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Candy Review: Pucker Pieces Gourmet Candy Tarts

Categories: Candy,Candy Reviews,Hard Candy,New Candy


Pucker Pieces

The compressed dextrose candy has long been a staple item of childhood candy diets. Never heard of it? You probably know it better as SweeTarts, Runts, and dozens more – that hard, yet powdery, melt-in-your mouth candy with the tangy flavor and slight cooling effect.

With Pucker Pieces Gourmet Candy Tarts, Creative Concepts Inc. (best known for its Pucker Powder powdered candy dispensers) seems to be trying to do for the compressed dextrose candy what Jelly Belly did for the jelly bean: use unique flavors and creative marketing to “gourmet-ify” it, transforming it into something that will appeal to adults as well as kids. Like Jelly Bellies, Pucker Pieces are displayed in bulk dispensers, allowing for the creation of custom flavor mixes.

If you know how compressed dextrose candies are made, it seems like a total no-brainer for a company that specializes in a powdered dextrose candy like Pucker Powder to move to hard tabs: just like the name implies, a powder made from dextrose (a type of sugar) and other ingredients is pressed into molds at super-high pressure, forming it into hard, yet still powdery, candy treats. (Pills are made the same way.) It seems like it would be a very simple matter to press straight-up Pucker Powder (or something very similar) into a more portable, less messy version of Creative Concepts’ flagship product.

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Candy Review: Brach’s A&W Root Beer Barrels

Categories: Candy,Candy Reviews,Hard Candy


Brach’s Root Beer Barrels

As I have mentioned before, many of my candy proclivities that I have carried since childhood are a direct result of the candy my dad enjoyed. For example, my father would stop at a drug store to buy some motor oil while I remained in the car playing Game Boy. When he returned, there would be a half-eaten bag of Twizzlers in his hands for me to share (it’s the only way to explain my adoration for the waxy confection).

But sadly, not all of the candy he favored became staples of my candy lineup. His affinities for Crows and Jujubes confounded me. But the one flavor obsession that my older brother inherited from him and I never did was root beer.

It seemed whenever root beet was invited to the party, I was the third wheel. My dad and brother would go out from root beer floats, grab root beers and chili burgers, and even debate which variety was the most superior. It drove me nuts that they could stomach that junk!

So while my father was visiting for Christmas and I was giving him a restaurant tour of Austin, we hopped into The Korean House for dinner (one of the few restaurants open for Christmas Eve). After having a yummy basket of Yasai Tempura, the waiter left our table a handful of A&W Root Beer Barrels.

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Candy Review: Jelly Belly Soda Pop Shoppe

Categories: Candy,Candy Beverages,Candy Reviews,Soft Candy


JellyBelly Soda Pop Shoppe

Jelly Belly has teamed up with several soda brands to create a new line of soda pop flavored Jelly Beans. These are fairly new, and I picked some of them up at the Philly Candy Show I went to a while back, but they should be available in stores now. I’ve always been a huge fan of soda, not necessarily the ones in this mix, but as a lover pretty much anything carbonated and flavored, I present to you my review.

The soda brands represented here are: Orange Crush, A&W Root Beer, Dr. Pepper, 7Up, A&W Cream Soda, and Grape Crush. They come in both a 3.5 mixed variety bag, or by the individual flavor in miniature bottle-shaped containers (seen above), as well as some other sizes too.

How do they taste? Pretty spot on, with the exception of the A&W Cream Soda:

  • Grape Crush: My favorite out of the whole batch is the Grape Crush, which is weird because I don’t really like Grape Soda. It always feels like it is rotting my teeth as soon as I take a sip, a feeling I oddly don’t get when shoving Jelly Beans in my mouth. It also reminds me of Grape Bubblicious.
  • Orange Crush: tastes like a super-sweet tangerine… really good.
  • Dr. Pepper: tastes slightly fruitier than the drink. I can’t nail it down, but it’s something like cherry or strawberry.Still good though.
  • 7UP: tastes much sweeter and more lime than the drink, but still very close to the drink. My package seems to be predominately 7UP for some reason.
  • A&W Cream Soda: tastes like… practically nothing. Well, maybe nothing mixed with a tiny bit of vanilla mixed in. Maybe they forgot to add the flavor to my pack, but they really just taste like nothing.

Overall, these are pretty good, and fairly accurate, except for the Cream Soda. If you’re a fan of soft drinks, pick some of these up and give chewing some soda a try.

Buy Jelly Belly Soda Pop Shoppe Online:


Review: Haribo Gummi Root Beer Barrels

Categories: Candy,Candy Reviews,Gummi/Gummy Candy,New Candy


Gummi Root Beer Barrels

I first wrote about the new Gummi Root Beer Barrels about two weeks ago and the folks at Haribo were kind enough to send me some samples to try. I only got five pieces and they weren’t even in real packaging yet.

I really like the flavor of root beer, both in liquid (believe it or not, I’m drinking a Frostie Root Beer as I write this) and the classic Root Beer Barrel candy, so I was really excited to try these. The gummi root beer barrels have a fun barrel shape, but are flat and are a good size – maybe twice as big as a standard gummi bear. I was hoping for a good strong root beer taste, but the root beer taste is overwhelmed by a lemony taste. To me, root beer has NO lemony taste, so that confused me a bit. I was really hoping for the root beer equivalent of Gummi Cola Bottles, but I was disapointed.

Having said all of this though, they’re still pretty good, they’re just not “rootbeery” enough for my tastes. I would still recommend buying these if/when you see them in stores, just realize they don’t have the powerful root beer taste you might expect.

candy, sweets, rootbeer, root beer, gummi, gummy, haribo


Cola Flavored Candy

Categories: Candy,Candy Beverages,Classic and Retro Candy,Foreign (non-US) Candy,Gum,Gummi/Gummy Candy,Hard Candy,Lollipops,PEZ Candy,Soft Candy



Haribo Gummi Cola

I went to the World market today and my wife convinced me to pick up some Haribo Gummi Cola Bottles. I haven’t had them in ages and I forgot how good they are. That got me thinking about cola/soda flavored candies. I LOVE the cola and root beer flavored Bottlecaps. I recently tried Cola Shigeki and they were pretty good. I haven’t ever had a cola-flavored candy I didn’t like. Why don’t more companies make cola flavored candy? Am I in a small minority of people that likes the flavor?

Let’s see if we can list all the cola-flavored candies from the past and present….

Last update: February 2, 2011

What did I miss? I’ll update this list as people add comments with more ideas.


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