Archive for the 'compressed sugar' Category

Choward’s Guava

December 19th, 2011 by Rosa

I once had the terrible misfortune of once trying a Choward’s Violet Mint. Do you like eating soap? I don’t either. The violet mint was like eating a mouthful of crumbly, flower-scented soap.

When I saw a guava version, however, I decided to give Choward’s another try. After all, the little pack was just $0.99 at Cost Plus World Market.

To start off with the most positive aspect, they were much more palatable than the violet version. As in, they were palatable, period.

The candies came in small pink tiles. They were made of compressed sugar but felt moist and crumbled instead of disintegrating.

I actually don’t know what guavas are supposed to taste like. These tasted like peach with a mango seediness to the finish. They had a bright flash of tartness at the end that was quite nice.

While I really enjoyed the flavor, the texture was meh at best. I’d prefer them in hard candy form. An O.

Category: compressed sugar, O, review | Comments Off on Choward’s Guava

Nintendo Mushroom Sours

August 27th, 2010 by Rosa

I got this Nintendo mushroom tin in my Sweets and Snacks Expo press kit/goodie bag. It was immediately eye-catching due to its sheer adorableness factor.

It came in a little aluminum tin designed to look just like a Super Mario mushroom. I loved the bright and cheery red-spotted cap.

The cap was cut inside so that it covered the mushroom stem at an angle. That meant it was super fun to play with. Below is my rakish, mysterious mushroom.

Enough about the cute factor. What was the candy component like?

The mushroom stem was full of little pink compressed sugar candies. They, too, were shaped like mushrooms.

Alas, mine were all mottled inside, which made them look water damaged. They were like that when I first opened the mushroom tin, and I opened it right when the goodie bag arrived.

They tasted slightly sour and brightly of artificial, slightly medicinal cherry. They were hard enough so that they could be sucked on. They were also quite chompable.

Chomping on them released a rush of artificial cherry sweetness along with an iron-y bite (think just shy of Flintstone vitamin) as the candy disintegrated. I definitely preferred them sans chomping.

The packaging was far better than the candy within. I’d buy it once just for the tin, but the candy wasn’t that great. An O.

Category: compressed sugar, novelty, O, review | 3 Comments »

Smarties Bubble Gum

May 30th, 2008 by Rosa

I did not know that Smarties Bubble Gum existed until I fished it out of a tub at an Asian grocery store (which is probably why it was all water-spotted). I’ve never seen them sold elsewhere, but maybe it can be found at a penny/bulk candy shop of some sort?

Smarties Bubble Gum is quite similar to Razzles, in that it starts out like candy but ends as gum. Thankfully, unlike Razzles, Smarties Bubble Gum does not have a weird, medicinal aftertaste. The different colors of the Smarties Bubble Gum sort of have different initial flavors. By sort of, I mean that they seem to have slightly different levels of sugary, generic fruit flavor. Once it turned into gum, the little flavor it had quickly dissipated.

Texture-wise, the gum is nice and soft, more like Trident or Orbit than flat-sticked gum. Though I liked the Smarties Bubble Gum more than I did Razzles, I still didn’t exactly like it. In the end, it’s not worth it, despite the novelty factor. An O.

Category: compressed sugar, gum, O, review | 1 Comment »

Hello Kitty Compressed Sugar Candies

February 27th, 2008 by Rosa

There are a surprising number of candies that carry the Hello Kitty brand. I found these adorable little plastic barrels of compressed sugar candies in a Sanrio store next to Sanrio gum, lollipops, and hard candies. Each barrel was $0.75, and they came in Hello Kitty (peach), Badtz Maru (cola), and Pandapple (apple).

The candies themselves were little tablets that were similar to Tart N Tinies in shape and size. They were made from a compressed sugar that was fairly soft, like the core of a Smartie after you nibble away the outside rim (everyone eats their Smarties that way, right?). The peach was a faint pink, the apple a pale yellow/green, and the cola a soft light brown.

The Hello Kitty peach flavor was lightly floral and completely different from that of a peach flavored Jolly Rancher. Though it still didn’t taste exactly like a real peach, it was also far from artificial tasting. I would call it reminiscent of the flavor of a peach Asian gelatin candy (you may be more familiar with the lychee jelly version, but they do come in peach as well). The Badz Maru had a dark cola taste that was almost fizzy, and the Pandapple candies had a lightly sweet apple taste that was more like a Fuji than a Granny Smith.

These compressed sugar candies get an OM from me. I found them to be tasty, addictive, and cutely packaged. My only wish is that the little barrels were resealable (they have little pop top pull tabs, like canned sodas do abroad), but I think a packaging change would probably drive up the price.

Category: Asian (China, Japan, and Korea), compressed sugar, OM, review | Comments Off on Hello Kitty Compressed Sugar Candies

Giant Smarties!

December 3rd, 2007 by Rosa

I’ve seen these giant Smarties (BUY!) (not to be confused with Nestle’s Giant Smarties; outside the US, Smarties are an M&M-like sugar coated candy made by Nestle) in Walgreen’s candy aisle for a while now and finally decided to buy a roll.

I adore Smarties (BUY!), even if they don’t taste like much. These giant Smarties are basically larger versions of normal sized Smarties. Cybele on Candy Blog has a nice photo showing the size comparison, though I’m a little confused as to whether her Mega Smarties are the same as my giant Smarties (check out comment #12). Mine were also quarter-sized, so maybe I bought Mega Smarties?

The giant (Mega?) Smarties taste just like normal Smarties – the same sweet, lightly fruity and tart taste of compressed sugar. Yum! In the large version, the flavor differences are really noticeable because there’s so much more Smartie. I liked being able to really taste the flavor, but I think the Smartie was too big, and too much Smartie in one take. For some reason, the big ones didn’t come in white like normal Smarties do. Not that I could tell what flavor white Smarties are.

Like Cybele, I wished that the giant Smarties were more crumbly. Normal Smarties shed chalky power everywhere, and they quickly crunched up into dust. The giant Smarties are crunchier and sturdier and break into harder, grittier bits rather than that nice, soft dust. They’re not as hard as SweeTarts, but they’re getting there.

An O for the giant Smarties. Fun to try once, and visually entertaining, but I prefer the smaller version. The giant Smarties are texturally not as appealing, and they disappear too quickly because of their large size. Normal Smarties forced you to pace yourself.

Category: compressed sugar, O, review, sour | 1 Comment »

Maple Sugar Candy

October 2nd, 2007 by Rosa

Last week, I had the opportunity to visit The Big E with the YPMB. We marched in the parade and then got some spare time to poke around and eat FAIR FOOD!!

I got my first taste of maple sugar candy in the Maine “capitol”. I’ve wanted to try maple sugar candy since I was little girl reading about it in Little House in the Big Woods, when Laura and the family help sap the trees and have a big maple syrup party. Ma and the other womenfolk stirred and stirred a pot of maple syrup over the fire, and one of them yelled, “Quick girls, it’s graining!” and all the little kids had plates and saucers of snow, and they got the cooked maple syrup poured over their snow, and it hardened into candy. I first read that in first grade, and I still remember that scene (though I probably got some of the details wrong) because I wanted to try that maple candy so badly!!

I bought three varieties in “Maine.” The large chocolate blob in the photo is chocolate covered maple sugar candy with nuts. I’m pretty sure the nut pieces were walnuts. This candy had a crumbly texture. I’m not even sure if it was actually candy, per se; it looked and tasted like a pure chunk of maple sugar, maybe with a little butter added in an attempt to get it to hold together. The maple sugar taste was so strong that it completely overpowered the chocolate coating, which barely registered on my palate, and I found it way too sweet to be enjoyable. My friends ate it though. If you like the cloyingly sweet taste of fudge, you’d probably be able to handle this. I almost couldn’t bear the smell of it in my dorm room. An O.

The light gold maple leaf was basically just a molded, hardened chunk of maple sugar. If you took brown sugar, wet it so that it clumped, and then pressed it into a maple leaf mold, you’d get a good enough approximation of this treat. Another O.

The beautifully translucent amber maple leaf was maple hard candy. This gem had a wonderfully rich and mellow maple syrup flavor without the intense sugar overload, and it melted smoothly on my tongue. I’d give this an OM.

Category: chocolate, compressed sugar, O, OM, review | 2 Comments »

Cry Baby Tears minis

September 25th, 2007 by Rosa

These days, candy that only costs 25 cents a box is definitely a rarity. I’m guessing that Cry Baby Tears (BUY!) are a retro/nostalgia candy that have been around for a while. From the looks of the packaging, Cry Baby Tears are supposed to be so sour that they make you cry. They certainly were tart and puckery, even if they didn’t actually bring me to tears.

Cry Baby Tears are little tear-shaped compressed sugar candies with Cry Baby stamped on them. You can’t tell from the pictures because the New Haven humidity wreaked havoc on them, but it’s there. They’re also not supposed to be all yicky and mottled looking. Again, the humidity. Grr!

Cry Baby Tears come in grape (purple), watermelon (green), cherry (red), lemon (yellow), and orange (orange). The cherry flavor is the weakest and overpowered by the sour, while the lemon packs a puckery kick, and the orange has a nice finish. The candies themselves are sour, and they also have a sour coating for a little extra wallop.

I’d give Cry Baby Tears an OM. They’re good and sour – so sour that I can’t eat too many before my mouth and throat start hurting – and that’s exactly what you want in a sour candy.

Category: compressed sugar, OM, review, sour, Tootsie Roll | Comments Off on Cry Baby Tears minis

Tropical Razzles

September 11th, 2007 by Rosa

“First it’s candy…Then it’s gum!” is the Razzles (BUY!) tagline. And indeed, it starts out as candy and ends up as gum. Unfortunately, it is not a very tasty incarnation of either food group.

The Tropical Razzles flavors, according to the wrapper, are pineapple, strawberry-banana, tropical punch, tangerine, and kiwi-lime. All that matters is that they all taste and feel like a Flintstones vitamin. They’re grainy with that weird undertaste that reminds me a little of the taste of blood. Mmm. Blood.

The flavors don’t last very long in the candy form, and the gum form just tastes oddly generically sweet. The texture of the gum is also too stiff to be a pleasant chew.

The Razzle transition from candy to gum is bizarre. It breaks apart, then resolidifies itself. Kinda cool. If only it were also palatable. A .

Category: --, compressed sugar, gum, novelty, received as gift, review, Tootsie Roll | Comments Off on Tropical Razzles

More buggy candy

September 7th, 2007 by Rosa

I work in the entomology division of my university’s natural history museum, so when I came across these cute bug-themed candies, I just had to buy them for my boss.


These Bug City Candy Tarts (BUY) are compressed sugar candies that taste like SweeTarts without the tart and with a heavier aftertaste of sugar. The cartoony bug shapes of the candy are quite cute. The reusable bug jar is a nifty marketing tagline, but my boss informed me that any jar can be used to keep bugs in. Even jars without airholes should let enough air in to keep most bugs alive for several weeks.


My boss hasn’t unwrapped these Gooey Yummy Gummy Bugs yet, so I don’t know how they taste. Frankly, they’re a little too realistic looking, and I think the combination of the gummi texture with the grub shape may be more than I can handle.

Category: compressed sugar, gummi/gummy, novelty, review | Comments Off on More buggy candy

Helly Kitty sugary things

August 24th, 2007 by Rosa

food-blog-pictures-050.jpgI picked these up at Dave & Buster’s along with the SweeTarts Squeez. They’re technically not Asian candy, but Hello Kitty is Asian, so I’m filing her as such. I didn’t expect these to taste good, since the toy is the selling point here, and they didn’t. But that doesn’t matter, because it’s a tiny Hello Kitty eating watermelon, and it doesn’t get much cuter than that.

food-blog-pictures-051.jpgThe little pink and white beads of candy are slightly smaller than Tart ‘N Tinys and taste faintly fruity. They’re made of compressed sugar with a light sugar coating, like Sprees and Tart ‘N Tinys. My blind taste test revealed that the white ones and the pink ones both taste the same. I’d guess that the faint fruit flavor is strawberry, but I’m probably biased by the pink color. Because it’s Hello Kitty, the pinkness may just serve to attract girls and could have nothing to do with the flavor of the candy.

The candy doesn’t taste bad, but it doesn’t taste like much and really isn’t worth eating. Besides, I think it looks pretty inside the container, so I’ll leave it like it is.

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