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Taste test: new treats

Serving size One package One roll One piece One-half packet
Calories 160 140 110 5
Fat/Fiber .5g / 0g 5g / 0g 2.5g / 0g 0g / 0g
Sugars/Sodium 31g / 35mg 10g / 360mg 6g / 75mg 1g / 20mg
Carbs/Protein 40g / 0g 23g / 2g 20g / 2g 1g / 0g

Even though our tasters didn't feel the love for the newest Jolly Rancher candies, they were a big hit at St. Petersburg Catholic High School varsity baseball games this spring. In fact, the chewy treats, first brought to a game by a student in the bleachers, became thought of as a good luck charm by the fans who brought them to the games as they cheered the baseball Barons to their first state tournament in 37 years. The hard candies have a sweet, soft center that made them good for calming nerves and satisfying anxious cravings. The Jolly Ranchers were among four sugary items in this recent tasting.

Kathy Saunders, Times correspondent

Product Jolly Rancher Crunch N Chew Pillsbury

Special Edition Cinnamon Rolls With Chocolate Icing
Teddy Grahams Soft Paws Lipton Instant Iced Tea & Honey

These candies had the traditional Jolly Rancher flavors in a smoother, bullet-shaped capsule with a soft center. "It's a classic Jolly Rancher with a better texture," said one panelist. "The colors are bright and festive and remind me of the candies you see at Christmas," said another. "They stick to your teeth though." Judges said the candy was good for a long chew. "It takes a good while to get to the center, so these last a long time," said one. "I would eat these on a cross country car ride."Hot cinnamon rolls drenched in gooey, chocolate icing — what's not to love? "These taste almost homemade with real, chocolate frosting," said one judge. "There's a really good chew on the bun, too." Another liked the balance of sweet and salty flavors. "These glisten with dark brown sugar and are a moist, lush, guilty pleasure." Only one judge said she thought the chocolate tasted a bit artificial.Judges liked the "cute little bear paw" cookies for their look and taste. "They are a great idea for kids," said one judge. "They look fun and they are super moist," said another. "They are like mountains of softness that you just slide in your mouth and melt." A third judge said they look like a wholesome oatmeal cookie and didn't taste overly sugary. "I'd feel comfortable tucking these into a kid's lunch," she said.We poured these packets into water bottles and gave them a shake. (Half a packet goes into 8 ounces.) The iced tea had a slightly thick texture that appealed to a couple of judges. "It's also got a discernible honey flavor," said one panelist. "It's a little too sweet for me, but the tea flavor itself is real tasty." Panelists liked the convenience of the easy-to-pour packets. "This has a real refreshing tea flavor with just a hint of honey. It would be great to sip this summer over a glass of cracked ice," said one. "It's like tea and honey at the start of a lovely chicken supper picnic by Old Tampa Bay," said another.

they buy?
One of the four judges said yes.Three of the four judges said yes.Two of the four judges said yes.Two of the four judges said yes.
Shopping information99 cents for a 1.55-ounce bag from Sweetbay.$2.29 for a 12.4-ounce pack from Sweetbay.$3.19 for a box of eight 1-ounce packs from Sweetbay.$2.49 for a box of 10 .14-ounce packets from Target.

Panelists: Nan Jensen, registered dietitian; Bob Devin Jones, artistic director of Studio@620; Jim Yockey, aesthetician at Clinique of Plastic Surgery in St. Petersburg; and Laura Reiley, Times food critic.

Send suggestions for product testing to: Taste section, Tampa Bay Times, P.O. Box 1121, St. Petersburg, FL 33731 or e-mail them to Please put TEST SUGGESTION in the subject line. To read past Taster's Choice columns, go to

Taste test: new treats 06/12/12 [Last modified: Tuesday, June 12, 2012 4:30am]
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