REVIEW: Pumpkin Spice M&M’s

M&M's Pumpkin Spice

I originally planned to take a picture of the new Pumpkin Spice M&M’s in a seasonal and traditional setting laced with a backdrop of Indian corn, scarecrows, and autumnal delicacies. Heck, I would have even settled for an NFL tailgate. But since these new chocolate candies started hitting stores before kids went back to school and because my garden is filled with nothing but basil, feel free to use your imagination when looking at the photos throughout this review.

Not that I’m complaining about the arrival of anything pumpkin related. I was the guy who hoarded Pumpkin Pie Spice Pringles last year. But pumpkin means fall is here (or around the corner) which means exchanging humid summer days for watching football during breezy fall afternoons.

I’m sure the usual pumpkin spice-flavored suspects will be out in force again this year — Pumpkin Pie Pop-Tarts, McDonald’s Pumpkin Pie, and my personal favorite, Edy’s Pumpkin Ice Cream – but joining the pumpkin patch for the first time are these lovable M&M’s. Lovable because seriously, how can you not love a talking chocolate candy guy with a pumpkin on his head?

M&M's Pumpkin Spice Comparison

Pumpkin Spice M&M’s are bigger than your standard M&M’s (shown here in white) but not quite as oblong or imposing as Peanut of Almond M&M’s. I’m guessing the shell color choices of orange, green, and brown were meant to correspond to a pumpkin’s color. Beyond each colored shell is a sweet milk chocolate.

M&M's Pumpkin Spice Super Closeup

Now I know what you’re thinking. “Whoa there, why not white chocolate? That buttery, frosting-like taste was such a winning flavor with the Carrot Cake M&M’s, and would go pa-pa-perfectly with the pumpkin spice!” Well all I can say is hey, I feel you. While I don’t think anyone but the Nazis have opposed classic Milk Chocolate M&M’s, the simple truth is that they’re kind of plain on their own.

And Pumpkin Spice M&M’s aren’t much different. As I crunched down on a single candy, all I initially tasted was chocolate. True, it’s better than tasting raw pumpkin, but I was expected something a little more scrumptious. Then, almost as an aftertaste, a hint of cinnamon emerged. Here’s the thing though; it’s not that traditional vanilla and cinnamon warmth that one usually associates with pumpkin. Instead, it’s kind of a wimpy version of Cinnamon Red Hots. Cool and vaguely spicy, it’s more of a sensation than a flavor, and it’s not something that goes with the milk chocolate flavor. To use a gardening analogy, it’s like a pumpkin in a field of basil.

M&M's Pumpkin Spice Closeup

I may lack the discernible taste receptors to differentiate on the minute differences between cinnamon, cloves, ginger, allspice, and whatever else might go into the ubiquitous “pumpkin spice,” but having tasted the flavor in a variety of products, I’m pretty sure at least a few of those spices were left out of the party. While the taste of cinnamon resonates weakly in the aftertaste, the truth is you’ve got to eat these one at a time and slowly to really take advantage.

Yeah, like anyone actually does that with M&M’s.

If you’ve been one of the few people who’ve secretly got their candy fix by chugging both Milk Chocolate M&M’s and Cinnamon Red Hots, well, these Pumpkin Spice M&M’s are going to make you happy. Otherwise, you’ll just want to stick with your standard favorite M&M’s variety.

(Nutrition Facts – 1.5 oz. – 210 calories, 80 calories from fat, 8 grams of fat, 5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 5 milligrams of cholesterol, 30 milligrams of sodium, 0 milligrams of potassium, 30 grams of carbohydrates, 1 grams of dietary fiber, 27 grams of sugars, and 2 grams of protein.)

Item: Pumpkin Spice M&M’s
Purchased Price: $3.00
Size: 9.9 oz. bag
Purchased at: Target
Rating: 4 out of 10
Pros: Forcing autumn. Bigger than standard M&M’s. Tastes took much like regular M&Ms. Doesn’t melt in your hands. Using candy to help defeat the Nazis.
Cons: Weird cinnamon aftertaste doesn’t go with chocolate. Not really pumpkin spicy. No actual pumpkin involved, despite oddly noted gram of fiber. Bigger than standard M&M’s, which could mean eating about 75 grams of sugar without realizing it.

REVIEW: Milk Chocolate M&M’s Chocolate Bar

Milk Chocolate M&M's Chocolate Bar

The color blind life can be challenging. I can remember struggling with colors since a young age, receiving criticism from my teachers for coloring the grass orange and pumpkins green in my coloring book – even though that’s what I actually saw. My inability to properly identify many of the colors soon brought forth a dislike for multicolored objects. Even sitting through an episode of Reading Rainbow was excruciating because of all the different colors in the logo – and I love LeVar Burton!

With so much color-related difficulty in my life, you might think that I would hate such a colorful candy as M&M’s, but no. For some reason, I love the little rainbow candy-coated pieces of chocolate. Sure, I might not be able to correctly tell you which colors I’m eating, but they still taste amazing. Plus, their tiny size makes them so easy to eat! My record is 154 M&M’s in three minutes. (I’m like Takeru Kobayashi, but instead of shoving wieners in my mouth, I eat candy.)

I was pretty excited when I heard about Mars’ new M&M’s Chocolate Bar. So excited, in fact, that my inner Tommy Wise broke free, and I thought, “Oh hi, Mars. M&M’s inside my candy bar? You think about everything, ha ha ha.”

But wait – haven’t I seen this M&M’s Chocolate Bar somewhere before? Oh, that’s right. Back in 2004, Mars introduced the M-Azing chocolate bar, which was only available in peanut butter and crunchy flavors. I can vaguely recall tasting an M-Azing bar and disliking it. Let’s hope this M&M Chocolate Bar does better.

I found the M&M Chocolate Bar at my local Target in the candy bar section next to the check-out line. At a mere seventy-nine cents per bar, it seemed like a true bargain.

Milk Chocolate M&M's Chocolate Bar Closeup

After removing the chocolate bar’s wrapper, I instantly noticed the imprinted design of an anthropomorphic M&M man. I don’t usually find anthropomorphic creatures on my candy bars, so this was a pleasant surprise. The chocolate bar is divided into eight sections for easy distribution among eight friends. Or if you’re like me and don’t have any friends, you’ll have to distribute the eight pieces to the various homeless men who follow you home from work everyday.

The brightly colored mini M&M’s can be seen peeking through the chocolate, giving the bar a subtle rainbow appearance. When compared to more commonly purchased chocolate such as the Hershey Bar, the M&M’s Chocolate Bar’s smell is a bit more rich and powerful, but the scent is pleasant nonetheless.

After taking my first bite of the M&M Chocolate Bar, I was surprised that the M&M’s contributed significantly less crunch than I expected. Since the M&M’s are the mini variety, they don’t add much texture to the bar. In fact, I found it pretty difficult to distinguish the M&M’s from the normal chocolate part of the bar while chewing. Everything blends together into one chocolatey mass.

Milk Chocolate M&M's Chocolate Bar Innards

Unfortunately, the chocolate used in the bar isn’t the best. It’s super sweet, almost too rich, and the M&M’s give it a somewhat chalky texture. Furthermore, it left a funny aftertaste and a strange feeling in my throat after eating all eight pieces.

Perhaps if Mars had used a higher quality chocolate in their new M&M’s Chocolate Bar, I might be a bit more of a fan. Although it’s super inexpensive, there are other chocolate bars on the market I would prefer to purchase. The M&M’s found inside of the bar fail to enhance the already unsatisfying chocolate base. Maybe if the M&M’s Chocolate Bar magically cured colorblindness, I’d consider purchasing it again, but next time, I’ll be passing this one by in the supermarket.

(Nutrition Facts – 1 bar – 220 calories, 110 calories from fat, 12 grams of total fat, 7 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 15 milligrams of cholesterol, 30 milligrams of sodium, 27 grams of total carbohydrates, 1 grams of dietary fiber, 26 grams of sugars, and 3 grams of protein.)

Other Milk Chocolate M&M’s Chocolate Bar reviews:
Candy Blog

Item: Milk Chocolate M&M’s Chocolate Bar
Purchased Price: 79 cents
Size: 1.5 oz.
Purchased at: Target
Rating: 4 out of 10
Pros: Super cheap. Pleasant chocolatey scent. Awesome anthropomorphic M&M man imprint. References to Tommy Wiseau.
Cons: Low quality chocolate. M&M’s blend in with the rest of the bar. Funny aftertaste. Doesn’t cure color blindness.

REVIEW: White Chocolate Carrot Cake M&M’s

White Chocolate Carrot Cake M&M's

Back in the good ol’ medieval days, when the world used catapults and ate turkey legs the size of canoe paddles, some hungry, conquering genius gathered a bunch of leftovers and root vegetables, shoved them in the oven, and called it a recipe. Thus, the lumpy, bumpy carrot cake was born.

Now, for those yet to be familiarized, a carrot cake is a spice cake that had dashed dreams of being a fruit cake: it’s fluffy cake crammed with all sorts of this-n-that’s (raisins, carrots, maybe some pineapple) and topped with a honking slather of buttercream or cream cheese frosting. Its warm spices have been known to carve a soft spot in the calloused hearts of one-eyed sailors and, when placed before me, it disappears.

Unfortunately, I’m no baker, so when I heard the folks at Mars were serving up that experience in a lentil-shaped white chocolate confection, I sped, tight-knuckled, pedal-to-the-floor, to the nearest Walmart to dig them from their hiding spot in the dusty display case.

White Chocolate Carrot Cake M&M's Bushel

These are pudgy ovoids, notably bigger than a regular M&M. If you’ve had the white chocolate limited edition, you have a feel of what we’re dealing with here: they’re a smidge wider in diameter than milk chocolate M&M’s and have a rounder belly.

White Chocolate Carrot Cake M&M's Are Big

See? They’re huge.

The colors come in a trio of light orange, green, and beige, which not only stays with the theme of “carrot colors” but also reinforces my inner belief that all good things come in threes, and it’s always nice to have my inner beliefs spontaneously reinforced.

Like its white chocolate cousin, these sweet bits have a thicker shell, adding a crunch before the white chocolate filling, which is soft, sweet, milky, and melts as fast as the memories of those poems I had to recite back in high school (“Two roads diverged in a yellow wood…” [she shudders])

One of the biggest problems I’ve faced in white chocolate M&Ms of the past is that, due to all that sweetness, it’s hard to eat more than a handful without passing out cold on the floor from a belligerent sugar rush to my frontal lobe. I celebrate with such gluttonous joy to find that these are far easier to eat. These start off sweet and, while there are no visible spices, there is a certain cinnamon/nutmeg-ish vibe that comes in the middle to contrast with the white chocolate, encouraging a higher ratio of consumption. They may give me a root canal, but I don’t care. That yoga teacher I took classes from three years ago told me to stay in the present, so I shall enjoy these right now…

And now…

And now…

White Chocolate Carrot Cake M&M's Chomp

In the end, eating these makes me want to do something good for the world. Like adopt a rescued guinea pig. Or educate elementary school kids about the importance of their credit score. Or pay those library fees I’ve neglected for four years. These are a solid rendition of a seasonal offering: creative enough to be pushing the boundaries, but familiar enough to inspire mouth-shoving tendencies. What’s even more exciting is that Mars took a risk and it paid off. The only downside is that I’m running out of them…and fast.

(Nutrition Facts – 1.5 oz. (about 1/4 cup) – 220 calories, 100 calories from fat, 11 grams of fat, 7 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 5 milligrams of cholesterol, 40 milligrams of sodium, 0 milligrams of potassium, 29 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of dietary fiber, 28 grams of sugars, and 2 grams of protein.)

Item: White Chocolate Carrot Cake M&M’s
Purchased Price: $2.88
Size: 9.9 oz. bag
Purchased at: Walmart*
Rating: 9 out of 10
Pros: Bigger than the average M&M. Smooth melt. Crunchy shell. Spice taste balances white chocolate. Spontaneous reinforcement of inner beliefs. Rescued guinea pigs.
Cons: Never enough in the bag. Limited time. Only available at Walmart. Poobahs. Poems memorized in high school. Disco-ball-related accidents.

*If there’s a miff I have with these, it’s how hard they are to find. They’re available at “select” Walmarts only, which may or may not involve a fill up of your gas tank (a tragedy within itself)

REVIEW: White Chocolate Peppermint M&M’s

White Chocolate Peppermint M&M's

When I bite into a White Chocolate Peppermint M&M’s, I get the sensation that I’ve just stepped out of the shower and into a freezer.

My nipples perk out and other body parts perk in. Every hair on my body stands up and every muscle in my body twitches uncontrollably in response to the cold environment. Then, when I can feel my organs failing, I think to myself, “So this is what it’s like to die on Mount Everest.”

But then I realize, just like in the York Peppermint Patty commercials, what I’m feeling is a complete exaggeration in my head and is no where close to what it actually feels like to take a bite into any peppermint chocolate candy. And it turns out all I’m really doing is standing naked in front of a window on a breezy day.

However, when I bite into a White Chocolate Peppermint M&M’s a second time, I get the sensation of sadness because I realize this tasty seasonal candy won’t be available come January or February, unless I’m willing to pay anywhere from $9.99 to $15.99 for a bag from an avaricious eBay or Amazon Marketplace seller.

These new minty M&M’s are great, but not $9.99 great.

Although that sadness could taste significantly less bitter if I became an avaricious eBay or Amazon Marketplace seller who gouged desperate souls wanting hard-to-find candy.

White Chocolate Peppermint M&M's Closeup

After opening the bag of White Chocolate Peppermint M&M’s, my olfaction was greeted with a blast of mint. It was as if someone stuck the hook end of two candy canes up my nostrils in order to drag me away. The minty M&M’s were coated with either red or white candy shells and are noticeably larger than regular M&M’s, but slightly smaller than Peanut M&M’s.

So how pepperminty are these M&M’s? Well, let’s just say that, in a pinch, I would pop a couple in my mouth to freshen my breath so I can invade someone’s personal space. They’re also minty enough that a cooling sensation lingered in my mouth for a while after eating them. The White Chocolate Peppermint M&M’s tasted slightly more minty than sweet and I found them to be much more satisfying than the other minty M&M’s — mint milk chocolate and mint dark chocolate.

However, all is not perfect with this candy.

First, I don’t like how these white chocolate M&M’s tend to “sweat” when in slightly warm temperatures, making their candy shells a little greasy. Although that might be my fault for living on a rock in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. Also, while these White Chocolate Peppermint M&M’s are really wonderful, I find them to be like dense cheesecake in that it’s hard to eat a lot of them. I want to eat more, but I can’t.

If you’re a fan of peppermint, I’d highly suggest heading down to your local Target to pick up a bag (It’s a Target exclusive). Or if you want to be an eBay or Amazon Marketplace seller who charges unreasonable prices for hard-to-find candy, head to every Target within driving distance to pick up every single bag you can find.

(Nutrition Facts – 1.5 ounces – 220 calories, 100 calories from fat, 11 grams of fat, 7 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 5 milligrams of cholesterol, 40 milligrams of sodium, 28 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 27 grams of sugar, 2 grams of protein, and 4% calcium.)

Other White Chocolate Peppermint M&M’s reviews:
Candyblog
Spoil Your Dinner
Fatguy Food Blog

Item: White Chocolate Peppermint M&M’s
Purchased Price: $2.99
Size: 9.90 ounce bag
Purchased at: Target
Rating: 8 out of 10
Pros: Wonderful. Best mint M&M’s ever. More minty than sweet. Works as a mint in a pinch. Making money by selling bags of M&M’s for $15.99 on eBay and Amazon Marketplace.
Cons: Candy shell gets greasy in warm temperatures. Target exclusive. Hard to chain eat them. Seasonal item. eBay and Amazon Marketplace sellers who charge $15.99 for a bag of M&M’s.

REVIEW: Mint Dark Chocolate M&M’s

Mint Dark Chocolate M&M's

I should phone in this review like M&M’s phoned in these candies. When I hear dark chocolate and mint in the same sentence, I am thinking angels blowing into trumpets. This is followed by the confetti dropping, balloons floating and marching bands doing their rendition of the Utah Saints’ Mortal Kombat theme song, which is always terrible.

I have a penchant for both flavors and when combined, it is pure ecstasy. Some people hold peanut butter and chocolate as the most perfect union since Morrissey and Marr. Me? It is mint and chocolate.

Even though they are not dark chocolate, I have been known to hoard boxes of creamy Andes. Those foil wrapped miniature packages neatly lined in a row like files, the only candies that satiate my craving and OCD. I know I’m getting ahead of myself so let me slow down and explain. Mars (the company, not the planet continually invading us for all sorts of insipid reasons) brings us Mint M&M’s made with Dark Chocolate. I’m guessing “made” for Mars must mean “let’s pretend”.

The Coconut M&M’s are decent but the pretzel ones made me want to feed them to my neighbor’s yappy dogs that bark non-stop (shut up damn you!!!). I buy the dark chocolate peanut ones when I find them because those are chocolate heroin. So hit or miss, I’m always going to try any variety M&M’s releases. However, I may amend my decision after eating these.

You know that feeling when you’re in class or a meeting, and voices start to melt into a
numbing drone? The only thing keeping you awake is your urge to pee so you continue to drink that warm bottle of water for survival. You realize the notes you are scribbling are in reality a bunch of geometric shapes or stick figures doing dances (maybe something worse). Your daydreams start to lull the brain to shut down and take a nap. Well that is what happened to my taste buds when I ate these things.

That is correct, they passed out. As if they stole a couple of tabs of Ambien, my own taste buds freaking signed off and fell asleep. I swear I saw the old color pattern and heard the long tone when stations used to go off the air at night.

Are they bad? Are they good? Like my wife’s reaction to Giorgio Moroder’s version of “Metropolis”, indifferent. The M&M’s are neither minty enough nor bitter for my liking. They taste like the normal ones a half hour after you brushed your teeth and Listerined your mouth.

Mint Dark Chocolate M&M's Closeup

Upon biting the familiar candy shell, you are left tasting chocolate with a very limp mint flavor. The chocolate is a tad buttery which is normal for M&M’s but I could not detect any of the dark chocolate. The weakness of the mint is an understatement. The weakness of the dark chocolate is worse as it hardly makes its presence. The aftertaste is a strange sweet mint pastiness that remains there like an unwelcome guest that won’t go home already.

It’s like rebound sex after a crushing breakup or eating “Chinese” at Panda Express. It fills the need but will ultimately leave you dissatisfied. There were no rewards, no emotion, no enjoyment and worse, my desire for those flavors were still screaming at me.

“What happened?” my stomach asked.

“Shit if I know.” I whispered quietly to myself. “My tongue flatlined yo.”

“Yo?”

“Shuddap stupid stomach.”

“You both shut up!” screamed my kidney.

Annoying, the M&M’s are shades of dark and light green as if to remind me they were supposed to be minty. These didn’t suck if you love the normal M&M’s but if you wanted that clean and roasted flavor, you will be disappointed. I’m not sure if disappointed really expressed what I am going for. I think betrayed is more like it.

Speaking of betrayal, my wife likes them but agrees the dark chocolate seems to be missing. She thinks the mint is at an even level but I want somewhere near the vicinity of Junior Mints. Additionally, she dated and married me, so what does my wife know about taste?

I’m not going to go as far to say these are awful because they are not. What they are is misleading. You are better off chewing a piece of spearmint gum for a minute or crunching a peppermint hard candy and then eating some regular M&M’s. That seems more trouble than necessary, which is the overwhelming message I got from eating these, “Why bother?”

(Nutrition Facts – 1 pack (1.50 ounce bag) – 210 calories, 10 grams of fat, 6 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 5 milligrams of cholesterol, 20 milligrams of sodium, 29 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of fiber, 26 grams of sugars, and 2 grams of protein.)

Other Mint Dark Chocolate M&M’s:
Candyblog
The Candy Fan
Chocolate Mission

Item: Mint Dark Chocolate M&M’s
Price: $1.29
Size: 1.50 ounce bag
Purchased: A Non-Descript 7-Eleven
Rating: 5 out of 10
Pros: That candy shell is still fun to bite into. The chocolate is buttery and slightly rich. Satisfying your mental quirks and cravings in one quick stroke. Finally peeing and shouting “Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!” after holding it for so long. Mars Attacks!
Cons: The mint is weak. The dark chocolate is weaker. Having conversations with your own organs. White Hen Pantry was gobbled up by 7-Eleven, booooo to corporate synergy. Ghosts of Mars.

REVIEW: Cinnamon M&M’s

Cinnamon M&M's

When I heard about Crispy M&M’s, I celebrated by eating a spoonful of Rice Krispies. So when I learned about Cinnamon M&M’s, I thought I’d celebrate in a similar fashion and eat a spoonful of cinnamon.

However, it turns out eating cinnamon powder is really hard to do. If only, I searched on YouTube using the words “cinnamon fail” before my celebratory cinnamon consuming, then I would’ve seen the dozens of failed cinnamon eating attempts that involved lots of coughing.

A bag of Cinnamon M&M’s contains candy with four different colored shells: red, dark red, dark brown, and darker brown. Although, at different angles, it kind of looks like there are only three. They also come in different sizes. Some are the same size of regular M&M’s, while others are just as big as Peanut M&M’s or a size in between.

The candy has a pleasant, but very faint, sweet cinnamon flavor and it goes well with the milk chocolate. You’ll probably get more cinnamon flavor if you were to open your mouth downwind from some poor man or woman who just failed at eating a spoonful of cinnamon. Unfortunately, for some strange reason, that very faint flavor pretty much disappears after eating four or five pieces, and it tastes as if you’re eating regular M&M’s.

Cinnamon M&M's Closeup

I thought the disappearance of cinnamon flavor was weird so I decided to do some experiments, and I’ve come to the conclusion that not all the pieces of candy in a bag of Cinnamon M&M’s have cinnamon in them. (Oh wait, the ingredients list doesn’t list it as cinnamon, instead it’s listed as “Natural Flavor.”) I believe the small dark brown pieces taste like regular M&M’s, while the red and dark red pieces have cinnamon flavor.

I did eat several red pieces in a row and the cinnamon flavor didn’t fade, so perhaps the disappearance of the cinnamon flavor when I first ate them could be attributed to me not eating more red pieces. I’d find out for sure, but I’ve already gone through half of the bag while writing this review.

One last thing. It’s been several minutes since I ate my last Cinnamon M&M, but it left behind a slightly cinnamon-y, slightly weird taste in my mouth. I wish I had some cinnamon gum to get rid of it.

The seasonal Cinnamon M&M’s are a nice tangent from the usual flavors, but its subdued cinnamon flavor doesn’t make me want to start a Facebook campaign to get Mars Inc. to make it a regular year-round flavor.

(Nutrition Facts – 1.5 ounces – 210 calories, 80 calories from fat, 9 grams of fat, 5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 5 milligrams of cholesterol, 30 milligrams of sodium, 30 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, 26 grams of sugar, and 2 grams of protein.)

Item: Cinnamon M&M’s
Price: $2.99
Size: 9.9 ounces
Purchased at: Target
Rating: 6 out of 10
Pros: Pleasant cinnamon flavor. It’s another M&M’s flavor. Candy comes in a variety of sizes and colors. Crispy M&M’s.
Cons: Faint cinnamon flavor. Not all of the pieces seem to have cinnamon flavor. Where are Crispy M&M’s? Left a weird taste in my mouth. Trying to eat a spoonful of cinnamon.