Wednesday, June 19, 2013
I'm not really sure what Arizona is going for by calling this a Rickey and a "Brooklyn Original". The Rickey is a highball-style cocktail originally created right here in DC to combat the oppressive humid District summers. Skeptical in mood, I dove in.
The taste is much better than expected. Both the cherry and lime in this manage to not taste like cheap candy versions of themselves, which isn't something I often come across for either lime or cherry beverages. The cherry is soft and sweet... a reminder of Mountain Dew Code Red. The lime is bright and tangy. On top of all this, Arizona has added additional sourness that really makes this rather sweet drink refreshing. This stuff is awesome.
A Rickey this is not, but a delicious drink this is.
Arizona Cherry Lime Rickey:- Great
Saturday, June 15, 2013
Pop-Tarts didn't skimp on rolling out winter flavors this past year.
I was particularly excited to pick up these, which seem like they'd be really good, right?
I think I see what they tried to do here, but the execution didn't result ideally. Hot chocolate tends to stay fairly mild in terms of cocoa flavor, right? Well, such a light hand with the cocoa in these pastries ended up having its dominance challenged by the marshmallow, which Pop-Tarts has been known to use liberally. The balance is off. What's worse, the resulting character of these reek of a artificial candy-like flavor, akin to Pop-Tarts Yum-Azing Vanilla. I feel like they could have done better, but I'm not sure how. Perhaps an item like Hot Chocolate with Marshmallows isn't well able to be reduced to a breakfast pastry.
Pop-Tarts Frosted Marshmallow Hot Chocolate:- Passable
Original Pop-Tarts S'mores(for comparison):- Great
Saturday, June 1, 2013
Oreo's foray into decadence and hedonism is becoming a caricature of itself.
Deciding that Double Stuf or Triple Double is not enough, Oreo has decided to indulge the truly unbalanced of its fans and has issued Mega Stuf, which is otherwise a "Triple Stuf", from what I can tell.
This is getting ridiculous. Whereas I thought Double Stuf was disharmonious, this is simply cacophonous. Each bite has within it a sugary crunch as your teeth slog through the glacier of creme, which people like to exalt, but is, in morbid reality, simple sucrose crystals with a dash of vanilla flavoring, all suspended in some sort of fat that is solid at room temperature(which I believe used to be lard years ago).
I think that Oreo should be innovating in the opposite direction. I'd rather see Half Stuf instead of Mega Stuff. There are even those that wish they could buy the cookies plain.
I'm not sure how to rate these. I find these mostly inedible and in the 1-NOM range, but I owe the public success of Double Stuf the benefit of the doubt here. I'm letting Oreo off with a warning. Satire is dead.
Mega Stuf Oreo:- Good
Original Oreo(for comparison):- Great
Sunday, May 26, 2013
Last year I felt the need to document the harmonious balance that Reese's achieves with their yearly issuance of the Reese's Peanut Butter Egg.
This past spring, they've decided to combine this product with the fairly hard-to-find White Chocolate Reese's Cup to make the White Chocolate Reese's Peanut Butter Egg.
There's not much to detail here. The chocolate-peanut butter balance is just as in tune as the original, but I feel that the white chocolate works less well. It's still delicious, and still a step above the rest.
Reese's White Peanut Butter Egg:- Great
Original Reese's Peanut Butter Egg(for comparison):- Great
Thursday, April 25, 2013
In 2012 Lays seemed to issue this limited edition flavor out of the blue: Sweet Onion.
I wasn't too enamored with the idea, and I learned that I felt the same about the taste.
With such a simple flavor base, as I expected, Lays calls upon a few other ingredients to play a support role. Each bite begins strong with onion, which isn't unpleasant, but a formidable sweetness arises in the form of sugar. Perhaps Lays worked a bit too hard to drive home the "sweet" onion character, as this combination doesn't seem very natural. Midway through each bite and on the swallow, there is a strong herbal note of thyme, and perhaps even parsley and oregano. The thyme note is strong, and I feel it's misplaced. This strong herbal punch reminds me a bit of Lay's Chicken and Waffles. Imagine a bunch of potatoes drowned in a run-of-the-mill sweet onion salad dressing, and you've got the picture.
I'm a potato chip freak, and if someone gave me another bag of these, it would gather dust on the shelf. We're barely in the 2-NOM range, here.
Lay's Sweet Onion: - Good
Original Lay's(for comparison): - Great
Thursday, April 18, 2013
Doritos rolled out another limited edition flavor along with their continually-iterated Sour Cream & Onion. This newbie is called Jumpin' Jack, and it has its own branded emblem and everything!
Let's face it: pepper jack cheese is freaking delicious, so much so that it should be incorporated to all of our favorite foods; it was simply a matter of time until this product was created. Granted, Doritos already has several examples of its attempts in combining cheese, chiles, and spices (as does Cheetos and Fritos, for that matter), so this really isn't a new idea.
Whatever they changed this time, they got it right. The flavor powder dusting on the chips looks lite, but these pack as much flavor as any Doritos mainstay. Put a bit too simply, these taste like a spicy combination of the brand's flagship flavors Nacho Cheese and Cool Ranch. I actually crushed a handful of both the former and the latter and ate it with a spoon out of a bowl to see how right I was, and I wasn't far off.
The lady of the house commented that the cheese in the mix tasted a bit like plastic cheese. I think that's her way of articulating the difference between this snack's light, young, and overly-creamy cheese flavor, as opposed to the fairly aged flavor of Nacho Cheese's seasoning. And this cheese character invokes Monterey Jack surprisingly well.
Said creaminess on the tongue is cut by "spices"-- like onion, garlic, cumin, maybe coriander-- and chile, most of which is clearly jalapeno. It doesn't get more complicated than that and there's not much more to say, but the balance in the seasoning is immaculate. You'll keep reaching for these until they're gone.
These are just a hair away from 4-NOMs.
Doritos Jumpin' Jack:- Great
Original Doritos Nacho Cheese(for comparison):-Great
Thursday, April 11, 2013
In the eternal dichotomy of Coca-Cola and Pepsi, I've always been more of a Coke man, though I adore both products. However, when it comes to producing ephemeral noms, deference need be given to Pepsi.
Perhaps it's because Pepsi is a smaller and a less universally monumental brand than Coke. Perhaps it feels its brand is able to be a bit more malleable without disappointing a literally global clientele that demands the same unchanging bliss, like Coke might feel.
Like a music artist unchained by the expectations of a corporate megalabel, Pepsi has issued variations of their products which, while perhaps not blockbuster sellers, have been exemplary in their innovative ideas and in quality. Mountain Dew(a Pepsico brand) alone has been an ephemeral nom powerhouse, from my recent look at Mountain Dew Pitch Black line, to the DEWmocracy line, and more. Classic Pepsi variations shouldn't be looked over either, however: who can't forget Crystal Pepsi, or perhaps the less-memorable Pepsi Blue... and of course my personal favorites Pepsi Holiday Spice and Pepsi Vanilla.
Well, Pepsi has done it again with a cross-branding venture called Pepsi X. While the letter X can get a bit tiresome in branding, this product is specifically tied to the Fox TV show "The X Factor".
Why is a product named "X" or tied in with "The X Factor" flavored with dragonfruit? I have no idea. Dragonfruit products tend to never taste like dragonfruit; while exotic-looking on the outside, real dragonfruit actually tastes like very little on the inside. Its mealy white flesh, while sweet, is flavored very subtley, with perhaps a little muskiness to it.
The more I drink this soda, the more I realize that there indeed might be dragonfruit in this drink. The slight musky flavor is there, but I'm not sure there's any more dragonfruit likeness. This stuff is sweeter than original Pepsi, as most of the Pepsi variants are. Oddly, there's a slight spiciness that comes about on the tongue that approaches cinnamon and allspice. Perhaps whatever dragonfruit flavors in the mix bring about Pepsi's already-present spices in its formula? Anyway, I'm really enjoying it, and I'd go so far as to say that the heightened spices approach a character like Pepsi Holiday Spice, one of my favorite ephemeral noms of all time.
Pepsi knocks another flavored cola out of the park.
Pepsi X:- Great
Original Pepsi(for comparison):- Great