Saturday, January 02, 2010

The Best, The Worst and the Most Beautiful Candy of 2009

(L.A. Burdick's adorable Chocolate Mice)

In 2009, I tried some candy that was new on the market and some that has been in existence for decades. Some of my taste tests were outstanding, some were terrible, most were average. Here's a list of what I tried, in alphabetical order: (if you want to skip this, scroll down to read the Best Of)

Adam’s Sour Cherry Gum

American Heritage Chocolate

Anette's Chocolates "Winter Cabernet" chocolate truffle bar

Atkinson’s Coconut Longboy

British candy bars: Smart Alecs, Aero, Double Decker Bounty, Milky Bar, Lion, Lee's Chocolate Mint and Galaxy Caramel

Cadbury Picnic

Cherry Lemonade LifeSavers

Chewy Lemonhead & Friends

Choceur White Chocolate Almond Clusters

Chocolate-covered candy corn

Chocri (create-your-own candy bar)

Coconut Pocky

Cottage Delight Truffles

Cranberry Raisinets

Dove Caramel Promises

Dove Peppermint Bark Promises

Economy Candy’s line of candy bars

Fruitips Fruit Pastilles

Funley’s Stix in the Mud

Giant gummi bear

Goetze’s Strawberri Cream Bullseyes

Good & Fruity

Guinness Chocolate Truffle Bar

Gummy Candy Corns

Haribou Alphabet Letters

Hershey’s Thingamajig

Hughe’s Home Maid Chocolates

King Leo Puffs, Sticks and Patties

Kohler Truffles

L.A. Burdick’s

Lindt Excellence Touch of Sea Salt Chocolate

Lindt Raisin & Nuts

Lindt Straccitella

Lollyphile White Russian lollipops

M&Ms Premiums

Meiji Chocorooms

Mike & Ike Italian Ice

Necco Orange Crème Thin Mints

Neuhaus truffles

Now and Later Soft

Orbit gums

Organic Milk Chocolate with Macadamia Nuts and Hawaiian Pink Sea Salt

Pralines By Leon


Q Bel


Raspberry and Cherry 3 Musketeers

Reese’s Dark

Russell Stover Coconut Cream Santa

Seattle Chocolates Cappuccino Crunch

See’s Chocolates

Skittles Crazy Cores

Sweethearts Twilight

Trader Joe’s Blueberry Blast

Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate Pomegranate Seeds

Trader Joe’s PB & J bar

Trident Layers

Tropical Chewy Lemonhead & Friends

Tropical Tootsie Roll Pops

Valor Dark Chocolate with Banana

Vanilla Whoppers Milk Shake

Various candies from China

Various Japanese candies, including banana Pocky

Various Mexican candies

Walgreen’s Candy Classics Australian Traditional Black Liquorice smothered in chocolate


Whitney’s Mint Trio

Wonka Puckerooms

Wonka Sluggles

Yummy Earth Organic Gummies and Lollipops

But what did I really think?

2009's Most Memorable Candies

Best Old School Candy: This is a close call. My PIC gave me a box of Chewy Lemonhead & Friends that she bought for four cents at CVS. They were the perfect blend of chewy, tart and sweet. But another delicious surprise was the Atkinson Coconut Longboy. I wouldn't put coconut or caramel at the top of my list of faves, but for some reason, these two work well together.

Biggest Letdown: While the thought of chocolate-covered candy corn was intriguing, the actual product was pretty disappointing. I had high hopes for Cranberry Raisinets, but in the end, they just didn't have enough oomph. But perhaps the biggest sense of sadness I felt, though, was when I finally got to try a Hershey's Thingamajig. Stale Cocoa Pebbles, anyone?

Most Beautiful: Kohler Truffles are almost too beautiful to eat. Almost.

Most Innovative: You've always wanted a white chocolate candy bar with pink peppercorns and banana chips? Search no more! With Chocri, you get to design your very own bar.

Most Surprising: I was all set to hate the Necco Orange Creme Thin Mints, but they were surprisingly good (and addictive). And for a dollar, a great bargain. But Necco, you're still on my #$% list.

Worst: Candy should not have the texture of chewy sawdust, nor should it have an indistinguishable fake chemical fruit flavor. Sorry, Goetze's Strawberri Cream Bullseyes, but you weren't worth the buck I paid.

And now, the moment you've all been waiting for:

I thought I had this all figured out until I went back and looked at my list. Then I realized there were several outstanding contenders.

The aforementioned Chocri is a fun concept and a great-tasting product. It is, however, a pricey indulgence.

Lindt won my affections with two new products: Lindt Raisin & Nuts and Lindt Excellence Touch of Sea Salt Chocolate.

Meiji Chocorooms sent me swooning. And not just me. Everyone I gave them to agreed that they were addicting little buggers. Crispy, creamy and cute. I thought for sure that I was going to name this my number one bar. But in the end, I have to bestow the honors upon:

QBel. With no artificial flavors or colors, no hydrogenated oils and no corn syrup, these piqued my interest from the start. But I certainly wasn't prepared for the extreme yumminess they provided. Creamy chocolate, crispy wafers, salty peanut butter ... every different type (there are six in all) is delicious. At around $1.59 a package, these are not as inexpensive as say, a Snickers, but they're way more satisfying.

(For what it's worth, Mr. Goodbar voted the Lindt Excellence Touch of Sea Salt as his favorite, and No-Nuts went for the Valor 70% with Bananas.)

A big thanks to all the candy companies who sent samples my way. And an even bigger thanks to you, dear Yumsters, for making 2009 a fun-filled candylicious year. Here's to 2010 and even more sweet surprises!


Kris said...

Good lord, how do you not weigh 500 pounds??

I will look for Qbel. Never heard of it. But I'm all natural like that, you know.

Candy Yum Yum said...

They are sold at Whole Foods. I'm not sure where else, but they're definitely worth it!