Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Candy @ Halloween 2014

Do not adjust your calendars, it's time to check out some more candy. You might have noticed the name change this time. Unfortunately, I found new Halloween themed candy extremely thin on the ground in 2014, even on-line for whatever reason. With no new bat/skull/vampire/mummy-shaped things to chomp down on, I was left with no choice but to continue my vision quest into the world of US treats, loading up a box with as much cheap, weird stuff as I could. Let's hop in (It is almost Easter, after all. :D).

Cadbury Dairy Milk Top Deck

So, starting off is a bar not from the US, but from South Africa. It was available here in Ireland though, at least for a while in the 90's (possibly under a different name). I know because I had one of these at least once before. Despite it stacking white chocolate on top of Dairy Milk though  - two things I love - I remember not being very impressed with it at the time.

Unfortunately, the outcome was no different twenty years (yikes!) later. It seems like a good idea on paper, but the milk chocolate just completely overpowers the white chocolate, to the point where you might as just have a regular Dairy Milk. It does look cool though.


Taffy Town Halloween Taffy

The sole bit of Halloween candy in here comes from Taffy Town. I had some of their taffy a couple of years ago and enjoyed it very much. It's just as good this time. in the Halloween bag you get four flavours: grape, orange, apple and liquorice. The liquorice, I wasn't crazy about, but the other three were tasty as ever.



You know, I can't think of a peanut and caramel bar that I dislike, so the odds were heavily stacked towards this to begin with. I really liked the caramel; it's nice and chewy with a bit of saltiness to it, which I quite enjoyed, and it's pretty much the dominant flavour here. The peanut is quite mild and the chocolate is pretty bland, run of the mill stuff. I could have done with the crisp bits being a little crisper, more like a Toffee Crisp, but overall a nice, chewy, tasty bar.


Uhhh... More hot close-ups.
Nestle 100 Grand

For any Irish folks out there, this one's pretty similar to a Catch bar. On the outside, you have a layer of thick chocolate and crisped rice. Inside you have what the wrapper describes as "chewy caramel" but really it's more of a soft toffee. It's a little more solid than your usual caramel and it's got a graininess to it that you get with toffee more than caramel. Semantics aside, the filling's soft and tasty, though still nice and chewy, and it works well with the crunchy chocolate coating. Overall, a great little bar.


Nestle Oh Henry!

So, this tasted like a Snickers bar. I mean, exactly like a Snickers bar. The make-up is a little different: there's more caramel here and the nougat is swapped out for fudge, but eating it, I was hard pressed to tell the difference. Hey, as far as I'm concerned Snickers is a five out of five bar. I can hardly give this any less, especially as it pre-dates Snickers by the look of things.


Red Vines

The grape version of these I tried out last year (by which I mean 2013, of course) and really enjoyed. Unsurprisingly, these are the same deal with a different flavour, which the pack describes "Original Red", but even after devouring almost two packs of these now, I still can't quite decipher what that's supposed to be. It's a little bit cinnamon, a little bit clove, and a lot cough syrup. I wasn't crazy about it at first, to be honest, but after my first few, I really came around to it. Just as addictive as the grape variety (I've just had three :D), I'll give these a four out of five.


MegaLoad Original / MegaLoad Caramel Crunch

Looking at that packaging, these seem like everything you could ever want from candy: peanut butter cups, caramel-filled cups, a cookie on one, a bootleg Oreo on another, fake M&M's, nutty buttercrunch. These certainly look the part, and texture-wise, at least, they deliver: the M&M's are like M&M's; the peanut butter is peanut buttery; the chocolate is thick and chocolate-like.

Looks good, right?

The problem is that, and I not sure how they even managed this, every aspect of every one of these tastes as bland as hell. These are some of the least flavoursome things I've ever experienced. These are a cruel candy-based joke. Full disclosure: these were slightly out of date, but I don't think that explains it. These are a bizarre anomaly that can only be explained by us all living in a Matrix-type simulation, in which these are a serious glitch. Yeah, thanks Architect!


Tropical Blueberry Yogurt Pretzels

The first of a trio of pretzels, these ones I really enjoyed. Granted, the blueberry flavour was a bit on the weak side, but the yoghurt coating had a nice creaminess to it and just the right amount of sweetness, complementing salty pretzels inside extremely well.


Tropical Cinnamon Yogurt Pretzels

They might have skimped a bit on the blueberry flavouring, but don't worry, these give you a full-on blast of this sickly sweet cinnamon flavouring right from the first bite. Don't get me wrong, I really like cinnamon, but holy crap, these were disgusting.


Drizzled Delights Chocolate Holiday Pretzels

I don't know why, but I was expecting these to be mint-flavoured for some reason. I guess I thought they were going for a candy cane type of look with the drizzled red and green stuff. No, they're just chocolate-covered pretzels, just slightly more festive-looking ones. Unfortunately that chocolate coating is incredibly bland. The pretzels were a little thicker and crunchier than the two bags of Tropical pretzels though, which I appreciated.


Anastasia Creamy Coconut Patties

These are really good. What you have here are chunks of dense, moist, chewy coconut stuff - kind of like the inside of a Bounty, but thicker and, I know I sound like an ad now, more satisfying, coated in a thin layer of dark chocolate that works very well with the coconut filling. These are freakin' coconut heaven.


Anastasia Key Lime Flavored Coconut Patties

As you might imagine, these same as the above , but lime-favoured. I'm generally not a huge fan of artificial lime flavouring (too many green Fruit Pastilles growing up, I think :D), but it's not bad at all here, and again, goes very well with the dark chocolate coating. I definitely prefer the plain coconut patties, but these were very good too.


Annabelle's Abba-Zabba Strawberry

So, I got the original flavour of this in 2013 and I wasn't crazy abut it. This is a real case of "I don't know what I expected", but I saw "strawberry" and I had to check it out. However, this turned out to be much the same experience as the original, gnawing through stiff taffy to get to that reasonably tasty peanut butter centre, only this time there was a faint, unconvincing strawberry flavour thrown into the mix. Yeah, I think I'm done with Abba-Zabbas.


Big Hunk

This was quite good. As the name promises this was a good-sized bar of chewy nougat, quite tasty with a hint of honey and a smattering of roasted peanut pieces dispersed throughout, which were a little soft, but still had a bit of crunch to them. Good stuff.


Knott's Berry Farm Strawberry/Apricot Shortcake

Wrapping things up we have these guys, which are little shortcake cookies, and quite good. The shortcake here is lovely and crumbly, with a nice buttery flavour. In the middle you have a little bit of fruity jam. You'd be hard-pressed to identify what fruit, but the slight chewiness and vague fruitiness of it work well with the shortcake, adding a little variety to the cookies, if not a whole lot of flavour. Overall, I enjoyed these a lot; the shortcrust was great, and though I'd imagine these have a fair few additives in there, they taste almost home-made.


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