Archive for the ‘Soft’ Category

Chiclets for dinner!!

And shouldn’t it technically be Teethpaste? Honestly, I’m asking. As everybody knows, the vicissitudes of the English language are many and storied, and while we may be novitiates with regard to the inflectional rules of certain nettlesome lexemes, we here at Candy.com know our Candy. Which is why I can answer the following question; which came first, Chiclets gum, or Chiclets as slang term for those things that are always a-fallin’ out of your head and having to be brushed, etc?

Brush the hair off them cowstoppers

Place your wagers.

Drum-roll please.

Thanks, Al! Mr. Al Jackson everybody, of Stax/ Volt!

Turns out the answer is the gum, the term proceeding from the (apparently accidental) resemblance these ancient chews bear to common teeth, not the reverse, silly. So why such an unusual name— one that makes one think of small, young birds and bar-fights? Ever heard of the “Chicle?” It’s a tropical evergreen tree that grows in Mexico, Central and South America, which produces a resinous sap, long chewed by the indigenous folks of the area and adopted for use as the gum base in the original manufacture of Chiclets gum back in 1906. Highly renowned, Chiclets have been so ubiquitous in some parts of the world (especially in the Middle East and portions of North Africa and Europe) that the name has become a general term for all varieties of chewing gum.

The culprit tree with its bulbous nodes

Could numerous millions and several generations be wrong?

Of course they could, but we’re not going to hate on Chiclets (without) just ‘cause. Chiclets are solid gum, both literally and conversationally. The peppermint and spearmint varieties have clean, refreshing, aptly-named flavors and a crispy candy shell that sets them apart from most of your basic chews. The first bite is a heavenly, mentholated blast of soft and crunchy and while, (like anything, but gum in particular), the good times don’t last, I’d guess fifteen to twenty minutes of herbivore-caliber chewing had elapsed by the time I realized I wasn’t enjoying myself anymore.

A mighty chew

Unfortunately, there’s a dearth of the assorted-fruit Chiclets around the office so I can’t comment on them at this time, but if my memory serves me, (which is regrettably seldom) they’re also pretty dang good. I’ll get back to you on ‘em.

Pinky Swear

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in Candy, Nostalgic/Retro, Reviews, Soft

24 Feb

Good(tze)! 0

The pet project of Goetze’s Candy Company founder August Goetze, Caramel Creams (AKA Bullseyes) have been staving off hunger pangs since 1917. I had vague memories of these chewy, two-tone caramels, (for some reason mostly in school bus related settings) as a kind of lower echelon candy, before I caught up with them earlier today and found out how wrong I was.

While a hotbed of youthful intellectual zeal, many conclusions reached in this environment prove false

True, Caramel Creams aren’t overwhelmingly sweet, and while the sensibilities of my younger self may have taken umbrage with that aspect of the candy, now I can appreciate it. It’s also possible that many of the Caramel Creams I’ve sampled in the past were less than fresh—yes, even candy has an optimal shelf life. Luckily, this was not the case today.

Check that expiration date!

The outer layer of caramel (the retina) is probably what hung me up most as a child. While it’s got a wonderfully thick, chewy texture, it’s also only mildly sweetened, with malty overtones reminiscent of whole-wheat flour. Since I now love bread that isn’t immediately metabolized as sugar, I find this flavor fantastic and refreshingly unique in a confectionery setting. The cream (lens) meanwhile, is a wonderfully sweet fondant (and actually made with real cream), which is vaguely tangy and the perfect accompaniment to the earthier exterior.

Goetze's Scores a big one

Still manufactured in their home city of Baltimore Maryland, Goetze’s Caramel Creams are an All-American snack that are (for a change) actually low-fat, low-sodium and cholesterol free. Get ‘em fresh and I’ll bet you’ll be hooked*!

*Candy.com, like Goetze’s, encourages you to get hooked responsibly.

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in Candy, Nostalgic/Retro, Soft

12 Feb

Fun that lasts for a Modest Amount of Time! 0

If your brain was still forming tens of thousands of synapses in the mercurial glow of the television screen during the Clinton Administration, you may be physically incapable of forgetting slogans such as the entirely too apropos “The fun just lasts and lasts!” While I can’t say I’m in love with having my upstairs cluttered with decades old marketing detritus like this, I can’t entirely contradict the sentiment. Indeed, whatever fun Fruit By The Foot claims to offer continues to last, even as I’ve grown to appreciate the taste of raw fish.

That’s not to suggest that the act of consumption will last and last, rather that the concept has staying power. Now, I’m no glutton, but it took me less than five minutes to finish my three foot roll! I’ve determined this is because: a) it was delicious, and b) there’s barely anything to it. The whole thing weighed less than an ounce! Do you realize that citizens in the Los Angeles metropolitan area inhale more substantial air-born particulate on their evening commute? On the other hand, good for Betty Crocker for creating a modestly portioned snack, high in Vitamin C (though really high in sugar as well) and Kosher Certified.

L.A. bears a surprising resemblance to Old Republic Galactic Capital, Coruscant.

The variety I sampled was tri-tone: yellow, green and red. I couldn’t taste much difference between the colors, but can say definitively that the “fruit flavor” was tart, sweet and vaguely creamy. Less sticky, chewy and tough than the similar Fruit Roll-Ups and Fruit Leathers, Fruit by the Foot is light snack, great for a quick dose of tart nostalgia. MMmm Nineties!

Performance pieces like this thrived in the era. We still puzzle over what they mean.

“And the time just passed and passed…”

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in Candy, Kosher, Reviews, Soft

3 Feb

Three (?) Flavors! 0

Some folks call it the Supreme Coconut Bar. Me, I just try to call it like I see it.

Erudite.

Whatever it is, it gets a lot of points in the presentation and novelty departments. Literally, a slab of tri-colored coconut, this confection is both pretty and unpretentious. I was excited to try it since I’m a dyed in the wool coco-nut and interested to see how it would take to the good old Neopolitan treatment.

A lot to live up to

I’m sorry to say that the result isn’t as ambrosial as I’d expected. While the coconut is as moist and chewy as good coconut should be, I have to admit that I miss the contrasting textures that other coconut confections usually achieve with smooth chocolate coating. OK, not a huge concern. Unfortunately the flavors, which could have been this confection’s saving grace, are pretty unimpressive. Maybe I tried a defective bar, because the “chocolate” portion tasted like strawberry, while the “vanilla” and “strawberry” sections just tasted like coconut with hints of generic sweetener.

Rather Faceless

When I checked out maker Crown Candy Corporation’s website, I was surprised to find a wide selection of what seemed to be gourmet, hand-made coconut treats, but no trace of this bar. It seems to be quite an old product (though information is scant and just how old it is I’m not certain) and I wonder if Crown Candy inherited it from a now-defunct producer and simply continues to manufacture it without much interest in bringing it up to speed with the rest of their seemingly high-end lines. Here’s to hoping Crown Candy will give this old timer the royal treatment such a kicking  concept deserves.

“A lovely bunch of coconuts

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in Candy, Candy Tips, Chocolate, Nostalgic/Retro, Reviews, Soft