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.
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
Links Mason Crows Webpage
I love spice beans, so I was curious to give those purposely looked over spice gumdrops of my youth a try. The Brach’s variety are lovely, coming in six different colors/flavors, but no mention as to what exactly those flavors are! The drops themselves are beautiful. They have a great tall dome shape with a even coating of granulated sugar. The quality control on these must be really tight, since I didn’t get a single “deformed” one in the whole bag, most impressive! The texture is fantastic too, a good chew that isn’t too hard or soft. It’s a little sticky, but not overly so. Literally the ideal gumdrop. The granular sugar coating is also terribly fine, it feels and melt just right on your tongue. I believe I’m falling in love!
White: A light fresh wintergreen. Lovely all around.
Green: A bright zesty peppermint! My mouth felt immediately clean.
Red: I can’t place this one. I was expecting cinnamon, but it doesn’t taste hot or spice at all. It just tastes….red.
Orange: Orange. Surprised? I was! I wasn’t expecting a fruity flavor. It’s a good juicy flavor, reminds me of the orange slices Brach’s makes.
Yellow: Spicy, more like a cinnamon/allspice combination. A little hot, but has a good woodsy herbal essence to it.
Purple: It took a few moments of chewing before the flavor came out> It’s clove, but not a “spicy” clove. Instead it’s very creamy and sweet. A pleasant and tasty surprise.
I looked up these flavors on the website afterward to find this out:
“Brach’s(R) Spice Drops are jelly candies in six different flavors and colors sanded in sugar for an enhanced flavor experience. The flavor varieties include; Orange, lemon, cherry, mint, grape and licorice. Make Spice Drops an everyday personal treat, share them in your favorite candy dish or surprise and delight in baking and decorating.”
I find it interesting how the lemon and grape flavors tasting more like spice than fruit to me. Maybe they were tainted by the other spicy flavors in the package? Who knows. Regardless if I was able to correctly identify the flavors, there were really tasty and I am definitely going to finish this bag.
Rating: Might Eat Again
Links Brach’s Spice Drops Website
I know, I know. Why am I reviewing more SweeTart candies if I’m not a fan of them? Let’s just say sometimes curiosity gets the best of me and I like to take one of the team. I noticed these by chance in one of the smaller Easter candy bins on the very bottom shelf. I was immediately drawn in by how extremely colorful they were, so into the bag they went.
I was instantly delight by them once I opened the package, for many reasons. They have a nice bouncy chew, and the sugar coating gives it a little texture that feels sandy, but not grainy. The actual form of these candies are really cute, they’re obviously bunnies and the mold for these is very pleasing. The form is recognizable without being too detailed, and the proportions are nice too. I don’t feel the bunnies are overly deformed (like gummi bears with the giant heads). The ears are the best feature. So cute! Probably one of the most adorable Easter candies I’ve encountered yet.
Pink: I can’t lay my finger on this flavor. It’s a little strawberry, a little cherry and a little watermelon. It was a little sweet, a little tart…and lot of “little"s huh? It has a nice red fruity flavor with a good sweet tarty zest to it.
Orange: Very tart orange flavor. It’s strong in the beginning, but then mellows into a light sweet flavor.
Yellow: Lemon, but very floral and soapy tasting.
Green: It tastes subtly of apple, like a nice tart cider. Mainly it’s just sweet with a tarty edge.
Blue: I expected this to taste of blue raspberry, but what a surprise to find that it tasted like a fruity Hawaiian punch! Must be the same blue punch flavor as the jelly bean from yesterday’s review. It’s got a good sour note, with flavors of apple, grape, banana and orange all mixing around. It’s lovely.
Purple: Has a very floral, grape soda like essence. The tartness and the strength of the grape flavor grows as you eat it, which I found interesting. Usually it’s the other way around. I think the tart and grape work really well together.
I liked these a lot better than the jelly bean version. The texture and cute shape certainly play a big part in that though, as opposed to the flavors winning me over. I didn’t finish the bag and ended up sharing them with friends instead.
Rating: Might Eat Again
Links Wonka Website
These Red & Blacks were a complete surprise as I’d never seen nor heard of these before. From what I understand, Marks and Spencer is a big grocery store in the UK, and the highest quality grocer, and they make their own line of products. So they have lots of candy offerings, and this is a bag of fruit candy that I hear is quite popular. I’m tickled to know that I was clueless to them before, as I love finding new things. Especially tasty ones.
One thing to mention is that these have no artificial flavorings and colorings.
The candy itself is very fragrant and smells very fruity of black currants, raspberries, blackberries and grapes. They have gelatin in the them according to the ingredients list, so they’re technically gummis. The Red & Blacks come in two colors: a dark purple and a nice raspberry red. The shapes are of raspberries that are oval with many organized raised bumps and a black currant which is round, thick and a small hatch marks to indicate the top of the berry.
The texture is awesome as it’s thick and almost more like a fruit snack fruit chew than it is a gummi. They’re much thicker, starchier and firmer. It still carries a good chew and doesn’t dissolve very quickly in the mouth. The flavor is very fruity with a light perfumed hit. The raspberry flavor is strongly fresh and juicy and it does taste mainly of raspberries with a strong sweetness and a touch of floral flavor. It’s very juicy, intense and realistic.
The black currant has a thicker texture, the chew is denser and much firmer. The flavor is incredible! It’s immediately juicy and fruity with strong grape and blackberry flavors supplement with that light hit of rose. It has a subtle twang of pine that real black currants have and the overall effect is very woodsy.
The Red & Blacks are so fun to eat and the flavor is so tempting that you want to suck on these, but you are just compelled to chew them. A hit in my book.
Rating: Will Buy Again
Organic and natural candies are getting more and more popular as the days go by. Enter one of the newest candies to fit into this niche: Zootons. They’re jelly candies that are organic, vegan and tasty too! Bold black boxes adorned with cute monsters hold these treats, along with the tag line of “Organic Candy With Out Of This World Taste”. Kind of a funny idea; extraterrestrial monsters that deliver candy that’s healthy for our planet and bodies.
To be honest, if it wasn’t for the generosity of a fellow candy friend, I wouldn’t have gotten my hands on these. Their website is still extremely vague on where you can buy them, and unless you can pick up samples on the trade show circuit, I don’t know where you can buy them. I am pretty frustrated by this, because I know there’s many of you out there searching for more friendly candy vices, and these certainly fit the bill.
Organic Gummis: They come in crescent moon shapes and use all natural colors. The flavors are described as black currant, orange, pineapple and raspberry. Despite all natural color, they are easily distinguishable. Or at least thought so, until I realized there were four flavors and three colors. Hmm
I’m fascinated with the funny texture, as it feels like dried fruit. Soft, yet hard on the outside.
Pineapple: Very light and sweet. There’s no zest or tartness at all which I find disappointing.
Raspberry: I thought this was orange at first. Very floral with generic berry notes and a bit of pear in there. It reads more fruity than raspberry to me.
Black Currant: I am assuming that this is the right flavor since it’s the darkest color. Yet, it doesn’t taste of black currant to me. It’s fruity with bits of apple, pear, and grape but it lacks that piny hit like real black currants have.
Orange(?): I didn’t get anything orange flavored in this pack. Saddness.
Organic Cola: These are star shaped and so cute! The texture is harder and denser than the gummis. The color is perfect for cola.
The flavor is a beautiful mild cola: sweet, fruity, with notes of herbs and spices. They’re refreshing in their honest simplicity.
Organic Sours These are also crescent moon shaped, but have a dusting of granulated sugar unlike the gummis. Also listing as having strawberry, lemon, orange and raspberry flavors, yet there’s only three colors in my box. I am once again confused.
Lemon: Wowza, beautifully tart and zesty. It has a nice sourness and authentic flavor.
Raspberry: Very floral and slightly tart with flavors of pear. Why don’t other companies take a hint? So much better than that nasty fake blue raspberry sour stuff.
Orange: Oh, this one is awesome. The flavor is so juicy and fresh with the tartness is just a littler stronger than a real orange.
Strawberry: Again, wow, this is really juicy and not too sour to destroy the strawberry flavor. It’s just tart enough so it fits into the mix.
Organic Jellies: Stared shaped with a sugar coating that makes a great crunchy texture. The jelly part is soft with a subtle chew.
Black Currant: Tastes more like raspberry jam than it does black currant. Again, it’s lacking those piney notes I’m used to and expect.
Strawberry: Awesome, just like strawberry jam: juicy, sweet, and full of flavor.
Lemon: Fresh, sweet, slightly zesty. My favorite of the bunch.
Pineapple: Faint flavor with an authentic essence to it. There’s a light tang, but not as much as I’d expect from a pineapple flavor. This one comes in second.
I just loved these. If only I could buy more in stores! They are worth searching out and waiting patiently for.
Rating: Will Eat Again