REVIEW: Berries and Cream RC Cola

Berries and Cream RC Cola Can

RC Cola used to be my favorite soda growing up. I remember it tasting sweeter and had more of a bite than Coke and Pepsi. But then it just disappeared out of my life. I’m not sure what happened. Maybe Coke and Pepsi conspired to make sure RC Cola never got shelf space, or perhaps my parents received bribes from Big Cola to make sure during my formative years that my allegiance would be with Coke or Pepsi.

Since then, I’ve had RC Cola a few times, but it doesn’t taste as good as I remember. Maybe it’s the high fructose corn syrup, or perhaps my tongue has been washed with Coke and Pepsi so often that my taste buds can’t bring themselves to relive the good times they’ve had with RC Cola.

RC Cola is still around, kicking, and according to Instacart, available at a grocery store near me. But the cola is not only alive, but it also has a new limited time only, Dollar General exclusive flavor — Berries and Cream.

Berries and Cream RC Cola Pour

The can has a retro look, and its muted colors make it look even more so. Its vanilla-heavy aroma is inviting, and it smells like what you’d get cracking open a can of Vanilla Coke or Pepsi Vanilla. However, I don’t notice any berry scent.

Berries and Cream RC Cola Red

Thankfully, a syrupy berry flavor comes through the cola taste with the very first sip. I thought it was a bit odd at first, but subsequent sips weren’t weird. Although its name contains the vague “berries,” the only one I taste is raspberry. The cream flavor is also around, but I wouldn’t call it “cream” because it reminds me of the vanilla flavoring in other colas.

Berries and Cream RC Cola Glass

Overall, Berries and Cream RC Cola is tasty enough that I think it has the power to raise the brand up and out from behind Coke and Pepsi. Just kidding. But it’s definitely good enough to prevent RC Cola from sinking lower.

Purchased Price: FREE*
Size: 16 fl oz can
Purchased at: eBay (available exclusively at Dollar General)
Rating: 7 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1 can) 220 calories, 0 grams of fat, 50 milligrams of sodium, 58 grams of carbohydrates, 57 grams of sugar (57 grams of added sugar), 0 grams of protein, and 57 milligrams of caffeine.

*Thanks to the mnmtwinz, known for their fantastic Instagram, for sending this (and a few other extras) with the Mtn Dew I purchased from them on eBay.

REVIEW: Ruffles Spicy Dill Pickle Potato Chips

Ruffles Spicy Dill Pickle Potato Chips Bag

What are they?

Everyone knows Ruffles’ ridges not only carry crunch but deliver more flavor than their flatter counterparts. With Ruffles Spicy Dill Pickle, those ridges carry a tangy pickle profile with a bit of heat.

How are they?

Ruffles Spicy Dill Pickle Potato Chips Spill

These chips boldly deliver on everything their name promises. A perfectly acidic and bright dill pickle flavor hits immediately — on the nose and tongue. If you love pickles, you will love the taste; if you don’t, steer clear. After a prominent pickle beginning, the flavor evolves into a legitimate heat that stacks the more I chomp down on the delightful ridges.

The spice level is medium and never becomes overbearing, but it does linger. The spiciness has enough weight to leave a little tickle when I stop grabbing more from the bag, which is hard because these are addictive.

Anything else you need to know?

Ruffles Spicy Dill Pickle Potato Chips One Chip

The heat on these chips is unique for Ruffles. It doesn’t have the notable pepper taste of a jalapeño but also isn’t quite as hot or slightly sweet and cheesy in the way Flamin’ Hot chips are. The spice reminds me of crushed red pepper flakes in that they create a blanket of spiciness without introducing any other flavors, which is great because the strong pickle flavor gets to shine.

Conclusion:

Ruffles Spicy Dill Pickle Potato Chips Closeup

Ruffles Spicy Dill Pickle Potato Chips are excellent. They bring all the big textured crunch and salty satisfaction that the Ruffles brand is known for with a fantastic spicy and tangy smattering of flavor that is an absolute must buy for any pickle fan.

Purchased Price: $5.59
Size: 8 oz bag
Purchased at: Walmart
Rating: 10 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (13 chips, 28g) 150 calories, 9 grams of fat, 1.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 200 milligrams of sodium, 15 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, 1 gram of sugar, and 2 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Pringles Scorchin’ Hot Ones Los Calientes Rojo and Los Calientes Verde

Pringles Scorchin Hot Ones Cans

What are they?

In a seemingly perfect brand partnership, Pringles has teamed up with the folks over at First We Feast’s Hot Ones to create two new Pringles Scorchin’ flavors — Los Calientes Rojo and Los Calientes Verde.

If you didn’t already know, Hot Ones is a YouTube talk show where Sean Evans, the most mild-mannered host to ever exist, interviews celebrities while simultaneously taking them through 10 rounds of hot wings coated in increasingly hot hot sauce. The output is a fantastic display of human panic as everyone from Brian Cranston to Gordon Ramsay attempt to keep a fraction of calm while ingesting what is essentially liquified fire on presumably cold chicken wings. I’m a fan. The show has been running for 18 seasons and has its own hot sauce line, and the seasonings on these crisps are based on two of those sauces.

How are they?

Hot. Thank God.

Pringles Scorchin Hot Ones Rojo

All kidding aside, it’s a huge pet peeve when brands tout words like “scorchin'” and partner with known legitimate hot sauces only to launch crowd-friendly products. That’s not the case here. These bad boys are kickin’.

I started with the Rojo and immediately smelled sweet roasted paprika and spice notes upon opening. The appearance of these was sort of terrifying as they’re coated on one side in a bright red seasoning powder. I dove in and immediately could taste the red sort of smoky, bright heat. These chips are HOT. They build heat across the front of your mouth and tongue and have a roasted taste. They’re fantastic. I don’t think I could eat more than five or so in one sitting, but they deliver expectations in a big way.

Pringles Scorchin Hot Ones Verde

I opened the Verde next and was hit with a spicy green pepper aroma. These chips look like they’re going to kill me, but I could think of worse ways to go. Munching on the spooky green seasoned chips, I immediately sensed a brighter heat. These chips don’t waste any time; the heat immediately pops you in the face, and there is a strong and fantastic green pepper flavor to balance everything. They’re definitely more acidic than the Rojo, and the heat seems more back of the mouth. I think these might be the less spicy of the two, barely, and because of the great balance in pepper flavor, I think I could snack on far more of these than the Rojo version.

Anything else you need to know?

Pringles Scorchin Hot Ones Doggo

My pup caught a whiff of these and sneezed three times in a row! Obviously, I didn’t let her eat any because I’m not cruel.

Conclusion:

These chips made my lips tingle, my eyes water, and if I had eaten more of them, I’m sure I would have broken out into a full sweat. They totally represented the Hot Ones brand and lived up to the flavor hype of the hot sauces they are based upon. It’s a huge plus when a product promises heat and brings it to the table, and I’m glad Hot Ones protects its brand image so well by executing partnerships like this one with Scorchin’ Pringles in a legitimate way. If you don’t like spice, stay far, far away from these.

Purchased Price: $1.79 each

Size: 5.5 oz cans
Purchased at: Walmart
Rating: 8 out of 10 (Rojo), 9 out of 10 (Verde)
Nutrition Facts: (14 crisps) Rojo – 150 calories, 9 grams of fat, 2.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 230 milligrams of sodium, 16 grams of carbohydrates, less than 1 gram of fiber, 0 grams of sugar, and 1 gram of protein. Verde – 150 calories, 9 grams of fat, 2.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 230 milligrams of sodium, 16 grams of carbohydrates, less than 1 gram of fiber, less than 1 gram of sugar, and 1 gram of protein.

REVIEW: Starbucks Pineapple Passionfruit and Paradise Drink Refreshers

Starbucks PIneapple Passionfruit Refreshers Cup

What are they?

Starbucks is sliding into summer with two new fruity beverages: Pineapple Passionfruit and Paradise Drink Refreshers. The Pineapple Passionfruit combines – you guessed it – pineapple and passionfruit flavors plus dried pineapples on top for a sunny yellow drink.

The difference between the two is the Paradise Drink has the base of the Pineapple Passionfruit but adds coconut milk. Starbucks has recently been adding these coconut milk versions to the menu, like the Dragon Drink and Pink Drink.

How are they?

Starbucks PIneapple Passionfruit Refreshers Top

Let’s start with the Pineapple Passionfruit. This one was rather underwhelming. It was not as sweet as I expected it to be, and the aftertaste was very tart. It left me even more thirsty! But, the flavor combination itself was very nice. A plus to this was the dried pineapple chunks – the quantity of these was much larger than the dried fruit in the other Refreshers!

Starbucks Paradise Drink Refreshers Cup

After trying the Pineapple Passionfruit, I was curious how the Paradise Drink would compare. Dear readers, this was like a day and night difference for me. I really, really liked the Paradise Drink. The addition of coconut milk makes it creamy, and the milk cuts the tartness of the pineapple. This tastes like it should be on the cocktail menu at a tropical resort… pass the rum to add, anyone? This super refreshing drink had me wishing I got a larger size.

Starbucks Paradise Drink Refreshers Top

A friendly reminder to those not as familiar with the Refreshers – these beverages don’t pack a huge caffeine punch. I enjoy these as a small afternoon pick-me-up after I’ve already had my morning java jolt.

Anything else you need to know?

If you’re looking to jazz this up even more, the Starbucks app shows a third beverage in this family, the Pineapple Passionfruit Lemonade Starbucks Refreshers beverage. I’d love to know if you’ve tried this one – leave a comment if so!

Conclusion:

If you’re a pineapple fan or maybe just pretending you’re on vacation, check these out.

Purchased Price: $3.75 (Pineapple Passionfruit), $4.65 (Paradise Drink)
Size: Tall
Rating: 5 out of 10 (Pineapple Passionfruit), 8 out of 10 (Paradise Drink)
Nutrition Facts: Pineapple Passionfruit – 80 calories, 0 grams of total fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 10 milligrams of sodium, 18 grams of total carbohydrates, 0 grams of dietary fiber, 15 grams of total sugars, 0 grams of protein, and 35 milligrams of caffeine. Paradise Drink – 110 calories, 2 grams of total fat, 1.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 50 milligrams of sodium, 21 grams of total carbohydrates, 1 gram of dietary fiber, 18 grams of total sugars, 0 grams of protein, and 35 milligrams of caffeine.

REVIEW: Little Debbie Star Crunch and Unicorn Cake Ice Creams

Little Debbie Unicorn Cakes and Star Crunch Ice Creams

A few months ago, I reviewed a seven-flavor lineup of Little Debbie-themed ice creams exclusively available at Walmart. Despite a few instances of bare shelves, the original seven can now regularly be found at my local Wally World just in time for Miss Deborah and Hudsonville Creamery to grace us with two more line extensions: Star Crunch Ice Cream and Sparkling Strawberry Unicorn Cake Ice Cream.

I had high hopes for these two additions because they both contain a textural element (the crunchy rice puffs in Star Crunch and the candy sprinkles in the Unicorn Cakes).

Limited Edition Star Crunch Ice Cream Spoon

The Star Crunch Ice Cream has a chocolate ribbon swirl and chocolate-coated puffed rice. There was also, I’ll call it, an adjacent swirl that was very similar to the chocolate but tasted a bit more like the center of the Star Crunch. That amalgam of cookie and caramel wasn’t super strong, and it didn’t hit me over the head with caramel flavor, but I liked that it didn’t seem like there was one single chocolate swirl. The chocolate-coated puffed rice pieces were crunchy, and the chocolate flavor was well balanced against the vanilla ice cream. The Star Crunch itself is a tricky flavor to make stand out in ice cream, but I think the puffed rice pieces helped elevate this without a doubt.

Limited Edition Star Crunch Ice Cream Bpwl

Limited Edition Unicorn Cakes Ice Cream Top

Next up was Unicorn Cakes, and, gosh, did it have several wow factors. Upon opening, WOW that looks like psychedelic chicken pox! Bright blue sprinkles were EVERYWHERE and stood out against a pink strawberry-flavored ice cream base. The candies were crunchy and super sweet, and I think the candy made the ice cream overwhelmingly sweet, but the crunch was an impressive texture variant.

Limited Edition Unicorn Cakes Ice Cream Spoon

Like the Zebra Cake, Swiss Roll, and Strawberry Shortcake Roll ice cream flavors, this one also had little vanilla cake pieces. I found them to be a little saturated but authentic.

Limited Edition Unicorn Cakes Ice Cream Top 2

The final wow factor in this ice cream was the bright blue swirl, representing the icing design of its cake counterpart. My inner child was delighted by the vibrant colors. The adult in me was instantly concerned for the rest of my day after realizing I was eating something that tasted remarkably like strawberry cotton candy made into ice cream. What a trip.

Overall, I think these two are welcome and unique additions to the Little Debbie ice cream lineup. I preferred the balance and texture of the Star Crunch, but I can see how Unicorn Cake could delight the masses the way only something with crazy colors and candy can.

Purchased Price: $2.50 each
Size: One pint
Purchased at: Walmart
Rating: 8 out of 10 (Star Crunch), 6 out of 10 (Unicorn Cakes)
Nutrition Facts: (2/3 cup) Star Crunch – 250 calories, 13 grams of total fat, 35 milligrams of cholesterol, 95 milligrams of sodium, 31 grams of total carbohydrates, 1 grams of dietary fiber, 25 grams of total sugars, 19 grams of added sugars, and 4 gram of protein.

Unicorn Cakes – 240 calories, 12 grams of total fat, 40 milligrams of cholesterol, 75 milligrams of sodium, 28 grams of total carbohydrates, 0 grams of dietary fiber, 23 grams of total sugars, 18 grams of added sugars, and 4 gram of protein.