March 2nd, 2012 by Rosa
Kasugai is probably the best known and most widely available brand of Asian gummy available in the U.S. As I noted before, I’m long overdue for a review. Fortunately, I recently saw and just had to buy this bag of their mangosteen gummis.
Mangosteen is not a fruit flavor widely seen in candy – or a fruit widely seen in the U.S. I’ve had them fresh once in Canada and loved them. They’re like lychees on deliciousness enhancing drugs.
Canned mangosteens, however, ain’t worth it. All the fresh fleshy sweetness is lost, and they get generic tasting.
The bag describes mangosteens as “the perfect balance of sweet and sour taste, known as the ‘Queen of Fruit’.” The 4oz bag was full of individually wrapped heart shaped gummis.
The gummis were a lovely translucent golden wheat-yellow. The outer surface was matte, while the gummi inside was smooth.
They were bouncier than I remember Kasugai gummis to be. The chew was super sproingy with a lot of tension.
I also remember other Kasugai gummis as being more flavorful; this was pretty mild. Its flavor was lightly sweet, a mix of mild, white peaches and white grapes with a lychee finish.
I thought this was too timid in its flavor. It was pleasant enough, but I wanted more intensity!
It was the same issue I have with canned mangosteens – the subtle uniqueness of that special fruit is lost. An O.
Category: Asian (China, Japan, and Korea), gummi/gummy, Kasugai, O, review |
2 Comments »
February 15th, 2012 by Rosa
After I reviewed Brookside‘s Dark Chocolate Goji with Raspberry, Joanne noted that Trader Joe’s had a candy called Powerberries that was similar. I saw a bag on my latest Trader Joe’s trip and picked it up to see how they compared.
The Powerberries looked similar enough to the Brookside’s from the outside – same stand-up pouch packaging, similar product images, and the same boast of being a “natural source of flavanol antioxidants”.
It was enough to make me wonder if they were made by the same manufacturer (Trader Joe’s does a lot of repackaging).
Once I opened the package, however, I noticed a few differences. Though both products were shiny panned chocolate shells around jelly discs, the Powerberries were irregularly sized.
While the Brookside Goji pieces nearly all contained two back to back discs as a center sphere, the Powerberries contained between one and three discs (though most also contained two).
In general, the chocolate layer on the Powerberries was thicker than that on the Brookside, though there was some interpiece variability in both bags. That chocolate had a nice deep cocoa duskiness to it with a little thickness and graininess to the melt.
The discs felt grainy against my tongue. They had an instant jelly give with no chewiness and tasted of strawberry preserves with a deeper blueberry finish.
I enjoyed these, but I preferred the Brookside Goji version. Those were brighter and tarter and really let the juice centers sing.
The fruit juice centers of the Powerberries were nice, but they didn’t pop as much, mostly because they had thicker layers of chocolate to fight against.
The Trader Joe’s Powerberries were $3.49 for 8 oz, while the Brookside Goji chocolates were $3.99 for 7 oz at Bed, Bath, and Beyond. At that slight price differential, I’d go with the Brookside Goji. Still, I enjoyed the Trader Joe’s, so they get an OM on their own merits.
Cybele and Sera have also reviewed these. Cybele and one of her commenters say that they’re the same as Brookside Acai with Blueberry. My guess is that Brookside sells the uniformly sized ones under their own brand, while Trader Joe’s gets the more erratically sized ones to sell.
Category: chocolate, gummi/gummy, jelly candy, OM, review, Trader Joe's |
11 Comments »
January 27th, 2012 by Rosa
I bought this bag of Brookside Dark Chocolate Goji with Raspberry at a Bed Bath & Beyond because I needed a few more dollars to use my coupon. It turned out to be a great unplanned addition to my shopping list.
The bag described them as “smooth dark chocolate surrounding a sweetened real fruit juice piece, made from a blend of goji berry juice, raspberry juice and other select fruit juices.” They were shiny chocolate balls with these little flat jelly candy centers.
The jelly centers were comprised of two little discs. The discs were pressed flat side to flat side, then surrounded by chocolate.
The discs had a slight graininess to them. Some of them yielded instantly when bitten, while others were a little chewier. They were like a cross between a gummi worm and a fruit gem.
The fruity flavor of the discs was quite bright and intense. I’d place it as a mix of strawberry jam and cranberry juice. The flavor intensified as the chew went on.
The chocolate coating was nice but nothing to write home amount. It was slightly grainy with deep cocoa flavors. The melt could have been smoother, but it was an otherwise fine foil for the fruity centers.
These were winners solely based on the intense and tasty fruity flavor of the centers. I’d really like to try more of their line. An OM.
Category: chocolate, gummi/gummy, jelly candy, OM, review |
4 Comments »
January 23rd, 2012 by Rosa
I received a bag of Surf Sweets Fruity Hearts as free samples from the manufacturer. The press release said that they were launched in time for Valentine’s Day, though it was never explicit about whether these were a limited holiday edition or not.
They were, however, explicit about touting all the benefits to the Surf Sweets line. These are organic, gluten-free, and vegan. No big surprise: they’re available at Whole Foods.
The Fruity Hearts were watermelon and cherry flavored. They were difficult to visually distinguish. Both were pink though my lighting made them look red in the photo; the watermelon was a slightly lighter shade.
The texture reminded me of fruit gems. They were soft enough for me to easily bite right through, exposing slick and shiny surfaces.
There was a slight sproinginess when I chewed them. The surface was covered with a crunchy granulated sugar that added a nice textural contrast.
Watermelon was sweet and floral with a brightly fruity finish. It reminded me of a mellow, more natural version of a watermelon Jolly Rancher.
Cherry was also brightly fruity but had a darker edge with plummy notes. It reminded me of cherry Popsicles.
I enjoyed the texture and flavor intensity of these. Watermelon and cherry aren’t my favorite candy flavors in general, but these are seasonally appropriate choices.
It’s nice that Surf Sweets takes extra care with their ingredients, but it’s even better that their organicness and wholesomeness doesn’t come at the expense of deliciousness. An OM.
Category: gummi/gummy, OM, organic, review, Valentine's Day |
2 Comments »
October 28th, 2011 by Rosa
Here are some more bulk candy treats that I received as free samples from Ingrid’s Candy Shop. I reviewed a couple on Wednesday.
The Sura Körsbär were thick cherry-shaped gummis covered in sour sugar. They looked similar to Haribo sour cherries, except that the Swedish cherry pair was smooshed together, which made them look more… anatomical.
The gummi was extremely stiff to bite into. There was no squishiness to the chew, though it did stick to my teeth.
The sour sugar coating packed quite a hit of tangy sourness. Once that initial sourness passed, though, the treat just tasted generically sweet and fruity.
The sour sting was great, but I wished this had more fruitiness. An O.
Sura Soda Pops were sour gummi soda bottles. With two sura data points, I’m now confident in my assumption that sura is Swedish for sour.
The blue soda shaped gummis were covered in a zesty sugar sand. The gummis’ chew was stiff and non-sticky, with an instant give.
The flavor was that of lemon-lime soda and was quite spot-on. Somehow, the chew managed to finish with a little punch of effervescence in the back of my throat.
I loved these for that effervescent fizz. Flavorwise, they were my favorite treat of the 10 that I was sent, but the texture was a bit off. If they had the sproinginess of the Gellehelon, I would’ve been completely sold. As they are, an OM.
Category: European, gummi/gummy, O, OM, review, sour |
October 26th, 2011 by Rosa
I recently got an assortment of free samples of Swedish candies courtesy of Ingrid’s Candy Shop. They’re based in the EU, but they’ll ship worldwide, in case you want to try any of these Swedish goodies for yourself.
The Swedish Berries Candies were little dollops of red and purple berry-shaped gummi/jelly candies. Their chew was sticky and stubborn and lodged in the nooks and crannies of my teeth.
Red tasted of bright cherry fruitiness. The concentrated fruit flavor intensified as the candy was chewed.
Purple was some sort of currant flavor, I think. It had a deeper seediness with a hint of bitter edge – just a tinge of tannic complexity.
These had nicely strong fruit flavors that were juicy in their intensity. My only complaint would be that they left me picking at my teeth afterwards. An OM.
The Gelehallon was described as “raspberry gele with sprinkled sugar on top.” It looked similar to the Berries Candies, in that it was a vaguely gumdrop-shaped jelly, but it was quite different in several ways.
For starters, the texture was completely different. Instead of being sticky and chewy, it was sproingy and slickly smooth. That smoothness was somewhat broken up by the crunchy grittiness of its sugar coating.
The flavor was that of a mellow, floral strawberry and brightened by the slightly sour sweetness of the sugar granules. It was nice but unexciting.
The fun texture really made this treat. An O for the pleasure of squeaking and bouncing it between my teeth.
Category: European, gummi/gummy, jelly candy, O, OM, review |
September 19th, 2011 by Rosa
These Katjes YoguBerries were a Cost Plus World Market find. They’re a big gummi maker in Germany, and my bag was in its original German packaging.
They came in three shapes and flavors: a deeply purple blueberry, a pale pink strawberry, and a red raspberry. All were half translucent coloring, half solid creamy yogurt gummi.
I didn’t immediately recognize blueberry as such. At first glance, I thought it was grape or cherry. The fruity portion started with a slightly plasticky edge before giving way to deep red notes.
I didn’t recognize it as blueberry when I ate the colored portion by itself. When mixed with the yogurt portion, however, it tasted just like blueberry yogurt!
Raspberry’s fruity side started off sweetly before giving way to a slight fruity seediness. Unlike some artificial raspberry candies, this seediness was subdued and added genuinely raspberry-like finish to the treat.
Strawberry’s pink portion tasted brightly floral and sweet. It became more intense as the gummi chew went on, ending on a wonderfully jammy note.
The yogurt portions of these gummis were all the same. They tasted almost savory with their dairy notes of creaminess and had an overarching sweetness. The texture of the yogurt gummis had a barely perceptible grit against the tongue, while the fruity portions were perfectly smooth.
The gummis had a nice chew. It was similar to that of Haribo gummi bears but just a shade softer, with a great sproinginess.
I enjoyed the flavors and texture and found these to be far better than the Haribo yogurt gummis I reviewed about a month ago. An OM.
Category: European, gummi/gummy, OM, review, yogurt |
September 2nd, 2011 by Rosa
I received these Haribo Nappar Fruit as a gift from a friend who got them from Europe. Instead of one big bag, I got several tiny bags that reminded me of fruit snacks bags.
Haribo is pretty good at putting unintentionally hilarious mascots on its products. Remember Maoam? The Nappar Fruit mascots are just high-fiving, but they look a bit … prophylactic… to me.
The gummies themselves looked like tiny magnifying glasses. The chew was extremely stiff, almost like gnawing on plastic. Their texture reminded me of Jujubes.
They came in yellow, green, and orange. Or vingummi, med, and frugtsmag, as the bag says. Yum!
Yellow was lemon. It had a light zestiness with a bitter twinge of pith under an overall mild citrus fruitiness that reminded me of Sprite.
Green was pear. It wasn’t very sweet and had a seedy undertone.
Orange tasted plasticky for a while before finally giving way to a sweet and mellow tinge of orange.
I wasn’t a huge fan of the extreme stiffness of the chew, but it did make the flavor last. I’ll be lenient and give them an O.
Category: European, gummi/gummy, Haribo, O, review |
1 Comment »
August 24th, 2011 by Rosa
Haribo Fruity-Bussi are the fruity corollary to the Jogi-Bussi that I reviewed on Monday. They were the same mix of gummi, foam, and goo as the Jogi-Bussi, but not yogurt-based. I far preferred these.
The three fruits on this wrapper were orange, raspberry, and pear, though all the gummies were shaped like little round, knobby raspberries/blackberries.
Orange tasted sweetly acidic with an orange tinge. The goo was nice and thick and beautifully oozy. It had a wonderfully zesty sharpness that was quite enjoyable.
Green was pear. It combined the mellowness of Fuji apples with a light peariness.
Red was raspberry. Raspberry is a tricky fruit flavor to nail, but Haribo did a pretty good job. These tasted darkly red with a great berry seediness.
The bland foam bottoms of these contrasted with the fruity, flavorful sweetness of the gummies. Still, the foam wasn’t as objectionable as that of the Jogi-Bussi since the Fruity-Bussis were much more flavorful.
The goos were the best part of these gummies. They tasted of concentrated fruitiness with a great viscosity that let their ooze coat and linger on the tongue. An OMG.
Category: European, gummi/gummy, Haribo, OMG, review |
1 Comment »
August 22nd, 2011 by Rosa
I found these Haribo Jogi-Bussi in Europe. There’s also a Fruity-Bussi version that I’ll review on Wednesday. They’re yogurt gummies with a foam bottom and some sort of goo in the center.
There were four fruits pictured on the wrapper – strawberry, apple, peach, and pear – but I only had two colors of gummi – pink and yellow. I think perhaps the gummi and goo sections were supposed to have separate flavors?
Pink’s gummi portion was on the stiff and chewy side and tasted generically sweet and red. I think it was supposed to be strawberry? The yogurt center had an herbal, grassy tinge to it. I wasn’t able to place the flavor, as it didn’t taste fruit-like to me at all.
I was not a fan of the foam bottom. The squishy styrofoamy texture weirded me out and was totally unpleasant.
Yellow had a rounder, more mellow flavor. It tasted lightly of citrus with some floral notes. I think it was supposed to be peach. The yogurt center was similarly incomprehensible with that herbal tinge.
These centers weren’t oozy enough, and I thought the yogurt centers tasted weird. I also really disliked the texture of the foam bottoms. An O.
Nestle/Wonka did a much better version of the gummi/foam/ooze combination with their Squishy Sploshberries. Also, not to give too much away, but the Fruity-Bussi were better too.
Category: European, gummi/gummy, Haribo, O, review, yogurt |