A little piece of me dies inside every time I hear someone say that their favorite flavor of cake is red velvet.
Instantly, I can’t help but think that this person has fallen victim to the trendy trap. There’s a very good chance that they’re also into Mason jars crafts, beers with at least four adjectives, and occasional juice cleanses. Mainstream chocolate and vanilla are for the plebeians. Other favorite flavors include maple-bacon, pumpkin spice, and Biscoff.
While red velvet can be a perfectly decent cake, it has done nothing to earn its hype. Flavor wise, it’s the homelier sister of a deep chocolate cake. Weaker, less fudgy and appealing, but trying to overcompensate with a crap ton of red food coloring. You think a red Chrysler convertible is actually better than a black Porsche? Take the dye out of a red velvet cupcake and offer it to someone who claims to be obsessed. I’m betting they start eyeing the flashy Funfetti instead.
That being said, I was pretty confused as to what to expect from seasonal Milk Chocolate Red Velvet M&M’s. I was hoping for possibly a cream cheese taste, since that’s the typical frosting pair, and the flavor that usually comes across the most. Plus, given beautiful love affair I had with last year’s White Chocolate Carrot Cake M&M’s, I was hoping to rekindle some kind of sweet creamy magic. But no, these are just straight chocolate.
They come in a standard Valentine’s Day palate of red, white, and maroon. Your coworkers will probably think they’re a nice festive gift. Your needy girlfriend who casually leaves the Tiffany’s catalogue in the bathroom will probably not.
They’re a little bit larger than plain M&M’s and more in line with the denser, puffier model that’s been common in recent seasonal varieties.
At first bite, they’re almost indiscernible from regular Milk Chocolate M&M’s. However, it then develops into a weird, chemically aftertaste that doesn’t make me think red velvet at all. If anything, in a blind taste test, I would assume these were the plain stale M&M’s I left sitting in the bowl on my desk for three months and occasionally take a stress-induced handful of. While it’s a noticeable enough taste to make me wish I were eating the original, it’s not offensive enough to make me stop eating them. They may have their faults, but they’re probably not going to get thrown out.
Disappointingly, the inside of these are not red. Since that’s real redeeming quality of red velvet cake, I think M&M’s dropped the ball on this one. Nothing says “Happy Valentine’s Day!” like a blood red smile.
While these are a novelty to try once, some Cupid magic would be needed to make me buy these again. But since I do still have two bags lying around, you’ll probably find me face deep in them on Valentine’s Day, searching desperately for a man to give me a Tiffany’s box.
(Nutrition Facts – 1.5 oz. (about 1/4 cup) – 210 calories, 9 grams of fat, 5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 5 milligrams of cholesterol, 30 milligrams of sodium, 30 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, 27 grams of sugar, and 2 grams of protein.)
Item: Milk Chocolate Red Velvet M&M’s
Purchased Price: $2.88
Size: 9.90 oz. bag
Purchased at: Walmart
Rating: 4 out of 10
Pros: Thicker than plain M&Ms. Festively colored. Easily satisfied coworkers. Comforting nighttime binge eating. Cheaper than jewelry.
Cons: Chemically aftertaste. Annoying, high maintenance cake eaters. Annoying, high maintenance girlfriends. Binge eating alone on Valentine’s Day. Not getting a Tiffany box. WILL ANYONE EVER LOVE ME? Not red inside.