Sour Is In Your Soul

Sour Snack Roundup V

Time marches on and more sour snacks keep on coming. And I love it. As a lover of all things sour I will keep reviewing sour candies as long as new items keep coming out. It's my joy, my bliss, my reason to keep on writing. And there's nothing wrong with that. We all need something that gets us through the day and, for me, just a little bit of that is sour. It makes me pucker up and enjoy life.

So let's get into the fifth of these sampler selections and see just what we've got in store:

Super Sour Gushers

Sour Gushers are a snack I used to see in the fruit snackers area of grocery stores all the time. They were great; that Gushers flavor with just the right hint of sour flavor. A tart little bite in your mouth. But then they disappeared and I don’t know where they went or why. Other flavors of Gushers are still available wherever I go, but the sour type seems to have vanished, at least in all the areas I’ve lived.

However, I have managed to find them in one store: 7-11. Here they’re not considered anything remotely like healthy food. In grocery stores Gushers, Fruit Roll-Ups, and the like are in with breakfast foods and other “good for kids” snacks. At 7-11, though, there’s no pretense; these are candy, bagged in big bags like other candies, and hung on the candy racks. They know, and we know, these things have always been candy and now we’re all just going to accept with and pretend like we never thought otherwise.

The big bag comes with three flavors of Gushers in the mix: Blueberry Grape, Mixed Berry, and Raspberry Lemonade. That’s a lot of berry flavors, you will note, and that means that every piece in the bag basically tastes like generic berry. If I blindly reach into the bag and pull out a piece without looking, I couldn’t tell you from taste alone which flavor I was getting. They all taste the same. Sour, berry, and gush. That’s the standard Gushers flavor.

And yet, these are good. The sour flavor is strong, and the Gushers flavor is good. These have a strong bite to them, and there’s solid tartness that even I, a regular consumer of sour candy, can taste. A big bag is supposed to be four servings but I’ll be honest that these bags are basically one serving as I sit here, writing this, snacking on the whole bag. They’re good, very snackable, and then suddenly very gone. I highly recommend buying these if you can find them.

Fruit Roll-Ups Sour

Unlike Sour Gushers, which I’ve seen for a while, I actually have no clue how long Fruit Roll-Ups have had sour flavors. Fruit Roll-Ups are one of those treats I wasn’t really allowed to have as a kid (Gushers, too, but I found ways to sneak those) as my mom wasn’t really a fan of sugary snacks in the house, and fruit snacks in general were viewed as “candy”. Which, okay, fair enough, they really are. Fruit Roll-Ups were a part of most lunch boxes, but I didn’t get to be lucky like those kids so I didn’t really get to sample them until I was older. And now I grab them for my lunch boxes so I can live my best eight-year-old life while I’m at work.

Traditional flavors of the Roll-Ups are good. I like Tropical Tie-Dye (which tastes sweet, with a good vibe, but the flavor is very generically “fruit”). The Strawberry flavor is okay. They had a mystery pack with Mystery Flavor, which might have been some kind of grape punch, and a Melon flavor, which tasted very weird (but I still ate it). But now they have sour flavors (or, at least, now I’m seeing sour flavors) so I absolutely had to grab the box. Fruit Roll-Ups I can review for the site? Count me in!

The boxes come in two flavors (mixed, individually, into the boxes): Blue Razzberry (spelled, of course, with the Zs) and Berry Punch. Or, as labeled on the actual Roll-Ups themselves, Sour Blue and Sour Red. Of the two I like the Red better, although that may be because the Blue Razzberry doesn’t taste quite like I expect Blue Razzberry to taste. There’s a distinctive flavor that comes with Blue Razzberry (as we’ve discussed before). It’s very specific and once you pop it in your mouth you know it. The Fruit Roll-Up version doesn’t taste like that. It doesn’t have that same artificial flavor, and comes across as more generic. It tastes like it has notes of grape and blueberry, but mostly it just tastes generically blue. It’s fine. I like it, but it’s not what I expect when I bite into neon colored blueness.

The more generic sounding Berry Punch, aka Sour Red, tastes more like I expected. It has that same generic red flavor that I tasted from the Sour Patch Kids gels, tasting exactly like I expect fake red fruit to taste. I can’t even really tell what notes it’s trying for in its flavor – it’s not really strawberry, or apple, or anything else – as it just comes out red. But, at the same time, I really like it. I could eat two or three of these while sitting at my desk and I wouldn’t even realize how much I had consumed. It’s the mark of a good snack, to be so addictive you aren’t even realizing you’re funneling it in. Sour Red, and the Gushers above, both hit that mark.

And credit to General Mills, makers of Fruit Roll-Ups (and, in fact, Gushers as well): they don’t skimp on the sour. While these aren’t truly mouth puckering treats (since Fruit Roll-Ups are meant for kids’ lunchboxes), they have a strong, tangy bite and a good, sour back end. They hit that mark of just sour enough that they taste sour to my burned out taste buds, which means that actually must be at least somewhat sour for everyone else. They’re a good enough sour that I can see myself going back for them again when I feel like I want a Roll-Up (or two, or three). They aren’t as sour as the Super Sour Gushers above, but they’re delightfully tangy in a way I think most can enjoy. A very good snack.

Sour Skittles Berry Mix

As I’ve noted in a previous review, I am a huge fan of Sour Skillets. They’re my go-to candy choice. If I’m out and about and feel the need for a spot of sugar, nine times out of ten I’m hitting a bag of Sour Skittles. They have that right pop of sour that blends really well with the Skittles sweetness. I’ve gotten so used to the sour version of Skittles that going back and eating the normal, not-sour versions are gross. They’re now too sweet, kind of sickly tasting in a way that I just can’t stand. If Skittles put out all their flavors in sour versions, I would absolutely buy them (well, except for Tropical which has Banana Berry and that’s disgusting).

To that point, the brand has put out Sour Berry Mix, which is basically the Wild Berry mix of Skittles, just sour. The flavors between standard Wild Berry and Sour Berry Mix are the same: berry punch, strawberry, melon berry, wild cherry and (blue) raspberry. The only difference, of course, is that the Berry Mix is sour. They have that same, visible, texture coating on the outside announcing their sour flavor. It’s a strong sour flavor, too, helping to ease back the sweetness of the Skittles themselves. It’s a solid, tangy pop of candy that, like with the sour original mix, works so very well.

That said, the same flaws of the Wild Berry mix are here in Sour Berry Mix, and in fact I think they may be exacerbated by the sour flavor. The issue I’ve always had with Wild Berry Skittles, and the reason I don't get them very often, is that some of the berry tastes are rather medicinal, almost like the taste of cough syrups. Cherry is the worst offender here, absolutely tasting like Sucrets, the sore throat lozenge. Berry Punch isn’t much better, not really tasting like berry so much as medical-grade grape flavor. The others are more tolerable, with (Blue) Raspberry being a solid contender, and Melon Berry at least having a different vibe in the bag. Strawberry is the best taste in the bunch, but it’s also the one carryover flavor from the original mix, so obviously it’d be good.

But as I noted, those weird flavors are made worse by the sour coating. Cherry tastes very strong up front, and then has a really awful medicinal flavor on the aftertaste. Berry Punch I actually think tastes worse in sour form, losing what little tasty vibe it had. I like the rest, of course, but singularly I wouldn’t eat these two sour flavors if I could help it. That said, who eats Skittles one at a time? I pop them in my mouth by twos or threes to make fun flavor combinations, and I found that when you do that with the Sour mix any medicinal taste is lost. The bag is actually pretty good when you pop them, well, like candy.

I think, if given a choice, I’d still go with the original Sour Skittles over the Sour Berry Mix. The original tastes are so good they’re hard to pass up. But if I only saw the Berry Mix and I really wanted some sour flavor, I’d buy it. It might not be as good, but it’s still a better candy than a lot of other options out there. I’ll just dump handfuls in my mouth to enjoy the flavor combos instead in individual tastes.