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Candy Cane Roundup 2007

Categories: Candy,Candy Reviews,Classic and Retro Candy,Hard Candy,Holiday Candy,Limited Edition Candy,Mint Candy

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It’s the most wonderful time of the year… especially if you’re a fan of candy canes!

Each passing year seems to bring more and more variety to the candy cane aisle, and 2007 is no exception. This year’s crop of canes covers every flavor from watermelon to popcorn, and with so many choices, it’s hard to pick just one box.

Fortunately, I write about candy, so this wasn’t a problem for me. I walked in to my local drugstore, picked up seven boxes, and merrily went along my way. So now, after a week of eating more candy canes than I care to admit, I’m finally ready to bring you my Candy Cane Roundup of 2007!

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Nickelodeon Candy Canes

Nickelodeon gets into the holiday spirit with a set of 12 fruit-flavored candy canes, named after four popular cartoon characters: Strawberry Dora, Blue Raspberry Diego, Watermelon Patrick, and Sour Apple Spongebob.

This may be a nitpick on my part, but why on earth isn’t the Spongebob candy cane pineapple flavored? He lives in a pineapple under the sea, not a sour apple. Come on, people. If you’re going to do a character tie-in, you might as well do it right.

The candy canes were quite sweet, including Spongebob Sour Apple, which didn’t taste very sour at all. The Blue Raspberry Diego canes were very tasty, and reminded me of Blue RazzBerry Blow Pops, while the Strawberry Doras and Watermelon Patricks were both true to their flavor, though the watermelon and strawberry essences of both were often lost beneath an overall veil of general sweetness.

Though they weren’t my favorite canes, the Nickelodeon pack provides cute packaging, fun colors, and flavors that will surely be appreciated by younger Candy Addicts and fans of super-sugary treats.


Now and Later Candy Canes

My co-taster noted that the Now and Later canes, (which come in four flavors: strawberry, apple, grape, and watermelon) tasted “true to the original candy.” He’s absolutely right: these canes taste exactly like their candy forefathers, especially the grape, which is the standout of the pack.

The only drawback is that half the fun of eating the original Now and Laters is their hardcore chewy factor, which is missing in candy cane form. They should really rename these “NOW” candy canes; there’s not much of a Later factor here, unless you wrap the cane in plastic and stick it in your pocket, and that’s just kind of gross.

LifeSavers Candy Canes

If you like LifeSavers, you’ll like LifeSavers candy canes. They are exactly the same as the original LifeSavers fruit-flavored candies, stretched into cane form. There aren’t any surprises here, unless you’ve never had a LifeSaver before, and if that’s the case, you should probably go down to the store, pick up a pack, and right a tremendous wrong in your life.

Jolly Rancher Bold Fruit Smoothies

Ok. I love Jolly Ranchers. If I could build a house out of Sour Apple Jolly Ranchers, I would. But then I’d be homeless, because I’d eat the entire thing in about 2 days. My love of Jolly Ranchers knows no bounds. At least, I thought that was the case, until Jolly Rancher Bold Fruit Smoothies candy canes came along and blew that theory to bits.

Here’s my issue with these canes: they don’t taste like Jolly Ranchers. At all. They aren’t bad – they have a very smooth berry flavor and a nice sweet crunch, and a co-taster actually called them his “absolute favorites” – but they don’t taste like Jolly Ranchers. They taste like Strawberry Doras. This would be fine, if they weren’t marketed as Jolly Rancher candy canes, but it’s a disappointment to those of us who enjoy the original candy.

Jelly Belly Candy Canes

The box declares: “Original Gourmet Jelly Belly Flavors.” Unfortunately, it also says: “Very Cherry, Cotton Candy, Juicy Pear, Buttered Popcorn.”

Half the fun of eating Jelly Belly jelly beans is the art of mixing various beans to create new and exciting flavors. Mix a chocolate pudding and a toasted marshmallow, and voila! Instant s’mores. It’s strange, therefore, that Jelly Belly decided to release a box of mini candy canes with the most incompatible flavor combinations possible.

How fun would it have been to get mint, gingerbread, eggnog, or cinnamon canes, or to get a box of flavors specifically designed to mix into various Christmas cookie combos? Instead, we’re left with pear and popcorn, which aren’t particularly festive or compatible.

The canes themselves are decent: the cotton candy is the best of the four, with a true cotton candy taste that will be appreciated by those who are already mourning the close of State Fair season.

It just seems to me to be an unnecessary collection: I’d much rather get a big box of Jelly Belly jelly beans, which would provide a candy experience with more variety and endless combinations. Sometimes it’s better to stick to the original.

Hershey’s Chocolate Mint Canes

It’s not really a secret that I love chocolate and mint, and so it’s probably no surprise that I absolutely loved Hershey’s Chocolate Mint candy canes. The packaging was the best of all of the canes I tried: there are two recipes on the back of the box, as well as a craft project – instructions on how to make your very own Hershey Bar Sled!

The Chocolate Mint canes are quite tasty – the mint is more of a spearmint than a peppermint, which provides a unique twist on the standard candy cane, while the chocolate is reminiscent of chocolate Tootsie pops – a killer combo of flavors that makes this particular cane super delicious and a welcome addition to my holiday candy dish.

Bob’s Original Peppermint Candy Canes

The holidays make us do strange things. I’m not sure how it is in your family, but it seems that in my family, we go back to tradition, regardless of how we’ve changed, or how the world has changed, or how silly it may seem. We watch the same old movies, we eat the same dishes, we hang the same ornaments on the tree, and we always have a dish of candy canes on the table.

I know there are millions of different flavors out there, as I’ve eaten nearly every available candy cane out there over the past few weeks (Seriously – SO. MANY. CANDY CANES.) but in the end, my favorite candy canes are the ones that remind me of Christmases past – old school peppermint.

We can have peppermint anytime we want, in mints, in gum, even in toothpaste. But it never tastes as good as it does when it comes from a candy cane, and Bob’s Peppermint Candy Canes are old-fashioned, brightly-colored, and as good as peppermint candy canes come.

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So there you have it. I realize there are some brands and flavors that I didn’t cover, but a girl can only eat so many candy canes in one week. Trust me. If I could have eaten anymore, I totally would have. (Especially if I’d found Spree Candy Canes, which, sadly, were nowhere to be found.)

If you have a favorite that I missed, let me know. And if you happen to have the blueprints for a Jolly Rancher house, pass those along, too.

I’ve got big plans for 2008.

PS: If you or a loved one has a peanut allergy, here is a helpful link that lists 10 Peanut Allergy Safe Candy Canes for 2007.

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15 Responses to “Candy Cane Roundup 2007”

  1. 1
    Sera says:

    Awesome article Jamie. Hopefully you didn’t OD on candy canes too badly so you can still enjoy some for Christmas! :)

  2. 2
    hihi says:

    i LOVED the jelly belly candy canes
    but i guess thats just me

  3. 3
    Ladytink_534 says:

    I LOVE candy canes! Jolly Rancher and Starburst especially.

  4. 4
    Breanna says:

    You are so right on about the Jelly Belly flavors… someone needs to be working in R&D at Goelitz!!!!!!

  5. 5
    Paula from Only Cookware says:

    In my part of the world we don’t see this many options for candy canes. They are usually the same brand every year and they are not particularly nice.

  6. 6
    Dan Neitzel says:

    I just got back from wally world , and they have a no name brand of candycanes flavored like tropical drinks that looked very yummy.

  7. 7
    Julie Nicolay says:

    Whether you hang ‘em on the tree, stick ‘em in a mug of hot chocolate, shove ‘em in an orange and suck out the juice or poke your little brother with ‘em once you’ve managed to lick the straight end to a nicely sharpened point, good ol’ fashioned peppermint candy canes are IT for Christmas in my world!

    Now, hey, being the candy addict that I am, I’ve tried all the flavors and variations on the theme (but haven’t found the Spree canes either, dangit), and I like them, especially the chocolate mint and Jolly Ranchers (I happen to LIKE cotton candy mixed with popcorn, actually!).

    But for me, the holidays really start with the first box of those red & white striped traditional peppermint canes, and the moment I peel off that shrink-wrapped plastic and take my first taste, the Christmas season has officially begun!

    Excellent “round up” article! I loved it and just got home from the store, but alas, sans any Bob’s canes…I’ll have to remedy that tomorrow!

  8. 8
    Alicia says:

    I used the Jelly Belly and Hershey’s candy canes last year. I didn’t really like the Jelly Belly though.. and they didn’t include buttered popcorn. This year I went with classic peppermint and cinnamon.. perfect!

  9. 9
    Brian says:

    I saw some Spree candy canes recently – maybe I’ll pick some up and do a mini-review :)

  10. 10
    Becca says:

    Does anyone know of where to find eggnog candy canes? They used to exist but I’m not sure if they still do. Christmas Miracle?

  11. 11
    Julie Nicolay says:

    I found a box of the Spree candy canes at a Walgreen’s here in Tucson. They were good, but I’d take a regular Spree over their candy cane any day…it’s a texture thing with me and Sprees: I love that chewiness they have. The candy canes were crunchy like candy canes “should” be. The flavors were good, though. Not quite as intense as in the candies, however, but satisfying. So Brian, what do you think? If I’d thought about “reviewing” them, I’d've paid more attention while I was eating them (I tried one of each and passed the rest of the box on)!

  12. 12
    Tigers_Kitten says:

    I hear you about the eggnog candy canes. I used to LOVE them, & now when I try to find them, I have no luck. It’s really upsetting :(

  13. 13
    kelse says:

    I LOVE now and laters their aboslutly scrumpshous, cant wait to try the soft ones :D

  14. 14
    Rita says:

    I like the fruity candy canes better than the normal peppermint one. I usually eat one (even though I usually get a ton of them from friends, family, etc) and get bored of them. But I love fruit flavored candy in general. I like spearmint candy canes too.

  15. 15
    Brittany says:

    Is there a cappucino candy cane anywhere? I had them about 10 years ago..but I can’t seem to find them anywhere anymore. Ideas?

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