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Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Archer Farms Rustic Pumpkin Spice Trail Mix

Holy autumnal Archer Farms snacks, Batman! This is about as fall-ish as it gets, and I'm surprised they had this stuff in stock at Target. In years past, they were always sold out of most of their fall foods. Perhaps it's because the pumpkin spice craze is slowing down, or perhaps it's because we just arrived to the store on re-stocking day. I'm not sure, but we got our hands on this Rustic Pumpkin Spice Trail Mix, so let's dig in.

Pumpkin spice peanuts?? You mean they have a candy coating that tastes like pumpkin spice? Nope. They're just peanuts with a pumpkin spice flavored powder on them—similar to those spicy peanuts that simply have a dusting of chili powder. Interesting, I guess. Not my favorite. They're a little too dusty if you ask me. It's almost like they crushed up some autumn potpourri and then rolled peanuts in it. Makes me want to cough when I eat them.

Next up: cinnamon pretzel balls. We've seen those before. See this review of Maple Trail Mix from last fall. They work pretty well in this mix, too.

Yogurt-covered raisins. Self-explanatory. They function as the sweetest elements in the mix. I just wish there were more of them. Also, I'm not sure if yogurt-covered raisins can ever be called "rustic." 

"Pumpkin seed kernels." So...basically just pumpkin seeds, AKA pepitas. They're salty and crunchy and they congregate on the bottom of the bag. They might want to consider a "shake well" warning on the label, because as is, the second half of the bag will be significantly seedier and saltier than the first half. No biggie.

It's hard to get all of the constituent ingredients in one bite. When you do, it's definitely cinnamony, salty, and sweet—and vaguely pumpkin spice-esque. It's not bad, but it's not really one of my favorites, either. If we ever buy it again it'll be because the wife wants another bag next fall. 

The ingredients list for this product is a doozy. Here's a link in case you want read that or the nutrition info.

I give this trail mix 7 out of 10 stars.

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Archer Farms Non-Dairy Vanilla Cake & Cookie Dough Frozen Dessert

Just as I suspected, THIS is a flavor I can get behind.

There's an airy, subtle quality to the almond milk that they use here that lends itself to lighter, vanilla-esque flavors, in my humble opinion. After trying the peanut butter & chocolate variety last month, I projected that I'd be far more into a vanilla cake type flavor than the peanut butter one, despite my affinity for most things peanut buttery. My suspicions were correct.

There's still a completely unnecessary "fudge swirl" element in this non-dairy frozen dessert that I find completely uncalled for and superfluous. I'd have given this product a near-perfect score if not for that particular ingredient.

I might also ask for even more cookie dough and cake pieces, because they worked beautifully in this mix. The "vanilla cake batter flavored" pseudo-ice cream was delish. It's like almond milk was invented just to be the base of this flavor. The cookie and cake pieces worked perfectly, too. They're just sweet and simple and slightly chewy.

Chocolate's great and all, and there are tons of desserts it should be included in, but this just isn't one of them if you ask me. The richness of chocolate just throws off the balance of all the lighter flavors. And there's just so much of it! You can see in the picture above how massive and thick the "ribbon" of fudge actually is. Perhaps a quarter that amount of chocolate would have sufficed.

But still, this non-dairy frozen dessert is scrumptious and worth a purchase or two even if you're not vegan or lactose intolerant. If you like ice cream—particularly vanilla-based ice creams with cookie dough—you're probably not gonna hate this. It's very refreshing, perfect for beating the heat on a hot summer day, and the sweetness is great for a pick-me-up. I will absolutely buy this flavor again, though perhaps after trying even more of these non-dairy ice cream flavors.

I give this non-dairy frozen dessert 8 out of 10 stars.

Friday, August 23, 2019

Archer Farms Non-Dairy Peanut Butter & Chocolate Frozen Dessert

"Best non dairy ice cream hands down." "Better than Ben & Jerry's." "Amazing." "The best vegan ice cream by far."

These are the kinds of things I've been hearing about these not-so-new-anymore non-dairy ice creams from Archer Farms...on social media, in reviews, and by word of mouth. To tell you the truth, I don't think I've heard a single negative thing about them. And I've been trying to procure a pint for quite while now, but we've either not been anywhere close to a Target during our travels, or the Target stores nearest to us were sold out of the products in question. After months of anticipation, I FINALLY found some at a Target store only 15 minutes away from our campground near Rapid City, SD. All that to hopes were exceedingly high going into this.

That's never a good thing—to have any expectations, let alone lofty ones that can never be met in real life.

Now don't get me wrong, this product isn't bad by any means. And I will be seeking out all of the other AF non-dairy flavors to review them individually. But as a non-vegan, I don't think this particular flavor works as well with almond milk as it does with dairy milk. The base of the ice cream here is significantly thinner than that of traditional ice cream. A bad thing? No, not necessarily. I just think both peanut butter and chocolate lend themselves to dairy milk, personally.

Note: this was the only flavor left at the Target I visited. Not a single pint of ANY of the other non-dairy flavors were left. Based on what I know now, I really think this almond milk base might lend itself to vanilla bean or vanilla cake and cookie dough a little better than something as rich as peanut butter and chocolate.

Again, I'm NOT hating here. This is some very good ice, sorry: frozen dessert. As far as this sort of thing goes, it doesn't get a whole lot better, although I would never declare this better than B&J's vegan offerings...not this flavor, anyway. We've even seen non-dairy ice cream from Trader Joe's that I'd prefer over this particular product.

Would I buy this flavor again? Sure, if it's the only one on the shelves again. But I'm gonna make every effort to try those other offerings before I come back to this one. $3.59 for the pint.

I give this flavor 7 out of 10 stars.

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