Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Reviews of Fruit Candies

I have a problem: I love fruit candies. Ever since I was a kid, I've had a thing for them, I think for several reasons: 1) They're the most artificial food possible. There is literally nothing real about them. They look like plastic, they feel more or less like plastic, they're perfectly consistent -- no variation at all, which is a real issue for me in food -- and they look nothing like fruit, taste nothing like fruit, and yet claim to be fruit-flavored. 2) They come in variety packs. You get a bag of chocolates, they are very likely to be a bunch of the same exact chocolate. That sucks. I want like four flavors at least. 3) I briefly served as the leader of a religion based on the worship of Starbursts. That's... maybe another post. Here are my thoughts on some fruit candies:

Sour Punch Straws

Oh man. Listen. These things. They are delicious and sour. You have to make sure to get them soft -- genuinely squeeze them in the store to check if they're stale -- but if you're lucky these are just transcendent. The strawberry is probably going to be your favorite unless you're genuinely into sour candy, which I am. In which case, go green apple: I literally ate like a case of these in three weeks the summer before I met Tracy. (I was ludicrously depressed and they were cheap that way at Sam's. But let's be honest, I'd do the same thing now if I thought she would let me.)

Twizzlers Cherry

Pure garbage. I hate these things. They're stiff, they're too chewy, and the flavor is about two rungs above cough syrup. Bleck. Pull and Peel Twizzlers were better, at least when you could get them in other flavors -- I was fond of the mixed berry -- but they killed that shit and now it's just cherry Pull and Peel, too. Which, again, sucks viciously. ... Okay so I just Googled these and it turns out I'm thinking of strawberry Twizzlers. This is one of those surprisingly common situations where being totally wrong only makes me more right: Jesus Christ, that is a terrible strawberry candy.

Twizzlers Rainbow

Okay, much, much better: these are soft (again, squeeze them to be sure), they have a wide variety of flavors (strawberry, orange, lemonade, watermelon, blue raspberry, grape -- watermelon, orange, and grape are by far the best), and the flavors have a sort of low-key subtlety I really appreciate. They're not too sweet, not too anything -- just pleasant. Well-crafted. Like an early Michael Chabon story. I'm eating these now. They're a real standby.

Twizzlers with the Stuff Inside

I don't remember what these are called but they're pretty exciting. You only get two flavors -- cherry and lemon, which you would think wouldn't work out that well because as we've established cherry is not Twizzlers' strength and lemon is always the weakest flavor (which bank is lobbying them to put it in everything?) but think cherry lemonade. These are a slightly more waxy style of Twizzler, but still soft (CHECK THAT THEY ARE SOFT) and, surprise!, filled with a delicious tart gummy filling. These candies are, when I'm drunk, usually the best thing that happens to my mouth.


These are the "intense" fruit chew. They're all sort of sour, there are a bunch of delicious flavors, it's hard to describe exactly how they differ from Starbursts except that they're a completely different thing. They can be especially good if you let them warm up a little and get kind of gooey in the car. I remember Tracy and I bought a bag of these and ate a bunch of them together in the Butler parking lot once when I was in a bad way. Sick? Sad? I don't remember.

Beer Bread Gummies

This is in non-fruit, imaginary gummy that I invented. It's like a tiny piece of toast, except instead it's a gummy, but it tastes like bread. And it's filled with sweetened wheat beer that busts out like a gusher when you bite it, and it's delicious.


  1. i love airheads, even the mystery white one that sometimes tastes like pine-sol. we should talk about candy sometime, mike. i am a candy FREAK, although lately i've been eating this german chocolate that i started eating at my friend's apartment during AWP. the brand is ritter, and it is transcendent.

    i'll eat any kind of candy, basically. i'm partial to hot tamales, starbursts, anything hershey's (especially almonds, and don't EVEN get me started on hershey's nuggets with almond). salt water taffy is one of my main jams. i'll even eat mary janes, old now & laters, and those HUGE sweettarts that cut a whole in your cheek. any candy at all, pretty much, aside from licorice (but i will eat good & plenty)....i will eat it. i get this from my dad who had the biggest sweet tooth of anyone i have ever met , hands down. he was a true candyfreak.

  2. 1) Beer bread gummies: let's make em, let's eat em.

    2) I spent the first part of this post wondering if you'd write about Airheads. I spent part of my childhood hanging around with a kid who fetishized (and stole from the local gas station) Airheads, including the mystery white-wrappered flavor Carrie mentions.

    3) Chuckles: I remember these fruit-flavored jelly candies pretty favorably; as I recall, they were tasty and dissolved fast on the tongue. Also, my journalism teacher told me if he was a serial killer, he would stuff one under every victim's tongue, so each of them died with a chuckle in his or her mouth.

  3. Carrie - CANDY! Candy. I think I mainly like extremely fake foods.

    Tim - Tracy says your teacher *was* a serial killer. And I agree.

  4. I've always liked fruity candy more than chocolaty candy too (I say chocolaty because cheap "chocolate" candy is technically not even real chocolate anymore, I'm pretty sure). Starburst rule. I also love Skittles and anything sour and gummi ("Surf Sweets" makes a good all-natural gummi bear, if you're looking for something vaguely healthful).

    I've always hated Twizzlers. They're so bland. Red Vines are way better, but it's even harder to find fresh/soft ones. Anyway Twizzlers and most other licorice are off limits for me now because they contain wheat flour (gross). So I'd have to pass on the beer bread too.