Monday, April 18, 2016

Spring Snacks: M&M's Nut Flavors, Mystery Peeps, and Amazing Cheese Balls.

Big announcement! I've got an article up on! That's right, no longer am I solely confined to the world of blogger. Someone has actually seen fit to carry my inane ramblings to an even bigger audience. If you're at all interested, check out my post over there and maybe leave a comment or spread it around. It'll earn you some good karma, I guess. Check it out.

Writing for other websites isn't the only thing I've been up to lately. I also got a new job, apparently a new doctor, and all sorts of fun new things. Basically I've been busy with a lot of real world responsibility lately. You know, the boring stuff. Other than a couple appointments and starting the new job, things should return to the proper flow sloth and ignorance soon.
That break from regular blogging means I've got a backlog of things to talk about like the surge of springtime snacks that have been hitting stores lately. Seeing as I was strolling through ankle deep snow a week ago, the sudden shit to nearly eighty degree weather is confounding to say the least. Outsiders may not know it, but when Tim Allen does those soothing travel ads, sudden and violent shifts in temperature is Pure Michigan. The accompanying onset of pollen has left me a little dimwitted as well. Having the option of opening the windows and listening to the toads and crickets is a fair trade for the frequent brain farts. What was I talking about again? Oh yes, candy.

One of the biggest product launches going on now is M&M's nut face-off. This threesome of Honey-Nut, Coffee-nut, and Chili-nut are competing for a place in the regular line-up based on a voting competition. I grabbed all three from Walgreen's figuring I'd enjoy at least one of them. I mean it's M&M's. The pretzel variety is piratically mana from heaven. None of these deserve to share self space with their candy brethren. Without a doubt this is the worst selection of vote for your favorite flavors I've ever encountered. Honey is overdone and seems artificial, coffee is weak and dirty tasting, and the less said about chili the better. Thankfully I've got this GIF to properly illustrate my reaction. Suddenly spending three hours on giphy seems totally worthwhile.

Unwilling to be outdone by candy, the folks at Little Debbie have given the Zebra treatment to Cake Rolls, Nutty Bars, and Brownies. I could only bring myself to buy two of these as I remain convinced Debbie's brownies are a pox straight from hell.
Zebra Nutty Bars turned out alright. Nothing amazing but nothing to scoff at. They've got a few interesting cosmetic differences to help them seem special but in reality they don't even match up to their normal counterpart.
Zebra Cake Rolls on the other hand deserve a regular spot in the Debbie selection. Pretty much everyone can agree that both traditional Swiss Cake Rolls and Zebra Cakes are awesome in their own right. The merging of the two is positively divine. You get the Zebra flavor with the heft and moisture of the Rolls, god is it ever a good mixture. Plus they're enormous! Absolutely a proper snack for big lads like myself. You should go stock up.

Now I dunno about you folks but for me and the nephew/nieces, Peeps are kind of a big deal. We indulge in every new variety that comes our way and even mix a few of em for extra fun. Part of this Easter's line-up were three new entries in the mystery flavor category. Last year's mystery turned out to be the very tasty fruit punch which got its own proper and hard to find release this year. As for this new contenders, let's take a look.
Flavor #1 wasn't too bad. I felt confident they were aiming for some kind of choco flavor and sure enough these are supposed to be Hot Chocolate. They're definitely not going to please every peep fan but they were at least an interesting novelty.
Flavor #2: Was gross, very gross. Not quite as bad as some of last fall's varieties but there was some sort of salty corn thing going on that just doesn't work in marshmallow form. Some studying revealed that the flavor is supposed to be Buttered Popcorn. I can only imagine the person who came up with this idea was trying to get fired.
Thankfully Flavor #3 proved to be legitimately tasty. At first it seemed like an alternate take on the Fruit Punch flavor but according to the internet, these are supposed to be Sour Cherry. I find that a little surprising as these lack the severe edge sour versions bring to the table. Wouldn't mind seeing these return someday.

Another Peep variety on the market is Cotton Candy. As a fan of both treats these were such a good way to induce sugar shock. They completely nailed the flavor. I supposed there's some poor soul who sees this as the merging of two great evils. In a way they're right. So yea, I love em.

Possibly the best surprise in the Easter candy department was the slew of new Russel Stovers Marshmallow Eggs. I didn't get to try all of them but of the ones I managed to sneak into my lower intestine, three stood out as special. First up was Key Lime which was nearly too strong but for those of us who like our lime with some kick, this was good. Pineapple turned out be pretty damn tasty by being lite and nuanced. There was just enough fruit flavor to set it apart from the pack. The winner of the trio and one I hope to see return is Mango. It walked the line between the other two, being lighter than Key Lime with just a little more fruitiness than Pineapple. I took down more than my fair share of these and I'm not ashamed of it.
Your best bet at finding these is probably at the nearest Walgreen's. They may still have a few on clearance and I'd recommend you buy up as many as possible.

The next snack is hardly new but I felt the need to share it for anyone looking to relive some old memories. Those of us who are old enough fondly remember Planters Cheese Balls. In the vast landscape of cheese puffs, nothing could compare to a can of Planters. They were moist, flavorful, amazing testaments to mankind's gluttony. For some reason the dumb bastards stopped making it years ago, leaving many of us with fond memories and an urge to find a proper replacement. That's where Better Made steps in.
For those who don't know, Better Made is a Detroit based snack company that makes the standard spread of potato chips and the like. Recently I decided to try out their Cheese Balls since Menards had them on sale and oh god what find they are. This is the closet I've come to finding a true replacement for the old Planters stuff. It's incredibly cheesy, very moist, leaves a think orange film on your fingers that demands to be sucked off. Lord is this ever a suggestive food review. Even the packaging is a fair proximity to the old classic. If you're in distribution range of Better Made stuff, you owe it to yourself yo pick up a can of these lovely balls.

Well kids. I've actually been writing about snack foods until sunrise. I need to get some sleep for another busy week. Let me know of any awesome foods you find out in the world and wish me luck with the new job. I'll be back soon. Enough to work on this backlog of goodies.

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