Just Born makes a lot of fun Easter candy, most notably the Marshmallow Peeps. They’re also the sweet masterminds behinds many jelly beans that I find around, like the Hot Tamale Spice Beans and ones that are sold as is, like the kind I am reviewing today.
I find that even though these beans aren’t associated with a specific brand, Just Born still makes the packaging appealing and festive. The rabbit tossing back a few beans in utter delight is a nice illustration and touch.
These jelly beans are lovely to look at. They’re the same size as the Hot Tamale beans: about the size of chubby peanuts. They have a beautiful sheen and the overall color scheme of the assortment is beautiful, festive and eye catching.
The texture is nice and chewy, and only slightly sticky. The beans last a good length of time in the mouth too, so they don’t dissolve too quickly, which is something I really appreciate.
Green Apple: Immediately tart with bright zesty notes and a rush of fruity flavor. It reads more like lime than apple to me. Very strange.
Cherry: Sweet, fruity and bitterly metallic. It tastes like a cough drop to me.
Pineapple: I’ve looked forward to this one so much! The flavor is very intense with sweet, juicy authentic flavors with that hint of pine.
Lemon: The flavor smacks you right away with a fresh lemon flavor. However, it lacks that zestiness I love in lemons. Instead it’s mild and sweet.
Orange: Like the lemon, this also lacks that zest I love in citrus fruits. It’s a smooth flavor with a mild presence.
Grape: This is very juicy, fake and metallic. It’s also strikingly sour.
Strawberry (pink): Very bright, fruity, and lightly perfumey. It reads as a delicate strawberry flavor, yet it wasn’t as jammy as I hoped.
Licorice (black): I love licorice beans and this one is no exception. It’ sweet with strong herbal and molasses notes to it.
What can I say, as odd as this mix may come off to some, it’s just perfect for me. It contains most of my favorite flavors and the texture is just spot on. This just might become my favorite Easter jelly bean mix.
Rating: Will Buy Again
Links Just Born Website
A Gobstopper brings a few things to mind for me. Firstly, I think of the Everlasting Gobstoppers that Roald Dahl, one of my favorite childhood authors, wrote about in his book Charlie ad the Chocolate Factory. Secondly, I think of the candy, which are now made by Wonka (owned by Nestle) and are another name for jawbreakers. Jawbreakers are a hard candy consisting of many layers, some of which can be different colors and flavors, and are sucked on until they are completely dissolved (which is quite a task, especially if you have a large one).
I found these Gobstopper Egg Breakers in time for the holiday and couldn’t help but give them a try. I’m unsure how faithful these are to the regular Gobstoppers as I haven’t had them in years. These are unique not only in packaging, but the actual candy is egg shaped. They’re very pretty as the shape is very fitting for jawbreakers. Inside the main package, these Egg Breakers are in individual packets of six eggs each. Great idea for stuffing into baskets and use for hiding. I like how these are appropriate for form and function (hiding and eating!).
In terms of eating technique, I find after about two or three layers (depending on how impatient I am) I like to crunch these, and found that the hard outsides were relatively thin (after sucking on them for a bit of course) and inside there’s a slightly tart grainy center that quickly dissolves on the tongue. Are normal Gobstoppers like this? It seems further research on my part is needed, and I’ll soon oblige.
Blue: The top blue flavor is horribly perfumey. It tastes of artificial lavender and other strong floral flavors. The second layer was lime. Then I couldn’t help but crunch and got the grainy tart center.
Pink: Tastes fruity, but not of anything specific. The second layer was lemon.
Purple: A nice tart grape. The second flavor I drew a total blank on…it was fruity….sorda. I took it out of my mouth to see that it was a blue color. Hmm, not helpful.
Yellow: A delicious sweet/tart lemon. I crunched down on this one before I got to the second flavor. Oops.
I liked these, but I never found myself drawn to jawbreakers much. Thankfully my sister really enjoys these and will find the remainder of my package in her Easter Basket.
Rating: Will Eat Again
Links Wonka Webpage
One of the many candies unique to Easter are the malted eggs. Many companies make them, each putting their own twist on the candy. I found these in the store and having never seen a variety made by Necco before, I was eager to try them. I wanted to mentally compare them with Robin’s Eggs, Brach’s Malted Eggs, and Jelly Belly’s Malted Eggs, just to name a few.
The Necco eggs come in different festive colors that are a little flat and matte looking. They come in white, pink, blue, purple and some are a mix of any two. They’re speckled with green, purple, and hot pink. Depending on the egg you find, it can either be really attractive or horrifying to look like. Good thing they all taste the same.
The eggs smell sweet and milky with a tang to them. The shell is smooth and cool to the touch, and feels a little greasy. Unlike the Jelly Belly Malted Eggs, the shell on these isn’t hard, instead a white mockolate. Under the mockolate coating there’s a thin layer of milk chocolate, then the very fresh, crispy malt center.
These taste…pretty darned good actually. The flavor is very similar to yogurt raisins; sweet and milky with a tang. The malt has a wonderful full, rich flavor that blends so nicely with the mockolate coating. I don’t taste the chocolate at all. The texture is a delight too, the malt is so crispy and crunchy and the outside contrasts it nicely with a smooth creamy feeling on the tongue.
I was surprised how much I liked these. I think I prefer them over the Jelly Belly ones, especially considering how much cheaper they are.
Rating: Will Buy Again
Links Necco Website
As the years progress I’ve noticed that there’s more and more jelly beans appearing based on pre-existing hard candies. These Jolly Rancher Jelly Beans are one of the first I ever noticed, so I figured it was only fair I give them a try. I did have them as a part of a major jelly bean round-up sale last year for CandyAddict, but since I’m at my one blog now, these needed a revisit.
I guess now is a good time to mention again that I’m really not a fan of Jolly Ranchers. I reviewed the original candies here earlier, and I just can’t understand how anyone likes them with their overly fake and punchy flavors.
The jelly beans are pretty faithful to the original hard candies, unlike the other Jolly Rancher Smoothie blend jelly beans that you can also find this time of year. I found those dreadful and am not going to bother eating them again. You gotta pick your poison sometimes.
The beans are not that festively colored since they’re made to look like the originals. They colors are very dark and opaque.
Blue Raspberry: Very intense in flavor with strong floral, fruity, and bubble gum flavors that read as “berry” to our taste buds. There’s also a hint of fruit punch thrown in there too, which was a pleasant twist. It’s a horribly fake flavor, but I find it’s not as bad as the original hard candy.
Strawberry (red): This is surprisingly sweet with strong flavors of cotton candy and fruit. It’s slightly tart at the end, which is a bit jarring, but these are Jolly Ranchers, after all.
Orange: The flavor is exactly orange soda. Syrupy sweet with a hint of zest. It really got the saliva going in my mouth.
Apple (green): Very juicy with strong flavors of apple juice and pears. Oddly, this one is more sweet than tart.
Grape: If I closed my eyes and ignored the texture in my mouth, I’d call this the grape Tootsie Pop. It’s tart (see a trend here?) with a fake grape flavor similar to grape soda.
Watermelon (pink): The taste of this one is surprisingly mild, yet very sweet with a fake cantaloupe flavor that’s very perfumey. It’s not sour or tart at all like the normal Jolly Rancher, which I find a pleasant surprise.
They’re a nice set of jelly beans, especially if you’re a fan of Jolly Ranchers. However, I really don’t see myself picking these up again, as I I’m not a big fan of the candy in general and there’s other jelly beans on the market that I’d rather go for if I felt the need for something different.
Rating: Might Eat Again
Links Jolly Rancher’s Website
I was utterly delighted when I received a sample of these in the mail from Just Born. I first remember seeing them in my friend’s Flickr photos, then Cybele gave them a wonderful review. I had reviewed an assortment of spice beans by Just Born for CandyAddict at about the same time, and I realized that they were probably the same set of jelly beans, just different packaging. Still, the candy brat in me wanted to have the ones with the Hot Tamale branding because they seemed so much cooler in my mind.
The beans are a nice size. Not as small as Jelly Belly’s beans, but no where near as large and many of the pectin varieties you see out there. I’d say well, they’re the size of a baked beans or a peanut. The panned shell is glossy and smooth with an even color. The texture is nice and chewy and doesn’t ever get sticky.
Peppermint (white): Very intense and fresh. It’s just lick sucking on a candy cane. It’s powerful flavor is refreshing and sweet.
Spearmint (green): More sweet and herbal than the peppermint. It’s grassier and not as intense. It’s a good balance of flavor too, it’s not powerful like a stick of gum.
Cinnamon (red): Very punchy and spicy, true to normal Hot Tamales. It has that signature kick to it, along with a warmth from the spicy burn. Thankfully these at not as fiery a Red Hots, otherwise I wouldn’t have enjoyed them as much.
Clove (yellow): Oh, how I love clove flavored beans! These come across as very earthy and spicy. They have great woodsy accents that really capture the taste of cloves.
Wintergreen (pink): My favorite of the bunch. It’s very bright, sweet and pleasantly herbal in flavor. It has nice spicy notes that remind me of a nice mug of root beer.
These are great, and a nice change from the Brach’s beans I love so much. I wish I could find them year ‘round, heck, even find them in stores near me. Maybe I can plead Just Born to supple me with more of them.
Links Hot Tamale Website