Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Nana's Cookies!

 We found out about Nana's cookies through our Twitter channel and they were kind enough to send us a few of their special snacks for us to sample.

Special in what way?  They're vegan, have no dairy products, no cholesterol, refined sugars, hydrogenated oils, GMO's, trans fat, and more!  I'm not a vegan but I was fascinated to see how these compared to normal cookies.  We recieved three cookies:  Chocolate Chip, Sunflower, and Double Chocolate.

So flavor wise?  I went in with an open mind and came out pleasantly surprised.  I would seriously consider eating Nana's offerings over normal store bought cookies.  Why?  We'll go into that in just a moment.  I just want to point out  It was the first time in at least a year I'd pulled out a glass of milk to enjoy cookies with(Not being much of a sweet tooth). 

So here's the breakdown of what we thought of each cookie:

Sunflower Cookie:  Wonderfully soft and crumbly, with the flavor of maple and sunflower seeds that complemented each other perfectly.  These reminded me of oatmeal raisin cookies, but I preferred these due to the pleasant texture and natural sweetness(They sweeten the cookies with real fruit juice instead of refined sugar).

Chocolate Chip:  Very soft, wonderfully chewy and full of straight cocoa chocolate chips with a hint of fruity sweetness.  The texture is awesome on this one, and it goes incredibly well with a glass of milk(Soy milk or otherwise).  It was rich, satisfying and not too sweet.

Double Chocolate:  Probably the most acquired taste for a cookie lover, it was incredibly rich having chocolate chips on a chocolate base cookie.  The walnuts added a really pleasant crunch.

So in summary, these offerings were all very good.  If I were to be offered these cookies in a blind taste taste I would have a hard time distinguishing between these cookies and standard grocery offerings.  For vegans or non-vegans, we highly recommend these.  We were all blown away by how delicious these cookies are.  We commend you Nana's Cookies, for offering a fantastic cookie that people with or without special dietary needs will be able to enjoy.  They truly set the bar for how much you can do with a large amount of restrictions.


Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Izze Sparkling Blackberry Juice!

We picked up this drink in the 'Organic' section of our local grocery store.  Why?  The slick look, and the Blackberry flavor(A rarity in the carbonated drink market).  That's all it took to get our attention and pick a can up.  They're sharply designed 8.5oz cans and look great.

This fizzy beverage contains 70% fruit juice, no preservatives and some vitamins added in to boot.  I'm happy to report it tastes great.  It stays true to what it says, delivering rich blackberry flavor with some fizz.  Its surprisingly smooth and not too sugary, offering a nice tickle to the back of the throat as it goes down.  Definitely worth a try if you're a fan of juice or are looking for a healthier alternative to Soda.  There are quite a few other flavors as well including Clementine, Grapefruit, Apple and Pomegranate.  If you get a few cans they'll make your fridge look like a rainbow!


Buy this snack :)

Monday, October 26, 2009

The BIGS: Buffalo Wing and Bacon Salt Seeds!

What do I like about the BIGS seeds?  A) They're sunflower seeds, which I love.  B) The variety of flavors that they offer and C) I'm having trouble writing this review because I keep reaching in to have a few more seeds.

They went with a simple idea, to infuse jumbo sunflower seeds with different flavors from different companies.  Place said seeds in resealable, bright red bags and you have a formula for success.  I've always enjoyed plain Sunflower seeds but the idea of having spicy, or smoky bacon flavored ones just hit home.  We contacted the Bigs after finding out about them on Twitter and they sent us a few bags, today we're covering the Franks RedHot flavored seeds(Known as Buffalo Wing) and the Bacon Salt infused ones.

So off the bat, love the packaging: Bold fonts, logos for the different flavor infusions(The Franks one has a hot sauce bottle, the bacon one has the Bacon Salt logo).  A warm color scheme makes these pop out, and the extra large logo definitely lets you know these seeds are large and in charge.

Flavor wise:  The Red Hot ones offer a spicy bite to the seeds that I loved.  The kick builds up as you eat more and more and it rocks.  The hot sauce flavor isn't too strong, instead being more of a mild spicy tang that complements the seeds really well.  The Bacon Salt ones have a really pleasant saltier, smoky flavor reminiscent of a slice of bacon.  I'm glad they didn't go overboard with the seasoning!  The amount of seasoning on each of these seeds is perfect and doesn't overwhelm the seed flavor..It complements it.

We commend the BIGS for offering this unique twist on Sunflower seeds.  Stay tuned for our upcoming reviews about other flavors, including Zesty Ranch and Dill Pickle!  Recommended for any seed lover out there.  These are fantastic!


Buy this snack :)

Saturday, October 24, 2009

News: Twix Java Announced!

After  very successful run in 2008, MarsFood just announced that they're bringing back Twix Java!  I had a chance to try these during that run a few years back, and its a treat I'll call: Twix for adults.  The flavor of coffee adds a really grown up vibe to this offering.  This product will be premiering as a full time treat in April 2010!

Another thing to note is the pause sign on the 'I' of Twix, which from what I can tell will coincide with their 'need a moment?' advertising campaign that has been running a few months now.  I'm personally not the biggest fan of that ad campaign, but the new packaging makes up for it.  The redesign of the Twix text really makes it pop out!  This should be an eye catcher on store shelves come 2010.

Here's a sample ad..What do you guys think of this campaign?


Buy this snack :)

Thursday, October 22, 2009

News: New M&M's Flavors Announced!

At the National Trade Show(NACS) held in Las Vegas today, the company behind Mars, Twix and other great chocolate bars announced two new flavors for their M&M line: Wild Cherry and Coconut M&M's!

The coconut flavored M&M's make their triumphant return after a limited run last summer.  The Cherry flavor will be more of a festive offering for the holiday season, premiering in December.  I'm personally a little more excited about the Coconut flavored ones, as theres been a painful lack of coconut themed treats in the market IMO.

The new packaging is awesome too, featuring some nutritional info(the snacks are around 190-210calories a pack).

The only ones available right now are the Coconut Ones, so pick em up if you want something to spice up your Halloween selection. :)  We'll review them once we get our hands on a few bags.


Buy this snack! :)

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Oh Boy Oberto Original and Hickory Jerky!

The folks over at the Kent based Oh Boy! Oberto Jerky company were nice enough to send us a ton of Jerky products to review, and we are happy to announce we'll be covering plenty of Jerky in the next few weeks.  We're going to work our way up the ladder from their basic Jerky producs to some of their newer offerings in the next few weeks. :)

To start with we're going to cover Original and Hickory, two staples of any Jerky line.  Made out of lean beef, smoked, and seasoned this is a snack I immediately get whenever we're going to be on the road for a while.  These treats come in really eye catching packaging, with a nice warm color scheme of reds and oranges and a see through section in the center so you can look at the tasty strips of jerky.  The resealable nature of these bags is awesome too, I could immagine eating these throughout the day on a hike.  The smoky, semi sweet aroma that greets you when you open a bag is seriously mouth watering on these.

The Original variety of Oh Boy Oberto! Jerky is simple in flavor with a mildly salty and smoky theme.  They have a bold meaty flavor with mild sweet accents in between bites and aren't too chewy.  The strips are decently sized and the texture of these is pleasant.  Its their flagship and its solid.  I let my sister try these(being uninitiated to the jerky world) and to my surprise she kept poking into the office to get another strip. :)  That was a good sign, if any.

The Hickory variety offers a subtle variation on the Original, using a different smoke using Hickory wood.  The difference is quite noticeable, with the strips having a meaty start with a sweet (and delicious) aftertaste after each bite.  I loved the little salty to sweet adventure that I had every time I took a bite of the hickory strips.  The difference is subtle but delicious nonetheless.

We think these initial two flavors were delicious, and recommend you give these a try if you're gaming, on the road, or need a portable snack for any occasion.  Full body flavor with portable resealable packaging, and packed full of protein.  What more could you ask for?  :)

Halloween Twilight Candies?

We just noticed these popping up in local grocery stores as of late and color us puzzled by this odd Twilight merchandising cash in.  Going under the Sweethearts: Forbidden Fruits line these candies are supposed to appeal to the 'Twi-hards' with weirder inscriptions on the hearts.  Among some of these Twilight revised messages are:

Bite Me
Bad Guy
My Love
U R My Life
True Love
I Trust You
Live 4 Ever Secret

This is probably the laziest attempt at cashing in on this Twilight madness that we've seen yet(the amount of junk with Twilight on it popping up as Halloween approaches has been mind numbing).  Guys, give it a few minutes and try to do something with y'know, some originality rather than slapping some actor faces on a box of Valentine treats and calling them Halloween candy.  And the slogan?  "The Forbidden Fruit Tastes the Sweetest."  Innuendo much?  Sheesh.


Tuesday, October 20, 2009

News: Blood Energy Potion !

This new beverage by Harcos, based in Santa Monica California is intended to treat people with 'bloodlust' and probably will please plenty of Twilight and True Blood fans. :)

This beverage is from the same guys that brought you Mana Energy Potion and Health Energy (The videogame based beverages).  This shot of bloodlust quelling red fluid is fruit punch flavored and comes packaged in a really fun pouch that looks like a transfusion bag.  This beverage will be available soon from various retailers, including Hot Topic, Fry's, Think Geek and a few other websites.

I think the packaging is awesome and will definitely be an eye catcher on store shelves, we'll see about the flavor.  You can order them now from their tongue in cheek website to get your fix right before Halloween! :)  No prescription required.


Monday, October 19, 2009

Swedish Fish!

Swedish Fish, while not being the hardest snack to find has over time become one of my favorite candies to eat every once in a while.  These Swedish snacks, originally by Malaco of Sweden are now manufactured by the Canadian based Cadbury Adams Co.

These Swedish fish shaped gummies have a nice semi firm texture with a solid berry flavor.  That is, they're not way too chewy and don't get as stuck in your teeth as other offerings might(like gummi bears).  personally really enjoyed the firm outside texture with the soft interior and always mix these with popcorn during movies to allow for a nice mix of a sweet and salty.

Its a classic treat thats been around since the early 70's, and now enjoys a cult following. :)  If you haven't had the chance to try these just yet, please..Do yourself a favor!  These can be found in just about any grocery store, IKEA, movie theatres, and any Swedish themed store. :)  Lets not forget about all the other flavors as well, from Licorice to mixed fruit!  I love 'em all.  Recommended.


Buy this snack :)

Saturday, October 17, 2009

San Pellegrino Limonata!

Once again we cover a San Pellegrino drink, the last being the delicious Aranciata(Orange flavored) soda.  So what is a Limonata?  Its Italian for Lemonade, but this version will taste much different than your typical lemonade.

As usual the packaging on these is excellent, featuring their trademark peel off lid protector.  Its an excellent feature that keeps the tops clean, and I wish more companies here would follow suit.  The Limonata has a delicious mix of tart and sweet flavor, with very mild carbonation that you'll notice as you take a swig.  The nice thing about this drink is that it also contains no artificial color and uses real sugar, and the difference is quite noticeable.  San Pellegrino Limonata has a much better taste also thanks to the usage of real Lemon juice(around 16-20% of the beverage is from juice).

These are easy to find and are as excellent as the Aranciata, although definitely more on the tart side.  If you'd like to try a mix between Lemonade and soda, you'll love this.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Kozy Shack Flan : Creme Caramel!

Today I cover Kozy Shack Creme Caramel Flan, a new offering in their line of quality refrigerated products.  Their other delicious offerings include rice, chocolate, and other styles of puddings.  What distinguishes the Kozy Shack brand from the competition?  In my opinion its the flavor, quality of ingredients(no artificial stuff or preservatives), and the homey quality of these foods.  I also just learned that all their snacks are gluten free, so it also appeals to special dietary needs.

This offering just showed up on shelves recently and having not seen this dessert alot in the US, I decided to give it a shot.  The packaging is nice and eye catching, featuring a black box with hints of red, orange and other warm colors.  They really paid attention to making it appealing, and it shows.

In terms of the cups themselves the interesting thing is the way they can be eaten.  You can either eat them straight out of the cup like any other pudding, or flip it over and serve it like a proper creme caramel on a plate(it comes out of the pack very easily).  The attention to this detail definitely impressed us.

Flavor wise?  It tasted like a mix between a Creme Brulee and a good custard, with hints of caramel.  The texture was very pleasant and it was the type of snack you didn't want to eat too fast.  Savory, sweet and velvety, its definitely worth trying if you like any type of pudding treat.  Two thumbs up!  Find it at your local grocery store.


Thursday, October 15, 2009

Kathy Kaye Peanut Caramel Cob!

Novelty foods can be a fun experience.  You never really know if the fun food your looking at will have a good taste to match.  I liked the idea of the Peanut Caramel Cob.  It's popcorn, peanuts, and caramel fashioned into the shape of a corn cob.  The green corn husks on the plastic wrapper add to it's clever packaging. 

I opened the top of the plastic wrapper, and slid the cob up, kind of like a popsicle.  The first thing I notice is the smell, it's a very sweet caramel.  I went for it, and took a decent sized bite.  The text on the wrapper did say this was soft and chewy, but... Wow.  This was unbelievably soft, and chewy.  I was expecting something just a bit more crunchy, just based on my past caramel corn experience. Lots of maneuvering was required for me to get this out of my teeth.  Texture-wise, I wasn't the biggest fan, but  the flavor made up for it.  A nice, sweet caramel melted in between crunchy peanuts, and super-soft popcorn.

Basically, the flavor of this snack is pretty good.  But it's the sticky, way-too-chewy texture that was the only con I could notice.  Give this a shot!  I nearly wish they served it at the movies, just don't expect a very crunchy texture. :)

White Chocolate Reese's Peanut Butter Cups!

 With Halloween not too far away, I thought it would be a good time to try out a favorite candy treat. White Reese's Peanut Butter Cups are a twist on an old favorite. It made it's debut in 2003 as a limited edition treat, and came back in 2004 as permanent product.

The rectangular packaging is familiar, except instead it has a mostly white wrapper, as opposed to the traditional orange. This edition is also similar in that it includes two peanut butter cups. Instead of milk chocolate, these cups are covered in white chocolate. As far as white chocolate goes, I myself can be rather picky when it comes to quality. I have found that only high quality, premium white chocolate makes the cut. (Whereas with milk chocolate, I can be more forgiving.)

This might possibly be the only exception. While not the absolute best white chocolate, it is still not all that bad. It's smooth, and fairly sweet, yet doesn't really have the distinct white chocolate taste. I think this may be partly because the peanut butter taste overpowers it. It seems the white chocolate's purpose is mainly visual. So even though I wasn't particularly wowed by White Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, I would still have to say that it wasn't all that bad. I definitely don't regret giving it a go, and I would suggest that you do the same.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Venom Energy Drink : Killer Taipan and Black Mamba Flavor!

We managed to get our hands on these energy drinks late night in Seattle while wandering around one evening, and ran into some Venom crew handing these out on the street.  This relaunched brand of energy drink decided to focus on a theme to distinguish itself and I think it works.  Venom energy is Dr. Pepper's attempt to elbow its way into the the energy drink market.  These snake themed energy drinks go off the whole idea of 'Choose your poison," which we found kind of clever.

 The two varieties we scored were the Killer Taipan, featuring a really refreshing infusion of mango flavor and the Black Mamba which had a very classic energy drink flavor, sort of like their flagship drink.  Packaging wise these drinks had eye catching colors and the snake eye motif, and were delivered in a really satisfying to hold sturdy aluminum bottle with a screw top.  I really loved the flavor and scent of the Killer Taipan, with its very distinguishable fruity mango flavor.  The Black Mamba was nothing remarkable, tasting similar to the standard Monster Energy beverage.  They delivered a good buzz courtesy of the Taurine, Guarana, vitamins and other ingredients.

I didn't experience any crash later which really surprised me, but heck..props to Venom for creating this line.  I'll be sure to pick one up next time we're up late working.  Recommended for any energy head, the Killer Taipan especially is a must try!

These are really hard to find online, but can be found at most grocery stores and some gas stations.  We'll let you know when these drinks are more widely distributed.


What Were They Thinking? Awful Tabasco Ad!

We just had the chance to see this ad as of late.  I've always been a fan of Tabasco and all the different things it could be paired with, including pizza of course.  To add that little bit of tang, spice or kick to any snack.

This recent ad is currently running on  US networks and is unfortunate enough to feature a really disgusting treatment of one of our favorite snacks: pizza.  We stand up and say no thanks to shrill, singing Pepperoni  infused with  chubby human heads.  It's terrifying on Youtube, and even more disturbing on an HD TV.  Please Tabasco, never again.  It'll take days to unsee (and unhear) this awful, retina searing ad.  We had issues with the gross out tactics of some of the recent 'What would you do for a Klondike' ads, but this takes the cake.

Nonetheless, we have space in our hearts to forgive you guys.  Your hot sauce is still good,  but your ad just came close to ruining pepperoni pizza.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Gamer Grub: Pizza Flavor!

I first ran into these snacks at E3 and was quite intrigued by the concept, a yummy snack specifically formulated for Gamers.  What exactly are these supposed to offer that make these appealing to gamers?  The addition of vitamins, 'neurotransmitters' and easy to serve, non greasy nature.  The slogans on the packaging are "Boost your game, no keyboard crumbs!"  If you take the time to read the near infinite ingredient list you'll realize that a lot of work was put into making these a one stop snack for gamers.

The current ones we're reviewing is the pizza flavor(One out of 4 flavors offered).  The mix includes a zesty blend of Cheese Curls, Tomato Almonds, Sesame Sticks, Pita Chips, Fried Onions and Pizza Cashews.  The packaging is colorful and eye catching, featuring a foil style packaging.

From what I could tell you pour a handful of these in your hand and eat them all at once, combining all the elements of the mix in your mouth to form a pizza flavor.  You could also pour them directly into your mouth as the package recommends.  Taste wise it was very good and tangy, and the mix of different flavors and textures were pleasant.  They were a little messier due to the sheer amount of seasoning but had a decent pizza flavor.  The only thing I can say is kind of lost in translation is the individual seasoning of each snack element in the mix, all the different seasonings kind of mix together.  Overall a really tasty snack to try, whether you're a gamer or not.  Nice packaging, portable, and real easy to eat.


Snickers Fudge! (Limited Edition)

I can remember being a kid, and eating a classic Snickers bar.  I can even remember my mom breaking it up into tiny, bite sized pieces for me when I was really young.  Whenever food companies come out with a new variation of a a classic product, I initially meet it with the slightest bit of hesitation.  Will this be as good as the original?  One the other hand, why constantly stick with the same old thing?  Be adventurous!  So I decided to try the limited edition Snickers Fudge bar.

The long, familiarly shaped chocolate bar is wrapped in a tan, and brown plastic wrapper.  I opened the wrapper, and noticed that the chocolate bar looks just like the original.  The outer chocolate coating is the same smooth, decadent milk chocolate.  As I took a bite, I found out that the fudge is inside the bar.  The top layer is velvety smooth, rich fudge.  The next delicious layer have the crunchy Snickers peanuts.  And last, and definitely not least, is the creamy, light peanut butter nougat.  These three ingredients come together ever so exquisitely!

This new treat is just as good as the original.  Is it better?  I don't know if I'd go that far.  But it's a delicious departure from the everyday treat.  Highly recommended!  Remember this is a limited edition, so get it while it lasts!


Buy this snack :)

Monday, October 12, 2009

Dorito's Late Night: Tacos at Midnight!

So, we were browsing the grocery store the other day, and this caught our attention right away.  Dorito's Late Night: Tacos at Midnight.  What?  Late Night?  How does that work?  What does that mean?  Totally intrigued, we picked this up.  These special edition Dorito's come in a matte black bag, with neon signs as it's text, just to drive home the fact that these are "late night". 

The familiar corn tortilla chip is coated in a dark colored seasoning, which makes it look like it's going to be kind of spicy.  As I took a bite, I noticed that while not super spicy at all, it has a fairly small kick to it.  It tasted a bit like cumin, and also had a peppery, tangy quality to it.  It definitely had taco seasoning.  I found it to be quite yummy.  The texture was crunchy like the traditional Dorito's tortilla chips.  Though I can't seem to figure out the point of dubbing these "Tacos at Midnight".  Tacos: Yes.  Midnight: I guess?  Tacos are tacos, no matter the time of day.   Maybe it was more of a reference to night clubbers, as an attempt to appeal to a different demographic. Labeling these as "late night" is simply a clever marketing move.  Hey, it obviously worked on us!   

Another interesting marketing feature is on the back of the bag.  A white outlined square icon with a white triangle inside the square, and some instructions above the icon.  The instructions say to go to their website, activate our webcam, and place the icon in front of the webcam.  We had a bit of difficulty getting this to work.  Webcam and chip bag difficulties aside, I'd recommend this Special edition snack!  Can be enjoyed anytime. :)

Ferrero Nutella!

Nutella.  Whenever I hear any mention of that wonderful product, what does it bring to mind?  A happy childhood, sunny days and my sweet tooth sister. :)  This classic Italian confection mixes hazelnuts and high quality chocolate into an absolutely mind blowing chocolate spread.  Many imitators have tried, and failed to reproduce what Nutella achieves.  Perfection, that is.

What is Nutella good with?  Spread on a nice thick piece of toast, in a delicious crepe..It goes with just about anything.  Its decadent, with the delicious hazelnut accent it delivers with its rich chocolate flavor.   Its creamy, velvety and perfect for spreading.

There isn't much I have to say about Nutella, other than that if you haven't tried it, you are really missing out.  If you like chocolate this is the thing for you, true chocolate perfection in a jar.

365 Brand Rosemary Crostini!

I've always been a fan of simple flavors in snacks, which is a quality that makes it easy to pair with other foods, as well as stand alone by themselves. 365 brand is the Whole Foods Market 'Every day value' line which features grocery style items at a decent price.

These Crostini really stand out because they offer a really delicious olive oil and rosemary flavor in a rustic, Italian style cracker. The flavor of the olive oil and rosemary go perfectly well together, while not being overpowering on your palette. They're also not too salty thankfully so we didn't find ourselves reaching for a beverage every few minutes. Another brand I tried in the past, known as 'Bella Rustica' crostini were so heavily salted that they couldn't be paired with anything else, kind of defeating the purpose.

These are perfect by themselves, or paired with cheese, tapenades, dips, pates, salumi, Nutella, and more. They bring out the flavor of other items while not competing with them. Excellent and simple, with full bodied flavor for any rosemary lover out there.

Buy these at your local Whole Foods Market! :)