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.

REVIEW: Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Pretzel Bites, Cookies ‘N’ Crème Cookie Bites, and Milk Chocolate Cookie Bites

Hershey s Bites 1

What are Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Pretzel Bites, Cookies’ N’ Crème Cookie Bites, and Milk Chocolate Cookie Bites?

Hershey’s latest innovations are a group of familiar flavors in tiny ball format. Why? Because you just vacuumed up the last batch of small, round snacks that rolled into the deep recesses of your home in 2019.

There are two varieties of cookie bites – one vanilla cookie with milk chocolate coating, one chocolate cookie with white crème coating – and pretzel bites with a milk chocolate coating.

How are they?

I really wanted to try these because I am both a choco-pretzel fiend and a cookies & cream fanatic of the highest order. I was less interested in the vanilla cookie/chocolate combo.

Hershey s Bites 2

First thing, I was surprised at the size of them. I saw that the main photo on the package was enlarged, but I figured they’d be Whoppers-sized, like the rest of the images on the bag. Nope – teensy. The cookie bites were 1/2″ wide and the pretzel bites slightly larger. The bag was only half-full. Disappointing, but not a deal-breaker.

Hershey s Bites 3

The chocolate and white crème coatings were exactly what I’d expect from Hershey’s – delicious, but in this case, not ground-breaking. The texture was good – crunchy, but not too hard. I wished the pretzel balls were a tad saltier, though (if I’m doing sweet/salty, I’m going hard). I prefer Pretzel M&M’s to these.

Funny enough, the Milk Chocolate Cookie Bites – that I didn’t care much about at first – were the standouts here. Maybe because the vanilla cookie/chocolate coating combo isn’t as popular right now, so it’s not a well-worn flavor. When I bit into them, they tasted exactly like those not-Oreo vanilla cookies that I ate in my youth. It felt surprisingly nostalgic.

Hershey s Bites 4

I think there’s something of interest in the Milk Chocolate Cookie Bites because of the generally neglected vanilla cookie flavor profile, and would buy them again. The other two, however, seem like duplicates of existing products, just in a smaller, slightly different shape that I don’t think anyone was clamoring for. Maybe they should’ve marketed them as a mix of all three bites in one bag – like a flavor roulette – which one will you get?

Hershey s Bites 5

Is there anything else you need to know?

These things are HIGHLY mobile and slippery. I dropped at least five that I had to hunt for after they promptly rolled away.

Conclusion:

If you’re looking for something new, try the Milk Chocolate Cookies Bites. If you’re looking for solid, good old-fashioned Hershey flavor, try any of them. I’m not completely sure why they exist, but here they are!

Purchased Price: 3 for $12 (on sale)
Size: 7.5 oz. bags
Purchased at: Hershey’s Chocolate World
Rating: 7 out of 10 (Pretzel Bites), 7 out of 10 (Cookies ‘N’ Creme Bites), 8 out of 10 (Chocolate Cookie Bites)
Nutrition Facts:Milk Chocolate Pretzel Bites: (30g – 17 pieces) 140 calories, 6 grams of fat, 3.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, less than 5 milligrams of cholesterol, 135 milligrams of sodium, 21 grams of carbohydrates, less than 1 gram of fiber, 13 grams of total sugars, 12 grams of added sugar and 2 grams of protein. Cookies ‘N’ Crème Cookie Bites: (30g – 21 pieces) 150 calories, 7 grams of fat, 4 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 100 milligrams of sodium, 20 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 13 grams of total sugars, 11 grams of added sugar, and 2 grams of protein. Milk Chocolate Cookie Bites: (30g – 26 pieces) 150 calories, 7 grams of fat, 4.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, less than 5 milligrams of cholesterol, 60 milligrams of sodium, 20 grams of carbohydrates, less than 1 gram of fiber, 14 grams of total sugars, 13 grams of added sugar, and 2 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Snickers Cool Coconut, Cool Lemon and Cool Peach (China)

CoolSnickers1 pkg

What Snickers Cool Coconut, Cool Lemon and Cool Peach?

Again, China is working overtime to woo me with novelty junk food flavors and I’m happy to let them.

These are basically the previously-reviewed Japanese Snickers White with fruit flavors added – coconut, lemon and peach – and a “cooling” effect. I was excited for peach Snickers anyway, but COOL Snickers? Let’s do it – I already lit this mouth up with Fiery Snickers.

CoolSnickers2 bars

How are they?

While not the best Snickers I’ve tried, these were really interesting. The caramel and peanuts were the same as a regular Snickers. The white chocolate was over-the-top sweet and the nougat bland, both like the Japanese White version. Yet each flavor was a slightly different experience.

The coconut bars had a subtle, surprisingly-authentic aroma. The flavor closely resembled sweetened coconut flakes you’d buy at the grocery store. The cooling effect was least prominent in this flavor – it’s like the sensation of menthol without the mint flavor.

CoolSnickers3 size

The lemon had a less appealing smell – a little fishy. Thankfully, once out of the wrapper, it dissipated.

The flavor was a tasty sweet lemon-meringue-type lemon. There was more of the menthol cooling effect than the coconut. I was warming up to these “cool” bars.

CoolSnickers4 inside

The peach was also fishy, but again disappeared out of the package. I really liked the peach flavor – it was strong and not too synthetic. This was the “cool”-est of the bars – the menthol was kicking! It was a really fun sensation (a little cool AND warm), and not as medicinal as it might seem.

All three flavors could have benefitted from actual fruit mix-ins – coconut flakes, lemon zest, peach chunks. Often a visual or texture element goes a long way to convince us something could be real.

CoolSnickers5 cans

Is there anything else you need to know?

The pack I purchased consisted of four small bars (each made up of two 1.5-inch squares) in containers that looked like soda cans. Slaying me. “Things that look like other things” is the third-best way to get my money – right behind “miniature things” and “animals dressed like people.”

CoolSnickers6 contents

Conclusion:

Between the unusual flavors and cooling effect, Cool Snickers were fun and were pretty tasty. If they come stateside (summer – perfect time – just sayin’), they’re worth a try. Probably only worth overpaying for them on eBay if you’re a hardcore novelty junkie.

Purchased Price: $28.99 (free shipping)
Size: 480g pack of (12) 40-oz bars
Purchased at: eBay
Rating: 7 out of 10 (Cool Coconut), 7 out of 10 (Cool Lemon), and 8 out of 10 (Cool Peach)
Nutrition Facts: (per 100 grams), 501 calories, 27.4 grams of fat, 11 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 252 milligrams of sodium, 53.6 grams of carbohydrates, and 9.6 grams of protein.

REVIEW: McDonald’s Snickerdoodle McFlurry

McDonald s Snickerdoodle McFlurry

What is McDonald’s Snickerdoodle McFlurry?

Thank goodness for work rage! I recently stomped out of my office and into a nearby McDonald’s for an afternoon stress-eating break and discovered the chain had rolled out a new McFlurry for the holiday season! Full of snickerdoodle cookie bits! Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus.

Officially, the ingredient list is only vanilla soft serve and snickerdoodle cookie pieces, but there was definitely something else floating around in mine. I thought they were hazelnut bits at first. Then I read a description elsewhere that mentioned white chocolate chunks, which made much more sense.

McDonald s Snickerdoodle McFlurry 2

How is it?

Much like the Snickerdoodle itself, this McFlurry was greater than the sum of its parts. Cookies, ice cream, and white chocolate – nothing particularly fantastic, right? But that cookie dust did something magical here that turned the basic ingredients into something far better than I expected.

Yes, it tasted cinnamon-y. The baked sugar in the cookies added a caramel flavor and I was getting nutty-maple, too, but couldn’t tell where that came from based on the ingredient list. The snickerdoodle and white chocolate bits added a lovely crunch to the creamy soft-serve.

McDonald s Snickerdoodle McFlurry 3

From the first bite, this stole the crown of “my favorite McFlurry variety ever” from the Stroopwafel. The Queen is dead, long live The Queen! (Yeah, my McFlurries are female.) I hope they stick around after the holidays, but I’m going to eat as many as I can this month just in case.

Is there anything else you need to know?

Don’t try to order it at odd hours. ‘Cause the machines get hosed down. But you probably already knew that.

McDonald s Snickerdoodle McFlurry 4

Conclusion:

Buy it. Eat it. Love it. Just not at the Times Square locations, because if I go in and they’re out of them, we’re gonna have a problem on our hands.

Purchased Price: $3.19
Size: 12 oz. Regular-sized cup
Rating: 10 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (12oz/ Regular) 530 calories, 19 grams of fat, 12 grams of saturated fat, 0.5 grams of trans fat, 50 milligrams of cholesterol, 300 milligrams of sodium, 79 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, 65 grams of sugar, and 13 grams of protein.