Tag Archives: Disney

Disney Deliciously Wicked Gourmet Candy Corn Candied Apple and Blackberry Magic

I’ve mentioned before that my mom sends me care packs full of goodies for pretty much every holiday. Yes, I am a grown woman, but that doesn’t make it any less awesome.

She always seems to have a little surprise up her sleeve, too. Nestled amongst every candy bar you could name morphed into a pumpkin, these lovely gems arrived: Disney Deliciously Wicked Gourmet Candy Corn.

I know, I know. Candy corn. Candy corn that claims to be gourmet, at that. But this ain’t no pound of Brach’s, we’re talking about here.

There are six products in Disney’s Deliciously Wicked line of candy. First off, “Deliciously Wicked” is a wonderful moniker. Second, each of the six gets its own evil Disney villainess to represent it.

I only have two, but they’re all so lovely that I felt they all deserved mention. Here are the other four: The Evil Queen’s Sour Green Apple Saltwater Taffy, Maleficent’s Fiery Cinnamon Saltwater Taffy, The Evil Queen’s Pumpkin Spice Candy Corn and Cruella de Vil’s Red Velvet Cake Saltwater Taffy. Check out this site to view them all in their lovely glory. Always glad to see Maleficent getting some love.

While I would have liked to sample some taffy, I’m happy with what I’ve got. My mom must have psychically known I was tired of seeing pumpkin-spice flavored candy, so she picked the other two candy corn flavors. Let’s check out what we’ve got, here!

Disney Deliciously Wicked Gourmet Candy Corn Candied Apple

Say what you will about Disney; for all their faults, they know how to make some motherfucking product packaging. Glossy box, beautiful fonts, cohesive design, and no lack of detail. It’s little touches like this on the back of the box that make such packaging so complete:

In case you’re just now breaking Amish or whatever, that really pissed-off lady on the front of the box is the Queen of Hearts from Alice in Wonderland.

As you can see, she’s quite the angry bitch. I won’t give you the whole background on her, assuming you have Google on your Internet, but they’ve captured the essence of her quite aptly on the package. You think you’ve got a sadistic boss? Feel lucky you didn’t accidentally plant some white roses instead of red ones. The Queen of hearts is very fond of decapitation, and I imagine this package captures her mid-screaming, “Off with their heads!”

What do caramel apples have to do with the Queen of Hearts? At first, I couldn’t really find a connection, but then I realized, hey – caramel apples – apples impaled on sticks – decapitated heads on sticks!

I have no idea if this was Disney’s intention, but I’m going with it.

Even less intentionally, quite a few of my Candied Apple Candy Corns seemed to be missing their heads, but that happens when you’ve got a candy with a thick base and a pointy end. The color scheme of the candy itself was very apt and self-explanatory; brown caramel base, bright red apple middle, and the classic candy corn white tip.

Despite their cuteness, my first whiff was not encouraging. The Queen’s Corn smelled like a caramel apple candy that had been stored inside a plastic ALF mask since 1987. One that a kid was so enamored with that he wore it and refused to take it off for two weeks before Halloween actually arrived. Not an encouraging introduction.

The taste was unfortunately much the same. Of course, most of candy corn is sugar, so that was definitely present, but the caramel and apple flavors were both off and overwhelmed by that plasticky taste. Out of what little I could taste of the intended flavors, the caramel was “eh”, but the apple was straight-up chemical-tasting and fake.

I demand the head of whomever created the flavors of Caramel Apple Candy Corn!

Disney Deliciously Wicked Gourmet Candy Corn Blackberry Magic

Another lovely rendering of a classic Disney villain. Quick look at her symbol on the back of the box:

“Aw, it’s an adorably rendered international symbol of poison, positioned right above the opening of a box full of candy! Nothing wrong with that!”

If you just escaped from a commune of Luddites, Disney helpfully lets you know that this is Ursula from The Little Mermaid.

The Little Mermaid is the very first movie I can remember seeing in a movie theatre. I was rather young, but I don’t recall being very scared of Ursula, despite her large and intimidating presence. Perhaps that’s because, in addition to being a scary mersoul-trapper, she was also sassy. It’s hard to be afraid of a fat lady with tentacles instead of legs when she’s singing catchy songs.

I’m pretty sure she’s also the only being with tentacles besides Cthulhu that doesn’t immediately make me think of horrible hentai. That’s a serious compliment, Ursula.

Again, lovely design on the box, and the portrayal of Ursula shows that she is both evil and totally embracing her obese sauciness. Girl knows she owns it.

These are “Blackberry Magic” candy corns, which is a pretty solid connection, since Ursula does employ what you could call black magic, and it gives Disney the perfect excuse to make a lovely Ursula-color-themed candy corn.

My camera apparently hates the color indigo, but this is a fair enough approximation of the color scheme. They couldn’t be more perfectly tailored for Ursula: deep purple base for her tentacles, a lighter indigo for her torso, and even the white tip fits with her hair! I feel like I should display them in my living room rather than eat them.

Sadly, my nose also agrees with this first impression. Blackberry Magicorns smelled like a Glade “approximation of berry” air freshener that had just been installed in a newly sanitized bathroom.

Ursula’s Corns fared a little better than the Queen’s upon tasting, but not by much. There actually was something of an approximation of blackberry flavor in there, but once again, it had to play second fiddle to the inescapable taste of chemical plastic. Ursula needs to go back to her cauldron and rethink this particular dark magic spell.

Disney is one of the masters of creating polished packaging, and these Deliciously Wicked Candy Corns are no exception. I wish I’d never opened the boxes and instead just set them on a shelf to admire the artistry and the fun candy corn colors.

Unfortunately, my job is to actually taste things, and that’s where these candy corns go wrong. The Queen of Hearts’s Candied Apple tasted like plastic upon bad caramel upon chemical apple, and Ursula’s Blackberry Magic tasted like plastic upon some approximation of blackberry that came somewhat close to succeeding, but failed again in the chemical territory.

As I’ve said before, I give big points to Halloween packaging, which I definitely have to factor into my score. Sadly, the R&D taste development department didn’t have the same luck as the marketing department, and therein lies the downfall of these candy corns, which taste anything but gourmet.

At least for a few days, the Queen and Ursula will be placed where they rightfully should be: on my shelf of Halloween decorations that are inedible.

Disney Deliciously Wicked Gourmet Candy Corn Candied Apple and Blackberry Magic

  • Score (The Queen of Hearts’s Candied Apple): 2 out of 5 decapitated heads on stakes
  • Score (Ursula’s Blackberry Magic): 3 out of 5 squirming tentacles
  • Price: Free!
  • Size: 9 oz. box
  • Purchased at: Somewhere in California
  • Nutritional Quirks: Made mostly of sugar and corn syrup, but it’s the artificial flavoring that spooks me.

Vile Villains Hot Chocolate: Wonderfully Wacky Purple, Deceivingly Orange, and Heartless Green

Kids love food that is a color it isn’t supposed to be. My mind immediately travels back to Pop Qwiz, a microwave popcorn that came in various un-popcorn colors like red, green, and what should always be your favorite unnatural food color, blue. It also came in yellow, which is weird, because you can do that with butter. But hey, there was also purple, so I will forgive Pop Qwiz. For those of you too young to remember Pop Qwiz, here’s a commercial, and get off my lawn.

The second thing I remember is Heinz ketchup, which made some cah-RAZY colors like green, purple, blue, and teal. Teal? Most kids probably don’t even know what teal is. This was in 2000, at which time I had (mostly) grown out of my desire to eat foods of inappropriate colors, but I do remember my grandfather bought a bottle of the green stuff. Just because. I tip my hat to his spirit, since it’s obvious a little bit of him rubbed off on JFB.

Pop Qwiz disappeared long ago and Heinz stopped making the colored ketchups in 2006, presumably leaving millions of children without the opportunity to eat extra food coloring while their parents roll their eyes.

But fear not! (Or be afraid, it is the season for it.)  Just in time for Halloween, and possibly only for Halloween, I present to you Vile Villains Hot Chocolate! Not a hell of a lot of info about them on the Internet, but I gather they’re only available at Walgreen’s, and they come in three colors: Wonderfully Wacky Purple, Deceivingly Orange, and Heartless Green. The chocolate remains the same, but the colors are Halloweenolicious.

This is a Disney Joint, so we’ve got three villains from their vast library of evil beings. I’ll talk briefly about each and show you the all-important pictures, but since the chocolate is the same in all three, we’ll check that out at the end.

Wonderfully Wacky Purple Hot Chocolate

Okay, I have objections right off the bat, here. Really, the Chesire Cat? First off, he’s not even a villain. Second, I suppose he could pull off representing purple, but isn’t there someone who would really embody the spirit of purple? Any guesses? Motherfucking MALEFICENT from Sleeping Beauty, that’s right! Only one of the awesomest Disney villains ever! SHE TURNS INTO A MOTHERFUCKING DRAGON. Wasted opportunity.

Oddly, all the powders look generally the same. I was expecting purple powder, but this is what I got. But hey, kids like shit that changes colors just like they like food that is oddly colored, so…bonus?

The hot chocolate itself was a little more pastel than I would have liked. Lavender is not that spooky. I had a heck of a time taking the photos because, as you can see, it gets that film on top that masks the true color of the liquid, but you can generally see it around the edges. I later realized I could have let it cool down and that probably would have fixed the problem. But done is done. Deal with it.

Deceivingly Orange Hot Chocolate

Here we have the Evil Queen from Snow White, disguised as a witch. She gives Snow White a poisoned apple in the story, but here she appears to be presenting a Jack o’Lantern, apparently to tie in with the orange color. I have to say, if Snow White had been given a pumpkin, the story would have turned out much differently, unless she decided to toast the seeds and eat them I suppose.

Deceivingly Orange is a strange name. Out of context, it makes little sense. Oranges are not so deceiving. You pretty much get what you’re asking for out of an orange, unless you bought a grapefruit by mistake, but that’s your own fault. In this context, Deceivingly Orange means several things – first of all, nobody expects their hot chocolate to be orange, and second, the poisoned apple is deceiving. Except now it’s a pumpkin. Why not.

I’m not a big fan of orange as a color, but I guess this one delivers the most Halloweeny of all the colors. Purple and green are great backup colors for Halloween, but if you’re going to go Halloween, you know you have to go black and orange. The black is surprisingly absent, but at least orange has a backup team.

Heartless Green Hot Chocolate

Here we see the Evil Queen from Snow White in her natural evil form. With that bubbling green cauldron, she feels the most natural of the three. I am, however, a little miffed that two of the three Vile Villains are from Snow White. There are a bazillion Disney villains; do we really have to dip into the same pumpkin bucket twice?

Also, she’s holding the poisoned apple. Where the hell was the continuity director on these things?

Much like with the purple hot chocolate, this drink’s color is disappointingly pale. It does look a little sickly, however, which could be considered in the spirit of Halloween, but I would have liked to have seen a deep, dark green. Same with the purple.

Now then, to the hot chocolate flavor itself. I ran into a problem right off the bat: Vile Villains Hot Chocolate does not contain any chocolate. No cocoa powder, nothing. Now, I understand the fundamental reason for this; cocoa is brown, and that would effect the color of the drink. I understand with the orange and the green, but if they had made the purple darker, couldn’t they have gotten away with adding some cocoa? And what about black? It seems like it would have been easy to incorporate cocoa powder into that. But hey, I wasn’t on the hot chocolate development team; who knows what hurdles they went through before they settled upon these choices.

Oddly, despite the absence of actual chocolate, the Vile Villains do possess a ghost of hot chocolate taste. The basic ingredients are sugar, nonfat dry milk, and non dairy creamer. This makes for a very sweet drink, and I think it’s the creamer that makes it taste a bit like hot chocolate.

My mom (who lovingly sent me these when I couldn’t find them at my local Walgreen’s) thought they were awful due to the lack of chocolate flavor, but I found them passable as a hot, sweet, milky drink. Then again, I may or may not have enjoyed a few sips of flavored creamer in my past, so perhaps I’m not quite right in the head.

In the end, the execution of packaging and coloring didn’t sit quite right with me, but I think kids would enjoy drinking hot “chocolate” that comes in a spooooky package and nontraditional colors. Temperatures are falling, Halloween is in full swing, and a hot sweet treat would probably satisfy most young palates. Adults will probably find the lack of chocolate flavor disappointing, unless they really enjoy the taste of non dairy creamer. I appreciate the effort to create a cool Halloween product, but Disney’s Imagineers could have put a little more thought into it. (Note: I doubt the Imagineers had anything to do with this product; I just wanted an excuse to use the term “Imagineers”.)

Vile Villains Hot Chocolate: Wonderfully Wacky Purple, Deceivingly Orange, and Heartless Green

  • Score: 2 out of 5 totally kick-ass Maleficent dragons that should have been on the purple package
  • Price: Freeeeeeeee! (Thanks Mom!)
  • Size: 1.25 oz. package
  • Purchased at: A Walgreen’s somewhere in Southern California
  • Nutritional Quirks: No chocolate in the hot chocolate. Perhaps the largest quirk of all time.