Not Worth It
Sometimes the strangest holiday candies are released. Most make sense like the mint flavors I’m seeing everywhere; Mint Truffle Kisses, Hershey’s Bliss Creme de Menthe, Hershey’s Mint Miniatures, and the Mint M&Ms, just to name a few. Then I spot these two oddities: Holiday Edition Sugar Babies and Inside Out Junior Mints. I was perplexed right away, but since I hadn’t tried them, and are a fan of the originals, I picked them up.
From the outside of the box, the Holiday Sugar Babies don’t seem to be very different. The selling point is that they’re covered in a “candy shell” in holiday colors: white, red and green.
They look terrible. They’re matte and flat looking. Nothing about them feels inviting or attractive. Which leads me to ask, why color them to begin with? If you were going to put the in a bowl for guests or anything, so you can “see” them in there festive colors, why not make them look…nice.
The candy shell is indeed a shell as opposed to a soft, colored coating as I suspected. It actually cracks when I bite down and it softens from there, turning into a regular Sugar Baby. The taste is the same: intensely creamy, burnt caramel flavors with a sticky, grainy chewy texture. I don’t see a point to getting these over the regular ones…unless you have a thing for food coloring.
The Inside Out Junior Mints I was excited about. They’ve been a limited edition candy for years, yet I haven’t seen them until now. I did see the new edition of Junior Mints Peppermint Crunch that were released last year and I reviewed for CandyAddict.
These have white outside and a chocolate interior, just the opposite from the originals. Reading the description on the back where it calls the outside a “white topping”, I knew something was amiss. Uh oh. Mockolate.
The exterior is slightly hard and it “cracks” a little when you bite into it. The intense minty flavor we associate with Junior Mints is there, but it’s hard to say exactly where it’s coming from. I just sucked on one for a bit and I got no mint from the exterior. So my guess is the center is doing double duty here. Other than the appearance, I don’t really see the draw of these. Nothing says to me that these are any improvement or especially unique, so I don’t get the point.
Both these candies don’t do anything to improve or tweak the original enough for me to justify buying them. I just had to satisfy my curiosity. Learn from me and stick with the originals.
Rating: Not Worth It
Junior Mints Webpage
Sugar Babies Webpage
Jelly Belly has been trying to push the envelope with flavors and products it seems in the past few years. Back when I was at the All Candy Expo in 2007 they unveiled their BeanBoozled beans: essentially a Russian roulette with good and gross flavors. This year they announced a line of flavors inspired by Cold Stone Creamery’s ice cream. I’m not quite sure on the connection between the two, especially since I’ve never been to Cold Stone Creamery (silly lactose intolerance). I am certainly intrigued by the idea of ice cream and jelly beans.
Chocolate Devotion: (Chocolate ice cream, chocolate chips, brownie and fudge): So bland. It has a faint cocoa flavor, yet lacks that “chocolatey” punch you hope for and expect. It doesn’t taste artificial, just weak.
Our Strawberry Blonde: (strawberry ice cream, graham cracker pie crust, strawberries, caramel, whipped topping): This one is odd. It’s strawberry, but also has strong flavors of banana too. It’s sweet, tart and very concentrated in terms of flavor. My favorite of the bunch.
Apple Pie A La Cold Stone: (french vanilla ice cream, cinnamon, graham cracker pie crust, apple pie filling and caramel): Immediately you taste the cinnamon and apples. There’s a note of the caramel there too, but it’s faint. It reminds me of store-bought apple strudel muffins. Or cinnamon coffee cake.
Mint Mint Chocolate Chocolate Chip: (mint ice cream, choc chips brownie and fudge): This has a nice medium mint flavor, but the chocolate part tastes awful and ruins the whole Jelly Bean. It’s horribly fake tasting, like Tootsie roll’s bad, ugly cousin. It also leaves an odd aftertaste in the mouth afterward.
Birthday Cake Remix: (cake batter™ ice cream, rainbow sprinkles, brownie and fudge): Very artificial vanilla flavor, right at the start. It’s overpowering and it burns my throat.
One thing does confuses me about these beans is their “mixability”. Most of all the other flavors in the Jelly Belly brand are meat to be eaten together in certain recipe combinations to make new flavors. I don’t see that happening with these. This isn’t a problem for me, as I like to eat my Jelly Beans one by one. I can’t help but wonder though…
Even eating these flavors solo, they aren’t enticing enough for me to recommend them.
Rating: Not Worth It
Jelly Belly Website
Happy National Candy Corn Day! I know it’s ironic that I review a candy corn flavored Hershey’s Kisses to mark the occasion, but I feel it’s fitting. You’ll soon understand.
Candy corn is something I find people either love or hate with very little gray area in between. Those of us who are fans, and yes I am a fierce candy corn lover, also tend to have strict loyalties to specific brands. I find that Brach’s candy corn sings to my taste buds compared to the others. That’s the beauty of candy though, everyone has their own tastes.
These flavored Kisses were released for the first time last year as a limited edition exclusive to Target. I was excited by the idea to say the least. The first release of these Kisses were real white chocolate (from what I remember, I could be wrong) that were colored and layered to look like squat candy corn kernels. Today they’re a blend of funky tropical oils but keep to the original appearance.
The bag really smells odd when you open it, and it immediately is a spoiler for the flavor. It reeks of butter. Not the good, real, fresh butter either. Oh, no. We’re talking the fake stuff that Fabio made a mint selling on TV commercials.
Let me just cut to the chase and say that these Kisses smell and taste of microwave popcorn. Last I checked, candy corn didn’t taste like that to me.
Despite the fact that the flavor is completely off and therefore horribly unappealing, there Kisses do have some uses. They are simply stunning to look at, and I’m sure one could get creative with these in the kitchen. Unless you buy them for this specific purpose though, I can’t bring myself to recommend them. Along with beauty, I also crave substance.
Hershey’s Kisses Website
If Absinthe flavored anything isn’t considered somewhat spooky, I don’t know what is.
I picked these up because I was intrigued. I had Leone’s Absinthe’s chocolate bar and really liked it, so I was interested to see how the flavor tasted in a pastille form. It comes in tis little box, about the size you get when you buy a case of mints. There’s a paper wrapping on the actual box, which I assume is there for both decorative and protective purposes.
The pastilles have no aroma and are very light pale green. They’re the size of pencil erasers and the surface texture is sort of uneven and wrinkled. These characteristics made them very difficult to photograph.
The flavor is, frankly, odd. It tastes more soapy than absinthe to me. I am missing those nice notes of anise and licorice. The texture is ok, they’re a little chalky and have a nice crunch to them. The pleasantries end there. After munching a few, I felt the desire to eat something else to get the odd flavor out of my mouth.
Stick to the chocolate bar if you want a nice absinthe candy for now. Even though these pastilles were disappointing, I am determined to find other sweet mediums that’ll deliver a nice absinthe flavor.
Rating: Not Worth It
Since I began expanding my candy horizons for the past couple of years I’ve been finding some interesting new favorites amongst the zillions of options out there. One of these not-so-recent discoveries has been Hershey’s Take 5 bar. In case you’re unfamiliar, it’s a blend of five ingredients (milk chocolate ( or rather, it was once upon a time), caramel, peanuts, pretzel and peanut butter) so you get the ultimate sweet and salty candy experience.
So imagine my curiosity when I spotted the Peanut Butter Take 5. The package description the only difference is that the milk chocolate is gone (warning #1) and is replaces with “peanut butter candy”. They don’t specifically say what that exactly is. Granted, this was late year (yes, my notes do run that far back), but that doesn’t mean that Hershey’s won’t ever revive this limited edition.
Here’s what the bars look like one the packaging is removed. Don’t you love the advertising for Kissables on the back card? Anyways, you can now see the “peanut butter candy” is really a peanut butter coating that replaced the chocolate.
The taste is not where it should be. The loss of the chocolate really delivers a big blow. It doesn’t have that nice sweetness to balance the saltiness anymore. The coating doesn’t impart anything new except a strange greasy feeling in your mouth. There really is too much peanut butter in this and destroys the balance that was so perfect in the original. In this case, don’t mess with perfection Hersheys. Mmm, kay?
Rating: Not Worth It
Hershey’s Take 5 Webpage