Sunday, November 17, 2013

Milky Way Caramel Apple

Brace yourself for a rare ephemeral nom from Milky Way: a Caramel Apple version that was just in time to be sold in mini size for Halloween!  Red apples seem like a strange pairing with chocolate, but I went in optimistic.

As soon as you open the package, you can detect something slightly different with the aroma of the chocolate coating.  At first bite you'll notice that the candy's nougat has an assertive flavor of apple.  Unfortunately, the apple flavoring is quite reminiscent of the kind used in cheap apple cinnamon tea, which is something I despise.  Along with the apple, you might detect the slightest amount of cinnamon as well.

I hate to admit it, but this combination works.  It's delicious, and in a completely different way than normal Milky Way.  I can't eat too many of these in one sitting, but their complexity and intrigue stand alone.  I'd love to see these next year.

Milky Way Caramel Apple:- Great
Original Milky Way(for comparison):- Great

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Toll House Oatmeal Scotchies

It's not often that "Limited Edition" graces your local store's refrigerated cookie dough case, but here we are.  NestlĂ© Toll House has issued Oatmeal Scotchies, a curious combination of butterscotch morsels within an oatmeal cookie mix.

There isn't much to this one.  After being baked per the package's directions, these things are good.  The spices within the cookie batter were surprisingly complex, being heavy on the cinnamon and perhaps with some nutmeg as well.  The cookie was so good that the morsels may have even taken away from the experience.  Aside from that, I'm not sure how well butterscotch pairs with the oatmeal batter, anyway.  Overall, really good stuff.

Toll House Oatmeal Scotchies:- Great
Original Toll House Chocolate Chip(for comparison):- Great

Monday, November 4, 2013

Ben & Jerry's Peanut Butter Jam Session

Ben & Jerry's has a line of exclusive flavors that you can only get at Target.  Here's one: Peanut Butter Jam Session.  I'll give you three guesses on what it tries to simulate.

Yes, it's peanut butter and jelly ice cream.  It's this a good idea?  I would answer, "Moderately".  The vanilla ice cream is mixed with swirls of jelly and peanut butter, simply put.  They did one thing right here: the jam used here is raspberry jam, and it just works.  Strawberry would have been more boring, and grape would have been a disaster.  And while I'm biased toward creamy peanut butter, I think Ben & Jerry's use of the crunchy variety adds a texture that isn't entirely welcome here.  And unfortunately, peanut butter, jelly, and cream don't make the most natural of combinations.

It's good stuff, but the little things here detract from the experience.

Ben & Jerry's Peanut Butter Jam Session:- Good
Original Ben & Jerry's(Vanilla, for comparison):- Great

acquired: Target

Saturday, November 2, 2013

M&M's Pumpkin Spice

Kudos to M&M's for all of their new limited time flavors that they're testing.  In addition to past years' White Chocolate Candy Corn, we have this Pumpkin Spice to add to this autumn's repertoire, and I even just picked up a new edition for this coming Christmas season!

I'm not really sure what they were thinking when they made these.  Chocolate is such an overwhelming flavor that I feared it would drown any "pumpkin spice", and I was mostly right.  Whether these actually have any pumpkin flavor in them, it's undetectable.  If you try hard, you end up detecting some hints of pumpkin pie spice flavors: mostly allspice, with maybe a bit of nutmeg and cinnamon.  It's pleasant, but barely there, and these candies end up tasting almost identical to the original.

In all fairness, allspice is such a seldom-used ingredient in American cuisine that when an average American tastes it, they might think of pumpkin.

M&M's probably doesn't want to overuse their white chocolate variety as a base for other flavors, but milk chocolate really doesn't sing well with much else.  One thing they did get right: these candies are slightly larger, like most of the ephemeral M&M's varieties.  The larger size increases the amount of chocolate in each candy, thereby decreasing the proportion of candy shell, and it makes it better.  Click here for more discussion of how changing proportions can make a snack even better than the original.

M&M's Pumpkin Spice:- Good

Original M&M's(for comparison):- Good