The Quick 10: Unusual Flavors of 10 Familiar Candies

Here's something you may not know about me: I'm a sucker for limited-edition candy. Most of the time I can pass through checkout lines with ease, not even batting an eyelash at the rows of M&Ms and Kit-Kats. As soon as you stamp "Limited Edition" on the wrapper and give it a quirky flavor, though, I'm like a three-year-old with a serious sugar jones. I'm not above throwing tantrums, people.

You can imagine, then, that Halloween is a wonderful and dangerous time for me (as if I needed another reason to adore Halloween). Today's post is inspired by not one, but two limited-edition, Halloween-inspired Dots I spied on the shelves at the grocery store this weekend. Read on for those and eight more limited-edition candies with flavors a little left of center.

dots1. Candy Corn Dots. I'm not sure why I picked these up in the first place, because I'm not particularly fond of Candy Corn. Oh, I'll eat it, but after about five pieces I regret it. The Dots were no exception. Just like Candy Corn, though, I continued to consume the Dots even after I was tired of eating them. I can't explain why. It just happens.
2. Blood Orange Dots. I saw these after I saw the Candy Corn Dots, and I suppose I should have been skeptical, but instead I was elated "“ Blood Orange! That's a pretty sophisticated flavor for candy. And they're black, so you get the added bonus of giraffe tongue. These were delightful. And there was only one box on the shelf, so I'm glad I snatched them up. The picture of the Dots is from Sugar-Hi, whom I will have to agree to disagree with about the Candy Corn Dots.

3. Strawberried Peanut Butter M&Ms. I haven't had these, but maybe you have "“ they were a promotion for Transformers: Rise of the Fallen and I believe they are still in stores. Candy Addict wasn't terribly impressed with them, but other reviewers and commenters have raved, comparing the taste to a PB&J or even strawberry milk, in one instance.

4. Reese's Peanut Butter and Banana Crème. Peanut Butter and Banana"¦ hmm. If that rings a bell, it might be your Elvis Alarm going off: the King loved fried peanut butter and banana sandwiches. What better way to celebrate the Man From Memphis' 30th deathiversary by commemorating his love of junk food in a handy little bite-sized form? I'm not going to lie; they were pretty good. And although they were terrible for you, you can take heart in the fact that Elvis sometimes liked the additions of honey and bacon on his PB&Bs, so by only adding the banana, Hershey was really being fairly health-conscious. Or something.

5. You may have noticed that Hershey's Kisses has really been experimenting the last few years, but none of the flavors are really that outrageous: Hot Cocoa, Mint Truffle, Cherry Cordial, Coconut. No big deal. But if you look a little deeper into the Kiss Repertoire "“ the Asian market "“ you'll find Green Tea Kisses. Green tea-flavored items are also called "matcha" and they're not uncommon in Asia and Europe.

6. Kit Kat has also hopped on the Matcha bandwagon, but there's an even-stranger flavor lurking around in certain markets: Red Bean Kit Kats. Yep. Cybele over at CandyBlog reviewed it (and Kit Kat Fruit Parfait as well) and said it wasn't too bad "“ kind of earthy, like beets or kidney beans "“ and that the pumpkin-flavored Kit Kats were much worse. I'm going to take her word on that one, I think.

wine7. But wait, there's more from the test kitchen at Kit Kat: Wine. Esurientes, where the picture comes from, sampled the grapey confection and was underwhelmed at first, but then tried them first thing in the morning when no other tastes were lingering in her mouth and discovered them to taste quite alcoholic. I like wine, and I like chocolate, but I'm not entirely sure I want them all mashed together in a Kit Kat. Nor do I want Soy Sauce-flavored Kit Kats"¦ although I might be able to get behind Sweet Potato Kit Kats.
8. You know how Mythbusters did the whole Mentos-and-soda experiment? Now you can replicate it in your stomach with cola-flavored Mentos. OK, without the big geyser, probably. But that's definitely not the only out-of-the-ordinary flavor over at Mentos "“ other flavors have included raisin (ew) and black currant, along with other usual fruity suspects (strawberry, apple, peach, etc.).

9. Twix Java wasn't in stores long, and when it the limited quantity ran out it left a void in the sweet tooths of many angry candy and caffeine addicts"¦ including, fittingly, Candy Addict. Similarly, the loss of Twix Cookies-n-Cream in the "˜90s sparked some die-hard fans to create petitions to bring the creation back "“ the one I linked to is only one of many!

10. At first glance, Skittles hasn't gone too far outside of the box (or the bag, as it were). Skittles Smoothies, Skittles Tropical, Skittles Wild Berry "“ they're all vaguely fruity flavors. But then there's Skittles Liquorice and Skittles Unlimited. Skittles Liquorice, as you can probably tell by the spelling, is a European sensation that gives the candies various anise tastes, including black liquorice, mint, spice and vanilla. Canada's Skittles Unlimited "“ released at the same time as the U.S.'s Carnival Skittles "“ included fairy floss, jam doughnut, toffee apple and popcorn. Oh, and if you completely loathe the very idea of Chocolate Skittles (S'mores, Brownie and pudding flavors, among others), you're not alone: has a very funny post about what an evil mixture they are.

I know I've probably just barely scratched the surface of all of the limited edition and strangely-flavored candies out there, so if I missed your favorite, share it in the comments! And if anyone has had some of those really strange Kit Kat flavors, give us your review.

Stacy Conradt is on Twitter.

10 Sweet Facts About Candy Canes

The sweet and striped shepherd’s hooks can be found just about everywhere during the holiday season. It's time you learned a thing or two (or 10) about them.


While the origins of the candy cane are a bit murky, legend has it that they first appeared in hooked form around 1670. Candy sticks themselves were pretty common, but they really took shape when the choirmaster at the Cologne Cathedral in Germany got the bright idea of twisting them to look like shepherd’s hooks. He then handed them out to kids during church services to keep them quiet.


It’s no surprise, then, that it was a German immigrant who introduced the custom to America. The first reference we can find to the tradition stateside is 1847, when August Imgard of Wooster, Ohio, decked his home out with the sugary fare.


Candy canes without the red don’t seem nearly as cheery, do they? But that’s how they were once made: all white. We’re not really sure who or exactly when the scarlet stripe was added, but we do know that images on cards before the 1900s show snow white canes.


Most candy canes are around five inches long, containing only about 50 calories and no fat or cholesterol.


The world’s largest candy cane was built by Geneva, Illinois chef Alain Roby in 2012.  It was 51 feet long, required about 900 pounds of sugar, and was eventually smashed up with a hammer so people could take home a piece.


Fifty-four percent of kids suck on candy canes, compared to the 24 percent who just go right for the big crunch. As you may have been able to guess, of those surveyed, boys were nearly twice as likely to be crunchers.


According to the National Confectioners Association, about 1.2 billion candy canes are made annually, and 90 percent of those are sold between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Which honestly begs the question: Who’s buying the 10 percent in the off season?


Bobs (that’s right; no apostrophe) Candies was the first company to really hang its hat on the sweet, striped hook. Lt. Bob McCormack began making candy canes for his kids in the 1920s, and they were such a hit he decided to start mass-producing them. With the help of his brother-in-law, a Catholic priest named Gregory Harding Keller (and his invention, the Keller Machine), McCormack was eventually able to churn out millions of candy canes a day.


December 26 is National Candy Cane Day. Go figure.


Here’s how they make candy canes at Disneyland—it’s a painstaking (and beautiful) technique.

10 Actors Who Hated Their Own Films

1. Sylvester Stallone, Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot. Sly doesn’t pull any punches when it comes to his film career. Despite co-starring with the delightful Estelle Getty as the titular violence-prone mother, Stallone knows just how bad the film was:

"I made some truly awful movies. Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot was the worst. If you ever want someone to confess to murder, just make him or her sit through that film. They will confess to anything after 15 minutes."

2. Alec Guinness, Star Wars.

By the time he played Obi-Wan Kenobi in 1977’s Star Wars: A New Hope, Guinness had already appeared in cinematic classics like The Bridge on the River Kwai, Great Expectations and Lawrence of Arabia. During production, Guinness is reported to have said the following:

"Apart from the money, I regret having embarked on the film. I like them well enough, but it's not an acting job, the dialogue - which is lamentable - keeps being changed and only slightly improved, and I find myself old and out of touch with the young."

The insane amount of fame he won for the role as the wise old Jedi master took him somewhat by surprise and, ultimately, annoyed him. In his autobiography A Positively Final Appearance: A Journal, Guinness recalls a time he encountered an autograph-seeking fan who boasted to him about having watched Star Wars more than 100 times. In response, Guinness agreed to provide the boy an autograph under the condition that he promise never to watch the film again.

3. Bob Hoskins, Super Mario Brothers. He was in Who Framed Roger Rabbit?. As far as I’m concerned, Bob Hoskins is forgiven for Super Mario Bros. Hoskins, though, doesn’t seem to be able to forgive himself. Last year the Guardian spoke with the veteran actor about his career and he summed up his feelings rather succinctly:

What is the worst job you've done?
Super Mario Brothers.

What has been your biggest disappointment?
Super Mario Brothers.

If you could edit your past, what would you change?
I wouldn't do Super Mario Brothers.

4. George Clooney, Batman & Robin. Sure, Batman & Robin made money. But by every other imaginable measure, the film was a complete failure, and a nightmare to the vast majority of the Caped Crusader’s most fervent fanatics. Star George Clooney recognized what a stinker he helped create and once plainly stated, “I think we might have killed the franchise.”

5. David Cross, Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked. When actors have a movie out, it's customary that they publicize the film by saying nice things about it. Earlier this year David Cross took a different approach. When it came to describing his new film Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked, the veteran comedian — better known for Mr. Show and Arrested Development — went on Conan and called the film a “big commercial for Carnival Cruise Lines” and told people not to go see it.

6. Katherine Heigl, Knocked Up. Judd Apatow’s unplanned pregnancy comedy was a huge hit and helped cement her status as a bankable film actress. After the film’s release, however, Heigl didn’t have all good things to say. In fact, what she specifically said about it was that the film was:

"…A little sexist. It paints the women as shrews, as humorless and uptight, and it paints the men as lovable, goofy, fun-loving guys.”

7. Charlize Theron, Reindeer Games. The 2000 action film Reindeer Games starred Ben Affleck, Gary Sinese and Charlize Theron and was directed by John Frankenheimer. But it all somehow failed to come together. In the end the film lost a lot of money and compiled a wealth of negative reviews – including one from its star actress who simply said, “Reindeer Games was not a good movie.”

8. Mark Wahlberg, The Happening. Mark Wahlberg doesn’t exactly seem like a guy who lives his life afraid of trees. But that is the odd position M. Night Shyamalan’s 2008 film The Happening put him in. Wahlberg, as it turns out, doesn’t look back too fondly on the film. He went on record during a press conference for The Fighter when he described a conversation with a fellow actor:

"We had actually had the luxury of having lunch before to talk about another movie and it was a bad movie that I did. She dodged the bullet. And then I was still able to … I don’t want to tell you what movie … alright “The Happening.” F*** it. It is what it is. F***ing trees, man. The plants. F*** it. You can’t blame me for not wanting to try to play a science teacher. At least I wasn’t playing a cop or a crook."

9. John Cusack, Better Off Dead. John Cusack reportedly hated his cult 80s comedy so much that he walked out of the screening and later told the film’s director Steve Holland that Better Off Dead was "the worst thing I have ever seen" and he would "never trust you as a director again."

10 Christopher Plummer, The Sound of Music. The Sound of Music is considered a classic and has delighted many generations of fans. But the film's own lead actor, Christopher Plummer, didn't always sing its praises. Mr. Von Trapp himself declined to participate in a 2005 film reunion and, according to one acquaintance, has referred to the film as The Sound of Mucus.



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