Haribo (rhymes with Caribou) is a German confectionery company that is the largest gummi and jelly candy manufacturer in the world. How’s that for an impressive opening statement? They are most well known for their Gummi Bears, which they invented, along with many other classic favorites. Like many candies I feature here, I’ve only gotten familiar with them in recent years and am working my way though all their delicious confections.
Haribo Brixx caught my eye immediately because of the beautiful red package, along with how unique the candy itself is. The Brixx look like little thick rectangles, similar to licorice chunks in a way. They have a “cut” side exposed with six holes filled with a white cream and the whole thing is dusted with some sort of sugar. I’ve read different descriptions online saying it’s either sour or fizzy, and I didn’t know which to believe or expect. To keep things interesting, the Brixx also come in three colors: yellow, red and green.
After my first few pieces, I’m immediately struck by how odd the texture of these are. I expected it to be gummi like, but instead it’s more chewy like licorice. It feels grainy, thick and substantial with a good chew.
Green: The flavor is very sour from the sugar coating (ah ha!) and the flavor is akin to green apple: very bright, floral and juicy. The cream here doesn’t really add anything.
Red: It’s hard to lay my finger on this flavor, but my best guess is strawberry. It’s sweet with fruity notes that learn on the berry side. It’s the least tart of the bunch, but the sour kick does work with it, even though it’s an odd paring with strawberry.
Yellow: This was a surprise. It tastes like pear and this one isn’t as tart as the green apple. The pear flavoring is pleasant and works well with the sour coating. I find it quite unique. On a side note: during my tastings, I got one yellow one that tasted really…off. It’s flavor was of burnt plastic. I’m hoping that’s a fluke.
I loved the texture of these. I didn’t find that I tasted the “cream” inside, but maybe that’s where that subtle sweetness resides. The sour is so strong it’s hard to tell where it’s coming from. The sour coating as odd though, and after a few pieces my mouth began to hurt from the sourness of it. It’s a shame, cause they’re so much fun to chew and the flavors are good, I just don’t want to burn my mouth raw with these, cause pain and candy don’t mix in my mind.
Happy I tried them, but I won’t be getting them again. There’s bigger and better Haribo candy to try!
Rating: Not Worth It
This is a Polish chocolate bar I stumbled across in a random grocery store. I never have had Polish confections before, therefore I was immediately drawn to it. The only English on it says “chocolate filled bar” with a bright red wrapper with strawberries on it. I’m relieved for the illustrations otherwise I wouldn’t have known what I was buying exactly.
The bar is broken into six filled sections. The chocolate is a nice medium brown, a little washed out looking from the dairy in it. Because of this coloring, I’m guessing it’s a milk chocolate. The bar doesn’t smell chocolatey at all but of strawberries with a sharp, dairy tang. Snapping off a section a grainy looking beige-pink center is revealed. The strawberry smell is even more intense now and I can pin point what the aroma reminds me of: Japanese strawberry yogurt drinks (duh).
The flavor is very sweet, which I find strange considering the strong tangy notes in the aroma. The flavor is neither chocolate or strawberry, although there are subtle nuances of each in there. It really just tastes sweet which I find disappointing. The texture is fun though since the center isn’t oily like I’d expect, and instead is moist and grainy like marzipan. It gives a very rich, substantial feel in the mouth that I enjoy immensely. Too bad the flavor isn’t up to par though, since I’m so smitten with the texture.
A good first step into Polish candy I think, I look forward to trying more of it.
Rating:Might Eat Again
Wawel Catalog Website
I first became familiar with Sour Punch Straws during my freshman year of college. My roommate was intent on searching them down and hoarding them for special care packages she’d send to her friends at home. It was during this time that I tasted them for the first time and now whenever I have them, I am overcome with an extreme sense of nostalgia.
The packaging is very approachable with bright colors and puckering smiley faces on them. It feels very comical to me, as the expressions are of pleasure yet there’s electric bolts shooting from their mouths. It makes me very optimistic about the sourness of the straws, to say the least.
Sour Punch Straws come in many flavors, but I figured the tastiest one to start with would be the Strikin’ Strawberry flavor. They come nicely packed in a tray that pulls out easily from the wrapper. The straws are long, about 6 inches and about 1/4 inch diameter, and are very brightly colored with a sanding of granular sugar. The smell of the straws is tart and fake, and reminds me more of “cherry” then “strawberry”
The sandy sugar coating is the sour part, but I wouldn’t call it “punchy”. Instead, it’s a nice “sassy” sour, noticeable and certainly the starring trait of this candy, but not anything over the top. The chew is dense as I’m reminded of a good red licorice stick. As for the strawberry flavor, it’s not really. It tastes more “red” than anything, with strong artificial flavor and little indication of any specific fruit.
I like how these are flavorful yet don’t burn my mouth out like really intense sour candy tends to. My interest is piqued and I’m eager to check out the other Sour Punch Straw flavor offerings.
Rating:Will Buy Again
Sour Punch Website
Hershey’s is following in their footsteps from last year and are releasing new flavors of Kisses for the fall. The big newbie last year were the Candy Corn Kisses, which were an exclusive limited edition release for Target. For those of you who were fans of those Kisses will be happy to know they’re back with a wider release this year and brought new friends with them this time: Caramel Apple Kisses and Pumpkin Spice Kisses.
I searched high and low for these new flavors, and unfortunately have had success in finding the former. The hunt for the Pumpkin Spice continues, I will not rest until I find them.
The Caramel Apple Kisses are beautiful to observe. The packaging is attractive with nice rich festive colors and nice illustrations. The Kisses are wrapped in even more eye-catching fall-colored wrappers with brilliant red and orange stripes. I look at these and am immediately reminded as to why I love fall so much.
Opening the bag with great anticipation, the kisses smell perfectly normal: sweet and chocolatey.
I took one of the Kisses to cut one in half for a photo. This proved dangerous as the center wanted to ooze everywhere. The caramel center is almost liquid, I was very surprised by. I don’t recall the regular Caramel Kisses being so flowing.
The flavor is first the sweet Hershey’s chocolate along with the creamy caramel flavors with nice burnt sugar notes. After that is when the apple taste comes in. It’s very artificial with a floral essence and strong juicy notes that have a slight tang to it. It reminds me of what candied apples taste like in a way: fruity, but something is a little off from the coating. They really remind me of those radioactive green Caramel Apple Pops that Charms makes. Despite the flavor oddness from the apple, the Kisses work somehow for me. They taste like fall.
As a side note, not everyone I shared these with agreed with me. As I fed some to one of my sisters and she scrunched her nose up at them.
Rating: Might Eat Again
Hershey’s Kisses Website
I can’t say what attracted me more to this candy bar: the fact that it uses pineapple as a base flavor or its unusual name. Maybe both? This candy bar hails from New Zealand where they strike me as more adventurous and broad with their confections. Still, what’s up with Pineapple Lumps? I don’t really consider lumps of any kind appetizing, so I can’t understand how this name seemed like a good idea.
Inside the package there’s two thin flat rectangular bars, er, lumps. They’re coated in mockolate since the ingredients list has no cocoa butter or liqueur in it, just vegetable oil and cocoa powder. At least there’s real pineapple juice concentrate in here, right? For the sake of experimentation I decided to eat one half of the “twin bar” at room temperature and the other frozen. That’s my best surmise as to how lumps should be eaten.
The smell is of sweet, diary-like chocolate. It reminds me of Halloween candy in that faint sugary/chocolate sort of way. I do also detect a bit of frutiness, but I can’t pin it to a specific fruit, not even the pineapple. The first bite has a good give to it. It’s not totally soft like marshmallow and it’s not hard like a Charleston Chew. The coating just tastes “sweet” and easily flaked off the very soft and strangely textured center.
As for the pineapple center? Think of it texture-wise as a dense, spongy, slightly grainy marshmallow. The flavor is fruity but I’m reminded more of Juicy Fruit gum than I am of pineapple. There’s a tropical-ness to it with some tangyness, but somewhere something goes wrong and it gets a strange sweetness and a funny bubblegum-like flavor.
Eating this is a totally different beast when it’s frozen. The squishy interior becomes rock hard and cleaves off in sharp chunks when bitten into, leaving a flawlessly clean break. The texture of it in the mouth is slightly tacky at first, then it deflates immediately into a filmy paste than quickly melts away. You only notice the odd flavor briefly, so all you manage to taste is the overly sweet mockolate left behind.
Overall a very odd candy. I’m happy to have tried it for the novelty value but it’s not something I’m not going to seek out again.
Rating: Not Worth It