April 22nd: Junior Caramels / Mints

I mentioned in my review yesterday that Yankee Soda & Candy had sent me a whole host of new items to review in celebration of them opening their new online store (See HERE!). Over the past few weeks I have been tucking into these Junior Caramels & Mints, which believe me has taken a while since they came in rather large 149.0g/156.0g packs. I hadn't heard of the Junior brand before, though a quick look at their packaging revealed that they were 'manufactured in the US for Tootsie Roll Ltd'. Speaking of the packaging I have to admit I wasn't all that impressed. The actual aesthetics of both products was pretty standard, though I wasn't all that enamoured by the way the chocolates loosely rolled around inside their cardboard boxes ... would it really have hurt to have them kept in plastic/foil bags?

Below are my thoughts on the two different variants I tried:

Junior Caramels:

Kcal 190 Fat 6.0g Fat(sats) 2.5g Carbs 33.0g (per 42.0g - 13 pieces)

When I first saw these I immediately thought straight back to my review of the Hershey's Milk Duds. These were entirely the same proposition, though these caramel centres were actually coated in real milk chocolate rather the fake Hershey's stuff.

Due to the cardboard packaging the aromas that emanated from the box were mild to say the least and did very little to excite.

Placing the first piece in my mouth I was surprised at the texture as it was a lot softer than I was expecting. In my opinion the softer texture worked and gave the piece a nice chewiness that meant each one lasted longer in the mouth. Unfortunately the flavours of the milk chocolate were far from spectacular and had a somewhat lazy dried milk taste that did little apart from substantiate an unexciting sweetness. Thankfully the caramel centres were a little better and brought some buttery toffee flavours that made the whole experience a lot more positive.

Overall these weren't the best caramel product I have had but they were a little better than the comparator Hershey's Milk Duds. The milk chocolate coating was a little devoid of flavour, which ultimately meant they weren't the most substantial of snacks. This coupled with the quite mediocre nature of the presentation and subsequent effect on the aroma has brought down their score quite a bit.

6.6 out of 10

Junior Mints:

Kcal 170 Fat 3.0g Fat(sats) 2.5g Carbs 35.0g (per 40.0g - 16 pieces)

These were the second I sampled out of the two and were probably the variant I was more looking forward to trying. The packaging stated that these Junior Mints constituted of 'semi-sweet chocolate coated mint centres'.

Just as with the Caramel variant the product lacked a telling aroma due to the nature of the packaging - I found this even more surprising given they were mint flavoured.

In truth the semi-sweet chocolate didn't do much for me either
. Apart from delivering some very mild cocoa base flavours to each mouthful the actual impact of the chocolate was pretty minimal. Despite the disappointing chocolate coating the mint centres were truly wonderful, and were so very moreish. The peppermint flavours were cool, fresh and most importantly balanced nicely in their sweetness which is a hard thing to do with sugar based fondants. On the other hand though these Junior Mints were a little disappointing in their texture as they were so soft they lasted only seconds in the mouth.

Overall just as with the Caramel variant these were a nice tasting product, but just with a few flaws. The mint element was well executed and particularly enjoyable, however the chocolate, presentation and aroma were again disappointments. Despite the lowish score these are still a product I am sure chocolate mint fans could get some pleasure from and I would hesistently recommend them on this basis.

6.6 out of 10