Jelly Beans and What You Have to Know: Part 1

Hey! Remember those nonsensical reviews I have been doing with candy canes and old Christmas candy? Yeah, so I have expanded that to Easter candy. Specifically Jelly Beans. This isn’t really something that I wanted to do but rather something that I felt I had to do because when shopping for Easter candy, what you don’t know may destroy your family.

The bunny only comes when you sleep.

Jumpin’ Jesus there are a lot of Jelly Beans this year. It’s like every candy maker got together in an effort to conspire against Brach’s and take Easter for themselves. Have I thought too much into this? Yes. Yes I have. That’s why I am writing about jelly beans in the first place.

So let’s not dilly-dally because I have about twenty bags to tryout and test in my own specific way. Will it make a difference or have anything to do with a proper review of jelly beans? Doubtful. Will I spend $30 and feel silly about it? Absolutely.

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Kicking this off we will start with the company that brought us the Jelly Beans we have all grown up with, Brach’s. Back in the day, Brach’s was the universal supplier of the jelly Easter treats and came in a limited variety of colors/flavors which were green, red, yellow, white, orange and the dreaded black. For the life of me, I can’t remember exactly what the color-to-flavor match was but I am certain black was Jagermeister.

This year, Brach’s gives us a couple more options with Speckled Bird Eggs and Sour Jelly beans. You will see by scrolling down that they have a lot of competition to deal with so what better way to combat that than to assimilate with the masses. These are a bit forgettable in both taste and looks but they are bigger in size so they have that going for them. But will they pass the hammer test?

Barely! 

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Hershey’s Jolly Rancher Jelly Beans have been around for a while and I believe they were the ones who first entered the Easter candy ring using the flavors of their tooth cracking hard candies in soft bean form. Personally I love them but keep in mind I have no sweet tooth. So I shouldn’t have an opinion about these, write this post or even say the word jelly bean. But that’s okay, I have lots of opinions on topics I have no business with.

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Jolly Rancher Jelly Beans have their own Facebook fan page! That’s how I know they are good. It clearly states “they are so good!!!!!!”. This is all fine and good but will it pass the cat test?

Nope. 

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Leave it to Wonka Candy to cram a brick of taffy into a tiny bean. These actually taste exactly the original and that’s not a good thing. As a kid I used to love Laffy Taffy but only for the first few seconds. The ongoing chewing really brings out the plastic taste. Here, the beans jump right to that inedible aftertaste and of course, there are far more bananas than any other flavor by a ratio of 2,300:1.

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You know, Laffy Taffy wouldn’t be “laffy” without some jokes. Even as an eight year old I knew these jokes were the worst but I never knew they were submitted by kids. Had I known that we would have been chewing green apple plastic to dead baby jokes.

Jef Z submitted this gem: “Why does the chicken cross the road? To get some EGGER SIZE!!!”

Hmm…but does it pass the Grig test?

Surprisingly yes.

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Lifesavers are back this year with their jelly beans but this time around they offer lovely shades of pastel. Not only are they creamy in color, they have some interesting flavor combinations like Strawberry Kiwi and Mango Melody. I won’t go as far as to say they are my favorite of the group but I will say they are less forgettable. I really like it when blueberry and banana share the same bag.

There’s no need for the random test on these. I trust my own instinct. I’ll put them in the oven.

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Lemonhead & Friends! It seems a bit odd that these are jelly beans because they are not too far off from their original form. Splitting hairs I may be but given a few years under a fridge, not a person could tell the difference.

They add an extra bonus of a “Special Springtime Image” on each bean. These images aren’t that special unless tulips and rabbits blow your skirt up. If that’s the case, well, magic beans they are.  Other than the art, the flavors are the exactly what you would expect; grapehead, cherryhead, orangehead, and lemonhead. Kind of blasé to me but that might be because I have only eaten them on the couch. Perhaps I am just not in the right spot?

Nah. They are blasé no matter where they are eaten.

We have come to the end of part one in this two-part series. I can’t believe I had so many jelly beans in such a short amount of time. So, before I collapse into a diabetic comma I had better hang it up for tonight. Be sure to check out my second part coming tomorrow. I promise it will be just as stupid.

(Special thanks to my buddy who agreed to shoot the shower scene. Trust me. It wasn’t easy asking)

Candy Cane Culture Clash

This is a topic I have been meaning to write about for years but for some reason or another, I find myself in February before I can. So today, while it is still relevant, I want to write about candy canes. And not the ones we grew up with…

…but the candy canes that truly are candy. I believe Lifesaver candy was the first shot over the bow of Christmas to tell peppermint to get bent. But this bold and progressive move against holly-jolly opened the flood gates and soon other candy makers began to take their goodies, shape them into canes, package them in boxes and ship them to the stores for a 200% profit. How they didn’t jump on this back in the 1950′s when most teenagers still believed in Santa and a desk could stop a nuclear blast, I don’t know. But they are here now, and for twenty bucks I’m going to review them.

As you can see, I have made an Imperial Star Destroyer out of the boxes of candy canes that are about to be reviewed. I will admit, the color spectrum is quite festive and it almost seems a shame to take them out of the box and chew them up. But this site isn’t a photography sight (no shit) and I am less of a guy to stop and gaze at beauty so let’s bust them out.

So I have or tried to remove all the candy canes from the boxes. The Sour Patch Kids did not fare too well but as a guy in his thirties I no longer feel the need to suck my candy cane into a shanking weapon so broken or not, they eat the same to me. You will also notice that these have been labeled and displayed to easy choosing. I did, however, forget to segregate them by flavor. Aw fuck. Oh well, I’ll be surprised.

First! Okay, here we have Jolly Rancher Candy Canes and these appear to be the “Smoothie” edition. Interesting. They come in three flavors being strawberry, mixed berry and watermelon. I am only trying a couple flavors in this review because in all honesty, I have no sweet-tooth. If given the choice between a candy cane and a dry two-day-old triscuit that may or may not have been on the kitchen floor, I would most likely choose the latter. But what the hay, it’s Christmas and if you have been reading this site for any length of time then you know my reviews hold zero weight.

For all those who think that I am eating every variety in whole, this is a no. I have wrestled these out of their insanely tight wrapping and broken a tip off because…why do you think? Exactly. This particular candy cane is most definitely watermelon. If you can’t tell watermelon in taste, you have something seriously wrong with all six senses. I can most definitely taste the Jolly Rancher though the “smoothie” part is a miss on me. It is just sweeter and less sour than a normal watermelon Jolly Rancher is. (8 out of 10 Tim Allen fat suits)

Starburst Candy Canes. I have a bone to pick with these. Green Apple is not a flavor in the original Starburst line. Out of all the winning flavors in the lineup, why did they choose a nonexistent flavor? It confuses me much the same as why the Peanut gang are in different costumes for all recent Charlie Brown Halloween merchandise. It’s a stretch by comparison but the nerve is the same. So I’m not going to try the green apple. I am going with the strawberry flavor because I need to see if these candy canes are indeed the same as the glorious taffy originals. And holy shit they do!!! I am more of a cherry and orange Starburst fan but I will never leave a pink one for last. This is a pleasant surprise. I can’t vouch for the green apple because, what would I compare it to? (8 out of 10 Moose Mugs)

Gobstoppers have always been a mystery to me. I think it’s the name. According to the source of all things true, Wikipidia, the term “gob” means “mouth” in the United Kingdom. (Guise, is this true?) Therefore, a gobstopper must mean to stop one’s mouth. And…I learned something today. Anyway, Gobstoppers were never my first choice as a kid but I did fill a paintball gun with some and had minor success at making a kid cry about twenty years ago.

Oh, the candy canes you asked? Meh. I chose the white one just out of curiosity.

Call me gross if you must, but doesn’t this remind you of a baby tooth just recently lost? It’s the only thing I can think of once I cracked this piece off. Perhaps it’s strange irony but this should be a foretelling of tooth decay to come. The taste? It’s fruit punch. Most definitely fruit punch. (7 out of 10 Narwhals)

These are the ones I have been dying to review. Sour Patch Kids have been the candy of choice every time I go to the movies and a box of these can certainly burn all taste away for a solid week. I also like to share them with friends and press that little spot between the jaw and the bottom of the earlobe. Try it next time your eating these. You’ll hate it.

I tried to make sure that all the boxes of candy canes were purchased without damage but I believe these floppy cocks were shoved in the box the same way Lenny pets a mouse. But like I said, I am not here for looks. It’s the similarity to the original that I am here to review.

They are sour, there’s no argument with that but as for the similarity? Not really. They are Lifesaver candy canes dipped in Sour Patch Kid sour…sugar…stuff. It’s exactly what I expected so therefor I will only give it an average grade. (7 out of 10 Figgy Puddings)

Spree! I love the name. Spree candy canes promise to have a “flavor kick” on the inside much like the original candy that tastes like Advil on the outside and a powdery sour mix on the inside. Between the 500% of daily sugar intake and the fact these are hard candies, it makes Spree a dental nightmare. To combat this Willy Wonka adds that thse are fat free candies. So we have that going for us!

These are pretty good. I am not going to lie that of all the candy canes, these have come out close to the top only because they are not absurdly sweet and sour. I’m an ordinary average guy so there for these will get an above average average grade. (9 out of 10 Bumpus Hounds)

Well it’s nice to see someone hasn’t forgotten the mint in a candy cane! I love these! As an addict of coffee and tea, I have the need to brush my teeth five times a day. What? I don’t know why I needed to say that. Oh yeah! This has a great coffee-like taste to it and sure enough, it’s a spectacular stir stick! Hershey does a great job with the “less is more” angle and if you like mint in your stick and enjoy chocolate too, this candy cane is for you. Damn, I need to write jingles.             (10 out of 10 ill-digested potato or beef resulting in a hallucination of the ghost of Jacob Marley) 

Last but not least we have come to Sweetart Candy Canes and the ones that look most similar in color scheme to the intro to Saved By The Bell. Like most other assorted candy canes, these come in a variety of flavors being cherry, green apple and blue punch. I choose you, Blue! Pika! Pika!

These are just like what I had imagined. What a shocker. They are mildly sour and that stays through duration of eating. I like them but in all honesty, a 13 year old’s pallet is what these things were designed for. Without a lot of fanfare I will end this review on an average grade. (8 out of 10 shoeless John McLanes)

So there you have it! These aren’t your traditional peppermint candy canes and some don’t quite taste like their original form but I like the spirit of them. This is the time of year to get a cavity or two, gain a couple of pounds or even suck a cane to a sharp point and stab those terrible inflatable lawn ornaments across the street that you’ve been staring at for the past month. These are all good things so be good for goodness sakes…somebody’s comin’! Somebody’s comin’! Wait, that was from Ghostbusters.

Sorry for the lack of Christmas posts. I am getting a better laptop because this one sounds like the truck/generator that Arnold filled with explosives, lifted off it’s stand and pushed into an enemy tent in the movie, Predator.

Merry Christmas, ya filthy animal!

Experience Is What Get When You Didn’t Get What You Want

Sometimes, life can explain itself in such a way you just have to laugh. Since my great “speech” I made a week ago to some of the smartest and most promising young professionals America and Canada has to offer, I have really been reflecting on me as a person. One reason is, well, I should not have been there in the first place and the other is the way I constructed the presentation as whole. you see, the topic was on success and the techniques each person uses to obtain it. I am not a success. Actually, the definition as a whole I find aggravating. Really successful people do not view themselves as a success because there is always more to accomplish. Well, that’s my view anyway.

Instead of lying to the audience of 1500 I took a different approach. I explained how to get up after being knocked down. No one knows disappointment and goal changes like this guy here. I mean, no matter how many times I type it, I will always misspell “briliant”. FUCK! Brilient. Brilliant. See? Marching to one’s owns beat can have it’s lessons so here are some of my Powerpoint topic headliners.

“Walls are only there to keep out those who don’t want it bad enough.”

Man, this is true. When I really want something, it’s as good as done. Unfortunately there are a lot of amazing opportunities that have passed me by for the simple reason that I never looked for ways around the obstacle.Where there is a Will, there is a way. I am Will, by the way.

“It seems in times of great adversity, these are the times that can define us.”

This is everything to me. Everything. It’s why I run as far as I do. It’s why I beat my head against the wall over those who most would normally give up on. And it’s why I look at disappointment as an opportunity. Believe it or not, this is written on a piece of paper and in my wallet at all times.

“I am a dreamer. Live with it.”

You can’t change who you are. I am a dreamer and I always have been. But I think good dreamers are those who have envisioned the product after hard work and sacrifice. Those who dream and don’t include the hard work are more like…bad dreamers. Yeah, I got nothing. But don’t buy a bridge from those type of people! Or an airplane. Anything, really.

There were a number of those motivational bullets but as a whole it really just summed up my life as a “try; try again” event. It went over well and was met with lots of laughs and applause which I find odd. I just told everyone I am not a success, an executive nor young which was the entire subject of the conference. Jokes on them.

But I will say my last two slides gave some great advice and I stand by them.

“In the candy dish of life, don’t be the Blue Raspberry Jolly Rancher or the Lemon Starburst. You will always be last.”

“If your friend drives a Jetta and takes up two spaces in a full church parking lot with tags that read “DSCGOLF”, get rid of him/her. There can not be winners without losers.

I think I should copywrite those two, what do you think?

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