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October 2014
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Jelly

Oct
03



Jelly Belly Candy Corn Beans Bag

One thing I absolutely love about October and Halloween is, aside from candy, the fact that many candy companies use it as a reason to introduce new candies to the market. This was occurring quite frequently a few years ago, but recently this phenomena has been slowing down some. Thankfully, this year, Jelly Belly is releasing a new jelly bean just in time for Halloween: Jelly Belly Candy Corn jelly beans!

These were surprise samples from Jelly Belly. I say that because I never hear beforehand when they arrive at my doorstep. They just…show up. I want to remind my readers that free samples never taint my opinions of the candy in my reviews. If I like them, I"ll say so. Even bad free candy still tastes bad, and I’ll say so. I digress, back to these pretty little beans:

 

Jelly Belly Candy Corn Beans

The beans use all the colors of normal candy corn, white, yellow and orange. The speckling is random and very pretty.

The flavor is almost candy corn. It read that way to me immediately upon my first sampling. It was only after trying some real candy corn side by side where I found minute flavor differences. But, the essence is definitely there. If you aren’t a fan of the texture or intense sweetness of candy corn, then the jelly bean version is for you. The texture is smooth and gummi and is no where near as sweet as the original kernels.

 

Jelly Belly Candy Corn Bag

Now, in comparison, there’s Jelly Belly Candy Corn. Now, each brand has a slightly different version of candy corn, and Jelly Belly is no exception. Their candy corn is pristine, there’s not breaking or chopping of any of the corn kernels in the bag. The pieces are firm to the touch and extremely smooth. There’s more squat and are rounder than most candy corn varieties. The flavor and texture are all traditional candy corn. The sweet chew of the sugary fondant and the slight graininess, and the extremely sweet flavor with the hint of honey.  Awesome, but I think Brach’s is still my favorite.

I recommend these jelly beans to anyone who likes candy corn. If you’re one of those folks who’s really on the fence with the stuff, perhaps give them a try. The slight twist in form might be the trick to make them a favorite in your candy repertoire.

Rating: Will Eat Again

 

Will Eat Again


Links Jelly Belly Website

 


Mar
30



Starburst Jellybeans Tropical

I saw these new Starburst Tropical Jelly Beans along side the “Crazy Beans” I reviewed earlier this week. I hadn’t seen these before, so I’m assuming they’re new. Another possibility is I just haven’t been visiting the right stores in order to see them in previous years. Either way, I was excited to give them a try since unlike the “Crazy Beans”, these jelly beans have flavors based on the Starbust Chew candies, which I am a big fan of.

The bag smells fruity and exotic, as I get lots of notes of mango, pineapple and punch. This package also gives a list of flavors, but they’re not as detailed as the “Crazy Beans” as those had illustrations to go with the descriptions. Here you just gotta do your best to guess. The mix I got in this bag was very heavy on the pinks, reds and oranges. I didn’t get a lot of green or yellow beans, which, it probably a kid’s best candy dream since not many prefer the green or yellow flavors anyways. 

 

Starburst Jellybeans Tropical


Mango Melon (orange):
starts off mild with light notes of mango. it’s juicy and sweet. the orange adds an evenness to the flavor which makes it not too sweet, but the flavor is more juicy.

Pineapple Orange: (yellow):
Flavor is sweet orange at first, then blossoms with the juicy flavors of pineapple. the flavor comes across as a little off since there’s not tartness to the pineapple, it’s really, really sweet. Tasty, but not everything I hoped for.

Tropical Punch (red): Immediately tastes of citrus and passion fruit with a hint of pineapple. has nice sweet notes that really taste of punch.

Kiwi Strawberry (green): Starts off sweet and doesn’t really develop any other flavors. it’s off, but just sweet.

Watermelon (pink): taste like that funny fake melon flavor with odd perfumey notes twinged with sweetness.

Strawberry Banana (light pink):
Immediately notes of banana twinged with berry notes. It’s a little sour, which confuses me, as neither strawberries nor bananas are sour. Strange.

I liked these a lot more than I did the “Crazy Beans” from earlier this week. The flavors were a lot more recognizable and authentic. These colors appeal to me more as well and feel more “Eastery” to me, which is silly since anything bright and colorful can be considered as such. As a “new” addition to Starburst’s Jelly Bean line, I think these are a tasty addition.

Rating: Will Eat Again

Will Eat Again

Links Starburst Website


Mar
28



Starburst Crazy Beans Bag

These Starburst “Crazy Beans” are a new jelly bean I spotted this year on the Easter candy shelves. The purple edges on the bag are really eye catching (especially paired with the yellow background, opposites on the color wheel and all that). The premise behind these new Crazy Beans is that each bean has two flavors in one. As if the shell is one flavor and the interior jelly is another. That’s a pretty fun premise.

Firstly, I have to thank Starburst for putting a flavor guide on the back of the bag. That way I can at least get an idea of what I am tasting, especially when they decide to give the flavors crazy names (which they did). When opening the bag it smells extremely fruity and a little sour, so I expect to taste some tartness in these beans.

The beans are colorful and very opaque. The shells have a sheen to them but no luminosity at all. You can see the dark flecks of air bubbles in the candy shell exterior, which give the beans a mottled look to them.

 

Starburst Crazy Beans


Grape-aid (purple):
Is tart like a lemon, has a nice juicy flavor with an authentic tartness. I don’t taste anything grape about this one.

Peach-A-Palooza (orange):  A nice peach/orange mix that compliments each flavor beautifully. it’s nicely sweet with no tartness. a tasty bean.

Tropical Cherry Splash (blue):
Immediately it tastes…peachy. I get a sense of “tropical” in here because it tastes of punch. but nothing tastes like cherry here.

Razzin Watermelon (Pink): Starts of tasting like lemon. I don’t taste any notes of watermelon, it’s more like lemonade.

Banana Berry Blast (yellow): This one just tastes…sweet, like cotton candy.

Strappleberry (green):
  Tart and tastes like melon and raspberries.

So overall, none of the flavor really spoke to me. I can see how these could appeal to kids who’d enjoy the neon-like colors and crazy flavor combinations. But for me, these didn’t wow me enough with the flavors, they came across more strange than the did “cool” or remarkably tasty.

Rating: Will Eat Again

Will Eat Again

Links Starburst Website


Dec
22



Mike and Ike Holiday Medley Bag

This is the first time I’ve bought a Mike and Ike holiday flavored bag of candies. I know they release special flavor mixes for many of the holidays during the year as I’ve seen them in stores. Yet, I haven’t felt compelled to try them until now. I guess it was the bright red packaging and the Christmas colors that did me in. It’s just that pretty looking.

So inside this “Holiday Medley” is three flavors for three colors. The red is cherry, the dark green is mixed berry (strange, I know), and light green which is lime.

 

Mike and Ike Holiday Medley

I bet these would look really cute in a candy dish. They reflect light beautifully and the colors are bright and pure.

The cherry tastes as I would expect it to; sweet at first, then a metallic cherry flavor blossoms while a sweetness grows from underneath and retakes the flavor by the finish. It reminds me of a cherry Lifesaver, but sweeter.

The mixed berry starts of very floral and sweet and grows into a flavor that tastes like blueberries as it’s mild and sweet. It’s a very smooth flavor with no tartness to it.

The lime is bright and zesty right away, but has a sweetness to it so it doesn’t come across as too abrasive. It’s not bitter either so it doesn’t have that awful floor cleaner taste to it.

So if you’re a fan of Mike and Ike this is a really well chosen flavor assortment for the holidays. Two sweet flavors rounded out by a zesty one. I’m a big fan of it. Like the other holiday candies I’ve reviewed so far, these would look great in a candy dish. I know I wouldn’t be able to help picking at them if they were out within hand’s reach!

Rating: Will Eat Again

 

Will Eat Again

Links Mike and Ike Website


Aug
09



Trader Joe's Powerberries Bag

I find candies that are “store originals”, as so to speak, are quite interesting. We all recognize candies that are knock-offs of their mainstream counterparts. But ones that are ideas and styles all their own? I like the unpredictability of them. These Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate Powerberries are just that. I saw them on the shelf, knew they were candy, but didn’t know exactly what they were. So I had to find out.

The package shows them to be little round chocolate covered nuggets. They reminded me right away of Raisinets, so in a way, that’s what I was expecting. The bag has a resealable top, which I really appreciate, since the package is way too much to eat in one sitting. The bag smells sweet and very much like blueberries.

 

Trader Joe's Powerberries

Pouring some of these Powerberries into my hand, I find that the size varies. Some are small others much larger. They’re irregular, but that’s part of what makes them fun.

I take a bite and am surprised to not find an actual berry in the center. Instead, there’s a thick, jelly like texture. Almost like those fruit pate candies I adore so much. After a few experiments to see what made these up, I find that the center is two of these semi domed jelly discs smooshed together, and then covered in chocolate.

The flavor is very complex, as you really taste the rich dark chocolate at first. Soon follows the intense flavor of the berries, which is very blackberry/blueberry/strawberry. The two flavors compliment each other beautifully: the sweetness of the chocolate balances out the tartness of the berries, and the fruitiness of the berries calms the earthiness of the chocolate. It’s really excellent.

The bag got finished off pretty quickly, as they were really yummy. Funny thing is, these aren’t something I’d crave, for reasons I can’t explain. Still, they’re something I appreciate since there’s nothing else like it that I know of, and they’re fun to try and eat when I do have some around. 

Rating: Will Eat Again

 

Will Eat Again

Links Trader Joe’s Website


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