Today is my last review from from OldTimeCandy.com’s samples. It’s Black Cow®! I chose this candy because I had no idea what this candy was other than it was indeed a retro “classic” candy that recently made a comeback. I haven’t seen it in stores anywhere myself, so I figured it was my change to give this classic a try.
Firstly, I love the wrapper on this bar. The brown and yellow color scheme is very stylish and appealing, yet evokes an “old time” feel. It’s a flat, pliable candy, even in the wrapper. I immediately compared it to Big Hunk, Abba Zabba and the Turkish Taffy candies right away because of it. The all seem to belong to the same “family” of styles. What I find interesting about Black Cow® is that it says it’s “chocolate caramel” and not “taffy”. Sadly this bar is not real chocolate either, as there’s no cocoa butter on the ingredients list.
Opening the wrapper, the candy smells like brownie batter. We’re off to a good start! It’s chocolate colored and have a nice gloss to it. The flavor is very sweet and sure enough, I do get notes of chocolate and buttery caramel in there. I do taste the butter very strongly, and it does compliment the chocolate flavors well. The chew is dense and sticky, yet it doesn’t stick to your teeth. This really is brownie batter in taffy from wow!
Now I am sad with myself for requesting only one sample! I was floored I wasn’t expecting Black Cow® to be so good! It just goes to show you never know what a candy is like until you try it.
Links The Warrell Corporation
I found these colorful Hitschler Softi in that German deli I’ve mentioned before. They were in a basket by the checkout and they were impossibly to resist with all their bright colors and price of only 10 cents each. The wrappers come in four different colors, for four different flavors I’m guessing, and has colorful lettering and illustrated fruit friends. I bet these are really popular with kids by the looks of them.
The side of these is pretty small, they’re about as long as a normal sizes stick of gum, but only about 3/4 of the width. They’re flat and pliable and extremely light.
Surprisingly, the taffy inside each colored wrapper all looks the same. I was expecting the green to be green, blue to be blue, etc. Instead they’re all a pale yellow and all smelly lightly fruity. Ok, I can understand them not wanted to use food coloring. So let’s see how they taste.
I tried the green wrapper taffy first expecting an apple flavor and yes, it tastes fruity with a light of lemon. It has a funny plastic note to it that I can’t quite lay my finger on. The texture of the taffy it nice and chewy. It’s a tag sticky, bit it’s still pleasant to eat. Not what I was expecting though.
Confused by the green one’s flavor I try the pink wrapper taffy next and it tastes milder and less lemony. Really? Shouldn’t this be strawberry or something? The texture of this one was harder and chewier than the green too. Hmm.
The blue wrapper was next and it’s the chewiest by far, it almost resembled gum, but tasted like the green wrapper taffy one. Strange. I’m beginning to realize there’s no flavor variation here at all.
The yellow wrapper taffy had a hard texture and a mild flavor similar to the first three. Disappointed. At least it should taste more lemony than the others!
These were disappointing to say the least. They were small, looked colorful and cute, yet they lacked any flavor to really sell me as a candy. There was no variation or specific flavor to even comment on really. I guess this is what you can expect for 10 cents.
Rating: Not Worth It
As many of you might be aware of by now, I have a real soft spot in my candy loving heart for classic/retro candies. You know, the ones that often have that dated, garish packaging and are only found in limited and difficult to find areas and stores around the United States. I cannot place my finger on all the reasons why I love these candies so much, but one reason is that I am really drawn to the history of them. Another reason is I’m very curious to taste something that has survived the test of time.
Annabelle’s Candy Company is what I’d consider one of these classic/retro candy manufacturers. Located in Northern California, they’ve an impressive history and have been around making sweets since the 1950s. They have a solid lineup of sweet treats and I admit they they make some of my favorites.
Living on the East Coast makes it hard for me to find Annabelle’s candy in stores, but when I do I am certain to stock up. I was excited to find this Abba-Zaba Sour Apple in a remote gas station and snatched it up as if my life depended on it. Especially since it was alone on a shelf, not even sitting in a box. It needed a home.
I’ve had regular Abba-Zabas before, which are basically a sweet taffy with a peanut butter center, and I liked them despite being a plainer sibling to my favorite the Big Hunk. This was a sour apple version though, and I wasn’t sure what to expect from it. The idea of the flavored taffy with the peanut butter sounded interesting.
First thing I was surprised to find the taffy a bright, bright green. I expected sour apple flavor, yes, but sour apple color? No, so this was a surprise. It smelled salty and lightly of peanut butter. The texture of the taffy is hard and it’s crunchy in the parts on the ends that are thin enough to dry out. Once warmed in the mouth and worked with the teeth, it softens and has a lovely chew.
The flavor is spot on with a standard sour apple flavor. It’s not as powerful as the Jolly Rancher thankfully, but it has it’s moments of sour and sweet both mixing together wonderfully and playfully transitioning between the two. Even thought I’m not much of a sour person, this had a mildness to it where I didn’t feel it crossed the line.
In fact, I’d call it tart as opposed to sour as it felt more natural like the sweet sourness that real apples have. The peanut butter is what you’d expect: creamy, sweet-salty and nutty. I was reminded of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches at certain moments.
So yes, Abba-Zaba Sour Apple is a quite tasty and very satisfying dense and chewy taffy. Though I had a hard time biting off chunks to chew, it was still entertaining to eat. It especially made things interesting when trying to type my tasting notes during consumption; one hand recording the data and the other busy supplying my sugar addiction for the day.
Rating: Might Eat Again
Annabelle’s Candy Co. Website
I honestly can’t remember when I first had Bit-O-Honey. Or where I first saw of them or where I first heard of them. It was as if “Bam!” one day I saw them and due to the “unfamiliarity default”, I bought them to try. I believe part of the reason I finally noticed them was the fact that I’d recently discovered one of my favorite bars, Big Hunk, and Bit-O-Honey seemed like it’d be something similar.
Bit-O-Honey is described as a honey flavored taffy with bits of almonds blended in. From what I’ve seen, you can either find them in bar form or in bite sized pieces like I have shown here. I prefer getting the bag simply because it allows me to get more of a good thing. But in the end, it’s the flavor that matters and not how it’s packaged. Bit-O-Honey has quite a bit of history behind it as well, as it first hit shelves in 1924 and was eventually acquired by Nestle in the 1980s. It looks like Nestle was eager to include this enduring classic into its repertoire.
Smells sweet and lightly of nuts. The texture is sooooo nice. It’s dense and firm, yet is easily bitten into. The chew takes some working in the mouth but it never is a threat to your teeth and/or fillings. I’d like to think of it as a Starburst on steriods. And the flavor? Sweet, creamy with a smooth flavor of honey and almonds. It’s not intense like the flavor of marzipan, it’s much milder and reminds me more of a nougat in a Zero bar. Just enough flavor to compliment the sweetness and texture. I don’t really feel the almonds in the texture of the bar, but I prefer it that way. I hate getting nuts caught in my teeth.
I love these. They may not push Big Hunk from my favorite nougat/taffy bar, but they come in a close second. I’ll have have room for these in my stash.
Rating: Will Buy Again
Bit-O-Honey on Nestle’s Website
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