“ Brand: Skittles „
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I was excited to spot these in my local Waldo's convenience store (everything one price...but that price is bizarrely 13.69 pesos), as anything new with Chocolate in the title catches my eye. I have eaten regular Skittles before, but they are by no means a favourite. However, I wanted to give these a shot. I guess I imagined they would be a little more chocolatey and a little less Skittley, perhaps more on the way to M&Ms. I was wrong, and when I sampled the first few I didn't think I would finish the packet. In the end, I got through it, but it took some effort. Chocolate Mix Skittles are little sweets, all with a chocolate-themed flavour. They are crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside. The packet is a brown version of the usual Skittles packet, and is easy to open. You can tear across the top without ripping the whole thing apart, good if you only want to eat some of the contents now, and save some for later. The packet design shows the 5 flavours of chocolate Skittles inside, though the colouring is slightly off: the S'mores one is more orangey in real life than the packet would suggest. The sweets look like regular Skittles but in a more muted colour pallet, though the trademark white 'S' is still there, and for the most part are consistent in size and shape, with just a few dented ones making the cut. The flavours are: VANILLA - not a chocolate flavour per se, so for this reason, I described the packet as chocolate-themed. The palest of the bunch, a creamy white colour, these have an artificial but unmistakably Vanilla taste, a bit like ready-made icing (think Betty Crocker Frosting in a Can). S'MORES (for the uninitiated, S'mores are an American treat of chocolate, marshmallows and crackers that you often roast over a campfire). This is the orangey Skittle, and its name is quite accurate - it tastes somewhat liked burnt marshmallows, and is quite sweet, though not very chocolatey. If you've sample American sweets, I would compare this to a Tootsie Roll, a similar hard, chocolate candy. CHOCOLATE CARAMEL - this is a very sweet tasting sweet, and does have a tinge of caramel to it, though it's more like the hard toffees you get than the nice runny caramel cups. At a push, it could also be compared to Butterscotch. There's virtually no chocolate in this one at all, despite the colour. CHOCOLATE PUDDING - this is very similar in colour to the next one, making me think at first that there were none in the packet. It is a brown/purple colour and tastes chocolatey, but the Hershey's kind of chocolate, not the Cadbury's kind. It is somewhat bitter, and therefore works well when paired with the Vanilla or S'mores flavour. BROWNIE BATTER - I love to bake Brownies and often eat half the batter before baking, so have an idea what they're trying to achieve with this flavour. Though it starts off like the Pudding one, there is a definite aftertaste of Brownie, though again it is quite dark / bitter, and tastes more like cheap shop-bought packet-mix brownies than the delish home-made kind. I was surprised by how they managed to get such distinct flavours into the sweets. If you eat them by then handful you might just get a reasonably nice, general chocolate taste, but sample them individually and you can tell the difference between them. Like regular Skittles, these are very hard candies. They take a little more chewing than I like for my chocolate / chocolate-tasting item, but they made an interesting change. However, I felt the need to brush my teeth immediately after eating, which of course may not be practical if you're out and about. The up side was that the chewing made my jaw ache and also took a while, so I could only eat half the 220 calorie packet at a time, turning it from a quite bad snack into a not-quite-as-bad one. Though I won't be buying these every week, I can imagine they could make good cake or bun decorations, giving you a nice subtle colour scheme for icing chocolate or vanilla baked goods. However these are hard enough at room temperature, so I would not recommend using them if you're then going to chill the item in question, as these would go rock hard to a tooth-breaking extreme. Fans of regular Skittles might like to try these, but as a pure chocolate lover I just wasn't convinced. I think these would also appeal to Jelly Bean lovers - from my memory of those, some taste a lot more like their purported flavour than others, just as here. These Skittles don't have the garish colours that the regular ones do, but I would still check the ingredients list before giving them to children sensitive to additives since they don't strike me as a "natural" food, and include various E numbers. Unlike many chewy sweets, these are suitable for vegetarians and vegans...which also doesn't help me think they're natural, given what's left when you remove all animal products, especially when trying to create a 'chocolate' flavour. Overall these were a novel try but probably not one I will be repeating. I like my chocolate to be silky, not tough and chewy, and a chocolate taste also helps too. Not a waste of 40p to try them once, but I'll be sticking to the proper stuff in the future. Recommend for those who like Skittles. Not recommended for those who like chocolate. For more on Skittles visit www.skittles.com Buy these online from www.americansweets.co.uk or eBay.