REVIEW: Witch’s Brew Kit Kat

Witch s Brew Kit Kat Bag

What is Witch’s Brew Kit Kat?

Hershey’s has turned witch’s brew into its latest Kit Kat flavor. What does witch’s brew taste like? Well, it aligns perfectly with Halloween, witches, and the color green: marshmallow!

Wait…marshmallow??

How is it?

Witch s Brew Kit Kat Layers

As with the other limited edition Kit Kats, the flavor lies in the light-green-colored crème coating. The inside is standard Kit Kat fare.

Does Witch’s Brew taste different from standard Kit Kats with white crème? Yes!
Does it taste like a marshmallow? I guess so. It’s sweeter than white crème, but marshmallows are not known for their strong flavor.

Is it enjoyable? Yes!

Anything else you need to know?

Though the flavor has a dubious connection to our beloved October holiday, I adore the witch on the package! There was an old episode of Bewitched where Samantha and her aunts were furious that Darrin’s client wanted an ugly crone on his Halloween candy packaging.

Witch s Brew Kit Kat Cauldron

This Kit Kat witch might be green and warty, but she’s so adorable that Samantha would hopefully approve. Well done, Hershey’s design team!

Conclusion:

Marshmallow seems like a lazy and forgettable flavor for witch’s brew. I mean, is that really what you get when you mix the eye of newt and toe of frog? But even though trick-or-treaters might forget this Kit Kat once they have finished their Halloween haul, at least they’ll enjoy it while it’s around.

Purchased Price: $3.50
Size: 9.8 oz bag
Purchased at: Dollar General
Rating: 7 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (2 packages) 140 calories, 8 grams of fat, 4.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 25 milligrams of sodium, 18 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of dietary fiber, 13 grams of sugar, 11 grams of added sugars, and 2 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Dairy Queen Oreo Fudge Brownie Blizzard

Dairy Queen Fudge Brownie Blizzard Cup

It’s the Blizzard of the Month for August and perhaps the most straightforwardly named Blizzard in history. As you might have surmised, it has Oreo cookies, brownie pieces, and cocoa fudge with vanilla soft serve blended together in the magic DQ Blizzard machine.

Dairy Queen Fudge Brownie Blizzard Top

It’s like one of The Fast and the Furious movies, which according to Wikipedia, is now known as Fast & Furious for those of you who are sticklers for accuracy on movie franchise names. Regardless of whether there’s an ampersand or not, you basically know what to expect going into any movie featuring Vin Diesel — things are going to explode, and you’ll have a satisfying, albeit predictable, experience (assuming you enjoy explosions and not having to think about the plot).

Will you tell your friends how great the movie was, or will you even remember the movie’s actual name in a month or two? Probably not, and that’s what we have here.

Chances are you’ve had an Oreo Blizzard in one form or another (maybe even the Oreo Firework one that actually did blow up, or at least had popping candy). And chances are you’ve had a Blizzard with brownie pieces and/or cocoa fudge. So there’s nothing earth-shattering here (much like every movie featuring another F&F star, The Rock, unless you want to count the earthquake disaster movie San Andreas), but as I’ve said in some past Blizzard reviews, that doesn’t make it any less tasty.

This is kind of like a greatest hits edition of a Blizzard, and it definitely hits the spot, even if it’s not as fancy-looking as some of its Blizzard friends.

Dairy Queen Fudge Brownie Blizzard Spoon

If there is any surprise here, it’s that the textures of the Oreo and brownies work great together. Because both look nearly identical, especially covered in fudge-infused soft serve, you are never quite sure what’s going into your mouth.

While that can be problematic in some situations, like at a middle school lunch table when a friend wants you to taste some grayish mystery meat. In this case, it provides a nice bit of intrigue. Will it be the crunch of Oreo cookies, the chewiness of brownies, or a mixture?

Oreo cookies and brownies also have a difference in chocolatiness, so that adds another level to the flavor. The cocoa fudge amps it up more, but not so much that I feel it’s choco overload.

If you are looking for something unique or with an exciting name, there are plenty of good options on the DQ Summer Blizzard Menu. But if you have a hankering for a familiar, chocolatey treat, you can’t really go wrong with the Oreo Fudge Brownie Blizzard.

Purchased Price: $3.59
Size: Small
Rating: 8 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (Small) 1,480 calories, 62 grams of fat, 30 grams of saturated fat, 2 gram of trans fat, 100 milligrams of cholesterol, 760 milligrams of sodium, 210 grams of carbohydrates, -2 grams of dietary fiber, 160 grams of sugar, and 28 grams of protein. (These figures from the DQ website appear to be inaccurate, as some are almost double those of similar Blizzards, and having a negative number of grams of dietary fiber seems implausible.)

REVIEW: Lay’s Flavor Icons Potato Chips

Lay s Flavor Icons Potato Chips Bags

This is one of my favorite times of the year.

Seriously, I love it when Lay’s does its big multi-flavor rollouts, whether it be the jealousy-inducing “Do Us a Flavor” finalists, the recent music inspired flavors, or its “Tastes of America” campaign that these new “Flavor Icons” seem to be a continuation of, I’ve pretty much enjoyed every single special chip they’ve put out.

This year, the “Flavor Icons” are chips inspired by foods from famous American eateries. As an East Coast guy, I’ve personally dined at two of the five, so I guess I can say I have a frame of reference on a couple of these flavors.

I’ll rapid-fire through these reviews starting with the two places I’ve eaten at:

Lay’s Kettle Cooked Grimaldi’s New York Style Pizza (Brooklyn, NY)

Lay s Kettle Cooked Flavor Icons New York Style Pizza Potato Chips

Grimaldi’s is a chain of pizza places that originated where I originated, Brooklyn. I haven’t had it in years, but I do recall thinking the pizza was a little overrated. Needless to say, it’s a super famous NYC pizza joint, and that was a blasphemous opinion to anyone I mentioned it to.

Anyway, these chips hit me like a massive nostalgia bomb when I popped open the bag and got a whiff of the old Keebler Pizzeria Chips. I was probably in elementary school last time I had those, but it all came back to me.

Speaking of memories, these hit me right in my taste receptors because WOW(!!!), they tasted exactly like how I remember Grimaldi’s. The chain makes a very saucy pizza, and they definitely gave their secret recipe to Frito Lay. I’d describe it as “gourmet,” with all the ingredients you’d expect from a pizza sauce – onion, garlic, oregano, basil, olive oil, etc.

I’m more of a cheese guy, so I loved the fresh mozzarella flavor and tiny bit of parmesan on the backend. I do not think they needed to be kettle-style, but it reminded me of a crisp pizza crust, so it worked. Pizza is usually hit or miss in chip form. These may be the best pizza chips I’ve ever had.

Purchased Price: $2.50
Size: 7 3/4 oz bag
Purchased at: ShopRite
Rating: 8 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (18 chips) 150 calories, 9 grams of fat, 0 gram of trans fat, 1.5 grams of saturated fat, 180 milligrams of sodium, 16 grams of total carbohydrates, 1 gram of total sugars, 1 gram of fiber, and 2 grams of protein.

Lay’s Geno’s Philly Cheesesteak (I’ll give ya a hint, PA)

Lay s Flavor Icons Philly Cheesesteak Potato Chips

I’ll tread lightly because I don’t know how to talk about Philly cheesesteaks without breaking the rules. Last time I went to Philly, I got a steak at Geno’s… then I walked across the street and got one at Pat’s, so I don’t have a preference. Cheesesteaks are just awesome.

These chips start out tasting just like Cheddar and Sour Cream, but as I went on, I started to get a “meat” flavor I guess you’d classify as beefy. Beef and even a hint of peppers remain as an aftertaste. So, it starts with the cheese “whiz” (did I do that right?) and some onion, and ends with the beef and peppers. It’s actually pretty complex, and I thought these were excellent.

Purchased Price: $2.50
Size: 7 3/4 oz bag
Purchased at: ShopRite
Rating: 9 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: 15 chips) 160 calories, 10 grams of fat, 0 gram of trans fat, 1.5 grams of saturated fat, 210 milligrams of sodium, 15 grams of total carbohydrates, 1 gram of total sugars, 1 gram of fiber, and 2 grams of protein.

Lay’s Wavy El Torito Carnitas Street Taco (Marina Del Ray, CA)

Lay s Wavy Flavor Icons Canitas Street Taco Potato Chips

Now we get to the places I’ve never been to. Carnitas were my go-to Mexican order before I decided to stop eating pork. Well, I broke my resolution because these chips actually have pork listed as an ingredient. They definitely taste like charred pulled Mexican-style pork, albeit weakly.

They start with a very slight sweetness that I attributed to the sauce El Torito must use to simmer the pork. There’s a little blast of lime and fresh chopped onion in there too. There’s a weird, dull “dryness” to these that I persuaded myself was supposed to mimic the tortilla. These don’t POP as much the rest of the lineup, but they’re still pretty tasty, and I love that they’re Wavy.

Purchased Price: $2.50
Size: 7 3/4 oz bag
Purchased at: ShopRite
Rating: 7 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (15 chips) 150 calories, 10 grams of fat, 0 gram of trans fat, 1.5 grams of saturated fat, 210 milligrams of sodium, 15 grams of total carbohydrates, 1 gram of total sugars, 1 gram of fiber, and 1 gram of protein.

Lay’s Cocina Azul Chile Relleno (Albuquerque, NM)

Lay s Flavor Icons Chile Relleno Potato Chips

Full transparency, I didn’t even know what this was – some kinda egg and cheese mix stuffed inside a pepper? Sure, why not, that sounds good. Well, after eating the chip, I’m gonna make it my duty to seek out the actual dish.

These chips smell and taste like a light queso dip. The chile pepper tastes both crisp and vibrant while giving off the perfect amount of heat. They’re not really too spicy, which I appreciated. There is also definitely an “eggy” taste, like cheesy scrambled eggs that peek out towards the finish. These are probably the saltiest of the bunch, and I imagine some may think they’re too mild overall, but I’m a big fan.

Purchased Price: $1.89
Size: 2 5/8 oz bag
Purchased at: 7-Eleven
Rating: 9 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (15 chips) 160 calories, 10 grams of fat, 0 gram of trans fat, 1.5 grams of saturated fat, 180 milligrams of sodium, 15 grams of total carbohydrates, 1 gram of total sugars, 1 gram of fiber, and 2 grams of protein.

Lay’s Party Fowl Nashville Hot Chicken (Guess Where, TN)

Lay s Flavor Icons Nashville Hot Chicken Potato Chips

Now I’ve had plenty of hot chicken in my life, but I’ve never had Nashville-specific hot chicken, so forgive me if I say anything out of line.

As you’d expect, these are the hottest chip in the bunch. I’d put them slightly under the standard “Flamin’ Hot” heat, which keeps them very snackable. These are undeniably chicken-flavored, but they mostly tasted like crispy chicken skin to me.

They had that “dryness” that I mentioned in the Carnitas review, that I can’t quite find a better word for. I like it, though. The hot sauce flavor doesn’t have any particular ingredient I can pinpoint. Google tells me they usually use cayenne and brown sugar, but I didn’t necessarily get that, nor were they listed as ingredients.

There’s a pickle on the bag, but I don’t believe this has any pickle flavor. I would have loved a little splash of dill, but not a huge deal.

Purchased Price: $2.50
Size: 7 3/4 oz bag
Purchased at: ShopRite
Rating: 8 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (15 chips) 150 calories, 10 grams of fat, 0 gram of trans fat, 1.5 grams of saturated fat, 190 milligrams of sodium, 15 grams of total carbohydrates, 1 gram of total sugars, 1 gram of fiber, and 2 grams of protein.

Lay s Flavor Icons Potato Chips 2

So, there ya have ’em. I pretty much loved all five, but a couple were near perfect. I can’t be super confident that three are perfectly accurate to the specific restaurant dish they’re copying, but judging from the two I know, I bet they’re pretty spot on.

Maybe I’m just an easy (Frito) lay, but I’m really impressed. These might be the most complex flavor profiles Lay’s have tackled to date, and they nailed ’em. Basically, every intended ingredient of each dish came through for me. That never happens.

According to the bags you have until 9/10/20 to try these. Don’t drag your feet. Otherwise, you’ll have to drive coast to coast to try the real things.

Oh, and if anyone from Frito Lay is reading this, I dare you to make my last flavor submission – Onion Knish with Spicy Mustard!

REVIEW: Clif Bar Coffee Collection Minis

Clif Bar Coffee Collection Minis

What are Clif Bar Coffee Collection Minis?

These are new flavors of Clif Bar’s Coffee Collection, but smaller than the original members. They weigh less than half the regular bars (0.99 ounces vs. 2.4 ounces). While the full-size bars are available in Dark Chocolate Mocha, Caramel Macchiato, and Vanilla Almond Latte, the Minis come in Espresso and Cappuccino. There are 20 bars in a box.

According to Clif Bar’s website, the Espresso Minis have crunchy pieces of chocolate-covered coffee beans and a hint of sweet cocoa. The Cappuccino Minis have rich roasted coffee, white chocolate-flavored chunks, and crunchy pieces of chocolate-covered coffee beans.

How are they?

Clif Bar Coffee Collection Minis Espresso

If you’ve had chocolate-covered espresso beans, you’ll know what the espresso ones taste like, although the flavor isn’t as bold as what you’d get with the choco-coated beans. As for the Cappuccino version, the coffee flavor is a bit muted, and, overall, the bars are sweeter than the Espresso variety. With both, I occasionally get the crunch of the java beans, which are sustainably sourced from Colombia, if you were wondering.

Clif Bar Coffee Collection Minis Cappuccino

Beyond the coffee, there are the other ingredients that make up all Clif Bars, which always seem to make them look like construction material to me. While they’re all there to keep the bars together and give them their chewy and crispy textures, they don’t play too much of a role with both flavors. If anything, they perhaps lower the coffee-ness a little.

Overall, I enjoyed both, but prefer the more robust flavor of the Espresso Minis.

Anything else you need to know?

These do contain a good level of caffeine. According to the box, one has about the same amount that’s in an espresso shot. What does that mean? The side of the packaging explains that each bar has 60-70 milligrams of the stimulant.

I’ve been replacing my daily early afternoon iced coffee with one of these Clif Bars, and they seem to give me the same energy boost that gets me through the rest of my workday.

Conclusion:

While I like the flavor, convenience, and caffeine content of these Clif Bar Coffee Collection Minis, it’s the last two that stand out to me. It’s nice to consume a pick me up without having to walk over to the kitchen (or Starbucks) to get a caffeinated beverage.

Purchased Price: $10.43 (on sale)
Size: 19.80 oz. box/20 pack
Purchased at: Target
Rating: 8 out of 10 (Espresso), 7 out of 10 (Cappuccino)
Nutrition Facts: (1 bar) Espresso – 100 calories, 2 grams of fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 90 milligrams of sodium, 18 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of fiber, 8 grams of sugar, and 4 grams of protein. Cappuccino – 100 calories, 2 grams of fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 95 milligrams of sodium, 18 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of fiber, 8 grams of sugar, and 4 grams of protein.