Here it is, folks, the collaboration between Starburst and Nike that we’ve all been waiting for!
Nah, it’s actually just a new weird spin on Starburst flavored gummies.
How are they?
I guess I should just jump right into it – I think I hated these.
“Hate” is a strong word I try to avoid using, but these things stink.
The entire “air” concept sold me on the spot. I anticipated a unique texture that landed somewhere between those gourmet confectionary marshmallows and gummy bears. I got that, but they were few and far between.
They LOOK pillowy soft, but most of them had the bite of an expired peach ring. Not sure if this makes sense, but the texture was begging for a crystallized sugar coating. That’s the only way that texture succeeds for me.
For every piece I thought delivered on the name, there were five that were a chore to chew. Some were like Gummy Savers, and some had a dryness to them like the chewy Sea Turtles from Trader Joe’s, which aren’t great, but at least correctly have sugar. It’s like they couldn’t decide which texture to go with, so they just ran the gummy gamut.
The “best” pieces were similar to Haribo Watermelons, which are infinitely better.
Anything else you need to know?
It wasn’t just the texture that threw me off.
The gummies smell exactly like Starburst, but something about the over-chewing reduced the flavor by about 30-40 percent. These just don’t have the Starburst pop I’ve grown to love.
I know it’s blasphemous to most, but I think Cherry is the worst main Starburst flavor by far, and it was awful here. Strawberry never fails, and I happen to really like the two citrus flavors. Lemon was probably the best, and it seemed to be the softest overall. No idea why, but finally, some justice for Lemon.
Even the pieces I kinda liked that leaned closer to marshmallow were still weak in flavor and left a film on my teeth.
I can’t remember the last time I couldn’t put a snack down simply because I wanted to like it. I was trying to will it, but they just never got there.
Starburst has tried many different texture varieties (these, regular gummies, jelly beans, those straw things, etc.) and has never matched the originals. With that said, I think Airs are easily the worst Starburst candy product to date. Don’t even bother.
Purchased Price: $2.18 Size: 4.3 oz Purchased at: Walmart Rating: 3 out of 10 Nutrition Facts: (6 pieces) 100 calories, 0 grams of fat, 55 milligrams of sodium, 24 grams of total carbohydrates, 20 grams of total sugars, and 1 gram of protein.
What are Thomas’ Limited Edition Everything English Muffins?
If you love everything bagels, but always felt they lacked nooks and crannies, your time has come.
How are they?
Well, they’re better than nothing.
That’s actually selling them short. Thomas has outdone himself.
“Everything” is the most popular bagel flavor in the US, according to my 2021 level research. (That’s where you Google something and just read the little blurb that appears before the links.) I’m shocked it took this long to expand over to the underrated English muffin.
English muffins don’t get enough love. They’re better than buttered toast, and I personally think they’re the single best bread for an egg sandwich. There’s no hole. They don’t crumble like a biscuit or have a strange, messy shape like a croissant. They just get the job done.
Thomas’ Everything English Muffins have all the same ingredients as your typical everything bagel – poppy seeds, sesame seeds, onion, garlic, and salt. Although you can really only see the poppy seeds, and the salt isn’t crystallized.
The flavor doesn’t burst as much as you’d expect from a bagel, and I loved that. It was way more subtle than what I’m used to. I’ve had everything bagels at 8 am and still tasted the onion and garlic at dinner time. There is a perfect balance on these muffins.
Anything else you need to know?
I tried these three ways – with butter, with cream cheese, and with egg and cheese. I wouldn’t normally ever think to put cream cheese on an English Muffin, but I had to try it on account of the everything spices. I think plain butter on a medium toasted muffin is still king, but all three ways were delicious.
I would say one drawback to everything flavor is that it probably isn’t gonna blend as well with the sweeter toppings you might like on an English muffin. You might wanna save your various fruit spreads or peanut butter for a plain.
I’ve bought frozen everything bagels and everything rye bread from the supermarket, but these are easily better than both. I’m not ready to say they beat a good everything bagel from your local spot, but I think the added flavor improves on the typical Thomas’ English Muffin.
These are currently a limited-edition product, but I can’t imagine a world where these don’t become mainstays in due time. Tommy and the crew would be foolish to keep them off the shelves.
Purchased Price: $2.49 Size: 13 oz. (6-pack) Purchased at: Shop Rite Rating: 8 out of 10 Nutrition Facts: 160 calories, 3.5 grams of fat, 0 gram of trans fat, 0.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 250 milligrams of sodium, 27 grams of total carbohydrates, <1 grams of total sugars, 2 grams of fiber, 5 grams of protein.
Dunkin’s surprisingly tasty way of hammering down the final nail in summer 2021’s coffin.
How is it?
I’ve been on the fence about this whole “sweet cream” kick Dunkin’ has been on recently…until today.
Finally! This is the first time I’ve had any of their various sweet cream toppings that didn’t melt into a viscous goo within two minutes.
The cold brew itself is standard fare, but it’s a style I love around this time of year. I’m usually a “one pump” of pumpkin flavor swirl guy, but special medium-sized drinks always have three. It’s not something I want every morning, but I really didn’t mind it being a little too sweet for my liking. Plus, I think Dunkin’s pumpkin flavor is great because the “spice” is left out.
The pumpkin cream is kind of a revelation. I ate a few scoops of it and thought it tasted a little too synthetic at first, but then realized it had a nice light pumpkin pie filling flavor to it. Not only that, I could have been convinced it was spliced with something else. I landed on a vague coconutty taste. While there’s zero indication this is the case, those are two flavor profiles you never get mixed, so I dug it, even if coconut wasn’t technically there.
If this pumpkin cream was sold in a can, I’d probably have that nozzle hovering over my mouth before I even got home.
Anything else you need to know?
The cream is so light and fluffy that it really doesn’t make much sense in watery cold brew. Don’t get me wrong, I liked it a lot, but it just sat there on the top, causing me to mostly eat it on its own as if it was a meringue or something. Once I ultimately gave up and just mixed it into the drink, it didn’t add all that much to the flavor. I think it would probably be more ideal for a frap-style drink.
I also feel like I have to mention that I always use oat milk as my dairy, so my cold brews are always slightly creamier than the rest.
This coffee was the first taste of fall I’ve had, so it actually bummed me out a bit. I drank it on a warm, breezy summer day, and while it worked in that setting, I could imagine the crisp cold autumn winds creeping up my neck. I guess it’s time to acknowledge that summer is over. I pretty much use Dunkin’s fall line of products as the gauge anyway.
So, whether you’re a summer dude like me or one of those sweater-loving, Halloween-devoted, and Ugg-thumping Autumn weirdos (I love you all), you can’t really go wrong with a Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew.
Purchased Price: $3.25 (G.O.A.T. Milk is $.25 extra) Size: Medium Rating: 8 out of 10 Nutrition Facts: 210 calories, 2 grams of fat, 0 gram of trans fat, 1.5 grams of saturated fat, 10 milligrams of cholesterol, 120 milligrams of sodium, 42 grams of total carbohydrates, 42 grams of total sugars, 0 grams of fiber, 4 grams of protein.
What are Chewy Chips Ahoy Hershey’s Fudge Filled Cookies?
Love Chewy Chips Ahoy but wish they were like 7% better? Well, have I got a cookie for you!
How are they?
I guess the main problem – if you wanna call it a problem – is that these are essentially just Chewy Chips Ahoy with a bit more chocolate.
As the name suggests, there’s a thin layer of Hershey’s chocolate fudge in the center of each cookie. While it tastes distinctly Hershey in isolation, the cookie really wasn’t much different than normal.
I think my main hang-up is that I still have no clue if the chips were also Hershey’s or the same chocolate Nabisco has always used.
While I definitely tasted Hershey, there wasn’t much variance from the fudge center to the chips. Either they were also Hershey without the bag mentioning it, or my brain was playing tricks on me. Or maybe its regular chocolate just isn’t that far off from Hershey, making this release kinda pointless?
Either way, I like Chewy Chips Ahoy, and I like Hershey’s chocolate, so I can’t really complain.
Anything else you need to know?
Ok, just a little…
I don’t necessarily know what I expected from that word “fudge” here, but it’s just a gritty, chocolate layer of mush. I suppose that passes as “fudge” in a mass-produced cookie. It just felt like they took five or six more chips and smushed them in the middle of the cookie. The package gave me the impression it would be gooier.
The package also recommended eating these with ice cream, but I went the other way and popped a few in the microwave. It “gooed” up the center a bit, but unfortunately didn’t change the experience too much.
Look, I like Chewy Chips Ahoy, so I liked these. I also like saying, “Chewy Chips Ahoy,” and think it should replace “cellar door” as the most beautiful combination of words.
In the end, the Hershey of it all didn’t make these unique. By the time I was five cookies in, I just thought I was eating “Extra Chocolatey” Chewy Chips Ahoy, but I guess the keywords there are “five cookies in.” These went down ridiculously fast. They’re two biters at most. I ate the entire package in a single night. Take that how you will.
Purchased Price: $2.69 Size: 9.6 oz. Purchased at: Shop Rite Rating: 6 out of 10 Nutrition Facts: (2 Cookies) 150 calories, 7 grams of fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 3 grams of saturated fat, 0 mg of cholesterol, 105 milligrams of sodium, 20 grams of total carbohydrates, 11 grams of total sugars, less than 1 gram of fiber, 1 gram of protein.
Looks like Frito-Lay is taking a cue from the entertainment industry and rebooting some of its classics.
Now before you start whining about your “ruined childhoods” or your disdain about swapping Chester Cheetah from corn to potato, just take a step back and admit that you’re intrigued. You know you are. You can’t tell me the entire idea of Frito-Lay Flavor Swaps isn’t exciting. I won’t believe you.
In my opinion, this is the most exciting thing it’s done in years. I was way more pumped to try these than the usual “Do Us a Flavor” releases. I mean, I already know I love the flavors. I’ve been eating them my entire life. My only question is, will said flavors translate in a potato chip form?
I figured the best way to attack the review was to tackle each flavor one at a time, then obviously compare them to the iconic snacks that inspired them.
First off, I’m shocked these weren’t kettle chips. Usually, when Frito-Lay does one of its gimmicky multi-chip rollouts, each style of chip is represented. I’d imagine most people think of the Crunchy Cheetos when they hear the name, so a crunchier chip would have made sense.
Whatever, I’m more of a puff guy anyway, so I’m fine with the decision to just make these Cheetos-flavored normal(?) chips. #PuffGang sound off in the comments!
Initially, these just had a generic cheese flavor. If you told me they were some kind of fancy “sharp” cheddar without showing me the bag, I wouldn’t have ever guessed “Cheetos.”
Once I tried them side by side with the actual Cheetos, I got it. I had to jog my flavor memory, but they definitely taste like Cheetos.
So yeah, they deliver. These chips taste like Cheetos dust, but they’re a little weaker. Of course, therein lies the problem – they taste like Cheetos dust, not necessarily Cheetos. More on that topic when I review the next flavor.
Purchased Price: $1.99 Size: 2.63 oz bag Purchased at: Wawa Rating: 5 out of 10 Nutrition Facts: (about 17 Chips) 160 calories, 10 grams of fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 1.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 mg of cholesterol, 200 milligrams of sodium, 15 grams of total carbohydrates, 2 grams of total sugars, 1 gram of fiber, and 2 grams of protein.
Cool Ranch Doritos might be one of the ten greatest flavors to ever grace the Earth. How could they possibly mess this up?
Well, as it turns out when Cool Ranch dust isn’t on a triangular tortilla chip, it just kinda tastes like a remixed sour cream and onion. Actually, I’d say it’s more like 1/4 ranch and 3/4 sour cream and onion.
I think you could be fooled into thinking that’s what they are. The chips do have that classic Cool Ranch speckle to them, but it’s not nearly as caked-on as the Doritos you’re used to. It’s kind of a bummer.
I mean, once you know what they are, you’re definitely gonna taste the Cool Ranch, but these are more like a Diet Cool Ranch if that makes sense. These suffer from the same thing as the Cheetos chips – thin potato chips are not an ideal delivery system for these flavors.
To be fair, I’m accustomed to the norm, so that might be clouding my scoring. That being said, I just think this flavor needs the crisp of a tortilla chip to really shine.
Cheetos and Doritos are as much about texture as they are about flavor. Sure, I knew what I was getting into, but when you take away that key corn-based component from both of them, the flavors really don’t pop as much.
But look… it’s still Cool Ranch. Even if they lean sour cream, they’re still delicious. They’re just nowhere near the 10 out 10 Cool Ranch Doritos they’re mimicking.
Purchased Price: $3.00 Size: 7.25 oz bag Purchased at: Dollar General Rating: 6 out of 10 Nutrition Facts: (about 17 Chips) 150 calories, 10 grams of fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 1.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 mg of cholesterol, 200 milligrams of sodium, 16 grams of total carbohydrates, 1 gram of total sugars, less than 1 gram of fiber, and 2 grams of protein.
Now we’re talking!
For everything I just said about the texture of Cheetos and Doritos, Funyuns are the opposite for me. I love the flavor of Funyuns, but I absolutely hate the texture.
For all the crap Cap’n Crunch gets for shredding your palate, Funyuns should get double. They always taste stale and salty, so my mouth feels like the Sahara after chomping about seven rings.
These Funyuns-flavored chips are easily the best of the three, even though they probably have the most diminishing returns.
Whereas the Cheetos flavor bloomed as I went on, the onion flavor faded as I ate them, but Funyuns is the most lowkey flavor of the three, so it didn’t bother me. I ate the most of these in one sitting, and the first few chips were incredible.
The choice to make these wavy was also brilliant. Even though I don’t like the rings’ texture, I still appreciated a bit more crunch than the usual thin chips.
Purchased Price: $3.00 Size: 7.75 oz bag Purchased at: Dollar General Rating: 8 out of 10 Nutrition Facts: (about 15 Chips) 150 calories, 9 grams of fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 1.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 mg of cholesterol, 200 milligrams of sodium, 15 grams of total carbohydrates, 1 gram of total sugars, less than 1 gram of fiber, and 2 grams of protein.
So, I have to say Funyuns was the overall victor here. Can’t say I expected that. Maybe if Cool Ranch and Cheetos were wavy or kettle chips, they would have won out, but I guess we’ll never know.
Don’t get me wrong, these are all good, and I love the Flavor Swap concept, but two of the three suffer from the old “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” adage.
One thing that really excites me about this release is that we might be one step closer to finally getting Frito-Lay-flavored dusts in the spice aisle. I’ve been calling for that since I was a kid. If you can sprinkle a potato chip with Cool Ranch, I should be able to sprinkle a piece of chicken with it. Let me put Cheetos dust on my burgers! Is that too much to ask?!
In the meantime, check these out. You know you’re probably gonna anyway. Cheetos and Doritos can’t be beat, but apparently, Funyuns can.
If these do well, we might even get some more swaps in the future. Please, keep ruining my childhood.