Archive for the ‘Reviews’ Category

If you are an Elvis fan, particularly poly-jumpsuit-era Elvis, check this:

The oversized (a smidge over a foot) Elvis PEZ dispenser comes with a gold-plated TCB (that’s “Taking Care of Business” for Elvis neophytes) necklace and six rolls of PEZ candies. If that weren’t enough, the battery-operated dispenser plays “There Goes My Everything,” “Bridge Over Troubled Water,” “American Trilogy,” “The Wonder Of You,” and “Promise Land.”

Have I died and gone to heaven?

If Elvis doesn’t do it for you, the Winnie the Pooh and Friends collection may win you over. I’ve always been fond of little Piglet.

You can bring these classic characters up to the iPhone era with chocolate-flavored PEZ refills, which PEZ Candy, Inc. introduced in 2008.

Beth Mora-Panepinto, product marketing manager at PEZ Candy, Inc., says it took the company two years to get the chocolate candy flavor “just right.” According to Beth, consumers frequently report that the chocolate tablets taste like Nestlé Quik Nesquik. Who didn’t like drinking that stuff as a kid?

This fall, Beth says to keep your eyes peeled for the following new PEZ products:

Not sure which is cooler—packaging or product.

Hello back-to-school gift.

Hand out this vamp at Halloween and instantly become a block star.

PEZ Trivia Takeaways (bet you didn’t know this stuff)
1.
The first PEZ dispenser was created in 1948 and was designed to look like a cigarette lighter to encourage people to quit smoking and eat candy instead.

2. The name PEZ comes from the German word for peppermint, pfefferminz, taking the P from the first letter, E from the middle, and Z from the last letter.

3. The most popular PEZ dispenser sold to date? Santa Claus.

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A very peculiar novelty candy item arrived in my mailbox last week: Gummy Shotz (edible gummy shot glasses). The “shot glasses” ship six individual flavors per pack and flavors include cherry, grape, orange, lemon, lime, cola, blue raspberry, green apple, pink bubble gum, and pineapple.

I’m guessing these colorful, two-inch-tall sticky vessels were dreamed up for gimmicky 1 oz. drinks like Lemon Drops, Kamikazes, and B-52s … and for more mature events like bachelorette parties, Mardi Gras, luaus, etc.

I get that, but I took these super sweet and somewhat rubbery shot glasses in a more juvenile direction. (How many adults really want to eat a gooey gummy “glass” after downing a shot of Jäger? It’s a heck of a chaser.)

I spent a morning in my kitchen concocting candy crafts by inserting a mini baking cup in each shot glass and filling the mini cups with colorful candies like peanut M&M’s, Reese’s Pieces, sour crawlers, gummy bears, and Skittles to play off of the primary gummy colors.

My craft project turned out to be something I would use as a kid’s party favor wrapped in cello and tied with a bow (Candy Land theme anyone?), or as eye candy on a candy buffet.

Per my 14-year-old neighbor’s brilliant suggestion, I also filled some of the shot glasses with whipped cream and topped them with fruit and sprinkles. I don’t think I’d serve these to guests older than 14, though, but they do look pretty on a tray.

I photographed some of my final products with my low-budget 35 mm, so my apologies in advance for the following lackluster visuals:

Now it’s your turn to think outside of the box. What would you fill these gummy shot glasses with?

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in Brands/Companies, Candy, Candy Type, Reviews, Soft

22 Mar

A Sour Solstice To All! 0

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.

I say, it's foggy.

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!

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in Candy, Reviews

19 Mar

And they Really Work*! 0

I want to meet this Gustaf and shake his sticky, licorice worn hands. A tasty and functional candy that doesn’t fill you up (unless abused) and never lets you down (if your expectations are reasonable)? Excuse me while I fan myself with this woven-straw hat for a spell.

Incidentally, you could make one of these out of rainbow lace.**

Dutch Confectionery, Gerrit J. Verburg Co., is known for its licorice products. While these fruit flavored laces aren’t licorice in a technical sense, they bear some similarity to the colorful, fruit flavored “licorice” vines and ropes that have long been popular in the U.S. Fans of Strawberry Twizzlers will find a lot to enjoy in Gustaf’s Rainbow Laces, as might any fan of fruit gummies in general.

You'll see why in a moment

The laces come in a mass tangled enough to discourage Mark Summers, so I don’t recommend trying to separate the flavors. The best way to go about eating this stuff is to dive in head first, knees bent, talons drawn, screaming. Tear away until your threshers are laden with harvest, pause to catch your breath, then proceed according to your taste. While each of the four flavors can be enjoyed individually, I feel that– like the Three Sisters– they are best enjoyed simultaneously. Strawberry and Apple are Sweet and tangy, while Blue Raspberry and Tutti-Frutti are milder and more complex. Together, the relative strengths and weakness sort of blend together and flatten out into a surprisingly satisfying combination of all four.

Plus, you can tie your shoes with the stuff***!

*Where Work = May or May not Work

** Be advised, such a hat may melt in the sun.

***The stuff may not prove adequate for use as shoe-lace.

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in Candy, Novelty, Reviews