Wednesday, September 22, 2010
Brach's Assorted Halloween Mellowcremes
Maybe I don't give my parents the credit I should.
As kids, they never deprived us of having candy around the house. They just never had good candy. Inevitably, whatever they bought and stuck in the candy dishes kept around the house was cheap bulk candy that even we as little kids understood might be pretty to look at...but was probably best to avoid actually eating. (The lone exception to this rule was Christmas, when -- unless we were really poor that year -- the Palmer candies came out. That was when we got the really good stuff in the festive holiday wrappers.)
Why do I think this may have been a genius move on their part? We could never complain that we didn't get candy because we always had candy. The candy was just so bad that we never wanted to eat it.
One such treat (?) that would often hang around the old candy bowl until Christmas would be the Brach's Halloween or Autumn Mellowcreme mixes. It has been so long since I actually ate a piece of either mix that I can't really remember what they tasted like. I just remember them being extremely sweet. And since Walgreen's had this smallish bag on sale for a dollar, I thought now was as good a time as any to revisit this mix.
There are four flavors to the bag, and eight different shapes. The shapes are all autumn themed: a bundle of wheat, an ear of corn, a cat, pumpkins (one is carved, one is not), a bat, a jug, and a crescent moon. The shapes have no relation to the flavor, but the colors do. So with that in mind we'll review the flavors by color.
Dark Brown: Chocolatey
This was the flavor I remember us fighting each other to get, simply because it was "chocolate." (OK, it's not, but what did we know?)
Taste-wise it reminds me of a super-sweet Tootsie Roll. It's got a vaguely cocoa-like taste. It's kind of a letdown, because your brain sees something that looks like it should be chocolate flavored, and when it's not it's just disappointing. This flavor also absorbs -- for lack of a better way to explain it -- the flavors of the other pieces, so it becomes sort of like the sloppy seconds of the bag. And that works out about as well as it sounds like it would. Basically, ewwww.
Orange: Candy Corn
Ever notice that there are almost no reviews for candy corn on this site? There is a reason for that. In the interest of full disclosure, I feel the need to admit that I don't especially like candy corn. Other than simply "sugar," candy corn doesn't seem to have any flavor to me. But as we all know, I am often willing to take one for the team, so here I am eating something that's candy corn flavored...
So how does it taste? Like sugar that has been flavored with a little bit of vanillin. If you've ever had a single piece of candy corn in your life, you have had this. And after a couple bites, I have had enough.
This one at least has the faintest possible smell of maple. Since it is supposed to be maple flavored, that has to be somewhat of a good sign. I seem to recall these being the least popular of the mix amongst us kids. I think that probably had more to do with maple not exactly being a huge flavor with children, rather than because of the candy itself. But as an adult, I am a huge fan of maple flavored anything. So how did these stand up?
Easily the best in the bag. The maple is not the strongest maple ever put in a candy -- in fact, it's definitely on the timid side -- but I give Brach's points for at least attempting to make it taste like real maple rather than like fake pancake syrup.
This was my favorite as a kid. It is all classic fake banana flavor. Ever had a Circus Peanut? Then you have tasted this. I will give this one points for not having that nasty lingering aftertaste that some banana flavored items can have.
The texture of all the pieces is the same regardless of the flavor or color. Think of a really big, dense piece of candy corn. It's soft, yet a little crumbly. The sugar is a little grainy -- and much like candy corn, these candies seem impervious to the march of time. If these had existed in King Tut's time and he'd had a few bags interred with his mummy, I suspect they'd still be more or less edible.
Overall, I can't say that I will be getting another bag. I probably won't even finish this one. Fondant candy is just not my thing; but even with that said, it's not all that bad. It's just not all that good either.
Be sure to also check out Cybele's Candy Blog review of this mix here. She liked them more than I did.
140 calories per 6 pieces of candy.
Packaged on equipment that may contain traces of milk, egg, wheat, peanuts, tree nuts, and soy.