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Candy Review: Charms Tangerine Mango Madness Blow Pops

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Charms Tangerine Mango Madness Blow Pops

Candy is always good, but when you can successfully combine two different types of candy into one, then you’re in business. And though it’s a seemingly difficult feat, I have always thought the most successful attempt to be lollipops with filled centers.

My personal preference is for Tootsie Pops, the combination of a delicious hard candy shell with chewy Tootsie mockolate in the center. Despite my own proclivities, I recognize the even more popular version is the cousin of the Tootsie Pop, Charms Blow Pops.

Blow Pops were the epitome of candy for me as a child. You had the artificial (in the best possible way) fruit-flavored candy shells, coating a middle of bubble gum. Had I been a fan of gum, I think I would have consumed a lot more of these as a kid instead of just eating the outer shell and throwing away the gum. Grape and cherry were my personal favorites, which was fine since my siblings didn’t care for either and fought amongst themselves for the strawberry, watermelon, and sour apple varieties.

Over the years, new flavors have been introduced, but I never enjoyed blue raspberry or the sour versions as much as the original flavors, so I rarely purchased them. However, on one of my meandering candy scouting sessions through local gas stations, I came across a bin of these: Tangerine Mango Madness Blow Pops. Sounds interesting, right?

When you put mango in anything, you have piqued my interest right away. And though I can take or leave tangerine, it seems like a citrus flavor could be a very refreshing complement to the tropical bite of mango.

Unwrapping the lollipop, I notice an immediate oddity about the candy. The whole thing is shaded in a light orange hue, but there’s a giant splotch of red on the top corner. It was as if someone had decided to turn Jupiter into a lollipop. I take a whiff, and it smells like what I imagine citrus cough syrup would smell like.

But sight and smell can be very deceptive. Sticking the sucker in my mouth, I don’t instantly get a taste of any flavor aside from a general tart fruitiness. About thirty seconds into my sucking, after the outer surface wanes, a slow, but budding taste of tangerine begins to surface. As far as tangerine goes, it’s pretty close to the basic flavor, but it lacks the citrus or zest of the real thing.

Though the promise of the tangerine is delivered, I found myself waiting for the mango madness, or even just the regular mango to kick in. Unfortunately, it never did. That isn’t to say there aren’t other flavors working with the tangerine. Notes of orange and a tropical essence do reveal themselves, but nothing indicative of a potent mango flavor. The slight tart quality made me think of these as tangerine Altoids in lollipop form.

When I finally arrived at the gum center, I tried to ignore my feelings toward the indigestible goop, but couldn’t really bring myself to chew it. It wasn’t so much that it was gum as much as it was bad gum. It was incredibly tough, much like stale Bazooka Gum, and my jaw was hurting before I could get to the point where blowing the trademark bubble was a possibility.

Despite my initial excitement with these, they were kind of a letdown. I suppose fans of tangerine will adore these a lot more than I did, and lovers of Blow Pops in general will surely not be disappointed. But in the meantime, until a truly realized mango flavor is executed as promised, I think I’ll stick to my grape and cherry Tootsie Pops.

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