REVIEW: Candy Corn Red Vines

Candy Corn Red Vines Box

What are Candy Corn Red Vines?

Everyone’s favorite* red licorice** is now orange! But not only is the color new, but it also tastes like candy corn. (Supposedly.)

*Favorite unless you prefer Twizzlers, or Wallaby, or. . .

**OK, it’s not technically licorice, but who cares?

How are they?

So, what do Candy Corn Red Vines taste like?

Nothing.

Well, that’s not quite true. They taste like marshmallows. Which also taste like nothing.

Candy Corn Red Vines Candy Corn

I had some Brach’s candy corn to go with these Orange Vines, and the candy corn was positively flavorful in comparison. Let that sink in: these twists make candy corn taste flavorful.

Candy Corn Red Vines Orange

Texture-wise, these are like regular Red Vines. They are chewy, and I feel like I want to eat several, but once I finish one, it feels like I’ve already had two or three.

Anything else you need to know?

Candy Corn Red Vines Inside the Box

The ingredients list includes “natural and artificial flavor.” For the life of me, I can’t figure out what that could possibly be.

I can remember a lot of candy corn products from roughly a decade ago: Hershey’s Kisses (2007), Tootsie Dots (2009), Jones Soda (2009), M&Ms (2011), Jelly Belly Jelly Beans (2011), Oreo (2012), Charms Pops (2013), Hershey’s bars (2014), Jet-Puffed Marshmallows (2014), Spangler Circus Peanuts (2014), Peeps (2015), Hostess CupCakes (2015), Russell Stover Pumpkin (2018), and Pez (2018?).

I’m happy to revive the trend (if only for the novelty), but I wish Red Vines had brought a stronger offering.

Conclusion:

Well, at least they’re not gross. They’re just bland.

Purchased Price: $1.25
Size: 4 oz. package
Purchased at: Dick’s
Rating: 5 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (3 Twists) 100 calories, 0 grams of fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 15 milligrams of sodium, 25 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 12 grams of sugar including 12 grams of added sugar, and 1 gram of protein.

REVIEW: Skittles Shriekers

Skittles Shriekers Bag

What are Skittles Shriekers?

There are five Skittles flavors in this mix: shocking lime (light green), ghoulish green apple (darker green), rattled raspberry (purple), citrus scream (light orange), and spine-tingling tangerine (darker orange). Most of them are normal, but “some are so sour they will make you shriek!”

Skittles Shriekers Fun Size

It’s the same idea as the Zombie Skittles I reviewed two years ago, but without the repulsive rotten flavor.

How are they?

I like all the flavors! Tangerine is the most sophisticated flavor, but lime and green apple are also fantastic. Raspberry and citrus are less interesting, but I still like them.

The sour ones have the same flavors as the non-sour ones, but they get more sour the more you chew (unlike regular Sour Skittles, which have a sour coating on the outside). They’re less sour than Warheads, more similar to Sour Patch Kids. They didn’t make me shriek, but my eyelids twitched!

Skittles Shriekers Skull

These trick-or-treat fun-size packages have about fifteen Skittles each, but only two or three are sour. That’s a shame, because they’re a lot of fun! With the Zombie variety, you didn’t want too many gross ones, but this variety would benefit from more sour.

Anything else you need to know?

Aesthetically, both the packaging and the candy itself are more Halloweeny than previous varieties. I dig it!

Skittles Shriekers Skeleton

But that skeleton made me have a nightmare that I took corpses and skeletons from a mausoleum to Carrie Underwood’s house.

Conclusion:

Skittles Shriekers Spoons

I am so happy Skittles didn’t merely change the flavors for Halloween; instead, the candy is an experience. It’s definitely an improvement on the intentionally disgusting Zombie packs.

I just wish there were more sour ones.

Purchased Price: $3.00
Size: 10.72 oz. bag (20 fun-size packs)
Purchased at: Dan’s
Rating: 8 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1 pack/15 grams) 60 calories, 0.5 grams of fat, 0.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 milligrams of sodium, 14 grams of carbohydrates, 11 grams of total sugar, 11 grams of added sugar, and 0 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Limited Edition Apple Cider Donut Oreo Cookies

Limited Edition Apple Cider Donut Oreo Package

I think the junk food gods wanted me to have a good experience sampling the new Apple Cider Donut Oreo Cookies, which are a standard Golden Oreo cookie with a tan-colored creme that tastes like apple cider donuts.

I had been actively (obsessively) searching for several days, and finally found them the fourth day in a random local grocery store, when it just happened to be twenty-five degrees cooler than average. So even though it’s August, it totally felt like fall, making a perfect atmosphere to review these new cookies that totally taste like fall.

Limited Edition Apple Cider Donut Oreo Fall

When I first heard about these, I was intrigued and excited but also skeptical. I hoped for three elements from cookies with “Apple Cider Donut” in the name: apple, donut, and spices (specifically cinnamon). Would they deliver? Let’s find out!

Apple: Check!

Donut: Check!

Spices: Check?

OK, so I don’t really taste the spices, even though the ingredients list says “spices (includes cinnamon).” But the rest of it is so good that I don’t mind!

I don’t know how Nabisco’s food scientists did it, but these cookies really taste like donuts, like there’s been dough fried in oil.

The most prominent flavor, though, is apple. It’s not an authentic flavor, but it’s also not like an artificial candy flavor. It’s somewhere in the middle. And even though I don’t always like apple flavors, I don’t mind it at all here!

Limited Edition Apple Cider Donut Oreo Milk

The Oreo is known as a dunking cookie. So I dunked these in milk, and the result surprised me: the milk neither enhanced nor detracted from the experience. It brought the apple flavor forward, but not overwhelmingly so.

Limited Edition Apple Cider Donut Oreo Cider

And since it’s apple cider donut, I dunked these in apple cider as well. I worried the authentic cider would make the creme taste too artificial, but nope, it was still enjoyable. Neither better nor worse.

No matter how I tried them (eating normally, separating the creme, dunking in milk, dunking in cider), I liked them equally. You know those people who are friends with everyone? These Oreo cookies are the junk food equivalent.

For more than a decade, we have had lots of candies and treats flavored like candy corn, caramel apple, and of course, pumpkin spice. I love them all, but I’m so glad to see another iconic fall food get some recognition.

There are other Oreo flavors that I like more, but these just make me happy. Like any good Oreo should do.

Purchased Price: $2.99
Size: 12.2 oz. package
Purchased at: Dan’s Fresh Market
Rating: 8 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (2 cookies) 150 calories, 7 grams of fat, 2 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 75 milligrams of sodium, 21 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 12 grams of sugar (including 12 grams of added sugars), and less than 1 percent protein. (Neither the website nor the label gives an actual protein gram amount.)

REVIEW: Limited Edition Team Cheerios Cereal (2021)

Limited Edition Team Cheerios Cereal Box

What is Team Cheerios Cereal?

Three preexisting flavors of Cheerios have joined into one team: strawberry, frosted, and blueberry.

How is it?

Limited Edition Team Cheerios Cereal Dry

I could tell from the box that these wouldn’t truly be red, white, and blue, especially since there’s no artificial food coloring. But I didn’t expect them to be positively pallid. Oh well. It’s the flavor that matters, right? I’m glad these aren’t just plain Cheerios with food coloring.

I tasted each individual flavor dry. Frosted is just sweet. Strawberry is generically fruity, like Trix or Fruity Cheerios. Blueberry actually uses blueberry puree, so it has the most authentic flavor. All three have that satisfying oatiness to them.

Limited Edition Team Cheerios Cereal Milk

When I put them all together in milk, blueberry is the dominant flavor. There is some hint of the strawberry, but the frosted is just along for the ride. What little color they had washes off in milk, leaving a purplish liquid.

I was surprised at how much I liked this cereal. I don’t always love blueberry things, but the flavor here is authentic without being overpowering. But I haven’t had plain blueberry Cheerios, so I don’t know how this mixture compares.

Anything else you need to know?

According to our friends at Cerealously, there was a previous version of Team Cheerios back during the 1996 Olympics, but that was just regular, multigrain, and frosted Cheerios. I gotta say, in 2021, we tend to have more creative flavors.

Conclusion:

Limited Edition Team Cheerios Cereal In Milk

This Team Cheerios Cereal doesn’t deserve a gold medal, but it deserves a silver or bronze. I just hope we don’t have to wait until the 2024 Olympics for this to come back.

Purchased Price: $3.50
Size: 18.5 oz. box
Purchased at: Target
Rating: 8 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1 cup) 140 calories, 2 grams of fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0.5 grams of polyunsaturated fat, 0.5 grams of monounsaturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 180 milligrams of sodium, 29 grams of carbohydrates, 3 grams of dietary fiber, less than 1 gram of soluble fiber, 11 grams of sugar including 11 grams of added sugars, and 3 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Powerade Sports Freezer Bars

Powerade Sports Freezer Bars Box

What are Powerade Sports Freezer Bars?

Jel Sert, the company that makes Otter Pops and Fla-Vor-Ice, has teamed up with Powerade to make freezer bars in two of the sports drink’s classic flavors: Mountain Berry Blast and Fruit Punch.

But it’s not just the flavors. These are sports freezer bars, meaning they have electrolytes in them.

How are they?

Powerade Sports Freezer Bars Bars

Now, I have a hard time describing what they taste like. The Fruit Punch has a nondescript fruity flavor. Mountain Berry Blast has more of a noticeable berry flavor; it’s probably raspberry, but since they didn’t specifically call it raspberry, it could be anything.

But even though I can’t really describe them, I quite enjoy them! Both the flavor and the texture are as good as any freezer bar I’ve had. They have a little bit of sports drink flavor, but I wouldn’t detect it if I didn’t know.

Powerade Sports Freezer Bars Fruit Punch

Powerade Sports Freezer Bars Mountain Berry Blast

I compared the bars, both frozen and refrigerated, with their respective Powerade flavors to see how true they are. I think Jel Sert used the same flavoring, but they’re not exactly the same: the freezer bars are better! They taste less watery and less medicinal. (I’ve never thought of Powerade as tasting medicinal until I tried it next to the bars.)

Anything else you need to know?

I compared the nutrition facts of these with regular Powerade. Serving for serving, they are roughly the same, except that the bars have half of the sodium (I’m guessing because salt affects the freezing point). The bars are like a concentrated version of Powerade. For your convenience, I have included the nutrition facts for both the freezer bars and regular Powerade below, including the vitamins and minerals.

Conclusion:

If you are going to be nibbling on freezer bars this summer and want some electrolytes to go with them, Powerade Sports Freezer Bars are a perfect option.

Purchased Price: $2.00
Size: 24 oz. box (16 bars)
Purchased at: Dollar General
Rating: 8 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (Freezer bars – 4 bars, 170 grams) 80 calories, 0 grams of fat, 75 milligrams of sodium, 20 grams of carbs, 19 grams of sugar including 19 grams of added sugars, 0 grams of protein, 18 milligrams of potassium, 2 milligrams of calcium, 4 milligrams of magnesium, 15% DV of niacin, 35% DV of vitamin B6, and 70% DV of vitamin B12.

(Powerade – 12 fl. oz.) 80 calories, 0 grams of fat, 150 milligrams of sodium, 21 grams of carbs, 21 grams of sugar including 21 grams of added sugars, 0 grams of protein, 35 milligrams of potassium, 15% DV of niacin, 15% DV of vitamin B6, 35% DV of vitamin B12, and less than 2% DV of magnesium.