Who doesn't like Mike and Ikes? You? You? Perhaps You? Wait, you don't know what a Mike and Ike is? Have you not been in a movie theater in he last 50-years? Sure, not all theaters have them, but they are quite popular as a movie snack. Not to mention, the fact that they have existed in a number of varieties since they arrived way back in 1940. Since they are nearly 70-years old, you are probably wondering why I should be writing about them now? That is easy enough to answer. Candy maker Just Born has just introduced a mix of flavors to welcome the Fall season. Enter the Autumn Medley.
Mike and Ike's are a jelly bean like candy that take away the seasonal stigma of the gummy candy and make them a worthwhile year round treat. They are larger than your average jelly bean, but have the same heft and feel. They have a not-too-hard coating around just the right amount of chewy fruit flavor jelly. They are sticky, but not to the point of causing much filling danger (unlike dreaded Jujyfruits, you need to suck on those things forever to get rid of the danger). The flavors tend to the tangy side and have a pleasant bite on first chew and a lingering aftertaste (one that blends well with a swig of Cherry Coke or root beer). The big thing is choosing the right flavor combination, but that is not what we are here for.
Autumn Medley comes in a suitably adorned package. The bag has warm Autumn shades along with a scarecrow and a few pumpkins. It certainly gets me in the mood for some cool weather chews. Then I noticed the flavor lineup. The listing made me do a double take followed by a "Huh?" Not exactly the kind of reaction you would expect for a candy lover and a bag of sweets.
What had me acting all strange? What was it that kept me from devouring the bag immediately? It was the listing of cherry, orange, strawberry, and lemon as the flavors of the contents. Really? Who thought that combination screamed Autumn Medley? My guess is that it has more to do with the colors than with the flavors. The yellow, orange, and two shades of red do mirror the better palette of Fall leaves.
I would have loved to see them take some flavor chances and offer some Jelly Belly style flavors like perhaps variations on apple, pumpkin pie, or perhaps a seasonal berry like blackberry? I guess that may not be as appealing as the traditional flavors, but it would have been interesting, no?
In any case, while the included flavors do not scream Fall, their colors do. Setting that aside, the flavors are quite good. The strawberry has nice initial taste berry taste that lingers until the first bite, when it changes, it is good but I cannot quite describe that taste. The only issue with strawberry is that color is bit hard to differentiate from cherry, makes it a bit of surprise when you get one. Cherry holds its flavor longer through the chewing process, and I have always been a sucker for cherry. Moving along to orange, this has a decent taste, although it is my least favorite in the bag. Finally, we have lemon, this is the tartest of the bunch, and it is equal to cherry in terms of lasting flavor. The fun comes in eating a handful and allowing the mix to balance itself out in some odd chewy fruit flavor that does not really taste like anything that it is supposed to.
So, in closing, this is a very likable candy. It does not really stand out as an Autumn Medley, but it is a good mix of flavors nonetheless. No, it is not experimental or expand the traditional candy flavors, but so what. It is candy, after all, kind of hard to mess that up. Buy yourself a bag, sit down, open the bag, start a movie and enjoy.