Dubble Bubble Gumballs

When the folks at Gumball.com asked me to review some free gumballs and a gumball machine, I thought, “Why not?”

I can’t remember the last time I actually had a gumball, but I do remember wishing my parents would buy me one when I was a kid. For the record, my tiger parents never did…

My bag of Dubble Bubble gumballs had “10 Assorted Fruit Flavors”: peach, orange, apple, cherry, grape, berry, strawberry shortcake, strawberry, watermelon, and banana.

All of the gumballs were attractively colorful, shiny, and imprinted with the Dubble Bubble logo. They had a colored sugar shell and a white gum layer around a hollow center. All took on a firm, stiff chew within a dozen or so chomps.

Peach was orange with red splotches. It tasted like sugar. Orange was just orange. There was maybe a whiff of orange citrus to the start? And then it just tasted like sugar.

Apple was a bright lime green, the color of a granny smith apple. It had the edge of a granny smith apple’s sourness for a fleeting second, then tasted like sugar.

Cherry was red on the package, but its shell was practically black in reality. A bit of dark red was visible when it was bitten into. It tasted a little like a cherry popsicle at the very beginning, and then tasted like sugar.

Are we starting to see a theme here? Grape was a blueish purple and started off tasting like a grape popsicle for a half second.

Berry (white with colored speckles), strawberry shortcake (light pink with dark pink speckles), and strawberry (neon pink) just tasted like sugar.

Watermelon was a darker grassy green and had the most actually distinguishable flavor. It tasted of floral candy watermelon Jolly Rancher for almost three seconds! And then it tasted like sugar.

And finally, banana, which was yellow, carried just a whiff of banana essence. And then tasted like sugar.

Clearly I am no longer the target audience for gumballs. They all pretty much just tasted – you guessed it – like sugar, which is mostly what they are.

They get a from my now grown-up palate. They’re a harmless 25 cent treat for your kid, but if you’re old enough to read this, you’re probably too old to like these chewy sugar bombs.

As for the gumball machine, it’s kind of cool! I’m trying to think about how I can use it in a science experiment, as I’m currently studying self-control in kiddos.


Huevitos was another Ricolino’s candy that I picked up at a local Hispanic grocery. They were touted as new, though Cybele said she had them last year.

The packaged described them as “candy coated chocolate flavor eggs.” “Chocolate flavor” is a marketing/packaging red flag. It means that there’s no actual cocoa butter inside.

These looked nice, like prettily speckled eggs. But ooh they smelled gnarly, like anise (I’m an avid licorice detester).

The candies had brown spotted sugar shells that I could easily smoosh between my fingers. The “chocolate flavor” centers were soft, grainy, and chewy.

Those centers tasted worse than they smelled – it was both sour and sweet with chemical flavors and an anise edge. I couldn’t even finish one.

It’s a shame that they were so pretty to behold, yet so gross to eat. Run away! A .

Endangered Species Organic Health – Dark Chocolate with Goji Berry, Pecans, and Maca

This Spider Monkey Endangered Species bar was part of their Organic Health line. I think the “health” part means that they’re full of those trendy superfruits and things of dubious actual health benefit.

The bar was Dark Chocolate with Goji Berry, Pecans, & Maca. Maca seems to fall pretty squarely in that trendy health claims category. Wikipedia claims it may help gentlemen in the bedroom…

The 70% rainforest alliance certified cocoa had a softer snap than that of the 72% I reviewed on Monday. It smelled lightly and pleasantly fruity.

The chocolate bar’s melt was thick. It was sprinkled through with little white bits of pecan and… stuff.

It started off nice, then brightened and became fruitily sweet, probably thanks to the goji berry. It then took on a medicinal weirdness that was quite artificial and off-putting.

The little embedded bits of stuff added a puffed wheat essence of toastiness, which was nice, and a heavy astringency, which was not so nice.

The finish was extremely bitter and quite astringent. It left a bad taste and feel in my mouth. I didn’t notice any pecan flavors, and I just couldn’t bring myself to try more of the chocolate to try to find them.

I was disappointed. This bar seemed so promising and ended up tasting so awfully medicinal and moisture-sucking. A .

World Market – 72% Dark, Pomegranate Dark, and Chipotle Chili Dark

Today I’m wrapping up my coverage of Cost Plus World Market’s store brand chocolates with three of their mini squares. You can check out earlier entries on Monday and Wednesday.

72% Dark Chocolate was a plain, solid square. Instead of looking like a smaller segment of the larger bars with the World Market logo imprint, it just had a striated top.

The chocolate first melted into fatty lumps in my mouth before smoothing out. It had a light, nearly fruity sweetness with a dry, just shy of astringent finish.

Not bad, but not great texture-wise, and nothing to crow about. An O.

Pomegranate dark chocolate had a 64% base. It had a sharp snap with the same uneven melt as the plain dark chocolate.

The chocolate started with a nice touch of fruitiness that grew progressively stronger as it melted in my mouth. The flavor developed quite nicely, though I wouldn’t have pegged it as pomegranate. Some nice plain dark chocolates can carry such a fruitiness naturally.

I enjoyed the flavor, but the texture knocked it down a peg for me. An O.

Finally, the chipotle chili dark chocolate also had a 64% cacao base. It smelled quite smoky, as expected from chipotle chilis.

I usually love chili chocolate. When it’s well done, it leaves a slightly smoldering tingle in the back of your throat.

This bar packed a firey punch that did more than smolder – it burned painfully and set my whole mouth on fire, including an especially acrid burn in my throat.

It was far too spicy for my taste. A .

World Market Toffee Caramel Milk Chocolate

I’m working my way through Cost Plus World Market’s store brand of chocolate. Monday, I reviewed the Strawberry and Champagne Dark Chocolate. Today, we’ve got the Toffee Caramel Milk Chocolate.

I was curious as to exactly what World Market meant by toffee caramel. Generally speaking, your basic combination of sugar and butter is either toffee or caramel, depending on the texture, so how could something be both? I guess they were just trying to cover all their bases.

The chocolate bar had an unusual appearance. Flecked with bits of toffee throughout, it was funnily speckled and rather visually unappetizing in my opinion.

The toffee bits were visible along the break of the bar. Some looked craggy, while others looked light and full of air pockets.

It smelled strangely of spices with a strong overtone of anise. Blech. I hate anise, hence my aversion to licorice and fennel and absinthe.

Alas, that anise scent crossed over to the flavor of the bar. It just tasted off, like no toffee/caramel I’ve ever had, and I couldn’t handle more than a bite.

The texture didn’t help matters either. It had the same poor melt and deficient mouthfeel as their dark chocolate. A .

Guest post: ChocoTense Saturn

Today we’ve got a guest post from my favorite in-the-Netherlands ex-pat, Neil! ~Rosa

Greetings again from the soggy Netherlands, dear ZOMG, Candy! readers. Today’s post is about a 150 gram bar I found at a local discount store, Wibra.

Wibra is good for generic 1 Euro utensils, deeply discounted name brand toiletries, socks, and an odd assortment of other goods. Basically a dollar store but across a variety of low prices.

Each time I’m there I try to find something that’s worthy of throwing at Rosa or trying for myself. Finally, I broke down, for your sake, to try the curiously named “Saturn”.

Saturn comes from ChocoTense, a brand of the Strootman Group. As a recovering prescriptivist, I am amused that they advertise themselves as “moving consumer goods discretely” But enough business-chatter. Let’s get down to chocolate tacks.

The bar was fairly well scored, but individual blocks were perfectly flat and unmarked. This just added to the already overwhelming feel of genericness. The blocks broke easily along the scores, but each time I did this, some shards resulted.

Little visual pips of the candies dotted the surface. Upon further reflection, I suppose they’re supposed to be like flying saucers of alien men from Saturn.

Sadly, the appearance made the bar look not entirely healthy. It’s also of note that the top is a bit scuffed up, likely as a result of it kicking around in my backpack for an afternoon.

Overwhelmingly, the flavor was bland milk chocolate, with hints of sour milk. To add insult to injury, a sticky gummy texture persisted, almost frustrating to get through, bordering on the mouthfeel of a Tootsie Roll. The miniature candies — similar to Nestle Smarties — were crispy and were definitely the highlight.

An unfortunate and inexplicable after-effect of heat and irritation in my throat came on after eating a few pieces. The overall experience wasn’t quite so bad that I chucked the remainder, but I found myself wondering what I would do with the rest of this unsatisfactory bar.

In the morning, I found that it was marginally better with my morning coffee but not worthy of any further consumption. Should you ever find yourself in line at the Wibra, skip the Saturn and reach for the Haribo bags. A .

Hissee Fit Snake Spray – Cherry Chase

This Hissee Fit Snake Spray came, along with a bunch of other candies, as a free sample from the National Confectioners Association. It is definitely not something that I would have picked up on my own.

Spray/liquid candy is a weird genre. It was basically a tube of liquid candy with a little squirting nozzle attachment at the top. Each squirt delivered just a few drops.

My sample was Cherry Chase flavored. The candy blogger’s worry with cherry (and grape) flavored candies is that it will taste of cough syrup. Unfortunately, this fell right into that trap.

To be fair, the spray finished with a brightly sweet finish that wasn’t unpleasant. Still, the bulk of the flavor profile was that of artificial cherry with a horrid medicinal tinge. A “toss the remainder into the trash” –.

ISS Oh Yeah! Bar

I got this Oh Yeah! bar sample at Duke Recreation‘s open house. Gotta love well punctuated food brands!

The wrapper promised chocolate, caramel, and peanuts. Two of the three were readily visible upon unwrapping the bar; it was completely covered in half peanuts and coated in chocolates.

The nuts were dry and crunchy with a light nuttiness. The chocolate contributed just a light cocoa-ness.

The center of the bar was a pale, golden brown. It was dry, chewy, and grainy and turned into a bland paste that tasted of protein.

Sadly, the chewy center was really unpleasant. I guess it was supposed to be the caramel part, but it didn’t taste like caramel at all. It just tasted like yuck.

To be fair, the purpose of the Oh Yeah! bar is to serve as a post-workout, protein-packed snack, so I didn’t expect it to be as delicious as a true candy bar. Then again, if they’re promising caramel, they should deliver! A .

Crystal Light Sugar Free Chewy Candy – an attempted review

I received this bag of Crystal Light Sugar Free Chewy Candy as a free sample from the National Confectioners Association.

I’m not one who would buy sugar free candy for myself, but I was happy to give them a try. I’d had Crystal Light’s Sugar Free hard candies before, which I had found quite nice.

Continue reading “Crystal Light Sugar Free Chewy Candy – an attempted review”

Cadbury Choclair – Blueberry

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 .