I’m not sure why Serious Eats had a semi-regular feature profiling Japanese treats, but I’m not complaining! Here are their round-ups of some more Japanese candies:
– Japanese drink flavored candies (weird category, I know)
Goody Good Stuff is trying to separate itself from the gummi pack by making their candies all natural and gelatin free (making these gummis suitable for vegetarians), but you couldn’t tell it from the gummis themselves. Their textures and flavors make no concessions to their natural label.
The Tropical Fruit gummis come in 6 flavors/shapes: banana, grape, strawberry, coconut, pineapple, and orange. All of them had awesomely sproingy textures that bounced against my teeth without sticking. It’s now my favorite texture for gummis.
Banana was one that I dreaded, as candy banana ain’t my thang. But I managed to get over my fear to try one of these, and it wasn’t so bad!
It tasted mildly sweet with a vague hint of banana flavor – one that tasted just like bananas smell, if that makes any sense. Thankfully the banana scent was light, and this gummi was mostly sweetness.
Grapes had deep plummy notes and tasted like a chewable version of grape juice. I like that it tasted more like the actual fruit than grape popsicles. If only all grape candies could taste like this instead of artificialness!
Strawberry was lightly sweetly red with a surprising grassy edge to it. I don’t get why it tasted as herbal as it did, but it wasn’t unpleasant; just unexpected.
Coconut was cleverly shaped like a little green palm tree. It had light coconut high notes suspended over a general fruity sweetness not unlike the main flavor of the banana.
Coconut is an unusual flavor for gummis. While it was nicely executed here, it doesn’t make me lament that coconut gummis aren’t more widely available.
Pineapple was my favorite of the set. It had a strong, core-y bite to it that really perked up my taste buds before it mellowed into that light general fruitiness. I liked that it stood out for its assertive flavor.
Finally, orange, shaped like a striated orange wedge, had just a mild citrusy sweetness. It was nice, but I like my citrus fruit candies with a sour, zesty punch, so I couldn’t help but be a little disappointed.
Pineapple was my favorite, followed by grape, and those get OMs. The rest get Os. I love these gummis for their amazing texture, but not all of the flavors were to my personal preference, and I felt like some of them lacked pizzazz. Still, they are a lovely, calm, and generally understated treat that are definitely superior to most gummi bears that are out on the market today.
The folks at Serious Eats never fail to impress. They managed to round up an astounding 14 examples of burger-shaped gummi candies!
I’ve tried gummi burgers exactly once because they had a too-stiff chew and a too-plasticky taste, but maybe one of those fourteen will be palatable?
Goody Good Stuff landed on my radar when I got free samples of their Sour Fruit Salad and Strawberry Cream gummis to review. They’ve since sent along a couple more free samples. Today I’ll cover their Summer Peaches, and Wednesday I’ll write about their Tropical Fruit.
Gummi peaches are a pretty common candy aisle treat. The Goody Good Stuff version is vegan (no gelatin!) with all natural flavors and an adorable mascot.
They were checked in a pretty pink and yellow pattern and covered in a sweet sugar sand. The texture was like that of a fruit gem – a soft, instant give with no springiness.
The flavor was sweet with a mild floral flavor. It was a solid version of the standard candy interpretation of peach flavor rather than the juicy tanginess of a fresh, ripe peach.
I would have preferred the latter version, a la Gimbal’s, but this was still nice! An O.
The Jive bar is basically a knock-off Twix: “crunchy biscuit topped with caramel and a creamy milk chocolate coating.” It even comes two fingers to a pack! I bought mine at the check-out aisle of an Aldi.
I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of this bar. The cookie was a little drier and more crumbly than that of a Twix. It also wasn’t quite as sweet as the cookie in a Twix.
The caramel was slightly grainy with a nice bit of burnt sugar finish to it. It didn’t pull into gloriously decadent strands like a Twix’s caramel does. Instead, it broke pretty cleanly when bitten into.
While the chocolate coating was fine, I found that it was a tad too sweet. A few bites of a Jive finger was great, but polishing off the whole thing became overly cloying.
I don’t think the few cents price break on the Jive would be enough for me to choose it over a Twix in a head to head, but it held its own well enough. An O.
I found these Cadbury Choclairs in the Chinese equivalent of a mini-mart. I didn’t know exactly what to expect – based on the packaging, I thought that they would be blueberry-flavored chocolate.
Instead, they turned out to be little caramels with a blueberry flavored center. It looks like I wound up with the blueberry version of Neil’s Cadbury hazelnut treat.
The caramels were soft and chewy, with a texture similar to that of Starbursts, only grainier and not quite as sticky. The caramel flavor was rather boring, just generically sweet with a one-dimensional caramel flavor.
The center filling was where it went all wrong for me. It tasted weirdly artificial with dark plummy undertones that really didn’t mesh with the caramel at all.
In fact, the combination was downright off-putting. A —.
I got a pack of Hi-Chew Banana from Morinaga USA in the same box that had my Hi-Chew Peach sample. I wasn’t too enthusiastic about trying it because I generally really don’t like banana flavored candies.
Fortunately, the Hi-Chew banana didn’t taste artificial at all! Instead, its banana flavor was surprisingly genuine, like the actual fruit instead of some chemical approximation.
The chew started off with a mild sweetness and just a hint of banana scent. As I chomped away, the overtones of real banana flavors became stronger before ceding ground back to a pleasantly fruity sweetness not unlike the base flavor of the Peach.
This isn’t my favorite Hi-Chew flavor, but I enjoyed it much more than I expected to. Kudos to Hi-Chew for making banana not just palatable but even enjoyable. An O.
I received these Gimbal’s Sour Lovers as free samples for review. They’re a new set of sour gummis that come in 12 flavors.
The gummis were brightly colored and sweetly heart-shaped. All were covered in sour sugar. Their texture was quite soft and sticky, with a tendency to work its way into the nooks and crannies of my teeth.
Pomegranate was a dark red. It tasted deeply red and seedy and was reminiscent of a mild raspberry, except that it had a lovely, naturally fruity finish.
Bing Cherry was a slightly lighter red. It and the Pomegranate were nearly impossible to distinguish by sight, but they definitely tasted different. Cherry was sweeter and tasted like a mild, generic red candy.
Watermelon was an opaque pink. It tasted just like a watermelon Jolly Rancher, sweet and floral and not exactly like the actual fruit.
Strawberry Daiquiri was a translucent pink. I usually find strawberry candies unremarkable, but this surprised me. It had a nice zestiness to it to represent the lime juice component of the daiquiri, making this a fruity bite with notes of lime rind.
Meyer Lemon was yellow and tasted noticeably distinguishable from your usual lemon gummi. It had more acidity to its flavor and more zestiness than the usual sweet mellowness of other lemon candies, like lemon drops.
Grapefruit was a translucent off-white. It started with a solid, near bitter bite that was quickly tempered by the sweet and sour sugar. It had much more pithiness than grapefruit gummi bears. I liked the grown-up take.
Fuji Apple had the round mellow apple juice sweetness of Fuji apples. It tasted positively juicy!
Sour Blueberry didn’t quite do it for me, but blueberry-flavored candies generally don’t. I thought this was more raspberry-like. It started off sweet and then developed a seedy bite.
Mango was a light, translucent orange. The flavor was spot-on, with a sharp tinge of genuine mango seediness.
Tangerine was a slightly darker translucent orange. Like the Bing Cherry and Pomegranante, Mango and Tangerine looked alike but tasted totally different. Tangerine was extremely sweet and mellow for a sour citrus gummi, but it had a great tanginess and a zesty finish.
Georgia Peach was an opaque orange. It had a mild floralness that soon became a sharply bright and extremely genuine fresh peach flavor. It did a great job of evoking the flavor of biting into a ripe peach, skin and all.
Finally, Baja Margarita was a light lime-green. It started off puckery, then became slightly sweet with a limey zestiness. This was my favorite of the bunch.
This was a great assortment from Gimbal’s! My only issue is that the gummi was a tad too sticky for my taste, as it left me picking my teeth afterwards.
The flavors, however, were excellent – bright, sweet, fruity, and sour. An OM for the set as a whole, with Baja Margarita, Strawberry Daiquiri, Grapefruit, Georgia Peach, and Meyer Lemon getting extra OMG kudos.
If you want a second opinion, check out Cybele’s take.