I’ll admit that when I think of Allan, I think of candy canes and chocolate Easter bunnies. A bit of research revealed that the Allan Candy Company (allancandy.com) is a much more present force in our sugary lives than I had initially thought; along with their seasonal goodies, they make many of the brandless penny and nickel candies you pluck with plastic tweezers from those Plexiglas boxes in convenience stores.
But this new line of spherical dessert-flavoured treats is a departure for Allan. It’s an interesting idea, in much the same way Juicy Fruit Desserts / Extra Dessert Delights chewing gum is an interesting idea; it’s the candy equivalent of fusion cuisine, combining the flavours of one part of the sweet treat world with the portable, bagged sugar nugget format we know and love.
While there are other flavours available – Strawberry Shortcake, Apple Pie and Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake, says the package – I picked Key Lime Pie because, quite simply, I adore key lime pie. And there’s nothing wrong with that.
The Pitch: “With Allan Dessert Bites you can have a taste of your favourite desserts anytime. The soft and chewy candy combined with a rich and silky coating provide the perfect dessert experience in a bite sized piece. So why not indulge a little today? You deserve a bite of dessert!”
The Look: Pretty graphics on the packaging, which has a quirky retro feel. While other similarly sized bags of sweets you can’t finish by yourself in one session (without giving yourself a severe tummy-ache) often have a re-sealable closure, this bag has nothing so convenient. Once you’ve opened it, you have to BYO-elastic it shut again. The candy balls are unremarkable little white orbs – some more oblong than others – with a green centre.
The Taste: Nicely lime-like, though more lime-sucker-on-a-cardboard-stick than key lime pie. The core candy’s texture is Big-Turk gummy, not gummy-bear gummy. The shell looks like shined up white chocolate, but it’s actually a yogurt-based coating, much like the stuff used to make yogurt-covered raisins. I’m not sure how that fits the key lime motif. It’s interesting, but it’s not what I was expecting. Quite sweet overall, and cloying after a handful of candies.
RATINGS AND DETAILS
Cost: $2.99 (on sale) for a 200 gram bag at Safeway.
Value for cash money: Good.
Availability: Not always easy to find; sometimes tucked away in shops if you know what to look for.
Nutrition?: Per 14 pieces (41 grams): 170 calories, 4.5 grams of fat, 30 mg of sodium, 0 grams of fibre, 0.5 grams of protein.
The verdict: Not bad, but not great. Key lime pie it ain’t, though the lime flavour is reasonably good. Only worth getting if you have people around to share it with.