REVIEW: Brach’s Late Night Taco Truck Jelly Beans

Brach s Late Night Taco Truck Jelly Beans Bag

In 2020 and 2021, Brach’s treated/trolled us with turkey dinner candy corn and most reviews thought they were terrible. (I never tried the 2021 version [thanks supply chain issues], but I know Brach’s got rid of my favorite flavors from 2020, ginger-glazed carrots and sweet potato pie, and kept the worst ones, stuffing and green bean.)

For 2022, the jelly bean brand is treating/trolling us with another bonkers product: Late Night Taco Truck Jelly Beans. It’s an Easter candy that also works for April Fools’ Day.

There are six flavors, so let’s dive in:

Brach s Late Night Taco Truck Jelly Beans Row

  • The margarita, green with no spots, has a strong citrus flavor. As a teetotaler, I have never had a margarita, but I love this jelly bean! Its flavor feels classier than a typical lime or orange candy. 9 out of 10.
  • Churro, brown with white spots, has a faint cinnamon flavor, but I wouldn’t say it’s like a churro. It vaguely tastes like some kind of fried treat, but I wouldn’t guess that if I didn’t know. I still like it, though. 7 out of 10.
  • Salsa, light red with dark red spots, is fascinating. I taste tomatoes! I taste peppers! It has a mild kick, and it really does taste like salsa. It’s not my first choice for a jelly bean flavor, but I also don’t dread it. 6 out of 10.
  • The beef taco flavor looks like a tortilla, off-white with yellow or brown spots. I get a slight beef flavor, but it mostly tastes like taco seasoning. That sounds gross, but it isn’t. 6 out of 10.
  • Guacamole, green with green spots, has a taste that reminds me of Southeast Asian food. I think that’s the cilantro talking. I like cilantro, so I don’t know how this would be for people who think the herb tastes like soap. I detect a mild kick, perhaps onion. It doesn’t really taste like avocado to me, but it’s a perfectly acceptable bean. 7 out of 10.
  • And horchata, white, has a strong cinnamon flavor. It tastes more like a churro than the churro one does. This is not the cinnamon that you’d expect from a red jelly bean, but more like actual ground cinnamon you’d find in horchata. It’s my favorite of the bunch. 9 out of 10.

Brach s Late Night Taco Truck Jelly Beans Pile

I tried to recreate a taco by combining the salsa, guacamole, and beef taco flavors. The salsa dominated. Then I tried all six flavors together, and once again, salsa dominated, with a little more sweetness. This batch is best savored one flavor at a time.

Are there better-tasting jelly bean assortments out there? Absolutely. But none of these flavors are truly gross, and they’re so fun that I can overlook the weirdness.

If your experience with the turkey dinner candy corn scares you away, don’t let it. These jelly beans maintain the novelty but not the repulsiveness.

Purchased Price: $2.99
Size: 12 oz bag
Purchased at: Target
Rating: 8 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (21 pieces) 110 calories, 0 grams of fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 10 milligrams of sodium, 27 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 20 grams of sugar including 20 grams of added sugar, and 0 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Brach’s Turkey Dinner Candy Corn

Brach s Turkey Dinner Candy Corn Bag

What is Brach’s Turkey Dinner Candy Corn?

Somewhere in the world, a withered monkey’s paw has lowered a finger.

Okay, fess up.

Which one of you wished for new candy?

I can only assume that’s how this product came to be because Brach’s has introduced a product no one could have honestly wanted: Turkey Dinner Candy Corn.

How is it?

Brach s Turkey Dinner Candy Corn Poured

Green Beans

It took me a while to put my finger on what these taste like because it’s not like any green bean I’ve ever tasted. Yet, there’s a certain noxious quality that’s familiar. Then it hit me. These taste spoiled. My only explanation is that whoever is responsible for this grew up eating canned green beans that had been boiled to mush and then left on the stovetop for too long.

Roast Turkey

Oh, wow! This really tastes like turkey! That’s a terrible thing for candy to taste like! Everything about this is off-putting. Even the yellow top of the candy corn reminds of the scummy fat that rises to the top of turkey drippings. I applaud the food scientists for managing to nail the flavor of a turkey dinner’s centerpiece, but wish they would use their skills for good rather than evil.

Cranberry Sauce

These taste generically fruity, but lack specific cranberry flavor and tartness. They wouldn’t be out of place in any other assortment of fruity candy, but fail to add to the turkey dinner theme.

Ginger Glazed Carrots

These are delightfully accurate recreations of their namesake. There’s real sweet carrot flavor with a spicy ginger bite. If you don’t like carrots or ginger, you won’t like them, but they’ll be a favorite for glazed carrot fans.

Sweet Potato Pie

These don’t taste anything like sweet potato pie, but they taste exactly like maple syrup. Given some of the other flavors’ awfulness, I’m going to count my blessings, not ask too many questions, and quickly move on.

Stuffing

I had no idea how the folks at Brach’s would replicate a savory side dish in a candy form. And it turns out neither did they because this one just tastes weird. There’s perhaps a toasted bread and herb note, but the sugary sweetness overwhelms any savory characteristic and results in a muddled mess.

Brach s Turkey Dinner Candy Corn Lined Up

Anything else you need to know?

A common trope in old sci-fi is the notion of having an entire meal in pill form, which always seemed odd to me. Who would rather swallow a pill than eat real food? Then, Silicon Valley introduced Soylent to the world because eat was getting in the way of productivity.

So, here’s my theory: some techbro was annoyed at getting yanked out his coding flow state to have Thanksgiving with his family, found a monkey’s paw, and then wished for some festive way to fulfill familial obligations as efficiently as possible.

It’s candy, so it’s fun! It’s also possible to eat by the handful, so it’s also very efficient! All the better for getting back to coding that dystopian facial recognition algorithm as quickly as possible.

Conclusion:

Despite some truly horrific flavors, I must admit I come away impressed by Brach’s ability to offer the full cornucopia of Thanksgiving experiences in one bag. From the disgusting dish your younger cousin brings (Hush, everyone. He tried.) to the unexciting but crowd-pleasing favorites that Grandma faithfully delivers and the standout that everyone looks forward to every year, Brach’s Turkey Dinner Candy Corn replicates the highs and lows of a Thanksgiving with family.

Purchased Price: $2.99
Size: 12 oz bag
Purchased at: Walgreens
Rating: 4 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (15 pieces) 110 calories, 0 grams of fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 75 milligrams of sodium, 28 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 23 grams of sugar including 23 grams added sugar, and 0 gram of protein.

QUICK REVIEW: Brach’s Unicorn Horns and Dragon’s Teeth Candy Corn

Brach's Unicorn Horns Fruity Candy Corn

What are Brach’s Unicorn Horns and Dragon’s Teeth Candy Corn?

Brach’s has joined the unicorn fad with its new Unicorn Horns Fruity Candy Corn, which has five different flavors in pastel colors.

Brach's Dragon's Teeth Candy Corn

Also joining the party is Dragon’s Teeth Candy Corn, which has yellow and brown candies that taste like chocolate, and red and white candies that taste like strawberry.

How are they?

Brach's Unicorn Horns Fruity Candy Corn 2

Let’s start with the Unicorn Horns. Although it says there are five fruity flavors, it doesn’t identify what those flavors are. The yellow and lighter orange are obviously lemon and orange. The darker orange is either mango or melon. The pink might be strawberry? And I assume the purple is grape, but I can’t taste that.

These aren’t plain fruit flavors; they’re more of a fruit and cream. The yellow and both oranges have a satisfying taste, and the yellow is noticeably softer than the other colors. The pink is OK, but I don’t care for the purple. Overall, though, it’s a delightful candy amalgamation, in part for the kitsch factor.

Brach's Dragon's Teeth Candy Corn 2

Now for the Dragon’s Teeth. (It’s just one dragon, apparently.) The chocolate ones taste the same as the Harvest Corn (formerly known as Indian Corn). The strawberry ones have a decidedly artificial flavor; I would have guessed it was cherry. Unlike the Unicorn Horns, there is no creaminess to it. It’s an OK combination.

Is there anything else I need to know?

The Unicorn Horns have a disclaimer that “no unicorns were harmed in the making of this product.” There is no such disclaimer for the Dragon’s Teeth. So I’m guessing Brach’s actually had to slay the dragon.

Conclusion:

I liked Brach’s Unicorn Horns more than I expected. They remind me of the Starburst Candy Corn from a few years ago. But you can take a pass on the Dragon’s Teeth.

Purchased Price: $1.69 each
Size: 9 oz. bags
Purchased at: Smith’s (Kroger)
Rating: 7 out of 10 (Unicorn Horns)
Rating: 5 out of 10 (Dragon’s Teeth)
Nutrition Facts: (15 pieces) Unicorn Horns – 110 calories, 0 grams of fat, 60 milligrams of sodium, 28 grams of carbohydrates, 23 grams of sugar (including 23 grams of added sugars), and 0 grams of protein. Dragon’s Teeth – 110 calories, 0 grams of fat, 60 milligrams of sodium, 28 grams of carbohydrates, 21 grams of sugar (including 21 grams of added sugars), and 0 grams of protein.

QUICK REVIEW: Brach’s Mini Candy Corn & Chocolate Peanuts

Brach s Mini Candy Corn  Chocolate Peanuts

What is it?

Brach’s has paired the mini version of its classic candy corn with sea salt peanuts coated in chocolate. That’s it.

How is it?

Brach s Mini Candy Corn  Chocolate Peanuts 5

I’ve often thought Brach’s has the best flavor and texture of candy corn, even though it’s not as cute as, say, Jelly Belly’s version. These mini corns are proportionally smaller, with the length being about 75 percent of the original. They are about as good as plain candy corn can be.

Brach s Mini Candy Corn  Chocolate Peanuts 4

The chocolate-covered peanuts are a tasty candy. The sea salt is a welcome addition to the current sweet-and-salty fad. The chocolate isn’t bad, but it’s obviously from a company that doesn’t focus on chocolate.

Brach s Mini Candy Corn  Chocolate Peanuts 3

The two components are fine as they are. But when you eat them at the same time, some kind of autumnal magic creates a wonderful treat that is better than either element on its own. It reminds me of a (somewhat inferior) Snickers or Baby Ruth, with the candy corn taking the place of the caramel and nougat. If they sold these in bar form, I would totally buy it. The peanuts and salt balance out the overly sweet nature of candy corn, and the chocolate bridges the gap.

Is there anything else I need to know?

I wondered if there was a magic ratio of peanuts to candy corn that made these taste the best, but I haven’t found it. It’s all good.

Brach s Mini Candy Corn  Chocolate Peanuts 2

Also, candy corn is supposed to look like harvest-time maize, but if they wanted to make it into a gross-out Halloween candy, they could make it look like the corns on your feet.

Conclusion:

I doubt this mix will convert any candy corn haters, but for those of us who enjoy (or at least tolerate) the fall standby, this is a delightful upgrade.

Purchased Price: $1.98
Size: 13 oz. bag
Purchased at: Walmart
Rating: 7 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1/6 cup) 130 calories, 5 grams of fat, 2 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 110 milligrams of sodium, 20 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 17 grams of sugar (including 16 grams of added sugar), and 2 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Brach’s Fruit Cake Nougats

Brach s Fruit Cake Nougats

In many European folk tales, a family discovers that their child has been replaced with a changeling, a hideous, ill-tempered fairy baby.

I think Brach’s has a changeling on its hands.

I have always loved their Christmas Nougats: wonderful white peppermint, gorgeous green wintergreen, and pretty pink cinnamon.

Brach s Fruit Cake Nougats 2

But the new member of the family, Brach’s Fruit Cake Nougat, is nothing like its siblings. It’s brown. And it doesn’t have the festive tree in the middle—just a few fruity globs that are drab when mixed in with the brown.

When I open up the bag, I get a whiff that is vaguely reminiscent of baked goods. But not grandmotherly baked goods. I never lived in a fraternity, but I imagine this is what a baked good in a frat house smells like.

Brach s Fruit Cake Nougats 3

The flavor has that same off-putting baked-good vibe to it. Sometimes I detect a nuttiness. But mixed in with the baked good is a strong flavor of Fruity Pebbles. I like Fruity Pebbles, but not combined with whatever that other flavor is. Even once I’ve finished, the flavor lingers in my mouth.

Brach s Fruit Cake Nougats 4

I find it perplexing that they decided to go with a fruitcake flavor. I’ve always felt that fruitcake jokes are more common than fruitcakes themselves. I even had to buy a fruitcake as a point of reference, because I haven’t had them enough to remember what they taste like.

In addition to the gummy, fruity bits, Brach’s uses real cranberries and raisins. Props to them for trying to make it like an authentic fruitcake. I guess. These candies don’t taste like the fruitcake I got; the fruitcake actually tastes better.

I can’t help but wonder who is really going to buy this —- and then who is really going to like it. They had so many other holiday flavors to choose from. Spearmint, gingerbread, sugar cookie, eggnog, cranberry orange, hot cocoa -— not all of those would be good as nougat, but most of them would be better than fruitcake.

In many of those European folk tales, the family would throw the changeling into the fire. It would escape out the chimney, and their own child would be restored to them.

Brach’s should treat their Fruit Cake Nougat the way any sensible person would —- kill it with fire!

Then maybe we’d get to see a lovely Christmas Nougat baby that actually belongs in the family. Spearmint, perhaps?

(Nutrition Facts – 4 pieces – 130 calories, 2 grams of fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 35 milligrams of sodium, 27 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of dietary fiber, 21 grams of sugar (including 17 grams of added sugars), and 0 grams of protein.)

Purchased Price: $2.99
Size: 9.5 oz. bag
Purchased at: Walgreens (exclusive flavor)
Rating: 3 out of 10
Pros: Uses actual cranberries and raisins. Has a Fruity Pebbles taste.
Cons: Tastes like baked goods from a frat house. Lingering flavor. As hideous as a changeling. Inferior to the other Christmas Nougats.