Juicy Jells: Kids Love Em! But I’m Old…

Juicy Jells from Candy Basket. Soft textured with huge sugar crystals on the outside. Gramma might like these? Jello cubes. Eh.

Reviewed by Matty

January 29, 2010

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What to write what to write what to write…

Here are my problems:

We got some candy called Juicy Jells from some very nice people at Candy Basket. And it ain’t cheap candy, in fact the candy might be a little pissed off that I’m even calling it candy. It probably would prefer “sweets.” And we got 6 boxes at 7 bucks a pop. Generous.


And the sweets are in some very put-together packaging probably put in there by hand. Plus they have interesting flavors, like Meyer Lemon and orangeade. (But then they also have cherry pomegranate – and can we be honest? Pomegranate is the pesto of fruit. We don’t need anymore anything made with pomegranate.)

And then there are my kids who like these Juicy Jells. Wait. Sorry – they loooove these. And they’re a bit f-ing ridiculous about it if you ask me. The look on their faces when they eat them (they ask for one every night) is like they’re savoring dreamy chocolate velvet, eyes half closed. I imagine they look like I would if I was eating an amuse-bouche from French Laundry, “oh this is greeaaat! I loooove the sugar and the colorrrs and the flavors are reaaally yummy.” Seriously. That’s what they said one time. And they’re 6 and 4 years old for chrissake. What do they know about savoring ANYthing? They’d eat goddamn Gogurt and Lucky Charms all day if they could steal my Amex and drive themselves to Safeway. sigh.

The main problem, however, is that I don’t like these. And I feel bad for the kind people at Candy Basket – not because I don’t like their candy but because I don’t like this type of candy at all. They’re impawsomely soft jelly textured. With huge sugar crystals on the outside, the size of raw sugar. When you bite in, essentially you get crunchy big sugar around firm jello. Along with lil’ dumplings, perhaps gramma might like these too. But just not so much for me. I like hard gummies, as is evidenced ad nauseum if you search this site. Giving me juicy jells…is like giving me some of Tom Colicchio’s foie gras. I’m sure it’s great if you like duck or goose. But I don’t. So save your money and get me some frozen Sui Mai from Trader Joe’s. jelly-med1

Jelly-med2Flavorwise, the Juicy Jells are floral – a robust bouquet when you bite in. (Yes – I did really write that.) My fave to look at is the cherry pomegranate as you can see by the picture, left. My fave to eat is the orangeade. (I’m kinda weirding out how I suddenly like orange flavored candy. I never used to). The Asian Pear is ok – not sure it tastes like pear though. The kiwi strawberry tastes nothing like either of those, while the Meyer lemon tastes pretty right on.

Still, it’s not all piss and vinegar. You’ll be happy to know that Matty Jr Guru loves this kind of candy and I’m giving him all the rest so maybe he’ll chime in in the comments and give you jelly lovers a review from one of your own.

In the meantime, the other stuff from candy basket looks kinda good – like the licorice salt water taffy. Been there and bought that? Let us know how they were. I mean, these folks have been making candy since 1914. That’s almost 100 years. I have to imagine they’re doing something right.


Zolli Candy


  1. Matty

    OK – did the fridge trick and yep- better. MUCH better. First off, the tastes jelled more. (No word play intended). It simply tasted better and like what i expected. Plus of course the jells jelled harder – meaning, they got harder. And that was huge. Huge enough that I jumped back out and gave these a solid 6. That’s right deal with it!

  2. Matty

    The ridiculous thing is I haven’t tried that yet.
    Until now.
    Just popped them in the ice box. Will report back in a week.

  3. laurie p.

    gotta tell you guys…i left my box of juicy jells in the fridge for a month, with no lid on it…ate them last night and they were FREAKIN PERFECT. i couldn’t deal with them when they were fresh…no resistance to the tooth whatsoever….but staled, lid-less in the fridge, made them just ridiculous. heavenly.

  4. Scotty

    Good point Mommy. I don’t love these candy’s and my earlier comment isn’t a review so I will say just a bit more here. These sweets are impressive – they seem to be made with extraordinary care and quality. The flavors are mostly good and in the case of one of the orange flavors – great. As well, I would eat these again if offered. I would have given them 4 or 5 stars – which is saying a lot considering I would never buy a jelly candy – ever – just not my thing. And I have never come across a jelly candy that I would want to eat again. So while I’m ok with not having these again just the fact that I would eat them is a testament to their quality.

    Matty Jr. needs to chime in soon because these are right up his alley.

  5. Matty

    Point taken – why have me review these when I enter the arena with bias? Well, unfortunately, all three of the main writers on this site aren’t fans of these types of candy. Luckily, a 4th contributor is, and as soon as I get him some to try, I’m sure he will pony up some remarks. And perhaps he’ll love them.

  6. haydens mommy

    I am a local of the Portland area (where The Candy Basket is located) and have to say in defense of these Juicy Jells, they are DELICIOUS!!! I am not just a fan because they are local or even because they made the Opah Magazine (which I have to admit, IS AWESOME!!!) but I do genuinly enjoy these little ‘sweets’ as they deserved to be called! I consider them to be a bit more adult oriented rather than ‘kid friendly’ like most jelly candies (as in the price tag), which is nice for me, so I can feel a bit more sophisticated eating these! Now, to be fair, I don’t believe the right ‘GURU’ reviewed these, if you already know you aren’t fond of a certain type of candy why spend the time tasting them and writing a review?? Just my opinion!

  7. Scotty

    I tried these. One of the flavors were pretty good – good flavor that is. But they are yuck – its almost 100% a texture thing but for me, I never need to eat these again.

  8. Candy Professor

    Yes, I get why you didn’t like them. But they look like JUST the kind of candy I crave. Making me reconsider my decision not to do candy reviews and shill for free candy samples (seriously, 6 whole boxes! and I’ve never seen these in my local stores, so I just have to virtually enjoy.)

  9. Hankness

    I agree with the comment on the category – that looks like a lot of sugary sugar in there. That said, I’d like to try some – especially Orangeade. I’ll update my comment post sampling. I’m open like that.

  10. Jonny

    I tried them, I really did. And honestly…I think the flavors are OK, but nothing to write home about. The jelly consistency isn’t for me, HOWEVER….what if you froze these? I wonder if they’d become chewier?

  11. greebs

    I look forward to providing more keen insight on these – they look yummalicious.

    I definitely get why folks DON’T like these jelly candies (well, not these – never had them yet – but things like Chuckles, etc.) but for me, they both remind me of eating them as a little kid and still have that great flavor that so many candies miss.

    Bring ’em on!


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