Something Has Betrayed Me

Sour Snacks VII

A month goes by and, thanks to Easter on the horizon, we have another batch of sour snacks that I’ve managed to find. Some of these are questionable. One or two I outright regret, but all of them are marked as “sour” so, obviously, I had to try them. I eat these things so you know which ones are good (and, for the rest, so you don’t have to). So let’s get into it and see how these sour treats succeed or fail:

Peeps Sour Strawberry

I don’t say this very often in these articles (in fact this may be the first time I’m ever saying it here) but these are nasty. I had a suspicion going in that these would be gross because, well, it’s flavored Peeps and, by their very nature Peeps really aren’t meant for many flavors. But there’s gross and then there’s outright nasty and these things, these sour abominations manage to clear that bar in style. These are some of the grossest things I’ve ever eaten for this site and I will absolutely not be revisiting them.

Like all Peeps, the Sour Strawberry variety are marshmallows coated in sugar. They give off a pungent strawberry smell when you open the package, and they tell you exactly how they’re going to taste with that smell: sickly strawberry. A bite puts that harsh flavor in your mouth, made worse as it’s mixed with the super soft, pillowy Peep. It’s too soft for sour, and also too strong for marshmallows. Even before we discuss the sour flavor, we’re hit my breaking point on these candies.

And yet the sour flavoring makes it worse. I don’t know if it’s really sour, since I’m pretty numb to most low level sour powders, but it is tangy. Far too tangy, in a bad way. It doesn’t make me pucker, it makes my throat feel like it swallowed cough syrup. Even now, as I’m writing this fifteen minutes after I ate one (and only one) I can still feel the sickly tang at the back of my throat. It lingers, which for a good flavor would be nice, but this absolutely isn’t a good flavor. This is the opposite of good, so far removed from bad that it redefines bad in the process. This is so bad you have to think the Peeps manufacturers put it out as a prank. It’s awful.

I couldn’t even finish the package. I threw nine Peeps in the trash because I couldn’t bear eating any more of themSo congrats, Jost Born, Inc., as you managed the impossible: you made a sour candy I absolutely refuse to eat.

Also, please, don't make me eat the other sour flavors from Peeps. A man can only be pushed so far.

Airheads Extreme Rainbow Berry

As a palette cleanser, I felt the need to grab something basic. Something simple. Something that won’t betray me because it’s the kind of sour candy meant for people that can’t handle sour candy. Naturally, I went for an Airheads Extreme because, laughably, these are the least extreme sour candies out there. The name is a lie; these are just airheads with some lightly tart powder on top. But after what I just experienced with the Peeps, I wanted something safe and reliable. I needed a hug in sour form.

I’ve avoided reviewing Airheads candies because these things have been around forever, far longer than this site has been in existence. Airheads Extremes are basically name brand sour belts like you can get at a candy store, and candy stores have had these things since I was a child (and I’m not young). The Airheads versions are just tart, though, not really sour, so they’re safe. The standard candy you can get for a young kind and know they’ll be able to enjoy them while going, “hey, they’re sour.” They aren’t, but you’re cute for thinking so.

Rainbow Berry is a generic flavor. It purports to be berry but, you know, not any specific one. It doesn’t even really taste like berry, per se, just a basic fruity flavor. It’s a soft, chewy, formless berry that comes in small belts in a tiny package, but it’s also sweet and fun and reliably tasty. I don’t go out of my way to eat these normally as I like something more potent. Hell, if I’m gonna eat Airheads I prefer something closer to the normal variety, something that feels like actual chewy taffy. I’d argue those ones have more flavor, and more tartness, than these sour belts. These are just mild fun.

But they don’t taste awful or make me want to retch as they linger at the back of my throat, so already we’re on the up when it comes to candy flavor. If you’re going to get your kids some candy for Easter, Airheads Extremes are a better choice than Sour Peeps. Well, unless you hate your kids. I guess there’s that.

Haribo Sour Easter Grass

Before we get into the candy itself, I do want to comment on the idea of “edible Easter grass”. While I am not Christian myself, I do know how Easter baskets work: you get candy (and sometimes toys) and you put them in a basket that also has fake grass in the bottom (sometimes hay, usually just plastic bits). Easter basket grass is not something children should eat. Now, perhaps they do and candy companies decided, “hey, if kids are gonna do this anyway, give them something that won’t kill them.” Sure, fine. I get that. Except not all Easter grass is edible so maybe don’t train kids that it is. Just saying.

Anyway, this candy isn’t bad. For obvious reasons (not the last of which is that we are nowhere near Easter yet) I did not collect my Haribo Easter grass out of a basket. Instead I’ve been eating it from the pouch, as if it were chewing tobacco and I don’t, in any way, know how I’m supposed to eat chewing tobacco (spoiler: don’t eat it). I’ve been taking a few at a time and putting them in my mouth, chewing and enjoying them. It’s been pretty good.

The “grass” comes in four flavors: strawberry, blueberry, green apple, and watermelon. As with most fruity sour candy (especially those not called Skittles or Warheads) I can’t really tell the difference between the flavors. They are all pretty generically “fruit” with maybe tons of “slightly different fruit” but, still, not that different. A single bit of this fake grass is firm, chewy, and small, but it does have a decently strong flavor and a nice tart tone to it. I think, if the grass bits were longer, a single one of these would be a good candy bite on all its own.

Which is why I take them a few at a time. Put together, these are a nice chew. They aren’t really sour (which I get since they’re meant for little kid baskets) but they are tart enough that I like what I’m eating. They are perhaps a tad too sticky, a problem exacerbated when you shove a bunch of them in your mouth at once. It reminds me of Sour Punch straws when they’ve sat a little too long and gotten hard. I’d almost think that happened here if these weren’t meant for Easter and, thus, should be pretty fresh.

These aren’t bad, and if I were a little kid I’d probably enjoy them year after year. But I have other candies I like better so, while these are okay, I doubt I’d get them for myself again.