Tag Archives: Halloween

M&Ms White Pumpkin Pie

Hey y’all, it’s Halloween! Well, it’s October, so to me that means it’s Halloween.

That also means it’s time to be completely inundated in pumpkin spice-flavored items, a fad I swore would be gone by now and replaced by, like, slime. Let’s make slime the wave of future Halloween, guys! Oreo-flavored slime for everyone!

As with all things Halloween, the packaging is so important. M&Ms is going low-key here, sticking with a color palette that matches the candy within – brown for the crust, orange for the pie filling, and off-white for the absolutely required whipped cream. Orange M is seen popping out of a pumpkin, looking terrified, like “WTF was I doing in there?”

And that’s about it for the fall festivities. Not very impressive.

Does M&Ms still use “melts in your mouth, not in your hands” as a slogan? Because it turns out that they might not melt in your hands, but they will…morph in your mail. Because I’m a lazy bastard, I ordered my M&Ms off of Target’s website, not even thinking about the fact that hey, it’s still 100 degrees in Arizona in October!

So this is what happens when you subject M&Ms to a hot UPS truck. I decided to go ahead with the review, however, because a.) I don’t want to buy White Pumpkin Pie M&Ms TWICE and b.) I expect this to be a pretty short review anyways. It’s a pumpkin M&M, I can’t really go Dickens on the thing.

It seems like the heat somewhat changed the chocolate on the inside, too, although when I ate them they had a regular texture. (Even the shell was still crunchy, despite their dulled appearance and apparent expansion. Weird.)

If the heat did anything to change the taste, however, I say: leave your M&Ms White Pumpkin Pie out in the heat. (Can we bring back the “chocolate” part of white chocolate? Just saying “white” sounds…weird.) I was surprised at how much I enjoyed these candies.

Keeping in mind that these are pumpkin pie and not pumpkin spice-flavored, M&Ms really nailed it. They taste just like pumpkin pie filling. It feels clean and simple; I didn’t have to sit here and figure out if the nutmeg or the cinnamon were too overpowering. It just tasted like pumpkin pie and that was that. I mean, they forgot the crust and the whipped cream, but I’m thankful for small victories.

So often with M&Ms White (Chocolate), the cloying sweetness of that flavor distracts from what the flavor of the candy is supposed to be. Here, however, it took a backseat, which really let the balanced pumpkin pie flavor shine through. Again, maybe it was the effects of the heat; if so, I should start tossing every bag of flavored M&Ms I get in the microwave for a while. But probably take them out of the bag first.

M&Ms White Pumpkin Pie

  • Score: 4 out of 5 hot UPS trucks
  • Price: $3.00
  • Size: 8 oz. bag
  • Purchased at: Target (okay fine, target.com)
  • Nutritional Quirk: Honestly, no surprises here. No real pumpkin in the ingredients, of course.

Cheetos Bag of Bones Flamin’ Hot

cheetos-bag-of-bones-flamin-hot-bagToday is Halloween and I didn’t do ONE SINGLE spooky review this year. What a shitty Junk Food Betty.

Honestly, I was really unimpressed with this year’s offerings, but that’s no excuse. To make it up you, here is my heart:

cheetos-bag-of-bones-flamin-hot-heart

Or, more specifically, my rib cage. But I thought it looked like a heart.

The one thing that caught my eye this year was Cheetos Bag of Bones Flamin’ Hot. I know, I know, it’s not a new flavor OR a new concept. But it’s so perfect.

Look at our skeleton man on the package. He’s obviously being tortured by an Evil Chester Cheetah, who cackles in glee at his misfortune. Eeee!

cheetos-bag-of-bones-flamin-hot-skeleton

Here’s this year’s Cheeto skeleton, or should I say, HELLeton. As you can see, several of his bony demon fingers have been pulled off, either through some method of torture or because the OSHA standards are clearly lacking in hell.

cheetos-bag-of-bones-flamin-hot

Here is a hell sun, because when the demons come to walk the earth it will be like the scorching of a thousand suns. Or something? I don’t know! Ask Evil Chester Cheetah!

Happy Halloween, everybody!

Jones Soda Pumpkin Pie

Jones Soda Blood Orange, Lemon Drop Dead and Pumpkin Pie BottlesI’ve long lamented that I missed the halcyon days of Jones holiday sodas, which was back in the early 2000s when they sold their absolutely amazing-looking Thanksgiving packs that contained such flavors as Green Bean Casserole.

I’ve since made it a mission to grab every limited edition Jones Soda flavor I can, knowing full well that I’m likely in for some serious  punishment.

This year’s Halloween grab is Pumpkin Pie Soda, which Jones claims is new but was previously offered in one of their Thanksgiving packs. Perhaps they’ve tweaked the formula?

Along with Pumpkin Pie, this year they’re offering Blood Orange and Lemon Drop Dead, which have been offered in previous years, but I wanted to include them because they’ve departed from the usual picture labels to offer some pretty gruesome mummy and zombie guys.

Their labels also claim that “It will haunt you forever!” I find this very funny, because out of all of Jones’s limited edition flavors, these are two that will not haunt you. Blood Orange basically tastes like a better version of orange Fanta, because Jones uses cane sugar, and Lemon Drop Dead is a surprisingly refreshing mix of sour and sweet lemon soda.

But we’re really here for the Pumpkin Pie Soda. Because who wants to read about something that might actually taste good?

Jones Pumpkin Pie Soda Label

My four-pack of Pumpkin Soda bottles came with two harmless autumn-themed labels, but I chose the one where four people cover their faces with pumpkins, which could be a fun family photo but to me comes off as quietly ominous.

Jones describes this soda as “the perfect mix of pumpkin, cinnamon, and nutmeg, with a hint of creamy, buttery crust flavor”.

Here we are again, with the pumpkin and the spices. But at least this one makes flat-out claims of tasting like pumpkin! On the other hand, they have to follow it up with the words “creamy” and “buttery”. Two things I’m always looking for in a soda.

Jones Pumpkin Pie Soda

Like an idiot, I’m always smelling these sodas before I taste them. The aroma wafting out of my cup was both strong and incredibly genuine – it really was like I was smelling pumpkin pie in a glass. I feel like this should have been off-putting, but instead it was inviting.

Tasting it was an entire grab bag of flavors and emotions. The nutmeg jumped to the forefront, which was bizarre when paired with a cold, carbonated beverage. The cinnamon was subtle, and, dare I say, overshadowed by the flavor of pumpkin. Actual pumpkin flavor! …In my soda.

Jones rarely lies, and true to form, there was indeed a hint of creaminess and a little bit of butter on the finish. It did give the impression of pie crust, and even evoked memories of the Cool Whip that was always present on top of pumpkin pies at my family’s Thanksgiving dinners.

What does all of this add up to? Again, my brain and my mouth are so confused. If I was judging Jones Pumpkin Pie Soda on flavor alone, it’s aces. By far the most authentic-tasting pumpkin item I’ve had this season, and probably in years past.

But the fact of the matter is that I’m also drinking a soda. It’s cold, it’s carbonated, and it’s everything that a pumpkin pie isn’t supposed to be. Did I finish the cup? I did, but I’m still not entirely sure why. Will I be cracking the other three in my possession? I’m pretty sure they’ll sit in the pantry until I run out of room and am forced to throw them away.

If you have the opportunity to try it, I urge you to do so, just to experience the weird authenticity. Especially if you live in Canada, where it’s available for a limited time at all Smoke’s Poutinerie locations. Screw you guys for having Poutineries.

Jones Soda Pumpkin Pie

  • Score: 2 out of 5 quietly creepy pumpkin people
  • Price: $25.99
  • Size: 12 oz. bottle (12-bottle pack)
  • Purchased at: http://www.jonessoda.com/
  • Nutritional Quirk: Contains no pumpkin, but the flavor is there.

Burger King A.1. Halloween Whopper (aka HA.1.loween Whopper)

Burger King A.1. Halloween Whopper (aka HA.1.loween Whopper) Mummy WrapperBurger King, YOU ARE THE BEST.

This is a sentence I have never said before, and possibly will never say again. Burger King has been soooo boring for years now, minus their Chicken Fries (which I inexplicably like) and their recent Red Velvet Oreo Shake (notable only for the amount of people who said “I thought I was going to die” after drinking it).

But for the next month, Burger King has won my heart. And all it took was some food coloring and a new wrapper.

In case you haven’t been following along, Halloween is my favorite holiday. And I happen to like junk food. So my demand for Halloween-themed food has always been high. For the most part, however, fast food keeps out of the Halloween biz, minus the occasional pumpkin pie milkshake or whatever.

The one exception was Taco Bell’s Black Jack Taco, released way back in 2009. And even then, they pretty much refused to associate it with Halloween, even though it was so obviously a Halloween taco.

Burger King isn’t trying to be sneaky with this one. They’ve embraced the darkness, literally, with their A.1. Halloween Whopper. Which they also call the HA.1.loween Whopper, a much more creative name that they seem to have stepped away from, possibly because nobody could pronounce it.

Look at that packaging. LOOK AT IT. It’s a burger wrapper made to look like mummy wrappings. Such a simple design, but so effective at making my heart explode with joy. You can tell the employees were instructed to wrap the Whoppers just so, so that you could see the mummy’s eyes staring out at you at just the right angle. I want to buy a bunch of them and use them as window decorations instead of store-bought clings.

Burger King A.1. Halloween Whopper (aka HA.1.loween Whopper)

Of course, the real draw here is the burger itself. Look at that burger. LOOK AT IT. I’d seen a million pictures of the HA.1.loween Whopper online, but nothing quite prepares you for having it right in front of you, knowing that you’re going to be putting that evil darkness into your own mouth.

As a fun aside, I asked for apple slices instead of fries with my burger and the person thought I wanted the apple slices on the burger. I hurriedly assured her that I did not. But it does prove that at Burger King, they really will make it your way.

Burger King A.1. Halloween Whopper (aka HA.1.loween Whopper) Bun

They claim that A.1. Sauce is baked right into the bun, but I took several bites of the bun alone and if there was any taste at all, it was merely the ghost of A.1. It tasted a little bitter to me, but I couldn’t tell if that was real or if it was because I was eating black bread.

Speaking of what’s in the bun, here’s a highlight reel from the laundry list of ingredients: FD&C Red #40, FD&C Blue #1, Raisin Juice Concentrate, Worcerstershire Sauce, and FD&C Yellow #6. You know what’s not listed? A.1. Sauce.

Burger King A.1. Halloween Whopper (aka HA.1.loween Whopper) Halves

As for the burger…I mean, do you really care about the rest of the burger? It’s a goddamn Whopper with A.1. Sauce on it. I guess the most interesting part was that they claim to use the Thick and Hearty version, but the sauce on the burger was anything but. In fact, the whole thing was messy as fuck, and it seemed like the Thin and Regular A.1. mixed with the mayo, resulting in watered-down flavor.

But at least as the mixed-up condiments ran down my hands, they looked kind of like blood. This is the kind of Halloweeny thinking you’ve got tap into to get that holiday spirit going while you eat a black burger in a mummy wrapper.

Oh, and the black bun had one last parting gift: I checked my mouth in the mirror right after eating the HA.1.loween Whopper, and my tongue was bright blue! I mean bright blue. Neon.

Actually, it might have one more parting gift – one similar to the Red Velvet Oreo Shake. But after looking at the bun and reading the list of food colorings in it, I’m prepared to not freak out if my Whopper says its final goodbye in a neon-colored way.

Burger King A.1. Halloween Whopper (aka HA.1.loween Whopper)

  • Score: 4 out of 5 neon blue tongues
  • Price: $4.99
  • Size: 1 burger
  • Purchased at: Burger King #17145
  • Nutritional Quirk:In case I wasn’t clear in the last paragraph, my poop might be neon blue. Just saying.

Pumpkin Spice Latte Milk Chocolate M&Ms

Pumpkin Spice Latte Milk Chocolate M&Ms PackageIf you’ve girded your loins for an avalanche of pumpkin spice reviews here on Junk Food Betty, prepare to ungird. I just can’t deal with the sheer amount of pumpkin spice that is out there on store shelves and in fast food restaurants.

That said, between the time I purchased these M&Ms and me actually getting around to writing this, I’ve already bought two more pumpkin-flavored items to review. Fuck me.

If that makes it sound like a lot of time has passed between purchase and review, it hasn’t really. It’s just that I have to buy pumpkin spice-flavored items or I will starve to death. And, admittedly, a little time has passed.

Why? Because these M&Ms are such a snooze-fest to me. The only reason I got them at all is because M&Ms got clever and tacked “Latte” on to the end of the flavor name. “Pumpkin Spice? Fuck ’em. Pumpkin Spice Latte? Well in that case…”

I don’t pay a lot of attention to M&Ms, but am I the only one who didn’t notice they added a second sexy female M&M? When did that happen? Last I knew, there was only one female M&M, Green, and she always creeped me out.

I just did some research, and apparently she was added in 2012. And is called Ms. Brown. And is voiced by Vanessa Williams. I’d like to thank my DVR for allowing me to skip over commercials and never notice she existed, until now. Damn you, Pumpkin Spice Latte M&Ms! Now I’m aware that there’s more than one creepy lady M&M out there.

Ms. Brown does look appropriately comfy in her scarf, though. And don’t think I missed that hipster-barista pumpkin design in the latte foam, either. I will give M&Ms props for that little touch.

Pumpkin Spice Latte Milk Chocolate M&Ms

As you can see, the candies are appropriately orange, dark brown and cream colored. As you can also see, I had a little fun. This is obviously an iced latte because there’s a straw.

Pumpkin Spice Latte Milk Chocolate M&Ms Inside

The candies are larger and fatter than regular milk chocolate M&Ms. They’re closer in shape and size to Peanut Butter M&Ms, I think.

I never tried Pumpkin Spice M&Ms, but I can tell you one thing – Pumpkin Spice Latte M&Ms nailed it. At first, all I got was chocolate, but then that familiar taste of pumpkin spice invaded. It didn’t come on too strong though, just a light cinnamon and pumpkin flavor that really went great with the chocolate.

Just when I thought I’d gotten all I was going to get out of it, the aftertaste left me with the distinct impression of a latte. Like a real latte, it was heavy on the cream and sugar and light on the coffee, but that taste was definitely there.

While I spent the first part of this review shitting all over pumpkin spice products, I now have to come to you and say that Pumpkin Spice Latte is the best M&Ms flavor I’ve had in a long time, and possibly my favorite holiday M&M flavor of all time. Whaaaat? I know it’s crazy, but the pumpkin spice was subtle and warm instead of pungent and cloying, it worked great with the milk chocolate, and they even managed to hit that latte flavor. It was a little faint, but it was a tall order for M&Ms and they completely pulled it off.

Now I want M&Ms to come out with a whole line of coffee-flavored candies. I also have a stomachache due to eating more M&Ms than I should have.

Pumpkin Spice Latte Milk Chocolate M&Ms

  • Score: 4.5 out of 5 creepy female M&Ms
  • Price: $3.19
  • Size: 9.9 oz. bag
  • Purchased at: Target
  • Nutritional Quirk: No surprises (like M&Ms using actual pumpkin) here, just the dark magic of natural and artificial flavoring.

Fearsome Foursome: Snak King Fright Bites Tortilla Chips, Jones Limited Edition Blood Orange Soda, Hershey’s Candy Corn Bar, Seattle Chocolates Dead Sea Salt Milk Chocolate Truffle Bar with Sea Salt and Toffee

Snak King Fright Bites Tortilla Chips Bag Jones Blood Orange Soda Hershey's Candy Corn Bar Seattle Chocolates Dead Sea Salt BarHappy Halloween, everybody! I mentioned this before, but I didn’t get to review nearly the amount of stuff I wanted to review this month. And now, here we are, on the holiday itself. So get ready for a MEGA REVIEW.

Well, it’s not really mega, but I’m going to do short reviews of four different Halloween items. OooOOOOooo procrastination.

Snak King Fright Bites Tortilla Chips

Snak King Fright Bites Tortilla Chips Bag

I was so pleasantly surprised when I saw these at the store. Like I said in my Cheetos review, savory snacks just don’t get the spooky treatment like candy does, so this item deserves a shout-out. Way to go, Snak King. You are such a leader that you add “King of Snacks” underneath your logo, just in case people weren’t clear on that.

The bag itself is wonderfully spooky, with a strange, flat-topped vampire child, a ghost who appears very surprised or even scared by said vampire’s hair, a freaked-out tree, a happy Jack O’Lantern and a tombstone. Love it.

Snak King Fright Bites Tortilla Chips

And look at those goddamn chips. I expected to have a hard time finding properly shaped/intact examples, but a large amount of them were in this pristine condition. Not even a regular bag of Tostitos can accomplish that easily.

Of course, the color doesn’t effect the taste at all, and they’re actually decent as a tortilla chip. I expected the quality of the chip itself to suffer, but they were well-salted and on par with any other name-brand tortilla chip.

The only quibble I have is that they’re a little too lightweight to do any heavy lifting, like a salsa or guacamole. They worked well with cheese dip, with little eye hole leakage.

But who cares about that when you’ve got tortilla chips shaped like ghosts, pumpkins and bats, and all appropriately colored? If you’re not putting Fright Bites out at your Halloween party, you are clinically insane.

Jones Limited Edition Blood Orange Soda

Jones Limited Edition Blood Orange Soda Can

Apparently Jones released this can design and flavor last year also, but I missed it, so here we are. There were four available flavors and cans last year, but this year they only went with two – this and the zombie-themed Caramel Apple, which they were out of when I went to the store. This is probably for the best.

Count Vlah manages to look mildly scary but also comical at the same time, going with a bow tie instead of the traditional wrap around…thing fastened by an amulet. I just realized I have no idea what the hell that thing is called, if it even has a name. Maybe we should call this guy Professor Vlah instead.

Jones Limited Edition Blood Orange Soda

When I started pouring the soda into the glass, I almost had a spastic freakout because the soda looked pink. I could already imagine the thousand-word essay I would spew onto this page about how dare Jones make a Blood Orange soda pink and blah blah vlah. Fortunately for both myself and you, the end result was actually the appropriate shade of bright orange.

Jones Limited Edition Blood Orange Soda tastes like if orange Fanta grew up and moved out of its parents’ house. It’s mostly a regular orange soda, but the addition of real sugar that Jones always uses makes it much more clean and…mature, if you could possibly use such an adjective for orange soda. It also seemed a little more tart than other orange sodas.

I know a lot of people aren’t fans of orange soda, and Jones Blood Orange probably isn’t going to change your mind on that. But if you are a fan of the beverage, you’ll enjoy this iteration. Plus, you get to drink out of a vampire’s head.

Hershey’s Candy Corn Bar

Hershey's Candy Corn Bar Wrapper

This is a new item this Halloween, but just the idea of it didn’t thrill me. Oh boy, more candy corn in stuff that isn’t candy corn, which in itself already sucks!

I was also not thrilled by this packaging. It’s like Hershey’s either didn’t try at all, or tried too hard to look minimal and retro. If the latter is true, no kid is going to appreciate the effort. You’d score 1,000 more points by just throwing a zombie candy corn on the package. Instead, we get…stripes.

I guess the official name of this is Hershey’s Candy Corn Candy Corn Creme with Candy Bits. While that’s redundant, it did actually shatter my misconception that this was going to be white chocolate with candy corn bits. This only increased my trepidation.

Hershey's Candy Corn Bar

I gotta say, however, that the flavor really did surprise me. It took me a second to pin it down, because it wasn’t the generic, plastic candy corn taste I was expecting. It turns out that Hershey’s Candy Corn bar tastes a hell of a lot like cotton candy!

I have to assume this was a happy accident. I mean, I would have been a hell of a lot more stoked to see Hershey’s Cotton Candy, but that’s exactly what Hershey’s Candy Corn is.

It made my mouth confused, then happy, but then kind of sad again, because holy shit is this candy sweet. I ate one snack-sized bar and I felt overloaded with cloying sweetness. Also, while you can see the decorative little orange and yellow bits in the bar, they add nothing to the taste or texture. It would have been fun to have little crunchy bits in there.

So I wasn’t completely disgusted by Hershey’s Candy Corn bar, but that’s only because it tasted nothing like candy corn. If I got this in my trick-or-treat bucket, I’d probably toss it to the side, never to be seen again, and I’d never know that it tasted like cotton candy and ten pounds of sugar. Missed opportunity, Hershey’s.

Seattle Chocolates Dead Sea Salt Milk Chocolate Truffle Bar with Sea Salt and Toffee

Seattle Chocolates Dead Sea Salt Milk Chocolate Truffle Bar with Sea Salt and Toffee Wrapper

After eating Hershey’s, this sure does sound like some fancypants shit, doesn’t it! Truffles and sea salt and toffee, oh my!

I don’t usually go for these fancy chocolate bars, mostly because I’m not a chocolate fanatic, and also because I usually have enough sweets laying around from reviews to satiate any cravings I may have. But this guy was just too good to pass up.

Despite the muted color scheme, the eye is immediately drawn to this chocolate bar’s wrapper. It’s called Dead Sea Salt, and there’s a dancing skeleton on it! There’s also a cat, and like, fifteen different spooky fonts with random Halloweeny words like “bloodcurdling” and “fangs”. It almost looks like a geocities website, but somehow, the clutter totally works.

Seattle Chocolates Dead Sea Salt Milk Chocolate Truffle Bar with Sea Salt and Toffee

…Suffice to say that all the effort went into the packaging.

Seattle Chocolates Dead Sea Salt Milk Chocolate Truffle Bar with Sea Salt and Toffee Inside

No matter though, because that’s what made me buy the bar, so I guess it’s working! As for the taste itself, Seattle Chocolates brings the quality. The chocolate is rich, smooth and creamy, and there are crunchy toffee bits throughout that add great flavor and texture. The hint of salt is there just to add some flavor depth and a nice aftertaste.

That last sentence was me completely talking out of my ass. I don’t understand anything about fancy chocolates. I don’t even know where the “truffle” part came in. I just know that chocolate good, toffee good. Good bar. Good wrapper. Fangs.

Phew! While I wish I’d been able to spread this out over the month, I gotta say, marathoning it all out on Halloween day certainly got me in the spirit! Have a happy Halloween, boils and ghouls!

Cheetos Bag of Bones White Cheddar

Cheetos Bag of Bones White Cheddar BagThis is not so much a review as it is a celebration of what I think is the best new thing to come around this Halloween. The month is almost over and I haven’t gotten to do nearly as much as I wanted, but this item deserves to shine.

Guys, it’s a Bag of Bones!

I have always felt like the savory snacks get sorely neglected every holiday season. It’s all about the candy. But why?! Come Halloween, the best you can usually hope for is some holiday-themed snack bags to give out to trick-or-treaters.

But Cheetos has gone all out with their Bag of Bones. You’ve got all the parts to make your own skeleton – skull, ribcage, generic connector bones, and hands/feet. The hands and feet are the same, but hey. I got no bones to pick with that. You know I was going to go there.

I’m not here to talk about the quality of these Cheetos – if you’re looking for that, they’re the same as these Winter White Cheddar Cheetos in both flavor and texture, except that they’re shaped like skeleton parts so they’re 1,000 times more awesome.

So I, a grown woman, spent an afternoon playing with Cheetos. Here are just a few things I came up with. Yes, I actually made more shapes than this, but didn’t even photograph them. I did it purely for the joy of Halloween Cheetos.

Cheetos Bag of Bones White Cheddar Joe Bones

Here we have Joe Bones, the original skeleton as pictured on the front of the bag. I tried to make sure his fingers actually pointed in an anatomically correct manner. Can’t say as I accomplished this feat (or feet, as it were), since some of the digits were broken off and…well, it’s a Cheeto, so.

Cheetos Bag of Bones White Cheddar Slim Jim

This is Slim Jim. I wanted to give him extra leg bones, but I ran out of room. These Cheetos are deceptively large. Slim is about two feet taller than all the other skeletons, due to actually having a neck. He is the star center on the basketball team at Monster University. He can also palm the ball. Which is a severed human head.

Cheetos Bag of Bones White Cheddar Duane Bradley Belial

This is Duane Bradley and his parasitic twin, Belial. Pretty self-explanatory.

Cheetos Bag of Bones White Cheddar Bette Dot

We shall call these…this…her? Bette and Dot, keeping with this year’s theme on American Horror Story. I figured I needed to include a strong female presence. Hm, they should have made Cheeto pelvises. That would have been fun.

Cheetos Bag of Bones White Cheddar Spider

I think this is my favorite. It’s also the scariest, if you can make puffed corn snacks actually scary. It doesn’t have a name, it just wants to eat you. It also took a while to find all those bone parts, since they are smaller and thus sunk to the bottom of the bag. I had to eat my way through a lot of rib cages and skulls to collect them all. It was a labor of love, and cheese powder.

Well, there you have it! I declare Cheetos Bag of Bones White Cheddar a fabulous break from all the Halloween sweets out there. They’re tasty, they’re fun, and they’re not candy. Bag of Bones is the best.

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.