REVIEW: Chex Mix Xtreme Habanero Lime Snack Mix

Chex Mix Xtreme Habanero Lime Snack Mix

I like to think of myself as being an extreme type of person.

For example, when I’m getting tattooed, it never hurts enough, so I pay someone to punch me in the face while the artist is making their skin doodles. I also like to skateboard… down a mountain, while simultaneously juggling a tiger and a bear, which are fighting to the death. When I go to the bar and order a beer, I take the bottle from the bartender, chug the beer, and break the bottle on the head of the guy next to me, usually resulting in a giant Roadhouse-esque bar brawl. When I put my clothes in the dryer, I don’t use dryer sheets.

Okay, so none of those are true. They are just things I say to try and impress girls on Tinder (they don’t work very well, either). I’m only extreme in what I eat. So naturally I was drawn to Chex Mix Xtreme Habanero Lime.

Why do companies always use “Xtreme” rather than just the correctly spelled “extreme”? They may as well just spell everything else wrong, too. Checks Myx Xtreme Abbaniro Lym. Ugh, I care too much sometimes.

So the mix is a pretty typical one, containing corn Chex, wheat Chex, circle and square pretzels, bagel chips (at least that’s what I believe them to be) and these god-awful, crunchy Cheetos-shaped disasters. I guess they can just be called corn puffs?

Though the mix is Habanero Lime flavored, there is actually other peppers at play here, as jalapeño and red bell pepper flavors are present along with the habanero. Then there’s a lime flavor to throw in, and the resulting taste is like Cool Ranch Doritos dipped in hot sauce. Every ingredient except the pretzels has the spice on them.

It starts off spicy, and once you bite into it you really get the lime taste, and it sort of cools things down a bit. You’ll still have a bit of spiciness lingering in your mouth after you have a few handfuls but you’ll never be left needing water or anything. And by the way, you really shouldn’t drink water if you are trying to get the spicy taste out of your mouth. Instead, go for a cucumber, or a banana.

The mix is great, but really it is great only without the corn puffs.

Chex Mix Xtreme Habanero Lime Snack Mix Closeup

The crunchy Cheetos-shaped abominations are the least spicy of everything, probably because they don’t retain much of the seasoning, and they are also the most disgusting. I cannot describe how much I hate those awful things. They are very dry and crunchy, but don’t provide much else. It’s like if you stripped the cheese off Cheetos and they were just corn puffs. But why would anybody want to do that? You get a tiny bit of flavor out of the seasoning, but it is not enough to make up for the fact that… well, to make up for the fact that they are useless and should not be in the bag in the first place.

I have eaten many varieties of Chex Mix, but these corn puffs are the single most out-of-place item I have found in any mix. I wish they had kept the mini breadsticks in the mix and not put in the corn puffs. It would have been exceptional, as opposed to just being pretty good.

If I was stranded on an island and the only thing I had to eat was the corn puffs, I would just make a swim for it. Okay, so I wouldn’t really swim for it because I’m not extreme enough and have an overwhelming fear of sharks and jellyfish, but I still would not eat them!

Looking past the annoying spelling of “extreme” and the corn puffs, this Chex Mix is a really nice addition to the ever-growing group.

(Nutrition Facts – 2/3 cup – 140 calories, 40 calories from fat, 4.5 grams of total fat, 1 gram of saturated fat, 230 milligrams of sodium, 24 grams of carbohydrate, 1 gram of dietary fiber, 3 grams of sugar, and 2 grams of protein.)

Item: Chex Mix Xtreme Habanero Lime Snack Mix
Purchased Price: $2.69
Size: 8 oz. bag
Purchased at: Hy-Vee
Rating: 7 out of 10
Pros: Seasoning is just the right amount of spicy. Skateboarding down a mountain while juggling a fighting tiger and bear. Roadhouse.
Cons: Corn puffs are gross. Fear of jellyfish. Realizing that you are, in fact, not extreme at all.

REVIEW: Limited Edition Cocoa Chex Mix

Limited Edition Cocoa Chex Mix

You darn kids have it sooo easy!

Way back in the day, my sister and I had to a walk half a mile to the local IGA every so often just to buy ourselves some Chex Mix (uphill, both ways, naturally). Sure, that might not seem too daunting, but you must keep in mind that it was snowing or raining or hailing or sleeting or doing one of the other thousands of things precipitation is capable of doing in the Midwest approximately 89 percent of the time.

Also, in those days, we only had two options: cheddar or regular. That’s right. No barbecue, no honey crunch, no turtle shell, and no jalapeño cheddar blend. Even hot and spicy didn’t yet exist. Thank the Chex gods those dark days are over!

We always chose regular for the simple fact that the fine folks at Chex Mix lacked a Doritos-level grasp of the concept of sticky flavor powders. Here’s a hint, Chex: moisture is probably involved in the process.

Chex Mix was a specialty snack for us, fit for only one occasion: Saturday night Nickelodeon. SNICK. Do they still have that? I’m struggling to recall the original line-up. Ren & Stimpy and Are You Afraid of the Dark? were involved. That I’m sure of. It seemed like a repository for all the, at best, questionably appropriate Nickelodeon shows – a miasma of violence, fart jokes, rubber nipple salesmen, kitty litter, Canadian imports, and genuine terror. Truly, it was a thing of beauty.

We made a game of not eating during commercial breaks, which sounds boring, but as a seven year old, resisting the savory allure of Chex Mix for even three solid minutes proved challenging, especially when the whole bag was right there and my parents were all the way at the opposite end of the house watching PBS, completely out of supervisory range.

Times change, though. By the time I hit middle school, SNICK seemed to be rotting away into a non-offensive, semi-palatable mush. Clarissa finally explained it all. Amanda Bynes joined the cast of All That. The great northern imports disappeared entirely. Meanwhile, in the junk food world, Chex Mix blossomed into an array of just barely differing flavors. My approach, by and large, was to ignore all of it, rent old Ren & Stimpy tapes at the local video store until I destroyed them, and make my own flippin’ Chex mix. I was impossibly cool and alternative. Every so often, though, Chex would unveil a new variety capable of cracking my shell of teenage indifference, usually with sugary bits or new pretzel shapes.

Some things don’t change. I am still just that stupidly easy to sway. Limited Edition Cocoa Chex Mix manages to target two of my snack weaknesses with the inclusion of Lucky-Charms-like mini-marshmallows and large cinnamon bun pieces where the rye chips once stood. I couldn’t resist grabbing a bag. This particular mix also comes equipped with cocoa powdery corn Chex, vanilla yogurt rice Chex, and, for better or worse, the same old circle- and window-shaped pretzels which seem to exist nowhere outside the Chex universe.

Normally, the great thing about Chex Mix is, well, the mixing. No handful is complete without a metric ton of salty, spicy coating covering every piece, harmoniously joining a range of ultra-processed grains to create something far greater than the sum of their partially hydrogenated parts. This is the point where Cocoa Chex Mix begins to lose steam. Remember the cheesy Chex Mix from before? Well, even given *cough cough* years (sorry there, I seem to be getting choked up by the dryness of this snack), the fine people at Chex still haven’t quite figured out a way around the powder dilemma.

Limited Edition Cocoa Chex Mix Closeup

Every square inch of the mix, from the cinnamon buns to the window panes, comes coated in an ultra-fine layer of excess powder which from the cover picture I assume was only meant for the corn Chex. This powder isn’t especially sweet or exceptionally chocolatey. It’s basically just cocoa powder. The haphazard distribution of the stuff leaves the mix looking like something you’d dig out of the back of a couch, a relic of SNICKs past.

The cinnamon buns are tasty. The marshmallows, marshmallowy. But everything is so, so very dry. In theory, the yogurt rice Chex compensate for this. In practice, there are about five yogurt rice Chex pieces distributed throughout the bag, hopelessly lost in a barren wasteland of corn Chex hell-bent on sucking up all moisture and happiness in the world. If you’re lucky enough to scoop up a handful with one of the rare yogurty rice pieces, you’ll be amazed. Once you add those guys in, the mix truly begins to shine. But in all likelihood, particularly if you’re sharing the bag, you’ll never really experience the dazzling effect of the full flavor array. My advice to you in that case is to steal all the cinnamon buns while your Chex eating buddy isn’t looking. Insist that, like the rice Chex, the cinnamon buns were woefully scarce from the beginning.

As a treat for those determined enough to make it all the way to the bottom of the bag (or unobservant enough to open the bag upside-down), the marshmallows mimic the original Chex’s peanuts in their astonishing ability to cluster and sink to the bottom. They might look scant now, but just wait. Or shake the bag.

Actually, no. In order to experience the best this mix has to offer, just go buy a bag of marshmallows and some cocoa powder. Combine. Shake that. Voila! Cocoa for people who hate liquid! You can thank me later. Now get off my lawn. Blasted whipper snappers!

(Nutrition Facts – 1/2 cup – 120 calories, 30 calories from fat, 3 grams of fat, 1 gram of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 65 milligrams of sodium, 21 grams of carbohydrates, less than 1 gram of fiber, 7 grams of sugar, and 1 gram of protein.)

Other Limited Edition Cocoa Chex Mix reviews:
The Talking Spoon

Item: Limited Edition Cocoa Chex Mix
Price: $2.49
Size: 12 ounces
Purchased at: Fry’s
Rating: 5 out of 10
Pros: Cinnamon buns as delicious as they look in the picture. Early SNICK. Marshmallows are of the kids’ cereal ilk. Yogurt rice Chex are a revelation. Ren & Stimpy. Mix does not actually taste like it came from between two couch cushions.
Cons: Powdery dryness akin to licking salt flats in Death Valley. Contains no chocolate morsels, chips, or chunks. Not overtly sweet. Utter lack of rice chex kills the flavor dream. Are You Afraid of the Dark?-induced nightmares. Marshmallows woefully smaller than their Lucky Charms counterparts. Dumping the mix in milk in a desperate bid for moisture makes the pretzels soggy. The last few seasons of All That.

REVIEW: Chex Mix Muddy Buddies

Chex Mix Muddy Buddies

As a culture, we love food stuffed with more food inside. Witness offerings of pizza crusts with molten cheese in the middle, the obligatory jalapeno poppers with your 2-for-1 margaritas, mozzarella encased inside hamburgers, chili piped into hot dogs, pretzel bits inside M&M’s, bourgeois slanted artisan olives with sardines and the Noah’s Ark of gluttony: The Turducken. So it is only natural that we want our Chex cereal entombed in chocolate and peanut butter as well.

The ubiquitous Chex Mix is perhaps one of the easiest things to prepare but as a society we’ve become too busy to be bothered to mix things in a bowl. And why should we? We’re busy people damn it! And we’re also a fickle population since there are more than a dozen varieties of Chex Mix available to fit your personality (the package touts “A bag of interesting!” and we want to be a Goddamned bag of interesting). We want efficiency, instant gratification, and a snack that is easy to fist in our maws as we multitask. Yay Betty Crocker and General Mills!

Walking into my neighborhood convenience store to scarf down a breakfast burrito with pebbles of sausage, I found the Chocolate Chex Mix Muddy Buddies staring at me. Muddy Buddies? I have to admit; the name is horrible because it sounds like a coy reference to anal sex. I will let you know that this Chex Mix is neither interesting nor as exciting as anal sex (if you’re into that stuff) but it’s pretty damn good. I normally think that the bagged snack is sometimes too salty and the chocolate line is a bit too sweet for my liking. However, the “Muddy Buddies” version is a good balance of sweet and a hint of salt.

I’ve only found this in the small 4.5 ounce bags at a gas station and at $2.29, I was taking a personal fiscal risk. My assumption is if these become successful, they will probably bring them in the normal size at the supermarkets. These Chex Mix fall in their “chocolate” subset versus the normally found “salty” and the “sweet and salty” groups. In other words, these particular ones may be a bit more difficult to find.

Yeah…I’m not making this up. Chex Mix created its own three subgroups just to make it even more convenient for you — Chocolate, Salty, and Sweet and Salty. I have this urge to draw you readers a Venn diagram, but that’s my OCD talking.

Chex Mix Muddy Buddies Innards

Speaking of OCD, ripping open the package was a bit alarming since the sweet powdery coating is so severe. You would think Brian De Palma is filming a sequel to Scarface in each bag. I was worried I would be covered in the sugar, but the powder doesn’t flake off. So you can wear your black clothes, chow down and you won’t look like you have dandruff or a major coke problem. Aren’t cocaine problems passé anyhow? I also thought the sugary powder would overtake the Chex, but it doesn’t. It nicely compliments the chocolate and the peanut butter.

The texture has a very slight give and then that satisfying crunch that will elate you enough to eat the whole bag. The Chex are deceptively small and at 130 calories for a basic handful does it really matter that it’s “50% less fat than regular potato chips” as the bag screams? I found myself devouring the entire thing while watching only a fourth of Cheaters. Seriously, Joey Greco didn’t even get to show the video yet to the girlfriend with big hair.

The chocolate flavor is very much in the background and what you mostly taste is peanut butter and corn Chex. The peanut butter is resoundingly good as it doesn’t have that fake taste like that peanut butter crunch cereal nor is it overwhelming like a peanut butter cup. It’s quick, and then it leaves you. Nice. As I stated before, no one flavor alone takes over and it is a simple harmonious bite. It’s Yin and Yang in your mouth. Not sure if it is a bag of interesting but you could do worse, like butt sex.

(Nutrition Facts – 1/3 cup – 130 calories, 40 calories from fat, 4.5 grams of total fat, 2.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 50 milligrams of sodium, 20 grams of carbohydrates, less than 1 gram of dietary fiber, 9 grams of sugar, and 2 grams of protein.)

Item: Chex Mix Muddy Buddies
Price: $2.29
Size: 4.5 ounces/4.5 servings in each bag coincidentally
Purchased at: At a scary 7-Eleven where all the gas pumps have yellow bags on them
Rating: 8 out of 10
Pros: A great balance of flavors, especially since peanut butter can drown everything. Satisfying snack. Joey Greco. Sugar doesn’t flake off, so members of Rammstein or The Cure can eat it without looking as if they had a coke habit. Brian De Palma’s movies.
Cons: You will not be a bag of interesting but you will eat the whole damn thing without knowing it. A bit pricey for a small bag. Butt sex.