REVIEW: Gatorade Tropic Flash

Gatorade Tropic Flash Bottle

What is it?

Gatorade has a new yellowish flavor, Tropic Flash. The label claims “Limited Edition,” but I don’t know whether that applies to the flavor itself or the Serena Williams bottle.

How is it?

Gatorade Tropic Flash Glass

Well, I don’t have anything against it. But I don’t really have anything for it, either.

It has a generically fruity flavor, but what that is, I have no idea.

I was happy to drink it (after a seven-mile trail run in the heat), but I like it less than literally every other regular Gatorade flavor (except for Cool Blue). There’s something bland about it.

Anything else you need to know?

I don’t know what “Tropic Flash” is supposed to be, and the term “natural flavors” on the ingredients list doesn’t help me. I live in the desert, so I don’t have much experience with tropical fruit. The flavor seems like it belongs to something with the texture of cantaloupe, honeydew, or papaya. But I find it exceedingly strange that I taste the texture of a fruit more than I taste the flavor of a fruit.

Conclusion:

If I finished a long workout and someone gave me a Tropic Flash Gatorade, I would gladly drink it. But when I look at the Gatorade flavors in the fridge at the gas station, I would never pick this one over, say, Glacier Freeze or Lime Cucumber.

Purchased Price: $2.69
Size: 28 fl oz
Purchased at: Miller’s
Rating: 6 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (12 fl oz) 80 calories, 0 grams of fat, 160 milligrams of sodium, 22 grams of carbohydrates, 21 grams of sugar (including 21 grams of added sugar), 0 grams of protein, and 50 milligrams of potassium.

REVIEW: Brach’s Late Night Taco Truck Jelly Beans

Brach s Late Night Taco Truck Jelly Beans Bag

In 2020 and 2021, Brach’s treated/trolled us with turkey dinner candy corn and most reviews thought they were terrible. (I never tried the 2021 version [thanks supply chain issues], but I know Brach’s got rid of my favorite flavors from 2020, ginger-glazed carrots and sweet potato pie, and kept the worst ones, stuffing and green bean.)

For 2022, the jelly bean brand is treating/trolling us with another bonkers product: Late Night Taco Truck Jelly Beans. It’s an Easter candy that also works for April Fools’ Day.

There are six flavors, so let’s dive in:

Brach s Late Night Taco Truck Jelly Beans Row

  • The margarita, green with no spots, has a strong citrus flavor. As a teetotaler, I have never had a margarita, but I love this jelly bean! Its flavor feels classier than a typical lime or orange candy. 9 out of 10.
  • Churro, brown with white spots, has a faint cinnamon flavor, but I wouldn’t say it’s like a churro. It vaguely tastes like some kind of fried treat, but I wouldn’t guess that if I didn’t know. I still like it, though. 7 out of 10.
  • Salsa, light red with dark red spots, is fascinating. I taste tomatoes! I taste peppers! It has a mild kick, and it really does taste like salsa. It’s not my first choice for a jelly bean flavor, but I also don’t dread it. 6 out of 10.
  • The beef taco flavor looks like a tortilla, off-white with yellow or brown spots. I get a slight beef flavor, but it mostly tastes like taco seasoning. That sounds gross, but it isn’t. 6 out of 10.
  • Guacamole, green with green spots, has a taste that reminds me of Southeast Asian food. I think that’s the cilantro talking. I like cilantro, so I don’t know how this would be for people who think the herb tastes like soap. I detect a mild kick, perhaps onion. It doesn’t really taste like avocado to me, but it’s a perfectly acceptable bean. 7 out of 10.
  • And horchata, white, has a strong cinnamon flavor. It tastes more like a churro than the churro one does. This is not the cinnamon that you’d expect from a red jelly bean, but more like actual ground cinnamon you’d find in horchata. It’s my favorite of the bunch. 9 out of 10.

Brach s Late Night Taco Truck Jelly Beans Pile

I tried to recreate a taco by combining the salsa, guacamole, and beef taco flavors. The salsa dominated. Then I tried all six flavors together, and once again, salsa dominated, with a little more sweetness. This batch is best savored one flavor at a time.

Are there better-tasting jelly bean assortments out there? Absolutely. But none of these flavors are truly gross, and they’re so fun that I can overlook the weirdness.

If your experience with the turkey dinner candy corn scares you away, don’t let it. These jelly beans maintain the novelty but not the repulsiveness.

Purchased Price: $2.99
Size: 12 oz bag
Purchased at: Target
Rating: 8 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (21 pieces) 110 calories, 0 grams of fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 10 milligrams of sodium, 27 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 20 grams of sugar including 20 grams of added sugar, and 0 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Little Debbie Christmas Tree Cakes Ice Cream

Little Debbie Christmas Tree Cakes Ice Cream Pint

What is Little Debbie Christmas Tree Cakes Ice Cream?

Per the carton, “Two family-owned brands, Little Debbie and Hudsonville®, have come together to craft this cold and creamy Christmas Tree Cake® inspired ice cream, making holiday moments even sweeter.”

It features ice cream, red icing, green sugar sprinkles, and pieces of pound cake.

Oh, and it’s exclusive to Walmart.

How is it?

It’s so festive that I have to remind myself that it’s not going to taste like peppermint.

Little Debbie Christmas Tree Cakes Ice Cream Scoop

The red icing has a nice flavor, definitely better than the waxy coating on Little Debbie cakes. I also like the cake pieces mixed in with the ice cream. They are soft enough that the two elements work together nicely.

You know when you have cake and ice cream at a birthday party, and you mix the leftover ice cream with the cake crumbs on your plate? This ice cream is like that. In fact, swap out the colors, and this could be a birthday cake ice cream.

Anything else you need to know?

There are basically two things I don’t like:

  • The green sprinkles. They are fine on the actual cakes, but the gritty texture clashes with the soft ice cream and cake. I can see how some people might like the textural contrast, but I don’t. They’re not a deal-breaker, but I do wish they weren’t there.
  • This product is good, but it’s just kind of boring. It’s basically vanilla ice cream flavored like vanilla cakes.

Conclusion:

Little Debbie Christmas Tree Cakes Ice Cream with Cake

I like Little Debbie Christmas Tree Cakes Ice Cream more than I like actual Little Debbie Christmas Tree Cakes. The flavor might not be very exciting, but visually, the ice cream screams Christmas, and the cake provides a pleasing texture.

Purchased Price: $2.50
Size: 1 pint
Purchased at: Walmart
Rating: 7 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (2/3 cup) 230 calories, 10 grams of fat, 6 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 40 milligrams of cholesterol, 75 milligrams of sodium, 32 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 26 grams of sugar, 21 grams of added sugar, and 3 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Limited Edition Pumpkin Spice Cup Noodles

Pumpkin Spice Cup Noodles Cup

What is Pumpkin Spice Cup Noodles?

Cup Noodles has added sweet ingredients to its traditional mixture of ramen noodles and savory seasoning. Just add water, microwave the cup, and you’ll have a quick lunch where brown sugar, powdered pumpkin, and spices join garlic powder and onion powder. It is exclusive to Walmart.

How is it?

I can taste both the sweet and savory elements. As far as pumpkin spice foods go, it’s not gross, but it’s also not delicious. It’s just kind of odd. I was going to rate it 6 out of 10.

Pumpkin Spice Cup Noodles Top

But then I realized it’s not just a pumpkin spice product; it’s a Cup Noodles product. I asked myself, “Would I enjoy eating this for lunch multiple times during November?” And the answer is a definite yes! So I rate it 7 out of 10. The ramen noodles tie everything together, just like they’re supposed to.

Pumpkin Spice Cup Noodles Noodles

The savoriness and sweetness are about equal. But I’d say the sweetness is stronger than the spices, which are stronger than the pumpkin.

Pumpkin Spice Cup Noodles Whipped Cream

The package says, “For an even more satisfying Pumpkin Spice experience, try topping with whipped cream after microwaving.” So I did, and I really enjoyed it! So much so that I might try whipped cream on savory instant ramen sometime.

Pumpkin Spice Cup Noodles Broth

Anything else you need to know?

I recommend trying Pumpkin Spice Cup Noodles, but you might have a hard time finding it. When I looked on Walmart’s website, the closest store that had it in stock was sixteen miles away. Of course, I made the trip, but I only found one in the entire store. It was evidently misplaced, and I could not find where it was supposed to be. I asked a worker, and he didn’t know either, even when he scanned it.

Conclusion:

Pumpkin Spice Cup Noodles Lid

The mixture of sweet and savory is a little weird, but I’ll definitely buy more Pumpkin Spice Cup Noodles if I can ever find it again.

Purchased Price: $0.88
Size: 2.75 oz. cup
Purchased at: Walmart
Rating: 7 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1 package) 360 calories, 14 grams of fat, 7 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 960 milligrams of sodium, 51 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of dietary fiber, 5 grams of sugar including 3 grams of added sugar, and 8 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Candy Corn Red Vines

Candy Corn Red Vines Box

What are Candy Corn Red Vines?

Everyone’s favorite* red licorice** is now orange! But not only is the color new, but it also tastes like candy corn. (Supposedly.)

*Favorite unless you prefer Twizzlers, or Wallaby, or. . .

**OK, it’s not technically licorice, but who cares?

How are they?

So, what do Candy Corn Red Vines taste like?

Nothing.

Well, that’s not quite true. They taste like marshmallows. Which also taste like nothing.

Candy Corn Red Vines Candy Corn

I had some Brach’s candy corn to go with these Orange Vines, and the candy corn was positively flavorful in comparison. Let that sink in: these twists make candy corn taste flavorful.

Candy Corn Red Vines Orange

Texture-wise, these are like regular Red Vines. They are chewy, and I feel like I want to eat several, but once I finish one, it feels like I’ve already had two or three.

Anything else you need to know?

Candy Corn Red Vines Inside the Box

The ingredients list includes “natural and artificial flavor.” For the life of me, I can’t figure out what that could possibly be.

I can remember a lot of candy corn products from roughly a decade ago: Hershey’s Kisses (2007), Tootsie Dots (2009), Jones Soda (2009), M&Ms (2011), Jelly Belly Jelly Beans (2011), Oreo (2012), Charms Pops (2013), Hershey’s bars (2014), Jet-Puffed Marshmallows (2014), Spangler Circus Peanuts (2014), Peeps (2015), Hostess CupCakes (2015), Russell Stover Pumpkin (2018), and Pez (2018?).

I’m happy to revive the trend (if only for the novelty), but I wish Red Vines had brought a stronger offering.

Conclusion:

Well, at least they’re not gross. They’re just bland.

Purchased Price: $1.25
Size: 4 oz. package
Purchased at: Dick’s
Rating: 5 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (3 Twists) 100 calories, 0 grams of fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 15 milligrams of sodium, 25 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 12 grams of sugar including 12 grams of added sugar, and 1 gram of protein.