Limited Edition Starburst Retro

I found these in a display case along with the Limited Edition Carnival Skittles (BUY) at the Dollar Tree. They were tucked away in a corner, so I nearly walked out without seeing them. The cashier probably wondered why I got went through the line twice, both times to buy just candy.

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The packaging on the Retro Starbursts (BUY) is a nice tie-dye motif, and the individual wrappers are white with colored print instead of the other way around. The flavor names are cute and clever, if rather corny:

Hey Mango-rena! – The exclamation mark is key, of course. These didn’t taste like mango at all. I got more of a sweet cantaloupe/punch taste or something.

Optimus Lime – This was my favorite flavor. Unsurprising, since I love citrus flavored candies, and the Green Slushy was my favorite Carnival Skittle flavor. Not quite as complex as the Green Slushy Carnival Skittle, but still quite enjoyable. With a bright and tart lime taste, it reminded me of a lime Skittle, but better, maybe because it’s a bigger candy. And while we’re on the subject, check out this cool Optimus Prime cake.

Psychideli-melon – Quite faithful artificial watermelon candy flavor, like a watermelon Jolly Rancher.

Disco Berry : I guess they ran out of clever names when it came to this one. It tastes like a super intense version of a red berry candy, which makes sense, as this chew is a deep red that’s nearly maroon. I think the berry is cherry, since I think that’s what’s pictured on the wrapper.

Overall, I enjoyed these flavors, though I felt cheated by the Hey Mango-rena! Hey Mars, just making it mango-colored isn’t enough. You’re supposed to make it taste like mango too.

Kid Didits Chocolate-Vanilla Sundae Bars

Kristen on one of Sugar Savvy‘s sister sites in the Well-Fed Network, Kids Cuisine, got to these Didits before I did, but I thought I’d share my take on the Chocolate-Vanilla Sundae Bars. Her review gives a great description of exactly what the Didits brand is about. Each serving of the sundae bars (two small bars) contains just 90 calories, 1 gram of saturated fat, and 30% of the recommended daily dose of calcium.

food-blog-pictures-025.jpgI can understand why Kristen and her kids didn’t like this. From the picture on the wrapper, I expected a chocolate cookie topped with vanilla marshmallow and enrobed in milk chocolate. What’s inside is decidedly different and therefore disappointing. However, I still found it pretty tasty.

The chocolate cookie is chocolatey, chewy, and cookie-esque. Those who have had energy bars/meal replacement bars like those made by Slimfast or Atkins Advantage will recognize the cookie-meets-taffy texture. The “vanilla marshmallow” top is marshmallow-esque – it’s kind of foamy like marshmallows look, but it’s gooey and oozy instead of fluffy. I’d liken it to a corn-syrupy, inferior imitation of a melted marshmallow. The milk chocolate coating tastes like the coating you’d find on a candy bar, which makes sense, as Kid Didits are manufactured by a division of Mars.

At 90 calories per serving, I think these make a good portion-controlled snack. I sometimes eat energy bars in two sittings because their caloric content can get pretty high, so these Didits would be great as a mini energy bar. To compare the Didit sundae bars to sundaes or candy bars, however, is to set them up to disappoint.

Limited Edition Carnival Skittles

carnival-skittles.jpgLimited edition candies may be a marketing ploy to snare the impulsive shopper, but they’re also a great way for candy makers and consumers to try out a new spin on familiar favorites. Also, candy consumers are more willing to buy unfamiliar candies if they’re associated with a familiar brand. Limited Edition Carnival Skittles are an interesting departure from regular Skittles, but I won’t be sad to see them go.

The Carnival flavors are:

Bubble Gum (pink) – Tastes just like sweet, sugary bubble gum. For lack of a better word, this Skittle tastes like pink.

Cotton Candy (turquoise) – This tastes initially like sugar, followed by a hint of artificial blue raspberry (not to be confused with fresh raspberry).

Candy Apple (pale yellow) – This one also tastes initially like sugar but, quite logically, followed by a hint of apple flavor rather than blue raspberry. The apple flavor is actually quite nice and reminds me of apple flavored Fanta.

Red Licorice (red) – I am not a fan of red licorice candy because I think it tastes like wax. Somehow, Skittles managed to encapsulate that waxy essence. I’m impressed, assuming that the waxy taste is not just my imagination.

Green Slushy (light green) – I saved the best for last! On first bite, there’s a sharp lime taste. The lime flavor then mellows out into a sweet lemon-lime. It’s more complex than a regular lime Skittle, and more enjoyable. My favorite normal Skittles are the citrus ones, so it’s no surprise that I liked Green Slushy the best. Candy Apple is okay, but I found the initial sugar taste off-putting and too sweet.

That was my issue with this bunch of Skittles overall – three of the five flavors tasted of mostly sugar, which got bland and cloying. I polished off the Green Slushy ones (OM) and left the rest (O) for my family to finish.