The Happy World of Haribo!!
As an avid candy lover, especially when it comes to candy from around the globe, I would be remiss if any more time passed without mentioning Haribo in detail. The famous Gold Bears are one of their flagship items, along with gummy twin cherries, frogs, raspberries and blackberries, and the famous gummy coke bottles. But the aforementioned are representative of the American Haribo products – these are items often found at CVS, Duane Reade, or your local grocery store. This blog post intends to highlight Haribo products from Europe, specifically Germany. These are hand-selected (by yours truly) as some of the best Haribo items to be found ANYWHERE in the world!!! They were imported from Germany through an online shop called Germanshop24; don’t say I never did anything for you, my dear readers, because the shipping costs on these heavy candy items is a killer!! Having said that, this site does a great job offering economy shipping at a tolerably reasonable price, and of course they will overnight it to you if you want to pay…
There are literally hundreds of Haribo items on the site, all of which are native to Europe and rarely found, if at all, stateside. Some advantages to the European options over our own: 1) They are made with natural flavors and colors, in accordance with European food safety laws and standards. Sadly, the US is not as stringent when it comes to the chemicals and ingredients in our food; we could have a long, drawn-out conversation on food standards in the States, but let’s table that for another time. 2) The items tend to be fresher than the stuff we get here, seeing as it is coming straight from the source. 3) The variety! They offer so many candies that I have never seen here, and you all know I have looked!! Even the specialty shops that carry an extensive array of Haribo goods do not come close to carrying the items you are about to virtually experience!
The candy has been grouped into 3 categories: Marshmallows, gummies, and licorice. Lets begin with Marshmallows:
On the left we have Little Cupcakes – These are a combination of marshmallow cupcake ‘tops’ in flavors like vanilla, blueberry, lemon, cherry and more, and cupcake ‘bottoms’ in caramel cookie and lemon biscuit. These are DIVINE. The bottoms are a tougher, harder marshmallow and taste like lemon cookie and caramel cookie, for real! The tops are a slightly softer marshmallow and really do have a fruity (or vanilla) twist to them. You can mix and match the tops and bottoms and make for an ever-changing flavor profile. They are also absolutely adorable, I was so impressed and delighted by this sweet discovery!
In the middle are the Chamallows – These are chocolate-covered vanilla marshmallows. I liked them a lot, with their crispy and thin coating, and the very soft and squishy marshmallow in the middle. However, having had a variety of chocolate-drenched marshmallows in my day, I am not sure these were my favorite; though worth the purchase and the taste test, the chocolate was a bit thin and oily, and the marshmallow could have used a little density. Some favorites when it comes to chocolate-covered marshmallows are the Scandinavian options. Check out my post about Sockerbit for some more info on that!
On the right we have a long-standing favorite that was mentioned in our South Africa blog post, because while traveling there I was able to find some! Primavera are a feat of epic candy proportions, offering up a foamy, denser than usual but still marshmallow-like inside covered in red sugar and boasting the dreamiest, most juicy strawberry candy taste to be found on earth. These never disappoint, and I have yet to find another candy that compares to their unique texture and flavor. Definitely promptly order some; they will light your taste buds on fire! As a side note, while one might want to quickly chew and swallow these, the best thing to do is let them dissolve in your mouth. Let the flavor loose on the taste buds all around the mouth, and be ready to get happy!
Moving on, we have the gummies:
On the left we have Pinkie and Lilly, some lovely black currant and raspberry-flavored gummies with soft, spongy bottoms. I love the dual texture of these, much like one would find in the green and white gummy frogs (also Haribo) that many people are familiar with. These are that exact same consistency and texture, with the harder gummy juxtaposed against the soft, light marshmallowy-gummy texture of the underside. I love the juicy taste of the black currant and raspberry flavors found here; as someone who prefers berry over citrus, I’m always excited to find an all-berry candy! Having never tried these before now, I now have something new to add to the German import list!
On the right we have Fruity Bussi, which I recently discovered at the Confectionary in Seattle, WA. These gummies come in orange, pear and raspberry, with that same soft foamy underside as the above Pinkie and Lilly. But in a wonderful twist, these also have a gooey, juicy center! So, we have 3 textures happening in one candy – hello candy trifecta! Always one to love love love a candy trifecta, because two textures is exciting but three is better, I was delighted to initially discover these over this past holiday season; seeing as these are not holiday themed the safe assumption is that the Confectionary always carries them! Each one has a very distinct flavor, and each flavor stands strong in its own right. My favorite was the pear…
Last but not least we have licorice:
You might have noticed that these have a very similar name – one is Pico Balla and one is Balla Balla. That is because they are almost the same, except Pico Balla are smaller, little soccer balls while Balla Balla are inch-long tubes of creme-filled licorice. Since we all know how much I love creme-filled licorice, it should come as no surprise that these made the cut.
Pico Balla, on the left, were also mentioned in the South Africa post and video. They are such a fun and special candy, with difference licorice flavors and that coveted fondant-like center. The licorice flavors are apple (green), cherry (red), lemon (yellow) and something yummy and fruity (orange). The inner, fondant-like center seems to be similar across licorice options, with a slightly tart, tangy and zippy fruity flavor. These are fun to throw in a baggie and take with you anywhere! I LOVED finding large bags of them at the Johannesburg International Airport after I thought my African adventure had ended without finding the beloved Pico Balla. See, good things happen to sweet people 🙂
Balla Balla are Pico Balla’s older brother, with their larger size and shape. They come in apple (green), cherry (red), lemon (yellow), and the cola (brown). They used to come in one or two other colors (I distinctly remember purple a few years back when I ordered them, also orange) but they might have streamlined their flavor profiles. Either way, these are a real special treat! It is fun to pull the licorice off of the inner soft center and eat them separately, or pull them apart then eat the licorice in tiny pieces, followed by fondant in tiny pieces. Or eat them together, that is tasty too! There are never-ending combinations and possibilities!!
Also of note, some of these candies can be found on sites like eBay and Amazon, if you look for them by name. There are a host of international sellers on there willing to get these items to you. Overall though, I find that Germanshop24 has good prices and shipping rates, given the landscape for importing these types of items and some inherent costs therein. Plus, we all have to be careful to read the fine print online – sometimes we think we’re paying for 12 packages when they are really selling 2 packages; it can be somewhat tricky and deceptive at times. Thus, I would turn to Germanshop24 for this as well as thousands of other products and sweets that you cannot find in the States.
You might be wondering which of all of these is my absolute favorite. The truth is I do not know!! Primavera and Pico Balla have been such long-time favorites that they really come up strong. But the juicy, gooey berries were so much fun, and we all love a good marshmallow! I think my vote for best newcomer and surprise stand-out goes to…
AND THE WINNER IS…
These were such a delight to find and sample, and the ability to mix and match the flavors was a real treat, no pun intended! The multitude of flavor options was above and beyond, and the fact that the tops and bottoms, while both marshmallow, had different density levels to signify the difference between cake and frosting really made my day…my month!! Haribo went above and beyond to create both a fun and a tasty addition to their candy repertoire, and so I deem Litttle Cupcakes the ‘Standout Haribo Candy’ of the year!! Go Little Cupcakes!! You rule!!
Of course, please let me know if you have any additional questions about these items. Helping people to navigate the wide world of international candy is a joy and a pleasure!
On the upcoming horizon is an exciting trip to the Bahamas, so we will have to see if there are any special Bahamian candies or sweets to be discovered! Until then, sweet days and sugar-filled nights to you all!