Archive for the ‘Candy Reviews’ Category
Trolli Santa & Elves Mustaches Gummi Candy
Classroom/movie Munchability: 5 (the fun is in the dress-up play!)
Melt Measure: 0
Trust me, it is as much a surprise to me as it is to you that the elves of Santa’s toy shop have the same type of mustaches that Santa has! I always imagined the elves as baby faced little characters running around childishly as they assembled toys for the undersides of all the Christmas trees of children. (Despite growing up Jewish, I have still had many daydream about Santa and his elves).
Perhaps the elves were not preparing Christmas gifts, and instead were growing and grooming each other’s mustaches. Perhaps these little elves look up to Santa and show their respectful admiration by mimicking his mustache, or lip brow, if you will.
With three flavors: Cherry, Cherry & Lime, and Strawberry & Cherry, and three different ‘stache styles, this gummi provides adequate variables to balance with the consistency of the texture and chew density. Each gummi provides a substantial bite into the thickness of sweet delight.
Since I love to share, and I had more mustaches than I cared to try on, I offered to some of of these Christmas candies to my friends during a day of rock climbing in Connellsville, PA.
Here are some things that were said about the Mustaches:
|“The flavor is not overpowering, it’s not in your face.”||“Tastes just like an elf!”|
|“They are enjoyable… they are refreshing. Refreshing, that’s definitely a word that should be in there! I was chewing away, tasting some cherry and before I knew it I was wondering, is that lime I’m tasting? It totally was lime. Lime makes it refreshing!”||“How’s the aroma?…I can smell them from here and my nose is stuffed…”|
|“You actually enjoyed it?”“Yes, and I’d have another one, and another one and another one. It might just be my new favorite candy.”|
|“I will remember them with pleasure.”|
Have fun with wearing the Santa & Elves Mustaches. I challenge you to try to wear the mustache, say “Ho! Ho! Ho!” and eat the mustache all without using your hands! You might even get some candy aroma therapy from this game, as the sweet tastes trickle into your brainwaves through your nasal passage. Have fun and get a laugh outa this gummi candy!
Allow me to go ahead and answer your first question: What is the difference between Mentos Rainbow and Mentos Fruit? The newer product, Mentos Rainbow, features seven flavors, five of which are distinct from the original fruit flavors: pineapple, raspberry, apple, watermelon, grape and the old school orange and strawberry. Mentos fruit keeps it simple with the trio of flavors: strawberry, orange and lemon. Either way, you’ll find 14 pieces of fruity chew balls in each package.
My favorite Mentos flavor has always been the pink strawberry. I used to buy rolls of Mentos, pick out all of the pink ones and give the rest to my brothers.
Most people are probably more familiar with the minty version of Mentos. Pierre Van Melle conceived the idea of the Mentos in the Netherlands in 1932. In 1973 new flavors were introduced, cinnamon to the U.S. and fruit flavors to Europe. (I would love to try cinnamon Mentos! Where did that brilliant idea go?) In 1990, the Freshmaker campaign took sales of Mentos on a soaring current of success.
Regardless of which flavor is the best, flavor isn’t even half the fun of the Mentos experience! What makes a Mentos a Mentos is the “secret” structure. Chewy center. Crunchy layer. Fresh coating. Could it be better balanced?!
Mentos are considered dragée candies, which means that they have a hard outer shell. Another example of a dragée candy is the Jordan Almond (see the blog here: http://www.candyfavorites.com/blog/jordan-almond-i-now-pronounce-you-man-and-wife/). Break through the shell into the soft chewy center and let the Mentos dragée take its time and run its course.
“I like Mentos, but I don’t like what they break down to.”
“You don’t like the chew?”
“No, I just don’t like that it’s still in my teeth.”
Classroom/Movie Munchability: 8
Melt Measure: 8
It might not be the simplest candy to spell correctly, but this Hershey’s bar shows simplicity with style. It is the classic milk chocolate bar with a little crisped rice crunch to keep you paying attention.
When Krackels was originally introduced in 1938 as a full size candy bar, it had almonds and crisped rice in the formula. Soon after, peanuts were added to the party. In 1941, while war was at large on the other side of the globe, Krackel became a crisped rice, and crisped rice only, chocolate bar. In the late 90s, Krackel availability shrunk, in physical size. For almost 20 years, the Krackel bar has only been available in the miniature fun size bar, and now, the bar the people have been asking for is back. Catch up with the Krackel full size! It’s a blast from the past, the old school krunch in its old school/new school size!
These peeps are of an unfamiliar sort. All cramped up inside the bag, 24 to a room, it’s the factory farming of peeps. They took them out of their bag free, free-range boxes and stuck them into a bag. After yesterday’s “Peepa” march against bagged peeps, I decided to get a bag to see what the disturbance was about.
I rip off the seal and unzip the dark cave where the peeps reside. My hand reaches down and the bag crinkles. It’s warm and soft, I just grab something because I’m not sure where each one starts and ends. I pull it out of the bag and it looks just like I’d expect any bagged peep to look after transport. Squished; no structural stability whatsoever, I can see the sadness in its eyes, it knows that life wasn’t supposed to be like this, it dreams of what else could be out there, but it knows of nothing else but the bagged life. He has heard stories of the strong, brightly colored peeps with a whole box of room shared with only four others, where they were able to grow strong and stand up on their own. But those stories are as good as myth to this cramped marshmallow creature.
These mini peeps are a soft, melt-in-your-mouth style gooey substance, not quite the feeling of a typical marshmallow. (My guess is that they must have been affected by the inhumane culture of the bag). This gooey substance is the tar of a hot-chocolate-packet-tasting feather.
Satisfying and highly sharable, but these peeps lack the structural soundness of that classic peep that holds the memories and taste of Spring.
Hot chocolaty squished peeps… hear them shqueep.
It proved to be a real winner for me because the Licorice was great and I would separate the little square one’s to make the candy last longer as Thirty days was a long time to wait for the next ration
My favorite was the pink and yellow round ones with the coconut on the outside and licorice center.
Yes, I still separate the little square ones.
Brach’s Neapolitan Coconut Sundaes are classic candies that imitate a Neapolitan ice cream sundae. They were among the original candies offered by Brach’s, and have always been made from real coconut.
We’re sad to report that Brach’s Neapolitan Coconut Sundaes will be discontinued in June of 2012. We’ve got them in stock (and on sale!) so if these are your kryptonite, it’s time to place your order, warm up your time machine, and send some to your future self.
Outsmart Those Neapolitan Nabbers
Sure, some people just like coconut. But others among us have more important reasons for loving Brach’s Neapolitan Coconut Sundaes.
You know how it goes. You nab a carton of neapolitan ice cream to enjoy the trifecta of chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry flavors. Then while you slave away at work, your deadbeat roommate (or son, or husband) sneaks a scoop every few hours. Come quitting time, you wipe your brow and head home to the only reward that can lift your weary spirits. You open your freezer, lift the lid off the carton, and wail in disgust. Some nasty Neapolitan nabber has eaten all of one flavor.
Don’t let it happen to you! Brach’s Neapolitan Coconut Sundaes are the only sure way to experience the trio of Chocolate, Vanilla, and Strawberry — any time, anywhere, without a spoon.
Stock Up for Posterity
Finding these is about to go from difficult to impossible. So stock up now and hide them well. The only problem you’ll have then will be deciding whether to eat one flavor at a time or bite across the strips of color.
Every once in a while, we get the opportunity to share something especially great with our customers. Sure, we hook people up with their favorite candies and help them relive childhood moments of sugary bliss. And we get to surprise both kids and adults with prizes in our candy contests. But none of that compares with our one-of-a-kind promotions.
Passing on the Savings
This week (the first week of May, 2012), we get to extend something really special to our loyal customers and all the Brach’s enthusiasts out there — a Brach’s event. We’ve received a huge shipment of Brach’s candies and lowered all our prices to pass the savings on to you.
For a limited time only — while supplies last — you can enjoy the lowest prices ever on classic Brach’s products. Check them out >
We Go Way Back with Brach’s
We’ve always celebrated our long-standing relationship with Brach’s. We began offering Brach’s products in 1929, and we were one of the first candy wholesalers to offer Brach’s famed Pick-A-Mix Candy. Our company even shared our sugar rations with Brach’s during World War II to keep the candy coming!
We were the first online retailer of many Brach’s products, and we continue to offer Butterscotch Disks, Caramel Squares, Ice Blue Mint Coolers, Chocolate Stars, beloved Jelly Nougats, and many more of your all-time favorites.
When I was growing up, the one thing that outlasted anything else from my Easter basket was that one bunny. It was always the biggest, most solid bunny, and it always had round, sugary eyes. Most of the time, there was even an element of colored chocolate. Weeks after Easter, I’d finally start pulling that guy out of the freezer.
First I’d break off the ears (and the eyes, of course). Next time, I’d hit it on the counter or drop it on the floor, hoping the base would break off. Then the middle part would provide two or three more moments of chocolatey bliss. This ritual somehow managed to extend the Easter experience (an underdog of a holiday if there ever was one) beyond the duration of more candy-centric holidays like Halloween.
Back in the Day…
My chocolate Easter bunnies came from the 80′s, and I totally enjoyed them. But it turns out that history has brought us bunnies and peeps that were even more special — vintage ones. In the 50′s and 60′s, Easter centerpieces were veritable sculptures made from intricately detailed high-quality chocolate. These treats were enjoyed by the whole family. People made memories about and around them. And the natural ingredients were as beautiful as the final product. I’m willing to bet that some families even admired their chocolate bunnies for so long that their ears turned white (the bunnies’, not the families’).
Great Easter Presents — in the Present
This Spring, CandyFavorites.com brings you a line of Easter chocolates that has all the goodness of old-fashioned favorites. Great chocolates of the past had two things going for them in the quality department — form and formula. Our gourmet Easter treats deliver both of these.
They’re all created for us by a local chocolatier that uses only traditional methods for making chocolate. The finest natural ingredients are hand-poured into authentic vintage chocolate molds from the 1950′s. These incredible confections will give you the chance this Easter season to enjoy the simpler things in life.
When we think of cherry cordials now, we think of chocolate-covered cherries filled with a sweet syrup. However, the cordial reaches a bit farther back than the tasty treats we associate with the holiday season.
The word “cordial” contains the word “cor,” which means “heart” in Latin. As a noun, cordial can mean medicine or medicinal food or drink and the cordial was originally used as a type of medical tonic. Cordials were believed to stimulate the heart and therefore improve circulation.
The medicinal use of the cordial continued until the 1400’s when it arrived in England. They were “taken” after excessive eating to settle the stomach and aide digestion and became known as “surfeit waters.” Not only that but they were considered aphrodisiacs. By the 1700’s cordials were becoming known for their intoxicating effects as well, which probably helped with the aphrodisiac thing (fewer inhibitions, if ya know what I mean).
Around the same time, a confection called griottes popped up in the Franche-Comté. They were made by enclosing long stalked sour griotte cherries in chocolate with a little kirsch. Both the griottes and the cordial traveled to America where adding a bit of the sweet, aromatic, and alcoholic cordial to the chocolate covered fruit seemed like a great idea.
In America, the term cordial was used to describe a particular type of strong liqueur with a distinctive flavor made by crushing whole cherries (including the pits) and steeping them in a sugar syrup with a bit of alcohol. After the mixture was strained, one was left with a sweet, thick, syrupy alcohol with a strong fruity flavor. This type of cordial is intense and very sweet, so it was (and still is) added to something else to make a mixed drink (kind of like grenadine) or sipped in small amounts as a post-dinner beverage.
Liqueur chocolates, like those made in France, became a popular treat and Americans gravitated towards their own special cordial. Cordial candies could be made with other fruits, but cherries were the most popular and continue to be. While they were originally made with liqueur, they are more commonly made with a sugar syrup flavored with cherries, similar to what maraschino cherries are preserved in. The cherries used in the candy are made by pitting and heating the fruit for a short amount of time in the liqueur and storing it in cans or jars. For the alcohol free version, the pitted cherries are cooked in a sugar syrup instead and then jarred.
Cherry cordials are made in one of three ways. The first is shell molding – pouring liquid chocolate into molds to a form a shell. The shell is filled with cordial or sugar syrup and a cherry. Before the shell hardens completely it is plugged up with a small seal of chocolate, which becomes the bottom.
The second method of making chocolate cherries is called enrobing, meaning the centers of the chocolates are run under a curtain of liquid chocolate to form a shell. In order to accomplish this, the syrup is placed in trays made of starch dotted with small impressions. After a while, the syrup will “crust,” or form a layer of sugar crystals, all around its surface. They can be carefully lifted out of the mold and enrobed in chocolate.
Finally, there is a method, which uses a solid filling enrobed in chocolate. An enzyme called invertase is added which acts on solid sugar centers and reverts them to liquid. Adding invertase can be done after the center has been covered in chocolate, simplifying the whole process. Here’s an example of how it’s done. (For the purposes of this example we’re going to use maraschino cherries and the syrup they’re packed in.)
Add invertase to the cherry syrup. Coat each cherry in several layers of powdered sugar and the enriched cherry syrup. Dip each cherry into a chocolate coating making sure it is thick enough that it will not crack and leak any filling. The invertase starts to break down the sugar immediately and continues even after it’s been enrobed in chocolate. It can take several weeks for the sugar to completely dissolve (up to a month).
There are plenty of confectioners that make cherry cordials, but the three most popular are Cella’s, Queen Anne’s, and Brach’s. Cella’s is the oldest brand. They began making cherries in 1864, but didn’t begin large-scale production until 1929. Queen Anne’s began making their chocolate cherries in 1948.
The Brock Candy Company began making cherry cordials in the 1930’s and the tiny treat helped keep the company afloat during the Depression. The cherries remained popular for the next 60 years when a majority stake in the company was bought by E.J. Brach Corporation in 1994. The name of the company was changed to Brach’s and the cherries became one of the largest selling lines of chocolate cherries.
There are other “knock-offs” of cherry cordials from companies like Hershey’s and Mars. Hershey’s produces Hershey’s Kisses Cherry Cordial, which is filled with thick cherry flavored goo. Mars has M&M’s Cherry Cordials, which are just flavored like a cherry cordial.
Let’s be honest, nothing can beat a real chocolate cherry cordial.
Cherry cordials are available in stores mainly during the holiday season and you’ll be hard pressed to find them after the holidays end. Luckily, Candy Favorites stocks them year round, so if you have that craving you know where to go! But you can worry about that later. It’s almost Valentine’s Day and we’ve got Brach’s Cherries all ready to be shipped to you to give to pretty much everyone you know. It’s the perfect Valentine’s Day gift and we want to share it with you.
~ Created by our special guest blogger, Esther of Why’d You Eat That?
Davidson, Alan, and Tom Jaine. “Cherry; Chocolate; Cordial.” The Oxford Companion to Food. 2. ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006. 165; 180; 216. Print.
Day, Ivan. “Rosa Solis.” Historic Food Welcome. Ivan Day, n.d. Web. 7 Feb. 2012. <http://www.historicfood.com/rosolio.htm>.
Dobie, Mark. “Making History Monday: Chocolate Covered Cherries – Sugar Pressure.” Sugar Pressure. sugarpressure dot com, 28 Dec. 2009. Web. 6 Feb. 2012. <http://www.sugarpressure.com/2009/12/making-history-monday-chocolate-covered-cherries.html>.
Kirk, Bryn. “Invertase | Chocolate University Online Blog.” Chocolate University Online has chocolate education for everyone!. Chocolate University Online, 19 Sept. 2010. Web. 6 Feb. 2012. <http://www.chocolateuniversityonline.com/blog/tag/invertase>.
“My Mother’s Chocolate Covered Cherries .” Squidoo : Welcome to Squidoo. N.p., n.d. Web. 7 Feb. 2012. <http://www.squidoo.com/mothers-chocolate-covered-cherries-recipe>.
Larousse Gastronomique: The World’s Greatest Culinary Encyclopedia. New York: Clarkson Potter/Publishers, 2009. 231; 301. Print.
Tabler, Dave. “Appalachian History Â» Chocolate covered cherries for Valentine’s Day? Classic!.” Appalachian History Â» Stories, quotes and anecdotes.. Dave Tabler, 12 Feb. 2010. Web. 7 Feb. 2012. <http://www.appalachianhistory.net/2010/02/chocolate-covered-cherries-for.html>.
“What is a Cherry Cordial?.” wiseGEEK: clear answers for common questions. Conjecture Corporation, n.d. Web. 7 Feb. 2012. <http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-a-cherry-cordial.htm>.
Valentine’s Day is kind of a polarizing holiday. Young lovers love it, and lonely curmudgeons hate it. And so do a lot of normal people. The legendary stories that inspired the celebration vary widely, and the only really clear thing is that people have been getting romantic once a year for centuries. But a holiday about love in the middle of winter makes sense. Celebrating loved ones might be the best thing to do when you’ve been stuck inside with them for months. Just imagine what it would be like if you shared a hovel with them. Or a Conestoga wagon. These days, we’ve got it easy, so let’s stop grumbling and focus on showing people some love.
When you think about candy all the time, Valentine’s Day is super fun. It’s a time for surprises and the joy of delighting people you love. As a relatively “small holiday,” there aren’t that many gifts to choose from — it’s candy, flowers, jewelry, or a mix tape. And anything that’s not candy goes better with candy. But there are plenty of ways to mix it up and get creative. You can find out your crush’s favorite candy from childhood, then shock them with a whole box. If you’re ambitious, you could even fill a locker or a car with candy.
We’ve got all the traditional candies, like all kinds of conversation hearts and hand-poured mixed chocolates. Valentine’s Day is an opportunity to celebrate true love, or friendship, or family. Just find your favorite way to make someone feel special. Here are some interesting options, and you’ll find lots more in our Valentines Candy section.
Valentine’s Day Favorites