REVIEW: Oreo Mooncakes (Thailand)

Oreo Mooncakes Thailand 1

What are Oreo Mooncakes?

Oreo cookies are The Borg. An alien life form that roams the galaxy, conquering and assimilating civilizations (for the non-Trekkies). Sure, they’re not doing it by force – more like delicious seduction – but still, there’s no culture or food item that cannot or will not be Ore-ized. Churros, candy canes, matcha, and now – mooncakes. Resistance is futile.

Mooncakes are iconic Asian delicacies – baked pastry wrapped around a paste filling. They’re served during the Mid-Autumn Festival (October 1st this year) to celebrate the autumn full moon. While the cakes and the festival originated in China, they’re both celebrated and eaten across the continent. China, Taiwan, Singapore, Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Cambodia, and the Philippines roll out the beloved mooncakes each year – often with variations of favorite fillings and styles. Japan and Korea celebrate related fall lunar festivals, but mooncakes are not a large part of their menus.

Mondelez (Oreo’s parent company) have become a player in the mooncake game in the past few years through their Vietnamese division, and you know Oreo just had to make an appearance! They’ve been exporting Oreo Mooncakes to China, Singapore, and Thailand since 2017 in flavors like brownie, strawberry jam, cocoa with milk, cappuccino, and pineapple custard.

Oreo Mooncakes Thailand 2

I failed to source these last year, so I was thrilled to see them for sale online in America recently. Apparently importing mooncakes to the U.S. is a tricky business. Google this if you have time to go down a rabbit hole of egg yolks and customs regulations. I bought a 2-cake set with one Oreo brownie-flavored and one strawberry jam-flavored mooncake. While manufactured in Vietnam, it came via Thailand, so these mooncakes have more passport stamps than most people I know!

How are they?

It had been a while since I had regular mooncakes, so I decided to buy some from a Chinatown bakery to compare. They had flaky pastry shells, and heavy but delicious fillings – red bean, lotus and pineapple.

Oreo Mooncakes Thailand 3

After opening the gorgeous Oreo gift box, I cut into the brownie mooncake first. The pastry shell was considerably doughier than a traditional mooncake, although definitely had that Oreo black cocoa flavor. It was the most Oreo-y element. The tan-colored filling might have been lotus paste, but it was hard to tell because the chocolate brownie center totally overwhelmed it. It was delicious, but more brownie than Oreo.

Oreo Mooncakes Thailand 4

Next up, the strawberry jam mooncake. Its pastry was even softer, without much flakiness. The first few bites were bland strawberry, until I got to a small ribbon of the jam center. I wished there was more jam – it upped the flavor quite a bit, and turned it into a pretty decent little cake.

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The fillings in both cakes were less dense than the traditional – very solid – mooncakes. The Oreo fillings felt more like half-baked cookie dough. They’re still enough to fill your belly quickly, though.

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Overall, a unique experience, but they somehow lost a lot of the charm of both Oreo cookies and mooncakes in the combination.

Anything else you need to know?

This box was absolutely stunning and high-quality. There’s a magnetic closure on top, and it opens like wings. The side panels are laser cut with floral designs.

Oreo Mooncakes Thailand 7

Oreo Mooncakes Thailand 8

Conclusion:

These are interesting, but without the classic Chinese flavors, there’s some context lost here – like those reproductions of historic sculptures covered in neon paint. They are shiny magenta Venus de Milos.

But, if you love traditional mooncakes, these are worth a try for the sheer audacity of them. If you love Oreo cookies, they’re worth trying for the completely different format. If you’re on the fence, give ‘em a try, but try a regular mooncake first for a frame of reference.

Purchased Price: $35.00 + shipping
Size: 2-cake gift box
Purchased at: Desert Drinks and Exotics
Rating: 6 out of 10 (Oreo Brownie)
Rating: 5 out of 10 (Strawberry Jam)
Nutrition Facts:– (1 cake) Oreo Brownie Mooncake – 320 kcalories, 11 grams of fat, 95 milligrams of sodium, 49 grams of carbohydrates, 21 grams of sugar, and 5 grams of protein. Strawberry Jam Mooncake – 280 kcalories, 7 grams of fat, 65 milligrams of sodium, 51 grams of carbohydrates, 24 grams of sugar, and 4 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Doritos Mountain Dew (Australia)

Mountain Dew Doritos  Australia Package

What are Doritos Mountain Dew?

Mountain-Dew-flavored Doritos from Australia – the land of megabats, and well, mega everything. Now they’re doing America in a big way, rolling an iconic snack combo into one product best enjoyed wearing a sleeveless flannel and cutoff shorts, in a monster truck speeding down a 2-lane road surrounded by wheat fields.

Mountain Dew Doritos  Australia Soda 2

How are they?

These were far better than I expected. I figured the citrus would work – there’s already lime-flavored chips in stores that are excellent. The sweetness was the question mark – Mountain Dew is SO sweet – could they pull off the right sweet/savory combo?

It ended up working really well because of the lemon-lime, I think. It gives it the tang and mouth-puckering quality that keeps it from being ALL sweet. It also gave it a bit of the sparkle of a carbonated beverage. Not exactly the bubbly sensation, but the light, bright citric acid that’s in nearly every soda.

These were just as addictive as any chip, but the novelty of the sweet are tart flavors was extra and I loved it.

Mountain Dew Doritos  Australia Chips 3

Anything else you need to know?

I’ve been told these chips DID exist in the US, back in 2008 as “Doritos Quest” mystery flavor. I completely missed those, but I would’ve paid more attention if they were called Doritos Mountain Dew. My head whipped right around this time, but “Doritos Quest” does nothing for me.

Apparently, there was also Doritos-flavored Mountain Dew called DEWitos in 2014 – tested in select colleges in the country. Comment below if you tried it!

WHY has no one here in the US of A thought to release a combo pack of Doritos Mountain Dew AND Dewitos? COME ON, AMERICA! Let’s get our heads in the junk food game here!

Mountain Dew Doritos  Australia Zesty 4

Conclusion:

Try them! They’re fun, they’re weird, they taste good, and they’re AMERICA. Frito-Lay, we need these in every store here in the US!

Purchased Price: $25.00 plus shipping
Size: 80g bag
Purchased at: Desert Drinks & Exotics
Rating: 10 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (27g) 139 calories, 6.9 grams of fat, 0.7grams of saturated fat, 0.1 gram of trans fat, 41 milligrams of sodium, 16.9 grams of carbohydrates, 2.1 grams of sugar, and 2 grams of protein.

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.