REVIEW: Jelly Belly Krispy Kreme Doughnut Jelly Beans

Jelly Belly Krispy Kreme Doughnut Jelly Beans

I once e-mailed Jelly Belly about making an Advil flavored jelly bean.

You know that sugary coating the orange Advils have for three seconds? That.

Needless to say, they never got back to me. Apparently dirt and dog food are acceptable flavors, but nooooo, not Advil.

I guess I just figured the innovators over at Jelly Belly might be open to some outside ideas. Then again, I found out they were hard at work mimicking Krispy Kreme donuts and I immediately let it slide.

Krispy Kreme is a treat. I don’t have one nearby so I envy anyone who can stop in and pick up a dozen whenever they want. I usually have to wait until I hop a train to NYC to get my fix, but they’ve never let me down. Now you’re telling me they’re teaming up with “THE original gourmet jelly bean?” I’m in.

Jelly Belly Krispy Kreme Doughnut Jelly Beans 2

Here are my quick reviews of the five flavors included in the Jelly Belly-Krispy Kreme mix:

Cinnamon Apple Filled – Beige with brown – These tasted like apple pie. The taste starts as a normal sweet apple Jelly Belly, but is soon met with a dulling cinnamon flavor.

Strawberry Iced – Pink with a little sheen – These tasted just like strawberry cake icing. Unlike a normal strawberry flavor, it’s not very acidic or fruity.

Glazed Blueberry Cake – Basically a darker shade of the Cinnamon Apple – These tasted like a complex blueberry muffin. I got “baked goods” in this more than the others. They were definitely the “donutiest,” which is absolutely a word. Don’t bother looking it up.

Chocolate Iced with Sprinkles – Brown with a few sprinkle dots – These tasted like what I recall Chocolate Pudding Jelly Belly beans tasting like. I might actually say they were “Fudgsicle” flavored.

And now, it’s time for the Krispy Kreme staple. The bean you’ve all been waiting for:

Original Glazed – Color and sheen match the donut – These were really disappointing. Wow. I just didn’t get much here. I realize glaze is essentially just sugar, but that’s all I tasted – sugar. Maybe they slipped some Advil beans in for me instead? I didn’t really find them distinctly Krispy Kreme donut. I wanted to be immediately reminded of a hot conveyer belt glazed, but I got more of a toasted marshmallow vibe. I feel like I’m wrong, but I gotta trust my buds. What did I miss?

My Ranking:

Glazed Blueberry Cake

Strawberry Iced

Chocolate Iced with Sprinkles

Cinnamon Apple Filled

Original Glazed

I can’t believe it.

Despite my clamoring for the sugary Advil, this mix got cloying in time. I appreciate the larger Jelly Belly variety boxes because you can counter flavors like this with say a citrusy fruit flavor. You need that balance if you wanna consume mass beanage – which is also absolutely a word.

Jelly Belly Krispy Kreme Doughnut Jelly Beans 3

As far as the “donut” of it all, I popped all five at once and found that brought a lot of the pastry effect out.

You might wanna wait to see if these break into the bigger mixes before dropping $5 on this box.

(Nutrition Facts – 27 Beans – 110 calories, 0 grams of fat, 20 milligrams of sodium, 27 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 20 grams of sugar (+20g added sugars), and 0 grams of protein.)

Purchased Price: $5.00
Size: 4.25 oz.
Purchased at: Five Below
Rating: 6 out of 10
Pros: Some cool new flavors to add to the roster. Blueberry was really good. Unless they say “Bertie Bott’s,” Jelly Belly never really disappoints. Delicious Advil coating.
Cons: The baffling Glazed flavor making me question my taste buds. Lack of fresh glazed donut flavor. I prefer a Jelly Belly mix with a little more variety. No Krispy Kreme near my house. A little pricy.

REVIEW: Cough Drop Kit Kat (Japan)

Cough Drop Kit Kat

If I ever need a cough drop to soothe my throat because I cheered loudly when my favorite team scored a touchdown/run/goal/basket/eight-ender or because I screamed, “WHAAAAAT!?” after learning about a cough drop-flavored candy bar, the Cough Drop Kit Kat will not be of any help.

The odd, new confection from Japan is called Kit Kat Nodo Ame Aji, which translates to Kit Kat Cough Drop Flavor. The candy gets its lozengeness from ground cough drop powder that’s been added to the white chocolate.

As you can see below, the pack I bought from eBay didn’t do well during its two-week inter-Pacific trek from Japan. The iconic Kit Kat fingers are almost indistinguishable and the white chocolate looks as if it was melted throughout most of its journey. While it looks like congealed bacon grease logs, the white chocolate has a pleasant peppermint-like aroma. But once I broke off a piece of that Kit Kat bar, an odd stale aroma made its way up my nose, which worried me.

Cough Drop Kit Kat 2

The candy tastes like a generic menthol cough drop, and at times it reminds me of a York Peppermint Pattie, but it’s mild. There’s even a slight cooling sensation, which brought a “Holy crap! That’s awesome!” smile to my face. It’s not even close to being nostril clearing or throat soothing as an actual cough drop, so I’m 99.9 percent sure it won’t help after being hoarse from cheering on an eight-ender.

But while tasting it, I began to wonder if being locked up for thousands of miles on a boat affected its flavor because there were brief moments when my taste buds noticed a harsh flavor that I’ve only experienced when accidentally biting into stale foods. (It happens to me more than you’d think. I don’t read IKEA instructions or check my foods to see if they’re stale.) But I can’t help but think it’s part of the cough drop flavor, because, you know, Japan.

If the Kit Kat had a menthol flavor with a cooling sensation, I’d be into that kinky culinary combo, but that stale flavor, even though it’s very mild and fleeting, gives me pause.

Having tried dozens of odd Japanese Kit Kat flavors, like wasabi, soy sauce, butter, and ginger, I have to say Kit Kat Nodo Ame Aji is the least pleasing Japanese Kit Kat I’ve ever tasted.

(Nutrition Facts – 1 bar – 65 kcal, 0.41 grams of protein, 3.7 grams of fat, 7.4 grams of carbohydrates, and 2-7 milligrams of sodium.)

Purchased Price: $5.99*
Size: 3-pack
Purchased at: eBay
Rating: 5 out of 10
Pros: Another weird Kit Kat flavor from Japan. At times, it tastes like a York Peppermint Pattie. Cooling sensation is neat.
Cons: Weird stale flavor. Sending chocolate via slow mail.

*Bought it on eBay from a seller in Japan. It costs much less in the store.

REVIEW: White Pumpkin Pie M&M’s

White Pumpkin Pie M M s

These White Pumpkin Pie M&M’s are simply white chocolate with a pumpkin pie flavor. But it got me thinking that a pumpkin pie engulfed in hardened white chocolate would actually be an epic holiday dessert. If you make this, you’re officially invited to my family Thanksgiving.

These M&M’s are your standard specialty M&M’s, slightly larger in size and featuring several different colors. (Side note: Is it me or do M&M’s and Oreo seem to be in a competition for who can create the most flavors? I’m certainly not mad about it. Let’s get Mars and Nabisco in on this, stat.)

White Pumpkin Pie M M s 2

I LOVE all things pumpkin, so I was super PUMPed (see what I did there?) to try these guys. I had my hesitations, of course, because oftentimes I find that food supposedly flavored as pumpkin really just tastes like “fall” (nutmeg, spices, etc.) and not really pumpkin itself. Beer is the perfect example of that. More spice and less pumpkin.

I’m super happy to report that the White Pumpkin Pie M&M’s DO in fact taste like pumpkin pie. But boy, are they sweet. Not in a bad way, just in a “You better be ready for dessert way.” The sweetness becomes more prevalent as you go, and there’s also a nice cinnamon aftertaste to them. I could only eat a small handful each time I opened the bag.

White Pumpkin Pie M M s 3

When I bit into one for a cross-section photo, that’s when I could see the inside looks like white chocolate, which is the first ingredient listed on the bag. (Above anything pumpkin, please note.) Now I’m wondering what white chocolate flavor M&M’s comes up with next…

Anyway, I did like these a lot. So much so that when my husband tried to hijack the bag to take to a work meeting, I immediately stopped him because I enjoyed them so much and wanted the bag for myself. (First rule of marriage: Let your wife have all the candy!) They’re a good fall treat and good for grabbing a quick handful as I enjoy my morning coffee. Now, who’s up for a Pumpkin Beer and White Pumpkin Pie M&M’s tasting?

(Nutrition Facts – 1.5 oz – 210 calories, 11 grams of fat, 6 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 5 milligrams of cholesterol, 40 milligrams of sodium, 29 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 28 grams of sugar, 2 grams of protein.)

Purchased Price: $3.49
Size: 8 oz. bag
Purchased at: Target
Rating: 8 out of 10
Pros: Tasty pumpkin flavor, perfect fall treat.
Cons: Too sweet for more than a handful. Should have added “Chocolate” in the product title.

QUICK REVIEW: Brach’s Chocolate Mint Cookie Candy Corn

Brach s Chocolate Mint Cookie Candy Corn

Never in my life have I seen a cookie that looks like what’s on the package of this Walgreens-exclusive Brach’s Chocolate Mint Cookie Candy Corn. I’m pretty sure they designed the candy corn first and then invented a cookie that looked like it.

But they could have saved themselves the trouble of inventing new cookies if they just called it “Chocolate Mint Candy Corn.” There is nothing particularly “cookie” about it, and chocolate mint is novel enough as it is.

When I open up the bag, I get a strong whiff of Shamrock Shake. If blindfolded, I might think I was at McDonald’s six months ago instead of in my work’s break room at the cusp of fall.

Brach s Chocolate Mint Cookie Candy Corn 3

The white tip tastes like ordinary candy corn. The green center is vaguely spearmint, but not as overpowering as those green starlight mints they sell at the gas station. I thought the chocolate end would taste like Brach’s perennial Indian corn; it doesn’t, but that might be because the mint has infiltrated everything. Altogether, the candies have a fake chocolate, fake mint flavor to them.

I have to admit my biases: I like candy corn. I like mint. And I like fake chocolate flavors. Therefore, I find these decent. But I suspect many consumers will find them unappetizing.

Brach s Chocolate Mint Cookie Candy Corn 2

They taste like watery instant mint hot chocolate – you know, made with water instead of milk and not nearly enough powder. But if you want something decadent, you’re not going to be looking at candy corn anyway.

The concept of this candy is really weird. Some weird things are disgusting. Some weird things are awesome. But this particular weird thing falls somewhere in between.

Purchased Price: $3.49
Size: 15 oz. bag
Purchased at: Walgreens (Exclusive Flavor)
Rating: 6 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (15 pieces) 110 calories, 0 grams of fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 60 milligrams of sodium, 28 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of dietary fiber, 22 grams of sugar, and 0 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Sweet Heat Skittles and Sweet Heat Starburst

Sweet Heat Skittles and Sweet Heat Starburst

Will “Sweet and Spicy” become the hot new snack trend? Brands have already had success in the “Sweet and Sour” and “Sweet and Salty” lanes, so why not give this a go? I mean, “Sweet and Spicy” isn’t exactly breaking new ground, but as far as the snack world goes we’ve been pretty limited, especially with candy.

So, are you guys as excited about new Sweet Heat Skittles and Starburst as I am?

Why wouldn’t you be? These are two candies that almost never disappoint, and foods flat out taste better when they rhyme. (Not fact checked.)

I don’t think I need to describe the textures of either candy, so I’m gonna jump right in and rapid fire through the varieties.

The Starburst have the color scheme of an original pack, while the Skittles have a pastel tint that reminded me of the “Smoothie Mix” a bit, and made for some color/flavor confusion.

Let me say that the heat is there on all of ‘em. It’s a slow burn. You can taste the fruit first and as you chew it kicks in. There aren’t different intensities. It’s not like some are mixed with certain peppers. With some, the full fruitiness came prior to the burn, while others blossomed after the spicy burst. But that could have been due to the lingering heat already in my mouth.

Sweet Heat Skittles

Skittles:

(Ranked by order of preference.)

Fiery Watermelon – Color is almost the same as Strawberry so I initially thought I didn’t get any in the bag. The delicious watermelon flavor here stuck out the most over the burn.

Flamin’ Orange – Tasted like standard orange Skittles, but spicy. No complaints.

Lemon Spark – These are regular lemon Skittles with heat. It’s great.

Sizzlin’ Strawberry – Ever have those half-mint/half-strawberry Ice Breakers? These had a similar artificial strawberry taste. I ate this first and realized they tasted better when I revisited them later. The fake strawberry didn’t hit as hard and thus didn’t taste as phony.*

Blazin’ Mango – Started hot and finished strong with mango, which I don’t really like. Not a huge mango guy.

Sweet Heat Starburst

Starburst:

Skittles are basically little bits of Starburst with a candy shell, so there isn’t that big a difference flavor-wise between the brands, obviously. Since Starbursts take longer to chew, I would say the heat is a tad more prominent here.

Sweet Heat Starburst 2

Flamin’ Orange – Tasted like a normal orange Starburst dipped in flavorless mild sauce. Excellent.

Fiery Watermelon – The best Skittle, so why would it be any different here? Well, it did have a bit of a cough drop vibe to it in this form. Still quite good.

Strawberry Mango – Neither fruit stood out. I don’t even think they mixed well, but again I’m not a mango guy. That Halls menthol cough drop sensation was here more so than the watermelon.

Pipin’ Pineapple – This had an intense, not quite ripe pineapple flavor. I thought it would work best with the heat, but it didn’t. It had a pretty awful aftertaste that the spiciness couldn’t even cover up.

In the end, they’re not excessively spicy. They’re not even Warheads candy-level, or Flamin’ Hot Cheetos, but there’s still a nice kick. It smolders for about ten minutes. If I could compare the level of spiciness to anything, it’s like you had something with hot sauce about an hour ago and your mouth is starting to get back to normal.

Some people will complain they aren’t hot enough, but I think they managed to get the heat level right. These are candies after all.

*I actually think the flavors improved slightly on the second go around. Once my mouth had settled on the kick, the fruit popped a bit more. I guess it takes time for the heat to open up the taste buds.

Sweet Heat Skittles and Sweet Heat Starburst 2

There are better varieties of each on the market, and I can’t even think of a time I’d want to eat these again, but they’re both good. If I had to pick, I’d say I prefer the Skittles.

(Nutrition Facts – 1 package – Skittles – 210 calories, 20 calories from fat, 2 grams of fat, 2 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 10 milligrams of sodium, 47 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 38 grams of sugar, and 0 grams of protein. Starburst – 240 calories, 40 calories from fat, 5 grams of fat, 4.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 0 milligrams of sodium, 49 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 33 grams of sugar, and 0 grams of protein.)

Purchased Price: $1.00 each
Size:
Purchased at: Walgreens
Rating: 8 out of 10 (Skittles)
Rating: 7 out of 10 (Starburst)
Pros: Creative. Not hot enough to ruin your day. Mostly tasty flavors. Starburst and Skittles having a near flawless record.
Cons: When the heck am I supposed to eat these over other variants? May not be as hot as some would hope. Cough drop taste. Shaky Strawberry flavor. Pineapple Starbursts were bad. Skittle color confusion. Not sure the sweet and spicy candy trend will have legs.