Candy Review: Caramel Apple Cow Tales

As far as I’m concerned, there are two types of people in this world; Those who buy their candy from 7-Elevens, and those who buy their candy from small specialty stores.

This former group typically indulges the usual curiosity for the classics and all their spin-offs. You know what I’m talking about — Reese’s, Snickers, Milky Way — basically the endless array of Mars and Hershey produced bars that combine every conceivable mixture of chocolate, peanuts, and the ubiquitous “crunch.” The latter group of candy eaters, however, is a bit more intrepid in its acquisition methods. Including myself and those of us who consider ourselves much too average to fall for the hype of big-time candy commercialism, we’re more apt to spend 44 cents on the rustic-looking wrapper one might expect to find in the proverbial mom-and-pop store.

While in one of those mom and pop stores the other day, I allowed myself a bit of pre-Halloween excitement by picking up a very autumnally-themed version of Goetze’s Cow Tales. While they come in classic flavors like Vanilla, Chocolate, and Strawberry, I wasn’t about to pass on the Caramel Apple flavor – especially considering 44 cents saves me a whole bunch of worry and money from actually making a caramel apple.

Made with the same chewy caramel as Goetze’s Original flavored treats, but with an apple flavored cream center, these sweets have the delicious taste of crisp, tart granny smith apples that have been dipped into rich and creamy caramel. They are delicious treats that are sure to bring out the kid in everyone.

I’m typically not much of a candy guy, but I have a particular weak spot for caramel products (including, but not limited to, frozen Payday bars) and definitely an eye for weird-looking food. And looking like a cross between a Slim Jim and the kind of thing they do colonoscopies with, this definitely is an oddly shaped product.

It’s also an addicting tasty one, with a texture unlike any candy I’ve ever eaten. It’s a sweet and holds an admirable rendition of the classic caramel apple flavor, while also sporting a wonderful aroma that strikes one as curiously non-artificial and altogether “fally.” The outside itself is much more pliable than what you’d find with a Tootsie roll, with an initial bite that tastes strongly of tart apple with a hint of cream. It’s distinctly in the Granny Smith camp, and chewy enough to savor without feeling rushed.

The outside filling is a bit chalky, with streaks of flour that exhibit little flavor. The expected deep taste of caramelized sugar and butter isn’t terribly intense or smokey, but it’s not lacking considering what you’d find in most non-premium candies. What really gets you is the bright red interior of the “tale.” It’s, well, I’m not sure what it is. Kind of wheaty, kind of jelly-like; it’s supersweet and tart, but not off-putting so. As disgusting as it sounds, the texture reminds me of dried up deodorant flakes (except, you know, deodorant flakes you’d want to eat). I don’t know if I’d use “creamy” to describe the texture, yet there is some kind of viscosity bordering on both smooth and chalky that manages to stimulate the taste buds. In any case, I want to lick it up through the “straw’ provided by the caramel outer tube.

I don’t though, because I like the novelty of biting into the whole thing as one would an old-time powder cartridge (what can I say, I have a thing for Civil War reenactments). Maybe it makes me feel like some soldier, but I figure we’re all entitled to a sense of genuine Americana with our snack purchases. While some may scoff at Cow Tales because they contain partially hydrogenated oils, I can’t help but admire the company’s philosophy of being “average.” It’s a nice reminder of what balance really is, and why a little candy never hurt anyone. It’s also a nice reminder why perusing a mom and pop candy shop at eight in the morning can yield a pleasant surprise.

Pros: Sweet and tart flavor of caramel apple in convenient tubular form. Pliable and chewy. Only 110 calories per stick. Old school candy shopping. Being totally average. MADE IN THE US OF A.

Cons: Creamy but not really creamy caramel coating. Getting use to wheat flour based candy. Lack of really deep caramel flavor. Silly cow, bovines don't tell stories!

Taste: 7.50/10
Price: 44 cents for an 1 oz. "string" More Info: GoetzeCandy.com
Nutrition Facts:
Caramel Apple Cow Tales (1 oz.)
Calories: 110
Total Fat: 2 grams
Saturated Fat: 0 grams
Sodium: 2%
Total Carbs: 21 grams
Fiber: 0 grams
Sugars: 9 gram
Protein: 1 gram

15 comments on “Candy Review: Caramel Apple Cow Tales

  1. Wawa sells cow tales here.. right next to the Reese’s, Snickers, Milky Way. ;)

    The original cow tales were always a favorite as a kid since they were only 25 cents. I’ll have to keep an eye out for this new(?) flavor.

  2. Kayla says:

    This flavor has always been my favorite (though I’ve never had strawberry). I used to get these all the time when I was little at some random department store.

  3. Evan says:

    cowtales are great, but the original is truly classic

  4. Christa says:

    I love Cow Tales. I am 31 and no one else except my parents know what they are when I get them from a gas station store :(

  5. Manavee says:

    Why is there no innovation among the major candy makers? Every “new” product seems to be just a spin off of an existing product. What was the last major new candy bar release? A Take 5 bar perhaps?

  6. daniel n says:

    Can you explain the frozen payday mentioned in the review?

    • Adam says:

      Yea. I like to freeze my candy. I like paydays. Hence, frozen paydays :)

      • Ryan says:

        My brother puts peanut m&m’s in the freezer.

      • Raiders757 says:

        My daughter grew up on Cow Tales. She really, really loves those things. They sell them all over the place in my neck of the woods. I do enjoy a Cow Tale from time to time myself, but I prefer the version I grew up with. The “Caramel Bulls-Eyes” made by the same company. I love those things.

  7. Murray says:

    I’ve seen these in a lot of small conveinence stores and cheese shops in WI. I had the vanilla and chocolate flavors. They had a curious taste. One of those things where you look at the person in the passenger seat as if to say: Do you like this? Cause I’m not sure I do, but if you do, maybe I do too.

    I was expecting something much sweeter.

  8. Rodzilla says:

    Cowtails were a childhood favorite, though I would buy (and find) them in either type of store.

    As for the average message, I can dig it..but I don’t think they were trying to extend that to hydrogenated oil.

    Sugar, HFCS, sat fats..all demonized excessively. Those ingredients can still provide some nutritional benefit.

    Using hydrogenated oil is more in line with having melamine found in your products, than using one of the aforementioned.

    /rant

  9. Lisa says:

    hahah I hate these things, I feel like you chew and chew and chew and chew. Although I have never had the carame; apple flavor. I just dont see what it was necessary to make the inside red- caramel apples are brown…. ? :)

  10. VanessaG says:

    I love cow tails. I tried the caramel apple one and thought it was good as well. :) I love paydays like you as well. You should try candy corn and peanuts and eat them together cause it tastes like a payday.

  11. Keith says:

    I prefer Goetze’s (not to be confused with “goatse” for the love of god) caramel creams. I’m impressed with their website, and the whole “average kid” message. It’s also nice that their candy is nut free, considering the explosion in legume allergies out there. It’s hard for a peanut-allergy kid to enjoy many candies, particularly caramels. If I had a food allergy, I’m not sure how I’d function…

    I mistakenly thought caramel creams and cow tales were a regional thing in the northeast, but it looks like they are nationwide. Cool.