REVIEW: Snapple Name the Flav Juice Drink

Snapple Name the Flav Juice Drink Bottle

What is the Snapple Name the Flav! Juice Drink?

Get out your Nancy Drew magnifying glasses – it’s another mystery flavor! This time, iced tea and juice slingers Snapple are dropping a nameless, unidentified juice with an associated contest – buy a bottle, guess the flavor, text in a proposed name, go to their website to vote for your favorite. The prize? Well, keep that magnifying glass handy…

Snapple Name the Flav Juice Drink Glass

How is it?

Enjoyment-wise, it’s a pretty good juice. Not too heavy, not too sweet, but bright and refreshing for summer. The coloring is deeper than the actual flavor.

Now, for The Case of the Mysterious Juice Flavor. I grabbed my bestie Ned Nickerson and we headed out to the old mill to investigate. Definitely fruity, but what kind? I leaned towards cranberry mixed with strawberry, perhaps…how about a combination of the two – CranBerry?

This guess still didn’t sit right with me, so I checked the ingredients list. Pear and grape juice concentrates. Yeah, I guess? It’s not your standard-issue snack food/juice grape flavor – it’s far more subtle. And pear is a tough flavor to make stand out. I think in a blind taste test, we would all come up with totally different guesses, because it’s not CLEARLY anything.

Snapple Name the Flav Juice Drink Ingredients

Anything else you need to know?

It’s a contest, but the prize is also a mystery. Wait – shouldn’t I know the endgame so I can scale my work accordingly? Are we talking about a 12-pack of Diet Peach Tea? Or a lifetime supply of Bret Michaels’ Trop-A-Rocka? That’s two very different levels of engagement for me.

The official rules are an interesting read. There’s a “Bragging Rights Winner,” aka – the public vote winner – with two caveats: 1) Snapple may or may not name the product after the winning entry! “Actual use of the Name is not part of the benefits for winning the Promotion,” and 2) “Entrants acknowledge there is no monetary value associated with receiving the most votes and winning the Promotion.” – hmmmmmm. So, no prize money?

There are also “surprise and delight” random prizes mentioned, with no indication of what they are or how they’re determined. Vague…

Snapple Name the Flav Juice Drink Winner

Conclusion:

If you’re into contests for the sake of contests, you’re gonna LOVE this. If you love mystery flavors or a big Snapple fan, you’re gonna like this. Everyone else, it’s worth a try. It’s a tasty juice without all the naming hoo-ha.

Purchased Price: 2 for $2.00 (on sale)
Size: 16 oz bottle
Purchased at: Duane Reade
Rating: (juice) 8 out of 10, (contest) 6 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (16 oz bottle) 110 calories, 0 grams of fat, 10 milligrams of sodium, 26 grams of carbohydrates, 25 grams of sugar (including 20g of added sugars), and 0 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Frosted Chocolatey Churro Pop-Tarts

Kellogg s Frosted Chocolatey Churro Pop Tarts

What are Frosted Chocolatey Churro Pop-Tarts?

There is one food so glorious that one is willing – happy, even – to buy them from the woman on the grungy subway platform with a Saran-covered baking tray of them teetering atop a granny cart. Churros! If you’ve never had those crusty-on-the-outside, soft inside, star-shaped tubes of fried dough sprinkled with cinnamon sugar, what kind of life are you living?

Well, Pop-Tarts have brought the chocolate-dipped churro experience to the breakfast table, and I, for one, was stoked. They have the standard Pop-Tart pastry envelope with a chocolate-cinnamon filling. There’s even a little curly-bottomed churro dunked in chocolate on the box. Cuuute!

Kellogg s Frosted Chocolatey Churro Pop Tarts 2

How is it?

The first glance at these Pop-Tarts did not bode well. They were way too light. Like someone left the Churro Pop-Tarts from the photo on the box out on the window sill all summer in the sun.

Kellogg s Frosted Chocolatey Churro Pop Tarts 3

Churros can’t be pale! They should be “golden brown” at least, but I’ll always go for darker churros. Darker = crustier, and I love facing the danger of shredding the roof of my mouth with a dessert food.

Flavor-wise, I can sum it up in one photo:

Kellogg s Frosted Chocolatey Churro Pop Tarts 4

Yeah, these taste EXACTLY like the Frosted Brown Sugar Cinnamon Pop-Tarts. I love that flavor, I’ve eaten many of them in my time. But here, I wanted something different. The churro-flavored 2019 Mystery Oreo cookies were SO good – I was hoping these would be at that level or better. They needed to represent that slight savoriness that fried sweet things have.

Kellogg s Frosted Chocolatey Churro Pop Tarts 5

Anything else you need to know?

I’m not usually a fan of toasting, but I tried it here (churros are best hot, right?). While it did add a crispiness to the pastry, it did not raise this Pop-Tart to churro-level perfection. However, I decided to lightly brush the pastry with a mixture of water, brown sugar and cinnamon and drop that in the toaster (using a non-stick bag meant for making grilled cheese in the toaster). Once cooled, this hack did give the pastry a granular sugar feel like a churro, and certainly made it look more like something I’d buy on the Atlantic Avenue R train platform.

Kellogg s Frosted Chocolatey Churro Pop Tarts 6

Conclusion:

Meh. Just buy the Frosted Brown Sugar Cinnamon ones. They’re easier to find.

Purchased Price: $3.68
Size: 20 oz. box / 16 toaster pastries
Purchased at: Walmart
Rating: 6 out of 10 (for unoriginality)
Nutrition Facts: (2 pastries) 400 calories, 13 grams of fat, 4.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 330 milligrams of sodium, 68 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, 31 grams of sugar, and 4 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Snickers Oats (Thailand)

Snickers Oats

What is Snickers Oats?

Official word is that these are Snickers bars (nougat, peanuts, caramel, chocolate coating) with oats added. Sounds simple enough. I’m actually surprised these haven’t surfaced earlier.

Now, I’m no fan of oatmeal (and by that, I mean I can’t stand that devil’s pancake batter) but I have been known to polish off a container of oatmeal cookies in one sitting when there weren’t other cookies around. They’re not my go-to, but I always think “oh, right – these are pretty good,” when I’m actually eating them. I wasn’t sure if these would be oat-meal-y (blech) or oat-cookie-y (mmm-kaaaayyy).

Snickers Oats 2

How is it?

These are true to the description – Snickers + oats. The nougat is supposed to be the garden variety, but to me the texture was denser and the flavor was more cake-like.

When I cut away the chocolate coating, the inside was PACKED with oats. With the caramel and chocolate coating, it amounted to a cross between a middle-of-the-road granola bar and a middle-of-the-road oatmeal cookie. The combination left me kinda meh. It’s somehow less exciting than a plain Snickers. In fact, I would deem these the Colin Robinson of Snickers bars – I sorta dozed off and don’t really remember eating the rest of it. It might have stolen my life force.

Snickers Oats 3

Anything else you need to know?

I have not seen these in specialty stores, so ordering online is the way to go if you really must have the blandest Snickers.

Snickers Oats 4

Conclusion:

If you wear a lot of beige, regularly comment on the weather, and listen to Nickelback (yeah, I know, it’s an easy and dated joke, but I’ve yet to encounter a rabid Nickelback fan who’ll fight back), you’re gonna love this Snickerzzzzzzz bar. Novelty junkies – steer clear.

Purchased Price: $3.99
Size: (2) 20-gram mini bars
Purchased at: Mexican Candy Lady
Rating: 6 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (2 mini bars) 184 calories, 7.6 grams of fat, 3.2 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 2 milligrams of cholesterol, 78 milligrams of sodium, 25.4 grams of carbohydrates, 1.4 grams of fiber, 18.9 grams of sugar, and 3 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Lotus Biscoff KitKat Minis (United Arab Emirates)

Lotus Biscoff KitKat Minis

What are Lotus Biscoff KitKat Minis?

Some absolute genius has combined KitKats (those wafer/chocolate bars you’re probably supposed to eat one stick at a time, but I take a giant bite out of all four sticks at once because I’m an animal) and Biscoff Spread (that amazing butter made from cookies, which I eat with a spoon, not my fingers because I’m an animal with manners).

Is there a snack foods innovation category for the Nobel Prize? There should be. And whoever dreamed this up should win. It’s so obvious – KitKats and Biscoff – but here it is 2020 and it’s only just born into the world.

Right now, Biscoff KitKats are available in the United Arab Emirates and some outlets in the U.K. They come in “Mini Moments” format (half of a chunky KitKat).

Lotus Biscoff KitKat Minis 2

How are they?

I was sure I’d love these, but there’s always a chance that when you put something on a high pedestal, it can’t live up. These lived up.

The chunky shape allowed for a nice slab of Biscoff above the wafer cookies. The texture of the Biscoff was a little thinner than the usual spread – you can usually get a bit of caramel-like “pull” from Biscoff in a jar. But that didn’t bother me at all. I didn’t notice the crunchiness mentioned on the wrapped, but again – didn’t care. The flavor was spot-on Biscoff – gingery, buttery, brown sugary. Delicious.

Lotus Biscoff KitKat Minis 3

Anything else you need to know?

It’s an absolute tragedy that these aren’t stateside yet. If you want to try them, you’ll have to track them down online.

Conclusion:

These were terrible. Categorically the worst. If you see them in stores here in the U.S., just walk away. If you see me at the store, loading them into a cart by the boxload, it’s because I’m going to burn them in a barrel behind my house. No, that’s NOT a Biscoff KitKat in my mouth. Stop asking questions.

Purchased Price: $2.99 per mini bar + shipping
Size: 17.5g mini bar
Purchased at: Mexican Candy Lady
Rating: 10 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (per mini bar) 93 calories, 5.2 grams of fat, 2.3 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 1.8 grams of cholesterol, 1 milligram of sodium, 10.3 grams of carbohydrates, 0.5 grams of dietary fiber, 8.3 grams of total sugars, 7.2 grams of added sugars and 1.2 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Sakura Matcha and Peach Oolong Oreo Cookies (China)

Oreo Sakura Peach 1

What are Sakura Matcha and Peach Oolong Oreo Cookies?

New spring Oreo flavors are hitting China! And I’m stuck at home with an itchy internet shopping trigger finger!

Oreo Sakura Peach 2

Sakura Matcha is inspired by Japanese green tea and the white/pink cherry blossoms of the sakura tree. In a first for Oreo, the cookie wafers are glorious Pepto PINK. I thought the fire-engine-red Supreme Oreo were a sight, but this pink/bright green combo is hitting me at my core.

Peach Oolong is inspired by Chinese flavors – Americans probably know oolong as the tea often served at Chinese restaurants, and peaches are native to China. This one’s the more traditional chocolate cookie with a muted orange-colored filling.

Oreo Sakura Peach 3

How are they?

These are both good, but the Sakura Matcha stood out a bit flavor-wise. This cookie had the potential of being “too much” – heavy matcha can border on tasting like dirt, and florals can easily overwhelm. But in this case, they both hit the right levels. The result was a moderately sweet cookie with just a bit of earthy green tea and a hint of perfumey cherry blossom. They’re not fruity, but I didn’t miss that. And I mean, the color wins everything.

Oreo Sakura Peach 4

The Peach Oolong Oreo smelled strongly like peach gummy candies, but the actual peach taste was more subdued. The oolong was even more low-key – enough that if I didn’t expect it there, I would’ve missed it. I love oolong tea and wanted that flavor stronger here. But if I held my finger over the word “Oolong,” we basically had tasty peach cookies, which I’m fine with.

Anything else you need to know?

Each box held two sealed packs of five. This is so smart – keeps half of them fresh, it’s just the right size for a taste, and they’re easy to share.

Oreo Sakura Peach 5

Conclusion:

These are absolutely worth trying, if the price doesn’t put you off. I hope a peach Oreo will happen in the US, but I suspect Sakura Matcha Oreo are less likely, so you’ll probably have to order them if you want to taste.

Purchased Price: $19.99 for both boxes (+ free shipping)
Size: 97g box (10 cookies)
Purchased at: eBay
Rating: 9 out of 10 (Sakura Matcha), 8 out of 10 (Peach Oolong)
Nutrition Facts: (per 100g) 2038 calories, 21.5 grams of fat, 380 milligrams of sodium, 67.5 grams of carbohydrates, 5.1 grams of protein. 1 serving = 19.4g / approx. 2 cookies

REVIEW: Canada Dry Pomegranate Ginger Ale (Canada)

Canada Dry Pomegranate Ginger Ale

What is Canada Dry’s Pomegranate Ginger Ale?

It now seems like a thousand years ago, but before a certain microbe forced us all indoors, I traveled to Canada for a weekend jaunt, and of course, loaded up on new and interesting food and drink.

I discovered that up north, Canada Dry is adding pomegranate to its ginger ale. Whaaaa? I love a good pomegranate (when I’ve got the time to sit and free the seeds from the membranes – and don’t even bother telling me all your lifehacks for this – the only way is to settle in and pick), and I love a good ginger ale, so how could I pass this up?

It’s a deep red color – without the label, I would’ve thought this was a new Mountain Dew flavor.

Canada Dry Pomegranate Ginger Ale 2

How is it?

The aroma in the bottle was mostly ginger ale, with a touch of sweet fruity something.

Flavor-wise, again, it was ginger-ale-dominant, with a slight fruity tang. I find pomegranate, when not consumed as a fresh fruit, can often taste like a non-specific berry or fruit, and that’s what happened here. It reminded me of cranberry-flavored drinks/foods. Sadly, I haven’t tried the Canada Dry Cranberry soda, so I can’t compare them directly.

But while the flavor might not have read as real pomegranate, I really liked it. It was more toned-down than the color of it suggests. It felt like a hint of candy added to the usual ginger edge. I enjoyed it more than the recent Canada Dry Ginger Ale and Lemonade and Ginger Ale and Orangeade flavors.

The label says it’s a limited time offer, but I could see this as a year-round product – there’s nothing about the flavor itself that pegs it to a certain season.

Canada Dry Pomegranate Ginger Ale 3

Is there anything else you need to know?

It doesn’t seem like this has officially crossed the border yet. Hopefully it does soon.

Conclusion:

If you like ginger ale, this is one you should try, if you find it. It retains its ginger-ale-ness while adding a lil’ something.

Purchased Price: $2.29CAD
Size: 500ml (16.9oz) bottle
Purchased at: Loblaws
Rating: 8 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (500ml bottle) 190 calories, 0 grams of fat, 70 milligrams of sodium, 49 grams of carbohydrates, 48 grams of sugar, and 0 grams of protein.