Monthly Archives: January 2008

Grillz Candy

What do you get when you mix Billy Bob Teeth with rap star Nelly’s dental fixation?

“Lemme see ya grillz!” Grillz Candy is one of the most surprising candies of this decade. Aimed at children three and older, this fruity lollipop is attached to a “partial” denture made of six shiny, silver teeth that you can use to dress up like your favorite rapper. When you smile, your new grillz will shine, letting people know you mean business. And the best part—this grill doesn’t cost thousands of dollars like the ones real rappers wear. Celebrity grills can cost anywhere from $50 for one gold-encrusted tooth to as much as $10,000! Wrappers lile Lil Jon, Snoop Dogg and the Ying Yang Twins sport diamond-jeweled grills in gold or platinum varieties. With the notion that “bigger is better,” these rappers really put their money where their mouth is. And Since Nelly’s hit song “Grillz,” this hip-hop phenomenon has become a worldwide fad. Just listen to the lyrics: “My teeth are mind blowin’ givin everybody chillz. Call me George Foreman ’cause I’m sellin’ everybody grillz.”

Just like Grillz candy, real Grillz can be bad for your teeth. The American Dental Association believes that wearing metal a metal grill extensively can cause bacteria to get trapped causing cavities, gum disease, or bone loss. If that’s the case, buying Grillz candy for your kids is definitely a better alternative to the real thing—price-wise and health-wise. I ripped open this package, anxious to see my rapper face. What would I look like with grillz? Would I like the look so much I’d want to keep it? That thought was fleeting, as I realized I’d just succumbed to another trend not much different from Billy Bob Teeth. In fact, Grillz are today what Billy Bob Teeth were a decade ago, and what wax lips were in the 1950’s and 60’s. What will you look like with a shiny smile? No need to rob a jewelry store—you can get these Grillz in the novelty candy section of your local grocery store.

Ricola Refreshers Herb Drops

As if Switzerland hasn’t brought the world enough marvels in candy and sweets, they’ve also brought us Ricola—a natural alternative in throat drops. Ricola Refreshers Swiss Herb Throat Drops come in two flavors: the popular LemonMint and the lesser-known Elderflower. The ingredient list is impressive—these natural mints include herbs like horehound, mallow, elder, hyssop, lemon balm, linden flowers, peppermint, sage, and thyme. Being sugar-free, the throat drops have the added benefit or relieving minor sore throat.

I tried the Elderflower drops first—I was pleasantly surprised by these throat lozenges. Each drop is oval-shaped and packaged in a pocket-sized container. So what does an elderflower taste like? It carries a hint of citrus and a touch of floral flavors—but I really can’t describe the overall taste. Perhaps it’s a bit like Clark’s Teaberry Gum? Quite tasty indeed, these throat drops are long lasting and they have a smooth texture that doesn’t leave your teeth feeling filmy like some other cough drops do. It’s also not overwhelming in the menthol department, so you’ll enjoy a nice, enjoyable taste without feeling like you have breath more powerful than a dragon’s.

LemonMint is another popular flavor sold by Ricola, and rightly so. This throat drop is pleasant to taste and naturally refreshing. It tastes more like a fresh lemon rind than your typical lemon-flavored candy—you could easily picture how nice the scent would be if you could bottle it up and spray it around your home for a whiff of lemony freshness. Personally, I’d go for the Elderflower if given a choice of the two—but why not stock up on both? You know you’ll go through bags and bags of these the next time you have a sore throat. All in all, these throat drops live up to the name—they are truly refreshing.

York 100 Calorie Peppermint Wafer Bar

We know that companies are making a killing selling 100-calorie and individually wrapped snacks. In the health-crazed culture we live in, people don’t want to give up their favorite snacks entirely. That’s where Hershey’s York Peppermint Wafer Bar comes in. Tasting a bit like the chocolate and mint Grasshopper cookies by Keebler, these York bars are covered in milk chocolate and filled with minty goodness. Two 3-inch chocolate wafers round out the snack, which weighs in at only 6 grams of fat and 11 grams of carbs for those who are counting. I think these York Wafers taste great, with a crisp mint flavor peeking through a chocolate crunchy coating. In fact, I wasn’t expecting to get such a powerful minty taste from such a small package. My only complaint with this snack is that there’s not more to share. But the health-conscious crowd will really dig these new and improved York candy bars.

Since the 1920’s, The York Company (named after its headquarters in Pennsylvania) introduced its famous Peppermint Patty in 1940. After the demand grew for this minty chocolate treat, the company decided to focus on these exclusively and immediately shut off production of their other products, mainly ice cream cones. The York Patty was then sold to the Peter-Paul Company in the mid 1970’s, and was later acquired by Cadbury Schweppes. Hershey’s merged with Cadbury Schweppes in 1988, and the rest is candy history.

In recent years, York Peppermint Patties have mostly remained unchanged (why mess with a good thing?), but I’m quite impressed by the 100 Calorie Wafer Bar. It’s a tasty snack to take with you on the road, and the crunchy texture makes it feel more filling than the traditional peppermint patty. But it’s hard to get too filled by this low-calorie snack. Grab a couple when you’re feeling naughty.