REVIEW: Doritos Tangy Pickle

Doritos Tangy Pickle Bag

What is Doritos Tangy Pickle?

It’s a pickle-flavored Doritos that’s exclusive to Dollar General and Circle K locations. (Why does it seem as if Dollar General gets all the cool exclusive flavors nowadays?) This pucker-inducing tortilla chip variety made its North American debut in 2018 in Canada under the name Doritos Intense Pickle.

How is it?

If you’ve had any pickle-flavored chip, these have that same salty and tangy flavor. But the smell and taste aren’t as potent as I hoped. When I stick my nose into the bag, the aroma is surprisingly not dominated by tangy fumes. The corn chip base comes through as much as the seasoning.

As for how they taste, with the first few chips, the pickle flavor is potent. But, the more I ate, the less prominent it became, allowing the corn base to be more noticeable than I’d like. I solved this issue by allowing my taste buds to rest and reset every so often.

Doritos Tangy Pickle Back

The back of the bag shouts, “Crunch Sour Punch.” However, while the chips are crunchy and somewhat sour, I’m not sure they pack a sour punch. Well, I mean, they don’t meet my expectations and desires.

I don’t know if other people experience this or if I should see a doctor, but every time I eat something really sour, I feel it in my jaw with a weird tingling sensation. And what I’m about to admit might be too much information, but I REALLY enjoy that feeling. Sadly, these chips don’t offer that to me.

While not perfect, these are tasty enough that I greedily went through both bags I purchased within several hours and would buy more if I could easily buy them without resorting to eBay. (I don’t have Dollar General or Circle K stores near me.)

Anything else you need to know?

Doritos Tangy Pickle Closeup

The tortilla chips aren’t green. Although the image on the front of the package sure looks like they are. Or maybe my eyes are influenced by the rest of the artwork? In real life, they do have a faint white coating.

Oh, while I’m on the subject of green Doritos, Mountain Dew-flavored Doritos need to come back for a limited time. This year would be appropriate since it’s Mountain Dew’s 80th birthday. DO THE DEW…DORITOS! (But don’t make it a Dollar General exclusive!)

Conclusion:

If you’re one of those people who purchase pickle Pringles or pick up pickle potato chips, Doritos Tangy Pickle will appeal to your taste buds.

Purchased Price: A price that’s more than I should pay on eBay
Size: 2 3/4 oz. bag
Purchased at: eBay (available at Dollar General and Circle K)
Rating: 7 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (about 12 chips) 140 calories, 7 grams of fat, 1 gram of saturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 260 milligrams of sodium, 18 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, 0 grams of sugar, and 2 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Taco Bell Grilled Cheese Burrito

Taco Bell Grilled Cheese Burrito Innards

As a kid, I didn’t grow up with grilled cheese sandwiches like other American youth. No, instead my own personal comfort food was always a hot tortilla, toasted light brown on a comal and always with a fistful of cheese.

It’s kind of magic that Taco Bell has not only recaptured that, but improved on it gloriously with its Grilled Cheese Burrito, going as far as to actually coat the whole damn thing in a remarkably thin layer of cheese on the outside.

When I first heard about it, even knowing the hungry geniuses that rock and rule the Bell, I was a bit skeptical about them pulling it off, but they did.

Opening up that warm foil wrapper, the cheese dutifully spilled out of the loosely wrapped tortilla as a sun yellow glaze tints the presumably once-white burrito sheath.

Taco Bell Grilled Cheese Burrito Innards  1

Thick and hearty, the sizable girth comes from the three-cheese blend, seasoned beef, seasoned rice, reduced fat sour cream, nacho cheese sauce, chipotle sauce, and those festive red tortilla strips that add some crunch.

Much like the aforementioned grilled cheese sandwich, this burrito hit my tongue with a mock-buttery goodness that gives off the immediate taste of the well-worn and well-used grill, with the first layer of cheesiness and tortilla recklessly coming together in a passionate embrace.

Taco Bell Grilled Cheese Burrito Innards Open

But then you bite through the crispy outsides to unleash a torrent of Taco Bell’s beautifully mixed and matched insides, with the tangy cheeses and tart sour cream being the first to flood through. But look out, here comes the seasoned meat and chipotle sauce mixed somewhere in there with the rice to fill your stomach after every nosh and nibble.

While I might have had grilled cheese tortillas as my comfort food growing up, I’ve never had anything like the Taco Bell Grilled Cheese Burrito. And, thank God I didn’t because I would have been lounging in that aura of comfortability way more than I ever should have because it’s a faux-Mexican masterpiece.

Now, as a grown-up, I have the self control to stop at two or three.

Possibly four.

Definitely five.

Purchased Price: $2.99
Size: N/A
Rating: 10 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: 710 calories, 39 grams of fat, 15 grams of saturated fat, 1 gram of trans fat, 75 milligrams of cholesterol, 1490 milligrams of sodium, 64 grams of carbohydrates, 7 grams of fiber, 4 grams of sugar, and 26 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Jelly Belly Bean Boozled Fiery Five Challenge

Jelly Belly Bean Boozled Fiery Five Challenge

What is the Jelly Belly Bean Boozled Fiery Five Challenge?

There’s no official connection between Bertie Botts Every Flavor Bean and Jelly Belly’s Bean Boozled line of jelly beans. Yet, I imagine we have Mr. Bott to thank for not knowing if the next candy confection we eat is chocolate pudding or canned dog food flavored.

Similarly, I like to imagine we have a pyromancer to thank for the Bean Boozled Fiery Five Challenge, which features five chili flavorings of escalating spiciness.

How is it?

I was impressed to notice the ingredient statement included actual chili puree from each of the chili varieties. Perhaps the R&D process for these involved less magical fire manipulation and more Magic Bullet Blender manipulation. Either way, I’m encouraged to think these beans might offer the kind of authentic chili flavor a heat seeker like me wants.

Sriracha

Jelly Belly Bean Boozled Fiery Five Challenge Sriracha

I pop a single bean into my mouth, and there’s a quick spicy bite at the back of my throat, just like actual sriracha sauce. The heat is immediate, but its rapidly quenched by sweetness. These would never be included in a normal mix of jelly beans, but if they were, I’d think the amount of spice was surprisingly bold. As a spicy novelty, they’re fairly tame.

Jalapeno

Jelly Belly Bean Boozled Fiery Five Challenge Jalapeno

There are some grassy, vegetal flavors from the puree that set these apart from the sriracha. The spice level is similar, but is better balanced by the jalapeno flavor and so seems milder.

Cayenne

Jelly Belly Bean Boozled Fiery Five Challenge Cayenne

These have a slower buildup of heat, with a deeper burn that fills the mouth. I must admit that I was a bit nervous going into the Fiery Five Challenge, but this middle entry has a very manageable amount of heat. Bring it on, Jelly Belly.

Habanero

Jelly Belly Bean Boozled Fiery Five Challenge Habanero

Now we’re getting somewhere. The heat is still very tolerable, but I had to do that thing when you suck in air through your mouth to cool the tongue. The fruity sweetness balances the spice to provide a pleasant experience.

Carolina Reaper

Jelly Belly Bean Boozled Fiery Five Challenge Carolina Reaper

I was getting a bit cocky up until the habanero, but that one was spicy enough so that I’m apprehensive going into this one. I pop it into my mouth and immediately taste Tabasco. It’s spicy enough that I actually get up from my seat and start searching the kitchen for something to cool my mouth. By the time I arrive, the heat had diminished enough so that ice water sufficed. The Carolina Reapers are certainly very spicy, but I declare victory over the Fiery Five Challenge.

All at One Time

Do you think more people eat jelly beans individually or willy nilly by the handful? I’m more of a one-by-one, guy myself, with some artful flavor mixing after I’ve sampled them all.

In the spirit of challenge, I take a handful and glance at them to make sure there’s a generally representative mix (and maybe not too many Caroline Reapers) and shovel them into my mouth.

Uh oh.

You know that scene at the end of Terminator 2, where the T-1000 falls into the vat molten metal, loses control of its mimicry, and then randomly morphs through all the forms it’s taken throughout the film? That’s what this is like. The heat of 15+ beans is much greater than when daintily sampling them one by one, with each bean’s distinct flavors randomly rising and falling.

Ice water won’t be enough, and I don’t have ice cream, the gold standard chile cure. Full-fat Greek yogurt does enough so that I’m not flailing around like a robot assassin from the future in a foundry, but only time completely cools my mouth.

Jelly Belly Bean Boozled Fiery Five Challenge Game

Anything else you need to know?

I work in food manufacturing and have participated in hundreds of sensory panels during my career. Let me tell you that the surest way to remove all joy from a food you love is to eat small bites of it every day for years.

This can actually be helpful because the question you’re supposed to be answering when sampling a sensory sample isn’t “Is this good?” or “Do I like this?” but, “Does this taste like it’s supposed to?”

I bring this up because I enjoy imagining the sensory testers in the Bertie Botts and Bean Boozled factory tasting vomit flavored beans and asking, “Do these taste enough like vomit? Or should they be more vomity?”

Conclusion:

The fact that Jelly Belly was able to get real chile flavor into these is impressive. Despite that, this isn’t the kind of product you eat because they taste good. They’re a fun challenge, and you knew if you were up for it even before you read this review. Go with that when deciding to purchase or not.

DISCLOSURE: I received a free sample of the product. Doing so did not influence my review in any way.

Purchased Price: FREE
Size: 3.5 Oz (99 grams)
Purchased at: Received from Jelly Belly
Rating: 7 out of 10

Nutrition Facts

110 calories, 0 grams of fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 45 milligrams of sodium, 27 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 20 grams of sugar, and 0 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Dairy Queen Nestle Drumstick Blizzard

Dairy Queen Nestle Drumstick Blizzard

What is the Nestle Drumstick Blizzard?

It’s the ultimate timesaver! Have you ever wanted to enjoy a Nestle Drumstick and a Dairy Queen Blizzard but simply could not find the time for both in your busy schedule? Your problem is solved with the Nestle Drumstick Blizzard. Crowned as the Blizzard of the Month for July, it contains chocolate-covered Drumstick pieces, peanuts, and, of course, vanilla soft serve.

How is it?

Dairy Queen Nestle Drumstick Blizzard Top

We all know that the best part of a Drumstick is the butt piece. Sure, that doesn’t sound very appetizing, but you know what I’m talking about — that last bite at the bottom of the cone filled with solid chocolate. For me, that’s really the only reason to eat one because the ice cream part is not great, and it’s not even ice cream but rather “vanilla frozen dairy dessert.”

Dairy Queen Nestle Drumstick Blizzard Nugget 1

The “Drumstick pieces” are chocolate-coated sugar cone, just like the butt chunk! I did manage to rescue a couple of them intact from my Blizzard for your viewing pleasure.

Dairy Queen Nestle Drumstick Blizzard Nugget 2

Technically they are Drumstick pieces, but DQ isn’t smashing up full cones here. Instead, it is using small square pieces. I’m sorry to say that the rescue of the two pictured above was short-lived, and I’m not sorry to say they were quite delicious on their own.

Dairy Queen Nestle Drumstick Blizzard Spoon

The peanuts didn’t add much to the taste, and their texture is similar enough to the cone pieces that they kind of get lost in the mix. They don’t detract from the overall taste, but don’t expect a strong peanut flavor.

Anything else you need to know?

Apparently, the Drumstick Blizzard was available at Dairy Queens in Canada for a time in 2015, but if you want to know why it took five years to make it to the United States, I have no answer for you.

Also, the Drumstick was invented in 1928 by one of the Parker Brothers — not the Parker Brothers responsible for Monopoly and a bunch of other board games, though. The two sets of Parkers were both around about the same time (Monopoly came out in 1935), so I wonder if they knew of each other and had some sort of rivalry. It seems, however, I’m the only one to wonder that because the internet has nothing to offer on the topic.

Conclusion:

This Blizzard tastes exactly how you’d expect if you chopped off a bunch of Drumstick end pieces and blended them with peanuts and DQ soft serve. In other words, it’s awesome.

Purchased Price: $4.09
Size: Medium
Rating: 9 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (Medium) 1,030 calories, 53 grams of fat, 37 grams of saturated fat, 1 gram of trans fat, 60 milligrams of cholesterol, 350 milligrams of sodium, 116 grams of carbohydrates, 4 grams of dietary fiber, 93 grams of sugar, and 22 grams of protein.

FAST FOOD NEWS: Papa John’s Shaq-a-Roni Pizza

News Shaq a roni

Papa John’s is collaborating with one of its board members and restaurant owners, Shaquille O’Neal, to launch the new Shaq-a-Roni Pizza.

It’s an extra large pizza made with Papa John’s fresh, never frozen six-ingredient dough that’s topped with extra cheese and extra pepperoni, which is cut into Papa John’s largest foldable slice size ever. The pizza has a $12 suggested price.

According to its press release, for ever Shaq-a-Roni Pizza that’s sold, one dollar will be donated to The Papa John’s Foundation for Building Community to support COVID-19 relief, the fight against racial injustice, Boys & Girls Clubs of America, UNCF (United Negro College Fund), and general community involvement.

For those who order the pizza, there’s an exclusive Snapchat AR experience. Using the Snapchat app, customers simply point their camera at the pizza box to reveal a 3-D surprise.

(Image via Papa John’s.)

BACK ON SHELVES: Cocoa Puffs Brownie Crunch Cereal (2020)

Cocoa Puffs Brownie Crunch Cereal  2020

I thought General Mills used the exact same graphics that’s on the 2011 box, but it’s slightly different. The two most notable items with the box above are Sonny having a thumb and Sonny not looking like he licked a bowl of brownie batter. (Spotted by @TheJoshCatlett at Dierbergs.)