What brand wine gums did I eat?
January 8, 2021 6:50 PM   Subscribe

In the 80s, in Western Canada, there was a brand of wine gum sold in cellophane-wrapped tubes (each piece being round), predominately red/yellow coloring on the package and QUITE firm texture...

Current versions of Maynards have the wrong texture -- far too "gummy" with almost no tooth-resistance and the wrong flavors. I would have thought perhaps they were Rowntree, but these were definitely wine gums not fruit gums (the black ones said "port" for example). Lion seems like it might work from the descriptions online, except I've never heard of them until now, and the shapes are wrong.

...did Maynards fuck up their texture in the intervening decades? Did Rowntree cancel a product line? Will I be happy with Lion even if they've got the wrong shapes? I just want some decently-strong wine gums that have a firm bite-resistance again.
posted by aramaic to Food & Drink (12 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: As someone who spent a lot of paper route money on wine gums in the 80s in Western Canada, you definitely had Maynards.
Is it possible that better shipping and shelf storage conditions, combined with better stock management practices mean that you’re getting fresher wine gums that you did back then?
I’d buy a few packs all at once, and leave them in your cupboard for intervals of a couple weeks, and see when they hit your preferred firmness.
posted by Kreiger at 7:53 PM on January 8, 2021 [3 favorites]

Best answer: Definitley Maynards.
But even then , the tube was different texture from packaged
Tube was firmer texture.
Also looked different.
Tube was round. Packaged was different shapes
Always preferred tube version back then.

I've had some dreadful gummy versions.
Some you can leave exposed to air for a firmer texture , but it's tricky and not quite the same.
posted by yyz at 7:59 PM on January 8, 2021 [2 favorites]

Best answer: Thirding Maynards. Those things could take out teeth.
posted by aclevername at 8:02 PM on January 8, 2021 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I didn’t even realize there were other brands than Maynards until right now (I’m American).

As a kid there was some specialty shop I bought them as they had important goods and fun foreign candies. I seem to remember the texture changing quite a bit based on when a shipment came in, so my vote is also for buying a few, holding on to them for a bit and then giving them a try again.
posted by raccoon409 at 8:03 PM on January 8, 2021

Could they have been Haribo Roulette?

Edited to add that I think this is unlikely, because these gummies are definitely fruit flavored. Nonetheless, they're tasty and quite firm, especially if you let them "age" a bit, as suggested above.
posted by easy, lucky, free at 8:55 PM on January 8, 2021

Best answer: I hope that aging your packs gets the texture you want. Maynards changed hands since the 1980s; it's now Maynards Bassetts, "a UK brand of confectionery owned by Mondelēz International, introduced in 2016. The brand was created to merge its existing Maynards and Bassett's brands, which the company came to own following its purchase of Cadbury in 2010." Bassetts Traditional Wine Gums were reformulated a few years ago (and in 2019 Mondelēz "launched [a] Maynards Bassetts Wine Gums with 30 percent less sugar" version). I wonder if the recent Maynards gums use the changed Bassetts recipe (mushiness is the main complaint).
posted by Iris Gambol at 9:18 PM on January 8, 2021 [1 favorite]

Like easy, lucky, free, I also immediately thought these sounded like Haribo Roulette, but they are ostensibly fruit rather than wine gum flavored. However they are so firm, the texture might at least scratch the itch.
posted by mostlymartha at 11:41 PM on January 8, 2021 [1 favorite]

I’m betting what you had were not wine gums, but fruit gums. They are impossible on your teeth but I still love them. The yellow tube packaging is shown here:
Wikipedia Fruit Gums
posted by girlpublisher at 5:37 AM on January 9, 2021

(Sorry just realized I did not read your questions well enough. I got too excited about the possibility of posting about fruit gums. FWIW, I also recall the tube wine gums being harder when I was younger).
posted by girlpublisher at 5:45 AM on January 9, 2021

Best answer: Irrespective of what you bought back in the day and any recipe changes since then fresh rolls of both wine gums and fruit gums will be a lot less chewy and taste different. I have bought both old and fresh tubes of wine gums in the last twelve months.
posted by koahiatamadl at 7:00 AM on January 9, 2021

Back in the 80's Maynards were better than Lion, but at some point that reversed when Maynards changed their recipe. Lion are still the same, but only good if you can find fresh stock.
posted by Lanark at 8:02 AM on January 9, 2021

Response by poster: Thank you all, it appears I need to lay in a supply of Maynards and let them age to perfection.

...the aging thing makes sense as the store I went to was ... poorly supplied ... and many of their candies were older than at the supermarket. Their Big Turks, for example, were always substantially more firm than fresher ones.

Now, if I can just find some Sour Chews and age them too.
posted by aramaic at 5:09 PM on January 9, 2021

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