REVIEW: Oscar Mayer Ice Dog Sandwich

1 OscarMayer Ice Dog Pkg

When French’s recently announced they were dropping a mustard ice cream for National Mustard Day, it clearly sent shockwaves through the processed-food industry, because the very next day, Oscar Mayer waded into the turgid waters of inedible-sounding treats with its own concoction.

“The Ice Dog Sandwich” consists of a cookie “bun,” hot dog sweet cream ice cream with candied hot dog bits, and spicy dijon gelato – handed out at the newly-white Wienermobile.

I would normally assume that Oscar Mayer was trying to bite into French’s publicity with the suspiciously-timed release, but 13 days seems like a tight turnaround to make enough product, repaint the ride, and get it to NYC. Coincidence? I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt.

2 Oscar Mayer Ice Dog Mobile

Having just sampled two versions of French’s ice cream, I was revved and ready when that White-Walker-phallus truck pulled up steps away from the public restrooms of Bryant Park. Coincidence? Probably.

3 Oscar Mayer Ice Dog Wrapper

The standard paper hot dog trays, foil wrappers with logo stickers were underwhelming. French’s had branded cups, decorations, and napkins. Just sayin’. But I was fascinated by the ingredients list on the back – celery juice? Cherry powder?

4 Oscar Mayer Ice Dog Ingredients

The sandwich didn’t look like the advance photos. It was half the thickness and none of the color. The pink candied meat bits were the only way to tell the hot dog side from the mustard side.

5 Oscar Mayer Ice Dog Sandwich Split

Image on left via Oscar Mayer

I was not a fan of the cookie bun. Flavor-wise, it was a decent sugar cookie, but the texture was like a wet blondie. It didn’t hold a candle to the lovely Coolhaus pretzel cookie at French’s truck.
The spicy dijon gelato tasted exactly like what I expected when I tried the French’s ice cream – tangy, strong, and extremely mustardy. I didn’t like it at all. It didn’t mesh well with the hot dog ice cream, which was delightful.

Yes, I’ll say it again – the delightful hot dog ice cream. Its flavor was mostly vanilla (like French’s) but with meaty/savory hints when you got to the candied hot dog bits. It felt like a spin on ice cream with bacon. I would eat it again, but not in this combination.

Proving that we should all stay in our lanes, Oscar Mayer’s Hot Dog Ice Cream, French’s Mustard Ice Cream, and Coolhaus’ Pretzel Cookies would be an amazing trio.

Now, where is my Pizza Sorbet?

Purchased Price: Free
Size: N/A
Purchased at: Received at Oscar Mayer Ice Dog mobile
Rating: 5 out of 10 (Hot Dog Ice Cream alone – 9 out of 10)
Nutrition Facts: Not available.

REVIEW: French’s & Coolhaus Mustard Ice Cream Truck

French s  Coolhaus Mustard Ice Cream

You really get to know who your friends are in the moments after you yell across the office, “There’s a French’s Mustard Ice Cream Truck pop-up today for National Mustard Day – who’s going with me?!?!” 

I thought I’d drag my co-workers, kicking and screaming, into my novelty-flavored world. I dared them into trying Wasabi and Spicy Chicken Wing Oreos. I buttered them up with Strawberry Cheesecake Kit Kats. But there I was, standing solo on a hot Rockefeller Center sidewalk, gleefully spooning bright yellow, mustard-flavored ice cream into my gaping maw. I couldn’t miss something as potentially horrifying as this.

French s  Coolhaus Mustard Ice Cream 2 Truck

My co-workers missed out, because, defying all odds and expectations, French’s Mustard Ice Cream was GOOD. 

First things first – based on color alone, there was no question this was mustard ice cream. French’s and Coolhaus ice cream perfectly replicated that signature shade. The serving was a good size for a free sample – about a scoop and a half. It came with a Coolhaus pretzel cookie that was absolutely delicious. 

French s  Coolhaus Mustard Ice Cream 3 Cup

My first impression when the ice cream hit my taste buds was “vanilla plus something.” The mustard flavor was far more subdued than I expected. There was none of the sharp tang that the condiment is known for. It took a moment for the mustard flavor to even land on my palate, and even then, it took a back seat to the milk/cream/vanilla. I wondered if anyone would correctly identify it if they didn’t already know, or have the visual cue of the color.

Overall, I thought it was an enjoyable ice cream that I might actually buy again if it were in stores.

French s  Coolhaus Mustard Ice Cream 4 Empty

In case you weren’t in New York/Los Angeles, or had something more pressing to do with your day (can’t imagine what would qualify), the French’s website has a home recipe you can use to recreate the magic of the Mustard Ice Cream Truck, albeit without the intoxicating perfume of Manhattan in the summer. I decided to give it a whirl. 

It’s a no-churn recipe, so you don’t need an ice cream machine, just a blender. It came together in under five minutes, but needed a few hours in the freezer. I left mine overnight and it was a good scoopable consistency in the morning. 

French s  Coolhaus Mustard Ice Cream 5 DIY

Taste-wise, it was on-par with the truck ice cream, but the texture was more like a frozen whipped topping, because it’s essentially a whipped cream base. I think I added a pinch more mustard than the truck, because I noticed it more here, but it’s an easy and pretty accurate copy of what I had on the street.

I have to hand it to French’s for creating a quirky, fun food instead of just another “experience” that’s all about taking Instagram photos with their logo.

And guess who’s going to work tomorrow with a batch of mustard ice cream and a bunch of spoons?

Purchased Price: FREE / DIY
Size: N/A
Purchased at: French’s & Coolhaus Mustard Ice Cream Truck
Rating: 9 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: Not available.

SPOTTED AT THE 2019 SUMMER FANCY FOOD SHOW (CHRISTMAS IN JULY EDITION)

Spotted on Shelves is back for more at the 2019 Summer Fancy Food Show (FFS) in New York City. I scoped out new products from familiar brands and interesting things from up-and-coming companies.

I, and everyone else present, ate many free samples. So many samples. This did not affect what was chosen to appear in this column or my opinions of the products.

Depending on where you live, you might have only just shed your winter coat or spring rain boots, but inside the Fancy Food Show, holiday merchandise is in full swing! In fact, it’s almost over – they’re talking Valentine’s Day. Well, I’ve been to the future, and brought some photos back…and a couple of samples.

Chuao Exploding Coal Chocolate Bar

Xmas chuaocoal

Well, I didn’t think it was possible to make a coal-related novelty Christmas stocking stuffer that wasn’t groan-inducing, but Chuao has done it! Exploding Coal is made with popping candy (fun!) and black cacao – aka black onyx cocoa powder. I am obsessed and bake with it all the time – it’s ultra-deep chocolate flavor without the bitterness of traditional dark chocolate. I haven’t seen black cocoa in a chocolate bar before, so it’s exciting. But it is still a dark-chocolate-based bar, so there is that familiar dark bitterness, but the black cacao cuts it a bit. Overall, a really tasty bar. It might say it’s for naughty folk, but I would only give this to people I truly like.

Available starting October 2019 at Amazon, big box retailers and supermarkets nationwide.

Tate’s Bake Shop Hot Chocolate Cookies and Toasted Almond Cookies

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I’m not sure Tate’s can make a cookie I don’t love. They won me over this summer on coconut, even! Its upcoming holiday flavors were on display at FFS, and I’m ready for them. The Hot Chocolate variety reminded me a lot of this summer’s S’mores cookies, without the graham cracker element. They’re a light cocoa with white chocolate chips and a strong caramel flavor.
The Toasted Almond cookies had a strong but not overwhelming or artificial almond flavor. They had a very “Cookies Grandma Made That We Didn’t Really Appreciate Until Adulthood Because As Kids We Just Wanted Sprinkles” vibe.

Available starting in October 2019 online, in mass supermarket chains, big box retailers and specialty food stores

B. Nutty Cinnamon Sugar Cookie, Peppermint Brownie, and Joyful Cranberry Dark Chocolate Gourmet Peanut Butters

Xmas Bnutty

I’m not a peanut butter fanatic per se, but I can put a real dent in a jar of B. Nutty’s peanut butters (shout out to Blissful Blueberry and Irresistable Pretzel!), so I was happy to see them at FFS with some new holiday flavors. I tried the Cinnamon Sugar Cookie, which was a sweet, cinnamon-y peanut treat and the Joyful Cranberry with Dark Chocolate, which was pretty low-key but delicious.

Available now online and on QVC, coming to Amazon late October, retail outlets November/December 2019

Sheila G’s Brownie Brittle Gingerbread

Xmas browniebrittle

Brownie Brittle has a new seasonal flavor hitting shelves soon as well – Gingerbread with white chocolate chips. Sadly, there weren’t samples on hand of this flavor, but I’m looking forward to trying it when it pops up in stores.

Available starting in September/October 2019 in supermarkets nationwide.

Crafty Cooking Kits Hanukkah Sugar Cookie House, Cabin in the Woods Gingerbread Kit

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Just because someone doesn’t celebrate Christmas doesn’t mean we should rob them of the chance to buy a holiday house kit with all good intentions, then eat the cookie walls at midnight on a random night in November in a fit of hunger, right? That’s where the Hanukkah Sugar Cookie House comes in handy. And, as a horror fan, my brain lit up with decorating possibilities when I saw the Cabin in the Woods Gingerbread Kit. It’s about time that movie got a Christmas baking kit.

Available starting September/October 2019 in supermarket chains and discount retailers.

Pop Art Gingerbread Caramel Gourmet Popcorn

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Finding Gingerbread Caramel Popcorn at FFS made me think, “Why haven’t I seen THIS before?” The elements all make sense together, but it hasn’t been a regular holiday product…until NOW! Pop Art’s Gingerbread Caramel Popcorn was delicious and well-coated, but not too sticky. The packaging artwork was super-fun, too.

Available now online, starting in October 2019 in select regional grocery chains on the West Coast and Utah.

Pelican Bay Elf Snot Sour Apple Liquid Candy

Xmas elfsnot

Chances are, there’s a kid in your family that would LOVE to eat sugar “snot” out of a test tube this Christmas. Or maybe YOU would love to eat sugar “snot” and have a child in your life you can use as an excuse to buy TWO tubes and keep one. Either way, you need Elf Snot. I didn’t get to sample this Sour Apple-flavored liquid candy, but when I see it out in the wild, bet all my friends’ kids are getting some.

Available starting September 2019 in specialty and discount retailers and select supermarket chains nationwide.

Skinny Syrups Winter Trio and Cozy Coffee Collection

Xmas skinnysyrups

If you’re trying to escape the holidays without busting out of your pants, Skinny Syrups can help. They’re dropping some new zero-calorie coffee syrups (which I use in everything but coffee) in festive flavors like White Chocolate Mocha, Salted Caramel Swirl, Cinnamon Vanilla, S’mores, and Cinnamon Dolce.

Available starting July/August 2019 in discount retailers and specialty stores nationwide.

Walkers Pure Butter Shortbread Gingerbread Men and Mini Gingerbread Men Shortbread Biscuits

Xmas walkers

When I saw these gingerbread-flavored shortbread cookies in the Walkers booth at FFS, I didn’t think much of them. They were cute and I figured people who love shortbread would like them. Then I tasted the sample and OH MY GAWD. So buttery and rich. Ginger is present, but I’m not sure I’d identify them as gingerbread (or shortbread) without seeing the name first. It’s much more about the molasses. I will be eating more of these this holiday season. They’re dangerously addictive.

Available starting November 2019 in mass grocery chain, big box retailers and specialty retailers.

SPOTTED AT THE 2019 SUMMER FANCY FOOD SHOW (IT’S MADE OF WHAT? EDITION)

Spotted on Shelves is back for more at the 2019 Summer Fancy Food Show (FFS) in New York City. I scoped out new products from familiar brands and interesting things from up-and-coming companies.

I, and everyone else present, ate many free samples. So many samples. This did not affect what was chosen to appear in this column or my opinions of the products.

Part of the thrill of the Fancy Food Show is discovery. Finding ingredients you’ve never heard of. Finding products that use familiar ingredients in new and novel ways. It’s a novelty addict’s dream come true!

Sun Tropics Soursop Guanabana Nectar

What soursop

There seems to always be a fruit at FFS that I’m totally unfamiliar with but delighted to be introduced to, and this year it’s Soursop (aka Guanabana). At first, I mistook it on the label for cherimoya – turns out they’re cousins. This nectar was the right amount of sweet, tangy and creamy. I’d love to try working this into baked goods somehow.

Available now in select big box retailers on the West Coast and East Coast.

Nova Crisp Sea Salt, Maui Onion, White Cheddar, and Barbecue

What novacrisp1

What novacrisp2

Nova Crisps are air-popped snacks made with cassava, a South American root vegetable. I’m not sure if cassava is a new ingredient to most Americans since I keep mixing it up with casaba melon. In any case, the packaging on these crisps caught my eye – the Sea Salt and Maui Onion flavors fit right into the current unicorn/mermaid aesthetic, with a deep-space twist. Love it. The crisps themselves were tasty – the Maui Onion was my favorite. The texture was similar to a rice cake, but more delicate.

Available now on Amazon, coming to select regional grocery chains in August

Goldthread Tulsi Clarity and Schisandra Supreme Tonics

What goldthread

Goldthread had two plant-based tonics with flavors that were new to me. Tulsi Clarity features tulsi (aka holy Basil), a plant leaf native to Southeast Asia that gives you – you guessed it – clarity…and calmness for good measure. The tonic also includes hibiscus and goji berry and tastes very fruity. The Schisandra Supreme features a medicinal berry from China/Russia that gives uplifting energy, similar to ginseng. This tonic has goji berry, ginger, and mint. Both were fruity and delicious.

Available now online and in select Whole Foods, regional grocery chains, independent groceries and health food stores

Pan’s Mushroom Jerky Original, Salt & Pepper, Zesty Thai, and Applewood BBQ

What pansjerky1

What pansjerky2

Mushrooms are not a new food to any of us, but they appear in an unusual format here. I’m kind of a sucker for anything with the word “jerky” in it, so I had to try this, and I wasn’t disappointed. Based on a family recipe from Malaysia, all the familiar deep, meaty, savory beef jerky elements were present, and the BBQ and Thai flavors added a nice dimension. The texture was a little softer than I anticipated, but still with the bite and chewiness of more familiar jerky products.

Available now online and specialty food markets and independent grocers nationwide.

Garden of Flavor Cold-Pressed Energy Pear Reishi, Aronia Berry Blackberry, Wheatgrass Pineapple, Turmeric Root Ginger Root, and Aloe Collagen Drinks

What gardenflavor

Garden of Flavor’s Cold-Pressed Energy Drinks were based on a new-to-me ingredient: the guayusa leaf, from Amazonian caffeinated holly trees. Two of its flavors also featured foods I hadn’t heard of – Reishi, a Chinese medicinal mushroom, and Aronia (aka Chokeberry) a berry native to the Eastern United States and Canada. This entire range of juices were delicious – the wheatgrass was shockingly not overly grassy (I didn’t think that was possible), aloe ginger was a tart shot of lemon and ginger, and while the Pear Reishi was earthy, it didn’t scream mushroom.

Available now in select Whole Foods and specialty grocery stores on the East Coast and Midwest, West Coast distribution in Fall 2019.

Yolélé Fonio African Supergrain

What yolele1

What yolele2

Now that we all know what quinoa is, let’s find the new quinoa — FONIO! This grain, that’s barely larger than sand granules, is grown in West Africa. It’s gluten-free, high in protein, cooks in five minutes and has a neutral flavor that makes it a great base like rice, quinoa, or couscous. The samples on hand were mixed with tomato and herbs into a delicious pilaf. Yolélé as a company is also working to boost West African small farmers and female-owned collectives.

Available now on Amazon and specialty grocery stores in the Northeast, wider distribution TBD.

Kamsa Superfood Infused H2O Deep Forest Hibiscus/Berry, South Island Mango/Peach, High Mountain Lemon/Ginger, Wild Tropics Pineapple/Coconut, and Low-Key Peach/Ginger

What kamsa1

While a lot of novel ingredients at FFS were geared towards herbs or fruits that have medicinal or health-boosting properties, Kamsa are flavored waters featuring a familiar sweetener in a more natural form. Panela is a raw cane sugar product from Colombia that retains the original flavor of sugarcane juice that’s lost in refining it into white or brown sugar. Because these waters were dominated flavor-wise by the fruits and vegetables in them, I couldn’t really tell the difference in sweeteners, but overall they were tasty drinks.

Available now online and in select grocery stores and gas stations in Florida, wider distribution TBD.

Matzo Project Harissa Matzo Chips

What matzo1

What matzo2

Again, Matzo is not a new ingredient here in the US, but I haven’t seen it as chips before, and I’m loving it. First, the packaging is adorable – I’m pretty sure I’ve met that Granny on the bag a hundred times. Second, the texture and flavor of the new Harissa variety is great – crunchy and spicier than I would usually prefer, but I couldn’t stop eating them.

Available now online and at specialty food stores nationwide.

SPOTTED AT THE 2019 SUMMER FANCY FOOD SHOW (DRINKS EDITION)

Spotted on Shelves is back for more at the 2019 Summer Fancy Food Show (FFS) in New York City. I scoped out new products from familiar brands and interesting things from up-and-coming companies.

I, and everyone else present, ate many free samples. So many samples. This did not affect what was chosen to appear in this column or my opinions of the products.

We’ve seen the savories. We’ve seen the sweets. We have to stay properly hydrated, though, so let’s hit on all the wet stuff at FFS that will keep us refreshed and moist. (Yeah, that’s right – I said it. Moist.)

Maud Borup’s Very Cherry and Blue Raspberry Fizzy Drink Bombs

Drinks FizzyBombs1

One of my favorite finds at FFS were these little bath-bomb-like spheres that you drop into water to make a fizzy fruit drink. The ball spins, rises and sinks, and sheds edible glitter as it dissolves. The resulting drink is a bright cherry or raspberry flavor. I totally want to drop these into champagne. I just hope Grandpa Joe and I don’t bump into the newly-washed and sterilized ceiling.

Available in specialty grocery stores starting in Mid-August 2019.

Don Pablo Bourbon Infused Coffee

Drinks DonPablo

My attempts to find interesting coffee products at FFS were hampered a bit by my complete disinterest in coffee as a drink. So I imagined them as hot cocoa products instead, and a bourbon-infused hot cocoa sounded interesting to me. I did take a hearty whiff of the coffee grounds and they smelled lovely, so I’m thinking they taste pretty good as well. It’s made by soaking coffee beans in bourbon, drying them, then roasting (which cooks off the alcohol but leaves the flavor).

Available in September online, Amazon and select big box retailers.

Nestea Peach Black Tea, Lemon Black Tea and Raspberry Green Tea

Drinks Nestea

It wouldn’t be summer without some iced tea, now would it? Nestea was showing some new flavors and new formulas of its bottled iced teas. All three had nice flavors that weren’t too tart or overwhelming. The Raspberry Green Tea was pretty light on green tea taste and sweetened with beet sugar. The Peach and Lemon had beet sugar but also Stevia to sweeten.

Available now at select grocery chains and discount retails, more outlets coming.

Republic of Tea The Bates’ Tea, Violet & Mary’s Tea, and Lord & Lady Grantham’s Tea

Drinks Downton1

Drinks Downton2

Drinks Downton3

Get out your corsets, the Downton Abbey movie is coming! And now you can trade zingers with your favorite salty granny over a cup of Republic of Tea’s new Downton movie themed tea bags. I didn’t taste these, but they smelled lovely. The Lord & Lady Granthams’ flavor is Black Tea with Royal Spices, Violet & Mary’s is Caffeine-Free Ginger Mint Herb Tea (because can you picture Violet amped up on caffeine?), and The Bates’ Plum Pudding Black Tea.

Available starting August (leading up to the movie release in September) in specialty and natural foods markets and CostPlus World Market.

iQ juice Vitalize w/CBD

Drinks CBD1

The CBD sign drew me in to the iQ juice booth, but what made it really interesting to me were the juices themselves. My jury’s still out on this whole craze, so I didn’t taste its Vitalize with CBD pre-production samples, but another variety I did try – Fat Burner – was truly delicious. I find the idea of a really good base juice with CBD as an ingredient more appealing than something where flavor is secondary to the CBD. The owners told me they chose fruits for Vitalize with anti-inflammatory properties (like dark berries), to play off of CBD’s similar benefits.

Available before the end of 2019 at specialty grocery and health food stores and select mass-market retailers.

Mingle Blood Orange Elderflower Sparkling Mocktails

Drinks Mingle

Mingle is a line of non-alcoholic sparkling mocktails that can be enjoyed as-is, or mixed with your tipple of choice. Obviously a great option for non-imbibers, but I also think it’s handy for lazy folks like myself who never seem to have all the ingredients for classy cocktails. Its new blood orange elderflower flavor was refreshing and fruity but not overly tart.

Available starting in Mid-July at regional grocery chains and select domestic retailers.

Tap Drops Tokyo, London, Vienna, Paris, Rome, and New York

Drinks TapDrops

TapDrops sells tiny bottles of liquid that, when added to purified water, recreate the water of other major cities of the world. You could have the bagel-perfecting water of New York City in Peoria. Apparently the coffee in Rome is something wonderful, and you can get closer to recreating it at home with these drops – or just enjoy the tap water of your favorite metropolis without all the annoying travel.

Available now online, retail distribution TBD.

Jardin Floral Infusions Rose, Honeysuckle, and Lavender

Drinks Jardin1

Jardin Floral Infusions are one of the most visually attractive items I saw at the show. I mean – look at those pearly swirls! These are meant to be mixed with champagne or spirits as an enhancer, but I can see them going nicely into any clear drink. I tried the Lavender and Honeysuckle. They’re very subtle flavor-wise, which is great because flowers can get overwhelming fast. The bottles are so lovely I’d totally bring them as hostess gifts.

Available now at specialty grocery and wine stores across the Northeast.

SPOTTED AT THE 2019 SUMMER FANCY FOOD SHOW (SWEETS EDITION)

Spotted on Shelves is back for more at the 2019 Summer Fancy Food Show (FFS) in New York City. I scoped out new products from familiar brands and interesting things from up-and-coming companies.

I, and everyone else present, ate many free samples. So many samples. This did not affect what was chosen to appear in this column or my opinions of the products.

Somehow, I managed to leave FFS on my own feet, not hauled out on a stretcher in a sugar coma. I tried and saw some really interesting and delicious sweet treats that have just landed or will in the future.

Jelly Belly Candy Cupcakes

Sweets JellyBelly1

Sweets JellyBelly2

Last year at FFS, Jelly Belly was showing its mellowcreme ice cream cones. This year, it’s mellowcreme cupcakes. Again, each piece has two halves with its own flavors. In this case, the bottoms are cupcake-flavored, the top is frosting – vanilla, chocolate, strawberry, blueberry or banana. I like the texture of these – I love candy corn, and these are like a refined version of candy corn with more flavors.

Available starting September 2019 in grocery stores, candy shops and retailers nationally

Pechkek’s Misfortune Cookies

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Sweets Misfortune2

Sometimes you find a product that resonates with you on a level that makes you wonder if it was plucked from your brain while you slept. This was one of those times. These fortune cookies are heavy metal black, have delightfully Halloween-ish packaging and are filled with fortunes that are bleak, clever, and funny. If I am ever reincarnated in cookie form, I will be a Pechkek’s Misfortune Cookie. Sadly, they only had paper prototypes on hand at FFS, so I didn’t get to taste them, but I didn’t need to. I want them. I am them.

Available mid-September 2019, outlets TBD

Loacker Double Choc Crispy Wafers

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Sweets Loacker2

I’m surprised to call a wafer cookie “decadent,” but Loacker’s Double Choc felt so over-the-top rich. The wafers are deep cocoa (but not dark/bittersweet). The filling is thin, gooey, and delicious but left me with choc hands – which I promptly got all over my shirt. Maybe eat them wearing black satin elbow-length gloves just to be safe.

Available in the US starting early 2020, available internationally now.

Red Vines Made Simple Cherry Twist

Sweets RedVines

Some people do not discuss politics at the dinner table. I prefer not to discuss which red licorice is better. There is no right answer – the best red licorice is the red licorice that’s there in front of you. At FFS, Red Vines’ upcoming Made Simple Cherry Twist were in front of me. Well, the packaging was. I didn’t get to sample them, but based on the Made Simple Mixed Berry Twists that I did have, they’ll be pretty close in texture to the original Red Vines with a slightly different flavor.

Available in grocery stores, convenience stores and major retailers starting November 2019

Hammond’s SodaPop and Coconut Cream Pie Milk Chocolate Bars

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Sweets Hammonds3

Hammond’s, of “Pigs N’ Taters” chocolate bar fame, has just dropped two new flavors. My favorite, SodaPop, is a cola-flavored chocolate bar with popping candy inside. As a cola fanatic, I am always skeptical of cola flavoring, but it’s done really well here (thanks for not making it cherry cola!) and the popping candy worked really well. The Coconut Cream Pie has a finely-shredded coconut and ganache filling that will make coconut lovers happy.

Available now online and at specialty stores nationally.

Belgian Boys Dark Chocolate and Salted Caramel Lava Cakes & Cookies & Cream, Raspberry, Cookie Butter, Key Lime and New York Cheesecakes

Sweets BelgBoys1

Sweets BelgBoys2

There’s no better way to get me to stop at your booth at FFS than to dangle cookie butter (aka – speculoos) in front of me, and that’s exactly what The Belgian Boys did. They were showing its new freezer-aisle desserts – single-serving cheesecakes and lava cakes in little glass bowls. The cheesecakes are thaw and eat, the lava cakes are freezer-to-oven. I tried the Cookie Butter flavor, which delivered on specu-locity with a slab of the spread of the Gods on top, a light, creamy cheesecake layer and a cookie crumb crust at the bottom. Bonus points for the tiny shovel-shaped spoons at the booth.

Available in grocery chains and Whole Foods in the MidAtlantic area and regional retailers starting in September 2019.

Mamie’s Pies Peach, Cherry, Pumpkin, Apple, and Blueberry

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Sweets MamiesPies2

Mamie’s Pies has been on QVC and Oprah’s “Favorite Things” list, but they’re moving into your local grocery stores soon. These hand pies come individually packaged and frozen – they can be oven-baked, air fried, or deep fried. The samples I tasted were baked the previous day and served at room temperature, but still had flaky crusts and delicious fillings.

Available starting end of Summer 2019 in mass grocery chains nationally

Hot Scream Spicy Ice Cream Salted Caramel Swirl, Strawberry Swirl, Espresso Swirl, Chocolate Swirl, Black Raspberry Swirl, Ginger Swirl and Peach Swirl

Sweets HotScream

Novelty addicts and hot sauce addicts, gather ‘round. Somebody made an ice cream just for you. Hot Scream is basically a good, solid vanilla ice cream with flavor ribbons and a dash of heat. It sounds like a “WHY?” moment, but these ice creams were really good. The heat didn’t compete with the ice cream flavors, it just added a little kick. I’m not enough of a chili fan to crave this, but it was fun to try all the flavors. They would be great for a summer party or outdoor barbecue.

Available now in grocery chains in the Northeast, nationwide distribution TBD.

Waffle Shots Limited Edition 8-packs Peanut Butter & Brownie and Peppermint Bark & Hazelnut

Sweets WaffleShot

Waffle Shots, the company that makes espresso-shot-sized waffle cone cups, is releasing new flavors for the fall/winter. I didn’t sample these because they were being served with coffee (I hate coffee!) but they’re so cute and useful – I’m definitely going to try them with hot cocoa or cider.

Available starting in September/October 2019 online, Amazon, select department stores and gourmet food markets.