REVIEW: Nabisco Raspberry Oreo Fudge Cremes

Nabisco Raspberry Oreo Fudge Cremes

It was 98 degrees and I was searing in an oven of pavement and diesel fuel, waiting in the line for ice cream sandwiches that curved through the park. The line of 23 people seemed an eternity in the summer haze that swept across my weary brow. As I swatted the mosquitoes spinning near my heat-struck face, I saw it. There. In the distance. The grocery store. It promised air conditioning, self-checkouts, and ice cream cookie sandwiches 48 percent less expensive than anything I’d get out of a food truck.

Damn the line. I wanted my cookie sandwich and I wanted it now and, with a healthy mix of hunger, heatstroke, and adventure, I stomped right in for a trip down the cookie aisle, where I found these new fudge-covered goodies.

Yes, human beings of the world, Milk’s #1 cookie is at it again, this time in a rubus idaeobatus rendition. As a fan of raspberry-and-cream popsicles, Oreo cookies, and anything covered in a fudge-like substance, I decided I’d take the dive, and thus, with a tub of Cool Whip and my newfound cookies in hand, I trounced back to my apartment and ripped ‘em right open.

Peeling back the resealable tab, I was shocked as the smell of Extra Raspberry Vanilla Cupcake Gum attacked my nose. “What in the name of Popsicle Man hath overtaken my Oreo?!” I asked, shaking a blighted fist to the sky.

I now found myself hesitating to reach my hand in, fearing the bizarre berry burst that was shocking my senses, but one look at the melty, chocolatey little rows of O’s and my hand soon sullied forth, hooked by curiosity and fudge cravings.

For those not yet versed in the ways of the Fudge Creme, the construction of said cookie is a simple one in theory: a single Oreo cookie wafer, thin layer of creme, all covered in an especially fudge-like substance. It’s a thinner, dare I say, sleeker rendition of an Oreo, but not necessarily better.

It’s much smaller than a Oreo sandwich, thus giving it a lower ratio of crème and denying one from the “Twist and Lick” eating method. But what it lacks in “sandwich” qualities, it more than makes up for in the ample fudgy coating, which serves as a protective goo that tastes of chocolate and melts faster than a Ziploc bag on the surface of Venus (And Ziploc bags melt really fast. I discovered this in an unfortunate incident involving a microwave…)

Nabisco Raspberry Oreo Fudge Cremes Double cookie time

However, in a much more happy, non-microwave-related accident, I found that the fudge reminds me of Hershey’s milk chocolate: slightly grainy, quick to melt, and milky sweet. This is the kind of chocolate that helps me understand why people burst into spontaneous show tunes on the subway. It can be a little waxy in taste, but I give it a respectable one thumb up. The cookie is the traditional charcoal-black Oreo disk, which adds some needed crunch and crumble to counteract the mighty fudge.

A fair warning to those not yet experienced: this fudge has a super low melting point and is sure to transfer itself to your hands and fingers and, potentially, that dashing new white shirt your significant other got you the other day. I’d encourage you to consume wisely. It’s a messy affair, but, just like eating from a can of Reddi-wip, sometimes the messiest things are the most rewarding.

Nabisco Raspberry Oreo Fudge Cremes Raspberry filling! Ah!

However, this time, the creme just doesn’t jive for me. The raspberry-ness tastes a bit like a Mixed Berry Skittle with hints of cotton candy popsicles and raspberry gum. I respect this flavor as a popsicle or chewy gelatin candy, but it’s not really my thing when combined with the chocolate experience. Like someone building a nuclear testing facility over the green, fertile pastures of hippity-hoppity bunnies and happy-dappy squirrels, the creme is demolishing the fudge and cookie that held beautiful potential.

But, hey, I give props for taking risks. While some of their more recent flavors may raise accusations of blasphemy and shock, one cannot accuse Oreo of being shy. They have created a cookie of great renown, and they are using that confidence in their product to shake things up and see if they can’t nail the next Great Flavor lurking in the social subconscious.

This particular rendition doesn’t quite do it for me. But maybe I’m just a small child on the wrong end of the see-saw, and these Oreos are a bigger, more powerful kid and, as so often happens with small children on the wrong end of see-saws, these Oreos ker-plonked themselves down and catapulted me over the fence. On the whole, I’m happy to have tried them. Maybe you should, too. But I can’t say I’ll be buying them again in the near future.

(Nutrition Facts – 3 cookies – 180 calories, 80 calories from fat, 9 grams of fat, 5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 70 milligrams of sodium, 60 milligrams of potassium, 25 grams of carbohydrates, less than 1 gram of dietary fiber, 19 grams of sugars, and 1 gram of protein.)

Item: Nabisco Raspberry Oreo Fudge Cremes
Purchased Price: $4.99
Size: 11.3 oz.
Purchased at: Met Foods
Rating: 3 out of 10
Pros: Not boring. Hershey-like fudge coating. Crunchy Oreo cookie base. Dark chocolate and milk chocolate balance each other well. Reason to buy a tub of Cool Whip. Reason to get messy. Reason to use “hippity-hoppity” in a sentence.
Cons: Flavor of creme reminiscent of cotton candy popsicle and raspberry gum in semi-liquid form. Lacks the trademark “cookie sandwich” eating experience. Fudge not good for white shirts. Microwave-related accidents. Getting flung off a see-saw.

REVIEW: Nabisco Limited Edition Banana Split Oreo

Limited Edition Banana Split Oreo

Well, I never thought the day would come, but lo and behold it has.

No, not that glorious day when the Buffalo Bills finally win the Super Bowl or me winning the Powerball jackpot with the numbers from the TV show Lost. I’m talking about the death of creative product development from the Nabisco research team.

What else can explain their new Limited Edition Banana Split Oreo, which seems like a rehashing of 2008’s Limited Edition Banana Split Creme Oreo? I mean after the debut of Watermelon Oreo I was fully expecting a Sun-Dried Tomato and Basil Pesto Oreo or something, not an iconic American dessert that’s been tried before (and did so-so).

To be fair, the 2013 Banana Split Oreo cookies aren’t an exact clone of their 2008 predecessor. Unlike the previous version, which featured a drink-more-water pee yellow creme between two chocolate wafers, this year’s Banana Split Oreo cookies are pretty ambitious.

You’ve got your chocolate wafer as an homage to chocolate ice cream, of course, but also a vanilla wafer ice cream shoutout in addition to strawberry and banana creme fillings. Too bad they couldn’t make it a Triple Double Oreo with a top peanut butter creme layer, because that would’ve just put the icing on the cake sundae in Oreo decadence.

Generally speaking, there are two schools of thoughts when it comes to banana-flavored foods. There are the products made with real banana puree — like yogurts, smoothies, and other viscous treats — which make me say, “Well, screw evolution because I’m loving these bananas like a monkey!” And there’s also the dreaded Runt Syndrome. We’ve all been there, tearing through a bag of Runts one minute thinking, “Why don’t I buy these more?” only to come to the end of the bag, staring at the strongly artificial tasting dextrose banana pieces and remembering, “Oh yeah, that’s why.”

Unfortunately, these Oreo cookies smell very similar to those notoriously lambasted candies, and when eaten alone, the banana creme doesn’t do a whole lot to discourage the artificial banana flavor stereotype. It’s one-note and cloying, with an almost metallic faux-fruit taste that does a disservice to the actual fruit.

Limited Edition Banana Split Oreo Closeup 1

Worse yet, it tends to cover more surface area of the wafer than the strawberry creme filling, which isn’t bad, but isn’t as pleasant or strawberry-ey as the strawberry creme found in Limited Edition Strawberries ‘n Creme Oreo. Clearly, this is not a cookie for the kind of Oreo top twister who normally revels at the sweet vanilla creme that fills a standard Oreo.

Limited Edition Banana Split Oreo Closeup 2

I had higher hopes for eating the cookie in one complete bite, and to a certain degree, I think they’re better that way. The addition of a mild cocoa-flavored wafer, as well as the Golden Oreo, meld with the artificial banana flavor in such a way that your last taste isn’t the equivalent of a creamy banana runt. The problem is that the taste is not really a banana split flavor.

I realize packing the flavors of such an ambitious dessert into cookie form is one step below Willy Wonka-type food magic, but that doesn’t change the fact that Limited Edition Banana Split Oreo cookies aren’t that good. And while I’m tempted to go with the old “less is more” expression when it comes to Oreo cookies, there is still a part of me which wonders if the distinct flavors of whipped cream, peanuts, and yes, even that laboratory-red maraschino cherry wouldn’t have brought a more authentic flavor to the party. I guess we’ll never know.

(Nutrition Facts – 2 cookies – 150 calories, 60 calories from fat, 7 grams of fat, 2 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 1 gram of polyunsaturated fat, 3 grams of monounsaturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 90 milligrams of sodium, 25 milligrams of potassium, 21 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 13 grams of sugar, and less than 1 gram of protein.)

Other Nabisco Limited Edition Banana Split Oreo reviews:
Junk Food Guy

Item: Nabisco Limited Edition Banana Split Oreo
Purchased Price: $2.99
Size: 15.25 oz.
Purchased at: Walmart
Rating: 4 out of 10
Pros: Perhaps the most ambitious Oreo flavor yet. Tasting distinct flavors. Has a little something for everyone. Probably healthier than eating an actual banana split sundae.
Cons: Missing the best flavor elements of an actual banana split, not to mention an authentic banana flavor. Makes you think too much about the flavor while chewing. No fun for twisters. Smells like banana runts.

REVIEW: Brach’s S’mores Candy Corn

Brach's S'mores Candy Corn

Halloween is right around the corner…if you consider “right around the corner” synonymous with “weeks from now.”

I’ve never been one to come up with a crazy costume idea for Halloween, but this year is going to be different. Instead of donning my traditional “Who Farted?” shirt, my forty-nine friends and I had planned on wearing grayscale jumpsuits of varying intensities. (We were going to be Fifty Shades of Grey.) Then I realized I don’t have forty-nine friends, so I’ve decided to wear no costume at all. (Literally, no costume. I’m going as one of the models in the music video for Robin Thicke’s Blurred Lines.)

I like to hand out candy to trick-or-treaters based on the creativity and originality of their costumes. Last year, I gave king-sized Dove chocolate bars to six middle schoolers dressed as the Village People. Every child that showed up as Psy from Gangnam Style went home with a handful of candy corn, raisins, and pennies.

I spent this morning browsing the aisles at my local Rite Aid in hopes of replenishing my supply of crappy candies. (Shopping seventy-nine days in advance provides ample time for them to become stale.) Next to the Smarties and Bit-O-Honey, I spotted a bag of Brach’s S’mores Candy Corn. Could the addition of s’mores flavoring bring forth a new era of acceptance for this polarizing candy? I had to know! I swiftly grabbed a bag and hurried back home to taste the goods.

As I opened the bag, I instantly noticed the pungent aroma of candy corn wafting through the air. Unlike the traditional variety, the scent of these s’mores flavored candy corn is tinged with the fragrance of chocolate.

Brach's S'mores Candy Corn Closeup

Brach’s S’mores Candy Corn comes in the standard shape and size of traditional candy corn. Each candy kernel features three colors: a brown base, a white center, and an orange tip. I assume the brown represents the chocolate flavor, the white represents the marshmallow, and the orange represents…the graham cracker? C’mon, Brach’s. I know that’s the original orange candy corn dye you’re using. Fess up.

Texturally, s’mores candy corn possesses the same waxy form and consistency as its traditional counterpart. When eaten whole, the candy features a sugary chocolate taste strongly reminiscent of chocolate cake frosting. However, chocolate is largely the only flavor experienced; any marshmallow and graham cracker flavors present in the candy corn are imperceptible to the tongue. Nevertheless, the chocolate quality is palatable and sugary sweet in all the right ways.

Hoping to better discern the fusion of flavors, I decided to experience the color components of the s’mores candy corn individually. As expected, the brown section tastes strongly of the aforementioned chocolate cake frosting. In comparison, the white section has a more subtle sweetness with a creamier quality, but its flavor profile lacks any resemblance to marshmallow. Sadly, the orange tip failed to impress with its dearth of flavor, tasting merely of generic sugar.

Unfortunately, Brach’s S’mores Candy Corn suffers from the same fatal flaw that plagues traditional candy corn: eating more than five pieces in a short period of time is disagreeable. Consuming excess amounts of s’mores candy corn leaves a strange scratchy sensation in the back of the throat. Therefore, it’s best not to binge eat this candy corn.

Despite its failure to provide a suitable imitation s’mores flavor, I found Brach’s S’mores Candy Corn to be a unique and satisfying take on traditional candy corn. In moderation, its sugary chocolate flavor was pleasing to the taste buds. Those who bitterly loathe candy corn might be somewhat disappointed in Brach’s product, but I highly recommend s’mores candy corn as a tasty deviation from the norm during the upcoming Halloween season.

Happy Halloween, weeks in advance.

(Nutrition Facts – 19 pieces – 140 calories, 0 calories from fat, 0 grams of total fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 70 milligrams of sodium, 35 grams of total carbohydrates, 0 grams of dietary fiber, 28 grams of sugars, and 0 grams of protein.)

Item: Brach’s S’mores Candy Corn
Purchased Price: $1.69
Size: 9 oz. bag
Purchased at: Rite Aid
Rating: 7 out of 10
Pros: Palatable chocolate flavor. Same candy corn texture. Unique deviation from the norm. Halloween, seventy-nine days in advance.
Cons: Marshmallows and graham cracker flavors are imperceptible. Provide scratchy sensation in throat. Way too many kids dressed as Psy.

REVIEW: Jack in the Box BBQ Really Big Chicken Sandwich

Jack in the Box BBQ Really Big Chicken Sandwich

Jack in the Box’s latest slogan is, “Go Big or Go Hungry.” And they’ve supported it with sandwiches like Jack’s Big Stack and Waffle Stack. The big heads at Jack in the Box also brought back their Really Big Chicken Sandwich and introduced the new BBQ Really Big Chicken Sandwich.

But I’m a 5’7″ Asian man who once played 3-on-3 basketball with five other guys who were all at least six inches taller than me and six times as skilled as me, so I think I’ve got a good idea of what would be considered “really big.” And I have to say that I don’t believe the Jack in the Box BBQ Really Big Chicken Sandwich is really big.

Now I could spend an entire review complaining about the sandwich’s size, but I already poured a large glass of whine when I reviewed the original Really Big Chicken Sandwich. So what else can I complain about?

I could complain about the use of grilled onions instead of onion rings, the somewhat conservative spreading of BBQ sauce, the decision to use the predictable American cheese, the lack of crunch from the chicken patties, the lack of crispiness from the bacon, the 2,019 milligrams of sodium, and the bun that looks toasted, but doesn’t feel toasted. But instead of listing my complaints in a comma-filled, 57-word sentence, I’m going to say the Jack in the Box BBQ Really Big Chicken Sandwich is really good.

Jack in the Box BBQ Really Big Chicken Sandwich BBQ sauce

What makes this sandwich, as the kids like to say, yummy in my tummy is the BBQ sauce, bacon, and onion combination. After tasting it, I have to say I’m glad onion rings weren’t included because the grilled onions give it an onion flavor that’s not chompblocked by deep fried batter. The BBQ sauce is sweet and tangy, but kind of generic tasting. However, the onions and the smokiness from the bacon enhance the sauce. There’s also enough sauce on the top and bottom buns to give the sandwich flavor, but not so much sauce that you find yourself wanting to celebrate Arbor Day early for all the napkins you used to clean yourself.

Jack in the Box BBQ Really Big Chicken Sandwich Innards

The edges of the chicken patties were crispy, but everything else not so much. The two chicken patties were a bit dry and aren’t very meaty, but they are flavorful. The two slices of cheese seem like overkill. I understand the need for one slice because something should be the glue that keeps the patties from sliding around. But even with the second slice, its flavor is cloaked by the other toppings. A thin slice of cheese also doesn’t help make the sandwich appear “really big.”

Oh crap, I’m complaining about trivial stuff.

Jack in the Box BBQ Really Big Chicken Sandwich Box

Well, before I start complaining about more stuff, I have to say the packaging your BBQ Really Big Sandwich comes in is correct, Jack in the box. Thanks to the BBQ sauce, onions, and bacon, it really is clucking delicious.

(Nutrition Facts – 727 calories, 345 calories from fat, 38 grams of fat, 10 grams of saturated fat, 1 gram of trans fat, 83 milligrams of cholesterol, 2019 milligrams of sodium, 502 milligrams of potassium, 63 grams of carbohydrates, 3 grams of fiber, 11 grams of sugar, and 32 grams of protein.)

Item: Jack in the Box BBQ Really Big Chicken Sandwich
Purchased Price: $4.99 (small combo)*
Size: N/A
Purchased at: Jack in the Box
Rating: 7 out of 10
Pros: Clucking delicious. Bacon, BBQ sauce, and onion topping combo makes this sandwich taste really good. Flavorful chicken patties with crispy edges. Part of a cheap limited-time-only combo. Putting the word “clucking” on packaging to replace the word “fucking.”
Cons: Not really really big. Thinking that it needs onion rings. Contains almost a day’s worth of sodium. Other toppings overwhelm the cheese’s flavor. Playing basketball with players who are much better than you.

*Because I live on a rock in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, I pay more for stuff than you probably will.

REVIEW: Frito Lay Cheetos x Pepsi Shuwa Shuwa Cola Corn Snack (Pepsi-Flavored Cheetos)

Pepsi-flavored Cheetos 1

In 1818, Mary Shelley publishes Frankenstein, arguably the world’s first science fiction novel. It tells the harrowing tale of Victor Frankenstein, a single-minded student of science driven to ruin by his obsession with bestowing life on inanimate matter.

In the 1990 documentary RoboCop 2, director Irvin Kershner leads us on an exploration of the science of transferring human consciousness into deadly law enforcement robots. We quickly discover the dangers of such a procedure, as multiple test subjects commit suicide after finding themselves forever trapped in their mechanical bodies.

In 1994’s Jurassic Park, noted chaotician Dr. Ian Malcolm sums up the fears of late twentieth century society when commenting on the science of an island resort filled with genetically resurrected dinosaurs, saying, “your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could that they didn’t stop to think if they should.”

Time after time we are warned against charging recklessly into the untamed wilderness of science and technology, yet even in the last few years we find ourselves with peanut butter and jelly vodka, cronuts, Doritos Locos Tacos, Cherry Coke, and pizzas with hot dogs in the crust. These aren’t dinosaurs or robots. These are things we put willingly into our bodies.

So today I publish this review not so much as a review but as a mile marker for future historians to look to when our inevitable self-destruction finally occurs.

These Pepsi-flavored Cheetos are the latest food hybrid to spit in the eye of Mother Nature. They are from Japan.

Pepsi-flavored Cheetos 3

The nosegrope upon opening the bag gave me pause. I immediately identified something very close to flat cola. Flat Pepsi? I dunno. My nose palate is not so refined. Something else was there in equal measure and it took me a moment to realize that the aroma was the same given off by powdered cinnamon donuts. You know, the Entenmann’s ones in the three pack with powdered sugar and plain.

Pepsi-flavored Cheetos 4

In these snacks the cheese powder has been replaced with a cola powder that is disturbingly not brown. The first sensation, which I did not expect, was a very acidic bite. It’s very citrusy, almost sour. And it hits hard. It tries to capture the citrus notes of Pepsi, but it’s over the top. Too lemony. The sweeter cola flavor is there but it’s subtler and overpowered by the intense citrus. The flavors are very distinct and don’t really ever mesh well together. But they do linger in the mouth for quite a while to leave you with a weird, marginally accurate, if lemony, Pepsi aftertaste. The corn puff tastes like it should. It doesn’t do a lot besides acting as a vehicle, which is good because there is already a lot going on.

Pepsi-flavored Cheetos 2

Oh, did I mention these also fizz a little?! Yea! Not like crazy Pop Rocks fizzing, but there is some definite popping and crackling. It’s all about attention to detail, guys. I tip my hat to Frito-Lay for that one.

Overall, this is a pretty accurate flavor recreation. It’s an impressive effort to be sure. That said, I don’t like them. I could only get through a few of them. They’ve got a lot going on and are kind of intense. A few tweaks to the levels of citrus and cola and these could be passable.

These wouldn’t be in my top 100 dream flavor what-ifs, but I’m glad they exist. They either point to a futuristic flavor-fusion utopia in which anything is possible or an apocalyptic hell place where cyborg velociraptors chew our faces off with laser teeth.

(Nutrition Facts – 1 package – 414 kcal, 24.8 grams of fat, 614 milligrams of sodium, 44.6 grams of carbohydrates, 3 grams of protein.)

Item: Frito Lay Cheetos x Pepsi Shuwa Shuwa Cola Corn Snack
Purchased Price: $3.99 (plus shipping)
Size: 75 gram bag
Purchased at: eBay
Rating: 5 out of 10
Pros: Pepsi-ish. A for effort. Fizzing snacks. Science.
Cons: Lingering aftertaste. Lemon. robot dinosaurs.