Book and Snack Pairing: Fruity Candy

My plan for this Book and Snack Pairing post series is to taste snacks (two new and one old favorite) and pair them with romances (two recent first time reads and one old favorite). The romances reflect my reading habits, so they tend contemporary, and are a mix of pairings. I am marking the ones with no sex with ***.

(As a general heads up, this post discusses food in detail.)

Of course, with any tasting project, we all bring our own specificity to it. In my case, some relevant things for this post:

  • I’m autistic, so texture and mouthfeel are very important to me, and I am super sensitized sensorily due to autistic burnout, so intense flavors are likely more intense and often overwhelming for me.
  • I’m diabetic, so one of the things that influences my choice and experience of snacks is how they impact my blood sugar.

This post is focused on fruity candy!

I decided to pick fruity candy because its one of my most favorite sweet things ever, though I have to eat it in very small amounts.

New-to-Me Snack #1

Why did I pick this snack?

Trolli Sour Bright Crawlers Very Berry

I picked Trolli Sour Bright Crawlers Very Berry flavor because I have enjoyed their regular sour gummi worms and sour octopi and I generally especially like berry flavored candy, so this seemed like an easy choice

The taste experience?

They mostly smell like blackberry gummy candy. There are three flavors: Raspberry-Blueberry, Strawberry-Blackberry, and Blue Raspberry-Berry Punch. I tried one of each, splitting the worms in half to try the flavors separately. The raspberry taste is subdued. The blueberry is definitely stronger, and has more sour. The strawberry is pretty classic strawberry, which I’m generally not a fan of. The blackberry is really great, my fave so far. The blue raspberry is pretty good, too. The berry punch is very Jello fruit punchy. The texture is basically the gumminess I’m used to, though it wasn’t quite as satisfying. The sour was a bit less pronounced than the sour I’m familiar with. It does linger in the aftertaste, though.

Verdict?

These are good, and have some flavors I really like, but I prefer the original in terms of texture and sourness. Plus, these flavors are a bit too close to each other. This is good for a time when variety is needed but not as a core staple.

What book would I pair it with?

Her Perfect Affair by Priscilla OliverasHer Perfect Affair by Priscilla Oliveras!

I enjoyed book two in this series centering Puerto Rican sisters. This book, like book one, is a tightly plotted, well characterized, tropetastic romance that centers complex family dynamics. We have a black sheep hero needing to prove himself to his family, a surprise baby after a one night stand, and a difficult pregnancy resulting in a rather classic forced proximity and hurt/comfort situation. While I enjoyed book one in the series a bit more, this is a pretty classic category romance that was a comfort to me on a hard day, and I enjoyed it.

(Rep: Puerto Rican heroine with a pregnancy-related illness. Mexican American-Puerto Rican woman author.)

New-to-Me Snack #2

Trolli Sour Brite Crawler Tropical Minis

Why did I pick this snack?

I was excited to see mini sour worms, and in a new flavor. Trolli Sour Brite Crawler Tropical Minis definitely seemed worth a try.

The taste experience?

The smell of the bag is not very pleasant, I’m not sure if its the flavor combo or something about the plastic? I do like that the bag is resealable. They come in three flavors, Strawberry-Kiwi, Mango-Orange, and Pineapple-Lime. They are minis so I can try  the flavors by themselves and also the combos. as a whole. The texture is great, exactly what I want from a sour worm. The sour comes through well. Strawberry and kiwi are not that tasty individually though. Mango is nice, I like that one a lot. And the orange is lovely and a lot like a creamsicle. Pineapple is great, really works with the sour. And the lime is subtle at first, then it hits you. I love lime candy, and really enjoy the lime. Trying the worm as a whole, and the mix of strawberry and kiwi are better than either flavor on their own. Mango orange is a great combo, too, really wonderful. The lime and pineapple work better as individual flavors than together in combination. The aftertaste is a lot, though, and reminds me of what it was like to smell the whole bag.

Verdict?

I really like these, and appreciate the big impact of the flavor in the mini size. A good choice for me as a diabetic, where I need to have small desserts that have big impact flavorwise without having a huge glycemic impact.

What book would I pair it with?

The Coyote's Cowboy by Holley TrentThe Coyote’s Cowboy by Holley Trent!

This is a great example of big impact in a small package. This m/f shifter romance novella packs an intense punch. Witnessing these two neuroatypical MCs (one with ADHD, one with PTSD) who both feel alienated from other people connecting and being sweet to each other as they try to extricate themselves from folks who were trying to control them gave me so many feelings. This is an intense whirlwind ride of a paranormal romance that I could not put down.

(Rep: Black heroine with PTSD. Hero with ADHD. Black woman author.)

Old Fave Snack

 fruit slices

Why did I pick this snack?

This is my ultimate fave of fruity candy, since I was a kid. They are more gels than gummy, but they do have something important in common with sour worms: sugar crystals on the outside. I was talking about these with a friend who had only seen pictures and never tasted them, and xie assumed they were also sour. So I wanted to compare.

The taste experience?

There are 9 different flavors: Lemon, Orange, Raspberry, Lime, Grape, Blue Rasperry, Watermelon, Grapefruit, Blueberry. The ones I used to eat for Pesach as a kid came in the first four flavors. This selection from Bayside Candy isn’t kosher for Passover. My blood sugar can only handle one fruit slice, and only with a meal. They smell like fruity candy in a vague kind of way when jumbled together, but each has its own smell and taste. The texture is more solid than the gummy worms, and the sugar crystals aren’t sour. The only one that really tastes sour is the grapefruit, and perhaps the lemon just a bit. The sugar crystals give them a bit of crunch. Lime is my most favorite, grape is my least.

Verdict?

These are excellent, great texture, love the mix of flavors, love the visual of them with the different colors, satisfying in pretty much every way. They do impact my blood sugar more than the gummy worms, so they are a rare treat.

What book would I pair it with?

A Boy Called CinA Boy Called Cin by Cecil Wilde!

This contemporary billionaire age gap m/genderqueer romance with a trans hero hits so many sweet spots for me, that its almost too much to hold at once. I recently reread this book for the third time, about 18 months after my first read. I picked it up at the end of a really rough gender day, and slowly sipped it over the course of several days, as a way of holding it close as a comfort read. I mentioned picking it up again, and a trans friend called it “the ultimate trans comfort read.” I think he’s right, at least for me.

(Rep: Queer trans man MC. Older chubby bisexual genderqueer MC. Trans woman secondary character. Queer woman secondary character. Non-binary trans author.)

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