Wednesday, September 16, 2015

M&M's, Apple Jacks, and Cider Mill Donut Ice Cream.

Autumn walks are one of life's finest pleasures. The crinkle of leaves underfoot, cool breeze rattling the branches of every tree, and color everywhere you look. It's a good thing too, as the influx of new snacks necessitates as much exercise as possible to avoid becoming the subject of a TLC series. Judging by news of this years snack food crop we're all going to need a gym membership.

M&M's may only be in second place behind Oreo for output of seasonal varieties. The past few years they've given us fall flavors like pumpkin spice or candy corn (which has returned this year). The first flavor I heard of for this year was pecan pie which I'll admit nearly made me vomit in my mouth, a reaction I nearly acted out upon opening a bag of them. No joke, these smell terrible. One of the worst smelling candies I've come across in a good while. Sure I'm biased as I've no love for pecan pie but it's still a rotten stink all the same. Taste on the other hand is another matter and I'm surprised to report these are pretty yummy. They don't really achieve the full pie flavor so much as the praline goo at the bottom yet it's an overall pleasing experience. I wouldn't tell anyone to go out of their way for them unless you're huge on praline and nose based challenges but if you come across a bag, they're not a bad addition to the season.
Pumpkin spice latte is an alteration from the previous attempt at normal pumpkin spice. The experiment didn't quite pay off in the manner they may have intended as the result is closer in taste to chai than it is to latte. If you're a big chai lover like my sister, consider this a ringing endorsement. I should note however that like the previous pumpkin spice variety these have an element of scented candle in both their scent and flavor. It doesn't ruin them, but it does make everything seem a little too artificial for my liking.
While these new flavors neither make or break my seasonal spirit, they are a decent addition to the snack crop. Most important of all is they taste best when mixed together. If you have stores nearby with both in stock, toss em in a bowl for best results. Just make sure it has a lid to seal in the smell.

Hudsonville Cider Mill Donut ice cream came as a complete surprise to me. Being regional brand it doesn't get the social media press that a lot of other companies receive but it more recent years Hudsonville has been issuing some outstanding flavors and this ranks among their highest achievements.
What we've got here is apple cider flavored ice cream with am apple swirl of some kind and donut pieces throughout. That part was particularly tricky as the last ice cream I'd tried with donut pieces failed severely. These were fresh and tasty though and combine perfectly with the ice cream which comes across as refreshing rather than tart. So far this is the champ of the new Halloween snacks and it's liable to stay there. If you're within reach of a store that carries the brand do your best to hunt down a tub of this fine treat. You won't regret it.

Of course no Halloween would be complete without the return of the monster cereals. Got a box of Booberry in the pantry at this very moment. A few other cereals are doing their best to get in the spirit as well with spooky boxes, orange coloring, or bone shaped marshmallows. Speaking of which, let's talk about Apple Jacks. AJ has long been out of the running for favorite breakfast foods. It's just not potent or flavorful enough to make up for being a nutritionally lackluster cereal. Not bad stuff mind you, but why waste your sugar intake budget on a lesser snack?
This spook season, AJ along with Fruit Loops have put on some solid new boxes and thrown in skeleton marshmallows and the results are quite pleasing. The marshmallow bits are really good. Very creamy tasting which combined with the apple flavor almost gives off an apple pie vibe. There's a lot of those flavorful little bones too. I mean a lot. These things must be going out of style cause the ratio of cereal bits to mallow is probably along the lines of 60/40. I'd honestly prefer AJ stay this way as I'd be more inclined to pick up the occasional box. For the time being, we can all just pretend this is another part of the monster cereal line up only this one features some kind of terrifying voodoo cinnamon stick man.

That's all for today folks. I'm planing a good sized shopping trip this week so don't be surprised if you end up reading a dozen more paragraphs about snack cakes and bat shaped chips. Ah the glories of the season.

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