June 9, 2008

Review: New Baskin Robbins Soft Candy

We love candy, we love soft candy, we love ice cream, and we love Baskin Robbins. Unfortunately, we do not love Baskin Robbins soft candy.

Let's start with the packaging. It takes a lot of work to eat these chews. You open the box, then you open the foil bag, then you take out one the chews (which look like bullion cubes), then you struggle to get the foil wrapper off the chew since they're so small. Then you get to the candy.

IMG_3713.JPGWe started with the Strawberry flavor. When she saw them, the fetching Mrs. Candy Snob simply stated that, "They look like plastic, I won't eat that." I didn't think that, but I saw her point. The pieces are quite obviously unnatural, made more apparent by the sheen on the candy itself. For example, Starburst are in the same general genre as these candies, but they have no sheen. So we know both have a bunch of chemicals in them, but Starburst makes it less noticeable, versus the Baskin Robbins Soft Candy.

But like I said, the artificiality (is that a word) of the candy didn't stop me from nearly finishing the box. They have a great strawberry flavor, albeit very sweet. I'm not sure I get the creaminess of strawberry ice cream, but its not a bad chew.

Texture-wise, they are nice and soft, I would say this is the best feature of these candies. They are not nearly as hard to chew as a Starburst, and not sticky at all - your fillings will certainly survive. My biggest issue with the Strawberry is that they are small, tasty and quick eating because they're so soft...so you want more...which leads us back to my point about them being a pain to unwrap above.

But that's the Strawberry, let's talk about the Mint Chocolate Chip flavor.

IMG_3701.JPGWhere Strawberry was acceptable in a sugary, fake strawberry kind of way, the Mint Chocolate Chip fell very short. In the words of my mother, a true sugar and candy addict, "they are pretty awful...they're both kind of greasy."

Its not that it doesn't taste like mint chocolate chip, it does. The problem in our view is that the choice of flavor is all wrong for the type of candy. Think about it, there are no minty or chocolaty Starburst for a reason - fruit flavors lend themselves to this type of chew. In most cases, anything that's flavored like chocolate that isn't actually chocolate can be weird at best and gross at worst. Chocolate flavors need to be delivered in a creamier, more natural medium - which is why chocolate bars and ice cream are the big chocolate vehicles. Even chocolate Necco Wafers,while having a cult following, are a little weird.

Add to that the emotional baggage one enters into the experience when they try a Baskin Robbins Mint Chocolate Chip candy. Speaking for myself, mint chocolate chip is in my top 5 all-time favorites, especially at Baskin Robbins. This sets the bar higher than normal, which makes the fall that much further when the candy falls short.

Check out Baskin Robbins New Soft Candy for yourself here.

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Posted by Bob Wallace at June 9, 2008 9:31 AM
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