Trolli Soda Poppers

I found these Trolli Soda Poppers while I was trolling (har har) the candy aisles of a local gas station. I’d never heard of them before, but they’ve apparently been around long enough to warrant a “New Look!”

The Soda Poppers came in Cherry Cola, Root Beer, Orange Soda, Lemon Lime, and Cola flavors. As a whole, the bag smelled of root beer, and a faint root beer tinge tainted all of the gummis’ flavors.

Each gummi was shaped like a little soda can and imprinted with text naming its flavor. They were soft with a pleasantly bouncy chew.

Orange soda (orange) was a mild floral orange with a faintly fizzy undertone. The flavor was neither bright nor tangy, so I only found it middling as far as gummi oranges go.

Lemon lime (yellow green) was sweet with a mild citrus undertone. I wanted it to be more tart and tangy.

Cola (reddish brown) tasted mildly of, well, cola. Cherry cola (red) tasted similar with a fizzy, generically red fruity flavor.

Finally, root beer (purplish brown) was the strongest of all the flavors, hence its ability to contaminate all the rest of the gummis. To be fair, its root beer flavor was pretty spot on; it just isn’t my favorite soda flavor.

While I loved the texture of these guys, I thought most of the flavors could’ve used a lot more punch. Only an because I wanted more flavor that these guys didn’t deliver.

Brach’s Jelly Nougats

I love bulk bins because they let you buy exactly how much you want. I especially love them for candy because they let me buy just enough to taste for a review. The last time I was at a Wegman’s with bulk bins (my neighborhood one is too small to have a bulk bin section, but that’s a good thing, as it prevents me from gorging on malted milk balls and Albanese 12-flavor gummi bears on a too-regular basis), I picked out four Jelly Nougats by Brach’s.

Thank goodness I only spent about 50 cents on them.

I was naive enough to think that, because they had nougat in the name and because they were white in color, they would taste like actual nougat. And they were so colorful and artsy looking to boot!

Alas, they just tasted like blech. The jelly bits look like they should be fruity, and they kind of are, but not really. They mostly tasted of sproingy sweetness.

The nougat had a persistent chew that was soft and not at all sticky. It tasted a bit floral and fruity, but mostly it was just sugar overload like whoa. I don’t think it was the sweetness factor alone that made this a spit-out candy for me – rather, I think it was that the sugar lacked any other substantial flavor to back it. Sweet and fruity is okay. Sweet and more sweet is not. One of my roommates called it old people candy.

My roommates enjoyed it, though they agreed with me that it was cloying. I could smell the candies as they were eating them from several feet away, and the smell was lovely, bright, and fruity. Why couldn’t they taste like that too?

For me, it’s a . Save your pennies for something else!

Hawaiian Punch Jelly Beans

I was just in Target this past weekend and saw that they already had an endcap of Easter candy on display. It’s still January! Ridiculous as that was, it at least served the purpose of reminding me that I’ve been sitting on some jelly bean tasting notes from last Easter-ish (ish because I bought them after Easter. I love post-holiday candy sales!)

There’s nothing on the packaging of Hawaiian Punch Jelly Beans to indicate that they’re holiday-specific. I think I caught them on sale post-Easter, though, so I’m not sure if these guys are available year-round. They’re made by Brach’s, and they boast of containing loads of vitamin C and real fruit juice.

I find the real fruit juice/pectin claim amusing, as they come in colors that are definitely not found in nature. “Hawaiian Punch” (dark red) has a deep artificial red candy flavor. I can’t remember what Hawaiian Punch the drink tastes like, but I imagine it’s similar to that.

“Fruity Juicy Red” (pinkish red, I think) just tastes generically of red hard candy, while “Green Berry Rush” (kiwi green in the back) tastes mutedly of green apple.

“Berry Blue Typhoon” (psychedelic blue) tastes of gnarly artificial blue raspberry flavors. “Lemon Berry Squeeze” (not pictured but probably yellow) had a sweet and tart lemon flavor with a cherry finish.

“Mango Passionfruit Squeeze”  (yellow-orange with orange speckles; the prettiest ones, I think) had a decently authentic mango finish to the flavor, with that slight seediness that you get as you eat closer to the pit. Finally, “Orange Ocean” (orange) just tasted sweetly of muted citrus.

While there was nothing wrong about these guys, per se, I found them generically sweet with flavors that were too weak to hold up in the strong Easter jelly bean market (check out a 2008 round-up from Candy Addict; Cybele from Candy Blog has also reviewed loads of them).

Hawaiian Punch Jelly Beans get an O, with the caveat that it looks like they may have been reformulated since I bought them – Candy Warehouse has a photo of them with far more speckles than mine had – so they may taste different now.

Brach’s Rich and Dreamy Chocolatey Cremes

I think the unofficial theme for this week is something along the lines of “Candy that’s so fake tasting it may actually be a crime against nature.” Had I been paying attention when I picked these Brach’s Rich and Dreamy Chocolatey Cremes out of the bulk candy bins at my local HEB in Austin, TX, I never would have bought them in the first place. In the candy world, “chocolatey” is code for “not made of real chocolate” and is usually an indicator of candy badness. In this case, it was a sign of candy terribleness. Please note that they are not filed under chocolate.

The Chocolatey Cremes came in Orange Sorbet, Cherry Jubilee, Double Dutch, Raspberry Parfait, and Vanilla Bean. I guess you could call the shapes of these to be like oversized Rolos. I only got a photo of the Double Dutch out of the wrapper (below) because I was too busy tasting nasty candy and spitting it out to remember to take pictures of the others. I think the orange, cherry, raspberry, and vanilla ones had unnaturally colored fillings, but I’m not sure. My notes on these are pretty sparse because I was so distracted by the terrible taste. In fact, I think it’s best if I just reproduce my notes below.

Double dutch – EWW. fake and sugary

Orange Sorbet – like orange creamsicle

Cherry Jubilee – bright cherry popsicle flavor

Raspberry Parfait – gritty raspberry (translation – I was referring to the slightly bitter, seedy olfactory taste artificial raspberry can have, as described here in one of my first ever reviews)

Vanilla bean – caramel vanilla

What is left off of my notes was exactly how mindblowingly terrible they all were. Fortunately for this review, unfortunately for me, I still remember. My tasting process for these basically consisted of take bite, make blech face, spit out bite, hurriedly jot down notes so that I could taste the next one to get the taste of the previous one out of my mouth, make blech face, and so on. Texturally, they were awful – gritty and grainy with a fake chocolate shell that cracked because it was so dry – and the fake chocolate just made the fake fillings taste worse. A , coupled with a wish to rebrand them as Poor and Nightmarish and a temptation to tag these as “not candy”.

Brach’s Candy Corn varieties

I have a love-hate relationship with candy corn (BUY!). On the one hand, it really doesn’t taste that good. It’s too sweet, and it leaves that sugary aftertaste in your mouth. On the other hand, it’s sooo addicting! I think when I eat candy corn, I keep reaching for more pieces to try to wipe out that candy corn aftertaste… with more candy corn.

On second thought, I love candy corn. I hate that I love it, but I do, which is why I was excited to try Brach’s new flavors of candy corn: caramel apple and caramel.

The caramel apple does a pretty good job of tasting like a red candied apple. The brown layer is the caramel and tastes just like a Milk Maid. The apple layer – blech! It tastes like candied apple, but really artificially and unappetizingly so. There’s already something a little eerie about the fake taste of a candied apple; the further candy imitation of that is unbearable. Candy corn is already sweet as it is, and the apple just takes it too far into the realm of fake sweetness.

Thankfully, the caramel candy corn was much better and was actually enjoyable. The brown layer was the same caramel flavor as that of the caramel apple, only the caramel version didn’t have the apple layer to mess up the flavors. I think the rest of the caramel corn (the yellow and white) were standard sugary normal candy corn flavored. I like how well the candy corn evoked the caramel flavor of a Milk Maid caramel.

An O for the caramel apple and an OM for the caramel. I think the caramel corn may be a good addition to Brach’s autumn mix (candy corn, Indian corn, and mellowcreme pumpkins).