Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Old Candy Critic Articles - Saver Some Fruit

I've decided to take down several old articles from the and re-post them here on the Candy Critic blog.  This week I'm posting an article I wrote comparing the flavours in Lifesavers to the real fruit.

Fruit, some call it nature's candy; I prefer to call it nature's fruit. Candy is candy, fruit is fruit. It's all pretty simple.

The concept for this article started when I was walking through a fruit market and saw some bananas. I thought to myself, "They don't really make a fruity treat that tastes like real bananas." The reason I say this is I'm a pretty big fan of bananas, but generally hate banana flavoured candies. This got me thinking about how much or little most fruity treats taste like the real thing. We often accept that a certain flavour is what the wrapper tells us it is, but I don't think it's often even close. Or maybe it is.

I rarely find myself indulging in a treat while simultaneously eating the real fruit equivalent. I can't bear the idea that there's a candy experience I have not tried, so here goes. After much thought, I decided that the treat of choice would be Lifesavers. I figure it's the best bet, because it's been around forever, and I think most people reading this probably know what they taste like. I also happen to like every flavour of both Lifesavers and their fruity counterparts, so this allows me to eat treats that won’t make me want to barf.
Most writers tell you to save the best for last, and they're probably right, but unfortunately I've decided to let the pack of Lifesavers decide where I start. The great candy gods have chosen Cherry. 

The interesting thing about cherries is that every time I bite into one, I expect it to taste like the candy version of it. The thing is, it's rare for cherries to be really sweet. No matter how fresh or ripe a cherry is, it always seems to have a bit of a sour kick. That's not bad by any means, but it is something that you don't really remember unless you think about it, and if you think about it, I'm pretty sure you’re not enjoying the cherry as much as you could be.

The Lifesaver is interesting. As I said, it tastes nothing like real cherries, but it tastes like what I'd like cherries to taste like. I have been brought up in a candy world. Here I am writing about how I wish real fruit tasted like candy. I think I need help.
The next choice, as determined by the Lifesavers roll, is Pineapple. This treat has neither pine tree elements nor apple, so it's a little odd if you ask me.

This might be the only really unfair competition out of all of the comparisons. I'm not sure whether the candy or the fruit gets the advantage, but I'm using canned pineapple so it's not really the same as the fresh stuff. I find for the most part it's a little sweeter out of the can, and that seems to be a big difference between the candy versions of most fruits and their real counterparts. The one thing I can say about real pineapple is it's a lot stringer than its candy companion. I've been known to get a bit of the stringy bits stuck between my teeth.

The pineapple Lifesaver has always been a mystery to me. Why pineapple? Why not something a little more common, like banana? It just seems strange. Having said that, the similarities between the fruit (albeit from a can) and the candy are pretty close. I'm impressed; slightly sour but with that unmistakable pineapple taste. Not bad, Lifesavers people, not bad.
Lime is my next choice, or so says the roll.

You're probably thinking, "What kind of idiot would take a bite out of a lime?" Well, I'm just that kind of idiot. Sour. Man oh man is that ever sour, particularly after eating all the sweet pineapple - both the fruit and the candy. I have to be honest. I really did just take a bite and took in more juice than anything else. Man, that's sour. These things are really great with sweet things but on their own they’re not so much fun.

The Lifesaver tastes more like a sweet sparkling cola with lime in it than just a plain lime. Basically, it tastes like they took the flavour of lime and sugared the heck out of it. Once again, another situation where the candy is just an overly sweet version of the original. Not that I really mind, though. I mean, I don't think I could have managed a long suck on something as sour as a lime.
Orange is next. You've got to love a fruit that shares its name with its colour.

I have a love-hate relationship with oranges. It's not that I love to hate them or anything vindictive like that. It's just that if I eat a bad orange, it's the worst thing I can possibly imagine. However, if I eat a good orange, life doesn't get much better than that. Fortunately, this particular orange was a good one. The bad ones are just bitter and make me want to wretch.

With this candy, the sweetness is very similar to the fruit, much like the pineapple. The candy might even be a little sourer, and I don't really mind it. The flavours are similar but you can tell the difference. The real difference comes into play due to the fact that the Lifesaver lacks that rush of juice you get from an orange. Refreshing qualities are big in my book, and in particular fruits like oranges.
Last but not least, Lemon.

If you're wondering whether I'm going to take a bite out of a lemon, please reference the lime section above. I try not to learn from my mistakes. As far as sour goes, see the lime section above and then double it. Wow, that's a sour fruit. I can't say that I've never bitten into a lemon before, because I'm well known for doing stupid things like that, but maybe I just block out how it feels. I hope that if I get the idea to do it again, I'll just reference this blog.

I'm not really sure why they put a lemon and a lime Lifesaver in this package; I think they taste virtually the same. I'm sure it has something to do with looking like a rainbow, but then that begs the question of why they have pineapple instead of grape or blueberry. Taste-wise, the difference between the lemon and lime flavoured Lifesavers isn't that big, similarly with the fruit. In fact, many fruit-flavoured treats have "lemon lime" flavours and I can see why - the flavours are not that different. The strange thing is that out of all the flavours, these two are the most different from their fruit counterparts. Maybe that's not strange or even that interesting, but it's worth mentioning.

Any last notes, you might ask? Well, for the record, I do really enjoy fruit, even though you probably imagine me just eating tonnes of candy all the time.


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