Friday, August 30, 2013

Pringles White Chocolate Peppermint

We're taking a momentary detour for the next three posts, back to last winter.  Pringles took a step on the wild side for a change and offered White Chocolate Peppermint.

Now, chocolate covered potato chips are totally a thing.  And it makes perfect sense that such a snack could just as easily be covered with white chocolate, even some that's been flavored with peppermint.  Such a logical conclusion would lead you astray, in the case of this product.  Indeed, these are Pringles chips that are simply dusted with a flavor powder, just like any other Pringles variety.

How does this one stack up?  Poorly.  I commend Pringles for capturing both white chocolate and peppermint in their seasoning, but in the end, it just doesn't pair well with a salty potato crisp.

As always, I applaud radical experiments, but that doesn't meant it tastes good.

Pringles White Chocolate Peppermint:- Passable
Original Pringles(for comparison):- Good

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Pop-Tarts Frosted Red Velvet

Many people may not realize it, but red velvet cake is a type of chocolate cake.  More specifically, it is a delicate chocolate cake with a hefty dose of vanilla, traditionally served with cream cheese frosting.  The cake's red color originated from the use of naturally-processed cocoa along with acidic ingredients like vinegar and buttermilk to bring out the cocoa's red anthocyanins.  The resulting earthy color was boosted years later with beet juice and food coloring.  Alton Brown can explain it better than I.

Once again, Pop-Tarts proves that it can make a really mean vanilla pastry.  Vanilla's flavor dominates here, with chocolate only barely detectable, if at all.  It seems that a hefty amount of butter flavoring was used in the pastry's filling, which is an attempt to simulate cream cheese frosting, I imagine.  And, just like a proper red velvet cake, these Pop-Tarts sport an attractive red color with a striking white frosting and filling.

This buttery vanilla effect is quite delicious, especially when toasted.  However, it barely resembles its namesake in flavor.

Pop-Tarts Frosted Red Velvet:- Great
Original Pop-Tarts(Strawberry, for comparison):-Good

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Mountain Dew LiveWire

Congress is in recess, and August's dog days are upon us here in Washington.  In such oppressive humidity and heat, a refreshing beverage surely is the cure, no?

Every summer Pepsico releases Mountain Dew LiveWire.  I thought they might not do it this summer, but I was wrong.  Evidently the product is successful enough to bring back every year, and they've been doing this for 10 years now.

LiveWire is essentially an orange-flavored Mountain Dew.  Unfortunately, the company uses a heavy hand with the drink's orange flavoring, and whatever redeeming qualities that Mountain Dew boasts are barely there for LiveWire.  It's more like an orange soda with a kiss of Mountain Dew.  Every successful Dew iteration has had the Dew elevate it to something else, and this doesn't hit the mark.  It's a wonder it's been around for 10 years.  Perhaps this is a lesson on what artificial scarcity can do.

Mountain Dew LiveWire:- Good

Original Mountain Dew(for comparison):- Great

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Eggo Seasons S'mores

This appears to be the summer variety of Eggo's Seasons line, which offers seasonal variations of their normal products.  I welcome this marketing strategy.

To me, making something in a s'mores flavor is almost like cheating, since I've found that most of these iterations tend to be quite tasty.

But how do you make a frozen waffle taste like s'mores?  It looks like Eggo struggled with this question just like I did.  Instead of flavoring the entire waffle, they inserted small bits of marshmallow and chocolate into the batter so that the final product is speckled with little sweet bits.  The waffle itself seems to be of their whole wheat variety, which I suppose is to imitate the graham cracker in this equation.

In the end, it ends up tasting not much different than the original.  The occasional bite will have a sweet and chewy tooth to it, and it overall tastes slightly of chocolate.  It's good, but not different enough to be notable.

Eggo Seasons S'mores:- Good
Original Eggo(for comparison):- Good

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Turkey Hill Southern Lemon Pie

 See those bottles in the background? This is my blog that describes what I do with them.

One of best things about ephemeral ice cream flavors is that they're often indicated loudly on the carton's lid!  Look for that next time you're in the freezer aisle.

Turkey Hill has been known to throw out a lot of exciting new flavors, and this one follows suit as a fresh summery offering: Southern Lemon Pie.

The color is a bright, festive, and disturbingly artificial yellow, but that's where the intimidation stops.  Stirred into the ice cream are bits of pie crust and marshmallow: the pie crust is just about perfect and manages to maintain some texture even though it's been soaking in cream; the marshmallow attempts to mimic meringue, I imagine, and while it's not perfect, its texture definitely invokes the traditional lemon pie's white topping.

But for me, the star of this show is the ice cream itself.  The lemon flavoring present almost identically imitates lemon curd/custard.  It's bright yet rich, and it makes me feel like a kid.  But on top of this, Turkey Hill have gone the extra mile with texture.  I'm not sure how much xantham gum and pectin normally play a role in ice cream products, but this one would indicate that it has more of the stuff than normal.  The result is a thick, gummy texture that accurately portrays the mouth feel of lemon pie's curd/meringue duo.  After my first bowl of this stuff, I swore that the formula included a bit of cream cheese to improve the richness and texture, but in reality it was the work of Turkey Hill's chemical magicians.

Bravo.  Let's home this becomes a yearly seasonal offering.

Turkey Hill Southern Lemon Pie:- Outstanding
Original Turkey Hill(Vanilla, for comparison):- Good