REVIEW: Hershey’s S’mores Crunchers

Hershey s S mores Crunchers

Hey folks, it’s your resident “S’more Connoisseur,” and I am BACK for more.

Today’s review comes compliments of Hershey’s new snack line, “Crunchers.” You might’ve already seen the Reese’s and Cookies N’ Cream versions in your local convenience store. I’ve tried and enjoyed both, so I had to pounce on these S’morsels (what they should have been called) as soon as I saw them.

So, what the heck is a “Cruncher?” Well, they’re basically little globs of chocolate with crunchy ingredients tossed in. As you would imagine, S’mores Crunchers have mini marshmallows, graham pieces, and graham cookies. I’ll touch on that redundancy later.

I opted for the larger sized bag. Let’s see if I made the right choice.

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Well, right off the bat, they didn’t smell very good. Does chocolate spoil? It smells like what I assume old spoiled chocolate would smell like. Whatever, I can get over that if they taste good.

I mean, I guess? There’s just too much chocolate. I realize that sounds stupid because if these were in bar form, it might be the same ratio, but they tasted like a regular Hershey’s bar.

The graham and marshmallow peak through as you chew, but the overwhelming chocolate always took over. It’s like eating misshapen Kisses with random bits mixed in.

You probably read that and thought, “Ah, that doesn’t seem so bad.”

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Unfortunately, I have a major problem with S’mores Crunchers, and it has to do with the little marbits clumped amongst the chocolate.

The marshmallows are HARD AS A ROCK. I’m serious. Take this as your warning. It’s not pleasant.

There are some pieces that have just graham, which lived up to the “Cruncher” name, but any clump with a marshmallow was like chewing on a pebble. I may have dental paranoia, but I had to chew with extreme caution. These things taste like they’re Rocky Road flavored, and literally made with bits of a rocky road.

I isolated a few of the tiny marshmallows to confirm it was them. I was expecting that crunchy, spongey, powdery texture you get from hot cocoa marbits, but nah, these are rough. They melt in your mouth in time, but I doubt you’ll take solace after cracking a crown.

The bag boasts these are “A delightfully munchable crunchy snack.” I counter that they are a “decent, terrifying dentist visit waiting to happen.”

The graham pieces and cookies were also irrelevant. I guess they wanted two different shapes because there is no taste or textural difference between them.

I could see these as a snack mix ingredient, not a standalone. Since there is so much chocolate, there needs to be something savory, like pretzels, to balance it out. That’s how I’m finishing this bag, if I even bother.

The Reese’s and Cookies N’ Cream varieties of these Crunchers are considerably better, so choose those or go for the Hershey’s Snack Mix. They’re usually on the shelf right beside these anyway.

(Nutrition Facts – about 10 pieces – 140 calories, 7 grams of fat, 4 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 5 milligrams of cholesterol, 70 milligrams of sodium, 21 grams of carbohydrates, less than 1 gram of dietary fiber, 16 grams of sugar, and 2 grams of protein.)

Purchased Price: $4.19
Size: 6.5 oz. bag
Purchased at: CVS
Rating: 4 out of 10
Pros: Well on its way to being a pretty good snack mix ingredient. It’s still Hershey chocolate. Pieces with just graham are fine.
Cons: Marshmallows are a textural nightmare. Not a good standalone snack. Too much chocolate. Two types of graham for nothing. Worst of the Cruncher varieties so far. Bit of a lazy concept.

REVIEW: McDonald’s Szechuan Sauce

McDonald s Szechuan Sauce

Don’t mention Rick and Morty. Don’t mention Rick and Morty.

On a recent episode of Rick and Morty… Dammit!

Do I need to give you guys a recap of McDonald’s Szechuan Sauce Mania?


Here’s the CliffsNotes version – a plot line in a time-traveling episode centered on McDonald’s Szechuan Sauce from the 1990’s. Rick and Morty fans, being some of the most boisterous on the net, demanded Mickey D’s bring it back. They did. It was a disaster. Only some restaurants carried it, and entitled fanboys lined up outside like they were getting Hamilton tickets. Few succeeded. The “lucky” patient few started selling them on eBay for laughable prices, and that’s how I got mine.

Here I sit $375 poorer finally ready to try a sauce that escaped me as a child. Wubba Lubba Dub Dub!

I’m kidding. McDonald’s acknowledged the demand and brought Szechuan Sauce back. You can pretty much get it anywhere for free with your order.

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The sauce smelled like Asian ginger salad dressing to me, which I’ve always been fond of. I had to remove it from the packet to see its brownish orange color. It also had little black pepper flakes –- more on those later.

My flavor vessel of choice was the McNugget because it seemed like the obvious choice. After a dip, I noticed Szechuan had basically the same viscosity of BBQ sauce.

I apologize for being all over the map of Asia, but the flavor profiles put me in mind of multiple sauces that span different countries. I got mostly teriyaki flavor, a little sweet and sour, while also putting me in mind of that much thinner soy-based sauce you get with an order of shumai or gyoza at a Japanese restaurant.

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There was definitely a little ginger, some tang, and a pinch of citrus which I thought was from something like orange zest, but that’s not a listed ingredient. The major “flavor” lacking here was any heat whatsoever. I figured those pepper flakes would provide a nice kick, but any spice was negligible. That was disappointing.

Overall, it’s a solid McNugget sauce. I haven’t had it in years, and after eating four of them, I coulda crushed a 20-piece without much struggle.

If I had to rank Szechuan Sauce against the rest of the McDonald’s dipping sauce roster, it would land smack dab in the middle. It’s not overtaking classics like BBQ or Honey Mustard, but it’s better than Sweet and Sour. I also don’t care much for Ranch and Buffalo, so keep that in mind.

If McDonald’s decided to put out a Snack Wrap with Szechuan Sauce, it would be excellent. I’m no marketing genius, but McDonald’s should have taken advantage of the hype and released a couple other menu items that featured this sauce.

So yeah, this stuff is good, but not worth the ridiculous hype. Ya boy Rick Sanchez made it seem like Ambrosia but it’s just a run of the mill, solid dipping sauce.

(Nutrition Facts – Not available.)

Purchased Price: $1.29 for the Nuggets – I got 2 Sauce Packets for free. (To eBay I go!)
Size: 0.90 oz.
Rating: 6 out of 10
Pros: Basically a light spin on teriyaki Sauce. A solid dipping sauce. McDonald’s giving the (obnoxious) people what they want. Bonus sauce packet. McNuggets nostalgia. A review 20+ years in the making. I know how to spell “Szechuan: now.
Cons: That entire Rick and Morty fiasco. Not having a Snack Wrap with Szechuan on the current menu.

REVIEW: Good Humor Reese’s Bar

Good Humor Reese s Bar

Who is this Good Humor Man I always hear about?

Growing up, my neighborhood had a Good Humor truck, but the man inside looked like he hadn’t smiled since the Carter administration. His icy demeanor definitely matched the goods he was peddling. Despite the awkward interactions, his sweet siren song never failed to boost my adrenaline levels to Herculean heights. Besides, as unfunny people like myself will always tell you – good humor is subjective.

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Now while I was usually a WWF Superstar bar, candy cigarettes, Pixie Stick, and Warheads kid, I did get the occasional Good Humor ice cream bar.

Strawberry Shortcake always seemed to be the popular choice. My mother used to buy boxes of them from the supermarket, and while they’re classics, my choice was always Toasted Almond. (Chocolate Éclair was great, but a distant third and I’ve never had Cookies and Cream.)

I haven’t had one of those babies in ages, so when I saw Good Humor had a Reese’s bar on the market, it was like hearing the Good Humor truck song all over again.

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These certainly look the part of a Good Humor bar. I was excited about the prospect of the chocolate and peanut butter crumb exterior, as that was always my favorite part.

I plucked a few crumb pieces off and tasted them individually. They weren’t bursting with the Reese’s flavor I was hoping for, but no big deal. I trudged on and went for a bite.

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The look of the ice cream itself was a bit uninspiring. It has a very light khaki color, that resembled cake texturally.

As for the flavor, the ice cream was not nearly as peanut buttery as I had hoped. Not only that, I felt the chocolate almost took a bit away from the already weak peanut butter.

The crumbs enhanced the experience a bit but weren’t as crunchy as I remember them being back in the day. They almost added a “stale” element to the bar to be honest. My memory could just be off here, but the bites felt less satisfying.

Look, you slap the name “Reese’s,” on anything, and I’ll enjoy it. I’d brush my teeth with Reese’s toothpaste if they felt inclined to make it. The Reese’s brand has never let me down, until now.

These aren’t very flavorful. They’re boring – I mean, pretty good boring, but boring.

These bars are one step above eating those healthy ice creams that people on diets pretend is good but actually tastes like ice you chip off the wall of an old freezer.

I’m disappointed a Reese’s product didn’t live up to my standards. Don’t get me wrong, you’ll probably still enjoy these, but I see no reason to recommend them. They’re middle of the road but aren’t better than the Good Humor OG’s. They’re not better than any other Reese’s products, and they’re probably not better than any other peanut butter item in the frozen section, so really, why bother?

(Nutrition Facts – 1 Bar – 180 calories, 100 calories from fat, 11 grams of fat, 4.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 105 milligrams of sodium, 20 grams of carbohydrates, less than 1 gram of fiber, 13 grams of carbohydrates, and 3 grams of protein.)

Purchased Price: $4.49
Size: 6-pack box
Purchased at: Stop & Shop
Rating: 5 out of 10
Pros: Taste like Reese’s light. Still a decent ice cream bar. Ice Cream Truck music. Good Humor memories.
Cons: So many better options out there. Lacking that Reese’s punch. Miserable Ice Cream Men. Subtle phallic box imagery.

REVIEW: Ruffles Mozzarella ‘N Marinara Potato Chips

Ruffles Mozzarella  N Marinara Potato Chips

Ah yes, mozzarella and marinara – the Italian M&M’s.

Actually, in my case, it’s “mutzadel and madanada.” I make no apologies for the way I pronounce these words.

Not to further sound like a stereotype but I’ve probably eaten mozzarella and marinara more than any food in my lifetime. Between pizza, Sunday sauce* dinners, mozz sticks, fresh mozzarella balls, meatball subs, etc. I was practically raised on ’em. If I had my own food pyramid, mozzarella and marinara based foods would have a section and said section would probably be right beside potato chips. (I never said I had the healthiest diet.)

As much as I love all the foods mentioned, I’m not an elitist snob about it. I still enjoy chain pizza, string cheese, or your run of the mill fast food mozzarella stick. For all these reasons, I felt like I would be a great judge for Ruffles’ Mozzarella ‘N Marinara chips.

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Right out of the gate, these chips nail the smell. I got all the elements I wanted –- tomato sauce, cheesy tanginess, and a bit of onion and garlic. It was a good start.

The taste absolutely delivered on that smell.

There’s a tangy flavor that for a split second that actually reminded me of Cheddar and Sour Cream Ruffles. The cheddar quickly morphed into a milder mozzarella flavor. That flavor is definitely more along the lines of a Polly-O/Sargento/Belgioioso store-bought cheese, but like I said, I like em all. Oh, and cheddar is listed in the ingredients if you’re wondering.

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The tomato sauce flavor rides the line perfectly. It doesn’t overpower the mozz in any way and actually takes a backseat to what I assume are Italian breadcrumb flavors. Even though these aren’t technically called, “mozzarella stick,” they taste like ’em to me. The Italian style herbs, garlic, onion, and parsley flavors you expect from the fried outer coating are all there.

The aftertaste is distinctly that of a mozzarella stick dipped in a cup of marinara. The flavors are perfect, but if I have one complaint it’s that I could have used even more of it.

I don’t normally want my chips saturated in finger-painting flavor dust, but I could’ve used even more of a coating. This is a very minor nitpick.

While mozzarella sticks are obviously an opposing texture, the ridged Ruffles were the best choice for this flavor. Regular Lay’s style chips would have been too flimsy and greasy. Plus, as a dumb child who choked on mozzarella sticks on numerous occasions, these are much safer to eat!

I’m struggling to find many other complaints. Besides wanting a tad more flavor, I did get a little agita after eating about four servings of these, but you gotta expect a little agita after eating mutzadel and madanada.

These were exactly as advertised for me. Cheddar and Sour Cream are in my pantheon of great chips, and I loved the All Dressed variety, but these might be my new favorite Ruffles.

(Nutrition Facts – about 11 chips – 150 calories 9 grams of fat, 1.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 160 milligrams of sodium, 16 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, 1 gram of sugar, and 2 grams of protein.)

Purchased Price: $4.29
Size: 8.5 oz. bag
Purchased at: Stop & Shop
Rating: 9 out of 10
Pros: Extra crispy mozzarella sticks. One of the better flavor translations Frito Lay has done. Not as big a choking risk as real mozzarella sticks. Reminds me of all my childhood favorites.
Cons: A little agita. Could probably use more flavor dust. *I don’t wanna hear your crazy “gravy” arguments.

REVIEW: Hostess Suzy Q’s (2018)

Hostess Suzy Q s  2018

Suzy Q Review: Take 2.

Back in 2015, I reviewed the re-release of Hostess’s Suzy Q’s and absolutely hated them. To this day they’re the lowest rated food I’ve ever had the (dis)pleasure of reviewing for this site.

I remember being timid when submitting the negative review, thinking the comments section would light me up for blaspheming a classic snack cake. Thankfully, everyone kinda agreed. We all seemed to have some Q’s for Suzy.

There was a social media outcry for Hostess to fix their mistake, and they did, by re-re-releasing Suzy Q’s.

Guess what folks? They’ve now gone and *REEEEE-MIXXXX* re-re-re-released them.

Here we are in 2018 and Suzy is finally back and better than ever? Let’s find out. Everyone deserves a fourth chance.

Hostess snack cakes all have the same welcoming smell of oily processed chocolate goodness, so these started out on the right foot. The smell instantly put me in mind of a Drake’s Devil Dog. These even look like a Devil Dog’s stubbier little sister.

These new Suzy Q’s boast 50 percent more cake, and 50 percent more crème. I’ll let you do the math there. I will not fat shame Suzy, but I do feel the need to shame Hostess.

Hostess Suzy Q s  2018 2

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While the cake is spongy and moist enough, there’s too much of it. Sadly, it’s still the highlight here.

The crème is out of control. There’s wayyyyy too much crème. It’s thick, slightly gritty, cloying, and overbearing after two bites.

After the first bite, I was ready to say these tasted like Hostess’s famous cupcakes without the top coating and swirl, a.k.a. the best part. After the second less pleasurable bite, I knew exactly what these tasted like – Whoopie Pies.

Are you all familiar with Whoopie Pies?

My mother used to go to Pennsylvania Dutch Country and buy these Amish-made hockey puck-sized Whoopie Pies and that’s exactly what these put me in mind of. That may not exactly help you, but if you’ve ever had a Whoopie Pie from a Farmer’s Market type place, that’s a circular Suzy Q. They basically taste like a more processed knockoff of Whoopie Pies, and I was never a big fan of those to begin with.

For those reasons, Suzy Q’s almost taste like another company trying to mimic Hostess’ formula. I realize these were one of the O.G. Hostess cakes, so maybe I’m just not well versed in Hostess’ taste history.

In the end, these were an improvement from the last time, but I still think they’re in the bottom rung of Hostess products. The previous duds were definitely a more manageable size. With all the variety on shelves, I see no reason to ever buy Suzy Q’s.

Suzy Q, baby, I don’t like you.

I’m gonna freeze the rest of the box, because I feel like the crème will taste a little better cold and hardened, like my soul.

(Nutrition Facts – 1 cake – 260 calories, 100 calories from fat, 11 grams of fat, 5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 5 milligrams of cholesterol, 520 milligrams of sodium, 38 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of dietary fiber, 27 grams of sugar and 2 grams of protein..)

Purchased Price: $2.97
Size: 15.66 oz. (6 cakes)
Purchased at: Walmart
Rating: 5 out of 10
Pros: Much better than last time. Extra point in rating for Hostess admitting to its mistakes. I’ll probably like these better when I find ’em in the back of the freezer in a couple months. CCR is the greatest American rock band, don’t @ me.
Cons: Way too much crème. Too much cake. Tastes like a Whoopie Pie knockoff. Fool me twice, shame on me.