REVIEW: Ruffles Korean-Style Sweet & Spicy Chili Potato Chips

I’m not an envious person by nature. I don’t “yearn” for much. I try my best to be satisfied with what I have… but that all changes whenever I see the chip flavors they get over in Asia.

Before my Impulsive Buy days, I wanted to start a blog called, “Lay’s for Days,” where I’d seek out and try every crazy chip flavor from around the globe. In my delusional brain, I’d start by dropping a small fortune eBaying crazy flavors, and I’d get so popular that people would willingly send me bags to try.

Once I realized I no write no good and couldn’t even figure out Blogspot, the short-lived dream died.

Thankfully, the Frito-Lay corporation has slowly let some interesting flavors trickle out over the years, and it’s not impossible to find international releases if you know where to look.

Enter Korean-Style Sweet & Spicy Chili Ruffles, a chip with all the hallmarks I’ve been looking for. Asian-inspired flavors? Check. A super long, intriguing name? Check. RRRidges? Check! These have to be good, right?

Right. They’re pretty damn good.

Sweet chili is elite. It never fails. It should be a standard flavor across all snacks. If you like sweet chili, these are for you.

These have a heat level I’d put a tick below “Flamin’ Hot.” Props to them for ignoring the siren call and not slapping those two words on this bag like Frito-Lay seemingly does with everything else. Like an annoying guy describing Vegas, it’s a “dry heat” and tolerable, leaving a slight afterburn on the back of the tongue.

As I was eating and enjoying myself, I started to get nervous because I didn’t really know how to articulate the flavor. I don’t think my initial thought of, “This tastes like Asian food,” would’ve been kosher, literally or figuratively. I can’t condense an entire continent into one chip, but I sometimes have difficulty distinguishing international flavor.

These instantly tasted more Chinese-inspired. I’ve had more Chinese food than Korean food in my life, so maybe that played a role, but the spice profile just reminded me of a vague Chow Mein-style sauce you’d get slathered on some protein and vegetables. As I chomped on, I started to convince myself I might be tasting some kimchi and settled on what they ultimately reminded me of – Korean BBQ. Yeah, wow, very descriptive, huh? I actually thought of Korean Chicken Tacos more than anything.

The ingredient list is basically all the usual suspect spices you get in a chip like this with nothing distinct standing out. That, mixed with the pronounced chili flavor and “dryness,” just made me think of Asian-inspired BBQ chicken.

Either way, these are pretty complex and taste really good. The sweetness is there, but it’s not distinguishable from anything beyond, I guess, a pinch of brown sugar?

I won’t say these are as good as purple bag Doritos or the G.O.A.T. Sour Cream and Cheddar Ruffles, but they’re not far behind either. Grab ’em if you see ’em. Hopefully, you find a sale because I might as well have eBay’d these at the price I paid.

Purchased Price: $5.99
Size: 8 oz
Purchased at: Acme
Rating: 8 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (About 13 Chips) 150 calories, 9 grams of fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 1.5 grams of saturated fat, 140 milligrams of sodium, 15 grams of total carbohydrates, 2 grams of total sugars, 1 gram of fiber, 2 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Wendy’s Triple Berry Frosty

It’s been a little over two months, so it’s time for a new Frosty flavor.

It took forever for Wendy’s to expand from chocolate to vanilla, and now the window between new Frosties is about as short as a theatrical movie landing on your favorite overpriced streaming service.

Save the movie theaters!

Anyway, it’s been exactly two years since Wendy’s hit us with a Strawberry Frosty. I reviewed it then, and wasn’t blown away. I believe I said at the time, and don’t look this up, “This isn’t terrible, but I need more berries! They should’ve added blackberry and raspberry! Also, the Boston Celtics are going to win the 2024 NBA title.”

I’m not saying I’m clairvoyant, but I think someone at Wendy’s Inc. saw my review, and that’s where the seedling for a Triple Berry Frosty was born. Let me just do some math here – Strawberry. Blackberry. Raspberry. Yup. That’s three, alright. When you combine said berries, you get a nice lavender color, and that’s basically the highlight.

I couldn’t help but notice that it just looked like soft ice cream. It was missing the bits of ice that I expect from a Wendy’s Frosty. That is the small distinction I always make between Frosties and ice cream, smoothies, shakes, etc. I need the tiny flecks of ice crystals for at least a few spoonfuls. They were basically absent here. I was starting to think this was just gonna be Strawberry redux, and I was basically right.

I instantly assumed this had blueberries in it. I tasted a slight medicinal blueberry flavor with a dry “Tums” finish. I’m still kinda shocked that blueberries aren’t one of the three berries.

I didn’t really distinguish any of the other berries because, in the end, this tastes like literally any “mixed berry” yogurt you’ve ever had minus the yogurt “tang.” Essentially, what I’m saying is this Frosty lacks culture!

You might think, “It’s just a berry smoothie,” but it’s not, and I think that hurts it. I wish it was. This flavor profile in an ice cream-like form doesn’t really work that well.

Actually, it doesn’t work as a Wendy’s menu item. To bring it back to the movies, this flavor feels like a giant tonal shift in the Wendy’s script.

On its own, it’s decent, but with food, it just clashed. I’ve never really felt that way about previous Frosties, not even the Orange Dreamsicle. Drinking something “mixed berry yogurt” flavored didn’t compliment my fatty Wendy’s food at all.

Triple Berry just didn’t pop for me. I think it’s time to abandon berries entirely… ya know, except the best berry – banana. We better get a Banana Frosty at some point. If Wendy’s insists on keeping berries on the menu, allow me the obligatory mention of my topping idea – Wendy’s Blendies. I’ll toss some strawberries in my Chocolate Frosty. Why not? What are we waiting for?

Bury Triple Berry. It’s forgettable and ultimately skippable. See you in two months for the next one.

Purchased Price: $2.19
Size: Small
Purchased at: Wendy’s
Rating: 4 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: 320 calories, 8 grams of fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 5 grams of saturated fat, 30 mg of cholesterol, 270 milligrams of sodium, 53 grams of total carbohydrates, 46 grams of sugars, 0 grams of fiber, 9 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Kellogg’s Crumbl Chocolatey Chip Cookie Cereal

Let me preface this review by saying, I like Crumbl.

At some points, it might seem like I, in fact, do not like Crumbl, but I like Crumbl!

I don’t love Crumbl. I dislike their “drop the vowel” startup-style name. The blindingly white and clinical aesthetic of the storefront doesn’t pass my vibe check, and the fact every cookie tastes like it’s about 87% cooked through always leaves me feeling a little empty – before I get full from the 800-calorie cookie I shove down my gullet.

That said, I checked my Crumbl app, and I’ve apparently tried 19 of its cookies. That’s a lot of cookies for someone on the fence. Credit to them, they’re always getting my attention with new and interesting flavors that I mostly enjoy to varying degrees. As for its flagship Chocolatey Chip Cookie? It’s solid. I’d probably toss it somewhere near the midpoint of the 19, which is more than enough to get me to try its new Kellogg’s cereal collab.

I haven’t had a cookie-based cereal in years, as I’ve been boycotting Cookie Crisp ever since Officer Crumb, Chip the Dog, and Cookie Crook were replaced with that generic Wolf. There’s room in my heart for a new Cookie Crisp to fill the void, and I promise there’s no bias here, because I do like Crumbl.

This ain’t it.

Look, Crumbl (you too, Kellogg’s). I like you, but what are we doing? This seemed like a slam dunk. At no point did I ever get any real essence of a “chocolatey chip cookie.”

To start, there are barely any chocolate chips. You get a couple of poppy seeds at best. We eat with our eyes first, so give us some more chips. The pieces are smaller, denser, and less chocolatey than Cookie Crisp.

It has a pleasant aroma out of the box, but I’d equate it more to an “almondy café latte” scent than a freshly baked cookie.

Taste-wise, I just never got to the right flavor. It’s a bit synthetic and maybe a tad caramelly. The chocolate is a no-show. There’s so little that the milk barely changed color and certainly didn’t taste chocolatey.

As a cereal, it’s… “whatever.” There’s an acceptable sweetness and a good crunch, but everything is lacking. Here’s where I landed on the flavor – it’s as if they made a blueberry muffin cereal and forgot the blueberries. This tastes like “muffin.” I’m not sure there’s a market for Oops! No Berries.

On top of all that, the box is really small. It’s expensive too. I was gonna complain, but it’s exactly what I pay for a cookie, so maybe that was the plan. There ABSOLUTELY should have been a coupon for a free or discounted Crumbl cookie on the box though. Huge misstep.

This might seem like Cookie Crisp for adults, but it’s just “blah.” Bring back Officer Crumb so he can arrest whoever gave this cereal the ok.

Like their name, report cards leave off “E,” so I give Crumbl cereal a “D.”

Crumbl? More like Stumbl. No, I didn’t mumbl, you heard me – stumbl! But I like Crumbl, I swear.

Purchased Price: $5.49
Size: 7.9 oz box
Purchased at: ShopRite
Rating: 3 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1 1/2 Cup) 150 calories, 1 gram of fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 170 milligrams of sodium, 34 grams of total carbohydrates, 2 grams of dietary fiber, 13 grams of sugar, 3 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Burger King Birthday Pie

What do Keith Richards and Burger King have in common?

Other than both being famously flame broiled, you’re probably absolutely shocked they’ve made it to their 70th birthdays.

I always expect my local BK to be a shelled-out husk on my next visit, only to be seen again in a YouTube compilation called “Absolute Dumpsters You Used to Eat at as a Kid.”

With that said, I’m a loyal BK defender, and I’m happy they still exist. Despite becoming one of the punching bags of the fast food industry, the King is celebrating his 70th birthday, so let us raise our Coca-Cola Freestyle concoctions in the air and toast – Long live the King. I doff my paper crown to thee.

How does one celebrate their royal seventennial? Well, with a Birthday Pie, of course. Ya know, birthday pies, the traditional capper for any great birthday celebration. A Birthday Pie sounds less real than the word “seventennial,” yet here we are.

BK hasn’t really hit us with many pie options over the years, but its mainstay, Hershey’s Pie, is great, so I was very much looking forward to this one.

I’ve been served Hershey’s Pie. I know Hershey’s Pie. Hershey’s Pie is a favorite of mine. Birthday Pie, you are no Hershey’s Pie. The concept is flawed from jump – it’s a pie filling that tastes like cake? Just give us cake. Let us eat cake.

The Birthday Pie tastes like three slightly contrasting versions of artificial vanilla in a cookie crust. On the surface, that seems appetizing enough, but it’s just very… vanilla. The pie consists of a birthday cake-flavored pie filling, which tastes like blended cake in a weird viscous form, so it kinda leaves you yearning for cake, which you only get in the form of little tease cake bites glued on top of the off-pudding, which is quite off-putting. (Thanks)

The cookie crust is vaguely “graham” flavored, but the filling is so wet it makes the crust limp. It, like me, had no integrity. There’s also whipped topping and sprinkles, so it’s just weighed down with more “sweet” nothings.

This slice just ends up having a vague combination of flavors I can really only describe as “generically sweet.” That’s what “birthday” flavor has become. It’s just sugar. Sometimes it’s confetti cake, sometimes it’s vanilla, but mostly it’s just “sugar flavored!” I think I’m officially over “birthday” as a flavor. Good thing McDonald’s is ushering in the world’s new favorite abstract flavor – “Grandma.”

If you’re interested in a mashup of low-quality vanilla pudding, soft Nilla Wafers, and whipped cream, go for it. Maybe you can make a wish for something better next year.

I should also note this thing has an encyclopedia of ingredients. If a European saw the label, they wouldn’t live to see another birthday.

I actually think this pie is a good metaphor for life because it got old in the blink of an eye. As Keith Richards’ friend, Whatshisface, once said, “What a drag it is getting old.”

Anyway, if you insist on trying the Birthday Pie, get the $6 Birthday meal, or get it free in the app on June 1st.

Now sing it with me, “at B-K, Happy Birth-day. You rule!*”

*Sometimes. Not this time.

Purchased Price: $2.99
Rating: 4 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: 260 calories, 14 grams of fat, 9 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 190 milligrams of sodium, 31 grams of total carbohydrates, 21 grams of total sugars, less than 1 gram of fiber, and 3 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Limited Edition Sour Patch Kids Oreo Cookies

Oreo cookies? Great.

Sour Patch Kids? Great.

Frosted Flakes? They’re gr-r-reat, but they have nothing to do with this review. This review is for Sour Patch Kids Oreo. Surely, that combo couldn’t possibly be great, right?

We’ve reached the “dart throwing” phase of Oreo flavor variants. While those kids from the sour patch have invaded cereal and ice cream recently, I didn’t have Oreo on my Sour Patch Bingo card.

These bizarre confections are starting to pop up in stores. I was able to snag a 4-pack at 7-Eleven, and I’m thankful that’s all I got. Like actual kids, I think four is the absolute max anyone can handle.

Both the cookies and the crème are speckled with colorful Sour Patch Kid-flavored dots, which, unfortunately, aren’t chewy. They mimic the crystalized sugar that coats the kids.

The sour batch of sour patch smells really good fresh from the package, but nothing like a cookie. It’s Sour Patch by way of Pixie Stick. If you’re wondering why I know the distinct smell of Pixie Sticks… let’s just say I was a Very Dumb Kid, and some Pixie Sticks may have made their way into my nasal cavity.

The Oreo cookie has a bit of a graham flavor, but I don’t think the SPK flecks really come through with much flavor. It’s a hint –- the ghost of a Sour Patch Kid. Innocence lost.

The flecks in the crème, however, definitely pop, but they’re sour, so it’s kind of off-putting. Something about a simulacrum of a dairy product being sour just doesn’t sit right. As far as the actual flavor, it reminded me of sour orange sherbet more than anything, but I think most people would know these are Sour Patch-inspired.

Once I ate the cookie whole, I came up with a weird overall flavor and texture profile in my head. Picture a package of Fun-Dip, but for some reason, the powder got moist and turned into a goopy mud. That. Why that? I don’t know, but even the bland cookie acts as a little bit of a sour neutralizer like the Fun-Dip stick does.

I don’t think these are very successful as a flavor, but as a gimmick… sure, why not? It’s fun. It’s weird.

I definitely think orange is the fruit flavor that comes to the forefront, so just picture orange Sour Patch Kids and bland Teddy Grahams in one bite. A kid would probably like that, no?

I have to add the fact that the aftertaste on these is kinda awful. Malic acid just lingers on the side of your tongue. SPKs are supposed to be sour and THEN sweet, but here, it’s the opposite. The sourness gets more and more pronounced as you chew, and it takes a while to dissipate.

So, not great, but probably the best they could’ve done. If you’re interested, just go to 7-Eleven like I did. Wait until the dart hits Frosted Flake Oreo Cookies to get a family pack.

Purchased Price: $1.99
Size: 2.40 oz package
Purchased at: 7-Eleven
Rating: 4 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1 Pack/4 Cookies) 290 calories, 13 grams of fat, 4.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 gram of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 150 milligrams of sodium, 42 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 24 grams of sugar, and less than 2 grams of protein.