Disclaimer: Sugarfina supplied 6 small bags of candies for me to sample. All opinions in this post are my own.
Europe is one of my favorite places to travel. From the refined, yet fast-paced London, to the colorful and unique architecture in Barcelona, to the unmistakable scents of espresso in a Paris cafe – Europe definitely has a way of evoking beautiful memories.
And whether good or bad, memories of Europe are all I have these days. Although I’d love to pack my bags for a long weekend in Rome or some other fabulous European destination, given the pandemic, the chances of me heading across the pond this year are quite slim.
So, when luxury candy maker Sugarfina invited me to a virtual tasting of their globally-inspired candy line, I didn’t hesitate. After all, if I couldn’t get a real stamp in my passport this year, taking a candy-themed journey around the globe just might be the next best thing.
If you are not familiar with Sugarfina, they are a high-end, boutique confectionary based in Los Angeles and known for unique and quirky inspired candy…think, luxury Willy Wonka with just the right amount of class and whimsy to make you smile and swoon and the same time.
Before we embark on my first virtual, candy tasting journey, I want to point out that this is not my first “flight” with Sugarfina. I’ve relied on this luxe brand for several years for Corporate Gifts and personal gifts…I’ve even been known to send myself a bento box of their tasty treats merely for a job well done.
For the candy tasting, Sugarfina was kind enough to send me a sample of 6 candies inspired by global destinations, including Spain, Greece, Turkey, Italy, Germany and the great USA – shipped in their signature blue box. Side note – when a special surprise shows up at your door in a turquoise blue box with a white ribbon, it’s either from Tiffany or Sugarfina – either way, you know your day has just become enormously better.
And now, on to my dulce vuelo.
My European-inspired Candy Tasting Journey
Champagne Bears – We started our journey in Germany, with elegant Champagne Bears, which is one of the company’s most popular items. Like the name indicates, the bears are infused with Champagne (although they are considered non-alcoholic), both classic brut and Rose, to give them a subtle and sophisticated taste. And the fanciness keeps going….for they don’t just use any Champagne – they use the grandfather of all Champagnes – Dom Perignon Vintage Champagne. I have actually had Dom Perignon in the Champagne region of France and let me tell you, it is as sophisticated as it is dreamy. Now, you might be asking yourself, wasn’t Dom Perignon (and all Champagne for that matter) created in France? So why are the little bears considered German? Well, I’m glad you asked. It appears that gummy bears originated in Germany, not France. Who would have thought?
Sparkle Pops – Next stop, Turkey. These little round milk chocolate balls are very unassuming and almost appear to be too basic (gasp!) for Sugarfina. However, after you crunch through the outer chocolate, you are delighted with a child-like surprise – a center made of popping candy, very similar to the pop rocks I adored when I was little, but a little more subdued given they are coated in chocolate. My advice, do not chew through these too fast, it’s more fun to bite through the candy and let it melt on your tongue, popping away. And for a little more fun….they are also offered in a strawberry pink flavor!
Mint Chip Gelato – Now, on our way to Greece. No, that’s not a typo. Italy is not the only place known for gelato. In this case, the Greek-inspired gelato-flavored candy didn’t disappoint. The crunchy, minty outer candy shell, filled with a creamy chocolate center offered the right amount of fresh mint taste over the smooth milky “cream”. And just like Greece or Italy, gelato comes in many flavors. Sugarfina offers multiple gelato candies including strawberry and salted caramel. And, like my trip to Rome, it’s best to try all flavors of gelato in order to determine which is the best.
Sour Rainbows – Making our way to Spain, the sour rainbows offer the classic sweet and sour taste that many of us love so much. The colorful, ribbon like candies are dusted with tart sugar crystals which provide the coating over the fruity, chewy candy. I have to admit, the fruity/tart flavor contrast of this candy was a little too mild for me – but they are so pretty it’s hard not to smile when you see them.
Golden Truffle Eggs – Second to last stop – Italy. These golden hued eggs (which really appeared more cream colored than gold) have a crunchy outer shell and are filled with hazelnut and vanilla infused milk chocolate. Like the Sparkle Pops, the eggs are rather nondescript – but once you breach the outer layer, it’s complete creamy, yummy goodness.
Sugar Lips – And last, but surely not least, we arrived in the USA for Sugar Lips. These lip shape candies are also dusted with sweet and sour crystals over a chewy candy, flavored in strawberry, cherry or watermelon. I’m not a huge fan of sweet and sour candies, but this candy was probably my favorite and not just because it is from the US. I loved the three different candy flavors, each distinct, as well as the perfect mix of sweet and sour. But I do have to laugh at both the name and the shape of these candies – how are these associated with the US and not France? Oh well, no matter the origin, I guess you could say these were lip-smacking good in my book.
And there you have it – 6 candies inspired by 6 global destinations. So, still need to satisfy your sweet tooth and wanderlust? I know a candy company that can help.