REVIEW: Ruffles Baked Flamin’ Hot Potato Crisps

Ruffles Baked Flamin Hot Potato Crisps Bag

Frito-Lay’s Ruffles Baked is like Val Kilmer Batman. They’re both okay, but it hard to get excited when I know there are tastier options out there. Original Ruffles is like George Clooney Batman because both are hard to resist snacks. Nom nom nom. NOM.

If Ruffles Baked is like Val Kilmer Batman, then adding Flamin’ Hot seasoning to the potato crisps is like the addition of nipples on the Batsuit in Batman Forever. Both make things spicy.

I’ll admit I don’t regularly buy snacks from Frito-Lay’s Baked line, but I’m not dissatisfied when I do. But any Baked version of a Frito-Lay chip lacks the one thing fried chips have — addictiveness.

Okay, maybe addiction is too much on one side of the spectrum because I would not do unmentionable things to get my hands on a bag of Ruffles.

But, if a Ruffles Baked bag is placed in front of me, I’ll gladly munch on it. However, there’s an excellent chance there will still be some left. With, let’s say, a bag of regular Ruffles, there’s a 100 percent chance I will demolish that bag’s contents unless it’s taken away from me by force or if my doctor happens to be in the same room and he gives me a disapproving look.

Ruffles Baked Flamin Hot Potato Crisps Closeup

With that said, the familiar, slightly cheesy, and spicy Flamin’ Hot seasoning instantly makes these potato crisps my favorite variety in the Baked line that I’ve had so far, which I will admit is not many. Maybe four or five? And that doesn’t include the Cheetos Baked Flamin’ Hot.

But, even though these Ruffles are nicely coated in the red seasoning, it doesn’t completely hide the baked potato crisps’ flavor, which I’ve always thought tastes more like a cracker than a potato chip.

Ruffles Baked Flamin Hot Potato Crisps Closerup

Nevertheless, these crisps are hard to put down thanks to the flavor and heat from the red seasoning. But, oddly, I didn’t feel the need to put them down to drink something because, and maybe this is just my imagination, these don’t seem to be as spicy as regular Ruffles Flamin’ Hot or Flamin’ Hot Crunchy Cheetos.

While I very much enjoyed Baked Ruffles Flamin’ Hot, I can understand why others might not feel the same way because of the underlying crisp’s flavor. But, if you’re okay with Frito-Lay’s Baked line, which I imagine is a lot of people because it’s been around for years, then this is definitely worth a try.

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

Purchased Price: FREE
Size: 6 1/4 oz bag
Purchased at: Received from Frito-Lay
Rating: 7 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (28 grams/about 11 crisps) 120 calories, 3.5 grams of fat, 0.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 160 milligrams of sodium, 21 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, 2 grams of sugar, and 2 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Reese’s Big Cup with Pretzels

Reese s Big Cup with Pretzels Wrapper

NOTE: This won’t be available until November. Thanks to Reese’s, I was able to try it a little early.

A successful stuffing of Reese’s Pieces into Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups has led us down the sticky hole to the new Reese’s Big Cup with Pretzels. It’s taken four long years to go from Reese’s Pieces to pretzels, but if you’ve ever gone through a sticky hole, you know it takes a while to go through one.

While previous stuffed Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups were available in Big Cups and the original size, these are currently only available in these honkin’ Big Cups. Although, I’ve been told by a little peanut butter cup that a bag of pretzel-stuffed miniatures will be sold starting in January.

Why a thicker peanut butter cup and not a regular-sized one? Your answer is probably as good as mine. I think the pretzel pieces might not be thin enough for a normal-sized cup.

Reese s Big Cup with Pretzels Closeup

While they might not be thin enough, the pieces are still small. It’s as if Hershey’s factory workers were allowed to let out their 2020 frustrations onto bags filled with skinny pretzel knots and used the shattered pieces in these. They’re just bits, but they provide a satisfying crunch that no peanut, cookie, or Reese’s Pieces could come close to.

But here’s the thing, while it has the popular snack’s crunch, I don’t notice a pretzel flavor. Even in bites that seemed to be mostly pretzels, I didn’t get that unique flavor.

I thought the savory snack might make the candy noticeably saltier than a regular Big Cup, but they don’t. Also, because of the added ingredient, this isn’t as sweet as a standard Big Cup.

So does that mean this a big bland brown disk? No.

That signature Reese’s peanut butter and chocolate flavor is still there, although subdued a bit. They’re basically Reese’s Big Cups with a BIG crunch, and I’d still stuff these into my big mouth.

But here’s another thing. I have to admit my taste buds weren’t too excited about these because they’re more intrigued by a similar product from Reese’s announced around the same time. However, it won’t come out until March 2021, and that’s Reese’s Big Cups with Chips. Yes, potato chips.

I’m someone who prefers chips over pretzels. If I’m watching a major sporting event, like the World Curling Championship, I’m going to be watching it while sweeping some chips into my house for all eight to ten ends. It’s not going to be pretzels. So it makes sense that my taste buds are looking forward to the chip version more.

But as for this Reese’s Big Cup with Pretzels, it’s worth a try. But buy a bag of Synder’s of Hanover with it if you want a bit more pretzel flavor.

DISCLOSURE: I received free samples of the product. (Thanks, Reese’s!) Doing so did not influence my review.

Purchased Price: FREE
Size: 2.6 oz (King Size)
Purchased at: Received from Hershey’s
Rating: 6 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1 cup) 180 calories, 10 grams of fat, 3.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, less than 5 milligrams of cholesterol, 140 milligrams of sodium, 22 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, 18 grams of sugar, and 4 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Jack in the Box Chili Cheeseburger

Jack in the Box Chili Cheeseburger Wrapper

A few thoughts popped into my head right before I was about to order Jack in the Box’s Chili Cheeseburger.

  1. Is the chili just the seasoned meat in Jack’s tacos?
  2. Does the chili have beans?
  3. Will there be a Twitter war between Jack in the Box and Wendy’s because Wendy’s tweeted Jack’s chili must not be good since it isn’t offered in a bowl, and then Jack retorted by tweeting Wendy’s chili is made from old beef patties?
  4. I should start going to sleep earlier.
  5. Can I use Apple Pay in the drive-thru?
  6. Should I get onion rings?
  7. Is the drive-thru cashier upset because I’ve been sitting here in front of the speaker without saying a word for about a minute? What about the four cars behind me?

Jack’s Chili Cheeseburger features a beef patty, two slices of cheese, a layer of beef chili, and onions on a bun. If you want something even beefier, there’s a double version with two patties.

While it’s being advertised as new, the internet tells me this is not the first time Jack has offered a chili-topped cheeseburger. So maybe the recipe was pulled out of the Jack in the Box vault, which I imagine is shaped like Jack’s head and the combination dial is Jack’s hat, while the lever to open it is Jack’s nose.

Jack in the Box Chili Cheeseburger Top

The chili is bean-free, in case you were wondering, and, even though they look somewhat alike, I’m pretty sure it’s not the seasoned ground beef in Jack’s tacos. What’s on this burger is redder and they don’t taste the same.

While it’s never going to win a chili cook-off, the marquee ingredient in the burger tastes fine on its own and is even meatier thanks to the beef patty. But the elements that make this limited time menu item delectable are the chopped onions and cheese. The American cheese complements the chili’s spices, while the onions not only enhance the chili with their pungent flavor, but also add some crunch to the mush-fest.

Jack in the Box Chili Cheeseburger Split

Oddly, even though the idea of topping a burger with chili sounds like a mess-fest, all of it stayed between the buns. Also, something to note, I ordered one for my wife and hers had noticeably less of the topping than mine.

While I’m not sure I’d order Jack’s chili a la carte, if it was available that way, it does makes this cheeseburger surprisingly tasty.

Purchased Price: $7.49*
Size: Small combo
Rating: 7 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: Not available on the website.

*Because I live on a rock in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, things are much pricier here. You’ll probably pay less than I did.

REVIEW: Monster Energy Ultra Watermelon

Monster Energy Ultra Watermelon Can

Monster Energy Ultra Watermelon confuses me.

With fireworks on the can and it being watermelon flavored, which is known as a summer flavor, it’s odd to be drinking this in mid-October instead of on the fourth day of July. It’s like eating pumpkin spice products in June.

Some of you might be thinking this was released in the summer, but it wasn’t. It’s showing up now, in October.

Although, maybe Monster is trying to be sly here. The fireworks aren’t for Independence Day. Instead, they’re for New Year’s Eve. And watermelon was chosen because of the fruit’s colors, not because of its flavor. Because red and green, which are prominent on the can, are two of the primary Christmas colors.

Or maybe Monster Energy is trying once again to outdo its competitor, Red Bull, by releasing its watermelon flavor earlier than Red Bull did. You see, this year, Red Bull’s Summer Edition Watermelon rolled into stores in February, which, according to a calendar, was still winter. Which means there was still spring to go through before summer rolled around. By releasing this in October, it means we have to go through THREE seasons before we get to next summer.

Or maybe Monster was supposed to release it during summer but decided not to for some reason.

Anyhoo, Monster Energy Ultra Watermelon is the next Ultra flavor in the Ultra line, which is getting ultra long.

Monster Energy Ultra Watermelon Closeup

When I sniff the beverage, it smells like I’ve just added hot water to strawberry Jell-O gelatin mix. Its flavor, well, I really hate to use this comparison because it’s the most commonly used one when describing artificially flavored watermelon beverages, reminds me of a Jolly Rancher Watermelon hard candy. But, I also occasionally notice a bit of artificial strawberry in the aftertaste.

I haven’t tried the Red Bull I mentioned earlier, so I can’t compare it. But this energy drink is super tasty and has a pleasant level of sourness. Although, I wish it was a bit more unique than something I’ve experienced with many other watermelon products. I’m no food scientist, but maybe it’s hard to deviate from the ingredients used to create the fruity flavor.

Like the entire Ultra line, it’s a zero sugar energy drink. Also, the artificial sweeteners aren’t really noticeable to my taste buds when it’s chilled.

Overall, Monster Energy Ultra Watermelon with its 150 milligrams of caffeine is another excellent variety in the Ultra line. And I can totally see myself drinking another on a warm fall, winter, spring, or summer day.

Purchased Price: More than anyone should pay
Size: 16 fl oz can
Purchased at: eBay
Rating: 8 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1 can) 10 calories, 0 grams of fat, 180 milligrams of sodium, 6 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of sugar, 2 grams of erythritol, and 0 grams of protein.

COMING SOON: Tostitos Hint of Guac, Baked Ruffles Flamin’ Hot, Rold Gold Recipe No. 4 Zesty Buffalo, and Doritos Twisted Lime

Guac

I know this is a Coming Soon post, but Tostitos Hint of Guacamole Tortilla Chips are showing up on shelves right now. It follows Tostitos Hint of Pepper Jack, Hint of Spicy Queso, Hint of Lime, and, of course, hint of salt. They come in bite-sized rounds and according to Frito-Lay they have the perfect amount of guacamole flavor and spice in every bite. The chips are available ins 12-ounce bags with a $4.29 suggested retail price.

Also, for some reason, whenever I try to type guacamole (lowercase) really fast, my muscle memory presses the Q key instead of the G key. I think it’s because my head sees “qu” instead “gu” because they look alike. Does anyone else experience this? I should just type slower.

Roldgold

Rold Gold Recipe No. 4 Zesty Buffalo Pretzel Twists will be available nationally October 12, although you may find it sooner. It’s the follow-up to the wonderful Recipe No. 5 Savory Butter that popped up during spring.

When Recipe No. 5 came out, I wondered what happened to Recipes No. 1-4. It appears that just like Rick Deez and Casey Kasem, Rold Gold is counting down to No. 1. (Although, I hope Rold Gold throws a curveball to my previous sentence and released Recipe No. 9 next.)

The twists will be available in 16-ounce bags with a $5.99 suggested retail price.

Baked

Baked Ruffles Flamin’ Hot Potato Crisps will be out nationally on October 12, but it may pop up in some stores earlier. I’m trying to think if everything in the Frito-Lay chip portfolio has now been Flamin’ Hot-tized. Stacy’s…nope. Tostitos…nope. Tostitos Hint of Flamin’ Hot probably won’t happen. Baked-ets…nope. Well, it’s good to know that there are possibilities. I look forward to Stacy’s Flamin’ Hot Pita Chips someday.

Baked Ruffles Flamin’ Hot will be available in two sizes — a 9.75-ounce bag with a suggested price of $3.29 and a 2.75-ounce bag with a suggested price of $1.89.

Twisted Lime

Also out now nationwide is Doritos Twisted Lime. According to Frito-Lay, they are the perfect combination of tangy and heat with a mouth-watering lime flavor that finishes with a kick. Its lime flavor and intensity is similar to Doritos Flamin’ Hot Limon that came out early this year.

Doritos Twisted Lime is available through the fall/winter months in two sizes — a 9.75-ounce bag with a $4.29 suggested price and a 2.75-ounce bag with a $1.89 suggested price.

Thanks to Frito-Lay for the info and images!

REVIEW: Crush Sour Patch Kids Berry Soda

Crush Sour Patch Kids Berry Soda

What is Crush Sour Patch Kids Berry Soda?

It’s a blue raspberry-flavored and Blue 1-dyed soda with a sour twist that’s brought to you by our friends at Dr Pepper/Seven Up, Inc. and Mondelez International. Also, like all Crush sodas, it’s caffeine free.

How is it?

It has that familiar, sweet blue raspberry aroma. But if I jam my nose into the bottle’s spout and take a good sniff, I smell a hint of something that could be considered tropical. Maybe that’s from the sour ingredients. Or possibly my nose got damaged from jamming it into a bottle’s spout. But, as a whole, it smells wonderful and enticing.

But I’m hesitant to use those same adjectives to describe the soda’s flavor.

Look, it sounds like I’m about to type that I hate this Cool Water cologne bottle-colored soda, but after drinking half of it, I find it to be decent tasting. However, I’m not craving for another bottle.

The blue raspberry flavor is super sweet, and perhaps too sweet for my taste buds. Its sourness level is noticeable, but it isn’t high enough to make me pucker even a little after each sip. But it does make me want to drink this slower than other soft drinks. Also, just like when I took a good sniff from its spout, I noticed something that registers as “tropical” in the aftertaste.

Anything else you need to know?

This isn’t the first Sour Patch Kids soda. 7-Eleven and Jones Soda Company partnered to come out with the Sour Patch Kids Watermelon Soda back in 2016. It’s also not the first collaboration between Crush and Sour Patch Kids. Earlier this year, the two offered Crush-flavored candy.

Also, is this the season for blue raspberry beverages?

Conclusion:

Crush Sour Patch Kids Berry is a novelty soda, and like most novelty foods, it’s worth a try at least once.

Purchased Price: More than anyone should pay on eBay
Size: 20 fl oz bottle
Purchased at: eBay
Rating: 6 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1 bottle) 290 calories, 0 grams of fat, 105 milligrams of sodium, 75 grams of carbohydrates, 74 grams of sugar, and 0 grams of protein.