I remember that when I first lived in New Zealand I was always experiencing cultural differences that the native Kiwis failed to comprehend about American culture. I mean, they didnâ€™t eat staples like peanut butter and questioned the point of ketchup.
But by far the one thing that drove my Kiwi friends bonkers was my love for cherry. I adore it – ice cream, candy, sodaâ€¦ you name it and cherry makes it better. For some unknown reason, cherry just wasnâ€™t popular down there.
Well, itâ€™s a good thing then that my friends didnâ€™t attend the All Candy Expo and amble by the Gimbalâ€™s Fine Candy booth. Gimbalâ€™s is an interesting small candy manufacturer. They produce a variety of products from jelly beans to Lavaballs, with their factory being certified Kosher and gluten, nut, dairy, egg, soy, gelatin, and transfat free (not all of these products are vegan since some contain beeâ€™s wax).
But of all their products, the one that blew me away the most was their Cherry Lovers. Cherry Lovers is a bag of heart-shaped chews consisting of nine different flavors of cherry. Thatâ€™s right, nine! Think thatâ€™s impossible? See for yourself….
Wild Cherry: Thereâ€™s a nice cherry flavor, reminiscent of the cherry piece in the original Starburst. The flavor is soft without the acid like cherry juice.
Cherry Vanilla: I never really care for vanilla, especially as a flavor in fruit chews, but I did enjoy this one immensely. The vanilla is subtle, expressing itself like it does in cream soda, meshing harmoniously with the subdued cherry.
Chocolate Cherry: I was apprehensive about this flavor, but thought I might be surprised as I was with the vanilla piece; unfortunately, that didn’t happen. The chocolate taste is mockolate, making me feel the only thing chocolate about it is the use of cocoa. The cherry taste is also quite muted. This was my least favorite.
Cherry Cheesecake: This one is kind of like the cheesecake Jelly Belly piece. Itâ€™s completely artificial in terms of resembling the actual flavor of cheesecake, but tasty in the way cheesecake ice cream is, despite the fact it too tastes nothing like cheesecake.
Cherry Daiquiri: Thereâ€™s a little sour/sweetness to it, but it only resembles the flavor of a daiquiri is in the sense of the sugary intensity, lacking the rum component to transform it to anything more than just a syrup. Still tasty, though.
Kiwi Cherry: Perhaps one of Gimbalâ€™s workers is from New Zealand, and this flavor was invented as an olive branch to get him to like cherry. The kiwi flavor is minute and so is cherry. The taste is more floral – a nice presentation of ideas of fruit with a light presence on your tongue, but no citrus, acid, or other bold flavors to make you think of any specific fruit.
So all in all, I enjoyed eight out of nine of these, with most of those being absolutely delicious. I was given a giant bag and they were all consumed within the hour. They’re also loaded with vitamin C, so I could at least pretend they were somewhat good for me. Iâ€™m not sure how a person who dislikes cherry would react, but, at least for me, this candy is just ridiculously scrumptious, and I wish I had more.