Monday, April 27, 2009

Orbit Mist Mango Surf Gum

Orbit Mist Mango

Along with the watermelon gum, I picked up Mango Surf while at a gas station. I love mango, but had never had purely mango gum before. Normally, it gets thrown in with other flavors and fades to the background.

Again, the packaging was fresh and cute, and the blue and orange looked quite nice together. You can see the little flavor orbs in the picture below. Unlike the Watermelon Spring (a pale and unappetizing green), this gum was a pale yellow, and looked better to me. Unfortunately, the colors in my pictures look pretty similar. I will have to get better at this.

Orbit Mist

The gum smelled really fruity, and within the first couple chews, I was reminded of papaya juice that I used to drink as a kid. There was mango, too, but the papaya taste was an instant hit of nostalgia for me, so I thought this gum was fantastic.

But, once the initial flavor faded, there was just a mildly fruity flavor left that didn't really live up to the initial flavor. At least the duller flavor did last a long time, so if you love it, great! The watermelon got better after the initial sourness went away, but the mango got worse. One last note: the mango gum never got soft, and chewed well all the way through.


Orbit Website

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Wrigley 5 Gum Zing


While at the grocery store with some friends, we saw a kind of 5 gum that we had never seen before, so one of my friends picked it up. As a kid, I chewed a lot of bubble gum, but I never really liked the traditional bubble gum flavor. I just liked blowing bubbles.

The packaging is really cute. I love the combination of pink and black. It was marketed as being a gum that's sour, then sweet. A little iffy sounding for a bubble gum, but I am always up for new things.


It smelled like normal bubble gum, and had a slight fruity hint along with the traditional bubble gum flavor. It did taste sour, in a way that was a little off-putting. It stayed sour for quite a while, and didn't get sweet for at least 10 minutes. The sweet flavor hung around for a long time.

In general, it wasn't bad, but it wasn't really good, either. I was also disappointed because it wasn't really bubble gum. I could barely blow a bubble at all with it, even compared to non-bubble gums (vanilla Dentine Ice was great for bubbles). Not something I'd buy again, but there are other flavors of 5 gum that I like, Rain and Lush in particular.


5 Gum website

Meiji Almond Meltyblend

Almond Meltyblend

I'm not sure why I keep seeing Meltykiss and Meltyblend. Here's a picture of the same chocolate, taken by a Flickr contact of mine, but the box says Meltykiss whereas mine says Meltyblend. Maybe they changed the name for sale outside of Japan?

Anyhow, I've written several reviews of Meltykiss and could go on and on about the smooth, velvety texture of the chocolate. But instead, since this is a new flavor, I'll focus on the flavor.

Almond Meltyblend

Upon opening, the chocolate smelled very nutty. I was expecting more of an amaretto type almond, for some reason, with cherry notes. While I could smell a little bit of that, it mostly smelled like the nuts themselves.

The taste was pretty similar to milk chocolate, but somehow, Meiji has managed to preserve the taste of almonds without adding any texture whatsoever. Just like the smell, there were mild hints of amaretto, but mostly, it reminded me of eating chocolate with chopped nuts inside, but without any crunch. I must say, I loved these and found it hard to stop eating them.


Meiji Website (Japanese)

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Smarties Overview

Smarties Comparison

This isn't a real review, just a little comparison of regular (small) Smarties to giant Smarties. Or maybe the giant ones are actually the normal ones, I'm not sure. As a kid, I always got the little ones in my Halloween Trick-or-Treat bag, and they were one of the last things I ate (and not in a save the best for last kind of way).

In most parts of the world, Smarties are candy coated chocolates (like M&Ms) made by Nestle, but for some reason, in the United States, Smarties are little sugary discs that are sort of fruit flavored (like SweeTarts). After a Smarties dark age of sorts where I didn't have them for about 10 years, a friend of mine at work filled her candy dish with Smarties a few months ago and I tried them again.

Smarties Comparison

I came across these giant Smarties at a gas station and thought it might be fun to compare the two. I figured the giant version would be the same as the small, but I was wrong. The small Smarties were very mild, and the main flavor is "sweet." They were just a little tart, with some hints of fruit flavor that were most noticable in purple (grape).

The giant Smarties weer a different game entirely. They were extremely tart and borderline sour. They were firmer than the small Smarties, too, and the fruit flavors were more noticable. I tried orange - a flavor that doesn't even appear in the small Smarties - and it was as if someone had pressed Tang poweder into the shape of a Smartie. I also tried purple - which was so very sour. The small Smarties we so much milder, I was surprised.

In the end, I'm not a huge fan of Smarties, but I'd rather have the small ones. Besides, two giant Smarties have the same number of calories as a whole pack of small Smarties (both are 25 calroies). Still, it was fun to take pictures!

Smarties website

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Mars Starburst GummiBursts

Starburst GummiBursts

Here is yet another fairly new product from a familiar brand. I heard about these sometime last year and had been seeing commercials for a few months before I actually saw them at a convenience store near work.

Having grown up loving Gushers fruit snacks, I imagined (hoped) that these GummiBursts would be like Gushers. It seemed weird to see these in the candy aisle, since they look more like fruit snacks, but maybe they are too sugary to be considered fruit snacks (not that those are all good for you).

Starburst GummiBursts

The bag smelled exactly like fruit snacks that I used to take to school in my lunch. The pieces even had that waxy, firm, slightly sticky feel of fruit snacks. Also, I was really surprised how much juice was in each piece! The pieces may be small, but they are pretty packed. Here's what I thought of each flavor.

Orange was sour, sweet, and burned my throat a little. It didn't taste much like orange Starburst, but it reminded me of orange Dum Dum suckers.

Lemon had better tasting juice - nice and sour, but a little less sweet. The outside gummy didn't taste very lemony, though.

Cherry was the only flavor that genuinely matched its Starburst original cousin. The flavor was exactly the same. Also, it wasn't painfully sweet. I liked it best.

Strawberry had tasty fake strawberry juice, and even though it wasn't as good as a pink Starburst, it was still pretty enjoyable.

Overall, I would have to say that these were worth trying, but maybe not worth buying again. I loved how packed with juice they were, but the gummy part was a little too firm for my liking. Definitely took me back to the old days of lunchboxes, peanut butter and jelly, and quieting down in the cafeteria, though!


Starburst website

Monday, April 20, 2009

Skittles Crazy Cores

Skittles Crazy Cores

These have been out in the United States for quite some time now, and there are a ton of other sites that have reviewed them, but I might as well throw in my 2 cents. Everyone's tastes are different, so if your tastes are similar to mine, maybe you'll relate to my take on these.

I have loved Skittles ever since I was little, so a new variety is extra exciting. I remember when Tropical Skittles were introduced, and I devoured those, despite my feelings about banana flavored candy (hint: negative). So, when I saw that the Crazy Cores would include flavors I typically like, such as mango, peach, and lemonade, they sounded pretty promising.

Skittles Crazy Cores

Mango Peach, peach with an orange core, had a tropical feel and a nice amount of tartness. Peach seems kind of neglected in American candy, and this tasted like a passable mix of peach and mango. It was my favorite of the bunch.

Melon Berry, which was pink with a green core, tasted berry sweet and not too melony. It was my least favorite, and just didn't have that tart punch that even the Wild Berry Skittles carry.

Cherry Lemonade was red with a yellow core, and the outside tasted like a cherry cough drop. That was a big negative right off the bat, but I did enjoy the citrus zing of the lemonade core.

Blue Raspberry Lemon was blue with a yellow core, and a little perplexing. The coating had an almost perfumy taste to start with, and that was downright gross. But it faded quickly, leaving a classic blue raspberry flavor (like Blow Pops). The lemon was mellow and sweet, and could have used a little more sourness.

Strawberry Watermelon, green with a pink core, was my second favorite. The strawberry was like a good sucker - bright and a little tart. The watermelon core tasted fresh and light (and fake), and it wasn't too sweet.

I am not sure why there are two flavors with lemon-based cores, but these Skittles were at least enjoyable. The regular flavors are better, but the Crazy Core concept was fun to eat. After my third Skittle, I could feel a sugary film in the back of my throat, which one of my coworkers calls The Skittle Spits. Just thought I should warn everyone.


Skittles Website

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Orbit Mist Watermelon Spring Gum

Orbit Mist

Gas stations and convenience stores always have the newest candy. A couple days ago at a Sunoco station convenience store, my husband and I happened across this new Orbit gum called "Orbit Mist" and of the 3 available kinds (watermelon, mango, and mint), we got the two fruit flavors.

I don't know if I'd be satisfied if this was all I had to quench my thirst, but this gum claimed to give a hydrating sensation. Regardless of that, the packaging, both inside and out, was cute, fun, and fresh, and definitely caught my attention.

Orbit Mist

The gum, a pale shade of green, smelled a lot like watermelon candy (Jolly Ranchers came to mind), much stronger than a real watermelon. The gum itself was a little grainy from the flavor crystals, an almost seemed crunchy. I don't know that I got a huge hydrating sensation, either, but sensation is a term that can be used pretty loosely. It was juicy, but not more than other gum.

The taste was at first really sour, reminding me even more of a Jolly Rancher. The juiciness quickly died down, as did the tartness, leaving a much mellower watermelon flavor that was pleasant. The gum felt cool in my mouth without being minty, and the texture stayed nice and bouncy for about 30 minutes, after which it softened (sort of like the infamous pomegranate, only not as dramatic) and I had to spit it out. I feel I should mention that the flavor was still hanging around at that point. Overall, I enjoyed this gum. My jaw hurts if I chew gum for too long, anyway.


Orbit Website

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Hershey Pelon Pelo Rico Tamarind

Pelon Pelo Rico

One of my friends recently returned from Mexico (the same one who went to France last year, yes, I am so jealous), and she kindly brought me back a couple Mexican sweets to try! The first of two is Pelon Pelo Rico, a Hershey product. The flavor is tamarind, a fruit I don't see too often in the United States (just in Pad Thai).

If you look at the following picture, you might be reminded, as I was, of the Play-doh barber shop toy. Pretty fun concept for candy, too, but pretty messy. Definitely for kids.

Pelon Pelo Rico

The goo smelled like tamarind. The goo was also difficult to eat, and I ended up scraping it off the top with my teeth. If I was younger, I would have had no trouble just sucking it off. It was chewy, sort of like melted fruit leather might taste - sticky and pulpy. I have to say that the experience was pretty fun.

The initial flavor was very intense. It wasn't bad, but very foreign to my tongue (and I have had tamarind before). Once I was used to the flavor, it was better. My husband said the taste reminded him of mild peppers, and he liked it more than I did. I think tamarind is probably an acquired taste, and I think that if I had more exposure to it, I would have liked this candy more. It was a lot of fun to eat, and unlike any candy I've ever had before!


Hershey Pelon Pelo Rico website

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Sour Patch Cherry and Blue Raspberry

Sour Patch Blue RaspberrySour Patch Cherry

There is a somewhat old-fashioned candy shop pretty close to my house, and oddly enough, I've never been there. I always mean to go, but parking is messy and the hours are weird. But my husband has been there, and he came back with, among other things, these two kinds of Sour Patch candy.

We are both big fans of Sour Patch Kids, and get them pretty much any time we go to a movie. I had never seen either of these flavors in normal stores, so I was quite excited to try these (although cherry is one of the normal flavors, I think).

Sour Patch Blue Raspberry and Cherry

Cherry was up first, and the little candies were red and shaped like cherries. They tasted good but not great, and not very sour. They seemed less sour than the cherry that comes in Sour Patch Kids. B-

Blue Raspberry was next, and it also wasn't very sour, but had a nice blue fruit snack-like flavor and firm texture. The pieces were blue and shaped like a raspberry (or a little bunch of grapes). I liked these better than the cherry. B+

Although these were fun to try, I'd rather eat the regular Sour Patch Kids. My husband said the candy store carries a peach variety, but it was sold out, so I'll definitely have to go for myself and try to find that.

Sour Patch website

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Too Tarts Xtra Sour Goo Candy Gwape

Too Tarts Goo Candy

A few years ago, my husband and I saw this candy on Unwrapped. We didn't think much of it until we saw the actual candy on the shelves at a zoo gift shop, of all places, but it must have made an impression because we were compelled to buy it. And yes, it's another one of those candies where the fruit would have looked cool in 1995. Also, why is it called Gwape? Is it supposed to sound tough?

The package says "smart choice" and, according to the back, there are only 36 calories in the entire tube. The first ingredient is water, and the second is fruit juice concentrate (apple and blueberry, pear, or strawberry). Apple puree is also listed, but (unfortunately) along with artificial flavors and sucralose (second to last on the list). Oh well, it's a pretty small tube, and that's how they keep the calories low.

Too Tarts Gwape

The candy goo was an unappetizing brownish color (which came off looking nice and purple in my picture - don't be fooled), but I suppose you're not really supposed to look at it when you eat it. A little squirt onto my tongue, and I was immediately hit with sour. I wouldn't call it xtra sour, but it was pretty strong, especially for kids (but I would have loved it as a kid).

It definitely did taste like grape juice and not medicine. The artificial flavor and sweetener showed up as an aftertaste, but only mildly. Although the tube said it was 2 servings, neither my husband nor I can have very much of this at once. It's not bad at all, but maybe it's the sour factor. In any case, it does a decent job of killing cravings for sweet stuff, so Gwape is all right. Maybe next time, we'll try Blue Bewwy.


Innovative Candy Concepts website

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Wonka Sweet Tarts Jelly Beans

Sweet Tarts Jelly Beans

A friend and fellow candy fan picked up these jelly beans, in search of something different from the usual Starburst jelly beans. Those are delicious, but it's always fun to try something new.

Every candy seems to have it's own jelly bean this time of year, and they are all fairly similar (though some taste better than others). However, these were different! The beans were coated with a different kind of coating than a usual jelly bean. It was like they were coated in Sweet Tarts, so the coating would dissolve in the mouth with a sharp burst of tartness and a cooling sensation. The chew on the inside was good, too, sweet and gooey.

Sweet Tarts Jelly Beans

Green Apple tasted like green Laffy Taffy or Now and Laters. Not bad, but not my favorite.

Lemon rode the thin line between Lemon Heads and Lemon Pledge. Tart and juicy, but not terrible authentic.

Cherry tasted just like a pink Sweet Tart. It was a little floral, but other than that, not really cherry.

Blue Punch was always my favorite Sweet Tart flavor growing up, but here it was a little oversweet.

Orange tasted like Tang, but with extra vitamin C. Not too sour, just tangy. I think this was my favorite.

Grape was not an authentic flavor, either, but it wasn't a medicinal grape, which was greatly appreciated.

So bravo to Wonka for capturing the essence of Sweet Tart in these jelly beans! They were surprisingly good and quite addictive! On flavor alone, these were probably just a B, but because they were fun to eat...


Wonka Website

Monday, April 6, 2009

Skittles Unlimited

Skittles Unlimited

I picked these up at a gas station in London, Ontario last year and it was the last bag left. In America, these came out as Skittles Carnival, but in Canada, they were the Unlimited limited edition. One of my Flickr contacts pointed out what a contradiction that is.

Anyhow, these were a little old when I bought them, and since I didn't eat them right away, they were harder than usual, so I'm going to ignore the texture for the purposes of this review. Also, I apologize for only having a picture of the bag. In any case, here are my thoughts on the flavors.

Cotton Candy was very sweet and definitely tasted like the real thing. It was light blue in color, but reminded me of bubble gum, which brings me to...

Bubble Gum was pink, and also tasted like the real thing. It was that Dubble Bubble flavor of classic bubble gum, but also reminded me of some bubble gum flavored medicine I had to take as a child.

Candy Apple was a pale yellow, and made me nervous before I ate it. Apple doesn't always translate well to candy, but this wasn't too bad. It reminded me of apple cider.

Red Licorice was red, obviously, and tasted like Twizzlers. It even had some of the licorice texture, but that could have been my imagination.

Green Slushy was light green, and so tasty. This one was my favorite, and I could have eaten a whole bag of them. It had a nice sour lime flavor.

As a huge fan of tangy candy, the Green Slushy flavor stood out the most to me, but there weren't any bad flavors. I do prefer the regular Skittles, but these were a lot of fun to eat and share.


Skittles Website

Ice Breakers Rasberry Lemonade Bang! Chewy Sours

Bang! I love the Ice Breakers Sours series of candies, so when I saw these Chewy Sours at the store, it seemed like a good idea to try them. I thought they would be like Chewy Spree, but I was wrong.

The first issue was that they all stuck together in the package, so maybe they were stored at hot temperatures somewhere. They were also oddly shaped and not at all uniform. Even though they weren't what I expected, I was still pretty excited about them.

The candies smelled a bit like a cleaning product, mostly like citric acid. The coating, which looked like the regular sours, was good and sour and definitely lemonade flavored, but it all went downhill from there. These were chewy in the same way that licorice is chewy, which isn't a bad thing, but doesn't really make for a good, lasting chew.

The real issue I had with these was that the flavor of the licorice-type chew was that it was fairly flavorless. Once the sour burst (bang?) was gone, I was left with a sweet, oily, vaguely fruity wad of something that I didn't really want to be eating. It was very disappionting, and I'll stick with the regular sours. The idea of a chewy sour is good, but the execution in this case was poor.


Ice Breakers Website

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Meiji Bitter Cookie and Macadamia Takenoko no Sato

Takenoko no Sato

I completely forgot to post this review! I took the pictures and at the chocolates in February, and must have moved on immediately. Here I was thinking I'd gotten caught up. Well, better late than never (even though these aren't available anymore).

These were a limited edition winter flavor of Takenoko no Sato, and were larger than the normal size (but it's hard to tell from the picture I took). Each one was individually wrapped, which made it easier not to eat a whole box at once. In Japanese, the cookie portion of this sweet was called horoniga, which means slightly bitter.

Takenoko no Sato

The snack smelled like hot chocolate, with a hint of what smelled like hazelnut but was probably the macadamia nut bits. The cookie part tasted very nutty, and had a good crunch. I don't remember if the bitterness came into play at all, but they were not too sweet. The chocolate was smooth and buttery, making for a rich treat.

I think I prefer the normal, smaller size, as these were a little much for me. There's something magical about the texture combination of the regular size which doesn't carry over to the larger size (although I can't say for sure since, to my knowledge, there is no regular size in this flavor). Still, they were quite good and disappeared quickly when I put the leftovers in my candy dish for friends.


Meiji Website (Japanese)

Meiji Hokkaido Azuki Takenoko no Sato

Takenoko no Sato Azuki

I'm trying a new layout! Please bear with me while I work out the kinks. Anyhow, this is another one of the spoils of my Toronto trip last month. I'm always up for a different flavor of Takenoko no Sato (or Kinoko no Yama) and had yet to be disappointed...until this one.

I didn't know Hokkaido was known for azuki (red beans), but the island is known for agriculture in general, so nothing would surprise me. Azuki and an (sweet red bean paste) are often too sweet for my taste, which is strange, since it is so popular in Japan and I'm used to super sweet American candy like Skittles. Once, I made an from scratch, and it involved quite a lot of sugar.

Takenoko no Sato Azuki

As you can see, the little chocolates are kind of a dusty rose color (oddly similar to the color of my wedding dress), which is much lighter than real azuki beans (you can see them on the box).

The texture of these was weird. It really did seem like I was eating an, right down to the texture of the beans. The chocolate (if it can even be called chocolate) was very soft and grainy and had no snap to it at all, which threw off the usual balance of crunchy cookie and smooth chocolate that I love about Takenoko no Sato. The flavor was very mild, but because of the texture, it seemed very authentic.

If you are a big azuki fan, by all means, check these out. Otherwise, they are just a neat novelty.


Meiji Website (Japanese)

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Ice Breakers Ice Cubes White Mango Kiwi Cooler

Ice Cubes White

For the record, I had a great April Fool's Day joke I wanted to do, but unfortunately, the idea didn't come to me until about 12:00 PM that day, and that wasn't enough time to make it happen. Maybe next year. On with the review!

In the past, I was unimpressed with Ice Breakers Ice Cubes gum, but I couldn't resist the lure of a new variety and just had to check this one out. It cost me about $1 US, and I saved about 20 cents because it was on sale.

Ice Cubes White

The pieces looked like they do on the box - white with a faint orange stripe down the middle. The first thing I noticed when I started to chew was the feeling of liquid oozing out of the gum. It was bizarre, but not unpleasant. It definitely took juiciness to a new level!

Once the oozing stopped (sounds grosser than it was, really), I examined the flavor. I could taste mango more than kiwi, but it was a stretch. If the box hadn't been labeled, I don't think I could have picked out distinct flavors. The texture of the gum was not my favorite, as it was a little hard (and hard on my jaw), but maybe that's because it's whitening gum.

I didn't write down how long the flavor lasted, but I want to say it was between 5-10 minutes. Once the initial burst of juice was over, what remained was a fruity and cool gum, but the excitement was over. The beginning was definitely the best part.


Ice Breakers Website