Ok, so I am a total sucker for cartoon-themed products. That’s why I got super excited when I espied these two bags of Morinaga hard candies featuring Old Master Q (only the most awesome Chinese comic I’ve ever read!). My excitement was quickly quashed though, after I actually tasted ’em.
Before I start describe my very disappointed reaction though, I just want to explain exactly why I was so happy to see these on the shelf: I’ve always loved Morinaga caramels as a child (which, of course, are not vegan) and associated the brand with high quality, super-tasty candies. It’s kind of like if Anna Wintour came out with her own fashion line and everything was like, really ugly, cheap-looking and uncomfortable… not that she isn’t that way now already. Ok, maybe that wasn’t the best analogy but I think you get the gist.
The candies came in two flavors: plum and starfruit. I really like Chinese plum candies and, well, starfruit? It sounded exotic and interesting so why not? Plus, the ingredients actually had “plum powder” and “starfruit juice” in them, with “natural” coloring, so it can’t be that bad can it? Well… no. Just no.
From the moment it touched my tongue, I just as quickly spit ’em out. The plum candy actually tasted like there was soy sauce as the second or third ingredient, it was that salty. It was also pretty sour, but without any sort of happy flavor. So yeah, salty + sour = total grossness.
The starfruit was a bit more bearable… but kind of tasted like a weaker version of the plum candy. It reminded me of those gross hard candies you get at Halloween that no one wants, the ones in freakish neon colors that sit in your mouth like plaster.
I honestly don’t know why they tasted this horrible… I guess I’m more attuned to truly sweet candies, like Skittles, Dum Dum pops and Sour Patch Kids. Maybe it’s psychological. Maybe it’s because it says “throat candy” on the back and is meant to be a cough drop… that would explain a lot, though the ingredients make it sound more like straight-up candy. Maybe I’m thinking about this a leetle too hard. Either way I really hated them… sorry Master Q!!
The only thing I loved was the package itself. There was an adorable lozenge-themed comic strip on the back that made me feel a bit better about buying these candy flops (they were $2.99 each). In short, I will probably dump the candies out and save the bag. No shame… it is what attracted me to it in the first place.
Weirdly enough, my mom with her old-school taste buds really liked them, and claimed that they tasted like “authentic Chinese candies.” Bear in mind, she doesn’t like anything sweet or fruity, and these were the polar opposite of that, so it made sense she’d love ’em.
So, in essence, if you like non-sweet, salty-n-sour candy, then this is the perfect candy for you.
Ah well, guess they didn’t really go to waste after all— I would’ve been sad to have to use them in my compost bin instead.
Would I buy again? No.