“Chocolate Covered”, “The Original” chirps the words on the package. How can anyone challenge, much less say no, to that? I’m inexperienced to the whole jelly ring candy world, and these are no exception. I’d always see these, or variations on them, with the other Jewish and Kosher Parve candy and sort of feel intimidated for reasons I can’t explain. Curiosity finally got to me and decided it was time to give them a try.
The ingredients list is promising. These rings are using real chocolate, so that’s a plus. There’s also agar-agar as well as raspberry flavoring listed, so at least now I know what to expect when I taste these. The package contains three rings all about the size of an Oreo cookie. They do smell chocolatey, but there’s also a very strange artificial raspberry scent to them too. The tops are lightly rippled from the enrobing and are very cute to look at.
First bite was nice except for the flavor. Kinda gross. Lets start with the texture then, shall we? Well, the jelly is firm but not chewy. The chocolate clings to it well as I didn’t get any flaking. The chew has a little give to it but it’s otherwise soft and quite pleasant. Ok, now for the bad part. The flavor is overwhelming of the gross, perfumey, fake raspberry flavor. Only in the aftertaste does it become the slightest bit authentic. I’m sad to say I hardly taste the chocolate.
It’s an “ew ew ew ew *swallow* oh, that wasn’t so bad…” sort of eating experience until your brain remembers the bad part and you’re left feeling disgusted. I didn’t finish the other two rings. Haha.
My sister one the one that recommended that I try these, as she’s a big fan of them herself. SweetTarts are something I only ate at Halloween, as they are pretty standard trick-or-treating fare. They were something that never struck me as anything special, and I’d always go for chocolate when given an option. I saw this bag of the chewy mini version and liked the idea of it. If I’m going to try something, why not go for the kind that seems more like fun?
The SweetTart minis are indeed small, about the size of pencil eraser heads. The colors are much more muted than I expected: very washed out and lightly flecked with white. There’s five flavors in the assortment: grape, apple, cherry, orange and lemon. Pretty standard flavors as you can see. Nothing off the wall or wacky here, which I strange for a Wonka product.
The chewy texture is odd, as they’re a little crunchy and a little chewy. Neither texture is substantial enough for me to feel like describing them as such though . Perhaps they are chewy in regard to the original candy, so it’s all really relative I think. You feel a hard crunch when you first bite down on the hard outer panned shell. The inside feels grainy and a little fluffy. The mini is chewy for maybe 5-15 chomps, but then it just dissolves into sugar bits after that. It is fun to play with them in your mouth though, so I give them points for that.
Grape: Nice grape flavor, not unlike grape soda. At first it tastes muted and then it’s overtaken by the “tart” part.
Cherry: Has a very medicinal flavor at first, then the tartness comes in and it becomes more fruity and authentic. Cherry lovers won’t be disappointed.
Orange: Very bright, sweet and a little reminiscent of Tang. Not as zesty as I was expecting.
Lemon: Hardly any flavor to this, which I find so disappointing! I kept waiting for some nice sour lemon flavors to come forward, but nothing. I don’t even get a tart with this one. It’s just mild and sweet. Too sweet for lemon.
Apple: Very juicy and floral. It’s really one of the best green apple flavors I’ve had to date. The tart was complimentary and it’s very nice.
The flavors of the chewy SweetTart minis were impressive even though the texture wasn’t. I suppose I should just stick to the original next time, right?
Rating:Might Eat Again
I know what you’re thinking: what am I doing reviewing Jolly Rancher Chews when I don’t even like the regular Jolly Ranchers? Well, didn’t I say I’d try anything once? I admit, I was curious to see how the authentic Jolly Rancher flavors translated into a chew. I’m not big on hard candies to begin with, so perhaps the different texture is enough to make me change my mind about the flavors. Only one way to find out!
Immediately out of the box they remind me of Starburst, but with subtle differences. The chews are rectangular as opposed to square and they’re also extremely colorful. They must pump a lot of food coloring into these babies. Popping one into my mouth and I can feel a difference right away. The chew is not as long as satisfying as I’d like. Still, they hold their own nicely and are a great option when you want something chewy with those familiar tart flavors.
Green: Green Apple. I expected this to be terribly fake tasting, but it didn’t end up being so. Yes, since it is Jolly Rancher, it still manages to taste fake to me. But here a majority of it comes off as very authentic. There’s a nice tartness to it that tastes of a fresh granny smith. It still really gets the saliva going.
Pink: Watermelon. The flavor is not as artificial as the actual hard candy. It’s much lighter with fresher notes of melon. It still has that strange zestiness to it though.
Red Cherry, yet it doesn’t taste of cherry. It’s very tart, sort of woodsy with deep flavors that strike me more like plums. It’s more of a tart generic “red” flavor. It has a bitter finish reminiscent of medicine.
Blue: Blue Raspberry. Wow, this tastes very fake, even more than the original candy. It’s very fruity, floral with a bubble gum essence to it. Maybe that’s where the fake intense sweetness comes from? I also taste a little melon in there too. Odd how it’s overall effect is blue raspberry. Very strange.
I was hoping that these chews would change my mind about Jolly Ranchers, but they didn’t. I think I have learned my lesson and will move on to better things.
Rating: Not Worth It
Jolly Rancher Chews Website