Making sour versions of existing products is the new black. Sour gum, sour gummies, sour chews, sour chaw, sour chocolate, sour milk and so on. It would seem all the world wants to play good cop / bad cop with its snack food, and while some of these excursions into sourtopia have been horribly misguided (sour spam), I admit I’m rather sweet on sour skittles.
The flavors are five; Orange, Grape, Lemon, Lime and Strawberry. To my tastes, Strawberry is the best of the bunch, mostly because it tickles the same taste nodes as my beloved Pink Starburst, what with its bright / mellow fruitiness and its creamy / tangy carryings on and the fact that I’m willing to root around in the package, neglecting all the other perfectly good skittles until I’ve exhausted this flavor. The citrus family of Orange, Lemon and Lime are all pretty solid and share the honor of being sour-er than your average citrus sour—the lemon especially approaches warhead-caliber pucker levels, though admittedly, the sensation doesn’t endure quite so long. Finally, Grape, like most artificial grape flavors, just exudes that fresh from the lab, dimetap flavor we all have to come to terms with on our lonesome, down in a cave somewhere on Dagobah, without Yoda.
Basically, Sour Skittles take what’s already present in Original Recipe and amplify it with a liberal dusting of magic, big-kid-strength sour powder (read citric acid, and the ever elusive “natural and artificial flavors”). It’s notable that Sour Skittles, unlike Original Skittles (and the first generations of Sour Skittles) contain no gelatin or gluten, making them vegetarian and celiac disease-sufferer safe. Whether they are vegan safe is a more complex question, as it’s unclear if sour skittles contain shellac (which is derived from the secretions of the female lac bug), and reports persist of MARS Inc. cruel animal testing practices. If these aren’t deal breakers for you, I think you’ll enjoy Sour Skittles thoroughly, though I recommend doing so in relatively small doses, as too many handfuls of this powerful, confectionery potpourri might also see you suddenly confronting dagobah.
On a lighter note, one 5.7 ounce “peg bag” has 160% of your daily Vitamin C!