REVIEW: Little Caesars Crazy Calzony

Little Caesars Crazy Calzony Top

Little Caesars has launched another limited-edition novelty item: the Crazy Calzony. According to Little Caesars, this fusion dish is a pizza with a “calzone-like crust filled with garlic white sauce and cheese.” I’ve been a Little Caesars fan for most of my life, so I felt compelled to try this.

The Crazy Calzony is available in pepperoni or cheese. I opted for the former. The pizza portion of the dish is topped with sliced pepperoni, while the calzone-like crust contains julienne pepperoni.

Upon opening the pizza box, I was struck by the Crazy Calzony’s unique aesthetic. It reminded me of a cross boomerang. The calzone crusts were overflowing with cheese and looked quite appetizing. Its aroma was quintessential Little Caesars, but with a heavier presence of garlic.

The pizza segment of the slices tasted exactly as one would expect. If you’ve had a pepperoni pizza from Little Caesars, you already have a good idea of how this tastes. The foundational pizza crust did seem a little thinner than usual, though.

Little Caesars Crazy Calzony Cheese

Now, onto the most important part: the calzone crust. With my first bite, a strong garlic flavor immediately jumped to the forefront. I love garlic, so it worked well for me, but it may be overbearing for some people.

Beyond the garlic, the creamy cheese stuffing tasted mildly sweet. Its texture and sweetness reminded me of the ricotta that is generally featured in calzones. The Crazy Calzony’s description states that the crust is filled with “garlic white sauce, cheese and julienne pepperoni.” I imagine that if it contained actual ricotta, the description would say so. The garlic white sauce likely mixes with the cheese to create that ricotta-like texture. Either way, it’s totally tasty.

The julienne pepperoni provides a nice textural contrast. Its mild spice helps to cut the creaminess of the cheesy filling and brings balance to the overall presentation.

Little Caesars Crazy Calzony Dip

Dipping the calzone crust into the included Crazy Sauce continued to elevate the flavor. The acid from the tomato sauce helped to further tame the richness. The outside of the crust was dusted with parmesan and had a mild buttery flavor, which immediately reminded me of Crazy Bread. It was cooked to a perfect golden brown and had the slightest crunch, while remaining airy on the inside. As a whole, it was similar to many calzones that I’ve had.

Little Caesars Crazy Calzony Bite

As far as novelty pizza dishes go, the Crazy Calzony is a winner in my book. Little Caesars nailed the calzone aspect, but it makes me wish they would offer standalone calzones. If you already like Little Caesars, it’s a safe bet that you’ll enjoy it as well. If you’re not a Little Caesars devotee, then no amount of craziness in the crust will change that for you.

Purchased Price: $8.49
Size: N/A
Rating: 9 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1 pizza) 2650 calories, 123 grams of fat, 2.5 grams of trans fat, 50 grams of saturated fat, 245 milligrams of cholesterol, 6010 milligrams of sodium, 256 grams of carbohydrates, 13 grams of fiber, 15 grams of sugar, and 109 grams of protein.

REVIEW: KIND Frozen Pints

KIND Frozen Pints Containers

KIND, the purveyor of various fruit & nut bars and other snacks, has released its new Frozen Pints. These frozen non-dairy desserts seem to emulate the flavors of the other products made by KIND.

I snagged three flavors: Dark Chocolate Almond Sea Salt, Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter, and Caramel Almond Sea Salt. Though I couldn’t find them, there are four other flavors available, including Cherry Cashew and Strawberry.

Before digging in, I examined the ingredients labels and found a surprise. The primary ingredient in all three is pear juice, which I thought was curious. Beyond that, all three employ nuts to establish their non-dairy bases. Eager to see how they fared, I dug right in.

Caramel Almond Sea Salt

KIND Frozen Pints Caramel Almond Top

The color of this one was lighter than expected, and I could smell the caramel upon opening it. My spoon glided effortlessly through the almond-based frozen dessert. Most non-dairy ice creams that I’ve had were all quite icy, so this creaminess was a pleasant surprise.

KIND Frozen Pints Caramel Almond Spoon

As I took my first bite, the smoothness was further reinforced. The caramel immediately walloped me in the taste buds. It seemed to be mostly integrated into the base, but there were some faint caramel ribbons throughout as well. As I acclimated to the caramel, I could sense the saltiness, but it was not overbearing. The almond pieces rounded out the flavor profile and added a nice contrasting crunch. Overall, this is an enjoyable, but slightly unexciting, take on salted caramel.

Rating: 7 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (2/3 cup) 290 calories, 15 grams of fat, 5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 230 milligrams of sodium, 33 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of fiber, 19 grams of sugar and 6 grams of protein.

Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter

KIND Frozen Pints Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Top

The Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter’s carton says it’s a “creamy chocolate frozen dessert made from peanuts, with dark chocolate chunks and a peanut butter swirl.” The base looked chocolatey, but also overly grainy.

KIND Frozen Pints Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Top

Upon trying to insert my spoon, I was met with a much fiercer resistance than that of the Caramel Almond Sea Salt. It was quite icy, as is typical of many non-dairy frozen desserts. It tasted primarily like peanut butter, with just a hint of chocolate. The dark chocolate chunks add complexity and crunch while bringing more chocolate flavor to the forefront. The grittiness is noticeable when eating it as well. I prefer the taste of this one over the caramel, but its texture is a bit of a deal-breaker.

Rating: 6 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (2/3 cup) 280 calories, 16 grams of fat, 6 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 170 milligrams of sodium, 33 grams of carbohydrates, 4 grams of fiber, 19 grams of sugar, and 6 grams of protein.

Dark Chocolate Almond Sea Salt

KIND Frozen Pints Dark Chocolate Almond Top

Like the caramel flavor, the Dark Chocolate Almond Sea Salt is almond-based. Chunks of dark chocolate and almond pieces peeked out of the top. I hesitantly inserted my spoon into the pint and was relieved to find out this one is creamy also. Upon tasting, I was instantly able to tell that almond was the predominant flavor.

KIND Frozen Pints Dark Chocolate Almond Spoon

The almond pieces and dark chocolate chunks added a rewarding crunch, but there isn’t enough chocolate. This tastes too much like almond-on-almond, which could be remedied by a more generous helping of chocolate. The salt was barely noticeable. The flavor was pleasant enough, but it left me somewhat unsatisfied. The creaminess is the saving grace here.

Rating: 7 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (2/3 cup) 290 calories, 16 grams of fat, 6 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 240 milligrams of sodium, 32 grams of carbohydrates, 4 grams of fiber, 19 grams of sugar and 6 grams of protein.

Final Observations

The KIND Frozen Pints are certainly in the same spirit as the rest of their products. Their subtle sweetness satisfied on a level akin to KIND’s other offerings. The Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter was the standout flavor for me, by far, but its dreadful consistency significantly lowers its standing. This could be related to the use of peanuts in the base rather than almonds. The Caramel Almond Sea Salt was the sweetest, but none of them are particularly sugary. If you are in the market for a non-dairy ice cream, these may be worth a shot, especially if you are fond of nuts.

Purchased Price: $5.49
Size: 1 pint
Purchased at: Fry’s

REVIEW: Kellogg’s Mashups Frosted Flakes + Apple Jack Cereal

Kellogg s Mashups Frosted Flakes + Apple Jack Cereal Box

Last year, Kellogg’s released its first Mashups cereal: Frosted Flakes + Froot Loops. Now, it’s revisiting the concept with Kellogg’s Mashups: Frosted Flakes + Apple Jacks. I did not try the original Mashups, but as a child, I was an expert at mixing random cereals together. As such, I feel qualified to take on this new Mashups rendition.

Throughout my life, I have had ample amounts of both Apple Jacks and Frosted Flakes, so I established solid expectations for what this Mashup would be like. Upon opening the box, I was pleased to see that both cereals seemed to be equally represented. I was able to discern the saccharine aroma of the Frosted Flakes mixing with a hint of cinnamon from the Apple Jacks.

Kellogg s Mashups Frosted Flakes + Apple Jack Cereal Dry

I tried the cereal dry first and it tasted exactly as I expected. It had more flavor than solo Frosted Flakes and more sweetness than Apple Jacks eaten on their own. It tasted pleasant enough, but felt rather anticlimactic.

Kellogg s Mashups Frosted Flakes + Apple Jack Cereal Milk

After adding milk, the flavors blended into a more cohesive presentation. The cinnamon from the Apple Jacks seemed to make the Frosted Flakes taste more complex. The sugar from the Frosted Flakes quickly incorporated into the milk, making every bite a little sweeter than the last. If you have tried both cereals, you can accurately deduce what this tastes like.

The textures of both work well together, at first. The bites seem crunchier than they would be when they are eaten alone. It is a satisfying experience, but it does not last long.

Kellogg s Mashups Frosted Flakes + Apple Jack Cereal Spoon

Unfortunately, Frosted Flakes degrade in milk faster than Apple Jacks. After only a minute or so, the loops remained relatively crunchy, but the flakes were already beginning to turn to mush. Since the Apple Jacks retain crunchiness, this Mashup is texturally pleasant for longer than a bowl of Frosted Flakes à la carte. Conversely, it becomes unpleasant more quickly than a bowl of plain Apple Jacks. Eating this in multiple small portions is highly recommended.

This is not a revolutionary cereal, but it is enjoyable enough to eat. I can certainly see children getting a kick out of it. Personally, I would like to see Kellogg’s try a slightly more daring combination for the next version of Mashups. That could be more fun for everyone.

DISCLOSURE: I received a free product sample. Doing so did not influence my review.

Purchased Price: FREE
Size: 9.8 oz box
Purchased at: Received from Kellogg’s
Rating: 7 out of 10
?Nutrition Facts: (1 1/4 cup) 160 calories, 0.5 grams of fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 220 milligrams of sodium, 38 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of fiber, 14 grams of sugar, and 2 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Nestle Sensations Cinnamon Toast Crunch Cinnamilk

Nestle Sensations Cinnamon Toast Crunch Cinnamilk Bottle

As a Cinnamon Toast Crunch fan, I feel a personal obligation to try new foods that utilize its flavor. I have previously reviewed two Cinnamon Toast Crunch-themed items here. The ice cream was spot-on, but the creamer was a major let-down.

With the release of the new Nestle Sensations Cinnamon Toast Crunch Cinnamilk, I wondered which end of the spectrum it would land on. The concept seems straightforward: a drink that should taste like the milk from a bowl of Cinnamon Toast Crunch.

Nestle Sensations Cinnamon Toast Crunch Cinnamilk Out of Bottle

I poured some of it into a glass and was immediately disheartened. It seemed quite thick. There are no visible cinnamon specks in the drink. I gave it a quick whiff and was able to detect faint traces of the spice.

I took a swig of it and found the consistency to be immediately off-putting. It was considerably thicker than expected. It is akin to the texture of nutritional drinks, like Ensure. If you have ever been lucky enough to try one of those, you know that it is not the most pleasant experience.

Nestle Sensations Cinnamon Toast Crunch Cinnamilk Top

The cinnamon flavoring is quite underwhelming. It was much milder than the milk from a bowl of Cinnamon Toast Crunch. There was another underlying flavor that I could not quite put my finger on. Nestle may have been going for a “cereal” taste in the milk. Unfortunately, because I thought of nutritional drinks, I kept perceiving that flavor. It is not necessarily offensive, but it screams artificiality.

My initial plan for this review was to pour Cinnamilk over a bowl of Cinnamon Toast Crunch and double-up on the cinnamon-y goodness. It isn’t good enough to do that, though. I did not want to waste a bowl of cereal.

I am not a food scientist, clearly. However, I cannot understand why Nestle did not use real cinnamon in this beverage. This was the same problem that plagued the coffee creamer. If this had actual cinnamon or even a more prevalent cinnamon flavor, I could have overlooked the unpleasant consistency. For me, Cinnamilk completely missed the mark. Store-bought horchata tastes more like Cinnamon Toast Crunch milk, and that does not even contain dairy.

Purchased Price: $1.68
Size: 14 fl. oz. bottle
Purchased at: Walmart
Rating: 5 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1 bottle) 260 calories, 4.5 grams of fat, 3 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 20 milligrams of cholesterol, 190 milligrams of sodium, 41 grams of carbohydrates, less than 1 gram of fiber, 39 grams of sugar, and 14 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Dreyer’s Edy’s Rocky Road Collection Ice Cream

Dreyer s Edy s Rocky Road Collection Ice Cream Containers

According to Dreyer’s/Edy’s, they invented Rocky Road ice cream and came up with the iconic name in 1929 as something relatable for everyone, given the trying times (it seems worth noting that this claim has been contested by Fentons Ice Creamery in Oakland).

Nearly a century later, they have released The Rocky Road Collection to pay tribute to the original. This collection consists of three popular renditions and three entirely new flavors. As a devotee of bountiful mix-ins, I was excited to get my hands on these new varieties.

Side note: I had never heard of Edy’s before this, so I did some brief research. In the 1920s, ice cream maker William Dreyer and candy maker Joseph Edy joined forces and started making ice cream together. Today, Dreyer’s is sold in the western part of the U.S. and Edy’s in the eastern portion. It’s the ice cream equivalent of Hellmann’s/Best Foods!

All three flavors from this review are available in both the Dreyer’s and Edy’s lines.

On to the ice cream!

Salted Caramel Pretzel Path

Dreyer s Rocky Road Collection Salted Caramel Pretzel Path Bowl

Caramel ice cream is the base here. It is mild and sweet, which allows the mix-ins to shine. I don’t pick up any salty notes in the ice cream itself. The chunks of pretzel are covered in chocolate and provide a satisfying crunch, with just a hint of saltiness. They offer a nice textural contrast, but are outshined by the chocolate-covered toffee pieces.

The toffee is rich, buttery, and well-executed. Sometimes it can be a little hard on the teeth when it’s in ice cream, but that’s not the case here. It’s crunchy without being troublesome. Fudge is ribboned throughout the ice cream, remaining a constant sweet presence.

Dreyer s Rocky Road Collection Salted Caramel Pretzel Path Spoon

Salted Caramel Pretzel Path works well, but feels slightly boring in comparison to the other flavors. The toffee chunks are the reason to try this one. I appreciate that the ice cream isn’t overly salty, but salted caramel fans may be left wanting more.

Size: 1.5 quart carton
Rating: 7 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (2/3 cup) 210 calories, 10 grams of fat, 7 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 20 milligrams of cholesterol, 120 mg of sodium, 27 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of dietary fiber, 21 grams of sugar, and 3 grams of protein.

Cookie Cobblestone

Dreyer s Rocky Road Collection Cookie Cobblestone Bowl

The chocolate ice cream base is sweet, without being cloying. It has the typical airy Dreyer’s texture, just like all three flavors. Again, this base exists primarily as a delivery vessel for the mix-ins.

The cookie dough chunks are standard fare and bring a chewy, pleasant texture to the fold. There are also chocolate cookie pieces, but these aren’t quite as prevalent. They mostly exist as a fine grain, present in every bite, rather than actual chunks. These provide a nice balancing grit to the rest of the ice cream. Marshmallow swirls act as the glue in this version, lending a typical rocky road familiarity.

Dreyer s Rocky Road Collection Cookie Cobblestone Spoon

Cookie Cobblestone is cohesive and ranks slightly higher than Salted Caramel Pretzel Path. The chocolate ice cream is more well-rounded than the caramel. The mix-ins ratio was good, but more chunks of chocolate cookie pieces would have been even better.

Size: 1.5 quart container
Rating: 8 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (2/3 cup) 220 calories, 9 grams of fat, 5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 20 milligrams of cholesterol, 95 milligrams of sodium, 32 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, 22 grams of sugar, and 3 grams of protein.

Brownie Brick Road

Dreyer s Rocky Road Collection Brownie Brick Road Bowl

I love brownies, so I excitedly dug into this one without examining the components first. I was caught off guard by an inviting crunchy chunk in my first spoonful that exploded with the flavor of brownies. According to the carton, it is crispy brownie edges. These things are the main attraction.

Dreyer s Rocky Road Collection Brownie Brick Road Spoon

The base of this flavor is a sweet cream ice cream, which is a smart choice. It allows the brownie flavor to be prominently displayed without being overshadowed by more chocolate. The actual brownie chunks are dense, chewy, and satisfying. Brownie batter swirl is incorporated throughout, but I take issue with this aspect. To me, it tastes more like standard chocolate sauce than brownie batter.

Brownie Brick Road is my favorite of the lot, but it could have been improved a little. If the brownie batter swirl had the taste and consistency of actual brownie batter, this would have been a home run. Regardless, this one is worth trying for the crispy brownie edges alone.

Size: 1.5 quart carton
Rating: 9 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (2/3 cup) 230 calories, 11 gram of fat, 6 grams of saturated fat, 25 milligrams of cholesterol, 105 milligrams of sodium, 30 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, 24 grams of sugar, and 3 grams of protein.

DISCLOSURE: I received free product samples from Dreyer’s/Edy’s. Doing so did not influence my review.