Might Eat Again
If I was desperate.
As the years progress I’ve noticed that there’s more and more jelly beans appearing based on pre-existing hard candies. These Jolly Rancher Jelly Beans are one of the first I ever noticed, so I figured it was only fair I give them a try. I did have them as a part of a major jelly bean round-up sale last year for CandyAddict, but since I’m at my one blog now, these needed a revisit.
I guess now is a good time to mention again that I’m really not a fan of Jolly Ranchers. I reviewed the original candies here earlier, and I just can’t understand how anyone likes them with their overly fake and punchy flavors.
The jelly beans are pretty faithful to the original hard candies, unlike the other Jolly Rancher Smoothie blend jelly beans that you can also find this time of year. I found those dreadful and am not going to bother eating them again. You gotta pick your poison sometimes.
The beans are not that festively colored since they’re made to look like the originals. They colors are very dark and opaque.
Blue Raspberry: Very intense in flavor with strong floral, fruity, and bubble gum flavors that read as “berry” to our taste buds. There’s also a hint of fruit punch thrown in there too, which was a pleasant twist. It’s a horribly fake flavor, but I find it’s not as bad as the original hard candy.
Strawberry (red): This is surprisingly sweet with strong flavors of cotton candy and fruit. It’s slightly tart at the end, which is a bit jarring, but these are Jolly Ranchers, after all.
Orange: The flavor is exactly orange soda. Syrupy sweet with a hint of zest. It really got the saliva going in my mouth.
Apple (green): Very juicy with strong flavors of apple juice and pears. Oddly, this one is more sweet than tart.
Grape: If I closed my eyes and ignored the texture in my mouth, I’d call this the grape Tootsie Pop. It’s tart (see a trend here?) with a fake grape flavor similar to grape soda.
Watermelon (pink): The taste of this one is surprisingly mild, yet very sweet with a fake cantaloupe flavor that’s very perfumey. It’s not sour or tart at all like the normal Jolly Rancher, which I find a pleasant surprise.
They’re a nice set of jelly beans, especially if you’re a fan of Jolly Ranchers. However, I really don’t see myself picking these up again, as I I’m not a big fan of the candy in general and there’s other jelly beans on the market that I’d rather go for if I felt the need for something different.
Rating: Might Eat Again
Links Jolly Rancher’s Website
Ahh, I love this time of year. It means for me that the candy aisles in all the stores are filled with all different types of jelly beans. I love jelly beans (in fact, the NY Times asked me about them last year. Shameless plug, I know). I’m always interested in trying all the different kinds, and yes, I even have a soft spot for the spice flavored ones. Let’s just say I don’t discriminate.
One of the new varieties I noticed in the past two years is the Hawaiian Punch jelly beans made by Brach’s. I love how Brach’s makes their jelly beans, the texture and flavors are always really appealing to me. I don’t know quite how to classify them, as many Easter jelly beans are Pectin, and others….well, on the other side there’s Jelly Belly. There doesn’t seem to be any in between, but there is in my book. I don’t know quite how to explain it though. Pectin beans have always been about texture for me, that’s why you bought them. Jelly Belly you bought because the flavors were so intense. Now there seems to be a good selection of beans out there that have both going on. It all depends on what you like, really.
Anyways, Brach’s flavors and textures don’t disappoint. So I was eager to see how the Hawaiian Punch flavors translated into this traditional Easter treat.
Fruit Juicy Red (red): Tastes very mild, lightly fruity and sweet. The best way to describe it is “red” without the standard medicinal flavor to it.
Green Berry Rush (green with yellow flecks): This is the most “tropical punchy” flavor of the bunch. It has a strong fruity/berry flavor, yet still tastes like standard fruit punch.
Berry Blue Typhoon (blue): Tastes like very fruity and of sweet raspberry, yet not “blue” at all as it lacks the artificiality. It’s just very floral and juicy.
Lemon Berry squeeze (pink with yellow spots): This tastes like a raspberry lemonade with a little cherry thrown in; tart with a hint of something metallic.
Mango Passion fruit Squeeze (yellow with orange spots): This one is so tropical and exotic with a big hit of mango, peach and strong floral notes.
Orange Ocean (orange with yellow flecks): Very bright and orange tasting, similar to a orange Tootsie pop with a tad of pineapple tossed in.
I liked how these definitely tastes different and unique from the many different varieties of Jelly Beans I’ve had to date. I also like how the beans are based on a drink, as opposed to pre-existing candy, so it feels more original and less like a spin off. Worth picking up if you’re craving something new.
Rating: Might Eat Again
Peeps are one of those candies that you immediately associate with Easter. Or, at least, I do, even though I never got them in my Easter Basket as a kid. Peeps are the kind of candy that you either love them to pieces or you don’t care much for them, I’ve found little gray area in between. The people who do love Peeps almost have formed a cult following for them. I’m sure a book could be written by fan as to the best way to eat them (fresh, stale, microwaved, toasted, etc) or what to do with them (make s’ mores, decorate cupcakes, make art and crafts, scientific research, etc). There isn’t a more versatile candy around, it seems.
I prefer to take photos of them myself, like these, er, peeps over at Flickr.
The concept of Peeps are pretty simply, they’re marshmallow with a crunchy colored sugar shell. Most are shaped like baby chicks, but as the years have passed new shapes have been introduced. At Easter you can find the chicks along with bunny peeps. New colors also have been introduced, and you can find them in all colors of the rainbow now. I recall red ones that were a Target exclusive last year, and this year I saw orange ones on the shelves in Wal-Mart. True to real chickens and rabbits, the peeps seem to have no problem multiplying to take up more shelf space each year.
I do like the little Peeps simply because they’re so cute. The eyes on them are hand painted, and I especially love the ones that I find a little cross-eyed.
The texture of these really depends on how fresh you get them and how fresh you like to eat them. When brand new, they’re very soft and pillow like a marshmallow should be, with their sugar coating a bit crunchy. The staler they get, which is how many prefer to eat them, the peeps get firmer and chewier. It really all depends on the maturity of your peep.
The flavor is lightly sweet and tastes rather bland. They don’t even taste like marshmallow to me, which usually have a hint of vanilla to them. These just taste sweet and starchy, and forgive me for saying so, but I’m reminded of communion wafers.
I’m trying to expand my Peep eating horizon and have let those I’d taken out for my photos to sit outside the package and gradually get stale in my living room. I’m trying them day-by-day to see exactly how stiff and crunchy I like them. I find that I prefer the texture of Peeps over the flavor, which is why once these are gone I probably won’t buy more unless I have the urge for another photo shoot.
Rating: Might Eat Again
Links Peep’s Website
Peeps at Wikipedia
I love retro and classic candy. I was a really big history nerd back in High School, so of course any sort of candy that has a long standing tradition or story behind it would make my little heart go pitter-patter. Sadly, most of these types of candies are very hard to find. Some are only carried by the most out of the way stores, while others can only be found in certain regions of the country. Still, that doesn’t keep me from scheming of hunting them all down and trying them.
Atkinson’s Coconut Long Boys are one of those classic candies I’ve always heard about but never actually saw for sale. It was only when I was in downtown Burbank did I finally locate them. It was a well stocked candy shop where they had these tucked into a bulk bin. Trying to hide my extreme delight from the cashier, I didn’t want to scare her, I bought a handful to try once I got home.
So what is a Coconut Long Boy? Well, they’re caramels that are shaped into long cylinders. They come wrapped in brightly colored wax paper that reminds me of ketchup and mustard. These Coconut Long Boys have family too, as there’s chocolate and junior varieties available too. I sadly didn’t find these at said store, they must have been separated at birth.
The Long Boys look like any typical light colored caramel. The texture is pleasant: thankfully they’re not sticky in the mouth, even thought it did stick to the wrapper a little. They’re chewy similar to Sugar Babies where chew is long, firm and grainy. You can taste and feel the flakes of the coconut too, which is a nice touch. It’s a nice sweet coconut flavor, not artificial at all and it’s not overly sweet. As for the caramel flavor, it’s certainly creamy but it doesn’t have the burnt sugar or cream notes I’m used to. It’s all overshadowed by the coconut.
That being said, they’re really tasty. I enjoyed them a lot and I understand much better why these have stayed on the candy scene for so long.
Rating: Might Eat Again
Links Atkinson’s Long Boys Webpage
Everyone has their preferences when it comes to the candy they choose, and I am always interested in talking to people to see what their preferences are. One of the things I enjoy about having a candy blog is that it sometimes makes me eat “outside the candy box” and try something that I wouldn’t normally buy. Wonka’s Gobstoppers are one of these candies. I enjoy hard candies, yes, and I am impartial on tart/sour candies, so I have tended to just gloss over these in stores in favor of something I know I really enjoy. Then last year Cybele reviewed these at Candyblog.net reviewed these. Her photographs of them were so tempting, I knew I had to pick some up if I ever saw them. As far as I was concerned, even if they didn’t taste good, I’d get some pretty photos out of them at least.
So on the same trip to Wal-Mart where I found the Strawberry Creme Hershey’s Kisses I saw these on the shelf. What a productive shopping trip, huh?
I have to admit the name makes me think of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. One of my favorite bands.
The hearts are so pretty. They sit beautifully on my photography table; glossy, colorful and smooth. The colors, even though I would not call them traditional Valentine’s Day colors, still feel very festive.
Speaking of the the colors, there’s five total: purple, pink, red, orange, and yellow. They all taste the same aside with subtle variations. The yellow tasted a tad lemony, pink a little strawberry, purple like grape and orange, well, orange. Overall, they had a lightly sweet fruity flavor to them, and the tartness appears only when you crunch down through the shell to release the grainy, powdery center. Speaking of the center, it’s a chalky dextrose which has a nice tartness to it ad dissolves quickly on the tongue. The texture of the shell combined with the softer center is a wonderful contrast of hard and soft, smooth and grainy.
After tasting the few I had to do for the review, I admit I haven’t touched them. I’ve been eating the Hershey’s Kisses instead. Preferences die hard I guess.
You have to admit though. They are terribly festive and just adorable to look at.
Rating: Might Eat Again
Links Wonka Website