Hershey’s has taken their chunky Cookie Layer Crunch bars (crunchy cookie bits + crème layer + traditional Hershey chocolate coating), given them new strawberry and dulce de leche crème layers and replaced the cookie bits with waffle cone pieces.
How is it?
Everything about these bars feels average. The dulce de leche and strawberry crème flavors weren’t particularly authentic, bright or rich. Just a run-of-the-mill caramel-y vanilla and Nesquick-style strawberry flavor. If you hate fake strawberry, I recommend you skip this bar.
The waffle cone bits have a good crunch, but don’t texturally resemble waffle cones – they’re too thick. I can’t even see any telltale ridges on them. Without seeing the wrapper, I would identify these as cookie bits.
There’s a lot of air inside these bars. The solid crème layer does not really interact with the physically uneven crunch layer – it sits atop it, leaving empty space. Not a huge deal, but is a bit disappointing in a small bar.
Each bag contains 9 mini-bars, which felt like a good amount.
They taste OK and are new flavors in this series, but there’s nothing great or novel about them – and isn’t that why we’re all here? If you’re a diehard Cookie Layer Crunch fan, they’re worth a try. If not, there’s more interesting chocolates out there.
Purchased Price: $4.95 Size: 6.3 oz. bag of mini-bars Purchased at: Hershey’s Chocolate World Rating: 6 out of 10 Nutrition Facts: (2 mini-bars) 200 calories, 12 grams of fat, 7 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 5 milligrams of cholesterol, 50 milligrams of sodium, 24 grams of carbohydrates, less than 1 gram of fiber, 20 grams of sugar, 17 grams added sugars and 3 grams of protein.
I’ve gotta admit; fruit snacks are something that I’d kind of forgotten about as an adult. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve always been aware that they exist, but they’re not something I’ve put much thought into after I stopped brown-bagging my lunch.
I’m always on the lookout for unusual flavor combinations, though, so coming across fruit snacks that promised to be both sweet AND spicy gave me more than enough reason to pick up boxes of Sweet & Fiery Fruit by the Foot and Fruit Gushers.
The Fruit by the Foot version features two flavors of tropically-themed fruit tape infused with a little tastebud-tingling heat: Spicy Watermelon and Fiery Peach. Like all varieties of Fruit by the Foot, each roll comes individually packaged, and General Mills was even kind enough to print the flavor on the wrapper so you can pick one out without having to open all of them up.
Flavor-wise, I have to say I was surprised at how much heat these had! Considering that Fruit by the Foot is a snack targeted towards kids, I had been expecting the inherent sweetness in these to overpower any sort of spicy element, but that was far from the case. Both started on the sugary side, but the heat built up while I chomped my way through each roll. By the time I got to the end, the spice and heat were the star attractions of both, and the featured fruits were just chilling in the background.
In contrast to how each of the two Fruit by the Foot flavors were packaged separately, Sweet & Fiery Fruit Gushers instead mixed all three flavors into individual pouches.
By the way, yes, I said all THREE flavors. The Gushers added Hot Mango to the party.
And, man, they sure mixed a lot of the Hot Mango pieces in! I’ve eaten several pouches, and most of the ones I’ve opened have been at least 50 percent Hot Mango. For some odd reason, General Mills decided to color this Gusher-exclusive flavor bright green, which is just about the last color that I associate with mangoes. Maybe they wanted it to stand out more from the Spicy Watermelon and Fiery Peach pieces, but I kept expecting to taste hot lime whenever I popped one into my mouth.
Even though the Sweet & Fiery Gushers were tasty, I don’t think they were able to balance the combo of sweet and spicy as well as Fruit by the Foot was. Since the Gushers are small and easy to eat in one or two handfuls, the spice level of these didn’t have enough time to build up, and I usually only started tasting it when I was finishing up my pouch. On the bright side, though, the box does have 12 pouches in it, so you can eat a couple of them in one sitting without having to worry about running out.
While I enjoyed the Sweet & Fiery variations of Fruit Gushers and Fruit by the Foot, neither snack is something I can imagine most kids would care for. Instead, these are best suited for those with, dare I say, more complex palates. People like their parents, or 20-something college students who have self-confessed Chipotle addictions.
Anyway, kudos to General Mills for making fruit snacks relevant again for everyone over the age of 12!
(Nutrition Facts – Fruit by the Foot – 1 roll – 80 calories, 10 calories from fat, 1 gram of total fat, 0.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 50 milligrams of sodium, 17 grams of total carbohydrates, 10 grams of sugars, 0 grams of dietary fiber, and 0 grams of protein. Fruit Gushers – 1 pouch – 90 calories, 10 calories from fat, 1.5 grams of total fat, 0.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 45 milligrams of sodium, 21 grams of total carbohydrates, 12 grams of sugars, 0 grams of dietary fiber, and 0 grams of protein.)
Purchased Price: $3.29 each Size: 9 oz. box (12 rolls) (Fruit by the Foot) Size: 10.8 oz. box (12 pouches) (Fruit Gushers) Purchased at: Walmart Rating: 7 out of 10 (Fruit by the Foot) Rating: 5 out of 10 (Fruit Gushers) Pros: Fruit snacks that appeal to adults! Spice tames and complements the sweetness nicely. Both boxes generously sized. Cons: Neither snack would probably appeal much to kids. Hot Mango is only found in the Gushers. Spice doesn’t have a chance to truly come into play with the Gushers.
Summer Splash is a limited edition Skittles variety, sold exclusively at Dollar General. The bag includes Blue Raspberry, Orange, Kiwi Banana, Strawberry, and Watermelon.
How is it?
Before I tried this, I thought about what a “summer splash” might taste like in candy form. Tropical flavors like piña colada, tropical punch, mango, and key lime first came to mind. I was somewhat surprised that they were not the typical beach-y varieties after all.
After I tried my first handful, it hit me…Summer Splash Skittles have just a “splash” of flavor! D’oh. The orange one was the most muted of the mix. It vaguely reminded me of a Creamsicle with its subtle orange notes. The yellow kiwi banana was also mild, with an inconspicuous banana taste and only a slight kiwi taste. I would not have guessed either of them in a blind taste test.
The pink strawberry piece tastes just like a pink Starburst, only crunchier. Blue raspberry was the tartest in this exclusive collection with crisper fruit flavors than the others. The strongest was the green watermelon one, though it was still notably less pucker-inducing than its other watermelon Skittle predecessors.
A bonus was that the “splash” of flavor in each piece allowed for combinations of different Skittles to be nuanced without being overpowering. Overall, these were quite enjoyable.
Is there anything else I need to know?
Summer Splash Skittles are only available at Dollar General (where everything is not a dollar) and for a limited time, so if you like these, I’d recommend stocking up on them while you can. Also, pairing them with other Skittles varieties would be fun.
With a splash of subtle fruit flavors, Summer Splash Skittles are a lighter tasting candy treat when you need a sugar fix while you’re enjoying the other splashes of summer from the pool or beach.
Purchased Price: 85 cents Size: 2 oz. bag Purchased at: Dollar General (Exclusive) Rating: 7 out of 10 Nutrition Facts: (2 oz. bag) 230 calories, 2.5 grams of fat, 2.5 grams of saturated fat, 10 milligrams of sodium, 52 grams of carbohydrates, 42 grams of sugars, and 0 grams of protein.
The Milka Double Chocolate Oreo Candy Bar features bits of Oreo cookies in chocolate crème and covered in European Milka chocolate.
So, it’s chocolate inside of chocolate covered in even more chocolate. I’m guessing a person’s opinion on the bar will depend on two things: do they believe there is such a thing as “too chocolatey” and just how fancy in this European candy anyway?
How is it?
As expected, this bar is very chocolate-forward. There’s a surprisingly sharp dark chocolate bite, but as a fan of the stuff, it isn’t unwelcome. The crème adds to the choco-overload nature of the bar, with a pleasing smooth texture. At least, it would be smooth if not for the Oreo bits. They’re too small to add any real textural interest, instead contributing a gritty mouthfeel. If there’s anything special about the Milka chocolate, it’s lost in the other elements.
This bar is missing balance. The other Oreo candy bars, cookies & crème and mint, succeed because the flavored crème balance the chocolate. Oreo cookies work for the same reason (Keep your Double Stuf. I need the perfect cookie-to-crème ratio of the original). The crème here doesn’t offer any complimentary flavor, so I’m left thinking I’d be better off just eating a plain chocolate bar for my fix. Or an Oreo.
Is there anything else I need to know?
How do you like to eat your chocolate? Do you chomp down on it with wild abandon, munching it in an attempt to shove as much of it in your face in as short a time as possible? Or do you like to let it slowly melt in your mouth, luxuriating in the silken texture as your body heat slowly releases the subtle flavors and aromas of your single source free trade organic bar?
I tried both ways, and this is a bar made for munching. The problem is that single note chocolate flavor doesn’t offer enough excitement as compared to other candy bars.
The Milka Double Chocolate Oreo Candy Bar is missing the balance of the other Oreo candy bars, and of the Oreo cookie itself. It’s a decent product that won’t totally satisfy anyone.
Purchased Price: $1.50 Size: 3.52 oz. bar Purchased at: Rating: 6 out of 10 Nutrition Facts: (5 pieces) 190 calories, 12 grams of fat, 7 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, less than 5 mg milligrams of cholesterol, 65 milligrams of sodium, 19 grams of carbohydrates, 1 grams of fiber, 15 grams of sugar, and 2 grams of protein.
A mix of two types of M&M’s — peanut and peanut butter — with peanuts and pretzel balls. There’s also a milk chocolate version available with milk chocolate and Crispy M&M’s mixed with almonds and pretzel balls.
How is it?
Solid, but unspectacular. Even though the pretzel balls are pictured sparingly on the outside of the bag, they seem to be the most populous of the residents inside the bag. The peanuts are a touch disappointing in that they are neither sweet nor salty.
It might have been better if they were salted or honey roasted; instead, they are just kind of there and don’t differentiate themselves from their brothers and sisters encapsulated in chocolate with a candy coating. Despite those shortcomings, the mix of the four components does accomplish the stated goal of being sweet and salty, and overall it makes for a tasty, satisfying snack.
Is there anything else I need to know?
Using a trick perfected by potato chip industry, the bag is much larger than it really needs to be based on the contents inside. While the label proudly trumpets that it is “Sharing Size,” I’d advise using restraint before announcing to friends, family, or co-workers that you are indeed open to sharing a bag. The label says there are “about 8 servings,” but if you invite more than two others into your circle of sharing then no one is going to get much.
There’s really nothing remarkable about this product, and it would be pretty easy to just create this mix yourself (even if you not a DJ).
With that said, I’ve never seen those little pretzel balls at the store and doing it yourself is never as easy as it looks. So if you like Peanut M&M’s, you’ll enjoy these even though they certainly won’t change your life.
Purchased Price: $2.98 Size: 7.70 oz. bag Purchased at: H-E-B Rating: 7 out of 10 Nutrition Facts: (1 oz. serving) 130 calories, 7 grams of fat, 2.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 90 milligrams of sodium, 16 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, 8 grams of sugar, and 3 grams of protein.