Before I begin tonight's review, let me preface it by telling you that this season, without a doubt, belongs to the Caramel Apple flavor. In recent years, Pumpkin Spice ran the show and it seemed as if the whole world had become obsessed with everything orange and brown. Pumpkin coffee, ice cream, donuts, cake, candy - you name it, they made it! And it's not that Pumpkin Spice has gotten any less popular, it's just that Caramel Apple is climbing the ranks and finally getting just as much, if not more, notoriety for it's amazing taste. When you look through the Halloween aisles, you'll see it everywhere. As we progress on The Holidaze Halloween Countdown, you'll see it even more. For a guy like me, who isn't really a fan of Pumpkin Spice, this is far from bad news. I love the Caramel Apple flavor and enjoy seeing so many companies roll out their varieties. The more we have, the more we all win in the end. So this isn't a warning, but just a simple notice to be prepared - there's going to be a lot of Caramel Apple, Pumpkin Spice, and Candy Corn.
Tis The Season!
The first Caramel Apple treat we're going to discuss are the new Jolly Rancher Crunch'n Chew candies. Now, growing up, I always had a soft spot for Jolly Ranchers. When we were kids, my cousin and I used to walk down to the corner store with a $5 bill to split between the two of us. We knew exactly what we wanted - those 5 cent Jolly Ranchers!! To the right of the cash register was a plastic container filled with hundreds of rainbow Jolly Ranchers. We were in awe and no matter how many times we saw those bright colors, we couldn't help but salivate over the thought of bringing them all home with us. So we grabbed a few handfuls, put them on the counter, and asked the man to do our math. We were young and hardly understood the concept of money or change. In our minds, $5 might as well have been $100 because we were rolling. We grabbed our plastic bag of Jolly Ranchers and began heading home before we were given $3 in change. We thought we were getting over so we bought even more. The cycle continued until we finally maxed out. It wasn't until we were older that we realized we were just stupid, but we had so many belly laughs at the time. "Stupid guy keeps giving us money back! Doesn't he see all these Jolly Ranchers?" Regardless of how naive we were, Jolly Ranchers found a special place in my heart and, now, as the years have gone by, they've evolved and become an even bigger brand of candy!
Unlike the 6-year-old me, I don't eat many Jolly Ranchers these days. The last time I did, they were mixed with vodka so, obviously, times have changed. But when you see Caramel Apple flavored Jolly Ranchers on store shelves, you don't turn them down. Not only are these seasonally released to celebrate Fall, but they're the Crunch'n Chew variety that goes from hard to soft in a matter of minutes. If you're thinking what I'm thinking, then your mind is also in the gutter!
Since this is a family blog - which means only my family reads it - I'll refrain from any jokes and direct my attention toward the Jolly Rancher packaging and color scheme. Of course, green and brown were obvious choices and needed to be included. Just about every Caramel Apple product goes this route and, really, you can't blame the big companies. They're symbolic and stand out in stores. But adding those falling leaves to the background is a nice touch and represents the reason behind this release. It's all about celebrating Fall as we claw our way toward Halloween!
This version of Jolly Rancher is different from what I remember. Back in the 90's, there were two types of Jolly Ranchers. You either bought the individually plastic wrapped rectangles or the squared pack of Jolly Ranchers. If you were unique and creative like me, you'd take those squares, stick them to the 4 sides of Bubblicious Gum, and call it a Jolly Pop. They've since stolen my idea, but Crunch'n Chew is all theirs and it's a big different. They appear to be thicker and more circular. They're slightly larger and, in this case, multicolored. All in all, I approve!
As for flavor, I was a bit disappointed. At first, you can clearly taste that one side is Caramel and the other is Green Apple. For a second or two, they both compliment each other and work perfectly together. They truly bring out that Caramel Apple taste, but it doesn't last long. Before you know it, that brown part dissolves and the Caramel flavor dissolves. From there, it's simply a Green Apple Jolly Rancher with a chewy center. I write chewy center with a bit of sarcasm because there's not very much to be chewed. There's a very small amount of filling and, honestly, it's more of a waste than the Caramel coating. I'd rather the brown side last longer and remove the chewy feeling completely. In that case, we'd have an awesome candy on our hands!
These aren't a bad buy, but I wouldn't recommend them unless you're somebody who loves Green Apple Jolly Ranchers and wants to purchase them in Halloween fashion. If that's the case, you're in luck! But for just a few seconds of Caramel Apple flavor, I'm sure there are better options. I hate to say I don't like something, especially when I want to love it, but I don't clown around on such a serious site like The Holidaze. The packaging packs more punch than the flavor and, unfortunately, these are only decent.
7 / 10