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Hungry for an exciting new treat? Try RJs Twisters. They come in a range of delicious flavours to tantalise your taste buds, but here's the real twist... they don't contain licorice.
A delicious Cola gummy, filled with a sour Raspberry sherbert filling.
Cola Log: wheat flour, cane sugar, glucose syrup (wheat/corn), water, humectant (E422), rice bran oil, acidity regulators (E296, E330, E331, E262), burnt sugar, salt, natural cola flavour
Center Filling: cane sugar, glucose syrup (wheat/corn), water, corn starch (wheat/corn), vegetable fat (from sustainable source), acidity regulator (E330 & E331), gelatine, natural raspberry flavour, colour (E120)
Gluten from Wheat
Cola & Raspberry always reminds of going to Burger King when I was younger and making my own post-mix fizzy drink, pouring myself Coke topped off with an inch or so of Schweppes Raspberry. A staple of my takeaway memories. Even now with newer machines, I could still choose to put a shot of raspberry into my Coke. That is what I compare this kind of product to.
Earlier iterations of the twisters had 4 cylindrical strips connected in a twist. This allowed you to separate the strands if you wanted to. These sour twisters do not have that capability. This twister is a single piece of cola "gummy" shaped to look like a twister with fine strands, that has been hollowed out to allow a sour mixture to be added. Interestingly, I found this product very different to the sour cola twister pieces in the Soda Mix variety bags. While the flavour is very similar, and the structure of the twister visually looks the same, there are a couple of differences. Firstly, these twister singles seem to have more sour mixture in them (nearly double the amount, ratio-wise). Secondly, the texture is much closer to the blue lemonade variety, with a more solid gummy, that isn't very sticky (The cola in the soda pack was softer and all stuck together).
It feels a strange thing to admit as an adult, but the more solid texture does present a slight choking hazard. The sour mixture in the middle melts in your mouth, which makes it difficult to tell when you have chewed enough, and you end up with large chunks lodging themselves in your throat. That all being said I do have a tendency to eat rather quickly, so maybe I just don't chew enough, but the frequency that I end up having to cough it back up to re-chew is far too frequent for me to consider it a pleasurable experience.
Flavour-wise, it's enjoyable. The cola and sour flavour work well together, though I would hesitate to call it a raspberry flavour. More bubblegum in flavour, the gritty texture almost reminds me of Hubba Bubba gum. Whether raspberry or bubblegum, the flavour profile works well, they just need to adjust the firmness of the gummy so it's a bit more melt-in-your-mouth, and less stick-in-your-throat.
I like the way these little treats come in small packages (40g) as they are just right for a quick snack when you are travelling - they get eaten in one go so there are no sticky leftovers to cope with! The flavour is good for travelling too as the slight sourness is thirst quenching, welcome in an overheated vehicle as you would otherwise be constantly drinking and then have to make extra comfort stops. And finally, the ingredients are all natural; there is no licorice included even though the product is very similar to licorice-based confectionery, and although palm oil is used, it is obtained from a sustainable source.
So what about the taste? Delicious! It is not very strong, but I could taste the cola and raspberry separately. I peeled back a little of the cola outer section to check out the raspberry inner, and found the textures were quite different; the cola outer was smooth and soft whereas the raspberry section was grittier. However, when I bit into them together, the flavours merged into a sweet-sour chewy mouthful that was very pleasant.
I had asked two friends to help me evaluate the twisters, so we talked about ways we could eat them other than as a snack on a road trip, and came up with the idea of using them to decorate a rice pudding. Rice pudding is a great high-energy food both at home and when you are travelling; you can buy it canned and ready to eat if you don't want to prepare it from scratch. It is the perfect filler for hungry youngsters who still want more after they have finished their dinner! The big drawback with rice pudding is that it can be boring and a bit tasteless. Sometimes I stir fresh fruit through, so this time we used a twister.
We sliced it into cross sections, stirring a few through the pudding and using the rest to decorate the dish. Since we had heated the rice, the twister pieces melted slightly; this brought out the flavour, transforming an ordinary traditional pudding into a unique new dessert treat. The soft rice provided a nice contrast to the firmer texture of the twister pieces. I think next time I might try to source some spearmint leaves (the confectionery!) and add them as well - not only would the green leaves look attractive, but they would add to the combination of flavours.
We had one packet left, so I divided the twister into sections and stuck them into one end of our ice-cream cones, just as we sometimes do with a Flake. The ice-cream was hokey pokey; we kept to a plain flavour as we did not want too much contrast with the twister. That worked quite well, although I ended up removing my twister section and finishing it separately as I was eating too slowly and the ice-cream was starting to melt around it. But the boys, who as usual had demolished theirs at top speed, managed to complete the experiment without any further problem with drips. And however we ate it, the flavour was what mattered and we all agreed that it tasted really good.
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