June 2016
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Zachary Candy Corn Bag

Candy Corn is a Halloween candy that everyone seems to have a very strong opinion about. You either love it or hate it, and often are loyal to a specific band. Speaking personally, I love candy corn, and Brach’s is the kind I grew up with. I’ve tried other varieties, but Brach’s are always what I return to as my favorite. I figured it was time to give perspective on another very popular brand, Zachary.

I was lucky enough to find a bag of Zachery Candy Corn to review. Immediately I see differences between the candy corn kernels that Zachary makes from the Brach’s ones. The colors of the Zachary corn is much paler, the kernels are flatter and wider. I pour some out into a bowl to get a better look, and I’m surprised to find that many kernels are misshapen and broken. The white tips of the kernels have a high tendency of breaking off, so the bag had a lot of loose white tips floating around.


Zachary Candy Corn

The flavor of the candy corn is nice. I was surprised because I compared the ingredients list to Brach’s candy corn, and there were many differences as well as similarities. What caught my eye the most was how much lower Honey was on the Zachary Candy Corn’s list than Brachs’. I really expected a more dramatic different in the flavor because of this. The flavor starts of sweet, very sweet, with a slight note of marshmallow. The flavor then mellows with a slight hint or honey and vanilla, and ends with a strong sweetness and a heavy throat burn from the sugar. It tastes like typical candy corn, but with a slightly less honey notes than the Brach’s variety.

I liked this candy corn more than I expected. It’s a tasty variety, but I miss the slight complexity of flavor, bright colors and sturdy structure of the Brach’s candy corn. So if you’re a Zachery fan, I can understand your preferences. Candy Corn is a strange candy, and our preferences reflect that.

Rating: Will Eat Again


Will Eat Again

Links Zachary Candy Corn Webpage


Switzers Chewy Licorice Bites Bag

These Switzer’s Chewy Licorice Bites with my other find along with the Switzer’s Cherry Twists that I reviewed earlier this week. I admit that I had higher hopes for these, as I’m must more of a black licorice person than a red one. So I was excited and curious to see how I’d like them. Would they prove me wrong that these American licorice chews were not all flavorless and unremarkable? Only one way to find out…

The bites are really little nubbins of licorice. They’re nicely black and have a pretty sheen to them. They do have some holes in them, but you can tell that some sealed off when the bits were cut in the production line. They pattern reminds me of lotus root.


Switzers Chewy Licorice Bites

The flavor is a little bitter at first, then grows into a lovely anise/licorice flavor. It’s very herbal and lightly sweet, and the chew is very plasticity. It falls apart easily into chunks as I chew and gradually softens before dissolving away.

Overall, I’m sad to say I’m not very impressed. The flavor a nice, yet still too mild for my tastes. The texture was also not as chewy as I hoped, and the strange slickness of it felt like it was robbing me of some of the flavor. So the style of these aren’t my thing, but like the Cherry Twists from last week, if you’re a fan of this style of candy, you might have a new favorite of these!

Rating: Not Worth It


Not Worth It

Links Switzer’s Website


Switzers Chewy Cherry Twists Bag

I found these Switzer’s Chewy Cherry Twists on a trip to Cracker Barrel. I went there specifically to candy hunt, as it’s been years since I’d gone to one, and I had completely forgotten they have a “country store” attached to the restaurant. They had lots of classic candies I am familiar with, like GooGoo Clusters, Skybars and MoonPies (although not a candy in my book, yes I see them often grouped as such). But when I laid my eyes on these Switzers Twists, I stopped dead in my tracks. As long as I’ve been doing these candy reviews (going on 5 years now) it’s uncommon I find something that I hadn’t seen before, much less never heard of. These Switzers Twists were news to me, and therefore I scooped some up faster than you could blink.

Looking at the website to find more about these Twists I found they make other flavors too (the Lemonade ones look interesting). I nabbed the only two varieties I saw at the store, the Cherry and the Licorice. Taking the cherry ones out of the bag, I got a nice aroma of sweetness and a vague fruity smell. The pieces are gorgeous to look at and play with. They have a soft feel and are extremely glossy and smooth, with those sweeping ridges that curl their way up the pieces.


Switzers Chewy Cherry Twists

The flavor is elusive at first, you really have to start chewing in order for it to show up. It’s sweet with a light cherry “red” flavor that isn’t too strong. It has some metallic notes to it, and it gets stronger as you chew. The texture is very chewy, much more so than a Twizzler. I think it’s a nice texture, as it doesn’t dissolve too quickly nor does it tire my jaw.

I liked these better than Twizzlers, as I felt they were a tad more flavorful and the texture was much nicer. But they’re still not my thing. If you’re into this type of candy, I’d say they’re worth a try.

Rating: Not Worth It


Not Worth It

Links Switzer’s Website


Tootsie Mason Crows Package

Mason Crows are a classic/retro candy which, unlike most of genre, are actually pretty easy to find. You’d think I’d had tried them sooner because of this. Especially since I love black licorice. Sadly, you’re mistaken. I don’t know what took me so long to finally try these. They’ve been on my “to buy” list for such a long time, and I blame the fact that I mainly saw them in the large movie boxes in the 3-$3 bin in Walgreens. I didn’t have anything else I’d want to buy in the bunch though. I finally took the opportunity when the new Mike & Ike Alex’s Lemonade Stand mix appeared in the bunch.

Crows have quite the history. They’ve been around since the late 19th century and were originally called “Black Rose”. A typo at the manufacturers change the name to “Crows” and has remained that way ever since. They appear black at first, but upon closer examination and the right lighting, they’re actually a very dark green. These licorice gumdrops are very similar to Dots, dome shaped and squishy.


Tootsie Mason Crows

Since Crows look so much like Dots, I was expecting them to be the same texture: so hard and chewy that I’d be picking them out of my teeth for the next couple of day (yes, I exaggerate…a little). So imagine my surprise when I bit into one and having it be terribly soft and supple. I must have gotten a really fresh box and lucked out. Chewing them is so luxurious: they deliver and chew that’s substantial yet so silky smooth. It’s heavenly. The flavor is sweet of molasses at first, then a subtle licorice and anise flavors comes through. But it’s never strong, as it’s a mild flavor and it’s really wonderful. The aftertaste is nice and herbal, like good licorice should be.

I honestly didn’t expect these to be so good. The theater sized box I had went really fast and I expect to be stocking up on them again really really soon.

Rating: Will Buy Again


Will Buy Again

Links Mason Crows Webpage


Mercado Chocolate Loco

Happy Cinco De Mayo!

I have to admit that Mexican candy isn’t something I’m terribly familiar with, so I’ve always been very curious about them. I was given the opportunity to try some back last July when I went to Mercado Chocolate Loco with Cybele at Universal City Walk in Los Angeles. Inside the store was filled to the brim with candy and souvenirs, a majority of them from Mexico. There were large barrels filled with loose pieces that I paws through, looking for as many different kinds to try. I found many standard varieties: tamarind hard candy, chili powder, sour watermelon candy, and dulce de la lech lollipops just to name a few.

What ended up being the treasure of my time in the Mercado was what was sitting in a beautiful glass display case in the back of the store. In there was the real authentic stuff. Blocks of solid dulce de la leche, balls of tamarind pulp, candied root vegetables and citrus fruits. I wish I could remember everything in the display, but it’s sadly been so long. I do remember being quite transfixed with all the options and just stood there drooling at all the delicious possibilities.

I ended up limiting myself to four pieces:


Tamarind & Dulce de la leche

Ducle De La Leche: It came in a rectangular log, with a nice light creamy brown color. The flavor is very rich ad sweet: notes of caramel, cream and sugar and a yogurty tang. The texture is so smooth, dense and rich with no hint of grain at all. I’m reminded of a really good penuche fudge.

Tamarind Ball: Just a ball of tamarind paste with granulated sugar. At a quick glance, it looks like a large doughnut ball. The texture is moist, dense and chewy with a grain from the sugar. It’s like eating cookie dough that isn’t finished yet. The flavor is awesome: it tastes of tart raisins and develops this steady sourness that I can only relate to Sour Patch Kids. It’s a sharp sourness, but it’s not to strong so it’s easily handled, and has notes of lemons and tart cherries. It’s lovely, I really like it.


Candied Sweet Potato & Pumpkin

Sweet Potato: Texture is soft with bits of crunch on the edges where the sugar has crystallized. It tastes of Thanksgiving: sweet potato with that roasted starchy flavor with a lot of sweetness to it.

Candied Pumpkin: Yellower in color than the sweet potato. I looked forward to this one the most as I am a pumpkin fiend! The texture of this is much softer and more wet, and has the same crunchy sugar edges which are a little harder. The flavor doesn’t remind me of pumpkin at all, but more of dried papaya with strong fruity notes and slight juiciness.

I was impressed. It just goes to show that unusual and simple are a tasty combination. I only wish I had a place around me here in New Jersey where I could continue to sample more Mexican confectionery. If you are just as interested as I am, I recommend reading this post on Mexican candy from Malena at the Candy From Strangers blog. Drool!

Rating: Will Buy Again


Will Buy Again


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