Review: New Chocolate Fudge Pretzel Sweet & Salty Combos, Monterey Jack & Sundried Tomato Sun Chips, Poppy & Sesame Seed Rice Thins, Nosh Show Ep. 62, Cracking Crabs
JFG Nation! WHAT is UP? It’s been a while, hasn’t it? And where the heck have I been, right? Well, I’ve been working hard behind the scenes on this transition; but, like I said last week, I HAD to check in today to see what you good people are up to. How ya been?
(1) I took the time out of endless hours of coding this past weekend to travel with some friends to Eastern Maryland, home of the Maryland blue crabs, aka THE BEST CRABS IN THE LAND. Seriously though, Maryland blue crabs blow all other crab meat out of the water. Super sweet and flavorful. And going out to the water to crack crabs is a Maryland tradition – all you need is a table covered in brown paper, a bucket of crabs doused in Old Bay, and a mallet and a knife. The place where this all went down for me? The Kentmoor Restaurant in Stevensville, MD:
That’s right. I took part in the ExCRABaganza! The Market Price was $37… time to make it count! BRING ON THE CRABS!
YESSSSSS. That caked on reddish-brown stuff, BTW, is a heavy dousing of Old Bay Seasoning. So salty, so delicious, but pro-tip: wash your hands before using the bathroom or rubbing your eyes. IT BURNS!!!
That’s a happy JFG right there. I think I crushed ~18 crabs over the course of two hours. Plus a bowl of crab soup. Plus 2 (3?) ears of corn. Plus a crabcake. Plus booze. Suffice it to say, I made sure to maximize that market pricing.
If you’ve never cracked crabs before, I highly recommend it. Working your way through a steaming pile of seasoned crabs, fingers burning, the sweet crab meat plentiful, swigging beer, covering yourself with shell shards as you smash the legs with a wooden mallet and dig out the insides with a sharp plastic knife, while you breath in the breezy sea-filled air on a sunny day? It’s heaven. Second pro-tip: MAYBE wear some preemptory Band-Aids on your thumbs. I lacerated the EFF out of mine on those sharp crab shells.
(2) Turning to NON-crab-related news: EPISODE 62 OF THE NOSH SHOW IS HERE!
For you new arrivals, The Nosh Show is a podcast started by Marvo from The Impulsive Buy, featuring Ryan from GrubGrade, Dubba from On Second Scoop, and, of course, me, your friendly neighborhood JFG. Today marks the release of The Nosh Show, Episode 62: A Horrible Way to Start Your Morning.
This week, “we discuss Pecan Pie M&M’s, Pumpkin Spice Latte M&M’s, Funyuns Steakhouse Onion, Mtn Dew Black Label, and so much more.” You can listen embedded here:
(3) Today’s junk food(s): New Chocolate Fudge Pretzel Sweet & Salty Combos, Monterey Jack & Sundried Tomato Sun Chips, Poppy & Sesame Seed Rice Thins!
Three reviews in one post, and it’s NOT just various flavors of one product? What is HAPPENING, JFG? Well, I had some good stuff to review, so I figured…eff it, let’s pack it in. We’ll do these MICRO-REVIEW-style. You’re basically seeing the best stuff I found during the week of Aug 16-22.
First up: New Chocolate Fudge Pretzel Sweet & Salty Combos!!
I’ve reviewed the two other existing Salty & Sweet Combos flavors (Vanilla Frosting & Caramel Creme) and really enjoyed both of those. It’s no surprise, then, that I really enjoyed these New Chocolate Fudge Pretzel Sweet & Salty Combos!
Nothing SUPER special about the flavor; it basically tastes exactly how you’d think it’d taste. When I opened the bag and sniffed, it smelled like chocolate frosting. I popped one in my mouth: the outside pretzel was salty and buttery, and as I chewed was super crisp and fresh. The insides were predictably sweet and chocolatey. I’m not sure if I would call it the deep flavor of “fudge,” per se, but this wasn’t quite milk chocolate either. Like a sweet dark chocolate, the inside creme worked REALLY well with the salty pretzel to give the whole thing a perfect salty/sweet balance.
Super crunchy, and super-addicting. I chomped the entire bag down in no time. Will definitely buy these again, and they might be my favorite of all three Combos Sweet & Salty flavors.
PURCHASED AT: 7-Eleven, River Road, Washington, DC
Second up: Monterey Jack & Sundried Tomato Sun Chips!!
I hadn’t eaten Sun Chips in a very long time, so I was super excited to try these Monterey Jack & Sundried Tomato Sun Chips. Looking back, I’ve only reviewed Sun Chips twice on this blog (Jalapeno Jack and Creamy Roasted Garlic). In both reviews, the theme was similar: The flavor wasn’t unpleasant, but it wasn’t bold. Uh oh.
When I opened this bag of Sun Chips, I inhaled deeply – I definitely got notes of garlic/onion. Some cheesiness, I think. Pretty mild all around, though. Grabbing a nice stack, I popped some chips into my mouth and crunched: these were….ok. Just “ok.” Sad trombone sound.
BAsically, When I closed my eyes and chewed, I could clearly taste the monterey jack cheese. But jack cheese, not PEPPERJACK, mind you, is a pretty mild cheese to begin with. So while I could taste the jack cheese, it was mild and when chewed with the multigrain chip, very mild. There was a tiny bit of tang on the front and back ends, which I can only assume was the sundried tomato attempt. I didn’t get any actual sundried tomato flavor, which is a BOLD flavor in real life. Actual sundried tomatoes are sweet and super tangy and very bright! I really didn’t get any of that here, as the general savoriness of the chip (onion, garlic powders) and the multigrain chip itself made everything just sort of medium.
Like the other Sun Chips I reviewed – tasty and I crushed the whole bag. But nothing special enough to make me want to re-buy. Sorry, Sun Chips.
PURCHASED AT: Giant Food, Leesburg, VA
COST: $3.00 on sale
Third up: Poppy & Sesame Seed Rice Thins!!
Here’s the thing: I am a HUGE fan of rice chips, rice crackers, all of the above. And, when given the chance, I’ve given these Rice Thins by Nabisco a big thumbs up, both for their original three flavors (plain, sea salt & pepper, and white cheddar) and their additional barbecue flavor. So I had huge hopes for these Poppy & Sesame Seed Rice Thins, even though my first reaction was: “uhhh….are these even going to taste like anything?”
Rye seed has flavor. Poppy seeds and sesame seeds? I mean…they SORT of have flavor in VERY LARGE AMOUNTS, like on an Everything bagel. But usually those seed flavors get pumped up and accentuated by rye seeds, garlic and onion flakes, salt, etc. These were JUST poppy and sesame seed, with NOT a lot of them on each cracker. Hoooo-kaaaay.
The box DID smell like poppy seed when I opened it up. But the flavor? Honestly, there was none. Or rather, these tasted, to me, JUST LIKE the original Rice Thins. As I chewed a bunch more, sure, I did get a slight taste of sesame seed, and imagined a bit of poppy seed, but that was after a BUNCH of crackers and having to REALLY CONCENTRATE on the flavor. If I was eating quickly, these didn’t taste like anything special. At all.
Again, I like the Rice Thin brand, Nabisco – and I didn’t hate these. But I’ll still buy your White Cheddar and your BBQ flavor over this one.
PURCHASED AT: Safeway, Bethesda, MD
COST: $3.00 on sale
And that’s it for this week! Well, actually, I am feeling a bit peckish, so maybe I’ll put up a Food Faceoff I’ve had in mind on Thursday or Friday. Until then, let me know what’s been going on in the comments below. Have you ever cracked crabs before? And what’d you think of the Nosh Show this week?
Junk Food Guy