SPOTTED (SEASONAL EDITION) – 9/17/2021

Here are some new seasonal products found on store shelves by your fellow readers. If you’ve tried any of them, share your thoughts in the comments.

Great Value Fruity Sparkles Syrup
Great Value Fruity Sparkles Syrup
Great Value Jack O Lantern Chocolate Cookie Kit
Great Value Jack O’ Lantern Chocolate Cookie Kit

Great Value Whoopie Pie Cookie KitGreat Value Whoopie Pie Cookie Kit[/caption]

Great Value Day of the Dead Paint A Sugar Cookie Kit
Great Value Day of the Dead Paint-A-Sugar Cookie Kit

(Spotted by Robbie at Walmart.)

Annie s Limited Edition Organic Caramel Apple Bunny Grahams
Annie’s Limited Edition Organic Caramel Apple Bunny Grahams

(Spotted by Amanda Y at Target.)

Clif Bar White Chocolate Cranberry
Clif Bar White Chocolate Cranberry

(Spotted by Tommy at Wegmans.)

Utz Witch s Brew Halloween Party Mix Treat Bags
Utz Witch’s Brew Halloween Party Mix

(Spotted by Rachel J at Safeway.)

Utz Witch s Brew Halloween Party Mix Treat Bags
Utz Witch’s Brew Halloween Party Mix Treat Bags

(Spotted by Amanda Y at Walmart.)

Good  Gather Limited Edition Original Apple Cider
Good & Gather Limited Edition Original Apple Cider

(Spotted by Robbie at Target.)

Popcornopolis Halloween 12 Cone Gift Pack 2021
Popcornopolis Halloween 12-Cone Gift Pack 2021 Design

(Spotted by Robbie at Sam’s Club.)

Stuffed Puffs Halloween Cookies  N Creme Filled Marshmallows
Stuffed Puffs Halloween Cookies ‘N Creme Filled Marshmallows

(Spotted by Amanda Y at Walmart.)

Warheads Halloween Grubs
Warheads Halloween Grubs

(Spotted by Robbie at Dollar Tree.)

Kellogg s Rice Krispies Treats with Glow in the Dark Pouches
Kellogg’s Rice Krispies Treats with Glow in the Dark Pouches

(Spotted by DJ at Walmart.)

REVIEW: Salted Caramel Twix

Salted Caramel Twix Wrapper

When whispers of a new Twix flavor circulated on social media a few weeks ago, junk food fans reveled in the anticipation. Would this new flavor be a crowd-pleasing birthday cake, a seasonal pumpkin spice, or something completely unexpected, like purple ube with a mango twist? (Let the record show that was my idea first, Twix!) Would the long sought-after Sugar Cookie Twix finally hit shelves? Would we chocolate fiends soon be granted a Middle Twix?

Enter Salted Caramel Twix for the big reveal. Sea salt joins the beloved combination of caramel, shortbread, and milk chocolate in this new bar, packaged in a shiny teal wrapper.

With this news, the part of me that loves odd and novel flavors experienced the emotional equivalent of a sad trumpet sound effect, but the part of me that remains slightly obsessed with salted caramel was thrilled. I would rather enjoy a familiar flavor executed perfectly than novelty for novelty’s sake.

Salted Caramel Twix Coating

Although Salted Caramel Twix is also available in King Size, I opted for the standard size. The petite twin sticks look like the original Twix — although a little smaller — inside and out. I was expecting a visual hint of salt, either embedded in the caramel or sprinkled on top of the chocolate coating, but there was nary a grain in sight. Note that if you are vehemently anti-salted caramel, someone could use this Twix to play a trick on you.

With each bite of the Salted Caramel Twix, I experienced the same trajectory of flavor. For the first several chews, the bar tastes largely like an original Twix: creamy milk chocolate, sweet chewy caramel, and crunchy cookie. Then, a punchy salt flavor comes through and lasts for three or four seconds before the taste mellows back into original territory. The saltiness isn’t intense enough to produce a strong mingling of sweet and salty, but it was intense enough to make me incredibly thirsty after eating one stick.

Salted Caramel Twix Split

Tasting one element at a time, I believe the salt is baked into the shortbread cookie, not the caramel. The separation of salt from caramel might contribute to the fleeting saltiness of the bar as a whole. When located in the least sweet element, the salt needs some help being introduced to the sweet.

The thought of salt being separated from caramel until reunited by someone’s mandibles is somewhat tragic. If the salt is not inside the caramel, is it truly salted caramel? Begin the philosophical discussion in the comments below.

Rating the Salted Caramel Twix is tough, because we all know that caramel, shortbread, and chocolate combine to make magic. Yet, the bar’s muted salty/sweet contrast underwhelms. It neither capitalizes on the power of a simple flavor nor deviates strongly enough from the original Twix to feel exciting. Salted caramel fans may enjoy this twist on the original, but it won’t make them forget about the countless other like-flavored products available to satisfy their sweet (and salty) tooth.

Purchased Price: 88 cents
Size: 1.41 oz bar (40 g)
Purchased at: Walmart
Rating: 6 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: 200 calories, 9 grams of fat, 5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, less than 5 milligrams of cholesterol, 180 milligrams of sodium, 27 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 20 grams of sugar, and 2 grams of protein.

SPOTTED: Takis Fuego Crisps

Takis Fuego Crisps

Takis Fuego has found its way onto wavy chips, frozen cheese rolls, popcorn, sunflower seeds, nuts, puffy cheese snacks, and of course, rolled tortilla chips. Now it’s on Pringles-like crisps. I look forward to Takis Fuego Rice Cakes or Takis Fuego Meat Sticks. Oh wait, I’m being told the meat sticks are already a thing. Well, how about Takis Fuego Breakfast Cereal? (Spotted by Brad at CVS.)

SPOTTED – 9/16/2021

Here are some interesting new products found on store shelves by your fellow readers. If you’ve tried any of the products, share your thoughts about them in the comments.

Edwards Signatures Berry Whipped CheesecakeEdwards Signatures Berry Whipped Cheesecake[/caption]

Edwards Signatures Lemon Creme Pie
Edwards Signatures Lemon Creme Pie

(Spotted by Amanda Y at Kroger.)

Progresso Spicy Chicken Tortilla and Spicy Italian Sytle Wedding Soup
Progresso Spicy Chicken Tortilla and Spicy Italian-Sytle Wedding Soup
Progresso Spicy Chicken Noodle with Jalapeno
Progresso Spicy Chicken Noodle with Jalapeno
Progresso Spicy Jambalaya with Sausage  Ham
Progresso Spicy Jambalaya with Sausage & Ham
Progresso Chipotle Corn Chowder and Spicy Chicken Tortilla
Progresso Chipotle Corn Chowder

(Spotted by Jarred at Publix.)

Bubbie s Biscotti Belgian Chocolate Marble Bit Scotti
Bubbie’s Biscotti Belgian Chocolate Marble Bit-Scotti

(Spotted by Amanda Y at Sprouts.)

Walmart Brownie Crisps
Walmart Brownie Crisps

(Spotted by Robbie at Walmart.)

Country Archer Provisions BBQ Plant Based Jerky
Country Archer Provisions BBQ Plant-Based Jerky
Country Archer Provisions Plant Based Jerky  Spiced Bacon and Teriyaki
Country Archer Provisions Plant-Based Jerky (Spiced Bacon and Teriyaki)

(Spotted by Sylvia at Sprouts.)

Cybele s Free to Eat Red Velvet Soft Baked Superb Cookies
Cybele’s Free to Eat Red Velvet Soft-Baked Superb Cookies

(Spotted by Sarah R at Whole Foods.)

REVIEW: Hershey’s Oat Made Chocolate Bars

Hershey s Oat Made Chocolate Bars Wrappers

What are Hershey’s Oat Made Chocolate Bars?

Hershey’s new Oat Made line is the company’s first venture into plant-based chocolate. Made with oat milk instead of dairy, Oat Made bars are vegan, non-GMO, and made with Rainforest Alliance certified cocoa.

Two varieties are available: Classic Dark and Extra Creamy Almond & Sea Salt.

How are they?

When I first heard about Hershey’s Oat Made line, I was fascinated by its credentials. As an aspiring candy historian, I want my finger on the pulse of everything new in the world of chocolate. Also, I enjoy experimenting with milk alternatives not out of personal dietary need, but simply curiosity and awareness of friends and family who do have these needs. The presence of oat milk – a favorite dairy alternative – in chocolate seemed too interesting to ignore.

Hershey s Oat Made Chocolate Bars Dark

First, the Classic Dark bar is a convincing duplicate of its dairy-infused cousin. The flavor perfectly balances bitter and sweet. Breaking the bar into squares yields a satisfying snap – often a sign of higher quantities of cocoa butter – but this firm bite easily transitions into a smooth texture without the chalkiness dark chocolate can sometimes have. The bar is definitely on par with comparable products from higher-priced brands like Lindt or Ghiradelli.

Hershey s Oat Made Chocolate Bars Creamy 1

The Extra Creamy Almond & Sea Salt bar is meant to mimic milk chocolate, and while it doesn’t taste much like the classic Hershey’s milk chocolate, I mean this in the best possible way. The bar smells and tastes of cocoa powder, resulting in a richer and more authentic chocolate flavor without the mild tang characteristic of classic Hershey’s.

Hershey s Oat Made Chocolate Bars Creamy 2

“Extra Creamy” is a bit of a misnomer, because as the bar melts, a gritty texture emerges. The bar contains a generous amount of almond pieces, which provide a hint of salt and a satisfying crunch that distracts from the grittiness.

Anything else you need to know?

Both bars are part of a limited test release from now through June 2022. They will be available in select stores across the United States. I haven’t seen them in the wild, but as of this writing you can order them from Target.com.

Conclusion:

Whether you are searching to satisfy a dietary need or just trying to expand your confectionary horizons, Hershey’s Oat Made chocolate bars are satisfying options with the potential for additional innovation. Especially for the price point, either variety’s rich flavor would contribute nicely to a s’more.

Purchased Price: $1.99 each
Size: 1.55 oz (43 g)
Purchased at: Target.com
Rating: 8 out of 10 (Classic Dark), 7 out of 10 (Extra Creamy Almond & Sea Salt)
Nutrition Facts: Classic Dark – 210 calories, 16 grams of fat, 10 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 0 milligrams of sodium, 22 grams of carbohydrates, 5 grams of fiber, 13 grams of sugar, and 4 grams of protein. Extra Creamy Almond & Sea Salt – 230 calories, 16 grams of fat, 9 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 30 milligrams of sodium, 24 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of fiber, 16 grams of sugar, and 3 grams of protein.