Might Eat Again
If I was desperate.
My sister discovered this bar during her freshman year of college and kept begging me to try one for the longest time. I finally did and though this was a few years ago, I still remember being impressed by the texture and flavor of the honeycomb center. I think it was my first experience with the stuff.
I was really interested to see how this compared to the Cadbury Crunchie I had earlier. The bar was already cracked when I opened it, so I immediately took a look at the cross section. There’s no burnt sugar stripe in the center like in the Crunchie, which is a defining feature in my opinion. The texture is lighter and crispier and doesn’t have the foamy melt in the mouth.
As for the flavor, it’s sweet and has a really good burnt sugar caramel flavor that’s reminiscent of how a perfectly toasted marshmallow tastes on a graham cracker. There’s also a subtle smokiness to it (perhaps why I’m thinking marshmallow) that’s very addicting. The coating is unfortunately mockolate, and therefore it doesn’t add any chocolate flavor but instead more sweetness. The mockolate also provides a cool, smooth texture contrast to the crunchy center.
Half way through the bar I started to get the sugar throat burn, which is unusual for me. The sweetness started to take precedence on my taste buds. Still, that smokiness followed through in the aftertaste and kept me interested enough that I finished the bar.
If I had to choose which honeycomb bar to eat next time, I’d rather have choose a Crunchie.
Rating: Might Eat Again
Violet Crumble Wikipedia Page
When I heard back in May that Starburst was coming out with a line of liquid filled gummies, I was pretty darn excited. I love, love, love Starbursts and always have. So the idea of the same flavors in a different textural format really piqued my candy interest. I finally acquired them in a care package from Cybele and was so giddy to finally try them.
Immediately Gushers come to mind, and all the childhood drama with it. As any kid knows, Gushers are the Porche of fruit snacks at school. My mom would never buy them so I was eternally doomed to un-coolness amongst my peers. Maybe my mom was onto something never buying them becasue they are candy, and Starbust seems to have picked up on that.
They come in four flavors: strawberry, cherry, orange and lemon. As I kid I would have loved these even more since there was no grape or “green” flavor. I always loved yellow and happily took the rejects that my friends had. The strawberry one was hard to spot at first, since it’s not pink, but a red-orange as opposed to red or orange. They’re nickel sized and quite plump, about 1/4 inch tall with the curly starburst “S” on it.
The texture is on the firmer side with a good chew, like Swedish Fish. The center is indeed liquid and had a syrupy feel to it. I wouldn’t say it was a “burst” though, but it was a nice contrast to the firm gummi casing.
Cherry: Tastes just like the cherry Starburst: very furity, a little floral with tart notes to it.
Orange: This is loyal to the original flavor. A strong juiciness with tart, authentic citrus qualities.
Strawberry: This one also tasted just like the Starburst chew to me. It was a little on the tart side but it did have a good “strawberryness” to it.
Lemon: Oh, so good! Has those great fresh zesty notes of the original starburst candies. A little sweet, mostly sour and all lemon. My favorite of the bunch.
I was slightly disappointed with these, only because the flavors weren’t 100% loyal to the chews and the texture wasn’t as “gushy” as I’d hoped. Still, these would do if I needed a break from the Starburst chew routine. I haven’t tired of them yet though.
Rating: Might Eat Again
My first thoughts on this bar when I saw it on the shelf was: “Why 86%?” It seems a really random number to choose. I then looked at a contender for shelf space with Ghirardelli: Lindt; and saw that they have an 85% bar (which is really good by the way). Seems like Ghirardelli is trying to pull a one up on Lindt by making a bar with a higher cacao content to appeal to the dark chocolate devotees. It seems half-hearted that the “higher” percentage is only 1%.
The ingredients list reads: “Bittersweet chocolate (unsweetened chocolate, (do they mean cocoa solids?) cocoa butter, sugar, soy lecithin, vanilla, natural flavor”. I’m happy to see the real vanilla, yet am annoyed with the “natural flavor” and am confused as to why the cocoa solids are called “unsweetened chocolate”. Not to mention that 86% is called “bittersweet”, cause that’s really “dark” in my book. Oh, semantics. Chocolate terminology needs to start having some guidelines here.
The chocolate is a nice and very dark color. It smells roasted with notes of raisins, cherries and cinnamon. The snap is strong with a clean break. I see no bubbles or anything in the chocolate, so obviously this bar was nicely tempered.
The flavor starts off dry and bland at first. The middle is where things start to get interesting where a dry, chalky, and musky flavor appears. It has a slight fruity notes of berries and a twang of citrus at the finish. The aftertaste is, surprise, dry and a little tannic with that musky flavor again. Overall this bar tastes very “green” to me since plants come to mind. The mouth feel is very slick and slippery feeling, and it’s very pleasurable because of it. That’s what lots of cocoa butter will do for you.
I was surprised by the lack of flavor and the intense dryness of this bar. Granted, higher percentages are hard to do well, but it seems this bar just decided to avoid acidity associated with dark chocolates by sacrificing flavor. A good try, but it’s lack of depth just stopped it dead to me. Why eat it if it doesn’t taste of chocolate? I plan to stick with the Lindt 85% bar if you really enjoy tasting chocolate.
Rating: Might Eat Again
My sister one the one that recommended that I try these, as she’s a big fan of them herself. SweetTarts are something I only ate at Halloween, as they are pretty standard trick-or-treating fare. They were something that never struck me as anything special, and I’d always go for chocolate when given an option. I saw this bag of the chewy mini version and liked the idea of it. If I’m going to try something, why not go for the kind that seems more like fun?
The SweetTart minis are indeed small, about the size of pencil eraser heads. The colors are much more muted than I expected: very washed out and lightly flecked with white. There’s five flavors in the assortment: grape, apple, cherry, orange and lemon. Pretty standard flavors as you can see. Nothing off the wall or wacky here, which I strange for a Wonka product.
The chewy texture is odd, as they’re a little crunchy and a little chewy. Neither texture is substantial enough for me to feel like describing them as such though . Perhaps they are chewy in regard to the original candy, so it’s all really relative I think. You feel a hard crunch when you first bite down on the hard outer panned shell. The inside feels grainy and a little fluffy. The mini is chewy for maybe 5-15 chomps, but then it just dissolves into sugar bits after that. It is fun to play with them in your mouth though, so I give them points for that.
Grape: Nice grape flavor, not unlike grape soda. At first it tastes muted and then it’s overtaken by the “tart” part.
Cherry: Has a very medicinal flavor at first, then the tartness comes in and it becomes more fruity and authentic. Cherry lovers won’t be disappointed.
Orange: Very bright, sweet and a little reminiscent of Tang. Not as zesty as I was expecting.
Lemon: Hardly any flavor to this, which I find so disappointing! I kept waiting for some nice sour lemon flavors to come forward, but nothing. I don’t even get a tart with this one. It’s just mild and sweet. Too sweet for lemon.
Apple: Very juicy and floral. It’s really one of the best green apple flavors I’ve had to date. The tart was complimentary and it’s very nice.
The flavors of the chewy SweetTart minis were impressive even though the texture wasn’t. I suppose I should just stick to the original next time, right?
Rating:Might Eat Again
As many of you might be aware of by now, I have a real soft spot in my candy loving heart for classic/retro candies. You know, the ones that often have that dated, garish packaging and are only found in limited and difficult to find areas and stores around the United States. I cannot place my finger on all the reasons why I love these candies so much, but one reason is that I am really drawn to the history of them. Another reason is I’m very curious to taste something that has survived the test of time.
Annabelle’s Candy Company is what I’d consider one of these classic/retro candy manufacturers. Located in Northern California, they’ve an impressive history and have been around making sweets since the 1950s. They have a solid lineup of sweet treats and I admit they they make some of my favorites.
Living on the East Coast makes it hard for me to find Annabelle’s candy in stores, but when I do I am certain to stock up. I was excited to find this Abba-Zaba Sour Apple in a remote gas station and snatched it up as if my life depended on it. Especially since it was alone on a shelf, not even sitting in a box. It needed a home.
I’ve had regular Abba-Zabas before, which are basically a sweet taffy with a peanut butter center, and I liked them despite being a plainer sibling to my favorite the Big Hunk. This was a sour apple version though, and I wasn’t sure what to expect from it. The idea of the flavored taffy with the peanut butter sounded interesting.
First thing I was surprised to find the taffy a bright, bright green. I expected sour apple flavor, yes, but sour apple color? No, so this was a surprise. It smelled salty and lightly of peanut butter. The texture of the taffy is hard and it’s crunchy in the parts on the ends that are thin enough to dry out. Once warmed in the mouth and worked with the teeth, it softens and has a lovely chew.
The flavor is spot on with a standard sour apple flavor. It’s not as powerful as the Jolly Rancher thankfully, but it has it’s moments of sour and sweet both mixing together wonderfully and playfully transitioning between the two. Even thought I’m not much of a sour person, this had a mildness to it where I didn’t feel it crossed the line.
In fact, I’d call it tart as opposed to sour as it felt more natural like the sweet sourness that real apples have. The peanut butter is what you’d expect: creamy, sweet-salty and nutty. I was reminded of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches at certain moments.
So yes, Abba-Zaba Sour Apple is a quite tasty and very satisfying dense and chewy taffy. Though I had a hard time biting off chunks to chew, it was still entertaining to eat. It especially made things interesting when trying to type my tasting notes during consumption; one hand recording the data and the other busy supplying my sugar addiction for the day.
Rating: Might Eat Again
Annabelle’s Candy Co. Website