I’ve seen airheads in the supermarket candy section for years. I always walk right by them, assuming that they’re some sort of childish skanky taffy type candy. Then one night, I realized that I’M a skanky, childish individual, so I picked a pack up. That was 3 weeks ago.
Since that time, I’ve bought like 20 packs and have converted Jonny Guru Jr. into an addict as well. While I won’t put these into any sort of desert island top 5 candy lists yet, I will say that they’re quite good. And here’s why:
1. The taste. Duh.
2. The manufacturers are smart.
Let’s start with #1. Check out the look of an airhead or 7:
These have the sort of mouth feel you might imagine-sort of like a pulled out starburst, but not as clumpy. There’s a…gritty feel to these that really makes them rock. Don’t think problematic gritty, think…of a smooth taffy that has slight little bumps of flavor. And they don’t stretch out into tiny whisps like Laffy Taffy, it’s more solid than that. So the consistency of them, chilled or not (but you know which way I roll on that, right?), is good: semi tough, a *touch* of grit, and a solid chew.
The actual taste of the bars is their strong point. The default flavors are Green Apple, the inevitable Blue Raspberry, Cherry, Watermelon, and Strawberry. There’s also a “Mystery White” flavor that they don’t tell you the flavor of. So far, I really can’t figure it out, but go figure, it’s my kid’s favorite flavor. I asked him what it tasted like, and he said “white”. Then I explained that something can’t taste “white”. After his blank stare, I realized I was talking to a childish, skanky individual, so I gave up.
All of these flavors are quite nice. They reflect the natural fruit taste, although I’m sure there’s NOTHING natural about Airheads. But the litmus test is cherry. Cherry candy usually sucks, and I find myself enjoying these, so…score a win for Airheads. Honestly, though, I still haven’t figured out if you get all the flavors in a pack of 5 or 6, or if it’s semi-random. And here’s why…
#2. Their smartnessticity. Genius really. What Airheads does is that they make “limited edition” packs that are branded with a current movie or cartoon. I’ve recently purchased the “Despicable Me” and “Percy Jackson & the Lightning Thief” packs. And aside from the irony that I worked on both of those films in my less glamorous gig, they also pack another neat thing: special flavors. And this is where Airheads really rock. Each of these “limited edition” packs have 2 or 3 unique flavors. Despicable Me has “Cosmic Bubblegum” (which sounds HEINOUS but is actually delicious and unexpected) and “Freeze Ray-nbow”. Percy has “Riptide Rush” and “Blue Poseidon”. And so on. There’s even a Batman version with flavors like Grape and Tangerine that quite simply rock.
As I write this, I’m sure I’ll grow out of my new found Airheads phase, but seriously-these are good. I had a pink lemonade one last night (you can get a 60 count box at Target, which includes this “special edition” flavor right now) and it was unbah. Unbah good, unbah tingly, unbah tart, just generally unbah.
And that’s that. You know where to find these, there’s not even a need for a link. But, if you prefer waiting a few days for your candy instead of just going to the local grocery store, then you can buy them here. Make sure you at least give these a try. Fridge ’em up, and then bust a few out when you have a hankering for something slightly different and sweet.
Last but not least, we must at least recognize the lameness of the name “Airheads”. It says nothing. Nothing about the candy, nothing about the flavors, nothing about anything. In a way, I think the name was making me steer clear, as it was simply too lame to actually purchase something called “Airheads” as a 40 year old dude. Oh well. I’m over myself.