Early this year at the Fancy Foods show, which is just plain fun to say, our pal Josh (who works for a major candy company) told us that there was an up & coming candy company that we just had to check out. A few minutes later, I was speaking to Torie and Howard, of …Torie & Howard candies.
They gave me samples of these 4 intense hard candies: Blood Orange & Honey, Pomegranate & Nectarine, D’anjou Pear & Cinnamon, and Pink Grapefruit & Tupelo Honey. The flavors just exploded, and I was properly blown away. I asked them where to get them, and at the time…you couldn’t. They were looking for distribution, and just generally looking to make a splash somehow.
I’ve been staying in touch with them, and have been waiting till I could point y’all towards a place to actually buy them online. That time has come. Ladies & Germs, I present to you, Torie & Howard hard candies:
Talk about packaging. I mean, I’m (clearly) a manly man, and even I can’t resist this cute-as-shit little handbag ‘o candy. The paper is thick, well made, the art is beautiful. They’ve done everything right here, so far. Inside, you get a bunch of individually wrapped candies. Even down to the wrappers, it’s obvious that they used recyclable paper, which again, gives them props. Mad props, even!
Once you open them, you’re looking at real colors made from real flavors (more on that in a moment):
Wanna know exactly how they color them? Red cabbage, purple carrots, organic black carrot, organic blackcurrant, organic apple, and annato-which is derived from seeds of the achiote tree in tropical climates. Pretty damn cool, right? Nothing even remotely artificial here.
But what about ingredients, you say? Organic sugar, organic rice syrup, non-GMO citric acid (Mrs. Guru will love that), and natural flavors. By the way, as we know from past reviews, “natural flavors” usually doesn’t mean shit. It’s sort of a safety net that can mean many things. But in this case, it truly means flavors derived from the fruits and honeys advertised.
There’s no artificial dyes, corn syrup, GMOs, wheat, gluten, soy, dairy, or casein in these. Torie & Howard donate to “Autism Speaks” and “Wildlife Conservation Society” foundations. They recycle.
To this day, I have NEVER seen a candy so responsible, so clean, and so pure in every way. But what does that really mean if the candy isn’t good? Nothing. So let’s break them down, from left to right above.
Blood Orange & Honey – Usually when candies bill an exotic flavor like blood orange, it just tastes like orange. Not this time, friend. I couldn’t tell if I was eating this flavor, or the grapefruit at first, because of the acidic tangy edge blood oranges have! Zany man, wild. The honey is mild, and just helps to round out the flavor. Amazing.
Pomegranate & Nectarine – Wow. The pom gets a great citrus lift from the nectarine. Slightly tart, slightly sweet…I could eat this all day.
D’anjou pear & Cinnamon – my least favorite of the bunch, simply because the other three flavors are so excellent. The pear taste comes through bright and strong, and the cinnamon does a nice job of being a supporting player. Somehow though, this combination doesn’t really do it for me. Could be due to the fact that I’m not a huge cinnamon fan, unless it’s on toast with a shit ton of sugar and butter, or in the form of a few cinnamon-only candies that we like.
Pink grapefruit & Tupelo Honey – Another BIG winner. Grapefruit is one of my favorite things, and this representation doesn’t disappoint. Super tangy, you can almost feel the irritating spray of juice that hits your eye as you dig into a half grapefruit with your spoon. Again, the honey is mild, but there IS a little bit of extra flavor that I’m not familiar with-perhaps that’s the Tupelo part? Regardless, this is another flavor that I could eat non stop.
I’ll stop blabbering on now. Suffice it to say: Torie & Howard deserve your business, and everyone else’s who enjoys hard candies. I can’t find one damn fault with their products. And they’re nice people too. Now that their website is up and running, I strongly encourage y’all-if for no other reason than to just get great candy-to try some out.
If you have kids, you can feel great about giving them this candy. Nothing bad at all in it. And if you have fat, you can feel great in knowing that a serving of these (5 pieces) is a meager 60 calories! Need I say more? NEED I?!!!!!???!
I love these, and hope you guys do too.