REVIEW: Zombie Skittles

Zombie Skittles

What are Zombie Skittles?

This year’s new Halloween Skittles mix includes five fruit flavors: petrifying citrus punch (orange), mummified melon (green), chilling black cherry (purple), boogeyman blackberry (blue), and blood red berry (red). But lurking among all these colors is a “rotten zombie” flavor, so you can eat a zombie before it eats you. It’s like Russian roulette for your taste buds.

How are they?

Zombie Skittles Closeup

All the fruit flavors are lovely. Melon might be my new favorite Skittles flavor; black cherry is a nice alternative to typical cherry flavors; citrus, red berry, and blackberry are what you would expect.

But I know you came here for the zombie flavor.

It’s truly repulsive.

It starts out tasting like rotting fruit, and then it transitions to a somewhat meaty flavor, which is horrifying when you think about it. This flavor stops me in my tracks, and I almost want to laugh because it’s so bad.

Is there anything else you need to know?

Zombie Skittles Spoons

It’s easy enough to power through the zombie flavor (or spit it out), so it doesn’t entirely spoil the candy-eating experience. My educated estimate for the ratio of zombie to fruit is approximately 1:9, so most of them are safe.

That said, there is genuine relief when you get a fruity one.

Conclusion:

I probably will not buy these, nor will I be sad if they don’t come back next year. But they do exactly what they mean to do, and they’re a weirdly fun novelty candy. They would be great at a Halloween party.

DISCLOSURE: I received a free sample of the product. Doing so did not influence my review in any way.

Purchased Price: Free
Size: 3.6 oz. bag
Purchased at: Received from Mars
Rating: 7 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1 oz/28 g/27 pieces) 110 calories, 1 gram of fat, 1 gram of saturated fat, 5 milligrams of sodium, 26 grams of carbohydrates, 21 grams of total sugar, 21 grams of added sugar, and 0 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Creepy Cocoa Crisp M&M’s

Creepy Cocoa Crisp M M s

What are Creepy Cocoa Crisp M&M’s?

The Target-exclusive Halloween M&M’s for 2019 are dark chocolate with a cocoa crispy center, in festive colors of brown, red, and orange.

How are they?

Creepy Cocoa Crisp M M s Innards

I was underwhelmed by the Target-exclusive Cookies & Screeem of yesteryear, but these Creepy Cocoa Crisp are a decided improvement. I like dark chocolate M&M’s, but they’re even better with the crispy texture! My family members who don’t much care for the Crispy variety enjoyed these.

My only disappointment is that it’s hard to taste the cocoa element in the crisp part (which is the same color as the chocolate). The dark chocolate overpowers it. But that’s a minor quibble, because they’re still wonderful. This is a simple concept, but it works very well.

Is there anything else you need to know?

Creepy Cocoa Crisp M M s Red M Mcula

With the package portraying the Red M&M holding a bowl of chocolate cereal while wearing a vampire costume, it seems obvious Mars is channeling Count Chocula. But that cereal is made of corn, whereas the M&M crispy parts are made of rice flour. I appreciate the creativity —- it’s not predictable, but it still has a seasonal connection.

Conclusion:

The colors, flavor, and texture combine to make this limited-edition flavor a winner. Since Red is dressed as a vampire, I imagine repurposing a line from The Munsters to tell him how I feel about this candy:

Me: “I really dig you!”

Red: “And someday I’ll return the favor!”

Purchased Price: $3.19
Size: 8 oz. bag
Purchased at: Target
Rating: 9 out of 10
Nutrition Facts:: (1 oz./28 grams/30 pieces) 140 calories, 5 grams of fat, 3 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 25 milligrams of sodium, 21 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of dietary fiber, 16 grams of sugar (includes 16 grams of added sugars), and 1 gram of protein.

REVIEW: Archie McPhee Fried Chicken and Lobster Candies

Archie McPhee Fried Chicken Candy

Fried Chicken and Lobster Candy are the latest “I dare you to eat this” candy from Archie McPhee, which offers a wide variety of wild and weird products. Previous confectionery offerings included coal, bacon, wasabi, and gravy. And now you can save all the hassle of preparing fried chicken or lobster and just eat them as candy instead.

Archie McPhee Lobster Candy

How are they? They’re bad. Epically bad. (Even Archie McPhee categorizes them on the website as “bad candy.”) Of course, I didn’t expect these to be good, but last year I tried Mr. McPhee’s candy canes that were clam and mac & cheese flavored (not together; that would be gross). They were somewhat palatable, even if they missed the mark as far as replicating the intended taste. These varieties do bring out the stated flavors a little more, but they are truly awful.

Archie McPhee Fried Chicken Candy 2

Besides having a less-than-pleasing appearance, the fried chicken version had a bit of burnt, sitting-out-for-three-hours smell to it. These made me think of when you go to your favorite fast food chicken joint just before closing time — which as a former fast food worker I highly recommend against — and you get whatever was sitting under the heat lamp about to be tossed in the trash.

Archie McPhee Fried Chicken Candy 3

As for the taste, it reminded me of overcooked fried chicken skin, and not even good fried chicken. I’m talking school lunch or low-level buffet fried chicken.

Unfortunately, things got even worse when the lobster version entered my mouth.

Archie McPhee Lobster Candy 2

It had no real smell at first, although after sucking on it for a bit, it exudes a rather fishy odor. The taste was almost indescribable. Granted, much of my recent lobster-eating experience involves either a fast food seafood restaurant or food truck, which may or may not be serving actual lobster, but I have done the whole wear a bib and use that fancy lobster claw crushing thing in the past.

Archie McPhee Lobster Candy 3

This taste did not bring me back to any of those, but I imagine it might be what lobster would taste like if you left it in the fridge for a month and then decided to take a bite. This one got spit out even faster than the fried chicken flavor.

Archie McPhee Lobster Candy Top

The only positive thing I can say about this experience is that the package designs are pretty solid. The image of the smiling lobster dousing him or herself with butter is both disturbing and delightful.

Are you curious what would happen if you tried both candies at the same time? Because I care deeply for your gastrointestinal safety, I decided to answer the question for you. The answer: gagging and near vomiting. But if you need to produce some actual puke to get out of going to school or prove to your boss that you need to leave work early, this might do the trick.

As harsh as this review might be, I’m a fan of strange, disgusting and creative food, so I do have to give Archie McPhee credit for putting these out. They would make a good gag gift, or if you are truly evil, maybe mix a few of these in with some regular wrapped hard candy and set up a hidden camera. Hilarity will surely ensue.

Purchased Price: $5.95 each
Size: 2.5 oz. box (about 12 pieces)
Purchased at: mcphee.com
Rating: 1 out of 10 (both flavors)
Nutrition Facts: The packaging says to call Archie McPhee for nutritional info. Since I didn’t finish a single piece and don’t ever intend to, I felt no need to call.

REVIEW: Now and Later WTF and Trolli Sour Brite Crawlers WTF

Now and Later WTF

If your taste buds like to play detective, there are two new mystery flavor candies from the Ferrara Candy Company — Now and Later WTF and Trolli Sour Brite Crawlers WTF. In these instances, the WTF doesn’t mean what the acronym has usually stood for — the World Taekwondo Federation. Instead, it asks, What The Flavor?

Now and Later WTF Closeup

Now and Later WTF consists of mixed fruit chews. Every piece is white, which, of course, gives no clues to what the flavors could be. It tastes as if there are four of them in the bag.

One is definitely pineapple, which is quite tasty. It’s not overly sweet, but I knew it was the tropical fruit the moment I put it into my mouth. Another one is watermelon, but it’s not as potent as a Jolly Rancher. As for the others, it’s either passion fruit, kiwi, or a strawberry Fruit Roll-Up, my taste buds can’t decide.

My taste buds also can’t recall the last time they’ve had Now and Later candy. They don’t remember how tough they are. “Hard Starburst” is what I’m going to start calling Now and Later from now on.

Trolli Sour Brite Crawlers WTF

Unlike, the Now and Later, the Trolli Sour Brite Crawlers WTF have color, which is a little disappointing. I wish they were transparent or white, making them look like albino snakes or gummy worm ghosts. But the colors do not give hints to what they may taste like. Also, unlike the Now and Later, the gummies are easier to eat.

Trolli Sour Brite Crawlers WTF Closeup

There seem to be three flavors. I’m positive one of them is peach because I love gummy peach rings and will never forget that taste. Another one, I think, is blue raspberry. And the last one, I believe, is lemon lime. Ugh. I’m a horrible flavor detective.

I’m a sucker for mystery products, but I’m a little disappointed by these. All the flavors, whatever some of them are, are tasty. But they all seem to be fruity varieties that have already been made. It would’ve been nice if there was at least one new or utterly wacky flavor (wasabi would’ve made me wail WTF).

I realize I should’ve started this review with a SPOILER ALERT because I might’ve ruined the mystery for all of you. It would be like me saying Avengers: Endgame involves [DELETED] going [DELETED], then they travel to [DELETED] in order to [DELETED], and then they figure out [DELETED]. Knowing that would’ve made you angry, like the Hulk in Endgame where he [DELETED] and ended up [DELETED].

A special thanks goes to TIB reader, and regular Spotted photo contributor, Robbie for sending me a bag of each candy.

Purchased Price: 2 for $4
Size: 5 oz. bags
Purchased at: Stripes (7-Eleven)
Rating: 6 out of 10 (Now and Later)
Rating: 7 out of 10 (Trolli)
Nutrition Facts: Now and Later (7 pieces) – 120 calories, 1 gram of fat, 0.5 grams of saturated fat, 40 milligrams of sodium, 26 grams of carbohydrates, 18 grams of sugar, and 0 grams of protein. Trolli (8 pieces) – 100 calories, 0 grams of fat, 40 milligrams of sodium, 24 grams of carbohydrates, 14 grams of sugar, and 1 gram of protein.

REVIEW: Reese’s Chocolate Lovers and Peanut Butter Lovers (2019)

Reese s Chocolate Lovers and Peanut Butter Lovers  2019

I love me some Reese’s, but it’s been on a bit of a cold streak with me lately.

I can’t say I’ve “loved” any of the Reese’s products I’ve reviewed recently, (Thins, Good Humor Bars, Whipped Topping) and it’s left me wondering if I even still “love” the iconic brand I grew up on.

Previous disappointments aside, I figured there was no way Reese’s Chocolate Lovers and Peanut Butter Lovers Cups could let me down, right?

Reese’s Chocolate Lovers

I was tentative about these. I ranted in my Reese’s Thins review about how pointless having more chocolate than peanut butter is, but I’m happy to report Reese’s Chocolate Lovers Cups blow them away.

I initially thought these were dark chocolate, but according to Hershey’s official site, they’re an “extra thick layer of extra-rich milk chocolate.” Some may taste a difference with the “extra rich” chocolate, but it tasted like a thicker Reese’s cup to me.

Reese s Chocolate Lovers Innards

The chocolate shell (I don’t know what else to call it) has a similar crispy bite to Reese’s Thins. Since they have more chocolate, the candy’s texture is harder than a standard peanut butter cup.

There’s still plenty of peanut butter, but since the ratio is off, I felt like it melted in my mouth quicker and left me with an intense chocolate aftertaste that set this apart from regular Reese’s Cups. The back of my tongue still had that lingering peanut butter residue, but everywhere else tasted like I ate a Hershey bar.

Reese’s Peanut Butter Lovers

I didn’t think there was any way I’d like Chocolate Lovers more than these, but here I am, admitting I liked Chocolate Lovers more than these. That’s not an indictment – they’re pretty damn good – I just thought they were the runner-up.

The idea of having the cup itself made of peanut butter is a great idea – in theory anyway.

Reese s Peanut Butter Lovers Innards

They could have called these “Reese’s Chocolate Haters Cups” because outside of the thin layer coating the bottom of the cup there’s hardly any chocolate. I certainly didn’t taste much of it. The outer peanut butter and what’s inside have contrasting textures but identical flavors. That was fun for a couple of bites, but then the novelty wore off.

Without the chocolate, these are really dry. The peanut butter caked my mouth to the point I wanted to chug a bottle of water after eating one cup. It’s the Nutter Butter effect. Try eating a few of those without a glass of milk. Your mouth will turn into the Sahara.

Still, I can’t complain too much because I love Reese’s peanut butter. Just gotta remember to keep a bottle of water nearby.

So yeah, these are both winners. If only Hershey’s could find a happy medium between Chocolate Lovers and Peanut Butter Lovers, we’d be in business folks.

Sarcasm aside, Reese’s Cups are a ten, so I’m judging these off of them. They’re both worth picking up, but you can’t top perfection.

Purchased Price: $1.39 each
Size: 1.5 oz.
Purchased at: Quick Check
Rating: 9 out of 10 (Chocolate Lovers)
Rating: 7 out of 10 (Peanut Butter Lovers)
Nutrition Facts: (1 package) Chocolate Lovers – 210 calories, 13 grams of fat, 5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, less than 5 milligrams of cholesterol, 135 milligrams of sodium, 24 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of fiber, 21 grams of sugar, and 5 grams of protein. Peanut Butter Lovers – 200 calories, 12 grams of fat, 4 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 150 milligrams of sodium, 22 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, 19 grams of sugar, and 5 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Kit Kat Cones

Kit Kat Cones

What are Kit Kat Cones?

Entering into the frozen treat category just in time for the warmer weather, these Kit Kat-themed Drumsticks offer vanilla frozen dairy dessert with a chocolatey coating and a fudge core placed atop a crispy sugar cone.

Kit Kat Cones Back of Box

How are they?

Despite being as enjoyable as any other Drumstick flavor, I couldn’t help but feel a little let down by these. Although each component was good and made a tasty dessert when combined, none were able to capture the experience of eating an actual Kit Kat and translate it into a frozen dairy dessert form.

Kit Kat Cones Pristine

Putting aside the Kit Kat branding for a moment, it’s hard to find many other faults here. Between the vanilla ice cream, crisp chocolatey shell, and airy wafer bits, everything is really well balanced. Even the cones were crisp and fresh, and far exceeded my expectations. If I had to knock Nestle on anything else, it would be the fudge filling’s blandness. Although clearly present, it wasn’t flavorful enough to compete against everything else this treat has, and Nestle could have nixed it without compromising quality.

Kit Kat Cones Core

The main issue I have with these is that the box was the only aspect actually reminiscent of a real Kit Kat. The wafer bits stuck in the chocolatey coating weren’t prominent enough to simulate biting into a finger of the famous candy, and neither the sugar cone shell nor the chocolate coating tasted anything like the classic candy.

Is there anything else you need to know?

Kit Kat Cones Bite

Nestlé would have been better off by taking the lead from Snickers Ice Cream Bars and modeling the form of these after actual Kit Kat wafers. They would have been a lot more successful if they had layered vanilla ice cream in-between stacked wafer cookies and just covered the entire thing in milk chocolate.

Conclusion:

Although Nestle’s new Kit Kat Cones are a worthy entry into the Drumstick line, they aren’t similar enough to their candy inspiration to justify the branding behind them. Rather than buying these, I’d recommend eating regular Kit Kats out of the freezer.

Purchased Price: $3.00
Size: 4 cones pack
Purchased at: Kroger
Rating: 5 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1 cone) 280 calories, 12 grams of fat, 9 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 5 milligrams of cholesterol, 105 milligrams of sodium, 42 grams of total carbohydrates, 1 gram of dietary fiber, 27 grams of sugars, and 2 grams of protein.