As a fan of licorice, but not a fan of Twizzlers, there can be a drought of red licorice options when the craving hits me. That’s why I was so excited to learn of Red Vines, a traditional licorice confection that’s mainly found on the West coast. Which is probably why it took me so long to learn of it.
It took some looking, but I finally found some Red Vines to try. I located the Sugar Free Strawberry vines in Target. Usually I am weary of sugar free stuff because some of the side effects they can deliver and of course the odd aftertaste associated with them. They’re a wonderful thing if you can’t have the real stuff, but since I can, I don’t see much point in eating them. Regardless, I was so eager to get my first taste of Red Vines, I decided to get them. Sugar free or not.
That being said, I was pleased with the flavor of these. It is a standard “red flavor” licorice flavor but with more strawberryness to it. It’s a tad sweeter and the berry flavor shows in the aftertaste. It has a nice texture to it; not too sticky so it’s lodging itself in my molars but still giving a good chew. If you let these sit out for a few days they do get harder and I find the flavor fades some. The texture also becomes firmer and a little more rubbery. Still tasty, it really just depends on your licorice mood. The twists themselves are a gorgeous red color and are just delightful to look at.
Fun fact, Red Vines are the number one non chocolate confection in the West, according to their website. Pretty cool! I am hoping they get wider distribution out East here so I can try the rest of their line.
Rating: Will Eat Again
Red Vines Website
My sister discovered this bar during her freshman year of college and kept begging me to try one for the longest time. I finally did and though this was a few years ago, I still remember being impressed by the texture and flavor of the honeycomb center. I think it was my first experience with the stuff.
I was really interested to see how this compared to the Cadbury Crunchie I had earlier. The bar was already cracked when I opened it, so I immediately took a look at the cross section. There’s no burnt sugar stripe in the center like in the Crunchie, which is a defining feature in my opinion. The texture is lighter and crispier and doesn’t have the foamy melt in the mouth.
As for the flavor, it’s sweet and has a really good burnt sugar caramel flavor that’s reminiscent of how a perfectly toasted marshmallow tastes on a graham cracker. There’s also a subtle smokiness to it (perhaps why I’m thinking marshmallow) that’s very addicting. The coating is unfortunately mockolate, and therefore it doesn’t add any chocolate flavor but instead more sweetness. The mockolate also provides a cool, smooth texture contrast to the crunchy center.
Half way through the bar I started to get the sugar throat burn, which is unusual for me. The sweetness started to take precedence on my taste buds. Still, that smokiness followed through in the aftertaste and kept me interested enough that I finished the bar.
If I had to choose which honeycomb bar to eat next time, I’d rather have choose a Crunchie.
Rating: Might Eat Again
Violet Crumble Wikipedia Page
When I heard back in May that Starburst was coming out with a line of liquid filled gummies, I was pretty darn excited. I love, love, love Starbursts and always have. So the idea of the same flavors in a different textural format really piqued my candy interest. I finally acquired them in a care package from Cybele and was so giddy to finally try them.
Immediately Gushers come to mind, and all the childhood drama with it. As any kid knows, Gushers are the Porche of fruit snacks at school. My mom would never buy them so I was eternally doomed to un-coolness amongst my peers. Maybe my mom was onto something never buying them becasue they are candy, and Starbust seems to have picked up on that.
They come in four flavors: strawberry, cherry, orange and lemon. As I kid I would have loved these even more since there was no grape or “green” flavor. I always loved yellow and happily took the rejects that my friends had. The strawberry one was hard to spot at first, since it’s not pink, but a red-orange as opposed to red or orange. They’re nickel sized and quite plump, about 1/4 inch tall with the curly starburst “S” on it.
The texture is on the firmer side with a good chew, like Swedish Fish. The center is indeed liquid and had a syrupy feel to it. I wouldn’t say it was a “burst” though, but it was a nice contrast to the firm gummi casing.
Cherry: Tastes just like the cherry Starburst: very furity, a little floral with tart notes to it.
Orange: This is loyal to the original flavor. A strong juiciness with tart, authentic citrus qualities.
Strawberry: This one also tasted just like the Starburst chew to me. It was a little on the tart side but it did have a good “strawberryness” to it.
Lemon: Oh, so good! Has those great fresh zesty notes of the original starburst candies. A little sweet, mostly sour and all lemon. My favorite of the bunch.
I was slightly disappointed with these, only because the flavors weren’t 100% loyal to the chews and the texture wasn’t as “gushy” as I’d hoped. Still, these would do if I needed a break from the Starburst chew routine. I haven’t tired of them yet though.
Rating: Might Eat Again
This candy is totally new to me. Until I saw it just before buying it, I hadn’t any idea such a thing existed. That was the novelty, the new candy terrain to be discovered. It also sounded pretty promising, as I’m a fan of its cousin the NERDS Rope. Surely this would be an interesting twist on that. Or at least that’s my hope.
Each rope is about five inches long and looks like red licorice with a blue green goo on the inside. It smells very sour and well, tart. Like a red licorice injected with some sass. I could see this really appealing to kids.
The texture is awesome. You get the nice chew of red licorice and the smoothness of the inside, which is just slick and not slimy. It reminded me of frosting and it has a little bit of graininess to it like chunks of sugar that missed getting mixed in. The licorice is more rubbery and isn’t sticky.
The flavor starts out nice as a good fruity red licorice-like chew, then the goo comes in with a sour berry like flavor. It all goes wrong from there. An intense flavor of soap comes through and just washes all the candy flavors out. Seriously, this aftertaste of fake, perfumey, waxy soap just kills this whole thing, it’s really nasty. I couldn’t finsih my first log because I felt like I had bitten into the bar that was sitting in my shower.
So nasty ICK.
As Halloween draws near (horray!) I’m subtly reminded of all the random candy I’d get trick-or-treating that I normally don’t buy for myself. Walking down the aisles in my local grocery stores and seeing the bags upon bags of candy, I see favorites that I haven’t had in a long time. The Tootsie Fruit Rolls are one of these favorites.
I recall fishing these out of my Halloween swag and setting them aside along with my other “don’t trade with the sibling” candy. These usually came with the other “loose” candy, such as Mary Janes, SweetTarts, Hershey’s Kisses, Candy Corn and regular Tootsie Rolls. I was always happy to trade my SweetTarts to my sister in return for these and I also never had a flavor preference either. All of them were delicious to me.
Since I’m too old for trick-or-treating (sob), I picked up a bag to review for the blog. That’s my excuse and I’m standing by it.
Vanilla (blue): This is very mild and sweet with a good vanilla flavor. Aside from the good chewiness factor of the tootsie base, this remnds me of nice fresh vanilla marshmallows.
Lemon (yellow): I love the sunny yellow color. The flavor is like lemon meringue pie, or cake, or some sort of lemon dessert. It’s zesty and sour with a strong lemon essence. The Tootsie part delivers a creamy sweetness, with almost a hint of coconut, and it’s just so tasty. It really got my saliva glands going.
Lime (green): Really nice lime flavor, which is hard to pull off without tasting like a cleaning product. The taste has a nice kick to it and the Tootise base adds a good subtle sweetness.
Cherry (pink): A pretty salmon pink color. The flavor is reminiscent of the cherry Tootsie Pop. It’s extremely fruity with a good juciness and those bright, sweet-sour cherry notes. It’s not medicinal at all, but does have a little bitterness towards the end.
Orange (orange): This has a nice flavor, but it’s not as intense as I was expecting. The actual orange flavor is mild, and the zest it the main feature. It’s juicy and really gets the mouth saliva going.
What can I say, I really enjoy these. Maybe not enough to pick them up any other time of year, but come October they satisfy my cravings for sweet nostalgia.
Rating:Will Eat Again