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

Jack Link’s Sriracha Beef Jerky and Burrito Beef Jerky

Jack Link's Sriracha Beef Jerky and Burrito Beef Jerky PackagesUsed to be, if you wanted some beef jerky from the store, you had very limited flavor choices. These were usually Original, Peppered, and Teriyaki. But, much like everything else in the snack aisle, jerky options have exploded in recent years.

BBQ? Psh, of course. Jalapeño? Yep. Hickory Sweet A1 Steakhouse? I’m not sure what half of that even means, but it’s probably out there.

Jerky doesn’t even imply cow these days; you can easily find turkey jerky on store shelves, and bacon jerky, because if you can bacon it it’s gonna get baconed.

If you want to get real crazy, there’s websites out there that will ship you jerky made from alligators and ostriches and like, I dunno, platypus or something.

When I was growing up, we had a meat store right around the corner. I think it’s technically called a butcher shop, but the sign on the building just said MEAT in huge letters, so I thought of it as the meat store.

Amazing beef jerky came from the meat store. It wasn’t fancy; it was just quality. As you may imagine, ever since the meat store closed long ago, I’ve found store-bought jerky to be lacking. Too thick, too thin, too tough, too “this jerky is actually slicing up my gums” (that one is the worst).

Rather than live in a jerkyless world out of pure petulance, I’ve learned to adapt. And with new flavors coming out all the time, at least it keeps my mouth entertained.

Two of the newest flavors to grace the dried meat family are Jack Link’s Sriracha and Burrito. Both of these were intriguing to me, for reasons I hope are obvious.

Jack Link’s Sriracha Beef Jerky

Jack Link's Sriracha Beef Jerky Package

Sriracha is the new darling of the Internet, and if you can somehow incorporate the Asian hot sauce into your food product, I would consider it wise to do so. They’ve used it in everything from potato chips to popcorn. I’m pretty sure Kellogg’s is trying to figure out how to make sriracha cereal as we speak.

From Jack Link’s website: “Jack Link’s Sriracha Beef Jerky is packed with an explosion of hot chili peppers and garlic. This limited edition flavor will keep you comin’ back for more.”

The back of the bag expounds: “Jack Link’s Sriracha Beef Jerky is made with premium cuts of lean beef and seasoned with hot chili peppers, garlic and other traditional spices for an authentic Sriracha flavor.”

Jack Link's Sriracha Beef Jerky

The sriracha beef jerky is indeed hot, but it falls into that unfortunate but all-too-familiar category of “spicy hot but tastes nothing like the hot sauce it’s supposed to taste like”.

Sriracha has a unique flavor of, as Jack Link said, chili peppers and garlic, but their beef jerky just tastes generically spicy. If you blindfolded me, I’d never guess the sriracha was in there.

It’s a tasty, spicy jerky, but sriracha it is not.

Jack Link’s Burrito Beef Jerky

Jack Link's Burrito Beef Jerky Package

How could I not be interested in Burrito Beef Jerky? It sounds at once both awesome and terrifying. It also makes one wonder how it came to exist. How does burrito-flavored beef jerky go from the brainstorm room to shelves? I really would have liked to have been a fly on the wall for that one.

Just thinking about shoving a burrito’s flavor into beef jerky makes me laugh. It’s hard to be scared when you can’t stop being amused.

Mr. Link’s website description: “¡Ay, caramba! Jack Link’s limited edition Burrito Beef Jerky has an authentic south-of-the-border flavor creating the ultimate burrito experience.”

Yeah, guys? Gonna go with “¡Ay, caramba!” Do we really have to bring 1992 Bart Simpson into this whole thing?

Jack Link's Burrito Beef Jerky

After I tasted Jack Link’s Burrito Beef Jerky, I checked the back of the bag. “Jack Link’s Burrito Beef Jerky is made with premium cuts of lean beef, expertly seasoned with chili peppers, onion and garlic for an authentic burrito flavor.”

Sound familiar? Yeah.

That said, I actually liked the burrito jerky. Did it taste like a burrito? Of course not, it’s beef fucking jerky. But the garlic and onion flavors were really prominent, which tasted great with the peppers, which are much more subdued here than in the Sriracha Beef Jerky.

Both Sriracha and Burrito Beef Jerky are part of Jack Link’s new Limited Edition Wild Side flavors, which consist of these flavors and…uh…well, just these flavors, at least for now. What could be next for the Wild Side? Shrimp Cocktail Beef Jerky? Spaghetti Beef Jerky?

While I found that neither Jack Link’s Sriracha nor Burrito Beef Jerky actually tasted like their namesake, both were enjoyable. Sriracha packed in a good amount of heat, although not the actual flavor of the hot sauce.

Burrito never had a chance of tasting like burrito, but surprised me with the amount of garlic, and how well it worked with the onions and peppers. Jack would have done himself a favor by ditching the weird-ass Burrito moniker and going with a simple “Garlic and Pepper” type name.

Sometimes simple is best. Even if Burrito Beef Jerky still makes me laugh.

Jack Link’s Sriracha Beef Jerky and Burrito Beef Jerky

  • Score (Sriracha): 3.5 out of 5 platypus jerkies
  • Score (Burrito): 4 out of 5 eatings of my shorts
  • Price: $3.98
  • Size: 3.25 oz. bag
  • Purchased at: Walmart
  • Nutritional Quirks: “Burrito” not listed as an ingredient in the Burrito Beef Jerky. I CALL FALSE ADVERTISING

Twix Gingerbread Cookie Bars

Twix Gingerbread Cookie Bars BagTwix bars are one of my favorite chocolate treats. It’s the perfect combination of crunchy cookie, creamy caramel, and chocolate.

It is because of my love for this balance of flavors that I hesitate to try any variations. On the other hand, I generally give points any time an established snack food gets on the holiday train. And, given the Christmas-related flavors they had to choose from, I find gingerbread to be more encouraging than, say, peppermint. Peppermint and caramel does not seem like a good idea.

I gotta say, I’m finding this intro pretty weak. I have no special stories about Twix; Twix didn’t murder my parents or cause some sort of dramatic, humiliating grade school incident, like the time I got my arm caught in the back of my desk chair in second grade and the maintenance guy had to come get me free in front of the whole class.

That is a true story. Just like when I went to Target to buy these Twix Gingerbread Cookie Bars and there was only one bag left. Just as I was reaching for it, Batman swooped in and tried to steal it from my hands.

An epic battle ensued; I knocked over a display of ornaments while I dodged Batman’s barrage of Batarangs and fought back using a Nerf gun I’d modified to shoot fruitcakes. He then stopped to tell me some sad tale about how Twix killed his parents, and while he was distracted, I strangled him from behind with a strand of Christmas lights and made off with the precious bag of candy.

Victory was mine! Stupid whiny Batman.

Okay! I feel better now. Let’s get going.

Simple packaging, but effective and also darling. Those androgynous gingerpeople look so cheery with their smiley faces and pink scarves. They’re probably happy because they know that they are there just as Twix spokescookies and will not be the victims of a mastication beheading.

Twix Gingerbread Cookie Bars Wrapper

Hard to see in this picture because metallic wrappers are my mortal enemy, but the individual Twix wrappers have teensy little gingerdudes (or gingerladies; I’m being so politically correct today!) on them, which is a cute touch.

Twix Gingerbread Cookie Bar

Each bar is “fun size”, good for about two bites each, or one bite if you’re one of those weird, annoying people who shoves entirely too much food into your maw at once. Don’t be that guy.

If I’d taken two seconds to read the bag, I wouldn’t have felt the need to bite the top off one of the bars to figure out that the gingerbread flavor is in the caramel, not the cookie. This may seem like a strange choice, since gingerbread men are cookies, but I think it was wise. Keeping the original texture of the Twix cookie kept that cookie/caramel/chocolate combination that I so enjoy.

As for the gingerbread flavor itself, I can say with happiness that Twix nailed it. It was all there – the brown sugar and molasses taste with ginger and cinnamon in the mix. Somehow, Twix fit all that in there and still managed to keep the integrity of the caramel flavor, not just its texture.

Twix Gingerbread Cookie Bars fill my mouth with Christmas and joy. All the things I love about Twix remained intact, and they managed to get that perfect gingerbread flavor in there.

I have no complaints about Twix Gingerbread Cookie Bars, but I will say that, at least to me, gingerbread is a sometimes flavor. For some reason, it just seems weird to eat gingerbread at any other time of year than Christmas. I’m happy to enjoy Gingerbread Twix in December but go back to good ol’ original come New Year’s.

Twix Gingerbread Cookie Bars

  • Score: 4.5 out of 5 Batarangs
  • Price: $3.19
  • Size: 10 oz. bag
  • Purchased at: Target
  • Nutritional Quirks: Not one damn ingredient listed that actually indicates gingerbread. Hooray for artificial flavors!

Lay’s Wavy Original Potato Chips Dipped in Milk Chocolate

Lay's Wavy Original Potato Chips Dipped in Milk Chocolate BagPeople (and by people, I mean the Internet, of course) seem to be all in a tizzy over these new Lay’s Wavy Original Potato Chips Dipped in Milk Chocolate. When I first heard of them, I thought they sounded gross. But the more I thought about it, the more they made sense. Sweet and salty snacks have been around for quite a long time.

Kettle corn. Chocolate-covered pretzels. To be even more specific, Ben & Jerry’s Late Night Snack ice cream has “fudge-covered potato chip clusters”, and it’s been a popular flavor for years now. Heck there’s even a Wikipedia entry for chocolate-covered potato chips, which is definitely not the oddest Wikipedia page I’ve ever seen, but doesn’t exactly seem necessary.

In light of all this, LWOPCDiMC really don’t seem that crazy, after all. I guess it’s just the idea that this is the first time a snack titan like Frito-Lay has taken it on. It’s also a limited edition item, and given the season, I’m guessing you’re supposed to eat them for Christmas?

The packaging certainly isn’t Christmasy, but it does has a pleasing aesthetic. Lay’s managed to cram four different fonts into the chips’ name, but they all have a nice flow to them, as does the background. Despite being rather monochromatic, it has a certain elegance to it, like a glass Christmas tree ornament with a delicate filigree design. It’s the belle of the chip aisle ball.

It was a little disconcerting to pick up a snack-sized bag of chips and have it feel so…hefty. That was the chocolate at work, obviously. I didn’t see any full-sized bags of LWOPCDiMC, which made sense when I thought about it; the weight of so many chocolate-covered chips might end up crushing the bottom ones.

With the idea of chocolate-covered potato chips settling more easily in my mind, several key questions arose, and I was ready to get under the mistletoe with these chips.

Lay's Wavy Original Potato Chips Dipped in Milk Chocolate

The picture on the front of the bag led me to believe that these were chocolate covered chips. I should have paid attention to the super-long name of the product. These are chips dipped in chocolate. And in an interesting way: I would have expected one end to be dipped, but instead, one side was dipped.

One of my key questions was, what is the quality of the chocolate? The answer, as best as I can describe, is “middlin’”. There’s an obvious hierarchy of big-name chocolate, and I would put it well above Palmer, but just a step below Hershey’s.

The quantity of the chocolate on each chip was substantial. Despite having one side of the chip (mostly) naked, the layer of chocolate was quite thick, and also quite rich.

The chocolate and chip dynamic was interesting. Lay’s was going for a sweet/salty dynamic, and while there was some salty undertones to cut through the chocolate, it didn’t seem nearly as salty as a regular Wavy Lay’s chip. It was also hard to detect the flavor of the potato chip under all that chocolate.

What the chip did add was a welcome crunch. The thickness of Wavy Lay’s bore the brunt of the chocolate well, and I was impressed at the amount of completely intact chips in the bag. They weren’t quite as crunchy as the chips would have been on their own, but the combination of chocolate and crunch worked great together. It was kind of like eating a thin Crunch bar.

I half expected to dislike Lay’s Wavy Original Potato Chips Dipped in Milk Chocolate, but I was pleasantly surprised to be proven wrong. The chocolate was of a fair quality, and the Lay’s Wavy chips added a bit of salt and, best of all, a crunch that worked perfectly with the sweetness of chocolate.

I would have liked to have had a bit more of a balance between the two – I found the chocolate a little too rich to eat a whole bag at once, and the potato flavor of the chip got overwhelmed by its sweet counterpart. All in all, however, I think anyone who enjoys a sweet treat with a bit of salt would enjoy Lay’s Wavy Original Potato Chips Dipped in Milk Chocolate.

LWOPCDiMC don’t strike me as a gimmick or one of those things people would eat for the weird factor. These chips are something you could set out at your Christmas party that people who like chocolate with a bit of salt and crunch would enjoy just for what they are.

Lay’s Wavy Original Potato Chips Dipped in Milk Chocolate

  • Score: 3.5 out of 5 gettin’ intimate with potato chips under the mistletoe
  • Price: $3.49
  • Size: 5 oz. bag
  • Purchased at: Target (exclusive)
  • Nutritional Quirks: Get ready to satisfy 22% of your recommended daily saturated fat needs with just one ounce of chips. Hey, ’tisn’t the season for eating healthy, people.

Kraft Philadelphia Spicy Jalapeño Cream Cheese and Chipotle Cream Cheese

Kraft Philadelphia Spicy Jalapeño Cream Cheese and Chipotle Cream Cheese ContainersCream cheese is in the Gentleman’s Club of dairy products. While nearby shelves in the refrigerated section explode with 700 different brands and varieties of yogurt, cream cheese remains largely unchanged. For the most part, you’re going Kraft Philadelphia or you’re going generic, and even then, you’re probably not getting much variety from the generic brand.

I have a long-standing love of bagels, particularly when toasted and schmeared with what even I would admit is an embarrassing amount of cream cheese. There used to be a local mom ‘n’ pop bagel shop around the corner from where I live that I absolutely adored. The plethora of bagel flavors, the cream cheese selection…it was like a little breakfast heaven.

And then they went out of business.

Heartbroken and with nary an Einstein Bros. In sight, I turned my eye to the grocery store, and then I remembered why I love bagel shops so much. I can take the limited variety of bagel flavors in stores – I’ll make do with an Everything – but the cream cheese flavors suck.

I’ve never been fond of the fruity cream cheeses, and this really limits a girl. If you want savory, Philadelphia generally offers Salmon, Chive & Onion or Garden Vegetable, none of which I’ve found particularly exciting.

But then Philly pulled through for me.

Kraft Philadelphia Spicy Jalapeño Cream Cheese

First I found the Spicy Jalapeño flavor, and I did a happy snack dance right there in the dairy aisle. This has always been my absolute favorite flavor of cream cheese from bagel shops, and I always wondered, sometimes sadly, sometimes angrily, why this was never a flavor found in grocery stores.

I was seriously stoked. Like, way more than a person should be about cream cheese. But this was like a dream fulfilled. A wish granted. Cream cheese.

Kraft Philadelphia Spicy Jalapeño Cream Cheese

And I am so very glad to report that Spicy Jalapeño lived up to my every expectation. The texture of the cream cheese was classic Philly – thick but easily spreadable.

Kraft Philadelphia Spicy Jalapeño Cream Cheese Close-Up

They weren’t skimpy on the peppers, either; it was chock full of perfectly-sized chunks of real jalapeño that delivered on heat and flavor. It was great to bite into my toasted bagel and get the smooth cream cheese punctuated by crunchy little bits of heat. The cool cream cheese and the spicy peppers made a perfect combo.

Verdict: match made in heaven.

Kraft Philadelphia Chipotle Cream Cheese

But oh, Kraft was not done with me yet. I was happily buying yet another tub of Spicy Jalapeño when I saw something I had neither dreamed of nor tasted before – Philadelphia Chipotle Cream Cheese.

It probably goes without saying that the dance came out again.

I was a little more trepedatious about this one. Acutely aware that I sound like a broken record as I write this, I am constantly dissatisfied with things that claim to be chipotle-flavored. It seems like most companies think “chipotle” means “generically spicy” or, if you’re really lucky, “spicy with a little fake smoky flavor”.

Having already fallen in love with Philadelphia Spicy Jalapeño, I thought I may have pushed my luck too far.

Kraft Philadelphia Chipotle Cream Cheese

First of all, hello orange. I was not expecting that when I opened up the tub. It’s not exactly the most attractive hue for cream cheese; in fact, it reminded me of pumpkin, but maybe that’s just the fact that I can’t turn around in a grocery store without seeing something pumpkin spice-flavored.

The hue actually makes sense though; chipotle peppers are much softer than regular jalapeños, so they would blend much more easily into the cream cheese, leaving just small chunks.

Kraft Philadelphia Chipotle Cream Cheese Close-Up

I found it interesting that Philly Chipotle Cream Cheese is a lot thinner than your run-of-the-mill cream cheese. It’s not at all runny, it’s just smooth and easily spreadable, whereas, say, Spicy Jalapeño can be applied with some chunkiness.

In fact, it’s probably a good thing the Chipotle Cream Cheese was thinner, because it’s actually spicier than the Jalapeño variety. Whereas the spice bursts come with the pepper chunks in the latter, it seems more uniform in the former. My nose was even a little runny after I’d finished my bagel.

As for actually tasting like chipotle? Score. Spicy, smoky and flavorful, Philly Chipotle Cream Cheese actually managed to capture the true essence of chipotle peppers, while also letting the flavor of cream cheese come through.

Through sheer coincidence, somebody made a comment about these two cream cheeses on a review I did for The Impulsive Buy back in January for some Chipotle Crema Doritos. I’d forgotten I’d even mentioned it, but in the review, I mused that I should really try blending chipotles with cream cheese, because that sounded delicious.

It was destiny.

I think I sound like I’m writing a really long commercial for Kraft Philadelphia Spicy Jalapeño and Chipotle Cream Cheeses, but the truth is that I love them both and will most likely keep them in stock in my fridge at all times. Nevermore do I have to hit a bagel shop just to get my spicy cream cheese fix; now I can just hit the dairy aisle of my local grocery store.

Now then, about those limited bagel flavors…

Kraft Philadelphia Spicy Jalapeño Cream Cheese and Chipotle Cream Cheese

  • Score (Spicy Jalapeño): 5 out of 5 cream cheese dreams fulfilled
  • Score (Chipotle): 5 out of 5 runny noses
  • Price: $2.79 each
  • Size: 8 oz. tub
  • Purchased at: Safeway #1717
  • Nutritional Quirks: Both flavors contain real peppers near the top of their ingredient lists, and it shows.

General Mills Fruity Yummy Mummy Cereal and Frute Brute Cereal

General Mills Fruity Yummy Mummy Cereal and Frute Brute Cereal BoxesHappy Halloween! I celebrated the holiday in 2010 with a bowl of Boo Berry cereal. Having had a taste of the General Mills breakfast monsters, I was thrilled to hear that this year, they’re bringing back two retirees: Fruity Yummy Mummy and Frute Brute!

According to Wikipedia, Yummy Mummy has been trapped in his sarcophagus for 20 years and Frute Brute has been in hibernation for 29 years.

In addition to this, they also brought back the retro box designs. Oh, those marketers. They know nostalgia brings in the money.

Fruity Yummy Mummy Cereal

General Mills Fruity Yummy Mummy Cereal Box

Gotta love the insanely clashing colors on this box. Of course, if you want to get kids to start screaming at their parents that they will die unless they get some Fruity Yummy Mummy cereal, that’s the way to go.

Yummy Mummy is super psyched about his cereal. He also appears to have been wrapped in purple, pink and yellow ribbon by someone on their first day of training at the gift-wrapping station at JCPenney’s.

I guess the full name of this cereal is General Mills Fruity Yummy Mummy Artificial Orange Cream Flavor Frosted Cereal with Spooky-Fun Marshmallows With…MONSTER MALLOWS.

That is a lot of words, some of them redundant. Of course, the MONSTER MALLOWS are the important part, here. MALLOWS shaped like MONSTERS! Sold and sold.

Like any good kids’ cereal, there’s a little trivia quiz on the side panel of the box, including such questions as, “Finish this monster catch phrase, ‘Fruity Yummy Mummy makes your tummy…”

The answer is, “Go yummy”.

Okay, that’s kind of weak.

I do like question #5 though: “Which of these mail-in premiums was not offered with monster cereals – glow candles, monster ink stampers or a monster mansion?”

The answer is “glow candles”, and now I want a time machine to go back and get some monster ink stampers and a monster mansion. Those sound fucking awesome.

General Mills Fruity Yummy Mummy Cereal

Although this cereal is “orange cream flavor”, and also “mummy”-themed, we seem to have orange AND red cereal pieces that look much more like ghosts than mummies.

And as for the pink, yellow, purple and orange mallows? I have no idea what they are. My first thought was Frankenstein’s Monster head, but I guess maybe they could be the mummies? Heck, why not.

General Mills Fruity Yummy Mummy Cereal Bowl

I’ve been carefully ignoring the flavor of Fruity Yummy Mummy Cereal because the idea of orange cream-flavored cereal scares me, and let’s face it – the packaging is awesome and the actual taste of the cereal is secondary. I could frame the unopened box, hang it on my wall, and be happy.

But I guess I’m supposed to talk about the food, so fine.

I found the flavor a little off-putting at first, but it quickly grew on me. Yummy Mummy really does taste like artificial frosted orange cream, instead of just artificial orange. This is Mr. Mummy’s saving grace. I’m pretty sure I would have hated it if it just tasted like orange Runts.

The MONSTER MALLOWS have that great instantly-dissolving sugar taste common in so many cereal mallows, but only when eaten dry. Once you add milk, their taste and texture disappears almost immediately. Luckily, the ghost…mummies hold a good crunch.

I also didn’t hate the leftover cereal milk – an important aspect of all cereals. I think the milk really helped to make the whole thing taste like a 50/50 bar, and nowhere was this more prominent than in the orange-tinged leftover milk.

I can’t honestly say that I’d like to eat Fruity Yummy Mummy Cereal every day – while it wasn’t the total disaster I thought it would be, there are a lot of other cereal flavors out there that I prefer over orange cream. But when you take in the whole package, I think most kids would enjoy a bowl of ghosts and mummy heads on a fine Halloween morning.

Frute Brute

General Mills Frute Brute Cereal Box

Frute Brute likes to keep it simple. He’s just an ordinary werewolf brute, happy to eat his frute cereal. To be more specific, his Artificial Cherry Flavor Frosted Cereal with Spooky-Fun Marshmallows.

Wait, why does Yummy Mummy get MONSTER MALLOWS and Frute Brute only gets the regularly-fonted Spooky-Fun Marshmallows? Frute Brute needs to stop eating cereal and start tearin’ up a certain gift-wrapped mummy using his sharp orange claws.

Nice overalls, Frute Brute. Those clashing stripes look like they belong on an old Geocities site, which truly is terrifying. Then again, he has been gone for 29 years. Wait until he hears what the Internet has done with cats!

Like Yummy Mummy, Frute Brute has a trivia quiz on his box. “What was Frute Brute’s original catch phrase?”

“The Howling Good Taste of Frute.” I enjoy both the pun and the commitment to using the non-word “frute”.

Brutsie’s #5 question is much like the Mumsters: “Which of these mail-in premiums was not offered with monster cereals – bubble bath, bike safety flag or laboratory kit?”

The answer is “laboratory kit”, which makes me sad, because that would have gone great with my monster mansion. However, it does delight me to the bottom of my black heart that, at some point in time, you could get General Mills Monster Cereal Bubble Bath. I am trying so hard right now to finish this review and not go trolling on eBay.

General Mills Frute Brute Cereal

Okay, there’s no real way I can find to connect Brute to his cereal shapes. He’s rocking both the Pac-Man ghost cereal shapes and the “is that a skull?”-shaped marshmallows that Yummy Mummy had. Even the colors are barely different. Throw me a fang-shaped marshmallow or something.

General Mills Frute Brute Cereal Bowl

I thought I would hate Yummy Mummy’s orange cream cereal, but once it actually turned out to be not repulsive, I was less nervous about Frute Brute. It turns out I was lulled into a false sense of security.

Okay, so it wasn’t that bad. The sadly-not-MONSTER MALLOWS had the same qualities as the Mummy’s mallows, in that they were great dry but disappeared when milk was applied.

The ghosties were crunchy, but the cherry flavor just didn’t work very well as a cereal. It didn’t have that cough medicine taste that can plague cherry candy, but it was just a little bit unsettling. I would have bet that I’d like cherry over orange, but this time, that was not the case.

Frute Brute seems to be pretty into it, though. Whatever makes him happy.

Oh, and on the back of both cereal boxes, there’s a whole cartoon story to entertain you while you eat!

General Mills Monster Cereal Box Back

Love love love it. Love the story, love the drawing, and most of all, love the Halloween puns. I love you, General Mills Monsters.

General Mills Fruity Yummy Mummy Cereal and Frute Brute Cereal

  • Score (Fruity Yummy Mummy): 3 out of 5 gift-wrapped mummies
  • Score (Frute Brute): 2 out of 5 overalls that would make Fruit Stripe gum proud
  • Price: $2.50 each
  • Size: 9.6 oz. box
  • Purchased at: Target
  • Nutritional Quirks: Contains no actual dessicated corpse or werewolf hair

Starburst Fruit Flavored Candy Corn

Starburst Fruit Flavored Candy Corn BagThis website isn’t a Lisa Frank diary where I talk about my personal life and how Bobby put a worm in my hair at recess today, but I feel I owe my dear readers an explanation as to why JFB has been even more sparsely updated than usual, especially since it’s my favorite time of year, when I at least try to cram as much Halloween goodness as I can on here.

Thing is, I’ve had two brain surgeries over the span of two weeks this month. Don’t worry, I’m not dying, nor did they remove the part of my brain that thinks awful puns are funny – much to the regret of all of you, I’m sure.

But I couldn’t help the timing, and it kinda wiped me out, resulting in a mostly Halloween-free October. Trust me, nobody’s face is more :( than mine about this. Then again, my surgeries went really well and I could not be more :) about them. Emoticons!

Plus, half my head is shaved and I have some gnarly-ass stitches, so I’ve pretty much got a built-in Halloween costume. Suck it, Bride of Frankenstein!

With all that business out of the way, let’s get to some candy.

Starburst Fruit Flavored Candy Corn. Because, as you may have noticed, I just can’t get enough candy corn.

Super unimpressed with the packaging. There’s nothing Halloweeeny about it. Couldn’t throw a bat or a witch onto the purple background? Maybe turned the traditional Starburst font into dripping blood? If it weren’t for the fact that it’s candy corn, this could easily look like a year-round product.

Starburst Fruit Flavored Candy Corn

These corns are based on the original Starburst flavors: cherry, lemon, strawberry, and orange. I probably didn’t have to clarify that, but I figured I’d be thorough. Throwing a bone to my colorblind readers.

My feelings about the Starburst candy corns themselves were the exact opposite of what I felt about the packaging. Bless the dark magic in your heart, Starburst: you made a candy corn with the exact texture of candy corn, but zero candy corn flavor.

So what do these candy corns taste like, if not candy corn? Well, they tasted exactly like Starburst! It was like having a bag of Starburst candies that, instead of being chewy, were easily masticated and dissolved into a giant burst of sugary fruit candy.

Regular Starburst candies take a little time to get through due to their texture, but I found I could easily get into Halloween stomachache mode eating handfuls of these.

The easiest way to put it is that if you like Starburst, you’ll like Starburst Fruit Flavored Candy Corns. And I like Starburst.

I really can’t think of anything bad to say about these candy corns, but for the sake of playing devil’s advocate, I guess some people might bitch about the fact that they’re called candy corns but taste nothing like candy corns. Obviously, I see this as a plus. But if you’re some sort of candy corn-loving weirdo, well, spider crawl your way back to Brach’s.

Heck, maybe they’re onto something with the generic packaging after all. I could definitely eat these year-round. For the sake of my teeth and my stomach, I guess I’m glad these are a holiday treat.

Or I could go back and buy 12 more bags.

Starburst Fruit Flavored Candy Corn

  • Score: 4.5 out of 5 “you missed a perfect score on a technicality since haters gonna quibble that you ain’t really candy corns”
  • Price: $2.69
  • Size: 20 oz. bag
  • Purchased at: Target
  • Nutritional Quirks: Candy corn: 0. Starburst: 100%!

Brach’s S’mores Candy Corn

Brach's S'mores Candy Corn BagFor reasons unbeknownst to me, new Halloween items started showing up unusually early this year. For example, The Impulsive Buy reviewed Brach’s S’mores Candy Corn back in August.

Now, don’t get me wrong, if there’s any holiday I like to stretch out, it’s Halloween. I’d rather see witches and ghouls in August than Santas and ornaments in October. Which, sadly, is a thing I do see.

Amazingly, this is my first Halloween review. Normally, I’d call this absolutely unacceptable, but I’ve been a little busy with personal life stuff. I guess the best way to kick things off is with candy corn, the most iconic of all Halloween treats.

Except for the fact that candy corn sucks, and this is S’mores-flavored candy corn.

If you’re going to buy a bag of candy corn, dare I say it’s probably going to be Brach’s. You’ve already established yourself as the go-to candy corn; there’s no need to branch out. Brach out? No.

But stop they have not, and so we have these. I guess it could have been worse; at least S’mores are a treat generally associated with the autumn season.

In case you had a sad childhood, let me quickly explain what S’mores are: fire-roasted or otherwise heated marshmallows and pieces of a chocolate candy bar sandwiched between two pieces of graham crackers. If you do it right, the marshmallow melts the chocolate, leaving you with a messy, delicious, sugar-filled treat.

As you can see, Brach’s went all-out with the packaging. A few autumn leaves and a picture of a S’mores sandwich. Boo. I say that both with Halloween sarcasm and as a reprimand to Brach’s for not trying harder.

Brach's S'mores Candy Corn

ooooOOOOoooo, spooky penta- yeah nevermind

Well, at least they tied the colors together as best they could – brown base for chocolate, white middle for marshmallow, and an orange tip which kinda-sorta represents the color of graham crackers.

Unfortunately, the brown coloring bleeds onto the white, resulting, oddly, in a pink hue. Perhaps that’s meant to represent the Pepto Bismol you’ll be drinking after eating too many actual S’mores.

So how does this candy corn stack up to tasting like an actual S’mores? (Is the singular of S’mores “S’more”? I don’t really care enough to look it up.)

The answer, both simply and accurately, is no. The base does taste like very artificial chocolate, but the similarities end there. The rest tastes like a candy corn. If I close my eyes and imagine real hard, I feel like I can taste a little graham cracker flavoring, but that might just be wishful thinking, like hoping to score that full-sized candy bar when you go out trick-or-treating.

What these candy corns really taste like are Indian Corn, which is found in Brach’s Autumn Mix.

It took me quite a while to even find a good example of these, because I have thought since I was a kid that these were called Witch’s Teeth. Google basically slapped me in the face and told me I was making up words. My childhood was a lie.

Mind-blowing revelations aside, Brach’s S’mores Candy Corn is basically Brach’s Indian Corn with the tip and middle colors reversed and a ghostly wisp of graham cracker flavor. Given, I think Tootsie Roll-ish candy corn is better than regular candy corn, but it’s not exactly a tremendous upgrade, and the fact of the matter is that they still taste very little like S’mores.

I guess I’ll give points to Brach’s for trying to put a new spin on an old classic, but now I’m taking away those points for basically re-branding their already-existing Indian Corn.

You know what, fuck you Internet, they’re Witch’s Teeth. I don’t care what you say.

Brach’s S’mores Candy Corn

  • Score: 1.5 out of 5 – you guessed it – Witch’s Teeth
  • Price: $2.69
  • Size: 19 oz bag
  • Purchased at: Target
  • Nutritional Quirks: Contains no corn.

Jack Ca$h Card Giveaway Winners!

billboard_image-jacks_munchie_meal-genericCongratulations to Kelly and Lori – you’ve each won a $10 Jack Ca$h Card from our giveaway!

Thanks to all who commented!