Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Smarties 'n Creme - Five Below

Smarties 'n Creme - Five Below
Smarties are made right here in New Jersey! Why isn't that something we celebrate or talk about? I mean, we Jersey dwellers go on and on about our tomatoes, why not our candy? I didn't even know they were created here until Cybele told me!

Also, did you know that each color is actually a different flavor? As a kid I hated the white ones, which are orange and creme flavored, and I would always make my mom eat them, but back then all the adults I talked to thought I was crazy! They swore that they all tasted the same, but they aren't! (For the record the flavors are: white is orange cream, yellow is pineapple, pink is cherry, green is strawberry, purple is grape, and orange is orange.) The Smarties line has expanded quite a bit since I was a kid, and now we have a whole line of creme-flavored candies! Will I like them more than I did when I was a kid? Let's find out!
The packaging for this product feels kind of "old school." It's a foil wrapped tube of tablet-shaped candies, which makes me think of C.Howard's violet and lemon flavored tablets. (They have a bunch of other flavors too but those are the only one's I've tried.) Foil is so rarely used that this rolls feels extra special and fancy, but it looks pretty...ugly. This thing looks way too busy. When I think of creamy fruity flavors I think of mellow pastel colors, relaxation, and decadent desserts. No bright colors, blocky text, and bold arrows. Everything looks disconnected and really obnoxious, which is NOT what I think of when it comes to the Smarties brand. I think the design team needs to go back to the drawing board and give this packaging a facelift. Hopefully the product inside has a bit more thought put into it.
There are 5 color/flavor combinations in this pack:

Orange & White
- Orange and creme. Tangy and a little bit zesty. We're off to a good start! This one tastes like an orange Creamsicle, in candy tablet form. A little dry and chalky, but the flavoring is pretty darn good and enjoyable! (Correct! It's Orange & Creme)   

Yellow & White - Lemon and Creme? It's a bit tangier than your typical smarties candy, but it's still really mild, and when you chew it you get a really bland and generically sweet fruity flavoring. It isn't very flavorful at all and I can't really tell what they're going for here. (Turns out this is Peaches & Creme)

Blue & White - Blue raspberry and creme? I think...? This one is really hard to figure out. It's really artificial and generic with a heavy creme flavoring. At times I think it tastes like a blue icee with vanilla soft serve, and other times it tastes like fruit punch and creme. It's kind of interesting, and I don't mind the combo, but it's nothing I would seek out and it's definitely not my favorite in the mix. (Blueberry & Creme! I was right!)
Pink & White - This one tastes like red Sweet-tarts at first, with that generic "red" flavoring, but the "creme" side mellows out the usual tang. When I crunch the two sides together it starts to taste really chalky and kind of medicinal, like I'm eating a fruit and creme flavored Tums. Not terrible, but not great either. (Turns out this was Strawberry & Creme)

Purple & White
- Grape and creme? It's kind of reminiscent of concord grape flavored sweets but it's really mild with a strong dose of vanilla flavoring, but there's this amazing cotton candy-finish. It rare for me to like purple candies, but the cotton candy notes towards the end completely won me over. This is easily my favorite in the pack. (Turns out this is Raspberry & Creme)
I'm pretty underwhelmed here. I love the chalky and tangy fruit flavors of original Smarties, but these large tablets just don't have the same crumbly texture or flavor pay-off. The "creme" portion made every fruit flavor it was paired with bland, but intensely sweet, just like those white candy sticks that come with fun dip, and if I could go back in time and give myself a pack of these as a kid, I'm pretty sure I'd hate every flavor. These were tolerable, but disappointing when compared to the original flavor line-up of Smarties candies. If the white Smartie is your favorite, and you love the candy sticks that come with Fun Dip, this is the candy for you. Me? I won't be repurchasing.
© Maria Smith http://poison-and-antidote.net
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