Wednesday, September 26, 2012

The Gamble of Limited Edition Chips: Kettle Brand Jalapeno Jack & Pringles Cheeseburger Chips

Even if I wasn't a part of this blog, the chances that I would drag my fat ass up and down the hallways of my local WalmAAHT without trying any new flavor of chips I see are pretty slim. Sure, this blog makes it mandatory, but it probably wasn't mandatory to push fellow fatguyfoodbloggers Rich and Josh out of the way to get my sweaty paws on this beautiful bag. 

It was the only bag I saw in a sea of normalcy, and as soon as I touched it, I knew I had something special in my hands. Kettle Brand is celebrating 30 years of making "great-tasting, all natural chips made with quality ingredients since 1982" (that's what it says on the bottom corner), and they put out 4 limited edition flavors, some of which they made way back in the day (like cheddar beer (!)). It's hard to find these chips, and to be honest, I am a chip lunatic and I only discovered Kettle Brand a few years ago. 30 Years?! Seriously?

These chips are excellent. They're super crunchy and greasy the way only natural chips cooked in canola oil can be. To be honest- at first, I didn't like them much. The taste of jalapeno was much more peppery sweet than I wanted, and the cheese wasn't too strong- it was more of a sour cream-esque flavor that took me awhile to notice. Jalapeno and cheese is a tough thing to get right, and the only other time I'd eaten jalapeno and cheese on a chip where it worked perfectly was with Doritos' Jalapeno and Cheddar, found only in Canada (which we reviewed last year). But those were more cheesy- like a different version of Doritos' Spicy Nacho. 

These are different, and with several revisits to this bag, I realized just how good these are. I wish the picture above was brighter, but the darkness brings out the sexiness of these chips. You don't throw these down your throat at a drunken BBQ- you savor these slowly with a delicious meal by candlelight with your special lady (or yourself, most likely yourself). The sweet and tangy pepper flavor meets the sour cream-esque cheese and then evolves into a delicate burn. And they're soo crunchy and greasy. 

You occasionally get giant mutant chips too, and some that are warped into knots. 

These were going to get a decent review based solely on the sexiness and strength of the bag (I had to cut it open with scissors because I couldn't open it normally- there's literally a small lining of plastic inside), but these were a happy surprise. These had a slow burn that brought out fancy deliciousness, and I'll be buying more. AND you can use the bag for pretty much anything after. It's strong enough. Look at it handle 15 pounds like nothing!

If you can't find these, you're not alone. This is literally the only bag of these or any other limited flavor I've seen. Luckily, Kettle Brand is light years ahead of the big chip brands and allow you to order chips online. HEY ALL CHIP COMPANIES: LEARN FROM THIS.

I'll be buying some more of these before they disappear, and I strongly recommend that you do too. 

I give these an A-

On the flip side of trying new chips, you get to try some that you're not entirely excited to try.

Yup, that's right. Cheeseburger Pringles. Pringles aren't exactly known for being fancy, top of the line chips, but they have their place, and occasionally come out with fantastic new flavors in addition to having some of the best sour cream and onion chips out there. 

These, however, are not good. In fact, they're terrible. To be fair, I don't think I've ever had a cheeseburger or hot dog chip that's been good. We've reviewed some here, and they usually have the same result- they kind of taste like cheeseburgers or hot dogs, but usually more like mustard. And even if they're close, they're still potato chips that taste like cheeseburgers or hot dogs. And honestly, other than the fun of trying it, who wants that? 

To be fair to Pringles, these are the most accurate depiction of cheeseburger flavor I've had on a chip. At first they just taste like mustard. Then kind of like honey mustard. Then cheese, pickles, and yes, meat. Pringles gets points for the slow evolution of flavor, and more for accuracy in actually capturing cheeseburger flavor, but again, does anyone really want to eat that on a chip? I sure don't.

Grade for capturing the flavor of cheeseburger on a potato chip: A
Grade for how much I want to eat these again: F

-review by mike

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

White Chocolate Candy Corn M&M's...

The different holiday seasons bring with them some great food items every year. Around Easter we get Cadbury Cream eggs and lots of chocolate bunnies. Christmas brings us Egg Nog and lots of Candy Cane flavored treats. Then there's Halloween. Pumpkin everything. But it seems this year the powers that be may have decided that the public has tired of pumpkin, so it looks like they are trying something else. What is that something?'s Candy Corn.

You know, Candy Corn, the only candy you would get mad at seeing in your bag after a night of trick or treating. The candy that only one in every 3083 people like. So yeah, sounds like a good idea, flavor some classic candy like them! The team at the M&M factory wasted no time getting these out on shelves. White Chocolate Candy Corn M&M's!

Even the guy on the package isn't happy about it. 
I didn't think I was going to like these from the start, because, well...I don't really like Candy Corn. I'm pretty sure during October every year at some point I will eat one from a dish when I'm somewhere, and it's okay, but as I'm swallowing the last little bit I grimace and say to myself, "Ugh...don't need anymore of those." and then I don't have another one until the following year. Because they just aren't that good. Just a weird sweet chunk of waxy candy that coats your tongue way too much for how small it is. Why, M&M, why was this your choice for a new flavor? Why not Coffee, or caramel, or hell, Bacon?

Only three colors in this bag, son. 
But I have to give them credit for at least trying something fresh. They look the same as regular M&M's, just that they only come in Yellow, White and Orange. They taste like white chocolate. But not JUST white chocolate, there's a little something else. I don't think they hit the nail right on the head with Candy Corn though. I can almost say they taste like them but it's slightly off. I think the flavor other than white chocolate is given off from the candy shell, so as you crunch them together, it forms, what the M&M scientists would hope to be the Candy Corn flavor. But...they kinda fail.

Man, we should get jobs taking pictures of food, these are beautiful!
So are they good? Well, at first I didn't like them. I but the bag on the desk while doing some work and ended up going back to them every few minutes. A little while later I changed my tune. They grow on you.
But Mike, being one of the only people on Earth who likes Candy Corn, tried them and didn't like them at all. Strange.

In the end I'd say they are a fun gimmick, and okay, but I'm pretty sure every other flavor of M&M are better than these. Even those weird Raspberry ones they did a while back. Yeah. Even those. So pick up a bag if you want to put something weird in a candy dish at your Halloween party, or perhaps give away the little bags to Trick or Treaters.
But once they realize what you gave them, prepare for your house to get toilet papered.

These get a C+!
Review by Rich.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Pepsi NEXT: Paradise Mango

Pepsi decided to do try something drastic recently. Not only did they add to the Pepsi NEXT branding after the failure of Pepsi EDGE (for us MEN that don't want to drink wimpy diet soda), but they also released some flavored versions of it that I'm sure won't be on the market for very long.
I wish I had gotten my hands on the Vanilla Cherry option, but we picked up the Paradise Mango and decided to give it a proper try.

Pepsi NEXT Mango Paradise tastes pretty much they way you'd expect it to. The NEXT brand, where instead of calories, they decided just to throw another handful of chemicals in it to fill the space left over in the bottle... So, start with that as its base, and then throw in mango flavored chewing gum, stir it around for a bit, and take a pull off of this part pepsi, part mango, all chemical combination!

BLOOD RED! erm maybe not.
As far as sodas go this is pretty tasty, but you can't get over just how incredibly fake it tastes. You'd figure a billion dollar corporation would be able to fool my poverty stricken taste buds a little bit better. 

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Pepperidge Farms: Milano Melts

hell yeah!

One thing that Pepperidge Farms will never cease to remember, is how to make a fantastic cookie.
We're all familiar with the ol' Milano cookie standby. It seems like the hayseeds hanging around the farm wanted to tinker with the tried and true recipe as of late, and see where they could push what might possibly be one of the best cookies on the market.

I first saw what was first of the "melts" series a few weeks ago, and asked our facebook fans what they had thought of them and if they were worth picking up. One fan stated "They are ok. Heat a regular Milano up and you would get the same effect. Nothing special."  Having faith in what our fans opinions are, I didn't bother picking these up, and went on my merry way. A few days later, I returned to our shopping venue of choice, and Excorsist flipped my neck backwards when I saw these. Not only a Melt, but they flipped what had classically been a Milano on it's head.
really pepperidge farms?
  One thing that Pepperidge Farms decidedly didn't remember, was to put any cookies in the cookie bag. There were 6 inside my package, which really bummed me out. Apparently, Pepperidge Farms is now run by the ever elusive cookie crook, once of Cookie Crisp fame, robbing consumers blind with over priced cookies. I picture him like Michael Douglas in 'Wall Street. Cigar in mouth, but still that damn cookie hat.

don't think these cookies are very big, those are tiny girl hands
So let's put aside getting screwed by PF's packing department for a moment, and concentrate on what these things actually taste like. The outer cookie has a cake sort of texture, where it wants to have a more chocolatey flavor, but just doesn't. It's not a bad thing, and I think if the chocolate was more intense it might ruin this whole deal. The vanilla creme insides were just that, a strong vanilla, almost cheesecakey type filling. I think as a whole they work together beautifully into what culminates into what Pepperidge Farms has always given us, a classy cookie that borders on decadent, but keeps us from feeling like hogs at a cookie trough.
Now that I think about it, maybe that's what the withholding of the cookies are, Pepperidge Farms keeping us from ourselves. With cookies this good, it'd be easy to over do it. But as an American, I don't want cookie elitists telling me how many cookies I am allowed to eat at a sitting.

closer view of cookie innards.
So while the cookie barons that are as much farmers as GW Bush was a Texas rancher, succeeded in making an incredible cookie, I believe the price point of the package, and the sparse number of delicious morsels contained within are keeping me from giving this product an A. flavor wise, it's hard to beat, on every other possible barometer though Pepperidge Farms needs to step up it's game if it's to survive with so much incredible competition for the cookie crown.

with flavor like that and a price point like this, you can never
get above average!

*EDIT The good folks at Pepperidge Farms reached out to us to inform us that the amount of cookies inside one of these packages is 12, and we did indeed, receive the wrong amount of Milano Melts!I do have to say they were nothing but pleasant and are going above and beyond to make the cookie mistake right. thank you!

good price, awesome cookie, great people. winning combination!