On Monday, I reviewed the mango, grapefruit, and lychee FruTips that I bought in China. Today, I’ll review their regular flavor assortment.
The regular FruTips were the same size and texture as their specialized flavor counterparts, and they also contained lychee flavored jellies (white). You can refer to Monday’s review for my notes on texture and the lychee FruTips.
Yellow was lemon. It tasted tart and zesty with lots of bitey lemon zest flavors. Orange was orange and tasted of candied citrus. It, too, was quite zesty, but its flavor profile was more rotund and orangey.
Green was apple and tasted like apple juice. Pink was strawberry, which was floral and sweetly tasty.
Finally, purple was blackcurrant, which is not a flavor we usually get in the U.S. It had intense, seedy tannins with almost menthol-y undertones that gave it some bite.
Nearly six years ago, I wrote a review of Rowntree’s Fruit Pastilles that may be the same product as these, except this time around, I really liked them. I’m not sure if the Chinese ones were fresher or a different formulation, or what, but I think they’re worthy of an OM.
As previously mentioned, I’m way overdue for a review of Nestle FruTips from China. When I was in Shanghai this March, I bought of couple of fresh tubes to cover today and Friday. I’ll start with the Mango, Grapefruit, and Lychee tube.
The FruTips were thumbnail-sized flat disks that were covered in gritty sugar sand. The chew started off mostly soft with a bit of tension, then became softer and stickier as I chewed. The texture was smooth and felt like limpid jelly on my tongue.
Grapefruit was a white with a greenish tinge. It was tart with a slight pithiness that highlighted its bright citrusy grapefruit flavors.
Mango was a pale orange. It was round and floral with nice flash of tartness at the end, and it tasted of the tropical seediness of ripe mangos.
Finally, Lychee was white and tasted just like real lychees, though more like canned lychees than fresh ones. These were sweetly floral and addictively tasty.
I wish these were available in the U.S. They’re a great combination of flavors that we usually don’t get in American candies, and I enjoyed their intense fruit flavors and chewy texture. An OMG.
According to Wikipedia, these guys may be available in Canada. They may be the same thing as Rowntree’s Fruit Pastilles, which I had reviewed before in a different flavor arrangement but didn’t care for at the time.
Hello Panda is Meiji‘s answer to Lotte’s Koala’s March: cream-filled cookies imprinted with cute animal cartoons. I got a couple of boxes to try in my free MunchPak samples, first in Strawberry and the following month in Double Choco.
The Hello Panda biscuits were either round or round with ears, like teddy bear heads. The Strawberry version was vanilla biscuits with strawberry cream, while Double Chocos were chocolate biscuits with “choco” cream.
Compared to the Koala’s March, the Hello Pandas had a more substantial crunch and a greater cookie to filling ratio. Strawberry’s biscuit was lightly sweet, while the center strawberry cream had the texture of a solid frosting and a floral sweetness to its artificial strawberry flavor.
The chocolate cookie of the Double Choco was darker in both appearance and flavor. It had a slight cocoa bittersweetness, like a mild Oreo cookie, and its chocolate filling was creamy with a slightly greasy feel.
I liked the Double Choco better than the Strawberry, which was too artificially floral for my taste. I did wish, however, that the Double Choco had more intensity of chocolate flavor and wasn’t quite so greasy. An O for both.
I think it’s safe to state that Jelly Belly is tops in their field of creatively flavorful jelly beans. Instead of resting on their laurels, they never stop innovating! Their newest product are Draft Beer flavored jelly beans.
I was quite excited to be surprised with free samples to review. I was more excited that they came with an adorably tiny beer mug, which made for a fun photoshoot.
The beans were striking right out of the package in two ways. One, they had Jelly Belly’s new jeweled look in a beautiful gold tone, and two, they had a strong, distinctive scent (regular Jelly Bellies don’t smell).
These amber nuggets smelled boozy and yeasty, like beer does, but also sweet and floral, which made it smell more like beer that had gone a little funky. Or, I guess, like beer that hadn’t finished fermenting and turning its sugar into alcohol.
The Draft Beer beans tasted like a sweetened blonde beer. It started off sweet and honeyed, and then took on a little fermented yeastiness. There was no bitter bite to the end, which I appreciated since it is candy, after all.
I’m a cocktail person, not a beer person (surprise, surprise, I have a sweet tooth), so I wouldn’t buy these for myself. They do, however, win points for novelty, and I can think they’d be a fun gift for beer aficionados. An O, just as a matter of personal preference.
Lotte’s Koala March are “chocolate crème filled cookies” that can be found in Asian grocery stores in America. I recently got a free box from the folks at MunchPak, along with Koala March competitors Hello Panda (which I will review later).
The pillow-shaped cookies are imprinted with adorable pictures of koalas in various garbs and doing different activities. The biscuit portion was dry, crunchy, and airy, with just the barest hint of sweetness.
Each hollow cookie had chocolate in its center. Though it was depicted as limpid on the package, the chocolate filling wasn’t quite so fluid in reality. Instead, it was softer than solid chocolate but not quite a ganache, and it tasted of lightly semisweet chocolate.
The mix of crunchy plain biscuit and semisweet soft chocolate was quite tasty, and it was fun to look at the different koalas and try to guess what they were doing. Where is the be-suited koala off to, I wonder? An OM.
Though I could do without the silly “trading cards” that were built into the packaging:
I bought this box of Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate Caramallows last week. I was super excited to think that I’d caught a new product that resembled my beloved See’s Scotchmallows, but it turns out that they were around last year as well.
The long, skinny box described them as “pillowy marshmallow bites with a layer of rich, silky caramel, enrobed in dark chocolate.” There were 10 Caramallows in the box all lined up in a row.
While most were rectangular with a vertical line across them, some were more irregularly shaped. Each had a bottom layer of caramel topped with a square of marshmallow and all covered in a dark chocolate shell.
The Caramallows were far softer than Scotchmallows and squishily yielded to my bite. The dark chocolate shell was quite nice, a high quality chocolate that was lightly sweet with a fruity finish.
The bottom layer of caramel was softy chewy and sticky. It tasted sweetly buttery rather than scorchy or burnt, and it had a mild butterscotchy flavor.
The marshmallow was squishy and foamy in texture. It had a sweetly mild flavor with a light vanilla airiness.
These were tasty enough, but they aren’t a suitable Scotchmallow replacement. The fact that they were so soft throughout made them seem insubstantial compared to Scotchmallows, and Scotchmallows have much more complexity of flavor. An OM.
I recently received a free box of treats from MunchPak (more details on that tomorrow), including this bag of Sour Skittles. They’re not a new addition to the Skittles line-up, but they do now feature green apple instead of lime.
Sour Skittles Flavors:
The other flavors were cherry, orange, lemon, and grape – the same flavors of regular Skittles but coated in sour sugar sand. That sour coating was sharply tart and quite piquant, but it disappeared once it dissolved, which only took a few seconds.
Orange and lemon (yellow) were both extremely tart to the start, then mellowed out into sweet citrus flavors. Lemon had some zestiness to it, while orange was more subdued.
Green apple was less sour and quickly gave way to the juicy sweetness of candied green apple flavor. It tasted like apple juice, but a bit more tart.
Cherry was tart at first, then tasted like artificial cherry candy. It wasn’t medicinal, but it still didn’t do much for me since I’m not a red fruit candy person.
Finally, grape started off tart, then tasted just like a juicy grape Popsicle. I usually don’t like grape flavored candies, but the grape Sour Skittle was elevated by the sourness.
The Sour Skittles were more exciting than regular Skittles, and I even liked the Green Apple flavor more than I thought I would (I really liked Lime Skittles!). An OM.
North Carolina has a great chain of drive-thru restaurants, Cook-Out, that feature an elaborate variety of milkshakes. I like Heath bar bits in my Cook-Out milkshakes, so I jumped at the chance to buy these Heath Pieces when I saw them on the shelf.
Heath Pieces are another extension of the Hershey’s Pieces line. For a long time, it was just Reese’s Pieces, but they’ve since added other chocolate bar flavors that I’ve previously reviewed, including York Peppermint Patty Pieces and Almond Joy Pieces.
Heath bars are chocolate and toffee (previously reviewed here), and the Heath Pieces are “milk chocolate and toffee candy in a crunchy shell.” The conveniently resealable bag was full of spherical candies in a trio of fall colors – light brown, dark brown, and golden yellow.
Most of them were M&M shaped, but a few irregular Pieces slipped through the quality control check and came out with funky shells. Those shells were crunchy, as were the bits of toffee within.
The Heath Pieces were quite sweet, with caramel milk chocolate flavors and a scorchy, buttery undertone from the toffee. Some Pieces had larger toffee bits than others, so the chocolate-toffee balance varied from bite to bite. I preferred the toffee heavy bites.
I simultaneously found them too sweet and so sweet that they were a bit addictive and quite poppable. I may buy them again for ice cream mix-ins in the future, so an OM.
I love gingerbread and gingerbread cookies. When The Impulsive Buy posted photos of Gingerbread M&M’s and Gingerbread Twix, I went hunting for them both at my local Walmart. Alas, I was only able to find the M&M’s; no Twix.
Though the Gingerbread M&M’s were not explicitly packaged with a “limited edition” tag, Red is wearing a Santa hat, so I’m pretty sure they’re a seasonal thing. They came in classic Christmas colors – red and green – plus brown, for some reason.
The Gingerbread M&M’s were irregularly sized. Most were larger and more rotund than regular M&M’s, so they had a slightly higher chocolate to shell ratio.
I found these to be… interesting… tasting. They tasted of chocolate and spice, but not any identifiable gingerbread spice that I’m used to – no cinnamon or ginger or cloves.
Instead, they tasted kind of muddy and dirty. After I had a few and really let the flavor build, I realized that it tasted like dark molasses. Its muddiness lingered in the finish.
These weren’t horrible, but they fell far from the mark of what I think gingerbread chocolate should taste like. An O.
I bought this Ritter Sport Winter Edition Caramelised Almond at Cost Plus World Market, along with last Friday’s Caramel-Orange. I was lucky to nab the last one of these that was on the shelf!
This solid milk chocolate bar was generously embedded with bits of caramelized almonds. Those nuts brought a slightly crystallized crunch to the texture of the snappy chocolate.
Those almonds had a toffee flavor from the caramelized sugar that they were toasted in and brought a strong roasted nuttiness. They paired well with the sweet milk chocolate, making this bar a crunchy, nutty, burnt-sugary, chocolately treat.
I think I would’ve liked this bar a bit more if it had been just a little less sweet. The milk chocolate had a hint of sour tinge and throat burn, but it was mild enough that I could get over it and focus on the great caramelized almond bits. An OM.