Posts filed under ‘novelty’

Cock-a-doodle Chew – This Gum Tastes Like Chicken

Is it weird that I got really excited to see this gum that tastes like chicken? It was bizarre enough to be intriguing, and I was already imagining how I could casually brag about my brave willingness to try chicken-flavored gum.

Upon closer inspection however, disappointment. Cinnamon. Yummy, but in this context, boring. Cassie was disappointed to, as she bought it for me because she knew that I would be adventurous enough to try chicken flavored gum. Chicken gum is novel and interesting. Cinnamon gum is banal. False advertising! Fine print! Another candy packaging foul!

The little box contained 8 pieces of Chiclet shaped gum, with a characteristically hard sugar shell around the actual gum. The gum was super strong! It was almost eye-wateringly spicy and tingly, and the tingling sensation lingers. I chewed a single piece, which yielded a ridiculously minuscule amount of actual gum, but I didn’t dare pop more pieces in my mouth. If that lone, tiny piece could set my taste buds on fire, two or three pieces would probably be unbearable.

As far as gum goes, it’s pretty good cinnamon-flavored gum, and those who really like spicy, cinnamon candies would probably like its strong flavor. However, because each piece yields such a tiny amount of gum and because the advertising is deliberately misleading, it warrants only an O in my book. I’ll stick with buying just normal cinnamon gum.

September 27, 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

M&M’s Pirate Pearls

I’m super late to the game on this one, but oh well. I picked up these M&M’s Pirate Pearls (BUY) at a local dollar store. They were released to promote the Pirates of the Caribbean movie that came out back in May, so they’ve of course been relegated to dollar stores and the like.

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I enjoy white chocolate even less than I do milk chocolate. I just don’t understand why it can be called chocolate if it’s flavored with vanilla and has no cocoa solids (thanks, Wikipedia). And, of course, it’s on the cloying side of sweet.

The packaging on the Pirate Pearls was uninspiring, but I can’t be too critical because Johnny Depp/Captain Jack Sparrow is the main attraction, and ARRR! he be attractin’ alright! I also like the cute little pirate insipred designs on the M&M’s themselves. Way to go, Mars, for doing more than just changing the wrapper and the M&Ms’ colors. I appreciate that extra mile. Finally, the bag is slightly smaller than your standard bag of M&M’s, I guess because it’s a novelty tie-in product, so Mars figured they could get away with selling smaller portions.

As far as taste goes, the M&M’s Pirate Pearls were okay. They’re just like milk chocolate M&M’s size-wise and shell-to-chocolate ratio-wise, only they’re made of a sweet white chocolate instead. I managed about a half dozen or so before I’d reached my white chocolate limit. These would be good in trail mix or something along those lines, where there’s something salty to mitigate the cloying. If you’re a white chocolate fan (do those exist?), you’ll like these a lot.

If I see these again, I might consider buying another package to stash away as a collector’s item, but probably not. If they stuck Orlando Bloom on the wrapper, however, I could be persuaded to reconsider.

September 6, 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

Fun Bugs Gummies

I thought these Black Forest Fun Bugs Gummies (BUY) were a super cute spin on the gummi bug genre – instead of gummy worms, these are insect shaped gummies with a juicy center.

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The gummi part was slightly soft; more Trolli than Haribo. The juicy center was a pleasantly sweet ooze that was a bit runnier and not as sticky as the goo that you’d get inside a Gusher. In my bag, the green gummies had a blue ooze, the yellow gummies had a green ooze, and the dark red gummies had an orange ooze.

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The only gummi/ooze flavor combination that didn’t work for me was the yellow gummi with the green ooze. It just didn’t taste good. Otherwise, it’s pretty difficult to distinguish the different flavors and colors because the ooze and gummi blends together. They’re all rather generically sweet and fruity, and I had to eat mine very carefully to try to taste the separate components, and even then I wasn’t that successful. I think the orange ooze was actually orange flavored and the red gummy was strawberry, but my mind may have been fooled into believing that they tasted different. Either way, it doesn’t matter much. These are just fun gummi treats and shouldn’t be dissected as though they’re gourmet delicacies.

August 23, 2007 at 8:00 am Leave a comment

Vosges Bacon Bar

mosbaconbarpop.jpgI had read about the Vosges Bacon Bar (photo from Vosges website) at various candy review websites and had been dying to try it for myself. I mean, chocolate and bacon? How could that possibly taste good? I asked my friend Katie, who lives in Chicago, if she’d be willing to visit a Vosges chocolate boutique and pick me up a bar. The $7 price tag was certainly steep, but my curiosity needed to be sated.

A couple of weeks later, I visited Austin’s downtown Whole Foods flagship store – a ginormous tribute to all things wholesome and organic and hipster/crunchy/granola – with my friends Cassie and Mahta. They have an amazing chocolate bar (as in a bar that serves chocolate) which I shall write about later; this review’s focus is on the chocolate bar aisle, or as I like to call it, ZOMG, Candy! heaven.

Several of the unique chocolates that I’d read about (Lake Champlain, Theo 3400 Phinney, Chocolove, Endangered Species, Green + Black, Fran’s, etc.) and more that I’d never heard of were in that magical aisle. This was definitely not the type of chocolate you’d get trick or treating. And, of course, they had a huge selection of Vosges bars.

I called Katie and shared my chocolate discovery joy with her. Fortunately, she had been planning to go to Vosges the very next day, so I was able to release her from her favor and save her the trip, just in time. I picked up the Vosges bacon bar. Then I put it back down and swapped it for a less out-there flavor of Vosges. $7 is a lot to spend on a single bar. You could buy about a dozen mass marketed bars for that price. I knew the more conventional Vosges flavors were sure to be delicious, and I didn’t want to waste my Vosges splurge on something that could be nasty. But then again, could I bear passing up this tasting adventure?

I picked the bacon bar back up again and dawdled in the aisle some more. Just then, a Whole Foods employee walked by. “Oh, you’re going to get the bacon bar?” he asked. I told him that I’d read about it and wanted to try it but was unsure about the expense. “I’ve had it before,” he said. “It’s pretty good. Do you want to try a piece?”

With that, he led me over to another Whole Foods employee behind a counter, asked him if we could crack open the bar for a taste, opened the bar, and offered me a piece before grabbing one himself. My friends, some other Whole Foods employees, and another shopper all got tastes. Hooray for generous free samples!

What to make of the bar? The bacon taste is subtle, but it’s definitely there. The bacon is embedded in the chocolate in little crunchy pieces that carry just a hint of bacon flavor, like the most delicious bacon bits ever made. The bar tastes and smells like a smokehouse, like walking past a true Texas barbecue. I’d say that the smokiness is the most noticeable taste; the other shopper that was offered a taste didn’t realize the chocolate was bacon flavored until we told her so.

Cassie said she would’ve liked the bar better if it were made of dark chocolate (like me, she prefers dark to milk), but I think the sweetness of the milk chocolate is needed to counter the salt and smoke. A dark chocolate version would probably be overwhelmed.

This isn’t a bar to be eaten often or in large quantities, but it’s certainly delicious. I chose to tag it as novelty because that’s what initially drew me to the bar, but it can definitely hold its own as a piece of fine chocolate. When I’m no longer a poor college student, I will be sure to buy more Vosges bars and try their whole repertoire.

August 17, 2007 at 8:00 am Leave a comment

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