MunchPak Piks: Calbee Shrimp Chips, Nutryvitta Banana Passa, (Malaysian?) Italian Tiramisu Cookies

MunchPak Logo TapeWhen I wrote my first MunchPak review, I swore I’d never do it again, because it was epic and, therefore, rather lengthy and exhausting.

However, as I’ve continued to receive MunchPaks with intriguing items, I’ve had the burning desire to share them with the Internet, because that’s just the kind of person I am. So, instead of wearing myself out cataloging every single box, I’ve decided to pick out a few things I find interesting and make some quick little reviews about them.

And thus, MunchPak Piks has been born!

Calbee Shrimp Chips

Calbee Shrimp Chips Package

Oh, god. Oh my god. I was fooled by the all-English packaging. I figured Calbee was some sort of English or American company, and therefore the flavor would be mild and inoffensive.

No. They were horrible. They tasted just like the smell of rotting fish. I’ve never been so thrown off. I immediately chucked the bag in the trash and wished I’d never, ever had that experience. Seriously, rotten fish chips.

I can’t even tell you about the texture or anything else because the taste just drowned everything out, including my will to live.

Also, it turns out that Calbee is a major Japanese snack food manufacturer, and I need to do my research before I start eating things. And I should trust my nose, which initially went “Oh fuck, this smells like the worst fish market in the world.” Not that that would have stopped me from trying them, but I would have had a little more…caution.

Calbee Shrimp Chips

They look like little french fries. Who cares.

PS: Shrimp is listed as an actual ingredient, pretty high-up on the list. They must use rotten, rotten shrimp.

Nutryvitta Banana Passa

Nutryvitta Banana Passa Package

My first Brazilian snack! I don’t know much about Nutryvitta, because everything on the package and their website is in (presumably) Portuguese.

I was initially scared of Banana Passa, because the picture of dried bananas on their wrapper looks remarkably like bacon. I like bacon, but that’s just weird. But after the Shrimp Chip disaster, dried bananas sounded positively heavenly.

Nutryvitta Banana Passa

…Okay, maybe I should take that back.

Banana Passas are extremely sticky, which is pretty much the opposite of dried. They look terribly repulsive, as you can see. I made that face that babies make when they don’t want to eat as I hesitantly brought the Banana Passa toward my mouth.

The taste wasn’t that bad…I guess. It was like a banana that’s overripe but you think to yourself, “I can still salvage this.” Then you take a bite and realize, “Nope, this one’s a goner.” Sickly sweet and slightly rotten. The sentence “The taste wasn’t that bad” is starting to ring hollow even to my ears.

Is today “foods that taste rotten day” or something? The worst holiday.

The texture was firm yet chewy, which didn’t help matters at all. I couldn’t take more than a couple of bites before the Banana Passa followed the Shrimp Chips into the trash.

Maybe this is one of those cultural things where the taste and texture of Nutryvitta Banana Passa is perfectly normal and enjoyed in its home country of Brazil, but for me it was a definitely no-go.

(Malaysian?) Italian Tiramisu Cookies

Malaysian Italian Tiramisu Cookies Package

I picked these for two reasons: one, because these are “Italian” Tiramisu Cookies, but 90% of the package is in some Asian language. The only reason I guessed Malaysian is because there was a sticker – that was not a part of the original package – that stated that this is a product of Malaysia.

The sticker also said it was imported by JFC International, which is apparently a major distributor of Asian food products. Now you know everything that I know.

Oh right, the second reason: on the front of the package, there’s a little English. “Tiramisu Cookies With Soft Chocolate Filled Cookies. Enjoy the Italian taste of Tiramisu Cookies.”

Hey guys, I think these are cookies!

Given that my day so far has been filled with rotten-flavored food, all my hopes rest on these tiramisu cookies. These Malaysian Italian Tiramisu Cookies cookies cookies.

Malaysian Italian Tiramisu Cookies

The packaging seems a little excessive, what with the tray and the individually-wrapped cookies. But at least that means they’re tough to break!

Malaysian Italian Tiramisu Cookies Filling

Oh Malaysian Italian Tiramisu Cookies, you saved the day. The cookie has a light but crunchy texture, and the filling inside is creamy, rich chocolate, with a lovely compliment of coffee. I think there’s even a bit of crunch in the filling, but I’m not sure.

These cookies were surprisingly yummy and tasted impressively high-end for Malaysian Italian cookies. They didn’t exactly capture the full tiramisu experience, but the chocolate/coffee combo was delightful. I’d recommend you go get some, but I couldn’t begin to tell you where to find them and I’ll probably never see them again, myself.

So things went terribly wrong at the beginning but ended on a high note. That’s MunchPak for ya, folks! Until next time!

Limited Edition Marshmallow Crispy Oreo and Cookie Dough Oreo

Limited Edition Marshmallow Crispy Oreo and Cookie Dough Oreo PackagesNabisco has really gone off the rails with their Oreo flavors. If I sound like a broken record, that’s because Nabisco has really gone off the rails with their Oreo flavors. This makes it really hard to come up with something unique to say about all these new Oreo flavors. Don’t get me wrong – I love variety. But this is getting exhausting. So exhausting I’d just like to get down to business. Cookie business.

Marshmallow Crispy Oreo

Limited Edition Marshmallow Crispy Oreo Package

Right off the bat, Marshmallow Crispy Oreos and I start off on the wrong foot. Upon seeing the package, all I wanted was a Rice Krispies Treat, and then I wanted an Oreo-shaped Rice Krispies Treat sandwich with Oreo filling.

Knowing from the package that neither of these are what I would find inside, I swallowed my prejudice, as it were, and dove into what registered-trademark-respecting Marshmallow Crispy Oreos really are.

Limited Edition Marshmallow Crispy Oreo

I have to say, first impressions were pretty damn close to what the picture on the package promises: a Golden Oreo with marshmallow filling that contains little crispy bites.

Since I figured I’d get the best impression of the filling by doing what everyone does with their Oreos, which is lick the crème, I…licked the creme.

Limited Edition Marshmallow Crispy Oreo Creme

It makes me mildly uncomfortable to put a picture of something I licked with my disgusting human saliva on the Internet, but I was so impressed with the number of crispy bits in the filling that I had to share. The open, un-licked cookie just doesn’t do it justice.

Defying the odds, the crunchy bits stayed crunchy in the creme and had that Rice Krispies-esque taste and texture. The creme itself did have a bit of a marshmallow taste to it, but it was a lot sweeter and came closer to the flavor of regular Oreo filling than I would have liked.

Unfortunately, that “regular Oreo” feeling came full circle when I ate a Marshmallow Crispy Oreo as a whole. The two Golden Oreo cookies already had a bunch of crunchiness to them, which made the crunchy bits in the creme pretty much disappear.

If you ask me, the best way to truly enjoy Marshmallow Crispy Oreos is to eat the filling separately and then use the Golden Oreo cookies to…uh…I dunno, dip into some cake frosting and then go into a complete sugar coma? That’s the only way I can think of to really make Marshmallow Crispy Oreos stand out from regular Golden Oreos.

Cookie Dough Oreo

Limited Edition  Cookie Dough Oreo Package

If you’re to fall for the packaging on these cookies, the Cookie Dough Oreo looks a hell of a lot like a chocolate cookie, and is “made with chocolatey chips”. This verbiage sends up red flags, as “chocolately chips” sounds a lot like “not actual chocolate chips” or maybe “chips, but not really chocolate in nature”.

Limited Edition  Cookie Dough Oreo

Upon opening my first cookie, I feared I’d never know the truth either way, as there did not appear to be any chips of chocolatey or chocolatey non-chips at all.

Limited Edition  Cookie Dough Oreo 2

I tried a second cookie at random and found it to be a little more cookie dough-looking.

I’ve eaten my share of cookie dough back in the day, laughing in the face of E. coli or salmonella or whatever the hell they say is wrong with eating raw cookie dough. Given that I’m pretty sure my bones are made of expired Slim Jims and my blood is mostly processed cheese sauce, I just don’t have these kinds of concerns. I’m sure one day this will come back to haunt me, possibly in the form of coming back up to haunt me, but I like to live dangerously.

Enough about telling kids it’s okay to eat raw eggs; the point here is that I know what cookie dough tastes like, and I can definitively say that none of the flavors of this dangerous but delectable treat are present in Cookie Dough Oreos. There’s not even a chocolate chip texture.

In fact, the creme in these cookies tastes kind of like…a mocha caramel coffee drink? What the hell?

I was so flummoxed by this that I broke my rule of not reading other people’s reviews until I’d posted my own and went in search of other people’s opinions on these cookies, certain that somehow my tongue had gone haywire. Sure enough, The Impulsive Buy shared my sentiments almost exactly, reassuring me that I had not had a stroke.

That said, mocha caramel coffee Oreos are delicious. The problem, obviously, is that these are not Mocha Caramel Coffee Oreos, these are Cookie Dough Oreos, and, given that, they fail everything that cookie dough actually is, taste- and texture-wise.

Both Marshmallow Crispy Oreos and Cookie Dough Oreos disappointed my taste buds on some level. The former with its lack of distinct marshmallow flavor and disappearing crunchy bits, and the latter with its lack of chocolate chips and, well, cookie dough-ness.

That said, I’m not kicking either of these limited edition flavors out of my cupboard. Unlike Limited Edition Watermelon Oreos, there’s absolutely nothing offensive about either flavor. While Marshmallow Crispy is just rather pedestrian, Cookie Dough is straight rockin’, although not for any reasons its namesake would imply. Given that neither will be around long, I encourage readers to give them both a try.

Limited Edition Marshmallow Crispy Oreo and Cookie Dough Oreo

  • Score (Marshmallow Crispy): 3 out of 5 trademark infringements.
  • Score (Cookie Dough): 3.5 out of 5 WHY AREN’T THESE CARAMEL COFFEE OREOS
  • Price: $3.00 each (on sale; regular price $3.69 each)
  • Size: 12.2 oz.
  • Purchased at: Safeway #1717
  • Nutritional Quirks: Chocolate is the last ingredient listed in Cookie Dough Oreos. “Chocolatey”, indeed.

News: Wendy’s Wants to “Lettuce” Introduce You to Their Asian Cashew Chicken Salad and BBQ Ranch Chicken Salad

Wendy,s Asian Cashew Chicken Salad and BBQ Ranch Chicken Salad; Photos Courtesy Wendy's

The “lettuce” pun was Wendy’s, not mine, and I can’t decide if I wish I’d thought of it. They also use the phrase “unbe-leaf-ably tasty”. I’m proud of you, Wendy’s marketing team.

Anyways! Wendy’s has two new salads involving chicken, but that’s pretty much where the similarities end.

The new Asian Cashew Chicken Salad includes garlic-and-onion-dusted cashews, fire-roasted edamame, red peppers, sliced cucumbers, eleven different field greens (resisting the urge to make a Soviet time zone joke here) and “a Light Spicy Asian Chili Vinaigrette made with chili garlic sauce, roasted peanuts, soy sauce, lime juice and brown sugar”. That’s…a lot of ingredients!

The BBQ Ranch Chicken Salad features fire-roasted corn, diced tomatoes, Applewood-smoked bacon, shredded cheddar cheese, the same ridiculous amount of field greens as the Asian Cashew, all drizzed with honey barbecue sauce.

You may be wondering where the ranch comes into play. Well, in addition to the honey barbecue sauce, this salad also comes with BBQ Ranch dressing, “made with real buttermilk, parmesan cheese, ancho chili pepper, honey and brown sugar”.

The Asian Cashew Chicken Salad goes for $5.99 full-size and $3.99 half-size. The BBQ Ranch Chicken Salad is $6.19 full-size and $4.19 half-size. Prices may vary depending on location.


News: Taco Bell Introduces XXL Crispy Steak Taco in Its Continuing Effort to Get You Wearing Size XXL Pants

Taco Bell XXL Crispy Steak Taco, image courtesy Taco BellTaco Bell loves going XXL: So far they’ve gone plus-sized on their Chalupas, Grilled Stuft Burritos, and most recently, their nachos.

Not content to sit on their wide-bottom laurels, they’ve now gone XXL on their tacos, touting the new XXL Crispy Steak Taco as their “BIGGEST taco ever.”

According to Taco Bell’s press release, “The XXL Crispy Steak Taco features double the marinated steak, fully loaded with lettuce, tomato, shredded cheese, avocado ranch sauce and reduced fat sour cream, all in a new crispy shell.”

The XXL Crispy Tacos will launch at participating Taco Bells nationwide on February 27. The steak offering will be priced at $2.99, while the shredded chicken option will be $2.79 and the seasoned ground beef $2.49.

Jack in the Box Jack Ca$h Cards And Bork T-Shirt Giveaway Winners!

Jack in the Box Bacon Insider Burger WrappedAccidentally a day late, but here are the winners of the Jack in the Box giveaways!

Two $10 Jack Ca$h Cards: Carolsue

One $10 Jack Ca$h Card and “What Does the Bork Say” t-shirt: Andy Sage

Congrats, winners! I’ll be emailing you soon! Thanks to everyone who participated!

Jack in the Box Bacon Insider Burger (and TWO Giveaways!)

Jack in the Box Bacon Insider Burger WrappedJack in the Box always delivers on the marketing side of things, and the Bacon Insider burger is no exception. First off, we have the commercial.

I want to hate the jingle, but for some reason I find it difficult to do so, even though I managed to memorize the entire thing and get it stuck in my head after just two viewings. Well, I guess that’s the sign of a good jingle.

What does it say about me that I’d rather have the curly fry tree than the chopper out back?

What we really need to focus on here, though, is the bork. In case you haven’t figured it out, it’s beef and pork, represented in the commercial by pigs with cow-like markings on them.

This creative take on the “stuffed burger” concept seems cute and innocent in the commercial, but I sense some dark, Island of Dr. Moreau-esque undertones. This is punctuated by the bork at the very end of the commercial that proclaims, “Moink?”

It’s the desperate cry of an abomination, confusion showing in the question mark as it struggles to understand its place in nature when, in reality, it has none.

I’m just fucking with you. I instantly fell in love with “Moink?” and have said it like, five times today. It’s a delightful portmanteau.

If you want a real bonus treat, watch the Spanish-language version of the commercial, which contains mariachis wearing Mexican pointy boots, a thing I did not know existed until now. The boots, not mariachis. Credit to sometime guest-reviewer Robert for finding this gem.

Also true to form, Jack in the Box has created a special promo site for the Bacon Insider, including a tour of Jack’s farm and a game where you control a bork in…virtual space? that shoots bacon at regular hamburgers and turns them into Bacon Insiders. If this weren’t Jack in the Box, I’d consider that a bizarre sentence.

Jack in the Box Bacon Insider Burger

Here’s Jack’s long-winded description of the Bacon Insider: “Jack’s newest creation is a bacon triple threat. A juicy beef patty mixed with savory pieces of bacon. This new bacon and beef patty is sandwiched between hickory smoked bacon and topped with creamy bacon mayo, lettuce, tomato, and American cheese. All served on our new soft warm brioche bun. This burger is sure to make you want to ‘bring home the bacon.’”

Can we pretend they never used the phrase “bring home the bacon” and just stick with “moink” and “bork”? I’m sure the Swedish Chef would agree. Bork bork bork.

Jack in the Box Bacon Insider Burger Open Top

The Bacon Insider, deconstructed. The lettuce was a little sad, but the tomatoes were juicy, and look at that lovely bacon configuration. Instead of letting the slices just flop out the sides, they’ve been neatly arranged to fit in the burger. And plenty of it, too!

Jack in the Box Bacon Insider Burger Open Bottom

But wait, there’s more! And by that I mean more bacon and bacon mayo underneath the bork patty. Double bacon layer. That’s pretty awesome.

Jack in the Box Bacon Insider Burger Bacon Mayo

Speaking of the bacon mayo, I tasted some on its own and it was tangy (because it’s mayo, duh) but only vaguely bacon-y. As you can see, there were little speckles in it that looked bacon-ish, but it wasn’t like there was some JitB employee hand-crumbling pieces of bacon into the condiment.

Jack in the Box Bacon Insider Burger Bork Patty

Now we come to the bork patty. There were definitely some visible bacon pieces in the burger, and when tasted on its own, the bacon was impressively noticeable. In my experience, most “stuffed” burgers don’t actually gain any flavor from whatever they’re stuffed with, so this is a bit of an accomplishment.

Now that we’ve deconstructed the Bacon Insider, the real question is, how did it taste altogether?

I found it to be what is probably the most baconiest fast food burger I’ve ever had. The bacon strips were what I would call mid-level crispy, and the configuration of the strips, in addition to having them on top of and beneath the burger, guaranteed that I got bacon in each and every bite. How often does that happen with a bacon cheeseburger?

Looking at the big picture, it seems like it’s the proliferation of bacon strips that did all the heavy lifting on the Bacon Insider. Maybe the bork patty and the bacon mayo added a little extra bacon support, but I could also argue that their flavor disappeared under all that bacon.

The bottom line, however, is that the Jack in the Box Bacon Insider burger really does deliver the bacon goodness. (I almost made a “bring home the bacon” joke there, and then realized what I was doing and quietly backspaced. Oh, wait, I probably wasn’t supposed to tell you that.) I credit the amount and configuration of the bacon strips, but I do wish the bacon mayo and the bork patty had been able to shine a little more. However, it made for a great marketing campaign, and I learned about Mexican pointy boots!

At the end of the day, all I can say is…moink?

[Disclaimer: This Bacon Insider burger was purchased with gift cards provided by Jack in the Box. This is no way compromises the integrity of this review.]

See below for giveaway rules!


Jack in the Box Bacon Insider Burger

  • Score: 4 out of 5 Bork bork, bork bork bork bork.
  • Price: $4.99
  • Size: 1 burger
  • Purchased at: Jack in the Box #106
  • Nutritional Quirks: 68% of your daily recommended amount of total fat. But with that much bacon, can you really find that surprising?

Thanks to Jack in the Box, I have TWO freebies to give away today! One lucky person will receive two $10 Jack Ca$h Cards, and another will receive one $10 Jack Ca$h Card and a special “What Does the Bork Say” (size large) t-shirt!

Just leave a comment on this post – the two winners will be chosen at random and announced Tuesday, February 18, 2014. Make sure to include your email address – this information is not public but I will need it to contact the winners!

MunchPak: 1 Box, 25 Snacks

MunchPak Logo TapeWelcome to what I have to assume will be the longest JFB review ever written! We’ve got 25 snacks to cover, here. Don’t worry, there will be lots of pictures and we’re all going to learn some new things!

I’ve been excited ever since I heard about MunchPak back in October of last year. In their own words, “MunchPak is our solution to provide the average person with a monthly variety pack of the best and most popular snacks and treats from all over the world. Unlike other subscription boxed services, MunchPak aims to provide our subscribers with the best and tastiest snacks, as opposed to just the ‘healthiest’.”

This last part may confuse you, but I’m pretty sure MunchPak is making a jab at Graze. Graze operates off the same principles as MunchPak, but they offer healthy items such as seeds, nuts and dried fruits. They’ve been operating out of the UK for some time, and I was lucky enough to get a very early invite to the US beta of Graze.

It’s fun, but as MunchPak points out, it’s also very healthy, and does not offer anything brand name. As you might guess, the idea of having international, brand name junk food delivered to my door was something I was mighty interested in.

MunchPak Box

MunchPak sent me a sample to review, and it did not disappoint in quantity or variety.

MunchPak Contents

Some will have few words and only packaging pictures; this is just too big to get into everything. I’m going to assume Americans are familiar with some of these; I apologize to my international audience, but to be fair, MunchPak is made for US residents.

You might notice something missing – the Herr’s Ketchup Potato Chips. I have no idea where that bag went. My only two guesses are that one of my cats managed to get in the box and drag it off to some hidden location, or I got drunk and ate them and forgot I did so. The latter seems more likely.

Anyways, it looks like the rest survived, so let’s get down to business!

Chex Mix Traditional

Chex Mix Traditional Package

A classic. Can’t go wrong here.

Gardetto’s Original Recipe Snack Mix

Gardetto's Original Recipe Snack Mix Package

Another classic. Gardetto’s also makes bags that contain nothing but their Roasted Garlic Rye Chips, which I think is genius because those are obviously the best part of their Snack Mix.

de la Rosa Peanut Candy Marzypan Style

de la Rosa Peanut Candy Marzypan Style Package

Here we have our first international offering. De la Rosa is a Mexican candy company, and I see them often on store shelves. MunchPak just so happens to be based out of Scottsdale, AZ, which is about a ten minute drive from where I live, so I know for a fact they’ve got easy access to Mexican treats.

Despite the availability, I rarely sample any of these goods. There’s no particular reason for this; I’ve just never gotten around to it. This is one of the reasons why I love the idea of MunchPak so much – I might see these things on store shelves every day, but never bother trying them if it weren’t for MunchPak.

This Peanut Candy Marzypan (I love that spelling so much) Style is like deconstructed peanut butter. As soon as it hits your saliva, it turns into a sugary peanut powder.

I can’t say I’ve ever had such a candy experience before. Neither the sugar nor the peanut are overpowering, but the texture is super interesting. I can’t say I’m in love with it, but it was definitely unique.

Hershey’s Cookies ‘n’ Creme Bar

Hershey's Cookies 'n' Creme Bar Package

I used to really dislike milk chocolate, and when Hershey’s came out with this candy bar, I was over the moon about it. I’ve since expanded my horizons, but I’m still fond of Cookies ‘n’ Creme, with its white chocolate and little chocolate crunchy balls.

Meiji Hello Panda Biscuits with Milk Cream

Hello Panda Biscuits with Milk Cream Package

Hello Panda is a Japanese candy, in case you couldn’t guess. This box is adorable.

Hello Panda Biscuits with Milk Cream

Sports I was able to identify: sailing, shouting into a megaphone?, fencing, being a pirate with a scimitar?, parasailing, kayaking, rollerblading, playing basketball with a baseball, golfing, hockey, lacrosse, skateboarding, and what I can only describe as “boogie-ing”.

That’s a crazy fucking variety of prints! I’m totally impressed, Hello Panda, even if some of these don’t really seem like sports. Golf, for example. Heh heh heh.

As for the taste, it’s kind of like a thin vanilla Teddy Graham filled with some knockoff Oreo creme. I feel like I’m not really nailing it there, but I tried.

Pop-Tarts Strawberry Toaster Pastry

Pop-Tarts Strawberry Toaster Pastry Package

Hey, it’s Strawberry Pop-Tarts! Okay!

Unknown Asian Rice Cracker Thingies

Unknown Asian Crackers Package

What you see is what you get, here. Puffy cracker…things in a clear package, with three symbols on them, presumably Japanese? There’s no way for me to even look this up. If you know what these wrappers say, I’d love to hear it in the comments.

How do I describe this thing? It was very crunchy, like a dense rice cracker. It was not sweet; it had a somewhat earthy flavor to it. It tasted foreign. I wish I had better words for it. Seaweed? Some sort of bizarre curry? I’m at a loss. The one thing I do know is that I would not like to see this in future MunchPaks.

CornNuts BBQ Crunchy Corn Kernels

CornNuts BBQ Crunchy Corn Kernels Package

CornNuts are one of those snacks that I feel I’m too adult to be eating. Like, it was okay to eat them as a kid, but no respectable adult actually eats them. I’m pretty sure that’s a weird thing to think, but I will also say that as an older person with bad teeth, I’m terrified that they will break my mouth. Seriously, CornNuts are hard.

Imagine every BBQ-flavored chip/sunflower seed/whatever other snack, and you know the flavor of these CornNuts, although I will say the BBQ powder is nicely understated.

Morinaga Hi-Chew Grape Fruit Chews

Hi-Chew Grape Fruit Chews Package

Hi-Chew is Japanese in origin and was apparently created in 1931 by a guy who wanted to find a way to make swallowable gum because taking food out of your mouth is considered impolite in Japan. I guess the whole “Want some ABC gum?” joke doesn’t go over well there. Also, I’m pretty sure everything is considered impolite in Japan.

Anyways, that’s a pretty cool origin story, and apparently more than 113 flavors have been created over the years.

I got grape.

Hi-Chew Grape Fruit Chew

The texture of Hi-Chew was unlike any other chewy candy I’ve had. It was like a mix between a Starburst and a gummy bear. It lasted a little while, like the former, but was also springy and wanted to stick to itself, like the latter. Very interesting.

I wasn’t too fond of the grape flavor – it reminded me a little too much of grape-flavored medicine.

Snyder’s of Hanover Peanut Butter Pretzel Sandwiches

Snyder's of Hanover Peanut Butter Pretzel Sandwiches Package

Here’s another common snack that I’ve never bothered to try. Peanut butter pretzel sandwiches are completely pedestrian, but I’ve never had Snyder’s before. Frankly, the whole cracker/pretzel sandwich thing reminds me of elementary school day care. But if you’re looking for a high-quality snack sandwich, I would say Snyder’s is the way to go.

de la Rosa Japanese Cocktail Peanuts

de la Rosa Japanese Cocktail Peanuts Package

de la Rosa Japanese Cocktail Peanuts are vying for “favorite MunchPak snack” before I even taste them for several reasons: first off, they’re Japanese peanuts made by a Mexican snack company. So multicultural! Also, what the hell is a cocktail peanut? I can’t wait to find out!

Third and most obvious:

de la Rosa Japanese Cocktail Peanuts Package Cartoon

I have never seen a happier pair of semi-racist peanuts. I wish I could find that much joy in my life, and I’m an easily amused person.

So, if these are any indication, cocktail peanuts are peanuts with a salty, crunchy coating that actually has very little flavor, unless you count peanut. This basically makes them peanuts+. Could definitely see having a beer with these.

Penguin Original

Penguin Original Package

Those two words are the only things I know about this, without doing any research. That is all the package had to say. I assumed it was a candy. That was all.

According to Wikipedia, this is a “milk chocolate-covered biscuit bar filled with chocolate cream”. They were apparently created in Glasgow, which is in Scotland, just in case you failed geography. My first Scottish snack!

Actually, there’s one more thing – each wrapper comes with a joke! Are you ready for some laffos?

Q: What do you call a happy Penguin?

A: A Pen-Grin

I kind of love you already, Penguin.

Penguin Original Bar

The bar was basically a chocolate-covered chocolate wafer. Despite being chocolate-on-chocolate, it was actually very light, airy and not too rich or overwhelming. Way to go, Penguin!

I also really, really want to buy a case of Penguin bars just so I can read all the penguin-related jokes. Really. Really.

Kellogg’s Rice Krispies Treats Marshmallow Square

Kellogg's Rice Krispies Treats Marshmallow Square Package

Another pedestrian offering. And yet, the moment I saw it, I said to myself, you know what, I do want a Rice Krispies Treat! This is perfect.

Observant me, at first I thought this was some bizarre blank packaging. And then I saw, “A wrapper you can write on!”

Kellogg's Rice Krispies Treats Marshmallow Square Package JFB

How adorable is that for a mom making her kid’s lunch? Screw Post-It notes when you can write on a Rice Krispies Treat!

Marinela Barritas fresa Strawberry Filled Cookies

Barritas fresa Strawberry Filled Cookies Package

These guys be Mexican in origin.

Barritas fresa Strawberry Filled Cookies

I had absolutely no idea what to expect when I tried one, but when I opened the package, I was instantly reminded of Tactical Sammich, which is something you never want to be reminded of when you’re supposedly eating a strawberry cookie.

In reality, these things have the exact taste and texture of a Strawberry Fig Newton, which I guess are technically Strawberry Newtons. Another snack I haven’t had in forever. Verdict: yum.

The Original Cracker Jack

The Original Cracker Jack Package

Another classic. But there is one thing that always makes Cracker Jacks unique…

The Original Cracker Jack Prize

SCORE! A motherfuckin’ temporary tattoo. The best of all Cracker Jack prizes, in my opinion. Now, back in my day, you got a a whole booklet of the things, but I will accept Underbite Swashbuckle, He of Ye One Gold Tooth. Swashbuckle rules. If I were still in school, he’d be plastered on my cheek tomorrow. And we’re talking college, here.

De la Rosa Pulparindo Hot and Salted Tamarind Pulp Candy

de la Rosa Pulparindo Hot and Salted Tamarind Pulp Candy Package

Tamarind is a popular candy flavor in Mexico. I’m pretty sure I’ve never tasted it before. It has a Wikipedia page that is as intimidating in length as tamarind itself is in looks. The words “hot and salted” are a little scary, too, but this is all about new things and adventure.

de la Rosa Pulparindo Hot and Salted Tamarind Pulp Candy

It was like a short, thick Fruit Roll-Up, and also the stickiest candy I have ever encountered. The instant my fingers touched it, they could touch nothing else without leaving a gross residue.

It was easy to chew and the sugar quickly disintegrated, but I am apparently not fucking man enough for Mexican candy.

It tasted like a sugary, salty piece of soft taffy made entirely of chili powder. Hogod. I don’t feel comfortable calling it terrible, because I know tamarind candy is crazy popular in the Mexican community and I think I’m just experiencing culture shock. But my mouth was not ready for a chili powder Fruit Roll-Up. The more it sat in there melting, the more I thought, hmmm, maybe I could get used to this. But for now? Whoo.

Nutella Hazelnut Spread with Skim Milk & Cocoa

Nutella Hazelnut Spread with Skim Milk & Cocoa Package

I’ve never had Nutella. I’ve been told that puts me in the minority. I’ve also been told you’re supposed to spread it on toast, but I decided to just dunk my finger right in there, like the classy lady I am. Listen, I’m going through 25 snacks, here. I don’t have time for things like toast.

Also, look at that little package! It’s adorable! It’s like a single serving jam, but somehow even less healthy!

I’m not gonna get all into how it tasted since I’m guessing most Americans already know. I will say, however, that it is delicious, and I have been missing out. Thank you for educating me, MunchPak!

Walkers Pure Butter Shortbread

Walkers Pure Butter Shortbread Package

In case you couldn’t tell by the “this is my fancy kilt” packaging, Walkers Pure Butter Shortbread are made in Scotland.

Walkers Pure Butter Shortbread

And I have to say, what happened, Scotland? You did so well with the Penguin Original Bar, but this is a total disaster. It tasted like a buttery, slightly salty dog biscuit. While I’d like to pretend I’ve never had a Milk Bone before, I’m almost positive that I tried one during my curious youth, and I’m really not far off, here.

There’s only four ingredients: wheat flour, sugar, butter, and salt, but I think they switched the order around. I’m pretty sure sugar belongs last on this list. Blech. Woof.

Marukawa Strawberry Bubble Gum

Marukawa Strawberry Bubble Gum Package

This is a Japanese gum. The box is adorably small – only a little bit bigger than a quarter. You could easily forget and leave it in your pocket, resulting in a laundry disaster that I have experienced firsthand and is entirely unpleasant.

I would have made Marukawa Bubble Gum the gum of choice for my Barbie dolls back in my childhood days.

Each piece of gum is round and a little smaller than a Lemonhead, which means you’ll have to toss all four pieces into your mouth if you want anything close to a normal amount of gum.

It had a pleasant artificial strawberry with an odd hint of mint.

The texture was also very weird – the balls had a shiny coating, but that quickly gave way to the feeling that the gum was going to fall apart in my mouth at any second. Have you ever made the mistake (as a kid, hopefully) of trying to eat chocolate and gum at the same time? That was the sensation I felt, except it just baaaarely kept holding itself together. It did blow a pretty good bubble, though.

It’s bizarre to actually feel something new in the way of gum, but this certainly qualifies for me, so at least there’s that.


Chick-O-Stick Package

I’ve never had a Chick-O-Stick, but it seems like one of those candies that have always been around. According to this very narrow package, it is “Crunchy Peanut Butter and Toasted Coconut Candy”.

What does this have to do with chicks? Not a damn clue.

I’m not that fond of coconut, but of course I was going to give it a try. They’ve been around since the Great Depression, so something must be going right for them.

Holy shit are Chick-O-Sticks bright orange. But you know what? It turns out their taste and texture is almost exactly like that of a Butterfinger! I was very pleasantly surprised.

There is a faint aftertaste of coconut, but the Butterfinger-esque flavor is so strong that I really didn’t mind it, and the two went pretty well together. Lesson: don’t be scared of snacks, kids!

Marinela Gansito Filled Snack Cake

Marinela Gansito Filled Snack Cake Package

As you may have guessed, this is a product of Mexico. Apparently, “gansito” translates to “little goose”, which explains the mascot. But does anyone else think he looks like he’s barely escaping a lawsuit from Disney for looking like Scrooge McDuck’s nephews? Just sayin’.

Marinela Gansito Filled Snack Cake

Honestly, this was pretty disappointing. I guess the best I could describe it is as a generic knock-off chocolate-covered Twinkie. The chocolate covering tastes cheap, and the sprinkles on top add nothing. The sponge cake inside is okay, but the cream tastes slightly off. Just overall mildly disappointing.

Toxic Waste Sour Smog Balls

Toxic Waste Sour Smog Balls Package

This candy comes with a story on the back of the package! I already love it. Here it is! This is the longest story I’ve ever seen on a candy package!

Toxic Waste Sour Smog Balls Dr. Smogg Professor Sauernoggin


“Dr. Igor Smogg is a wealthy industrialist who made his fortune in heavy manufacturing. But his methods are wasteful and produce lots of toxic by-products, which he disposes of in environmentally irresponsible ways. His latest scheme is to pump massive amoutns of toxic smog into the atomosphere from the smokestacks of his factory. Once airborn, the pollution will condese into particles of solid waste and rain down upon the unsuspecting countryside.

“Fortunately, Professor Sauernoggin is on the case! Sauernoggin has dedicated his life to finding ways to transofmr toxic waste into good and useful products. Once blast from his [unreadable] ‘Smog-o-matic’ ray gun and the cloud will rain down delicious sour candy balls…an outcome Dr. Smogg is less than pleased about!”

Whew! That’s quite the backstory!

Toxic Waste Sour Smog Balls are Crunchy Candy with a Sour Chewy Center and come in blue raspberry, strawberry, lemon, grape, lime and cherry. Way to not fall for the green apple trend, Toxic Waste!

I dunno if I’d call the center “chewy”, exactly. More like “fall apart-y”. The sour level is what I’d call middlin’. It’s one of those novelty candies for the kids that delivers more in fun than in taste. But how can you not love Dr. Igor Smogg and Professor Sauernoggin?

Wow. We’re done. I dunno about you, but I’m exhausted. I obviously didn’t sample all these in one day; I’m not even sure that would be possible.

MunchPak offers a Mini version and a FamilyPak, and you can get it delivered monthly, bi-weekly or weekly. If I were rich, I would get a weekly family pack, but I’ve instead opted for the Original MunchPak delivered monthly for $20.20. It seems like all these snacks actually add up to more than that if you were to buy them separately, which is cool.

I got my first paid-for MunchPak before I finished this review, and I am so happy to report that my one fear was completely unfounded. I thought perhaps I’d wind up getting the same things month after month, but my two MunchPaks are completely different from each other. This excites me to no end. Seriously.

I really, really love MunchPak. I think it’s a great idea and it’s fun as hell. If you spend any amount of time in the snack aisles of the convenience store, I highly, highly recommend this.

Oh my god we’re done.

[Disclaimer: Junk Food Betty received this product free from MunchPak. This is no way compromises the integrity of my review.]


  • Score: 5 out of 5 amazing snacks
  • Price: Free (sample)
  • Size: Original
  • Purchased at: Received free in the mail
  • Nutritional Quirks: I’m pretty sure nothing in this box is actually good for you. Yay!

News: Taco Bell Wants to Get You Loaded with Two New Loaded Grillers

Taco Bell Loaded Grillers POP - Low ResStarting on January 23rd, joining the two already-existing Loaded Grillers (Beefy Nacho and Loaded Potato) are two new Loaded Grillers designed to taste like popular appetizers all rolled up in a tortilla.

The first is the Chipotle Ranch Chicken Loaded Griller, “Taco Bell’s take on a spicy chicken wing with ranch dip, and it includes grilled chicken, kicked-up chipotle ranch sauce and cool sour cream, all wrapped up and grilled for maximum portability.”

The second is the Chili Cheese Fries Loaded Griller, “Our version of loaded chili cheese fries, featuring savory chili, crispy potato bites and warm nacho cheese sauce, all wrapped in a tortilla and grilled.”

I’m honestly intrigued by both of these new offerings, although it sounds more like they should be calling them Stoner Grillers as opposed to Loaded Grillers.

I don’t know what price Loaded Grillers usually go for, but for a limited time all four offerings will be sold for $1 all day long, as opposed to just during “Happier Hour” (2-5pm).

Ben & Jerry’s Ron Burgundy’s Scotchy Scotch Scotch Ice Cream

Ben & Jerry's Ron Burgundy's Scotchy Scotch Scotch Ice Cream CartonIt was quite the struggle, finding Ben & Jerry’s Ron Burgundy’s Scotchy Scotch Scotch Ice Cream. At first it was only available at B&J’s Scoop Shops, the closest of which is approximately 200 miles from me.

I like ice cream, but not that much.

Once I found it, I made a decision: I will not turn this review into one giant Anchorman reference.

This is going to prove difficult and also result in a short and probably very unfunny review, but I figure every single other person on the Internet who has even mentioned this ice cream in passing has made some sort of Anchorman joke.

Don’t get me wrong, I love the movie, and it’s very quotable. I toyed with making the entire review a sarcastic conversation between Veronica Corningstone and Ron Burgundy. I considered writing it as if I were Brick Tamland.

But in the end, I decided to go the opposite direction. If I were to psychoanalyze this decision, I’d come to the conclusion that this is because there’s a part of me deep inside that strives to go against the mainstream.

I’d never psychoanalyze myself, however, because self-awareness is totally overrated.

Scotchy Scotch Scotch is described as “Butterscotch Ice Cream with Butterscotch Swirls”. That’s pretty Scotchy, all right.

Ben & Jerry’s couldn’t help but get into the Anchorman spirit on the back of the carton: “We don’t know how to put this but this flavor is kind of a big deal. Discovered by the Germans in 1904, they named it ‘Scotchy Scotch Scotch’. Scholars maintain that the translation was lost hundreds of years ago. Stay Classy, From all of us at Ben & Jerry’s.”

See? I let B&J do all the Anchorman references for me.

Ben & Jerry's Ron Burgundy's Scotchy Scotch Scotch Ice Cream

The coloration of the ice cream didn’t do Scotchy Scotch Scotch any favors. The ice cream itself was cream-colored, a fine hue for butterscotch, but the swirls were a disturbingly bright shade of orange, like the inside of a Butterfinger bar. Or maybe some carrot baby food.

I was worried that butterscotch-on-butterscotch action would result in an ice cream that was too rich, which is a problem I’ve occasionally come across with Ben & Jerry’s flavors. I’m pleased to report that this was not the case.

The butterscotch ice cream base is smooth and creamy, and tasted much like a Werther’s Butterscotch Candy. I could eat quite a large amount of it at once without feeling butterscotch overload.

The butterscotch swirls, however, were somewhat odd. Aside from the alarmingly bright color, they were crunchy swirls, which I was not expecting. I think I would have been better prepared for this if they’d called them “Butterscotch Candy Swirls”. In fact, that describes them perfectly.

Once I got accustomed to the fact that the swirls were crunchy, they offered a nice counterpoint to the smooth ice cream. They had a little more intense butterscotch flavor than the ice cream itself, which is how a butterscotch/butterscotch swirl ice cream should be.

I went in to Ben & Jerry’s Ron Burgundy’s Scotchy Scotch Scotch Ice Cream with a few expectations, but was ultimately surprised. The two scotches didn’t make the ice cream too rich, the swirls looked like baby food but were a nice crunchy counterpoint to the ice cream, and I actually had to be careful not to eat the whole pint before I’d finished taking all my pictures. B&J sometimes tries to cram too many flavors into one ice cream, but this one was butterscotch through and through, and it worked well.

This is a limited batch tie-in flavor, and often times to me that equals “we didn’t really try”, but I’d like to see Scotchy Scotch Scotch become a permanent fixture on grocery store shelves. Of course, they’d have to change the name to something less topical; might I suggest something like “Grandma’s Ancient Candy Bowl”?

Okay, that’s not exactly complimentary. I guess I’ll leave that up to B&J’s marketing team, if my wish for a permanent place in the frozen foods aisle ever comes true.

Ben & Jerry’s Ron Burgundy’s Scotchy Scotch Scotch Ice Cream

  • Score: 4 out of 5 lamps. I couldn’t help myself.
  • Price: $3.88
  • Size: 1 pint carton
  • Purchased at: Walmart
  • Nutritional Quirks: The inclusion of “vegetable juice” as an ingredient makes me further wonder if I was conned into eating baby food.

News: Taco Bell Wants You to Be Ultra-Hydrated in 2014; Is Introducing Six New Beverages

Taco Bell's Six New BeveragesI’m generally one to decline when the person in the box at the drive-thru asks me if I’d like a drink with that, but Taco Bell is trying their damnedest to change that with the introduction of six new beverages in 2014.

The most notable of these is “Manzanita Sol”, which is an apple soda that is apparently predominant in Mexico and is, according to Taco Bell, “a classic flavor that has crossed borders”.

Taco Bell will also be offering Diet Mtn Dew Baja Blast, which is (obviously) a diet version of the Mtn Dew flavor that has been offered exclusively at Taco Bell for years now.

In addition to these will be a new original Mtn Dew flavor, Sangria Blast, which is described as a “citrus-infused punch”.

There will also be three non-carbonated offerings: Brisk Mango Fiesta, Brisk Iced Tea and Lemonade and SoBe Lifewater Yumberry Pomegranate, which is obviously the most embarrassing name of the six new drinks to say into a tinny speaker.

According to Taco Bell, “Suggested prices will be $1.39 (16 oz.), $1.49 (20 oz.), $1.69 (30 oz.) and $1.79 (40 oz.).” They also state that all six beverages will be added to select location menus immediately and expand nationally throughout the year.

Taco Bell Beverages starting at the top left moving clockwise SoBe, Manz Sol, Sangrita Blast, Diet MDBB, Brisk Half and Half, Mango Fiesta