Archive for the 'hard candy' Category

Perles au Miel (Honey Beads)

May 6th, 2011 by Rosa

These Perles au Miel, loosely translated as honey beads, were a gift from my friend Neil, who’s currently living and working in the Netherlands. The wrapper says that they’re “fourrees miel”, which means filled with honey.

They were extremely hard-shelled little balls with a prickly granulated sugar shell. The flavor was spot-on with the amber complexity of genuine honey – just a skotch darker than clover honey.

Once the sugar sand dissolved, the resulting candy was literally a thin shell of its former self. The shell was thin enough that just a hint of pressure was enough to crack it, revealing the sticky, thick, honey ooze within.

The ooze was quite viscous and held its shape like a gooey caramel. It was quite capable of working its way into the nooks and crannies of my teeth.

The shell became chewy when combined with the oozy center. Overall the candy was sweet without being cloying. If you love honey sticks, as I do, you’d love these. An OM.

I wasn’t able to find an exact match for these online, but I found similar products called “boules de miel“, or balls of honey. They seem like a very European thing.

Category: European, hard candy, OM, received as gift, review | 1 Comment »

Deemah Juicy

March 16th, 2011 by Rosa

Here’s a second Egyptian candy courtesy of my friend Katie. The wrapper labeled them as, “filled hard candy with cherry juice.”

The candies were lozenge-shaped: smooth, glossy, oval spheres. Though the wrapper depicted them as oozing a liquid goop, the centers of mine were goo-less.

Instead, they were soft and chewy. Perhaps the goo got absorbed into the hard candy?

The candies had a smooth, round melt. They tasted of a deeply artificial red candy with a medicinal tinge and the edge of a near menthol bite.

They are serviceable, but unexciting, making them a classic O.

Category: African, hard candy, O, received as gift, review | Comments Off

UHA High Concentrated Milk Candy

November 3rd, 2010 by Rosa

Today, I start delving into the substantial stash that I picked up in China. First up is two varieties of UHA high concentrated milk candy. I reviewed the original version way back in October of 2007.

First up, the chocolate version. The front of the bag shows an oozing lozenge-looking thing. The back labels the outside as milk and the inner ooze as chocolate.

The (individually wrapped) candies themselves were actually more like marbles with beveled edges. The hard candy milk portion had lovely cream, dairy, and vanilla high notes. It was like really deliciously fresh vanilla bean ice cream.

The hard candy had a slippery, glossy melt. It was pretty easy to crack and cleaved cleanly, revealing the chocolate center.

While the chocolate on the wrapper looked oozy, the little dollop of chocolate in the center was solid. Its flavor was just meh – like cocoa powder – but it was a nice surprise.

The coconut version had a slightly different texture – it had a softer, satiny mouthfeel. The coconut flavor was immediately noticeable as an airy, fresh nuttiness. Once the outer layer dissolved, the coconut flavor lessened as the creamy milk flavor became more apparent.

It too, has a chocolate center, which was unexpected. My fault, really, as that red ribbon on the front does say that it has a chocolate center (though I could get the gist of that text with some effort, I’m functionally illiterate, so I didn’t take it in at first).

I enjoyed these. They’re a nice departure from the usual fruit-flavored hard candies that we have in the U.S., but I won’t be that crushed when my bags are emptied (partly because I’ve seen the original version in Asian grocery stores in the U.S.). An OM.

Category: Asian (China, Japan, and Korea), chocolate, coconut, hard candy, OM, review | 1 Comment »

Life Savers Fruiteria

April 23rd, 2010 by Rosa

This bag of Life Savers Fruiteria caught my attention with its splashy NEW! sign. It kept my attention with an adventurous selection of flavors that included passion fruit and papaya.

It seems that globalization and foodie-ism has trickled down to this once basic brand that started out as a peppermint.

In addition to passion fruit and papaya, the bag also included strawberry, pineapple, and mandarin orange.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with Life Savers, they’re life preserver-shaped hard candies that come in mint and fruit flavors. The original 5 flavors were lemon, lime, orange, cherry, and pineapple, so this Fruiteria version represents a 4/5 departure… 3/5 if you consider mandarin orange and orange to be interchangeable.

Strawberry was opaque-with-a-hint-of-translucent pink. It tasted sweet and floral, with a great berry finish.

Pineapple was nearly white and the lightest colored of the bunch. It sweetly captured the essence of pineapple flavor, which I associate with pineapple cores, and had a nice, round flavor.

Mandarin orange was a light, translucent orange. It tasted of bright, tangy tangerines. In the spectrum of candy orange flavors, this was heavy on the tart and easy on the mellow, whereas I believe the original orange Life Saver is more mellow than tart.

A deeply purple O turned out to be passion fruit. I usually associate passion fruit with its yellow innards, but I suppose the purple made for a more striking Saver.

It tasted like a mild raspberry, sweet without much seediness, with a tinge of citrus. I was impressed at how complex the flavor was.

Finally, papaya was orange-colored with a tinge of salmon. It was the only one of the bag that was solidly opaque.

To me, it didn’t taste like fresh papaya, which I usually find rather lightly flavored and thus underwhelming. Instead, I got peachy floral tones with a mango bite and a mellow orange finish. I prefer the Life Saver take!

I really should keep these in my work drawer instead of my current assortment of chocolate Easter candy bought on sale. They’re a great sweet fix, and I wouldn’t chomp through them as quickly as I do chocolate.

Fruiteria (what does that mean, anyway?) presented a nice mix of flavors. I didn’t dislike any of them, and I really liked the mandarin orange and the non-papaya papaya. An OM.

Category: hard candy, Life Savers, OM, review, Wrigley's | 1 Comment »

Das Lollipops

June 3rd, 2009 by Rosa

I receive press release emails fairly frequently. The one that I got from Das foods was more eye-catching then most. Read for yourself:

“What’s your flava?  Man Bait, Naughty Ginger, Fab-O-Pom or Caramel Me Happy? They may sound like names you’d have if you worked for an “escort” service, but they are not. Instead, they’re the inspired flavors of Das Foods’ chic and unique new brand of delicious lollipops that will launch nationally next week at the All Candy Expo in Chicago, May 19-21.”

I gave these babies a test drive on my drive from New Haven to Rochester. They definitely helped keep me awake with their extreme lollipop flavor novelty. That’s also why the remaining photos are courtesy of Das, as I couldn’t photograph them while on the road. As an added bonus, I tasted them without access to the press release materials (quoted below in italics), so I didn’t know what I was eating while I ate it.

Fab-O-Pom: “A pomegranate and orange lolli that’s good and good for you.  It’s a sweet and tangy fusion of heart-healthy real pomegranate extract and fragrant orange oil with tiny pieces of orange zest.

fab-o-pom.jpg

The lolli is a pale, translucent salmon flecked with bits of brown. It smells strongly of orange. The flavor is deep citrus, like a blood orange, while the finish has a bit of a bite to it, probably due to the pomegranate component. The brown flecks eventually wind up studding the surface as the lolli melts. They taste like bits of fruit leather or candied orange peel. I like this, despite the two air bubbles it contained. An OM.

Caramel Me Happy: “A caramel and lavender lolli made with caramelized cane sugar and indulgent chewy Das Salty Caramel mixed with real lavender extract and tiny crystals of Fleur De Sel sea salt for a trendy, delicious sweet and salty treat.

caramel.jpg

This smells just like a salted caramel. It’s reminiscent of a deeper, more complex butterscotch candy with burnt sugar notes. The lollipop itself is not perfectly smooth; rather, it’s very finely textured. I enjoy the salted caramel flavor, but I’m a bit thrown by the mismatch between texture and taste. I wish I could chew this lollipop! I’d much rather have a Das salted caramel, so an O.

Naughty Ginger: “A ginger and lemon lolli that’s sweet, tangy and tantalizingly spicy all at once.  Small bits of wickedly spicy candied ginger are complemented by all-natural lemon extract.  And the ginger works double time; it tastes great AND soothes an upset stomach!

ginger.jpg

Whoo boy is the ginger smell strong! This lolli is super, super gingery and super, super spicy. I got in a few licks, just enough to note the strong ginger flavor with a very light, sweet undertone of lemon, but couldn’t keep eating it because it was just too spicy for me. It left my mouth tingling. I’m a ginger wuss, so this guy wasn’t for me, but I bet ginger enthusiasts would appreciate it. A .

Man Bait: “A maple bacon lolli that’s a fiercely delicious combination of real smoky bacon bits and delicious maple syrup providing an all-at-once savory and sweet sensation.

bacon.jpg

Like the Naughty Ginger, this lollipop was too much flavor for me to handle. It smells like maple syrup with a hint of meat undertone. That’s pretty much how it tastes as well. It’s pretty sweet from the strong maple sugar flavor, and that plus the smoky meatiness from the bacon bits and the lollipop nature/hard candy texture does not compute in my brain. I felt a bit ill and couldn’t keep eating it. A from me.

Out of all four lollipops, Fab-O-Pom is the only one that I would want to eat again. They are all, however, a fine flavor effort. They taste exactly as promised, and the flavors are strong, vibrant, and concentrated. While the ginger and bacon pops weren’t for me, ginger and bacon enthusiasts would enjoy them, making those the pops a great novelty gift. And at $0.50 a pop (har har), they’re an affordable gift as well.

Category: --, hard candy, novelty, O, OM, review | 1 Comment »

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 | Comments Off

Zip Sours – Orange Splash and Black Cherry

December 3rd, 2008 by Rosa

I love Altoid’s Sours, and I will eat them until my tongue goes numb. When I saw that Walgreen’s sold a knock-off version called Zip Sours for $1 a tin, about half to a third the cost of Altoid’s Sours, I decided to give them a try. After all, they were cheap, so there wasn’t much to lose.

The Zip Sours came in “black cherry” and “orange splash”. Never mind that one of the halved oranges on the “orange splash” tin looks more like a grapefruit.

I found the Zip Sours to be lacking in both zip and sour. Orange splash had a bright, citrusy flavor and presented a reasonable imitation of Altoid’s Tangerine Sours, just without the sour part. My orange splash sours were also a bit damp, despite the foil seal under the Zip Sour tin lid. I should note, however, that I find the same issue cropping up with Altoid Sours, where the candies tend to stick and clump a bit due to dampness.

Black cherry was less yummy, as it carried a dark, medicinal tinge to it, though at least my black cherry candies were nice and dry, as hard candies should be. Still, flavor-wise, I didn’t care for them.

The Zip Sours tins are slightly smaller than those of the Altoid’s Sours, but I still think you get more candy for your money. I give black cherry an O and orange splash an OM. While they aren’t that sour, the orange splash flavor was nice, and I ate so many of them in a row that my mouth eventually went numb. Apparently there’s some sour there after all; it’s just not that noticeable to the palate.

Category: hard candy, O, OM, review, sour | Comments Off

British Boiled Sweets – Part 2

November 19th, 2008 by Rosa

Today we continue Monday’s review of British hard candies with a lemon sherbet drop and the rosy apple.

Lemon Sherbet Drop

My lemon sherbet drop wasn’t exactly a hard candy anymore. I think mine had just been sitting in the bulk bin for a bit too long and suffered by softening. It tasted pretty much just like a standard lemon drop, but it also had a light fizziness to it, which was quite nice. I wish lemon drops came with that nice fizziness. An OM.

Rosy Apple

I loved the rosy apple mostly because it looks like a mini bouncy ball, the kind that comes out of those little vending machines for a quarter. The candy was super dense and hard with a slow melt and a mellow red apple flavor rather than a sour granny smith taste. Another OM, though I probably would’ve given it just an O had they not been so pretty.

Category: hard candy, OM, review | Comments Off

British Boiled Sweets – Part I

November 17th, 2008 by Rosa

British boiled sweets have interested me since I first read a Harry Potter book. Clearly the Fizzing Whizbees and acid pops imagined by J.K. Rowling had some root in muggle candy. Specifically British muggle candy. Today, I present part I of a two part series on British boiled sweets (aka hard candies).

Acid Drops

I had no idea what to expect from the acid drops I bought. Do they taste like battery acid? Citric acid? Not really like acid at all? In fact, the opaque butterscotch-sized disks tasted lightly of a ctirus sweetness. The best word I can come up with to describe these is clean. They’re cleansing and refreshing, like a light sorbet. If you’ve ever had a Chinese popsicle called a xue bing, they taste just like that. An OM.

Lime and chocolate

Lime and chocolate? It sounds like a strange flavor combination, but these guys were pretty ubiquitous in the British bulk candy places that I visited, and they’re made by several generic brands. I thought they tasted like the hard candy version of a lime and chocolate Tootsie Roll mash-up. The lime was brightly sweet and citrusy while the chocolate was more of a light cocoa. My lime and chocolate may have been lingering in the bulk bin for too long, for when I crunched it, it turned chewy, in the way that old hard candies can get. Overall, not a bad candy, but not something I missed or would ever crave. An O.

Category: European, hard candy, O, OM, review | 1 Comment »

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 »