Monthly Archives

September 2020

Good Humor – Pop Tarts Brown Sugar Cinnamon

Posted in Ice Cream by

Does anyone’s local ice cream truck play Christmas music year round? Mine does and it’s weird. As a kid, I never really bought ice cream off the ice cream truck, it was all about the Lemonheads and candy cigarettes. When I did buy the occasional ice cream here and there, they were the Mickey Mouse shaped chocolate covered vanilla ice creams or something with the gumball eyes. Who ever thought it would be a good idea to freeze gumballs? Talk about a jaw work out, not to mention the cursed droopy crazy eyes that your character treat would have once liberated from it’s wrapper. Nightmare fuel.

Good Humor has been a long standing player in the ice cream player for over 100 years (wow!) I have always known Good Humor for the Strawberry Shortcake ice cream bars – and for me, it was always a staple that I saw in a single serve reach in ice cream case at 7-11, but not something I ever opted for – viva la Choco Taco.

While wandering the ice cream aisle, these caught my eye despite being dairy. Long time friends of the blog will know that my love of dairy is a one way street. I love it, it doesn’t love me. But how could I pass up a tasty brown sugar treat! I LOVE brown sugar. I like to eat the clumps that form in the jar when I’m baking (don’t judge me dang it), I like brown sugar Pop Tarts, my candy of choice at See’s? Dark Bordeaux. I used to make the trek down to See’s when I worked in the mall for a couple of them every now and then.

Upon first bite, I was expecting the exterior to be more of a crunchy texture, but it was rather soft. The ice cream is smooth and creamy, containing both cinnamon ice cream and plain vanilla ice cream, it really brings the brown sugar and ice cream together. This ice cream bar is tasty, but its pretty run of the mill if you ask me. I think if the outside was more crunchy these would be a slam dunk. If you like cinnamon and brown sugar, you’re sure to like these.

Found at Walmart

September 15, 2020
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Pejoy – Caramel Macchiato

Posted in Confectionaries, Cookies by

So one thing that comes along with being a food blogger, junk food especially is that you tend to stock pile things to write about. If I actually showed you what my stash looked like, I don’t know if I could show my face any more on the internet. Junk food blogging is a rather fast paced hobby – someone is always putting out something new, and its a race to find it on the shelves before it disappears since frequently items are limited edition or just fade away. Occasionally I will buy things that I haven’t seen on anyone’s radar, for the sole purpose of trying them for myself out of curiosity.

I was craving something chocolate – and as I have mentioned before, I frequently do not buy sweets, especially chocolate, because I end up eating it. Totally problematic, right? I was desperate for something chocolatey and sweet, so I dug deep into my stash in hopes that I would find some old Easter candy or maybe a chocolate bar I picked up along the way to try out of curiosity, and surprisingly I came up empty handed, DRATS, nothing.

These caught my eye, and I decided, what the heck, they could possibly fall into the category I was craving… sorta… kinda… maybe I WAS DESPERATE OKAY?! I am not a coffee drinker. At. All. Believe me, I have tried and tried. The idea of it sounds wonderful, and it smells wonderful too, and despite my time as a Starbucks barista, coffee was never my forte. Even as a child, my doctor prescribed me a cup of coffee every day to try and help with my migraines, but no amount of cream and sugar could save me from the gross coffee taste. I am not even sure what possessed me to buy these – probably the New! tucked at the top.

The cookie design might look familiar to you if you have never had a Pejoy as they are made by Glico, the same company that makes the oh-so-delicious Pocky. Pejoy is best described I think as inside out Pocky. They are a biscuit stick that has the filling on the inside. Prior to these, I have only ever had the cookies and cream version, which were quite tasty.

I will admit, I was apprehensive about eating these as the coffee smell was very strong when I opened the package. I threw caution to the wind and decided to go for it and was pleasantly surprised, as they didn’t really taste like coffee at all. The buttery flavor of the biscuit mixed with the strong flavor of caramel really stood in front of the coffee flavor. It is hard for me to describe the flavor of coffee because like I said, its not my jam, but it definitely deepened the flavor profile of the cookie.. stick… treat? While these were no chocolate, they did a good job of taking its place in a pinch.

Overall I would probably buy these again as I really enjoyed the snap of the biscuit and the caramel flavor. There is also only one way to eat them, just like Pocky, take a million tiny bites at a time. You probably won’t find these on your local store shelves – check out your local Asian market to see if they have them in the sweets aisle.

Found at Oto’s Marketplace

September 14, 2020
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Hershey’s Cookies and Cream Candy Bar

As I’ve touched on in the past, Hershey’s Cookies and Cream bar was the first time I ever encountered white chocolate as a pre-teen(aside from Easter bunnies). Well guess what, over the years they’ve changed the recipe and as a result, the Cookies and Cream bar no longer contains cocoa butter.

THIS IS NO LONGER A WHITE CHOCOLATE BAR.

Which puts it in an odd place. I planned this final review of a white chocolate bar, the first time I ever had one in my life, as a cap to the week. But now, in my adulthood, the bar is no longer what it was in my youth. Granted, since the 80s and early 90s, every thing has changed, whey and palm oil and hydrogenates and high fructose have all been added or taken away, but no other candy bar I can think of has removed a quintessential ingredient, one advertised on its LABEL, and still lived on in this way.

Instead, in our great adulthood, we’re left with a cookies and creme bar advertising “now with more cookies”. An alternative universe version of itself. Peeling this bar open though, a wave of nostalgia hit. Though I had a king sized bar, I remember picking up the electric blue(there’s that color again…) packaging at my local neighborhood Publix and always being excited. In my youth, this bar felt creamy, crunchy, and not as sweet and rich as other white chocolate.

That largely remains the same. But now the cookie bits feel bigger, the cream is more like the inside of an Oreo, and it distinctively lacks the over-sweet cocoa butter white chocolate taste. That white fudge consistency where it’s akin to sweetened condensed milk.

As an adult, I enjoy the brighter, crunchier cookie aspect of this more, and find the entire thing akin to a reverse Oreo, a bit of cookie and a lot of cream. Imagine crumbling the cream of a double stuf Oreo with just one of the sandwich cookies, and you’ve pretty much just got this. It’s like somebody’s weird invention, trying to stretch a few cookies that caught on as a family thing. A silky smooth inside out Oreo bar that Oreo never made.

Despite no white chocolate, it’s still one of my favorites. It’s nice to know an old friend has changed a little, but has largely remained the same.

Found at Walgreens.

September 13, 2020
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Twix White

When I was a kid, my mom used to send me to the store to get incidentals. If I was lucky enough, I got to keep the change, and on a subsequent trip I’d grab some kind of candy I liked. In my high school years, my love of Twix got upended by a sudden, torrid love affair with the white chocolate classic, Hershey’s Cookies and Creme. I’ve always been a fan of white chocolate from then on. It’s creamy-sweet in a way that milk chocolate isn’t, more akin to sweetened condensed milk in a solid form.

Mars, Incorporated made Twix White a flavor permanently in 2017, and I’m kind of proud to say that the only alternative Twix I had tried before the start of this year was peanut butter at some point. I decided to grab this at the same time as some other Mars white chocolate finds, so it’s gonna be a doozy of a time.

Fortunately, these don’t look stale or off-colored like the Cookies and Creme. On first bite, and first taste, I got normal Twix, but as the chew went on…? The white chocolate gave way to a smooth texture, and a milky taste. Not in a bad way though, honestly.

The crunchy cookie bar underneath and the textures and tastes above it combined to make this kind of a fresh-baked tasting/fresh-baked warmth in the mouth feeling that filled my nostrils. It was an odd feeling. However, on the off side? The cookie bar is gritty, and as each bite goes on, each chew mixes that grit into the white chocolate and caramel unpleasantly.

This Twix doesn’t have that classic snap under tooth. The white chocolate begins to give way, but the cookie does give a great pop as it breaks.

Overall? Not great. The white chocolate in such a great quantity did give me a bit of the stomach squicks too. If you’re potentially sensitive, don’t do this one in a hurry, and drink water.

You should be drinking water anyway.

Found at Walgreens.

September 12, 2020
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White Chocolate M&Ms

Did you know that the first time white chocolate M&Ms showed up, it was during a promotion for Pirates of the Carribean’s Dead Man’s Chest? Mars launched them as “pirate pearls” and they were colored white, teal and yellow. Not that I had them back then, it was probably during Easter over 4 years later. I can’t recall a single time in my life I ever saw or even acknowledged a package of white chocolate M&Ms until last month. I bought them along with some other things I reviewed, Skittles Dips and Snickers White among them.

I poured them out onto my desk to find bigger, puffed, oblong M&Ms, very distinguishable from the originals. The finish on them were… lumpy? Not-uniform? I’d call the original M&Ms perfect oblate spheroids, uniform in texture and finish. And these are kinda like the “Nailed It” version of that. If you stare too closely, they’re kinda ugly.

So. Do you like subtlety? Can you spell it? Unlike me, who wrote the word so many times I can’t recognize it anymore? I hope you don’t, because these aren’t subtle, like at all. They’re sweet. Epicly sweet. That cocoa butter, white fudgey, sweetened condensed milk vibe that white chocolate can have, and bad white chocolate has? Yeah. Yes, that’s here, this is it.

Any and all nuance the original M&Ms have, being tiny, sweet little morsels of milk chocolate? Lost here. Gone. Dead. Blown out. If you like white chocolate, and be forewarned I like white chocolate, maybe not a horrible choice as it’s absolutely the star here, but a whole pack? A. Whole? Pack. Bless your soul.

On the con side, and yes, those up there? Those words, those were the PROS, on the con side? The shell on these turned into sharp little shards of candy glass as I chewed them. More often than not I found the candy coating trying to reconfigure itself in a way it could outright hurt me the most while eating them.

Oh, just me?

Okay.

Found at Walgreens.

September 11, 2020
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Snickers White

I fell for the original Snickers during their “Hungry? Why Wait?” campaign in the early aughts. There was something sticking about seeing your favorite celebrities acting cranky only to be handed a Snickers bar and come back down from diva status. It spoke to me. In a time before the protein bar became mainstream, Snickers’ vying placement to be the bar you picked up at the checkout counter worked: ten years on they’re still inscribed with the slogan among others.

Snickers White, like Twix White, used to be a limited edition release. However, at the start of 2020, Mars, Incorporated introduced it into the landy of candy, land of cand[y], the Sovereignity of Sweets full time. When I picked this one up off of the shelf, I felt a bit, odd. I like Snickers for its complexity, it feels like the milk chocolate and nougat and peanuts and caramel have this easy to enjoy cohesion going on. What would that be like with the cocoa butter taste amped to 11?

On first bite, it felt soft. I thought to myself, did Snickers always feel soft? This soft? I chalked it up to the white chocolate probably having a lower melting point than the milk chocolate it was replacing. Thankfully, on the inside, it’s exactly the same, nougat, peanut, caramel, and happily so.

But, eerily enough, the white chocolate doesn’t feel like it makes a difference. It’s white chocolate, yeah, and it thankfully lacks some of the stomach-churning creaminess I’ve come into contact with regarding palm oil and whey(milk) together lately, but there’s something odd going on here, and I’ll get to it. However, on a bigger bite, it’s very noticeable that this isn’t a regular Snickers, but with smaller, tinier bites, it very well could be. Maybe this could be attributed to the lack of toothsomeness the white chocolate affords compared to the stiffer milk chocolate that an original Snickers is draped in.

So I checked the calorie count. Same. The ingredient list doesn’t have anything that would alter the coloring of the chocolate either, baffling me to how exactly this could taste so similar, despite the white chocolate replacing milk chocolate. Could the milk chocolate in a Snickers actually be so sweet that replacing it makes almost no difference? It sounds wild but… could it be true?

If I blindfolded you, I don’t think you could tell I’d given you a Snickers White. Try it out if you want to see for yourself, but me? With this being so close to the original that I already love, I’m going back to the OG.

Found at Walgreens.

September 9, 2020
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Skittles Dips Creamy Yogurt

The word dip brings about so many different concepts in my head, but for me it’s all about the ’96 bop, “Da Dip” by Freak Nasty. And yeah, my brain definitely went, “when I dip, you dip, we dip.” And then I grabbed these, some other items and dipped out. I’ve gotta say, I love buying candy at Walgreens. The one I usually frequent has a very long candy aisle, a little bit hidden from foot traffic, and they always have deals with a Walgreens card. Like, totally not shilling for the ‘Greens, but hey, trying to find single serving variety candy in my area is hard.

I think it was the creamy white on this package of Skittles that drew my eye first. I’m so used to ignoring the all-red, rainbow emblazoned version that seeing this, with an actual lack of candies in favor of showing off one big dip caught my eye. I wondered how a yogurt dipped Skittle would be, and took it for its word that I would easily be able to tell which color was what under that yogurt coating.

I poured these out onto my desk to find adorable, rounded, yogurt-white colored candy. They have a single silver S printed on each, but staring straight at them, unless you bite through or cut them open, you kinda aren’t really telling what’s what flavor wise. The coating is creamy, delicious, and the flavor is light: more of a sweetened yogurt, the kind meant for adults but if you gave it to your kid in lieu of a mini little bite-sized fruit thing, they wouldn’t notice.

But whoa. The chew is… it’s hard. It’s hard as hell. Ow. Like dude, if you have problems with your teeth? No go. If you like eating and chewing other foods, no go. These— ow. My jaw hurt after about SIX of these, and I had a sharing size pack. Have you ever looked ahead into your immediate future and felt afraid? That’s what I did. I had a That’s So Raven vision of my teeth falling out and I felt SCARED. And to be fair, hours later, my jaw still felt stiff. Wow.

Underneath the coating, they’re Skittles, little fruit flavor bombs of awesomeness, but I’ll be damned if I need to like, suck the yogurt off of a candy shell before I get to crunch in. I suspect that perhaps cooling the yogurt shell to a hardening point probably affected the Skittles underneath, making them at least twice as hard as they should be.

These ended up being an odd pick. Before I scooped them up, I was imagining a sweet, yogurt-covered raisin type exterior, and I got a completed shell version of that. Aesthetically, they’re super pleasing. I love the white shell, I love the little silver S. But golly gee whiz, I’m never attempting to chew one of these ever again.

Yeah no.

I put my hand up on your hip, when I dip, you dip, we dip.

Found at Walgreens.

September 5, 2020
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Carr Valley Cheese Glacier Wildfire Blue

As previously seen this season, I’ve been trolling for new things, both for review purposes and for just plain eating. This year, despite everything, summer has been a good time for new products, especially for me, certified heatseeker. On that same vibe, comes something I never thought I’d see: a spicy blue cheese. Now, don’t look at me that way, I’ve been a fan of the blue since the early 90s, when Wishbone was pushing salad dressings hardcore. I grew up in a household where cuisine was primarily Puerto Rican, through the eyes of a Trinidadian mother, who cooked for the family, to my stepfather’s tastes. Salads, made of iceberg and beefsteak tomato would sometimes be adorned with cucumber. I remember young me moving from the thousand island I was accustomed to(never, ever again, please), to the more refined palate of blue cheese my mother regularly ate.

Ever since then, blue cheese was my dressing of choice. It grossed out my friends, it still does, and when I got older, gorgonzola took over. Young me got on that stinky cheese train early, and when I started my current job and got intimate with more cheeses, I went from being just a heatseeker to also being a stinky cheese boy.

Picking this up, it didn’t smell particularly pungent through its sealed plastic wrapping and foil. Slicing it open, not much, barring that and opening the thing, near nothing. I wasn’t exactly enthused. It’s just not pungent, despite being a blue. The wildfire name refers to peperoncinos added in as a final ingredient, and when I saw that after having purchased it, I stared at the flames on the package and felt cheated.

However, cheated as I felt, I keep going. This wedge is speckled with blue, with deep veins running through with rich deposits. Seriously, this is so littered with blue, if it was a normal cheese I’d probably die from eating it. For a blue though? Let’s go.

The bottom, technically top of the cheese doesn’t have any blue running through it, but has a few scattered pepper seeds here in there, meaning it’s likely aged, flipped, and then wrapped to present the blue side.

The cheese is firm, chalky, salty… salty… with a bite at the end. It’s an eligible crumbler, smushes between the fingers but it isn’t overly delicate. I did find it to have a creeping building heat, but not much. With so little ingredient wise here(milk, bacteria and enzymes, salt, peppers) the salt comes through more than anything else. Seriously, this is the second time I’ve described food as salt and fire. Ack.

Despite that, each bite was satisfying. The salt diminished in the mouth, and the creeping fire of the peperoncino lingered and fizzled. The chalky texture diminished after each swallow with no aftertaste of film. The salt inside isn’t crystallized but it does hide in pockets. This is a sometimes salty, sometimes not salty cheese. Surprise salt.

I used this in conjunction with sour cream, mayo, red wine vinegar and lemon juice to make a little bit of blue cheese dressing, topped a wedge of iceberg lettuce with my homemade dressing, a little more of the crumbled cheese and bacon and had a great dinner. I added pepper to my dressing, I did not add salt, I didn’t dare.

Found at Trader Joe’s.

September 2, 2020
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Hershey’s Kisses – Vampire

Posted in Candy by

Happy Halloween 1st everyone! September marks the start of my favorite holiday, HALLOWEEN! Is Halloween even going to happen this year? Can I use a t-shirt cannon and launch candy at unsuspecting trick-or-treaters from a “safe” distance? Is that just a me fantasy? A handful of tasty treats are out this year such as the Witch’s Brew Kit Kats, the Reese’s Franken-cup and these to name a few. (Stay tuned to see reviews of those, because I have totally eaten them!)

Hershey’s Kisses are not my first choice when it comes to filling my candy dish (that I have since given up since working from home for the last year). I typically only ever get them in my Christmas stocking from “Santa” and occasionally in one of those mixed candy bags.

I’ll be honest, upon first glace (and taste) I did not realize that they had strawberry filling. My hand most likely covered the small tucked in graphic on the corner of the bag that said that they were filled with a strawberry creme. Oops!

The outside is your classic Hershey’s milk chocolate. The inside is a super sweet gooey inside similar to a Cadbury egg. Admittedly I ate a couple the other day but didn’t even realize that the creme was flavored because is in my opinion very faint compared to the chocolate. The strawberry was sweet and didn’t taste overly artificial, the creme itself is more sugary sweet than anything. One great thing is that the very red creme doesn’t stain your mouth, though I am sure it would definitely stain your clothes, so these are best enjoyed in one bite.

Overall, these are a nice twist to a classic. If you are looking for something festive, but not overly polarizing for your candy dish, these might be for you. Just don’t put them in your pocket for later or you’ll have a gooey mess!

September 1, 2020
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