ANNOUNCEMENT: Looking for New Reviewer(s) (2012 Edition)

The Impulsive Buy is currently looking for enthusiastic, talented, funny, and self-motivated individuals to write processed food product reviews. We hope to bring on one new reviewer to write one or two reviews per month, but may hire a second.

Writer Requirements:

1. Must have a computer.
2. Must have a digital camera (or a very good camera on your smartphone).
3. Have spelling and grammar abilities equal to or greater than mine.
4. Have an ability to entertain people with words.

It’s a paid gig, but we won’t say how much we pay per review. However, we can say it’s enough for you to have a pizza party for one…maybe two.

If you would like to apply for the position, here’s what you’ll need to send:

Writing Samples:

1. One sample review in TIB format (nutrition facts, rating, price, pros, cons, etc at the bottom). The review can be about whatever food product you want. Just to let you know, we won’t be using the review on TIB. The sample review will help us determine if your writing style would be a good fit. To give you an idea of how long a TIB review is, they range from 400-1,000 words.

2. Photo(s) of the product you reviewed. (High quality versions, please!)

3. A bio and why you want to write for The Impulsive Buy.

A Few Notes:

1. Due to legal reasons, we can’t hire minors.

2. At this time, we’re not looking to add writers from outside the United States.

3. Please don’t send your review as an attachment. Copy and paste your writing samples into your email. However, you may send the photos as attachments.

To apply, please email your sample review, pictures, and bio to theimpulsivebuy@gmail.com with “Boom Shakalaka” in the subject line. The deadline to apply will be May 31st.

Thank you.

Marvo
Editor-in-Chief

Note: To those people wondering about guest reviews on TIB. So far, I’ve received 30+ emails from people who are interested in doing guest reviews. I still haven’t decided whether or not to have them on TIB, but I’m kind of leaning towards having them. But before I make a decision, I want to bring on a new paid reviewer. I’ll make a decision about guest reviews after the May 31st deadline passes.

SPOTTED ON SHELVES – 5/16/2012

Here are some new products found on store shelves by us and your fellow readers. We may or may not review them, but we’d like to let you know what new items are popping up. We’ll also occasionally throw in an unusual product.

Blue Bunny Naturally Frozen Yogurt

Blue Bunny’s new line of Naturally Frozen Yogurt isn’t Greek, like the frozen yogurt from a particular Vermont company, but it’s 100 percent natural. The photo above only shows two flavors, Bordeaux Cherry Chocolate (Bordeaux cherry frozen yogurt mixed with dark cherry pieces and dark chocolate chunks) and Caramel Praline Crunch (butter pecan frozen yogurt with praline pecan pieces swirled with a salty caramel ribbon), but there’s also Vanilla Bean and Chocolate Vanilla Swirl. Thanks to Impulsive Buy reader greendaychick for the photo.

Orville Redenbacher's Ready-to-Eat Popcorn

Can’t wait the 2.5-3 minutes to pop a bag of microwaveable popcorn? Well then, Orville Redenbacher’s now has something to satisfy your impatient soul — ready-to-eat popcorn. The bagged popcorn comes in four flavors: Sharp White Cheddar, Classic Kettle Korn, Farmhouse Cheddar, and Signature BBQ. Thanks to TIB reviewer Adam for the picture…and the next two pictures.

M&M's Sweet & Salty Snack Mix

When I’m bored, I make couch mixes, which are like trail mixes, except they’re for people who don’t like to hike. They’re always made with M&M’s and I add whatever snacks are available around the kitchen, like cookies, nuts, and potato chips. The folks at Mars have started making their own snack mixes with M&M’s. They come in three varieties: the Milk Chocolate Snack Mix includes milk chocolate M&M’s, mini chocolate chip cookies, peanuts, and mini pretzels; the Dark Chocolate Snack Mix has dark chocolate M&M’s, raisins, almonds, and mini pretzels; and the Peanut Snack Mix is made up of Peanut M&M’s, mini shortbread cookies, almonds, and mini pretzels.

Goldfish Graham Cookies & Cream

I remember when Goldfish crackers came in two flavors, original and cheddar. I. Am. Old. This latest edition to the Goldfish Graham line combines chocolate grahams, vanilla grahams, and a sprinkling of cream. Now that I think about it, this would make a wonderful couch mix addition.

Ghost Peppe Salsa

Impulsive Buy reader Ben sent us this photo of Mrs. Renfro’s Ghost Pepper Salsa. Ghost chili peppers, which are also known as Bhut Jolokia chili peppers, are the world’s hottest chili peppers, and it’s frickin’ awesome that someone made a salsa using them. Mrs. Renfro’s Ghost Pepper Salsa isn’t a new product (it’s been around since 2010), but it’s new to me and it’s something I’d like to burn my digestive system with. Here’s a review at the Burn Blog.

If you’re out shopping and see a new product on the shelf (or really unusual), snap a picture of it, email it to us at theimpulsivebuy@gmail.com with “Spotted” in the subject line, and you might see it in our next Spotted on Shelves post.

REVIEW: Nabisco Newtons Fruit Thins (Apple Cinnamon Oat and Lemon Crisp)

Nabisco Newtons Fruit Thins (Apple Cinnamon Oat and Lemon Crisp)

People love Nabisco Newtons Fruit Thins.

Actually, I don’t know how accurate that statement is because I’m basing it on the 60+ positive comments attached to our news post about them last year.

Those commenters sounded so excited about them that I’m surprised every single one of those comments weren’t all in caps and included excessive exclamation points!!!!!!! Here are some words they used to describe the cookies and how often they showed up.

The word “love” was used in 14 comments, “delicious” was used four times, “great” was used three times, “wonderful” was used three times, “awesome” was used four times, “good” was used four times, “can’t stop eating” was used three times, “new favorite” was used three times, “addictive” was used three times, “yummy” was used three times, and “yummola” was used once.

Despite all those positive adjectives and praise, I had yet to buy any Newtons Fruit Thins flavor until I picked up the newest varieties — Apple Cinnamon Oat and Lemon Crisp.

If you’re later than me to the Newtons Fruit Thins party, these aren’t like the soft, cake-like Newtons you might be used to. These are crispy cookies with bits of real fruit baked into them. But you shouldn’t consider Newtons Fruit Thins to be health food because the fruit in them provides no real nutritional benefits. Instead, you should think of them as a slightly healthier cookie substitute for other popular Nabisco cookies.

Let’s compare.

Three Chips Ahoy! cookies have 160 calories, 8 grams of fat, 2.5 grams of saturated fat, 1 gram of fiber, and 11 grams of sugar. Three Oreo cookies have 160 calories, 7 grams of fat, 2 grams of saturated fat, 1 gram of fiber, and 14 grams of sugar. But, three Apple Cinnamon Oat Newtons Fruit Thins have 140 calories, 5 grams of fat, 1 gram of saturated fat, 1 gram of fiber, and 8 grams of sugar.

Oh, but nutrition facts aren’t the only difference. If high fructose corn syrup bothers you like the poor ratings of NBC’s Thursday night comedies bother me, then you’ll be happy to know Newtons Fruit Thins don’t have any, which can’t be said of the other two.

Nabisco Newtons Fruit Thins (Apple Cinnamon Oat and Lemon Crisp) Closeup

The aromas that wafted out from the Apple Cinnamon Oat and Lemon Crisp Newtons Fruit Thins packages made me wish Renuzit made air freshener cones that smelled as pleasant. Each cookie is shaped like a pastie and is two and a half inches in diameter, which is slightly bigger than a Chips Ahoy! cookie and significantly smaller than any clock that has hung from Flavor Flav’s neck.

With these cookies there are two different textures, the crunchiness of the oat cookie and the chewiness from either the dried lemon peel or dried apple baked into them. However, some of the cookies had dried lemon peel bits that were unpleasantly tough. My molars did not like. Even though the fruit pieces weren’t evenly distributed throughout the cookie, I could taste fruit in every bite. The Lemon Crisp had a pleasant citrus flavor that’s more sweet than tart, while the Apple Cinnamon Oat had a wonderful balance of fruit and spice, but both cookies don’t have an overwhelming flavor or sweetness.

Apple Cinnamon Oat and Lemon Crisp Newtons Fruit Thins are delightful…or in the words of commenters they’re delicious, great, wonderful, awesome, good, addictive, and yummy cookies that I can’t stop eating because I love them and they’re my new favorite cookie. Yummola.

(Nutrition Facts – 3 cookies – 140 calories, 45 calories from fat, 5 grams of fat, 1 gram of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 2.5 grams of polyunsaturated fat, 1 gram of monounsaturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 95 milligrams of sodium, 45 milligrams of potassium, 22 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, 7 or 8 grams of sugar, 2 grams of protein.)

Other Nabisco Newtons Fruit Thins (Apple Cinnamon Oat and Lemon Crisp) reviews:
Junk Food Guy (Lemon Crisp)

Item: Nabisco Newtons Fruit Thins (Apple Cinnamon Oat and Lemon Crisp)
Price: $3.59 (on sale)
Size: 10.5 ounces/30 cookies
Purchased at: Safeway
Rating: 8 out of 10 (Apple Cinnamon Oat)
Rating: 7 out of 10 (Lemon Crisp)
Pros: Delightful. Made with real fruit. Not overwhelmingly sweet. Slightly healthier than popular Nabisco cookies. Pleasant aroma. Crunchy oat cookie. 8 whole grains per serving. Fruit flavor in every bite.
Cons: Some dried lemon peel pieces were a bit hard. The word “yummola.” Ratings of NBC’s Thursday night comedies. Blog comments all in caps. There aren’t any Renuzit baked goods air fresheners.

REVIEW: McDonald’s Strawberry & Créme Pie

McDonald's Strawberry and Creme Pie

I have been on a ravenous fast food habit lately. The discarded evidence of wrappers and greasy cardboard boxes are lodged between sofa cushions or in the backseat of my car. Similar to Dexter and his glass slides, my uneaten misdeeds are hidden amongst the bacon jams and jars of homemade mostardas in the fridge.

Like corpses strewn about and disposed at night, I am secretly throwing out oily stained bags in my garbage can by moonlight for the garbage men to take away in the morning. However, the only victim here is me and, yes, my arteries are loving every suffocating moment. On my way home from work I decided to go to my usual hunting grounds.

And then I found it in the midst of dusk time rush hour traffic… I FREAKING FOUND IT.

The McDonald’s Strawberry & Créme Pie.

I was salivating at the new find and my tongue had the equivalent of an erection when I read the sign again. Akin to a criminal hoping to not get caught by their probation officer, I did a quick sweep to make sure my cardiologist was not around. He would not be happy considering my blood pressure was ranking higher than the weight of that girl who played Precious.

Double Quarter Pounder with cheese be damned, Poppa is going to have himself a creampie courtesy of the clown with red hair. I went directly to the drive-thru and turned off the radio so I could hear myself breathe heavily. My mind was filled with shrill screams and agonizing yelps of madness.

Fumbling for change or a few wrinkled dollar bills, I slowly forgot the day’s events where my client stupidly admitted to punching his wife in the eye during trial. I forgot that my devoted Alabaman wife asked me to pick up some grits for “supper” (I hate that word). I forgot everything because all I cared about was sinking my teeth into that oddly shaped McDonald’s pie that would spurt cream and strawberries in my goddamned mouth.

I clutched the bag after being handed it through that small window. The aroma wafting in my car was pronounced as the entire inside smelled of baked sugary strawberries mixed with the scent of deep fried egg roll skins. McDonald’s pies have that secondary odor that reminds you that this is not the pie that your Grandma bakes. For the record my Grandmother never baked pies, she would make me bitter ginseng soup or salty 1,000 year old preserved duck eggs in congee. Yeah, the Chinese aren’t known for desserts.

McDonald's Strawberry and Creme Pie Box

Wrapped in a brown box, adorned with the image of a chef’s hat and rolling pin evoked a laugh instead of images of a pastry chef elegantly working dough on a wooden block. Branded on the box was “Signature Pies” and true to its title, McDonald’s pies have that signature rectangular shape. I’m lovin’ it.

The crust was warm, crisp, buttery, and flaky. The best part was the crystal flecks of sugar baked into the shell. I’m sorry but I know we are sometimes nostalgic for that heavenly pie Agent Cooper rambles on about in aimless episodes of Twin Peaks but a McDonald’s pie to me is just as homey.

McDonald's Strawberry and Creme Pie Top

The sugary texture of the thin crust seductively gives way to the Strawberry & Créme. I should point out that the cream is spelled créme which probably means it is alien from any dairy. Maybe not, but I cannot find the ingredients anywhere. Who cares because I would scoop this stuff out and drizzle it on a chocolate brownie.

The baked pie is scored down the middle to show off its insides filled with Strawberry & Créme. The cream part tasted like Cool Whip. The strawberry syrup, with sweet delicious uneven chunks, is similar to what the ice cream man would drop on a soft serve sundae.

Yes, it is artificial tasting but sometimes fake works. We’re not at McDonald’s for something to remind of us Sunday mornings, we’re there for something to stave off hangovers or revenge eating from forced salads and wheatgrass juices.

McDonald's Strawberry and Creme Pie Innards

The slightly gluey créme had a nice slight vanilla flavor which was a tasty contrast to the sweet strawberry filling. Eaten alone, it would be a cloying pudding mess but that buttery crust makes this thing work. There are real chunks of strawberries because some of the tinky seeds got stuck in my teeth as I was making a right turn towards the exit on the crowded freeway.

It’s too bad this is a limited edition because I want to buy this all year long. One word of caution, do not eat this cold. The pie gets gummy and clunky. It will sit in your stomach and remind you that you ate something particularly evil. Agent Cooper, maybe some pies after they die do go to heaven… but I think the bad ones go to McDonald’s and taste better.

(Nutrition Facts – one pie – 290 calories, 17 grams of fat, 10 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 150 milligrams of sodium, 15 milligrams of cholesterol, 32 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of dietary fiber, 13 grams of sugars, and 3 grams of protein.)

Item: McDonald’s Strawberry & Créme Pie
Price: 95 cents
Size: N/A
Purchased at: McDonald’s
Rating: 9 out of 10
Pros: That crisp sugary and buttery thin crust. Cream or créme, it’s creamy goodness. Real chunks of strawberries. Kyle MacLachlan before he was in Showgirls. Mostarda.
Cons: Gummy and clunky if it gets cold. It is a limited product. The words “supper” or “ornery”. Dated references to a show twenty years old. Hydralazine pills.

WEEK IN REVIEWS – 5/12/2012

Choco taco!

Here are a few product reviews posted this week from other blogs we follow.

There are more Choco Taco varieties, but I don’t think that area of ice cream treats has been expanded enough. I’d like to suggest creating a line of ice cream treats with Taco Bell called Choco Bell, which consists of a Choco Burrito, Marshmallow Bell Grande, and a Carmelo Enchirito. (via Fatguy Food Blog)

I Am American Creme Oreo (And So Can You). (via Kj’s Food Review)

Wendy’s is testing flatbread sandwiches. I don’t know about you, but flatbread sandwiches don’t really make me want to go to Wendy’s. A free, ponytailed Wendy’s redhead wig with the purchase of a kids’ meal would. (via Foodette Reviews)

Did you know 60 percent of The Impulsive Buy’s readership are women? So here you go the other 40 percent of TIB readers, a Kotex review. Go learn something. (via Hot Ink Reviews)

Come on, McDonald’s! This putting bacon into a McDouble and offering it as a new product isn’t cutting it. Putting bacon, a McChicken patty, and a Filet-o-Fish patty into a McDouble would cut it. Make that happen soon because once Wendy’s starts offering free, ponytailed redhead wigs with the purchase of a kids’ meal, I’m gone. (via Grub Grade)

Image via flickr user InspectedbyNo27 / CC BY ND 2.0