8.29.2011

I eat the candies you wouldn't dare eat

There is a fancy candy store near my house and from time to time I like to pop in and buy about $8 worth of sweets from the UK (aka just about every day, and change that from $8 to $18). There is one gross candy in particular that I really love - molasses toffee. Remember those candies you'd get at Hallowe'en and they'd be wrapped in orange waxed paper with black and yellow pictures of ghosts and witches and stuff on them? And if you were normal, you'd throw them in the garbage because they tasted like shit? Well, I love them. I buy bag fulls in the fall and eat them till I'm sick. Anyways, the candy store near my house sells the best kind of molasses taffy: Walkers' Treacle Toffees. I could eat thousands of them; they're my absolute favourite. I buy them from the British Candy Pick-n-Mix section of the store: fill a bag with random candies and they weigh it and you pay, whatever, like $7 for 20 candies. But I always buy the treacle toffees and sometimes, if I feel up to it, try something new. Usually a fudge-based candy. Sometimes something with fruit. Last time I was at the store I thought: "wouldn't it be fun to buy the shitty candies that no one ever buys?" So I did! I bought the 7 shittiest candies at the candy store and tried them all. You're probably wondering what makes for a shitty candy. I usually judge on one of three ways:
1. Looks. Does it look gross? Is it an off-brown colour? Does it look like something an old woman would keep in her purse?
2. Name/Description. If the name sounds like the cause of death for many a Dickensian street urchin, or far too jolly (Baby Scrumptious' Candy Piddles!) then it's probably going to be gross.
3. How full is the jar. Everyone knows this: if the jar is near-empty, the candy is probably delicious. If the jar is always really full, it means no one ever buys them (for a good reason - they're gross).

So here we go! Here are the 7 grossest candies that you would never in your right mind actually buy.

CANDY 1: Treacle Toffee (aka Molasses Toffee)
Treacle Toffee is an unpopular candy because in Canada, we have no fucking clue what 'treacle' is. For the longest time, I was confusing it with tripe (then I learned to use Wikipedia and it's all better now). The wrapper doesn't give much away - it's just brown and white - so if you didn't have access to an iPhone and weren't able to Google what treacle was, all you'd know is you're about to eat some kind of chewy candy.

The candy itself looks like a pretty penny. It's very chewy and soft and tastes like caramel and molasses and burnt sugar; sort of like the gingerbread caramels I make at Christmastime. I really love these candies. Even if you hated the molasses Hallowe'en candies, I'm sure you'd like these.
GROSS / REALLY GROSS / NOT THAT BAD: Not that bad. Go buy a ton of these. You can thank me later.

CANDY 2: Bassett's Murray Mints
I don't know who Murray is, or what a Murray is, so again - this is one of those candies that only tells you half the story. "Well, it's going to be some kind of mint I guess". At least the see-through cellophane gives you a hint that it is beige, opaque, and vaguely reminiscent of gas-station bathroom soap.

The candy itself is stamped with the name Murray. That's...something. The candy is hard and minty, but also creamy? Not sure what the cream is - milk maybe? Minty Milk? Creamy Mint? I love mint candies, but this candy was pretty gross; I spat it in the trash.
GROSS / REALLY GROSS / NOT THAT BAD: It was really gross. This candy is a terrible idea. Murray should be ashamed of himself.

Gardiners of Scotland make lots of tiny fudge candies, the most popular of which is the Vanilla Fudge. Can you blame it? Look how adorable it is. Little pale yellow paper. Tiny purple thistle. Delicious vanilla fudge insides. I've bought these many times, but never its two grosser, pimple-faced teenage brothers:

CANDY 3: Gardiner's of Scotland Rum & Raisin Fudge
There's no adorable picture of a plant on this one, just an out-of-date looking wrapper in burgundy and beige. But you do know that the fudge inside will taste like rum, raisins, or both.

See that chunk out of the fudge? That's from where I found a raisin and SPAT IT OUT. Why? Because raisins do not belong in candy. They are fine in cookies and granola and breakfast cereals featuring a be-scooped smiling Mr. Sun, but not in candies or chocolate. After I disposed of the raisin, I ate the remainder of the fudge. It tasted like eggnog, but not like fake Starbucks-holiday-drink-syrup eggnog. It was really yummy.
GROSS / REALLY GROSS / NOT THAT BAD: If it didn't have a raisin in it, I would give it a not that bad. However, I am deducting points for that raisin. I'm going to rate this as gross. I shouldn't have to spit out part of my candy in order to enjoy it (but if you're fine with that, then these are straight-up delicious and you should eat 10).

CANDY 4: Gardiner's of Scotland Malt Whisky Fudge
Oh, another very adorable wrapper! Peach paper with that pretty thistle. Good job, Gardiners.

Oh Jesus, inside was another story all together. This tasted straight up like whiskey. If you love booze, you'll...not like this, because you'd probably rather just drink Wild Turkey straight from the bottle. This was like if rubbing alcohol and fudge had a baby and then got the baby drunk and CPS came and took the baby away, but then they got their shit together and got the baby back, and celebrated by getting hammered on Jack Daniels. What I'm saying is, is that this is the grossest piece of candy I've eaten in a very long time (and I just ate a Murray Mint).
GROSS / REALLY GROSS / NOT THAT BAD: This is the definition of really gross. Malt Whisky Fudge isn't candy, it's a dare.

CANDY 5: Walkers Liquorice Toffee
Right away, I've lost all of you that hate liquorice things. I get it - liquorice tastes like Satan's jockstrap. But let's focus on the wrapper first. I love it. It's shiny foil with checkerboard on the ends. But I suppose you need to really sell people on liquorice :(

This is the same size/weight as the Treacle Toffee, except a little less shiny. It's almost black, with a green cast to it. That sounds gross, but if it was pure-black, I'd be worried about all the dye (Sike! No I wouldn't). It's chewy and soft and tastes like sweet toffee with really nice natural black liquorice flavour.
GROSS / REALLY GROSS / NOT THAT BAD: This is, for serious, not that bad. Look, we all hated black liquorice when we were kids; it's not a very kid-friendly flavor. But this is seriously one of the best candies I've tasted in a long long time. These come a very close second to the Treacle Toffees. Liquorice + toffee seems gross, but I urge you to find these wherever you can and try them.

CANDY 6: Blackcurrant and Liquorice
I picked this one up for two reasons. The first being that blackcurrant candies are gross, obviously. And secondly because who the hell mixes fruit and liquorice? That's just a terrible match. However, the packaging was pretty neat; the paper felt like Tootsie Roll paper and the colour was beautiful. I feel like Mary Poppins would keep these in her purse.

Normally I hate currant flavoured things, but I just love this. The blackcurrant flavour is almost grapey, but like real grape and not cough syrup grape (don't get me wrong - cough syrup grape is my favourite drink of all time). The inside is a hard piece of candy liquorice, and it's not super-strong or foul. I love it. I had to spit about 1/3 of it out (too time consuming to eat. Make it smaller)
GROSS / REALLY GROSS / NOT THAT BAD: Definitely not that bad. I wouldn't hunt for these like a heat-seeking missile, but if I found one in a mixed candy bag, I would grab it like a grizzly bear finding a salmon (that was a lot of metaphor for one sentence).

CANDY 7: This clear orange thing (I can't remember the name on the jar; I think they called it a Bronny Sweet or something). I Googled Swizzels Matlow and got nothing, so I assumed this was going to either be a butterscotch, an orange candy, or some kind of herbal sweet like a cough drop.

It was so sticky and the sugar was all sharp like small glass shards in my mouth and it tastes like a shitty orange. Honey, orange peel, sticking to my teeth. It reminds me of a terrible Christmas or expired medicine or a kiss from a homeless drifter. I spat this one out so fast it was a miracle it made it anywhere near the trash.
GROSS / REALLY GROSS / NOT THAT BAD: I wish I had a grade a million times higher than Really Gross, and that grade is this: I would really love to meet the type of person who actually likes this candy, take a picture of them, and always carry said picture in my wallet. When I'm eventually killed in some kind of accident/murder/fire-y carnage, I can hold up the picture to the person closest to me, grip their face in my bloody/charred/cut-off stumps of hands and whisper "Avenge my death, son. Avenge my death" before taking my last breath on the pavement/in my car/from under the foot of an elephant.

5 comments:

carmel dias said...

mmm rum and raisin i used to love rum and raisin ice cream

Erin said...

I f-ing love black licorice. The best part about it is that you don't have to share it with anyone else because no one wants it. It's the perfect candy for selfish assholes (like me).

Kenny said...

Black licorice turns your poop green.

R.J. said...

I live in the UK and most of these candies I have never in my life seen. I guess now I know why. :/

R.J. said...

Wow, just googled Swizzels Matlow and here's what I got: a whole trippy, badly animated world.

http://www.swizzels-matlow.com/

If you go to the 'town hall' they have a 'sweet shop' with info about all their sweets. I'm guessing you had either a 'Barley Sugar' (even sounds vile) or a 'Crystal Fruit'. Whatever, they both come in gross, budget saving packaging.