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Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Archer Farms Apple Cider

I really want to like everything Archer Farms puts out, but this stuff was just a little sub-par in my opinion. It wasn't bad. But I expect more from Target and Archer Farms. This seasonal beverage tasted like store brand apple juice with a little bit of...something? in it. Oh—that special something was apparently just "natural flavors." A little vague, no?

And again, the flavor wasn't terrible. It just didn't feel like they did anything special here. At all. It's passable as apple juice I suppose, but calling this stuff cider is a bit of a tease. No cinnamon? Nutmeg? Cloves? Allspice? Unless those are some of the unnamed "natural flavors" mentioned in the ingredients. It's hard to say whether there were any spices in it or not. And sure, you could add them yourself if you have a decent spice rack at home.

I guess I shouldn't complain. It's pre-packaged, shelf-stable (until opened) 100% juice from concentrate at a reasonable price—if memory serves me correctly, it was about $1.99 at our local Target.

I just like my apple taste more like cider. Or I want something unusual, like pear cider. Or cider-flavored tea. C'mon Archer Farms, you can do it. We expect more from you. You're not just a run-of-the-mill store brand, so don't act like one.

I give this "cider" 6 out of 10 stars.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Archer Farms Pumpkin Spice Granola

There must be some unwritten rule somewhere that says pumpkin cereals can't taste too much like pumpkin or even pumpkin spices. I mean, technically, pumpkin is a type of squash. And nobody wants to eat squash-flavored cereal. But I think in this case, they could have added a bit more of the pumpkin spices like cinnamon and nutmeg. The nutmeg flavor is there, but it's subtle.

Other than a slight lack of pumpkin spice flavors, I really don't have any complaints. The flavor is quite pleasant. It's like good quality, sweet granola with a hint of nutmeg.

I liked this better than other pumpkin granola I've reviewed. And I liked it much better than certain other pumpkin cereals. It's pretty much on par with the other Archer Farms granolas I've taken looks at—most notably the Coconut Macaroon and Raspberry Crème Brûlée varieties.

And like those other granolas, this cereal stays very crunchy in milk—even after extended periods of time. I wouldn't know that if not for my lovely wife, who takes about an hour to eat a single bowl of cereal. She lets it sit on the table or the counter for ever and ever while she goes about her business. When I eat a bowl of cereal, it's gone in 30 seconds. It's not that I'm always that hungry, it's that I don't multitask well, so I just complete the job that's in front of me.

But anyway, this stuff is good. I just think it could use a little bit more nutmeg and cinnamon—especially cinnamon. It would go well with yogurt...maybe even pumpkin-flavored yogurt...a double dose of pumpkin. Then you might be able to taste some pumpkin flavor. 

I give this granola 8 out of 10 stars.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Archer Farms Pumpkin Scones

From the very beginning, Sonia and I have had a difficult time finding Archer Farms brand pumpkin products at our local Targets in the PA, DE, NJ region. We've found pumpkin pancakes, pumpkin oatmeal, pumpkin salsa, and pumpkin coffee so far—which isn't bad, but we see TONS of other Archer Farms pumpkin goodies on Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest. We figure it's just a regional thing. Or maybe our Targets sell out of things like Pumpkin Spice Monster Trail Mix very quickly.

At any rate, Sonia was delighted to discover these scones at a Target near her workplace. I pretend I'm too manly to get excited about pumpkin stuff around this time of year, but on the inside, I start giggling and quivering with glee when I see things like pumpkin scones. Granted, not all pumpkin products are super tasty. But most things we've found at Target are pretty decent.

And that's definitely the case with these. The taste is great: a sweet, bready, pumpkinny flavor. It's got a decent amount of pumpkin in the ingredients, and you can actually taste it. And no, I don't mean pumpkin spices. There's, like, actual pumpkin in here!

But my favorite part of these things is the texture. There's a freshness "sell-by" date sticker on the front of the package, and you can absolutely tell these haven't been sitting on the shelf for weeks or months. They're nice and soft—almost to the point of a "melts-in-your-mouth" kind of vibe, with a slightly-firm sugary shell on the outside. The only thing that could be better would be fresh-made scones from scratch, homemade or from a bakery.

As long as you like pumpkin—and I mean, you actually can taste some real pumpkin—I think you'll like these. Granted there's plenty of traditional wheat flour and sugar taste in there, too. But it blends well with the moderate levels of pumpkinosity.

I give this product 8 out of 10 stars.

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