REVIEW: Kellogg’s Choco Zucaritas/Frosted Flakes Chocolate

Frosted Flakes Chocolate Spanish

Hola, mi amigos!  Como estas?  Esta es la Compra Impulsiva, y hoy–

Ah, dammit… sorry, I was looking at the wrong side of the box.  As it happens, the package of Frosted Flakes Chocolate I picked up has English on one side; but instead of a maze or outlandish claims about being healthy for you on the back, we’re treated to a mirror image of the front except the product name is now “Choco Zucaritas.”  (Es nuevo!)  Interestingly, the top and bottom of the box only use the Spanish name, and that’s what’s shown above the nutritional information on the side, so I guess it’s primarily targeted at Spanish speakers?  Either way, I applaud Kellogg’s for reaching out to the Latino community, despite it serving as another painful reminder that when choosing a second language in school, I picked French instead of one that might conceivably be useful to me someday.  That’s okay — I’ll be the one laughing when Canada finally invades, ya hosers.

But let’s get serious for a second: we’re talking about a product that on the surface sounds… well, fantastic.  Awe-inspiring.  God’s own breakfast cereal, one might reasonably speculate.  I’ve sampled plenty of cereals in my day, but I always find my way back to Frosted Flakes in the end, because it’s one of the best.  Which begs the question: can you improve upon the best?  True innovators always think so, and Kellogg’s has given it a shot by adding a chocolate coating to the classic sugared flakes.  You might consider that overkill — can your palate really handle frosting AND chocolate at the same time? — but it’s that kind of thinking that could have deprived the world of Peanut Butter Cups, so I’m prepared to give this a shot.

Frosted Flakes Chocolate Closeup

Opening the package immediately wafts a strong chocolate scent into your nostrils.  I wondered for half a second why it smelled so familiar before realizing it’s the identical aroma given off by Cocoa Krispies.  Promising, and a look at the flakes doesn’t change that assessment, though it is a little surprising.  I think I was expecting flakes that were entirely chocolate, but that’s not what these are.  Nor are they regular flakes with just a slight dusting of chocolate on them.  It’s a little hard to describe, but basically they look like Frosted Flakes that are in the process of converting to chocolate, like you caught them mid-transformation or something.  Remember in The Monster Squad when that cop shot Dracula, and they found him stuck halfway between human and bat forms?  It’s like that.  Also, don’t think about that scene before you eat these, it’s gross.

Frosted Flakes ChocolateUnfortunately, if the smell and the appearance of Frosted Flakes Chocolate are like the first 1:18 of “The Final Countdown,” the taste is the remaining three minutes and fifty-two seconds, where even Europe fans pack up their stuff and head for the exits.  I don’t know what it is, but for some reason the two flavors of frosting and chocolate don’t mesh well together.  It’s just too much, and I’m a guy who never shies away from the most cavity-inducing option.  For the first second or two they taste fine, but then it’s almost like a time delay kicks in and both the sugar and chocolate flavors burst onto the scene at once.  And like every pair of cops ever depicted on TV or in the movies, they don’t play well together.

It highlights the danger of going in with such high expectations, I guess, because it’s not like Frosted Flakes Chocolate are terrible.  They’re chocolatey, they’re sugary, they stay crunchy for the same length of time as the regular variety.  We’re all familiar with gimmick cereals and I guess I hoped these would be different, because chocolate + frosting = win, right?  But it’s like listening to two talented rappers battling, only instead of taking turns they’re both going at the same time, so everything sounds like, “Yo, your girlfriend your momma came over last really knows how to WORK that pole my rhymes are dope, you got no hope to cope, you’re a joke and my ASS, bitch.”  Then they both drop their microphones at once and you go deaf.

Or, as Antonio el Tigre would say: No son gr-r-randes!

(Nutrition Facts — 1 cup — 110 calories, 10 calories from fat, 1 gram of total fat, 1 gram of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 135 milligrams of sodium, 45 milligrams of potassium, 26 grams of total carbohydrates, 1 gram of dietary fiber, 12 grams of sugars, 13 grams of other carbohydrates, and 1 gram of protein.)

Item: Kellogg’s Choco Zucaritas… I mean, Frosted Flakes Chocolate
Price: $2.93
Size: 18 ounces
Purchased at: Walmart
Rating: 5 out of 10
Pros: Learning Spanish while I eat breakfast.  Smells just like Cocoa Krispies.  The Monster Squad.  Satisfying your curiosity.  Peanut butter cups.  The first 1:18 of “The Final Countdown.”  Both individual tastes are good.
Cons: Chocolate and frosting tastes do not mesh well.  That much hype is a lot to live up to, and it doesn’t.  Choosing French in school.  Simultaneous rap battles.  My rhymes.  No son grandes.

NEWS: Denny’s Taste of the Holidays Menu Could Be Why Santa Won’t Lose Weight This Year, Despite Pleas From His Reindeer

Give Me Some Sugar

I expected Denny’s to come up with some outrageous holiday fare. After all, they’ve been hitting some gluttonous home runs this year with their Baconalia and cheese crazy menus. However, after looking at the new items on their Taste of the Holidays Menu, I’m disappointed.

The new items include: Red Velvet Pancake Puppies with Cream Cheese, Arthur’s Milk & Cookies Shake, and Arthur’s Christmas Cookie Pancakes. I don’t know about you, but when I look at that list, I think nothing stands out. Having reindeer meat as a Grand Slam option would’ve been sufficient.

The Red Velvet Pancake Puppies consists of six bite-sized pieces made with white chocolate chips, sprinkled with powdered sugar and served with a side of cream cheese icing for dipping. Arthur’s Milk & Cookies Shake is a blend of vanilla ice cream and sugar cookies. It’s also topped with whipped cream and sprinkled with sugar cookie bits. Finally, Arthur’s Christmas Cookie Pancakes are three silver dollar pancakes with sugar cookies baked in. They’re topped with whipped cream and sugar cookie bits. The dish also comes with your choice of two bacon strips or two sausage links, one egg cooked to order and a side of syrup

Denny’s Arthur’s Christmas Cookie Pancakes have 660 calories, 21 grams of fat, 9 grams of saturated fat, 265 milligrams of cholesterol, 1,210 milligrams of sodium, 97 grams of carbohydrates, 59 grams of sugar, 2 grams of fiber, and 17 grams of protein. A 15-ounce serving of Arthur’s Milk & Cookies Shake has 790 calories, 41 grams of fat, 24 grams of saturated fat, 160 milligrams of cholesterol, 290 milligrams of sodium, 90 grams of carbohydrates, 75 grams of sugar, and 16 grams of protein.

NEWS: Stacy’s Pita Chips Simply Cocoa and Simply Gingerbread Sound Simply Seasonal

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I remember when pita chips first became popular. It was marketed as a healthier alternative to potato chips and I ate a lot of them at first. However, I have to admit since then I’ve eaten way more potato chips than pita chips. But, I do like them for their flavor, hearty crunch, and the way shoppers in Whole Foods nod at me with approval when they see it in my smaller than normal green shopping cart.

Although it’s been awhile since I’ve had pita chips, it looks like Stacy’s Pita Chips might get me to eat more with their limited edition Simply Cocoa and Simply Gingerbread flavors.

According to Stacy’s Pita Chips Facebook page, Simply Gingerbread is flavored using a blend of brown sugar, ginger, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg. As for Simply Cocoa, there isn’t much information about it. Like all Stacy’s Pita Chips, both flavors are all-natural and have no trans fat.

An ounce serving of Simply Gingerbread has 140 calories, 45 calories from fat, 5 grams of fat, 0.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0.5 grams of polyunsaturated fat, 4 grams of monounsaturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 90 milligrams of sodium, 19 grams of carbohydrates, less than 1 gram of fiber, 6 grams of sugar, and 2 grams of protein.

Source: Stacy’s Pita Chips Facebook Page and

Image courtesy of

REVIEW: Orville Redenbacher’s Flavor Singles (Sea Salt & Vinegar, White Cheddar, and Extra Cheese)

Orville Redenbacher’s Flavor Singles

Orville Redenbacher’s Flavor Singles gourmet popcorn introduces three new flavors to the line-up: Sea Salt & Vinegar, White Cheddar, and Extra Cheese. The hook is not only that they are sold separately in single packages, but also the fact that they come with little flavor packets, which you’re meant to sprinkle over your popcorn.

Some things aren’t meant to be experimented with. I get it — snack foods are the interminable guinea pig. There will never be a time when a snack food manufacturer won’t have the desire to tweak their signature item with a new flavor or texture or shape. Their goal is to create a need where there was never one before; to lure the itinerant snacker over to their side of the grocery aisle and convince him or her to lay down their hard-earned cash for their latest Frankenstein-like creation. But damn it, Orville, you sort of beefed with this one.

Orville Redenbacher’s Flavor Singles Extra Cheese Pouch

Let me explain. The only flavor I actually liked was Extra Cheese. Despite the neon orange glow of the cheese powder, the Extra Cheese popcorn possessed a rather robust cheese flavor, which, when applied to a bag full of freshly-popped, already-cheesy popcorn, made things quite delicious… and doubly cheesy. But when it came time to sample the other two, I was terribly disappointed.

Orville Redenbacher’s Flavor Singles  White Cheddar Pouch and Packaging

To start things off, the White Cheddar popcorn was really just regular white popcorn with no seasoning. All of the white cheddar flavor came from the packet of seasoning, but when I sprinkled it on, it tasted… well… a little mature. That is, the White Cheddar popcorn was a tad bitter. Now, I know that white cheddar itself has a more distinguished cheese flavor than regular cheddar, but on microwave popcorn, I don’t think it’s the best combination.

B-b-b-but wait, it gets worse! Sea Salt & Vinegar popcorn must be the popcorn they serve in Hell’s movie theater that only screens From Justin to Kelly on a loop. For $50 a pop. And it’s mandatory. Once again, the popcorn is unflavored, white popcorn to which you must add seasoning. I evenly distributed the flavor packet’s contents on my popcorn and was startled to taste nothing but vinegar. I couldn’t taste a bit of the sea salt. This was the ultimate in disgusting. I think the problem may be the popcorn itself. Sea salt and vinegar potato chips and French fries with sea salt and vinegar are sometimes an acquired taste (one which I have… ahem… acquired), but there is something about the base flavor of the fried potatoes themselves that I think balances the tanginess of the vinegar with the bite of the salt. That does not exist here with this popcorn. It is like eating straight-up vinegar on Styrofoam. Now, some of you may like that kind of flavor experience, but I will tell you right now, I am not a fan.

Orville Redenbacher’s Flavor Singles Closeup

I would probably go back for the Extra Cheese flavor again, since it fulfills my expectations of what a cheesy snack food should look and taste like. However the other two flavor experiments, White Cheddar and Sea Salt & Vinegar were not as satisfactory, with one of them being an abject failure in the realm of culinary innovation. I could only manage a couple bites of each, and boy, those were some rough bites. Looks like my friends will be receiving tins of leftover popcorn this Christmas! It will be mandatory.

(Nutrition Facts – serving size varies – 2 Tbsp (about 5 cups – 6.5 cups popped) – Sea Salt & Vinegar – 150 calories, 7 grams of fat, 3.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 1 gram of polyunsaturated fat, 2.5 grams of monounsaturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 280 milligrams of sodium, 21 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of sugar, 3 grams of fiber, and 2 grams of protein. White Cheddar – 140 calories, 8 grams of fat, 3.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 1 gram of polyunsaturated fat, 3 grams of monounsaturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 350 milligrams of sodium, 18 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of sugar, 3 grams of fiber, and 3 grams of protein. Extra Cheese – 150 calories, 8 grams of fat, 4 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 1 gram of polyunsaturated fat, 3 grams of monounsaturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 330 milligrams of sodium, 19 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of sugar, 3 grams of fiber, and 3 grams of protein.)

Other Orville Redenbacher’s Flavor Singles reviews:
Junk Food Guy (Salt & Vinegar)

Item: Orville Redenbacher’s Flavor Singles (Sea Salt & Vinegar, White Cheddar, and Extra Cheese)

Price: $1.49
Size: 3.24 ounces
Purchased at: Albertson’s
Rating: 1 out of 10 (Sea Salt & Vinegar)
Rating: 3 out of 10 (White Cheddar)
Rating: 7 out of 10 (Extra Cheese)
Pros: Two words: Extra Cheese. Doubly cheesy snack foods. Mandatory gift-receiving. Apparently there’s money circulating in Hell, so at least you can save up for something nice down there.
Cons: Three words: Sea Salt & Vinegar. White Cheddar flavor is a tad bitter. The popcorn itself in the White Cheddar and Sea Salt & Vinegar packages is unflavored. Paying money in Hell to watch an American Idol reject sing and dance.

WEEK IN REVIEWS – 11/12/2011

Water bottles

Here are a few product reviews posted this week from other blogs we follow.

Bottled water with caffeine isn’t very impressive. Bottled water with radioactive materials that could mess with my DNA and give me super powers would be impressive. (via Food Junk)

Worx may work, but there is something Worx needs to work on — spelling. (via Possessed by Caffeine)

What would I do for this Klondike bar? Probably nothing and just let it melt away. Unless I was starving to death, then I’d kill someone for it. (via Crazy Food Dude)

Jamie Oliver makes junk food? Am I in an alternate universe where the Top Gear guys mostly review reasonably priced cars and put stars in an expensive supercar? (via Gobble Monkey)

Arby’s Super Reuben does look super, and when I say “looks super” I mean it looks like it was killed with kryptonite. (via Would I Buy It Again)