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REVIEW: Nabisco Limited Edition Root Beer Float Oreo Cookies

Written by | July 25, 2014

Topics: 4 Rating, Cookies, Oreo

Nabisco Limited Edition Root Beer Float Oreo Cookies

Despite what others think, I can also be sensitive. Reminding me of the destruction of the SDF-1 in Robotech, I shed a few tears next to my wife when Crimson Typhoon and Cherno Alpha ate it big time in Pacific Rim. I admit I also cried a tiny bit when I reacquainted myself with Buckaroo Banzai’s synth engulfed end credits. I can hum that song all day.

So sue me. I am not invulnerable to the charms of nostalgia. I have a fucking soul too.

Does the salty smell of fresh popcorn not invoke memories of carefree Saturday matinees at the cinema? It’s hard to deny the sight of lightning bugs doesn’t drum up images of summery things like Italian ice cups served with wooden spoons that threatened to leave splinters in your mouth.

Root beer floats harken back to a time of childhood innocence. The memories of Daddy teaching you how to ride that bicycle without training wheels. Yelling and screaming lovingly about how stupid you are as the neighbors peer through the curtains, hoping to not get caught. Those were some damn good times.

I suppose the Oreo creates the same feelings for me. As a child, I dipped them in milk after learning another lesson (like most latchkey children do) from television. Me love you long time TV.

Oreo have released so many varieties that they are becoming the Beanie Babies of cookies. After the fruit punch ones, I kind of hit the wall real hard. As much as I love the different flavors, I began to get Oreo-fatigue and pined for a normal Oreo.

Nabisco Limited Edition Root Beer Float Oreo Cookies In Packaging

Yet, the Root Beer Float Oreo grabbed my interest as they sat there next to the lemon one and above the Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup version and right beside the mint chocolate variety. After ripping open the package, a deep buttery smell emanated elegantly. A faint, but playfully “fizzy” sweet and herby scent of root beer followed.

However, the Oreo filled with the promise of creamy and frothy root beer float dreams decided to kick my balls to the tune of the Benny Hill theme song. I was at best, disappointed. At worst, I wanted to chase harmless rabbits and their cutesy little noses with the gas-powered lawn mower.

Nabisco Limited Edition Root Beer Float Oreo Cookies Creme

Tasting the cream filling alone yielded a familiar, sweet, but not strong root beer flavor. Actually on subsequent licks, the root beer taste was so light that it barely registered. It could be that each cookie I dissected apart Hannibal-style revealed an almost 80 percent cream to 20 percent root beer flavor ratio.

When I ate the cookie whole, the buttery nuttiness from the Oreo overwhelmed any root beer taste. Strangely, I did experience a ghostly menthol-like “coolness” when I swallowed. It could be from whatever flavoring effect Nabisco pumped in to replicate the carbonization of a root beer. Although, I wished they would have amped up the root beer taste instead.

Dipping them in milk doesn’t help. Dipping them in store bought chocolate milk makes it worse. In fact, dipping them in bourbon is criminal and left me sullen because I ruined a tumbler of Maker’s 46.

There are positives. They are not as sweet as some Oreo flavor (looking at you Watermelon and Berry Burst Ice Cream). Additionally, they appear to be more readily available, at least in my area, so everyone can join in and be sad chasing rabbits.

I know that root beer is one of the trickier flavors to emulate and I have to give credit to Nabisco for at least attempting this. If anything, I admire their tenacity to not back down on trying unconventional flavor choices. (Where’s my blueberry version dammit?)

I’m conflicted because Root Beer Float Oreo cookies do not taste awful. But if you’re expecting them to taste like the beloved soda float, they suck at it.

(Nutrition Facts – 2 cookies – 140 calories, 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 dietary fiber, 12 grams of sugars, and less than 1 gram of protein.)

Item: Nabisco Limited Edition Root Beer Float Oreo Cookies
Purchased Price: $2.99
Size: 12.2 oz. package
Purchased at: Publix
Rating: 4 out of 10
Pros: They are not overwhelmingly sweet. Typing “Crimson Typhoon” in my review. The Golden Oreo is buttery and rich. The music in Benny Hill.
Cons: The root beer flavor is very weak. Trying not to type “Root Beer Floats? More like Root Beer Flats!” in my review (GONG!) The Golden Oreo overpowers any root beer flavor. Cherno Alpha biting it so soon. The music in Benny Hinn.

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REVIEW: Hostess Limited Edition Extreme Creme Blue Raspberry Twinkies

Written by | July 23, 2014

Topics: 4 Rating, Twinkies

Hostess Limited Edition Extreme Creme Blue Raspberry Twinkies

Maybe mutants are a problem. Hey, I know, it’s easy to love the X-Men. Wolverine—so cool! Beast—so smart! Storm—so strong! Yeah, yeah, we get it. Being a mutant represents being different. It doesn’t matter what your race, creed, religion, sports team, Sex in the City archetype or toilet paper roll orientation is. We need to accept everyone. And we do! (Even though “under” is so the wrong way.)

We love the X-Men. That’s the central theme of the X-Men. But it’s never really challenged. In the Marvel Universe it never seems reasonable as a reader to hate or fear mutants. The human beings in that world—the mutant haters—seem insane, uncool and scared. Living in the time we do now, it’s tough to relate to building an explicit case against others just because they are different. That is, until Hostess Extreme Creme Twinkies Blue Raspberry.

Let’s get down to it. This stuff is outwardly ugly. Not just Eric Stoltz in Mask ugly, but…well, okay, Eric Stoltz in Mask ugly. It’s a Twinkie with blue cream inside. This blue cream soaks through the undercarriage of the Twinkie and combines with the yellow cake to make a spotty, dark spinach green color. Frankly, it looks moldy.

Hostess Limited Edition Extreme Creme Blue Raspberry Twinkies bottom

The color of the actual cream inside is like Play-Doh or a racquetball court or a poisonous frog. This is gag reflex ugly. I had a visceral reaction the first time I turned one over, tossing it quickly from my hand like it had cooties.

Regular Twinkies with white cream don’t look like this. Is it because the white cream doesn’t show up against the yellow that it doesn’t look like an oblong cupcake drizzled with melted crayon? Why does this one look so weird? It looks gross. And thus begins the line of thinking that might end up writing discriminatory anti-blue Twinkie legislation, or an anti-blue Twinkie military task force. The Twinkie work camps would be filled with small Hostess baked goods and the Blue Man Group and a chubby Blue Ivy, with all the cakes she could ever want. They hammer out license plates to that Eiffel 65 song.

If it tastes good, though, forget it. All is forgiven. I’ll eat a steak that looks like Eric Stoltz in Mask if it’s not overcooked. Actually I’d prefer it. A steak that resembles a “normal” human face would be considerably smaller. So do blue Twinkies taste good? No. Well, they’re fine. Thing is, they are blue raspberry flavor. And blue raspberry has this lip curling, wooden, sour taste with a note of bitterness at the end. Certainly that sounds interesting, if not appealing.

But are we eating interesting things here? Are we at a Thomas Keller restaurant in search of a tastefully balanced, nine-course meal designed to tantalize and expand the notion of food and eating in general? Pretty sure we’re eating a piece of sugar stuck into another thing full of sugar.

Hostess Limited Edition Extreme Creme Blue Raspberry Twinkies Innards

The cream is not pleasant at first. After the inaugural bite I grimaced like a kid being told I would have to buy all the X-Universe comic books that summer because of some dumb crossover. (Age of Apocalypse excepted.) The amount of sugar doesn’t counter balance or round out the blue raspberry flavoring, so that’s pretty much what you’re getting all up in your mouth.

It’s pretty different from the fluffy sweetness you get from a regular Twinkie. After you know what’s coming a second taste is easier and after a third, the uniqueness is almost admirable. That first impression, though, is a doozy because it’s so different. I imagine I would feel that way if I saw a human being covered in blue fur with a cat face and Frasier’s voice too. Or eating some tossed salad and scrambled eggs.

They look gross, they taste kinda gross, but to be fair that’s because we aren’t used to them yet. It’s tough, because it’s both disgusting yet a little cool that we as human beings are so comfortable just eating stuff that are colors that don’t really exist as food in nature. We should all be a little more accepting, and blue Twinkies are the first step.

Keep in mind, however, Extreme Creme Blue Raspberry Twinkies are not a cool X-Man. They are not Nightcrawler or Blink or Psylocke or anyone undeniably compelling and powerful. They’re more like that kid Cypher who could read fast or Dazzler or that guy in the third movie with spikes coming out of his face. Okay. I got it. Regular Twinkies are comforting and these blue ones are strange. Not necessarily bad, but definitely strange.

Twinkies are handsome Eric Stoltz, and blue Twinkies are Eric Stoltz in Mask. He could’ve be an X-Man, by the way, if the guy with spikes in his face is one. Buy up Mask and reboot it already, Marvel. This new movie has a talking tree. Give me a break.

Roll credits for this review. Fade to black. Nick Fury comes out of nowhere and asks Eric Stoltz in Mask to join the Avengers. He hands Nick Fury a blue Twinkie. Nick Fury eats it, spits it out. Thomas Keller picks it up, adds it to menu at Per Se. They all retract spikes from their faces and laugh.

(Nutrition Facts – 2 cakes – 270 calories, 80 calories from fat, 9 grams of fat, 35 grams of cholesterol, 370 milligrams of sodium, 46 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 32 grams of sugar, 2 grams of protein.)

Item: Hostess Limited Edition Extreme Creme Blue Raspberry Twinkies
Purchased Price: $3.59
Size: 10 count
Purchased at: Walmart
Rating: 4 out of 10
Pros: After first taste, serves as a unique change of pace from regular Twinkies.
Cons: Twinkies are comfort food, and this isn’t comforting. Blue food is unsettling.

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REVIEW: Ben & Jerry’s Gilly’s Catastrophic Crunch Ice Cream

Written by | July 22, 2014

Topics: 6 Rating, Ben & Jerry's, Ice Cream

Ben & Jerry’s Gilly’s Catastrophic Crunch Ice Cream

Sometimes you have one of those days. You drop your toothbrush in the toilet. You eat shell in your scrambled eggs. You get attacked by three nefarious pigeons while walking to the pharmacy and break your sunglasses.

Such was the day I was having when I walked into a Ben & Jerry’s Scoop Shop, half-blind from my sunglasses-less eyes. Craving something to promote my tooth decay, Gilly’s Catastrophic Crunch Ice Cream seemed like my Golden Ticket.

Sweet cream. Chocolate ice cream. Caramel clusters. Fudge almonds. Marshmallow swirl. Sounds like a mish-mosh put together by especially creative carnies with ingredients that would make the Grinch’s hearts grow to the strength of 10 Grinches (plus 2). How will its tastes settle on a non-Grinch? Only one way to find out…

Ben & Jerry’s Gilly’s Catastrophic Crunch Ice Cream Must find all the clusters!

Gilly (played by Kristen Wiig) is known as the rambunctious rally-rouser in the Saturday Night Live classroom, having created all sorts of semi-violent mischief, including walloping buckets of Chunky Monkey ice cream at the teacher. That same degree of mischief is evidenced here by the multitude of kooky ingredients pummeled into this frozen dairy concoction.

Let’s start with the two bases: the swirl of sweet cream and chocolate ice creams is distinct. The sweet cream portion reminds me of milk that’s been artfully infused with Frosted Flakes while the chocolate tastes light and sugary, much similar to a Hershey’s bar. It’s perhaps not the best chocolate you’ve had in your life, but definitely lovable. When the two mix together, that chocolate flavor takes over while a tinge of hyper sweetness comes at the back end from the sweet cream, making for a very, very light milk chocolate base. It’s dense and creamy, even if perhaps a bit subtle for my inner chocolate fiend.

Ben & Jerry’s Gilly’s Catastrophic Crunch Ice Cream The Cluster Cave

But what I’m really here for are the mix-ins. Just look at that rocky terrain obstructing the creaminess. Clusters! Fudgy almonds! Those fudge almonds add a deeper dimension in the universe of chocolates, touting more of a semisweet profile than the base, while the almonds contribute their thudding crunch more than any notable flavor. And, oh yes, the marshmallow swirl: it’s goopy, in that humble marshmallow fluff way, although its one-note, straight-up-sugar flavor comes across tame against the subtly cocoa-y base, a shame as the marshmallow swirl in Phish Food ranks up there in my personal Ultimate Favorite Ice Cream Experiences of All Time Ever.

But, meanwhile, the clusters. Man, those clusters. Those chunky, sweet caramel little crunches add more than all the heart, stars, horseshoes, clovers, and blue moons combined. Chunky. Lightly burnt sugar. A tad sticky. Part of this balanced breakfast. But there aren’t enough of them! Must find all the chunkies! Must eat a whole bowl! Someone must turn these chunkies into a granola. Immediately.

My dad always told me good things come to those who persevere. But sometimes, persevering isn’t easy. Sometimes you have to wait. In a line. For 32 minutes. With a screaming three-year-old. And a tall man’s sweaty armpit in your nose. But the key is to never lose sight of the goal, for the goal will be your reward.

In this case, I was rewarded with some high-quality ice cream and, while it was good, I don’t think I’d go back for Gilly’s. The ingredients were all high quality, yet they mixed together in an altogether subtle way. It almost represents the wackadoodle character of Gilly. It had the kooky ingredients, yet the delivery was muddled. Perhaps more of those amazing clusters, some richer chocolate in the base, maybe a hint of something gritty, like a graham cracker or cookie, and BOOM. It’d be Gilly madness all up in here.

But just because it’s not for me doesn’t mean it can’t be for you. If you like crunchy, caramel things, almonds, and subtle milk chocolate ice cream, this is worth persevering for. It’s really a good ice cream. Don’t be ashamed of your flavor preferences! Find the chunkies! Eat them all! Persevere!

(Nutrition Facts – 1/2 cup – 250 calories, 130 calories from fat, 14 grams of fat, 8 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 45 milligrams of cholesterol, 45 milligrams of sodium, 27 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of dietary fiber, 23 grams of sugar, and 4 grams of protein.)

Item: Ben & Jerry’s Gilly’s Catastrophic Crunch Ice Cream
Purchased Price: $3.75
Size: 1 scoop
Purchased at: Ben & Jerry’s Scoop Shop (Rockefeller Center)
Rating: 6 out of 10
Pros: Crunchies! Lovable chocolate base. Thuddy almonds. Slow melting. Fudge coating adds different dimension of chocolate. Creative carnies.
Cons: Needs more clusters. Milk chocolate base may be too subtle for some. Marshmallow gets lost in sweet cream. Dropping your toothbrush in the toilet. Getting attacked by three nefarious pigeons.

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REVIEW: Ben & Jerry’s Lazy Sunday Ice Cream

Written by | July 14, 2014

Topics: 5 Rating, Ben & Jerry's, Ice Cream

Ben & Jerry’s Lazy Sunday Ice Cream

Lazy Sunday now is in ice cream form
But to eat it, you gotta go to the Ben and Jerry’s store
“What’s that?” you ask. Let me shut down your smile
No Lazy Sunday in the supermarket aisle

Based on the sketch by Samberg and Parnell
Look it up on YouTube—it did super well
There are tons of parodies, and we should confess
That white people joke rap is borderline at BEST

The flavor has chocolate swirl and some cake bits
A cake batter base—okay, just let me taste it
Ben & Jerry’s adding to my building frustration
The nearest Scoop Shop is at the f*$%ing train station

Left. No—right! No—straight! One-way street!
Pedaling the bicycle, can’t wait for those sweets
I know where I’m going, don’t get it twisted
Used Google Maps because the rap song insisted

(instrumental break)

I stroll to the counter, try to act all casual
Like I’m not reviewing food, stay normal and affable
The attendant asks me, “How does two scoops sound?”
I tell her “Three scoops. I’m not fooling around.”

Start to dig in to the creamy frozen treat
It smells like a birthday cake, if you can believe
Chocolate and vanilla flavoring—both pretty typical
Let’s talk about the cake bits and get a little critical

Breaking up the texture would be the dream
But they’re about the same consistency of frozen ice cream
They’re chewy and sticky, tiny bits of brilliance
Too bad when you’re eating cake, you can’t tell the difference

Cake ice cream, cake bits, so much cake, I’m at a party
One-sided, kinda boring, tell the host I’m sorry
I’m tasting too much cake, that’s the reason why
Even at a cake party I pull the Irish goodbye.

Nothing crunchy, nothing salty, nothing avant garde
I will not mourn you at the Flavor Graveyard
Do they really bury pints there? The gravestone quips
Here lies Jimmy Fallon: Fudge-covered potato chips

They stuck cupcakes in this because it’s in the song
I can’t help but think they were doing something wrong
Maybe there are legal things and other confines
But imagine this flavor: Mr. Pibb and Red Vines

The Ben & Jerry’s lady says to me the price
I do a double take, “Say it to me, twice.”
It costs same as a pint? What are you, insane?
You know who I’m not? Marta Kauffman nor David Crane

I liked this okay, I guess what I mean is
Like McAdams likes Gosling, in two thousand fourteens’
Yeah, sure, okay, Us Weekly confirms
They both feel indifferent—left on decent terms

Get back on my bike, flash a little grin
Still had ice cream so I consider that a win
Wrote up this track here, a tribute to the original
I’m eating Americone Dream, my life’s so nutritional

(Nutrition Facts – 1/2 cup — 230 calories, 120 calories from fat, 13 grams of fat, 7 grams of saturated fat, 60 grams of cholesterol, 70 milligrams of sodium, 25 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 20 grams of sugar, and 4 grams of protein.).)

Item: Ben & Jerry’s Lazy Sunday Ice Cream
Purchased Price: $5.50
Size: Large (3 scoops)
Purchased at: Ben & Jerry’s Scoop Shop
Rating: 5 out of 10
Pros: It’s ice cream. Cake balls are very cake-y. Cake flavoring is strong, good.
Cons: It’s not really balanced taste-wise. The cake balls are the same texture as the ice cream so they get lost easily.

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REVIEW: Nabisco Limited Edition Limeade Oreo Cookies

Written by | July 11, 2014

Topics: 8 Rating, Cookies, Oreo

Nabisco Limited Edition Limeade Oreo Cookies

I’d be lying if I told you I haven’t been more than a little hesitant about some of Oreo’s most recent flavors.

As America’s favorite cookie continues to test its boundaries, you are bound to get some exciting, albeit hellishly unnerving, flavor combinations. While the new Reese’s Oreo leans more towards chocolatey and ready to be dipped in milk, flavors like the pungent Fruit Punch represent some of Oreo’s more interesting varieties that, let’s just say, might not be compatible with Oreo’s signature companion beverage (to each his own, though). In that same vein we are introduced to Nabisco’s newest flavor, the summer-ready Limeade Oreo.

I always get excited to see what summer flavors companies will go for. Unlike fall standbys of pumpkin, candy corn, and caramel apple, as well as the winter classics of gingerbread, egg nog, and sugar cookie, summer, much like spring, is often a bit harder to place flavor-wise. As a Rhode Islander who knows his summer season—shout out to the beaches of the Ocean State—I highly doubt that Oreo will start making such summery flavors as clambake, corn-on-the-cob, or beer. However, a limeade flavor is certainly a welcomed refreshment.

And let me tell you, in all the ways a cookie can be, and as weird as it might be to say, Limeade Oreo is indeed refreshing. The green creme, which is a brighter shade than Nickelodeon Slime, is tasty enough to take the edge off of the summer heat.

Let me just stop for a second and say, to anyone who has ever seen those commercials claiming the proper way to eat an Oreo is to remove the top cookie, take a big slobbering lick of the creme, reassemble, and then continue eating as you would any regular cookie, I choose not to eat Oreo cookies the “proper” way. Maybe once or twice during my “experimental phase” early in college, but never happily…or soberly. There is something about eating an Oreo that has never made me wish I had just protected it from being eaten by a seventh grade bully with a penchant for snatching up others’ snacks.

Nabisco Limited Edition Limeade Oreo Cookies Innards

I say all this because that creme in the middle of the Limeade Oreo is so good that I found myself enthusiastically eating that bright green paste off of each Oreo like it was Nutella on a day when I was feeling sad. Despite the collective tendency to confuse lemon and lime flavors, this Oreo variety did a great job of matching an actual lime’s sweeter, less sour taste. Although a small part of me wishes the cookies used were the traditional chocolate ones, Oreo’s Golden wafers allow the emphasis to remain on that fantastic lime creme. 

Unfortunately for me, I suffer from what I like to call “Double Stuf Syndrome.” Like many, I have chosen the noble Double Stuf as my default Oreo, making all regular-stuffed Oreo cookies seem under-stuffed. Just like with drug use, my body now craves higher levels of that creme, which, unlike “cream,” lacks dairy and (hopefully) the sexual innuendo when combined with the end of this sentence, for maximum satisfaction. If they ever make a Double Stuf version of this cookie I might actually die, but until then, Limeade Oreo is a damn fine summer treat that I would absolutely buy again. Keep the bizarre flavors coming Oreo!

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

Item: Nabisco Limited Edition Limeade Oreo Cookies
Purchased Price: $3.00 (on sale)
Size: 12.2 oz.
Purchased at: Stop & Shop
Rating: 8 out of 10
Pros: Great summertime vibe. Creme tastes fantastically like real limeade. “Creme” not “Cream.”
Cons: “Double Stuf Syndrome”. Only available for a limited time. Oreo not having a beer flavor.

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