I’ve been paying much more attention to companies and their products since becoming an active candy reviewer a few years ago. It’s amazing to me how some brands and products really stand out and other fade into the candy shadows. One of the companies that have really stood out to me is Albanese Confectionery and their line of gummi candies.
I first tasted their products with their popular 12 flavor gummi bears. I was impressed with them to say the least, and that says something since I’m not a big fan of gummi bears to begin with (unless we’re taking the cartoon show). I usually find them too rubbery and tasteless, but these proved me wrong.
So naturally I was excited to find some of Albanese’s other gummi candy. So here you have it, their Gummi Army Guys. Is this a cool idea or what? To start they’re just awesome to look at. The molds are great; really well done and the size is good too. I want to stick them to a window and re-create a war scene.
Firstly, the texture is awesome. The army guys are firm, chewy, yet not too hard so my jaw gets sore. The chew is terribly ideal and exactly what I look for in gummi candy.
The flavor is fruity and is very apple like. I’m immediately reminded of fresh apple cider. I’m really pleased with it as it’s not overly done and is really fresh and tasty.
These are too fun for words and I wish I had a younger brother to share there with, as I can see boys really appreciating the shape and flavor (not to say a little girl wouldn’t, mind you!). My boyfriend will have to suffice.
Rating: Will Buy Again
Albanese Confectionery Website
I’ve been a reader of Nina’s blog ofSweet Napa for a long time, as it’s always fun to see what other sweet-tooth driven individuals are up to. I’ve known of her BonBon Bars for some time, but haven’t had the motivation to try them.
During a trip to Los Angeles this past summer I visited Nina, with the sweet company of Cybele, at the Century City farmers market where I was finally able to taste her offerings. Let’s just say they were everything I heard about and then some. I bought a few to take home with me, only to have them mangled on the trip home and therefore unworthy to review. When I saw there was a limited edition Pumpkin Pie flavor released for a few months this fall, I knew I had to put an order in. So I am very excited to review these bars for you, my readers.
Malt Bar: “Creamy Malt Ganache & Crunchy Shortbread” I got one of each the dark and milk chocolate variety. The flavors and textures in the compliment each other beautifully. The shortbread is crunchy and extremely buttery. The ganache is smooth and has an incredible richness to it. The flavor is very sophisticated, as none of the elements are overpowering. The flavor is very chocolatey, lightly malty, buttery…..essentially a little bit of heaven. These were gone in a flash.
As far as the milk/dark chocolate difference, the milk tastes much less chocolately than the dark and isn’t any sweeter. So it really depends on which you prefer.
Orange Bar: “Orange Caramel & Pecan Nougat topped with Candied Orange Peel” The flavor is sweet, but like the Malt bar, it’s not too much. The orange flavor in the thick, chewy caramel dominates and it’s really a bright, fresh, authentic flavor. You don’t really taste the nougat as it just delivers a nice fluffy texture. The pecans I hardly really notice; I get a piece every now and then which are fresh and flavorful. The best part of this bar is biting a section with the candied orange that’s placed on top. It elevated the whole orange flavor and really adds a great extra chewy texture to the whole bar.
Pumpkin Pie Bar: “Warm with spices and rich with chocolate, our limited edition Pumpkin Pie Bar evokes the spirit of the holiday season. We place a Spiced Pumpkin Caramel atop a Graham Cracker Crust, and enrobe it with Dark Chocolate” Oh, this bar is yummy! Too bad it’s a limited edition too, I wish I could get these all year. The star of this bar is the graham cracker crust on the bottom. It adds a wonderful crunch and a flavorful base for the squash and spice flavors to build upon. The jist of the taste is definitely fall with it’s very warm effect of the flavor. I would have liked a stronger presence of the pumpkin, but that’s most likely just me, as I’m obsessed with squashes of all types. I bought three of these bars and they were the first to go. Everyone I shared them with agreed that they were out of this world.
These bars are lovely and I could continue to gush about them, but it’s best to keep things succinct. They run at $5 a bar, which is a fair price in my mind considering how fresh and flavorful they are. They’d be an awesome gift, whether it’s for yourself or for a special someone. BonBon bars are indeed a wonderful gourmet treat, and one I plan to get my hands on again very soon.
BonBon Bar Webpage
I’m sure many of you have never heard of Boyer’s Smoothie, as it’s the ignored sibling to the ever popular Mallo Cup. The Smoothie was a creation that Boyer Candy Company made back in the day to ride the popularity of the Mallo Cup. It’s a unique candy, as it’s made of a smooth peanut butter center covered with butterscotch coating.
I was lucky to find a package of Smoothies in a random gas station in Upstate New York on my way to visit my parents. The package is so very dated in it’s design with almost garish colors and bland font. For some reason I find it terribly appealing, because it reminds me of a time when the flavor of a candy was it’s selling point. Not the package design and marketing campaigns.
Opening the package reveals the two cups, same format as Mallo Cup. They’re yellowish brown in color and I’m reminded of those horrid Reeses’ Inside Out Peanut Butter Cups that came out a few years ago. The Smoothie also comes with those cute cardboard money cards you can collect and save up for prizes. I’m still saving mine up.
The butterscotch is very sweet with that strong buttery flavor. The texture a little greasy and therefore slick on the tongue. Like the Mallo Cup it has a bit of texture, but instead of bits of coconut there’s small chopped chunks of peanuts layered in the coating on the top. If I had to liken the taste to something else, I’d say that these tasted like Reese’s Pieces if they were in cup form. I was disappointed with the flavor a little as it’s hard to taste where the butterscotch flavor ends and the peanut butter flavor begins, and vise versa. Last time I ate one of each they tasted very different, so I was of let down by this. Texture was the only tell tale sign I was eating one or the other.
Despite the faults I find with Smoothie, I still liked it. I can’t really explain it, but something about it appeals to me. It’s not something I’d eat regularly, though.
Rating: Will Buy Again
Boyer Candy Company Website
I’ve noticed Mallo Cups for a long time, but never picked them up until a little over a year ago. They always read “retro” candy to me, with the very bold and classic packaging design with the intense red lettering and yellow background. The fact that they always seemed to be placed next to the classic Sky Bar certainly didn’t help my impression either. Eventually curiosity got the best of me, and I am so glad it did.
Opening the package revealed several surprised. First, was the scent of coconut! I was under the impression that these were only marshmallow, but a careful inspection of the ingredients list shows coconut. Yum! Second, the cups were so cute, about the size of a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup. They even comes in similar little fluted wax paper cups! They’re nestled in a nice cardboard tray for protection, which is a nice effort on Boyer’s behalf. Last but not least is the cardboard play money that’s included in each package. I got a 5 point card piece. These are meant to be saved and redeemed for freebies on the Boyer website. A nice nod to a time when every company seemed to participate in these sorts of things.
The cups are nice to look at and area little uneven on the surface from the toasted coconut that sits atop the marshmallow interior. The aroma is lightly chocolatey with a hint of coconut.
The first bite you immediately feel the gooey marshmallow and I find myself carefully pulling my mouth away so I don’t make a mess. I didn’t of course, but that’s the sensation I felt. The marshmallow is fresh and soft, but thankfully not enough so that more of it ends up on your lap than in your mouth. The flavor is lovely: a good chocolately hit from the shell the a cool, smooth fluffy vanilla flavor from the soft marshmallow that’s mixed with the toasted coconut flavor from the coconut shavings. The coconut also adds a great textural contrast to the whole cup: soft marshmallow, smooth chocolate and slightly chewy coconut shavings.
Could this get any yummier? I don’t think so. I’m officially addicted.
Boyer Candies Website
It’s always so sad during the first few days past Halloween. The anticipation is gone, the costumes are gone, that wonderful haunted feeling….gone. The candy isn’t though, thankfully! In fact, the post Halloween candy sales are almost as exciting as the holiday itself. Ok, maybe I exaggerate a bit…
I found this unusual candy at Walgreens on sale. Seeing the ominous size of the package, I can see why. It’s huge! What drew me into this specific candy as opposed to all the other offerings was, well, come on, look at it! It’s a bona fide candy spin off! A candy of a candy! That’s something you don’t see everyday.
Inside this monster of a bag, there’s individual packets of the gummi corn. The amount in each varied greatly, so I don’t know how much quality control paid attention to these. The kernels themselves are very attractive. They’re the size of real candy corn but the colors are brighter and more ghoulish. The texture is firm when you handle, they’re not limp and squishy like most gummis on the market. In the mouth, the chew is firm, more like those “fruit snacks” than gummis.
Scary Cherry (pink and red): Very artificial and bitter. SOmething about it reminds of of Valentine’s Day “red” flavors. It’s berry like, but nondescript.
Ghostly Grape Punch (purple ad blue): This taste like a milder version of Welch’s grape jelly. Pretty tasty, especially considering I’m not a big fan of grape flavors.
Phantom Pineapple Orange (yellow and orange): I get light notes of both the pineapple and orange. It’s sweet and a little zesty, like both fruits. It reminds me of a fruity popsicle.
Bizarre Berry Kiwi (pink and green): I taste melon, a vague kiwi essence with a strawberry sweetness to it.
I have to give it to Brach’s, they made a tasty treat here and I’m happy I caught it before it disappeared until next year. But, like all spin offs, it doesn’t measure up to the original.
Rating: Will Eat Again