Starburst Summer Fun Fruits

Starburst Summer Fun Fruits

Starburst is definitely pushing it with their "juicy contradiction" ads. I notice they have started downplaying the "Wow, a Korean raised in Scotland THAT BLOWS MY MIND" angle. As well they should.

I mean, seriously. What racial stereotype will they leverage next? "A black person who hates fried chicken!" "An Asian student who's bad at math!" Come on, people. We're better than that.

 It almost makes me long for the insulting foppish "berries and cream" guy. Starburst is obviously aiming for the weirdness of Skittles ads, but they only manage to hit "offensive" square on the nose. That takes talent.

Their ad campaign has left such a bad taste in my mouth that I had resolved not to buy any more Starburst until they let the "juicy contradiction" die. But then I found Starburst Summer Fun Fruits on sale, and it had been a hard day, and I was weak. Mea culpa. I just can't resist an old standby in a new set of flavors. What if one of them is hilariously bad? What if they are preposterously delicious? I MUST KNOW.

I guess the candy world has run out of new fruits to flavor their candy with, and the new vogue is for combining odd flavors. Most of the combinations in this package are pretty straight forward, except for one: kiwi banana.

This combination wrecks my head for two reasons. First of all, it shouldn't work. I hate banana flavor, and I'm none too fond of kiwi. And yet, I like the kiwi banana.

Second of all, surely I'm not the only one who thinks that the classic "banana strawberry" combination tastes like kiwi fruit? Combining kiwi AND banana seemed really confusing to me. Like, why mess with the equation?

I also liked the color of the kiwi banana candies. Instead of being neon yellow (as it ordinarily would), they have chosen a mild, desaturated shade of yellow. It nicely matches the subtle banana flavor.

Strawberry Watermelon
Here's that strawberry! It must have gotten lost on the way to its rendezvous with banana, and ended up with watermelon instead. This was a bright, cheerful combination that did definitely strike me as being "summery." Slightly marred for me by the bitter chemical aftertaste of Red 40.

Lemon-Limeade
This one had another great color, not the vibrant shade of acid green you would expect, but a pleasantly Martha Stewart-ish shade of pear green. The taste, alas, is nothing special: an undifferentiated citrusy fruity thing that could have come from anywhere. Very strongly reminiscent of green Life Savers (not that there's anything wrong with that).

Cherry Splash
I don't get how this is any different from your everyday black cherry. I mean, it was pretty tasty, don't get me wrong. But not nearly as intriguing or ground-breaking as some of the other combinations. But it tasted like black cherry soda, which always makes me think of the summers of my childhood. So in that way, it was thoroughly on-message.