Recently in Candynalysis Category

sour shrek skittles

| 1 Comment

Fresh on the heels of yesterday's Shrek snack exposé comes another look at Shrek snack products. On my way to watch the Warriors play like a pack of galumphing ogres versus Utah, I purchased a bag of Sour Skittles for my friend. A newly directionalized and dimensionalized blogger and Sour Skittles enthusiast, Louise introduced me to the candy on a road trip to Los Angeles last spring. As an added bonus, these were special Shrek the Third Sour Skittles. I haven't seen any of the Shrek films, and conveniently enough, Louise is also my main source for Shrek information.

A sample conversation:

Sean: So, the princess is secretly a Shrek?
Louise: Only at night.
Sean: But her parents are humans, not Shreks?
Louise: Yes.
Sean: And that donkey is having sex with the dragon?
Louise: I have to go, Sean.

There are no hilarious jokes on this particular snack product. Instead, they promise "ogre-iffic" prizes, which in my case meant a Shrek screen saver. I would quibble over whether that qualifies as ogre-iffic, but I guess I like the screen saver as much as I like any ogre-related product.

One reason there aren't any knock-knock jokes on the Skittles packaging is that the company's creative energy went into making new "enchanted" flavors. Wizard Watermelon and Apple-y Ever After replace the decidedly disenchanted flavors of orange and grape. The sorcery of M&M-Mars knows no bounds! They even bewitched anti-obesity spokesman Shrek into endorsing roughly seventy-five different candy and junk food products.

As we have seen with other Mike Myers vehicles like Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me and The Cat in the Hat, the funniness of a movie increases with every additional promotional tie-in associated with it.


How are Shrek Sour Skittles as a candy? Wizard Watermelon is pretty good, but Apple-y Ever After is clearly inferior to the classic orange. I wish Wizard Melon had been "The End" of the flavor modification. Both new and old flavors provide the requisite acidity and damage the taster's tongue fairly severely, as sourficionados have come to demand from their candy. Much like Shrek the Third aspires to be, Sour Shrek Skittles are an inoffensive retread of a tried-and-true formula.

Coincidentally, we also got a chance to sample the new Sour Mix Mentos, which were extremely disappointing and not at all sour. If I were to design a commercial for the product, I'd set it at a sold-out rock concert. A frustrated fan is turned away at the door, but then he gets an idea. He turns his jacket inside out, pulls a cap down low on his head, and pretends to be a security guard. He pops a Sour Mix Mento into his mouth, and immediately begins to choke. The real security guards laugh at him, and then everyone at the concert leaves because the band sucks so bad. At the end, a bum steals his wallet and kicks him in the crotch. Then the announcer says, "Sour Mix Mentos: The Freshmaker?!?" all freaked out and horrified, and the commercial ends. There would also be a code on the package that let you download a Sour Mix Mentos screen saver that, when installed, immediately crashes your computer. Because that's what this candy does to your mouth.


Earlier Candynalysis:

Three Musketeers
Lollipop Paint Shop
Cherry Cola Candee Slurpee

My most recent novelty candy purchase was a pack of Now & Laters. The distinctive green packaging initially caught my eye on the convenience store rack, but once I saw it was called "Green Tingleberry", I knew this was a candy worthy of further analysis.

Was this name chosen as a prank? "Tingleberry" and "dingleberry" are nearly the same word. Move your tongue less than a millimeter and you've gone from discussing a children's snack to talking about tiny dried turds.

It sounds less like a brand of candy and more like the aftermath of a rough night of partying. "After I did my seventh shot of Jager, I went out and got pizza at 3 AM. I woke with a stomachache, a pounding headache and green tingleberries. A whole pack of them."

ConAgra Foods often uses its cutting-edge flavor technology to create Now & Later hybrids like "Blue Radberry". Radberries are very similar to raspberries, except they wear oversized clothing and prefer snowboarding to skiing. "Tingleberry" is a blend of berry and tropical fruit flavors, though I couldn't specify which berries or tropical fruits were present. In the color language of candy, green generally represents lime, sometimes apple, and occasionally indicates kiwi or melon, so my guess here is kiwi. Green is the only color of tingleberry available, so it is unclear whether tingleberries of another color might taste better.

Regardless of flavor, all Now & Laters have the same weaknesses: they're hard to chew, they get stuck in your teeth, and they're similar enough to Starbursts that you're reminded of how much more enjoyable it would be to eat a Starburst instead. I have read that Now & Laters are supposed to loosen to a taffy-like consistency after being sufficiently dissolved by saliva, but I do not believe that this actually occurs most of the time.

Perhaps this sticky quality of Now & Laters inspired the Tingleberries name. No matter how thoroughly you chew or how clean your mouth is, getting rid of the tingleberries is going to take some picking and scraping.

If you notice that your life includes a lot of Green Tingleberry, or a lot of green dingleberries, the lesson is the same: You need to start eating better now, not later. Green Tingleberry Now & Laters are an official "Product of Mexico", as if they didn't have enough problems already down there.

When would I prefer to try this candy again? Not now. Later. Much later.

Earlier Candynalysis:

Three Musketeers
Lollipop Paint Shop

Some months ago, I purchased a novelty candy called the Lollipop Paint Shop for my good friend Louise. The Lollipop Paint Shop was less than delicious. As a way of returning the favor, Louise bought me some novelty candy as part of my birthday present. It's called the Candee Slurpee, and it is a 7-11 EXCLUSIVE.


My birthday was a few months ago, but I kept the candy preserved in a plastic bag, the way C.S.I. keeps evidence. That is appropriate because the very existence of the Candee Slurpee is a crime. Its combination of Sweet Lollipop! and Sour Liquid! seems designed to evoke an actual Slurpee as much as possible. Underneath the plastic lid is a sweet candy shell, while the inside reservoir is full of sour syrup. The Candee Slurpee also comes with a pointed straw, reminiscent of those that came glued to the back of Capri Sun pouches.

The concept of the candy seems to be that buyers will combine the tastes of sour and sweet by slurping up the liquid while simultaneously licking the hard candy shell. You know, just like a real Slurpee. In practice, this proves impossible. It's hard to eat the hard candy part at all, even without the complication of the straw. The Candee's waxed paper sides add a level of annoying realism and prevents any normal lollipop consumption strategies. The only way to consume the hard candy part is to essentially fellate the entire Slurpee, which will inevitably lead to a sour sticky liquid dribbling down your chin.

The level of realism is impressive. I imagine there were earlier, less-accurate incarnations of the Candee Slurpee that were returned in droves by disappointed consumers. Complaint letters demanded waxier paper, sharper straws, and stickier liquid. If the Candee Slurpee does as well as 7-11 hopes, we might soon see a Big Bite Hot Dog Candee (gummy candy sitting in a bun made of nougat), a Candee Big Gulp (waxy shell, entirely full of sour syrup), scratch-and-sniff candee lottery tickets, or packs of Candee Parliament Lights (regular cigarettes that have been dipped in powdered sugar).

Shockingly, this product contains artifical flavors. 7-11 officially recommends the Candee Slurpee "For Ages 4 and up", but I informally recommend it be immediately thrown in the garbage.

Recently I went over to the lovely apartment of Emalie and Louise on a Sunday night. My instructions were to bring over a scary movie. After some frantic phone consultation among the Blockbuster stacks, I decided on Wes Craven's Red Eye. After that poor decision, I made a worse one: I purchased some novelty candy.

The items I bought were a candy pacifier and an intriguing item called the Lollipop Paint Shop (patent pending). Emalie chose the pacifier, leaving the Paint Shop to Louise.


The Lollipop Paint Shop (patent pending) is made up of a miniature paint brush, which is actually a lollipop, and a miniature paint bucket, which is full of fruit-flavored sugar. To enjoy, you dip the paintbrush into the bucket, and then lick the brush. You know, just like real painting.

From what I could garner from Louise's reactions, the Lollipop Paint Shop was not tasty at any point. Only obligation kept Louise from throwing the Lollipop Paint Shop (patent pending) into the trash after her first taste. Since it was a gift, she made the pained effort to keep eating, actually cringing at a few bites/licks.

If the taste weren't bad enough, the Lollipop Paint Shop (patent pending) is made up of toxic materials. The back of the package contains a lengthy warning about the perils of this candy:

If it spills on carpet, DO NOT pour water on it. Soak the spot in vinegar and professionally steam-clean the carpet. Keep adding vinegar as necessary.

If this is what it does to fabrics, imagine what it could do to your esophagus! Perhaps this is why they don't have that patent yet.

Louise's tongue was painted red by the time she gave up, so she was chugging vinegar for the last twenty minutes of the film, just to be safe. Even though this candy was a disaster, it was ultimately still better than Red Eye. Louise threw away the Lollipop Paint Shop (patent pending) after 15 minutes; Red Eye lasted for an hour and a half. Given sufficient vinegar and steam cleaning, you could remove the Lollipop Paint Shop (patent pending) from nearly anything, but no amount of alcohol or electroshock therapy can ever remove Red Eye from our memories.

Some thoughts on the 3 Musketeers bar

The 3 Musketeers bar is just chocolate and nougat. If you want something really tasty, you get the Snickers bar, which has nougat, caramel, and peanuts. If you want something nut-free and still delicious, you can opt for the Milky Way bar, with nougat and caramel. The 3 Musketeers bar seems to appeal to people who like candy, but want to minimize its deliciousness.

Big on Chocolate, Low on Fat

Mars, Incorporated has begun to market the 3 Musketeers bar as a low-fat alternative candy bar, I guess for people who are watching their calories and/or carbs, but still purchasing and consuming candy bars. They do have "45% less fat", presumably compared to something like a Milky Way.

This may be a marketing strategy akin to Subway. In the last decade, Subway has begun to market itself as a healthy, alternative fast food outlet. The poster child for Subway sandwiches was Jared, whose inspirational weight-loss story centered around him walking to Subway twice a day for meals. Jared lost over 200 pounds due to a combination of exercise, a low-fat, sandwich-only diet, and a crippling methamphetmaine addiction. Sure, the sandwiches don't taste all that great, says Subway's parent company, Doctors & Associates, but they're much healthier.

However, Subway still keeps a big rack of chips right next to every counter. There is a discount on chips and soda with purchase of a sandwich. And the "low-fat" menu items become much more "high-fat" if you add the freely available mayonnaise or olive oil to your sandwich. It still isn't healthy by any means; it's just less unhealthy than a place like McDonald's. One almost wonders if Subway is intentionally attempting to lure in the obese, people who might identify with the "Before" Jared, only to eventually give in to the temptation of the Value Meal. People who overeat would seem to be a golden demographic for a restaurant chain.

Gateway bars

By the same reasoning, the 3 Musketeers might be considered a gateway bar. If the weight-watcher who buys 3 Musketeers as a less-tasty, less-unhealthy snack has a slip, he will hopefully binge on 3 Musketeers, rather than some other brand. Even while a healthy, Musketeer-heavy diet lasts, the dieter still has to get that selection from the candy aisle. Once he's there, there's little to stop him from getting a "harder" candy bar, like a Snickers, or even a Butterfinger.

Butterfinger is the candy aisle equivalent of heroin: its filling is sugar and peanut butter blended together in its most concentrated form, without any nougat to provide a protective layer of blandness. The Velvet Underground had an unreleased song where Lou Reed sang, "Honeycombed peanut butter center, it's my life, it's my wife." Even the official Butterfinger web site says that buying the largest possible Butterfinger bar to share with a date is a surefire "deal-sealer", whatever sort of honeycombing that is supposed to imply.

Urban Legend

Someone told me a story about the origin of the names of Milky Way and 3 Musketeers bars. The legend goes that Milky Way and 3 Musketeers were released on the same day, but the labels were accidentally switched. This has a strain of plausibility, because a Milky Way bar has three ingredients (to review: chocolate coating, nougat, caramel), and it is easy to envision the smooth chocolate nougat interior of the 3 Musketeers bar as a veritable galaxy of mediocre taste.

So, the labels were switched, and both bars were so popular, the candy company couldn't very well reverse themselves and change the names back after they were such a hit. And that is the Just So Story of why 3 Musketeers has only two damn ingredients.

However, Milky Way came out in 1923. 3 Musketeers wasn't released until 1932. Originally, it had three different pieces and three different flavors: vanilla, strawberry, and chocolate. This legend is just not true, though people in Mauritania might believe it.

Little differences

In England, our 3 Musketeers is known as a Milky Way. Our Milky Way is England's Mars bar. The American Mars bar no longer exists. Because of the metric system.


My lovely roommate bought large candy bars for the trick-or-treaters, only some of which were later confiscated by the author. Most kids demonstrated the proper awe for the too-much-fun sized candies, and the impressive selection, except for one bold young boy, dressed as a Power Ranger. (Kids still watch Power Rangers? That show is still on? I need to check in with Mom about this one.) The young Green Ranger reached in and snatched two full-sized Snickers at once. I was horrified by his greed, but quite impressed by his moxie, as the candy bars barely fit through the top of his plastic pumpkin pail.

Now, would he have demonstrated such courage for two full-sized 3 Musketeers bars? I sort of doubt it.

Fun Facts

My tireless Internet research has failed to discover when 3 Musketeers changed to their current flavor configuration. However, the FAQ on the official 3 Musketeers site yields some fascinating information.

The chocolate nougat (mostly egg whites and sugar – sorry, vegan friends) is covered in chocolate by a process called "enrobing" (in a facility that also manufactures peanut products – sorry, Matt). Enrobing involves "a continuous curtain of liquid chocolate" and also "a rotating chocolate covered wheel". Awesome.

Actually, since it's milk chocolate, the nougat didn't really make or break the candy's veganosity.


After the runaway success of both the Count of Mighty Crispy bar, and Queen Marshmallots, candymakers scrambled to adapt another of Alexandre Dumas pere's adventure novels into a confectionary treat. They ended up choosing the Musketeers.

D'Artagnan represents the candy bar, though he's not one of the titular Musketeers. He stepped in when Aramis got the boot from Mars, Incorporated. Maybe it's because Aramis became a priest, and he's not a worldly, nougat-hungry gentleman like the others. After all, the 3 Musketeers® Brand Athos is "brilliant and brave but also clumsy like a nutty professor" and "a scatterbrained hero with a heart of gold." 3 Musketeers® Brand D'Artagnan is "always the first to charge into a fray". He's "courageous, gallant and always wins the day". Meanwhile, 3 Musketeers® Brand Porthos is "James Bond with a saber".

I like to think of D'Artagnan as sugar, Athos as milk chocolate, and Porthos as blended egg whites. Blended egg whites with a saber.

February 2012
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
      1 2 3 4
5 6 7 8 9 10 11
12 13 14 15 16 17 18
19 20 21 22 23 24 25
26 27 28 29      

About This Site

Sean Keane on Tumblr

Sean Keane Comedy Dot Com
Short posts, better name-branding

Backup Blog

Friends and Associates

San Francisco Comedy

Fine Sporting Websites

Local Bands


Sean Keane's Internet Famousness

About this Archive

This page is an archive of recent entries in the Candynalysis category.

Bar Mitzvah Tour 2006 is the previous category.

Family Business is the next category.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.

Powered by Movable Type 5.04