Will Eat Again
I'll eat it buy won't pay for it.
One of the big releases at this year’s Sweet & Snacks Expo was the new collection of Jelly Belly Flavors: Cocktail Classics. I was thrilled with their last flavor release of the Honey bean, so I was really excited about trying these. I have to admit, I’m impressed on how Jelly Belly keeps finding new flavors to make with their already expansive catalog. I received these as free samples, which, may I remind everyone again, does not color my honest opinion of them.
First off, the packaging is really snazzy. It has this lovely classic 1950’s feel to it with the glossy black background and the cocktail illustrations. Inside the box, there’s a well for each flavor, and they’re nicely secured with a plastic covering. I’m not much of a cocktail drinker, nevertheless I was excited to try these.
Pina Colada: A bright fresh yellow color, very similar to the pineapple Jelly Belly bean. The flavor is smooth and sweet with a bright juicy pineapple flavor in the beginning, then it becomes more creamy and nutty as the coconut flavors comes through. It’s a really nice and smooth transition. I love it.
Strawberry Daiquiri: Immediately sweet and fruity, with notes of berries and jam. I don’t really get any notes of citrus in there (which real daiquiri’s have), but it does convey a sweet slushy strawberry flavor beautifully.
Mojito: Starts out zesty like a lime, then has a wonderful flavor that tastes fizzy to me. It has wonderful notes of ginger ale hinted with a twist of mint. Impressive.
Peach Bellini: Rich and peachy right away. The flavor is nicely sweet with a fresh fruitiness. I wonder why this one is Bellini instead of a Fuzzy Navel.
Pomegranate Cosmo: Extremely tart and flavorful. The flavors of pomegranate and cranberry are nicely represented and the flavor feels authentic to me. Well, minus the alcoholic burn anyways. Very tasty.
I really loved the Mojito bean, as that one impressed me the most. It really had a fizzy, minty quality to it that I was so authentic. All the flavors in this mix were wonderful, and even though I don’t drink these sorts of things, much less go to Happy Hour, I still really enjoyed these. I guess I can have my Happy Hour anytime and eat it too.
Rating: Will Eat Again
Links Jelly Belly Website
Isn’t this just adorable? It’s a confection based on….another confection. It’s a mock Tai Yaki, a fish shaped waffle that usually has a cream and red bean filling in it. It’s a popular street food in Japan and if you’re lucky enough to have one fresh, the flavor is so good it’s enough to make you roll your eyes back into your head. This version of tai yaki is actually more like another Japanese confection called “monaka”, which is a wafer cookie encasing the very same red bean filling. This is a fish-shaped wafer cookie with an aerated chocolate filling, a blending of two different sweets to make it something completely different. Confusing, isn’t it?
I’m not sure of these is exactly a “candy”, as a good chunk of it is the wafer outside. Still, the chocolate filling is giving me enough reason to bend my definitions a little.
So this is a very simple treat. The wafer exteriors are light and crispy. The flavor is bland with a little hint of vanilla, but otherwise nothing terribly noteworthy. The interior chocolate is soft, and the aerated chocolate reminds me of a Cadbury Wispa. The flavor is sweet and lightly of chocolate. It has a creaminess to it and it’s very smooth in he mouth, contrasts nicely with the wafer exterior.
I really liked this.
Rating: Will Eat Again
Meito Sangyo Website
I remembered tasting these at the Fancy Food Show last year and was immediately impressed. Traditional gummi bears never really caught me, as I found the flavors to be too bland. These were just the opposite, with bold flavors and interesting ingredients. I vowed to keep and eye out for them in stores, and a few months later I was rewarded for my persistence. I chose the Blueberry Acai flavor over the Green Tea one I found as well. Something about the deep color of these just appealed to me, and I knew I’d have fun photographing them.
Firstly, I think it’s cute how they refer to these as pandas and not bears. They’re adorable to look at with little nubbins for arms and legs and bulgy eyes.
The pandas are beautiful in their simplicity. The gummi texture is just as it should be: nice balance of soft and firm so you get a chew, but nothing too hard so it isn’t a difficult task to separate a head. Yes, I do like to do that sometimes. The flavor is wonderfully bright and fruity. You taste the blueberry and it’s authentic, sweet, deep berry flavor with tart notes to it. I don’t know quite what acai tastes like, but I’m sure it’s in there.
I’ll be picking these up again when my extremely rare craving for gummi bears, er, pandas arise.
Rating: Will Eat Again
Links Bissingers Website
I often have a love/hate relationship with gummis. It really boils down to the fact that I’m really picky about them. My main complains come down to the fact that the texture often isn’t chewy enough to my liking and the flavors are too similar and bland for me to really enjoy them. There’s some that I do return to as they’re better than most, but often I find I am disappointed with gummi candy.
That being said, I’m a big fan of Lifesavers and I remember vividly the commercials in the early 1990’s when the first Lifesavers gummis were released on the market. I begged my parents to let me try them, and when they finally caved in and let me have them, I felt underwhelmed by the flavors. I was big into eating the rolls of the hard candy versions back then, and the flavor in the gummis were no where near a strong. I finished my package and never asked my parents for them again.
Lifesavers recently came out with a new flavor package for their gummis: Island Fruits. I’ve seen them around in two forms: one is a big bag like theo ne pictures above, and another in a single serving roll. The package is very fun and eye-catching, so it’s not a hard one to miss. Not being one to let past experiences to dictate my opinions, I knew it was time to give these another go.
The gummis themselves are adorable. They look like pneumatic Lifesavers, and in the roll they stand upright in a section tray. They’re bouncy and squishy to the touch and I couldn’t help but play with them in my hands before taking my first bite.
The texture is a very nice gummi: chewy, with a good structure so it doesn’t immediately dissolve in my mouth. They come off as very fresh and satisfying.
Strawberry Kiwi: red/pink: Light and sweet and immediately tastes of sweet, fake strawberry. Just like those fruit snacks you ate as a kid. The kiwi flavor shows up as a tart note towards the finish of the flavor.
Mango Melon: orange: Beautifully fruity, floral and of cantaloupe right away. I’m not sure of the mango part, but I’d say this is the best of the bunch. It’s punchy, yet not overpowering and the flavor is refreshing and real.
Fruit Punch: dark red: Starts off very fruity, then gets that slightly bitter and floral taste of Hawaiian Punch. It’s like your mom tried to hide your cough syrup in your morning orange juice. It’s tasty, yet strange as artificial punch flavors always are.
Pineapple: Yellow: Light and sweet, this flavor is very muted and mildly juicy. It doesn’t have that flavor explosion I expect with Lifesavers flavors, but it’s very authentic with nice sweet/tart notes.
I was impressed with these and my early childhood experiences with these are now replaced with this tasty experience. I shared these with my boyfriend who raved about them. He especially loved the Fruit Punch one.
Rating: Will Eat Again
Links Lifesaver’s Website (Candystand)
Last year Extra came out with a new line of “Fruit Sensations” gum, which toted smoother, more intensely fruity, and longer lasting flavor. I reviewed a few of the kinds here on TCE, and I was pleasantly surprised with them. I’m pretty picky when it comes to gum, so it has to be really good for me to enjoy it.
Recently Extra came out with a pair of new Smoothie flavors to the Fruit Sensations line: Mango and Berry. Considering I liked the originals so much, I wanted to give them a try since I felt a needed some fresh new flavors to my infrequent gum-chewing lineup.
Mango Smoothie: In a bright orange box, with images of mangoes and a strawberries. The inside flap of the package have sayings on them, and this one says the flavor lasts longer than it “takes to think of 30 new ways to use a straw”. Part of me wants to test them on that, but I guess it depends on how smart you are?
The gum itself is light orange in color. The chew is immediately thick, chewy and smooth. The flavor is…oddly creamy. There’s a nice milkyness to it. The taste is sweet and extremely fruity: lots of peachy and mango yet it lacks the tang I associate with mangoes. I do get a hint of berries in there, hard to say if it’s strawberry like the package image suggests, but it’s very tasty and I enjoyed chewing it for as long as I could. Which was until my jaw started to hurt. The gum also has a light, perfumey aftertaste to it.
Berry Smoothie: A pretty purple package with blueberries and blackberries on it. The gum smells strongly like tart raspberries and is light mauve in color. It immediately tastes like berries. I get the sweetness of blackberries, the deep sweetness of blueberries and the fruity flavors of raspberries. It’s lovely. It’s also got that unexpected milky edge to it like the mango one, so it comes off and very creamy and smooth. Again, the flavor lasts a terribly long time and I had to quit chewing before the flavor petered out.
I liked these flavors, and I can add these to my list of gum I actually enjoy. I recommend them if you need something new to add to your gum chewing repertoire.
Rating: Will Eat Again
Links Extra Gum Webpage