Review(s): Pumpkin Spice Latte M&M’s, UTZ Yuengling Barbecue Sauce Potato Chips, Grapery Cotton Candy Grapes, & Showering When I Can Barely See
JFG Nation, been a while! I hope you all had a very good week. I have to say, this time off from blogging every day has been very helpful in my every day life. While I am still working on this site, there has been other events in my life that having a bit of a junk food break has been really useful. If you still need your daily fix, I STRONGLY encourage you to check out my Nosh Show brethren’s blogs, The Impulsive Buy, GrubGrade, and On Second Scoop. And, of course, listen to the Nosh Show! We’ll have a new episode next week.
You’d think not working on this website every day would mean I’d have less computer time spent, and better eye health, but no – I still stare at various screens throughout the day. Like many of you, I wear contacts and glasses. I’ve worn them since…9th grade? These days, I wear contacts all day long, usually taking them out AFTER I shower (we’ve covered the whole daytime or nighttime shower thing before). But recently, because my eyes were tired, I decided to take them out before I showered. WHAT A MISTAKE THAT WAS.
I completely underestimated the importance of clear vision when showering. Holy cow. I know it seems silly – I mean, your eyes are closed half the time when you’re showering anyways to avoid soap and so you can put your face right under the stream like you’re in a waterfall OH SO REFRESHING. And you certainly don’t need eyes to scrub – this ain’t a field sobriety test; most of you can find your face with your hands without needing your eyes open.
But it was the little things: pressing a bottle almost to my nose to determine if it was my shampoo or the JFGal’s conditioner (WHY ARE THEY BOTH WHITE BOTTLES). Jumping at any dark form on the tub floor (IS THAT A SPIDER no it’s just a clump of hair NO THAT’S A SPIDER GAAAAH DROWN IT). Or even just dropping the soap – I had to get on my knees to determine where the eff it slid to because my tub is white, the soap is white, and I keep kicking it all over the place. If this sounds ridiculous, IT WAS.
Now, I FULLY realize that people who are blind have less vision than me and no problems in the shower. I KNOW THIS. I’m just…well, clumsy I guess. Anyways, just a small look into my life this past week. None of you wear glasses in the shower, do you? Am I the only one who has these problems? Let me know in the comments below.
Today’s junk food(s): Pumpkin Spice Latte M&M’s, UTZ Yuengling Barbecue Sauce Potato Chips, and Grapery Cotton Candy Grapes!!
Three more reviews this week: Pumpkin Spice Latte M&M’s, UTZ Yuengling Barbecue Sauce Potato Chips, and Grapery Cotton Candy Grapes! These aren’t all BRAND new, but they’re all new to me. Let’s get to it, verbose MINI-REVIEW style again…
First down: Pumpkin Spice Latte M&M’s!!
I voted NO on these Pumpkin Spice Latte M&M’s Nosh Show last week, mainly because I had no confidence in the flavor after trying M&M’s attempt at general Pumpkin Spice last year. The prior Pumpkin Spice M&M’s didn’t taste bad, they just weren’t pumpkin-y enough. As we said on the Nosh Show, unless you’re adding some sort of creme center or something to the mix, just flavoring milk chocolate isn’t an easy task. So changing from Pumpkin Spice to Pumpkin Spice Latte flavor? I have to be honest; I had very low expectations for this flavor. Would there be a coffee tinge?
I sniffed the bag and it smelled like normal M&M’s. MAYBE there was a tiny pip of pumpkin-y aroma. MAYBE there was a tiny spark of coffee. But honestly, I think that was all in my head. So, aroma = negativo. Moving onto the taste… I popped a few of these in my head mouth and chewed. First impression – there was SOME pumpkin spice flavor; similar to last year’s flavor, the flavoring was in the shell.
These candies were a BIT different however – I COULD discern a TINY bit of coffee/latte flavor. I tried a few more to make sure I wasn’t imagining things, and I wasn’t – there was the faint taste of a watered down lattee in the mix. Not sure if it came from the candy shell or the chocolate, but it was there. Mixed with the pumpkin spices and the chocolate, I have to say these did faintly taste like a PSL.
BUT, what does that mean overall? Well, they weren’t great – like the Pumpkin Spice M&M’s from last year, these weren’t BAD but they weren’t special enough to warrant a re-buy. They ARE delicious M&M’s with a tiny faint flavor of PSL. So, if that’s what M&M’s was going for, I guess they succeeded. But to me? Not bold enough, ranking these only slightly higher than last year’s version. If you’re expecting something life changing, this is not it. But, if you just want some slightly PSL candies, sure, why not?
PURCHASED AT: Target, Germantown, MD
Second down: UTZ Yuengling Barbecue Sauce Potato Chips!!
When I saw these UTZ Yuengling Barbecue Sauce Potato Chips, I was SUPER excited, mainly because the other Yuengling UTZ chips I had, the hot sauce ones, are my FAVORITE Buffalo-style chips out there! Those Yuengling Hot Sauce chips not only nailed the tang and spice, but the quality of the chips was spot on. Now, UTZ has teamed up with Yuengling chips again to make barbecue sauce chips? Yes, yes, and yes.
Opening the bag, I sniffed and….huh. There wasn’t a really strong BBQ sauce smell. I expected some smokiness or whatnot, but…nothin’. Good potato chip smell but no aroma. Weird. The first thing I noticed visually was that THESE CHIPS WERE HUGE. Like, really big. Like Doritos JACKED big. One of the chips I pulled out was super thin but wide enough to be a drink coaster. WOW, UTZ. I like the cut of these. And, to UTZ’s credit, I am surprised that these huge chips weren’t all broken. But nope – lots of large thin sliced potato chips, completely intact. Pretty cool.
I placed a huge chip into my mouth and chewed. Hmmmm. These were good, but my immediate impression was NOT BOLD. The chips overall were not too salty (which is what I don’t love about Herr’s BBQ chips) and also weren’t too sweet (which is often my problem with Lay’s BBQ chips). They had a good barbecue sauce flavor with good Worcestershire notes and a bit of sweet/salty umami flavor. Good onion-y notes for sure.
But my surprise? These weren’t bold. I expected, based on my hot sauce chip experience, for these to be a balanced bold assault on my mouth – but they weren’t. I liked them in that these were probably the most balanced BBQ sauce chips I’d eaten, and maybe that will be a huge selling point for those, like me, who don’t love being clubbed over the head with barbecue flavor. But these lacked a bit of smokiness, and overall seemed somewhat muted.
I’d eat the whole bag, for sure, and I think most will like them. But they didn’t match the boldness of their hot sauce chips, at all.
PURCHASED AT: Giant, Germantown, MD
COST: $1.50 on sale
Third down: Grapery Cotton Candy Grapes!!
FINALLY. These Grapery Cotton Candy Grapes came out last year. LAST YEAR. And I only FINALLY saw them at my local Wegmans this past weekend. Now, to be fair, maybe they were there all along and I never saw them. But this past weekend they were FRONT AND CENTER. And I wanted them.
A friend of mine and I debate food chemicals, GMO vs. non-GMO, and organic vs. non ALL THE TIME. So I was super curious about these – after all, Grapery claims that these are all-natural, sustainably grown, AND non-GMO. How do you make grapes taste like cotton candy? There’s gotta be some Hogwarts spell put on these, no? Apparently, they are just bred that way. MAD SCIENCE I TELL YOU!
I washed a nice bunch and popped some into my mouth and WHOAAAAAAAAAAAAAA HOLY EFF. Dude. Dude. THESE TASTED LIKE COTTON CANDY. Well, to be fair…they tasted like grapes that had cotton candy flavoring in them. SO. WEIRD. The more I ate…the more my brain brought the grape flavor to the forefront. But once in a while, that cotton candy flavor would pop back up again. I examined the grapes closely – there was no flavor packet in there. HOW WAS GRAPERY DOING THIS? I couldn’t stop eating them.
I liked them. A lot. Look, I know this may be mad science, but these were delicious. YOU may think they are just strange, but if these ARE truly all-natural, then Grapery, I salute you. These were ridic. Grapery also has a slew of other grape products – ones that taste like Flavor Pops (COOL), like gum drops (not sure I’d want that), and grapes that are shaped like fingers (GAAAAH ABOMINATIONS!)
These Cotton Candy Grapes do beg the question – of all the fruits out there, do grapes really need help tasting better? I love grapes. You love grapes. Little kids love grapes. I’ve never seen anyone NOT like grapes. They’re sweet and delicious and are sacks of flavor juice. Why make something that tastes good already taste like something else? I don’t need my fried chicken to taste like tacos (ALTHOUGH THAT WOULD BE AMAZING GET ON THAT GRAPERY.)
PURCHASED AT: Wegmans, Germantown, MD
And that’s it for this week! Let me know how you’re doing in the comments below.
Junk Food Guy