Posts filed under ‘chewy’

Abba Zabba

More taffy (BUY!)? But why, Rosa? You don’t even like taffy! More curiosity, but this time with good reason, for the Abba Zabba (BUY!) is not just taffy – it’s peanut butter-filled taffy! But alas, it was still taffy, and therefore it wasn’t for me.

I first heard about the Abba Zabba when I read about it in Steve Almond’s Candy Freak. There’s something incredibly intriguing about retro candy. On the one hand, it’s got to be impressive to be able to survive for so long in today’s age of the Big Three (Mars, Nestle, and Hershey) candy manufacturers. On the other hand, retro candy usually is only so beloved because people have associated fond childhood memories with what they ate at the time (I’m a psych major; feel free to ask me questions about why that is if you’re curious), and very rarely does retro candy actually taste as good as it seems like it should. But the packing is usually pretty great. Just check out the great checkboard/taxi cab pattern on the Abba Zabba!

I found it odd that they didn’t describe the flavor of the taffy. It’s just described as “chewy”. I couldn’t name it either. It’s just generically sweet. As you can see from the photo, the chewy taffy is sandwiching the peanut butter. The peanut butter is super salty, with a heavy grain. The sweet and savory blend is a pretty great balance.

The taffy texture, however, was just too much for me. It was incredibly sticky, and stiff to boot. I really had to work to wrench my jaw open when I chewed it in my molars. Kind of fun the first time, kind of painful further down the line, and probably cause for filling replacement with enough chewing. An O, with the caveat that people who enjoy taffy would probably enjoy the Abba Zabba. Again, it’s just not for me.

Apparently, the Abba Zabba also comes in a peanut butter-filled apple-flavored taffy, which sounds intriguing. Apples, particular tart green ones like Granny Smiths, and peanut butter are a great combination, so the Abba Zabba version sounds promising. I probably still won’t like it because it’s taffy, but that doesn’t mean I don’t want to try it some day.

November 14, 2007 at 8:00 am 1 comment

French Chew Taffy – chocolate flavored

I’m going to preface this review by letting y’all know I’m not a fan of taffy (BUY!). Laffy Taffy I can take in mini-sized increments, but even that I only eat when it’s all that’s left in the Kiddie Mix assortment. I don’t like how mild the flavor is. To me, eating taffy is kind of like eating a diluted, extra sticky, not as tasty Starburst.

So why do I keep buying taffy? Curiosity, I guess. I found French Chew Taffy (BUY!) at Economy Candy and picked up the chocolate version pretty much just because it was there. The chocolate taste was extremely mild in both taste and smell. It reminded me of a cheap cocoa powder.

The taffy itself was incredibly creamy, and the chew actually wasn’t too sticky. It didn’t glue my teeth together, so I could actually eat it! However, I did have some issues with peeling it off the packaging. The wrapper didn’t open very cleanly either, which was a pain with the sticky taffy.

I was surprised at how low in fat this bar was. If I remember correctly, Laffy Taffy gets pretty high in fat, especially of the saturated variety. The French Chew had only 1g fat, none of it unsaturated. Because it’s hard to eat taffy slowly, I guess a French Chew would be a good snack for dieters with candy/sugar cravings. Just don’t use it to satisfy your chocolate cravings, for no true chocolate cravings could be sated with this taffy’s diluted taste. An O. Worth the try to satisfy my curiosity, but not worth another go. I ended up throwing out the rest of my bar.

November 12, 2007 at 8:00 am 1 comment

Mentos Sours

They’re not sour! If you’re going to call your product Mentos Sours (BUY!), they should actually be, you know, sour. That being said, they were still pretty tasty, and I’m ashamed to admit that I polished off the entire roll in one sitting. For some reason, that always happens when I buy Mentos. Maybe because the roll packaging makes saving some for later harder? Or because when candy comes in rolls, the next candy is always right there, just begging to be eaten? Or it is because the Mentos texture of hard shell, chewy innards, and unique finish is addictively yummy? Hmm…

I was kind of annoyed at how wasteful the packaging was, especially since I ate these while I wrote the Blog Action Day post about environmentally friendly candy. The outer, completely unnecessary wrapper is printed entirely in English, while the inner wrapper has English and French on it. I guess Mentos made all the inner rolls in one place and changed the outer roll wrappings based on where they’d be sold.

The three Mentos Sours flavors are watermelon, green apple, and lemon. Or melon d’eau, pomme verte, et citron. The lemon (yellow) is nice and tangy, though I wish it were more tart and sour. The light green ones are green apple, which has a nice, slightly tart Granny Smith apple finish. The watermelon (dark green) has a sort of tart initial bite that quickly mellows out. I personally don’t think watermelon is a very good flavor to make sour and include in a sour mix that only has three flavors. I would have preferred another citrus fruit in this mix instead.

Overall, I’ll give the Mentos Sours an OM, mostly because I find Mentos to be frighteningly addictive. If they were actually bitingly sour, they may have been able to earn that extra G.

October 24, 2007 at 8:00 am Leave a comment

Tootsie Fruit Rolls

I’ve enjoyed Tootsie Fruit Roll midges (BUY!) for as long as I can remember. Now that Halloween is just around the corner, they’ll be popping up everywhere in candy grab bag mixes for Trick-or-Treaters.

Tootsie Fruit Rolls come in vanilla, lemon, lime, orange, and cherry. The citrus ones, predictably enough, are my favorite, though they’re all quite yummy for a casual candy snack. They all have a softer, chewier texture than the regular chocolate Tootsie Rolls and lack that characteristic Tootsie Roll grain to the chew. They’re similar to Starbursts, but they don’t start out hard like Starbursts do. I also think the Tootsie Fruit Rolls are stickier and thus have a greater tendency to get stuck in the nooks and crannies of my teeth

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Vanilla (blue wrapper) – First of all, I’d like to point out the blatantly obvious: vanilla is not a fruit. I guess because these aren’t tasty enough to sell on their own, Tootsie Roll decided to sneak them into the fruit mix and just hoped that no one would notice or care enough to mount a serious protest. I remember eating one of these as a kid, hating it, and never daring to eat the vanilla ones again. I ate a vanilla Tootsie Roll for the first time in years for the sake of this review…

And I didn’t think it was that bad. The fruit ones are tastier, but this had a rather pleasantly creamy vanilla-nougaty taste. I doubt Tootsie has messed with the flavor formula, so my palate must have evolved since I was five. I’d sure hope that’s the case.

Cherry – pleasantly sweet and brightly flavored with the expected candy interpretation of what cherry tastes like.

Lemon – lightly sour and almost imperceptibly tingly on the tongue. The lemon taste is good and manages to avoid the overly strong cleaning product version of lemon flavoring that some lemon candies have.

Orange – lightly sour and faithfully orange-candy flavored.

Lime – a very strong lime taste that’s sharp and sweet rather than sour. My personal favorite of the bunch.

As you can see in the above photo, these guys did not weather the New Haven humidity very well, and they got extremely sticky and hard to peel off the wrapper. See New Haven? That’s why we have air conditioning in Texas – to keep our candy from melting.

Tootsie Fruit Rolls are a classic, and I hope that means that they’ll be around forever. I don’t know if I find these guys any better or worse than Starbursts, the most successful line of fruit chews, but they are at least easier to unwrap than their square counterparts.

I bought some Tootsie Roll Frooties in lime, smooth cherry, grape, and watermelon that I saw in Economy Candy. I’ve yet to try them, and I wonder how they compare.

Remember to enter my 5 gum giveaway! 

September 18, 2007 at 8:00 am 1 comment

Chocolate and Strawberry Cow Tale

I’ve had the regular Goetze’s caramel creams (BUY) before, and I liked them, but I found the weird texture of the caramel to be somewhat off-putting. The Chocolate and Strawberry Cow Tales also suffered, and in the Cow Tales, the weird texture became an insurmountable hurdle, possibly because the caramel to cream ratio is different.

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food-blog-pictures-145.jpgThe Chocolate Cow Tale isn’t very chocolatey in taste or smell. It reminded me of a bland Tootsie Roll. The bland chewiness of the Cow Tale descended into near waxiness after a while. Not exactly a pleasant experience. The cream in the center is the same as that of the caramel creams – a sweet cream taste with an oddly pasty, almost grainy texture. My description didn’t make the cream sound very appetizing, but it’s actually addictively tasty, especially when it comes in a good sized portion in the caramel creams.

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food-blog-pictures-146.jpgI had high hopes for the Strawberry Cow Tale. Upon unwrapping it, I immediately noticed the strong, sweet smell of artificial strawberry. Unfortunately, it did not taste nearly as fruity as it smelled and suffered from the same issues that plagued its chocolate counterpart.

I wonder if these guys taste better in their caramel cream form, where the caramel and the cream parts are much more substantial. Sadly, the dimensions and proportions of the Cow Tales just didn’t work for me.

August 29, 2007 at 8:00 am 1 comment

Charleston Chew Vanilla

I’ve seen Charleston Chews (BUY) around grocery stores before, but only in big bags. I couldn’t figure out exactly what they were from the packaging, so I wasn’t ready to commit to buying a whole bag. Fortunately, I found this lone… bar? rod? roll?… version to try.

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The Charleston Chew is a roll of vanilla nougat (the Tootsie Roll website says that they also come in chocolate and strawberry) covered in food-blog-pictures-148.jpga thin layer of chocolate. The chocolate coating smelled of cheap, mass produced chocolate and tasted like it too. Then again, there’s something to be said for cheap, mass produced chocolate. Sometimes it can be transporting, like Proust’s madeleine. And from the retro look of the packaging, it seems that the Charleston Chew is dependent upon its ability to bring people back to their childhoods.

food-blog-pictures-147.jpgAll in all, it’s not a bad bar. The vanilla nougat is soft and yielding, with a manageable amount of sticks-to-your-teeth-ness. Alas, I left the rest of this at home, so I will not be able to try the frozen version. If I could find the single rolls in chocolate and strawberry, I’d buy them to try them, but I wouldn’t bother buying an entire box or bag of them.

August 28, 2007 at 8:00 am Leave a comment

Limited Edition Starburst Retro

I found these in a display case along with the Limited Edition Carnival Skittles (BUY) at the Dollar Tree. They were tucked away in a corner, so I nearly walked out without seeing them. The cashier probably wondered why I got went through the line twice, both times to buy just candy.

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The packaging on the Retro Starbursts (BUY) is a nice tie-dye motif, and the individual wrappers are white with colored print instead of the other way around. The flavor names are cute and clever, if rather corny:

Hey Mango-rena! – The exclamation mark is key, of course. These didn’t taste like mango at all. I got more of a sweet cantaloupe/punch taste or something.

Optimus Lime – This was my favorite flavor. Unsurprising, since I love citrus flavored candies, and the Green Slushy was my favorite Carnival Skittle flavor. Not quite as complex as the Green Slushy Carnival Skittle, but still quite enjoyable. With a bright and tart lime taste, it reminded me of a lime Skittle, but better, maybe because it’s a bigger candy. And while we’re on the subject, check out this cool Optimus Prime cake.

Psychideli-melon – Quite faithful artificial watermelon candy flavor, like a watermelon Jolly Rancher.

Disco Berry : I guess they ran out of clever names when it came to this one. It tastes like a super intense version of a red berry candy, which makes sense, as this chew is a deep red that’s nearly maroon. I think the berry is cherry, since I think that’s what’s pictured on the wrapper.

Overall, I enjoyed these flavors, though I felt cheated by the Hey Mango-rena! Hey Mars, just making it mango-colored isn’t enough. You’re supposed to make it taste like mango too.

August 7, 2007 at 8:00 am Leave a comment

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