REVIEW: Snack Pack Bakery Shop Pudding Cups (Apple Pie a la Mode, Chocolate Cupcake, & Lemon Meringue Pie)

Snack Pack Bakery Shop Pudding Cups

I love bakeries.

I love the smells that fart out of their ovens. No matter what it is–bread, cake, or pastries–they create an ever so tempting scent, an aromatic come hither, if you will. Following it will always lead me to a carbohydrate and sugar bedspread with a rack of luscious cupcakes and creamy pies.

It’s hard to resist the all the wonderful doughy treats with that aroma pulling me by the nose. Unfortunately, the tickling of my olfaction was something I didn’t experience with Hunt’s new Snack Pack Bakery Shop Pudding Cups.

The Snack Pack Bakery Shop line consists of five flavors: Apple Pie a la Mode, Chocolate Cupcake, Lemon Meringue Pie, Banana Cream Pie, and Sugar Cookie. Because I watch too many baking reality shows, I was disappointed to see red velvet cake wasn’t one of the flavors. Maybe it’ll end up in the second round of flavors…if there is a second round, because the three flavors I tried weren’t that impressive.

Chocolate Cupcake didn’t taste like a chocolate cupcake, but it did taste like regular chocolate pudding, which I guess isn’t a bad thing since chocolate pudding tastes good. Maybe there were little nuances my tongue didn’t catch that made it taste like a cupcake, or maybe all the chocolate cupcakes I’ve ever eaten have been shitty and they’re really supposed to taste like chocolate pudding. I don’t know.

What I do know is the top pudding layer, which I assume represents frosting, comes in the gloomy color of gray. If the picture on the packaging is correct, it looks like it should’ve been white, but it’s not. I don’t know about you, but gray isn’t an appetizing color. But then again, maybe I feel this way because I’ve seen a lot of poi here on this rock in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.

The Lemon Meringue Pie flavor didn’t have any issues with gloomy pudding. Its top layer was as white as my mostly indoor-restricted body is. The lemon flavor, which comes from lemon juice concentrate, wasn’t as tangy as I hoped it would be, but I swear I could taste a bit of pie crust. The ingredients list doesn’t specifically say it contains pie crust, so I’m going to assume it falls under the vague “Natural Flavors” part of the list. It’s a nice flavor and it’s not too sweet, even though it has 18 grams of sugar per serving, but I could see someone easily mistaking this for regular lemon pudding.

My favorite of the three was Apple Pie a la Mode, even though it didn’t have any a la mode flavor. The top layer was cinnamon-y, while the bottom was mostly apple-y with a little cinnamon. There were little specks of spice floating throughout the bottom layer, but I’m not sure if that was supposed to represent cinnamon or vanilla bean. Even though the pudding’s hues look like Old Navy cargo short color options and it doesn’t really taste like apple pie, I enjoyed it the most because it had a pleasant apple cinnamon flavor and it didn’t seem like a rehash of another Snack Pack flavor.

All three flavors lack high fructose corn syrup and preservatives, and the packaging also boasts they have “0 Grams of Trans Fat Per Serving,” but that’s not really true since each flavor contains partially hydrogenated oils, which creates trans fat. (Insert science here). Unfortunately, the FDA allows trans fat levels of less than 0.5 grams per serving to be listed as 0 grams trans fat on the food label. So there’s trans fat that I wish wasn’t there.

You know what else I wish wasn’t there? The word “shop” in the name Snack Pack Bakery Shop. Who says, “bakery shop”? Not even old people say bakery shop. If I want cake, I’ll go to a bakery. If I want a car, I’m not going to go to a car dealership shop. And, if I want to buy more of these Snack Pack Bakery Shop Pudding Cups, which I probably won’t, I’m not going to go to a supermarket shop.

(Nutrition Facts – 1 pudding cup – Apple Pie a la Mode – 100 calories, 3 grams of fat, 1.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat*, 125 milligrams of sodium, 18 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, 13 grams of sugar, less than 1 gram of protein, and 30% calcium. Chocolate Cupcake – 110 calories, 3.5 grams of fat, 1.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat*, 140 milligrams of sodium, 19 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of fiber, 13 grams of sugar, 1 gram of protein, and 30% calcium. Lemon Meringue Pie – 120 calories, 2.5 grams of fat, 1 gram of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat*, 60 milligrams of sodium, 25 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, 18 grams of sugar, 0 grams of protein, and 10% calcium.)

*contains partially hydrogenated oils

Other Snack Pack Bakery Shop Pudding reviews:
Foodette Reviews

Item: Snack Pack Bakery Shop Pudding Cups (Apple Pie a la Mode, Chocolate Cupcake, & Lemon Meringue Pie)
Purchased Price: $1.27 each
Size: 4 pack
Purchased at: Target
Rating: 6 out of 10 (Apple Pie a la Mode)
Rating: 5 out of 10 (Chocolate Cupcake)
Rating: 5 out of 10 (Lemon Meringue Pie)
Pros: Apple Pie a la Mode doesn’t taste like a rehash of another pudding flavor. Some flavors provide 30% daily value of calcium. No HFCS. No preservatives. Chocolate pudding is still good. The crust flavor my tongue swears it tasted in the Lemon Meringue Pie.
Cons: Chocolate Cupcake tastes like any other chocolate pudding. Gray color of top layer of Chocolate Cupcake. Lemon Meringue Pie could easily be mistaken for regular lemon pudding. Contains partially hydrogenated oils. Not really adventurous flavors. Bakery Shop is redundant.

NEWS: Limited Edition Milky Way French Vanilla and Caramel To Hit Shelves in 2013

The Milky Way

Update (11/5/2012): It turns out it’s on shelves now. Here’s our review.

The Limited Edition Milky Way French Vanilla and Caramel won’t be available until February 2013.

Yup, Mars announces new candy bars half a year before they’re scheduled to be released. What an awesome way to build up excitement, let all of us forget about it, and then surprise us again when they finally release it.

About two weeks after you read this post, you’ll probably forget it’s coming because, to be honest, the combination of French vanilla-flavored nougat and caramel is kind of forgettable.

You know what candy bar wasn’t forgettable when we learned about it five months before its release?

This.

The 1.72-ounce Limited Edition Milky Way French Vanilla and Caramel bar will have a suggested retail price of $1.09.

Sources: Foodbeast and Candy and Snack Today

REVIEW: Pepsi Next Cherry Vanilla & Pepsi Next Paradise Mango

Cherry Vanilla Pepsi Next & Paradise Mango Pepsi Next

Crystal Pepsi must be jealous of the reduced sugar Pepsi Next. During its year of existence, Pepsi never released other Crystal Pepsi flavors. Diet Crystal Pepsi doesn’t count.

But the reduced calorie Pepsi Next has been around for just four months and it already has two new varieties — Cherry Vanilla and Paradise Mango.

I know that probably would make Crystal Pepsi so mad it would want to pop its top, but it would struggle to do so because, after 20 years, all its carbonation is gone. Well, at least there is some love for Crystal Pepsi, in the form of a disorganized effort to bring it back via numerous Facebook fan pages.

Cherry vanilla is a flavor we’ve seen before from Pepsi. Remember Pepsi Cherry Vanilla and Diet Pepsi Cherry Vanilla? You don’t? Well, the Internet does and so do I. Pepsi Next Cherry Vanilla smells more like Pepsi Vanilla than Pepsi Wild Cherry, but in my mouth the vanilla and cherry flavors are equally balanced. Because of that, it has a milder cherry flavor than Pepsi Wild Cherry. There’s a slight artificial sweetener aftertaste, but it’s far less harsh than Diet Pepsi.

As for Pepsi Next Paradise Mango, its aroma didn’t register as mango to my nose, instead it smelled more like apricots. Because of my past experiences with mango flavored beverages, I presumed this soda was going to have an extremely artificial mango flavor, but I was pleasantly surprised that wasn’t the case. I don’t know how the mad scientists at Pepsi did it, but they created a cola with a nearly authentic mango flavor. I say, “nearly” because its aftertaste is a bit artificial and the soda as a whole becomes a little more unnatural tasting the warmer it gets.

Now this is the part of the review where I bring up aspartame and high fructose corn syrup. Just like regular Pepsi Next, both of these flavors contain the sweeteners. If the comments in our original Pepsi Next review are any indication, people have strong negative opinions about them and they like to share those opinions with other people. For those of you who don’t want to look back through the 100+ comments, here’s what I vaguely remember the comment thread looked like.

Commenter #1: “Aspartame is evil!”

Commenter #2: “High fructose corn syrup is making everyone fat! It’s evil!”

Commenter #1: “No, aspartame is evil!”

Commenter #2: “No, HFCS is evil!”

Commenter #1: “ASPARTAME!”

Commenter #2: “HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP!”

Commenter #1: “Oh my God, you’re so hot when you’re angry! Let’s make out!”

Commenter #2: “Okay!”

Commenter #1: “Mmmmm.”

Commenter #2: “Mmmmm.”

Commenter #1: “Oooh baby, you have a fine, tight aspartame.”

Yup, I believe the comments went something like that.

Pepsi Next Cherry Vanilla & Pepsi Next Paradise Mango are both really good. I want to say they’re a step above regular Pepsi Next, but that could be my taste buds talking who are slightly tired of Pepsi Next since I’ve been drinking a lot of it over the past few months. These two new Pepsi Next flavors should continue to make Crystal Pepsi jealous because they’re good enough to ensure the Pepsi Next line will exist longer than Crystal Pepsi did.

Disclosure: We received free Pepsi Next Cherry Vanilla & Pepsi Next Paradise Mango samples from the fine bubbly folks at Pepsi in order to do this review. They came in a nice plexiglass box with a beach scene at the bottom of it with real sand. To be honest, I don’t know what I’m going to do with the box.

(Nutrition Facts – 12 ounces – 60 calories, 0 grams of fat, 60 milligrams of sodium, 16 grams of carbohydrates, 15 grams of sugar, and 0 grams of protein.)

Other Pepsi Next Cherry Vanilla & Pepsi Next Paradise Mango reviews:
BevReview
Thirsty Dudes

Item: Pepsi Next Cherry Vanilla & Pepsi Next Paradise Mango
Purchased Price: FREE
Size: 12 ounces
Purchased at: Received from the folks at Pepsi
Rating: 7 out of 10 (Cherry Vanilla)
Rating: 7 out of 10 (Paradise Mango)
Pros: If you enjoy Pepsi Next and your taste buds want more variety, these will do nicely. Less sugar than regular Pepsi. Equal balance of cherry and vanilla. Nearly authentic mango flavor. Going to be around longer than Crystal Pepsi.
Cons: 38 mg of caffeine per can. Slight artificial sweetener aftertaste. Too many bring back Crystal Pepsi Facebook fan pages. Mango flavor becomes a little unnatural as the soda gets warmer. Those who hate aspartame and/or HFCS will not like it.

NEWS: Enjoy Baked Goods Without The Bakery Aroma With Snack Pack Bakery Shop Pudding Cups

2012-07-26 21.26.36

All right, let’s get the obligatory Snack Pack-Billy Madison quote out of the way.

Billy Madison: You know I like Snack Pack. Why can’t you just give me a Snack Pack?

Juanita: I thought I was your snack pack.

Speaking of Billy Madison, I think the only times I’ve thought about Snack Packs have been while watching the Adam Sandler movie, which have been about a dozen times on either VHS, DVD, or TV. However, I recently noticed Snack Packs in a non-Billy Madison way, thanks to their new line of Bakery Shop pudding cups.

If you follow Snack Packs more closely than I do, you might be saying to yourself, “Hey, don’t they already have flavors you’d find in a bakery?” You’re absolutely correct, Snack Pack Fanboy! They have Banana Cream Pie, Cinnamon Roll, and Blueberry Muffin. But the Snack Pack Bakery Shop Pudding comes in four different flavors. There’s Apple Pie a la Mode, Chocolate Cupcake, Lemon Meringue Pie, and Frosted Sugar Cookie.

Foodette Reviews reviewed the frosted sugar cookie flavor.

2012-07-26 21.26.32

The Apple Pie a la Mode Snack Pack has 100 calories, 3 grams of fat, 1.5 grams of saturated fat, 125 milligrams of sodium, 18 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, 13 grams of sugar, and less than 1 gram of protein. The Chocolate Cupcake flavor has 110 calories, 3.5 grams of fat, 1.5 grams of saturated fat, 140 milligrams of sodium, 19 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of fiber, 13 grams of sugar, and 1 gram of protein. Lemon Meringue Pie has 120 calories, 2.5 grams of fat, 1 gram of saturated fat, 60 milligrams of sodium, 25 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, 18 grams of sugar, and 0 grams of protein.

2012-07-26 21.26.41

If you’ve tried any of the flavors, let us know what you’ve thought of them in the comments below.

WEEK IN REVIEWS – 7/28/2012

Peanut Butter & Jelly

Here are a few product reviews posted this week from other blogs we follow.

Peanut butter and jelly sandwich sounds like a decent soda flavor, turkey sandwich sounds like a horrible soda flavor, and footlong Subway Tuna sandwich sounds like the worst soda flavor ever. (via The Soda Jerks)

I wonder if these Trader Joe’s Skinny Fries will help me look good in skinny jeans again. Oh, who am I kidding? I run a junk and fast food review blog. There’s no way I’ll ever look good in skinny jeans. (via What’s Good at Trader Joe’s)

Goodbye, Old Milwaukee! Hello, a significantly more appropriate beer to get drunk off of when I’m feeling worthless. (via Eat! Drink! Snack!)

Forty-three percent of our recommended daily value of fiber in one serving, Fiber One? Why don’t you just include 100 percent and start calling yourself Fiber 100? I know you have the technology. (via Option Pitch and Waffle Crisp)

REVIEW: Pepperidge Farm Goldfish Grahams Cookies & Cream

Pepperidge Farms Goldfish Grahams Cookies & CreamThere was a time in American history in which tyranny and mayhem ran rampant. A time in which deception and little known, yet long-lasting, wars raged.

Yes, dear readers, there was a time when Pepperidge Farm did not exist.

It was during this time that children acted like princes and ruthless animal crackers trampled the land, stampeding under sofa cushions. It was a time of lawlessness, indeed. Some say residents were forced to flee from their homes, holding tight to their boxes of graham crackers, crumbs flinging willy-nilly as they fled from snack thieves.

The consumers that remained scoured Aisle 9, looking for the one snack that could satisfy an empty pocket of the soul. A pocket that could only be filled by a fish-shaped cracker. And thus, the Goldfish was born.

Since then, the snack battles have subsided as the Goldfish has brought joy in the form of an unassuming, aquatic-inspired treat, and it is in the spirit of this great joy that I grabbed this new Cookies & Cream Graham incarnation of the “snack that smiles back.”

Undoubtedly, Goldfish hold a steady place in the world of American snack history, yet with great familiarity comes great responsibility. Coming from one who has experienced the full line of Goldfish, how do these Cookies and Cream grahams stack up to their ancestors?

Let’s rip open this bag and find out:

Pepperidge Farms Goldfish Grahams Cookies & Cream 2

These are of the standard goldfish-cracker size and it looks like they put both chocolate and vanilla cookies in the mix, both of which are fairly equally distributed through the bag.

And no doubt these fishies are jolly little crackers. I mean, just look at that smile.

Pepperidge Farms Goldfish Grahams Cookies & Cream 1

What a happy-dappy little freshwater fish. Happiness is contagious and these little buggers spread it. Happiness alone earns these a full point before I even taste.

And now, to dig in to the goods.

(Complete, unrestrained Goldfish consumption ensues.)

Yum.

In terms of texture, these grahams offer a unique riff off their cheddar cracker cousins. Unlike the crisp features inherent in a Goldfish cracker, the Goldfish graham is an undertaking that highlights the crunchy benefits of density, with the chocolate being slightly more compact than its vanilla counterpart. The chocolate is also the stronger of the two flavors, strutting in with a solid merit of dark chocolate, while the vanilla adds a subtle contrast. If this were an orchestra, the chocolate bangs the bass drum while the vanilla comes in like a violin, softening the chocolate with a hint of shortbread.

Now, it must be noted that one very important element is missing here in the Cookies & Cream Goldfish: cream. Where would this cream be on such a small cookie? I do not know. Perhaps in the center of the graham? Perhaps in the form of a mini cream-filled sandwich? I can’t say for sure, but it seems to have gone astray in the process of research and development and I mourn its absence.

Of course, I could say the vanilla is meant to highlight a “cream,” quality as it adds a lighter, daintier flavor, yet it does not provide the texture contrast that I had so hoped for. Perhaps these are not so much suited “Cookies and Cream” as they are “Chocolate and Vanilla.” Nothing bad about that. Simply different than one might have anticipated.

A peculiar sugar sprinkle seems to reside on the outside of each maritime morsel. After three tastings, I have yet to discover this coating’s function in the realm of taste, although it does add a certain sparkle, which leads me to believe it was intended to help support Goldfish expression. I imagine that, being an inanimate cracker, Goldfish have a difficult time finding opportunities to express themselves. I am pleased to find Pepperidge Farm is taking this into account by equipping Goldfish with a fashion-forward glimmer on their outer graham.

I’m also relieved to find that this thin canopy of glammed-up sparkly coating won’t send me bouncity-bouncing down the highway in a crazed sugar rush. These have only 9 grams of sugar and oodles of whole grain per serving. Oh, did I mention there are 35 graham fishies in one serving? That’s a solid handful (two handfuls for the humans with small hands).

Even without the cream, these are good little grahams. They celebrate diversity within the Goldfish culture and are easily munchable, although, if eaten in rapid abundance, the chocolate can be a bit aggressive on the taste buds (and this is coming from a chocolate fiend).

If you’re brave (and I know you are…), you might consider mixing these with cheddar and pretzel goldfish. It will be a bit of sweet-and-salty fish-shaped magic that goes well with ice cream and provides hours of creative nourishment.

These Goldfish hearken back to a simpler time. A time in which one could sit at a table and color for hours while wearing a wonky crown built of paper maché and drinking from a juice box with a bendy straw, and, like the memory of a fond love affair, these hints of the past always highlight the good. The happy times. The thing that, despite all the goofs and flaws and fumbles, brings you back and begging for more. Will these Cookies and Cream Goldfish, with their vanilla-chocolate-happy crunch, send me back for another bag? I’m not sure, but I do believe they’re good enough to try, offering a simple, modest snack for the quiet child in all of us.

Pepperidge Farms Goldfish Grahams Cookies & Cream Collage

(Warning: opening Goldfish bag may inspire spontaneous desire to craft.)

(Nutrition Facts – 35 pieces – 140 calories, 45 calories from fat, 5 grams of fat, 1.5 gram of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 125 milligrams of sodium, 22 grams of carbohydrates, Less than 1 gram of fiber, 9 grams of sugar, and 2 grams of protein)

Item: Pepperidge Farm Goldfish Grahams Cookies & Cream
Purchased Price: $1.89 (on sale)
Size: 6.6 ounces
Purchased at: Target
Rating: 7 out of 10
Pros: Variety. Crunch. Vanilla like a violin. Fashion-forward. Spontaneous whims to craft. Whole grain. Pairing with ice cream. Equal distribution of vanilla and chocolate. Coloring books. Drinking juice with a bendy straw.
Cons: Absence of cream. Tyrannical chocolate Goldfish. Sugary coating without a taste. Life before Pepperidge Farm. Being trampled by an animal cracker.