23 March 2010

Trader Joe's Bunny Gummy Tummies

parent co.: Trader Joe's
net wt.: 7 oz.
qty.: 30-35
country: united states
description: soft candy with natural strawberry, orange, lemon and blackberry flavors

b.paul brought these home from TJ's, much to my surprise and delight. it seems that they've decided to expand their Gummy Tummy line to incorporate all the major holidays. i've had the regular Gummy Tummies and the Lovey Gummy Tummies, as well as the Ghoulie Gummy Tummies but these Bunny Gummy Tummies are a new addition. the flavors included here are orange, strawberry, lemon and blackberry. the original gummies include strawberry and the halloween gummies have orange and blackberry, so the lemon is the only "new" flavor here. the first noticeable difference in these is the fact that they're opaque whereas the previous gummy tummies have all been translucent. i'd guess this is to give them a pastel look for easter. as far as taste goes, the actual gummies do seem to have a yogurty taste which is a very nice contrast to the tangy liquid filling. the blackberry is probably my favorite, it definitely has the most yogurt flavor - it seems that only the liquid is blackberry flavored as the gummi itself tastes like straight up yogurt. the strawberry also has a strong yogurt taste; the filling is identical to the original strawberry gummies - sweet and tangy with a berry aftertaste. i'd say that orange has the most zazz, it's very tangy, almost mouth-puckeringly so, and it has a slight bitterness to it reminiscent of orange peels. the lemon was surprisingly good, not overpowering, yet tart and sweet. i didn't get the furniture polish taste that so often accompanies lemon candies, and it was probably the least tart of the bunch. it was also the most prevalent flavor in the package, by far. these are definitely a step up from the Lovey Gummies as far as flavor and filling (the hearts have so little filling it's almost hard to tell it's there), and i also like them a bit better than the halloween version. i think the original might still be my favorite, but these are definitely giving them a run for their money. i'm quite fond of the creaminess and i can't wait to see what other holiday gummies Trader Joe's will come up with.

rating: 9

ingredients: glucose syrup, sugar, water, animal gelatin, modified corn starch, citric acid, pectin, natural flavors (strawberry, orange, lemon, blackberry), glazing agent (vegetable oil [palm kernel, coconut], carnauba wax), fruit and vegetable color (aronia juice concentrate, elderberry juice concentrate, curcumin, paprika extract, anthocyanins), titanium dioxide (for color), wheat starch
allergy information: contains wheat

20 March 2010

Jelly Belly Spring Mix

parent co.: Jelly Belly
net wt.: 1.6 oz.
qty.: 40-45
country: united states

yes, i gave in and bought easter candy before easter. i know i should have waited until after so that it would be really cheap, but costplus world market made me do it. with their strange selection of easter candy. i generally hate easter candy because it's all jelly beans and normal crappy candy shaped like bunnies and eggs, but i knew Jelly Belly would have some kind of easter-related packaging, so i was specifically looking for this. technically, it's a spring mix not an easter mix, but that bean has bunny ears and a basket so i think it counts. this little box contains a smattering of springy flavors: berry blue, cantaloupe, cotton candy, island punch, Sunkist lemon, lemon lime, piña colada, Sunkist pink grapefruit and Sunkist tangerine. i'm not too disappointed with the selection, mostly because it contains cantaloupe and grapefruit. Jelly Belly beans don't have gelatin in them, which makes them ok for vegans. all of the flavors in this mix are available year round, but they are pretty pastels which makes them good for easter. also, jelly beans look like eggs, i think that's why they're so popular around this time of year even though most of them are gross and just end up sitting in the bottom of your easter basket, getting all melty and stuck to the fake grass. here's a rundown of the flavors:

berry blue - at first it just tasted like blue kool-aid, but after a second i noticed a definite blueberry flavor. tangy and sweet.

cantaloupe - probably my favorite of the flavors here; super melon-y and not too sweet. the cantaloupe and tangerine were really hard to tell apart, yet somehow i managed to guess right every time i picked one. but they really look exactly the same to me (i have bad eyesight).

cotton candy - i'm not a big fan of cotton candy as a flavoring (the actual candy is ok), it's generally cloyingly sweet. this bean is actually much less sweet than i had expected. it still has the generic pink taste you expect from cotton candy: kind of a mix between strawberry and cherry. not at all terrible.

island punch - has that "tropical" taste that's kind of sweet, tart and acrid all at the same time. i'm not much for tropical fruits or flavors, so this was one of my least favorites.

Sunkist lemon - pretty much like every other lemon jelly bean i've ever had. also like lemon Pledge. you know, the furniture polish.

lemon lime - this tastes similar to limeade. it's not that exciting to me, but then again, most citrus flavors are not that exciting to me. it's on par with the lemon i suppose.

piña colada - i don't like pineapple or coconut, so i already knew i wouldn't care for this. i actually don't taste too much pineapple, just a hint at the end, but the coconut is very strong. this one was also similar in color to the lemon, but slightly more opaque so a little easier to tell apart.

Sunkist pink grapefruit - definitely one of the better flavors in the mix. it's tart and sweet, but i do think it could stand to be a bit more sour. it does have a good grapefruit flavor though.

Sunkist tangerine - this tastes pretty much like orange to me. i've had many different tangerines and this doesn't really taste like any of them. pretty disappointing actually.

whew. so that's my completely biased report of the flavors, the one thing i did have a bit of problem with was the ratio of flavors. the package states that it may not contain every flavor, thankfully mine did, but there were way more lemon lime and island punch than the other flavors, and only three of the berry blue and the tangerine. i feel that it shouldn't be that hard to just throw four of each flavor in a box, but i guess i don't really know much about the candy industry. maybe that's too much work. so overall, not a bad box, but i'd probably stick with just buying the flavors i like.

rating: 5

ingredients: sugar, corn syrup, modified food starch, contains 2% or less of the following: coconut, lemon puree, tangerine juice concentrate, grapefruit juice concentrate, passion fruit juice concentrate, cantaloupe juice concentrate, lime juice concentrate, citric acid, sodium lactate, ascorbic acid, natural and artificial flavors, color added, yellow 5 & 6, yellow 5 & 6 lake, blue 1 & 2 lake, red 40, red 40 lake, blue 1, beeswax, carnuba wax, confectioner's glaze

17 March 2010

Super Lemon

parent co.: Nobel
pkg. size: 7 1/2"x5"
candy size: 1/2" d.
weight: 3.10 oz.
quantity: 10-15
country: japan
description: a lemon hard candy with a shockingly sour first taste

my first thought about these (after, "wow, these are super cool looking with that girl on the front screaming like Super Lemon is some hero coming to save her.") was that they would taste like WarHeads. they do, but i think that they might be a touch more sour. and a little less sweet, at that. they have a much more realistic sour lemon flavor without the sugary candy aftertaste of other sour lemon candies (WarHeads, Lemonheads, etc). after the initial super-sour coating disappears these candies still maintain their sour, instead of lunging straight into sugarysweetland. each candy is individually wrapped inside the package, i'd guess to keep them from congealing into one hard, sour lemon lump, but it seems a bit wasteful (what are they, Trader Joe's?). for some reason i don't have a shot of the actual candy, which is weird, but it looks eerily similar to a Lemonhead. if you like sour candies, these are definitely worth your time. they certainly are "powerful candy."

rating: 8

ingredients: sugar, glucose syrup, lemon juice, erythritol, citric acid, artificial flavor (contains soybean), vitamin c, guar gum, xantham gum, turmeric color
allergy information: contains soy

10 March 2010

hello again. it's been so long since we've spoken. i've gone back and filled in some reviews for the valentine's day candy. there are some more great reviews in the works, so stay tuned. maybe something easter-related? after easter of course.