Headed back to my trusty gourmet foods store, I was hoping to stumble across a few things for my candy stashes. One of which was the Ragold Citrus Mix that I reviewed a few weeks ago. Happily I found them, but I also saw this new variety, the Tropical mix, right next to it. Of course I had to try it!
This mix has a bunch of flavors in it compared to the three flavors offered in the citrus mix. There’s also more colors and shapes too, so it’s fun to look at each of the little jellies. They’re like little gems or jewels almost.
Banana: flavor is sweet and starchy, and lightly of banana. it’s juicy and the flavor is very delicate.
Apple: Immediately a little tart and very floral. doesn’t taste of apple to me at all as it comes across as herbal, like a fruity herb tea.
Lemon: This has nice sharp sour notes and a smooth lemon flavor to it. mild in flavor too like the banana, and it’s sweet.
Peach: It’s very juicy with strong floral notes to it, something about it tasted…kinda odious? it was that fake peach flavor and it was strange.
Pineapple: Right away it’s juicy and very intense in flavor. the pineapple flavor is immediately tarty and intense, and it’s really like real pineapple. yum!
Strawberry: Very mild in flavor with sweet berry notes. It is lightly jammy, and difficult to detect in flavor.
Cherry: This has deep smooth flavor f dark cherries. like cherry juice, very woodsy ad sweet/tart. Really nice.
Pear: Juicy with citrus notes to it. didn’t remind me of pear at all, more like a melon.
I liked these a lot, better than the citrus mix! I was happy I found these, and I hope to find both varieties on my return trips.
Rating: Will Eat Again
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
The last and hopefully not the least of my Teenee Beanee reviews. I have to admit now that, I only ended up finding three of the four flavors mixed that Teenee Beanee offers. The missing one is the Luxor Licorice, which I am pretty bummed about missing, as I love licorice beans. No matter, I’m here to focus on the Island Breeze flavor mix, and that’s what I’ll do.
Again, the package is very pretty and fitting. It does feel very tropical. The description this time reads: “Includes exotic flavors so authentic you can almost hear the sound of steel drums. Get ready, get set, get away!”.
The bag smells very fruity and tropical, like Hawaiian Punch when I opened it. It was a nice smell, and I found myself just sticking my nose into the bag and inhaling a few times even before reaching to eat the beans. The mix is pretty to look at, with the colors bright and almost neon.
Caribbean Punch (blue): This bean tastes just like Hawaiian punch. The flavors of strawberry, peach, blue raspberry and pineapple all blend together to make that iconic punchy taste.
Cabana Strawbana (red): Such a cute name! This bean tastes more starchy and sweet of fake banana than of strawberries, or any berries for that matter. It has an extra sweet edge which I think is supposed to be the strawberry part. But that’s only if I imagine really hard.
Kauai Pineapple Banana (yellow): Tastes more pineapple than banana. Heck, I don’t taste any banana here at all until the very end where there’s a slight starchy aftertaste. The pineapple is fruity, tart and authentic. I’m a fan.
St. Kitts Kiwi Lime (green): This has that immediate tart kick of lime that is followed by a sweeter, more tropical flavor of kiwi. It’s very floral and zesty with no hint of bathroom cleaner.
Martinique Orange Pineapple (orange): So very smooth and clean in flavor. The orange is weak, like Tang, lacking zest and tartness. I’m sadly not getting much pineapple here either, as none of this flavor reads as “tropical” to me. Just smooth, creamy, orange notes.
I liked this mix for what it was, a sampling of tropical flavors, even though they were a bit confusing with their flavors. That’s the trend I see with the whole Teenee Beanee line, in fact. The Island Breeze is my favorite of the trio I tried, and it’s something I don’t think I’ll be reaching for again. The jelly beans I normally buy are hard to knock out of the top slots on my favorites list, yes. That doesn’t excuse the fact that I had to think about what a flavor of the bean was in the Teenee Beenee mixes. I should just taste it.
Rating: Might Eat Again
Links Teenee Beanee Website
The second bag of Teenee Beanee beans I nabbed on that especially lucky was was the Country Retreats mix. The package, with it’s warm color splashes and bountiful harvest images, is very attractive. It does emit a sort of “laziness of days gone by” sort of feeling to it. I could see someone imagining themselves in that lawn chair depicted on the top, relaxing and snacking on these jelly beans. The description on the front hints at this idea with “The new old-fashioned escape. Travel far from the crowded streets and discover a country hideaway that still makes classic desserts in their special homemade style. Enjoy a small slice of fruit-filled heaven.”
What excited me most about this mix was the unusual flavors: Strawberry Cheesecake, Peaches & Cream, Blueberry Cobbler, Apple Dumpling a la Mode and Banana Cream Pie. With most jelly bean mixes, you get the approximately the same flavors over and over again. I’ve yet to see the likes of Apple Dumpling a la Mode and Blueberry Cobbler in another mix (do correct me if I’m wrong!).
Upon opening the bag I was greeted with a very odd smell, that of different fruit and spices. It didn’t seem like jelly beans to me, but hey, who am I to judge? I poured a few out to try, and I have to admit, the colors of these are dreadful. Alone, each bean is fine, but together it’ not attractive at all. Pinks, blues and beiges. How drab.
Strawberry Cheesecake (pink ): This one was hard to peg. The only real hint I got was the color is pink. It has a light berry sweetness that could have read as blueberry. What I taste more of are the flavors of the graham cracker and cinnamon crust.
Peaches & Cream (light pink/orange ): Very peachy and fruity tasting. It’s light and refreshing.
Blueberry Cobbler (blue): This, like the Strawberry Cheesecake, just tastes lightly of berries and very sweet. I don’t get any flavor nuances other than that.
Apple Dumpling a la Mode (beige): A very light, creamy apple flavor with the dominant flavors of cinnamon and vanilla. The first of the beans that actually reminds me of the dessert it’s based on.
Banana Cream Pie (light yellow): I think this is the only one out of the mix that can be this flavor, right? It’s odd. It’s very artificial and strange tasting. It has a brown sugar like sweetness to it. It’s not banana-like at all, but the color….
This flavor mix didn’t exactly help my lukewarm first impression with the Americana Medley mix I reviewed yesterday. If anything, I found these confusing despite the fact I liked the out of the box flavors. They were too similar with no real distinction other than the colors. Jelly Beans shouldn’t be like that.
Rating: Not Worth It
Links Teenee Beanee Website
When I first heard of the Teenee Beanee line of jelly beans made by Just Born, I knew I had to get my hands on them. This proved to be no easy task, as I soon discovered. I checked all my usual haunts, and then some of my unusual ones, in search of these elusive beans. I even heard that CVS carries them, only to check 6 of them in my surrounding area before giving up on my search. Emails to Just Born PR proved fruitless, as they were just as confused as I was about not being able to locate any. They became my candy “White Whale” for a long time. It wasn’t until I was visiting my parents in Upstate New York did I finally discover some. It was in one of the cheesy, baseball souvenir/dollar stores on the main street. I squealed with glee, enough so that it frightened my poor Dad, as I snatched up all the kinds they had.
This is the first of the three bags I found that day. The Teenee Beanee(R) Americana Medley(R) Jelly Beans. They’re described as “Classics from coast to coast. Sit back and enjoy a cross-country tour to six luscious locales”. I find myself both interested and confused. What are the flavors exactly? Locations in America do little to draw flavors to mind…other than Mississippi Mud. I doubt that was something they would include in the flavor mix, though. Pouring out a sample, the colors are nice with the whole rainbow represented, save a trade of blue for a pink.
La Jolla Lemon (yellow): I have no clue of La Jolla, but no matter. The lemon flavor is sweet with a tiny sour edge. It’s very pleasant.
Napa Grape (purple): This flavor was well done, as reminds me of a grape tootsie pop, but juicier.
Chesapeake Cherry (red): Ick. It tastes of cough syrup and cherry lifesaver. Juicy, bitter, cherry redness.
Savannah Strawberry (pink): Peaches come to mind for Savannah more than strawberries do, but who am I to judge? I’m impressed with the flavor as it’s sweet with bright berry notes and a good strong finish.
Indian River Orange (orange): Extremely juicy and sweet, no tang at all. It’s not creamy, as most mild orange flavors are. Just smooth and sugary.
Laredo Lime (light green): The lime flavor is extremely strong. It starts off a little like floor cleaner, but then turns more authentic and sweet as the flavor develops and finishes.
This first introduction to the line didn’t impress or gross me out, so it’s very middle of the road. Some flavors stood out more than the others, but as of not nothing would make me choose these over any of the other jelly beans I can get my hands on. I couldn’t help but chuckle when I saw the other tag line on the bag that read: “Open up and discover a delightfully delicious land with liberty and flavor for all”. Liberty? In my jelly beans? Now there’s a thought! I am left eager to see what the other flavors have in store for me.
Rating: Might Eat Again
Links Teenee Beanee Website