REVIEW: Andes Mint Cookie Crunch Thins

Andes Mint Cookie Crunch Thins

December 25, 1995.

I thought I hit the jackpot. Not only did my stocking contain a Gumby keychain, but it contained an entire package of Andes mints, to keep all for myself! That was way better than the blueberry and butterscotch candy canes I got. (Those are two different flavors, BTW.) Andes were a super fancy candy I only ever got when we snuck them from our wealthy, mint-loving grandmother.

I started to realize they weren’t all that fancy when we would get them as Christmas gifts from those neighbors we barely knew. But even though my estimation of them has gone down, I still find myself decimating a package in a relatively short amount of time, with the wrappers accumulating in my pants pockets and dryer lint screen. Therefore, I was intrigued to try these new Andes Mint Cookie Crunch Thins.

Andes Mint Cookie Crunch Thins 2

The paper wrappers for these are a shiny silver, rather than the familiar green. The packaging makes it look like the wrappers will be green or bronze, but nope, it’s silver. When you strip the candies, they look just like a typical cookies ’n’ creme bar. There’s no green stripe indicating that it will be a mint flavor.

Andes Mint Cookie Crunch Thins 3

However, once you pop them in your mouth, they taste just like regular Andes mints. (At least they taste exactly as I remember them; I didn’t taste the two kinds side by side.) There is no flavor of cookies ’n’ creme. The uniqueness of these is purely textural; there is a definite crunch. It’s not overwhelming, but it’s there. This means that there is no false advertising when the package says, “The Mint Taste You Love, With a CRUNCH!” That’s 100 percent accurate. Nothing more, nothing less.

This crunch will mean different things to different people. Some people will find the crunchy bits a welcome addition to the otherwise uninteresting Andes. Others will find the crunchy bits an unnerving distraction to the mints’ smoothness. It probably depends on whether you prefer creamy or crunchy peanut butter. And me, I usually prefer crunchy, so I like these new Andes.

I would gladly welcome a package of these in my stocking this year. But I don’t need another Gumby keychain. I still have the first one I got.

Andes Mint Cookie Crunch Thins 4

(Nutrition Facts – 8 pieces – 210 calories, 110 calories from fat, 13 grams of fat, 11 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 25 milligrams of sodium, 23 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of dietary fiber, 21 grams of sugar, and 2 grams of protein.)

Purchased Price: $2.00
Size: 4.67 oz. package
Purchased at: Target
Rating: 8 out of 10
Pros: Crunchy bits provide new texture. Tastes exactly like standard Andes mints, as promised by the package. Keeping Christmas toys for 21 years.
Cons: Change is purely textural. Wrappers accumulating in pockets and lint screens.

REVIEW: Apple Pie Tic Tac

Apple Pie Tic Tac

Tic Tacs — the little candy that pretends to be a breath mint, even though I doubt they’ve ever freshened anyone’s breath. I don’t know about you, but my mouth feels worse when I have a Tic Tac.

But that doesn’t stop me from buying their holiday versions. Usually that means they just mix a few of their existing flavors into a new color scheme. But they’re branching out more into new flavors.

Hence the new Apple Pie Tic Tacs. I found them in the Christmas candy aisle (next to Candy Cane Tic Tacs), and the label says it’s “stocking stuffer size” (because obviously regular-sized Tic Tacs are too small to fit in a stocking), but other than that, these don’t scream Christmas. I associate apple pie more with Thanksgiving, so that’s a good thing.

I find it a little odd that they’re red, because when I eat apple pie, the apples are peeled, so it’s just a mixture of whites and tans. But I guess beige Tic Tacs wouldn’t sell well. The little apple pie drawing on the label looks like it could be full of giant red Tic Tacs (or else regular Tic Tacs in a tiny pie). Also, the apple on the label is green. Weird.

When I pop one in my mouth, it just tastes like apple, fairly similar to Green Apple Tic Tacs. (Both kinds are made with dried apples, but these specify that they’re dried red apples.) After I suck on it, other flavors kick in, though I can’t tell what flavors. It’s not really spicy, but it is vaguely reminiscent of pie. My niece and my sister said it tastes like Sugar Babies, but I didn’t taste that.

Regardless of what they taste like, these are good. Imma venture these are the best fruity Tic Tacs I’ve ever had. In fact, I might go so far as to say these are the best Tic Tacs I’ve ever had, period.

But, at the end of the day, they’re still just Tic-Tacs. They have no place on the Thanksgiving dinner table. But they will gladly be passed around afterward during the football game.

(Nutrition Facts – 1 piece – 1.9 calories, 0 grams of fat, 0 milligrams of sodium, less than 0.5 grams of carbohydrates, less than 0.5 grams of sugar, and 0 grams of protein.)

Purchased Price: 99 cents
Size: 1.7 oz. container
Purchased at: Walmart
Rating: 7 out of 10
Pros: Tastes vaguely like pie. Better than most, or all, Tic Tacs. Seasonal flavors. Not excessively marketed for Christmas.
Cons: Doesn’t freshen breath. Inaccurate red color.

ANNOUNCEMENT: New Impulsive Buy Reviewer Mark

Salutations, patrons of The Impulsive Buy!

One January, during my last semester of college, I approached a booth at a campus editing fair. (I don’t want you to have ridiculously high expectations for my writing to be perfect, so I won’t tell you I’m a professional editor. Oh—oops!) One of the girls manning the booth was one of my former classmates. She offered me some of the candy they were giving out, but then she realized it was Christmas candy, and Christmas was over, so she thought I wouldn’t eat it. She was right.

The other girl at the booth, whom I had never met, said, “Wait. Is this the guy?” Apparently my fame had spread throughout campus, or at least through the program. She had heard from another of my former classmates about me. And this is not the only time someone I’ve never met has heard about me.

See, when it comes to sweets—candy, desserts, other sugary snacks that don’t exactly fit either category, I only eat holiday-themed things.* It counts if it’s only some festive sprinkles or even just a fun wrapper, but I prefer the unique flavors that come out in abundance. Pumpkin spice. Candy cane. Red velvet. And, for some reason, Peeps.

But not only do these things have to be seasonal, it has to be the right season. So back to the university booth: my former classmate pointed out some of the Valentine’s Day candy. It was still too early, but she told me I could take some and save it. And I did just that. I took it home and ate it later that month, when the time for red and pink hearts had arrived.

If a food is not sugary, like chips or fast food, I will eat it regardless of the time of year. But even those things get bonus points if they have special turkey or cranberry flavors.

(*OK, I have a few times set out per year when I can eat whatever I want. But even then, I gravitate toward limited edition goodies.)

I was born and raised in Utah, where I’ve been basically my whole life. Don’t believe all the stereotypes. I have never once had green Jello with carrots in it. Marshmallows and fruit cocktail in Jello, yes, but never carrots. We do have fry sauce in every restaurant, though. And don’t ask me if the beer is really watered down. I’m a teetotaler, so I wouldn’t know.

I’m excited to have a valid reason to obsess over seasonal candy, now that I’m on the Impulsive Buy team. People think I’m weird for putting so much thought into junk food. But now I have found my people.