I recently received these after previewing them at the Fancy Food Show. I am a closeted fan of gummies, often passing them by for saltier or more creamy snacks. However, there's no denying that they're a fantastic movie snack and orthodontia killer. The selection of gummy candy in the US is paltry at best, with a scant selection of flavors best described as generically fruity, but are about as far removed from fruit as Ron Swanson of Parks and Recreation with enough artificial colors to kill Rainbow Brite and a fairly generic, albeit addictive sugary flavor.
Bissinger's has changed all that. While, regrettably, this product did not win the coveted sofi gold award, it was nominated and received a silver sofi. I plan to do as much as I can to spread the word. These are not so much gummies so much as they are artisanal interpretations of the lowly gelatinous confection, something not out of place as the end result of a Chopped episode or a garnish on a plate by Wylie Dufresne. These are gourmet. Have you ever seen flavors like apricot green tea and blueberry acai? They even retain the classic ursine form, but this bear has new clothing.
It was the lemon ginger yuzu, now appropriately shaped like an Asian bear to pair with its Asian flavors, that won the silver sofi as well as winning over our taste buds. The gummies start like many others, with a satisfying, fleshy chew and a delicate spring in each bite. The texture is silky on the tongue and fingers. Very toothsome. As for the flavor, while I cannot say that the essence of the yuzu is accurately portrayed, having never bitten into one myself, Wikipedia tells me it is a cross between a sour mandarin orange and a Chinese Ichang papeda, a distant cousin of the lemon. Adding more to its mouth-watering qualities, Chef Norman Van Aken of Norman's calls it "the sharpest note in the keyboard of flavor." With that in mind, the overall citrus essence is clean and precise, though my palate, sullied by McDoubles and Cinnamon Chex, cannot identify yuzu over lemon, the strongest element in the gummy. It was not sour, but had a pleasantly tart aftertaste. The ginger pads the acidity of the lemon with a sweet spiciness similar to a honey lemon cough drop, and transforms the flavor from an everyday to an elegant one. It is very well executed and makes me want to eschew the temptations of Black Forest. This brings a whole new edge to gummies. I hope that more tinkering is done and that we will continue to see Bissinger's blaze more trails with this candy.
Labels: 8, candy, snack