Milk Duds

Now that we’ve covered Chilly L’s favorite drug store offering, I feel it’s time to cover mine:

Milk Duds:

Just in case you are in the pitiable position of never having had a Milk Dud, I will describe them (to the extent that the narrow confines of human language are capable of the task). Milk Duds are irregular balls of chocolate covered caramel; however, unlike other chocolate-covered-blank candies, Milk Duds are texturally homogenous somehow. There is no clearly defined point at which the milk chocolate exterior end and the caramel interior takes over. The result is a unique and delicious way of experiencing both ingredients.

Despite my own personal obsession with Duds, potential snackers must be warned that they are very chewy and sticky. Tough chewiness is my favorite candy consistency, but there are many who I’m sure would be put off by a Milk Dud’s tendency to stick in one’s molars and who would shirk at the possible jaw exhaustion involved in eating a whole box. Thus, I cannot recommend Milk Duds to everyone, but rather to those who like a challenge.

To those who do undertake a box of Milk Duds, don’t fear if you get one stuck fast in your teeth. You can chew another Milk Dud to dislodge it. Just be careful when you are down to your last Dud, as you will have no recourse if it decides to entrap you. You may even decide quit while you are ahead if you only have one left.

The Milk Duds package has remained basically unchanged for as long as I can recall. It is simple and easily identifiable, without the clutter of special offers and media tie-ins that many drug store candies sport. I have recently seen Duds packaged in milk-carton like boxes in addition to the usual rectangular box.

Finally I will note that a large percentage of my Dud consumption happens in the theatre. Each box has plenty inside and they are so laborious to eat that there’s a good chance they will last past the first act with a little restraint.

RATING: 5

Chilly Laura’s View:

Milk duds are not a favorite of mine, though I do not despise them.  I am not usually one to go for really sticky, chewy candies.  However, Teabo’s review made me realize that there is another reason I don’t care for them.  It’s that weird amalgamation of chocolate and caramel.  One of my favorite aspects of chocolate is its very unique melty texture.  The flavor is great, of course, but take away the texture and it becomes a bizarre and disconcerting candy experience, at least, for me.  This is also why I have no affection for Tootsie Rolls.  At least Tom gets to keep all his movie candy to himself!

RATING: 2.5

Sour Patch candies are easily my favorite of the drugstore candies.  Well, let me qualify that statement: some of the Sour Patch candies are my favorites.  The most commonly available ones are, thankfully, the best of the bunch.  I don’t know if I can pick a favorite amongst them.  Each type has its pros and cons, which we will be covering in a series of posts.

Sour Patch Kids:

The classic.  These are just so wonderful; the size and shape is perfect for snacking and really highlights the chewy, not quite gummy texture of these fruity gel candies. In case you’ve been living under a rock and haven’t tasted a Sour Patch kid, they are basically the same formula as Swedish Fish, only covered in magically delicious sour sugar dust.  The sourness level is just what I like–mild enough that you can (maybe more easily than I would like) eat a whole bag and not end up with a aching, acid-scarred mouth, but strong enough to satisfy.

The overall flavor is definitely sour first, distinctive fruit flavor second.  Speaking of distinctive fruit flavor, Sour Patch Kids have 4;  cherry, lime, orange, and lemon.  The lemon is innocuous.  It has the least character of the four and is really just a vehicle for the sourness, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing.  The orange on the other hand has a strong orangey taste which makes it my least favorite. Is it because oranges aren’t really sour ever?  Unless perhaps, they are under-ripe? It distracts me from the sourness.  Cherry and lime are tied for my favorite.  They have the ideal level of distinctive taste.  The cherry is not medicinal and the lime is not reminiscent of bathroom cleaner, which I personally find to be a problem with a lot of artificial lemon/lime flavors (is it just me?).  This brings me to my absolute favorite aspect of munching down SPKs: eating a cherry and a lime simultaneously.  It is one of the absolute best candy experiences.  You can imagine my joy at finding huge bags of Christmas themed (i.e. green and red) Kids last holiday season.  Look out next December and stock up!  Unless you live near me, because I don’t want to have to fight you.

RATING: 4.5

Teabo’s View:

While I’m not as devoted a fan as Laura, the traditional Sour Patch Kids are a staple candy in my rotation. The primary draw for me is texture. SPKs have mastered a soft chewiness that does not seriously threaten to stick in teeth and yet gives enough satisfying resistance for a little jaw workout. I’d describe the texture as fruit-snackish but stickier.

The  flavor is basic and inoffensive. Unlike Laura I cannot discern as much difference between different colors, though orange is distinct. Of course the most powerful taste is the sour sugar that coats each piece, and while I am ambivalent about sourness in general I find the SPK brand of sourness mild enough that I usually finish my bag without any grievous oral  pain.

Finally I think it is worth noting that Sour Patch Kids are a terrific movie candy, being plentiful enough to last you through the credits and lacking individual wrapping for silent munching.

RATING: 4