Review x2: New Sweet & Salty Pretzel Combos (Vanilla Frosting, Caramel Creme) & When Do The Holiday Lights Come Down?

Junk Food Nation, I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend. The holidays are finally over, huh? What a bummer.

Also a bummer – every single wildcard football game this weekend. I didn’t really care about any of the results, despite my personal feeling about yesterday’s Dallas/Detroit game. But was it possible that I was wrong on EVERY SINGLE PICK I made last Friday? Let’s see, on both moneyline wins and covers, I was…2-6? Awful.

So, JFNation, now that the holidays are over, the champagne has been put away after New Year’s, and you’ve had a chance to finally throw away leftover casserole from that holiday party (IT’S BEEN THREE WEEKS, PEOPLE. IT’S NOT STILL GOOD.) the next question is when do decorations, trees, and lights come down?

In my neighborhood, I started seeing trees lying on sidewalks on December 27! Well, bah humbug to you too. Apparently those individuals want to be SUPER efficient – Santa’s gone, let’s get rid of this effing tree! Maybe he can take it with him! But I know some people leave their tree up long after New Year’s, even. But how long is TOO long to leave the tree up? If it’s plastic, it can just stay up, I guess – then you’ll have your Valentine’s tree, your St. Patty’s tree, your Fourth of July tree. How festive.

But at least a tree is decently easy – once you lug that thing to the sidewalk or fold up the plastic braches back into the box, it’s pretty much done. Maybe a little vacuuming. But lights – OH THE LIGHTS. They took forever to put up, and you delayed putting them up until like mid December, and now you have to take them down again? AWESOME.


I drive by some houses that leave their lights up year round and think, “Well, that’s a disaster waiting to happen.” I mean, I don’t live in Arizona, people – there’s things like rain and moisture that happen here ALL THE TIME. When I see a house that still has lights up in the Spring, I feel like the entire house has been wired to keep the velociraptors in.

But maybe I’m narrow in my perspective – I don’t currently live in a single house, so I don’t have outdoor lights. I’m also not a sorority girl in college, so I don’t have Christmas lights hanging up inside my bedroom either. So you tell me, JFNation – what’s your policy on take the tree down, taking the lights down? Are you the type to leave that ish up year round (or at least until March/April)? And if so, why? Let me know in the comments below – I’m curious.

Today’s junk food: New Sweet & Salty Combos!

New Sweet & Salty Combos

New Sweet & Salty Pretzel Combos: The Money Shots

We talked about these Salty & Sweet Combos a while back on the Nosh Show, and frankly, I’m surprised it took THIS long for something like this to come out. Salty and Sweet is obviously NOT a new concept, and when was the last time Combos really innovated ANYTHING? I feel like the last big innovation was the use of pretzel over cracker…and that was like two decades ago. SO, I fully embrace this new change in Combo variety, and welcome the future flavors of red velvet, pumpkin spice, crème brulee, mint, and of course, gingerbread. Do it, Combos. DO IT.

First up: New Sweet & Salty Vanilla Frosting Pretzel Combos!

New Sweet & Salty Vanilla Frosting Pretzel Combos

New Sweet & Salty Vanilla Frosting Pretzel Combos: The Money Shot

New Sweet & Salty Vanilla Frosting Pretzel Combos

New Sweet & Salty Vanilla Frosting Pretzel Combos

New Sweet & Salty Vanilla Frosting Pretzel Combos

New Sweet & Salty Vanilla Frosting Pretzel Combos

New Sweet & Salty Vanilla Frosting Pretzel Combos

I popped one of these New Sweet & Salty Vanilla Frosting Pretzel Combos into my mouth and crunched. The pretzel was salty and crunchy, per usual Combo texture. The vanilla frosting inside, honestly, tasted more like Oreo Crème than any kind of frosting. Maybe not AS sugary sweet, but still just a nice general sweet crème flavor.  Combined with the salty pretzel, these were pretty tasty. Nothing that blew me away, since I’d had, for example, yogurt covered pretzels before, and these were similar in concept. Still, there was fun factor, and to me they were not unbalanced – I didn’t think they were too sweet or too salty. I really enjoyed these – simple flavor, good execution. Even if the Combos themselves looked a LITTLE sloppy. Still, regular Combos also have cheese spread everywhere too – so whatever.

Next up: New Sweet & Salty Caramel Creme Pretzel Combos!

New Sweet & Salty Caramel Creme Pretzel Combos

New Sweet & Salty Caramel Creme Pretzel Combos: The Money Shot

New Sweet & Salty Caramel Creme Pretzel Combos

New Sweet & Salty Caramel Creme Pretzel Combos

New Sweet & Salty Caramel Creme Pretzel Combos

New Sweet & Salty Caramel Creme Pretzel Combos

New Sweet & Salty Caramel Creme Pretzel Combos

I crunched on a few of these New Sweet & Salty Caramel Creme Pretzel Combos and had a definite different experience than the Vanilla Frosting variety. Same decent crunch, and same internal texture – but the crème was NOTICEABLY caramel and very sweet…Combos was definitely trying to club me over the head with it. This caramel crème (not actual caramel soft chewy candy) was almost butterscotch in flavor, it was so sweet.

The buttery taste of the internal crème also altered the flavor of the pretzel, in my mind. While the Vanilla Frosting pretzel was more standard, these almost tasted like the flavor of warm soft pretzels (Auntie Anne’s, Wetzel’s). In a lot of ways, these Combos reminded me of the Snyder’s of Hanover Sweet Salty Salted Caramel Pretzel Pieces, which I LOVED. So, similarly, I REALLY liked these.

A decent foray into the Sweet/Salty world for Combos.  I recommend both – they might not completely blow you away, but they are both definitely tasty.

PURCHASED AT: Target, Germantown, MD

COST: $1.50 each on sale

Thoughts? Please comment below or hit me up on Twitter @junkfoodguy or LIKE my Facebook Page and message me there. I also have Google+!! Let’s hang out.


Junk Food Guy

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Discuss - 15 Comments

  1. Indigo says:

    I don’t think I’ve ever lived in a house where outdoor decorating took place for Christmas. Too much work. However I enjoy seeing other people’s displays. The more elaborate, the better! So thank you, rest of the world, for making Christmas pretty for me.

    Regarding trees, my parents have gone through the usual iterations, from the full-blown ceiling-high tree of my childhood to a skinny tree as they got older to the half-sized “table top” tree to an even smaller table top tree that sits up all year ’round in a place of honor in the living room, and we have placed Easter bunnies, leprechauns, pumpkins, and other representations of other holidays all around and on it, so that it’s appropriate 365 days a year. Efficient and eccentric ftw.

  2. Jessica says:

    There’s plenty of people I know who don’t take down some of their lights down at all (one of them has icicle lights that run down the fronds of multiple palm trees). At our house, the most we ever had as far as outdoor lights was a single strand running along the front awning. That came down whenever my father got around to it…sometimes into the summer months.

  3. Sarah says:

    Why did the picture of that cat bring me tears, laughing way too hard….it’s not THAT funny!! I was nervous about the review, never felt that before reading one of your reviews! I have been thinking about these since I heard about them….was sooo hoping that vanilla frosting was going to be good….and then the caramel??…butterscotch??….I am on the next plane out of here, just to find them!

    If you are polish and catholic there are rules with that tree!….seriously! You have to take it down anytime after January 6th. That is three kings day. How are they suppose to deliver gifts if the tree with star on top does not lead them to the manger??….you are also suppose to leave out the statues of the three kings in your manger and then place them there on the sixth…along with writing the initials of the kings above your doorway. k + m + b. i am forty….took me this long to learn it all!

    • junkfoodguy says:

      @Sarah – I did NOT know the 3 Kings bit. Good to know! And the reason the cat makes you laugh is because it has its paws on its hips. GENIUS MEME

  4. Anne says:

    I guess I’m a bad Catholic since my tree and outside lights come down New Year’s Day. Outside I just put up garland on my front posts along with a strand of lights for each post. I put two wreaths with big red bows on two front windows and a wreath on the lamp post. I have three kids and would LOVE to decorate a bigger tree. However, I’m also a dog and cat mom. So I put up a half tree on the table to prevent disaster. And it comes down….just not into the year-round tree thing.The Combo icing filling really reminded me of the insides of those new (yet seasonal) Lance sprinkled sugar cookie sandwiches. There were also two other limited ones: chocolate mint and pumpkin cheesecake. I thought “eh” about all three.I guess I prefer the savory Lance varieties.

  5. Sarah says:

    I’m such a bad person to live in Indy. I don’t mind the Colts really, but it’s the hype that leads up to it before every game I hate!

    Christmas: the sooner it comes down, the better I feel at a normal house again. Granted sometimes I think outdoor lights should be left on a little longer. I mean until the sun starts setting after 6 maybe. Though in the morning when I leave for work at 5, it’s nice to see some lights on. A little light in the darkness (that isn’t a flamethrower).

  6. alek says:

    I think that after the holidays all the lights should be down. No point to leave it there.

    For the combos they do sounds good. Something different than savory over the years. Hopefully they will roll out coupons so I can give it a shot.

  7. Elisa says:

    Within a few days after New Year’s. It’s one thing to have lights on the potted bush type plants year round but not the ones in the yard!

  8. Steve B. says:

    So apparently the difference between vanilla frosting and caramel creme is caramel coloring. Otherwise the ingredients are exactly the same.

  9. Erin says:

    For my first Christmas/Holiday season in the DC burbs, I was disappointed at the lack of decorations. Although my town (Gaithersburg) has had holiday lights up since October I think and I believe they’re still up (Or were when I came back from the gym on Wednesday night, though they weren’t lit).

    I have to admit, I only came to your blog to see if you had anything to say about these new combos. I’ve been waiting for them since every snack foods had a “sweet and salty” version for years and Combos have many fond memories in my mind. I had looked for these at Wegman’s in Germantown but didn’t find them so I wanted to see where you found them. I think I’ve gotta make a run down to Target now and see if I can find the caramel ones.

  10. Michelle Mcknight says:

    The sweet and salty salted caramel combos are to salty and not enough sweet. Seems to me that the pretzel needs to be thinner, or the filling needs to be a little sweeter to strike the right balance. It is a great idea though.

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