I’ve never noticed these bright pink candies on shelves in many of my grocery stores until recently. I think part of the reason I’ve never given them a second look is the very antique packaging (which, oddly, usually catches my eye right away) and the other is the fact that I saw Necco’s name on them. I just assumed they were a big bag of plain Sweethearts. It wasn’t until I read on Candybog.net that these sugar lozenge candies were in fact wintergreen flavored and were pretty tasty. I immediately turned my thinking around and secured myself a bag the next chance I got. Isn’t it great how we candy bloggers can learn from one another?
I’m not quite sure how Canada fits into the concept of bright green candy tablets, but I suspect it has something to do with the “coolness” of the wintergreen flavor. There’s another variety I’ve seen around, it’s peppermint and the package has a nice blue color scheme to it. I won’t try that though, at least not right away, as peppermint and I have some issues that we need to work out first.
The candy pieces are bright pepto-bismal pink and are about the circumference a nickel and 1/4 inch thick. “Canada” is pressed into once side of them. They smell intensely of sweet wintergreen.
In my mouth they feel quite hard. I couldn’t chomp down on them right away. Reminds me of the texture of Sweetheart conversation hearts: dry, and slightly chalky. I found I could break them a little with my molars, but the best way to eat them is just to suck on them. The flavor is fresh wintergreen with nice minty and herbal flavors that are reminiscent of sassafras and root beer. The flavor is mild, not too minty and not too bland. A perfect in between. Once the tablet is soft enough to break, it gives a nice brief chew as the pieces dissolve and the wintergreen flavor intensifies a little. Tasty. I found I kept reaching for more of these, they’re very addictive.
I can’t help but smile to myself whenever I see these in the stores now. I like knowing that I gave them a try and found them enjoyable. I bet I’ll be reaching for a bag next time my wintergreen craving hits.
Rating: Will Buy Again
Links Necco Website
I have to admit that I don’t experiment as much with gum that I feel I should. It’s one of my candy Achilles’ Heels, as so to speak. I’ve never been a big gum chewer, but I have found myself reaching for it more often as of late. I don’t necessarily chew it for the pure enjoyment of it, but rather as a distraction when I’m battling a craving or I just need to have something to move around in my mouth. There’s a few people out there who’d argue that gum is not even candy, as the lines of the definition are often blurred. I don’t eat gum or seek it out like I would a good candy bar, true, but I do chew it because it tastes good. Which is really whole point when you get to the core of it, right?
There’s a few concrete things I feel make up a good pack of gum. Firstly, it needs to taste good and have a strong flavor. Secondly, it needs to have that flavor that lasts a long time. A stick that will peter out in 5-30 minutes is not good enough for me. Because of this, I have been working my way through all the different varieties in the store trying the find the one that will work for me. I do realize that my requirements are little in the grand scheme of things as gums now tote many cool advantages like more unique flavors, teeth and gum protection, and vitamins. Still, I had only a handful of varieties I’d return to, and I’ve gotten bored with my choices.
Then I noticed Orbit Mist.
This is the newest members of the Orbits line. What’s different with this variety is the addition of “micro-bursts (tm)” that are described on the front of the packages. I read that as fancy terms for extra pockets of flavor and deliciousness. But that’s just me. The flavors range from the classic Peppermint Spray to the fruity favorite of Watermelon Spring, and finally to the new kid on the block: Mango Surf.
The package design is very attractive. The blue color is cool and refreshing feeling, which is enhanced by a slightly metallic sheen. The packages open to reveal a the sticks wrapped in colorful paper, all lines up in neat little rows. I feel oddly stylish opening these packets to take out a piece to chew.
The texture with all of these is pretty standard and a big draw for me. the gum doesn’t start soft like most brands do. Instead, these are a little hard, almost like a Chiclet but without the candy shell, and they gradually get softer as you chew on them.
Peppermint Spray: A cool, light blue color with intense specks of cerulean. The flavor is immediately a burst of sweet peppermint in my mouth. Usually I dislike it when flavors are too punchy in gum, but this works beautifully as the flavor doesn’t hit you all at once right away. Instead it slowly stays in your mouth and seeps onto your taste buds as you chew. I chewed a piece of this for a good to hours and was still getting flavor from it. I’m impressed to say the least.
Watermelon Mist: The stick is lightly green with pretty flecks of pink in it. The flavor is very melon, thankfully not horribly fake like all the variations on the Jolly Rancher watermelon flavor out there. This is much smoother, sweeter and more mellow. I taste hints of cantaloupe, watermelon and honeydew with a dash of peach in there.
Mango Surf: Pale yellow colored with red spots. Immediately it tastes tropical and ever so juicy. Strong notes of mango, peach and passion fruit flood my mouth. It’s sweet, but like a real mango has a tart edge to it that makes the gum so much more dramatic to taste. As hesitant I am around mango flavored candy, this one totally won me over.
These new flavors leave me wanting to be a more avid gum chewer. The flavors are interesting and tasty, but the staying power they have in my mouth is just incredible and what really wins me over. I haven’t gotten a stick of gum to stay so fresh in my mouth for so long, so I can’t but recommend you try them based on that trait alone.
Rating: Will Buy Again
Links Orbit Webpage
I’m not really big on mints or minty candies, but I couldn’t help pass up this beautiful box of the new Tic Tac Citrus Punch assortment. I’m a sucker for fruity, especially citrus flavors, so I knew these would be worth giving a try.
Tic Tacs are an interesting item in my mind, as most mints really try to make themselves look like candy. But Tic Tacs look like candy and are actually mints! There’s three flavors in the mix: grapefruit, orange and lime.
Grapefruit is the flavor I looked forward to trying the most. The flavor is wonderfully captured, it’s fresh and zesty with that nice sweet/sour note the grapefruits have. The minty aspect doesn’t kick in until the fruit flavor fades, which I really like.It leaves a nice light citrusy/minty flavor in my mouth and it’s refreshing. I found myself picking these out of the assortment and finishing them off first.
Orange is sweet and flavorful with a good orange flavor that is more “real” than other orange mints I’ve had. It gets a little tart at the end which is a nice touch.
With the Lime flavor I immediately notice that it is different in texture. Strange! It breaks much easier in my mouth than the others. It’s tart, sweet and very citrusy and like the others I feel the flavor is very authentic and I immediately think of limeade.
I liked this assortment a lot. The three different flavors kept things fresh and interesting, and they both fulfilled my need for something candy-like and to freshen my breath a little. A plus for any mint in my book. My only complaint that, even though the box of these was on the larger side, I did manage to finish them in record time. Oops.
Rating: Will Buy Again
Tic Tac Website
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
Altoids always lived up to their tag line “Curiously Strong” in my book. I remember having my first taste of them in middle school and totally having my mind and taste buds totally blown by how intense they were. The friend who shared them with me told me they were from England, and somehow that made these killer mints feel very exotic to me. I didn’t like them at first, but as I grew older my tolerance for the “curiously strong” flavor increased. The wintergreen flavor soon became my choice mint to carry in my purse.
I noticed these new Dark Chocolate Creme de Menthe Altoids and knew I had to try them. I didn’t try the first generation of chocolate Altoids, so the bright yellow “NEW” on this package prompted me to change my chocolate-less mint status.
I haven’t had the Creme de Menthe Altoid alone, so I can only comment on how it works together with the dark chocolate coating. Firstly, I’m very pleased to see that the coating is real dark chocolate. No fake stuff here, thank you very much. You can taste the richness of it too, it’s very nice. I let the mint sit in my mouth so the chocolate slowly melted away to then reveal the traditional chalky pastille underneath. It was brilliantly sweet and minty and it complimented the coating very well. My only complaint is that it left an odd fruity aftertaste in my mouth, and it didn’t feel particularly “fresh” to me.
Tasty for sure. But I prefer my Altoids to freshen my breath, so I’ll be sticking with my wintergreen standby.
Rating: Will Eat Again