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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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.

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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.

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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.