Sometimes the strangest holiday candies are released. Most make sense like the mint flavors I’m seeing everywhere; Mint Truffle Kisses, Hershey’s Bliss Creme de Menthe, Hershey’s Mint Miniatures, and the Mint M&Ms, just to name a few. Then I spot these two oddities: Holiday Edition Sugar Babies and Inside Out Junior Mints. I was perplexed right away, but since I hadn’t tried them, and are a fan of the originals, I picked them up.
From the outside of the box, the Holiday Sugar Babies don’t seem to be very different. The selling point is that they’re covered in a “candy shell” in holiday colors: white, red and green.
They look terrible. They’re matte and flat looking. Nothing about them feels inviting or attractive. Which leads me to ask, why color them to begin with? If you were going to put the in a bowl for guests or anything, so you can “see” them in there festive colors, why not make them look…nice.
The candy shell is indeed a shell as opposed to a soft, colored coating as I suspected. It actually cracks when I bite down and it softens from there, turning into a regular Sugar Baby. The taste is the same: intensely creamy, burnt caramel flavors with a sticky, grainy chewy texture. I don’t see a point to getting these over the regular ones…unless you have a thing for food coloring.
The Inside Out Junior Mints I was excited about. They’ve been a limited edition candy for years, yet I haven’t seen them until now. I did see the new edition of Junior Mints Peppermint Crunch that were released last year and I reviewed for CandyAddict.
These have white outside and a chocolate interior, just the opposite from the originals. Reading the description on the back where it calls the outside a “white topping”, I knew something was amiss. Uh oh. Mockolate.
The exterior is slightly hard and it “cracks” a little when you bite into it. The intense minty flavor we associate with Junior Mints is there, but it’s hard to say exactly where it’s coming from. I just sucked on one for a bit and I got no mint from the exterior. So my guess is the center is doing double duty here. Other than the appearance, I don’t really see the draw of these. Nothing says to me that these are any improvement or especially unique, so I don’t get the point.
Both these candies don’t do anything to improve or tweak the original enough for me to justify buying them. I just had to satisfy my curiosity. Learn from me and stick with the originals.
Rating: Not Worth It
Junior Mints Webpage
Sugar Babies Webpage
A ghost candy? Seriously, what could be spookier? The idea of little glowing Dots with ghostie faces was just too much to ignore. I swooped up a (giant) bag in Target and eagerly lugged it home.
I should have kept them sealed in their boxes. Opening them up was a huge disappointment.
The Dots are faceless and a seriously lacking in the glowing department. I was also a bit nervous because they smelled strange. This odd, somewhat plastic-y fruity aroma. I decided to let the flavors “shine” for me (haha, get it?) but instead I just got the normal Dots flavors. I guess they think this is new and novel because they all look the same. Which flavor will this ghost be? Ooooo, it’s a mystery! After figuring out what was going on, I didn’t feel any need to finish them.
Although, before I totally gave up on these. I wanted to give them one more chance:
They needed faces, so I took a sharpie marker to them. That made up for the disappointment….a little.
These are good to hand out for Halloween if you don’t mid your front lawn getting decorated toilet paper later in the evening.
Rating: Not Worth It
As Halloween draws near (horray!) I’m subtly reminded of all the random candy I’d get trick-or-treating that I normally don’t buy for myself. Walking down the aisles in my local grocery stores and seeing the bags upon bags of candy, I see favorites that I haven’t had in a long time. The Tootsie Fruit Rolls are one of these favorites.
I recall fishing these out of my Halloween swag and setting them aside along with my other “don’t trade with the sibling” candy. These usually came with the other “loose” candy, such as Mary Janes, SweetTarts, Hershey’s Kisses, Candy Corn and regular Tootsie Rolls. I was always happy to trade my SweetTarts to my sister in return for these and I also never had a flavor preference either. All of them were delicious to me.
Since I’m too old for trick-or-treating (sob), I picked up a bag to review for the blog. That’s my excuse and I’m standing by it.
Vanilla (blue): This is very mild and sweet with a good vanilla flavor. Aside from the good chewiness factor of the tootsie base, this remnds me of nice fresh vanilla marshmallows.
Lemon (yellow): I love the sunny yellow color. The flavor is like lemon meringue pie, or cake, or some sort of lemon dessert. It’s zesty and sour with a strong lemon essence. The Tootsie part delivers a creamy sweetness, with almost a hint of coconut, and it’s just so tasty. It really got my saliva glands going.
Lime (green): Really nice lime flavor, which is hard to pull off without tasting like a cleaning product. The taste has a nice kick to it and the Tootise base adds a good subtle sweetness.
Cherry (pink): A pretty salmon pink color. The flavor is reminiscent of the cherry Tootsie Pop. It’s extremely fruity with a good juciness and those bright, sweet-sour cherry notes. It’s not medicinal at all, but does have a little bitterness towards the end.
Orange (orange): This has a nice flavor, but it’s not as intense as I was expecting. The actual orange flavor is mild, and the zest it the main feature. It’s juicy and really gets the mouth saliva going.
What can I say, I really enjoy these. Maybe not enough to pick them up any other time of year, but come October they satisfy my cravings for sweet nostalgia.
Rating:Will Eat Again
There’s been word floating about the candy-sphere that there were new DOTS to be released sometime this year. I really hadn’t paid it much attention since I’m not an avid DOT eater, but when I spied them in a Vons on a recent trip to LA, well, I decided to change my mind. New candy is always worthy of attention.
I almost passed these boxes by on the shelf, since their design is so different from most other candy packages out there, it just didn’t read as “candy” to me right away. With colors that are predominately dark completed with a black backdrop, overall it feels very masculine and I wanted to move them next to all the energy drinks.
The boxes are big too as they’re the giant theater sized boxes with about 2 1/2 servings in them. Thankfully I was able to share my find with Cybele who shared her thoughts on these last week. I admit I couldn’t even finish them even after Cybele took a share of them.
Earth (Pomegranate): A pretty, deep, berry purple color. The most similar of the bunch to the regular DOTS line, as it’s fruit flavored. It tastes very fruity with accents of grape and cherry. Sweet, yet tangy and it reminds me of red licorice a little. The flavor doesn’t really read as “pomegranate” to me, but I forgive them since it’s a difficult essence to peg since it’s not very iconic.
Air (Wintergreen): The color of these is so bright and it immediately reminds me of toothpaste. The wintergreen flavor is mellow, which I love becaue it doesn’t feel like I’m eating a mint. It has a subtle herbal edge to it, with notes of root beer and licorice that I find very pleasing.
Fire (Cinnamon): A very intense bright semi-opaque red, it almost comes across as neon to me. The cinnamon flavor is medium intensity, not fully sweet but not “hot” either. It has subtle woodsy notes and a bit ofcherry flavor to it.
Water (Green Tea): This combination I found amusing, since I drink green tea so often it might as well be water. The color is an odd, delicate yellow green which doesn’t read as “watery” or like “green tea” at all. The flavor is full of very floral and light soapy notes. The “plantiness” of it is reminiscent of green tea but so very, very removed. On top of that it’s lightly sweet and the whole thing just comes off as gross to me.
I liked the fact that Tootsie took the daring step with trying more unconventional flavors for DOTS. In theory I would have loved to eat green tea and wintergreen DOTS, it’s something I’d see myself buying often. However, the flavors didn’t strike home with me, so DOTS Elements just come across as a wasted opportunity. I just hope these don’t scare away ideas of any new and better attempts, because I’d love for candy to branch more in this direction.
Rating: Not Worth It
Tootsie Pops are one of the many overlooked classic candies in my opinion. They’re something that’s always available in my candy stash for many reasons: tasty, portable, long-lasting, satisfying, interactive…..oh, I could go on. For me, Toostie Pops are delicious the Swiss army knife of the candy world.
Imagine my delight when I was in my local Wawa convenience store pawing through the box of loose Tootsie Pop to satisfy a 4pm sugar craving, to find a Tootsie Pop in a wrapper that looked new. Puzzled, I picked out one and examined it to find “Pomegranate” written on the outside. I proceeded to grin like the Cheshire Cat as I grabbed a few and ran to the checkout. A tasty new treasure, I could hardly wait.
I admit, I am a little puzzled by this new flavor choice for a Tootsie Pop. Pomegranate has been getting lots of attention in the past few years because of its health benefits, and some candies tried to cash in on that craze. I don’t really understand the appeal of the actual flavor of a Pomegranate. Don’t get me wrong because they taste great, but I’m more often interested in the fun way to eat them by plucking them seed by seed, than for the actual taste. Considering that the past new flavors to the Tootsie line were strawberry, watermelon, blue raspberry and lime; I figured Pomegranate would be more of a trendy name to drop into the assortment.
The wrapper is the same design as the other traditional Tootsie Pop’s, expect the color scheme is a bit different. The white has been replaced with a dark maroon, so even though this newbie looks different in essence it’s the same as the classics.
The pop itself is bright red and looks like the Cherry flavor, but you can tell the difference one you pop it into your mouth. The flavor is different and much, much better. It’s fruity with berry flavors, notes of grape and a “tartness” that reminds me of pineapple. Overall it’s very “red” tasting, but it’s lacking that fake medicinal flavor that makes the cherry one so unappealing to some. Think of this as Cherry’s more awesome twin brother. As for the Tootsie center? Yeah, the flavors meshed well with that.
My skepticism aside, I really, really like this flavor. It covered all the flavors sensations I require in a good hard candy and resulted in some fun, saliva-inducing consumption for my mid afternoon break. Tomorrow I’m going back for more and buying every last one in that loose Tootise Pop box.