Category Archives: Candy

Caramello vs Galaxy Caramel

Caramello used to be one of my favorite candy bars, I don’t remember when we parted ways but I’ve slowed down to probably one of these every 2 years.  I’m usually not a fan of caramel but I enjoy the soft, non-teeth suctioning texture of Caramello.  When I saw Galaxy Caramel, I just had to compare.  I don’t know much about Galaxy, just from what googled, it’s “European” and owned by Dove Chocolate.

Caramello:
It’s not demonstrated well in this photo but the caramel is pretty gooey.    Ethan says the characteristics of the caramel and chocolate compliment each other.  I agree the softness of the caramel blends well with the creaminess of smooth and creamy milk chocolate Cadbury is so well known for.

Galaxy:
The sections are kind of half-cylinder instead of square.  The caramel is more dense and isn’t as gooey but it is still the “gentle” kind of caramel that leaves teeth alone.  Ethan felt the two flavors still go well together but seemed more separate somehow.  Also he thought the chocolate and caramel were not as smooth as Caramello.

Wrap up:
Ethan preferred Caramello but I almost couldn’t tell the difference other than the thickness of Galaxy’s caramel.  I’d say if you’re craving a chocolate/caramel bar, these two are similar enough in quality that I think anyone would be happy with either.  Of course I’m sure there are die-hard Cadbury or Galaxy fans that would find the other unacceptable but I really think these pretty interchangeable.

Caramello vs Galaxy Caramel?

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Good & Fruity vs Mike and Ike


 
I don’t know too much about these candies so I looked in Wikipedia and though this was interesting: “Prior to 1992, all Good & Fruity candies contained the same-flavored red gummy center, relying upon the hard candy shell to provide the different flavor according to color. Sometime around 1992, however, the formula was changed and the candies’ interiors became color & flavor-coordinated with the outer shell to give the candy a “fruitier” taste. The resulting candy texture is far closer to a small jelly bean than to the traditional Good & Plenty crisp outside, chewy inside texture.”
That does seem to ring a bell from what I remember these being like from my Trick-or-Treating days, which was the only time I’d have these.  Because of this formula change, they are very much like Mike and Ike’s Original Fruit flavor and worth comparing.

Good & Fruity:
These seemed very tart to me.  The texture was really sugary like a jellybean but dissolved better.  Ethan thought the outer coating was “chalky”, kind of like Sweetarts and thought they had a very fain licorice flavor.  I thought they had a faint dishwasher soap taste and wasn’t crazy about how they stuck to my teeth. But after a few of these I did end up thinking they weren’t too bad

Mike and Ike:
Ethan has a history with these being one of his favorite candies.  In fact, he did a blind taste test and could tell just by holding the Good and Fruitys that they were not Mike and Ikes.  He thought these have a juicer flavor and likes the density and chewiness.  I thought the flavor was smoother and more pleasant but the texture was too much for me.  It was like chewing glue and they did not dissolve well.  Maybe they’re not supposed to but they were too sticky for me

Wrap up:
I’m not a big chewy-sticky candy person but due to their dissolving factor, I go with Good and Fruity, even with the tart, sour flavor.  Compared to Mike and Ikes they are much easier to chew.  Ethan remains loyal to Mike and Ike because he likes the more realistic fruit flavor (due to containing fruit juice)and actually likes the chewy texture so much that he doesn’t mind them sticking to his teeth.

Good & Fruity or Mike and Ike?

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Planters Peanut Bar vs Pay Day

What do you do when you want some peanuts but it’s just not convenient to open a jar?  Of course you grab a candy bar that’s made of peanuts stuck together with some goop. Okay maybe that wasn’t the idea behind these bars, but they certainly would be handy for peanut lovers to eat while swinging on a trapeze or reeling in a Great White or some other task that allows limited use of you hands. I like peanuts just lightly roasted and salted, but never enjoyed them in food. I was thinking maybe these would be good since peanuts are the headliner and just a little sugar (or “binder”) would compliment the star of the show and I’d find a new way to enjoy peanuts.

Planters Peanut Bar:
This is a very stiff, hard and brittle bar.  Biting into this was not enjoyable at all.  It felt like I was biting into a candy bar made of teeth, which was pretty gross.  The glaze/peanut binder did not provide any flavor and it seemed like the peanuts themselves didn’t taste like anything either.   Ethan said he’d rather just eat some peanuts from a jar.

Pay Day:
The binder in Pay Day is more like a soft caramel. In that way the texture was much different but I’m not sure I’d say it was more appealing.  The taste wasn’t much better.  We found this to be very salty and between the “flavor” of the binder and the overly generous amount of salt, neither of us could finish it.

Wrap up:
No and no.  Planter’s “teeth bar” is totally bland and gross, and Pay Day is a soft, tasteless putty with the mis-matched texture/taste of peanuts. Even splitting these bars, we couldn’t finish them.  Obviously people must like them (and nothing against these people) or they wouldn’t be on the candy shelves, but I guess these just aren’t our thing, at all.

Planters or Pay Day?

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Mounds vs Bounty

Mounds, so good, slightly exotic and one of the few “Peter Paul” (now owned by Hersheymonster) candy bars.  It’s such a great combination of ingredients I’m surprised it hasn’t been copied more.  I like Almond Joy but I’m a dark chocolate girl and Mounds has always been one of my favorites.  Bounty is a Mars (not yet bought by Hershey) product and like Mounds, also comes as a two-piece candy bar.  I’ve seen Bounty before but Ethan wasn’t familiar with it.  I’ll say it’s because he grew up in New Hampshire and the Bounty truck didn’t bother delivering to the woods.

Mounds:
These have a nice soft bite to them.  The chocolate provides a firm shell around a soft, moist coconut mixture that is just sweet enough without going overboard.    The chocolate flavor is smooth and rich which is the right amount to not overpower the taste of the coconut.

Bounty:
Biting into these, it was clear that the coconut was drier.  The flavor of the coconut was okay but the dry texture didn’t seem to smush with the chocolate so well.  The chocolate looked better than Mounds but did not have as much flavor.  To be fair, I will say after it was in my mouth for a bit some flavor came through but it wasn’t as pronounced as Mounds.

Wrap up:
Mounds takes this match.  Ethan and I liked the moist texture of the inside and I really thought the quality of chocolate was better.  Bounty wasn’t terrible but the coconut was dry enough to cost it some points (if I used a point system) and for the fact that the chocolate only surrendered it flavor if you kept it in your mouth for a bit and worked it.  Not a bad substitute for Mounds but I can see why they’re not as common.

Mounds or Bounty?

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Reese’s vs Palmer

 There are few things that are so awesomely paired as chocolate and peanut butter.  I sometimes wonder how it became a match made in heaven.  If you go on youtube and search Reese’s PB cups,  you will find a variety of commercials depicting a couple scenarios.  I can’t decide which is my favorite, the guy on the spaceship eating a chocolate bar and bumping into the robot eating a can of peanut butter or the night at the opera where the male singer holding a tub of peanut butter falls onto the female singer with a chocolate bar.
However it happened, the candy world is a better place because of it.
The only other version of Reese’s I could find was in the miniature version and made by palmer.  I think Russell Stover makes them too but only as sugar-free.

Reese’s:
These had a very smooth texture and familiar chocolate taste.  I know everyone has their own recipe but for what it is (mass produced product) there is something about Hershey chocolate that is usually pretty good- although I have had the occasional below-par Hershey’s item  The peanut butter is the star of the show.  Ethan described the chocolate as just being a vehicle for the peanut butter.  This PB is sweet, but not too sweet and just the right amount of salt.  That, with just the right amount of chocolate makes these a perfect two-bite treat.

Palmer:
These were okay.  The chocolate was better than I expected, although a little harder.  It wasn’t exact but I thought similar enough to Reese’s to give Palmer some props.  I thought the peanut butter was pretty decent, it did seem a little drier than Reese’s though.  Ethan felt it had a bit of a burnt taste that was similar to the terrible Mrs. Freshly’s Nutty Buddy bars.  I agreed it did have a hint of burnt but I really didn’t mind these.

Wrap up:
I have to say Reese’s knows what they’re doing.  These have a perfect ratio of chocolate to peanut butter and more times than not, the peanut butter is deliciously moist and the chocolate has just enough softness to compliment the PB texture.  Ethan would definitely go with Reese’s and probably given a choice, I would too. I feel it’s worth pointing out that Palmer does satisfy the chocolate and peanut butter craving pretty well.  It’s like Joan to John Cusack, maybe, I don’t know.  Plus Palmer’s were only $1 at Dollar Tree so sometimes knowing you got a bargain makes things taste better too.

Reese's or Palmer PB cups?

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Peeps vs Shmellows

 

I know, it’s a little over 2 weeks past Halloween but I was at a dollar store today and saw some pumpkin Peeps, I was going to pass on them but then saw a second rate version in the same discount basket.  They had me at “Hallo”, but what really sealed the deal was their name, “Shmellows”.   Both had freshness dates that were good into 2009 so I felt it was a still a fair evaluation- plus at 25¢ a pop, how could I pass on them?

Peeps:
Ethan has not been a fan of Peeps in the past but he thought these were better than what he remembered them tasting like.  He liked how they dissolved and thought they didn’t taste too sugary.   I liked the light texture and bounciness of the marshmallow but always find chewing right into sugar crystals a bit too intense.  They seemed to lack any real flavor but Ethan said he liked the subtle marshmallow taste.

Shmallows:
These were more dense with an orange color marshmallow.  I felt that these had a taste that was so familiar but could not put my finger on it.  Ethan thought they had an orangey flavor and that they were like a giant cereal marshmallow, but soft.  I didn’t mind these in general but it did bother me that I could not say what they tasted like.

Wrap up:
Ethan preferred the Peeps due to their light texture, mild flavor and said they were “smooth”. I am torn between these two because I wasn’t crazy about either but like Ethan, found the texture of the Peeps better but was intrigued by the puzzling flavor (that Ethan says was orange but I think it was something else) of Shmallows.   Plus they were shaped more like pumpkins which I think should count for something.

Peeps or Shmellows?

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Peppermint Patty vs Wintergreen Patty

 York Peppermint Patty is one of the best treats around, mint + chocolate= mmm, MM!  The Peter Paul Co. was gobbled up by Hershey and these are now produced by them.  One of my all time favorite treats in the 80’s was the York Peppermint ice cream sticks which have since been discontinued.  I don’t know much about Haviland except that they were gobbled by NECCO and I believe NECCO has since been gobbled by someone else. I’m telling you, I can’t keep up with all the buyouts in the food industry, but it’s been disturbing to me the more I discover.

Peppermint Patty:
This has a nice firm center that makes a pretty clean break wether breaking in half or biting into.  The peppermint center is just sweet enough to compliment the cool peppermint.  The balanced coating of dark chocolate adds a little sophistication and decadence. I like to eat these by taking a little bite and kind of swishing it around in my mouth to disintegrate it and let the flavors merge.  Ethan is more straightforward and just bites into it and chews like a normal person.

Wintergreen Patty:
Breaking these in half we were greeted with a bright pink center which had the same consistency as York’s.  The chocolate on this seemed to be of a lesser quality and I guess was kind of dark but it was like a mix between milk and dark.  There was not a lot of chocolate flavor in the coating.  The center was not favorable at all, wintergreen does not seem to work well at all.  We summed this up as tasting like chocolate covered toothpaste.

Wrap up:
We really tried to not let our familiarity with Peppermint Patty influence this evaluation and maybe it did but when I bought the Wintergreen Patty I was thinking “Would this be passable if I wanted a Peppermint Patty?” It’s still chocolate and mint right?  But we really think this kind of mint and this kind of chocolate do not produce the same winning combination.  I’m curious if anyone had known wintergreen first and felt the same way about peppermint.  Any wintergreen fans out there?

Peppermint or Wintergreen?

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Heath vs Skor


 

Heath Bar was introduced in the 1920’s followed by Skor in 1981. Seems amazing the world had to wait so many years for an equivalent product but was it worth the wait? These competing bars are now siblings since Hershey acquired the Heath operation so if you’re a Hershey fan, you can feel good knowing profits from either bar go towards maintaining the Chocolate World ride at Hershey Park.
I like Skor’s logo and the little crown in the “O”, which looks like the crown you retrieve in Advanced Dungeons and Dragons on Intellivision (one of my all time favorite video games). I guess it’s really one of the three crown in Sweden’s national emblem but I always think of Intellivision when I see it.

Heath:
These had a nice clean break when snapped but crumbled like a cookie when chewed. The sweet milk chocolate had a good flavor and went well with slightly saltiness of the toffee. It kind reminded us of Twix. Also the softness and thickness of the chocolate was a nice compliment to the texture of the toffee.

Skor:
The toffee in these was darker and a little “deeper” in flavor. Although the amount of chocolate and toffee was well balanced, the quality of chocolate didn’t seem as good as Heath. Ethan described it as bland and “gross”. The toffee was stickier too and really made a home for itself in the grooves of my teeth, so I had to bite lightly.

Wrap up:
We found Heath had a better quality chocolate and toffee. Also, the texture of Heath was more pleasant and I didn’t have to worry as much about digging it out of my molars. I can understand why it’s used in ice cream, although people may just recognize the name better. I will still give Skor points for the better wrapper though.

Heath or Skor?

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Milk Duds vs Junior Caramels

 
Milk Duds have been around since 1928, I’m not sure when Junior Caramels came out but I think was only in the last few years.  I always have a thing about caramel because it always sticks to my teeth and I never find it enjoyable to be picking it out.  I tried these with the hope that I just had a few bad experiences with caramel and have been unnecessarily avoiding it.
 
Milk Duds:
Ethan and I first noticed these had no smell.  The second thing was the hardness of these little nuggets when bit into.  They had very little give and the chocolate was pretty tasteless.  The caramel was my worst nightmare (as far as caramel goes) it was hard and viciously stuck to my teeth like superglue.  I asked Ethan what he thought of the caramel flavor and he said he couldn’t taste it because he was too busy trying to get ot out of his teeth.  At one point I was actually afraid the dud was going to steal one of my teeth – it was definitely an effort to “enjoy” these.  I will say though, that through the fear I think I tasted some good caramel flavor.

Junior Caramels:
These were round instead of flat and also didn’t smell like anything but the huge difference was that they were very soft and such a welcome contrast to Milk Duds.  The chocolate had slightly more taste although it may have masked the flavor of the caramel which was slightly sticky but again, it was such a relief not to be fighting with it, that it was much more acceptable.

Wrap up:
Milk Duds are appropriately named.  I had a range of emotions that started with curiosity and ended with fear.  I really thought I was going to lose a tooth and it was a battle from the first bite.   Even Ethan, who is not as carmelphob as I am, said he never wants to eat a Milk Dud again.  Junior Caramels were not 100% perfect but it makes such a difference to be welcomed with a soft chew instead of a tar-like vortex.

Milk Duds or Junior Caramels

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Twizzlers vs Red Vines

Twizzlers are everywhere but I’m not sure where RedVines are available, I picked these up in Oregon but I don’t think I’ve ever seen them in New England.  Maybe they’re a strictly regional thing like Mello Yello (any readers in the South want to send me a can?) I just haven’t noticed them in my local stores, so I grabbbed a pack when I saw them (and paid for them). Twizzlers state that they’re strawberry flavored while RedVines are I guess…implied strawberry(?)…they’re just labeled as “Red Bars”.

Twizzlers:
These have a nice smell to them, when unwrapped.  We couldn’t really say that they taste like strawberry though. Ethan said they “taste red”.  The Twizzlers had a nice firm chew, yet broke down nicely after two bites.  And we liked that they’re mild and not overly sweet.  We also thought the diagonal ‘tread’ added to the enjoyment of this treat and while they looked plasticy, they were nice and soft and we found ourselves really enjoying them.

RedVines:
Ethan thought these looked looked like they came out of the Playdo Fun Factory.  The RedVines didn’t have a smooth sheen like Twizzlers and were stickier when chewed.  There was also a noticeable difference in flavor: these tasted very artificial. We tried to identify the taste and came up with soap.  Not a fancy berry-vanilla-waterfall-fusion soap, more like a dissolve-puke-on-the-cafeteria-floor-industrial strength cleaner.  These were not enjoyable at all.

Wrap up:

RedVines need not apply.  I can’t imagine walking into a store, seeing both of these and not picking Twizzlers.  Red Vines are void of taste and texture, the ONLY saving grace of RedVines might be that they have a bigger hole that could be used as a straw if you really needed a straw.

Twizzlers or RedVines?

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