Thursday, June 21, 2012

Pringles Original Hot Sauce

While Pringles puts out plenty of flavors that are arguably ephemeral, it's not often that they issue a Limited Edition, but that's just what they've done!

I'm evidently late to the game, since it seems that these chips were released with another flavor to celebrate the ending of football season back during the winter, as would be indicated by the pigskin-like label on the can.  Oh well!

This variety seems to take a different tack than other "buffalo" style chips, and though it's far from perfect, it's a pleasant surprise.

Most chips flavored with hot sauce offer a very bold flavor, but these seem to attempt restraint.  Whatever hot sauce flavor it contains shies away from the overly pungent varieties that may most often be on your favorite establishment's hot wings and instead offers something more sharp and vinegary, not unlike Tabasco.

You'll find an exceptionally vinegary bite to these, much more than you'd expect from any buffalo-style competitor.  And as someone who's obsessed with salt, I can tell you that these are also much saltier than any snack I've had in a long time; despite the fact that they're not incredible, the salt makes me keep reaching for more.  It takes effort to discern the chili flavor in these.  In the end, they only taste like salt & vinegar chips with a bit of chili, but that's not necessarily a bad thing.

Pringles Original Hot Sauce: - Good

Original Pringles(for comparison): - Great

Acquired: Walmart

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Pop-Tarts Wildlicious Frosted Wild! Fruit Fusion

Note: This product was originally reviewed as an ephemeral nom, but as of 8/14/2013, it appears to be permanent.

Pop-Tarts has had their Wildlicious line out for a while now, but I don't think they're destined for greatness.  Their flavors are a bit wacky and their package designs don't scream "market stability" to me.

The packaging itself is one of the craziest I've ever seen, with its eye-catching blue and orange schema that seems like it's meant to mesmerize young children in the cereal aisle to scream for their parents to buy it.  When unsheathed, the pastry's craziness continues with bright orange frosting (with additional red frosting drizzles) and also what Pop-Tarts is calling "sprinkles" but is really more like flecks of colored rock candy.  Geez.  The aesthetic of this product so far is exhausting.

Oddly enough, the flavor of this visually and nomenclaturally complicated food is anything but.  While the marketing would have you believe that it would taste like a cornucopia explosion of myriad fruits, it is instead quite tame, and dare I say refined.  To my surprise, the dominant flavors in the filling are the very ones pictured on the box's front: strawberry, cherry, and orange.  The snack tastes mostly like the original Strawberry Pop-Tarts, but clearly cherry has been mixed in as well.  The most surprising and pleasant addition to this mix is the slightest bit of orange whose tartness balances the sweetness in a way that makes this superior to most fruity Pop-Tarts I've ever had.  While its website would have me believe that the filling also contains raspberry and blueberry, and its ingredients list would suggest apple, the only other flavor I can pick up is perhaps the smallest hint of banana.

This flavor is superior and elevated compared to almost any other fruity Pop-Tarts product because of the balancing addition of tartness, but it's not quite enough to get it over the 2-NOM plateau.

Pop-Tarts Wildlicious Frosted WILD! Fruit Fusion: (Good)
Original Pop-Tarts(Strawberry, for comparison): (Good)

Acquired: supermarket

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Cheetos Crunchy Salsa con Queso

Note: This is a Presumptive Ephemeral Nom.

New Cheetos really get me excited when they catch my eye, mainly because Cheetos is one of the most conservative brands when it comes to varying their products.  It's been years since Cheetos Crunchy Cheddar Jalapeno was released and, before that, I can only think of the Cheetos Crunchy Flamin' Hot which came about years and years before.

Salsa con Queso? Ay dios!  And the packaging is quite attractive, too.  I suppose Cheetos is continuing their southwestern flavor motif.  I'm not complaining, but I'm hesitant.

Unfortunately, these aren't very memorable.  The classic cheese flavoring is present in full force, but added alongside is a run-of-the-mill salsa seasoning, the kind you'd find on the popular Salsitas chips, but less flavorful.  I would describe the flavor of said seasoning as mostly tomato and a bit of onion with an acidic kick that adds a touch of sourness.  This sourness is not welcome here, and it simply doesn't pair well with Cheetos Crunchy's classic flavor.  If this "southwestern cheese" flavor idea had been more like Doritos Jacked Enchilada Supreme, I would have been warmer with my welcome.

Cheetos Crunchy Salsa con Queso: - Passable
Original Cheetos Crunchy Cheese: - Great

Acquired: vending machine

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Herr's Baby Back Ribs

Note: This is a Presumptive Ephemeral Nom.

Like Utz brand snacks, Herr's is also an East Coast regional brand.  Also like Utz, Herr's is known to offer tons of hard-to-come-by variations on their products that really push the envelope.  I guess these regional companies have more leeway with their R&D money/practices?

I'm continually impressed with Herr's unorthodox flavors, and this is no exception.

The bag is opened and an aroma of smoke and vinegar hit the nose.  The first taste continues with the smoke and a bit of sweetness (the ingredients list indicates that this is provided by tomato and molasses flavorings).  The flavor continues with a traditional barbecue chip seasoning, with a bit more onion and garlic poking through than you'd expect.  The finish of these things is surprising, however... you get pork.  Indeed, there is pork flavoring in these chips.  The tail end of the experience gives you a smoky pork note that really sets this snack apart from its peers.  It feels like fried pork rinds were ground into a powder and used as a seasoning.  Bravo!

Herr's deserves credit for creating such a unique product.  While I love meat-flavored snacks, from things like my aforementioned cheeseburger Doritos to Chicken in a Biskit to Asian shrimp crackers, I don't think that it's done enough.  Americans aren't used to having junk food flavored like meat (or fish), but I bet a product like Herr's Baby Back Ribs could get the process started.

Herr's Baby Back Ribs: (Outstanding)

Herr's Barbecue(for comparison): (Good) 

Acquired: Giant