REVIEW: KFC Secret Recipe Fries

KFC Secret Recipe Fries

As I ordered the Secret Recipe Fries from my area Kentucky Fried Chicken, there was a debate going on in the kitchen regarding these new test items: the server, who took my order, declared loudly how much she absolutely adored this new item and couldn’t wait to eat some when she got off her shift, while the guy in the back making them, on the other hand, said in a gruff voice that he liked the potato wedges better and these weren’t “flavorful” enough for him.

Listening to this fierce debate kind of got me pumped to sample this individual-sized order, waiting with small gasps of seasoned breath as I quietly wondered how the kitchen-fresh geniuses in Kentucky gently mixed their famed secret herbs and spices with their not-so-famous French fried potato offerings.

Order up, I sat down at the nearest plastic table and spilled the overflowing box all across the brown bag, the secretive spices and affirmative grease staining the area. Taking a bite out of the plump starch stick, I have to agree with the server on this one; good job, Col. Sanders!

KFC Secret Recipe Fries 2

With that crunchy twice-fried heavy coating that I really enjoy on fries from the local, independent chicken places around town, the secret herbs and spices — seemingly fried right on the potato — are a salty Kentucky song of twangy finesse that is quite comparable to Taco Bell’s recent French fried output, give or take a small hurting of cheese.

The unknown spices that coat the fries are deeply Southern in their affectation — I’m sorry, but even with a detective’s delineation I couldn’t tell you what those spices are or were — but offered a saliferous smile of that famous moderately spicy KFC zing, with a slight bit of down-home sass that is definitely on par with its original recipe style of fried chicken.

KFC Secret Recipe Fries 3

And while I can’t say that it compliments KFC’s chicken per se, I can say that, as a light snack — of which these tubers definitely work best as — it’s a decently delightful soiree of Kentucky fried tastes and French fried goodness, one that should be sampled soon. And if you can bring a cup of nacho cheese from Taco Bell — these are all Yum Brands, right? — all the better.

Editor’s Note: KFC is currently testing these Secret Recipe Fries in select test regions, like Oklahoma, Virginia, and Indiana.

Purchased Price: $2.19
Size: Individual
Rating: 8 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: Unavailable.

REVIEW: Chocolate Marshmallow Oreo Cookies

Chocolate Marshmallow Oreo Cookies

I was prepared to start my review of the new Chocolate Marshmallow Oreo on a negative note, but I had reservations AND resolutions. While the flavor concept might seem plain Jane on the surface, it’s 2020 and I’ve vowed to be more positive.

It wouldn’t have been fair for me to call Nabisco “lazy” for kicking the year off with a mildly dull and derivative Oreo.

Whoaaaa, chocolate and marshmallow, talk about breaking new ground! We’ve never had Oreos with chocolate or marshmallow before. Congrats on just tossing a couple of old flavors together and passing it off as new. Shut up and take my money!!! Oh, and thanks for only selling these in a Family Size package! The bore the merrier, I say!

That right there is what a jaded reviewer might say, but not me, for it is 2020, and I’m trying to better myself by being more positive.

So yeah, maybe this flavor isn’t as creative as I was hoping, but I’m pretty positive – there’s that word again – I’ll like these. Chocolate and marshmallow taste good. It’d be pretty hard to screw that up, right? What’s the worst that can happen, they taste like a regular Oreo?

Chocolate Marshmallow Oreo Cookies Package Open

Folks, with full transparency, I must report that Chocolate Marshmallow Oreo Cookies are positively AWESOME.

That’s not just new and improved 2020 me speaking, these are truly the best Oreo cookies I’ve had in a long time, and the crème might be my favorite ever. I apologize to Nabisco for my earlier skepticism.

Chocolate Marshmallow Oreo Cookies Wafer

These could’ve easily been a chocolate wafer with marshmallow crème, but each chocolate wafer has little bits of marshmallow baked in, and the crème filling is a mixture of chocolate and marshmallow. Having both elements combined like that was a brilliant decision.

Chocolate Marshmallow Oreo Cookies Creme

The crème is a perfect balance of smooth chocolate and marshmallow flavor, which form a velvety texture that I swear is more satisfying than the usual. I found the greyish brown coloring aesthetically pleasing as well.

The cookies are dotted with tiny marbits that are similar to the little crispy ones you’d find in hot cocoa packets. My only complaint is that there aren’t nearly enough of them. Some cookies had so few they just ended up looking like standard Oreos.

If each wafer had about 25% more marshmallows baked in, these would have been a 10/10 in my book.

It took me a few bites to realize what these reminded me of, but then I realized it was one of my all-time favorite cereals, Count Chocula.

If you’re a fool who judges cookies by their covers like me, just pretend these are a partnership with General Mills, because these are 100% what Count Chocula Oreo Cookies would taste like. That would be a pretty exciting flavor, right? Now I’m disappointed we didn’t get that crossover.

Who knows, maybe that was what they were going for? Perhaps they’ll ape a few more Monster cereal flavors in the future. Either way, I’m positive I loved these, and I will never pre-judge an Oreo flavor again.

Purchased Price: $3.65
Size: 17 oz. package (Family Size)
Purchased at: Walmart
Rating: 9 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (2 Cookies) 140 calories, 6 grams of fat, 2 grams of saturated fat, 0 gram of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 90 milligrams of sodium, 21 grams of carbohydrates, less than 1 gram of fiber, 13 grams of sugar, and less than 1 gram of protein.

REVIEW: Jack in the Box Tiny Tacos

Jack in the Box Tiny Tacos

If you believe Jack in the Box’s tacos are a culinary abomination that makes Taco Bell’s food look and taste like something from the finest taquerias in Mexico, then you will not enjoy Jack’s Tiny Tacos.

An order comes with 15 miniature tacos that are about 1/6th the size of Jack’s regular taco. Even though they look like smaller versions, right down to the crunchy edges and the grease stain in the middle, they are not perfect scaled-down replicas. Each is filled with just seasoned ground ground beef. They lack the shredded lettuce and cheese the original has.

Jack in the Box Tiny Tacos Innards

The Tiny Tacos have a flavor that’s similar to their much bigger brother???, which is why Jack in the Box Taco Haters need not apply. But I’ll admit because they taste the same, it’s a little boring.

Jack in the Box Tiny Tacos Sauce

Fortunately, with every order, there’s a container of a new dipping sauce — Creamy Avocado Lime. It’s pretty much a guacamole-flavored dipping sauce, and it makes these noticeably different from the original and tastier. Unfortunately, I received only one container, which, even with conservative double-dipping, didn’t last for all 15 in the box. Four of them never got the chance to be dipped into the sauce that has a color I’ve seen way too many times dripping, oozing, or squirting on Rick and Morty.

Jack in the Box Loaded Tiny Tacos

As I mentioned earlier, regular Tiny Tacos don’t contain lettuce and cheese. If you want some, you have to get the Loaded Tiny Tacos. But they’re dumped on top of the 15 mini tacos along with taco sauce, turning the finger food into fork food (the utensil is included, and the grease stain makes an excellent soft target for a fork’s prongs).

Jack in the Box Loaded Tiny Tacos 2

The added sauce amps up the flavors that already exist with the regular Tiny Tacos. But the cheese doesn’t do much to really differentiate the flavors between the two offerings or a regular taco. And that is why I’d recommend getting the regular version over the loaded one. The tasty Creamy Avocado Lime Sauce makes the difference here. Of course, you could ask for a container of the sauce with your order of the loaded one, and that would be even more ideal.

While these are minuscule munchies, I found myself a bit full after eating half of the loaded version and most of the regular one (I stopped after running out of the sauce).

Jack in the Box Tiny Tacos Box

Jack in the Box’s Tiny Tacos are cute, but I can’t help but think I’m paying a lot for that cuteness. Jack’s price for two tacos is one of the best deals in fast food, and what’s in an order of this new menu item is equivalent to roughly three full tacos, but at three times the price of two regular tacos.

But I suggest you order them just once so that you can let out an “awwww” when you see how small they are in real life. And then, if you’re craving Jack’s tacos again, get the two tacos deal and ask for a container of the Creamy Avocado Lime Sauce.

Purchased Price: $4.99 (Regular), $5.99 (Loaded)**
Size: N/A
Rating: 7 out of 10 (Regular), 6 out of 10 (Loaded)
Nutrition Facts: Not available on website yet.

**Because I live on a rock in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, things are a bit pricier here. You’ll probably pay less than I did.

REVIEW: Yoplait Cinnamon Toast Crunch and Trix Smoothies

Yoplait Cinnamon Toast Crunch and Trix Smoothies

What are Yoplait Cinnamon Toast Crunch and Trix Smoothies?

More cereal-themed crossovers! This time, yogurt drinks! Actually, no, technically this time “cultured dairy beverage”! YUM!

With all these branded crossovers, 2020 has me wondering, are cereal brands and candy brands the consumer goods version of The Avengers? Is this the year we get so fully inundated by crossovers that the only remaining option is an Endgame-style product that contains them all? Did I just make such a weakly constructed comic reference that caused half of you to angry? POSSIBLY!??

How are they?

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Yoplait Trix Smoothies

The Trix smoothie is remarkably close in flavor to its cereal counterpart. I suppose we have the magic of modern flavor technology to thank for that. Although it LOOKS like a glass full of Pepto Bismol (maybe there’s a fun April Fools trick buried in there somewhere), the smoothie has a pleasant strawberry lemon fruity flavor and an enjoyable Trixmilk after taste.

The tangy cultured yogurt works really well with the fruit flavors, in my opinion. The texture is smooth, creamy, and very drinkable. My only qualm is that its so sweet you’d think you were gulping down Trix-flavored frosting.

Yoplait Cinnamon Toast Crunch Smoothie

The Cinnamon Toast Crunch beverage smells exactly like opening a box of Cinnamon Toast Crunch Cereal and has delightful little visible specs of cinnamon. I’m also a sucker for the psycho/adorable cinnamon toast square cartoon characters the brand has adopted recently.

The flavor isn’t as strong in cinnamon as I would have expected, and because of that, I don’t think it matches the cereal flavor as well as the Trix version does. This one is sort of like a yogurt horchata. There’s a stronger, blander, vanilla yogurt taste.

Is there anything else you need to know?

SHOOGAARR!!!

Both smoothies are surprisingly tasty. However, each drink has nearly double the sugar as a serving of their cereal counterpart. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not trying to sugar guilt anybody. I just think I’d rather have a double serving of either cereal than drink one of these smoothies again. Maybe if you like, can’t chew things and still want to taste your favorite cereals? Yeah, that works.

Conclusion:

These drinks were, for the most part, accurate in flavor, but incredibly sweet. They’re certain to give you a sugar rush, which might be what you’re looking for to propel you into 2020 and the inevitable cereal flavor mashups we have left ahead of us to taste.

Purchased Price: $4.99 each
Size: 4 – 7 fl oz bottles
Purchased at: Mariano’s (owned by Kroger)
Rating: 5 out of 10 (Trix), 4 out of 10 (Cinnamon Toast Crunch)
Nutrition Facts: (1 smoothie) Trix – 160 calories, 3 grams of fat, 2 grams of saturated fat, 10 milligrams of cholesterol, 115 milligrams of sodium, 27 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 22 grams of sugar, and 5 grams of protein. Cinnamon Toast Crunch – 160 calories, 3 grams of fat, 2 grams of saturated fat, 10 milligrams of cholesterol, 115 milligrams of sodium, 27 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 22 grams of sugar, and 5 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Dark Chocolate Fudge Covered Oreo Cookies

Dark Chocolate Fudge Covered Oreo Cookies

What are Dark Chocolate Fudge Covered Oreo Cookies?

It’s dark chocolate-flavored creme sandwiched between two chocolate cookie wafers and then covered in a dark chocolate coating (AKA “fudge” – a note on this below).

How are they?

Dark Chocolate Fudge Covered Oreo Cookies Tray

They are a satisfying and chocolatey treat! Although the cookie concoction has internal (creme) and external (fudge coating) dark chocolate, there’s not a strong dark chocolate presence. It’s enough to know you’re enjoying dark (vs. milk) chocolate but there’s no bitterness that can accompany some darker chocolate products. Like most Oreo, the product is a little crumbly and has a nice crunch from the cookie pieces.

Is there anything else you need to know?

Dark Chocolate Fudge Covered Oreo Cookies Tray Stacked

One of my favorite parts of a classic Oreo is the creme vs. cookie contrast. In this product, the creme (with its dark chocolate flavoring) gets kind of lost in all the other chocolate. I’m not complaining as I like chocolate and I enjoyed eating these, but just a heads up if the creme vs. cookie Oreo dichotomy is important to you. Also, as has been previously noted, the “fudge” covering isn’t really fudge but more of a thin chocolate layer covering everything.

Conclusion:

Dark Chocolate Fudge Covered Oreo Cookies Package

It’s a chocolatey treat that’s somewhere between an Oreo and piece of (dark) chocolate. There’s only 12 in a package so think of them as a relatively more expensive treat (~33 cents/cookie vs. ~8 cents/cookie for standard Oreo). The taste is definitely enough to satisfy a choco craving, but maybe not enough to satisfy an Oreo craving.

Purchased Price: $3.98
Size: 9.9 oz (12 cookies)
Purchased at: WinCo
Rating: 8 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1 cookie) 120 calories, 7 grams of fat, 4.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 85 milligrams of sodium, 16 grams of total carbohydrates, less than 1 gram of dietary fiber, 11 grams of total sugars, 11 grams of added sugars, and less than 1 gram of protein.

REVIEW: General Mills Cocoa Puffs with Lucky Charms Marshmallows Cereal

Cocoa Puffs with Lucky Charms Marshmallows Cereal

What is Cocoa Puffs with Lucky Charms Marshmallows Cereal?

If you are the kind of person who reads this blog, you know exactly what this cereal is. It’s standard Cocoa Puffs — chocolatey corn spheres — with colored marshmallow bits shaped like hearts, shooting stars, horseshoes, clover hats, moons, unicorns, and balloons.

How is it?

Cocoa Puffs with Lucky Charms Marshmallows Cereal Bowl

Not once when I ate Cocoa Puffs (or more commonly Coco Roos, the Malt-O-Meal knockoff) did I ever think to myself, “This would be better with marshmallows.” The oat cereal of regular Lucky Charms is a little bland and needs the extra sweetness and textural contrast, but Cocoa Puffs are sweet and enjoyable on their own. Also, we already have Chocolate Lucky Charms.

Luckily (ha!), the marshmallows don’t have any negative effect on Cocoa Puffs (except nutrition-wise).

Lucky Charms are the gold standard of cereal marbits: they aren’t too crunchy, and they get softer in milk. So they aren’t too distracting here. But they also don’t greatly enhance the experience.

I did a side-by-side comparison with Chocolate Lucky Charms, and I thought CLC was better. That might have been the texture more than anything, because the ingredients and nutrition facts are very similar.

Is there anything else you need to know?

Cocoa Puffs with Lucky Charms Marshmallows Cereal Milk

I must say, I can’t think of any cereal that leaves behind a better-tasting milk than Cocoa Puffs. It almost seems like drinking regular chocolate milk, and the leftover milk might be my favorite part of the whole bowl. It’s even better than what Chocolate Lucky Charms leave behind.

Conclusion:

Lucky the Leprechaun’s marshmallow charms are an acceptable, but unnecessary, addition to classic Cocoa Puffs. 

Purchased Price: $5.98
Size: 2 lb. 3 oz. bag
Purchased at: Walmart
Rating: 7 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1 cup) 140 calories, 1.5 grams of fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 125 milligrams of sodium, 31 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of dietary fiber, 12 grams of sugar (including 12 grams of added sugar), and 2 grams of protein.