I love candy orange slices. When I was a kid I was allowed to grab a few from the bins when I went to the grocery store with my Mom. To this day they’re a candy that I enjoy. I’m a little sad to find that they’re getting harder to find nowadays, but I hope that’s just the candy trend right now and hopefully they’ll stat showing up more frequently. So imagine my excitement when I was contacted by Jelly Belly asking if I’d be interesting in trying some samples to review. Being a big fan of jelly belly, I said yes, but I didn’t know what they planned on sending to me. These Sunkist Orange Slices where in that package.
I admit I haven’t had the Sunkist version of orange slices, only Brach’s and some other “store brands” whose name I don’t remember at the moment. These orange slices are smaller and softer than the ones I’m used to. They still carry the same shape with the rippled top of accentuate the orange slice shape. These are most squishy to the touch, and the granulated sugar is has a nice texture to it.
The flavor is similar to the Sunkist Gem orange flavor. It’s bright and fruity, with great sweet and zesty accents to make it come across as very “juicy”. Because these are smaller and softer, they’re very “pop-able”, you find yourself eating a bunch instead of stopping at one or two. Very yummy and very addicting.
Even though these are smaller I can easily imagine them as additions to vanilla ice cream and as decorations on top of cupcakes. They’re perfectly addicting as is but I can’t help but think of creative ways they could be used in other sweets and desserts. I think the orange slice is a really overlooked classic candy, and these Sunkist Orange slices are a wonderful addition to the genre.
Rating: Will Eat Again
Links Sunkist Orange Slices Shop
Sunkist Gems have been around for as long as I can remember. I have eaten them a bunch of times over the years, when I get that special craving for citrus gummi candies. One of the grocery stores that I used to frequent back East (I still love and miss you Wegmans!) had a large candy bin section, with a big barrel of individually wrapped Sunkist Gems. I’d go through and pick out the grapefruit and lemons ones for myself as a treat every so often. They’re so yummy! Jelly Belly PR recently contacted me asking if I’d like to try some samples for the blog. Being such a big fan of their products I said yes, not knowing what they’d be mailing me. Lo and behold, I had a bag of Sunkist Fruit Gems!
The gems are round discs, a little smaller than the size of a poker chip, and stand at about 1/4 inch tall. They’re colorful, but in a muted colored with fruit juice kind of way, and covered with a coating of granulated sugar.
The gems come in five flavors:
Orange: This flavor is really great. It has nice nice orangy flavor to it that’s zesty but sweet. It almost has a tangerine taste to it from the zest, but it’s smoother than that. The flavor comes across as very juicy and satisfying. Really yummy.
Lemon: This flavor is awesome. It’s tart, zesty and juicy. All that a lemon should be. The nuances in this reminds me of limoncello. Very flavorful and so delicious.
Grapefruit: I was looking forward to this one the most. This one is smooth, so smooth. The flavor is a bit more delicate than the lemon and orange, yet the flavor is that richness of grapefruit I expect and look forward to. It has a great, juicy taste that is both sweet and sour, with a hint of bitterness. Really yummy.
Raspberry: Raspberry is sweet and lightly floral. It has a nice juicy berry-ness to the flavor but it’s not very intense. Other than that it’s just sweet with no real defining notes.
Blueberry: Blueberry is sweet and has an perfumey flavor to it. I taste berries, but not specifically blueberries. Something about it is oddly “red” though, like hints of red licorice laces. It’s tasty ,and out of all the flavors in the bag I had the most of this one.
I do feel a little disappointed with the Raspberry and Blueberry flavors, not because I didn’t like how thy tasted, but more because I miss how these were a citrus fruit mix. The lime flavor got booted and these were added in. It does add more to the rainbow of colors. I shared these with my fiance and he just raved about them. Little did I know that these are a childhood favorite of his (I’ve never seen him by them himself) so he really enjoyed having these again. We both really enjoyed these and now that I know how much he loves them, I’ll be buying these more often!
Rating: Will Buy Again
Links Sunkist Fruit Gem Shop
I recall seeing a press release from Jelly Belly a few months ago announcing that their new flavors were going to be Snapple themed. I felt excited about this, since I know Snapple makes some unique drinks that they could use as good inspiration. Some time has passed, and I’ve seen product sample photos on other blogs. I was biding my time until I encountered them in stores, then Jelly Belly PR reached out to me and asked me if I’d like some same to review for the blog. I took them up on their kind offer, never thinking to ask what they planned on sending my way. To my delight, I saw a bag of the Snapple flavors once I received the package from them.
The package is nice and pretty straightforward. I really commend them for posting a flavor key on the back, so you know what flavors are included and what they’ll look like. It’s easy this way to pick out your favorites first, or search for that one flavor you want to try. I immediately went for the pink lemonade, in case you were wondering.
Fruit Punch (purple): The flavor starts off very fruity and you get notes of peaches, cherries, pineapples and oranges. Very tasty and you do get that sense of fruit punch.
Kiwi Strawberry (deep pink with spots): This is very sweet and fruity. I do taste strawberry with very “pink” flavors. It almost heads into “cotton candy” in terms of its sweetness. It’s very good, but I get no hint of kiwi in there.
Mango Maddness (TM) (orange): This one is immediately mango. It hits you with that sweet, tropical flavor. It’s very juicy, and you get the notes of mango with peach and passion fruit.
Cranberry Raspberry (pinkish red): This one I really liked. The raspberry is very sweet and jammy. The flavor is spot on. The cranberry adds a beautiful tartness to it that really rounds out the flavor. Super yummy.
Pink Lemonade (light pink): This one starts off zesty with a sweetness to it, just like real lemonade. It tastes a little bitter at points, but the moments are infrequent and the flavor is very nice.
Interesting flavors, but seem to play it on the safe side. None of these are actual Snapple flavors I ever bought as a drink. I would have been interested to see them do some of their iced tea flavors. Or, and I know this is far fetched, but the flavors from that “Elements” line (which was out in the late 90s) that I felt was really unique. I really liked these jelly beans, I just felt that the flavors are very similar to what Jelly Belly already offers. I’ve also already bought a few bags to nibble on at work since doing this review. They are tasty!
Rating: Will Buy Again
Links Jelly Belly Website
I am going to have to come clean here. I go through “phases” with cinnamon and minty candies. Some months I really enjoy them, others I can’t stand the thought of them. Right now I’m on the “blech” phase, but I knew I had to review these soon. I bit the bullet and did my tasting against why my appetite said. It wasn’t a bad as I feared, but it also wasn’t as awesome as when I’m craving them. That being said, these are Hot Tamale’s Fire and Ice candies. They both come in separate packages, and I don’t know how else to say this other then these are old. Very old. Older than some edible candies should be. Still, I have a duty to my fellow candy lovers, and I needed to find out what these things tasted like. Old or not. So here we go…
It’s an intense black package with flames on it that says “cinnamon charged”. It’s a very striking wrapper, it totally stands out next to the red of the regular Hot Tamales candy. To be honest I really don’t remember where on earth I found these. It might have been a discount dollar store? All I know was that it was a freak sighting and it’s been in my candy stash far too long now.
The candies are the same shape as Mike and Ike. Oblong with one side flattened and the other more pointed and round. The color is of an intense cherry red with a nice gloss to them.
The smell ever so slighy of cinnamon, barely noticeable.
The flavor is immediately of cinnamon. Very, very intense cinnamon. It gets to the flavor point where it does feel like it’s “burning” some, but you feel it more as you swallow than when you chew it in your mouth. The flavor and burn quickly disappears from your mouth once the candy is finished, so it’s not something that will have you guzzling water (or rather milk, since water does nothing towards capsaicin, which I doubt is in here anyways) afterwards to rid yourself of the heat.
Tasty for sure, and a good pick if you’re into the cinnamon jelly beans and perhaps looking for something more intense.
I do happen to remember where I bout these. I found them in a gas station mart while on weekend trip in Riverside, CA. It wasn’t until I got them in the car that I realized that the expiration date read September 2008. Whoops.
They smell sweet and lightly peperminty, like toothpaste. I was surprised the scent wasn’t strong, but it’s possible since they’re past the “best by” date that they would have smelled stronger in their prime.
The candies are this strange bright light blue color. They’re very opaque, and some even had white speckles on them. Again, I am not sure if age is a factor in this or not.
The texture was immediately off as they were much denser and chewier than other fresher hot tamales I’ve had. These were thick and sticky on my teeth. The flavor starts out peperminty and lighty sweet at first, then a big hit of fresh, clean peppermint washes in. That creshendo didn’t last long and it mellowed out into this minty, oddly fake fruity taste. I’m not quite sure what to make of it.
Fire and Ice Hot Tamales were interesting. I probably would have enjoyed them more if I had fresh specimens. Sometimes that’s how it works though, since some candies come and go so quickly. I’m still happy that I got to try them before they disappeared forever.
Rating: Might Eat Again
Links Hot Tamale Website
It was on a rare occasion that I was shopping in Wal-Mart where I found this bag of Brach’s Fruit Slices. Here in Los Angeles we don’t have many Wal-Marts, none of which are very close to me. I found these in the Wal-Mart local to where my parents are, on a trip back east to visit them. Wal-Mart tends to have a very different candy selection than most stores, so I usually find really unique things there. Since I bought this package I haven’t seen the candy again. I am now kicking myself for not taking a blog-worthy photo of the package.
Brach’s most famous and popular fruit slice candy are their Orange, or now re-labeled Mandarin Orange Slices. I recall eating these from a very young age and they’ve always been a favorite of mine. So of course I was excited to find a version that had multiple fruit flavors to enjoy. The package didn’t list what flavors were inside, but you did see colors of them on the front: red, green, purple, yellow, orange and pink!
One by one I tasted them all. Since the slices are somewhat sizable, I felt rather full after trying one of each. The candies are think and are easy to bite into. They’re smooth and not the least bit sticky as you chew them.
Pink/Strawberry: Very fruity with strong berry notes. Tastes very “pink”.
Red/Cherry: Very bright and fruity. It tastes like the cherry Tootsie Pop. Has slight bitter notes to it but it isn’t too much. It’s still tasty and has that “black cherry” flavor to it.
Orange: Sweet and juicy like an orange. This lacks the tartness that the Mandarin orange makeover had. It’s tasty and reminds me of the orange slices I ate as a kid.
Yellow/Lemon: Starts out with fresh lemon flavors. It’s tast and has a nice bitter edge to it, but it’s not too sour. The flavor is very nice.
Green/Apple: Very sweet with strong floral accents to it. You can tell they’re rying to make it like a little like a sour granny smoth, but keep it sweet. Imagine a jolly rancher melted into some apple sauce. Really tasty and delicous, but not authentic.
Purple/Grape: This one starts off mild and grows into that strange medicional grape flavor I recall from childhood. There’s this fruity tartness and a rich juicy note that reads “grape” to me.
I really loved these, but I think out of the flavor mix the lemon and orange are still my favorites. Too bad they can’t put together a citrus mix for me! If I ever come across these again I certainly will buy them. In the meantime I’m happy to have the Mandarin Orange slices readily available in my local grocery store.
Rating: Will Buy Again
Links Brach’s Website