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Retro Candy Flashback: Judson-Atkinson Assorted Sours

Categories: Candy,Candy Reviews,Classic and Retro Candy,Sour Candy

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Atkinson Assorted Sours

My love for Atkinson candy is well documented. But until now, I have only sampled products that encompass ingredients they are known for. What I mean by this is that Atkinson primarily centers its products on coconut, peanuts/peanut butter, and various nuts. Of course other candy companies use these ingredients, but few do so to the extent that Atkinson does.

But there is more to the Atkinson family than those staple ingredients. You see, the full name of Atkinson is Judson-Atkinson. That is because Atkinson has acquired many candies companies over the years, including fellow Texan confectionery Judson Candies, in 1983.

Judson Candies has the distinct honor of being able to claim that it pioneered the sour ball. Creator J.W. Judson was attempting to create a tart jellybean, and in the process he developed cherry sours in 1910.

There are several varieties of sours out there, but I decided the best to sample was Judson-Atkinson Assorted Sours mix because it included cherry, the original sour, as well as four other flavors.

These pieces are your standard-sized sour ball with a glossy coat; standard in the most literal sense, since it did define what a sour should look like. The assorted sours come in cherry (red), tangerine (orange), grape (purple), apple (green), and lemon (yellow)

Tangerine: The inside is soft, despite the shell being firm. It chews easily with a slight tartness to it, reminiscent of juice with orange notes. Not full-on tangerine, but tasty.

Grape: The piece is chalked with artificial grape and jelly notes. Though I didn’t mind the flavor, this one in particular was overly sweet, as in so sweet they taste sour, which is completely different from something that is actually sour. By the end it fades into a grape juice that is more flavorful, but you have to survive the initial intensity first.

Apple: This piece is very tart, like Johnny Apple Heads (now called Appleheads I believe). I enjoyed the flavor since it had great tones of apple in it besides the standard tart factor.

Cherry: This is a woodsy cherry of the tartest variety, similar to Cherry Chans (now just Cherryheads). For those of you not familiar with what sort of cherry that is, it’s medicinal like those cough drops you might have confused for hard candy as a kid.

Lemon: This tastes exactly like a Lemonhead, or rather Lemonheads taste exactly like these since these probably debuted first. The flavor is zesty and imbued with citrus, but no acid, as if you were consuming fresh lemon zest. This was the most sour of the bunch, and it was my favorite.

I also discovered that these taste quite good if you mix two flavors at once. Though I had trouble with the grape, pairing it with the lemon or tangerine ameliorated a lot of my complaints.

So is Judson-Atkinson candy as good as Atkinson’s line? For what they do, I say yes. It’s hard to compare something like a sour ball to brittle; you don’t compare gummy bears to chocolate bars. Rather, this is an instance where you evaluate the candy on its own merits and compare it to similar avenues. As far as sours go, these are top of the line, though my heart/stomach still prefers the Atkinson’s product line, which built its empire on a different candy model.

Sours also come in tropical flavors, and we all know that is my kryptonite of candy. As soon as I see them, you can expect a review.

Buy Judson-Atkinson Assorted Sours Online:



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3 Responses to “Retro Candy Flashback: Judson-Atkinson Assorted Sours”

  1. 1
    Shannon says:

    Where do you buy these? I only see the cherry ones and only in bulk…I would love to try the other flavors.

  2. 2
    Robby says:

    You can buy them online at the websites listed in the article. If you’re looking for them in person, I find mine at H.E.B., but that’s a supermarket in Texas so I am not sure who else carries them. Never saw them when I lived in California, so they might be regionally distributed in the southwest/midwest.

  3. 3
    Jenny says:

    Actually, they are two seperate companies… One is Atkinson and the other is Judson-Atkinson. One is in Lufkin, TX and the other is in San Antonio, TX. Owned by the same family but run completely seperate.

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