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Candy Review: Cactus Candy

Categories: Candy,Candy Reviews,Novelty Candy,Soft Candy

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Cactus Candy
(click for more pics)

I used to live in Arizona, about 4 hours from Phoenix, when I was a kid. The only Arizona-specific food memory I have is drinking Sarsaparilla when visiting Tombstone (yeah, I know Sarsparilla isn’t a food, but that’s all I’ve got). I do remember the cacti though, and I don’t ever remember thinking I wanted to eat them. This all leads up to today’s review: Cactus Candy – made in Phoenix, Arizona.

Cactus Candy comes in four flavors: Prickly Pear, Pomegranate, Lemon, and Orange. Only The Prickly Pear flavor actually contains prickly pear cactus juice though.

Southwest Candy Sampler

The candy looks handmade – all of the different flavors are different thicknesses and the little round “cupcake-cups” they sit in don’t quite fit the square pieces of candy. The 12-pack of prickly pear flavor comes in the coolest retro-looking box I have seen lately – the copyright on it is 1969 and I would bet money that the design hasn’t changed since then. I am so keeping the box. The Southwest Candy Sampler pack contains 2 of each flavor, for a total of 8 pieces of candy, but the box isn’t nearly as cool.

Southwest Candy Sampler

The candy itself is very similar to orange slice candy, and is coated in granulated sugar like orange slices, but Cactus Candy is a bit softer. They are all pretty sweet – they aren’t a candy I could sit down and eat a bunch of- one, maybe two at a sitting, max.

So, how do they taste?

  • Prickly Pear: I’m not sure how to describe this flavor. It’s a little bit fruity, but not much. It’s not a bad flavor, but it doesn’t knock my socks off either.
  • Pomegranate: I have no idea what a pomegranate looks like, nor what it tastes like, so I can’t say if this tastes like real pomegranate or not. This reminds of eating grape jelly. Not bad, but not great.
  • Lemon: Aha! A flavor I know! This one does indeed taste like lemon…pretty good too. Still a tad too sweet for me.
  • Orange: Tastes very similar to orange slice candy, except there’s a bit of a tang.

All Four Flavors

So, overall, the Cactus Candy wasn’t bad, but wasn’t great – it was just average to me. My wife liked it a lot more than I did – she said she liked it because it wasn’t too sweet which is exactly opposite of what I thought. Go figure. It does have the whole cactus/novelty factor going for it though…and the box is so cool in a retro sort of way.

Cactus Candy can be found at, yep, you guessed it – http://www.cactuscandy.com. They have a bunch of other interesting candy (and other products) – I’d especially like to try the Raspberry Chipotle Candy. Their website isn’t great and their online store is under construction, so you may have to email them directly to get of your own Cactus Candy.

candy, sweets, cactus, arizona, az, phoenix, tombstone, pomegranate, pear, prickly pear, orange, lemon



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8 Responses to “Candy Review: Cactus Candy”

  1. 1
    Bridget says:

    Oh hey, I think I just saw those on an episode of Unwrapped recently! The ones they featured were shaped like a saguaro cactus, though.

    RESPONSE:They have the cactus-shaped ones on their website.
    –Brian

  2. 2
    cybele says:

    You’ve never had a pomegranate?

    RESPONSE: Nope. I wouldn’t know a pomegranate if it bit me.
    –Brian

  3. 3
    Georgina says:

    Hello from Phoenix and I have to say I agree. When I came here I bought a bunch of the candy to bring to my family back in Chicago and everyone was pretty lack-luster about them. All agreed that they did not want more than one. I just brought Maple Carmels from Montreal back and those went over much better. Happy Snacking! : ) Georgina

  4. 4
    Lonnie says:

    When I was a kid (I’m 30 now, to give reference) my great-grandmother who lived in Kingman, AZ would send us a jar or two of prickly pear jelly every year. I don’t remember specifically what the flavor was like, but I remember enjoying the jelly.

  5. 5
    Danny a.k.a. ixfd64 says:

    I’ve actually tried both of those products before, so i thought that I’d comment. I first ordered the prickly pear candy online back in December 2004. Although the flavor was a bit interesting, the candy was otherwise generic (much like the Sunkist fruit gems).

    In December 2006, on a trip to the southwest, I bought the candy sampler. The orange and lemon candies were pretty generic as well, and the pomegranate candies did taste a bit like grape jelly.

    As for your review, it’s very informative, and I enjoyed reading it.

    - Danny

  6. 6
    Claire says:

    How do I find the pictures with the cactus candy shaped like a cactus? I am going to Arizona and I saw how they made them and I forgot what they look like and so I just want to know where I can find pictures on them. Does anyone know?

  7. 7
    Meghan says:

    I found pictures of the catcus shaped candy on the website.

  8. 8
    june silverthorne says:

    When my parents moved to Phoenix in 1944 I was enchanted by the southwest and discovered cactus candy at {I think?} Donofrios candy shop. I have yearned for it ever since. Is it still available in it’s original form? Does Donofrios still exist?

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