Darkside Skittles. Where to begin?
First of all, this is the most entertaining junk food packaging/concept I’ve seen in a long time. “The Other Side of the Rainbow”. What does that mean? I’ve never seen the other side of a rainbow, apparently. Or have I? Which side is the “other” side? I should really consult a leprechaun.
I’m pretty sure this is the “darkest”, for lack of a better word, candy concept I’ve ever seen, tie-ins to things like Disney villains notwithstanding. The dark blue packaging. The confusing yet ominous tagline. Even the flavors themselves, which I’ll get to in a moment.
There’s very little information about Darkside Skittles on the Internet, which I’m almost glad for, because it means that I can make up what kind of marketing Skittles was aiming for. I think I’ve actually figured it out, and it’s brilliant.
Darkside Skittles are the first ever commercial anti-Valentine’s Day candy.
I mean, just look at this heart, right on the package. It’s got an arrow through it, and the heart is broken.
The concept of Darkside Skittles is dark. The packaging is dark. The flavors are dark.
This is a candy meant for people who hate Valentine’s Day.
We all know someone who hates Valentine’s Day. Maybe they’re single; maybe they’ve had a nasty divorce or have had a string of bad relationships. Maybe they like to spout the usual rhetoric of Valentine’s Day being a holiday designed by Hallmark and Big Flowers and Candy. Maybe it’s you. Any way you slice it, there’s a large population of anti-V-Day people out there.
And Darkside Skittles are for them.
Or vampires. I can’t decide.
Let’s take a look at these flavors, which range from theme-appropriate to somewhat confusing to “what does that even mean?”
Dark Berry: I’d file this one under “somewhat confusing”. There are many berries out there that are dark. Which one are you, Dark Berry? Are you blackberry? Blueberry? Boysenberry? Going with blackberry would have been perfect for the theme of these candies. Opportunity missed.
As it is, Dark Berry Skittles closely resemble “Berry Punch” from Wild Berry Skittles. I haven’t had Wild Berry Skittles in a while, but going from memory, they also seemed to be much alike in flavor. I wouldn’t be surprised if Skittles just poached them wholesale.
Dark Berry Skittles were true to their moniker, in that they were definitely berry-flavored but they don’t have a specific berry taste. It was kind of just…berry. Not unusual for a candy, but once I zoned on on the blackberry, it just made me more disappointed, even though I enjoyed the flavor.
Pomegranate: Well, at least this one has a straightforward name. Pomegranate has enjoyed some fad popularity of late, but it seems like an appropriate flavor for Darkside Skittles, as the arils (fancy name for seed coating; haha you just accidentally learned something) of the pomegranate are a deep, dark red. So is the juice, resembling very watery blood, which makes it a perfect choice for the Darkside.
The color of Pomegranate Skittles got pretty close to the real thing, but unlike pomegranate juice, dropping a Skittle on your shirt will not stain it forever, which is a plus. It was also the strongest flavor out of all the Darksides. It was very tart, as is real pomegranate, and actually did a pretty good job of capturing the flavor of the fruit. It lacked the depth of the real thing, but it’s also a bite-sized candy, so just coming close was a pretty good success.
Forbidden Fruit: I love the name, but had no idea what it represented until I ate one and rediscovered Original Sin. Whoops. Sorry, guys. I know, I know – a damn woman ruins things all over again. Figures.
Apparently, the fruit from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil is darkish blue in hue, and tastes a lot like tropical punch. There was a definite melon flavor, complimented by what could have been a light berry flavor. Honestly, it was kind of hard to pin down, but it was tasty nonetheless. I guess when you’re the candy that got Adam and Eve kicked out of Eden, you’re allowed to be mysterious.
Midnight Lime: Here we come to the “what does it mean?” portion of Darkside Skittles. What the fuck is a Midnight Lime? Do they taste better at midnight? Oooo, do they turn pumpkin-flavored at midnight? Now that would be impressive.
Unfortunately, I’m old and am usually in bed by midnight, so I’ll never know. What I do know is that, at any time other than midnight, Midnight Lime tastes like…lime. Lime Skittles.
I just happened to have a bag of regular Skittles around, so I did a comparison, and I found almost no difference in appearance or taste. Okay, Midnight Lime is a little bit darker, and it was actually a teensy less tart, but if I slipped a Midnight Lime into your bag of regular Skittles, I bet you’d never know it.
If anyone who doesn’t fall asleep at 9pm after drinking a warm glass of Metamucil wants to try eating them at midnight, let me know how that goes in the comments section.
Blood Orange: Like Pomegranate, this one goes out to the vampires, or the knife-wielding ex-girlfriends. Blood oranges are orange on the outside and deep scarlet on the inside, and the color of these Skittles seems to be a compromise between the two.
Real blood oranges taste almost exactly the same as navel oranges, but they add a little bit more tart with the sweetness and are 100% more likely to ruin your shirt than regular oranges.
Blood Orange Skittles did a good job at mimicking this, being just a bit more tart than regular orange Skittles. Sure, “orange” is not a flavor that screams darkness, but you add “blood” to that and you’ve instantly got a solid concept, which beats the pants off Midnight Lime.
Like I said in the intro, I love the design of Darkside Skittles and am firmly convinced they are anti-Valentine’s Day candy, an idea that just delights me. Some of the flavors, like Midnight Lime and Dark Berry, feel a little phoned in. Forbidden Fruit and Blood Orange are flavors that aren’t exactly mind-blowing, but their concepts make them solid. Pomegranate is the one truly unique flavor in Darkside Skittles, and it’s got a color made for the Other Side of the Rainbow. While it doesn’t duplicate its namesake exactly, it gets definite points for coming close.
I have no idea if Darkside Skittles are limited edition or not – if they truly are an anti-V-Day candy, you’ll be seeing them in the clearance aisle soon. If they’re just made for vampires and goth kids, I guess they’ll be sticking around for a while. Hey, even goth kids need a little candy. They can’t subsist on black clove cigarettes alone.
- Score: 3.5 out of 5 pats on the back for not making one Star Wars reference the entire revie- dammit!
- Price: $2.69
- Size: 10.5 oz. bag
- Purchased at: Target
- Nutritional Quirks: Serious points to Pomegranate Darkside Skittles for mimicking the fruit so closely with artificial flavors.
Candy Blog also crossed over to the Darkside.