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QUICK REVIEW: Fiber One Caramel Sea Salt 90 Calorie Soft-Baked Bars (Target Exclusive)

Written by | April 11, 2014

Topics: 6 Rating, Fiber One, Snack Bars

Fiber One Caramel Sea Salt 90 Calorie Soft-Baked Bars

Purchased Price: $3.49
Size: 6 bars
Purchased at: Target
Rating: 6 out of 10
Pros: Nice flavor, but I’m not sure it’s not what I would consider caramel. It kind of tastes Fig Newton-y. Soft, slightly chewy texture. Smells like brown sugar. Low fat. A decent tasting way to get five grams of fiber. I guess it’s easier than eating an apple. I mean, I can stuff a whole bar in my mouth, but I can’t stuff a whole apple.
Cons: Sometimes there are these bursts of saltiness, which are a bit off-putting. “Caramel bits” are really toffee bits. The bars look kind of small when unwrapped, they’re just 2-inch squares. Some people have had gas issues with the chicory root extract, which gives the bar its fiber, so don’t go through the box in one day…or even two days.

Fiber One Caramel Sea Salt 90 Calorie Soft-Baked Bars Closeup

Nutrition Facts: 90 calories, 25 calories from fat, 2.5 grams of fat, 1 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 115 milligrams of sodium, 18 grams of carbohydrates, 5 grams of fiber, 9 grams of sugar, and less than 1 gram of protein.

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REVIEW: Nabisco Limited Edition Fruit Punch Oreo Cookies

Written by | April 10, 2014

Topics: 8 Rating, Cookies, Oreo

Nabisco Limited Edition Fruit Punch Oreo Cookies

Milk.

It provides our bodies with calcium. It makes our cereal soggy. It does the body good. In some people, it can cause gastrointestinal issues. It’s the co-star in way too many Gallon Milk Challenge and Gallon Smashing YouTube videos. It’s the reason why there are hundreds of “Got Milk?” rip-offs on bumper stickers and t-shirts, like “Got Muscle?”, “Got Beer?”, “Got Weed?”, and “Got Balls?”. And it’s what we’ve dunked our Oreo cookies into for decades.

But I’m not sure milk is the appropriate liquid to dunk these Limited Edition Fruit Punch Oreo Cookies in. That, obviously, would be fruit punch.

Now you might be thinking to yourself, “What weirdo would dunk Oreo cookies into fruit punch?” Well, who has two thumbs and a Pyrex measuring cup filled with fruit punch that has Golden Oreo cookie crumbs floating on top?

This guy!

Nabisco Limited Edition Fruit Punch Oreo Cookies Dunk

For some of you, the idea of just eating Limited Edition Fruit Punch Oreo Cookies sounds gross. It seems like a flavor a food scientist would come up with after drinking a few too many glasses of spiked fruit punch.

And for many of you, the thought of dunking these Limited Edition Fruit Punch Oreo Cookies into fruit punch and then eating the cookie probably sounds even worse. But having done both, I have to say they are not gross.

Nabisco Limited Edition Fruit Punch Oreo Cookies Closeup

From the moment I opened the packaging to the last bit of chewed cookie going down my gullet, I experienced fruit punch. Its smell is spot on. Its flavor is spot on. The color of its Red 40-enhanced creme is spot on. Its texture…well, it’s a cookie so it’s not going to be spot on.

Companies have different interpretations of fruit punch, but the Fruit Punch Oreo cookie’s creme tastes exactly like a product I’ve had in the past. Sadly, I can’t remember what it was (I’m thinking it could be a Popsicle), but the creme has a nice cherry, citrusy flavor, which is also very potent. So if you’re one of those people who really loves to say the word “cloyingly,” these cookies will make your linguistic side happy. I thought the crunchy Golden Oreo wafer would dampen the creme’s flavor, but it does not.

However, even though I can see the fruit punch flavor being a little strong for some, I think these Nabisco Limited Edition Fruit Punch Oreo Cookies are so wonderful that they make me want to strip off my clothes, paint my entire body red, draw a smiling face on my belly with the thickest Sharpie pen using my belly button as a nostril, and then burst through a wall yelling, “Oh yeah!”

(Nutrition Facts – 2 cookies – 140 calories, 60 calories from fat, 7 grams of fat, 2 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 80 milligrams of sodium, 15 milligrams of potassium, 20 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 12 grams of sugar, and less than 1 gram of protein.)

Item: Nabisco Limited Edition Fruit Punch Oreo Cookies
Purchased Price: $4.99*
Size: 12.2 oz.
Purchased at: eBay
Rating: 8 out of 10
Pros: Spot on fruit punch aroma, flavor, and color. Has a nice cherry, citrusy flavor. Dunking them into fruit punch is surprisingly not bad. Makes me want to get naked.
Cons: Fruit punch creme might be too potent for some. It’s limited edition and available only at Walmart. Dunking them into milk is probably not a good idea. Makes me want to get naked.

*I had to purchase these on eBay because they were hard to find in my area, but you’ll probably pay somewhere between $2.50 and $3.50, if you buy them at Walmart, where they’re an exclusive flavor.

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REVIEW: Häagen-Dazs Pistachio Gelato

Written by | April 7, 2014

Topics: 10 Rating, Haagen Dazs, Ice Cream

Ha?agen-Dazs Pistachio Gelato

There are many great mysteries in the universe. Like has anybody ever really killed two birds with one stone? Who’s the brilliant mind behind the cookie cake? If everything King Midas touches turns to gold, can he… you know… touch himself? Surely I’m not the only one who ponders these questions on a daily basis. Here’s another one of those mysteries: is gelato any good from a container?

Before I moved to Missouri, I lived directly across the street from an Italian café, which served the most foodgasm-inducing gelato I’d ever eaten. There were so many flavor options to choose from, it made every trip an adventure because you never knew what you’d walk out of there with.

Now that the authentic gelato is no longer across the street – and as far as I can tell nowhere to be had here – I knew it was time to do some investigating of my own into the store-bought gelatos. I got in the car and made the ever-joyous weekly trip to Walmart. And that’s not sarcasm. I literally live in the middle of nowhere, and going to Walmart passes for fun around these parts.

While perusing the ice cream aisle, I found Häagen-Dazs had a new line of gelatos, and the flavor debate began to rage in my noggin. Pomegranate swirl? No. Caramelized banana chip? Interesting, but wasn’t in a banana mood. Pistachio? PISTACHIO! Yes, this was the one. Even the Walmart cashier knew it was the one, as before she put it in the bag she took a gander at it and said, “Mmm, now that looks good.” Indeed it does, Walmart cashier. Indeed it does.

Upon arriving home, I put the gelato in the freezer and prepared to set the mood for the occasion. I tucked the corners of my love seat cover in so it looked nice and neat, cleaned the clutter from my coffee table, put some Miles Davis on and got into my jammies. Yes, I call them jammies.

Ha?agen-Dazs Pistachio Gelato Top

After retrieving the gelato from it’s frozen prison, I popped it’s top – tee hee – and gave it a look over. It’s a darker green than pistachio ice creams are, and it had little black specks in it, kind of like a vanilla bean flavor would. I buried the cold steel of my spoon in and took a bite.

HO. LEE. CRAP.

The gelato was light and uber-creamy like authentic gelato, and it tasted like a real pistachio without having actual pistachios inside of it. This is an advantage because as anyone who’s eaten pistachio ice cream knows, you get a rotten pistachio every once in a while and it is one of the vilest tastes you’ll encounter.

The gelato is sweet tasting like pistachio ice cream, but you also get that roasted pistachio taste, something I hadn’t encountered in a frozen pistachio delicacy before. It has a high fat content, but you couldn’t tell unless you looked at the nutrition facts because it’s just so damn light and airy. The only element it was missing was the saltiness a real pistachio has. Curious, I put a little bit of salt on a spoonful.

Ha?agen-Dazs Pistachio Gelato Spoon

It would be impossible for a word or two to describe just how good this bite was, so I will attempt to do so with the following story that may or may not be true. I’ll leave it to you to decide.

After taking the bite, I blacked out. I awoke some time later to a knock on my door. I wondered who it could be as my building has a buzz-in system. My hot neighbor finally giving into my offer of drinking and yelling at my fantasy baseball team with me? I opened the door to reveal a six-foot tall pistachio. I first thought this some odd Trojan horse attempt of my hot neighbor to make it inside my apartment, and I said “if you wanted to come watch fantasy scores with me, you just had to ask.” But this was not my hot neighbor. It was a talking pistachio. And not just any pistachio either. It was the Pistachio King!

He said he was summoned here when I achieved pistachio bliss after putting salt on the gelato. I had uncovered the key to ultimate pistachio power. Basically, I unlocked the Super Saiyan 4 level of pistachio flavor.

The king and I hit it off instantly. It was like we were best friends in a past lifetime. He brought a 24-pack of my favorite beer, Sam Adams Coldsnap, and even laughed at my lame “that’s a Coldsnap, baby” line, a play off of SRV’s “Coldshot.” We put back bottle after bottle and collectively yelled at my fantasy baseball team. Once the games were done for the night, I asked Pistachio King if he wanted to watch me play Kingdom Hearts, and without hesitation he said yes! It’s not even a two-player game, but he didn’t care, he just continued to drink and cheer me on.

At one point Pistachio King asked if I wanted “some of that good shit,” and pulled out a baggie filled with a white crystal-like substance inside. I said “Pistachio King, I don’t do that,” but he said “don’t worry, it’s only salt!” We had a good laugh, and then I put some of the salt on the gelato and took a bite. Everything started spinning, and I again blacked out.

When I awoke, Pistachio King was gone and the gelato container was empty. Probably just a dream. But wait, why are there pistachio shells on the floor? Hmm… Well, at least the gelato from a container mystery was solved.

(Nutrition Facts – 1/2 cup – 260 calories, 13 grams of fat, 6 grams of saturated fat, 85 milligrams of cholesterol, 40 milligrams of sodium, 30 grams of carbohydrates, 22 grams of sugar, 6 grams of protein, 10% vitamin A, 10% calcium, and 4% iron.)

Item: Häagen-Dazs Pistachio Gelato
Purchased Price: $3.89
Size: 14 oz.
Purchased at: Walmart
Rating: 10 out of 10
Pros: As good as legit Italian gelato. Incredible real pistachio flavor. Adding a bit of salt brings out-of-body experience. Kickin’ it with Pistachio King.
Cons: High fat content. Container’s not a full pint. Hot neighbor still doesn’t want to drink and yell at my fantasy baseball team with me. King Midas mystery remains unsolved.

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REVIEW: Ben & Jerry’s Hazed & Confused Core Ice Cream

Written by | April 3, 2014

Topics: 10 Rating, Ben & Jerry's, Ice Cream

Ben & Jerry's Hazed & Confused Core Ice Cream

Well, it was horrible. Unapologetically awful.

Look, I considered phrasing it more gently, and maybe trying to focus on at least one positive, but the truth is that there is nothing redeemable about Ben & Jerry’s new Hazed & Confused Core Ice Cream. If you see it at your local supermarket, find somewhere else to shop, permanently. If you stumble upon an advertisement for it while reading one of those savings catalogs from CVS that got sent to your house, do yourself a solid and change your address. Whatever you do, just stay as far away from Hazed & Confused as possible.

Look, I know I am a junk food reviewer and all, but I gotta be honest. Considering how this is legitimately going to be a 0/10, you might as well stop reading right here. Trust me, if this wasn’t my job, I wouldn’t still be lingering on the dreadful, unappealing taste of Hazed & Confused Ice Cream. Seriously, this isn’t a joke, it’s all right, just move along with your day.

Ben & Jerry's Hazed & Confused Core Ice Cream Top

Now it’s time to get down to the dirty stuff. The first thing I hated about Hazed & Confused was how absolutely terrible it looked. I mean come on Ben & Jerry’s you can at least try to make it look appeali… yo, you still there? If you’re still reading this now, you’re welcome.

You see, I have a plan, a beautiful plan, to scare away everyone I know from the divine taste of Ben & Jerry’s Hazed & Confused. Why then am I letting you in on my secret? Well, the truth is–my fellow co-conspirators–that Hazed & Confused is downright amazing. It’s not even a flavor as much as it is an interstellar experience. It is as close as you or I will ever get to the moon. Indulging in it is the kind of transformative, mind-blowing experience that if left unshared would likely build up in my psyche and manifest itself in some weird psychological issues down the road. It’s that crazy good. And, before you question the infallible logic of my plan itself, let me tell you why.

Ben & Jerry's Hazed & Confused Core Ice Cream Spoon

First reason, two words: Nutella. Oh, that’s only one word you say? That’s because you didn’t let me finish. Nutella-Tube. Thats right folks, smack dab in the middle of Ben & Jerry’s consistently fantastic ice cream is a cylindrical mass of fucking Nutella. Except hold the phone, this isn’t even really Nutella; it’s better. Imagine the lovechild created if everyone’s favorite hazelnut spread got freaky with a can of Betty Crocker dark chocolate frosting. Just sit there and think about that.

But, like any 8th grade orchestra, having one standout simply isn’t enough (even if he can play the whole Pirates of the Caribbean theme on cello). Surrounding the decadence of its titular Core, Hazed & Confused brings it with a back-to-back punch of their signature chocolate ice cream and their new-kid-on-the-block hazelnut. Combined with the added touch of ubiquitous fudge chips the two rich flavors provide a nice give and take of extra chocolaty or extra hazlenutty flavor, making each spoonful unique. What is so great about Hazed & Confused is that it all just seems to work.

Also, I don’t know whose idea it was to name this ice cream Hazed & Confused, but the likely nod to the 1993 cult classic Dazed and Confused perhaps sheds a little light onto how Ben & Jerry’s comes up with the inspiration for such wacky and delicious ice cream concoctions. Going on the list with previous flavors such as Cherry Garcia (named after Grateful Dead front man Jerry Garcia) and Half Baked (for obvious reasons)–if the company’s signature tie-dye t-shirts weren’t a dead give away–Hazed & Confused provides further evidence that Ben and Jerry might have been more than a little familiar with the ol’ devil’s lettuce, and the munchies that inevitably ensue. Maybe this will make you feel better about getting stoned and eating an entire tub, who knows.

I am going to end with a quick exam. I just need everyone to look down at their hands. They’re empty, right? Now wait two hours and then look again. If you aren’t clutching a frosty pint of Hazed and Confused in one hand, and a giant-ass spoon in the other, you failed. Get to it.

(Nutrition Facts – 1/2 cup – 280 calories, 140 calories from fat, 16 grams of fat, 10 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 55 milligrams of cholesterol, 80 milligrams of sodium, 30 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of fiber, 25 grams of sugar, 5 grams of protein, 8% vitamin A, 10% calcium, and 10% iron.)

Item: Ben & Jerry’s Hazed & Confused Core Ice Cream
Purchased Price: $4.99
Size: 1 pint
Purchased at: Stop & Shop
Rating: 10 out of 10
Pros: The definition of a 10/10 product. The hazelnut core is maybe the best thing I have tasted in, like, 5 years. It’s Ben & Jerry’s so the ice cream itself is top notch. I would likely buy a store’s worth if I had the money.
Cons: Other people somewhere are probably enjoying it right now and I am just on this computer. I wish eating an entire tub wasn’t a 200% daily value hit of saturated fat.

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REVIEW: Sriracha Pringles (Walmart Exclusive Flavor)

Written by | April 1, 2014

Topics: 6 Rating, Chips, Pringles

Sriracha Pringles

I couldn’t tell you the last time I had Pringles. I used to munch on them quite a bit when I was younger, but once Baked Lay’s came out I was extremely loyal to them, and me and the ol’ Prings just drifted apart.

After Lay’s recently changed Baked Lay’s to the abominable Oven Baked Lay’s, my one true chip love was taken away from me. But now I was free, back on the chip market! Sorry Baked Lay’s, but you knew what this was…

When I caught wind of sriracha-flavored Pringles, it was the perfect chip rebound for me. Man do I love that rooster sauce. It’s spicy, but not too spicy, and it has nice tanginess with a hint of garlic. It really is a great sauce.

Before I could take the new chip plunge though, I had to get over a few Pringles-related issues of mine. First off, I don’t understand why they put so much effort into trying to be so rebellious and different by being in a tube instead of a bag. It’s kind of like those people who stop listening to an indie band once it is discovered by the masses. Secondly, their advertising campaign from the old days was full of lies. Once you pop you can’t stop? I can confidently say I popped and then willfully stopped many times in my youth. They’re just chips after all, not meth.

Sriracha was too much to turn down though, and I castaway my feelings and made the drive to Walmart – the only place they are sold – to pick up a can. The bad news about this is the closest Walmart is 30 minutes away. The good news is I found Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole in the five-dollar DVD bin. I didn’t even have to dig. It was right on top! Gotta appreciate the small miracles in life.

Sriracha Pringles 2

After finding the bargain of the year I made my way to the snacks section to grab the Pringles. I found them almost instantly, and this is because the odd dragon on the can really makes them stand out. What’s going on with this thing? It has three antennae or chopsticks or legs, I don’t know what the hell they are, but they protrude from the dragon and each one holds a chili pepper, a bottle of sriracha sauce and a sriracha-flavored Pringle, respectively. I wonder if a real dragon would carry those around? Odd indeed.

It looks like a Pokémon that didn’t make it past the drawing board. Srirachamon, go! I bet an intern at Nintendo drew it up, got laughed at and subsequently fired, and it was stored away until the people at Pringles somehow got their hands on it. Definitely wouldn’t have found a spot on my badass Pokémon roster.

I somehow got over my amazement with Srirachamon and popped open the can. Immediately I noticed there was no distinct smell of sriracha, and I got nervous Pringles had let me down again. This would not be the case at all. The chips do a surprisingly good job of capturing the sriracha essence and it comes pretty close to tasting like the actual sauce. It’s not spot on, but it’s close enough to where if you were blindfolded – by choice, hopefully – and ate one, you’d say, “Hey, that kind of tastes like sriracha.”

It’s not all kittens and rainbows though.

Sriracha Pringles Closeup

The flavor of the chip is solely dependent on how much powder is sprinkled on it. Some have hardly any, and they just taste like plain Pringles, which are just sort of bleah. While the sriracha flavor is good, there’s an almost instant vinegar aftertaste. It’s not terrible, but at the same time I wish the sriracha flavor would linger just a bit more. The other drawback is that if you sit down and eat 20 or 30 in a row like I did, some spiciness will remain upon your lips for a few minutes. Yes, I am being a bit of a nitpicking pansy with that last one, but damn it, it is an uncomfortable feeling!

If you’re a fellow sriracha fan, these are definitely worth trying. Not the greatest by any means, but not bad either.

Can we get back to the can for a minute? God I hate it! The more chips you eat, the harder it gets to reach down into the can to grab more. I mean, unless you have tiny hobbit hands, you have to tip the can down and wait for them to fall within your reach, and sometimes there are broken chips and crumbs fall out of the can and make a mess. It’s like the can is punishing me for being gluttonous. Yeah, Pringles cans are kind of jerks.

(Nutrition Facts – 15 crisps – 150 calories, 80 calories from fat, 9 grams of fat, 2.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 280 milligrams of sodium, 15 grams of carbohydrates, less than 1 gram of fiber, less than 1 gram of sugar, 1 grams of protein, and 6% vitamin C.)

Item: Sriracha Pringles
Purchased Price: $1.50
Size: 5.96 oz.
Purchased at: Walmart
Rating: 6 out of 10
Pros: Chips did a good job of capturing sriracha flavor. Owls of Ga’Hoole DVD for five bucks. Learning to give second chances.
Cons: Flavor doesn’t linger long enough. Vinegary aftertaste. Srirachamon. Tube frustration. Spice lingers on my sensitive pansy lips.

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