REVIEW: Yasso Frozen Greek Yogurt Bars (Blueberry and Strawberry)

Yasso Greek Frozen Yogurt Bars

The chronology of yogurt in this country reads like a veritable timeline of fads and one-hit wonders. From BMX riding kids glurping Go-Gurt to Jamie Lee Curtis giving us advice on tooting, we’ve by now been there and tried that. Somewhere along the way we jumped on board the Greek yogurt express, shelling out double for what we’d pay for regular yogurt and stumbling over the name of everyone’s favorite Greek yogurt company like a county music singer trying to learn French.

With the latest yogurt trends leaning toward lactose-free yogurt and foreign fermented dairy products with names I can’t pronounce, Greek yogurt has had to up its game to garner attention. Fortunately, thanks to two hippie dudes in Vermont and a host of other companies, we’ve recently seen an explosion in “Frozen” Greek Yogurt, which is not to be confused with the kind of frozen Greek yogurt that happens as a result of me sticking my container of Fage into the freezer by mistake.

Yasso might sound like it’s a character of ambiguous gender out of the smash N-64 hit Yoshi’s Story*, but in reality it’s the name of a frozen Greek yogurt company dreamed up by a sporty husband and wife team. How sporty? Let’s just say their website boasts of a 4:15 mile accomplishment, which, after reading, I was hoping would also be in my future if I ate their frozen Greek yogurt bars. Suddenly, the whole Achilles story is coming into focus.

Yasso Greek Frozen Yogurt Bars Blueberry

With “all of the goodness, none of the guilt,” Yasso’s 75-gram bars pack only 70 calories, and proudly boasts of containing no corn syrup and no fat. I won’t lie to you; with those kind of stats I was expecting the Blueberry and Strawberry bars I sampled to also contain no taste. Surprisingly they did contain some taste, although unsurprisingly it was not the kind of taste which really gets me excited for a frozen yogurt bar. Perhaps, if you play ice cream truck music in the background and rapidly slurp down a Great White Shark Pop or Flintstone’s Push-Pop after eating these greek yogurt bars, then you’ll get excited, but otherwise, you know you’re basically eating something healthy with the sole intention of being healthy.

Yasso Greek Frozen Yogurt Bars Strawberry

Both bars have a dull sweetness that I’m willing to bet most people would find completely underwhelming. Using no other sweetener aside from sugar (not even fructose) the bars almost seem to restrain the actual pureed fruit base, which is overshadowed by a clean, albeit slightly boring, milky flavor. Had I not known the blueberry flavor was blueberry, I would have been hard pressed to identify it as anything but “berry,” and unfortunately found no tart or puckering quality about it. The strawberry flavor had a better showing — what, with some actual texture of those little seed things on the outside of the berries — but again, the fruit flavor was less fruit and more mild and milky yogurt. Decent, but not great, and while healthy, not healthy enough to shave roughly three and a half minutes off my mile time.

I love fruit as much as the next snack food junkie looking to remove the compunction of downing a bag of Fritos, but I also know where to pick my battles. If you’re looking for the most insanely healthy conception of something frozen on a stick this side of attempting to grow asparagus in Antarctica, then these bars are right up your alley. If, however, you’re just a guy looking to try to get a little balance in your dessert life, then might I suggest the tried and true method of sticking a banana in the freezer and calling it an afternoon.

*If anyone has a copy of this game they are willing to part with, I would very much appreciate it if you’d drop me a line. More to the point, buying it from you would make my life.

(Editor’s Note/Disclosure: We received free coupons for free samples for free from the folk at Yasso for free. Free. Free. Free.)

(Nutrition Facts – 1 bar - 70 calories, 0 calories from fat, 0 grams of fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams trans fat, 5 milligrams of cholesterol, 35-40 milligrams of sodium, 12 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 11 grams of sugar, 6 grams of protein, and 15% calcium.)

Other Yasso Frozen Greek Yogurt Bar reviews:
Fro-Yo Girl

Item: Yasso Frozen Greek Yogurt Bars (Blueberry and Strawberry)
Price: $4.99 (Coupons provided by Yasso super-athletic marketing team)
Size: 4 pack
Purchased at: Safeway
Rating: 4 out of 10 (Blueberry)
Rating: 5 out of 10 (Strawberry)
Pros: Super healthy. No fat and six grams of protein. Milky fresh taste. No ice crystals. Getting on board the the Greek yogurt bandwagon again. Excuse to YouTube Go-Gurt commercials.
Cons: Vapid level of sweetness. Not guaranteed to make a kid run faster or jump higher. Expensive and somewhat difficult to find in stores. Jamie Lee Curtis commercials. Feelings of athletic impotency.

NEWS: If Angry Birds Is A Great Time Killer, Then I Hope Angry Birds Cheese Nips Are Great At Killing Hunger

Any takers?

When something in popular culture becomes a Cheese Nips variety, isn’t that a sign it’s become too popular and perhaps it should be destroyed? SpongeBob SquarePants has his own Cheese Nips, Dora the Explorer has her own Cheese Nips, and now Angry Birds have their own Cheese Nips.

The naturally flavored cheddar baked snack crackers are shaped like the birds and pigs from the extremely popular video game which you can play on your phone, tablet, computer, or television. Those damn birds and pigs are everywhere. I swear, every time I see those damn pigs, Babe looks a little less cute and I feel a little less sorry about Wilbur losing Charlotte.

Although, to be honest, these Angry Birds Cheese Nips interest me because they would give me the opportunity to feed hungry birds by shooting Angry Birds into the air with a slingshot.

A serving of 32 crackers has 130 calories, 4.5 grams of fat, 1.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat (but contains partially hydrogenated oil), 160 milligrams of sodium, 21 grams of carbohydrates, less than 1 gram of fiber, 0 grams of sugar, and 3 grams of protein.

Image via flickr user quinn.anya / CC BY SA 2.0

REVIEW: Ruffles Ultimate Kickin’ Jalapeño Ranch

Ruffles Ultimate Kickin' Jalapeño Ranch

I have a lot of pet peeves and I collect them like weird old Memaws who hoard those cloying Precious Moment figurines. What is with those scary things? They are always displayed on the dusty shelves of the entertainment center or a bannister. And those black empty dewy eyes staring at me (which I know are really portals to Hell)…it gives me the creeps enough to piss me off.

You know what else pisses me off? When I take a chip and dip it into a bowl of creamy French onion and it breaks off. I’m left staring at the other half stuck in a white thick pool like someone in quicksand. And then I take another potato chip hoping to rescue that one and it breaks too. And then I take another one…well, you get the idea.

By the end, there are so many potato shards sticking out of the bowl it looks like an unholy creation of the unhealthiest cereal ever made… and sometimes when no one is looking, inebriated and alone, I’ll take a spoon and eat it. I just need a chip that can withstand the simple act of dipping.

Ruffles Ultimate has provided the solution to that very problem. However, there is a slight catch because these are only for men. For those of you who drink Dr Pepper Ten, you now have something to eat while watching bum fight videos.

Now if a chip specifically made for the male gender sounds very stupid, it is. I’m not really sure what distinguishes these from the asexual kinds except for the vapid “bro-speak” that adorns the bag. The variety I bought is not just Jalapeño Ranch, they are also graced with “kickin'”.

Too cool for the letter “G” and apparently much too cool for women, hermaphrodites and anyone who isn’t man enough to eat these. Besides, sissies, these ain’t just Ruffles…these are Ruffles Ultimate (rolls eyes). I mean these are so manly that Maxim magazine, home of the ubiquitous 100 top hottest whatever lists, threw a party heralding the second coming of Christ in chip form.

If I sound jaded, I am, because it gets worse. Basically, we have potato chips for the Axe fragrance crowd.

Ruffles Ultimate Kickin' Jalapeño Ranch Closeup Ridges

There is a nice earthy musk that greets you when you open the bag. The chips are thicker and “tougher” like kettle chips on steroids. The ridges of the chips are comical as they look exaggerated and the grooves are deep, like miniature fjords. In fact, they appear like the way comic strip artists draw a ridged potato chip. The package even says in fake chalk writing, “Hardercore Ridges for Hardcore Dips.”

Hardercore? Yes, Frito-Lay not only introduced us to potato chips for a man but they gave us a new word as well. I can only wait for the inevitably Hardestcore snack that someone will manufacture to top it. Maybe it will be aimed at jacked up he-men with two penises (one for doing it and the other so he can take a leak while doing it because he is 110 percent man, yo! ONE HUNDRED TEN PERCENT!!).

Frito-Lay must think men are idiots because right on the bag is an arrow pointing to a jar of their hardcore dips like Ruffles Ultimate Smokehouse Bacon. “Oh, is that what they mean by dip??? I thought they meant the handicapped kid I picked on because I’m a real macho man!” (Note: If you do pick on people with handicaps, there is a special place in hell for you.)

There is also a Beef N’ Cheddar Ruffles Ultimate dip, and you know that’s definitely for a man because it’s “N”, not the wussy proper spelling “and.” Maybe I should change my name to “J’ff” because only wimps need that dopey “e.” All this aggro speak makes me want to smash stuff and urinate on something to mark my territory.

I mean, do you expect anything less? They have the gall to call these Ruffles the ULTIMATE version. The only ultimate thing these have accomplished is a huge failure. Sure they can withstand the dip. I’m pretty sure you can dip these in ice cream and they won’t break…but the taste is damn awful. The chips immediately have a grassy cucumber flavor which is revolting. I like a Pimm’s cup or a floral gin and cucumber cocktail every so often, but in a chip? It is disgusting.

Ruffles Ultimate Kickin' Jalapeño Ranch Closeup

Even though the oversized flecks of green are supposed to resemble its hardercore ranch, it has a faint ranch taste. The heat of the jalapeño is even more timid and flaccid. Seriously, people who like hot peppers treat jalapeño like candy. Granted, I am one of those people, but even for the ordinary consumer, the pepper should have way more fire. Disliking this chip is an understatement…I loathe it.

Is there anything positive? A few things come to mind. Now the weak heat lingers like a whining baby and the chip is not greasy which is surprising considering the hardercore thickness of these. Logically, these chips will not break on your average onion/ranch/southwestern chipotle cream blackbean bacon dip unless it is made of cement mix.

I must admit that I am getting damned tired of this new trend of food products aimed at men because it’s just dumb. I haven’t tried the other varieties of this Ultimate Hardercore chip, but I will be avoiding these chips like the way I avoid Diane Keaton movies.

(Nutrition Facts – 1 ounce/about 10 chips – 160 calories, 90 calories from fat, 10 grams of fat, 1.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 170 milligrams of sodium, 310 milligrams of potassium, 15 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of dietary fiber, 1 gram of sugars, and 2 grams of protein)

Other Ruffles Ultimate Kickin’ Jalapeño Ranch reviews:
The French Ghost
Fatguy Food Blog

Item: Ruffles Ultimate Kickin’ Jalapeño Ranch
Price: $4.29
Size: 8.0 ounce bag
Purchased: Publix
Rating: 3 out of 10
Pros: It will stand up to dips and not break. It is not greasy. It will complete your image of a studly man’s man who is secretly insecure. Changing my name to J’ff. The idea of what one can do with two dingalings instead of one.
Cons: Grassy flavor. Flaccid heat. Food products made for men, Geeze give it up already. Bro speak. The only thing Ultimate is the failure these chips are. The word memaw…it’s not endearing, it’s sad. And those damned Precious Moment figurines which are really vessels to the Devil himself.

NEWS: Keep Cool In Japan This Summer With Salty Watermelon Pepsi

Square Water Melon

Pepsi Japan is releasing a salty watermelon flavor this summer. To some of you this might seem odd, but this upcoming soda is probably the tamest thing the Japanese people have ever done to a watermelon.

For decades, Japanese farmers have made square watermelons and today they sell for around $150-$200 US. They also produce black watermelons, which are pricier than the square ones.

The Salty Watermelon Pepsi will be available in Japan on July 24 and will come in a 490 ml bottle. If you don’t live in Japan, which I believe is the case for 99.8 percent of all TIB readers, you can probably get your hands on some online via J-List, NapaJapan, or eBay.

Image via flickr user Manish Prabhune(マニッシュ) / CC BY 2.0

REVIEW: Nabisco Chewy Chips Ahoy! Made With Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups

Nabisco Chewy Chips Ahoy! Made With Reese's Peanut Butter Cups

For a second, I thought about copying and pasting the regular Chips Ahoy! Made With Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups review we did in 2010 to complete this review, because everything I said in that review would apply to these new Chewy Chips Ahoy! Made With Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups.

Doing that would’ve been an extremely lazy and reprehensible thing to do, even though I’ve done it before. Of course, a lazier and reprehensibler thing I could’ve done was make this review consist of nothing but a link to the old review.

But you deserve better than that and these Chewy Chips Ahoy! Made With Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups deserve better than that because they’re quite tasty.

Although the packaging says they’re made with Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, they don’t taste like they were made with Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. The peanut butter center of the iconic candy has such a distinct flavor that it should easily stand out in these cookies, but instead it’s a nondescript peanut butter flavor.

The cookies not only contain mini peanut butter cups, but also peanut butter flavored chips. They even contain something a bit scary called Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups Drops, but none of them have that familiar Reese’s peanut butter flavor. While that’s extremely disappointing, the peanut butter in these cookies do complement the chocolate well.

Nabisco Chewy Chips Ahoy! Made With Reese's Peanut Butter Cups Closeup

The Chewy Chips Ahoy! Made With Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups are wonderfully chewy with a good balance of chocolate and peanut butter. Basically, they’re forkin’ delicious. The cookies are on the smallish side, but they’re packed with chocolate chips, peanut butter flavored chips, and tiny peanut butter cups. Actually, that’s not quite correct. While every cookie I pulled out and stuffed into my mouth had peanut butter and chocolate chips, some of them didn’t have any peanut butter cups. However, that really didn’t make them taste different from the others.

Even though they lack the unique flavor of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and they’re made using partially hydrogenated oil, it’s hard not to chain eat through a package of these Chewy Chips Ahoy! Made With Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups.

Have you ever seen a double rainbow? It’s extremely beautiful. Seeing two colorful arcs in the sky with a chance to get two pots of gold is exhilarating.

These Chewy Chips Ahoy Made With Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups are like a double rainbow, except the second rainbow is a bit faded and you can barely make it out in the sky. It’s still awesome, but not as awesome as it could’ve been.

(Nutrition Facts – 2 cookies – 140 calories, 60 calories from fat, 6 grams of fat, 3.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat*, 0.5 grams of polyunsaturated fat, 2 grams of monounsaturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 100 milligrams of sodium, 40 milligrams of potassium, 19 grams of carbohydrates, less than 1 gram of fiber, 11 grams of sugar, and 2 grams of protein.)

*made with partially hydrogenated oil

Item: Nabisco Chewy Chips Ahoy! Made With Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups
Price: $3.79 (on sale)
Size: 9.5 ounces
Purchased at: Safeway
Rating: 8 out of 10
Pros: Forkin’ tasty. Addictive. Like a double rainbow, except with one rainbow a little faded. Lots of chocolate and peanut butter chips. Chasing double rainbows to get two pots of gold.
Cons: Doesn’t taste like Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. Peanut butter cups aren’t in every cookie. Made with partially hydrogenated oil. Could’ve been awesome. Smallish.