Saturday, September 28, 2013

Heinz Tomato Ketchup Real Jalapeño

It's not often that one sees Heinz ketchup offer a limited time variation.

The moment I heard about it, I dashed to my local store, and I found myself rewarded.

Jalapeño is one of my favorite flavors, though it seems an odd bedfellow for ketchup.  Despite the fact that tomatoes and jalapenos are often paired, my uneasiness regarding their pairing here seems founded.  Why?  Because ketchup tends to trounce whatever flavor to which it's applied.  Its sugary presence leaves no room for nuanced flavors, and I would generally call jalapeño as "nuanced".

As it hits the tongue, the condiment tastes as it usually does, with perhaps the slightest spicy entry along with a more savory debut than the average.  The middle of the experience seems run-of-the-mill, as the sugar of the ketchup mostly cancels out whatever spiciness may have been present on the actual taste buds.  After the swallow, however, the spice returns and burns the throat, and not in an unpleasant way.  Overall, almost no flavor of the actual jalapeño is present.

In the end, it offers and interesting and different way to experience ketchup (and however it is applied to your favorite food), but not quite enough to elevate it.  I welcome more forays such as this from Heinz.

Heinz Tomato Ketcup Real Jalapeño:- Good
Original Heinz Tomato Ketcup(for comparison):- Good

Friday, September 20, 2013

Gatorade Strawberry Lemonade

Gatorade has issued this flavor recently and has been advertising the hell out of it at 7-Eleven locations.

There's really not much to this.  They've taken two flavorings that they use for some of their normal drink varieties and have combined them for a limited edition one.

Admittedly, strawberry and lemonade are a good combination in general, and they're a good combination here.  The sweetness/tartness balance is good, just like in any Gatorade product, and the strawberry does not come across as candy-like and artificial, which is tough to do, in my opinion.

Gatorade Strawberry Lemonade:- Good
Original Gatorade(Orange, for comparison):- Good

acquired: 7-Eleven

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Ben & Jerry's Piña Colada

Ben & Jerry's is one of those brands that I really have to commend for keeping things fresh with their product's varieties.  Their stable of flavors is one of the biggest in the ice cream industry, those permanent flavors are always changing every few years, and they often send out "Limited Batches" of flavors to test on America's tongues.

This summery offering caught me off guard.  When I think of Ben & Jerry's ice cream, I think of them as rich and decadent.  Perhaps not as high in fat as something like Häagen-Dazs, but Ben & Jerry's original ice cream has always signified high quality ingredients and flavors that are full and assertive.

The first bite makes it clear that this stuff is not meant to be the rich and hedonistic mix that can soothe sorrows after a tough day or a bad breakup.  No, B&J have gone out of their way to make this Limited Batch light and refreshing.  The first ingredient in the product's Nutrition Facts is indeed cream, but the second is skim milk.  The result is that the mouth feel of this product is more like sherbet than ice cream.  In fact, it's not unlike the fabulous So Delicious coconut milk ice creams, though this product does not use coconut milk.

The "cream" is flavored with both coconut and pineapple that is very well balanced and instantly invokes the Piña Colada.  In addition, folded into the ice cream are small bits of dried coconut and dried pineapple.  Because these bits have sat in a tub of cream since its production in the factory, they end up being slightly rehydrated, and the resulting texture is nicely chewy.

A bowl of this stuff would hit the spot after mowing the lawn, for example.  But in the end, it doesn't quite reach the euphoric experience that defines ice cream as an indulgence.

Ben & Jerry's Piña Colada:- Good
Original Ben & Jerry's(Vanilla, for comparison):- Great

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Fudge Covered Ritz

Our final late-summer post about a product from last winter.  Ritz decided to cover their crackers with fudge.  Not a bad idea, right?

Ritz is mostly regarded as a savory product, but because it's really only butter and flour, it can definitely act as a sweet one as well, and that's the tack that Nabisco is trying to take here.  I went in with high hopes, but I ended up disappointed.  The entire draw of Ritz, it's buttery and toasted flavor, are undetectable when paired with the mouthful of chocolate that accompanies it.  In turn, its crunch is more or less dampened by the rubbery snap of the coating as well, which itself is nice, but the two textures don't pair extremely well.  In fact, the texture very much reminds me of LU Petit Écolier cookies, but not quite as good.

For a more interesting take on the potential of sweet Ritz crackers, I would guide you to the Honey Wheat variety, which is sold year round.

Fudge Covered Ritz:- Good
Original Ritz(for comparison):- Great

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

White Fudge Covered Oreo

This past holiday season Oreo issued a seasonal offering which they've been known to offer before: White Fudge Covered Oreo.  If I'm not mistaken, this isn't the only type of Oreo that's been fudge covered, but it's really the only one to which you should pay attention.

The construction is quite simple: it's an Oreo cookie sandwich dipped in white chocolate.  And, while the structural balance of the snack may not be ideal for my tastes, the flavor is quite good.  I've been know to pan Oreo when they neglect the virtue of balance, and despite that this snack is simply an onslaught of sugar on the tongue, it works.  The "fudge" overtop the Oreo sandwich is run-of-the mill white chocolate, so pure that its buttery flavor(mostly pure cocoa fat) doesn't interfere with the flavor of the chocolate cookie or vanilla creme.

I'll say it again, this is a victory on flavor, but not on anything else.  Look toward Oreo's new Fudge Cremes snacks for a lesson in how to balance cookie, creme, and chocolate coatings.

White Fudge Covered Oreo:- Good
Original Oreo(for comparison):- Great