Posts filed under ‘compressed sugar’

Giant Smarties!

I’ve seen these giant Smarties (BUY!) (not to be confused with Nestle’s Giant Smarties; outside the US, Smarties are an M&M-like sugar coated candy made by Nestle) in Walgreen’s candy aisle for a while now and finally decided to buy a roll.

I adore Smarties (BUY!), even if they don’t taste like much. These giant Smarties are basically larger versions of normal sized Smarties. Cybele on Candy Blog has a nice photo showing the size comparison, though I’m a little confused as to whether her Mega Smarties are the same as my giant Smarties (check out comment #12). Mine were also quarter-sized, so maybe I bought Mega Smarties?

The giant (Mega?) Smarties taste just like normal Smarties – the same sweet, lightly fruity and tart taste of compressed sugar. Yum! In the large version, the flavor differences are really noticeable because there’s so much more Smartie. I liked being able to really taste the flavor, but I think the Smartie was too big, and too much Smartie in one take. For some reason, the big ones didn’t come in white like normal Smarties do. Not that I could tell what flavor white Smarties are.

Like Cybele, I wished that the giant Smarties were more crumbly. Normal Smarties shed chalky power everywhere, and they quickly crunched up into dust. The giant Smarties are crunchier and sturdier and break into harder, grittier bits rather than that nice, soft dust. They’re not as hard as SweeTarts, but they’re getting there.

An O for the giant Smarties. Fun to try once, and visually entertaining, but I prefer the smaller version. The giant Smarties are texturally not as appealing, and they disappear too quickly because of their large size. Normal Smarties forced you to pace yourself.

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December 3, 2007 at 8:00 am 1 comment

Maple Sugar Candy

Last week, I had the opportunity to visit The Big E with the YPMB. We marched in the parade and then got some spare time to poke around and eat FAIR FOOD!!

I got my first taste of maple sugar candy in the Maine “capitol”. I’ve wanted to try maple sugar candy since I was little girl reading about it in Little House in the Big Woods, when Laura and the family help sap the trees and have a big maple syrup party. Ma and the other womenfolk stirred and stirred a pot of maple syrup over the fire, and one of them yelled, “Quick girls, it’s graining!” and all the little kids had plates and saucers of snow, and they got the cooked maple syrup poured over their snow, and it hardened into candy. I first read that in first grade, and I still remember that scene (though I probably got some of the details wrong) because I wanted to try that maple candy so badly!!

I bought three varieties in “Maine.” The large chocolate blob in the photo is chocolate covered maple sugar candy with nuts. I’m pretty sure the nut pieces were walnuts. This candy had a crumbly texture. I’m not even sure if it was actually candy, per se; it looked and tasted like a pure chunk of maple sugar, maybe with a little butter added in an attempt to get it to hold together. The maple sugar taste was so strong that it completely overpowered the chocolate coating, which barely registered on my palate, and I found it way too sweet to be enjoyable. My friends ate it though. If you like the cloyingly sweet taste of fudge, you’d probably be able to handle this. I almost couldn’t bear the smell of it in my dorm room. An O.

The light gold maple leaf was basically just a molded, hardened chunk of maple sugar. If you took brown sugar, wet it so that it clumped, and then pressed it into a maple leaf mold, you’d get a good enough approximation of this treat. Another O.

The beautifully translucent amber maple leaf was maple hard candy. This gem had a wonderfully rich and mellow maple syrup flavor without the intense sugar overload, and it melted smoothly on my tongue. I’d give this an OM.

October 2, 2007 at 8:00 am 1 comment

Cry Baby Tears minis

These days, candy that only costs 25 cents a box is definitely a rarity. I’m guessing that Cry Baby Tears (BUY!) are a retro/nostalgia candy that have been around for a while. From the looks of the packaging, Cry Baby Tears are supposed to be so sour that they make you cry. They certainly were tart and puckery, even if they didn’t actually bring me to tears.

Cry Baby Tears are little tear-shaped compressed sugar candies with Cry Baby stamped on them. You can’t tell from the pictures because the New Haven humidity wreaked havoc on them, but it’s there. They’re also not supposed to be all yicky and mottled looking. Again, the humidity. Grr!

Cry Baby Tears come in grape (purple), watermelon (green), cherry (red), lemon (yellow), and orange (orange). The cherry flavor is the weakest and overpowered by the sour, while the lemon packs a puckery kick, and the orange has a nice finish. The candies themselves are sour, and they also have a sour coating for a little extra wallop.

I’d give Cry Baby Tears an OM. They’re good and sour – so sour that I can’t eat too many before my mouth and throat start hurting – and that’s exactly what you want in a sour candy.

September 25, 2007 at 8:00 am Leave a comment

Tropical Razzles

“First it’s candy…Then it’s gum!” is the Razzles (BUY!) tagline. And indeed, it starts out as candy and ends up as gum. Unfortunately, it is not a very tasty incarnation of either food group.

The Tropical Razzles flavors, according to the wrapper, are pineapple, strawberry-banana, tropical punch, tangerine, and kiwi-lime. All that matters is that they all taste and feel like a Flintstones vitamin. They’re grainy with that weird undertaste that reminds me a little of the taste of blood. Mmm. Blood.

The flavors don’t last very long in the candy form, and the gum form just tastes oddly generically sweet. The texture of the gum is also too stiff to be a pleasant chew.

The Razzle transition from candy to gum is bizarre. It breaks apart, then resolidifies itself. Kinda cool. If only it were also palatable.

September 11, 2007 at 8:00 am Leave a comment

More buggy candy

I work in the entomology division of my university’s natural history museum, so when I came across these cute bug-themed candies, I just had to buy them for my boss.

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These Bug City Candy Tarts (BUY) are compressed sugar candies that taste like SweeTarts without the tart and with a heavier aftertaste of sugar. The cartoony bug shapes of the candy are quite cute. The reusable bug jar is a nifty marketing tagline, but my boss informed me that any jar can be used to keep bugs in. Even jars without airholes should let enough air in to keep most bugs alive for several weeks.

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My boss hasn’t unwrapped these Gooey Yummy Gummy Bugs yet, so I don’t know how they taste. Frankly, they’re a little too realistic looking, and I think the combination of the gummi texture with the grub shape may be more than I can handle.

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

Helly Kitty sugary things

food-blog-pictures-050.jpgI picked these up at Dave & Buster’s along with the SweeTarts Squeez. They’re technically not Asian candy, but Hello Kitty is Asian, so I’m filing her as such. I didn’t expect these to taste good, since the toy is the selling point here, and they didn’t. But that doesn’t matter, because it’s a tiny Hello Kitty eating watermelon, and it doesn’t get much cuter than that.

food-blog-pictures-051.jpgThe little pink and white beads of candy are slightly smaller than Tart ‘N Tinys and taste faintly fruity. They’re made of compressed sugar with a light sugar coating, like Sprees and Tart ‘N Tinys. My blind taste test revealed that the white ones and the pink ones both taste the same. I’d guess that the faint fruit flavor is strawberry, but I’m probably biased by the pink color. Because it’s Hello Kitty, the pinkness may just serve to attract girls and could have nothing to do with the flavor of the candy.

The candy doesn’t taste bad, but it doesn’t taste like much and really isn’t worth eating. Besides, I think it looks pretty inside the container, so I’ll leave it like it is.

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

SweeTarts Squeez – Green Apple

SweeTarts are one of my favorite candies, and Nestle/Wonka has added to the SweeTarts line (BUY) with Chewy SweeTarts (giant and mini), Sour SweeTarts, Giant Color Changing SweeTarts, SweeTarts Gummy Bugs, SweeTarts Rope, and finally, SweeTarts Squeez in Green Apple and Wild Cherry. Phew! Way to brand ’em, Mr. Wonka.

I’d seen the SweeTarts Squeez near the cash registers in grocery stores before, but I’d never dared to purchase them. When my friend Cassie saw them offered as prizes at Dave & Buster’s, she “bought” a tube out of curiosity and was generous enough to give it to me after she had a taste. And by generous, I mean she realized that SweeTarts Squeez gel is like delicious sugared crack and threw me to the addiction sharks in order to save herself.

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As far as candy goes, this stuff is neither complex nor refined. It’s just pure sugar in gel form with a sweet, tangy, and tart green apple aftertaste that, surprisingly enough, tastes just like a green SweeTart. The gel is fairly fluid (slightly runnier than toothpaste) and is chock full of sugar grains.

This stuff is addictively good. I’ve been eating it slowly by squeezing tiny dabs onto my fingertip instead of just squeezing it straight onto my tongue. It’s good enough to buy again, but too dangerous to buy often.

August 16, 2007 at 8:00 am 1 comment

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