We recently discovered the unusual and unexpected bounty of Scandinavian foods to be had at Gold's Grocery, located at 26th and Kipling in Lakewood. The cute mom and pop grocery store not only sells locally-grown produce and a slew of strange treats, it also has the largest selection of Swedish candies, fish and other delights that we've ever encountered outside of Ikea.
On a recent trip, we picked up a bag of Ahlgrens Bilar Chewy Candy Cars. We were intrigued by the cute design and won over by the price, which was just under $4. While this is far more than we'd normally pay for such a basic candy, the novelty factor convinced us they were worth trying (plus the fact that many of the other treats cost well over $5, including our beloved Daim bar).
The package claims that Ahlgrens Bilar has been "the worlds most bought cars" for fifty years, and also claims that, "Its tasty profile and chewy texture has fortified the leading position." Curious, we soldiered on to the taste test.
We have high hopes for what we're guessing will be little gummy cars. Inside the bag are automobiles in three colors -- pink, green, and white -- and while an illustration depicts three different kinds of cars, the shapes within are uniform.
Liz: These are so cute! I love them!
Aubrey: Yeah, I'm excited to try them out.
There is an immediate problem with the texture. The cars are very chewy, like a gummy candy, but have enough air in them to give them a marshmallow feel as well. The result is a candy that doesn't have the firm bite of something like a gummy bear, and also lacks the soft, light mouthfeel of a marshmallow candy. We had a hard time determining if the different colors were of varying flavors, though they all had a not-unpleasant tangy endnote.
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Aubrey: They remind me of those miniature colored marshmallows, but chewier.
Liz: These are way too chewy for me. They taste like stale marshmallows.
Aubrey: Well, is it a gummy candy or a marshmallow? The Internet is calling it a marshmallow. Maybe we could put it in hot chocolate.
Liz: That would help determine if it was more gummy or more marshmallow. Let's make Jonathan drink it.
[Making of hot chocolate and piling in of car candy ensues. The drink is brought to Jonathan Shikes, who gamely sips it.]
Jonathan: Hmmm, they're not really melting. They're not bad, though. What do they remind me of?
Aubrey: Would you use them in hot chocolate again? Like for kids?
Jonathan: I don't know. They're kind of just sitting there getting a little softer. Oh, I know what they seem like -- circus peanuts.
Liz: Ahhh, that makes sense.
It's unclear whether the bag we had was simply stale, or whether this candy was an all around bust.
Would we finish the bag? That sounds like a daunting task; no.
Would we buy them again? Though they might be cheaper at Ikea, the $4 price tag on the bag we bought is definitely not motivation to try them again.
Score: 2 out of 5
-- Aubrey and Liz