REVIEW: Ben & Jerry’s Limited Batch Totally Unbaked Ice Cream

Ben  Jerry s Limited Batch Totally Unbaked Pint

What is Ben & Jerry’s Limited Batch Totally Unbaked?

Ben & Jerry’s first limited batch release of 2021 is a twist on its #1 flavor — Half Baked. The twist? Unbaking it hence the Totally Unbaked moniker. Instead of chocolate and vanilla ice creams being mixed with the usual cookie dough and fudge brownie gobs, it’s mixed with cookie dough gobs and brownie batter swirls.

How is it?

Ben  Jerry s Limited Batch Totally Unbaked Spoon

The classic base flavors were as delicious as expected from the Vermont duo. The ensemble of rich chocolatey notes with a trill of fudge and the bass of familiar vanilla and cookie dough sang in perfect harmony.

Ben  Jerry s Limited Batch Totally Unbaked Dig

I am a texture fiend, though, so I was a little worried that it would lack in that department, especially since the brownie batter swirls look more like subtle ribbons. I wishfully thought they would add some nuance like the way the chocolate pudding swirls do in the Chocolate Therapy flavor, but no dice. However, the cookie dough and mini chocolate chips carried Team Texture just fine while maintaining the usual eat-straight-from-the-pint scoopability.

Anything else you need to know?

Ben  Jerry s Limited Batch Totally Unbaked Comparison

I found it more chocolate-forward when comparing head-to-head with its OG counterpart because the brownie batter was dispersed throughout for a fudge-y bite in nearly every spoonful.

Conclusion:

Pick it up if you see it! It’s a limited batch flavor – which means it changes 4-6 months – so it’s an excellent way to shake up your ice cream rotation. However, it’s not as novel as its Topped or Core innovations.

But a Limited Batch variety can become a permanent flavor like Peanut Butter Half Baked, so you never know!

Purchased Price: $4.99
Size: One Pint
Purchased at: Meijer
Rating: 9 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (2/3 cup/142 grams) 380 calories, 20 grams of fat, 12 grams of saturated fat, 0.5 grams of trans fat, 75 milligrams of cholesterol, 105 milligrams of sodium, 46 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of fiber, 37 grams of sugar, 6 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Papa John’s Parmesan Crusted Papadia

Papa John s Parmesan Crusted Papadia Full

In the pizza chain innovation playbook, it’s a must to mess with the crust. So Papa John’s stayed true to form with the new Parmesan Crusted Papadia.

While it’s a standard play to jazz up the crust, the execution is actually pretty genius because it takes a unique offering in the crowded chain pizza space and makes it more unique. It also delivers exactly as promised — a Papadia with a nice crispy parmesan exterior.

The addition can be ordered with any of the existing varieties. It’s a one-dollar upcharge. I went with my favorite one thus far — the Meatball Pepperoni.

After opening its box, I could immediately tell it was cheese crusted from its golden hue. It was like someone folded a doily made of cheese onto the Papadia.

Papa John s Parmesan Crusted Papadia Seeing Crust

The visible shredded dairy melded onto the surface was reminiscent of the pizza chain’s garlic parmesan crust. But this version is so much better because of the added surface area and the wispy cheese edges like the overflow on a grilled cheese sandwich. 2?r now equals C for cheese!!!

Said cheese doily didn’t take away from or overpower the existing meat and tomato sauce flavors. It complemented them really well with extra savoriness that culminated in a much cheesier taste than the original version. I also enjoyed the added texture to each bite. It’s not crunchy like eating Cheetos, but rather it’s more like a light crispness, similar to eating a parmesan crisp!

Papa John s Parmesan Crusted Papadia Bites

With all that said, this cheese-crusted version was a little less “handheld happiness” than the original, as the parmesan crust left quite the oily residue.

All things considered, I would pay the extra dollar for the crispy goodness again and again.

I’m actually secretly hoping that this catches on at other chains and even local pizza joints. Can you imagine an added cheesy exterior like this on a folded NY-style pizza?! SHEEEEEESH (as the TikTokers would say).

This is innovation at its finest, people!! Simple but effective and delicious.

Purchased Price: $7
Size: N/A
Rating: 8 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (Not available on website, but here’s the info for a regular Meatball Pepperoni) 940 calories, 49 grams of fat, 21 grams of saturated fat, 1 gram of trans fat, 140 milligrams of sodium, 2390 milligrams of sodium, 79 grams of carbohydrates, 4 grams of fiber, 8 grams of sugar, and 42 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Starbucks Strawberry Funnel Cake Frappuccino

Starbucks Strawberry Funnel Cake Frappuccino Cup

Starbucks not only dictates when fall starts (on PSL day, of course), but now also when summer starts with its drink drops. The latest seasonal lineup, cleverly dubbed “A.S.A.P.” (As Summer As Possible), comprises mainly of repeat/returning items, but there’s one new beverage: the Strawberry Funnel Cake Frappuccino!

This signature blended beverage touts funnel-cake flavor syrup blended with coffee, milk, and ice with layers of strawberry puree, whipped cream, and powered sugar funnel cake pieces.

Starbucks Strawberry Funnel Cake Frappuccino Top

Visually, the first descriptor that came to mind was “stunning,” which may sound exaggerated. So, I’ll settle down and simply say it was a pretty drink! It brought back summer nostalgia as it fondly reminded me of strawberry ice cream sundae cups – the ones with the little wooden spoon. As a kid, I used to eat those daily during summer school.

This Frap was definitely a glow up from those frozen dessert cups. Consistent with all Starbucks’ fruit inclusions/flavoring, the strawberry puree had the nuanced sweet and tartness of real fruit. In contrast, though, the funnel cake-flavored syrup tasted a little bit artificial. It had a distinct vanilla-esque note that even coffee couldn’t hide.

To be fair, though, the drink overall was not very coffee-forward. I was about halfway through when I did a double take and asked aloud, “Is there even coffee in this?!” The nutrition facts in the handy app confirmed the caffeine presence of about 85 milligrams, which is a fraction of my usual nitro cold brew. Regardless, I’m going to say it was by design because it would be easy to overwhelm the fruit flavor with bold, acidic coffee.

Starbucks Strawberry Funnel Cake Frappuccino Layers

I chose not to mix it to maintain the layered drinking experience. My favorite sips started with the whipped cream and strawberry puree part for a strawberries & cream-like flavor. Then it was followed by a slurp of the blended coffee as there were the fun bits of the funnel cake pieces. Said pieces had a graham cracker-like texture instead of fluffy funnel cake. This deviation was fine by me because I hate the idea of soggy pieces. Rinse and repeat (or more like sip and sip some more in this case)!

Is it a color-changing, Insta-worthy mermaid unicorn beverage? No.

Is it a classic that I could see returning summer after summer? Heckin’ yes!

Purchased Price: $5.25
Size: Grande (16 oz)
Rating: 7 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (16 oz) 410 calories, 20 grams of fat, 12 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 60 milligrams of cholesterol, 220 milligrams of sodium, 53 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 51 grams of sugar, 4 grams of added sugar, 4 grams of protein, and 85 milligrams of caffeine.

REVIEW: Arby’s Crinkle Cut Fries

Arby s Crinkle Cut Fries Full

What are Arby’s Crinkle Cut Fries?

Arby’s new permanent fries are exactly as they sound — an “…accordion-style” deep-fried spud offering! The website touts the “…groves for maximum crispiness, lightly seasoned with fine kosher salt.”

(Editor’s Note: I’m pretty sure “groves” is supposed to be “grooves.” But that’s really how it’s spelled on Arby’s website. I added the screenshot below for proof.)

Screen Shot 2021 04 25 at 8 46 21 AM

How are they?

Arby s Crinkle Cut Fries Top

Crinkle cut fries are near and dear to my heart. They remind me of elementary school lunches when the best part of my day was lunchtime. These were exactly like a blast from the past – limp, slightly undercooked, but decently salted.

Anything else you need to know?

Arby s Crinkle Cut Fries Compare

I tested these head-to-head with crinkle cut fries from the grocery store. The air fried Ore-Ida ones I made were better. They were golden brown and actually had more crispness.

Arby s Crinkle Cut Fries Compare Closeup

Unfortunately, Arby’s is pretty serious about its mediocre crinkle cut fry offering. The fast food chain even made a TV commercial for it!

Conclusion:

?I ate every single one of those limp, slightly undercooked, but decently salted fries, but they’re not better than frozen crinkle cut fries found at your local grocery store.

Maybe one day Arby’s will offer a mixed spuds basket with its curlies, crinkle, and cakes – kind of like mixing all the sodas together. But I wouldn’t get the crinkle fries on their own. I’ll stick with the curlies!

Purchased Price: $2.49
Size: Medium
Rating: 4 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (Medium) 530 calories, 26 grams of fat, 4 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 630 milligrams of sodium, 68 grams of carbohydrates, 0 gram of dietary fiber, 0 grams of sugar, and 7 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Limited Edition Strawberry Frosted Donut Oreo Cookies

Limited Edition Strawberry Frosted Donut Oreo Cookies Package

Oreo should rename its newest limited edition Strawberry Frosted Donut sandwich cookies to “Strawberry Frosted D’OHnuts” because we are all Homer Simpson getting duped by the Oreo hype. I reference The Simpsons because the picture on the packaging definitely looks like it could be of the Lard Lad variety.

To be fair, the brand has had a steady stream of knockout limited edition flavors, so by Murphy’s Law, there’s bound to be a dud. This one was that dud for me for a few reasons.

Limited Edition Strawberry Frosted Donut Oreo Cookies Creme

First and foremost, the glitter was non-existent. There were clearly colorful pieces, but it was more like pieces of rainbow sprinkles rather than any sparkle or shine. It also didn’t help that the smell was overwhelmingly vanilla, just like a birthday cake or confetti flavor, which further reinforced cake instead of a donut.

I will admit that I did not try the Trolls World Tour version, which also featured “glitter.” Apparently, we didn’t complain enough then because they just tried to plug and play with this one.

Limited Edition Strawberry Frosted Donut Oreo Cookies Layers

The flavor itself was distinctly artificial strawberry. Think creamy, muted like strawberry-flavored pocky or Nesquik as opposed to a bright, slightly tart, and fresh strawberry. The light brown crème added nothing to the flavor department. Even eaten solo, it was one-note and ambiguously sweet like it was straight-up table sugar. If this was supposed to be the donut part, I definitely didn’t get that.

Limited Edition Strawberry Frosted Donut Oreo Cookies Layers Closeup

My final gripe is that it’s pretty clear they’re finding clever ways to reduce their costs. The cookie’s image on the front of the pack looks like an even double stack of crème. When you look at the actual thing, the crème overlaps to create just one layer. Furthermore, like most of their limited edition packs, it’s a smaller 12.2 oz package size (compared to a standard 14.3 oz package) at a higher price.

Limited Edition Strawberry Frosted Donut Oreo Cookies Open

It’s not an awful flavor, but Oreo can do better because we’ve experienced it! Am I still going to continue trying their new flavors? Absolutely. Until then, I’ll stick to my precious stash of my favs from the last drop: Brookie-O and Chocolate Hazelnut.

Purchased Price: $5.80
Size: 12.2 oz
Purchased at: Walmart
Rating: 5 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (2 cookies) 150 calories, 7 grams of total fat, 2 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 80 milligrams of sodium, 21 grams of total carbohydrates, 0 grams of dietary fiber, 12 grams of total sugars, and less than 1 gram of protein.