With Liz away on maternity leave, it was left to Aubrey to find willing test subjects to try her latest Walgreen's find: Brach's Soda Poppers soda flavored filled hard candies. The task proved harder than you might think, since it seems there are a lot of hard candy haters out there and most people, Aubrey included, were daunted by the prospect of eating 4 hard candies in a row. The flavors included in the package are A&W Root Beer, 7 Up, Dr. Pepper and Orange Crush.
While Liz and Aubrey were both impressed by the cute packaging and the soda can detail on the candy itself, this detail was barely noticed by other testers. Clearly they aren't as attuned to the intricacies of candy reviewing.
Dr. Pepper (with guest judge and What's So Funny? writer Adam Cayton-Holland)
Adam: Boy, that tastes like Dr. Pepper all right. They used to have gum like this. It tasted like Dr. Pepper and it would squirt in your mouth. It was gross. Aubrey: Yeah, these have to be better than that. I don't drink soda much, but this has the same flavor, I guess. Adam: I'm getting sick of this. After awhile this is just gross. It's too sweet. And once I cracked it open, it's chewy, not gushy. More like a Tootsie Pop or a Blow Pop inside. Now I feel sick. Aubrey: Agreed.
Orange Crush (with guest judge and Web Editor Joe Tone)
Joe: I hate hard candies in general, but this gets high marks for accuracy in flavor. But wait, is that gum in there? I guess the taste is ok, but I have to spit this chewy stuff out. Aubrey: I like the flavor of this, but I prefer orange soda to Dr. Pepper in soda form, too. Tastes like a Crush. But that soft stuff is definitely off putting. Too sweet.
7 Up (with guest judge and Managing Editor Jonathan Shikes)
Jonathan: It just tastes like a lemon hard candy. It doesn't taste like 7 Up at all. Aubrey: I think it does. Just a really concentrated version. I taste some lime in there. Jonathan: It's really sweet. Just sweet and boring. Aubrey: But wait until you bite into it and get to the surprise. Jonathan: Mmmmmm. (somewhat sarcastically?) Aubrey: Do you like it better with the soft inside? Jonathan: Well, it's something different. Plus, you get rid of it faster if it's chewy.
A&W Root Beer (with guest judge and receptionist Michaela O'Connor)
Michaela: Wow, it really tastes like root beer. But I don't really like candy, so this is starting to remind me of a cough drop. Aubrey: The flavor is nice. Kind of spicy. Just wait until you bite into it. Michaela: Well, that's kind of surprising. It adds variety, so I'm not against the soft inside. Aubrey: Of all the flavors, I think this is the best.
These would probably look cute at a snack table and inspire conversation, but even though they taste fairly similar to the original, it just seems that some things shouldn't be made into a hard candy version with a sticky, gooey inner shell. Would we finish it? No way. Aubrey had to spit them out half way through each flavor. Would be buy again? Only if it was for an all soda pop themed dinner party. Rating: 1.5 out of 5
-- Aubrey Shoe