REVIEW: Mtn Dew Baja Gold and Baja Mango Gem

Mountain Dew Baja Gold and Baja Mango Gem Bottles

It feels like it’s been a Flamin’ Hot minute since I’ve done the Dew.

I’m jealous of all you hardcore Dew heads out there who manage to track down every flavor (I imagine you call yourselves “Dewds and Dewdettes,” naturally.) I know there are grinders out there who don’t let any regional release or store exclusives stand in the way of their doing of the Dew.

Me? I’m a big Mountain Dew fan, but at this point, half the names feel like fever dreams. Every time I turn around, there’s a new one on the market. It’s hard to keep track. The last Dew I had was red, but it wasn’t Code Red. You know the one! When was that released? Am I way behind?

Either way, I liked it. It was a headache in a bottle, but it tasted good. What can I say? I’m getting old, and the sugar rush goes straight to my dome. Actually, I think Mountain Dew could use that as a slogan. Mtn Dew: It’s a headache in a bottle, but it tastes good! Enter the two new Dew – Baja Gold and Baja Mango Gem. Guess what? They’re no exception.

Baja Gold is pineapple flavored, while Baja Mango Gem tastes like mango, with zero gem flavor to be found anywhere. I can honestly say I’ve had maybe two pineapple sodas and no mango. Couple that with the fact I’ve been a fan of the Baja variants since the OG at Taco Bell, and I was fired up to try these.

Mountain Dew Baja Gold and Baja Mango Gem Glasses

Well, what I can tell you upfront is, yeah, both of these are cloyingly sweet – too sweet if I’m being honest, but we all know what to expect from Mountain Dew. I couldn’t fathom drinking a full 20 ounces of either of these in one sitting, let alone both, but they were delicious in moderation.

Mtn Dew Baja Gold Label

Baja Gold tasted like the ripest chunk of pineapple you’ve ever had, inexplicably rolled in pure cane sugar. It’s essentially pineapple Life Savers in liquid form. My only real frame of context when it comes to pineapple sodas are Goya and Jarritos, and I think this stacks up pretty well in comparison. It’s vibrant, smells incredible, and has that tiny, almost peppery bite on the finish like the best pineapple usually has.

Pineapple is criminally underutilized by soda companies, and this lived up to the hype I built up in my head. I know Dew had a pina colada-inspired flavor at one point, and I’m really bummed I missed it.

Mtn Dew Baja Mango Gem Label

Baja Mango Gem didn’t pack as much as a punch, but it was equally good.

Finding super ripe mangoes near me is always a total crapshoot, so I am a big fan of dried mango, and this soda tasted just like that. It didn’t pop quite like Gold but had a nice sweet mellow flavor that really made me think of those little dried fruit jerky pieces.

Mango and orange aren’t exactly similar, but this had a similar sensation to a less intense orange soda. It kinda falls somewhere between the typical orange soda and those creamsicle-flavored novelty sodas. It’s not “creamy” per se, but sweet and smooth.

It’s admittedly dumb even to mention this about a Mountain Dew release, but they still caught me a bit off guard with the sugar content. The fructose corn syrup in these drinks is higher than Snoop Dogg.

In the end, both are really nice, but they’re a headache in a bottle. I say definitely do these Dews, but don’t be shocked if you polish off the bottle and have a stomach ache soon after.

Purchased Price: $2.29 each
Size: 20 fl oz bottles
Purchased at: Quick Chek
Rating: 7 out of 10 each
Nutrition Facts: 280 calories, 0 grams of fat, 85 milligrams of sodium, 74 grams of total carbohydrates, 74 grams of total sugars, and 0 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Wendy’s Strawberry Frosty

Wendy s Strawberry Frosty Top

It’s the most anticipated new Wendy’s menu item since breakfast was unveiled! That’s right, folks. Wendy’s has a Strawberry Frosty.

Yup, it took over fifty years for the chain to add a Strawberry “shake” to its menu. Let that sink in.

Like breakfast, Wendy’s has always been pretty late to the desert game. Sure, the Chocolate Frosty has been a fast food staple for decades, but it didn’t even add Vanilla to the menu until 2006. Now, sixteen years later, Vanilla is getting the temporary boot during the big Strawberry rollout.

So, is it worth all the buzz?

I’d say, yeah… tentatively.

Actually, I’m not entirely sure.

I love a good Chocolate Frosty. I’ve always categorized it as its own entity – not quite a milkshake, but also not quite ice cream. It kinda exists between the two, and it has a texture all its own. The Strawberry Frosty I had just reminded me of a decent strawberry shake.

At no other time would I be disappointed slamming a “decent strawberry shake,” but I guess I expected a little more here. In what might seem like a huge nitpick, I actually think it was too creamy. Also, you’ll rarely hear me say this about anything like this, but I wish it was sweeter.

Wendy s Strawberry Frosty Spoon

The Frosty tasted like Strawberry Nesquik, a childhood favorite, but it was as if they released something called “Strawberry Nesquik Lite.” Say you were mixing it yourself and only used 75% of the suggested amount of syrup. That’s where I landed on the flavor. That might be right up your alley, but I was mildly bored.

To be fair, Wendy’s is pushing the idea that it has the flavor profile of “freshly picked strawberries,” so it’s probably not supposed to be the super artificial sugar bomb I was anticipating.

Don’t get me wrong that would be just fine overall, but I also noted a very faint medicinal aftertaste. Did you ever have chewy Tums or Rolaids antacids that look like candy? I swear I tasted a similar faux fruit taste and the accompanying chalkiness, and that was all I could think with every spoonful.

It sounds like I’m ripping on it, but it wasn’t that bad. I think most people are gonna like it more than I did. If I had to rank it against the other Frosty flavors, it’d be third. If I had to rank it against (my vague memory of) fast food strawberry milkshakes, it would probably be last.

I loved the color. I loved the aroma. I semi-enjoyed the taste.

I didn’t get fries to dip, but it did a great job neutralizing the heat of my Spicy Nuggets, so I certainly wasn’t upset about my meal.

Wendy s Strawberry Frosty Cup

Overall, Wendy’s Strawberry Frosty is not a hit, but it’s also not a dud. It’s a “decent strawberry shake.” There’s a place on the menu for a decent strawberry shake. In fact, I think Wendy’s should bring Vanilla back so people can order a Neapolitan-style mix. I also think it should add toppings and try to make a McFlurry rival called… ready for this obvious gem? Wendy’s Blendies. Let’s chat, Wendy’s R&D.

Purchased Price: $1.89
Size: Small
Purchased at: Wendy’s
Rating: 5 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: 350 calories, 8 grams of fat, 0 gram of trans fat, 5 grams of saturated fat, 40 mg of cholesterol, 150 milligrams of sodium, 61 grams of total carbohydrates, 52 grams of sugars, 0 grams of fiber, 8 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Sour Patch Kids Cola Bubbles

Sour Patch Kids Cola Bubbles Pouch

What are Sour Patch Kids Cola Bubbles?

It’s Sour Patch minus the Kids, and this time they’re soda flavored.

How are they?

Sometimes I eat a new snack and genuinely enjoy it, but it still ends up bumming me out for reasons beyond its control. I’ll get to that later, but first? These are really good.

I can go in-depth about Sour Patch Kids Cola Bubbles’ flavor, but it just kinda boils down to “Sour Coca-Cola.” They’re exactly as advertised.

Everyone knows Sour Patch Kids start sour and become sweet, and these are no different. The initial sour sensation is very similar to that of a lemon or lime SPK, but it mellows into a moderate level of sweetness that I’d compare to watered-down cola.

Sour Patch Kids Cola Bubbles Glass Wht

Both colored bubbles have the same flavor, which I thought would pop (no pun) a bit more, if I’m being honest. That’s not really a complaint, though.

It’s akin to when you pour Coke over ice and take that first foamy sip as the bubbles settle around the cubes. Am I making sense? I find that to be the best and least cola flavor heavy sip. There’s obviously no effervescence here, but the taste gives off that sensation.

I couldn’t help but wonder how successful a “Sour Cola” would be after eating these. Maybe Pepsi could give that a trial run. I think it would be good, especially for a cocktail mixer.

Anything else you need to know?

So, I mentioned earlier how bummed these made me, and I’m probably dating myself here, but they reminded me of a candy that hasn’t existed in close to two decades – Betty Crocker Sodalicious Fruit Snacks.

If you know, you know.

I won’t dwell on that too much, and I encourage you to Google ’em because, man, they were an elite childhood snack, and these were semi-close to what I remember Sodalicious tasting like.

I also think Sour Patch Kids Cola Bubbles are better than Haribo Happy Cola gummies.

Conclusion:

Sour Patch Kids Cola Bubbles Glass Bag

These are legit, and I’d argue the little bubble form is a more satisfying bite than the usual flat kid shape.

I think these could and really should become standard movie theater candy. You can sub ’em in for the massive Coke and family-sized bag of Sour Patch Kids you usually get and just focus on your garbage can full of popcorn.

Purchased Price: $1.25
Size: 3.61 oz
Purchased at: Dollar Tree
Rating: 8 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (24 pieces) 110 calories, 0 grams of fat, 25 milligrams of sodium, 27 grams of total carbohydrates, 23 grams of total sugars, and 0 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Dunkin’ Cornbread Donut

Dunkin Cornbread Donut One

What is Dunkin’s Cornbread Donut?

Heads up to that one guy who kept pestering Dunkin’ to make a glazed corn cake donut.

Your time has finally come, my friend.

How is it?

Ok, well, I don’t actually know if this aforementioned guy exists, but I certainly didn’t expect Dunkin’ to add cornbread to its menu in any form. I was pretty skeptical, but it’s a tasty little donut.

Dunkin Cornbread Donut Two

That skepticism was hard to shake at first, too. I ordered one donut, and the Dunkin’ employee gave me two. Was it because they were so bad no one was ordering them or was it just because of my winning smile? I’m still not entirely sure, but I appreciated it and enjoyed them both.

The cornbread donut is similar in texture and density to Dunkin’s more “cakey” donuts.

Dunkin Cornbread Donut Inside

It’s glazed and has stripes of white icing, so I expected it to be equal parts sweet and savory, but it’s sweeter than expected, with the cornbread being pretty disguised. I’d say this is 80% sweet, 20% savory.

You’d barely notice the cornbread flavor if it weren’t for that familiar grittiness of the cake. You know that consistency cornbread has, where you can almost taste little bits of sandy cornmeal? That comes through, which I could see being a dealbreaker for some.

I also expected this to be very dry, but it was – here comes that dreaded word – moist.

Anything else you need to know?

Your mileage will vary on this one depending on which type of Dunkin’ donut you prefer. This falls right in line with the glazed blueberry, pumpkin, and the chocolate devil’s food donuts. I love a blueberry from time to time despite how heavy they are.

I’d rank this last among those, but it’s not a huge gap. The sweetness from the glaze and that little bit of cornbread flavor makes it unique enough to stand on its own. At worst, you should grab one of these if you order a dozen.

Conclusion:

I ultimately don’t know if this one will make the cut and be anything more than a limited flavor, but it’s worth a shot. You could even just order one in Munchkin form if you’re scared of wasting food.

I appreciate the idea, and I enjoyed the outcome. If Dunkin’ doesn’t do a banana bread donut like this next, I’m gonna be really bummed.

Purchased Price: $1.35
Size: N/A
Rating: 7 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: 380 calories, 20 grams of fat, 9 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 10 milligrams of cholesterol, 420 milligrams of sodium, 45 grams of total carbohydrates, 2 grams of fiber, 31 grams of total sugars, and 4 grams of protein.

REVIEW: M&M’s Munchums

M M s Munchums Pouch

What are M&M’s Munchums?

M&M’s has taken a fancy new natural approach by kicking the candy coating to the curb in favor of a crunchy baked shell.

How are they?

M M s Munchums Bowl

They’re one of the five best M&M flavors I’ve ever had.

Let me walk that back a little…

These are clearly different from the usual M&M, but I don’t care; they destroy most of them, especially the classic brown bag originals.

These are not so much pieces of candy as they’re tiny little chocolate chip cookie balls, and they’re good chocolate chip cookies at that.

M M s Munchums Innards

They start with a chocolate crispy core, which I was already pumped about as Crispy M&M’s are also in my top five. The core is encased in the standard chocolate, but the real marvel here is the shell, which has a perfectly crispy baked flavor that reminded me of a Famous Amos-type cookie.

Now you’re probably thinking, “So what, plenty of cookies use M&M’s,” and you’re right, but I just found this inverse to be much more exciting. I don’t know why, but I really loved the flavor of this bite-sized “candy.” Usually, if M&M’s releases a flavor with the promise of “cookie,” it would taste like an M&M with a hint of that cookie’s flavor. These taste like cookies without even really promising that.

Anything else you need to know?

I’ve never actually had Keebler Gripz, but I recall a similar product from my youth. They were just little tiny chocolate chip cookies in a pouch, and my Googling has brought no help. Anyway, that’s what I ultimately walked away thinking of. These taste like an upscale, more chocolatey version of those with a much nicer crunchy texture.

M M s Munchums Colored M

If you can’t tell, I really dug the shell. I even think the colored “M” on the tan shell looks great.

These could be a reinvention of the M&M wheel. I could also picture these being a truly elite ingredient in a great trail/snack mix.

Conclusion:

M M s Munchums Colors

I hope these expand on shelves and everyone gets to try them. They should really market these. Introduce a “Baked” M&M character to the revamped lineup. Give him little dreads and a goatee. Eh, maybe that’s a literal pipe dream.

Either way, these are legit. They also come in a salted caramel flavor if you’re lucky enough to find them.

UPDATE: By luck, my aunt had the Salted Caramel Munchums at my family’s Easter get-together! It is with great regret that I inform you they taste like a cheap salty café latte absorbed in a piece of cardboard. I cannot believe the stark difference between the two flavors. Don’t even bother with the Salted Caramel, and just get the Milk Chocolate flavor.

Purchased Price: $3.49
Size: 4.94 oz pouch
Purchased at: Wegmans
Rating: 9 out of 10 (Milk Chocolate), 3 out of 10 (Salted Caramel)
Nutrition Facts: (1 oz, 14 pieces) 120 calories, 5 grams of fat, 2.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 95 milligrams of sodium, 20 grams of total carbohydrates, 9 grams of total sugars, and 2 grams of protein.