REVIEW: Dunkin’ and Baskin-Robbins Affogato

Dunkin and Baskin Robbins Affogato Sign

What is the Dunkin’ and Baskin-Robbins Affogato?

An affogato is a classic Italian dessert featuring gelato “drowned” (direct translation of the word) by warm espresso. In this version, it’s naturally Dunkin’s espresso poured over Baskin-Robbin’s ice cream.

How is it?

Better than expected!

This combination isn’t new to me, but Dunkin’ isn’t really a place where I would think to order this because it sounds fancy and frou frou. But, if you haven’t tried one yet, it basically tastes like a coffee milkshake (if ordered with vanilla like I did).

Dunkin and Baskin Robbins Affogato Brains

However, because ice cream is less dense than gelato, the pour-over created a weird looking texture that I can only describe as brain-like. Appetizing, I know.

Also, the vanilla ice cream was a bit too icy for my liking. Baskin-Robbins used to the gold standard for me as a kid! Oh, how the mighty have fallen.

Is there anything else you need to know?

Dunkin and Baskin Robbins Affogato Bite

You can get any one of the 31 flavors as the base for your affogato! The gal working mentioned that she tried it with the Jamoca Almond Fudge and didn’t love it because it just tasted like a “less sweet version.” So, it’s probably better to stick with a more plain flavor.

Conclusion:

I would order this again! I think this new offering makes the combo stores a bit more exciting for me. I like less-sweet flavor profiles, so next time I’ll get it with a chocolate ice cream for a mocha version!

Purchased Price: $3.49
Size: N/A
Rating: 7 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: Not available.

REVIEW: Starbucks Cloud Macchiato

Starbucks Cloud Macchiatos

What are the Starbucks Cloud Macchiatos?

Starbucks’ new Cloud Macchiato is a new fancy take on an O.G., the macchiato, inspired by a classic Spanish summer drink (leche merengada or meringue milk). To achieve the frothy Instagram-worthy clouds, Starbucks’ R&D created a new “cloud powder” out of egg whites. In my mind, they just added egg whites to their existing cold foam offering, but maybe I’m oversimplifying it.

There are two new flavors: the Caramel Cloud (whipped cloud cold foam, vanilla syrup, espresso, caramel drizzle) and the Cinnamon Cloud (whipped cloud cold foam, cinnamon lemon syrup, espresso, caramel drizzle, a dusting of cinnamon). The latter seems to be more faithful to the Spanish’s meringue milk as it includes cinnamon and lemon.

Starbucks Cinnamon Cloud Macchiato Crosshatch

The crosshatching of the caramel drizzle on both is apparently a key Starbucks touch, but that’s not something I think of when thinking of when ordering caramel-topped drinks from here.

How are they?

They were way too easy to drink because I’m basically paying almost $5 for 1/2 cup of foam and an espresso shot, but I enjoyed it.

The Caramel Cloud had everything I enjoyed about the indulgent Ultra Caramel Frappuccino but with almost half the calories and sugar. Like the Ultra, it was less sweet than other caramel drinks. I noticed when ordering on the app that the Tall came with one pump of syrup. Typically, Tall beverages have at least 2-3 pumps of syrup (Cinnamon Dolce Latte: 3, Vanilla Latte: 2).

In addition to being less sweet, the cloud foam added a luxe aspect to the drink like the cold brew whipped cream did for the Ultra. I liken it to eating a delicious, guilt-free lite whipped cream.

Starbucks Cinnamon Cloud Macchiato Clouds

Watch out for the cloud ‘stache though! Your first sip will be all foam, but the espresso catches up on the 2nd or 3rd sip depending on the size of your gulps. When the espresso broke through the clouds like a ray of sunshine, it packed a wallop because of the bold contrast to the fluffy light sweetness.

As for the Cinnamon Cloud, I didn’t pick up on any cinnamon or lemon at all. All I could discern was that it wasn’t as coffee-forward as the Caramel version. Maybe this one could’ve benefitted from an extra pump of syrup!

Is there anything else you need to know?

It’s available both iced and hot. The hot version comes in a plain, white cup like all the other hot drinks, which defeats the purpose of the frothy cloud concept. Why even introduce it in hot?

Starbucks Caramel Cloud Macchiato Glob of Caramel

Note that the iced version comes with the new straw-less lid, but I had to grab a straw anyway to get the globs of caramel at the bottom.

Conclusion:

All in all, it’s no surprise that it’s another winner from Starbucks! But these new drinks stand out because they’re not just another flavored syrup, but truly game-changing innovation in the coffee space. I’m already thinking about all the other flavored cloud possibilities with this new fluffy goodness!

Purchased Price: $4.45
Size: Tall (12 fl. oz.)
Rating: 9 out of 10 (Caramel)
Rating: 6 out of 10 (Cinnamon)
Nutrition Facts: (12 fl. oz.) Caramel – 210 calories, 6 grams of fat, 20 milligrams of cholesterol, 150 milligrams of sodium, 31 grams of carbohydrates, 28 grams of sugar, and 9 grams of protein. Cinnamon – 210 calories, 6 grams of fat, 20 milligrams of cholesterol, 150 milligrams of sodium, 32 grams of carbohydrates, 29 grams of sugar, and 9 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Ruffles Double Crunch Potato Chips

Ruffles Double Crunch Potato Chips

As an ice chewer, I am all about crunchy goodness. So, Ruffles “new” Double Crunch chips are right in my wheelhouse.

The “new” is in quotes because Ruffles launched very crunchy chips a couple of times before with Ultimate and Deep Ridged lines. It even secured two U.S. patents for the “chip’s ornamental design,” and 24+ prototypes were created to land on this specific crunchy form that incidentally looks like the chevron design on Charlie Brown’s shirt.

Full disclosure, I haven’t tried the previous iterations. But, I see it as it as a blank slate!

It seems like Double Crunch is closer to Deep Ridged because of the similar flavors AND because Ultimate seemed more wannabe macho with its pseudo-metal pattern on the packaging and tailgate-inspired varieties like Kickin’ Jalapeno Ranch, Sweet & Smokin’ BBQ, and Loaded Bacon & Cheddar Potato Skins.

This version even leans into the same “2x” claim but instead of saying “Ridges 2x As Deep,” it reads “2x The Crunch.” The fine print indicates that it’s only versus original Ruffles, so that’s kind of disappointing.

Ruffles Double Crunch Potato Chips Ridges

But, it is dang crunchy though. It’s so much so that you probably don’t want to eat this in class or work cubicle because someone will side-eye you for being too noisy. The chip itself is very kettle chip-like down to the smell (slight stale oil eau de parfum), which makes sense because that’s how it’s cooked as noted on the back panel. I don’t smell either the Zesty Cheddar or Hot Wings seasoning. Take that at face value based on your own preferences! I don’t mind either way.

Ruffles Double Crunch Potato Chips Open Bags

The Zesty Cheddar is basically like a saltier Cheddar & Sour Cream. I was so surprised by the saltiness that I immediately went to check the nutrition facts but learned that both flavors have the same amount of sodium. Unless the salt was supposed to be the zesty part, I didn’t get a kick either. Disappointing.

Ruffles Double Crunch Potato Chips Closeup

On the flipside, I enjoyed the Hot Wings variety! It’s like a true buffalo wing flavor dancing on my taste buds with a touch of tanginess followed by this creaminess that I can only describe as eating a side of celery with ranch. I don’t know if my mind was playing tricks on me because it tasted so similar to actual wings that I imagined the actual eating experience with sides and all. I didn’t find it THAT spicy but could see folks finding this a bit on the spicier side.

These Ruffles do indeed have some crunchy r-r-r-ridges, but not quite consistent flavors!

Purchased Price: $3.00 each
Size: 7 3/4 oz. bag
Purchased at: Target
Rating: 6 out of 10 (Zesty Cheddar)
Rating: 8 out of 10 (Hot Wings)
Nutrition Facts: (about 10 chips) Zesty Cheddar – 150 calories, 8 grams of total fat, 1 gram of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 170 milligrams of sodium, 17 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of dietary fiber, 1 gram of sugars, and 2 grams of protein. Hot Wings – 150 calories, 8 grams of total fat, 1 gram of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 170 milligrams of sodium, 17 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of dietary fiber, less than 1 gram of sugars, and 2 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Flamin’ Hot Nacho Doritos

Doritos Flamin Hot Nacho

What are Flamin’ Hot Nacho Doritos?

The new Flamin’ Hot Nacho Doritos are when “Nacho Cheese Gets Lit,” as denoted by the back of the pack. But really, it’s Chester the Cheetah lending his creds for Doritos’ latest spicy flavor.

How are they?

Doritos Flamin Hot Nacho In Bag

They’re spicy, salty nirvana!

They smell like regular nacho flavored Doritos, but when you eat them, they’re seriously LIT. There are two hits of heat; the first hits your throat with some tolerable fire and the second is the afterburn on your taste buds. This compounding of hot is what will get ya.

Doritos Flamin Hot Nacho Fingers

After a few chips, your nose will definitely be running and your eyes a-waterin’. But, don’t touch your face with your hands because you’ll get the thick Flamin’ Hot residue everywhere. I am amazed that it’s not just blind, overpowering heat. The nacho flavor is still somehow prominent as well.

Is there anything else you need to know?

Doritos Flamin Hot Nacho with Cheetos

I don’t think it’s the same Flamin’ Hot seasoning that’s on Cheetos. Even though the red color looks very similar, it’s much spicier. However, it’s still complementary, so I’ve been eating them together like a Flamin’ mix.

Conclusion:

Doritos Flamin Hot Nacho Closeup

These are so fuego that it caught me by surprise and I almost feel the need to defend my spicy tolerance (I can eat spicy foods, I swear!). This new flavor is the hero in Frito-Lay’s new multi-million-dollar Super Bowl ad, so you best believe that it knows this is a winner too! Takis better watch out!

Purchased Price: $2.50
Size: 9.76 oz. bag
Purchased at: Walmart
Rating: 10 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (about 12 chips) 150 calories, 8 grams of fat, 1 gram of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 190 milligrams of sodium, 17 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, less than 1 gram of sugar, and 2 grams of protein.

QUICK REVIEW: Limited Edition Love, Oreo Cookies

Limited Edition Love Oreo Cookies

What is Limited Edition Love, Oreo?

We’re only two weeks into 2019 and the Oreo onslaught has started; we’ve already seen four new flavors/products drop. Love, Oreo is one of the new variety launches, alongside Carrot Cake, Dark Chocolate, and The Most Stuf. However, it stands out because it’s clearly geared toward Valentine’s Day with its candy heart message-esque cookie designs and matching peel off stickers. It also features a new sweet and tangy flavor crème that is fittingly millennial pink.

How is it?

Limited Edition Love Oreo Cookies Package

When opening the package, you can’t escape the fruit punch/fruity cereal smell. I don’t know what I was expecting with sweet and tangy crème, but it wasn’t fruit. The smell also reads a little waxy like a strawberry Laffy Taffy. But, this odd smell translates into a surprisingly decent eating experience.

Limited Edition Love Oreo Cookies Creme Closeup

When eating the crème by itself, it’s like having a bite of sour Trix or Fruity Pebbles cereal. Think of your morning cereal experience but add a sour note at the end that kickstarts your salivary glands – much like eating a sweet tart.

When eaten with the chocolate sandwich cookie, the tanginess is actually enhanced because there’s a back drop of rich chocolate. When dunked in milk, it’s a wash; it doesn’t enhance or detract from the tanginess. Also, I’m glad that there’s no weird aftertaste across the board.

Is there anything else you need to know?

Limited Edition Love Oreo Cookies Wafer Designs

I am a sucker for the four new cookie messages – XOXO Oreo, Dunk In Love, Dear Cupid Send Oreo, Let’s Twist! It doesn’t add anything to the taste, but it’s just fun.

Limited Edition Love Oreo Cookies Stickers

There are also stickers on the back of the package that I’ll never use, but I really appreciate how whimsical Oreo is being!

Conclusion:

Dear Love, Oreo: You’re not my favorite of the four new launches, but you’re unique, fun and seasonally appropriate. Love, Tiffany.

Purchased Price: $2.99
Size: 10.7 oz. package
Purchased at: Target
Rating: 7 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (2 cookies) 140 calories, 7 grams of total fat, 2 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 85 milligrams of sodium, 21 grams of total carbohydrates, 0 grams of dietary fiber, 13 grams of total sugars, 13 grams of added sugars, and less than 1 gram of protein.

REVIEW: Fruity Lucky Charms Cereal

Fruity Lucky Charms Cereal

Lucky the Leprechaun is having an identity crisis. First, he thought he was Tony the Tiger with Lucky Charms Frosted Flakes, and now he thinks he’s a Flintstone with the new Fruity Lucky Charms. I hope he figures it out soon before we see a version with two scoops of raisins.

Fruity Lucky Charms Cereal w Fruity Pebbles

On the bright side, this new iteration isn’t just the original dyed pink. Instead of frosted toasted oat cereal, it’s sweetened corn cereal which tastes quite different. The former tastes boring and oat-y (see: Cheerios) but with pops of sweet marshmallows as a reprieve. No wonder I tried picking out just the marshmallows as a kid! The latter is definitely sweeter and more Fruity Pebbles-like, but not as sweet or as abrasive to the roof of your mouth. And although it’s made of corn instead of oat, the shape and texture stay true to form.

Fruity Lucky Charms Cereal in the Bag

On the not-so-bright side, the pinky orangey bits of sweetened corn are overpowering. You can only taste the nondescript fruits that make up whatever “fruity” is supposed to be. To make matters a touch worse, there is also an equally nondescript bitter aftertaste.

Fruity Lucky Charms Cereal in Milk

The taste experience goes from a fruity sweetness to a slight sourness, which makes your glands salivate like eating a pleasant sour candy, but it resolves into a bitterness. It’s not an awful bitterness that made me stop eating though. If you spoon quickly enough, you can keep your taste buds tricked with continued hits of initial sweetness.

Fruity Lucky Charms Cereal Marbit Brightness

Unfortunately, because of the overpowering flavor, the marshmallows get completely lost and are just a texture add-in. Speaking of the marshmallows, it’s surprising to see these bits were brighter than in the original ones. I suppose that makes sense because you don’t want the ‘mallows to look washed out against the neon.

Fruity Lucky Charms Cereal No Millenial Milk

I was a bit disappointed it didn’t turn my milk millennial pink though. Given how vibrant the marshmallows and cereal were, I was hoping for some food magic. But, OG Charms don’t really do that either, so I guess I should’ve had more realistic expectations! I ultimately prefer it sans milk though, like most of my other cereal consumption. The flavor seems about the same when eaten with milk and eaten dry. Yes, bitterness and all.

Despite the weird aftertaste, I still think Fruity Lucky Charms are magically delicious. Yes, even this version of the identity crisis.

Purchased Price: $3.64
Size: 21.2 oz. box (Family Size)
Purchased at: Walmart
Rating: 7 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (3/4 cup without milk) – 100 calories, 10 calories from fat, 1 gram of fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 150 milligrams of sodium, 50 milligrams of potassium, 23 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of fiber, 10 grams of sugar, 13 grams of other carbohydrates, and 1 gram of protein.