Yes, we realise this is a little late for the Fourth of July…
One of my friends told me not to review a Fourth of July/Independence Day chocolate on a UK-based site, but I couldn’t resist. After all, our countries are friends again now, aren’t we? Plus, I was beginning to feel I had to give this tube of Sunbursts some attention; this was at least the second year I have seen it at World Market. I ignored it in the past because it didn’t seem a very interesting product, but approached it this year since there hardly seem to be other Fourth of July chocolates springing to my view (though I would be delighted if there were). Tortilla chips and cupcake mixes, yes, but not chocolates.
Sunbursts are made by the Kimmie Candy Company of Reno, Nevada. They are available year-round in different, non-red/white/blue colorings. And all the company’s products are labelled as Gluten Free and 100% Made in the USA. That last part is fitting. The inexpensive tube consists of 86 grams of candy coated sunflower kernels. This is one of the first ingredients lists I’ve encountered that actually uses the phrase “compound chocolate;” so instead of having quality genes, the chocolate is mainly made up of sugar, partially hydrogenated palm kernel oil, and cocoa powder.
This was also my first experience with a sunflower/chocolate pairing. The concept is basically the same as Peanut M&M’s, but sunflower kernels are much smaller and more delicate and flavorful. The candy coating manages not to overwhelm the tiny sunflower kernels, staying appropriately thin to match them. Instead of tasteless peanuts, the kernels give off their singular, salty flavor. Their almost flaky crunch meshes well with the thin candy coating. It’s all pretty sweet; nonetheless, that soft crunch makes Sunbursts mildly addicting to eat, one small kernel by one small kernel.
If I could change one thing, naturally it would be to trade out the compound chocolate for something just a step higher. These red, white, and blue kernels may not be the perfect embodiment of patriotic chocoholicness, but at least they’re something. Something I can easily picture a family passing around while camped out at night to watch the Fourth of July fireworks.