Airheads Xtremes

Airheads Xtremes

The ad for the new Airheads Xtremes caught my eye recently. It's almost odd enough to be a Skittles ad, but not quite.

And even though the "East Indian convenience store owner" thing is borderline racial stereotyping at this point, at least the guy had a decent role. Plus, when was the last time you saw someone with a turban and a beard given a positive role on television? Or at least not playing Terrorist of the Week?

I have mentioned before that I am not a big fan of sour candy. Although I remember liking sour SweeTarts when I was younger, somewhere along the line I got too old for sour things. Sour just, like, hurts. I don't really care for real green apples these days, much less anything that's artificially flavored to resemble one.

So it was with some trepidation that I purchased two packs of Airheads Xtremes. I'm not even sure why I did it, to tell you the truth. I love Airheads a lot. And also I was tired and hungry at the store, and they were right at hand level. Mea culpa.

The two flavors I purchased were Lemonade Rush and Bluest Raspberry. SO XTREME. (Seriously, aren't we done with the "extreme" thing? It's so overdone, you can't even make a Poochie joke anymore, because even Poochie references are tired and sadly out of date.)

The wrapper describes these as "sour belts," which I thought was kind of weird. Peering at them through the wrapper, they looked like very long layered candy - like those sticky coconut Neapolitan candies (an industry which is, as far as I can tell, supported solely by my purchases).

They come in a long plastic tray, which seems like overkill. Why can't you just wrap these in the plastic wrapper? What purpose does the tray serve? The only thing it does, as far as I can tell, is double the amount of plastic garbage generated by your purchase. So a big "boo" on that front.

When I opened these up to take their picture, I was surprised to find that they are actually several long thin tapes of candy stacked atop each other. "Belts" is probably a fair description. "Ribbons" would be another one. It's an extremely odd form factor for a candy. I haven't personally run into this candy shape before, and I found the novelty fascinating.

The taste, alas, was less intriguing. Luckily for me (the sour-hater), they turned out not to be particularly sour. I would describe them as being more "tangy." I suppose the package's claims to XTREME sourness can be seen as just another case of grade inflation. It made me think maybe I should try more SUPER OMG XTREME SOUR candies, if they aren't really as sour as all that. I might like them.

The Lemonade Rush was pretty decent. It tasted reasonably citrus-y, like a very sweet pink lemonade. Unfortunately, the Bluest Raspberry tasted to my palate like soap. Not a bad soapy taste, mind you. More along the line of those delicious little violet pastilles. They taste good, like candy, but all the time your brain is thinking "soap."