June 2016
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United States


Welch's Filled Licorice

It’s always exciting to know that there’s new candies coming out. Yes, we all love our classic candies like Snickers, Starburst and Kit Kat. For me, waiting for a new candy to hit the stores is a great treasure hunt. When I saw the press release for these new Welch’s Filled Licorice candies, I was excited and planned on finding them in stores. I wasn’t sure of exactly when they were supposed to be released, and such things vary depending on where you live. Then, Welch’s PR was kind enough to reach out to me and asked if I’d like to try some samples. Of course my answer was yes, and today I have those samples to review for you.

To start, I really like the packaging on these. The wrapper keeps the licorice sticks all in a straight line and upright without making the package too stiff. The packages are very colorful and you immediately know what flavor you’re after just by seeing them. They’re iconic and functional.


Welch's Filled Licorice Strawberry

The strawberry smells fruity, and also a strong hint of malty ness to it. The flavor is good the outside tastes similar to twizzlers. It’s slightly fruity and has a wheaty taste to it. The filled center is where this candy really shines. The filled center, filled with a (wha I’d imagine to be) a more shelf stable jam. It really takes the flavor od this licorice to a whole new level of flavor intnsite. It really gets flavorful, really really flavorful. It’s a juicy strawberry and a smooth, soft chew.

The licorice twists are really plaible. Super soft, it easily bends into a circle and nothing leaks out.


Welch's Filled Licorice Grape

The grape licorice bag smells intensely of grape juice. Tart, sweet and intesely fruity. The flavor reminds me of a very fruity grape tootsie pop. The wheat chew part has a suble flavor. Again, the filled center really brings this candy to life. The jam filled center is extremely fruity and flavorful. It really brings the whole licorice chew to life.

I appreciate how unique these Welch’s filled licorices are. They took a, what I felt, common problem with some licorices whose flavor just wasn’t intense enough. Welch’s found a unique way to solve the problem, and I must say they came out with something that I really enjoyed! Both my fiance and I polished off our bag of each flavor easily in one sitting. They weren’t too heavy and again, really tasty. Bravo Welch’s. 

Rating: Will Buy Again


Will Buy Again

Links Welch’s Website


Scorpion Caramels

~~Today I’m trying something new. My fiance, who is a big chili head, ordered some chili candies that are made with extremely hot peppers. Now, I can take a pretty good dose of hotness in my foods, but even these were a little out of my league. I asked he he wouldn’t mind doing a guest review of these candies for me, as I didn’t think I could do a full review myself with the small nibbles I took (it was a hotness that I could handle). So please, enjoy!~~~

I first heard about these Scorpion Sting Caramels from aTed Barrus review. I’m a fan of spicy things, specifically the natural heat of peppers, so I decided to try these as they use powder from the Moruga Scorpion which currently one of the hottest peppers in the world. They’re made as a collaboration between Volcanic Peppers and The Madison Chocolatiers and can be purchased from either site. They came in a clear package with six caramels: two white chocolate, two milk chocolate, and two dark chocolate. They were wrapped in orange, maroon, and gold foil (with no indication of which was which) and were about an inch square and 1/3 of an inch thick. The important thing to note about these chocolates is that they are getting their heat from a very hot chilli pepper. This makes it different than most hot candies in that the heat here is coming from the capcasin in the peppers, not from anything artificially added.

I’ll start with the orange wrapper:

Turns out this one is the dark chocolate. It definitely smells rich, like chips used for cookies. You can smell the butteryness of the caramel immediately and as it was fairly solid, it allowed me to break it in half cleanly exposing a rich molasses color. The initial bite is sweet and creamy, though with a fudge like consistency. The chocolate melts nicely and in about 15 seconds you begin to feel the heat from the peppers. Honestly, to me it isnt very hot, however I enjoy fiery foods. In terms of the burn, I can feel it mostly on my tongue and down the back of my throat, almost like drinking some good brandy. Actually it feels really good in my humble opinion. It is a nice, warm, tingly burn that never peaks to a huge degree. It just settles into a nice warm burn and lasts for a few minutes.

Moving to the gold wrapper:

This one was the milk chocolate. It had the same sweet smell as the first, however not as powerful. It melted fairly quickly on my fingers. The chocolate and caramel seem sweeter than the first and actually seem to hold off the burn of the peppers a bit longer than the dark variety. Again, the chocolate melts very well and the caramel is rich and has that fudge-like quality. One of my biggest gripes about caramel is that it often sticks to my teeth and this fortunately avoids that entirely. Again I get the same burn sensation as the dark due to the dusting of Scorpion powder with similar localization of the burn.

Finally, the dark maroon wrapper:

This one was the white chocolate and as soon as its wrapper is removed you get this great white chocolate aroma which reminds me of a Zero bar. You don’t smell as much of the caramel because the lovely aroma of white chocolate is so strong. The flavor of white chocolate seems an even better coating for these caramels in my opinion. The white doesn’t seem to melt as fast and provides a bit of a chew to it, not much, but enough to give you a choice: either let it melt slowly and definitely get more heat, or chew and swallow and not feel it as much. Thats a recurring theme here, the longer you hold them in your mouth the more heat you’ll get. The pepper flavor and heat are quite strong here and build to a nice burn like the previous. At this point I’ve eaten three of them and their heat definitely starts to stack. I can feel the burn on my tongue, down the back of my throat and now I’m feeling a nice warm sensation in my belly. I’m the kind of guy that enjoys a nice after dinner cordial and honestly, it feels a bit like that right now. My stomach feels a nice warm tingle. The difference is that my mouth and throat get a bit of that capsacin burn.

These are lovely caramels and I applaud the use of such a rare and distinct chilli in their creation. It tames the scorpion heat VERY well. I’ve had some other things that were made with the pepper and let me tell you, they’re mind BENDINGLY hot. Just check out some internet videos of people eating the pepper whole and you’ll see what I mean. But these caramels used just right amount of the powder and blended it with the right ingredients to make it a quite enjoyable flavor. I wont say its for the chili novice and you’d certainly have to have a palate for, and enjoy spicy foods, but if you like your curries or chicken wings pretty spicy, these would be a great candy to try out.

As for the long term, Its been about 15-20 minutes since I’ve started the review and the ‘pain’ or ‘burning’ of the peppers has gone away, but I’m left with a really nice warm feeling in my throat and belly. Great job!

Rating: Will Buy Again


Will Buy Again

Links The Madison Chocloatiers


World's Hottest Candy

~~Today I’m, yet again, trying something new. My fiance, who is a big chili head, ordered some chili candies that are made with extremely hot peppers. Now, I can take a pretty good dose of hotness in my foods, but even these were a little out of my league. I asked he he wouldn’t mind doing a guest review of these candies for me, and he happily obliged! Enjoy!~~~ 

I had first seen these Vertigo Chili Candies reviewed by Ted Barrus on his YouTube channel. I am genuinely a fan of his videos and opinions and credit him with adding many spicy products to our pantry. These particular candies are made in Brooklyn, NY and I ordered them directly from their website. All of their products proudly feature their namesake, the Bhut Jolokia. You may have heard of this formidable pepper under its more common name ‘The Ghost Chili’.

I decided to start slowly and try their Watermelon variety first. Both packets contain about an ounce of candy and I’d estimate that to be about fifteen pieces. After opening the package I gave it a good sniff expecting to encounter chili right away, but was surprised to smell only watermelon. It wasn’t as punchy as, say, a bag of watermelon Jolly Ranchers but its in the same ball pack. The candies themselves were rectangles that seemed to vary in size from about a 1/4 inch wide to some nearly 3/4 and definitely hints at their ‘small batch, handmade’ formula. They are mostly black with a bright green stripe down the middle.

As I popped one in my mouth I wondered about how long it would take for the chili to ‘hit’. To my surprise the first thing that I tasted was the watermelon. They really do have a nice watermelon flavor. After about ten seconds though I started to feel the burn of the Jolokia. For those readers who have never tried a ghost chili I find them to have a very ‘sharp’ heat, like lots of tiny needles. While that’s just been my experience with them I’ve had a few friends agree. The candy seemed to hit its peak at about the 45 second to one minute mark and from then on it was a steady, intense heat that lasted as long as you were willing to hold the piece in your mouth. If you enjoy spicy food at all, these would probably be a good treat if you wanted a pick-me-up during the day. Warning here: don’t try to crunch these babies, the heat will bite you back for it as you’ve just exposed lots more surface area.

Now for our main event, our title fight….the Vertigo. I was a bit afraid to these to tell you the truth as I’d seen what they could do to some chili veterans on YouTube. After reading the ingredients its easy to see why their reputation precedes them. They contain five separate chilies and out of them the ghost chili is the MILDEST. Compared to the watermelon variety, this package smells like pure pepper when you tear the seam open. The size of the bits remain the same except the welcoming green stripe is replaced with a bright orange-red. These guys….mean BUSINESS.

So it was with great caution that I dropped one into my mouth. I’d venture to say that you get about 5-10 seconds of ‘Oh well that’s not SO bad’ before the heat cranks up, and let me tell you, these go 0-60 faster than an Enzo Ferrari. I was honestly staggered at the heat level that a half inch piece of hard candy could deliver. These are violently hot! Beads of sweat formed on my forehead, my knees became a bit wobbly, and I had to sit down and concentrate on the task at hand. This is not a candy….this is a CHALLENGE! The heat was unrelenting; as long as I dared to hold on to that little chunk it brought more and more fire to the party. Even after they completely dissolve (which seems an eternity!) you’re still going to feel them for good while longer. In my case it took about 30 minutes for the burn to wear off, and even then I was acutely aware of what had happened.

Overall I’d give both of these candies high praises! They both showcase the power of these peppers very well and produce mounds of heat with no artificial additives. I’m a big fan of natural heat that boy do these deliver! I’d consider the watermelon variety a solid everyday snack for the chili enthusiast. However, save the Vertigo’s for that special occasion that you want to push your boundaries. And trust me, that moment WILL come, where you’ll look over at the black package, and dare yourself to do it again.

Rating: Will Buy Again


Will Buy Again

Links Vertigo Chili Candy Website


Trident Layers Sweet Cherry Island Lime

This is the second gum I bought on my special gum shopping trip. It’s a nother one of the Trident Layers flavor combinations I’ve seen as late. I’ve tried the Orchard Peach + Ripe Mango and was a big fan of it. When I saw this cherry+lime flavor I was excited to give it a go.

Opening up the package, I was surprised to find that somehow that cherry/lime flavor reminded me of cola. It has hints of diet coke and Dr. Pepper in it. I can’t quite put my finger on why, but my best guess is the cherry aroma that is just a tad spicy. Still, the gum smells really nice and enticing.

The stick of gum is very stunning. It’s a bright crimson with a lime green flavor stripe down the middle. It’s a little Christmas-y yes, but it’s very beautiful. I do wonder if it’ll turn my tongue colors.

The flavor starts off on a strangly. The lime is the first thing I taste, and it’s very tart, bitter and reminds me of floor cleaner. Not my favorite thing, mind you. The cherry then kicks in and delivers a ripe, juicy “red” flavor that takes away that strange cleaner flavor. So now it’s become this bright “red” flavor with a tartness to it from the lime. Once the flavors blend some the gum is actually pretty tasty. It had me worried from a slightly rough start.

I think I would still go for the Orchard Peach+Ripe Mango flavor over this one. Cherry flavors sometimes are too metallic for me, and even though I enjoyed it, I just enjoyed the other one more. That’s not to say this is a bad flavor at all. I shared this gum with my co workers and they all really loved it. Again, everyone has their own opinion!

Rating: Will Eat Again


Will Eat Again

Links Trident Website


Trident Layers Orchard Peach Mango

I realized that it’s been awhile since I did any gum reviews for this blog. I decided to remedy that and went out on a trip to go shopping for some. The new Trident Layers is what immediately caught my eye as they had flavors that were very different from what I’m used to seeing. I grabbed a few packs and happily took my swag home.

Has fourteen pieces in the package. Smells extremely fruity and sweet. You can smell the peach and the mango, but it’s hard to separate the aromas. You can just tell it’s in there.

The pieces are pretty to look at. The gum bits are a nice peachy orange and the “flavor” stripe in the center is a deep orange. The chew is great as it’s dense and thick like a good cheing gum should be. The flavor is really tasty, I haven’t had a gum in a long time that has such a unique flavor. Extra managed to get the “peach mango” flavor down beautifully. You can pick out the accents of the juicy peach, with it’s slightly floral flavor. The mango is juicy with a subtle tartness to it. This is a flavor that doesn’t read as “gum” to me, which is something I appreciate it. It’s something that is tasty and feels refreshing because it’s different.

The flavor’s intensity does stick around for a bit, but the intensity of it great dimishes after a couple minutes. I still had a vague peachy flavor after about 10 minutes, but at that point I got bored of chewing.


Rating: Will Eat Again


Will Eat Again

Links Trident Website

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