Archive for the 'chewy' Category

Qra Qra – Milk

September 21st, 2009 by Rosa

Back when I reviewed the Qra Qra Lemon, I pointed out the weirdness of the name. The Qra Qra Milk sees the Lemon’s unpronounceable Qras and raises it an inexplicable flavor. What exactly is a milk flavor, any way?

Milk flavored candy is actually a common find in Asian markets (I’ve reviewed a hard milk candy in the past), and I usually find them quite enjoyable. But chewing on milk? I dunno…

The Qra Qra did not taste like vanilla. Instead, it tasted of cooked milk, like the skin that forms when you heat up milk, with maybe a bit of coconut milk to it as well. It was almost savory and had a hint of salt in the finish.

The flavor reminded me of a buttered popcorn Jelly Belly but less buttery. The scent of it as it’s being chewed (and the lingering Qra Qra breath that one is left with) is spot-on buttered popcorn Jelly Belly.

While the Qra Qra milk was still quite chewy (chewchew chewchew), it wasn’t as long lasting as the lemon. Despite its chew-time advantage, the Qra Qra Milk did not disappear nearly as quick as its lemon counterpart did. I was torn between giving them an O or a — and ultimately settled on an O. While they’re not bad, they’re also not really good, but they are intriguing, so a bonus letter point there.

Category: Asian (China, Japan, and Korea), chewy, O, review | 1 Comment »

Haribo Maoam Stripes

August 31st, 2009 by Rosa

As promised, here’s a timely review of Haribo Maoam Stripes. If you missed it, they’re currently under scrutiny having inappropriate wrappers.

I first came across the Maoam Stripes last summer in Cambridge, England, and I was fortunately enough to get a second dose from my residential college’s associate master. She got them via a Swedish friend and was kind enough to think of me and share.

Maoam Stripes are a soft, chewy taffy. They come in five flavors: orange, lemon, cherry, strawberry, and raspberry. The Maoam from England were thin, rectangular sticks, while the Swedish Maoam were blockier rectangles.

All the Maoam were a creamy, pale off-white. They may have vaguely been tinged the color of their fruit flavors, but it’s also highly likely that that was purely the power of suggestion.

They have a smooth chew that’s round and clean, with a pleasantly glossy mouthfeel.

Orange was sweet, with just a bit of citrus flavor. It was bright and fruity without being tart.

Lemon was similar to orange, but it tasted a bit brighter and just a bit more tart. It also carried a slightly bitter zesty note that made the fruit flavor feel more genuine (though its strident sweetness definitely made it clear that it was candy).

Cherry had a deep, dark cherry flavor. It carried a tinge of bitter cherry tannins, in a good way. Again, this helped make it feel more true to the fruit that it was emulating.

Strawberry was bright and florally sweet. I usually find strawberry candy uninspiring, but this was actually enjoyable – if still not quite inspiring.

Finally, raspberry. I was afraid of this one, as I dislike most raspberry candies (and don’t really like fresh raspberries all that much, though they’re great in berry sangria). I needn’t have worried. The raspberry Maoam was surprisingly pleasant. There was no seedy bitter bite to it, so I didn’t really identify it as raspberry flavored. Instead, it occupied a portion of the flavor spectrum between cherry and strawberry.

I really enjoyed the Maoam taffy. The texture is great, the flavors are bright and cheerful, and they’re incredibly addictive. They’re like the European version of Starburst, only oodles better. An OMG.

Category: chewy, European, Haribo, OMG, review | No Comments »

Qra Qra – Lemon

August 10th, 2009 by Rosa

You can probably guess that today’s review is not of an American candy. American companies may give their products weird names to make them memorable, but they’d never go for something as unpronounceable as Qra Qra. Asian companies selling in the U.S., however, totally would.

I love the packaging on this product because a) it says chewchew chewchew, and b) because the kangaroo is weird and inexplicable but kind of cute, and its ears are the wrong shape. Hooray Asia!

Hard to read print on the bag (white on yellow? really?) notes that Qra Qra are “chewy like gum, but melts like candy”. Never mind the messed up parallel with mismatched parts of speech – it’s a good description of what the candy is.

Each Qra Qra is about the size of a small grape or a large blueberry. They have a hard candy shell, but they’re also texturally homogenous. Each Qra Qra has a stiff, long lasting chew that’s quite sproingy. It’s a bit like Hi-Chew, but it gets stuck in your teeth less, and it’s a bit like Starburst but not as slick – the Qra Qra are almost grainy or fuzzy on the tongue.

The flavor on these is tremendous! Each has a bright, sweet, and bitter lemon bite that’s so acidic that it stings the tongue and so sweet that it burns the throat. I know that sounds awful, but it’s wonderful and addictive. Once I finished a Qra Qra, I was ready for another, even as my tongue tingled and my throat burned.

The candy does eventually melt away after about 40 seconds or so of chewing, and admirably enough, the flavor never dissipates throughout the long chew. It’s a good thing the chew lasts for a long time, as there are only about a dozen Qra Qra per pack, and they disappeared all too soon.

An OMG that warrants a special trip back to the tiny Asian grocery store where I found them. I know they come in at least one more flavor! If the price ever goes down ($1.00 for 12 Qra Qras is pretty steep), I’m upgrading them to ZOMG! status.

Category: Asian (China, Japan, and Korea), chewy, OMG, review | No Comments »

Skittles Crazy Cores

July 27th, 2009 by Rosa

Crazy Core Skittles are the latest flavor addition to the Skittles line up. My package wasn’t marked as a limited edition, so I think they’re around for good.

They come in five flavors:

Mango Peach is pastel orange on the outside and pink on the inside. It tastes of a floral artificial peachiness with a slight seedy mango bite to the finish.

Cherry Lemonade is red on the outside and yellow inside. It starts out tasting like artificial cherry, then mellows into a sweet lemonade flavor. And I do mean lemonade – it tastes of lemons but without any citrus bite.

Strawberry Watermelon is green on the outside and pink on the inside. Melon Berry is the opposite: pink on the outside and green inside. I don’t quite get the distinction between the flavor names. I guess Melon Berry is more generic? Both taste like watermelon Jolly Ranchers, with the Melon Berry having a stronger candy watermelon flavor.

Finally, Blue Raspberry Lemon is blue on the outside and yellow on the inside. It opens with an artificial berry bite that dominates the lemon part, as I couldn’t taste any lemon. It does veer towards sweet and sour, which was the main contribution of the lemon part.

I think the concept was good, but the execution needed work. The different flavors in each individual Skittle didn’t really come through. I tried letting the shells dissolve but didn’t get flavors from them. While these aren’t bad, plain old original fruit Skittles are still my go to, as long as I can find someone to eat all the red and purple ones (I’m a citrus Skittles gal). An O.

Category: chewy, O, review, Skittles | No Comments »

Maoam Happy Chews

July 1st, 2009 by Rosa

Maoam is a German candy brand that’s been owned by Haribo since the late 1980s. They’re sold under the Maoam name, but the packaging is quite Haribo-esque, and the Haribo name and website are on the back.

I first came across Maoam in England in the form of taffy, and they were also in a selection of Swedish “Saturday candies” that my college’s associate master gave me. This bag of Maoam Happy Chews was purchased in France, but I also saw them in Spain, further (highly unscientific) evidence that Haribo is king of non-chocolate candy in Europe.

Each Happy Chew is about the size of my first thumb joint. They’re shiny and colorful, and I like how the color is kind of sparse in places, so that the white under layer peeks through.

Happy Chews are kind of like giant, cylindrical Skittles. They’re covered with a hard sugar shell, and inside is a sweet, grainy, flavored chew. Like Skittles, the candies take a while to completely dissolve.

They come in six flavors. Orange is orange, which tastes like sweet orange juice with just a tinge of tartness. Yellow is lemon. It starts off dryly tart, then mellows out into sweet and natural lemony flavor.

I’m pretty sure green is apple, except it doesn’t really taste like apples. It is reminiscent of apple-flavored bon-bons, in that it’s so sweetly, generically fruity that it burns the back of my throat, but there’s nothing about it that recalls actual apples.

Pink is raspberry. I usually dislike raspberry flavored stuff, as I hate the seedy flavors, but this candy manages to make those characteristically seedy raspberry notes pleasant and plummy, making it not at all upsetting to my olfactory system.

Red (not pictured) is cherry. It packs quite a cherry bite and has an evolving flavor profile. It starts off sweet, then goes to tart, and finally the deep almost-but-not-quite medicinal cherry flavors come through.

Last, but certainly not least (as it was my favorite) is brown, which is cola flavored. It’s wonderfully complex and captures all the nuance of real soda. It starts of generically sweet, then melds into a bright and fruity cola flavor with just a twinge of bitterness and a lemony finish. It’s like Haribo cola gummies to the umpteenth power.

Overall, these guys are pretty good but only in moderation. While their sweetness isn’t cloying, they are throat-burningly sweet after a while. After eating six in a row for tasting, I felt oversugared. While I wouldn’t turn them down if a friend offered me one from his or her bag, I wouldn’t buy them again. An O.

Category: chewy, European, Haribo, O, review | 4 Comments »

Starburst Choozers

June 10th, 2009 by Rosa

Starburst Choozers are “fruit flavoured chews with liquid centre made with real fruit juices.” Did you catch those UK spellings? Yup – these guys are, at least for now, only available abroad.

My pack had 10 Choozers unevenly distributed amongst 3 flavors: 6 pineapple & orange, 3 orange & mango, and 1 raspberry & orange. Though the unbalanced flavor distribution was a tad annoying, the pineapple & orange were my favorite, so that worked out well for me.

Starburst Choozers are basically like Gushers, just with a Starburst chew outside. The chew was slightly stiffer than that of regular Starbursts, while the liquid centers were a cool, non-oozy goo.

Pineapple & orange had a nicely pineapple-astringent chew. It was hard to get a feel or taste for the liquid center in this chew. Still, I enjoyed this one the most, and it made me wish that Starburst fruit chews came in pineapple.

In orange & mango, both flavors were distinguishable. Mango overpowers at first, then gives way to a tart orange. In raspberry & orange, it’s all the taste of seedy raspberry, with a slightly plasticy aftertaste.

I wish I could buy a pack of all pineapple chews (I guess they do make a pineapple Hi-Chew for that). The pineapple & orange get an OM, the orange & mango gets an O, and the raspberry & orange gets a –. Overall, I give the pack an O, as I doubt all packs are as favorably flavor imbalanced as mine was.

Category: chewy, European, O, review, Starburst | No Comments »

Tootsie Pop Drops

April 15th, 2009 by Rosa

In addition to Monday’s Junior Mints Deluxe, Tootsie Roll also sent me a case of their Tootsie Pop Drops. I have a special fondness for Tootsie Pops – I once got a bad case of the flu when I was a kid, and my mom bought me a whole bag of Tootsie Pops to entice me to get better. These days, I’m less into Tootsie Pops, but I still enjoy them.

Tootsie Pop Drops are billed as Tootsie Pops without the stick, and that’s pretty much what they are, only they’re smaller than Tootsie Pops without sticks would actually be. They’re little hard candies, about cough drop sized, with a “chewy Tootsie Roll center.” The come in standard Tootsie Pop flavors: chocolate, cherry, blue raspberry, orange, and grape. The first bag I opened had no cherry ones, which is why there are no red drops in the photo below. Incidentally, I’m a big fan of the semi-recent addition of lemon-lime Tootsie Pops and a bit sad that lemon-lime didn’t make it into the Tootsie Pop Drops.

I feel like I’m too inured to Tootsie Pops to really discuss their flavors. Chocolate is a weird pseudo-chocolate, kind of like Tootsie Rolls taste like a weird-pseudo chocolate, but I’m so used to it that I’ll eat it anyway. Orange is sweet and citrusy and my favorite of the bunch, and grape and blue raspberry are just there. I’ll eat them in the Pop Drop form, mostly because they’re in the bag, but I skip them when I pick out Tootsie Pops.

The drops are so small that they’re easy to crunch up, mixing the hard candy shell with the chewy Tootsie Roll innards. I’m an impatient hard candy cruncher, so I liked the Tootsie Pops specifically because they forced you to let the candy melt. While the Pop Drops lose that feature, they are nicely portable and portioned.

These get an O from me, but a nice one. I’m the type who won’t turn down a Tootsie Pop if I come across one in a Kiddie Mix or something, but I won’t seek them out to buy (though that’s mostly because I have so much candy that I only buy candy I’ve never before had).

Category: chewy, chocolate, hard candy, O, review, Tootsie Roll | No Comments »

U.K. Skittles

January 9th, 2009 by Rosa

Did you know that Skittles are different in the U.K. and the U.S.? When I say Skittles, I mean standard Skittles, not random limited edition/non-standard Skittles that are so varied that I have trouble keeping track of them. In the U.S., standard Skittle flavors are red – strawberry (I think), purple – grape, yellow – lemon, green – lime, and orange – orange. Friends of mine already know that I only eat the three citrus flavors (I usually don’t particularly care for red and purple candies in general) and pawn the red and purple ones off on them.

In the U.K., the purple ones are blackcurrant instead of grape. The other color/flavors remain the same, but they taste and look different. As you can see in the above photo (I apologize for the poor quality; I blame lack of natural sunlight in rainy England), U.K. Skittles are more muted in color. It’s especially noticeable in the green ones.

I bought two tiny 10 pence bags of Skittles. The first bag contained no red ones, and the second contained only two. Maybe it was just coincidence, or maybe they make fewer red Skittles in England. The red ones tasted, well, red, and as best I can remember, they seemed pretty much the same as their U.S. counterparts. Lime was also similar, but I swear the orange was zestier and the lemon sweeter and less sour across the pond.

And the one you’ve all been waiting for (I’m guessing, as it’s the one we don’t get here): blackcurrant. Blackcurrant is a pretty popular fruit flavor in the U.K., and for good reason, I think, as I enjoy it. It tastes similar to grape but has these darker raspberry undertones that make it more interesting. Overall, I give U.K. Skittles an OM. I’d buy them again if I could conveniently do so. Then again, U.S. Skittles are pretty good too, as long as you have friends on hand who’ll eat the flavors you don’t like. 

Category: chewy, Mars, review, Skittles | 2 Comments »

Retro Round-up

October 20th, 2008 by Rosa

Here’s a round-up of several retro candies that don’t merit very long reviews on their own. But when you string them all together, I get a full review’s worth. Yay!

Ice Cube

According to Cybele, these guys used to be tasty. Now they’re not longer made with real chocolate, and I am not a fan of their current iteration. I found the Ice Cube to be soft, grainy, and super artificially sweet with a strange fruity tinge. Definitely not something I’d ever want to eat again. An O.

Squirrel Nut Zipper

Squirrel Nut Zippers remind me a little of Mary Janes in their size and wrapper coloring. They’re chews with a nutty (hence the squirrel reference I suppose), dusky, almost butterscotch flavor that’s lightly sweet. The chew is almost grainy and not at all sticky, so it was quite manageable. An OM.

Slo Poke

The Slo Poke was billed on its wrapper as a “delicious caramel,” even though it’s presented like a lollipop. I wouldn’t quite call it a caramel, as it was not at all sticky, and its chew was much softer and long lasting than that of caramel. My Slo Poke tasted like it was made a decade ago -  the finish had a strange staleness that was off-putting, though I may have just gotten an old Slo Poke. An O for Slo Poke the candy (while Slopoke the Pokemon gets an OMG).

Category: caramel, chewy, O, OM, review | No Comments »

Russian Candies IV

October 13th, 2008 by Rosa

More reviews from the ginormous box of Russian candy sent by my friend Leslie nearly a year ago. Don’t worry; the tasting was done back when they were more fresh out of the box (though I still have a few remnants of her box left).

Candy “Korovka”(Little Cow)

What I called “Cow Caramel,” this was caramel-flavored candy that tastes of mildly sweet caramel but has the texture of something completely different. It was grainy and broke up in my mouth, almost like a fudge, but not as creamy. The taste/texture disparity threw me a bit, and I found it overly sweet. An O.

“Ptich’ya slast” (Bird’s Enjoyment) and “Raiskaya Penka” (Heavenly Song)

This candy was WEIRD! It had a spongy marshmallow center surrounded by chocolate shell. The texture of marshmallow is terrible! The red version (left) had a weird aftertaste – definitely not of vanilla – that made me feel ill. Like nauseated ill. There were these weird sugar granules between chocolate and marshmallow that didn’t help matters. I don’t know if those were supposed to be there or if they were a product of the various temperature changes this candy went through.

The brown-checked version (right) was slightly better. The texture of the marshmallow was less spongy, but it still fell short of being pillowy. Thankfully, this had no weird aftertaste and no sugar grains, but I still didn’t enjoy it. Another O.

Mocha Hard Candies

These individually wrapped lovely hard candies had gorgeous light and dark brown swirls, like a Cream Saver. The coffee taste was strong and definitely present, but it wasn’t at all bitter. Also like a Cream Saver, the candy had a light, creamy finish. It cleaved cleanly, which of course meant I was chomping it to death. I’m not a big fan of coffee flavored candy, but my mother is, and she’d love this. An OM.

Category: chewy, chocolate, coffee, hard candy, marshmallow, O, OM, received as gift, review, Russian | 2 Comments »