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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11 thoughts on “Milk Duds vs Junior Caramels

  1. Even though they’re fairly different from one another, I always get Milk Duds and Sugar Babies mixed up. I guess it’s because they’re both filled with the same kind of agressively tooth-grabbing caramel.
    When I was a kid I used to get a kick out of chomping down really hard on Milk Duds on both sides of my mouth and then trying to open my mouth wide. It was like having my jaw wired shut. I never tried hard enough to pull any teeth out, though.

  2. I like the caramel at the center of the Milk Duds, but the moldy tasting coating just messes it up completely. But the Junior Caramels don’t have enough of the milky toasted sugar chew for me either.

  3. I have never understood the appeal of Milk Duds given how hard the caramel is. The only types who I believe might enjoy them are those that prefer to suck on the caramel so that it warms and softens slowly in their mouths.
    I recommend Morinaga Japanese caramels if you have to go that route. They’re soft, taste great, and, best of all, don’t stick much to your teeth. The only drawback is that I don’t know how available they are outside of Japan.

  4. I like the taste of Milk Duds, but eating them is like work. My jaws are so sore by the time I’m halfway through the box that I usually can’t finish them. I’m always drawn to them in the candy aisle, but most of the time the fear of losing a crown overrides my desire. I’ll stick with Rolos when I want bite-size caramels covered in chocolate.

  5. I’ve always been a fan of Junior Caramels.. I tried Milk Duds for the first time a couple of weeks ago and I think they may literally have pulled a filling out of my tooth – ever since then I have tooth pain on one side when I eat anything sugary. Plus the entire box was all melted together. Maybe that’s more of the store’s fault, but I’ve never had a clump of 10 Junior Caramels come out of a box before.. Stay away from the Duds!

  6. Junior Caramels are better by far. I suppose the main reason you say they don’t have much of a chocolatey flavor is because it’s a PURE chocolate and not a sweetened chocolate. Pure chocolate is basically the same as cocoa powder only in a solid form. Same flavor though, which is what I’m trying to get at. It really just comes down to a personal preference.

  7. OK, let me share some history of these products–
    Milk Duds have been around since 1928, first made by the F. Hoffman Company, which was purchased by Phillip Holloway, who sold it to Beatrice Foods in 1960,;which sold it to the Leaf Co. in 1986, which was then purchased by Hershey Foods Corp. in 1996.
    Milk Duds used to have a much more chocolaty than caramel flavor, as I recall from eating them in my childhood. But this problem of them being real pullers of tooth fillings was there even back then (in the 1960’s, when I first ate them). I do remember when Milk Duds still read “Holloway’s Milk Duds” on the box.
    Junior Caramels must be relatively new–you could probably find out by contacting their manufacturer, Cambridge Brands, a subsidiary of the Tootsie Roll Company. But I think the brand is an attempt to revive the old Pom-Poms brand. The box even resembles that of the old Pom-Poms–the product set against a white background with brown lettering.
    Pom-Poms and Junior Mints (the latter the same packaging design as Pom-Poms and Junior Caramels, but with green lettering), as well Sugar Daddy pops and Sugar Babies, among other candy products, were originally manufactured by the James O. Welch Company of Cambridge, Massachusetts.
    Welch’s brother, Robert, was the founder of the right-wing John Birch Society (immortalized in a bob Dylan song, “Talking John Birch Society Blues,” which Dylan was prevented from singing on “The Ed Sullivan Show,” thus resulting in Dylan’s canceling his appearance).
    In Cambridge Brands also being based in Cambridge, MA, it’s a kind of return to the geographical heritage of Junior Mints and Pom-Poms, after a period of Junior Mints and Pom-Poms being manufactured by Nabisco, in the later 1960’s through 1993.
    But I too have found Junior Caramels to be softer, not as hard on the teeth as are/were Milk Duds.
    By the way, this “pure chocolate” business is simply because. with the costs of cocoa butter rising, some candy companies are using a cheaper oil substitute and, therefore, may not (according to USFDA labeling laws) legally advertise “milk chocolate” on their products if no cocoa butter is used.

  8. Well, I’m apparently in the minority here. I love Milk Duds! The thing I like about them IS the firmness of the caramel! The key is to pop about 3-4 and chew them and a big glass of cold milk is even better with them as it will harden the caramel and allow more chew time! I remember Pom-Poms but, I seem to remember (possibly incorrectly I might add) them as being a bit firmer than the junior caramels but, not so much as the milk duds. The softer caramels are just gone to quickly to truly enjoy. If you don’t like milk duds, you definitely don’t want to try a Sugar-Daddy! BTW, the reason they are called “Milk Duds” is because they were trying to make them round but, they all came out in the odd shapes they are now and were thusly called “Duds”.

  9. i was eating a milk dud once against my parents will, and it actually pulled on e of my teeth out! lucky for me it was just a baby tooth, but still! p.s. im auditioning for my call backs for my school musical, i desperatly wankt and need to get the part of the queen, even though the audition comitee will choose the other girl, because shes older and very,very,very talented,in both singing and acting. things are not looking so good for me Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

  10. Milk duds have a much better taste than junior caramels. Junior caramels taste like rye seeds, it’s disgusting!

  11. So the general consensus is that Junior caramels are way better! Unless you’re trying to lose a baby tooth.

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