The name itself conjures up thoughts of small town nostalgia, fireworks, Dixieland jazz, and old grainy footage of smiling baseball greats with voiceovers saying nonsense stuff like, “Get your lemonade here!” or “He put some mustard on that fastball.” Cracker Jack is so innocent and simple in design. It’s just caramel corn, peanuts, the “aw-shucks” Sailor Boy mascot and his dog Bingo. Is there anything more inviting than caramel drenched popcorn?
Yes, thick slabs of bacon and foamy root beer are more inviting, but you know what I’m getting at.
However, it looks like Cracker Jack traded all of its innocence and simplicity for its post-modern apocalyptic Cracker Jack’D Power Bites line, switching out caramel corn for large pellets that I can only describe as cat droppings. One thing I should tell you…these Power Bites are not like the other Cracker Jack’D lines which are amped up party snack mixes. I’ve eaten those and you can do worse, like with these Power Bites.
Oh, and the Cracker Jack toy surprise?
Not to fret because the Cracker Jack’D Power Bites do have a “toy surprise” that comes in the form of caffeine (Yay chemicals!). The package touts one two-ounce bag has the caffeine equivalent of one cup of coffee. I believe it should be more specific and say, “This bag of cat poopies have the same amount of caffeine as one cup of that cheap ass coffee your tree-hugging jerk brother buys that sits in the cupboard for years because he only drinks green tea and says stupid things like ‘Namaste’.”
These Power Bites are made with real coffee and come in two flavors: Cocoa Java and Vanilla Mocha. Frito Lay promises these are “snacks with impact” and it makes sense somebody thought of these considering how successful the energy drink market is.
Cracker Jack’D Power Bites Cocoa Java
The chocolate coating on these have a cheap waxy texture, but it opens its way to a pleasant flaky wafer cookie with a nice roasted coffee taste. The roast is complex and deep with a hint of saltiness. The cookie is slightly sweet to almost savory, almost… I like the bitter finish the cookie presents, but it may be a bit too bitter for most. However, if you like espressos, whiskey, and other harsher flavors of the world (like unrequited love) this will be a good surprise.
The snack did not give me a buzz, but a conscience…as in health conscience. With a package containing 290 calories and 14 grams of fat, it makes me wonder why I didn’t just get one of those disgustingly sweet fatty Starbucks mochalochachocolatabarataventiburgs?
Cracker Jack’D Power Bites Vanilla Mocha
For every Sylvester Stallone there’s a Frank Stallone. Meet the Frank Stallone of the two Power Bites. While the Cocoa Java did not yield a total success for me, these are way worse. The same cheap waxy chocolate coating, but the complex roast is muted by this overly sweet, almost chai-like flavor. The cookie also has a mealy finish and any “mocha” flavor is flushed away into taste bud hell. There’s no way to say it but these are just fucking miserable. I wanted to microwave them into a mush and napalm the Sailor Kid with it.
Overall, the Cracker Jack’D Power Bites are purely a novelty to make your friends go “What’s that?” I think you’re better off drinking an actual cup of coffee. Even if that coffee has been sitting in a cupboard for years next to your jerk brother’s lavender sea salt.
(Nutritional Facts – 1 package – Cocoa Java – 290 calories, 14 grams of fat, 0 mg of cholesterol, 180 mg of sodium, 37 grams of carbohydrates, 3 grams of dietary fiber, 21 grams of sugars, and 3 grams of protein. Vanilla Mocha – 290 calories, 15 grams of fat, 0 mg of cholesterol, 120 mg of sodium, 37 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of dietary fiber, 20 grams of sugars, and 3 grams of protein)
Item: Cracker Jack’D Power Bites (Cocoa Java and Vanilla Mocha)
Purchased Price: $1.99 each
Size: 2 oz. bag
Purchased at: 7-Eleven
Rating: 7 out of 10 (Cocoa Java)
Rating: 3 out of 10 (Vanilla Mocha)
Pros: Cocoa Java’s complex roasted bitterness. Texture is good. Cracker Jack toy surprises, even if they are cheap paper things now. The slight salty edge Cocoa Java has. Old timey voiceovers.
Cons: Everything about Vanilla Mocha. The poop shape of these nuggets is gross. The fat, the calories, the cheap waxy chocolate coating. Lavender sea salt. Produced no caffeine buzz. People who say “Namaste.”