Don’t get me wrong — I love chocolate. I love the idea of it. I love giving it to people. I love smelling it. I love being around it. And despite being allergic to it, I still eat it (in small quantities). But please tell me where in the Twilight books did chocolate ever play a major part? Now, blood lollipops as a marketing tie-in for a vampire themed series, that I could understand.
Blood pops, by the way, are just one of many Harry Potter-inspired candies and chocolates that intrepid fans could snack on — and are actually from the books and movies. You can eat chocolate frogs (which don’t hop away), fizzing whizbees, and Bertie Bott’s Every Flavor Beans — and when they say every flavor, they mean every flavor, even vomit, dirt, and grass.
Not every candy is going to be to everybody’s taste — who likes earwax? But you got to give the Potter candymakers credit for at least creating things that exist in and are inspired by the universe of their source material, and not just dressing up someone else’s material in a new wrapper — a charge which could apply as easily to the Twilight books as to the Twilight chocolate. (Yep, those are fighting words). And so you don’t stumble upon the equivalent of an earwax-flavored bean, the brave folks in the newsroom tested out the latest in Potter fare. Here’s what they had to say:
Horace Slughorn’s Crystallized Pineapple — They’re actual dried pineapple bits coated in sour candy, and folks were divided about the combo. Nicole liked that you tasted the sour first, and then the pineapple. Lindsey didn’t think the soar coating was necessary, saying, “I’d prefer the plain stuff, although the coloring is kind of cool.” Liz decribed them as “looking like Fruity Pebbles, tasting more like Sour Patch Kids,” while Conor described them as “pineapple-flavored Lemonheads,” but he didn’t like the “chalky residue” they left in his mouth. Tim Kash said, “I’d rather snog Lord Voldemort” than eat these, but Julie thought they were “tasty.” And Slughorn, well, he wasn’t available for comment.
Cockroach Clusters — These are pretty disgusting-looking, and as the two cockroaches hung out on my desk, waiting to be ingested, a lot of people had to take a second look. “As someone who inhabits a small New York City apartment,” Sarah said, “I am terrified of anything with fur or more legs than me that also wants to call my place home. And these Harry Potter creepy crawlers look dark and imposing… with a squishy center, beady black eyes, and dangling antennas.” But, get past that, and it’s “awesomely sugary,” Garth said. “It’s a combination of a gumball and a piece of licorice, all in the shape of a cockroach.” “It’s more like grape-flavored gummy goodness than crunchy bug guts,” Sarah said.
Cinnamon Pixies — They used to be called Pepper Imps. John Norris said that they have a “cool faceted jewel shape,” and once he put them in his mouth, they reminded him of red hots, “maybe a touch hotter.” That’s probably due to the chili oil and natural cinnamon in the ingredients. “It’s just the right amount of spice,” he said.
Every Flavor Chocolates — Like Every Flavor Beans, except instead of being Jelly Belly-inspired, these are more like M&Ms, with flavors like grape, pear, coffee, and raspberry, among others. “A strange hybrid of M&Ms and Skittles,” Conor said. “These definitely fall into the so-weird-they’re-good category.” Most people voted for the coffee flavor being the best (“It tastes like little tiny cups of coffee,” Daniela said). Raspberry and pear were tied for second, and grape came in dead last. “Grape and chocolate shouldn’t go together,” Sabrina said. “Grape and chocolate don’t mix,” Sohyung agreed. Jem thought “the pear and the grape just tasted like you tried to chew that flavor of bubblegum and eat a chocolate M&M at the same time.” “Now I need the scrambled eggs and bacon flavor!” Liz laughed.
Sugar Quills — Lindsey thought the shape was phallic — it’s a pen-shaped lollipop with a feather coming out the other end. “Not even the feather can make this candy look any less inappropriate,” she said. There are a variety of flavors — tangerine, green apple, watermelon — but poor Lindsey, who hates watermelon, got stuck with that one in the blind taste test (it’s orange-colored, so how are you to know?). “I’d rather take my chances of a bag of Bertie Bott’s Every Flavor Beans than willfully eat watermelon-flavored candy,” she said. “Fortunately for candy fans, the wrapper should prevent any confusion.”
Peppermint toads — There’s different varieties of chocolate frogs — some are solid, others have rice krispies inside. But the toads, the latest in the line, are filled with a peppermint paste of a sort. “If you like marshmallow fluff mixed with toothpaste, and covered in a thin layer of chocolate, then you would love peppermint toads!” Michelle said. “I do, so I was down.”
Dementors Kisses — There’s no warning sticker, and from the name, people were expecting something cold-and-scary — maybe mentholated? — and instead got something sweet-and-sour. “This one, I have to say, is a big disappointment, at least thematically,” Jem said. “Why on earth does it taste like a giant grape gumball?” Lindsey thought it was more like a grape soda. “I think they turned my tongue purple,” Conor said. Bernard said they weren’t strong enough for him, while Tim Kash said, “I love them. Very fruity. Very good.”
Unicorn Droppings — “It tasted a lot better than you would think unicorn s— would taste like,” Tim Kash laughed. Once you get past the disturbing name — and the “initially overpowering sourness,” as Jem put it, people thought they were “pretty tasty.” “It’s horrible when you first put it in your mouth, but when you bite, it’s magic,” Tim said. “They taste like Sour Patch Kids but with not as much bite,” Conor said. With the same gummy texture inside as the Dementors Kisses, as Lindsey pointed out, it has a “good chewability factor,” Tim said. “They’re basically sugar-frosted marbles of gummy candy,” Stephen said. “I had one dropping and I’m still buzzing,” Andrew said. “It was like a sugar 8ball!” “If I ever decide to eat anything from unicorns, or droppings of any kind, I would hope they taste like these,” Nicole said.
Coconut Ice — Kind of a take on ice mice, but a little easier to find — and comes in cubes of three. It’s “neither overwhelmingly coconutty nor icy,” John said, “but instead tastes like a rare blend of strawberry-coconut paste.” Lindsey thought it was “suprisingly messy,” and could use more coconut, and less of the “crumbly, super sugary, and inexplicably pink stuff binding the cube together.” While Lindsey thought it was too sweet, John didn’t think it was sweet enough, and thought it would be better for adults instead of kids.
Floo powder — There’s 26 flavors of this stuff, from apple pie to root bear to lemonade, and they all come in little test tubes. Lindsey thought it was “just like Pixy Stix,” but instead of coming in a straw, the tube made it possible to reseal and save the rest for later, “which is good news for my candy consumption,” she said. No word yet if it’ll transport you to other places as well.
Chocolate wands — A big stick of chocolate, essentially, carved like a wand. “This is clearly the best of the Potter candies,” Kurt Loder said. “Okay, it’s also the largest. That helps. But still…”
[Have you had any Harry Potter candies? Which are your favorites? Can the Twilighters even hope to compete with all the variety in the Potterverse? Bring it on!]