August 2010
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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


Amazin' Fruit Gummi Bears II


Trader Joe's Citrus Gum Drops

There’s certain flavors that call to me from the shelves at stores. For instance, I’m a sucker for anything labeled with “Pumpkin”, so I’ve had many impulse purchases with such products. When it comes to candy, citrus flavors call to me more than say, berry ones, like strawberry or grape. Add grapefruit as one of the citrus flavors in there and you have a deal. This is exactly the case when I saw these Citrus Gum Drops at Trader Joe’s. Knowing my boyfriend’s love for jelly/gummi, I saw these as a fun reviewing opportunity, without eating the whole bag myself if they ended up being really good. Trust me, it is better to share such things.

The flavors are listed as Pink Grapefruit, Tangerine, Lemon and Key Lime. There’s a window on the package that lets you see the gumdrops, and they come in pleasant citrusy colors. I like surmising which flavors are which before actually tasting them, and these proved very easy to guess.

The gum drops are the size of a thimble and are firm to the touch. Only a slight amount of give, so I can tell they aren’t going to be very squishy to chew. The granulated sugar coating isn’t as coarse as I’m used to and it’s pleasantly smooth.

Pink Grapefruit (pink): I was most excited to try this one. So of course it goes first. It surprised me as to how sweet it was, as the flavor is something that’s very tart in my mind. There’s less tartness here and more emphasis on the sweeter, more juicy notes of the fruit. I was hoping for that great sourness I like with grapefruits, so I was a little disappointed.

Lemon (yellow): My second most looked forward to flavor of the bunch, so it comes next! This one made up my disappointment of the grapefruit. It’s a real punchy, tart, zesty, authentic lemon flavor. It’s got that wonderful essence to it that makes your brain go “Oohh yes, this is lemon alright!”. Lovely.

Tangerine (orange): The more exotic flavor that isn’t quite orange (but actually is half Mandarin orange). Depending on how it’s done, tangerine can be represented much zestier than a regular orange flavor so I was excited by this one. I am also disappointed by this because like the grapefruit, it’s just sweet. It tastes like orange to me, and lacks that zest I love.

Key Lime (white): I wish more lime candies tasted like this one. It’s a really robust and strong flavor. It’s has that authentic lime flavor, but because it’s key lime it’s way more tart and zesty.

So I liked half and felt let down by half of these flavors. Granted, my boyfriend enjoyed all four, but he’s sometimes not as picky as I am. If you’re a fan of having your citrus flavors sweeter and smoother, I think you’d really like these.

Rating: Might Eat Again


Might Eat Again

Links Trader Joe’s Website


Katjes Tappsy Bag

We return to the Tappsy licorice! Like the original Tappsy that I reviewed earlier, these are licorice candy pieces that are shaped like panda faces. The difference is that these are the milk chocolate version.

In terms of the candy’s appearance itself, there really isn’t anything different from the original Tappsy except the white foam but are not colored like hot chocolate; a milky brown hue. They have the same alternating panda face variations, both of which looks a little less cool because last I checked, panda’s aren’t brown. Ok, maybe these are muddy pandas. I can live with that.


Katjes Tappsy

The flavor is of a mild black licorice, and of hot cocoa for the foam bits. The flavor combination of licorice and chocolate can be strange if not done well, but these do it excellently. It’s really good. I can elaborate more on the foam’s texture since I didn’t last week; it’s light and chewy and dissolves nicely in the mouth. Yum!

Just like the original Tappsy, I’d recommend any licorice fans to give this one a try. It’s very original, tasty, and fun!

Rating: Will Eat Again


Will Eat Again

Links Katjes Website

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