Archive for the 'jelly candy' Category

David’s Signature Beyond Gourmet Jelly Beans Sampler

March 30th, 2012 by Rosa

Three words: bacon jelly beans.

Oh I’m sorry, you wanted more than that? Okay. I got a free sampler box of David’s Signature Beyond Gourmet Jelly Beans (available online from Amazon/Oregon Trail Foods), and it included a bacon flavor. Which I will review last to make sure you keep reading.

The David behind the beans is the David Klein who invented Jelly Belly beans but sold his share of the company before they got big. Like their Jelly Belly counterparts, the Beyond Gourmet beans are packed with flavor in the shell and the jelly center.

I’m going off my Jelly Belly memory here, as I didn’t have any handy for a direct comparison, but I think the Beyond Gourmet beans were softer in texture.

I could easily squish them between my fingers. As I chewed them, the jelly center consolidated into a soft, grainy mush that was vibrant and full of flavor.

Black cherry was sweet and brightly fruity with just a hint of tartness and not a whiff of medicinal notes.

Blueberry did an incredible job of capturing the essence of real blueberries, like blueberry yogurt without the dairy notes and with the tartness turned up.

Coconut was sweet to start, then took on the light creaminess of coconut milk. I didn’t get any nuttiness, but the flavor was pleasant enough, though I felt it was too mild and faded into sugary sweetness too quickly.

Cranberry was sweet and juicy and tart and tangy. I actually would’ve pegged it as pomegranate, as it lacked the tannic bite of cranberry. Either way, it was enjoyably flavorful.

Ginger was incredibly strong and nicely captured ginger’s spicy bite. It was really true to form, like eating raw ginger, and I found it too intense to finish.

Grape went the familiar popsicle route but managed to keep it sweet and fruity but not medicinal (though rather artificial).

Green apple was lightly tart with a grassy note that danced on its edge and set it apart from the standard Jolly Rancher take on green apple.

Himalyan sea salt was a strange choice for a flavor and was weird in execution. It was mostly sweet with just a tinge of saltiness. I was too scared to embrace the oddness and didn’t try too hard to finish it.

Lemon started like a lemon drop with a bright sourness. Then, it took on a edge of zestiness with just a smidge of pithy bitterness. It was wonderfully complex and my favorite of the bunch.

Orange punch tasted just like orange soda. The flavor was spot on, artificial sweetness and all.

Peach tasted like a peach gummi ring rather than the real fruit. It was intense and fruity, if rather artificial.

Pomegranate had a mild floral sweetness, then became tart and tangy with a tannic edge. It had an effervescence to the flavor (not actual bubbles) that was awesome.

Root beer was intense: strong and genuinely sassafrassy with a bitter edge. It was too much for me, but real root beer lovers would enjoy it.

Strawberry was neither mild nor floral. It had an intensity to its flavor, like strawberry jam with an herbal, grassy note to the finish.

Vanilla bean was true to its namesake, mildly sweet with airy vanilla essence overtones.

And now, the moment you’ve been waiting for: bacon was salty, smoky, and meaty with a maple syrup sweetness. The flavor was right but the jelly bean texture combined with the taste of bacon was too weird. I couldn’t finish it due to the cognitive dissonance.

Overall, these beans are great! I can’t reiterate enough how vibrant and intense the flavors were – so much tastiness in such small packages!

I could’ve done without the bacon and Himalayan sea salt, but they were attention-getting in their novelty. I’m glad I tasted them, so they don’t merit the — rating, but once in a lifetime is enough for me.

While ginger and root beer weren’t to my taste, they were faithful interpretations of those flavors and get Os, as do coconut and vanilla bean for their relative mildness. The rest of the beans (all the fruit flavored ones) get an OMG for their awesome intensity, and lemon earns that extra Z for a ZOMG!

Category: jelly candy, novelty, O, OMG, review, ZOMG! | 3 Comments »

Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate Covered Powerberries

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 »

Brookside Dark Chocolate Goji with Raspberry

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 »

Duc d’O Pates de Fruits

January 25th, 2012 by Rosa

A Belgian friend of mine in Rochester was kind enough to remember me on his latest trip back to his homeland. He brought me back a box of Belgian Pates de Fruits from Duc d’O (also available online!)

Pates de fruits, also known as fruit jellies and fruit pate, are much better than gummi candies. They’re usually made from no more than pureed fruit, sugar, and gelatin. The real fruit part is what makes them special.

The entirety of this box was made from pureed apricots plus “flavours” and “colouring”. Interestingly enough, none of these were apricot flavored. Instead, they were, from left to right in the below photo, raspberry, pear, orange, strawberry, and grape.

All of the fruit pieces were made of two half jellies stuck together and rolled in granulated sugar. The pates had a soft, immediate give, while the sugar sand added a hearty grit and crunch.

Pear was golden and pear shaped. It had a great seediness and tasted quite genuinely of Bartlett pear flavor with a slightly sweet and sour finish.

Strawberry was a little red triangle. It was mild and sweet with a lightly floral flavor and reminded me of strawberry preserves.

Raspberry was hard to distinguish from the strawberry. It was slightly darker and had a more mottled surface. It lacked any seedy astringency, though it had deeper red fruit notes than the strawberry did.

Grape looked like a golden version of raspberry. It tasted more like raspberry than the raspberry did, as it had a seedy finish. It tasted of raisins with a vibrant, fruity, slightly sour finish.

Finally, orange was a golden, puckered ball. It started with an initial hit of zesty citrus almost sourness but then mellowed out into a milder, muted orange marmalade flavor.

I wish pates de fruits were more prevalent in the U.S. They’re great, concentrated bites of real fruit flavor, a refreshing departure from the usual fare of artificially flavored and sweetened gummi bears and worms. An OM.

Category: European, jelly candy, OM, received as gift, review | No Comments »

Swedish Bulk Candies – Swedish Berries and Gelehallon

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 | No Comments »

Jelly Bean Factory – 12 Flavor Gift Box

October 21st, 2011 by Rosa

I received a generous assortment of free samples from the Jelly Bean Factory, sent all the way from Ireland. In the U.S., they’re sold under the name Jelly Bean Planet.

I’m under the impression that they’re the Jelly Belly of the U.K. I actually gave the Jelly Bean Factory a brief review when I bought a tube of their candies the summer I was in England.

They come in 36 flavors, which is a lot to cram into one review. For now, I’ll start with the 12 flavors of their gift box: strawberry smoothie, blueberry pie, wild cherry, raspberry jam, English blackberry, pink grapefruit, coconut, sour lemon, banana split, mango, granny smith apple, and tangerine.

The box, as touted on the front, was subdivided into 12 compartments. They were so crammed full of jelly beans that they overflowed into each other.

Compared to Jelly Belly’s near identical beans, these were more irregularly shaped and varied in size. Like Jelly Belly beans, these were flavored in the shell and centers, so they were quite flavorful.

Strawberry smoothie was a pale, spotted pink. It had the mellow flavor of strawberry yogurt that brightened and became floral as I chewed it. The creamy dairy-ness was really a spot-on imitation of actual strawberry smoothies.

Blueberry pie was denim colored. It had deep blueberry notes and a lightly sweet hint of spice. The shell had a pleasant crackle to it.

Wild cherry was the paler of the two maroon beans. It started off bright, then gave way to jammy red fruit notes. I enjoyed it, though I wouldn’t have pegged it as cherry.

Raspberry jam was the lighter maroon. It tasted bright and juicy and had a plummy finish (I double checked against the back of the box; I’m pretty sure I didn’t get it mixed up with the wild cherry).

English blackberry was a deep purple. It had a great bright, juicy sweetness but otherwise was generically fruity to me.

Pink grapefruit had the pale pink-orange coloring of the actual fruit’s rind. It was extremely zesty with a genuine grapefruit flavor. The bitter pith finish was almost too much to bear as it lingered in the finish.

Coconut, a translucent white, was refreshing and tropical. It almost tasted like sunscreen smells – not in a bad way, but that does mean it was more artificial than genuine. It had a nice dairy finish.

Sour lemon was brightly yellow. It had a fresh and zesty initial flavor pop. I wish the brightness carried on further into the chew, but it was still quite nice.

Banana split was a mustard yellow speckled with brown spots. It had a banana flavored overtone that was chased by a bright fruity sweetness that reminded me of the sugar syrup of canned fruit. I usually don’t like banana flavored things, but these were bearable for me.

Mango, orange with red spots, started with a striking seediness that tasted like fresh mangos. It quickly mellowed out, but the zippy seediness lingered.

Granny smith apple was a surprisingly turquoise-tinged shade of forest green. Upon first bite, it had a nice green apple tartness to it. That quickly faded into a mellow apple juice sweetness rather than a real granny smith’s sharp sourness. The finish reminded me of caramel apple pops.

Finally, tangerine was orange colored (surprise!) and had a nice zesty juiciness with a slide bitterness. Overall, though, the flavor was solidly of fresh oranges on the mellower, sweeter side of things.

I thought these were a solid set of intensely flavored beans. An OM.

Category: European, jelly candy, OM, review | No Comments »

Valentine Dots

March 30th, 2011 by Rosa

I am the queen of buying things on sale, hence this post on Valentine candy over a month after Valentine’s Day. I bought the Dots in a post-holiday sale, of course!

The box calls them “cherry, vanilla, and passion fruit flavored gumdrops”. They had translucent pink or red tops with white bases. All of them smelled just like red Jello: sweet, artificial, and red!

I like Dots when they’re soft, as these were. Their center was like that of a jelly bean but even softer. I could bite through them quite cleanly, with just a tiny amount of stickiness.

Red tasted slightly of dark red fruit with a medicinal cherry tinge. It was pretty classic artificial cherry flavor. I’m not big on red candies, but these were at least reliable.

Pink had a mild, sugary fruit flavor, with no sourness or passion fruit brightness. While cherry was as expected, passion fruit was a barely-flavored let-down.

The vanilla flavor was in the creamy white bases. It added a creamy undertone to the fruit flavors while also somewhat muting them.

They weren’t bad by any means, but these Valentine Dots were rather boring. At least they got the seasonal coloring correct! An O.

Category: jelly candy, O, review, Tootsie Roll, Valentine's Day | 1 Comment »

Jelly Belly Chocolate Dips

December 6th, 2010 by Rosa

I really enjoy receiving free samples from Jelly Belly. Everyone else contacts me first to ask; Jelly Belly just sends stuff, so I’m always pleasantly surprised to get a package from them.

Case in point, my free sample of these Jelly Belly Chocolate Dips. The press release calls them, “the much anticipated marriage of America’s favorite jelly bean with refined chocolate.” Five flavors of Dips, Very Cherry, Orange, Raspberry, Coconut, and Starwberry, are being released right around now.

I have to admit, I’ve never thought, “Gee, if only this were covered in chocolate,” while eating Jelly Bellies. I was a bit dubious as to how well the pairing of chocolate and bean would work. Turns out, surprisingly well!

To start, these aren’t exactly the same as chocolate-dipped jelly beans. The beans lack their usual hard sugar shell. Instead, it’s a shiny panned chocolate shell with a squishy gooey sticky jelly bean center.

The dark chocolate tasted like dark cocoa powder. While it was possible for me to let the chocolate layer melt away, leaving a naked jelly center, I preferred to chomp them and mix the chocolate flavor into that of the bean.

Very cherry started out lightly sweet and fruity under the chocolate. As the chocolate flavor dissipated, the slightly artificial maraschino cherry flavor came through more strongly.

Orange presented an immediate hit of strong zest/citrus oil flavor. It didn’t taste like orange jelly beans. Instead, it tasted like candied orange rind, which paired splendidly with the chocolate. This was one of my favorites.

Raspberry was also a winner with the chocolate. It let the chocolate come through first. Then its fruitiness kicked in, mostly notes of raisin. I wouldn’t have guessed that it was raspberry.

Coconut was another one that let the chocolate take precedence. It came through as a fragrant, airy, deliciousness nuttiness after the chocolate disappeared.

Finally, strawberry had a bright sweetness with a lovely floralness and a great finish.

These surprised me with their tastiness and addictiveness. An OMG!

Category: chocolate, Jelly Belly, jelly candy, OMG, review | 2 Comments »

Goody Good Stuff Sour Fruit Salad

November 22nd, 2010 by Rosa

Last Friday, I reviewed my free samples of Goody Good Stuff‘s Strawberry Cream gummis. Today, I’m reviewing the free samples that I got of their Sour Fruit Salad.

In my view, Goody Good Stuff’s biggest selling point is that they contain no gelatin, so they’re vegetarian/vegan-safe (they’re also free of artificial flavors and colors). In the case of the Strawberry Cream, their plant-derived gelatin alternative yielded an awesome texture.

Alas, the Sour Fruit Salad has a different texture – instead of a strangely sproingy squishiness, this is like a soft fruit pate or jelly. It’s a perfectly fine texture, but it’s not as unique and unusual as that of the Strawberry Cream.

The ingredients list claims concentrates of orange, elderberry, lemon, aronia (choke berries), black currant, apple, kiwi, spinach, and nettle. Pretty cool! I identified the salad’s five fruits as strawberry, pear (I think?), lemon, orange, and grapefruit.

Strawberry is a reddish pink and has the gist of a strawberry’s shape. It has an edgy bite to it that makes me think more raspberry than strawberry. Other than that, it tastes nicely red (I have trouble distinguishing one artificial red fruit flavor from another).

I think the green is pear, mostly because it’s shaped like one. It tastes more like a mix of pear and apple, with a seedy bite and a slight bitterness to the finish.

Orange is an orange wedge. It tastes partly of sweet citrus but mostly of serious zest, with an extremely zesty finish. It’s got a bite that’s just on the yummy side of bitterness, which I loved.

Lemon is also a wedge. It tastes piquant and tart, though the sugar sprinkle helps take the sour edge off.

Grapefruit, another citrus, another wedge. Its flavor spot on! It was just on the awesome side of slightly bitter with a bit of pithiness to it. I love well done grapefruit-flavored things!

The citrus ones were my favorite, though the other two were enjoyable as well. Well made fruit pate with such concentrated and delicious flavors is hard to come by in the US. These fit the bill quite nicely! An OM.

Category: jelly candy, OM, review, sour | 6 Comments »

Sour Patch Kids

September 27th, 2010 by Rosa

Today’s review of Sour Patch Kids comes courtesy of Candy Central, who sent me a free 46 oz box of the little buggers to review. For those not good with customary system conversions, that’s nearly 3 pounds!

The box is pretty descriptive, calling them both “sour then sweet” and “soft and chewy”. The candies inside were all individually wrapped and came in four colors: red, orange, yellow, and green.

The kids (which were shaped more like asymmetrical bow-ties than humans) were all covered in a granulated sour sugar. They had a soft, immediate give when bitten into, and while they were a tad chewy, they mostly (but not completely) avoided getting stuck in my teeth.

Red was raspberry. I am notoriously bad with artificially flavored red candies, as they all just taste like red to me.

I thought it tasted like cherry with a slight medicinal tinge and an almost plasticky bite to the finish. I thought it was the least sour of the bunch.

Orange started with a bright initial sting of sour sugar. It had a lovely concentrated orange flavor with loads of citrus zest that then petered out into a sugary sweetness.

Yellow had that same sour kick to start. There was a light lemon-y zest to the flavor but it was mostly a mellow sweetness.

Green is supposed to be lime, but to me, it tasted like candied green apple as soon as it hit my tongue. There was an unfortunate plasticky tinge to the finish that I think was supposed to be the lime flavor. Aside from the aftertaste, the flavor mixed well with the sourness.

While they aren’t my favorite gummi/jelly candy, they’re decently addictive and good for candy snacking and sharing in the office candy bowl. An O.

Many thanks to Cybele for serving as flavor decoding reference.

Category: Cadbury, gummi/gummy, jelly candy, O, review, sour | 1 Comment »