Brand of Candy
I know what you’re thinking: what am I doing reviewing Jolly Rancher Chews when I don’t even like the regular Jolly Ranchers? Well, didn’t I say I’d try anything once? I admit, I was curious to see how the authentic Jolly Rancher flavors translated into a chew. I’m not big on hard candies to begin with, so perhaps the different texture is enough to make me change my mind about the flavors. Only one way to find out!
Immediately out of the box they remind me of Starburst, but with subtle differences. The chews are rectangular as opposed to square and they’re also extremely colorful. They must pump a lot of food coloring into these babies. Popping one into my mouth and I can feel a difference right away. The chew is not as long as satisfying as I’d like. Still, they hold their own nicely and are a great option when you want something chewy with those familiar tart flavors.
Green: Green Apple. I expected this to be terribly fake tasting, but it didn’t end up being so. Yes, since it is Jolly Rancher, it still manages to taste fake to me. But here a majority of it comes off as very authentic. There’s a nice tartness to it that tastes of a fresh granny smith. It still really gets the saliva going.
Pink: Watermelon. The flavor is not as artificial as the actual hard candy. It’s much lighter with fresher notes of melon. It still has that strange zestiness to it though.
Red Cherry, yet it doesn’t taste of cherry. It’s very tart, sort of woodsy with deep flavors that strike me more like plums. It’s more of a tart generic “red” flavor. It has a bitter finish reminiscent of medicine.
Blue: Blue Raspberry. Wow, this tastes very fake, even more than the original candy. It’s very fruity, floral with a bubble gum essence to it. Maybe that’s where the fake intense sweetness comes from? I also taste a little melon in there too. Odd how it’s overall effect is blue raspberry. Very strange.
I was hoping that these chews would change my mind about Jolly Ranchers, but they didn’t. I think I have learned my lesson and will move on to better things.
Rating: Not Worth It
Jolly Rancher Chews Website
The the idea of the Cabury Filled Dessert Bar excited me from the beginning. It’s as if a box of assorted chocolate bonbons were smooshed together and made into a conveniently filled chocolate bar. Genius! Why wasn’t something like this made sooner? Really!
Cadbury was clever about labeling the flavors in the bar. On the back of the wrapper there’s a key to all the different flavors, so there’s no surprises to what you’re getting when you break off a section. They were very creative with the shapes too; using pineapples, hearts, triangles, etc. to decorate the bar. I wish I took a picture of it before I ate it. Sometimes I’m too excited to do that though, and this was one of those times. I promise to be better about it in the future.
My first taste was underwhelming because the chocolate doesn’t taste up to the normal Cadbury standard. It’s very sweet, but I am missing the cocoa and the dairy flavors that are usually so consistent with their chocolate. Deciding to not let that taint the rest of my experience, I pressed on…
Orange: was so untociceable, really, I can’t remember tasting much!
Coconut Ice: I didn’t taste coconut per se, but there was a coconut essence to it. It was as if someone whispered “coconut” to me from across the room and I thought I heard something…maybe” kind of a way.
Turkish Delight: This one was awful. It tasted like I was eating a bar of soap.
Pineapple: thebest of the bunch, yet that doesn’t say much, the brightly yellow colored goo on the inside didn’t taste of pineapple. It did have the zestiness after it that you expect with pineapple, but the flavor was more “mystery articicial fruit” than pineapple. It was tasty at least, which is more than what the others can say for themselves.
Strawberry: Extremely bright pink in color. The flavor actually has a fruity essence to it, but it doesn’t really taste of strawberry. It just tastes “pink” which for me is a generic berry flavor that’s hard to lay your finger on.
Caramel: Sadly, there’s not much caramel flavor to be found. Actually, it’s totally missing. Oh, Caramello, you’d be so ashamed!
This was such a disappointment. Granted, I had really hyped it up in my mind, but considering how Cadbury usually is pretty solid in terms of good chocolate delivery. I can’t help but feel this bar leaves a lot to be desired still. I’m see this as a starting point for some good improvement!
Rating: Not Worth It
Cadbury Dair Milk Snack Webpage
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
You gotta love the name of this one: Nerds. How cute and catchy is that? I know when I was a kid I wanted these because they just sounded like so much fun. They are a simple candy too, basically tiny lumps that are sugar crystals that are panned and coated with a colored flavored shell.
I usually see Nerds in boxes with two flavors each that are separated so you can can mix and match if you feel like it. I decided on getting the giant theater sized box for greater flavor variety. The sizes are far from uniform. I got some that were extremely tiny and others that were huge clusters. Some of the Nerds were even missing their candy shells and were just the little cut crystals of clear sugar.
Orange: Orange is seldom a disappointing flavor and this is no exception. It’s nice and juicy with a tangyness to it.
Lemon: An intense lemon flavor with a littlse zestiness to it.
Green: Apple-y, with that standard Jolly Rancher type quality flavor to it. also has some tartness.
Red: Very cherry, which starts sweet and then very gets sour. It’s not medicinal at all and very nice due to the sourness.
Purple: Grape, and it’s very much like grape soda. This one is sour the whole time and leaves the longest aftertaste in my mouth of the strong grape flavor.
Pink: Strawberry I think? After tasting a few I decided it is. It’s all sweet as opposed to having a sour note like the others. The flavor is very berry-like and has good fruity nuances to it. I can’t think of a comparapble candy flavor to compare it to. It’s very tasty.
I also had a white one which was a large cluster and I wonder if it was a fluke. There was more then one though, and it was my favorite of them all with a bright pineapple flavor and a tart aftertaste.
I like these. I don’t know if they’re something I’d return to often. They’re so pretty to look at though. I can see them being used creatively in other foods; like on ice cream, cakes and cookies.
Rating:Might Eat Again
Mike & Ike were totally absent from my childhood, like a pair of dysfunctional friends who said they’d site with me during lunch but didn’t. I got my first taste of Mike & Ike during high school and was annoyed as to what I was missing out on all these years. I have been a faithful devotee to the regular mix and it wasn’t until recently I branched out into the other flavor offerings. The Tangy Twister mix with its cheery bright orange box and promising flavors begged to be first in line.
I was so looking forward to trying this Tangy Twister blend because of the pineapple flavor. So when I brought my movie sized box home and opened it up to eat I discovered that I had one pineapple in the whole box. Talk about disappointed!
Cherry: Very tart and oddly enough, reads as a “candy” cherry flavor but not as a bad “medicinal” one. The sourness lingers so the sweetness typical of Mike & Ike didn’t really last for very long.
Raspberry: A really nice raspberry flavor that has a strong juiciness to it with good floral and fruity notes. It’s not too tart, but just enough for it to taste authentic. It was nice how this mimicked the way real berries always have that little sourness before turning sweet.
Orange Punch: Oh, this is strange. It does taste fruity but not of oranges. It is very punch-like with a tropical essence to it as if passion fruit and limes were in there. Maybe it’s labeled orange because of the color?
Pineapple: Wow, This one is so extremely good. It tastes exactly like pineapple with a burst of zesty sweetness and a slight pine-y bite to it. Simply amazing. I need to buy another box to get more of these. I’m not kidding.
Apple: Tart, juicy and is very zesty and a little sweet. A nice sour apple flavor that isn’t overly artificial.
I liked this mix and will certainly pick it up again. I’m just hoping my flavor mix is a little more even next time.
Rating: Will Buy Again
Mike & Ike Website