Defying all stereotypes of what it means to be a woman, I’m not one of those people who runs around craving chocolate like a vampire coming off a two-week blood fast. I’ll rock a Heath bar a few times a year, but other than that, I’m more of a savory type than a sweet tooth. That said, I will admit that Peanut Butter M&M’s hold a special place in my heart. Other M&M’s aren’t terrible; I grew up in a house where there was always a bowl of them on the coffee table, whether it be regular, peanut, or mint at Christmastime, and I wasn’t adverse to grabbing a handful occasionally. But for me, peanut butter is the M&M of my heart.
Which is why I was mildly mortified when I saw the limited edition Strawberried Peanut Butter M&M’s popping up on store shelves back in May. I avoided them for as long as I could, pretending that such an atrocity didn’t exist, but now that I have this place where I write about junk food, I figured it was my duty as a citizen of the Internet to try them.
As you can see by the packaging, Strawberried Peanut Butter M&M’s were launched as a tie-in with Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. Upon first glance, the two orange Ms appear to be dressed up as Mudflap and Skidz, two new Autobots introduced in the movie. They are labeled as “The Twins”, they’re wearing the same colors as the bots in the movie, and the guy in green has a gold tooth, which they apparently had in the movie. While I haven’t actually seen the movie, there has been some controversy over these two characters – I’ve read several articles that accuse them of being racist. Gold teeth, illiterate, from the ghetto…draw your own conclusions, I’m not here to discuss cinema. Either way, probably a poor decision to have the most controversial characters in the movie representing your wholesome snack.
Seems pretty conclusive, right? Well, then I read the official Mars press release and got a little confused.
“The limited-edition flavor along with traditional M&M’S® Chocolate Candies are available in seven limited-edition collector packs featuring “Red,” “Blue,” “Yellow” and “Orange” M&M’S® characters, transformed into CHOCL-O-BOTS™ and DELECT-O-CONS™ alongside images of the dynamic “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen” characters.”
So they’re not Autobots, they’re…CHOCL-O-BOTS? And where are these Transformers that they are supposed to be standing alongside? It seems that the official Transformer guys appear on other M&M’s packages, but not the limited edition ones. Why? Furthermore, what seizure-addled brain came up with the names Chocl-O-Bots and Delect-O-Cons?
Okay, I have to admit, Delect-O-Cons is a pretty clever play on Decepticons. But still.
So what does strawberry have to do with all this? Oh, sorry, I meant “strawberried”. I guess if you’ve already come up with shit like Chocl-O-bot and Delect-O-Con, you might as well go all the way and start bastardizing words that already exist in the English language. I guess they’re trying to say that peanut butter M&Ms have been transformed by strawberry. Get it? Huh? Yeah, that’s pretty weak.
Crimes against grammar aside, I suppose I should actually eat the things at some point. I wasn’t really looking forward to this – the idea of strawberry and peanut butter together in one M&M frankly disgusted me. Upon further thought, however, I realized that I ate peanut butter and strawberry jelly sandwiches almost every day as a kid. That injected just enough optimism in my mind to go through with it.
Paying over a buck for 22 M&M’s seems a little steep, but hey, check out that snazzy faux-metal packaging up there. Giving the candies a quick sniff, I was greeted with the smell of Nestle Nesquik strawberry milk. I’m not sure if that’s a good sign or not. And, hey, where did all my colors go? Brown, red, and…baby diarrhea with red speckles? I was immediately reminded of…
Peach Jelly Bellies?! The Mars Corporation has gone mad.
The flavor is a little confusing. Upon first bite, your mouth is flooded with the exact Nesquik artificial strawberry taste that I had initially smelled. The creaminess of the peanut butter was there, but the strawberry was overwhelming. As the candy shell melted away, that familiar peanut butter M&M flavor started coming through. However, after you’ve swallowed it all, your mouth is left with the memory of strawberry. It’s all very discordant. It’s as if strawberry and peanut butter were engaged in the classic comedy bit where strawberry goes out one door just as peanut butter enters through another, so peanut butter leaves just as strawberry goes back in, repeat ad nauseam. They just never manage to meet up.
I tried sucking the candy shell off first instead of biting right into it, and had better results with that. The strawberry essence in the shell is powerful and blatantly artificial, but I’ve always enjoyed that flavor. Sucking the shell off gives time for it to fade before peanut butter steps up to the plate, wherein you’re basically left enjoying a peanut butter M&M without the chocolate component; the smoothness and flavor are basically identical. It seems that letting the shell melt off first results in a finish of peanut butter, instead of strawberry muscling its way back into the picture when you chew the candy up straight away.
All in all, I felt like I was eating two different candies – one sweet, fast-melting strawberry hard candy and one creamy inside of a traditional Peanut Butter M&M. It was bizarre, but I have to say overall it wasn’t the gastronomical nightmare I thought it was going to be. The strawberry flavor is powerful and very sweet; if you don’t like the transparently artificial character of strawberry milk, you’re not going to like these M&M’s, and if you don’t like Peanut Butter M&M’s, then why the hell would you bother buying Strawberried Peanut Butter M&M’s, you freak. In conclusion, I liked them – as two separate candies. Combined, it’s a candy that’s jarring and inharmonious.
- Score: 2 out of 5 burgers for the actual M&M’s; 4 out of 5 cans of Nesquik for the imaginary strawberry candy; 5 out of 5 Peanut Butter M&M’s for the imaginary Peanut Butter M&M candy
- Price: $1.19
- Size: 1.40 oz.
- Purchased at: Circle K
- Nutritional Quirks: 22 pieces of candy, 40% of your daily recommended allowance of saturated fat. And there’s not even any chocolate.