With Halloween and the Holidays on the horizon, I could not have been happier when Gimbal’s Fine Candies reached out to me asking if I would like to sample some of their products. Would I? Twist my arm. They must have figured out that I have a tremendous sweet tooth and actually sent me a huge sampling of their current line-up. Yes, candy testing is a tough job indeed.
There was however more than my sweet tooth that piqued my interest when it came to trying their candies. You see not only are their products Gluten-Free but they are also free from the top allergens: Peanut-, Tree-, Dairy-, Egg-, Shellfish-, and Soy-free. There are also free from high fructose corn syrup. How many candies can say that? Not only can Gimbal’s say that but they also ensure that their production and packaging facilities are free from the major eight food allergens. Consumers can rest easy knowing that this is a company that puts their customers first and looks out for them from start to finish.
So on to the reviews…
First up was their Cherry Lovers mix. These sweet little heart-shaped candies not only pack a huge flavor punch but are actually made with real cherry juice and are high in antioxidant Vitamin C (25% of your daily value per serving). If you are thinking well that’s all well and good – think again because these are not your standard cherry candies. Each bag is packed with nine (yes nine) cherry flavor variations: Wild Cherry, Cherry Vanilla, Black Cherry, Chocolate Cherry, Cherry Cheesecake, Cherry Daiquiri, Bing Cherry, Cherry Cola, and Kiwi Cherry. The Wild Cherry, Chocolate Cherry, and Kiwi Cherry were my personal favorites but I don’t discriminate and the bag was soon on its way to empty.
With Gimbal’s you don’t have to guess what flavor is what because all of the candies feature a key on the back of the bag – a sugary table of contents if you will – that allows you to easily spy each flavor in the bag. Word of caution – there will be battles as other figure this out and start looking for their favorites. So if entertaining, toss them in a bowl and let everyone battle it out – only after identifying your favorites and locking-in on them. Not saying I did that…well…let’s just say people wondered where certain flavors were and how they couldn’t find them. Evil sugar induced laugh.
If jellybeans are more your thing than fear not. Gimbal’s makes traditional and sour varieties both contain 10% of your daily Vitamin C.
The traditional is their 41 flavor Gourmet Jellybeans. These had some truly interesting flavors in the mix and even came with some “recipes” for pairing flavors. So what are all the flavors? Well, I am glad you asked: Boysenberry, Tutti Frutti Tangerine, Green Apple, Wild Cherry, Buttered Popcorn, Pink Grapefruit, Superfruit Fusion, Mango, Root Beer, Peach, Pomegranate, Coconut, Cotton Candy, Peach, Java, Key Lime, Tiramisu, Kiwi Strawberry Smoothie, Strawberry Daiquiri, Watermelon, Pineapple, Sour Cherry, Fruit Punch, Perfectly Pear, Strawberry Cheesecake, Licorice, Verry Blue, Red Delicious, Ice Cream Cake, Raspberry, Roasted Marshmallow, French Vanilla, Honey, Bubble Gum, Raspberry, Orange ‘N Cream, Pina Colada, Wowi Chocolate, Lemon Meringue, and Baja Margarita. Whew, that is most definitely a mouthful.
The Sour Gourmet Jellybeans are wonderfully sour but still allow the fruit flavors to come through. Also made with real fruit juice they come in: Cherry, Apple, Mango, Grapefruit, Blueberry, Strawberry, Lime, Pomegranate, Lemon, Watermelon, Grape, and Tangerine. I have to say that the grapefruit was a surprising favorite but more importantly each flavor was easily identifiable.
If gumdrop-like chews are more your thing than the Sour Lovers Chews are definitely a must-have for you. These were perfectly soft and what you would look for in a fruit chew. The slight crunch, thanks to the sugary/sour coating, adds a nice bit of texture to these candies which come in: Pomegranate, Fuji Apple, Grapefruit, Watermelon, Meyer Lemon, Tangerine, Baja Margarita, Strawberry Daiquiri, Blueberry, Mango, Cherry, and Peach. They also contain 25% of Vitamin C per serving.
Now if you prefer your candies of the cinnamon or spicy variety than Gimbal’s has you well-covered with two “hotter” options. Their Cinnamon Lovers candy is made with real cinnamon oil and you can definitely taste it. Each small red heart is a cinnamon lover’s dream. A hint of sweetness quickly turns into deep cinnamon flavor without being too overpowering.
If overpowering tests of how hot you can take it is more your thing than look no further than the LavaBalls. These are the Cinnamon Lovers times ten. They are quite hot but do also have a very nice flavor. In addition to the typical Gimbal’s free from allergens – these are also gelatin-free.
So I just might have saved my personal favorite for last. Those fellow Celiacs out there will understand what an amazing find the ever-elusive gluten-free licorice is. Enter Gimbal’s Scottie Dogs. These little Scottie-shaped all natural (very nice) licorice bites are also gelatin-free. Where they truly shine is with their flavor – they are made with real licorice root and pure anise.
Gimbal’s is steeped in history and is a true family affair. Founded in 1898 in downtown San Francisco by Alexander Gimbal – four generations of the family have carried on the candy making tradition since.
This is one brand that truly lives up to its motto – which could not be more fitting: Making Gourmet Candies for Everyone Everyday. Indeed they are making the world sweeter for those of us with Celiac disease and food allergies and I thank them for that. So if you are looking for some sweet treats for you or your family as the holidays approach – please do give Gimbal’s a go. You can order Gimbal’s products right on their Web site or find a store that carries them near you.