apple, and not fake “Jolly Rancher” apple. I like it. The sour flavor wear offs with the sugar coating, and the chew then becomes lightly sweet and smooth.
Strawberry (red): I thought this one would be watermelon, but I was mistaken. The color threw me off! This is juicy, perfumey, and very “red licorice” in flavor. It tastes like a mix of the regular cherry and strawberry Starburst chews. The sourness isn’t too harsh, which is nice since no one likes sour strawberries. Right?
Watermelon (red orange): A nice floral, more berry-like flavor which is “red” and sweet. I ate this and felt confused, since I was pretty sure the last flavor was strawberry, yet this tastes more of berry than melon. Hrmmm.
Tangerine (orange): Oh yum! This is punchy, zesty, citrusy and captures that authentic tangerine tang. The sour really adds to it and it makes the flavor so realistic. The best of the bunch. Sadly, I only go tone of these in my whole bag. Why does this happen all the time? FAIL.
I liked these, though they aren’t going to knock the regular chews out of my top pick. Still, if I felt the need to eat something sour, I’d certainly choose these over the new Sour & Sweet mix. The flavors are so much better.
Rating: Will Buy Again
Links Starburst Website