Thursday, October 9, 2014

Halloween Candy 2013: Just in Time Edition

More American candy, a bunch of local stuff and almost a year late. Oh yeah!

Brach's Candy Corn

I'm ordering a box of American candy and it's almost Halloween. How could I not throw in a bag of candy corn? Still pretty damn good.

Brach's S'mores Candy Corn

I'm not exactly clear on what a s'more is, but I don't think I need that foreknowledge to know this wasn't great. Though that's only partially true: bite off the the orange and white sections only and you've got a nice rich vanilla flavour going. A flavour that's almost completely spoiled by the nasty, artificial chocolate-flavoured end.


Tootsie Caramel Apple Pops

Candy apples seemed like a pretty Halloween thing so I bunged two of these in too. This is a pretty odd one. I'm not sure if it comes across in the photo, but these are actually apple-flavoured lollipops covered in a semi-soft toffee. The apple pop is quite good: nice and tangy. And I really liked the toffee. It has a kind of creamy, almost home made flavour to it. Unfortunately, I just didn't think they worked well together at all. The apple is just too tangy and sharp to gel well with the toffee.


Cadbury Crunchy Spider

The first of the non-American stuff, which I was actually able to unearth a fair bit of this year. First of all, I've got to say I really like the packaging here. Just look at that guy! I was a little disappointed at first to not find some kind of soft filling inside. What you do get though is nice, big hunk of Cadbury's chocolate dotted with rice balls for a little crispiness, and there's not much wrong with that.


Murder Motel Bone Mallow

Also found in a local supermarket, these are pretty neat. They're marshmallow bits with a gummy strawberry-flavoured "marrow" in the middle. To be honest, the strawberry-flavour isn't much to write home about, but they're pretty fun to eat. I've gone through three quarters of the bag now, and stripping the marshmallow from the marrow core has yet to get old.


Murder Motel Coffin Chaos

And the prize for most packaging definitely goes to this. Candy-wise, what you get here is a bit of a selection box. There's a couple of red lollipops of indeterminate flavour, though it tasted a bit of cinnamoney to me. I quite liked it actually, though both were a bit soft (even though this box was still well in date). There's a few bits of marshmallow rope, which I was a bit tougher than I'd like; a couple of bubblegum-flavoured gumballs and a few of bags of candy shapes made from some kind of sherbet-type stuff. Didn't really care for those, but otherwise not a bad little selection.


Murder Motel Body Parts

These were great. As candy body parts go, they don't look that amazing, but as gummy candies I thought they struck just the right balance of chewy and soft, and they had a real satisfying chunkiness to them. Flavour-wise, I'd say they're kind of orangey; nothing spectacular, but not bad either. Though that's not really what I come to gummy body parts for anyway.


Rose Malloo Eyes

It's kind of hard to be objective with these ones. They're basically the mallow "easter eggs" I ate probably hundreds of as a kid: quite soft marshmallow surrounded by a thin layer of  very unconvincing chocolate-flavoured coating: a combination I'd tell you works surprisingly well, but that may very well be the nostalgia/Stockholm syndrome taking. The difference here is the mallow has a nice mild lime flavour, in-keeping with the misshapen green iris in the middle, which I thought complemented the chocolate flavour in the coating quite well, but what do I know. :D


Swizzels Matlow Refreshers Squashies

Another candy striking a nice balance between soft and chewy, with two freaking delicious flavours (lemon and strawberry), these were fantastic.


Rose Movie Night Candy Pack

Oh boy, so these are a pretty typical bag of mixed sweets you find over here, usually for a euro or two. Normally I wouldn't bother with these, they're typically not great, but these had a bunch of horror-themed stuff in here, so I thought "what the hell".

Starting off with the good: the two pig candies I liked. The flavours weren't especially great, but I'm a sucker for candies that have a chewy layer on top of a soft one, though even the soft layer on the pink ones is much tougher than you'd get in say, a Haribo. The orange ones I liked much more though. I suspect it's because they were defective somehow, but both layers in all of them had sort of melted into each other, making them super soft and super chewy at the same time. Those were really enjoyable to get stuck into. The sour worms were good. The green sections have a really nice tangy apple flavour, even if  the rest didn't really taste of anything. The weird-looking sour lemon jelly babies to the left above, I thought had a really nice lemony flavour. The cola bottles were exactly what you'd want those, much like the vampire milk teeth (bottom left), though the orange gummy bit on the fangs of those was pretty tasteless.

As for the rest, you've got a bunch of mini wine gums, fruit pastilles, a few other flavours of sour jelly baby and a few gummy candies. All with generally poor approximations of one fruit flavour or another, with several having the kind of musty, disinfectant-esque flavour you often get these bags of cheap candy. The horror-themed stuff was no exception here. The orange spider, while impressively big and cool-looking, had a gross, musty orange flavour. The witches' heads appeared to be made from the same stuff as the base of the strawberry pig heads but without the accompanying gummy segments there's wasn't much to enjoy with those.  The pumpkins, much to my surprise were actually blackcurrant-flavoured, which I don't remember being particularly repellent, aside from being you know, blackcurrant-flavoured. :D

Overall, much more miss than hit, I don't think I'll be snapping up another Rose candy pack any time soon.


Annabelle's Abba-Zaba

So what you get here is a big hunk of fairly stiff taffy with a soft peanut butter centre. The peanut butter here is quite tasty and when you combine it with the taffy, the end result is a pretty decent peanut-flavoured taffy. The problem is that the taffy itself is pretty bland and there's way too much of it for the amount of peanut butter you get inside. More often than not, I found myself chewing through that tough, semi-tasteless taffy to get to the peanut butter goodness. Not a great experience for the most part.


Nestle Butterfinger

After hearing these mentioned so much on TV over the years, I was eager to finally give one a try, and it didn't disappoint. Working from the outside in, coating these is a layer of your standard Nestle chocolate: not quite up there with my favourites, but infinitely preferable to...thing Hershey's are hawking. Inside that, you've got a layer of brittle-type stuff. There isn't much of a flavour to it, but it adds a nice crunchiness to the mix. In the centre you've got a semi-soft peanut flavoured filling with a slightly grainy texture, not too dissimilar to the inside of a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup. I wouldn't say the flavour here is as good or as strong as a Peanut Butter Cup, but it's still very tasty in its own right. Overall, quite an enjoyable bar.


Nestle Baby Ruth

Another bar with a lot to live up to, and another one I enjoyed a bit. This is an impressively chunky bar with a really chewy nougat and caramel centre, surrounded by nice big peanut chunks. I know I sound like a shill saying this, but it was really satisfying to bite into this and chew away at it. That being said, the nougat and caramel are a little on the bland side. But man, those peanut chunks; that chewy, chewy centre. I could easily go for another one right about now.


AirHeads White Mystery

*titter* White Mystery. I'm sure some will be disappointed that the white mystery flavour isn't the creamy, salty goodness they were expecting but, and bearing in mind that I'm terrible at deducing mystery flavours, I'd say it's kind of a tutti frutti/tropical type thing; quite tasty though. The taffy itself was a bit of a let down: powdery texture, not as chewy as I'd like and it seemed to melt away ridiculously quickly.



I'm not really sure the makers of this are aware of what fudge is, because the white coating doesn't resemble it in any way, shape or form. It's more like a bland white chocolate than a fudge, though it's fairly inoffensive. Inside though is a really tasty, chewy nougat, enhanced by a coating of caramel and dotted with some nice almond pieces. Fantastic.


Necco Sky Bar

This is a pretty interesting idea for candy bar: four big chunks of chocolate all with different flavoured fillings. Really enjoyed the chocolate here: nice and thick and quite good quality. As for the fillings, I started off with the caramel, which was amazingly good: really rich and creamy. After that I had very high hopes for the rest. On the back of that, the vanilla, which I immediately followed it up though proved to be quite a let down: sweet, but bland and not much of vanilla flavour. As for the other two: I have no idea.

Having polished off half the bar, I set it aside for later and when I came back to it the next day someone had scoffed the rest. :D I guess this one is going to have to be a "to be continued". That caramel though. Damn.

Hello Kitty Vanilla & Blue Raspberry Cotton Candy

My first thoughts on peering into the bag: "This looks multicoloured vacuum cleaner contents". Once you get stuck into it though, it's a fully convincing candy floss/cotton candy experience. Flavour-wise, the pink was a nice, warm vanilla. The blue though, much as I tried to detect a flavour, there was just nothing there.

Oh, and pro tip: Don't leave this stuff open for a few days, it turns into a hard, inedible sugar lump. Though it is pretty fun to shatter.


Pokka Strawberry Milk

Hey, you know that nasty Yazoo/pasteurised milk drink you had as a kid? This is pretty much that exactly, though I thought it was a little thinner. As my first weird Japanese drink, I'm a bit disappointed.


Grape Vines

I was expecting something totally different when I bit into these: a solid, chewy, gummy type deal perhaps. While these were definitely a little chewy, much to my surprise, they were hollow inside, with a powdery texture reminiscent more of, say sweet tarts than a gummy candy. So not quite what I imagined, but man, these were tasty. and freaking addictive.


Mike and Ike Vampire Variety

These were great. They're capsule-shaped candies with a chewy centre and a softish sugar shell. You get five flavours: cherry, raspberry, grape, watermelon and fruit punch. All super tasty, but I especially enjoyed the cherry and watermelon. Even the raspberry, which I usually can't stand, was pretty damn fantastic.


Twizzlers Pull 'n' Peel Cherry

These guys though were much more what I was expecting the Grape Vines to be like. Though rather than being one solid strand of candy, they're actually made up of nine thinner strips twisted into
kind of a braid (hence Twizzlers, I guessed) and they're considerably softer than your standard gummy candy, which I quite liked. Really nice, mild cherry flavour too. There is a faint stingy, chemically element to that flavour though, but it didn't hamper my enjoyment of them much.


Twizzlers Twists Strawberry

Having thoroughly enjoyed my cherry twizzlers, of course I was really looking forward to getting stuck into the strawberry ones I'd ordered. I ripped open the pack, only to discover that everything I thought I knew about Twizzlers was wrong. If you stuck a blindfold on me, I wouldn't even be able to tell that the two were from the same product line.

So, structure-wise these are much more what I expected the cherry ones to be. They're more or less strawberry-flavoured Grape Vines, but less chewy. And that would be fine, but flavour-wise, these are the pits. Forget strawberry, I don't know even how I'd describe the weak-ass flavour here. It's kind of like a bland dough; kind of what I imagine Play-doh tastes like. A real let-down.


Swedish Fish

So these are the famous Swedish fish. I had a pretty good hunch that these would be some kind of fish-shaped gummies. What I wasn't expecting was that they all be the same flavour: a kind of raspberry that's not too dissimilar to a red wine gum. To be honest I really wasn't into these at first, but the flavour and, especially, the soft, but chewy consistency really grew on me after a while. Think I need to get my hands on more of these.


Whoppers Milkshake Strawberry

These, I was excited for. Maltesers are one of my favourite candies. Strawberry is one of my favourite flavours. These seemed to be a perfect marriage of the two. Unfortunately, they didn't quite deliver. The strawberry flavour here isn't great. Actually, the whole coating isn't great. It's got a chewiness to it I don't really appreciate. The biscuit inside is similarly underwhelming. These are supposed to be "malted milk balls", so where's the malt flavour at? Having said all that, the filling is nice and crunchy though and once you get munching through them they're not terrible.


Kool-Aid Tropical Punch / Grape / Cherry

Last year for this I passed up on the cereal and the pop tarts and the weird drinks, but this time I couldn't resist. Top of my list was Kool-Aid, and it didn't disappoint. It might be a drink for babies, but I loved all three of these. I think the cherry one just edges it out the tropical punch as my favourite here.

Pop Tarts

I think my favourite here was the Brown Cinnamon. On the outside, they don't look particularly appetising (seriously Kellog's, throw a few sprinkles on there or something), but the filling's got a nice warm cinnamon flavour that I really enjoyed and it's got a bit of a grainy, crunchiness to it, which I kind of liked too.

The other two were quite disappointing. The cherry ones, to be honest, I'm not sure I'd be able to tell apart from strawberry pop tarts in a blind taste test. There's only the very vaguest hint of cherry in that filling. Mostly it's just kind of sweet.

The hot fudge filling was similarly bland, The consistency of the filling certainly suggests hot fudge, but there isn't a hint of it in the flavour. Still I think I'd go for these over the cherry. Even as a sweet, but otherwise bland filling, it compliments the chocolate-flavoured pastry reasonably well.

Well, that's it for another year, now to enjoy these Lucky Charms as part of this balanced breakfa.....

Wait, what's that? What are you doing here? What are you doing with that? No, get away from me! Nooo!


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