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
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 spotted this box of Lemonhead & Friends Redhead on a quick trip to Ralph’s a couple of weeks ago. They were on display and the bright red box completely caught my eye. It’s been some time since I had any of the Lemonhead brand, and craving something new I grabbed a couple of boxes. I figured they’d be fun to review as well as something tasty I could nibble on at work during the 3pm lull.
The first thing that stood out to me about the package was the “updated” look. Usually when Lemonhead and Friends appear together, they tend to be standing around looking at one another with fruit in their hands. This box, also cleverly named Redheads, has all the friends actually doing something. I like how here at least they’re all dancing to music, it immediately feels a lot more fun.
The candies, once I open the box to inspect them, all roll out in beautiful colors of all shades or red. At first it’s a little hard to tell them apart, well, the ones that weren’t maroon or pink anyways. There’s no distinct aroma to them as they just smell vaguely fruity. The candies are about chickpea sized. Some are smaller and some are a little larger. Quality control isn’t a big concern here, but I do find the irregularity refreshing and fun.
Strawberry: Orange pink in color. The flavor is sweet and reminds me of jam. There’s a nice intense berry flavor to it.
Cherry: Colored bright red. It immediately has juicy flavor that turns into a fake cherry flavor. I’m reminded of medicine. Blech.
Raspberry: Dark red in color. It tastes very “red” but also has an odd aftertaste of perfume.
Watermelon: These are the pink ones in the mix. Typical fake Jolly Rancher watermelon flavor. Notes of melons, flowers and a strange sourness that overwhelms my taste buds really easily.
These are alright, but they also aren’t really my thing. I’m a citrus lover, so I want my lemon and orange flavors back please. I do realize how Lemonhead wants to get in on this recent fad of having only red flavors in a mix. It just made me miss the other flavors and want a normal box of Lemonhead. However, I do realize I’m a minority, so if you’re into these red flavors, these just might be your new favorite.
Rating: Might Eat Again
Links Lemonhead Website
Out of all the Halloween candy that I’ve found, this is the only one that’s actually fruit flavored. Have you realized that so much of Halloween candy is chocolate? I know there’s candy corn to balance it out and a handful of Halloween shaped gummies, but mostly it feels like it’s chocolate. There’s certainly a reason for this, as chocolate is immensely popular and well loved. Even as a kid I ranked a lot of the chocolate candy I’d get at Halloween as the “favorites”. This is a big reason why this mix of Mike & Ike Mummy’s Mix stood out to me. Yes it was new, but also it’s a fruity candy and that stood out to me.
So, I’m a little sad to report that the only thing that’s Halloween themed with this candy is the packaging. Once you open the box you have normal Mike & Ike’s in your hand. I’m not complaining mind you, I just don’t want my readers to expect more when there isn’t more. Right now there’s a big ad campaign regarding Mike & Ike who are splitting up right now, but maybe they’ve come back together and made peace for Halloween since both their names are proudly side by side here. This is a movie theater sized box and once you open it, it’s opened. There’s no extra plastic or foil bag in here to help contain the candy, only the box.
Lemon: Oh, how I love lemon! This flavor is only lightly tart, so it’s a good lemon flavor for those who prefer the sweeter flavors. You do get some citrus flavors, but they are very bright and are accented with the sweetness. Not as tart as I’d like, but very tasty.
Orange: The flavor is immediately really juicy and sweet. You get a nice sweet/tart notes of orange that gradually fades to just sweetness. Very tasty and great flavor.
Grape: The candy is very dark in color, it almost looks black. The taste is very authentic grape, I’m pleasantly surprised. It’s like grape jam, but more sour. I even get hints on wine in the sour bits, I’m please with how complex this tastes. Normally I’m not a big fan of grape flavored candies, but this one is really awesome.
Lime: Lime can be a flavor that’s really hit or miss. Thankfully this flavor is very good. It doesn’t taste of floor cleaner, but you do get the notes of lime zest. Like the lemon, they’re made much softer by the additional sweetness. That makes this also very friendly to people who prefer the sweeter flavors. This is much tastier than I was expecting.
Raspberry: I have to hand it to Just Born, I’m glad they went with a different flavor other than cherry for the red. The flavor is sweet and I am strongly reminded of jam. It has a rich sweetness rounded out with some tart notes and some nice floral berry flavors. It’s good, but I like the lemon, grape and orange flavors way more.
I am really pleased with this mix! I am a fan for sure. I think if you’re more of a fruity candy lover, you should certainly try these out. I can’t say that the actual candy is the most “spooky” with all the rainbow colors, but it tastes great and that’s what really matters.
Rating: Will Buy Again
Links Mike & Ike Webpage