Here’s one more review of a Ricolino product that I bought at a local Hispanic grocery store: Chocoretas. The bag described them as “chocolate and artificially mint flavored candy”.

I appreciate the honesty of the “artificially mint flavored” designation. I think just about all mass-market mint candies are artificially flavored, but not all are so forthright about it.

The Chocoretas were little pale mint green balls, about a centimeter in diameter. They had a thin and super crunchy sugar shell – much more substantial than that of an M&M – and a pepperminty chocolate center.

The chocolate flavor was light and mostly tasted of peppermint that carried a lightly cooling sensation. There was an overall creamy sensation to the finish.

These were like a candy version of mint chocolate chip ice cream, plus some added textural contrast from the crunchy sugar shells. I found them to be pretty good, and I bet they’d make great ice cream or cupcake toppers. An OM.

Kranky K

After Wednesday’s disaster of a Ricolino product review, I thought it would be nice to close out the week with a Ricolino product that I really liked. This bag of Kranky K was also purchased at a local Hispanic grocery store.

The wrapper described them as “corn flakes with chocolate flavoring coating”. Again, the “chocolate flavoring” was a little worrisome – would this be another mockolate disaster?

While the ingredients list had hydrogenated palm oil instead of cocoa butter, it did at least have cocoa. And the amount of chocolate flavoring was so thin that it masked the lack of true chocolate.

The cornflakes brought a wonderfully firm and crisp crunch and a hearty toastiness in flavor. They were solid, stiff flakes; no Special K-style flimsy wimpiness here.

The coating had a light cocoa flavor with an undertone of maltiness. They were understated in their sweetness and acted as a great foil against the starch of the cornflakes.

My only complaint is that there was a slight hint of chalkiness to the finish. I bet that could’ve been helped by using actual chocolate!

I was surprised at how well this simple, unassuming treat worked. It was a nice mix of textures and flavors. An OM.


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 .

Moritas Sour Gummies

This week I’ll be reviewing some candies that I picked up at a local Hispanic grocery store. First up are Ricolino’s Moritas Sour Gummies, which the bag describes as “pectin gummies with artificial blackberry and strawberry flavors [sic] sugar dots.”

At first glance, they looked like standard raspberry/blackberry gummi candies, though these were strawberry rather than raspberry. In fact, I found them to be better than other versions that I’ve had!

The sugar dots on the outside were what made these stand out. They were little balls of compressed sugar that crumbled into a burst of bright fruity, slightly sour flavor into my mouth. They carried all the flavor punch.

The soft jelly center had the instant give of fruit pate and a perfectly smooth texture. There was no chewy sproing that the gummi descriptor led me to expect.

The dark black/purple ones reminded me of currant flavors but without any tannic bite. The red ones had a lighter, more floral note and was like a sour strawberry.

These were nicely flavorful and tart. I’d buy them again if I needed a sweet pick-me-up. An OM.

Bubu Lubu

Over spring break, the Yale Concert Band went on tour to Mexico. I, unfortunately, was not able to join them. On the plus side, kind friends brought me back Mexican candy, and their trip reminded me of all the Mexican candy in my stash (bought back home in Austin, TX and in a little candy shop in Pilsen, Chicago, IL) that I’ve yet to review. Today’s review is a Bubu Lubu, which I’m pretty sure is from an H.E.B. in Austin.

I bought the Bubu Lubu because it promised chocolate-covered marshmallow. Specifically, it’s “strawberry flavor jelly and marshmallow with chocolate flavored coating.” Chocolate flavored? Ooh boy – that’s a mockolate alert right there.

For the Bubu Lubu, however, the mockolate wasn’t that bad, perhaps because it was presented as a super thin layer of mockolate coating. It tasted pretty sweet but was otherwise unremarkable but also inoffensive. The texture may have been a bit off, but again, it was so thin that it was hard to tell.

The strawberry jelly was texturally surprising. I expected goo or jam. Instead, it was more gelatinous, like the texture of a fruit gem center. I thought the flavor was more raspberry than strawberry. Finally, the marshmallow that made up the bulk of the treat was foamy, springy, and unremarkable.

The Bubu Lubu isn’t bad, but it’s also not good, so it gets the dubious distiction of an indifferent . On the plus side, the nutrition facts are pretty good because the treat is mostly marshmallow: 126 calories, 2 grams of fat, and 2 grams of saturated fat. Still, I’d rather expend my discretionary calories on something that tastes good and is a bit more interesting and satisfying.

Borrachitos from Crown Candies

I recently had the pleasure of getting a candy sneak preview. Crown Candies sent me two boxes of their Borrachitos (Spanish for a little drunk, and a traditional Mexican treat, apparently). I got one each of their two available flavors: Tequila and Licor de Cafe.

Crown Candies imports these handmade candies from Mexico. They call them “gourmet caramel candies,” but, as I explained to David of Crown Candies, I find that a bit of a misnomer, as they aren’t actually caramels. Instead, they’re a soft jelly-like candy flavored with caramel (or dulce du leche, if you prefer) and liquor. The Tequila flavor is laced with Tequila (duh), and the Licor de Cafe with coffee liqueur (less intuitive if you’re unfamiliar with romance languages).

The borrachitos come inside a resealable plastic tub with paper dividers separating them from each other. That tub is then shrink-wrapped and packaged inside a box. The texture of the candy is hard to describe. It’s super soft and immediately gives way when you bite into it, yet there’s a slight chew to it, The white center is creamy and also soft. They’re covered in granulated sugar, presumably to keep them from sticking to each other and to add an extra touch of sweetness.

The Licor de Cafe had a lovely strong coffee liqueur flavor to it in addition to its caramel notes. I noticed an initial, barely perceptible mustiness to it, probably from the paper liner, but it wasn’t present enough for friends to notice when I shared the borrachitos. My band director proclaimed them to be “very good,” and he’s got a doctorate in music education (sorry; inside YUB joke).

The Tequila borrachitos (left three in below photo) were lighter in color than the Licor de Cafe flavored ones (right three below) – more golden than brown – and their mustiness was a little stronger, probably because they had a double-layered paper liner. David from Crown Candies assures me that they’ve stopped using the double layer and that they’re looking into plastic separators, so that should resolve that issue. He was so confident that he sent me a third box of borrachitos with the new packaging to taste, but I haven’t had a chance to get them yet because I’ve been out of town and without access to my PO box.

The Tequila borrachitos were also strong! They immediately taste of caramel, and then whoosh comes the alcohol flavor. I’m not hardcore enough to enjoy the Tequila flavor, but I think tequila lovers/hard liquor connoisseurs would enjoy it. The Licor de Cafe flavor was just right for me, with it’s slight but innocuous alcohol tinge. An O for the tequila. The Licor de Cafe isn’t something I would reach for as a casual snack, but I would indulge in a piece now and then and would offer it to company. It gets an OM. I wonder if Crown Candies has considered a chocolate liqueur version.

Borrachitos are available online from the Crown Candies website, and they’ll also be at the All Candy Expo in Chicago that’s going on next week.