(Or hadn't you noticed? With the way that every store of every kind has suddenly been taken over by red and green and tinsel and festive glitter banners saying "OH GOD BUY STUFF BUY IT BUY IT BUYYYYYY." I'm sure you've noticed.)
And what could be more festive than ribbon candy?
Anyway, I didn't find any ribbon candy. What I found instead is "Gloria Mix," which is a new one on me. "Gloria" is I guess supposed to sound festive? Like… no, wait, the song is "Glory Glory Hallelujah." Sorry, I got confused.
Okay, I have no idea why this is called "Gloria" mix. But I can assure you that the classic 80s pop song "Gloria" by Laura Branigan is stuck in my head. Sometimes it fades away, but then I glance over at the bag sitting on my desk and damn, it's back.
"Gloria! I think they got your candy…"
To my surprise, each piece in the mix had a slightly different flavor and texture, so I will review them individually.
It should be noted that by the time I was halfway through my taste test, all of the candy had stuck to the sheet of paper I'd poured it out on. This does not bode well for the survivability of Gloria Mix in an open candy dish.
FLAT RECTANGULAR WITH YELLOW STRIPES
This one had the most flavor. That would be lemon. A very convincing lemon it is, too. Strongly reminiscent of the flavor of a Lemonhead candy, if not the texture. The texture is that crunchy-falling-to-sticky thing like you get with a candy cane.
The flat rectangular pieces all have a strange waffle printing on one side. I suspect this is just from the production conveyor belt, but it makes them look a little like wafer crème cookies.
FLAT RECTANGUALR WITH PINK STRIPES
Raspberry? Um… strawberry? Bubble gum? Cotton candy? I'm flailing here. This had some kind of perceptible "pink" flavor, but damned if I can figure out what it is.
PINK AND WHITE STRIPED PILLOWS
To my great surprise, these turned out to be cinnamon flavored. I guess that explains the cinnamon smell that wafted out of the bag when I opened it. Which at the time I wrote off as some kind of brief olfactory illusion or the result of a minor stroke or something.
Quite pleasant. Spicy, but not too spicy. A good mix of heat and sweet. If I were faced with a dish of this stuff, I would totally pick out these ones and leave the rest.
GREEN AND WHITE STRIPED PILLOWS
Mint. A particularly toothpaste-y mint, at that. The kind of thing you would spot, sitting sad and alone, in a dish at a restaurant's front counter.
BIG ROUND RED ONES
These, and their green counterparts, remind me of the shape of a throw pillow, complete with decorative tufting. I like the shape a lot. Not as keen on the flavor, which is that same vaguely "pink" Mystery Berry flavor found in the "flat rectangular with pink stripes" candy.
At first I assumed this was supposed to be raspberry, because one side of the candy is printed with a sort of raspberry-like collection of bumps. Then I noticed that the green ones are, too, but they're clearly lime flavor. Very confusing.
BIG ROUND GREEN ONES
Clearly a lime flavor. One of the better flavors in the mix. Very reminiscent of a green Life Saver, in the best possible sense.