I’ve tasted quite a few candies and confections that I actively disliked for the sake of this blog (it was fun walking down candy memory lane by going through my archives), including some Russian mockolate things that made me want to vomit (nothing against Russian candies; just those in particular were nasty). The Cherry Mash, like the Idaho Spud, was a Candy Freak nostalgia candy (made since 1918) that I just had to try. And, like the Idaho Spud, it proved to be disappointing, to say the least.
The Cherry Mash website claims that the Cherry Mash has been America’s Favorite Cherry Flavored Candy Bar. I can’t think of another cherry flavored candy bar, but, even without any competition, I still don’t see how this could take the title of America’s Favorite anything.
For starters, it doesn’t look the least bit appetizing. Immediately out of the wrapper, it looks like a giant lump. Because there’s nothing to offer any size perspective in the picture below, it kind of looks like a disorganized Ferrero Rocher. In real life, that would be perfectly fine if it were Ferrero Rocher-sized, but take that quarter-sized Rocher and blow it up to the size of my fist, and you get a much less attractive lump.
The “Cherry Mash consists of a soft cherry flavored center containing real maraschino cherries covered in a mixture of chopped roasted peanuts and chocolate coating.” The chocolate coating was dry dry dry, and the supposedly roasted peanuts added the texture of nuts without any flavor of nuts (though it did give the thing a slight tinge of peanut smell), which made the coating even drier. The frighteningly pink cherry center tasted of sugar and cough syrup fruitiness. I find it amusing that they tout “real maraschino cherries” when there’s already something unnaturally fake about maraschino cherries to begin with.
The missing bite in the photo is super tiny because it was all I could stomach. I really, really tried to take a second bite for a proper tasting and a better picture, but I just couldn’t do it. What really got to me was the smell, which was overpoweringly cloying with the sickly scent of artificial cherry flavoring. I’d bring it near my mouth for another bite and then have to pull away. Suffice it to say, this gets a run-away-and-don’t-look-back — that made me once again wonder if I need to revamp my rating system so that I could give negative scores. (Edit 10/25/09: I did and changed the original O to a —.)