REVIEW: Lady Gaga Oreo Cookies

Lady Gaga Oreo Cookies 1

What Lady Gaga Oreo Cookies?

Food icon Oreo has teamed up with music icon Lady Gaga for a limited edition cookie inspired by her latest album Chromatica – a combination of celebrity cache and grocery store cred that Andy Warhol would heartily endorse. Why now, six months after the release of said album? Stop asking questions and eat. Or dance. Or both.

The cookie wafers are bright pink with a kelly green filling – a fun twist, although similar to last year’s Sakura Matcha Oreo from China. Gaga’s colors were brighter, however.

Lady Gaga Oreo Cookies 2

How are they?

While billed as standard Oreos with color, I disagree – these were buttery and had an almond extract flavor. They tasted a lot like spritz cookies (you know, the kind you squeeze out of grandma’s 50-year-old cookie press at the holidays), which was a plus for me!

Lady Gaga Oreo Cookies 3

I’m not sure if this flavor deviation was intentional. The extra food coloring for intensely-hued foods can bring a bitter taste – red/pink are notorious for this. I wonder if more flavor was added to offset any possible bitterness.

Lady Gaga Oreo Cookies 4

Packaging here is disappointing. A lot of white space, and the back has almost nothing on it! Come on, this is GAGA. She ain’t minimalist! I want holographic metallics at least. Mockups of the full-sized pack have a hot pink background and a larger “monster rip”, but even then, meh.

Lady Gaga Oreo Cookies 5

There’s a promotion involved as well, but the only way to know that is the “Scan here for something fun!” QR code on the side. Mmmkay. You can make and share an “Oreogram” singing message.

Anything else you need to know?

Right now, 6-cookie-packs have been released to convenience stores, with full-size package release date TBD.

Conclusion:

Fun cookie colors (although not totally new), slightly interesting flavor deviation that might be unintentional, but lame packaging. Worth a try if you love Oreo cookies or Lady Gaga.

Purchased Price: $1.79 each
Size: 6.1oz pack (6 cookies)
Purchased at: 7-Eleven
Rating: 7 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (2 cookies) 150 calories, 7 grams of fat, 2.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 80 milligrams of sodium, 20 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of dietary fiber, 12 grams of total sugars, including 12 grams of added sugars, and less than 1 gram of protein.

REVIEW: Pringles Scorchin’ Potato Crisps

Pringles Scorchin Potato Crisps Cans

What are Pringles Scorchin’ Potato Crisps?

Why are so many foods on fire nowadays? How long until we reach the point where your snacks come with a teenage delinquent who flips a still-hot match into your mouth along with your potato chips?

Pringles Scorchin’ Potato Crisps are extra-hot and spicy, as you’d expect from the name, but even more than that, they have FLAVORS. There’s a Cheddar, a BBQ, and a Chili & Lime variety.

Pringles Scorchin Potato Crisps All 2

A few years ago, I wouldn’t have gone near anything with the word “Scorchin'” in the name, but I’ve been slowly wading into the spicy waters and not hating it. I tend to find foods that are just “spicy” to be a little boring, but spicy-AND-something I can get into. (For reference, I loved Sweet Heat Starburst & Skittles.) So, I appreciated Pringles bringing the flavors here.

How are they?

Unlike the Pringles Extra Hot Chili & Lime, which according to Tiffany’s review, quickly ping-ponged between the flavor and the heat, the Scorchin’ Pringles started out as primarily the flavor, then a very manageable heat snuck in and built exponentially with each subsequent crisp. By the third one, my mouth was crackling and I had to put them away. They weren’t the hottest food I’ve ever tried, but I didn’t have the urge to power through the whole stack like I normally would with Pringles. The flavors stuck it out, though – they didn’t hit the bricks once the fire came barging in. I liked that.

Pringles Scorchin Potato Crisps BBQ 3

BBQ was your standard fare sweet/vinegar sauce, and it had the slowest burn. I was nearly done chewing by the time it hit, then hung around the longest.

Pringles Scorchin Potato Crisps Lime 4

Chili & Lime was similar to the lime flavor in the Pringles Extra Hot review – expectedly tangy and a little artificial. Here, its heat hit a bit faster than the BBQ.

Pringles Scorchin Potato Crisps Cheddar 5

The Cheddar flavor was my favorite of the three – I liked the mellowness of the cheese paired with the spice. The heat here took over the fastest of the three flavors.

Anything else you need to know?

Pringles has had some really fun artwork on their cans lately, but these, not so much. Pringles Man has steam coming out of his ears and the colors are nice and bright, but otherwise, meh.

Conclusion:

If you’re a hardcore, asbestos-throated fire-breather, these might be tame for you. If you like your spice mixed with other flavors, these will hit you right in the hot and sweet spot. Overall, worth a try, unless you hate the heat.

Purchased Price: $2.49 each
Size: 5.5 oz can
Purchased at: Walgreens
Rating: 7 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (approx. 15 crisps) BBQ – 150 calories, 9 grams of fat, 2.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 160 milligrams of sodium, 16 grams of carbohydrates, less than 1 gram of dietary fiber, 1 gram of total sugars, including less than 1 gram of added sugars, and 1 gram of protein. Chili & Lime – 150 calories, 9 grams of fat, 2.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 180 milligrams of sodium, 16 grams of carbohydrates, less than 1 gram of dietary fiber, 1 gram of total sugars, including less than 1 gram of added sugars, and 1 gram of protein. Cheddar – 150 calories, 9 grams of fat, 2.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 190 milligrams of sodium, 16 grams of carbohydrates, less than 1 gram of dietary fiber, 1 gram of total sugars, including less than 1 gram of added sugars, and 1 gram of protein.

REVIEW: Snickers Crisp Black Rice Wafer and Snickers Crisp Purple Sweet Potato Wafer

Snickers Wafer Wrappers 1

What is Snickers Crisp Black Rice Wafer and Snickers Crisp Purple Sweet Potato Wafer?

Snickers recently released the least Snickers-y Snickers ever. It’s a 6-layer wafer bar! It’s from China!

Ground floor – crispy wafer.

Second floor – black rice or purple sweet potato flavored creme filling.

Third floor – wafer.

Fourth floor – caramel peanut creme filling.

Fifth floor – wafer.

Sixth floor – chocolate coating!

Snickers Wafer Layers 2

There hasn’t been a wafer cookie Snickers yet, nor anything with this many layers before. The flavors may seem odd to the American eye, but purple sweet potato is a common dessert ingredient across Asia and black rice is often used in sweet breakfasts and desserts in Thailand and Indonesia. I couldn’t find any info about why Snickers chose this format, these flavors, and why now.

Snickers Wafer Interior 3

How are they?

These tasted like the flavors of a Snickers dialed down, with the texture of a foam packing peanut. That sounds dire, but it’s not. Foods have gotten so cranked up with spicy/sour/sweet that it was nice to have a break and try something quiet.

Snickers Wafer Potato Fill 6

In the wrapper, these both had a strong peanut butter aroma. I tasted each layer individually at first. The wafers are exactly what you’d expect – bland, tasteless papery stuff. The caramel peanut layer was very peanutty, not very caramely, and not very sweet. There are crispy peanut bits in all the creme filling layers that give it a little crunch.

Both of the creme layers here were dry and crumbled when I tried to separate them. The purple sweet potato layer tasted earthy but not as intensely as matcha, for example. The black rice creme tasted like LITERALLY NOTHING.

Snickers Wafer Ricefill 5

The chocolate layer was where all the sugar and flavor action was. When I nibbled a piece of it alone, it didn’t taste particularly sweet, but the bar as a whole was a 6-out-of-10 on the sugar scale. I knew the other layers weren’t bringing anything to that table, so it HAD to be the chocolate. It also had an undefinable fruity tang to it. So mysterious.

Anything else you need to know?

Loving the packaging here – the pastel pink and purple is such a nice change from Snickers’ usual primary colors and earth tones.

Conclusion:

Overall, a nice but subdued wafer bar with a hint of fruit. If you like fresh-pressed, natural peanut butter, you will love these. If you’re a resident of Guy Fieri’s Flavortown, give these a pass. If you’re living in Flavortown but need to take a zen vacation for a few minutes, they might be worth the gamble.

Purchased Price: $42.99 + free shipping (24 bars, 12 of each flavor)
Size: 31 g bar
Purchased at: eBay
Rating: 6 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (approx 1 bar) Snickers Crisp Purple Sweet Potato Wafer – 174 calories, 11 grams of fat, 5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 43 milligrams of sodium, 16 grams of carbohydrates, and 3 grams of protein. Snickers Crisp Black Rice Wafer: – 174 calories, 11 grams of fat, 5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 45 milligrams of sodium, 16 grams of carbohydrates, and 3 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Kellogg’s Chex Green Onion Cereal (South Korea)

Kellogg s Chex Green Onion 1

What is Kellogg’s Chex Green Onion Cereal?

Kellogg’s started cranking out a green-onion-flavored Chex cereal this summer and every snackochist (I’m trying to make this word a thing – pass it on) across the globe sat up and took notice. Why? Why? WHY?

Kellogg s Chex Green Onion 2

Blame it on 2004. Kellogg’s launched a cute marketing contest in South Korea to decide whether its next flavor would be the safe but predictable chocolate or the unimaginable yet intriguing green onion. It ended up producing the chocolate Chex, but circled back 16 years later to give green onion a shot.

It sounded horrific. I HAD to try it.

Kellogg s Chex Green Onion 3

How is it?

The aroma inside the box was like a sour cream & onion potato chip. The cereal pieces had a shiny glaze. I popped a few in my mouth for a dry run. They were…not bad! The onion was more subtle than I expected. The glaze was slightly sweet. It was a surprisingly good combo. It gave me hope. If we could, as a planet, make this work, we could do anything! I proceeded to gather milk and spoon for a real trial…

But, when the milk came in, everything went off the rails. I only managed to swallow four pieces of cereal. The combination of onion, sugar and milk was revolting. I have no idea what the science of this was, but somehow the milk amplified the onion and the flavors did NOT mesh. It was as disgusting as the Spicy Chicken Wing Oreo Cookies, but without the greasy mouth feel.

Kellogg s Chex Green Onion 4

I was shocked that I was shocked because this is the least shocking outcome, right? We all knew this would happen, yet here I was, looking like someone had just peed in my Green Onion Chex cereal.

Anything else you need to know?

Since these were pretty good when eaten dry, I ventured to make Chex Mix with it. Here, the Green Onion Chex was a welcome and rather unique addition. The onion flavor blended seamlessly and the hint of sweetness added a nice change of pace from the other savory notes.

Kellogg s Chex Green Onion 5

Conclusion:

Eat it dry. Make it into Chex Mix, but for the love of all that is good in the universe, do not eat this cereal in milk. This year has been bad enough, only one of us should have that experience.

Purchased Price: $25.19 (on sale) + free shipping
Size: 350 gram box
Purchased at: eBay
Rating: 7 out of 10 (dry), 1 out of 10 (with milk)
Nutrition Facts: (30 gram serving) 115 calories, 0.81 grams of fat, 0.15 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 150 milligrams of sodium, 24.6 grams of carbohydrates, 8.7 grams of sugar, and 2.4 grams of protein.

REVIEW: White Chocolate Sugar Cookie M&M’s

White Chocolate Sugar Cookie M M s Bag

What are White Chocolate Sugar Cookie M&M’s?

M&M’s is taking a softer approach to the Christmas creep this year. “Sugar cookies are year-round favorites, right? They’re sugar cookie flavored. No big deal. Just a little red & green sugar on the bag…oh, and Red’s wearing a little Santa hat. Shhh, it’s okay. Just buy the small pack. We know it’s too early, but you want to try it, don’t you? Yeah, put down that candy corn…”

White Chocolate Sugar Cookie M M s 2 Cookies

This is one of those flavors that seems like it should have existed already, but – surprise! – has somehow escaped the novelty flavor grinder until now. They have crispy rice centers – I believe this is the first time we’ve seen a white chocolate/crispy center combo (correct me if I’m wrong). They’re the standard M&M’s size and come in the usual holiday red-green-white candy coating color combination.

How are they?

These were delicious – the creamy white chocolate worked really well with the crispy rice center. The crunch gave them the texture of thin sugar cookies. I inhaled the first single-sized bag without even realizing I’d eaten them all. Dangerous.

White Chocolate Sugar Cookie M M s 3 Closeup

They didn’t quite capture the flavor of sugar cookies, however. I wanted to taste the “bake” here – caramelized sugar, butter and flour. I didn’t get any of that. They tasted, to me, like a fantastic white hot chocolate I used to buy cups of every winter at a defunct, ritzy grocery store in Manhattan. It was milky and thickly sweet with white chocolate. These M&M’s were exactly like that – more like milk that might have had a sugar cookie dunked in it, but definitely a pound of white chocolate. I had to ding them for not being what they claimed. If they were called M&M’s White Hot Chocolate, they’d rate higher.

One other tiny thing – I did wish there were some red and green sprinkles inside to give the centers some color, but not a deal breaker. Just a sprinkle-obsessed request for next time.

White Chocolate Sugar Cookie M M s 4 Inside

Anything else you need to know?

Not sure if it’s sabotage or synchronicity, but Hershey’s also has sugar cookie-flavored Kisses hitting shelves as well. 2020 will go down in history as the Year of the Sugar Cookie!

Conclusion:

If you’re here for wonderfully tasty M&M’s, come right in. If you’re here for sugar cookie flavor, buy a box of sugar cookies.

Purchased Price: $1.09 (on sale)
Size: 1.35 oz bag
Purchased at: Duane Reade by Walgreens
Rating: 8 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1 pack) 180 calories, 8 grams of fat, 5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 5 milligrams of cholesterol, 60 milligrams of sodium, 27 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 23 grams of sugar, including 21 grams of added sugars, and 2 grams of protein.

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.

Oreo Mooncakes Thailand 5

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.

Oreo Mooncakes Thailand 6

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.