Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Candy @ Halloween 2015

Yeah, I meant to quickly follow up the 2014 post with this one, but I seem to have gotten slightly side tracked again. :D So, kind of the same deal again this time. I managed to get my hands on a grand total of one Halloween-themed thing in 2015. There was nothing to do but to continue my descent into the vast well of US candy. *sploosh*

Mm. It's like I'm drowning in a sea of high-fructose corn syrup.

Jaffa Cakes Scary Cake Bars

Hey, why not? Let's start off with the only real Halloween thing here: Lemon and "Slime" flavoured Jaffa Cake bars.

I really loved the tangy layer of jelly here: it had a nice, tasty lemon and lime flavour that I thought went great with the dark chocolate coating. The base here though, I found a little dry. I guess it had about the same consistency as the bases in regular Jaffa Cakes -  which I love, dearly :D -  but in a cake bar like this, with a much thicker layer of cake-type stuff, I'd have preferred it to be a little moister. I'll give these a four out of five.

4/5 / 5

Naturally, I'm rating everything here on a scale of tossers from RTE Two's embarrassing current idents out of 5, with making-tweed-cap-cool-again guy being the lowest, and inappropriate-internet-posting guy being the highest.

No wonder no one watches TV any more.

Junior Mints

A brand I've heard thrown around a lot in old sitcoms and the like; inside these was a soft - I'd say even bordering on wet - mint fondant, surrounded by what the pack claims is "rich dark chocolate", but it seemed to have the taste and texture of a pretty so-so chocolate-flavoured coating to me. The fondant was great though; there was a real good mintiness to it. And while the coating didn't quite live up to the pack's lofty claims, it was still serviceable enough to give you the classic, dark chocolate and mint combination they're going for. That, along with the melt in the mouth fondant made these addictive as hell.

5/5 / 5

Wonka Nerds Bumby Jelly Beans

These guys were jelly beans on the inside, surrounded by thick, hard, bumpy shells. The shells I really loved. They had a great mouth feel to them, to borrow a phrase from the early days of the Bombcast: sort of pleasingly smooth, but bumpy at the same time (insert dildo joke here). The flavours I thought were great too, though they weren't especially easy to identify. I'm still not sure what the red and green ones were supposed to be. But, along the grape, lemon and orange, they were very tasty nonetheless. The jelly beans inside though, aside from being vaguely sweet, I found to be almost flavourless. Granted, I'm not a big fan of jelly beans in general, but I still feel I've had better than the ones inside here. Those shell though: damn.

4/5 /5

Hawaiian Punch Candy Chews

Maybe I just saw the wrappers here and jumped to conclusions, but I was really expecting these to be taffy, pretty much. Unfortunately, the chewiness just wasn't there. These started off with a consistency kind of like chewing gum before quickly melting away into nothing. Even as basic chews, I wouldn't really rate these. Getting on to the flavours, these were quite a mixed bad, if you'll excuse the terrible pun. The green berry wasn't bad, falling somewhere between lime and apple; not really getting the "berry" though. The orange was pretty much your typical bad orange candy flavour, which always tastes to me like a gross satsuma. The blue ones, I guess if you use your imagination you could just about get a blue raspberry flavour from them, but to me - and maybe my taste buds are fucked at this point :D - they tasted quite similar to the orange ones, so also terrible. The lemon berry squeeze definitely had a hint of lemon in there, but the prevailing flavour I got from them was, weirdly, cherry cola. Those were actually pretty damn good though. Finally, the fruity juicy reds; it might be further evidence that my taste buds have packed in, but cherry cola was what I got from these ones too, just a slightly more watered-down version. Still, those were petty good too. A few good flavours, but overall, these were quite disappointing.

2/5 /5

0% Vitamin A, C, Calcium and Iron. That's good eatin'!

Fruit Confusion Juicy Twists Lemon Lime

I didn't so much get lemon and lime from these as a sort of vague lemoney flavour. Though there's an egginess to these too, both in flavour, and texture: a texture I can only describe as being like a very hard, chewy custard, and that's about as appealing as it sounds. Not recommended.

1/5 /5

Hostess Twinkie

So I finally got my hands on the infamous Twinkie. I have to say, I expected these to be more rubbery and unpleasant, but actually, I didn't think they were bad at all. The sponge was tasty enough, and had a little moistness to it, which I liked. The filling, I wasn't overly fond of though. It had a texture like over-whipped cream: quite dense. Together with the sponge, which was also pretty rich, these were just a bit much for me; a bit too heavy. Still, I wouldn't mind the occasional one.

3/5 /5

Brain Blasterz Brain Gunk Strawberry/Raspberry

I'm not sure what business I had picking these two up. I really don't like extremely sour candy and that's exactly what these were being sold as. I started off with the red, strawberry-flavoured one. Inside the tube was thick, syrupy stuff with this concentrated faux strawberry flavour, not unlike the the flavour of undissolved Hartley's/Chiver's jelly blocks, if you've ever tried eating one of those (Readers from the US and elsewhere, I can't help you out here, but trust me: it was gross. :D). In addition to that, this stuff was super sour. Within moments, it grew even more sour and unpleasant. I don't know what I expected.

The blue, raspberry-flavoured one though, I thought came off slightly better. The raspberry flavour was kind of weak, but better than the strawberry, and I thought the sourness worked slightly better with it, even if I still wasn't a big fan.

Even though I did like the raspberry a little more, I'm afraid I still couldn't really recommend either of these.

1/5 / 5

Reese's Pieces Cane

A festive pack of these from the previous year, which you can often grab cheaply in September with some time still left on the best before date. That sounds like some desperate penny-pinching - and maybe it is :D - but the markup and the postage on this candy is so high, I always try to get as much bang for my buck as I possibly can here.

As for the candies themselves, these were very much like UK Smarties, though maybe a little smaller. On the outside they had thin, crisp sugar shells, while the filling inside was a semi-solid peanut butter that had a very similar consistency to, again, the chocolate filling in Smarties. The peanut flavour was very mild though. It's the type of flavour I'd expect from a Reese's breakfast cereal, not the blast of peanut you get from a peanut butter cup. As such, these were still pretty good - I mean Smarties are pretty good - but I'd have preferred a more full on peanut butter flavour here.

3/5 / 5

Twix Creamy Peanut Butter

Man, I ate so many Twix bars as a kid. While I do still like them, after that kind of overexposure, I can really only handle them on rare occasions now. I was excited to try out a new variant though.

So in these you get your usual, crunchy biscuit layer, but instead of caramel, that was topped here with a good layer of, what at least appears to be a good quality, creamy peanut butter Granted, I didn't look at the ingredients though; who knows what was really in there :D Still, laundry list of additives or no, the peanut butter and biscuit here made a great combination.

4/5 / 5

Snickers Almond

Disregard the Snickers Peanut Butter. I don't know if I even had any of that. I can't remember how it was in any case.:D But anyway, Snickers Almond:

I'm sure I mentioned in a previous one of these that I do love me a Snickers. I feel like there was more caramel in this than your typical Snickers though. The nougat seemed tougher too than you'd find in a regular Snickers; it was much more like what you'd get in a standalone bar of nougat, which I thought gave this a nice chewiness. Surprisingly though, I didn't get a strong almond flavour here at all. If I hadn't read the wrapper, I wouldn't be able to tell you you what type of roasted nuts were in here at all, aside from the fact that there were roasted nuts. So basically, this was a chewier Snickers with the peanut flavour taken out, which was a little strange, but hey, even without that distinctive peanuty flavour, Snickers: still pretty good.

4/5 / 5

Skittles Desserts

I really like regular Skittles, but any time I've ever tried another selection of Skittles flavours, they've always turned out to be duds. Dessert flavours though? I had high hopes that these would finally buck that trend. Lets break them down:

Orange Creme: Initially, I got a bit of a tangerine flavour from this, though definitely with a bit of creaminess to it. That gave way to a pretty legit orange and cream flavour. These ones were great.

Strawberry Milkshake: This tasted a lot like a regular red skittle (my favourite), with a bit of a creamy flavour added in. I can't say I got "strawberry milkshake" from it though.

Blueberry Tart: This was a pretty so-so blueberry, with no attempt, that I could pick out, of any kind of a pastry flavour. Blueberry tart? I think not.

Key Lime Pie: To me, this tasted like an apple and lime combo; heavy on the apple. Key lime pie seemed like a bit of a stretch for this. Still pretty good though.

Raspberry Sorbet: As raspberry flavours go, and I'm not a big fan of them, I thought this was was pretty average. It was quite sweet though, which I found helped make this a bit more tolerable than most.

Overall, they really didn't do a great job of nailing the desert flavours here, but as far as the actual flavours go, this was a fairly solid selection. The raspberry and blueberry might have been only okay, but the others more than made up for them.

3/5 / 5

Reese's Nutrageous

Here you got a generous helping of peanuts and a good block of Reese's peanut butter, separated by a little caramel, and surrounded by a layer of chocolate. I thought the peanuts here gave this a nice chunky texture; the peanut butter was the same as you'd find in a peanut butter cup, and tasty as ever; and you got an extra bit of chewiness with the caramel layer. Overall, a pretty great bar.

5/5 / 5

Reese's Peanut Butter Snowman

Another cheap holiday leftover. I guess I didn't look at the weight when I was ordering this, but I was expecting it to be much smaller for some reason. No. Here I got a big, hunking pile of Reese's peanut butter, encased in a thick, chocolate snowman shell. The chocolate in the shell I thought had a good consistency, even if it was a little bland, but, of course, it was the peanut butter I was here for. I love regular peanut butter cups, so the prospect of tucking into this sounded like heaven, but even though the texture was about right, I just didn't find the filling here nearly as flavoursome as the peanut butter you find in regular cups. Still, I ate the entire thing over a couple of nights, so it can't have been that bad. :D

3/5 / 5

M & M's Peanut Butter

Man, I just hoovered these freakin' things up. :D So inside regular M & M's shells, these had a creamy, semi-solid peanut butter center, surrounded by a bit of regular M & M's chocolate. I would have liked the peanut butter to have been a little saltier, but nonetheless, these were still very tasty and just incredibly moreish. I really wish these were available over here (even if, boy, that packaging needs some adjustment at this point).

4/5 / 5

Swedish Fish - Assorted

I already tried and enjoyed some Swedish Fish back in 2013. These were bigger versions, though still nice and soft (and chewy), and in a variety of flavours this time. The red ones were the same flavour as the small ones I tried before, which I think I described as being kind of cough syrupy (but delicious). The orange was a nice, sweet orangey flavour (Kind of like what Fanta used to taste like, at least in the UK, which was very, very sweet. It used to big favourite of mine as a kid until they came out with a "new, improved" flavour in about 1994 that tasted like sour, orangey urine. #SpeakingOfTrump). The lemon I thought was pretty good too. The lime, I found a bit bland though. Still, three out of four wasn't bad and I liked the bigger size of these ones; it made them even more satisfying to chew through.

4/5 / 5

Meiji Chococones

As you can see on the pack here these were cone shaped cookies covered in chocolate.The cookies, I'd put somewhere wafers and shortbread in texture. They weren't particularity flavorsome on their own; covering them though was what the pack calls milk chocolate, but I'd say was closer to Nutella in texture, and that was covered again with dark chocolate. The chocolate flavour here I really enjoyed. It wasn't your typical US chocolate. This actually tasted like good quality stuff. :D The cookie components might not have brought any flavour of their own, but overall these were great. Think shortbread cookies dipped in chocolate-flavoured Nutella.

4/5 / 5

M & M's Pretzel

More M & M's. I quite liked that these were basically spherical, like Astros. You guys remember Astros, right? (Fuck I'm old.) Overall though, I wasn't crazy about these. Inside each one was this big spherical pretzel chunk. While it was crunchy, it wasn't quite as crunchy as I'd like a pretzel to be. Surrounding that was a layer of your usual, slightly bitter M & M's chocolate; bitterness which I thought really came across more strongly here than usual. These were still certainly decent - I did just munch through half a bag in a flash - but I couldn't see these becoming my go to M & M's anytime soon.

3/5 / 5

Mrs. Freshley's Banana Pudding Cupcakes

You know, come to think of it, these were just about what I wanted the Twinkies to be. The sponge was pretty much identical here, but this time with a lighter, creamier filling. Just as I posited, this was a combination that worked very well together, the filling cutting through that rich sponge a little. On top of the sponge was a very thin layer of a banana-flavoured, buttercream style topping. I'm always happy to see banana-flavoured anything, and the flavour was pretty good here, but I was a bit disappointed at just how thin the layer of topping was. I could have definitely done with a little more of that, but on the whole, these were quite good.

4/5 / 5

Mrs. Freshley's Snowballs

Biting into these, I really expected them to be a marshmallow shells filled with some kind of cream, but no. There was indeed a mallow shell on them, but inside that was a chocolate sponge, with a bit of cream in the very center. The sponge I thought was great. It had a nice chocolatey, almost homemade flavour, with a slightly course, again, very homemade-like texture. The cream, much like in the Twinkies, I would have preferred to have been a bit lighter though. It wasn't quite as dense as the Twinky cream though; I definitely preferred this. Overall: very tasty.

4/5 / 5

Materva Yerba Mate Soda

A Floridian drink by way of Cuba apparently. The smell here was promising:  kind of appley. The taste proved to be less appealing though. I didn't know this was a tea-based drink going in, but it very much was; like a bad ice tea, I though. (Sorry, Cuba.) I found it a bit too sweet too, but having given up on non-diet soft drinks about a decade ago, I could probably level that at most of them at this point. Not one of my favourite things here; drinkable, but just about.

2/5 / 5

Pop Tarts Wildlicious Frosted Wild Cherry

I've been burned by Pop Tart flavours before, but I saw a couple of boxes of these for cheap so I thought I'd give them a go. A strong, solid cherry flavour; all sorts of artificially-coloured frosting; and masses of calories: these were everything you'd want a Pop Tart to be.

5/5 / 5

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