Dinner With The Omnivore

Diesel and dead dogs #2 – Haribo

Posted on: July 11, 2010

According to the ever-inaccurate Wikipedia, Haribo sweeties are a Europe-wide phenomenon, with at least five different products sold in the UK. But for some reason the whole Haribo phenomenon passed me by entirely until I started spending time in France, where they sometimes seem to be the only sweets in the world.

Supermarket sweetie aisles here have entire shelves devoted to the various Haribo assortments of multi coloured jelly confections in a choice of big plastic tubs, enormous packets, or packets of smaller packets, presumably to put in kids’ packed lunches when you’ve fallen out with the teacher and want to land her with a class of wet Mogwai.

Haribo, for anyone else out there who has so far missed out, are essentially small blobs of cows’ hoof extract laced with a cocktail of attention deficit related E-numbers. Though allegedly fruit flavoured, eating them is generally more like sucking on an unwashed test tube than anything else. For this we have to thank one Hans Riegel – multimillionaire,  inventor of the Gummi Bear and German national badminton champion. Hans is now well into his 80s and still running the business, so it has to be assumed that he doesn’t indulge to any great extent in his own product.

The high point of winter Saturdays in the ticket sales office is the arrival of the tourist office welcome team with a handful of pocket packets of whatever assorted Haribo they have been dishing out to new tourist arrivals. This is great when they’re doing Polka and World Mix, but for my money they could ditch the Mini Bams and the Tagada, both of which are frankly vile. The supply runs out as soon as February is out of the way and the cheapskate low season skiers arrive – they don’t merit anything as fancy as Haribo, so we end up with handfuls of cheapo plastic pseudo-Chewits from Marche U, which is a bit of a let down.

So with the aim of keeping consumers informed and for no personal pleasure whatsoever, we have spent the weekend sampling and reviewing the available Haribo products (available in Casino that is – there’s a limit to how far I’m going to go for a packet of rubbery crocodiles which may or may not taste of fruit).

Rotella: a bit boring really, consisting entirely of those rolled-up liquorice strips which always break when you try to unroll them. I like liquorice as much as anyone, but I don’t really need an entire packet of it all at once.

Carensac: what we used to know as liquorice torpedoes only smaller. Again, not fantastically exciting.

Chamallows: come on, these are just bog standard marshmallows. Good for sticking on the ends of forks then dropping in the barbecue before you get a chance to eat them, but that’s it.

Hari Croco: jelly crocodiles with a bit of white foam stuck to the bottom. Alleged to taste of fruit, and the yellow ones are indeed somewhat reminiscent of lemon. A lot better than you’d think.

Bams: strange little banana-looking things which taste of banana flavouring, something not to be confused in any way with actual banana. Really quite nasty.

Tagada: As above, only strawberry. Over a billion of these sold annually, and God knows why because they’re disgusting.

Polka: now you’re talking. Mixture of Allsorts-esque liquorice things, crocodiles and other jelly items both with and without white foam. Let down by the round red things, which are so grim I generally throw them away.

Dragibus: little round thingies in multiple colours with a slightly hard outer casing and a chewy bit. Good for playing Mankala with as long as your opponent refrains from eating them while the game is in progress, as this makes it difficult to assess who actually won.

Les Schtroumpfs: raspberry flavoured Smurfs  in bright blue gelatin. The mind boggles.

World Mix: my personal favourite, partly because JC dislikes half of them, which means I stand some chance of actually getting any. Apparently an international selection of Haribo from across Europe.

Oeufs au Plat: lemon flavoured fried eggs. No, I don’t know what that’s about either. For those who like their sweets surreal.

And finally ….

Ours d’Or: also known as Goldbären and Gummi Bears, Hans’s original creation and the one which made him rich. An assortment of different coloured bears. Made of jelly.

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4 Responses to "Diesel and dead dogs #2 – Haribo"

[…] four kilometres a day is good for me. (Working opposite a supermarket which sells packets of Haribo World Mix is less so, but you can’t have […]

[…] of pulling three weeks worth of videogaming all-nighters while smoking fags in the house, ODing on Haribo crocodiles, wearing the same socks (complete with holes) for the best part of a month and reading weird shit […]

[…] Haribo crocodiles: this recommendation from a friend who used to be a competition rower and is consequently a bit of a conossieur of energy foods. I was sceptical initially, but actually the crocodiles score well across the board, particularly on convenience, as thanks to the Baltic temperatures involved they can be eaten directly from the jacket pocket without leaving residual stickiness. Fried eggs, smurfs and gummi bears preform equally well. […]

[…] about and much financial haemorrhage later (lace-free footwear, home nursing, ambulance, yet more Haribo ….) the whole lot comes pinging back to me with a highlighter-covered letter telling me in a […]

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