I have many a fond memory of Baskin-Robbins from childhood: the free birthday cones, the baseball helmet sundaes, the hard, hard scoops that could be shot clear off your sugar cone and onto the lawn with one overzealous lick. Not to mention the choices â€“ oh, the choices! All 31-plus of them! And I reveled in my flavor selection: Rocky Road, Rainbow Sherbet, Cookies â€˜N Creamâ€¦ the world was my hot fudge-covered oyster (notably not one of the aforementioned 31-plus). But I have to admit, in all my ice cream eating moments, never (ever) did I think to myself, â€œMmmm, this ice cream is good, but it would be really good if only I could chew it.â€ So it is with a bit of skepticism that I opened up my box of Baskin-Robbins Soft Candy.
These candies come in two flavors: Mint Chocolate Chip and Very Berry Strawberry, and in both regular and sugar free varieties. Theyâ€™re quite small â€“ smaller than a Tootsie Roll â€“ and rectangular. And theyâ€™re individually wrapped in foil reminiscent of my Viactiv Multi-Vitamin Chew (highly recommended as a vitamin supplement, less so as a sugary treat).
And soft they are. If nothing else, these things deliver in that department. Softer than both a Tootsie Roll and a Starburst chew, it took me a number of squeezes before I finally landed on Play-Doh. Thatâ€™s about how soft these are, if you can imagine. (The sugar free ones actually were not quite as soft, falling somewhere between Play-Doh and Starburst on the hard/soft continuum.) But this is where the uniformity ends, so hereâ€™s how the individual flavors played out for me:
Mint Chocolate Chip
The package, once opened, smelled deliciously like Andes mints. Upon unwrapping the foil jacket, however, I was greeted by a frightening sight: that pretty seafoam-colored picture on the bag is very deceiving, Addicts, because these things are alien green. Yes, alien green. And weirdly translucent. And shiny and sticky and greasy. (All of my favorite things!) Fortunately, they smelled like the Mint Chocolate Chip ice cream of my youth, which allowed me to shut my eyes tight and pop one in my mouth.
To my surprise, it actually tasted a lot like the ice cream I remember, right down to the hint of textural complexity provided by the minuscule chocolate chips. And although I have difficulty appreciating the ice cream flavor disassociated from its frozen, melty goodness, I suppose this would be a nice option for those of you whoâ€™ve always dreamt about carrying ice cream cones around in your pocket.
Sugar Free Mint Chocolate Chip
Unlike their sugar-laden counterpart, these candies actually resembled that picture on the bag, with their soft green coloring, opaqueness, and relatively matte finish. They had good flavor up front, but were more crumbly in the mouth than the original and tasted a little chemically and overpoweringly minty at the end. Overall, theyâ€™re not as true to the Mint Chocolate Chip flavor as I might want.
Very Berry Strawberry
Iâ€™ll tell ya what, Baskin-Robbins sure figured out how to make their packages smell good. Both this and the Sugar Free bag smelled intensely of ripe, sweet strawberries. In fact, they smelled just like my car did a couple weeks ago when I went grocery shopping before work and left my berries in the trunk all day. (Incidentally, best I-left-food-in-my-car-story ever.)
These ones were much prettier, looking very much like pink Starbursts with tiny red specks; however, they were still greasy, sticky, and Play-Doh-y. Now, Iâ€™m not a big strawberry ice cream fan – I prefer my fruit flavors not to be cut with creaminess – so I didnâ€™t have high hopes, but I was pleasantly surprised when a nice berry flavor kicked in about halfway through the chew. Unfortunately, the candies were so small and dissolved so quickly that it didnâ€™t last for very long.
Sugar Free Very Berry Strawberry
Sadly, the mid-way burst of flavor that saved the originalâ€™s rep didnâ€™t come to fruition (ha!) in the sugar free version. Interestingly, this resulted in a flavor more akin to strawberry ice cream though, so if you like that, I guess it could work in your favor. This one, like the Sugar Free Mint Chocolate Chip candy, had a strange texture that almost felt like crumbly, crystallized sugar.
So Iâ€™m not a huge fan of these but if they really scream out to you for some reason, Iâ€™m gonna go ahead and say that this is really a go-for-the-full-sugar-version-or-go-home kind of situation.
Editor’s Note: I thought these were pretty darn foul. Admittedly, I only tried the regular mint version, but I thought the flavor was weak and the strange little bits of texture did absolutely nothing for me other than make me wonder if they hadn’t mixed all the ingredients completely. Then again, I was never a huge fan of the ice cream version, so they may well be more appealing for folks who like the original form.
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