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
Peeps are one of those candies that you immediately associate with Easter. Or, at least, I do, even though I never got them in my Easter Basket as a kid. Peeps are the kind of candy that you either love them to pieces or you don’t care much for them, I’ve found little gray area in between. The people who do love Peeps almost have formed a cult following for them. I’m sure a book could be written by fan as to the best way to eat them (fresh, stale, microwaved, toasted, etc) or what to do with them (make s’ mores, decorate cupcakes, make art and crafts, scientific research, etc). There isn’t a more versatile candy around, it seems.
I prefer to take photos of them myself, like these, er, peeps over at Flickr.
The concept of Peeps are pretty simply, they’re marshmallow with a crunchy colored sugar shell. Most are shaped like baby chicks, but as the years have passed new shapes have been introduced. At Easter you can find the chicks along with bunny peeps. New colors also have been introduced, and you can find them in all colors of the rainbow now. I recall red ones that were a Target exclusive last year, and this year I saw orange ones on the shelves in Wal-Mart. True to real chickens and rabbits, the peeps seem to have no problem multiplying to take up more shelf space each year.
I do like the little Peeps simply because they’re so cute. The eyes on them are hand painted, and I especially love the ones that I find a little cross-eyed.
The texture of these really depends on how fresh you get them and how fresh you like to eat them. When brand new, they’re very soft and pillow like a marshmallow should be, with their sugar coating a bit crunchy. The staler they get, which is how many prefer to eat them, the peeps get firmer and chewier. It really all depends on the maturity of your peep.
The flavor is lightly sweet and tastes rather bland. They don’t even taste like marshmallow to me, which usually have a hint of vanilla to them. These just taste sweet and starchy, and forgive me for saying so, but I’m reminded of communion wafers.
I’m trying to expand my Peep eating horizon and have let those I’d taken out for my photos to sit outside the package and gradually get stale in my living room. I’m trying them day-by-day to see exactly how stiff and crunchy I like them. I find that I prefer the texture of Peeps over the flavor, which is why once these are gone I probably won’t buy more unless I have the urge for another photo shoot.
Rating: Might Eat Again
Links Peep’s Website
Peeps at Wikipedia
Aren’t these so cute? Just perfect for Valentines Day! Not only are the shapes cute and simple, but they’re nicely colored with an appealing flavor for the season. I am pretty sure these are a new release this year, as I don’t remember seeing them last Valentines Day. Does anyone else recall?
The hearts come in a nicely protected pack of 9, each set of 3 in a tray. The package is very fitting for the holiday too. Pink with little “XOXO” patterns all over it. You can smell the Peep hearts immediately once you open them. The aroma is strawberry with it’s bright berry flavor and “red” essence. There’s a tart edge to these too and I can’t help but compare it to how the red SweetTarts smell.
The inside of these Peeps are pink too! How precious is that! I tried my first row fresh, so the texture was beautifully pillowy soft. The flavor is awesome, as it’s in the sugar coating as well as in the marshmallow. It’s a great strawberry taste for sure. It’s a light flavor, nothing overpowering here, but then again, when were Peeps ever overpowering? There’s a light sweetness and a good berry/perfume flavor that really give it that nice strawberry essence. In a way I’m reminded of that pink goopy medicine I was given as a kid when I had strep throat, but that’s a good thing here. I loved eating that stuff.
I bet these, along with all other flavored marshmallows, will be fun to experiment with. In hot cocoa? In Valentines Day s’mores? Fondue? Such possibilities!
Rating: Will Buy Again
Marshmallow Peeps Website
I grew up in a household devoid of marshmallow peeps. It wasn’t until college that I finally became familiar with this popular marshmallow confection. My roommate bought them by the dozen around Easter (they were still an Easter exclusive item back then) and set them out to get stale. She then nuked them in the microwave, froze them, and finally consume them. I had never witnessed such an elaborate candy eating ritual, and I was both confused and intrigued by it.
Since then I have tasted my way though the different types of Peeps. Their light, marshmallow texture is delightful but the flavor leaves a lot to be desired in my book. They come across as flat and cardboard-tasting, and they remind me a little of Communion wafers. They’re terribly cute though, and I can’t help but eating a row of Chicks in the spring and some Pumpkin ones in the fall. Perhaps my love form them would grow if I experimented with my eating techniques a little. As of now I enjoy them fresh.
Enter the newest Marshmallow Peeps, Chocolate Mousse Bears for St. Valentines Day.
These look the same: puffy marshmallow with a colored sugar coating in an standard animal shape. They smell noticeable different, though. It’s a very sweet, cocoa aroma, like a good hot chocolate mix.
The flavor is much sweeter than a normal Peep to me. I’m also surprised to find they’re actually really flavorful, and I’ve tried all the varieties to date. They taste like I just took a spoonful of Nestle’s Quick, except in that wonderful puffy Marshmallow Peep form (you know, soft inside, slightly crunchy sugary outside). Immediately I finished off a row, promising to save the rest out in the open to get stale. They didn’t last a week.
Finally there’s a Peep I can say that I’m hooked on. I can’t help but recommend them whether you’re a Peep lover or not. You may just become a convert like myself.
Rating: Will Buy Again
Marshmallow Peeps Website
Mike & Ike were totally absent from my childhood, like a pair of dysfunctional friends who said they’d site with me during lunch but didn’t. I got my first taste of Mike & Ike during high school and was annoyed as to what I was missing out on all these years. I have been a faithful devotee to the regular mix and it wasn’t until recently I branched out into the other flavor offerings. The Tangy Twister mix with its cheery bright orange box and promising flavors begged to be first in line.
I was so looking forward to trying this Tangy Twister blend because of the pineapple flavor. So when I brought my movie sized box home and opened it up to eat I discovered that I had one pineapple in the whole box. Talk about disappointed!
Cherry: Very tart and oddly enough, reads as a “candy” cherry flavor but not as a bad “medicinal” one. The sourness lingers so the sweetness typical of Mike & Ike didn’t really last for very long.
Raspberry: A really nice raspberry flavor that has a strong juiciness to it with good floral and fruity notes. It’s not too tart, but just enough for it to taste authentic. It was nice how this mimicked the way real berries always have that little sourness before turning sweet.
Orange Punch: Oh, this is strange. It does taste fruity but not of oranges. It is very punch-like with a tropical essence to it as if passion fruit and limes were in there. Maybe it’s labeled orange because of the color?
Pineapple: Wow, This one is so extremely good. It tastes exactly like pineapple with a burst of zesty sweetness and a slight pine-y bite to it. Simply amazing. I need to buy another box to get more of these. I’m not kidding.
Apple: Tart, juicy and is very zesty and a little sweet. A nice sour apple flavor that isn’t overly artificial.
I liked this mix and will certainly pick it up again. I’m just hoping my flavor mix is a little more even next time.
Rating: Will Buy Again
Mike & Ike Website