Candy Cane Culture Clash: Part 2


You may remember last year’s rundown I did featuring unorthodox candy canes of the season. Oh you don’t? Well here is the link and just to recap, I tested each flavor and compared them to the original candy (i.e. did the Starbursts candy canes taste like Starburst candy yadda yadda yadda) It was a bit of a stretch and there was absolutely no scientific method followed so in reality nothing was accomplished, but that wasn’t the point. The point was to write 3,000 words about candy and tie it into a Christmas theme. That’s what I did then, and this is what I am going to do now. May I present to you the…

I am in my mid-thirties. I just stacked seven boxes of candy canes on my coffee table and photographed them. This is something that I am neither proud of nor happy to admit but for the sake of this blog, I have done far worse.

It looks like we have a few new selections from prominent candy companies to chat about. It’s hard to know where to start so it looks like I am going to put them in a circle and spin a bottle. Just as my luck foretells, this will surely allow me to review the worst one first. That has always been my “spin the bottle” luck, but really, it doesn’t matter if the worst is first because I am not much of a candy fan and until they start making Christmas Triscuits, I am stuck with candy canes.

Oh! One more tid-bit. This year I will actually be comparing the canes to the like candies in REAL TIME!! I know that means dick in the blogging format but it’s fun for me so BACK OFF! That’s enough caps for now.

I knew it. This would be the first one because it was the one I was least excited about. Smarties never blow my skirt up and above all it’s a Halloween candy so turning them into a Christmas decor was like carving a Holly Jolly Jack-o-lantern. Zed’s dead, man. Zed’s dead.

To show how little I do care for Smarties I proved this by buying a package of Sweetarts on accident. I never even considered these two to be different. crucify me if you must but it’s just not my bag. So as my penance I was forced to leave my house and be the only jackhole to buy a bag of Smarties after Halloween for $3.20. I bought the Sweetarts ala cart for .07. That’s a difference of 821%!!! Math is also phonetically pronounced “frroopt”, too.

Oh yeah, when I ran to the grocery store to get the right candy it was around 11:00 at night and I really didn’t feel like having any human interaction with the checkout clerk. I was buying a bag of Smarties and no explaining was to be done. So, I opted for the self-checkout.

Fuck.

So here is the point. These candy canes taste nothing like Sweet Tarts but exactly like Smarties. I know what you are thinking, “no shit” but this has a bigger implication on me. I found out that Sweet Tarts are okay and Smarties are dull PEZ so that makes these candy canes pointless though they really do taste exactly alike. 5 out of 10 turkey fryer fires

The jelly bean has always been an Easter candy until that fateful day when Jelly Belly came into existence forcing all of us to eat jelly beans 450 days a year. Then the Jelly Belly Company invaded Christmas and I am sure I will be eating these while celebrating independence. Thanks Jelly Belly for taking my calendar and turning it into a pee-pad.

This package has three major flavors of Jelly Belly beans and they are Very Cherry, Juicy Pear and Sizzling Cinnamon. I say they are major flavors because in any given assortment bag of Jelly Bellies these are the ones you are most likely to get. Unfortunately there aren’t a true array of Jelly Belly flavors in cane-form because the people at Jelly Belly Company are so amazing at mimicking flavors, they could have had awesome novelty flavored candy canes like Jones Soda of yesteryear with turkey flavors or green bean casserole. If that were true this would be a love article about Jelly Belly disgusting candy canes and how I use them as a pretend microphone, singing to strangers in a Party City about how much I love Christmas.

The taste in comparison to the original candy is identical. I knew it would be. The only questionable one is the Juicy Pear because in a blind taste test, Green Apple can be a sneaky prick and fool you into thinking it’s pear. Get out of here, Green Apple! You had your day! 8 out of 10 Griswold Christmas Tree Squirrels.

Now & Later candy is exactly what gives a dentist night sweats. It only recently hit me that the name Now & Later really has a true meaning because they are so tough on the teeth that you eat these things now and will be eating the same piece much much later. This is public enemy number one to all crowns.

It’s kind of funny to see the candy’s package boasting they are now softer.

The canes were actually a bit more tart and that is a welcome surprise since Now & Later is kind of nondescript candy other than the texture that can both shatter and bind your lower and upper jaw together. It’s some sort of sorcery. This package has a few varieties like grape, watermelon, apple and strawberry. I tested the strawberry because it was the first one out of the package. These were actually pretty good and it managed to retain that “this has a shelf life of ten million years” aftertaste which makes Now & Laters what they are: plastic. 7 out of 10 seasick crocodiles

Dum-Dums! This is one of my favorite insults. Much like Smarties, I always consider this a Halloween novelty but lately my career has me traveling to many different offices and I have noticed in the waiting rooms, Dum-Dum suckers have replaced the ever-present strawberry candy. Why do I even take notice of such things??? Oh yeah, this is my blog full of such nonsense.

Jumping right to the chase, Dum-Dum suckers have dropped the sick and became one with the Christmas season. This package has a few of the same flavors every other candy has including the ever-present blue raspberry. I am not a fan of blue raspberry. I decided to stick with cherry again and wouldn’t you know it, no real taste difference so the novelty is more than just a feeble attempt to cash in on Christmas. But really, I think by this time in the review my sugar high is to a point of delirium. 5 out of 10 massive christmas light cord tangle balls

Okay, I need a break before the inevitable sugar crash. It’s happening now.

Looks like Brachs is even dipping into the Valentine’s Day stash and giving us Red Hots candy canes. I will be honest, at first glance I wasn’t thrilled about reviewing these because when it comes to cinnamon, it’s just cinnamon. Really hard to put a fun twist on that though fifty-four billion have tried. Then I thought, “I remember this candy to be an ever-lasting atomic death ball that would scorch my pre-teen mouth. Sounds fun!”

So I bought them. Then my head came out of my butt when I realized that these candy canes aren’t Atomic Fire Ball candy but the puss Red Hots that littered the bottom of a shoebox/valentine holder. I am not sure why I made that mistake since it CLEARLY READ “RED HOTS” on the box.

They tasted like cinnamon. Fin. 3 out of 10 Nakatomi Towers

Trolli Sour Brite Canes, I will admit, were the most anticipated candy canes for me only because of the similarity to last year’s Sour Patch Kids minus the granulated sugar. The original candy is sour gummy worms which are divided into two flavors so I figured the two-flavored candy canes would be an easy winner. The only trepidation I have with Trolli is…

..the mutha fuckin’ worms! God, it’s like a cross between a nightmare and a German children’s book! I can’t tell if it’s the eyes or the “To Catch A Predator” grin. That Santa hat doesn’t hide the fact this worm wants to communicate with kids in AOL chatrooms, show up to their house to eat cookies and sit when ever Chris Hanson tells it to.

The candy is actually pretty comparable to the gummy worms and though there are two different flavors in each, I can say they kept true to the original combinations. Overall, if you like tart and fruit flavored candy canes, you should dig these. 8 out of 10 Ruby Deagle electric stair chairs

Warheads! I remember when these were first introduced to the public back in back in the late 1980’s. I am sure they were around before that but not as the Warhead candy we know today. I used to love them but when the palate becomes mature, the love of beets and garlic take the place of super sour candy and what a weird parabola that is! That’s why there is an unimpressed cat looking at them.

I tried to find like originals to the candy canes and this was as close as I could get. Stuck with another blue raspberry. The War Head was pretty extreme and I wasn’t very excited to try another sour candy right after as a comparison, but lucky for me, the candy canes are the opposite from their original base. Instead of starting out sour and going sweet, these start sweet and have the sour powder inside. I found that to be welcomed.

But were they the same? Not even close. That’s a good thing! 9 out of 10 Yankee Candle Mistletoe Car Scents

Finally, I finish with these Dr. Seuss-looking candy canes. They have no other candy comparison unless you consider pie a comparable original. Curly Canes are more for look than taste because with such a generic theme like pie, these guys could go anywhere. And they did. I will say, watch out for Banana Cream Pie. It tastes like hot garbage. But the cool packaging and loopy shapes make this a winning addition to the holiday. And there is no way this cane will fall off a tree limb. 8 out of 10 Advent Calendar X-E Countdowns of Yesteryear

This was fun! All of these Candy Canes were around $3.50 per box so not a real hit on the wallet unless you buy all of these varieties at once. If anyone wants to come over, I have a few hundred candy canes for you.

I have to go to the dentist now. Teeth aren’t suppose to become loose after sneezing, right? I find that to be weird.

32 Comments

  1. I wrote a fairly long response and it got lost. To recap: Loved this! Nice idea to utilize the original candies. Smarties are lame and taste like sour powdered glass pellets (maybe thats just the neighborhood rumor as a kid I heard that they’d found tiny shards of glass in ‘em). There’s a big Jelly Belly section at the huge international market nearby but they frown on sampling and I’m dying to try to Mojito flavor (just don’t want to buy a pouch). Never liked Now & Laters. Owen loves Dum-Dums! Great way to keep a kid content on longish car drives. Man, that Trolli worm really is a creeper!

    • THANK YOU for doing this awesome post.
      I’ve been waiting for someone to do just such a comparison and by Jove, you’ve done it.
      Now that I know what tastes like what, I think I may go with the Warheads candy canes.

  2. Thanks Steve! Love your site, pal.

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