REVIEW: Nestle Butterfinger Dark Bar

Nestle Butterfinger Dark Bar

Dark and darkness.

There’s the darkness one experiences when there’s no light. There’s the dark colors of evening wear. Then there’s the darkness I keep deep down in my soul that so badly wants to come up but prevent it from doing so with every bit of my energy because I don’t want anyone to ever experience it for fear that doing so shall cause me to be shunned for an eternity by those who get the slightest glimpse at that darkness. And then there’s milk chocolate’s sibling, dark chocolate.

Nestle has been reaching into its own darkness this year by rolling out Crunch Dark and this new Butterfinger Dark. It has the same crispety, crunchety, peanut-buttery center as the original, but with a darker chocolatey coating.

Yes, chocolatey. Not chocolate.

The Nestle Crunch Dark Bar boasts how it’s made with 100 percent real chocolate, but this candy bar doesn’t make that claim. A quick ingredients list comparison shows that while the Crunch bar has dark chocolate that uses cocoa butter, this Butterfinger doesn’t.

But that doesn’t make it a bad candy bar.

After eating a couple, I find it to be a tad better than the original Butterfinger and the reason why is the same as why I love the Crunch Dark Bar. Although it doesn’t have the real chocolate deal, whatever that coating is, it makes the candy less sweet.

I know less sweet candy sounds like a bad thing, like less murderous or nudity Game of Thrones or less Dew-y Mountain Dew, but I find regular Butterfinger to be overly sweet nowadays. Get off my lawn. For example, I had a fun size Butterfinger around Halloween and after eating it I came to the realization that I wouldn’t have been able to finish it if it was a full bar. But with this, I found myself chomping away through the whole thing easily.

Nestle Butterfinger Dark Bar 2

But with that said, while the coating takes away sweetness, it doesn’t add anything because it doesn’t have the bitterness of dark chocolate. Actually, the exterior isn’t too noticeable. The whole thing tastes like what I imagine eating a naked Butterfinger with just the crispety, crunchety, peanut-buttery, crumb-causety center is like, which is still pretty good.

With the Crunch Dark Bar, the chocolate gets to shine because the rice crisps are for texture. But with this bar, the crispety, crunchety, peanut-buttery, teeth-stickety center is bold enough that it hides the coating’s flavor as well as I hide the darkness inside of me.

Nestle’s Butterfinger Dark is a pleasant variation of the classic candy bar. While I’m fine with the peanut buttery flavor standing out, I would’ve liked it more if the chocolatey layer added something. But if you enjoy Butterfinger, this candy will brighten your day.

DISCLOSURE: I received free samples from the folks at Nestle. As always, receiving free samples did not influence my review in any way.

(Nutrition Facts – 260 calories, 10 grams of fat, 5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 100 milligrams of sodium, 39 grams of carbohydrates, 1 grams of fiber, 23 grams of sugar, and 3 grams of protein.)

Purchased Price: FREE
Size: 1.9 oz. bar
Purchased at: Received from Nestle
Rating: 8 out of 10
Pros: Less sweet than regular Butterfinger. Perhaps a better Butterfinger. Will brighten your day. Crispety, crunchety, and peanut-buttery.
Cons: Dark chocolatey coating’s flavor doesn’t stand out. Doesn’t seem to use dark chocolate. Still crumb-causety and teeth-stickety. The darkness inside of me that I have to battle with every moment in order to prevent it from seeing the light of day, which it will turn into darkness.

REVIEW: Neapolitan M&M’s

Neapolitan M M s

When I read that M&M’s were making a Neapolitan variety, my first thought was “Is that still a thing?” I haven’t had Neapolitan ice cream since I was a kid in the 80s. My mother would bring home tubs of the cheapest store-brand tri-colored treat and daintily shave off layers from all flavors equally. Then I would excavate every molecule of strawberry ice cream until it looked like David Copperfield made it disappear with jazz hands and a hypnotic stare.

Never mind that chocolate was actually my favorite ice cream; I had to take the strawberry. This irritated my mother to no end. But she kept buying Neapolitan and I kept eating a neat one-third of it.

Now it’s 2018 and I don’t think I’ve heard Neapolitan referred to as a flavor in more than 20 years. I wanted to try the M&M’s, but wondered if I could resist the urge to only eat the pink ones.

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The aroma inside the bag was mostly chocolate. The visual was a bit of a surprise – the vanilla pieces were a rich cream color instead of white. Yes, I know, the bag clearly depicts them as cream-colored, but I was taken by the overall packaging color scheme – which was WHITE. Just sayin’.

Despite there being three colors, the flavors of the pieces are the same. Yes, I know, the bag clearly says all three flavors in every piece, but I thought the pink ones might be strawberry-dominant, cream more vanilla, etc. This disconnect didn’t affect my feelings about them overall, but again – just sayin’.

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My first taste impression was a strong strawberry and chocolate flavor. But instead of taking me back to the freezer with an ice cream scoop, Neapolitan M&M’s brought me back to the breakfast table. They are the solid orb version of a bowl of Frankenberry and Count Chocula cereals combined. The strawberry was a pretty spot-on facsimile of Frank, my personal strawberry flavor touchstone. My memory of Neapolitan strawberry is a much more subtle flavor than Frank. The chocolate was close enough to The Count to make the comparison, although hardcore Chocula fans might disagree. I’d expected a real ice cream experience, but my love of monster cereals made it still a successful combo in my opinion.

I couldn’t immediately find the vanilla. But as I plowed through the bag and thought about the cereal comparison, the case of the missing vanilla was solved. It’s the milk in the cereal bowl. It made total sense because most M&M’s vanillas taste like milk to me. It took a bit to find because it’s a supporting actor here – Frank and The Count are center stage, which was alright by me.

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Overall, I thought these were fun and tasty. Kids will love them because of the child-friendly flavors, as will nostalgic adults. I think M&M’s are most successful when they’re tinkering with fillings/textures (nuts, caramel, crispy), but these are on the higher end of the flavor-only M&M’s varieties. Bella Napoli!

(Nutrition Facts – 1 oz./16 pieces – 140 calories, 7 grams of fat, 4 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, less than 5 milligrams of cholesterol, 15 milligrams of sodium, 20 grams of carbohydrates, less than 1 gram of dietary fiber, 18 grams of total sugars, 17 grams of added sugars, and 1 grams of protein.)

Purchased Price: $3.19
Size: 8 oz. bag
Purchased at: Target
Rating: 8 out of 10
Pros: Nostalgic flavor combination that smacks of Monster Cereal goodness. All three flavors in every piece kept me from eating only the pink ones
Cons: Not really ice cream-ish (if that’s a deal breaker for you). Showing/telling me things on the packaging that I ignore and am later surprised by.

REVIEW: Sour Patch Kids Fire

Sour Patch Kids Fire

First, they’re sour, then they’re sweet, now they’re hot?

I guess that “sweet and spicy” candy trend continues to roll along. In fact, it’s already evolved on the premise by adding sour to the equation. What’s next, umami?! Am I gonna have to pretend to understand what umami is?!

Ya know what, don’t let me get off track. I’m not here to talk about “mamis,” I’m here to talk about kids – kids of the sour patch variety!

I’m also here to make awkward transitions.

I have a hard time believing there are people who don’t like Sour Patch Kids. I’m sure there are, I just won’t entertain the notion. A giant bag of SPK’s and a buttery $16 movie popcorn is in the running for my desert island meal, and the one thing you need on a desert island is fire.

SPK Fire chews smell like normal SPKs, but feature a duller color profile than normal.

I’m gonna “rapid fire” review each flavor:

Sour Patch Kids Fire 3

Berry Blaze – Pretty sour to start with an unripe berry flavor – blue, straw, black is my guess. There’s a very brief window of sweetness followed by decent little burn on the end.

Tropical Flame – Pineapple with a splash of citrus. It transitions from super sour to brief sweet, right into “oh yeah, I think I can kinda feel the heat.”

Apple Fever – You’re gonna pucker on this one. Think of the sourest Granny Smith you’ve ever eaten. The burn was almost completely masked because of that.

Angry Watermelon – Sweetest flavor in the bag. It’s hard to hype these too much because Sour Patch Watermelons might be my favorite candy of all time. Imagine those except 25 percent less sweet, and with a little numbing taste at the end. These pale in comparison, but they’re still good.

My Rankings:


  1. Apple
  2. Tropical
  3. Berry
  4. Watermelon


  1. Berry
  2. Tropical
  3. Watermelon
  4. Apple


  1. Watermelon
  2. Tropical
  3. Berry
  4. Apple

My heat impressions might be skewed by the order I ate them. I only had three of each flavor, so while Apple had no heat, I imagine it would’ve if I started with it. That make sense? Either way, the heat is dull.

I’m not sure the sour and hot combination works. That flavor progression – with the tiny pitstop in sweet-ville – almost acts as a numbing agent. Sour overwhelms your mouth, so heat doesn’t have room to shine.

Sour Patch Kids Fire 2

These tasted sourer than normal SPK’s which seems dumb if “Fire” was supposed to be the star. You could probably convince yourself the taste at the end is just a remnant of the extreme sour start, as it almost immediately starts to suck your mouth dry of saliva anyway.

So, if you’re looking to tip the Scoville Scale, you may be disappointed. These are really good Sour Patch Kids, but they won’t have you running for the milk. They’re definitely worth a try, but I have a hard time believing they’ll be mainstays on candy racks, so get ’em while they’re hot.

(Nutrition Facts – 12 pieces – 110 calories, 0 grams of fat, 25 milligrams of sodium, 27 grams of carbohydrates, 23 grams of sugar + 23 grams of ADDED sugar, and 0 grams of protein.)

Purchased Price: $1.99
Size: 7.2 oz. bag
Purchased at: Target
Rating: 7 out of 10
Pros: Tasty overall. If you love sour candy, they deliver. Still kinda cool to taste a tiny lingering heat afterwards. I appreciate the attempt.
Cons: Dull Heat. Less sweetness than normal Sour Patch Kids. Not even as hot as “Sweet Heat Skittles and Starburst.” Dry mouth. Just made me crave Sour Patch Watermelons.

REVIEW: Hershey’s Eggs with Pretzel Bits

Hershey s Eggs with Pretzel Bits2

I’ve been insecure about eating pretzels ever since I took that university astronomy class six years ago.

One evening we had a test review session, and the TA explained, “The sun is lowest in the sky at the winter solstice.” One girl asked, in complete seriousness, “Is that in August?” She had an open bag of pretzels on her desk, so ever since that time, I’ve wondered if pretzels are the preferred snack of those who are a few stars short of a galaxy.

Nevertheless, my obsession for anything holiday related trumps my insecurities about pretzels, so here I am trying Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Eggs with Pretzel Bits.

Hershey s Eggs with Pretzel Bits 4

All of them are in the same blue wrapper, which is a bit boring in an Easter basket, don’cha think? I’m sure they did this either (a) because it’s cost prohibitive to make different wrappers for just one flavor of candy, or (b) because they want you to mix colors with their other flavors.

The answer is always money.

Hershey s Eggs with Pretzel Bits 2

When I take them out of the wrapper, my first thought is that they are ugly. They look more like footballs, complete with a seam, than they look like eggs.

But the real test comes in the eating. Are they any good?


They have that familiar Hershey’s flavor you get in Kisses or those packages of six candy bars they sell next to the marshmallows and graham crackers. But this time, it’s crunchy. Me likey.

Hershey s Eggs with Pretzel Bits 5

I’ve let a few melt in my mouth so I can isolate the pretzel bits. I wondered if they’d be some pretzel-like imitation, but no, they’re the real deal, down to the salt. I don’t notice the salt if I crunch the whole egg at once, but with the pretzels by themselves, it’s definitely there. I can get my pretzel fix with these without feeling insecure about my knowledge of seasons.

Now, everyone knows that Hershey’s chocolate is never going to rival Cadbury Mini Eggs or Lindt bunnies. But these certainly beat those RM Palmer coins and eggs that were a staple of my childhood Easter baskets.

The biggest problem with these is their availability. I looked in nine different stores before I finally found them in the tenth. I think I encountered every other flavor on the way, but this pretzel variety is hard to find. But that’s fitting. They’re Easter eggs, after all.

(Nutrition Facts – 8 pieces – 200 calories, 90 calories from fat, 11 grams of fat, 7 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 10 milligrams of cholesterol, 180 milligrams of sodium, 25 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of dietary fiber, 20 grams of sugar, and 3 grams of protein.)

Purchased Price: $4.99
Size: 10 oz. bag
Purchased at: Harmons
Rating: 8 out of 10
Pros: Familiar Hershey’s chocolate with a crunch. Actual pretzels inside.
Cons: One color of wrapper. Look like ugly footballs. Hard to find. College students who don’t understand seasons and solstices.

REVIEW: 3 Musketeers & Milky Way Slammers

Copying, cloning, imitating…it seems so easy to do, because it is.

Xeroxing your ass at work, Dolly the Sheep, shitty boy bands, and the midterm exams of anyone who sat next to me in my physics, chemistry, and math classes in college are all examples of how easy it is to copy things. Although, I have to admit that I earned C’s and D’s in my physics, chemistry, and math classes, so I apparently sat next to the wrong people.

Sometimes copying is so easy that you can cut and paste a review from a quasi-product review blog, add your own lame comments, and then claim you wrote the whole damn thing by yourself.

(Editor’s Note: There was a link for the comment above, but I decided to remove it, since he admitted to it and apologized. To be honest, he actually seems like pretty decent guy. So all is good.)

Without copying, imitating, plagiarism and Cliff Notes, I probably wouldn’t have my English degree.

Now if it’s so easy copy things, why is it that these 3 Musketeers and Milky Way Slammers don’t really taste much like actual 3 Musketeers and Milky Way candy bars. I tested it by drinking a swig of a Slammers and then took a bite from the candy bar it was supposed to imitate. They both taste good as chocolate milks, but neither one came really close to tasting like their solid brethren.

It’s sort of like Tito Jackson not being able to match the success, weirdness, and child molestation charges of his brother Michael.

I don’t know about the Milky Way Slammers, but as for the 3 Musketeers Slammers, I think there’s only one reason why it doesn’t really taste like a 3 Musketeer candy bar.

That reason is Splenda, which has been the reason for the war in Iraq, Scientology, Jen and Brad breaking up, spam emails, freeway traffic, white guys who act black, holes in the ozone layer, AFLAC commercials, Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, internet porn addiction, Limp Bizkit cover bands, welfare abuse, Madonna adopting children, the lack of laws to protect copyrights in China, my hairy palms, why rappers keep getting shot, dropped calls on cell phones, spinning rims, and for some reason it’s the catalyst that makes me dance when I hear the Duran Duran song, “The Reflex.”

The one thing that surprised me about both the 3 Musketeers and Milky Way Slammers is the fact that they don’t need to be refrigerated, despite containing milk. Of course, after you open it, it is necessary to refrigerate what you don’t drink.

I don’t know about you, but that’s scary AND exciting. It’s as scary and exciting as placing an ad in the “Curious” section of your local alternative newspaper.

(Editor’s Note: Thanks to Matt Freeman from Edelman for sending me the free samples. Oh yeah, TIB reviewed the Starburst Slammers last year. That one I didn’t get free.)

Item: 3 Musketeers & Milky Way Slammers
Price: FREE
Purchased at: Received from PR Firm
Rating: 6 out of 10
Pros: Tastes good as regular chocolate milk. Vitamins and minerals, but not really significant amounts. No child molesting for Tito Jackson. Despite it being made with milk, it doesn’t need to be refrigerated until after opening it or if you want it cold. Low and reduced fat.
Cons: Really doesn’t taste like the actual candy bars they’re named after. Everything Splenda is responsible for. Jacko. Placing an ad in the “Curious” section of your local alternative newspaper.